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110 Sleeve Tattoos for Men to Kickstart Your Imagination

by Sherri Owens

From tribal and religious to music and animals, there are plenty of sleeve tattoos for men to choose from.

This is why I am here to help you out. As an artist, I have spent a couple of decades designing tattoos for men, many of them sleeves. So, I know what designs would look best here.

Check out the top sleeve tattoos for men.

The Best Sleeve Tattoos for Men

Here are some of the top designs for sleeve tattoos for men:

Tribal Sleeve Tattoos

A tribal sleeve tattoo is a fairly popular choice. This is largely because this part of the body lends itself perfectly to the tribal design tattoo.

Before you get any tribal tattoos, it is important to do your research.

First off, there are lots of different types of tribal tattoos. You have Polynesian, Samoan, Hawaiian, Maori, and more. Though they may look similar, these tattoos are quite different.

You should figure out what culture you would like to borrow from and learn more about what their tattoos signify.

Secondly, despite what you may think, a tribal sleeve tattoo isn't just made up of random designs. Rather, each pattern and design has plenty of meaning connected to it. So, if you want your body art to be as authentic as possible, you need to get something that makes sense.

Here are some ideas for a full sleeve tattoo:

Polynesian Tribal Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @clairedoesdots via Instagram

Oriental Tattoo Design

Image by @undulmood via Instagram

Black Tribal Art

Image by @jason.darum via Instagram

Traditional Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @fabriziomele via Instagram

Tribal Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @jonny_tattoo_rio via Instagram

Black Ink Tribal Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @osotattoos via Instagram

In case you prefer half sleeve tattoos, here are some ideas and designs to consider:

Half Sleeve Pattern Tattoo

Image by @inkfinite_tattoos via Instagram

Free Hand Maori Pattern Tattoo

Image by @marina.inclinations.tat2ing via Instagram

Half Sleeve Tribe Tattoo

Image by @jannesonck via Instagram

Stylish Sleeve Tribal Tattoo

Image by @tattoo_impec_sunil_ck via Instagram

If you are looking for quarter sleeve tattoo ideas for your forearm, here are some you should check out:

Customized Forearms Tattoo

Image by @blacklines_tattoo_studio via Instagram

Black Ink Forearms Tattoo

Image by @blacklines_tattoo_studio via Instagram

Pattern Forearms Tattoo

Image by @blacklines_tattoo_studio via Instagram

Celtic Sleeve Tattoos

As with tribal designs, there is a lot more to Celtic sleeve tattoos for men than meets the eye. For instance, there is some overlap between Nordic and Celtic cultures. Due to this, Celtic and Viking sleeve tattoo designs are often intertwined.

This ensures that there are plenty of designs and symbols to choose from.

So, before you settle on a Celtic sleeve tattoo, do some digging on the various signs and what they mean. This will allow you to come up with sleeve tattoo ideas that are far more meaningful to you.

Here are some full sleeve tattoo designs that you can draw inspiration from:

Knot Work Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @celtictattooer via Instagram

Black Ink Celtic Tattoo

Image by @hells_inktattoo via Instagram

Celtic Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @babsie_tatts via Instagram

Wicked Celtic Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @inkedmob via Instagram

If you are on the lookout for half sleeve tattoos, check out these ideas:

Wolf Half Sleeve Tattoo Piece

Image by @foreverart_tattoo via Instagram

Celtic sleeve piece

Image by @adamcroach via Instagram

Celtic Knotwork Tattoo

Image by @bonesjonestattoo via Instagram

Religious Sleeve Tattoos

If you want a religious sleeve tattoo, there are plenty of designs to pick from.

In case you're looking for cross half sleeve tattoo ideas, there are some great designs.

You may find that some cross sleeve tattoos involve roses. This is because roses are seen as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice.

Rose and Cross Tattoo

Image by @indibink via Instagram

Black and Gray Rose Cross Tattoo

Image by @escroc.ink via Instagram

As you can see from the following cross half sleeve tattoo ideas, lions can feature heavily in such designs as well. This is because lions are considered a symbol of Jesus Christ.

Lion and Cross Religious Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @tattoobabystuttgart via Instagram

Crowned Lion and Cross Tattoo

Image by @tattoospot.app via Instagram

If you want to replicate an authentic scene from the Bible, here is one to consider:

Crucified Black Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @saradelara_tattoo via Instagram

Want to know if there are any Jesus sleeve tattoo designs? Here are the best ones:

Jesus Face Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @alexleedestroyer via Instagram

Jesus and Dove Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @mightyjoe_tattoo_studio via Instagram

Jesus Christ Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @ta2andy via Instagram

Portrait Sleeve Tattoos

If you're looking for sleeve tattoos for men that are realistic and powerful, look no further than portrait tattoos.

A portrait sleeve tattoo is all about bringing an image to life. This is why you can get a family sleeve tattoo with the likeness of your loved ones inked on your upper arm or lower arm like in these sleeve tattoo ideas:

Baby Portrait Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @prod_tattoo via Instagram

Portrait Photography Tattoo

Image by @pereirajosetattoos via Instagram

Fire Fighter Photography Tattoo

Image by @creaturefromtheblacktattoo via Instagram

You can also get a half sleeve or full sleeve tattoo of someone you admire.

Celebrity Portrait Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @tattooesteban via Instagram

Another interesting way to play around with a portrait sleeve tattoo is to have it look as abstract or as hyper realistic as possible. This can make for some stunning upper half or full sleeve tattoos for men.

Puzzle Sleeve Tattoo of a Woman

Image by @mickeykoplovichtattoos via Instagram

Gothic Skeleton Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @tattoosbygonzo via Instagram

Tattoo of a Greywash Lady with a Bird

Image by @andrea_ink_frencken via Instagram

When it comes to these arm sleeve tattoo ideas, it is best to look for a tattoo artist who has experience with this kind of ink. Keep in mind, it will take someone with a lot of talent to give you a great tattoo sleeve.

Skull Sleeve Tattoos

Skull tattoos have a lot of different meanings. Although they are associated with death, this kind of half or full sleeve tattoo doesn't have to be a grim reminder.

It can be a symbol of the death of an obstacle or hardship. It could even be the end of certain personality traits or a life you used to lead.

Of course, there is no denying that this tattoo sleeve is a pretty cool and badass tattoo design.

Here are some great full sleeve tattoos for men:

Black and Grey Skull Tattoo

Image by @angeloctopus via Instagram

Black Ink Skull Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @magicmoon_tattoo_supply via Instagram

Cool Sleeve Tattoo of Skulls

Image by @tattoosbyandrewsussman via Instagram

Skulls Colored Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @mglatattoo via Instagram

Gothic Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @revivaltattoostudio via Instagram

Skull with Bandana Tattoo Piece

Image by @afinetattoomartin via Instagram

Abstract Sleeve Tattoos

Your sleeve tattoos - or any tattoos for men - don't have to make sense. It's just as possible for your sleeve tattoo to be interesting or a work of art.

If this is something you believe in, get an abstract sleeve tattoo. Here are some half and full sleeve tattoo ideas that you can consider:

Abstract Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @chernotatt via Instagram

Colorful Abstract Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @tattooeve via Instagram

Freehand Cover up Tattoo

Image by @jarutattoo via Instagram

Full abstract sleeve tattoo piece

Image by @jaggydanni via Instagram

Freehand abstract watercolor tattoo

Image by @amanda.mypreciousink via Instagram

Geometric Sleeve Tattoos

Geometric tattoos for men are becoming increasingly common. This is because they can be minimalistic and soothing even as they take up a lot of space. So, this kind of tattoo sleeve has a more modern feel.

These tattoo ideas for men work well as a full sleeve or half sleeve design.

Snowflake Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @tom__ten via Instagram

Mandala Sleeve Tattoo Piece

Image by @lucassoutotattoo via Instagram

Geometric Pattern Tattoo Piece

Image by @nedy_ju via Instagram

Black Geometric Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @nedy_ju via Instagram

Floral Pattern Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @corinne_originals via Instagram

Different Pattern Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @angistattoo via Instagram

Black and Dotwork Geometric Sleeve Piece

Image by @gogo_ogdoad via Instagram

Geometric Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @maria.h.ink via Instagram

Sacred Geometry Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @truealchemytattooing via Instagram

Clock Sleeve Tattoos

It's quite likely that you have seen your share of clock tattoo sleeve designs. After all, clocks have a great deal of symbolism.

They mark the passage of time, symbolize life and death, hint at mortality or immortality, or can simply be a way to mark a special moment in your life.

If you're looking for a clock sleeve tattoo, here are the half and full sleeve tattoo ideas to choose from:

Antique Clock Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @hillmaninktattoos via Instagram

Clock Tower Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @jz4l1980 via Instagram

Clocks Tied into a Sleeve

Image by @skinworkx13 via Instagram

Clock and Rose Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @deadluckytattoo via Instagram

The clock design that you choose can impact the meaning of the art work. For instance, a grandfather clock may indicate stability - something solid that is enduring and lasts for generations.

A misshapen clock, on the other hand, may be linked to a feeling of instability or of things not being quite right.

A pocket watch is often seen as an old-fashioned timepiece and can be a symbol of a time that is past or of a loved one who is no more.

Music Sleeve Tattoos

Music is an important part of everyone's lives. It can help to capture and bring back memories, alter your mood, or simply help you relax.

Most people are passionate about music. If you are like this, or are a musician, then it's only natural to get a music sleeve tattoo.

It's important to get the music sleeve tattoo feel just right. So, figure out what direction you want to go in - music notes, instruments, favorite bands, or musicians, etc.

Here are some half and full sleeve tattoo ideas to inspire you:

Music and Roses Sleeve Piece

Image by @rafaels_art_and_tattoo via Instagram

Drums Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @grant_the_grizzly via Instagram

Guitar, Mic, and Tape Music Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @tattoodynasty via Instagram

Skeleton hands holding a mic tattoo

Image by @alyxheap_tattoos via Instagram

The Beatles Music Band Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @abaddon_studio via Instagram

Music Sleeve Tattoo Piece

Image by @kayak.tattoo via Instagram

Mic, Headphone, Drum, and Turntable Tattoo

Image by @kostik_kotztattoo via Instagram

Piano Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @sophie_amourtattoo via Instagram

Music Recording Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @major_ink_studios_2 via Instagram

Music is My Religion Tattoo Piece

Image by @actionjaxon24 via Instagram

Piano Player Music Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @rubenelmusico via Instagram

Music Sleeve Cover Up Tattoo

Image by @jazzy_who_tattoos via Instagram

Animal Sleeve Tattoos

Animal tattoos have been a favorite for quite a while, and it doesn't look like this sleeve tattoo trend will go away anytime soon.

Not only are animal sleeve tattoos incredibly beautiful, they can be quite symbolic as well. For instance, each animal tends to be associated with a certain personality trait.

Lions are symbols of strength, while tigers symbolize cunning. Wolves are associated with wilderness, freedom, and leadership.

An animal sleeve tattoo can be a way to let out your inner beast.

Looking for a half or full sleeve tattoo with lions incorporated? Here are the designs to check out:

Lion Portrait Tattoo

Image by @mj_ink19 via Instagram

Lion and Forest Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @bodyimagetattoo via Instagram

Lion Family Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @her_tattooartist__ via Instagram

Powerful Lion Roaring Sleeve Piece

Image by @lux_bel via Instagram

Lion Rose Tattoo For Arms

Image by @ink_in_white_lace via Instagram

If you prefer tigers, here are some half sleeves and full sleeve tattoo ideas for men:

Crouching Tiger Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @verlangallery via Instagram

Japanese Tiger Tattoo

Image by @tato_irezumi via Instagram

Orange Tiger Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @electric.tiger.tattoo via Instagram

Floral Tiger Tattoo

Image by @electric.tiger.tattoo via Instagram

Black and Grey Tiger Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @soojjosstattoo via Instagram

Black and White Tiger Tattoo

Image by @gigi.ink via Instagram

Looking for wolf tattoos instead? Here are the wolf sleeve tattoo ideas that you should check out:

Black Wolf Nature Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @tattoo_rinchen via Instagram

Calm and Wolf Howling Tattoo

Image by @yeonhan_tattoo via Instagram

Angry Wolf Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @sevi.sevi_ink via Instagram

Howling Wolf Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @22inks via Instagram

Black Inked Wolf Tattoo

Image by @angelanddemontattoo via Instagram

One Eye Wolf Tattoo

Image by @colibritattoostudio via Instagram

Black and Grey Realistic Wolf Tattoo

Image by @courtneymeerman via Instagram

Twin Wolf Wild Nature Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @backbonetattoo via Instagram

Dragon Sleeve Tattoos

It doesn't matter how old you get, dragons will always be cool. In fact, the more you learn about them, the more you will realize that this is a really interesting design for a sleeve tattoo.

Dragons are symbols of wisdom, knowledge, bravery, and power. So, it can be quite impressive to have a dragon sleeve tattoo.

Regardless of whether you are getting a half sleeve or full sleeve tattoo, remember to do your research on the different art styles for dragons.

You will have to decide on whether you want to stay true to a specific Eastern culture such as China or Japan, or if you want to come up with an innovative design for your tattoo sleeve.

In any case, here are the tattoo design ideas you can use as inspiration:

Japanese Dragon Tattoo

Image by @micky_c_tattooer via Instagram

B&G with a little color dragon tattoo

Image by @yushitattoo via Instagram

Black Inked Dragon Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @jt4896 via Instagram

Black and Red Dragon Sleeve Piece

Image by @tato_irezumi via Instagram

Colored Dragon Tattoo Piece

Image by @deaneberhardttattoo via Instagram

Two Side Full Sleeve Dragon Tattoo

Image by @artcorpustattoo via Instagram

Black Ink Dragon Full Sleeve Piece

Image by @alessioricci via Instagram

Green Dragon Full Sleeve Tattoo Piece

Image by @micky_c_tattooer via Instagram

Floral Dragon Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @gypsyinksydney via Instagram

Dragon Sleeve Tattoo Piece

Image by @alextrang_tattoos via Instagram

Blackout Sleeve Tattoos

The blackout sleeve tattoo is becoming increasingly popular. However, you should think long and hard before getting this black ink form on your body.

For one thing, it takes a lot of time and effort to get a black that is uniform across your arm. Also, once you get a blackout tattoo, that space is gone forever until you decide to remove it via laser.

If you do want to get blackout sleeve tattoos, you may want to start off with a small section. If you are happy with it, consider expanding the tattoo sleeve so that it occupies more space.

Blackout Half Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @tattoosbyishi via Instagram

Blackout Tattoo Style

Image by @peaches_ink_ via Instagram

Blackout Full Sleeve Piece

Image by @raphael1v via Instagram

An alternative to a traditional blackout tattoo is to use this black ink as a background for another tattoo. Here are some examples for your tattoo sleeve:

Birds, Flowers, and Butterflies Blackout Tattoo

Image by @velvetlotustattoo via Instagram

Blackout Piece and White Geo Tattoo

Image by @sygtattoo via Instagram

White Pattern on Blackout Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @zombieal via Instagram

REDRUM Tattoo on Blacked Out Sleeve

Image by @crimbojericho via Instagram

Floral Pattern on Blacked Out Sleeve

Image by @jamesmoore1997 via Instagram

Polynesian Blacked Out Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @aliensinkk via Instagram

White Ink Shapes on Blacked Out Sleeve

Image by @tattoo__dr via Instagram

How Much Do Sleeve Arm Tattoos Cost?

On average, you can expect full sleeve tattoos to cost between $1000 and $6000. It costs so much because tattooing your entire arm can take long - often days at a time. Most tattoo artists charge an hourly rate.

Not to mention, sleeve tattoos hurt so you may need to break the process up into several sessions so that you can be more comfortable.

The complexity of the sleeve tattoo can also have an impact on the price. The more intricate it and colorful it is, the higher the sleeve tattoo cost.

How Much Should a Tattoo Sleeve Cost?

There really aren't any rules for how much your full sleeve tattoo should cost. That being said, it is a good idea to always ask around to determine if you can get the best price possible.

Keep in mind that when it comes to full sleeve ink, your biggest concern should be quality and not cost. Don't be surprised if the best artists charge a lot more. On the upside, you can be guaranteed that the end result will be exactly as you wanted it.

How Much Do 1/2 Sleeve Tattoos Cost?

A half sleeve tattoo can cost anywhere between $500 and $1,500 per tattoo. The cost can depend on the size of the tattoo as well as the intricacy involved.

What Is a 1/4 Sleeve Tattoo?

Also known as a quarter sleeve tattoo, this is where the tattoo starts near the shoulder and ends halfway down the arm.

If the tattoo takes up half of your forearm, it may also be referred to as a quarter sleeve tattoo.

If you want to get a sleeve tattoo, you are spoiled for choice. Now that you know what the top categories are, choosing the right tattoo for you will be a breeze.

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