Cartilage Piercing Prices: How Much Do They Cost?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on May 28, 2019
    Last Updated: January 12, 2021

Okay, you’ve gotten over your nerves, selected the part of your ear you want to pierce, and even chosen the location to have the piercing done. You’re ready for a cartilage piercing. Just one more thing though. How much money are you going to need?

How Much Does a Cartilage Piercing Cost

A cartilage piercing will usually cost between $35 and $85 depending on the section of cartilage being pierced. Tragus piercings, for example, will be priced at the lower end. However, if you go for a more complex piercing, the price will be higher. Expect to pay $45 to $85 per piercing including the jewelry if you go for an industrial or orbital piercing.

Cartilage Piercing TypeCartilage Piercing Price
Forward Helix$30-$60

The Factors Involved in Cartilage Piercing Prices

Well, the honest answer is that a cartilage piercing will come in at various price ranges. Several factors go into the cost of a cartilage piercing. So here’s what may affect the cost.

Piercer Experience

At most tattoo parlors and body piercing salons, the more experienced piercers command higher prices. Why? Because they are known among customers to be excellent at what they do, and that creates a high demand for these particular piercers from returning customers and their referrals.

That’s not to say that the less expensive piercers at the same salon won’t do a great job with your piercing. It’s just a factor you should know about when the price gets quoted.

Piercing Technique

Sure, you can go to the mall or a retail center to get your ears pierced cheaply with a piercing gun, but cartilage piercings are safer and less painful when performed with piercing needles and overseen by a professional body piercer.

The reason piercing guns tend to be cheaper is because the places they are used tend to hire people with minimal piercing knowledge and experience.

Area of Cartilage

Different parts of your ear may cost more or less to get pierced. All of your ear except for the lobe is made of cartilage. So you may want a tragus piercing, orbital, helix, industrial, or many other types of cartilage piercing.

Studio Popularity

Just as with an individual piercer, certain piercing studios are more well-known than others. Studios with a larger customer base are going to charge more. However, that also means their piercers have a ton of experience.

Studio Location

As with most services, location factors into the final cost. If you go to a studio in a small town, you will likely find lower prices than those at a piercing studio in the city. It’s a matter of demand. Because there are fewer people to serve in a smaller area, the studio gets less business than a studio in a busy part of a city.

Studios in busier areas are able to make their shop exclusive to certain customer segments, and they do this with higher prices. Of course, that also means that the pricier studio may offer more options.

The Jewelry You Select

Part of the total cost of your piercing is the price of the jewelry you get inserted. But before you try to save a few bucks by going with the cheapest option, you should understand the risks.

Jewelry made from cheap materials is more likely to irritate your ears and cause them to get infected or not heal properly. Any reputable piercer will suggest safer metals like gold, titanium, or steel for a cartilage piercing.


You’ll probably leave the shop with a few extra things in addition to your new cartilage piercing and the earring in it. You may want to buy extra earrings for when your piercing is healed and you can change it.

Also, more likely than not, you will be encouraged to purchase aftercare products to use while your cartilage piercing is healing. It’s highly recommended that you use appropriate aftercare products, ideally as suggested by your piercer.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.​

Cartilage Piercing

Why The Cheapest Prices Aren’t Always The Best Option

As mentioned above, plenty of things can go wrong when you opt for the cheapest way to pierce your cartilage. So cost should not be the only factor when you select the place and person to pierce your ears. Here’s a rundown of what to consider if you’re thinking about being cheap.

  • A less experienced piercer is more likely to mess up or get the placement wrong
  • Less experienced piercers or studios may be less likely to follow proper hygiene procedures, which are hugely important for preventing infections
  • Cartilage piercings are more likely to become infected or otherwise damaged, leading onto side-effects such as cartilage piercing bumps/keloids
  • Cheap jewelry is more likely to harbor bacteria, and it may be made of irritating materials that can cause allergic reactions and infections
  • You cannot change the jewelry until the cartilage piercing is completely healed, so you need to go with the highest quality you can afford since you’ll be wearing it for many months
  • Finally, going cheap may lead to complications that require you to have to return to get re-pierced later, costing you more money anyway (not to mention more pain!)

Common Discounts

If you are questioning whether the price difference is worth going with a higher quality shop–after all, plenty of people have gotten cartilage piercings at the mall, right?–then consider that you may be eligible for a discount at a studio. Here are a few common piercing deals offered.

  • Discounted price for the second piercing in a pair, such as if you decide to get a double cartilage piercing
  • Discounted price for re-piercing a spot that was previously pierced
  • Buy one get one free jewelry
  • Student discounts
  • No charge for jewelry if you bring your own appropriate jewelry
  • Reduced price if you make an appointment ahead of time

Not all piercing studios offer all of these discounts, but it doesn’t hurt to check what kind of deal you can get before you commit to a location.


Cartilage piercing prices can vary quite a bit. But you’re talking about a personal statement that will be a part of your body hopefully for a long time to come. Look around at the piercing studio options near you and consider paying a little more for assurance that your piercing will be healthy and look amazing.​

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