How to Make Clip-on Earrings More Comfortable

Harmony Ball
6 min readMar 21, 2021


wearing comfortable clip on earrings
wearing comfortable clip on earrings

How do you make clip on earrings more comfortable?

There are a number of things you can do to make your clip on earrings more comfortable. This article will cover the many different ways that are relevant in 2023 and beyond.

The aim of any clip on earring is “to have strong positive clips that do not hurt and are comfortable. They need to be firm enough to hold the weight of the earring without causing discomfort”. Often the addition of soft earring clip pads will improve their comfort.

Before we get into the details of how to do this it is important to clarify a few misconceptions about clip on earrings and to dispel the hype. Searches on the internet show a number of questions in the section ‘People Also Ask’ that is prominent these days in the search results pages. Here are some of those questions that are prominent that need some clarification;
Are clip on earrings supposed to hurt?
Are clip on earrings bad for your ears?
How do you make clip on earrings less painful?
and other similar questions.

The above questions all suggest that clip on earrings hurt, period, and/or are going to hurt, as against the fact that some women, a minority of wearers, find clip-ons less than comfortable than they expected them to be. Such questions are often asked online by people who are not used to wearing clip-on earrings and are sometimes answered by people who do not actually wear them, e.g. retailers / sellers of earrings or bloggers or content writers.
However the question “How do you make clip on earrings more comfortable?” is not suggesting that the earrings are painful but that making them more comfortable may be an advantage.
We all have different shape and different thickness of ear lobes hence the determination of comfort can be determined by such a simple thing.

Most clip on earrings purchased these days do not hurt however they can invariably be made more comfortable. The clip on earring market globally is huge, even though only about 1 in 10 women wear them, so it makes no sense for reputable manufacturers to produce earrings they know will hurt.
Modern clip on earrings are better designed than those that our grandmothers or even mothers used to wear — some of the clip mechanism designs and manufacturing / assembly methods left a lot to be desired.
Such things as the shape of the clip, how it was fixed to the earrings and the preset pressure of the clip. The other major contributor to discomfort and even earrings not staying in place properly was the weight of the earring itself.

Some early designs and manufacturing methods of the larger styles included cast costume jewelry earrings (standard hook or post earrings as well), very thick and heavy brass alloy castings. These in hindsight were not really swell suited to be clip on earrings.
Such earrings required greater pressure on the clip lever, or the threaded screw, to hold the weight — this invariably caused discomfort and the earrings fell of unexpectedly.
Some vintage earrings available today reflect these issues. (see images below showing older style clips on vintage earrings).

All of these things are taken care of in modern manufactured clip on earrings, the manufacturers are in business to make product that continues to sell over many years.

Spring clip tension is set such that they suit the average persons ear and the shape of the lever part of the clip negates pressure points on the lobe. We all have different shape and different thickness of ear lobes hence the determination of comfort can be determined by such a simple thing. The preset tension on earrings will be perfect for some however may be a little too much for others. This is where the accessories come into play. Additionally this part of the clip mechanism has a hole in it into which a soft rubber cushioning pad is inserted, further reducing pressure.

Earrings are now made from much lighter metal alloys so that and equivalent large sized earring
of the vintage eras, size for size, weighs much less. These modern changes to the design and manufacture of clip on earrings negate the past major contributors to discomfort or irritation.

In addition to the above there are a number of soft cushion pad accessories readily available for clip on earrings these days and these accessories make clip-ons even more comfortable.
Some regular wearers of clip on earrings do not require these pads whilst others swear by them — the point is that these options are available.

Many retailers of clip on earrings do not help the cause of quashing the misconception that they are uncomfortable or even painful to wear primarily by not including soft pads with the earrings they sell or at the least having these accessories displayed at the point of sale for the clip-ons or if an online store then providing information prominently on its site.<br />

These clip pads accessories can also aid in preventing earrings from falling off as they provide in many cases some extra pressure on the ear which is cushioned such that it doesn’t hurt. Also the materials that the pads are made from will give more grip on the lobe than metal will.

So fitting soft clip pads can solve a number of issues if they exist, very simply and cheaply.

Examples of the common modern clip on earrings types and the soft comfort pads that are available to make them more comfortable.

soft felt pads slide-on for paddle back clips
Soft Felt Clip Pads for Paddleback Clips
adhesive clip pads
Adhesive Soft Pads for Clip-on Earrings


slide-on soft pads for mini-clips
Soft Pads for Mini-Clip Paddleback
slide-on pads for dangle clip-on earrings
Soft Pads for Dangle Clip-on Earrings
soft pads for hoops and screwback clips
Soft Pads for Hoops & Screwback Clips
push in soft earring pads
Push-in Soft Pads for Clip-on Earrings

This is a list of the common clip types used on clip on earrings, both past and present.
# Traditional Paddle Back Clip — Paddle-shaped with a hinge at the bottom, most suitable for heavier earrings but very universally used whether earrings are heavy or not.

# Simple Clip — Smaller curved paddle, works better for lighter or smaller earrings.

# Pierced Look Clip — Narrow spring clip for small and thin earrings, simulates the look of typical pierced earrings — one of the most popular for dangle or drop earrings.

# Mini Clip — Small clip used for children’s earrings or smaller styles.

# Simple Screwback Clip — Does not include a hinge, must be screwed and unscrewed to wear and remove, common in vintage earrings.

# Hinged Screwback Clip — Includes hinge and screw, offers dual adjusting for comfort and security.

# Magnet Back — Opposing magnets are set into the front and back of the earring to hold it onto the earlobe through magnetic force.

# Vintage clip on earrings will often have a variety of clip designs that differ to those above due to lack of industry uniformity. Some of the soft pads will fit some vintage earrings whilst others will require a little ingenuity to adapt other cushion accessories, like those used for eye glasses or by using the adhesive pads shown above and trimming them to size. It should be accepted that some vintage earrings will invariably be somewhat uncomfortable due to some of the factors mentioned earlier in this article. For some that is a small price to pay for wearing some classic fashion items of past eras.


People who wear clip on earrings can, if they wish to, improve the comfort of their earrings by purchasing the available soft comfort pads that suit the styles they own or are purchasing.
For those that are considering wearing clip on earrings it is important to understand the facts about the advantages and the potential issues and not be misled by the hype.

more clip on earrings articles

Author: Christine OShannessy
Date: 2021–03–21