300 Best Tattoo Ideas for Men in 2022
Are you searching for inking inspiration? These best tattoos for men are sure to tempt you under the needle!
Beauty may only be skin deep, yet the reasons behind getting inked can run far deeper. A tattoo is a personal reflection of the man that lies beneath the art.
A living canvas, a conversation starter, body art, graffiti, a fashion accessory, and more, tattoos are the modern man’s means of self-expression.
Whether you’re planning a single tattoo or multiple markings, if you want skin in the game, check out our collection of the best 300 tattoos for men.
Tattoo Ideas for Men
1. Small Tattoo
One of the most go-to tattoo ideas for men, small tattoo designs are incredibly versatile. They look good almost anywhere on the body, and what’s more, they are easy to conceal. Your ink needn’t be super-sized to make a statement, from a meaningful quote on the chest to a discreet yet detailed design on the wrist.
2. Simple Tattoo
Simple tattoos use crisp lines, a sparse color palette, and negative space for a clean and smart look. Simple designs are a cool tattoo idea for men who would describe themselves as classy yet understated.
3. Tiger Tattoo
Tiger tattoos for men symbolize a fierce, courageous personality. For alpha males who pride themselves on their inner strength and power, this big cat inking may take the form of a traditional, old-school design or ancient Japanese style.
4. Bird Tattoo
Bird tattoos adorned the bodies of ancient Egyptians as early as 2000 BC. Fast forward to the 1700s, and sailors were wearing a swallow tattoo as a way to showcase their seagoing skills. Today, bird tattoos for men offer even more possibilities. The phoenix, eagle, and owl are just a few examples that have unique meanings for any man with skin in the game.
5. Wolf Tattoo
The wolf is a pack animal that fiercely protects its family. In Native American culture, the wolf has a deep spiritual meaning. It represents close family ties, loyalty, and protection. Wolf tattoo designs make cool tattoos for men who are proud of their strong family values.
6. Compass Tattoo
Early sailors believed a compass inking would bring fortune for a successful voyage and help guide them home safely. Likewise, compass designs are a cool tattoo idea for men who have a passion for adventure and travel. Always pointing North, this inking will help keep its wearer on the right path.
7. Angel Tattoo
Linking heaven and Earth, the angel is a guiding figure and embodiment of hope and innocence. An angel tattoo needn’t always be literal. Angel wings or a halo can honor an absent loved one. A guardian angel symbolizes protection, or combined with a darker figure, can represent an internal struggle between good and evil. Angel designs are meaningful tattoo ideas for men.
8. Cross Tattoo
A perfect tattoo idea for men who are religious, cross tattoos carry a powerful meaning. The cross is often part of an intricate design featuring rosary beads, angel wings, or Celtic line work. They’re perfect for larger chest, back, and sleeve pieces. For smaller inkings, the wrist and behind the ear are popular placements.
9. Arrow Tattoo
Arrows designs are highly customizable and a cool tattoo for men. They can be a single line drawing or scaled up to make a large leg or arm piece. The arrow symbol links closely to Native American culture. Here, two crossed arrows represent alliance, while a single arrow broken in half symbolizes peace.
10. Skull Tattoo
Many people believe skull tattoos represent death. In a lot of cases, though, they carry a less morbid meaning. This inking often serves as a reminder to its owner not to fear death and enjoy each day to the fullest. Skull tattoos for men lend themselves to black and gray ink.
11. Dragon Tattoo
Dragon tattoos are prominent in almost every tattooing style around the world. In Chinese culture, they represent strength, good fortune, wisdom, and the male element, Yang. The shape of these mythical creatures is versatile enough to curve and fit almost anywhere on the body, making them cool tattoos for men.
12. Lion Tattoo
The well-beloved King of the Jungle, lions, are among the most majestic creatures in the Animal Kingdom. Lion tattoos for men serve as a powerful message to the world that their wearer is fearless, courageous, and not a man to challenge!
13. Quote Tattoo
Some men want their ink to be fun and light-hearted. While others want designs that represent a deeper meaning. Either way, quote tattoos are a thought-provoking way to showcase your personality, whether it’s a fashion quote, a Harvey Specter quote, or simply words to live by. Wear a quote alone or pair it with complementary design elements. Just make sure the inked words have a personal meaning.
14. Family Tattoo
As your grandparents may tell you, blood is thicker than water. So honor your heritage by choosing artwork that represents those closest to you. One on-trend family tattoo for men is to take a special note penned by a family member and have it inked by the artist in your loved one’s handwriting.
15. Star Tattoo
It’s possible to interpret star tattoos in many ways. A Northern star symbolizes travel or a journey. A constellation can show a particular zodiac sign, and a nautical star represents the compass rose sailors used to navigate the seas. When it comes to star tattoo ideas for men, the sky really is the limit.
16. Owl Tattoo
Folklore depicts the owl as a creature of knowledge, wisdom, and mystery. In modern stories like Harry Potter, the owl is a bridge between the human and magical world, acting as a close companion to their masters. Combing owl tattoos with natural elements such as trees and branches for a seriously cool tattoo for men.
17. Eagle Tattoo
The eagle is the USA’s official mascot. It stands for courage, freedom, and having an eye on the end goal. So if you’re a modern guy who wants to stand proud, the eagle tattoo for men will mark you for life as brave, intelligent, and powerful.
18. Name Tattoo
Getting a name tattooed on any part of your body is meaningful. It can be that of a parent, child, or loved one, either living or lost. The most popular placement for a name tattoo for men is the forearm. Wherever you place this important piece of artwork, wear your tattoo with pride.
19. Clock Tattoo
Time marches on, and a clock tattoo is there to remind us that each moment is precious. They’re cool tattoo ideas for men who want to mark a special moment in life, honor an achievement, or believe in the importance of seizing the day! Also a primo tattoo for any timepiece buffs or men’s watch enthusiasts.
20. Rose Tattoo
Rose tattoos have a special meaning. Go red to symbolize love and passion, or black for mourning and loss. Body art can say a thousand words, and this inking is deeply personal. Rose tattoos for men are increasingly popular as they are the perfect way to express inner feelings through art.
21. Tree Tattoo
Tree tattoos are cool tattoos for men whose roots are planted firmly in the family. They are timeless and classic tattoo designs that will stand the test of time. Let your chest or back become the canvas for this exceptional artwork, and make sure your ink tells a story.
22. Gemini Tattoo
The constellation of the Gemini zodiac relates to the Greek and Roman myth of twin half-brothers Castor and Pollux. Upon Castor’s defeat in battle, Pollux bargained with Zeus to return him to life. Zeus granted the wish providing the twins spend half their time on Earth and half amongst the stars. The Gemini symbol represents companionship and an unbreakable bond, making the Gemini tattoo a unique idea for men.
23. Cloud Tattoo
Depending on your outlook on life, cloud tattoos can either represent a positive silver lining or an approaching storm. Light, dreamy, and whimsical, or dark, and shadowy, the style of the cloud design will determine what your tattoo says about you.
24. Taurus Tattoo
The Taurus constellation represents the story of the Greek god Zeus and Princess Europa. The myth tells how Zeus transformed himself into a bull to win Europa’s affections and carried her across the sea to Crete. The Taurus symbol is one of love and perseverance. Taurus tattoos are an ideal tattoo for men born under this star sign.
25. Christian Tattoo
Praying hands, angels, crosses, biblical verses, and depictions of Jesus Christ are all Christian tattoos for men that honor devotion to a higher power. With so many tattoo designs to choose from, you can easily find a Christian inking for any part of the body.
26. Scorpio Tattoo
Scorpio is the eighth zodiac sign. Its symbol looks like the letter “M” with an arrow-tipped tail. Scorpios are passionate, profound, and loyal. If you’re a tough guy who is a bit of a control freak, don’t leave your choice of inking to a tattoo artist. Instead, check out scorpion tattoo ideas for men well before going under the gun.
27. American Flag Tattoo
An American flag tattoo is a symbol of patriotism and freedom. These inkings are a popular tattoo for men serving in the Military or Emergency Services. Fly your flag tattoo where others can easily see it; on the forearm, upper arm, chest, or back to complement your military style.
28. Grim Reaper Tattoo
This tattoo for men represents the circle of life. Grim reaper tattoos remind us that life and death are inevitable; they convey that their wearer isn’t afraid to meet their maker. This design, though, is not all gloom and doom. It’s also about making the most of every moment and enjoying each day as if it were the last.
29. Celtic Tattoo
Release your inner warrior with a Celtic tattoo. From intricate crosses to detailed knots, if you want to honor your heritage, this design is the one for you. Although Celtic warriors wore blue-colored tattoos to intimidate their enemies, popular tattoos for men today are often black with gray shadows.
30. Demon Tattoo
Demon tattoos are powerful inkings for large areas of skin or full sleeves. Not for the faint-hearted, they make cool tattoos for men who want to show the world they’re ready to tackle whatever life throws at them.
31. Star Wars Tattoo
Star Wars tattoos for men are a fun and creative way for movie lovers to share their passion for these intergalactic characters. A colorful Yoda inking, a detailed R2D2, or a villainous Darth Vader, may the force be with you!
32. 3D Tattoo
Transcend traditional ink with a 3D tattoo. If you are a man on a mission and a committed collector of skin art, this tattoo style will become your artwork of desire. Three-dimensional designs work well in bright colors with whimsical themes and are cool tattoos for men who are anything but one dimensional!
33. Biomechanical Tattoo
Man and machine merge as biomechanical tattoos for men become the next best body art. Robotic and unique, gears, wires, and steel combine to transform the body into living machines to create a hardcore look for the millennial man.
34. Music Tattoo
For many of us, music tattoos hold great meaning, reminding us of a powerful memory, providing comfort in tough times, or helping us to celebrate the best of moments. They can commemorate a favorite song, artist (like Elvis), or instrument and create meaningful tattoo ideas for men who love making music.
35. Feather Tattoo
A bird’s feather can represent freedom and travel, while an angel’s feather may be a tribute to a missing loved one. In Celtic times, feathers held mystical powers. While for the Egyptians, they represented Gods and Goddesses. Whichever style you choose, feather designs make versatile tattoo ideas for men.
36. Crown Tattoo
This powerful headpiece represents glory, power, royalty, and immortality. Crown tattoos for men make a clear statement that their wearer makes their own rules. A crown can also be a touching tribute to the “King” or “Queen” in your life, such as the late Kobe Bryant’s crown and butterfly inking dedicated to his wife, Vanessa.
37. King and Queen Tattoo
King and Queen designs are a popular option for His and Hers tattoos. Depending on your couple style, go literal with matching crowns and text or symbolic with intricate and elaborate designs. Either way, these are romantic and cool tattoos for men who know they’ve found the one.
38. Samurai Warrior Tattoo
Elite Japanese warriors from noble backgrounds charged with defending their lords from mortal enemies, the Samurai were a fierce fighting force with a strong moral code. Channel your warrior spirit with a Samurai tattoo representing nobility, courage, power, and honor.
39. Abstract Tattoo
Express yourself with an abstract tattoo for men. This skin art speaks volumes about its wearer’s artistic flair and individuality. Brushstrokes, shapes, and lines create an idea of an object or person. Much more than just a trendy tattoo, it’s a creative art form for the non-conformist.
40. Animal Tattoo
From wild animals to domestic pets, there is an age-old belief that humans and animals are connected spiritually. So regardless of whether you’re honoring a pooch that has passed away, rocking some leopard print, or wearing your lion tattoo with pride, animal tattoos have lots of ideas for men.
41. Blackwork Tattoo
The origins of blackwork tattoos lay within the ancient form of tribal tattoos. The difference is that they’re filled in with solid black and don’t have the same cultural symbolism. A popular placement for this tattoo style is in a half or full-sleeve design. They’re also a viable option for cover-ups.
42. Dotwork Tattoo
Dotwork tattoos are a design classic. It’s a unique technique that combines multiple small black dots to create a striking visual effect. Dotwork may bring a full image to life or provide shading for a tattoo design. More detailed inkings can take hours of hard work, so they’re ideal tattoos for men who have lots of patience!
43. Geometric Tattoo
If you’re a man on a mission looking to discover a stunning symmetrical tattoo, a great choice is a geometric tattoo design. Straight lines and angles represent order and structure, while shapes and curves symbolize connection and community. They make awesome tattoos for men who are comfortable in their own skin.
44. Japanese Tattoo
Before the Second World War, Japanese tattoos were a way to depict social status and often a punishment for slaves and criminals. On the plus side, they were also a protective and spiritual charm and a symbol of devotion. Today, Japanese-style Koi fish, geishas, dragons, tigers, and Samurai designs are cool tattoos for men.
45. Line drawing tattoo
Are you a man who enjoys the simple things in life? If you are, a line tattoo is an inspirational inking. Executed in one continuous line, it’s a cool tattoo for men that can be either complex or intricate. This impressive technique needs a highly skilled tattoo artist with a steady hand.
46. Memorial Tattoo
Express your innermost feelings for a life event or person. Honor a loved one or hero and keep them close by marking your body for life. Placement is critical with this type of tattoo, so decide how much you want the inking to show and the level of pain you can tolerate.
47. Nature Tattoo
Pay tribute to Mother Nature and invoke feelings of peace and tranquility with designs, including animals, flowers, trees, beaches, and mountains. If you’re a man with hobbies like swimming, hiking, mountaineering, and more, then it’s time to explore these environmentally-inspired tattoos for men.
48. Realistic Tattoo
This technique is all about bringing an image to life. Whether you want the portrait of a loved one, celebrity, or an object that’s important to you, you’ll need an experienced tattoo artist. Get this right, and you’ll have a tattoo for men with profound personal meaning.
49. Roman Numeral Tattoo
Is there a date that you always want to remember? Roman numeral tattoos are an elegant and unique way to commemorate a special occasion. Thanks to their ability to be scaled up or down to fit anywhere on the body, they are a versatile tattoo idea for men.
50. Stick and Poke Tattoo
Stick and poke tattoos are on-trend. Swapping a classic electric gun for a hand-held needle and rod-like gadget, the finished result is artistically imperfect and one-of-a-kind. Rebellious and far from mainstream, stick and poke tattoos for men tend to be smaller in size. You can scale them up, though, to suit larger pieces.
51. Traditional Tattoo
It may have taken the Western world longer to embrace tattoos, but the trend quickly spread once rum-drinking sailors began inking themselves. From those early pioneer days, these old-school tattoos have stood the test of time. Thick, black outlines and bright, bold colors make these traditional tattoos for men design classics.
52. Tribal Tattoo
Ancient tribes would use tattoos as protective symbols to either display their social status or as a form of expression. Tribal tattoos for men often feature thick black lines in repeating patterns. They look great large, so the chest, arm, back, and thigh are impressive placements for a well-toned body.
53. Religious Tattoo
From Buddhism to Christianity, religious designs are highly personal and hold a spiritual significance to their owner. They are an impactful tattoo idea for men who want to share their beliefs with the world.
54. Pot Leaf Tattoo
A symbol of freedom, marijuana leaf tattoos are tattoos for men who don’t conform or give in to social convention. If you want to let the world know that you live life on your terms, this inking will get the message across.
55. Ace Tattoo
Ace cards are the most powerful in the pack. And ace tattoos are a way to show the world you’re one of life’s winners. They can also symbolize the desire to get a winning hand. A black inked ace card makes a really cool tattoo for men, whatever the motivation.
56. African Tattoo
Determination and endurance, this tattoo shows the world you have a place within your chosen people. Traditional African designs are a permanent and highly symbolic inking. If you’re looking for a cool tattoo for men and want to pay homage to your heritage, your skin is the perfect canvas.
57. Botanical Tattoo
Plant tattoo designs are cool tattoos for men who are at one with nature. From full sleeves to chest and back pieces, they make a creative inking. Better still, there are a lot of manly designs to choose from.
58. Hipster Tattoo
It’s time to show everyone just how unique you are and wear your hipster tats with pride. Express your originality and get creative with this really cool tattoo idea for men. Choose an object or symbol with a special meaning that only you and a handful of others will connect with. This style of tattoo is anything but mainstream! Pair it with a hipster watch brand to show everyone how alternative you really are.
59. Seashell Tattoo
Seashell tattoos are an original form of body art and make thoughtful tattoos for men who love the sea. But dive that little bit deeper, and you’ll discover they’re a meaningful design symbolizing love. Show your protection of others around you or shield yourself from negative forces; either way, let your tattoo do the talking.
60. Sobriety Tattoo
Sobriety is a long but worthwhile journey. Those following the path may choose a tattoo representing their decision to lead a clean lifestyle and provide constant motivation. The Serenity Prayer, triangle symbol, and coin are all metaphors synonymous with Alcoholics Anonymous. These are popular tattoos for men leading a sober lifestyle.
61. Soul Tattoo
A soul tattoo is perfect for anyone wanting a holistic inking experience. It often begins with a meditation session and body reading to find out which areas need healing. After this, there may be a tarot reading. The tattoo artist creates a design based on their findings to make meaningful tattoos for men with deep spiritual connections.
62. Stoner Tattoo
If getting blazed is one of your favorite pastimes and you don’t take life too seriously, why not consider a stoner tattoo? Stoner tattoos for men can be small, large, whimsical, and colorful. Break the mold and get some skin in the game!
63. Gothic Tattoo
Skulls, vampires, coffins, bats, and more, symbols of this kind, have a considerable following. Mysterious and brooding, gothic designs are perfect tattoos for men who dabble in the dark arts. Primarily designed in black ink with other rich colors, they’re freaky pieces of body art!
64. Motorcycle Tattoo
Wings, eagles, flames, skulls, motorcycle brand names, and club affiliations are just some of the coolest motorcycle tattoos for men. Rarely concealed, and the best bad boy look for half sleeves, full sleeves, and larger body placements, this will go perfectly with a leather jacket.
65. World of Warcraft Tattoo
In 2004 the release of World of Warcraft took the gaming universe by storm, creating over 100 million accounts. Are you a die-hard WoW fan and looking for a cool tattoo idea for men? Get some skin in the game and recreate a permanent shrine to the realm of Azeroth with a mythological character inking.
66. Alpha and Omega Tattoo
Alpha and Omega may very well be frat houses, but foremost they’re the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Alpha represents the spiritual essence of a person’s existence, while Omega stands for the physical. When inked together, the letters bridge the gap between the soul and body. Both letters combined in a Greek key design can create head-turning tattoos for men.
67. Anarchy Symbol Tattoo
If you have plenty to say about freedom and are fighting for a life free of government control, this bold, black-inking is for you. For hundreds of years, the letter “A” featured inside a circle has symbolized anarchy. These tattoos for men are perfect for anyone wanting to make a political statement.
68. Anime Tattoo
From romantic to erotic, horrific to comedic, Japanese anime characters are as diverse as their hardcore fans. They’re cool tattoos for men who want to showcase their love for this cartoon genre. Bright and bold, decide upon the style of tat you’re looking for and find a skilled artist to bring your idea to life.
69. Aviation Tattoo
An airplane is a cool tattoo for men who work within the aeronautic industry. For anyone that needs to conceal their inking, perfect placements include the chest, back, ribs, or legs. Better yet, if you have nothing to hide and you enjoy adventure and travel, the sky’s the limit! Add on aviator sunglasses and a pilot watch and you’ll be ready to hit the tarmac.
70. Aztec Tattoo
Tattoos to the Aztecs were empowering and symbolized a prosperous life. Each design showed the wearer’s warrior status. Aztec tattoos for men are nearly always black and gray but also work well in 3D. Rugged and manly, Aztec tattoos are ideal for showing off a well worked-out body.
71. Chinese Tattoo
Chinese history and culture continue to be a source of inspiration for those going under the gun. Chinese letters are no longer trending, but classic, colorful, and bold designs such as the Koi carp and mystical dragon are still popular Chinese tattoos for men.
72. Cowboy Tattoo
Saddle up with a cowboy tattoo to symbolize independence, freedom, strength, and nostalgia for the Wild West. These tattoos for men are a classic choice of ink for anyone interested in cowboy or Western style. What’s more, they will never go out of fashion.
73. Mayan Tattoo
Mayan tattoos are mind-blowing! Intricate, detailed, and show-stopping, they are truly inspirational tattoos for men. The Mayans held their traditions and culture in high regard. Stand out from the crowd and release your inner warrior with an all-black ink, full-sleeve, or full neck.
74. Patriotic Tattoo
Patriotic tattoos for men are an excellent way to honor a specific date in history, happy or sad. They are strong symbols of grief, anger, courage, hope, glory, and resilience. So whether you wear a Celtic-style American flag on your chest or a 3D bald eagle on your back, celebrate history and heritage.
75. Sanskrit Tattoo
Shanti, which means inner peace, is a popular Sanskrit tattoo design. Another Sanskrit symbol is the all-seeing eye which is a mystical-looking inking with symbolic skin appeal. Both are cool tattoos for men. But, if these don’t bring you inner peace and light, why not follow in the footsteps of celeb Russell Brand, who has Anugachhatu Pravah (Go with the Flow) inked on his right arm?
76. Sports Tattoo
From basketball to baseball, boxing to biking, and beyond, sports tattoos for men are a permanent way to show your support for a particular activity, player, or team. So get your game on with a portrait, sportswear brand or team logo, or name, and wear your fan favorite with pride!
77. Fingerprint Tattoo
Every man has his individual markings making a fingerprint tattoo the most unique skin inking ever! The best placement for these types of tattoos for men is on an area of skin that won’t stretch or quickly age. These include the feet, ankles, or shoulder. For new dads, they’re a special way to mark a birth.
78. Hourglass Tattoo
Mark your body and the passage of time with an hourglass tattoo. Choose a black and gray design for a vintage vibe, or give your hourglass wings to symbolize time flying by. For something more abstract, a Dali-esque hourglass is a reminder of time slipping away. A symbol of patience and a reminder of mortality, there are lots of cool tattoo ideas for men just waiting for a suitable canvas!
79. Latin Tattoo
Language of the ancient Romans, there are hundreds of badass Latin sayings to suit any mood. For Alpha males who prefer to lead than follow, “Non Ducor, Duco” (I am not led, I lead) is a powerful choice. If you’ve overcome a challenging personal situation and are looking for a cool tattoo idea for men? “Ad Astra per Astra” (Through Adversity to the Stars) is a meaningful reminder of what you can achieve.
80. Portrait Tattoo
Portrait tattoos are a way to carry a loved one close. However, portrait tattoos for men can also pay tribute to a role model or inspirational celebrity. For the best results, find a tattoo artist specializing in portrait work as designs are sometimes 3D and require an artistic eye and a lot of skill.
81. Matching Tattoo
Matching tattoos are not only for couples. Strong bonds between friends, siblings, and family can strengthen thanks to matching body art. Complementary tats can either be identical or two halves that make a whole. The size, style, and design options are limitless, making matching designs one of the most fun tattoo ideas for men.
82. Anchor Tattoo
Anchor tattoos have, for centuries, carried multiple meanings. To sailors or those who work at sea, they represent stability. In Christianity, the anchor represented Christians trying to escape Roman persecution. For others, the anchor may symbolize love for the ocean. Anchor tattoos for men needn’t be retro; combine them with other nautical styles for a modern interpretation.
83. Brother Tattoo
A brotherly bond is like no other. A supporter and confidant who has your unwavering trust, brothers aren’t always connected by genes. Some are of the heart, not blood. So what better way to celebrate a special relationship than with matching ink? Cement your bond of brotherhood and embrace your sensitive side with these cool tattoos for men.
84. Dreamcatcher Tattoo
A dreamcatcher catches bad dreams while only allowing good dreams to pass through. If you’re looking for a calm and sound night’s sleep, no need to count sheep. Instead, opt for one of these cool tattoos for men, and catch those z’s.
85. Earth Tattoo
The symbol of life and the manifestation of home, earth tattoos for men can work well, big or small. Some get this inking to represent their passion for travel, while others want to show their gratitude to Mother Earth. If you feel like you carry the weight of the world, wear this tattoo on the shoulder or back!
86. Joker Tattoo
Thank Batman for this cool tattoo idea for men! Since the character’s TV debut in 1966, the Joker continues to be a timeless inking. Just like his on-screen persona, Joker tattoos represent life’s darker side. Meanwhile, joker playing card tattoos symbolize good luck but can also represent misfortune and deceit. If you’re a free-spirited guy of extremes, it’s the wild card you’re looking for!
87. Semicolon Tattoo
This simple punctuation mark is a symbol of solidarity and hope for anyone battling mental health issues. They constantly remind a story is yet to be completed and inspire their wearer to look towards the future. These meaningful tattoos for men look good inked anywhere on the body.
88. Wave Tattoo
A wave tattoo is a symbol of strength and the perseverance to reach a final destination. Waves also make really cool tattoos for men who love surfing and adventure. If you’re looking for a small tattoo on the wrist or a large inking on the arm or back, it’s time to hit the waves!
89. Buddha Tattoo
Buddha is one of the key symbols of the Buddhist religion. His image and teachings are about understanding, wisdom, and enlightenment. Many artistic interpretations of Buddha exist. Before embarking on any religious-themed inking, take time to research and make sure your chosen tattoo design for men isn’t insensitive to followers of that religion.
90. Eye Tattoo
The eye is significant in many different cultures. In Greece, an evil eye is a bitter look capable of cursing someone, and a blue eye, or mati, pendant protects its wearer from such a curse. In India, the third eye is a chakra, which, when opened, increases intuition and wisdom. In any case, this is one eye-catching tattoo for men!
91. Heart Tattoo
This tattoo is for the man who wears his heart on his sleeve. A symbol of life, love, and sometimes loss, heart tattoos are for those not afraid to show their sensitive side. Heart tattoos for men often incorporate contrasting design elements to give a more masculine vibe.
92. Infinity Tattoo
Initially used in mathematics to signify the concept of limitlessness, the infinity symbol has since developed a more spiritual meaning. It is now a representation of everlasting love or endless possibilities. Infinity, which looks like a figure of eight on its side, is ideal for small body areas. Let this small tattoo for men take you to infinity and beyond!
93. Koi Fish Tattoo
The color of a Koi fish tattoo changes its meaning. Orange/yellow fish bring prosperity and fortune. A black Koi symbolizes overcoming a life struggle, and red fish represent bravery and strength. For peace and fertility, choose a blue inking. And if you desire career success, choose a white fish. Whatever color you choose, though, even if that’s black and gray, Koi fish tattoos for men are steeped in historical meaning.
94. Meaningful Tattoo
Meaningful tattoos are personal to their owner and carry sentimental value. Meaningful tattoos for men are truly unique, and the design and style reflect what’s important to their wearer. That may be a date, a memorial to a lost loved one, or a symbol that provides inspiration to make it through tough times.
95. Mexican Tattoo
Mexico is the land of the Aztecs, stunning nature, rich tradition, and the best margaritas. There’s no doubt, Mexico is bursting with culture and beauty. So share the love and honor your heritage with a Mexican-inspired tattoo for men. Wear your patriotic tattoo with pride, somewhere the world can see, such as the arm or leg.
96. Minimalist Tattoo
Go back to basics with a minimalistic tattoo. Straight lines, little detail, and limited shading, minimalistic tattoos for men are the epitome of understated cool. Just because they follow strict design aesthetics doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. What’s more, they take less time to ink, so are less expensive than most other designs and will suit any minimalist wardrobe with ease.
97. Mom Tattoo
Mom, the most important woman in a man’s life. When thinking of a mom tattoo, the image that probably comes to mind is an American-traditional design with a bold red heart and white “mom” banner. While these Sailor Jerry retro inkings are still popular today, mom tattoos for men can also take a more sentimental approach.
98. Spiritual Tattoo
Spirituality means different things to many people. Celtic knots, Yin and Yang, the lotus, mandala, third eye, or hamsa may be symbols that resonate with you. On the other hand, maybe your spiritually is not so easily defined and is better represented with a more abstract, personalized design. Regardless, spiritual tattoos for men tell a story. What that story is, though, is yours to tell.
99. Sun Tattoo
Truth and light are two of the common meanings for this type of tattoo. They are a symbol of powering through dark and challenging times and reaching the light. The sun is one of the most revered symbols throughout the world. Shine a light on your skin with sun tattoos for men.
100. Watercolor Tattoo
Watercolor tattoos are vivid and bright with subtle color gradients and techniques to create the look of a classic watercolor painting. They need fewer skin punctures, so are less painful. Break the rules and express your art with these conversation-starting tattoos for men.
101. Butterfly Tattoo
A butterfly tattoo is the symbol of balance following transformation. These creatures combine physical and spiritual beauty to create sensual tattoos for men representing freedom, courage, accomplishment, and rebirth. For men who have earned their wings, it’s a statement tattoo for the arms, shins, chest, back, or hands.
102. Best Friends Tattoo
Best friends are the family we choose. Matching or complementary ink makes that connection everlasting. Get together and agree on your shared interests and aesthetics. If your bud wants to go large, but you need an easy to conceal tattoo for men, find a design that looks good in different sizes and places. Remember, best friends, just like tattoos, are forever.
103. Disney Tattoo
Whimsical and fun, Disney tattoos are sure to have a place in your heart. This genre of tattoos for men will make sure you keep a lifelong connection with your precious memories. Embrace your inner child, choose your favorite character or movie, and get a magical inking.
104. Dog Tattoo
Dogs can often be our closest and most loyal companions. Whether you want to honor the breed in general or pay homage to a particular pet, dog tattoos for men are a way to celebrate your K-9 connection.
105. Food Tattoo
Food tattoos are often colorful, fun, and sometimes whimsical. Whether a chef or a foodie, food-themed designs are a cool tattoo for men who want to take a more relaxed and entertaining approach to their body art and their love for food trends.
106. Snake Tattoo
Wrap or coil this design around the object of your desire, be it a skull, wild animal, flower, or person. Snakes shed their skins and so are often a symbol of transform, rebirth, and change. Snake tattoos for men are versatile, easy to customize, and make popular tattoos for arms and muscular parts of the body.
107. Maze Tattoo
In Greek mythology, the maze, designed by Dedalus, was a means to enslave the fearsome Minotaur beast beneath Knossos Palace. Each year, until the hero Theseus, came to defeat the beast, children got sent to the maze as sacrifices. Theseus escaped the maze using a piece of red string given to him by Princess Ariadne. Maze tattoos for men will guarantee you always have an incredible story to tell.
108. Moon Tattoo
Full moon, crescent moon, total eclipse; the moon’s phases control the Earth’s tides. Spiritually, the moon symbolizes eternity, immortality, and enlightenment. It’s no wonder it also has links to mythological creatures such as werewolves and witches. Moon tattoos for men can vary from realistic illustrations to mystical artworks.
109. Praying Hands Tattoo
Praying hands are a symbol within Christianity but are also associated with Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism. Their meaning is one of sincerity, dedication, and respect of a Higher Power. Praying hands are a cool tattoo idea for men who are either spiritual or religious.
110. Roots Tattoo
Connect to the past and choose a tattoo for men to symbolize ancestry, physical health, and spiritual growth. While black and gray ink captures the allure of tree root designs, earthy tones work well too. Depending on the design’s size and style, suitable placements include the forearm, bicep, chest, back, and ribs.
111. Camping Tattoo
Tattoos for men relating to life under the stars and escaping from the humdrum of everyday city life are sick! Explore designs of campfires, trees, mountains, rivers, and sunsets. Symbolic, photographic, tribal, cartoon-like, or realistic but never dull! These are the best-ever tattoos for men who are wild at heart!
112. Phoenix Tattoo
The mystical phoenix is a symbol of birth, death, and rebirth. It can mark its wearer as facing hardship and turmoil before turning over a new leaf and getting stronger. Rise above the ashes and check out the many impressive phoenix tattoo designs for men.
113. Elephant Tattoo
An elephant never forgets, and when you choose this magnificent beast as a permanent skin marking, you’ll have an unforgettable tattoo for men. Symbolizing love, loyalty, strength, family, and good luck, this giant of the jungle is a powerful inking. Treat your body like a temple and showcase an incredible elephant tattoo.
114. Honeycomb Tattoo
Honeycomb tattoo designs for men are complex and a symbol of male mystique. Honeycombs are one of the most amazing designs in nature and a testament that with hard work, it’s possible to achieve your goals. These geometrically challenging designs make an impressive full-body tattoo that will get everyone buzzing.
115. Irish Tattoo
The Celtic people can trace their origins back before modern civilization and take credit for making Irish society and culture what it is today. Honor your roots with a Celtic tattoo for men. The most popular choices are a Celtic cross, knot, or harp.
116. Map Tattoo
Map tattoos are an artistic way to commemorate a connection to a stylish destination or passion for travel. If you’ve backpacked around the world or travel is top of your wish list, celebrate your wanderlust with a map tattoo for men.
117. Viking Tattoo
Popular on-screen, Vikings are well-loved warriors. There are many Viking tattoo designs to choose from. There’s the Helm of Awe, for protection and power, Thor’s Hammer to instill courage, protection, and generosity, and Vegvisir, or the pathfinder, a compass to guide its wearer home. Release your inner Ragnor Lodbrok and check out these cool tattoos for men!
118. Shadow Tattoo
Go over to the dark side with deep, inky, and mysterious designs. Shadow tattoos for men feature heavy shading for an ink that is eye-catching and bold. They are the most impactful for gothic and spooky designs.
119. Unalome Tattoo
In Buddhism, the unalome symbol represents the path to enlightenment. Its spirals, for men, face inwards and symbolize the twist and turns we experience in life. Its lines straighten the moment we achieve peace, harmony, or enlightenment, and the dots, many believe, mean death. Popular with men who are into yoga classes and devotees alike, it’s a tattoo for anyone wanting to achieve happiness and inner peace.
120. Zen Tattoo
Enzo is a sacred Zen Buddhism symbol that means circle of togetherness. It represents elegance, strength, and one-mindedness. Ideal placements for this rounded design are the shoulder or chest. The circle may be one of the more simple tattoos for men, but it has deep meaning for its wearers.
121. Mandala Tattoo
Hinduism and Buddhism use the mandala as a symbol to represent the universe and spiritual journey. Round in shape, mandalas are like snowflakes in that each one is unique. Their repeating patterns make mandalas highly customizable tattoos for men. Wrap around the wrist in a cuff, encircle the elbow, or place the tattoo on the nape of the neck.
Where to Get a Tattoo
The forearm is a popular area when it comes to the placement of tattoos for men. Protected by thicker skin and muscles, it’s a less painful spot for inking. In addition, the forearm is large enough for grand designs but small enough for simpler tattoos. Better yet, the forearm allows you to showcase or conceal your tat, depending on your mood.
If you spend a lot of your free time in the gym, why not show off your hard work by placing your tattoo on your bicep? Although the softer skin in this area makes for a more painful session, it’s less exposed to sunlight, meaning a longer-lasting tattoo that won’t fade as quickly. Plus, as one of the hottest male body parts according to women, a tattoo here may instantly level up your sex appeal.
The elbow is a unique place to showcase round or ring-shaped designs. Before you get carried away, there’s a reason why elbow tattoos for men are rare. Due to how thin the skin on the elbow is, and its proximity to bone, it’s is a tattoo placement only for the bravest of men. You can typically conceal elbow tattoos for work, so long as you don’t roll your shirt sleeves too high.
Sleeve tattoos are a commitment, requiring multiple sessions and a sizeable investment. They’re not for those preferring instant gratification. If you have the patience and funds, sleeve placements make for one hell of a cool tattoo for men, allowing you to go big and bold with your design choices.
Half Sleeve Tattoo
If the idea of a sleeve appeals but you’re looking for a placement that requires less commitment, half sleeve tattoos are a great compromise. First, start on the upper arm. Here, the canvas is large enough for almost any design, can be easily covered and expanded down the arm at a later session or across the upper body.
Finger tattoos are painful! The reason for this is simple; there is less muscle and fat mass to help cushion the needle. Also, compared to other areas of the body, they have more nerve endings. The best finger tattoos for men are small and simple designs. They can look especially eye-catching when paired with men’s rings.
Forget the stigma of knuckle tattoos for men and their association with convicts. Thanks to celebs, they now rock the tattoo scene. And they can even look classy, like David Beckham’s tattoo of a simple 99, denoting the year he and Victoria tied the knot. The downside is they will need regular touching-up and are hard to conceal.
The good news is, many people say that wrist tattoos for men are less painful than they are for women. But then again, everyone’s pain tolerance is subjective. The best advice is, choose a skilled tattoo artist for your inking. The more experienced the hands on the gun, the faster they’ll finish! Once complete, make sure to choose the right types of watches or men’s bracelets to show off all of your wrist bling together.
Inner Wrist Tattoo
Soft and sensitive, tattooing the inner wrist can be painful, but it’s not the worst placement for a tattoo compared to the ribs and chest. While time and exposure to the elements may fade your inking, an inner wrist tattoo for men can be meaningful and stylish.
The back is a huge canvas for your inking. You can cover it with clothing. It isn’t exposed to the sun regularly and ages better than other body areas. When planning a partial or full-back tattoo for men, first decide if you intend your tattoo to be stand-alone or part of an ongoing project. If you want your back tattoo to really pop, make sure to stay on top of your back exercises and deal with a hairy back so it doesn’t get lost in the weeds.
The shoulder is a great spot since, from here, it’s possible to expand designs onto the chest, upper arm, or even back. When you are talking about shoulder tattoos for men, there’s something else to consider. Shoulders are less susceptible to stretching and sun exposure, so tats here tend to be longer-lasting, even if you don’t keep up with your shoulder exercises.
Quotes, dragons, roman numerals, and feathers are just some designs that make great collarbone tattoos for men. The collarbone is an ideal placement for men working in a corporate environment or for those who prefer to keep their tattoos private.
Chest tattoos for men are undeniably masculine and cool. After the back, the chest is the most expansive flat surface on the body, allowing you to get creative across large pecs and man boobs alike. If your favorite saying is “go big or go home,” why not use a chest piece to connect neck inkings with matching full sleeves?
The average rib tattoo takes around 4 hours which can feel like an eternity since the ribs are known as one of the most painful spots to get inked. But, as they say, no pain, no gain! Rib tattoos for men make a statement that their wearer is anything but weak.
Sternum tattoos for men often feature long, narrow design elements as they fit perfectly with the body’s natural contours. There’s nothing to say you can’t use the sternum, though, as a starting point for a piece that spreads across the pecs or down the stomach.
There are lots of cool tattoo designs for men, and while some suit the side of the stomach, others are perfect above or below the belly button. When designing a stomach tattoo, remember it’s a large area to cover (especially if you have a beer belly). Make sure you get the tattoo artist to execute a few mock-ups before making your final decision.
Due to the bumpy nature of some people’s spines, spine tattoos can be as much of a challenge for the tattoo artist as they are for the tattooee. So apart from choosing a cool tattoo design for men, do your research and find an artist with spine tattooing experience and a strong portfolio. Or make sure that you have perfect posture.
It takes a real man to get a facial tattoo! Thanks to celebrities like Post Malone and Travis Barker face tattoos for men are becoming more mainstream. If you’re reading this, then it’s likely you have already decided this bold inking is for you, so make sure your design gives the reaction you are hoping for!
Although in the past hip tattoos were mainly associated with female sensuality, they are now becoming a popular body placement of tattoos for men. They are easy to conceal and not subject to UV rays regularly. Better yet, they are the ideal placement for flowing designs that curve down the hip and around the thigh, such as dragons and snakes.
Are you a tattoo collector and running out of skin space for future projects? Look to the legs and give your tattoo artist a whole new canvas to work with. The legs lend themselves perfectly to all sorts of inkings, including vertical designs, tribal, geometric, leg bands, sleeves, and more. They are one of the coolest areas of the body for tattoos for men!
Protected by thick layers of fat, muscle, and skin, the calf is one of the less sensitive areas to get inked. As a result, calf tattoos are ideal for guys getting their first tat. With enough space to allow for almost any design or technique, calf tattoos for men mean you can go large even if you don’t have the highest pain threshold.
One of the sexiest tattoo ideas for men, thigh placements offer many options. To show off your ink in men’s shorts, place it front and center or on the side of the thigh. For something more intimate, opt for the inner, top, or back of the thigh. Never miss a leg workout? Opt for a design that complements and enhances your muscle definition.
The butt area is often a placement for more fun and whimsical tattoos for men designs that are more amusing than serious. The good news is, as far as tattoos go, the butt is relatively low pain thanks to plenty of protective fat and muscle. The bad news is, to show it off, you’ll be pulling down your men’s underwear quite a bit.
Thanks to their history of being worn by gang members and gangsters, neck tattoos are statement pieces for those with a rebellious side. If your goal in life is to stand out from the crowd and break the mold, consider placing your chosen ink on the neck.
There are certain factors to consider when it comes to foot tattoos for men. You’ll need to plan how you’ll manage the healing period as you won’t be able to wear specific footwear. Also, due to friction, foot tats are prone to fading. But if you’re into men’s sandals or like the idea of an extra discreet placement, a foot tattoo is the one.
Ankle tattoos for men are hot! Just ask the man of the moment, Harry Styles, who has tattoos spanning both ankles. Harry’s tats are lyrics from George Michael’s 1984 number one, ‘Careless Whisper.’ He has ‘Never Gonna’ (right ankle) and ‘Dance Again’ (left ankle). So if you’re looking to be a big hit, then a fun ankle tattoo that you can show off with cropped trousers is the way to go!
For guys whose hands are on the large side, this is a cool placement for a tattoo design for men. A skilled artist can design and execute aesthetically appealing statement pieces. Often designs are inked on the left and right hand to create themes such as dark and light, night and day, or corresponding halves of an animal or object. But make sure to look after your hands properly so your tattoo stays in top conditions.
Arm tattoos are a good placement for lots of designs. Choose the upper arm, and you have a tat that’s easy to hide. Alternatively, opt for a forearm inking and show the world you’re confident in your skin.
Behind the Ear Tattoo
Tattoos behind the ear can stretch onto the neck or around the inside of the ear. Dragon inkings are a good tattoo for men for this placement, as they can curl around the ear. If a mystical creature makes too bold a statement, opt for a smaller tattoo. Inspirational words, symbols, and initials are easy to conceal but equally meaningful. This funky placement can look especially edgy couple with earrings for men.
How to Get a Tattoo
1. Choose the Right Tattoo Artist
Once you’ve decided to go under the gun, the next step is to choose a tattoo artist that’s right for you. Your inking will be around as long as you are, so first off, take your time. Talk to like-minded friends, visit studios, scrutinize different portfolios, and talk to the artists.
2. Selecting the Right Tattoo for You
Just like buying a pair of shoes, when it comes to choosing the right tattoo, it’s not a one-size-fits-all. If you’re going to be comfortable with your ink for years to come, there are several factors to consider. Think carefully about the style, size, and type of design you want. Next, make a list of your favorite things and gather inspiration from Instagram and online publications. Finally, chat with your tattoo artist about the different tattoo ideas for men.
3. Trust the Professionals
Trust in your tattoo professional is key when it comes to getting inked. It’s essential to have a good rapport and understanding with the person marking you for life. First, if the state requires one, find a reputable tattoo artist with a license. Look out for any diplomas, awards, or professional training paperwork on the studio walls. Once you’ve established you’re in safe hands, you can sit back and relax.
4. Taking Care of Your Tattoo
Aftercare is an important step in getting inked. Its effects are much more than skin deep, and this is why you must keep your new tat healthy. Follow your tattoo artist’s instructions to the letter, and your artwork will rock for many years to come.
FAQs About Tattoos for Men
What are the most popular tattoos for men?
While the decision to go under the gun is easy, choosing a design that will permanently mark your body may be a harder nut to crack. If you want to stand on the shoulders of giants, though, here are six of the most popular tattoos for men!
- Animal Tattoo
- Portrait Tattoo
- Skull Tattoo
- Cross Tattoo
- Star Tattoo.
Are tattoos attractive on males?
Sexy or deal-breaker, the jury is out! Like everything in life though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As body art becomes more mainstream, men with tattoos are now perceived as being more masculine and more attractive than those who are ink-free.
What are the least painful places to get a tattoo?
The answer to this depends on age, pain threshold, size, design, and inking method. As a guide, though, the least painful placements for tattoos for men are the forearms, upper arms, butt, and outer thighs.
How long does it take for a fresh tattoo to heal?
Healing times are dependent on placement, size, design, and inking method. Your overall personal hygiene and health will also impact the healing process. For a tattoo to initially heal, it takes around 2 weeks. The full healing process, though, can take up to 4 weeks.