What Is the Best Body Jewelry Material?

Buying Guides, Jewelry Metals

What Is the Best Body Jewelry Material?

Body jewelry is a great way of adding some edge to your look and bringing out your best features. And, with so many different types of body jewelry to choose from, you'll have no problem finding something that you love!

The question is, however, what is the best body jewelry material? While there are plenty of options, titanium is the best material for body jewelry.

What Should Body Jewelry Be Made Of?

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of the best body jewelry material, let's take a minute to talk about what body jewelry should be made out of. There are several materials that are safe for piercings as well as a few that aren't.

When body jewelry manufacturers create jewelry, they need to think about how the body will respond to the material. Many materials are unsafe for contact with the human body and could lead to serious allergic reactions, infection, or poisoning.

When body jewelry is made out of metal, it also needs to be of a certain grade. Otherwise, it could pose risks to the body.

What Is the Best Body Jewelry Material?

So, the jury is out on what the best body jewelry material is. As we said, titanium tends to be the best body jewelry material.

However, according to the Association of Piercing Professionals, there are seven materials that can be used for body piercings:

  • Piercing-grade surgical steel
  • Titanium
  • Glass
  • Nickel-free gold
  • Platinum
  • Niobium
  • Biocompatible polymers

While not all these materials are metal, the majority of them are. Metals are generally considered safer materials for body jewelry piercings, especially for the initial piercing.

Body Jewelry Metal Types

There are a few different types of metal that are appropriate for body jewelry. Each of these metals is appropriate for piercings in any area of the body and comes with its own pros and cons.

Surgical-Grade Stainless Steel

Surgical-grade stainless steel is one of the most popular metals for new piercings. That's because it is considered safe for use for medical purposes, making it safe for use in open wounds such as a fresh piercing.

However, it's important to make sure that the stainless steel contains low carbon. Otherwise, it could release alloys trapped in the metal and cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.


  • It's safe for internal use
  • It's more affordable than other metals


  • Not all surgical steel is created equal and must be of a certain grade for use in piercings
  • It is not always foolproof and therefore isn't the best choice for new piercings

Surgical-Grade Titanium

Aside from surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium is the most common type of metal used for new piercings. It's a very high-quality metal that contains no allergens.

On top of that, titanium is resistant to seawater corrosion and is extremely strong. That makes it ideal for people who are wanting to wear their new piercing in the ocean.

Titanium can also be colored in a biocompatible way. The color will fade over time but won't cause negative reactions in the wearer, making it a safe metal for people who enjoy fun colors.


  • It's a very pure metal
  • It isn't as expensive as other high-quality metals
  • It can be used in new and healing piercings


  • It's lower quality than platinum, gold, and other precious metals
  • It costs more than surgical steel


If you're looking for a higher-quality metal than titanium, niobium is a great option. This material is almost identical to titanium, making it a great option for body jewelry.

Just like titanium, niobium can be manipulated into different colors. And, just like titanium, it won't react to the body, making it perfect for use in any piercing you like.

Niobium is also purer than titanium. This means that it's hypoallergenic and is appropriate for use in people who have sensitive skin or allergies. Its similarity to titanium has caused it to grow in popularity for body piercings.

Niobium is a low-toxicity material and is malleable and soft. This makes it easy to form into hoops and uniquely shaped jewelry used in body piercings.

Plus, the metal doesn't react to oxygen, body fluids, or cleaning agents. That means it's easy to clean and take care of, especially for new piercings.


  • It doesn't contain harmful or allergenic alloys
  • It can be used for new piercings


  • It's more expensive than titanium despite its similar properties, making it not worth the cost


Many people enjoy silver jewelry for necklaces and earrings. However, while it's considered to be a higher-quality metal, it's not the best choice for body jewelry.

The reason for this is that silver is usually mixed with other alloys. That means that it's not a pure metal and could contain nickel or other metal allergens.

Just about the only body piercing that silver is appropriate for is a nose piercing. Aside from nose piercings, however, wearing silver jewelry can cause unpleasant allergic reactions.


  • It's not as expensive as white gold or platinum


  • Silver is typically mixed with other metals, causing allergic reactions
  • It can easily tarnish and will require regular cleaning and maintenance


Gold is one of the best materials for body jewelry out there. It's a metal that will give you the best return on your investment and that looks amazing against just about any skin tone.

When purchasing gold body jewelry it's important to remember that the higher the grade of metal, the purer it will be and the fewer alloys it will contain. As such, you should look to purchase body jewelry ranging from 14k to 18k.

It's especially important to buy body jewelry in at least 14k for healing piercings because it has fewer alloys. That means that you are less likely to have an allergic reaction to the metal.

On top of that, the tone of gold is important to keep in mind. Initial piercings should be done using white or yellow gold. Once the piercing is completely healed, you can opt for rose gold if you want.


  • It's hypoallergenic
  • It's long-lasting
  • It can be used for fancy occasions as well as everyday use
  • It’s comfortable
  • It will appreciate in value over the years


  • It's a costly option for body piercing jewelry
  • It has to be serviced by a professional every few years
  • It must be properly stored to avoid scratching
  • It will need to be professionally serviced every few years


Platinum is the most expensive material that can be used for body piercings. For that reason, it's not commonly seen in body jewelry. However, it's ideal for anyone who wants to wear their jewelry long-term.

Platinum is a very durable material and doesn't require upkeep the way that gold does. Plus, it's purer than gold and other precious metals, meaning that you're getting a genuine piece of jewelry.


  • It's the most durable body jewelry material
  • It has a high level of purity
  • It's safe for use in new piercings
  • It will appreciate in value
  • It can be used for daily wear


  • It’s very expensive
  • It can be difficult to find in body jewelry styles due to its high cost

Other Body Jewelry Materials

In addition to the aforementioned metals, there are a few other body jewelry materials you can take advantage of. Here are the types of materials that are appropriate for body jewelry.


If you want to get a versatile piece of jewelry that won't turn your skin green, acrylic is a great option. Because acrylic doesn't contain metals, you don't have to worry about developing green skin if you leave the jewelry in while showering.

On top of that, acrylic is very inexpensive. This makes it a highly affordable option for people who are stretching their piercings and need to replace their jewelry every couple of months.


Another type of plastic available as body jewelry is silicone. Silicone is slightly higher quality than acrylic, making it a better option if you're wanting something that will last a bit longer.

However, plastic isn't the best material choice for body jewelry in general. As such, it may not be the best choice if you don't regularly change your jewelry.


The third type of plastic material used in body jewelry is Tygon. Tygon is typically used for people who have extreme allergies to metal.

Another good use for Tygon is in pregnant women who have belly-button piercings. Pregnant women can switch out their metal piercings for Tygon piercings to ensure the health of themselves and their babies.


Bioplast is a flexible, synthetic material that is made out of plastic and biological materials. It is hypoallergenic, making it a popular choice for people who have metal allergies.

One of the advantages of bioplast is that it's easy to sterilize. Because of that, you can wear bioplast jewelry in new and healing piercings.

Organic Materials

Organic materials refer to materials made from the earth. These materials typically include:

  • Stone
  • Wood
  • Bone
  • Horn

Organic materials are eco-friendly and give you a boho look. They can be a really unique piece of jewelry to add to your collection.

However, most organic materials are porous. That means that they can easily collect bacteria which can cause infection or harm to a healing piercing.


Unlike the other non-metals on this list, glass is approved for use in healing piercings. It's smooth and easy to sterilize, making it ideal for piercings that haven't completely finished healing.

The downside of glass, however, is that it can chip or break in your piercing. If that happens, you could wind up with a piece of glass inside your healing piercing, causing infection and complications.

What Type of Metal Do Piercers Use?

Piercers use a few different types of metal for initial piercings. However, the two most common types of metal are surgical steel and titanium.

The reason why piercers use these types of metals is that they are nickel-free metals. That means that they won't react with the body of anyone who has sensitive skin or metal allergies.

It's extremely important to make sure there are no reactions to the initial body piercing. Negative reactions could cause the body to reject the piercing, forcing it to be removed and leaving scars.

Is Titanium Better Than Surgical Steel?

Let's talk about why titanium is better than surgical steel when it comes to body piercings. The reason for this is that it's appropriate for people with hypersensitivity issues.

Since titanium is an elemental metal, there are no other metals mixed into it. That means it is 100% nickel-free and is safe for anyone who could potentially be allergic to metals that are typically added into body jewelry.

On top of that, titanium is just as strong as surgical steel. That means it will withstand the same impact as surgical steel, making it great for body jewelry that will get knocked around quite a bit.

Finally, titanium is a very light metal. It is just as light as aluminum, making it a metal that's perfect for wearing at work, at home, or at the club.

Get Body Jewelry Made Out of the Ideal Metal

So, what is the best body jewelry material? While there are several options out there, titanium and surgical steel tend to be the safest choices for avoiding allergic reactions or infection.

Whether you're wanting more information on body jewelry or you're wanting to purchase rings or other accessories, Philophrosyne is the place to go. Get in touch with us to learn more about jewelry and piercings!

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