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How Much Does a Half-sleeve Tattoo Cost?

It is always good to have an idea of the design you want and talk with local tattoo artists to get different prices. Keep in mind that half-sleeves can be pricey most of the time.

There is no greater joy for a tattoo lover than getting a huge tattoo in a visible place. You can ask anyone who has them, but the most common answer would be part or full sleeve, whether arm or leg.

But, the larger the ink area, the more hours for the artist to work, so the greater the cost.

How Much Does a Half-sleeve Tattoo Cost?

To get a half-sleeve tattoo is a significant investment. Tattoo artists usually do their pricing on an hourly basis, and on average, a small to medium tattoo will cost somewhere between $50 to $500. In this context, to get a half-sleeve would cost between $500 up to $4000, more or less.

Do most half-sleeve tattoos cost more or less the same?

This is a good question, and the answer is: no.

The internet is a pool of designs and you can choose whatever you like, or even come up with your ideas. If you choose a very ‘dense’ and intense half-sleeve, not only will that take many hours to finish, but it might be more expensive as well.

On the other hand, you might even choose a few contour lines, and dot-work to go all over your forearm or shoulder (to cover up as much skin as possible), lines going over and across the skin – this is also a half-sleeve by default (but in reality you know it takes more ink and designs to call it this). These simplistic lines or dot-work might go over a large skin area, but because they are simple, they will be done faster and charged less than another design would.

Can you complete a half-sleeve tattoo in one session?

This depends on your tolerance to pain, as well as the design itself.

There are some days when you feel very exhausted and tired, and too sensitive for some reason as if your body is too weak or your tolerance to pain is too low. If this is the case, somewhere midway through the session, you and your artist might decide to leave the rest for another session. Usually, the other session continues once the previous ink heals, in around 3 weeks (give or take). After this time, you can go back to the artist and finish up the tattoo.

Otherwise, a half-sleeve can be done in one session, with small breaks in between. But, be careful, breaks too long during one session will cool off your skin way too much, and the sensitivity later might seem increased, as if from scratch all over again.

And don’t worry about the cost here, if the artist predicts that your tattoo will be done in around X-number of hours, whether you divide that into separate days or cram it all in one day – doesn’t make a huge difference.

Read also: Best Tattoo Inks


If you decide to get a half-sleeve, please be ready to invest properly. Money spent on tattoos is money well spent. Better to save up now for the ink you want, than spend double, later on, to correct discount tattoos!

Read also: How Much Does a UV Ink Tattoo Cost