Most cultures around the world have tattoos as an expression. Some cultures use tattoos as adulthood rites, for artistic or beauty purposes, as warrior marks, tribal identification and so on. However it is clear that in all the cultures around the world, tattoos have represented both marginality and belonging.

Having become more prominent than ever, there isn’t a part of the body that is off limits. The ink art has been done on most major and minor skin parts of the body. However, most men prefer having a sleeve tattoo as a man which can be quite impressive when a befitting design and a good color is used in its creation. Generally it appropriate and even advisable to opt for a sleeve tattoo for men as a man compared to having it done on other body parts. Outlined below are reasons why.

Sleeve tattoo ideas

Sleeve Tattoos Are Very Attractive

There is nothing like a great looking sleeve tattoo on a masculine arm to draw attention from all corners. Most well done sleeve tattoos for guys make them look more masculine and exude that charming effect especially on the women. Show off your sleeve tattoo in casual social gatherings by wearing a fitting t-shirt and you will attract all sorts of people, from the admirers and artistic souls to the openly envious ones. Work out regularly to keep the arm muscles firm and the sleeve tattoo will look appealing every day.

Easy To Conceal The Tattoo

Not everyone in society will appreciate a good tattoo and sometimes you might be forced to attend functions where showing off your tattoo might not be appropriate. For the neck, head, face or finger tattoos this can pose a challenge when it comes to concealment, but the sleeve tattoo will enable you to conceal your tattoo if you have to attend gatherings where the crowd is not very tattoo-friendly. The sleeve tattoo in this case becomes an advantage and underneath the shirt, you still get to maintain that symbol that means something to you.

Very Expressive

The sleeve tattoos for men are very expressive. Any man spotting a sleeve tattoo is viewed as open-minded and less likely to be alarmed by any controversial topics that might be discussed. With that impression, the people around them will be more open because they view the man as expressive and bold since they were bold enough to get a sleeve tattoo and show it off to the world in the first place. The sleeve tattoo can be a unique expression of what one stands for or their personal story depending of course on the design.

The Safety Factor

A sleeve tattoo is the best if you want to go through the hours of pinpricking without the risk of inconveniencing sensitive parts of your body. The arm isn’t surrounded by any vital body organs that might be put to risk. As much as today’s methods of tattooing have improved with technology, still having a sleeve tattoo done is considered safer compared to having one done on the eyelids or navel area.

Japanese Inspired Sleeve Tattoo

Japanese inspired sleeve tattoo for men

Realistically drawn and shaded in black and grey, this Japanese inspired sleeve tattoo features the imagery of a samurai warrior – complete with face, armor and sword – across the shoulder and upper arm about to do battle with a large dragon on the forearm.

Colorful Sleeve Tattoo

Colorful sleeve tattoo for guys

This Japanese piece centers around two large and terrifying masks. The white mask is located on the inner forearm and almost blends with surrounding colors. The red mask features prominently on the upper arm. Both are surrounded by red and yellow flowers infused in waves in a black background.

Black Full Sleeve Tattoo

Black Full Sleeve Tattoo

One of the largest tattoo sleeve designs that covers an entire pectoral and extends across the shoulder, down the arm and stops on the back of the hand. The tribal design features geometrical shapes split into different sections, with three focal areas on the chest, shoulder and elbow.

Artistic Japanese Carp


Very artistic Japanese carp swimming up towards the shoulder shaded in black and grey, with elements of yellow bringing the large fish to life. A vivid blue flower sits just above the inner elbow and a bright red flower just below.

Tattoo Sleeve Ideas for Men

tattoo sleeve ideas for men

All available space is used in this full color arm and forearm sleeve tattoo that includes various different American-style designs, objects and shapes, such as stars, snakes, hearts, flowers, etc. as well as a few inspirational phrases like “Born 2 Ride”.

Black Tribal Sleeve Tattoo for Guys

Black Tribal Sleeve Tattoo for Guys

This is a black tribal sleeve tattoo design that runs from the top of the shoulder to just below the elbow. The design is almost entirely symmetrical, with the dividing line down the middle of the arm and has various geometrical shapes throughout.

Dragon Tattoo Sleeve Ideas

Dragon Tattoo Sleeve Ideas

One of the most imposing dragon tattoo sleeve ideas, this realistic dragon’s head and claw occupy the whole shoulder and include a burst of red to complete its menacing look. On the forearm is a serene Japanese tree blowing in the wind to signify the dragon is flying and about to strike.

Three Greek statues

Three Greek statues tattoo

Three Greek statues dominate this tattoo. A philosopher sits pondering on the forearm, just below a stunning horse, while the largest figure occupies the shoulder wearing a battle helmet. It is expertly finished in black and grey to look almost metallic.

Another Sleeve Dragon Tattoo

Another Sleeve Dragon Tattoo

This red and black dragon maintains the traditions of Japanese sleeve tattoos by using different shapes and waves to highlight the seductive movement and fierceness of the dragon. The body covers the entire length of the arm while the heads sits half way.

The Bird Sleeve

tattoo The Bird Sleeve

Artistic sleeve tattoo ideas for men like this one takes several unique designs, including a ship, a skull, a bird, a damsel, to name a few, and brings them together to create a somber effect covering the whole arm. The end result is stunning.

More sleeve tattoos for men on the next page…