Last Updated on
If you’re looking for the best portable sewing machines, you’ve come to the right article.
The over 73 million U.S. millennials have shifted to embracing experiences over collecting stuff. This is a sharp turn in our culture from the Baby Boomers who valued buying and collecting items.
The trouble is, as we strike out into the world to explore and experience life, you still need certain items. A portable sewing machine is a compact way to bring the ability to make and repair clothing while you travel.
These little machines can help you create unique pieces while saving money on buying for clothing. Follow our guide to finding the best portable sewing machine.
What to Look for in the Best Portable Sewing Machine
In today’s age of living small and traveling, we have the option of buying everything in portable versions from washing machines to ice makers. Portable sewing machines allow creative types like us to continue our passion while not taking up too much room.
We are focusing on portable sewing machines for this list, but if you want a machine that is not portable, be sure to check out our guide of the best eight sewing machines of this year.
Consider the weight of the machine you want to buy. You don’t want a machine that is going to be heavy to lug around with you.
Think about the amount of space you have available while you use your sewing machine. This will help you decide which type of machine you can use.
Sewing machines are not inherently durable to the banging and bumping that happens with travel. So portable sewing machines need to have a quality build and strong materials.
Types of Portable Sewing Machines
There are a few different types within the portable sewing machine category. Our top ten list includes machines from each of the different categories since which one you choose depends on what your sewing goals are.
These are the most portable option of the list. You hold the entire machine in your hand while you use it. They are limited to one kind of stitch. They also lack the ability to create a whole new garment of any quality.
But these machines are perfect for an on-the-go fix. This makes them popular among stage moms and costume designers.
Their small size makes them versatile since you don’t need a tabletop or other flat surface to work them.
If you want almost the full functionality of a full-size machine, but with a smaller footprint, then you need to look at the minis. These machines try to step in the place of their larger brother with as many features and functions that can be packed in.
These machines are popular with those who live in apartments and dorms. So this might be a great choice for those living the motorhome life.
Keep your sewing light with these smaller machines though. You won’t be creating quilts or anything heavy duty.
This category can get tricky. These are full-sized machines that are meant to be portable. They range widely in price, features, and functions. The best way to get started is to decide if you want a computerized or mechanical machine.
When it comes to cost, this should not be your deciding factor on which machine you buy. Your priority should be to find a machine that fits your needs in size and function.
Handheld models tend to be the cheapest. Their small size and lack of features and functions tend to place them on the low end of the price spectrum.
Mini machines are going to be a step up in price, but still less expensive than full-size machines. On the high end of the portable price spectrum are the full-size machines.
Mechanical or Computerized
Mechanical sewing machines require you to manually turn knobs and flip switches to operate them. For example, you’ll need to turn a knob to switch between stitches.
A computerized sewing machine will have a keypad or display screen that allows you to control the machine’s functions. These machines will have more options and function but also tend to be pricier.
Accessory and Feature Must-Haves
Once you decide what type of machine will work best for your space, you need to decide what features you can’t live without. Don’t compromise on these or you will end up with a machine that cannot perform in the way you want.
One of the most critical features your machine needs to have is an all-purpose foot. This and a buttonhole foot will allow you to accomplish most sewing projects.
Before you buy a machine, check to see what kind of foot comes with the machine. This isn’t a deal breaker if the company offers a range of feet that can be bought separately.
Number of Stitches
Don’t get hung up on the larger computerized machines that can create hundreds of stitches. Most of these will go unused. Instead, look for a machine that will do 5 to 10 common stitches.
These features include things like a programmable needle position, or automatic threader, or thread cutter. You may find that these features are a must for you.
Another commonly desired feature is a bobbin that is top load or drop-in. You’ll find many affordably priced machines with this feature.
Top 9 Best Portable Sewing Machines
In this list, we have a nice variety of the best handheld and portable sewing machines.
If you need a compact and lightweight sewing machine, this detailed option is a great pick. With 12 stitch patterns, you won’t be limited by this appliance. It will perform spot repairs with ease, or larger more detailed pieces with your LED Light, Scale, and 2 speeds.
The machine comes covered by 30 day comprehensive money back guarantee, and a 1 year warranty.
If you’re seeking out a simpler option on this list, the Mini Sewing Machine from TeBuy is cute, basic, and easy to use.
TeBuy makes their machine perfect for beginners, and weighing less than 2 pounds, it’s easy to carry along with you wherever you need to go.
A foot pedal comes included to let you use both your hands to focus on your sewing. Then there is the automatic bobbin rewinder for easy bobbin replacement.
This mini packs a powerful punch with its large extension table, built-in bright working lamp, strengthened foot pedal, and a powerful motor with both a high and low-speed option.
A unique feature for a portable machine, this one comes with the ability to sew with one or two threads.
This handheld is perfect for beginners who are new to the sewing craft. It fits comfortably in your hand and comes with a threader, extra bobbins, and a tape measure.
It can repair clothing of almost any material including wool, silk, and leather. Just throw in 4 AA batteries and you are off and stitching.
Want a machine with all of the bells and whistles? Then how about the Brother XM2701? The free arm makes it versatile for almost any sewing project.
There are 27 different built-in stitches. This includes both decorative and blind stitches. Then there are six quick-change feet included. You’ll be able to sew everything from a buttonhole to a zipper.
You can use your machine for years to come with confidence thanks to a 25-year warranty.
This full-size portable machine comes with 32 stitches preprogrammed for you. One of them is a 1-step buttonhole maker.
There is also an automatic threader, variable sewing speed, and a high-pressure foot lifter. What makes this machine stand out though is the ability to reverse to reinforce your stitching.
Another awesome handheld sewing machine option is made by Meteralla, and will easily fit in your sewing case or travel tote. It’s single stitch, and is perfect for repairing on the go.
Don’t be fooled by the small size; you can sew everything from silk to jean material. Where you might struggle is with the size of your project being larger than the actual machine.
The Brother CS6000i is an ideal example of a full-size portable sewing machine. The menu is user-friendly with the bright LCD display.
Plus the machine comes with a bunch of extra accessories. Then there is the jam-resistant drop-in bobbin and variable speed control.
Why not get the handheld version of your well-loved Singer sewing machine? This one works well to make repairs or do temporary basting.
Stick to lightweight fabrics as this little machine only uses one thread and can’t handle much. It uses AA batteries though so you’ll be able to sew anywhere.
Your sewing machine comes with needles, bobbins, and threader. Add some flair to your sewing projects with these top embroidery machines.
Benjamin is a gadgeteer and homebody who loves writing about the latest smart home technology. He is particularly interested in covering smart home products that automate (or make more efficient) mundane tasks that every home owner and apartment dweller face on a daily basis.