Types of nipples with model wearing leslie bra for anaono
8 Types of Nipples & Nip Tips You Should Know

8 Types of Nipples & Nip Tips You Should Know

Dana Donofree
3 min read

8 Types of Nipples & Nip Tips You Should Know

What is the Function of Nipples?

Female nipples serve two primary functions — they deliver milk out of the ducts to provide nutrition for newborns and are delightfully erogenous zones, which is an area of the body that elicits sexual feelings when stimulated. Men's nipples only serve as an erogenous zone. 

So Why Do Men Have Nipples?

So why is it that men even have nipples being that they cannot breastfeed babies? Well, in addition to being a source of pleasure for men, it hasn't been removed evolutionary-wise from the development process. Andrew M. Simons, a professor of biology at Carleton University in Ottawa, said in Scientific American, "The presence of nipples in male mammals is a genetic architectural by-product of nipples in females. So, why do men have nipples? Because females do."

Nipple Tattoos: People who have undergone breast construction sometimes even get nipple tattoos, known as nipple-areola tattoos. The visually realistic results have made this tattoo a popular and meaningful one for people who have had to remove theirs. 

Six models shirtless with tattoos covering their scars

Source: Inked Magazine

Temporary Nipples and Nipple Prosthesis: For people who have undergone a mastectomy, there are also temporary nipple and areola tattoos one can try out before getting it done permanently, for example, from companies such as NippleBacks Temporary Nipple Tattoos. Similar to the function of a breast prosthesis, there is also nipple prosthesis that can be worn directly on the skin or breast forms to create a realistic projection, similar to a pointy nipple. These are typically made from silicone that can be attached to the body using medical adhesive. Pink Perfect has a wide variety of ready-made nipple styles and shades. Check them out here.

If you're looking for nipples to show through clothing, check out Just Nips. Look cold and feel hot with their fake nipples — all you have to do is peel off the backing, stick to your skin, and throw on your shirt and voilà — you have pointy nipples! 

As a reminder, not all people remove their nipples when having a mastectomy — this is known as a nipple-sparing mastectomy. This surgery leaves the nipple and areola intact. Be sure to speak to your surgeon or oncologist to see if a nipple-sparing mastectomy is right for you.

8 Types of Nipples & Nip Tips You Should Know

Did you know that there are a total of eight types of nipples? That's right — nipples are almost as unique as we are. She has them; he has them; they have them — regardless of what gender you identify with (or don't), almost everyone has nipples. Check out the eight main types of nipples below! 

Sand, pocketed full coverage bra with soft wire free cups, back hook closure, adjustable & convertible straps on unilateral mastectomy model.


Puffy Nipples: The areola and nipple look swollen and protrude from the breast. In addition, the nipple can become more defined when cold or stimulated. 

Flat Nipples: The nipple is flat but can become hard when cold or touched.

Hairy Nipples: Hair is often found around or on both the nipple and areola. It can be coarse or fine. It is OK to pluck it out with tweezers; however, it is normal! As is true with all types of hair, some people are hairier than others. 

Protruding Nipples: The nipple points out or outwards and projects from the areola. 

Model up close showing off inverted nipples


Inverted Nipples: The nipple points inwards into the areola. 

Supernumerary Nipples: mean that you have other, more petite nipples in addition to the two that sit over your breasts or chest. These are typically smaller and can sometimes look like moles. 

Unilateral Inverted Nipples: is when someone has both an inverted nipple and a raised nipple. If this has only happened recently, you should see your doctor immediately.

Bumpy Nipples: Small bumps populate the areola and nipple. Some people have more bumps than others. If any new bumps should arise, you should get them checked out by a doctor.

What Kind of Nipples Do I Have? 

You should be able to identify what type of nipple you have after reading this article. Society and sometimes even our friends make us believe that our nipples are more peculiar than you think. But, regardless of what they look like, it's important to remember that the most important love is the love you give to yourself. So show your nipples some love, including every crevice, hair, bump, and more! 

PSA: Initial signs of breast cancer can present in changes in the nipple area, it can be linked to change in color, soreness, sudden nipple inversion and discharge. If you experience any change in your nipples, please call and schedule an appointment with your physician or gynecologist immediately. 

Looking to mask hard nipples, aka head lights, under your clothing be sure to check out our modesty pad inserts for a smoother appearance under your clothing.

Shop Modesty Pad
Dana Donofree
Dana Donofree

Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.