Do you know the difference between the different earring backs? Probably not, and that’s perfectly normal.
Earring backs are an often overlooked part of your jewelry, but they can make a significant impact on how comfortable and secure your earrings feel.
And while there are so many options out there, not everyone knows what they mean or why they exist. For that, we’re here to help.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything from push-back clasps to screw-on backs to make your life easier when shopping for earrings next time. You won’t want to miss it – keep reading!
Earring backs are the pieces of hardware (could be metal, plastic, or even wood) that keep your earrings in place by attaching them to your earlobes.
Here’s a breakdown of the most popular types of earrings backs:
1. Clip-On Earrings
These are the most popular types of earring backs because they make it easy to put on any type of earring. I’ve worn clip earrings for years, but I’ve found that padding doesn’t really improve their comfort. Instead, it’s much better to slightly adjust the clip itself, either the hinge or the back metal pad. As someone in my 20s without pierced ears, I’ve been on the lookout for comfortable alternatives, and I’m glad I discovered clip-on earrings.
Clip-on backs are metal, plastic, rubber, or silicone clasps that clip onto the back of your earring, holding it in place. They come in a range of sizes to accommodate different earring designs. You simply slide them onto your post and voilà, earrings are secured. That’s why it is one of the most comfortable earring backs!
Clip-on backs are the ideal solution for those who don’t have their ears pierced or for anyone looking to occasionally wear different types of earrings and maybe costume jewelry/atypical earrings. They’re also great earrings for babygirls.
However, there are a few disadvantages to how clip-on earrings work, with the most significant one being their common discomfort. To alleviate this issue, I have a personal tip: I apply several coats of nail polish on the clip.
This not only helps protect the ear from any rough edges on the clip but also prevents the clip’s finish from tarnishing. If there are any excessive flashings resulting from the stamping process that might come into contact with the ear, I file them off beforehand.
Another drawback is that they’re sometimes not the safest option for security – putting all of your weight on just a single clasp could result in a lost earring. Those are some reasons why magnetic earrings have replaced them as the most popular choice for earrings without piercings.
2. French Wire
French wire earring backs are also known as French hooks or fish hooks. A fish hook is a popular choice for dangle earrings, drop earrings, hoop earrings, or heavier earrings because they distribute the weight more evenly across your earlobe.
French wires are thin metal pieces used to make hook earrings that gracefully loop around the earring post and connect to the back of the earlobe, (without an actual back – the French wire just goes through your ear piercing through a curved wired hook).
From my personal experience, when using a thinner 4mm silk thread for stringing pearls in the double-strand method, it consistently tends to break. Consequently, I have opted for a thicker single-strand silk thread in the hope of achieving greater durability.
However, it is worth noting that the size of a bead does not always correspond to the size of its hole. It would be convenient if a larger bead implied a larger hole, but regrettably, that is not always the case.
Yet, not having a back also puts the earrings at a higher risk of being lost if one isn’t careful. French wires, aesthetically speaking, are more attractive compared to wire protectors or guardians.
However, if you’re purchasing them for an adult, they might be a bit small for larger earlobes. I, for instance, don’t have the tiniest earlobes, and these earrings tend to be thin and petite in size.
3. Push Backs
Push backs (also called butterfly backs, friction earring backs, or postbacks) are one of the most popular types of earring backs because they’re simple and effective. Push-back earrings are the perfect size behind the earlobes and provide a strong and secure fit.
They feel comfortable against the skin. When it comes to cleaning your earrings, just like with cleaning your ear piercing, it’s best to use warm soapy water, saline water, or alcohol. Anything beyond that may risk compromising the inner workings of the push-back earrings. With a different type of earring backs, this has been one of the best backings for earrings!
What’s called friction backs are small, flat disks (almost shaped like a butterfly) with a hinged post/hole in the center that your earring goes through. This type of back is especially popular for earrings with a delicate design, like diamond earrings or any simple gold earrings, as it keeps them from falling off easily.
They’re also one of the most comfortable types of earring backs as they don’t put pressure on your earlobe which makes them a great choice for everyday wear or as great earrings to sleep in. My daughter kept losing nice earrings, and I knew there had to be something out there that could help prevent this. These push-back earrings are awesome, and we haven’t lost an earring since we started using them!
The only downside to these earring backs is that they can be a bit tricky to use with large or heavy earrings, but they generally work well with all earring types. Also, butterfly back earrings can be difficult to take off if you don’t know how to remove them.
While they may be a little more expensive, they are definitely worth the investment when you consider the cost of lost earrings. Additionally, they are adorable! The 12mm size seems to be the perfect fit for my 10-year-old daughter. She loves them and has never lost an earring since I chose this type.
4. Latch Backs
Latch backs, (also known as click-top or snapbacks,) are another popular option for dangling earrings, drop earrings, and hoops. They feature a secure mechanism that goes over the earring posts, ensuring that the earrings stay firmly in place.
These earrings have received numerous compliments for their lightweight design, secure clasp, and comfortable fit. I purchased them for a special occasion – a senior ball – where simplicity and elegance were desired, and they truly delivered. With their undeniable beauty, these earrings proved to be a perfect choice.
To open these earrings, simply push them down to release the catch on the hook. Slide your earring through and close it, ensuring it’s secure before letting go. I opted for the 10mm size, which turned out to be perfect – lightweight, comfortable for all-day wear and even sleeping, without causing any irritation to my ears.
However, if you’re not familiar with the clasp feature, be cautious. I accidentally closed it on the back of my earlobe, so take care while handling it. Nonetheless, these earrings are not only stunning but also incredibly comfortable, making them suitable for any occasion.
Since they’re so secure and easy to use, latch backs are a great option for toddlers’ earrings or for earrings for older kids. Among the different kinds of earring backs for kids, this has proven to be the best earring back so far.
Saddleback earring backs are designed to fit securely over the post of your earring, allowing it to hang through the center. This unique feature makes them particularly sought after for the best hoop earrings.
As someone with highly sensitive ears, I am always on the lookout for high-quality earrings that won’t cause any adverse reactions. These saddleback earrings have truly passed the test of time.
I have worn them without experiencing any negative reactions or discomfort. In fact, they are so comfortable that I often forget they are even there.
Saddlebacks are incredibly user-friendly. Opening them is as simple as pushing down on the prongs, sliding your earring through, and closing them securely.
Not only are they cute and the perfect size I was searching for, but they also have a lightweight design, making them ideal as everyday earrings.
However, it’s worth noting that they are somewhat thin and tend to lose their shape quite easily. Despite this minor flaw, they meet all my requirements and are exactly what I was hoping to find.
They’re also very secure, making them a good option for those who are often active or tend to lose their earrings often. That’s because they’re made to distribute weight across several points. This prevents the earrings from pulling on your earlobe or falling out.
The only downside to saddlebacks is that they can be a bit tricky to open, especially if you have smaller fingers. However, they still make for pretty earrings, although they are too lightweight and tend to bend easily, affecting their hanging position.
Despite this, they can be a nice option for an inexpensive gift. On the other hand, if you’re looking for lightweight earrings with a comfortable closing mechanism, these saddlebacks are exactly what you need.
6. Plastic Backs
Plastic backs, also known as rubber earring backs, are commonly used for basic diamond studs or gold stud earrings. These backs are simple yet effective, consisting of small rubber or plastic disks with a central hole that easily slides onto your earring post. This makes plastic backs the optimal choice for the best types of earring backs for studs.
This type of earring is highly practical, offering long-lasting durability without the risk of easily getting lost. It is especially suitable for adventurous individuals as it provides a secure hold on your earlobe.
Additionally, it proves to be an excellent choice for those with sweaty ears, as it neither rusts nor emits any unpleasant odors, making it one of the most popular types of earring backings.
Once you slide the post of your stud earrings through the hole on the back, it’s held in place by friction. Plastic earring backs are also one of the cheapest options for earring backs, making them a good choice if you lose them often.
The only downside of these earrings is that they can be quite flimsy, which makes them less suitable for heavier earrings, yet it is the best types of stud earring backs.
However, after trying them multiple times, I’ve learned that it’s important not to tighten them too much, as it can cause irritation to your ear. Instead, it’s best to tighten them normally.
On the bright side, if you have sensitive ears like mine, you’ll appreciate that these earrings are made of plastic or silicone, which provides a comfortable fit. I highly recommend them as earrings for anyone with sensitive ears.
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7. French Clips
French clip earring backs, also known as (omega backs,) are a great choice for those who don’t want to wear earrings for pierced ears. They effortlessly slide on and provide a secure hold for your earrings with prongs or clasps that go over the earring post.
These earrings are versatile and suitable for any situation, boasting an exquisite and high-end appearance. Making the best types of earring clasps.
Additionally, they are both adorable and comfortable, making them a perfect match for any outfit on any occasion, be it a holiday, work, or a party. The beautiful design of these earrings adds a touch of elegance to my appearance.
You simply slide the earring backings onto your posts, and the French clips will grip firmly due to their hinged earring design, making them an excellent choice for earrings adorned with gemstones.
I am particularly fond of their versatile style, which strikes a perfect balance between being neither too big nor too small, allowing them to complement any outfit.
Furthermore, the well-crafted clasp provides added security, reducing the risk of losing an earring. Personally, my favorite aspect is the convenience of the French clip, as it is easy to manage and can be easily removed when bathing.
8. Jumbo Earring Backs
Jumbo backs are similar to plastic or rubber earring backs, as they consist of disks with a small hole in the center. However, they stand out due to their larger size, which is intended to cover the entire earring post.
Typically crafted from metal, these earring backs offer both comfort and ample support. They are exquisitely designed and are an excellent choice for large earrings. It is worth noting that they may not be suitable for thick post earrings, as most silver earrings tend to be.
One of the advantages of their larger size is that they are easily visible on the counter, making them convenient to pick up and use. Moreover, their size allows for easy detection with fingertips while wearing them, ensuring they remain in place throughout the day.
Jumbo backs are also exceptionally comfortable to wear with a super snug fit, and they work with nearly all earrings. They’re also not easy to lose since they’re so large.
Their only downside is that they don’t work as well with delicate or dangly earrings since they’ll show from behind your ears. These earring backs are incredibly secure, firmly gripping the earring post.
Although they may be a bit expensive, the peace of mind they provide is worth every penny, especially when it comes to safeguarding my custom-made Sapphire earrings. With these backs, my earrings stay comfortably and securely in place.
While I must admit that they are quite large, they are perfect for special occasions like photo shoots, accentuating the beauty of your ears. I personally adore them and highly recommend giving them a try.
9. Screw Posts
Screw posts, also known as (screw backs,) are a popular choice for earrings, especially diamond earrings or gold earrings. These post earring backings screw onto the earring post, providing a secure hold.
Many individuals find them appealing, such as parents who adore how adorable screw posts earrings look on their infants. They are also favored by individuals who appreciate their perfect size and stylish appearance, as they don’t easily come off like non-screw earrings.
For college students with busy daily routines, screw posts are ideal, ensuring the earrings stay in place throughout the day, even during productive activities like attending classes.
You just slide the back over the end of your post and turn until it’s secure, making them easy to use as well as secure. Plus, screw posts are great for people who have trouble using other types of earring backs since they turn so easily.
However, one downside of screw post earrings is that you can’t simply slide the backings on before putting the earrings in like you can with latch backs or French clip earrings. This means that you may need to spend some extra time getting them to stay in place.
The same applies when you’re trying to remove the earrings. Despite the slight inconvenience, screw post earrings provide a secure hold, making them a worthwhile investment. Additionally, their cute micro screw design makes them perfect for children who are constantly playing outside. I highly recommend them.
10. La Pousette Backs
La Pousette backs are a type of back that’s as secure as a lock, ensuring your earrings stay in place. These backs feature a unique indentation on the post that provides additional support.
Once the earring is fastened, it becomes virtually impossible for it to slide down or come off. However, some users may find them a bit small making it challenging to put the earrings on initially, but once they are in place, they provide reliable and comfortable security for your earrings.
In addition, La Pousette Backs feature a spring-loaded mechanism that is activated with pressure. To put the backings on and off, you’ll just need to squeeze both ends of the back so that it opens up and enables the post to be inserted.
However, it should be noted that putting them on can be a little tricky and requires some fine motor skills. If you have arthritis in your fingers, these backs may be difficult for you to use.
On the positive side, they keep earrings in perfect condition, providing a snug earring fit and a secure lock. Many users highly recommend them for their confidence in preventing diamond loss.
FAQs – Earring Backs Types
What Type of Earring Back Is the Best?
For most people, the best type of earring back is one that’s easy to put on and take off, like pushbacks. However, for those with active lifestyles and children, it’s best to get a pair of earrings with screw-backs or other types that can’t easily be pulled off.
Are All Earring Backs the Same?
No, there are many different types of earring backs. Some of the most popular include pushbacks, screw posts, latch backs, and French clips, among many others. Some backs grip onto your earring post and secure it tightly; others feature a locking mechanism that won’t let go of your earring no matter what you do.
What’s the Back of Earrings Called?
Earring backings are known by various names, such as posts, post backs, or butterfly backs. Among the most popular options for stud earrings and diamond studs, post backs are widely used. A post refers to a thin metal wire that passes through the earlobe to secure the earring in position.
What is the Alternative to Butterfly Backs?
An alternative to butterfly backs is the screw back. This type of earring back offers enhanced security by preventing the earring from sliding off the post, unlike butterfly or scroll backs.
Which Earring Backs are the Most Secure?
Earring backs with secure lock-back mechanisms are deemed the most secure option. These backs feature a patented double-grooved locking mechanism, where the tension mechanism locks into one of the grooves to firmly hold the earring in place.
With a multitude of earring backing types available, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your needs. Plus, there are different types of earring backs that are much easier to adjust than you might think!
No matter which type of earring back you choose, just always make sure that it’s comfortable to wear and won’t easily fall off, especially if you wear earrings on a daily basis.