45+ Rib Tattoo Ideas You’ll Want to Have

By Jason Hamilton / August 18, 2018
Quote tattoo with birds women
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Face, arm, chest and rib tattoo have been around for centuries. In fact, it’s been practiced around the world since the 33rd century BC. For our ancestors, it’s a part of their cultural tradition. But today, it has become even more popular and is now used to express oneself and can be placed wherever we want.

But regardless of how free we are to get inked anywhere in our body, we still often imagine having them placed on the armband, on the wrist, and on the back whenever we think of tattoos. However, only a few prefer placing tattoos on their chest, upper back, neck, and ribs due to the doubled or maybe tripled pain that most people experience.


How Painful Is It?

No person who has experienced tattooing will say that it’s not painful at all. However, there are spots where you’ll feel the least discomfort like on the calves, shoulder, and on the arms, that’s why these are the most common places to get inked and is recommendable for first-timers. On the other hand, you’ll get the most discomfort on some parts such as the face, neck, spine, ribs, throat, shin, and the knee as these areas have lesser flesh and are more sensitive. It can get so painful that some people even have to stop the tattooing session. Also, the tattoo design determines the amount of pain. But these parts are also the coolest places to get inked.


But no matter how cool it is to get a tattoo and express yourself, you still have to carefully think about the design and its placement. If you are going to ask what’s the best spot to place a tattoo for a sultry vibe, one of the best spots (in terms of aesthetics) to get inked is on the ribs. It is also the best part to place a tattoo as people can easily hide it whenever necessary so it won’t affect them in the professional world.

Tattoos are, needless to say, going to be there printed on the body forever. Thus, one must really think things through so in this article, we will be talking about different tattoo designs that can be used as a rib tattoo form both men and women.


Rib Tattoos for Women

Rib tattoos are gaining more popularity among women as it has the ability to make a woman’s curves stand out all the more. Additionally, it gives that sophisticated yet edgy vibe. Here are some of the best tattoo designs that you can place on the ribs.


Quotes are one of the most popular designs that you can place on your ribs. You can quote a one-liner sentence from your favorite book, movie, poem, etc. so you’ll always be reminded of the positive message that it conveys. Bear in mind that the font, as well as the boldness, of the quote also matters.


A Latin quote rib tattoo that means, “she flies with her own wings.”


This vertical quote rib tattoo is in Italian and translates, “family advice and as a voice of God.”


A meaningful quote rib tattoo that could also serve as a reminder.


A horizontal quote tattoo added with a dreamcatcher for a more artsy and inspirational design.


A short yet very inspirational quote tattoo matched with birds flying upwards that symbolizes moving forward.

Dates or numbers

Again, tattoos are placed on your body permanently. So if you want to remember or honor a loved one, you can have their birthday inked on your ribs. You can also get your own birthdate as a rib tattoo for a more personalized design or whatever numbers that have a special meaning for you. Thus, whether you are a die-hard fan of mathematics or you are as puzzled as a toddler, numbers tattoo would still look great as a tattoo on the ribs.


A date rib tattoo in roman numerals. No one will know what it means except the owner.

Simple number tattoo women


A simple roman numeral rib tattoo for those who are minimalist.

Coordinates of a place inked on the ribs. Probably the owner’s favorite place.


Another simple number rib tattoo in roman numerals inked horizontally. Also great for minimalist lovers.


A simple date rib tattoo that would probably remind the owners a very special date.


This is a new trend in the world of body art. As the name suggests, the watercolor tattoo mimics the quality of the actual painting technique. The effect and the aesthetics that it gives make it more unique and would make you stand out even more. This rib tattoo design gives a classier vibe and is ideal for women who are fair skinned.


A seahorse rib tattoo design that’s styled as if it’s painted with watercolor.

A bit intricate bird tattoo that’s colored in a way that mimics the watercolor painting style.


An arrow colored with a watercolor painting technique for a simple yet artsy vibe.


A colored flower tattoo with a quote that’s inked from the ribs down to the hips.

Another flower tattoo that’s designed using the watercolor technique that also stretches from the ribs to the hips.

One Word

At times, all it takes is just one word to make people more aware of what you’re trying to say. Thus, a one-word tattoo would be ideal for those who are not much of a talker. It’s concise yet it could give a powerful and confident message.




An Arabic tattoo that means “lucky.” It’s simple yet very interesting to look at.

“Ubuntu” is a South African term that means “human kindness.”

Another one-word tattoo that’s simple yet has a very inspirational meaning that is “to dream.”


A word that would remind you of a promise or could be a secret code between you and a special someone.

A one-word tattoo that has a simple font but could describe one of your strengths.


Of course, who wouldn’t want a flower tattooed? Flowers have long been a symbol of femininity that’s why it is also a fan-favorite among women. In addition to that, flower tattoos can also give a sophisticated yet edgy look. Plus, when you opt for a flower tattoo, you have a wide variety of flower designs to choose from. Different flowers and colors can symbolize various meanings. You’ll never run out of option.


A beautiful flower design that has stems that mimics the hands placed on the lower rib cage.


A rose tattoo where you can use a word in a cursive script font as its stem.

A minimalist sunflower tattoo just above the bra line for those who want to keep it simple, edgy yet sophisticated.

A big lily tattoo that’s colored and could cover a big the side of your body starting from the ribs.


A simple but a very pretty cherry blossom flower tattoo.

Rib Tattoos for Men

Rib tattoos are not just for women. It can look equally good on men too. It can turn heads too once it’s inked on men’s ribs. Here are some tattoo ideas that you can place on your ribs too if you are a man.


Just like the ladies, men can also have quotes inked on their ribs. You too can put your favorite quotation from your favorite book, your mantra, or any reminder to live by. When it comes to the size, we’d say the bigger, the better for a more masculine look.

A 3D quote tattoo that appears as if the skin is ripped.

A tattoo that’s quoted from a bible verse from the book of Genesis.

A line from one for Robert Frost’s poems inked vertically.

An intricate 3D tattoo that quotes another verse from the bible.

Another poem quoted from Robert Frost but this time, the whole poem was inked.

Numbers and Dates

Like quotations, numbers and dates are also rib tattoo designs that are also popular among men. They can be used to remember certain events like birthdays, anniversaries, your favorite player’s number, as well as the date to remember a loved one who had passed.

Horizontal roman numeral tattoo design on the ribs with shading.

Horizontal boldly inked numbers that are also in roman numerals.

Roman numeral tattoos that kind of overlaps with a date written in words.

A date tattoo that reminds you, as well as your special someone of a memorable event.

Number tattoos that may look random combinations but may contain a deep meaning.


Snake tattoos are one of the most popular and certainly one of the tattoos that give off a more masculine vibe. Even if the snake tattoo can be used by men and women, many people still see it as more appropriate for men because it gives a more masculine look.

A king cobra tattoo design that represents nobility and wealth.

A colored snake wrapped around a dagger that symbolizes healing.

A combination of gambling and snake tattoo with the owner’s name.

A snake wrapped around a gun with a powerful message.

A big colored snake tattoo that stretches from the ribs down to the waist.


Like the snake, dragon tattoos are more common among men. This tattoo means domination, defiance, and strength. You can play with its colors and opt for more vibrant ones and they would still look cool.

An all black tribal tattoo inked from the ribs to the waist.

A big dragon tattoo that covers the left rib up to the back.

An abstract dragon tattoo for minimalists who still want to be fierce.

A complex colored dragon tattoo that covers almost the whole left side of the torso.

A dragon and warrior tattoo in black and grey ink.


Skulls are also fascinating tattoo designs that are often favored by most men. Often they represent life after death or any dangerous situation. However, they can have other significant meaning for the wearers who are deep thinkers and are personally spiritual.

Two skulls shaded with red and with added various details.

A big 3d skull with crown with added badass details.

A bright and colorful skull tattoo that symbolizes Mexican culture.

Who says roses are just for women? This tattoo incorporates roses with skull as a symbol of love and death.

Another big and colorful skull tattoo that represents Native American identity.

However, these ideas don’t mean that they’re strictly for a specific gender only. Of course, you can still get creative and use whatever design that you want. If you need more ideas, we can always give you the best photos. Whether you need rib tattoo ideas or any design, we can help you.

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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!

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