The best sewing machines for beginners you can buy this year. Are you ready to buy your first sewing machine? It’s an exciting time, but at the same having to choose between so many options can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re an absolute beginner. Here’s what to look for, so you can end up with the best sewing machine for your individual needs, wants, and budget.
You want the sewing machine you choose to last for years, not months; however, most commercial sewing machines have nowadays a generous warranty period of 10 to 25 years from the date of purchase. They all seem pretty durable and reliable, but there are certain differences that might make you choose one over another.
Whether you’re an experienced sewist or just starting, it’s very important to choose a good machine that you’ll enjoy using and won’t quickly outgrow. We’ve compiled a list of the best beginner sewing machines you can buy this year.
But first, let’s talk about how to select the best model for you.
Things to consider before buying a sewing machine
1. What is your budget?
2. Mechanical or computerized?
3. What do you want to do with your sewing machine?
Most home sewing machines work well for light to medium-weight fabrics like cotton, linen, satin, silk, knits, etc.
However, it’s not reasonable to expect to use your sewing machine for all types of projects, no matter what.
If you want to sew heavy-duty curtains, leather products or to stitch over many layers of denim, a high-quality heavy-duty sewing machine with a walking foot is a must.
By the same token, if you plan on doing a lot of quilting, you may want to buy a machine that comes with an extra-wide extension table.
Furthermore, if you aim at bringing your sewing machine to sewing classes, make sure you choose a lightweight, portable model with a carrying handle on the top, so it is not hard to move around.
4. How often will you use your sewing machine?
Do you want to have a basic sewing machine on hand for small, infrequent projects like hemming skirts and trousers, or shortening the curtains? Or do you plan to pick a new hobby and make money with your sewing skills?
In brief, if you only use your machine occasionally and sew for one hour every week or so, you surely don’t need a top-notch model. But if you sew continuously for many hours a day, be sure to choose a good quality, heavy-duty sewing machine.
5. How many built-in stitches do you need?
This is the number of preset stitch patterns that are available on a sewing machine. The more, the better?
No, not necessarily. Even the simplest sewing machines accommodate the most commonly used sewing stitches – straight-stitch, basting stitch, zig-zag, blind hem stitch, buttonhole stitch. These functional standard stitches are about all you need in a sewing machine.
However, some machines offer different styles of auto-size buttonholes, and that can be helpful if you plan to sew garments.
Think ahead before buying your first sewing machine
Buy the best you can afford. Sewing is an amazing hobby and chances are that you’ll learn fairly quickly to sew and you’ll like it very much.
Besides, you can’t buy happiness but you can buy a nice quality machine that sparks joy. And that’s pretty close.
Instead of buying a sewing machine exclusively for your needs right now, it might be a good idea to think about the future – where do you think you’ll be in a couple of years?
If you intend to improve your sewing skills and can spend a little more, then you could buy a step-up model. Above all, the best sewing machine is one that works well with different types of fabric, is easy to use, and can grow with you as you learn.
The best sewing machines for beginners
Each sewing machine on the list below was chosen due to its high overall performance scores and customer reviews. These models are a good place to start for anyone learning how to sew.
Important note: some sewing machines are intended for sale only in the US at 120 volts, and any other use or sale voids the warranty.
Best sewing machine overall – Brother CS6000i
This machine is one of the most popular beginner sewing machines with over 19.000 customer reviews on Amazon, and a general rating of 4.7 out of 5.
The vast majority of customers praise the good value for the money for a sewing machine that comes with a computerized system and 60 built-in stitch options.
The machine works well with different types of fabrics, from silks, satin, chiffon, knits to denim and canvas.
The CS6000i sewing and quilting machine is user-friendly and designed to help you get started quickly. While extremely affordable, this machine has many automatic features and great accessories that give great value for beginners who want to explore sewing and quilting.
You can add decorative stitches to a sleeve, create a neat row of buttonholes on a coat, sew an invisible zipper on a custom-tailored skirt, or create a machine-stitched hem that is nearly invisible with the included blind stitch foot.
Best heavy-duty sewing machine – Singer 4423
The majority of people who left reviews for this machine (and there are over 15.000 ratings!) are pleased with how smoothly it sews different types of fabrics.
Basically, you can trust the Singer 4423 Heavy Duty to easily sew through leather and heavy denim jeans as well as delicate lace or finest silk.
That seems to be the general consensus – the best way to describe the Singer 4423 Heavy Duty would be a workhorse with extra-high sewing speed and a powerful motor.
People love this easy-to-use machine and the fact that it sews fast and impeccable straight stitches. The Singer 4423 Heavy Duty is a great starter machine at a reasonable price, and versatile enough that you won’t outgrow for many, many years.
Best rugged sewing machine – Janome 2212
The Janome 2212 is a good mechanical sewing machine with a metal body that will last a long time.
This simple mechanical machine feels solid and durable, runs smoothly and features 12 built-in stitches and a four-step buttonhole. Most owners find the machine easy to use and it is recommended as a great machine for beginners.
This machine has over 1300 customer ratings on Amazon, and the majority of them are positive. „Perfect machine for beginners and experts alike”, writes one owner, adding that the machine can handle delicate fabrics as well as bulky projects.
People who tested it say the Janome 2212 sewing machine works like a charm, feels very solid and is all metal inside. Many appreciate its build quality that makes sewing enjoyable, since every feature on it works so well.
The Janome 2212 also seems to be a good options for those who enjoy quilting: „This was a wonderful fit for me as a person looking to try quilting as a new hobby without spending an arm and a leg, and also wanting to avoid the random issues that can come up with electronic machines”, writes one customer.
Best affordable sewing machine – Singer MX231
The Singer Start MX231 is a basic, simple, yet impressive sewing machine. It’s an easy-to-use mechanical sewing machine, with 97 stitch applications for any fabric or project.
It’s lightweight and portable – it weighs 12 pounds, and has over 4.500 customer reviews, most of them being 5-star.
One of the most important qualities of the SINGER MX231 is that it runs quietly and smoothly, and seems a reliable sewing machine that’s built to last.
The majority of people who bought this sewing machine love its modern look and sturdy feel: “This sewing machine looks awesome! It’s a new model, looks neat, sturdy and I’m just in love with it“, “This is a great quality, powerful machine that is user friendly. I haven’t sewn in over 16 years, and now it’s all coming back!”.
Best portable sewing machine – Brother CS5055
The CS5055 computerized sewing machine is a lightweight, but full-featured sewing machine, perfect for beginners learning to sew and seasoned sewing enthusiasts alike.
If you’re looking for a versatile and portable model, this is it – the CS5055 sewing machine weighs only 10.5 pounds.
It features an LCD display screen, an advanced needle threading system, a fast bobbin winding system, and a bright LED-lit work area. Also, you can choose from a range of 60 built-in stitches and 7 styles of auto-size buttonholes.
The overwhelming majority of the almost 5.000 customers rating this machine left 5-star reviews, and that’s a good quality indicator. Reviewers say that the sewing machine is very quiet in operation, easy to use, and reliable.