If you feel like you are seeing clip-on earrings everywhere, you aren’t imagining it. The resurgence of ‘90s and Y2K nostalgia has brought back the once-popular trend, according to Beth Moeri, EVP Chief Merchandising Officer at Claire's.
While this style might seem like it’s only for those without pierced ears, even those with piercings may want to opt for clip-ons from time to time. Unlike regular hoops or dangly earrings that easily get caught on clothes and hair, there’s no risk of tearing your earlobe with clip-ons since they will simply fall off if pulled on. You also don’t have to worry about them stretching out your holes, making them ideal for when you want to wear oversized statement earrings. And as long, fake nails continue to reign, clip-ons make getting styling your ear-scape that much easier.
Because the wrong pair of clip-ons can be uncomfortable, we conducted hours of research to find the best ones on the market, evaluating each based on design, comfort, and material. After considering dozens of options and consulting with two jewelry experts, we found clip-on earrings that stay put, don’t pull or tug on your ears, and come in trendy designs.
From hoops to studs, these are the best clip-on earrings for every style.
Karine Sultan Brushed Square Clip
For the best overall, we looked for a style that boasts a ton of versatility, as well as one that feels durable and has a timeless look. These square studs are simple enough to wear every day but can easily be dressed up for a special occasion. The 3D shaping and brushed metal creates a gleam that illuminates your face, especially when you wear your hair back. Since the earring is a flat piece of metal, it’s lightweight and doesn’t pull your earlobe down. Despite the affordable price, they are made from 24k gold or sterling silver, both high-quality materials that are less likely to irritate your ears or break. No wonder celebrities like Guiliana Rancic and Julie Benz have worn these on the red carpet.
Price at the time of publish: $36
Material: Pewter with sterling-silver, 24k-gold or 24k-rose-gold plate | Dimensions: 0.75 x 1 inches
Oscar De La Renta Classic Short Tassel Drop Clip Earrings
After Audrey Hepburn stepped out in those famous tassel earplugs in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a glamorous pair of tassel earrings became a staple in everyone’s closet. With a clip-on style like these, you don’t have to worry about them getting stuck on anything and stretching your piercing. This set dazzles with its shimmering glass beads and long drop design. Coming in four different neutral shades, these earrings easily go with a variety of outfits. If you are looking for your next go-to party accessory, these are it.
Price at the time of publish: $345
Material: Gunmetal plate, glass, nylon | Dimensions: 3-inch drop
FINREZIO 9 Pairs Clip on Drop Earrings
Amazon is our go-to for budget-friendly clip-ons because you can usually get a few pairs for the price of one. Case in point: This 9-pack of tropical, clip-on earrings. Surprisingly high-quality for the price point (they come out to around $2.22 per pair), these earrings come in a mix of materials from rattan to resin to tassels. On top of that, they are super comfortable and stay put without causing irritation, according to customer reviews.
Price at the time of publish: $18
Material: Alloy, acrylic, rattan | Dimensions: 1.57 to 4.72 inches long, depending on the earring
Les Néréides Paris Colored Stones Clip-On Earrings
Want to make a statement without going overboard? Try an oversized stud like these from designer Les Néréides Paris. The disc-shaped earrings are adorned with stones in alternating shapes and contrasting hues that give off a nice color pop. Plus, they’re made from high-quality brass and cut glass stones, so they’re built to last.
Price at the time of publish: $90
Material: Brass, glass | Dimensions: 0.83 inches long
Best for Sensitive Skin
Olive + Piper Domenica Earrings
Clip-on earrings can be less irritating than regular ones, but if you have especially sensitive ears, go for a hypoallergenic pair like the Domenica Earrings from Olive + Piper. Made from 14K gold plated brass, they are hypoallergenic and nickel-free. Clusters of glass crystals and faux pearls add just enough sparkle for special occasions but also make sense for dressy work events or a night out with friends.
Price at the time of publish: $40
Material: 14K gold plated brass or silver tone plated brass | Dimensions: 1.25 inches long
Jennifer Behr Papillon Earrings
Worn by celebrities like Nastia Lukin, these oversized earrings are sure to draw attention, even when wearing your hair down. Each butterfly is made from intricately-carved brass, and together they frame your face. Despite the larger size, these earrings are lightweight—weighing in at 11 grams—and are nickel-free, so they won’t irritate your skin. From hair clips to tank tops, the butterfly motif isn’t going anywhere, and these earrings are a sophisticated way to tap into the trend.
Price at the time of publish: $225
Material: Brass | Dimensions: 2.25 inches long
Eara Aaliyah Clip-on Gold Hoop Earrings
Specializing in clip-on earrings, Eara Aaliyah makes our winner for the clip-on huggie. The ear-hugging style is slightly smaller than regular hoops, making them ideal for everyday wear when you don’t want large hoops flying around. A customizable backing lets you adjust the tightness for a comfortable fit. Made from 18K gold plated over brass, they will hold up well for years to come.
Price at the time of publish: $48
Material: 18K gold plated over brass | Dimensions: 1 inch long
Vince Camuto Imitation Pearl Clip-On Drop Earrings
Everyone needs a pair of pearl earrings in their jewelry box. These clip-ons from Vince Camuto are made from realistic-looking imitation pearls, so they feel luxe without a high price tag. Made from polished goldtone metal with two mismatched pearl beads, these drop earrings have a simple and sleek design that adds a nice touch of pearlescent sparkle to the lobes.
Price at the time of publish: $50
Material: Goldtone plate, acrylic | Dimensions: 1.25 inches long
Saint Laurent Dome Clip-On Drop Earrings
These Saint Laurent Dome Clip-On Earrings look like a treasure found at the antique mall with their oversized design, brass finish, and enamel detailing. The drop earrings are two inches long and feature a large disc with the classic YSL logo framed in the center. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but if you like to collect vintage jewelry, these are a worthy investment.
Price at the time of publish: $1,255
Material: Goldtone plate, enamel | Dimensions: 2 inches long
Dareth Colburn Callie CZ Earrings
Don’t feel like you have to run out and get your ears pierced just for your wedding. These pear-shaped earrings are the perfect way to dress up your ear party for your big day. The cubic zirconia stones boast a ton of shine, giving them a diamond-like sparkle without the diamond price tag. They’re also hypoallergenic, lead, and nickel-free, so they won’t cause irritation to sensitive skin types. And, if you’re looking for a matching necklace, you can get them in a set with the Callie Pendant.
Price at the time of publish: $38
Material: Plated metal | Dimensions: 1 inch long
Best Polymer Clay
Klaudias Jewelry Box Minimalist Triangle Earrings
Polymer clay earrings continue to be a trending accessory, and you don’t have to pierce your ears to try out the style. In fact, clay is the ideal material for clip-ons since it’s so lightweight. We love these Minimalist Triangle Earrings from Etsy seller Klaudias Jewelry Box. They’re handmade with a silver-plated, nickel-free clip. Available in six bright shades, they will light up your face with color.
Price at the time of publish: $15
Material: Polymer clay | Dimensions: 0.87 inches
Swarovski Dulcis Clip-On Earrings
Add a pop of color to your outfit with these chunky clip-on earrings from Swarovski. The earrings feature a yellow topaz Swarovski crystal bezel set inside a metallic purple frame with a comfortable clip-on backing. They’re high-quality, unique, and offer just the right amount of color and sparkle.
Price at the time of publish: $195
Material: Metal and glass | Dimensions: 1.25 inches long
Goldies Ozzy Butterfly Ear Cuff
If you’re worried about discomfort and don’t have your ears pierced, a cuff earring is a great alternative to a clip-on. These Butterfly Ear Climbers look way more elaborate than your usual earrings, even those of us with piercings might need to snap it up. Wrapping behind the ears, each cuff is lightweight and secure. Select what ear you want it created for, or request a pair.
Price at the time of publish: $12
Material: Silver | Dimensions: Message Seller
Best Rose Gold
Kendra Scott Ellie Clip On Rose Gold Stud Earrings in Rose Gold Drusy
If you’re looking for a gorgeous set of rose gold clip-on earrings, Kendra Scott is where you want to shop. The Ellie Clip OnStuds are high-quality, durable, and feel like fine jewelry with their 14K rose gold plated over brass makeup. The brand uses genuine Drusy, which is the natural crystallization on a rock surface. Each stone is extremely sparkly and slightly different in its formation. Designed with the most comfortable clip-on backs, these earrings are a pair you’ll reach for daily.
Price at the time of publish: $49
Material: 14K rose gold plated brass | Dimensions: 0.63 inches long
Êliou Fiore Clip-On Drop Earrings
Thanks to Y2K, colorful beaded jewelry is back in vogue. These clip-on star earrings are the epitome of earring trends with their bright colors and pearl accents. Think of them like an ode to all those times you played with playdoh in grade school. They make the perfect solo statement but also look so chic with the brand’s matching chunky Sky Bracelet or the more minimal Lisa Beaded Necklace.
Price at the time of publish: $138
Material: Acrylic, freshwater pearls, goldtone plate | Dimensions: 1.5 inches long
Best Cubic Zirconia
Nadi Double CZ Clip Earrings
Add some major sparkle to your lobes with the Nadi Double CZ Clip Earrings. These cubic zirconia earrings boast almost as much sparkle as a pair of diamonds, without the high price tag (and the stress of wearing clip-on diamond earrings). Made from rhodium-plated brass, they are hypoallergenic and nickel-free. You can easily wear this two-stone design daily or for special occasions as well. With two round stones, the clip-on earrings are a good everyday pair but are also dazzling enough for special occasions.
Price at the time of publish: $45
Material: Rhodium plated brass | Dimensions: 0.69 inches long
Jannisa 14K Gold Plated Hoop Clip on Earrings for Women
Love the look of multiple hoops in your ear without the tugging involved? Go for this hoop set from Amazon. The earrings feature three hoops bunched together like a bouquet for your earlobes and are made from high-quality copper plated with 14K gold. Soft pads make the clips extra comfortable. You can buy them as a single pair or choose the set, which comes with one pair of yellow and white gold hoops.
Price at the time of publish: $17
Material: Copper plated in 14K yellow or white gold | Dimensions: 1.18 inches
Vince Camuto Clip-On Hoop Earrings
If you want the large hoops without the piercing or potential tear if they get stuck, check out these hoops from Vince Camuto. Though they are a good two inches, the thin metal keeps them lightweight. Extra points for the adjustable screw backs that give you the perfect grip, no matter the thickness of your lobes. If you can’t choose between gold or silver, you might as well get both.
Price at the time of publish: $25
Material: Gold, Silver | Dimensions: 2.125 inches
Eara Gold Daisy Clip-on Earrings
We love these statement-making studs for their whimsical design and oversized appearance. Made from 18K gold plated brass, the clip-on earrings feature one half of a daisy flower that, when together, form a full botanical moment. You can wear them together on one ear or frame your jawline with a joyful style.
Price at the time of publish: $52
Material: 18K gold plated brass | Dimensions: 1.25 inches long
Hailing Crafts Lime Green Flowers Acrylic Dangle Earrings
These resin clip-on earrings have a retro feel with their plastic design and mod daisy silhouette. But, what we adore the most about them is their nod to the pearl jewelry trend with those big, milky stones that sit front and center on the earlobe. The handmade earrings from Hailing Crafts are a pair you can easily dress up with a sundress or down with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.
Price at the time of publish: $18
Material: Resin acrylic | Dimensions: 1.98 inches
Meet the Expert
- Beth Moeri, EVP is the Chief Merchandising Officer at Claire's
- Neumi Anekhe, is a jewelry expert and founder of Oma The Label
What to Look for in Clip-On Earrings
When shopping for a pair of clip-on earrings, ensure the backing is big enough to keep the earrings secure. “The wider the back, the better,” says Moeri. “The more surface space you have, the more comfortable the clip-on earrings will be.” You can also look for a style that has an adjustable screw back, like Vince Camuto Clip-On Hoop Earrings, for a custom grip.
Even clip-ons can be uncomfortable, especially in heavier designs that can pull and pinch your earlobe. “I recommend clip-on earrings that have some type of protective layer of silicon on top of the metal clasp — this will help alleviate any potential discomfort,” says Neumi Anekhe, founder of Oma The Label. Jannisa 14K Gold Plated Hoop Clip on Earrings come with soft pads on the metal clasps.
Anekhe recommends looking at the type of metal used to create the pieces. This will inform how you care for your earrings, but it's also important if you have sensitive skin. If you have sensitive ears, Anekhe says to look for hypoallergenic designs and avoid irritating ingredients like nickel. Higher-quality metals, like platinum or pure gold, are more expensive but less likely to irritate your ears and will not tarnish with wear. If you want a more affordable option, look for a style made from rhodium, like Nadi Double CZ Clip Earrings. This metal isn’t as pricey but also is hypoallergenic and resists tarnishing.
Do clip-on earrings hurt?
“The whole purpose of clip-ons is to avoid as much pain as possible,” says Anekhe. “If the clip-on earrings are of great quality, they are usually made to be fairly painless while you wear them.”
That said, depending on weight or earring closures, clip-ons can cause some discomfort while wearing them for an extended period of time. If you are going to be wearing earrings for several hours, Anekhe recommends an ear cuff instead, like Goldies Ozzy Butterfly Ear Cuff.
How do I put on clip-on earrings?
Clip-on earrings are typically very easy to take on and off. “After opening the hinge, just line up the earring to where you want it positioned, then make sure it’s secured on your lobe, and you’re good to go,” says Moeri. “It’s helpful to make sure that they are secured midway down your lobe so they don’t slide or pinch the bottom of your ear.”
What are the benefits to wearing clip-on earrings?
We’ve all heard those horror stories of tearing an earlobe—whether gradually by wearing heavy earrings frequently or suddenly when an earring gets stuck on something. You don’t have to worry about this happening with clip-ons because they don’t actually create a hole in your earlobe, and if they do get caught on anything, they will fall off. If you like to wear hoops or long, dangly earrings, consider a clip-on like Oscar De La Renta Classic Short Tassel Drop Clip Earrings. You get all the drama without the potential injury.
But before jumping to the worst-case scenario, let’s point out the obvious; clip-ons let you instantly change your look without getting any piercings. Even those with pierced ears may opt for clip-ons when they want to create the illusion of more than one piercing or if they simply find them more comfortable than regular earrings. For those that wear long, fake nails, clip-ons can also be easier to put on than fumbling with what feels like threading a needle.
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor's degree in fashion journalism. When it comes to jewelry, she loves an earring moment. As a metalworking and jewelry student at Pasadena City College, she combined her academic knowledge of jewelry design and journalistic research skills to source the best clip-on earrings based on style, design, construction, and comfort.