A floating navel piercing, also called a high navel piercing, is a popular body modification. It is located in the upper part of the navel. This type of piercing penetrates the thinner skin of the upper navel. It’s different from a standard navel piercing. A standard navel piercing goes through the thicker skin and tissue of the lower navel area.

30-second summary:

  • A floating navel piercing goes through the thinner skin of the upper navel. It does not go through the thicker tissue of the lower navel. This gives a “floating” look.
  • Pros include more versatile jewelry options, faster healing, and accentuating the navel. Cons are higher rejection rate and visible scarring if removed.
  • Proper aftercare is crucial. It includes cleaning twice daily with saline. Also, avoid trauma and downsize the barbell after initial healing.
  • Jewelry should be implant-grade materials. Initially, wear barbells or curved barbells. After healing, convert them to other styles.
  • Pain level is usually 5-8 on a scale of 10. Healing takes 6-12 months. Look for signs of infection or rejection.
  • Finding a reputable piercer is key to minimize risks and support healthy healing. They can provide appropriate jewelry and aftercare advice.
  • Floating navel piercings provide a unique look if you pick a skilled piercer. Attentively care for it during the long healing period.

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What Are Floating Navel Piercings?

Floating navel piercing with a captive bead ring on a denim-wearing individual.

Anatomy-wise, the navel is comprised of an upper cavity above the belly button itself. The upper portion has thinner skin and less dense tissue. This is compared to the lower navel below the belly button. A floating navel piercing goes through this thinner upper skin. The placement places the jewelry high on the navel rim.

Most people are familiar with standard navel piercings. These piercings go through the thicker tissue of the lower navel cavity. They are below the actual belly button hole. Floating navel piercings are placed about 1-2 centimeters higher. They’re in the skinnier upper skin.

This gives a “floating” look to the jewelry. The decorative end sits neatly in the upper navel’s indent. It seems unattached from the belly button itself. It provides versatility for customized looks with different jewelry.

Floating navel piercings are an alternative to traditional navel piercings. They offer a different appearance and may be more comfortable for some individuals. Key features of floating navel piercings include:

  • Jewelry: Floating navel piercings use a flat disc or small bead at the bottom. Traditional navel piercings have a large ball or gemstone at the bottom. This change in jewelry design is significant for the comfort of the client. It reduces the chances of discomfort and rejection.
  • Anatomy: Floating navel piercings are suitable for people with certain navel shapes and anatomy. They are particularly useful for those with innies. Innies fold in on themselves when they sit down or curl over. They are also useful for those lacking the ridge or “hood” of tissue at the top that many people have.
  • Healing and Aftercare: The healing time and aftercare for floating navel piercings are similar to those for traditional navel piercings. It is recommended to follow a “less is more” approach for piercing aftercare. This includes warm running water rinses. It also includes sterile saline irrigations. You will also get check-ups with a piercing professional for size maintenance.
  • Appearance: The lower part of the jewelry in a floating navel piercing is not visible. This gives it the appearance of a singular stone or piece of jewelry. It’s levitated just above the belly button.

Floating navel piercings can be a viable alternative. They work for individuals who may not have the anatomy or comfort for a traditional navel piercing.

However, it is essential to consult with a reputable piercer. They can determine if this type of piercing is suitable for your anatomy. They can also suggest alternatives.

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The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Floating Navel Piercings

Standard navel piercing on a person's belly with a tattoo in the background.


  • Comfort: Floating navel piercings use a flat disc or small bead at the bottom instead of a large ball or gemstone. This can be more comfortable for individuals with certain body shapes or movements.
  • Suitability for specific anatomy: Floating navel piercings are suitable for people with navels that fold in on themselves when they sit down or curl over. They are also suitable for those lacking the ridge or “hood” of tissue at the top that many people have.
  • Healing potential: Floating navel piercings can be a viable alternative. They are for individuals who may not have the anatomy or comfort level for a traditional navel piercing. This could potentially improve the chances of successful healing.
  • Versatility in jewelry: Floating navel piercings allow for a range of jewelry options. You can use sparkling stones or cascading dangles.


  • Limited visibility: The lower part of the jewelry in a floating navel piercing is not visible. This can make the piercing less noticeable than a traditional navel piercing.
  • Potential for rejection: As with any piercing, there is a risk of rejection, especially if the piercing is not properly cared for. The individual’s body may also reject the piercing.
  • Aftercare and maintenance: Floating navel piercings still need regular cleaning and maintenance. This can be an extra responsibility compared to traditional navel piercings.

A floating navel piercing can be a suitable alternative for people with specific anatomy. It addresses comfort concerns related to traditional navel piercings.

Consult with a reputable piercer. Determine if this type of piercing suits your anatomy. Also, ensure proper aftercare and maintenance.

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How To Care For Your New Floating Navel Piercing

Proper care is crucial for a new floating navel piercing during healing. Here are some tips:

  • Cleaning: Use a sterile saline spray or salt water solution 2-3 times per day. Avoid ointments or alcohol which can irritate.
  • Avoid trauma: Wear loose, comfortable clothing to prevent friction on the piercing. Avoid submerging in baths or swimming pools. No heavy exercise for 6-8 weeks.
  • Watch for signs of infection: Redness, persistent tenderness, yellow/green discharge. See a doctor if concerned.
  • LITHA method: “Leave it the hell alone!” Don’t touch, twist or fiddle with the jewelry unnecessarily during healing.
  • Downsize jewelry: After the initial 6-8 week healing, consult your piercer. Ask them to replace the piercing with a shorter, snug barbell to avoid trauma.

Pay close attention during the long healing time. It takes 6-12 months for a floating navel piercing to heal. If you have any concerns, see your qualified piercer or physician. Don’t remove jewelry prematurely yourself.

Suggested Link: Piercing Aftercare for detailed care instructions from industry professionals.

Choosing The Right Jewelry For A Floating Navel Piercing

Assortment of gold body jewelry for piercings with intricate designs and beads.
  • Materials: Implant-grade titanium, niobium or 14+kt solid gold. Avoid cheap jewelry that can irritate or corrode.
  • Gauges: Most common is 14g through 10g. Higher gauges like 18g are prone to migration and rejection.
  • Initial jewelry: Barbell or curved barbell of surgical steel or titanium, 3/8 to 5/8 inch long to accommodate swelling.
  • Once healed: Experiment with ends like disk, ball, cone, spike. Avoid heavy pendants which can migrate. Curved barbell or captive bead ring also popular options.

Proper jewelry is critical to minimize risks. It keeps your floating navel piercing comfortable and stable. Always consult an experienced piercer for sizing and fitting jewelry. Do this after the initial piercing.

Pain And Healing Expectations

  • Pain level: Usually a 5-8 on a 10-point scale during the actual piercing process. Some experience more significant pain and soreness during the longer healing.
  • Healing stages:
    • Initial (1-3 weeks): Soreness, swelling, bruising. Clean 2-3 times daily.
    • Early (3 weeks – 3 months): Less swelling/pain as puncture starts to seal. Still clean 2x daily.
    • Late (3-12 months): Piercing firms up as collagen forms inside fistula. Loose jewelry can be changed.
  • Risks: Infection, irritation bumps, embedding, rejection. About 15% rejection rate. Seek help from reputable piercer or doctor if issues arise.
  • Signs of problems: Severe pain worsens. The skin is red and hot to the touch. There is yellow or green pus. There is excessive bleeding. Jewelry may be embedded in the skin.

Floating navel piercings take the longest of any body piercing to fully heal. Be patient and diligent with aftercare and checkups to avoid complications.

Finding A Reputable Piercing Studio

It’s important to go to an experienced, qualified piercing studio. You should go to one for a floating navel piercing. This can help reduce risks. Here’s what to look for:

  • Licensed, regulated business with autoclave sterilization of tools.
  • Good reviews mentioning professionalism, cleanliness and skill of piercers.
  • We have a high-quality jewelry selection. It’s not cheap externally threaded jewelry. This type of jewelry can damage the fistula during insertion.
  • The piercer has extensive experience with floating navel piercings. They can walk you through aftercare.

Avoid amateur piercers or doing it yourself with a piercing kit. Go to a trusted studio. It should make you feel comfortable asking questions. It should also ensure proper placement and aftercare.


Floating navel piercings give a versatile look. Follow aftercare diligently during the long healing period. It can last up to 12 months. Know the risks and evaluate if you have the anatomy for this piercing. A skilled piercer with quality jewelry can give you a trendy floating piercing. This placement offers unique navel styles if done correctly.

We hope you found this guide helpful and informative. If you’re considering a floating navel piercing. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

What’s your experience with this type of belly button piercing? Do you have any other tips for proper care and healing to share?

We’d love to hear your feedback. Don’t forget to share this post if you found it useful. That way, others can learn about floating navel piercings too. Knowledge is power when it comes to body mods, so spread the word and help educate others.

Image Credit: Blufashion.com


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