Inside: Find your total guide to a gauge size chart and conversions from 0.8mm to 2 inches

Gauges… we all have questions unless you’re a pro at these piercings! If you’re looking into gauges from square one, you likely are a little confused by all the numbers floating around… why so many?! 

But I’m here to lay it out in simple terms that make the whole process easier to understand and plain enough to be able to make the decision today if you want to dive into the world of gauges.

Your biggest question, comment, and concern is likely: how do I pick the right size for me? What is the right size for me? When do I stop going up sizes?

Size, size, size.

As you sift through the facts and information about it, you might see that it really is a simple answer, and as you start to go with the process you’ll know what works for you. 

It’s all about conversion charts, so once you understand what all of the different numbers mean, you’ll be able to flow conveniently in conversations with the piercers and experts you talk to.

A woman with a wooden earring with a heart on it

If this is your first dig into the gauges concept, here are some other questions you might have before we dive into sizing. 

How Much Does It Cost

The starting cost naturally depends on your starting point. Are you starting with already pierced lobes, or are your ears fairly untouched? Your piercer and shop location will– as always, play a large role in the pricing, but your starting point may be the bigger factor here. Gauging the ear and stretching processes can vary, but you’re likely looking at anywhere from $20 to $65, each ear, before paying for jewelry, cleaning solutions, and oils. 

As you continue to go up in sizing, you’re going to be paying this for each session. You should be looking at about six weeks between sessions, but listen to your piercer’s advice and return when they recommend. 

How Much Does A Gauge Piercing Hurt 

Gauging is an uncomfortable experience as it’s literally stretching a piercing, but it’s not considered one of the most painful processes out there. 

Stinging, sharp pain, and bleeding are all signs that you are stretching your gauges too fast and need to take a step back off of it. If this happens, call your piercer and if they insist it’s not a problem, it might be time to find a new piercer. Again, while you should likely be uncomfortable, you should not be in much pain. 

How To Heal This Not Get Infected

Just like any other piercing, you want to clean twice daily with a saline solution that you purchased from the store or your piercer, or you made yourself at home with a water and salt mix. 

What Does The Scarring Look Like Based On The Gauge Size Chart 

The scarring and the effects of gauges are likely to be the biggest factor that turns some people away from the piercing. Naturally, with stretching, there’s going to be a pretty decent scar. 

The ear can heal itself with gauge sizes one and two: we will discuss these sizes later!

After size two, it will not heal itself, and surgery will likely be needed to close the gauge piercing. And as with all surgeries, there will be scarring left behind. 

Two people with their ear gauged

Gauge Size Chart

Okay now time to figure out what all of these numbers mean. In short, you’re looking at three numbers: The gauge size number assigned to the size of the earring, the measurement of the earring in millimeters, and the millimeters converted into inches. 

Since we generally think of measurements in terms of inches and centimeters, we will need to convert for our brain to truly track and understand how big of a hole we’re stretching in our ears. But your most common numbers you’re going to see are the millimeter measurements (mm), and the gauge size. 

Before you hit a full inch, you have several sizes of gauges that are equal to fractions of an inch, and it can be a mouthful. This is why we generally use millimeters to discuss the sizing! So while talking to your piercer, you’re going to hear sizes like “1.6 millimeters” and “14g.” So it will be helpful to already have an idea of what that looks like. 

So here’s a breakdown of these two measurements side by side. 


It should be process over the span of several months to stretch your gauges to the 00g size, so this is a long haul kind of procedure.

Gauging usually starts with already pierced and healed lobes.

If you already have your ears pierced, you’re likely to start at a 14g size, as the natural next step up. 

Woman with red hear wearing a gauge earring

Actual Gauge Sizes

The “mm” as a measurement likely doesn’t mean a whole lot to you, honestly if you’re not used to using this measurement system! So this is where the conversion charts change the game when you’re looking at gauges. Sure you see that 4mm is gauge size 6g… but what does that actually look like on your ear? Here’s your chart for that. 

Again, it’s all very small fractions of an inch when you think about it, so this is mainly for a frame of reference when thinking about sizing on your ear. When it comes to communicating what you want and searching for gauge plugs to fit your current size, you’ll likely find yourself using gauge sizes and millimeters over inches. 

Where we can start converting the millimeters to fractions of an inch, we stop giving it gauge sizes. So this chart simply takes over where the previous left off. 11 millimeters and beyond don’t have technical sizes in “g”, instead it is referenced as inches or millimeters.

But here’s chart number 2 to help you put an actual measurement with these scales you see next to gauges that might be going in your ear!


Gauges are your classic cool and edgy staple for the rocker guys and gals, and if you’re looking into it these days, you’ve had many people go before you when they were new on the scene, all of your questions and worries have been answered already.

You have incredible inspo pics that will show you how cute they can be and piercers that do gauges have all been there and done that, so you’ve got a well-paved path ahead. 

Hopefully this guide helped you out, especially where gauge sizing comes into play, as it can be a confusing conversion chart. There’s too many numbers and measurements, but once you’ve got it down, you’re good to go. Play around with the idea of gauges and enjoy the new piercings.