How Much Does Getting a Sleeve Tattoo Cost?

Last Updated on September 14, 2023

A tattoo is one of the most permanent forms of body art you can acquire, so it makes sense that you’d want to be as prepared as you can before sitting in the chair. You’re not the only one who has made the decision to get a tattoo—whether it’s your first or fifth.

According to research, 30 percent of Americans and roughly 47 percent of those between the age of 18 to 35 have at least one tattoo each.


RELATED: 51 Winsome Henna Tattoo Ideas For Shoulder That You’ll Love

If you intend to participate in the fun of getting a tattoo, you should have to do a fair amount of study on the top salon, artists, and designs. Sleeve tattoo designs can be extremely outstanding. It takes great skill to pull off sleeve tattoos, given the amount of time and effort that is put into the style’s intricate details.

Although they require a significant investment in time and money, these massive and detailed tattoos are not recommended for weak-willed individuals or on a low budget.

4 Different Sleeve Tattoo Designs

Quarter Sleeve: This style of sleeve fills the space halfway between the upper part of the shoulder and the elbow.

Half Sleeve: This covers the arm from the top of the shoulder to the elbow.


Full Sleeve: This extends all the way down to the wrist.

Hikae: A sleeve tattoo in the Japanese aesthetic that wraps a portion of the pectoral muscle, mainly on the chest, and reaches either the elbow or wrist.

What Is The Cost Of A Sleeve Tattoo?

Having a full-sleeve tattoo typically costs around $2,000 and $4,000. Due to their size and level of detail, these tattoos can take many days to finish, contributing to their high cost. Expect to pay considerably more if you have a multicolored sleeve tattoo.

The majority of tattoo artists will charge you by the hour. The price they demand depends on their level of fame or expertise, as well as the location where they do business. Artists in crowded places, as well as those who are well-known and skilled, tend to demand more significant fees.


RELATED: 29 Stunning Sister Tattoos Ideas That You Would Love To Flaunt

The average hourly pay for tattooists in the United States is roughly $80; however, rates can range from $50 to over $200. You may estimate the price based on the general style of the sleeve and the size of your arm. The number of hours needed to finish complex and intricate patterns on larger arms will increase.

A full sleeve should typically take between ten and fifteen hours to finish. But as a design’s size and level of complexity increase, so does the time required to finish it. From beginning to end, some sleeves could require up to 80 hours.

If you take into account the hourly wages of the tattooist, sleeves might cost anywhere from $2000 to $16,000. You must speak with the tattooist to receive a precise estimate of the sleeve cost. See if there is a significant pricing difference between the designs you have in mind after speaking with a few different artists.

What Is The Cost Of A Half-Sleeve Tattoo?

A half-sleeve tattoo will typically cost at least $1000, while the price can go considerably higher depending on the size, level of intricacy, and color. Additionally, remember to account for any recommended tips and aftercare materials.


You should always stay within your budget when planning how much you’ll spend on a tattoo. You need to be ready to spend a bit extra if you want a larger tattoo design, such as a half-sleeve or a full-sleeve.

The total cost is determined by how long it takes to finish and the artist’s hourly rate. This depends on the artist’s region and amount of expertise.

The majority of tattoo studios are willing to provide you with a quote before beginning work. Ask the tattooist how long it will take to finish the work and how much you hope to spend while you’re talking. They might be able to change the design to match the budget accordingly.

It’s essential to keep in mind that if you choose to get a high-quality aftercare lotion, the price of the tattoo will increase overall, even though, usually speaking, these lotions are relatively inexpensive.

The finest tattoo lotion experts recommended is After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion, a vegan aftercare lotion. This substance keeps the tattoo moisturized throughout recovery and relieves any bothersome itching and discomfort. 


RELATED: 33 Lotus Flower Tattoos That Will Motivate You To Find Your Zen

If applied at the start of the recovery process, this lotion can help reduce the amount of time needed for tattoos to recover and can also get rid of any extra roughness and scabbing.

How Much Time Is Required To Have A Tattoo On The Sleeve?

Arm sleeves typically take between 10 and 15 hours to complete, while some require up to 80 hours. Multiple sessions are required for a sleeve tattoo; they might take several days, weeks, or even months or years to finish. The length of time depends entirely on the complexity of the design and how long it requires the body to repair in between sessions.

What Elements Influence Sleeve Tattoo Costs?

The cost of a sleeve tattoo depends on a variety of different factors. Let’s examine a few of them.


The hourly pay of tattooists is mainly determined by the city in which they are situated. Artists in larger cities, such as New York or San Francisco, are likely to demand more fees than those in smaller communities. If you want to save money, you should make sure to locate a skilled tattooist outside of the major cities.


Don’t venture too far from home, though, since sleeves take a while to finish. Make sure you’re ready to travel if you plan on visiting the tattooist several times. This is especially important if you select an artist who is located somewhere else.


Most tattooists have hourly prices for the time they spend working. As a result, the cost of a tattoo will increase with the amount of time it takes to finish. To further learn how long your intended sleeve design will take, speak with the tattoo artist.

Naturally, complicated, large-scale designs will demand more time to create than straightforward or simple designs.


The entire arm is visibly covered by sleeve tattoos. But only some arm is the same size. The sleeve tattoo will take longer to make and will ultimately be more expensive if your arm is longer or bigger. It goes without saying that everyone will be impacted by this element differently. However, when planning the tattoo expense, it is essential to keep this in mind.


RELATED: 34 Significant And Unique Compass Tattoo Designs And Ideas


The pricing will also vary depending on the general style you choose for your sleeve. The more complicated and comprehensive a design, the more time it will require to create. Also, think about if you desire the design to have many shades and hues.

Talk with your tattoo artist about the basics of a tattoo and inquire about how certain components will affect the time and cost. If you’ve got any design concepts in mind, such as color and style, discuss them with the tattooist.

Take your advice seriously and give it some thought before acting. Since the tattoo will be permanent, it must be precisely what you desire.


Your final pricing will also be influenced by the tattoo artist you select. Higher charges could be expected if an artist is very well-known or popular. Extensive experience also increases the likelihood that the hourly fee will be high.


Although you could be tempted to choose a less well-known artist to save money, be careful to focus on your ability and expertise. A sleeve tattoo is a substantial piece of art that requires a lot of time and expertise to finish. Keep in mind that a tattoo is permanent; therefore, you must be completely confident in the artist’s talent and ability.

What Is The Cost Of Having A Sleeve Tattoo Removed?

A cosmetologist removes tattoos using laser equipment. When it comes to sleeve tattoos, lower rates are sometimes better.

The expense of tattoo removal is also not economic; therefore, it is crucial to give this vital decision some serious thought.

The price of laser tattoo removal differs depending upon the size of the tattoo that has to be erased but is typically between $200 and $500 for each session.


RELATED: 27 Heart tattoo Ideas And Designs That Will Make You Feel Love

Due to the size of sleeve tattoos, laser removal procedures will probably be required over an entire year or more to entirely remove the ink from the arm. Additionally, some claim that the agony of tattoo removal is worse than the pain of obtaining the tattoo itself.

Final Words

The cost of a sleeve tattoo is not fixed. It is based on a wide range of variables. You should have a general concept of the amount you are willing to spend before attempting to choose the most suitable artist within your range.

Concerned about the price of a tattoo sleeve? Work together with your tattoo artist to create and modify the desired design, keeping in mind that extensive and precise work will always require more cost. 


However, since sleeves often take so long to finish, you might not be obligated to accept a single sizable lump-sum payment. The expense might be paid up in a series of installments over time.

Megan Ivy