Side Tattoos

Side tattoos, also known as rib tattoos, seem to be all the rage these days. They work just as well on men as they do women, and you have a ton of design options for that area of the body. On this page we will take a look at why side tattoos have shot up the “places to get tattoos” rankings and some great side tattoo ideas.

Why are side tattoos popular?

It’s important to know why side tattoos have become so popular in recent years so you can know for sure if this is an area where you should get a tat. It’s important that you don’t get a rib tattoo simply because they are so popular right now since that could change in the blink of an eye. Instead, it’s good to know why so many people are getting these tattoos and why tattoo artists love to make them.
First of all, the rib area is a fantastic spot to get larger tattoos because many designs work with the natural curves of this part of the body. Sure, it can be a bit more painful than in other areas of the body, especially with larger tats, but it is worth it if you are able to get that large tattoo that you never thought could work.

Many people choose to get a side tattoo over, say, a back tattoo, because they want that more “rounded” look. They want the tattoo to work perfect with the natural lines of their bodies, and they also want to create a design that looks better rounded. Jump further down the page for examples of these types of side tattoos.

Yet another reason why rib tattoos are so popular right now is because it’s one of the best places to get a vertical tattoo. The only other place where you can get a large vertical tat is the back, but the ribs are often better since you don’t have to focus on getting a design that is perfectly proportional. You can have some lines going around your ribs while still having your vertical tat look amazing. These can definitely be very painful, but many people have realized that go up along the ribs can look better than most other designs.

Side tattoo ideas

There are hundreds of fantastic rib tattoo designs that you can choose from, but the ones listed below are considered some of the best.

Favorite animal

: You have a lot of design options to choose from if you are leaning towards getting an animal side tattoo. You can get just the animal’s head and have it perfectly aligned with your ribcage, or you could have a full-bodied animal that wraps around your side. Be sure to take your time when choosing an animal tattoo since every single one of them has its own meanings. Since these are often larger designs, you’ll want to take your time with the design as well, getting help from your tattoo artist if necessary.

Favorite quote

: You can put word tattoos pretty much anywhere you want on your body, but they work extremely well as side tattoos. If you have a favorite quote and you know of a fantastic font to use, then you should at least consider getting it as a side tattoo. As rib tats, quotes should be a bit longer so they can take up a bit more space. Of course, if you have a shorter quote, you can combine it with another rib tattoo design or just get the words as a vertical tattoo.


: Whether it’s paint splatter, odd shapes, or any other not-so-obvious design, abstract tattoos make for some excellent side tats. While abstract tattoos do not always have obvious meanings, it’s still important that you figure out a tattoo design that you can be proud and that means something to you. For example, mixing in shapes that have deep meanings with a color or two that adds in even more meaning is better than just getting random elements mixed together.


: Speaking of meaningful tattoos, you can’t do too much better than flowers. Every flower has its own meanings, so chances are there are at least a few that describe you to a T. Flower side tattoos are best for people who want to get a very large flower or flowers so they can show off every detail of them. In many cases people who decide to get flower rib tattoos get them vertically on their ribs with big stems and big petals.


: Three dimensional tattoos are all the rage these days, and there are few better spots to get them than the rib area. It’s true that the back is still considered the best place for large 3D tats, but the side area gives artists plenty of room to make some fantastic pieces. If you can think up a great piece that would work as a 3D tattoo, then definitely talk to your artist about turning it into a top notch side tattoo.


: Dragons represent strength, dominance, and many other great things, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people have dragon tattoos. Like most of the other designs listed on this page, the dragon works pretty much anywhere on the body, but the side is especially great for these designs since you have so much space to work with. For example, you could have its head somewhere around your chest or armpit, and then the rest of its body can go down and around your ribs. With the right artist, these can be some eye-grabbing designs.

Large feather

: If you were looking for an interesting place to get a feather tattoo, then definitely think about getting it as a side tattoo. It works very well as a vertical rib tattoo since you can very easily make it go along the natural lines of your body. The feather tattoo is a great choice for people who have Native American ancestry or those who want to get a design with a heavy spiritual meaning.

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