30+ Best Small Tattoos for Men in 2024

It is true that tattoos are cool, but they also come with a whole lot of pain and aftercare. Moreover, they are permanent and will stay on your skin forever.

These are some things that make many men skeptical when getting a tattoo. However, there is a solution to these problems.

Instead of choosing a big design, you can simply go for small tattoos. They are simple, less painful, affordable, and easy to hide.

But with so many designs and options available, it can be pretty difficult to choose a good tattoo, especially if it is your first one.

This is why we have shortlisted 30+ best small tattoos for men. You will find some of the most trending ideas in our guide.

So, let’s not waste any time and start exploring cool small tattoos for men.

1. Zodiac Sign Tattoo

Zodiac Sign Tattoo

Zodiac sign tattoos have become very popular these days. They depict your zodiac sign as a symbol that you can ink on any part of your body. The best thing about this tattoo design is that it is unique and different from all the other ideas.

These symbols represent your personality traits as well as your astrology signs. If you believe in cosmic alignment, this is one of the best tattoo ideas. You can get it in different colors or simple black ink.

One good reason for getting these small tattoos for men is that they create a personal connection to your astrological identity and beliefs. You can go with a simple design or add a twist to make the tattoo unique. 

2. Date Tattoo

Date Tattoo

Another one from our list of small tattoos for men is specific dates. If you want to remember a special moment in your life, you can simply get the date tattooed on your skin. It is one of the best ways to create and cherish memories.

Many people follow this tattoo concept for their anniversaries or someone’s special birthday. It commemorates a significant event or memory, making it all the more special.

What makes this tattoo stand out is that you can easily modify the design. You can either make the tattoo in regular numbers or use the Roman ones to add an artistic effect. Numbers in black ink look really cool as small hand tattoos for men.

3. Anchor Tattoo

Anchor Tattoo

An anchor is by far the most common type of small tattoos for men. However, despite being common, this tattoo looks really good and even holds a hidden meaning.

A classic anchor design often symbolizes stability, Strength, and hope. If these things mean something to you, an anchor tattoo will go well with your personality.

Mostly, sailors or people who love the sea get this tattoo. Do you remember the old cartoon – Popeye the Sailor Man? You can clearly spot the anchor tattoo on his forearm. You can go with a similar tattoo or choose another place on your body.

4. Small Quote Tattoo

Small Quote Tattoo

Believe it or not, we all have a favorite quote – be it from a book, movie, or song lyrics. If you are looking for small tattoos for men, getting a quote inked on your arm or wrist is a good option. These are small phrases and can easily fit across your arm.

This type of tattoo looks best in a small black italic font. You can choose a small quote that matches your personal beliefs. It will serve as a mantra or a daily reminder to increase your motivation,

Many people choose a quote or a single word like Strength, hope, belief, and other things as tattoos. No matter what you select, remember to go with the right font style and size to make the tattoo appealing.

5. Name Tattoo

Name Tattoo

Small tattoos for men also include names. You can display a person’s name on your arm or neck to show how much you love and care for them. This idea is often suitable for couples as they write each other’s names on their body.

However, if you have lost someone and want to honor their memory, you can use this tattoo. It signifies love, dedication, or remembrance, depending on your intention.

This tattoo idea is simple and gives you lots of options. You can choose different font styles to make the tattoo more unique. The best thing about this design is that you can easily adjust the size to make it fit on your arm, neck, or chest. We have also mentioned here chest tattoos for men.

6. Small Symbols

Small Symbols tattoo

Symbols have different meanings and look really good in the form of small tattoos for men. You can choose from many different symbols like hearts, arrows, etc. Each symbol represents different things – which gives you a lot of creative freedom.

You can choose either a symbol or a collection of different ones. It will help you express your individuality and can carry a deep meaning. For example, many people get the four-leaf clover symbol tattooed on their skin for good luck.

Make sure you research the meaning of the symbol before you decide to tattoo it on your skin. It is one of the most versatile small tattoo designs for men. 

7. Cartoon Character

Cartoon Character

We all grew up watching cartoons, and some of us even watch them to date. If you are a cartoon lover, you can get your favorite character tattooed on your body.

For example – if you love Winnie, Tom & Jerry, you can go with similar small tattoos for men. They help to invoke the feeling of nostalgia and show you admiration for the particular character.

These tattoos look great when you use different colors. Instead of choosing black ink, you can add shading using other colors to make the tattoo pop. You can even plan to get this type of tattoo with your friends. Each one goes with a different cartoon character. 

8. Small Artistic Tattoo

Small Artistic Tattoo

If you are looking for small tattoos for men, choose artistic designs with aesthetic appeal. They have a unique and creative design with many different artistic elements.

For instance – you can choose “The Creation of Man” painting tattoo or “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. These are some of the best paintings made by legendary artists.

If you are a fan and love art, you can choose these tattoo designs. No need to cover your entire arm with tattoos, as you can ink them in a small format. It is one of the most unique small arm tattoos for guys. 

9. Dice Tattoo

Dice Tattoo

Dice tattoos help you to use hidden meanings in your designs. As we all know, dice have numbers in the form of dots. If you want to add your special numbers as tattoos on your skin, you can ink a dice or two.

This way, you can easily hide the numbers, as all the attention will be on the dice. The symbol itself depicts luck, chance, and your risk-taking abilities. It can also symbolize your fondness for dice games.

If you decide to ink this tattoo, use only black ink. Remember to add shading to create a 3D effect. Adjust the size of the tattoo depending on the area where you are getting it.

10. Triangle Tattoo

Triangle Tattoo

Small tattoo ideas for men also include a triangle shape. It is very common, and you can easily spot it on many people. It features your typical triangle design, which represents balance, harmony, and change.

One reason to get this tattoo is that it signifies personal philosophies or belief systems. You can choose a basic triangle, add more lines, or connect three triangles to experiment with different designs.

The triangle tattoo looks really good on your forearm. You can also ink a smaller one just behind your ear. It is more subtle and easy to hide. Check out the shoulder tattoos for men.

11. Stars and Planets

Stars and Planets tattoo

Star and Planet tattoos are not just for women. If you love outer space and astronomy, you can go with this tattoo design. It can be any different celestial body.

This tattoo symbolizes cosmic forces, dreams, and your love for space. It can also be a spiritual tattoo that helps you connect and become one with the cosmos.

As small tattoos for men, you can ink smaller stars surrounding a single planet. Choose your favorite planet or one that represents your birth star. You can use mostly black color and add just a splash of color to make the design aesthetic.

12. Small Couples Tattoo

Small Couples Tattoo

If you are in a relationship and looking for an anniversary gift, a couples tattoo is a great idea. Unlike other gifts, it will stay with you forever. You can either get matching tattoos or something that complements each other.

The sun and the moon is a great concept. Guys can choose a small sun tattoo on their wrist, and girls can go with the moon in the same area. It will showcase your bond in a special way.

Instead of symbols, you can also choose to ink each other’s name or initials. It is a great idea to celebrate your relationship and strengthen your bond.

13. Small Mountain Tattoo

Small Mountain Tattoo

A mountain tattoo might seem like it may take a lot of space, but you can choose a minimalist design to make it work in a small area. You can simply draw a small outline of a mountain on your arm and leave the space as it is.

It represents Strength, challenges, and personal growth. If you love trekking or just being in nature, a mountain tattoo is a good choice. You can choose a design with two or three mountains and add just a few details.

If you want to make the design catchier, try adding a few birds and a sun behind the mountain. People who love the outdoors and adventure often choose this tattoo design.

14. Tattoo for Good Luck

Tattoo for Good Luck

Tattoos are not just for memories or style; you can also get them for good luck. These designs often use symbols that represent good luck in our lives. Such tattoos have become very popular these days.

For instance – four-leaf clover and horseshoe are some designs that people use for good luck. People believe that these tattoos attract fortune and positivity and even offer protection.

So, if you want to keep the negativity away, get a tattoo for good luck. You can easily hide these symbols by inking them on your ankle or back.

15. Small Bird Tattoo

Small Bird Tattoo

Birds are the universal symbol of freedom, and if you are a free bird, there are no better small tattoos for men. You can select different birds like the eagle, swallow, or the pigeon.

Make sure you choose a bird that matches your personality. This tattoo also means spirituality or a soul’s journey. It represents your aspirations and travels.

People who love to live their life freely can choose a small bird tattoo. The best thing is that the design looks really cool in full black ink. 

16. Lion Tattoo

Lion Tattoo

As the name goes, this type of small tattoos for men has an image of a lion. It showcases Strength and power and can be a perfect addition to your arm. If your star sign is Leo or if your favorite animal is a lion, you can go with this tattoo.

It shows that you have courage and leadership qualities. While many people choose to cover their entire arm with lion tattoos, you can simply ink a small area. A simple tattoo of a lion’s face without many details will look good on you. It is best to choose black ink to get this type of tattoo. 

17. Geometric Patterns

Geometric Patterns tattoo

Another cool small tattoo idea is geometric patterns. If you can’t come up with a good design, choose a simple geometric shape. It can be anything, from a circle and square to a hexagon and pentagon. The thing about geometric tattoos is that they look really amazing.

The clear lines and symmetric shape add depth to the design. You can choose small, thin lines or go with bold ones. Moreover, you can also fill the shapes with black ink. These tattoos reflect order and are suitable for your arm, forearm, neck, or back. 

18. Small Paw Tattoo

Small Paw Tattoo

This is one of the best small tattoos for men who love pets. If you have a cat or a dog, you can go with this design. A minimalist paw print is easy to make and doesn’t need much time. The design represents loyalty, compassion, and animal love.

You can choose this design to honor the memories of your pet. As we know, our pets have smaller lifespans, and they often die before us. So, if you miss your furry friend, this tattoo is a great way to remember them and cherish their memories. 

19. Crown Tattoo

Crown Tattoo

Crown tattoos are pretty common among men and women. It is a depiction of a crown and often symbolizes royalty and authority. If you want to show your superiority, you can make a crown on your hand. 

This tattoo is meaningful and can be a good symbol to show self-worth. The best thing is that you can choose from different crown designs. If you want to try something different, you can choose a crown that is tilted.

Apart from that, you can use black ink to add shading to the tattoo. This will create an impression of depth and make the design more visually appealing. 

20. Superhero Tattoo

Superhero Tattoo

We are living in an era where you are either a DC fan or a Marvel fan. Either way, you can go for small tattoos for men with superhero themes. It is a unique and cool way to show your love and support for a particular character.

For instance, if you are a Superman fan, you can tattoo a Superman logo on your arm. If you love Iron Man, you can go with that symbol. Many people have this type of tattoo on their skin.

You can also choose a simple Marvel or Avengers tattoo. It represents your Strength and heroism. You can also make a cluster tattoo with multiple small superhero symbols. 

21. Small Cross Tattoo

Small Cross Tattoo

A cross tattoo is a good idea if you are a man of faith. It is a simple tattoo design with a clear meaning. It symbolizes spirituality and faith. What’s best about this tattoo design is that it is versatile. You can choose a cross in different designs and sizes.

It will help you to show your religious devotion. You will see this type of tattoo on many people. It is quite common among Christians. Justin Bieber has a cross tattoo on his chest, but you can also choose other places, like your wrist and shoulder. Some people also get it around the front part of their neck. 

22. Small UFO Tattoo

Small UFO Tattoo

Small tattoos for men need to be unique if you want to make them special. UFO is a creative tattoo design that looks really good on your hand. You can ink a minimalist flying saucer on your hand or arm. There is no need to add any details to the tattoo. A simple outline with little shading is enough.

This tattoo is not just different but also visually appealing. The UFO signifies curiosity and shows that you believe in aliens. It also expresses your interest in outer space and the unknown elements of the universe. 

23. Hourglass

Hourglass tattoo

An hourglass is another interesting tattoo design. It is an image of an old hourglass showcasing the importance of time. You can adjust the design with more sand on the top part to show that you have a lot of time or less sand to depict the loss of time.

This symbol can have many different meanings, but it often represents the passage of time. It can also mean creating a balance in your life. An hourglass tattoo is a reminder of how fleeting the time is. You can get this tattoo in black and even write a small sentence or word beneath it. 

24. Music Tattoo

Music Tattoo

This is one of the best small tattoos for men who love music. If you are passionate about playing or listening to music, you can get a tattoo to show your love. There are many options for this type of tattoo. You can choose musical notes, an instrument, or even lyrics.

With this design, you can celebrate your love for music. If you are going for a small design, the best place to get this tattoo is your hand. You can also ink it on your legs to hide it from others. 

25. Small Sword or Axe Tattoo

Small Sword or Axe Tattoo

A sword tattoo looks really good on men. If you are someone who loves weapons, you can choose a sword or an axe tattoo. Both items are made of iron and symbolize strength, power, and protection. You can get this tattoo to show your warrior spirit.

The best thing about this tattoo is that you can easily adjust the size and style. You can ink a small sword and an axe next to it or just go with either of the options. No matter what you choose, make sure you get the tattoo in the right place. 

26. Football Tattoo

Football Tattoo

Nowadays, men have become crazy about football and soccer. If you are a fan, you can choose small tattoos for men with a football theme. The design can be of an actual football or your favorite team or players. For example, if you love the Barcelona football club, you can ink the logo on your forearm.

Similarly, you can also get a tattoo of your favorite player. Cristiano Rolonda fans can make a tattoo of his infamous number 7 jersey along with the name of the club he plays for. It is one of the trending small tattoos for men. 

27. Hidden Meaning Tattoo

Hidden Meaning Tattoo

Did you know that you can easily hire messages and meanings inside tattoos? We are not talking about tattoos with meaning but rather tattoos that are like a hidden puzzle. You can design a tattoo with a cryptic meaning that only you can decode. 

Many people encode personal and secretive messages inside their tattoos that only a few can understand. These designs may appear ordinary, but there is more to them. It can represent a private memory or an inside joke. 

28. Anime Tattoo

Anime Tattoo

Anime culture is trending these days because of its interesting storylines. From Naruto to Death Note, you will find many different anime series online. If you are an anime fan, you can use it as an inspiration for small tattoos for men.

The tattoo can be a depiction of your favorite anime character or symbols. It will show your love and craze of the anime. It is a great tattoo idea and is pretty different from the others. 

29. Small Eye Tattoo

Small Eye Tattoo

You can ink an image of an eye on your arm if you are looking for small tattoos for men. It can be detailed, and you can even ink a specific person’s eye on you. For instance – Zayn Malik got Gigi Hadid’s eye tattooed on his chest. 

It symbolizes perception as well as your love for that person. However, remember that it takes time to get a detailed eye tattooed on your skin. 

30. Wolf Tattoo

Wolf Tattoo

Wolf tattoos often represent loyalty and guardianship. Wolfs live in packs and have a deep connection with your family. If you are someone who cares for their family, you can go with a wolf tattoo. 

It also shows your connection to nature. You can draw a small wolf tattoo on your chest or on your arm in black ink. Add details to make it look good. 

31. Skull Tattoo

Skull Tattoo

Men often prefer tattoos with grunge aesthetics like guns, flames, or an image of a skull. These tattoos are common, but you can add an artistic touch to the skulls to make them unique.

It signifies death as well as mortality. While it can be a bit scary, you can tame the design by adding colors. Go with a small skull in a black outline and add colors to represent flowers around it. 


Getting a small tattoo is a great idea if you don’t want to cover a large area of your body. These designs are subtle and even affordable. You can easily get them in one or two sittings. In this guide, we have covered 30+ cool small tattoos for men. You can select any of these designs and even customize them to add your unique touch. We hope you find your ideal tattoo design. 


Are tattoos still popular?

Yes, tattoos are very much in trend these days as many celebrities and athletes sport them.

Do small tattoos age well?

If you are getting a small tattoo, it might not age well because the ink fades with time. But you can always retouch it and add a fresh feel.

What age can a guy get a tattoo?

The legal age to get a tattoo is 18, but you can get it even before that with parental consent. 

What is the most popular male tattoo?

The most popular male tattoos are snake, skull, anchor, and dragon. 

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