Mandala Tattoo Design – How To Choose The Best Design For You

Mandala TattooMandala tattoos are very popular today, because who doesn’t like mandalas? But when you have so different models, colors and shapes it becomes very difficult to make a decision, because you don’t want to get your tattoo and then find out that you like another design better.

I have a mandala tattoo as well and it took me months to choose the best mandala tattoo design for me, especially because it was my first tattoo, so I didn’t want to regret it. Therefore, I decided to make a post with some useful tips for you about how to choose the best mandala tattoo design without too much hassle.

The meaning of mandala tattoo

I believe it is important to know the meaning of the tattoo you’re going to have, not because you have to know the answer when someone asks, but for yourself, because a tattoo is like a scar you choose to have, and every scar has its story. It becomes part of your body, so part of you.

Mandala is a circle filled with different patterns like petals, leaves and other geometrical shapes from the center to the outside. It is a sacred symbol from Hinduism and Buddhism and it means wholeness, infinity, perfection, so it has a really powerful and beautiful meaning. If you want to know more about the symbolic meaning of mandala, you can read one of my other posts which is The History Of Mandala – Introduction To The Wholeness Concept.

I like to believe that a tattoo with such a deep meaning has the power to change someone’s life in a very positive way, and that’s why it is important to make the best choice for yourself.

At the same time, you don’t have to be so worried about this, because even if you will not be 100% sure about it, once you will see it on your body, you will love it anyway. The most important thing is that you’ve chosen a mandala, which is more than a physical thing. It is endless meaning.

Every mandala is beautiful and unique, so it is just impossible to compare two mandalas and say that one is more beautiful than another. They’re mandalas, so of course they’re awesome!

Mandala tattoo designs

There are many models of mandala, so I decided to make a list with some mandala categories, to make your work easier, and here it is:

  • Geometric mandala tattoo – these are for people who really like perfection and geometry; they are made from triangles, lines and circles.

Mandala Tattoo Design         Mandala Tattoo Design

  • Rose windows mandala tattoo – this design is the best for religious people, but not only; it is a masterpiece for art lovers. Usually it is better to use colored ink for this type of mandala tattoo design, because in this case, the colors are the ones who make it unique and beautiful.

Mandala Tattoo Design        Rose Window Mandala Tattoo Design

  • Flower mandala tattoo – this model is the most popular and the most easy to draw; you can draw it by yourself or you can choose a mandala and change some patterns, just to make it more original for yourself (if you don’t know how to draw a mandala you can check my post How To Easy Draw A Mandala – Cool Home Decorating Ideas).

Mandala Tattoo Design        Flower Mandala Tattoo Design

  • tribal mandala tattoo – this is a more rough model, but this doesn’t make it less beautiful; it is an amazing work that combine different patterns from different cultures.

Mandala Tattoo Design

Of course, you can always combine the models and make your very own mandala. It is up to you. Maybe you can’t find your perfect mandala so that’s why I recommend this.

When I drew my tattoo, I’ve chosen a mandala and I’ve changed some patterns, by using some geometrical shapes, but also imperfect flowers, leaves, circles and many other patterns, just to make it the way I liked.

I think the best advice in all this story is: Choose the best mandala you can find online and change anything you want just the way you feel!

Mandala Tattoo DesignWhere to place it?

Chic and sophisticated, a mandala tattoo will look good anywhere, but it depends on how people prefer. Some people like to show their tattoos, so the best place for them is on hands, arms or even on one side of the neck.

Other people prefer to keep their tattoo as an intimate thing so they can choose the back which is also a flat place so it makes the work easier for the artist and also he can fill it with much more details.

I have my mandala tattoo on my back, because I prefer to not look at it too many times. So every time I see it, I think it is so beautiful, even if I got it 4 years ago. I still enjoy it as I did on the first day I had it.

How long does the procedure take?

This is the question I forgot to put myself and given that it was my first tattoo, it was awful. I though those hours will never end, but if you want to make an idea of how long it takes I can tell you that it depends on how big the mandala tattoo will be and, of course, on how many details you have on it.

I spent 8 hours for my mandala tattoo which has a 6.2 inches diameter (16 cm) and a lot of details. Of course, it depends on the artist, but on the average it takes longer than a normal tattoo.

How painful it is?

Mandala Tattoo DesignGiven that it has a lot of details, as I mentioned before, it will be more painful than a normal tattoo, even after it is done, but believe me: It’s really worth it! You will forget the pain and you will be more than happy with the result. I can guarantee that.

I forgot to mention that I didn’t split the work time, so maybe that’s why it was so painful, but if you do, it will be much better. Actually I recommend it! Don’t stay 8 hours or more non-stop. Take a break!

What about prices?

Before you go to start the mandala tattoo artwork, make sure you check and compare the prices and the work quality in all of your near tattoo shops and then make the best choice.

Some tattoo shops have bigger prices with no reason, so that’s why I think it is important to be informed first. Anyway, the prices depend on mandala tattoo dimensions, details and they can go from $100 to $300 or even more if you want to use colors. Mandala tattoos need more ink, because of their details so that’s why the prices are bigger than a normal tattoo.

More time, more money, more pain for a breathtaking artwork! You think its worth it? I think yes!

Maintenance tips after you get a mandala tattoo

  • on the first day leave it covered; usually the tattoo artists clean it, uses some antibacterial cream and covers it with some plastic foil
  • on the second day you can take the plastic foil off and clean it with some water and nothing else (don’t use shower gel or shampoo), and also don’t keep it too long under water (just a few seconds its enough); after that use some tattoo aftercare cream gently (don’t rub, because you don’t want marks or scars on your tattoo)
  • keep using only water and tattoo aftercare cream until it heals (the skin will peel by itself, don’t peel it yourself)
  • and finally, when it is healed, if you want to protect its colors, do’t sit in the sun too much at least for 6 months.

Still hesitating?

Mandala TattooMaybe you don’t feel ready to get a mandala tattoo or maybe you are still undecided, so I have another tip for you.

You can try a semi permanent tattoo. It doesn’t hurt so much, it is cheaper and it helps you to make a decision. Maybe after you see how it looks, you can decide to get it permanent or you can change the model.

Also, you can use temporary mandala tattoos, which are even better, because there is no pain. You can find them on Amazon or Ebay at very good prices. I also recommend you to have a look on Etsy. They have gorgeous models of temporary mandala tattoos and a wide range of items from which you can choose.

I also recommend you the Mandala Tattoo Designs Paperback created by the professional tattoo artist Ed Perdomo. It is designed exclusively for tattoos and has 148 awesome mandalas. You can buy it here from Amazon.

Here are some temporary mandala and bohemian tattoos that I recommend:

If you really like the idea of mandala tattoo, its unique beauty and its powerful breathtaking meaning, I think you will get it sooner or later and I can assure you that you will never regret it!

If you have any questions or anything to add, feel free to leave a comment below and I will be so glad to help you! Blessings!



  1. Something that has always kept me from getting a tattoo is the concern that it’ll fade faster or won’t show up on my complexion.

    Although I would love to have a tattoo with bright colors, I’m not sure if they offer a special ink that shows up well on people with darker skin, but the tattoo itself would definitely have to be meaningful because I don’t want to regret having it years from now.

    • Unfortunately, they all fade after years, because the skin is regenerating, but it also depends on the ink the artist uses and on the type of skin. Some skin cells remove ink faster than others and this is a genetic feature.
      Another thing you can do is getting the same tattoo once more, after years, to cover the old one. In this case it is hard to believe that it will fade again.
      The bad part is that you have to endure the pain again. Anyway, the pain is just for a couple of hours and it is not so bad, while the tattoo is for the rest of your life.
      For people with darker skin, I think the best choice is white ink. I would like to try it as well, but I think I am too white.

  2. Ugh! Tattoo!
    It’s one of my list– since highschool– but I just couldn’t get myself to get one.
    I’m scared of needles! Like… crazy scared!
    It would be great to get one.

    You mentioned, semi- permanent tattoo… I’m just curious, is it done with needles as well? if it is, then how come it’s not permanent?
    I’m sorry, I have zero knowledge of tattoo.

    • I am scared of needles as well. Actually, I don’t look when I’m getting a tattoo.
      The semi-permanent tattoo is done with needles as well, but it doesn’t go so deep into your skin, so that’s why it hurts less. It involves only the first layer of skin. And given that your skin is regenerating, new cells will replace the ones with ink. It can last from 4 to 6 years and most of the artists use anesthetic solutions, so you will feel no pain at all. It is a good option to start with.

  3. While I do not have any tattoos, and really have no desire to get one at this point, I can see why you would want a mandala as your first one. They are indeed beautiful. I am a person who enjoys symmetry. I even have a couple of color books of mandalas which provide some peaceful moments for me when coloring them. What I didn’t know was the meaning and background which now makes them all the more beautiful. Thanks for the well written and informative article.

    • Hello, David!
      I am happy you enjoyed my post and I am happy you like mandalas too. But who doesn’t? They are endlessly beautiful!
      Thank you so much!

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