Types of belly button piercings: A complete guide

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If you’re looking to get an exciting, exotic piercing, the belly button piercing or the navel piercing is a great option!

Once only popular in eastern cultures, this piercing has now found its way into the western world. But is it right for you? And what are the different types of belly button piercings?

How Popular Are Belly Button Piercings?

These piercings were especially popular in the 90s. But thanks to a lot of celebrity support, they’re quickly becoming more popular.

Here are some of the celebrities who have belly button piercings and love showing them off: Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, Vanessa Hudgens, Meghan Thee Stallion, and Normani.

Types of Belly Button Piercings

If you aren’t too familiar with the world of belly button piercing, you might think there are only one or two actual piercings you can get.

However, there are at least 10 different types of belly button piercings to choose from. Among all of them, the standard/vertical belly button piercing is the most popular one.

1. Standard/Vertical

This piercing is the most common among all types of belly button piercings. It’s especially popular among teenage girls. You often see it done with a curved barbell so it looks like there is a smaller bead above your belly button and a larger one under it.

Once the initial piercing heals, many people switch out the barbell for a ring or add dangly jewelry to the bottom of the piercing.

2. Floating belly button piercing

This unique type of piercing is a good one to get if you want to stand out. It gets its name from the fact that the finished piercing looks like there is a single piece of jewelry “floating” above the belly button.

The look is accomplished with a short curved barbell. However, the end of the barbell that comes through the belly button is small and/or flat, making it difficult or impossible to see.

3. Inverse/Lower Navel

This piercing is a lot like the standard navel piercing. However, it places a (usually) curved barbell so it looks like one bead is sitting inside the belly button and one is sitting under it.

4. True Navel

If you have an “outie” belly button and want to pierce it, you’ll be getting what’s called a “true navel” piercing. This one actually goes through the protruding belly button. You often see rings used as jewelry for true navel piercings.

5. Horizontal

This one isn’t technically a belly button piercing, as it goes through the skin above the belly button itself. It makes it look like there are two beads of jewelry floating above your belly button!

This one is not too common, and since it’s a surface piercing, there’s a high risk of rejection, so make sure you see an experienced piercer.

6. Deep Navel Piercing

A deep navel piercing is similar to a standard belly bottom piercing. However, as the name suggests, this navel piercing runs deeper than most standard navel piercings.

It also goes through a longer stretch of skin, so your piercer may need to use a longer barbell. If you’re worried about your piercing migrating, this is a good one to choose!

7. Double belly button piercing

This piercing can look really special when used with the right jewelry. It’s a combination of two different types of belly button piercings: a standard and an inverse belly button piercing.

8. Double Horizontal

This rare piercing is generally only seen on real piercing aficionados. It starts as two separate horizontal belly button piercings. Those piercings are then joined with a single long barbell, making it look like there’s a bar running through your belly button.

9. Multi-Navel

If you really love belly button piercings and can’t get enough of them, this one might be right for you! “Multi-navel piercing” is essentially a catch-all term for any setup with at least two different types of belly button piercings. You can create truly spectacular looks with different jewelry!

10. Stretched

Any piercing can be stretched to accommodate a thicker gauge. Though it’s rare, some people may choose to take an existing belly button piercing and stretch it. Make sure you do this under the guidance of an experienced piercer!

How bad does a belly button piercing hurt?

Everybody’s pain threshold is different. But if you ask most people, belly button piercings are some of the least painful piercing types. You’ll usually feel a little pinch and maybe some pain.

Piercing shops will often tell you the pain level is about that of an earlobe piercing, so it shouldn’t be bad at all!

How Long Does a Belly Button Piercing Take to Heal?

If you opt for a belly button piercing, you should know that you’re in for a long haul when it comes to aftercare! It will usually take one of these piercings nine months to a year to heal.

A word of warning, though: most belly button piercings will appear to be fully healed after four to six weeks. However, they are not. They still need daily aftercare. If you stop regularly cleaning your piercing after this, you’ll be likely to develop an infection.

How Much Is a Belly Button Piercing?

On average, a belly button piercing will cost you about $30-$70 for just the piercing. This might sound steep. However, it’s not a good idea to cheap out on a piercing! A skilled piercer will be able to ensure your piercing looks good and will have minimal risk of infection.

The cost of the jewelry varies dramatically. For an inexpensive Bioflex piece, you might pay $10 or less. But for a solid gold piercing, you might pay $200 or more.

What gauge is a belly button piercing?

14 gauge (1.6 mm or 1/16-inch in thickness) is most suitable for belly button piercings. For this type of piercing, piercers will often use a slightly larger needle to make healing easier.

To be detailed, the larger hole allows for some swelling and prevents the healing from getting too tight as it heals.

Types of Jewelry for Belly Button Piercing

As with any piercing, one of the most exciting things about a belly button piercing is that you get to choose what jewelry to wear with it! But apart from different types of piercings, there are also different types of jewelry. Here are some things to take into account before choosing.

1. Curved Barbell

Belly button piercing: Types. pain, healing, cost, aftercare, jewelry

This is probably the most common jewelry type used for navel piercings. However, most shops use specially-designed curved barbells called “banana bells.” These have one end bead that is larger than the other. That makes them great for showing off larger stones.


  • They’re popular enough that you’ll have plenty of jewelry options.
  • You can use them for a number of different types of belly button piercings.
  • If you want a high-end look, you can often find them in precious metals and/or with embedded precious stones.


  • The larger bead at one end is easy to snag on things.
  • It’s not advisable to wear them with tight clothing.

2. Captive Bead Rings

With a captive bead ring, a stone, bead, or other decoration is held “captive” on the ring. Thanks to its placement, the bead makes it look like the ring has no seams or openings.


  • Since it’s less common than curved barbells, it’s a good way to stand out.
  • The captive bead can be a precious or semi-precious stone.
  • Its seamless look makes it especially interesting.


  • Captive beads can be very hard to put on and take off.
  • This jewelry type often ends up leaning to one side or otherwise looking asymmetrical.

3. Dangles

Types of belly button piercings: A complete guide

Dangles aren’t really a separate piercing type. Rather, they are attachments that you can connect to a ring or barbell used in the piercing. You can find dangles with charms, jewels, or even just shiny chains! They’re a great way to dress up your piercing.


  • They offer you an exciting way to personalize any belly button piercing.
  • They are interchangeable, so you can have a different look each day.
  • Many are surprisingly inexpensive.


  • They can pull on a piercing, so they might hurt newer piercings.
  • It’s especially easy to snag them on clothes, towels, and sheets.

4. Circular Barbells

If you can’t decide between a captive bead ring and a curved barbell, a circular or horseshoe barbell is a great compromise. With this jewelry, the bar bends into a horseshoe shape, and there is a ball at each end.


  • They’re much easier to put in and take out than captive bead rings.
  • You can decorate them with a number of interesting stones.
  • They offer a tougher look than some other types of belly button piercings.


  • They can easily become crooked.
  • They heal more slowly than curved barbells.
Read More

Belly button piercing: Pain, healing, cost, aftercare, jewelry

Outie belly button piercing: Everything to know

Double Belly Button Piercing: Everything to know

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