Life Style

How Much Does a Full Sleeve Tattoo Cost

| May 29, 2014 | 1 Comment

Cost of Full Sleeve Tattoo



A full sleeve tattoo is a tattoo, or multiple tattoos, the cover your entire arm from the top of your shoulder down to your wrist. It is smart to pre-plan your entire sleeve if that is your end goal. The entire upper half of your arm is typically one large piece that flows together as one image. If you choose not to pre-plan your sleeve, you can always get multiple medium sized tattoos and then get filler in the empty spaces that will complete the sleeve and create a natural flow and unity. Most of the time, a complete sleeve will take multiple months or even years to complete, due to multiple sittings and the waiting time between them for proper healing.

Factors of Cost

Every artist is going to be unique in the amount they will charge for a piece depending on many factors. Experience is the major factor; if your tattoo artist is just starting out they will charge much less than a seasoned veteran in the art. If you are getting a full sleeve though you will most likely want to go to someone who has been in the field for at least 5 years and has a large portfolio to back up their experience.

Other factors are going to include the complexity of the tattoo and how much time it’s going to take to complete. Some artists may charge by the hour as well which could range from $50 up to $200 per hour no matter what the design entails. An entire sleeve can range anywhere from $500 up to $3,000 depending on the artist. If you want a tattoo that you’re going to be 100% happy with you are most likely going to want to invest the extra money and go to someone with years of experience. The average amount of hours put into a full sleeve could range from 10-25 hours depending on the color involved, complexity, and speed of the artist.

Additional Costs

You determine what the overall cost of your tattoo will be when you decide the design you want. Adding in many colors will add to the cost significantly along with choosing a complex design. If you choose a simple black and grey tattoo for your sleeve, the hours it’s going to take to complete will be much less which means the overall cost will be lower.


The cost of your tattoo may raise significantly if you require many sittings. If you can only sit for one hour at a time because the pain is too much to take, the price will be higher; every time you come in for a sitting, the artist will need to use new needles, tubes, ink, etc. which makes their cost higher and that then increases your cost.


How Can I Save Money?

The biggest way you can save money is to go to an inexperienced tattoo artist or even a newer shop. New shops like to give good prices in the beginning to gain clientele along with word of mouth advertising. Again, new artists are not recommended, especially for full sleeve tattoos but it’s definitely a good way to save a few hundred dollars on large tattoos.