Although it never went out of fashion completely, sewing is having a bit of a resurgence thanks to some specialist TV programs and the fact there are plenty of excellent sewing machines available. Not only are there lots of options, with some being easy to use whilst others capable of tackling big upholstery projects, but they can also be very affordable.
Whatever the project you intend to use it for, sewing machines can be more than a useful tool to have. A lot of people find that they open up a fun and rewarding hobby, but this is only when you buy a quality product. Because the market is flooded with sewing machines, we have created a list of what we consider to be the best. There is something for every budget and all have the build quality to last for many projects and years.
- Editor’s Choice
Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Built-in Stitches
SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Under 100
SINGER | Start 1304 6 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Best Sewing Machine for Beginners (Amazon) – Review
- Best Stitches Per Minute
SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
Janome DC5100 Computerized Sewing Machine with Hard Cover (Amazon) – Review
- Best Bundle
Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine with Exclusive Bundle (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value (Also Consider)
Singer | 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine
It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for an affordable sewing machine, a sewing machine that is ideal for beginners, or just the best all-rounder, this product from Brother ticks every box. You’ll find that for the price, it really packs a punch which is why it is one of the most popular sewing machines available. An award-winning model, it has a free arm capability that makes it easy for you to stitch cuffs as well as offering you a wide table to work with so you can tackle that quilting project. It makes life easy for the beginner, with its automatic needle threader and adjustable sewing speed.
You get up to 850 stitches per minute and whilst this isn’t the most on our list, it is plenty for most people’s needs. The LCD display makes it easy to switch between settings and thanks to the bright light, it helps you see what you are doing, making it easier to sew accurately. The diagram on top of the machine makes bobbin winding easy and it even comes with 8 presser feet to give you loads of sewing options. The most complete sewing machine, especially given the reasonable price.
- Free arm feature
- Automatic needle threader
- 850 stitches per minute
- Adjustable sewing speeds
- Easy to use
- Bright light
- Includes 8 presser feet
Best Built-in Stitches: SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
For anyone looking for a sewing machine that is capable of a bit more, this is the best in its price range. The fact that it offers you 600 built-in stitches is incredible and means you can take on virtually any project from fashion sewing, home decor, quilting, decorative stitches, and a whole lot more. With an automatic needle threader, using it doesn’t have to be complicated although it does include 5 different fonts for you to personalize your projects. The high-speed sewing function allows it to make 850 stitches per minute and includes 13 built-in one-step buttonholes.
Singer also gives you plenty of presser feet to choose from so you can switch between the all-purpose foot, zipper foot, and buttonhole foot for those common needs, but also take on more complex designs and projects using the open toe foot, darning and embroidery foot, quilting foot, and many more. A lot of people buy it for the electronic twin needle settings and the automatic presser foot that puts the user in control. For most people, this opens up new avenues compared to their old sewing machine.
- 600 built-in stitches
- Includes 5 different fonts for personalization
- Lots of presser feet included
- 850 stitches per minute
- Includes an extension table
- Can be a little loud
Best Under 100: SINGER | Start 1304 6 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Best Sewing Machine for Beginners
Tailored towards beginners, this sturdy sewing machine is known for being easy to use but also gives you plenty of options to tackle different projects. This is down to the free arm that makes it easy to sew cylinder shapes and stitch sleeves, then there is also easy threading feature that means you can start a new project quickly. It is capable of holding dual spools which means you can use the machine for twin needle sewing making hemming and decorating your fabrics simple.
You get three presser feet included with every purchase so you can use the all-purpose foot for most of your projects, then switch between the buttonhole foot and zipper foot. This makes it great for making your own clothes, as does the 6 built-in stitches. This might not be as many as other models but for the beginner or anyone who wants an affordable sewing machine, this is one of the best you are going to find. The sturdy metal frame also ensures it has the build quality to last a long time and enjoy skip-free sewing.
- Includes three presser feet
- 6 built-in stitches
- Free arm capability
- Great value
- Not as many built-in stitches as other models
Best Stitches Per Minute: SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches
If you think you’ll skip through the beginner stage pretty fast then this is a good sewing machine that is capable of a little more. The heavy-duty design ensures it is made from quality materials and is built to last. You get plenty of sewing options through its 23 built-in stitches and the automatic needle thread capability makes it easy to get a new project off the ground. It has remarkable stitching power considering the reasonable price and is capable of making 1,100 stitches per minute.
Of course, you get the reputable Singer brand name that has been an industry staple since the 1800s but you also get plenty of accessories. There are 4 different presser feet to choose from, bobbins, needles, quilting guide, and a lot more. With automatic reverse and a foot pedal to put you in control making it ideal for beginners and those who want a reliable sewing machine that can do it all. With a 25-year limited warranty, your purchase is protected as well.
- 23 bult-in stitches
- Includes 4 presser feet
- Can make up to 1,100 stitches per minute
- Good value
- Can be a little loud but that is because of the power
Best Value: Janome DC5100 Computerized Sewing Machine with Hard Cover
For a sewing machine that gives you more options and is capable of taking on complicated projects, the DC5100 is one of the best. Yes, a luxury sewing machine comes with a bigger price tag but when you see the 167 built-in stitches and auto tension feature, you’ll see why it is held in high regard. Although it is capable of more, it still makes life easy for the sewer with an automatic needle threader and snap-on presser feet that are easy to switch over.
The built-in stitch display makes it easy for the user to select the right one for their needs and there are even alphabet characters for you to personalize your projects. The hard case is a nice touch that the cheaper sewing machines don’t often come with. It has memory for up to 50 patterns and a variable stitch width capability. This is a sewing machine for the serious user and although you’ll pay for the privilege, it is an impressive product.
- 167 built-in stitches and alphabet letters
- Automatic needle threader
- Includes a hard case
- Memory for up to 50 patterns
- Can be a bit pricey for some people
Best Bundle: Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine with Exclusive Bundle
This is the best sewing machine bundle available based purely on the volume of accessories and quality included. It comes with a muffling mat to keep everything in place so even when the vibrations are taking their toll, you stay in control. There are also 10 bobbins included and 14 different needles so you have more than enough to get you started.
In terms of what the machine is capable of you get 18 different stitches although this is plenty for most people, we wouldn’t mind seeing a few more for the price. The top-loading bobbin system is jam proof so the machine won’t slow your projects down and although this is a powerful sewing machine, it doesn’t take long for the beginner to get used to. The reverse function makes securing your stitching easy and it is one of the less complicated we have come across. With a free arm feature for sewing cuffs and a decent amount of storage for the small accessories, this is a sturdy product that can be used for making garments, quilting, and a lot more.
- Includes 10 bobbins and 14 different needles
- Free arm feature
- 18 built-in stitches
- Would like a few more stitches for the price
Best Value (Also Consider): Singer | 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
What do a lot of intermediate sewers like to see in a quality sewing machine? Options. This is exactly what you get in the 7258 model from Singer, and the 100 built-in stitches are clearly displayed on the side of the machine, making it easy to pick the right one. At the press of a button, you can switch between stitches and other features making this one of the easiest sewing machines to use.
There is a built-in LED light that makes it easy to sew with accuracy and the bulb is known for its longevity – giving you 100,000 hours of use. The built-in needle threader is one of those must-have features and thankfully this product has one. You can choose between 6 one-step buttonholes and 13 needle positions as well as automatic reverse and sew with confidence thanks to the 25-year limited warranty.
- 100 built-in stitches
- LED light makes it easy to sew accurately
- Has a built-in needle threader
- 25-year limited warranty
- Needle thread handle can be a little difficult to use
So you’re ready to embark on a new project, you have an idea of what sort of tasks you want to undertake, all you need now is a quality sewing machine. Finding one is easier said than done, even if you’ve used one before, technology has come a long way, and the best sewing machines should give you lots of features.
When you know what to expect, it makes this decision easy but how many built-in stitches should the machine have and how much do you need to spend on a quality product? By the time you’ve read through the following guide, you’ll have the answers you need.
Easy To Use
This includes everything the basic traits that most of the best sewing machines offer. If the machine you’re looking at doesn’t come with an automatic needle threader or an easy to use stitch selector then move onto the next model.
It doesn’t matter if you are sewing in the daytime or at night, it is always useful to have an LED light to hand. When they are built-in, they can help you to maintain straight lines and sew with accuracy. Without it, you might find that you are sewing slower than you need to be.
Lots of Built-in Stitches
The number of stitches you require will depend on your level of expertise, and the type of projects you are looking to start. A beginner will not need as many and can save some money by purchasing a sewing machine with around 10 built-in stitches.
An intermediate amount is roughly 50 but the advanced models give you a lot more. This is where you will have to make a bigger investment but for a lot of people, being able to sew with an alphabet, and different fonts are great, but will mean you need to find a machine that gives you hundreds of built-in stitches.
This leads on from nicely and is only really a feature you get with the better sewing machines. The cheap products will use a dial for moving between stitches and give you an idea of what each one looks like. When you use better models, a stitch chart is important and will make your life a lot easier.
Because the best sewing machines will set you back a bit financially, you need to make sure your purchase is protected by a lengthy warranty. Most of the reputable brands include something along the lines of a 25-year warranty so you can put the machine through its paces without having to worry about any of the parts failing.
Various Presser Feet
To sew your accessories such as buttons and zippers, you’ll need specialist presser feet. The best sewing machines give you more than just the basic options here but if you are not interested in using the machine for too many projects then around 4 is a standard amount.
Just make sure they are easy to click on and off when changing between them.
Free Arm Feature
To sew cylinder shapes such as sleeves, you’ll need your sewing machine to have a free arm feature. This accommodates unique shapes and makes it easy to make repairs or create your own garments.
Even if you are just moving it from the cupboard to the kitchen table, the sewing machine you choose shouldn’t be too bulky and heavy. Unless you are using it for work and get a lot of use out of it then it should still be easy to move around.
Some products have a carry handle to make lifting it easy whilst others are just light and easily portable.
Stitches Per Minute
this will give you an indication as to how well the machine can keep up with you. After you have built up your confidence and know the ins and outs of the machine, it is only as good as its top speed.
Anything close to 1,000 stitches per minute is going to give you a lot of freedom for fast sewing but even some of the best sewing machines give you a maximum of 850 stitches per minute.
Even the more advanced sewers like to use different speeds depending on the project. If you are making intricate patterns then you will need a slower speed than when you are sewing lengthy straight lines.
Having adjustable speeds allows beginners to grow in confidence which is why it is such an important feature to look out for.
This is a difficult question to answer because everyone’s needs are different. The more advanced sewer should be looking for a product that gives them 100’s of built-in stitches among other things and these come at a price. Anything around 300 – 350 is a good benchmark for a quality sewing machine.
A beginner sewing machine won’t have as many features but can still be used for numerous projects. Expect to pay around 100 – 150 for one that lasts a long time.
Depending on what sewing machine you choose, you will find that it can be used to complete a variety of tasks. Some of the most common include the following:
A lot of people choose to use a sewing machine for fashion which will require the user to make full use of the features. You’ll need different presser feet to make buttonholes and attach zippers, then use the free arm to sew sleeves together.
Variable stitch lengths can help to open up different options and you should find that most products, even the reasonably priced sewing machines should be able to help you make clothes.
This leads on from making clothes and is one of the most common uses for a sewing machine. Simple repairs such as repairing holes and tears in clothing should be easy for any machine.
This is one of the tasks that a beginner sewing machine might be too limited to undertake. The need to use thicker thread and needles will be slightly beyond the basic products but if you can afford a little more you can find sewing machines that can even be used to sew leather.
When you take a closer look at some of the sewing machines you’ll see that some of them come with built-in quilting stitches. Not only this, but any product with a wide table is perfect for making decorative stitches and a powerful motor allows you to sew different fabrics together.
This is a common question because of the motion that is generated by powerful motors. A lot will depend on the product you buy but even those least energy-efficient sewing machines won’t cost a lot of money to use. An average sewing machine will use around 100 watts. This means you should expect an average of 0.013cents per hour of use.
So, with basic math, if you use your sewing machine every day for longer periods you shouldn’t even hit the 10 cent mark.