Everything You Need to Know About Flat Back Earrings
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Everything You Need to Know About Flat Back Earrings

If you love wearing jewelry as much as we do, you probably want earrings that are mega comfortable and ones that you don't have to worry about falling out. Enter the flat back: a style of poke-free, worry-free earring designed to be worn day and night. It even helps promote the healing process for new piercings. Read on to learn more about this style of backing we love and know you will, too.

What are flat back earrings?

If you’re new to flat back earrings, they are exactly what they sound like. Earrings with a flat, smooth backing. Unlike traditional butterfly backing, the flat back design allows the earring to rest comfortably against your ear without causing discomfort or sensitivity.

You might also hear them referred to as push-pin, screw-back, or threaded earrings — that's related to the mechanics of how the earring works. (More on that soon.)

What are the benefits of flat back earrings?

Flat back earrings provide an immediate comfort upgrade and are the answer to everyday issues. 

For new piercings, the smooth, sleek design of these earrings helps promote healing and prevents any irritation from poking, which is especially nice in those first few days when the piercing site is still a little bit tender.

While the flat back design is a winner for all piercing locations, they are especially ideal for advanced piercing placements like the conch, tragus, and helix, where the healing time is a bit longer.

The design also keeps the backing snuggly in place. You’ve already gone through the exciting (and maybe a tiny bit nervy!) experience of getting a new piercing, so you don’t want to worry about losing an earring or backing on a new piercing. It can be common for butterfly backs to snag on hair or clothing, or pop out when when blow-drying hair. Not the case with flat backs.

And if you’re a side sleeper, here's more great news. Poke-free flat backs are also better for those who like to curl up on their sides when snoozing. Less discomfort, more zzz’s. 

In short, earring discomfort is a thing of the past. Byeeee!


How do flat back earrings stay in?

A flat back post is super secure, and the magic is in its design. There are two popular designs: push-pin and screw-back.

Push-pin flat backs

With this style, each set comes with a pre-bent earring top and a flat back post. When placing the earring, you first insert the backing through the piercing hole. Then, you insert the earring top. The pre-bent nature of the earring top creates tension when inserted into the backing. This tension is what keeps the earring secure.

Screw-back flat backs, AKA threaded

This style is more akin to a traditional earring back when it comes to insertion. You place the earring post into the front of your piercing as usual, and because the stud itself is threaded at its end, all you have to do is screw on the flat backing.

How to remove a flat back earring.

Removing a flat back earring is a breeze. For push-pin earrings, firmly grasp the front and back of the earring and pull out the top piece (the decorative element). One that is removed, slide out the post from the back. You’ll notice the front stud is bent, but remember, it’s supposed to be like that!

For screw-back earrings, simply unscrew the flat backing and remove the top stud as usual.


What’s the deal with flat back sizing?

If you notice on our flat back sets, you’ll have a choice between gauge sizes and length. 

  • Gauge measurements. Gauge is the thickness of the post that goes through your piercing hole. Think of gauges in reverse. The higher the gauge, the thinner the post. For example, a 20 gauge post is thinner than an 18 gauge post.
  • Length measurements. The length measurement refers to how long a post is, often measured in mm. We offer two lengths for our flat backs: 6 and 8 mm. The perfect length will depend on the individual anatomy of a person and the piercing location. For example, a flat back for a lobe piercing may have a longer length of 8 mm, while a cartilage piercing might have a shorter length of 6 mm. 

If you ever have questions about sizing or want help swapping your traditional earrings for the flat back style, our piercing studio is ready to help you find the perfect fit.


Where can a flat back earring be placed?

Anywhere! Flat backs are great for all piercings, new and old. While they’re beneficial for healing new piercings (less irritation, more air flow), flat backs can be placed anywhere that you want to up the comfort level — including both lobe and cartilage piercings. Many simply choose flat backs for sensitive ears, so if yours are more on the tender side, you’ll definitely want to opt for flat backs from the get-go.


Would a flat back earring fit in a hole made by a piercing gun?

It depends. The fit all comes down to the gauge, or the thickness of the post. As a general rule, butterfly backs tend to have a gauge of 20 mm. So, if you had a previous piercing created with a piercing gun and butterfly back, chances are a 20 mm flat back post should fit just fine. If you have any questions or would like help finding the right fit, simply pop into our piercing studio or send us an email at  howdy@adorn512.com.


Flat back vs. La Pousette back earrings.

La Pousette earrings are similar to flat back earrings as this design also has a sleek, smooth, flat back. The mechanism of how the earring stays put differs, however. While flat backs are either push-pin or screw-back, La Pousette earrings work by a spring-loaded mechanism within its disc. To use, you pinch two tabs on the disc, which allow the inner workings to “lock” onto the post and hold it securely in place. 

Like flat backs, La Pousette earrings are more secure and comfortable than traditional butterfly backs. Still, getting the mechanism to lock right can take some practice. For those with arthritis or limited dexterity, La Pousette earrings can be a little tricky to place.


Ready to level up your ear party?

Shop our flat back collection, where you’ll find an assortment of sets, pairs and individual earrings, made for every mood and moment.

Still have questions about flat backs? Send us an email to howdy@adorn512.com & we'll be happy to help.