6 Choices for the Best Tattoo Ink for Your Tattoos

Whether you’re an artist just starting out or an old pro looking for something new, you’ll find a plethora of quality tattoo inks on the market. So how do you choose the best tattoo ink for your art?

There are a lot of inks on the market, and they’re as unique as the artists that swear by them. You’ll need to consider several factors when shopping for an ink brand that will become your new go-to.

You know, the one that’s easy to use and keeps your clients coming back for more.

If you’re looking for a new ink, keep reading to learn about some of the best tattoo ink brands you can buy.

Closeup of bottles of tattoo inks.

Our Top Picks for Best Tattoo Ink

Best Overall:
Dynamic Color Company

For Sensitive Skin:
Starbrite Tattoo Ink

Millennium Moms

Best Overall

Dynamic Color Company

Dynamic Black Ink 8oz Bottle

Dynamic Color Company has been around for a while and, in that time, has perfected its formula for bold, bright colors. Although the company offers a variety of tattoo ink colors, it specializes in blacks, which are often the most important inks in an artist’s collection, regardless of art style.

What Sets it Apart

Along with being vegan- and animal-friendly, Dynamic’s pre-dispersed inks—especially its blacks—are some of the darkest on the market. This means they go in bold and stay that way until long in the future.

Dynamic is also proactive in verifying the authenticity of its products. Counterfeit inks are a problem, and Dynamic wants its users to know they’re getting the high-quality inks they expect and not some knockoff.

Tamper-proof bottles guarantee a safe product, and the flow rate from Dynamic’s PET plastic bottles is sure to please.

Best for Sensitive Skin

Starbrite Tattoo Ink

Starbrite Colors Tattoo Ink 1/2oz Sterilized Authentic Original USA (14 Color Tattoo Ink Set Kit)

Starbrite takes tattoo safety seriously. It’s a proud member of the Coalition for Tattoo Safety (CTS), a lobbying organization founded in 2011. CTS gives tattoo industry professionals and stakeholders a voice in how the industry is regulated in the United States and Europe.

What Sets it Apart

Starbrite started back in the day mixing its pigments and carriers in a homemade basement “clean room.” Its variety of stay-true color inks are now produced in a state-of-the-art certified clean room. High-powered HEPA filters provide contaminant-free air, and the production room is cleaned and sanitized before and after each color is made.

However, you might find Starbrite to be the best tattoo ink for you and your clients because its inks are nickel- and iron-free. This is a game-changer for clients with sensitive skin (including those who won’t know they have a nickel or iron allergy until someone tries to put the metal in their body).

Best Bargain

Millennium Moms

Millennium Moms Tattoo Ink Set C .5 Ounce 7 Bottle

On the market since 1998, Mom’s (picture the stereotypical arrow-pierced heart tattoo bearing the word “mom”) has had lots of time to develop its perfect, smooth, highly pigmented inks. The company has a breathtaking catalog of around 120 vibrant, fade-resistant colors.

What Sets it Apart

This vegan-friendly tattoo ink offers a huge bang for your buck. For a reasonable price, you get a bright, long-lasting ink in virtually any color in the rainbow (and beyond).

Intenze Professional Tattoo Ink

Intenze Professional Tattoo Ink Zuper Black 12 oz

Intenze offers a vast array of tattoo ink colors and unique sets. The company was the first to sterilize its inks using gamma radiation. It also claims to be the first vegan ink brand.

What Sets it Apart

Intenze was created by celebrity tattoo artist Mario Barth, who is so opposed to animal testing, he tests new inks on himself instead of on animals. In 2016, the company even worked with the Partnership for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to create a PETA-inspired ink palette.

Intenze is also committed to the environment, striving to use eco-friendly materials and reduce packaging.

All of Intenze’s inks are sterilized through a third-party sterilization facility, so you know you’re getting a quality ink that’s contamination-free.

Element Tattoo Supply

Element Tattoo Supply - Black Tattoo Ink - Outlining - Shading - Tribal - Permanent - Nighthawk - 1oz Bottle

Element Tattoo Supply, owned and operated by professional tattoo artist Eddie Tana, is a top pick among amateur and old-school artists (and anyone in between!), especially for the brand’s blacks.

What Sets it Apart

Element’s black series is super bold and highly pigmented, so it doesn’t take a lot of passes to reach the darkness you or your client are looking for. (and your client will thank you for that). And that boldness lasts!

Element Tattoo Supply has been around for more than 20 years. It’s family-owned, and although Element sells myriad tattoo supplies (as the name implies), including other inks, the company formulated its own high-quality line and believes it to be the best ink on the market.

World Famous

World Famous Tattoo Ink - Outlining Black Tattoo Ink - Professional Tattoo Ink & Tattoo Supplies - Skin-Safe Permanent Tattooing in Bold Shades - Vegan & Non-Toxic (4 oz)

Vegan-friendly, nontoxic, and cruelty-free, World Famous offers a wide selection of bold, long-lasting colors that are good for all styles of art, whether traditional, watercolor, blackwork, Japanese, geometric, or everything in between.

What Sets it Apart

Another family-owned brand, World Famous, has been perfecting its formula for 50 years. The company truly believes tattooing—and high-quality ink—runs in their blood, and, given the progression of the family business, they may be on to something.

Tattoo Ink Buyer’s Guide

A tattoo artist using ink.

When choosing the best tattoo ink to showcase your art, you might be surprised by the number of inks on the market.


One of the most important things to think about when choosing an ink is the product’s viscosity and the resulting flow rate.

An ink’s thickness depends greatly on its carrier ingredients, with certain carriers making for a thicker (slower flow) or thinner (quicker flow) product. For example, inks with a higher glycerin content are thicker.

For many artists, viscosity is a personal preference, so you may have to try a few different brands before you figure out what tattoo ink works best for you and your clients. Pros and cons? Thicker inks can be difficult to get into a client’s skin, while thinner ones might be watery and hard to work with.

Color Range

Bottles of tattoo ink in various colors. The best tattoo inks give you a range of color options.

Another thing to consider is a brand’s rainbow and whether or not you need to worry more about the quality of its blacks than its magenta. For artists who do a lot of tribal or blackwork tattoos, your best tattoo ink choice will be a brand that specializes in blacks, gray washes, and whites highlights.

On the other hand, if you ink in color, you’ll probably want to look for a brand that produces a large catalog of shades that are good for whatever kind of style you work in.

Either way, it’s important to find a tattoo ink brand whose colors–rainbow or blacks–withstand the test of time. Much as your clients may love their old uncle with the faded, blue-black hula girl on his shoulder, no one wants their body art to turn out looking like that.


As with anything you put in your body, tattoo ink ingredients—and how they are processed—matter. Vegan and organic inks are easy to find, but you may also want to look for other features, like cruelty- or metal-free.

Consider a company’s formulation process, as well. Some brands have strict sterilization measures that go above and beyond what’s legally required. Others . . . don’t.

Pre-Dispersed or DIY

Closeup of a tattoo artist working with different colors of ink.

This preference is like choosing a coffee shop when you’re out of town. Do you go with the national chain because you know what you’re going to get, or do you hit up the local mom-and-pop and try your luck?

The majority of inks today come as pre-dispersed color pigments, meaning the pigment and carrier mixing has already been done for you.

On the other hand, stable pigments require you to mix in the carrier (for example, glycerin, alcohol, or witch hazel), meaning you control the final product. Obviously, this can very easily lead to unwanted color variations and inconsistencies, which can be a big problem if you’re working on a large piece.

If you’re newer to tattooing, going with the safe bet—pre-dispersed—is probably the way to go. However, if you’ve been inking for a while, you may want to mix things up a bit (literally)!

The Last Word on Best Tattoo Inks

A tattoo artist working with black ink.

Whether you’re new to tattooing or have been inking for decades, the options may seem overwhelming. Like any art supply, you need to find the tool that works for you. The one that really allows your creativity to shine.

Always remember to consider characteristics like viscosity, delivery (DIY or pre-dispersed), ingredients, and color selection when you’re making this important choice. Your clients will thank you!

And let’s be real: you also want every advantage you can find to entice clients and keep them coming back.

Dynamic Color Company is a solid and safe bet for any artist. Check it out and see how it works for you.

Get more product recommendations by checking out our Tattoo Gear blog posts.

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