Tattoo Prices: How Much Do Tattoos Cost? (2022 Guide) (2022)

Knowing how much tattoos cost can help you plan your next tattoo. Although tattoo prices vary and many factors can affect the cost of your tattoo, including size, design and geographic location, understanding how much your tattoo should cost can help you prepare your budget and even save you money comparing rates. Whether you want a full sleeve, half sleeve, forearm, back, chest, leg, hand or neck tattoo, it’s important to research the healing process and cost of your ink before walking into a shop.

Below, we’ll give you an idea about average tattoo prices in the United States as well as expected hourly rates and how much different types of tattoos will cost. From the average cost of a half sleeve tattoo to small and simple tattoo prices, this guide will ensure you get the best quality work for the money.

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Contents

  • 1 How Much Does A Tattoo Cost?
    • 1.1 Tattoo Prices Chart
    • 1.2 Average Cost of A Small Tattoo
    • 1.3 How Much Does A Half Sleeve Tattoo Cost?
  • 2 Factors That Affect Tattoo Prices
    • 2.1 Artist Experience
    • 2.2 Complexity and Design
    • 2.3 Colors Used
    • 2.4 Size
    • 2.5 Body Placement
    • 2.6 Shop’s Location
    • 2.7 Equipment
  • 3 Asking For Quotes
  • 4 Pay More For A Professional

How Much Does A Tattoo Cost?

For some people, thinking about the cost of a tattoo comes before even considering ideas, locations, meaning, and everything else. As common and popular as tattoos are, they don’t come cheap; and frankly, cheap tattoos often end up costing you far more in the long-run. And although youcan’t get a price quote from your artist until you’ve figured out all the details, there are ways to estimate the cost of your artwork.

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Tattoo Prices Chart

Here’s a chart of tattoo prices based on hourly rates. Because small tattoos take less time and big ones require more, An hourly rate is the best way to understand tattoo prices by size.

You’ll also notice that the cost per hour doesn’t increase dramatically till you get a professional artist. Given the small difference in rates between a beginner and somewhat experienced professional, we always recommend you choose someone with at least a few years experience.

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(Video) How Much Will My Tattoo Cost? | Tattoo Pricing Guide

Just remember that these hourly rates are general guidelines. If you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, or other high-cost areas, expect to always pay more, especially for a popular tattoo artist.

Average Cost of A Small Tattoo

Most artists generally charge based on how much work it will take to complete your design. This is why tattoo prices are generally heavily influenced by size. The size of your ink and the complexity of the artwork and coloring will determine how much time is required to complete the job. Most small tattoos cost between $50 to $200. However, you also need to keep in mind that your artist’s skill and experience will affect his rates as well.

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For example, the a small black and gray tattoo will likely cost $20 to $150 while a small color tattoo can range from $40 to $200. If you already have a design picked out, then it may be worth the time to visit different shops and compare prices. Ultimately, the only way to know how much a small tattoo will cost is to ask the artists you’re considering.

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How Much Does A Half Sleeve Tattoo Cost?

Another popular question is how much does a half sleeve tattoo cost. Sleeve tattoos are one of the most popular types of ink because the canvas size allows for beautiful, full artwork and the exposure truly encourages you to express yourself. But good sleeve tattoos are never cheap.

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If you plan to get a cool half or full sleeve tattoo, be prepared to spend a decent amount of money. Obviously, the cost of your sleeve depends on the skill of the artist, difficulty of the design, body placement, color scheme, size, and geographical location, but prices should range from $500 to $3000.

In many instances, men and women invest in their sleeve tattoo over time. Starting with a small tattoo and adding different pieces of artwork can make the process a lot more affordable. In fact, one of our favorite ideas is to essentially create a mural of your life by inking additional artwork to mark milestones in your life, such as professional success, love, the birth of children, the loss of a loved one, etc.

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Factors That Affect Tattoo Prices

Although you may have seen some hourly rates or standard prices practiced at a lot of tattoo parlors, remember that not all tattoo designs are the same. How much you’ll pay is determined by lots of factors, some more influential than others. Here’s how shops estimate what a tattoo is going to cost for each individual.

(Video) Three Common Tattoo Pricing Methods

Artist Experience

If you want your tattoo done by your neighbor’s babysitter’s talented cousin who comes with such high recommendations, you will always pay for the skill level. A guy with prison tattooing on his resume inking customers in a garage can’t charge much but he can’t do them for free either.

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You pay for experience in tattoo parlors too. That’s why it’s common to see different rates for different artists working in the same shop, even for the same tattoo ideas. Sure, some of them work on different types of designs and have their preferences and strong suits, but they also get to charge more based on experience.

This is just one of the few factors that determine tattoo prices in any tattoo shop, not just the ones you see on TV. In all honesty, the best tattoo will never be cheap. And here, by best we mean one that completely satisfies you and is guaranteed to last and not fade after a few months or a few days of sunbathing.

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Complexity and Design

The complexity is determined by various factors such as design, number of colors, size, placement, and tools. It makes sense that a tattoo found in the shop’s catalog will cost less than a custom design because the artist is already familiar with it and knows how long it will take as well as how much ink they will go through.

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Custom jobs are a bit different. They take time to draw and time to estimate cost and profit. Because of this, you will have to pay more. Some tattoo parlors may even have some standard rates that apply to popular ‘custom’ customer demands, but this is not something you can bank on.

Colors Used

Black and white tattoos are usually cheap. However, if you want the artist to use watercolors then everything changes. Imagine that you get a quote for a $50 tattoo done in black. That may end up costing you up to five times more if you require colors.

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Size

Finger tattoos or wrist tattoos could very well cost no more than $50 even in a nice tattoo parlor. Because they’re so small, you rarely get charged extra for custom work as there’s not a lot of ink used. If you’re thinking about covering your entire back, it might end up costing in the ballpark of $4,000-$5,000.

(Video) HOW MUCH DOES A TATTOO COST?

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Not only is there more ink used in large tattoo designs, but they also take a long time to finish. As taxing as they are for the client, they’re not easy on the tattoo artist either. Sessions that go on for hours cause fatigue, which means that the artist may not feel up to working on someone else after you.

There’s another layer of complexity that’s added to large tattoo designs. Because you could lose patience or shy from the pain, there is a chance of you starting to twitch, shiver, or move at the worst moment.

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You wouldn’t always know when to let the artist know you need a break, so the chances of you ruining your own tattoo are quite high. Therefore, you pay for the expert hand that’s not only steady but also knows when something is about to happen.

Body Placement

The placement of your tattoo helps determine its complexity. You may think that ankle tattoos should be cheap because of their size, right? Well, getting inked around the ankles isn’t easy for the client or the artist. The area requires extra care especially when dealing with a squeamish customer.

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It will always cost extra to get tattooed on hard-to-reach places, very painful places, or body parts that are just a pain to draw a straight line on.

Shop’s Location

Where you go to get your tattoo done can have a big influence on the prices. Generally, tattoo shops in rural areas or smaller cities will cost less. It could cost 10 times more for a tattoo in a metropolitan area with high cost of living than in a small town.

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As harsh as that may seem, it’s not all about greed. Tattoo shops need to cover rent and expenses, so it makes sense that in densely populated cities where rental rates are higher, you will have to pay more to get inked.

(Video) Tattoo Artists Guess The Prices of Tattoos

Equipment

If you’ve been to more than one professional tattoo shop, you can probably tell the difference between mediocre and excellent equipment. Now, no one is expecting you to tell ink brands and tattoo machines apart. What you should be able to notice is the quality of the maintenance.

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If everything is still shiny, the lights in the place are bright, there are no dusty areas, the walls look clean, and so on, you’re likely in a very good shop that’s operated by professionals. Whenever you walk into one of those places you can expect their prices to match the aesthetics and condition of the shop. If it looks fancy, it probably costs more than the average-looking tattoo parlor down the street.

Asking For Quotes

If you really want to know how much your tattoo will cost, all you have to do is ask the shop’s manager or an artist. If you want to get the best deal, you should try different locations. Getting a tattoo is like shopping. You either go to the place you want or have heard so much about, or you go out looking for the best deal or a deal you can afford so long as you’re getting inked in proper sanitary conditions and by a skilled individual.

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Although custom designs tend to be pricier, they’re easier to shop around as you already have something to show the artist. At the end of the day, you can compare quotes from different locations and make your decision based on the best price-to-quality ratio.

One thing to note for popular or celebrity tattoo artists is that quotes from famous artists are hard to come by unless you walk into their parlors. Some of them may keep prices close to national averages, while others might end up charging you hundreds of dollars more just because of their popularity, regardless of what tattoo design you bring to them.

Pay More For A Professional

By now everyone should be aware of the dangers getting tattoos done in unsanitary conditions. Whether you are a veteran enthusiast of the industry or you’re just thinking of getting inked for the first time, you don’t need to read a book to know that the risks of infections on open wounds are real.

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As clean and skilled as your neighborhood freelance tattoo artist is, you should always pay extra for the added safety. Someone’s bedroom or kitchen will never be as clean and well-maintained as a professional tattoo shop.

If not for the extra safety, you should at least go to a shop just in case something goes wrong with the design. At least you can ask for your money back if you’re not pleased, with a credit card dispute or civil suit as a fallback. Legitimate businesses put their customers first and they’re also your best shot at getting inked with the best tattoo.

(Video) How to Price a Tattoo!

You can hardly rely on your cousin’s friend who picked up a tattoo kit online to be a sport and give you a refund on your misspelled Chinese characters.

FAQs

Tattoo Prices: How Much Do Tattoos Cost? (2022 Guide)? ›

Tattoo Prices Chart (2022 Update)
Tattoo PlacementSizeAverage Price Range
Rib TattooFull Side Body$1,000 – $2,000
Medium Size$600 – $1,000
Small Size$250 – $500
Leg TattooThigh$500 – $1,000
30 more rows
Jul 8, 2022

How much do tattoos cost? ›

On average you can expect to charge $50-100 for a small tattoo, up to $200 for a medium tattoo and over $250 for a large tattoo. The sky is the limit though when it comes to very large pieces. It can be very expensive to get elaborate and large tattoos.

How much would a large cover up tattoo cost? ›

A full sleeve tattoo can cost anywhere from $1000 to $6000, depending on the hourly rate of the artist and how much time the art takes to complete.

How much is a small tattoo? ›

Small tattoos are always a fan favorite because they have really cool designs and usually don't take too much time or planning. A small tattoo on average costs about $50 to $80 total, and usually won't take more than an hour.

How big is a 4 inch tattoo? ›

Most 4-inch tattoo sizes tend to be oblong or rectangle, so they can fit along the lines of your body. This one flatters the shoulder area, but the upper arm or lower leg works as well – but of course, you can't really fit a 4×4 square there.

How much would a 5 inch tattoo cost? ›

How much would a 5 inch tattoo cost? A standard 5″ tattoo may be about a couple of hours so, in the US, between $150 and $600.

How much is a name tattoo on wrist? ›

As for the price, it does of course vary. Some artists charge by the piece and others by the hour depending on the complexity of the piece. But, according to Kantner, in general you can expect to pay $150-$250 per hour and up depending on how well known and talented an artist is.

How much is a sleeve tattoo? ›

A full-sleeve tattoo will usually cost between $2,000 and $4,000. These tattoos are so expensive because they can take many days to complete depending on size and detail. If you're getting a sleeve tattoo containing many colors, expect to pay even more than this.

How much is a leg sleeve tattoo? ›

Full Sleeve Leg Tattoo Prices

A safe estimate will have a full leg sleeve costing around $2000 -$2500 before tips. The good news is that a full leg tattoo is almost always broken up into multiple sessions, generally comprising the outline, plus upper piece and lower leg tattoo shading and color sessions.

Is it okay to ask a tattoo artist about pricing? ›

Many artists find it extremely rude if you try to haggle the price of a tattoo. Though negotiating the price of some goods and services is normal, haggling with your artist over the cost of a tattoo is typically seen as unacceptable and insulting.

How much do half sleeve tattoos usually cost? ›

A half-sleeve tattoo will usually cost between $1000-$2000, but it can be much more than this depending on size, detail and color. Extras such and tipping and aftercare products can also increase the final figure.

How much is a thigh tattoo? ›

Tattoo Prices Chart (2022 Update)
Tattoo PlacementSizeAverage Price Range
Rib TattooMedium Size$600 – $1,000
Small Size$250 – $500
Leg TattooThigh$500 – $1,000
Lower Leg$500 – $1,200
30 more rows
Jul 8, 2022

How much is a finger tattoo? ›

Hand or Finger Tattoo Cost

A finger or hand tattoo can start at $50 for something very simple and go up to $300 for more elaborate designs. Most people don't spend a lot of money on finger tattoos because they tend to fade quickly.

How does tattoo pricing work? ›

HOW TATTOO PRICES WORK. Ask a Tattoo Artist - YouTube

How painful is a tattoo? ›

There's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much pain you'll feel when getting tattooed. But if you're wondering what type of pain to expect, Caranfa says the experience is comparable to the feeling of a cat scratch or a sunburn.

What should I do before a tattoo? ›

What to do before getting a Tattoo
  1. Get a Good Night's Sleep. The last thing you want is to come in and be completely exhausted for your tattoo session. ...
  2. Stay Hydrated. ...
  3. Shave. ...
  4. Shower. ...
  5. Moisturize your Skin. ...
  6. Eat and Bring Snacks. ...
  7. Dress for you Session. ...
  8. Do not show up Intoxicated.

How long will a tattoo take? ›

A typical tattoo session is about 4 to 6 hours, with some clients choosing to book sessions back-to-back.

Do you tip tattoo artists? ›

As with tipping waitstaff, 20-25% percent is a good standard. An easy way to include tipping in your budget is to add it in when getting the estimated costs for having your work done. So, if your tattoo is expected to cost $200, with a 20-percent tip, that's $240.

How big is a small tattoo? ›

A small tattoo, which is anything between 2 square inches and 4 square inches, can cost you between $50 and $250. Medium tattoos, which are between 4 and 6 square inches, usually cost between $150 and $450. A large tattoo, usually anything above 6 square inches, can cost between $500 and thousands of dollars.

How long does a small tattoo take? ›

Expect about half an hour to an hour for a simple, small tattoo. Keep in mind, however, a small tattoo with lots of color, line work, details, or a tricky placement could take several hours. Small tattoos are great for people who don't want to go through a lengthy tattoo process, but still want some cool ink.

Do wrist tattoos hurt? ›

Any tattoo's going to hurt to an extent, but wrist tattoo pain is up there compared to other body parts. The pain is not as bad as, say, having your nerve-rich nipples or lips tattooed. But most people rank it pretty high on the pain chart.

Can you negotiate tattoo prices? ›

Don't negotiate the price. Tattoo artists will always quote you beforehand based on their time and the size of the tattoo. They want to make sure they get the design just right, so it's better to pay for an extra half hour or so than to walk out with something that looks rushed and sub-par.

How much do you tip on a $300 tattoo? ›

How much do you tip on a $300 tattoo? You would tip around $60 - $90 for a $300 tattoo. So, the final price you'd expect to pay for the service is $360 - $390.

How much is a neck tattoo? ›

Neck Tattoos Cost

So, in regards to the size, a 2×2 simple neck tattoo can cost up to $200. But, when you start sizing up, adding details, and including an original design, the maximum price for a neck tattoo can go as high as $4000.

How can I get free tattoo? ›

However, there are a few instances when you can get unique and beautiful ink at no charge.
...
Here are five ways you can get a free tattoo.
  1. Be a human canvass. ...
  2. Take a trip to Mesa, Arizona. ...
  3. Try out for a TV show. ...
  4. Win a raffle. ...
  5. Be besties with an artist. ...
  6. 5 worst free tattoo options.
May 27, 2015

What colors are best for tattoos? ›

Light/Fair Skin: White, or other light colors like pale blue, usually works well on people with fair skin. Medium Skin: Red, green, orange, and blues look great on tan or olive-toned skin. Dark Skin: The darkest colors on the color spectrum work best. Crimson, black, and dark blue look great on darker skin tones.

Do color tattoos hurt more? ›

So, Do Color Tattoos Hurt More? Generally speaking, ink color doesn't determine the amount of pain you'll feel. The color simply doesn't have to do anything with the pain of the tattoo.

Which arm should I get a sleeve on? ›

The design is typically incorporated around the whole arm, although some people may prefer to tattoo only the outer and more visible part of the arm to mitigate pain (the inner arm is more sensitive) and to keep costs down (more on budget below).

How much do you tip for a tattoo? ›

The general consensus in the tattoo community is that 20 percent is the typical amount to tip — just like at a restaurant or a hair salon. However, consider this number a baseline, as some tattoos require more or less work than others.

What does 3 dots on your finger mean? ›

Three Dots Tattoo

Many have used this simplistic design to indicate a concept of continuance, an unfinished journey, or a slow change of idea or thought. Others use three dot symbolism within their tattoo to convey a deeper spiritual meaning, as three is considered a sacred number in many religions and belief systems.

Where do tattoos hurt the least? ›

Least painful to tattoo

The least painful places to get a tattoo are areas of your body with fewer nerve endings. Think outer shoulder, calf, buttocks, and outer arm.

What do three dots tattoo mean? ›

The three dots tattoo is a common prison tattoo that represents “mi vida loca,” or “my crazy life.” It's not associated with any particular gang, but with the gang lifestyle itself. This tattoo is typically found on the hands or around the eyes.

What do you say when tattoo artist asks your budget? ›

Tell your artist what you can afford, and together you can create a design and a timeline that works for both of you. Spreading the cost across multiple sessions will not only help the tattoo to heal well, but you'll also avoid spending a large sum of money all at one time.

Do tattoos bleed? ›

Yes, it is completely normal. The very experienced tattoo artists will always ensure that as much ink is packed to ensure most of it remains. Even if excess ink is packed in your skin, and some comes out with the bleeding, it is perfectly normal and there is no need for you to worry.

Do tattoos hurt less if your fat? ›

Here's the general consensus: The least painful places to get tattooed are those with the most fat, fewest nerve endings, and thickest skin. The most painful places to get tattooed are those with the least fat, most nerve endings, and thinnest skin.

How painful are tattoos? ›

How bad do tattoos hurt? There's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much pain you'll feel when getting tattooed. But if you're wondering what type of pain to expect, Caranfa says the experience is comparable to the feeling of a cat scratch or a sunburn.

How long does a small tattoo take? ›

Expect about half an hour to an hour for a simple, small tattoo. Keep in mind, however, a small tattoo with lots of color, line work, details, or a tricky placement could take several hours. Small tattoos are great for people who don't want to go through a lengthy tattoo process, but still want some cool ink.

Do you tip a tattoo artist? ›

The general consensus in the tattoo community is that 20 percent is the typical amount to tip — just like at a restaurant or a hair salon. However, consider this number a baseline, as some tattoos require more or less work than others.

How much is a full sleeve tattoo? ›

Sleeve tattoos are usually getting done in few sessions. Consider doing 3-5-hour sittings at a time, going back every 2 and a half weeks. A good tattoo artist will charge $1,500 – $7,000 for a full sleeve tattoo. While an artist with a wait list, that can often go beyond two plus years, can cost $14,000 and upwards.

Do tattoos bleed? ›

Yes, it is completely normal. The very experienced tattoo artists will always ensure that as much ink is packed to ensure most of it remains. Even if excess ink is packed in your skin, and some comes out with the bleeding, it is perfectly normal and there is no need for you to worry.

Do tattoos hurt less if your fat? ›

Here's the general consensus: The least painful places to get tattooed are those with the most fat, fewest nerve endings, and thickest skin. The most painful places to get tattooed are those with the least fat, most nerve endings, and thinnest skin.

Where do tattoos hurt the least? ›

Least painful to tattoo

The least painful places to get a tattoo are areas of your body with fewer nerve endings. Think outer shoulder, calf, buttocks, and outer arm.

At what age should I get a tattoo? ›

The safest bet is to wait until you're 18 to start getting inked, but if you just can't wait, there are many ways to still get one with parental consent. Regulations are for your safety and well-being, as well as that of the tattoo artist and the shop.

Can you negotiate tattoo prices? ›

Don't negotiate the price. Tattoo artists will always quote you beforehand based on their time and the size of the tattoo. They want to make sure they get the design just right, so it's better to pay for an extra half hour or so than to walk out with something that looks rushed and sub-par.

How much is a quarter sleeve tattoo? ›

Half Sleeve and Quarter Sleeve

Average cost is $500 to $2000.

How long does a full sleeve take? ›

Sleeve tattoos vary widely depending on how intricate they are, or what colors they include. A full sleeve will likely take at least 12 hours (or around two days' worth of work) but can require as many as 80 hours.

Videos

1. MAGKANO BA MAGPA-TATTOO? ||| MAGKANO NGA BA ANG TATTOO? ||| PRESYUHAN NG TATTOO EXPLAINED!
(Janrich Cruz Tattoo)
2. TATTOO TALK Ep.10: Magkano nga ba mag pa- TATTOO
(Markus the Second)
3. 'Do You Want a Good Tattoo or a Cheap Tattoo?' How Artists Set Prices | Tattoo Artists React
(Inked)
4. How Much Do Tattoos Cost? Tattoo Prices Revealed The Info You Need To Know !
(Best Tattoo Ideas)
5. Price Guide v3
(Art Collective Tattoos)
6. Inflation on Tattoo Costs - Tattoo Smart Live Highlights
(TATTOO SMART)

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