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Welcome to our official buyer’s guide for the best sewing machines. The first modern-day sewing machine was patented in 1851 by Isaac Merit Singer. And since that time, this little machine has changed the way we live. If you have an interest in fashion, clothing, or even home decor, you should consider buying a sewing machine.
A machine of your own gives you a creative and practical way to make and mend your own clothes. It’s also great for making crafts, window treatments, and bedding. And with today’s technology, the options to get a machine customized to your needs are endless.
Here is our guide to the 10 best sewing machine options you should consider.
10 Best Sewing Machines in 2020
Up first, we have our section that dives right into our picks for the best sewing machines of this year. We’ve rounded them up based on brand reputation, consumer reviews, price vs. quality, and features. We always try to put a decent variety into our buyer’s guides so that you are likely to find a sewing machine that best fits your needs.
After this section, you’ll find some tips on what to look for in a sewing machine, especially if you are looking for the best sewing machines for beginners vs. more experienced sewers.
1. Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine
Our pick for the best sewing machine for beginners
The Brother XM2701 makes our list as the best sewing machine for beginners. It’s light and small. And best of all it retails for under $100. The machine comes with an instructional DVD and is perfect for light, everyday use. Plus, it received 4.5 stars out of 828 reviews. Reviewers like the ease of use and versatility of this machine.
Spruce up your living room with new curtains. Or make yourself the perfect sundress. You can do your everyday sewing on this machine. One con on this machine is the foot pedal. The speed isn’t easy to control with the foot pedal. And it might wear out quicker than other, higher-quality machines. As a brand, Brother continues to rise above, earning them the title of brand with the best sewing machine 2017 & 2018.
One con on this machine is the foot pedal. The speed isn’t easy to control with the foot pedal. And it might wear out quicker than other, higher-quality machines. As a brand, Brother continues to rise above, earning them the title of brand with the best sewing machine 2017 & 2018.
2. Singer 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine
Our pick for the best sewing machine with extra features
This Singer machine packs on the features. It has 100 built-in stitches with an easy, push-button stitch selection. It also offers high-speed sewing and an automatic needle threader. Some other great features include a drop-down needle feature for easy corner maneuvers, see-through bobbin cover, and automatic thread cutter.
Plus, this machine is tough. It easily sews through sturdy fabrics like denim. It retails for a fair price, and has really great consumer reviews on multiple retailer sites. The downside? Several customers disliked the way the machine threaded and the customer service offered by Singer.
3. Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
Our pick for the best sewing machine for the money
The Singer 4423 offers 23 different stitch varieties. It has a sister machine called the 4432 that offers 32 stitches. But both are great heavy duty machines. If you’re planning to sew denim, heavy vinyl, or upholstery fabric, this is the way to go. This Singer has a 60% stronger motor than your garden variety sewing machine.
Complaints note that the speed is difficult to control. The powerful motor goes from 0 to 60 with the light tap of a foot. So beware that you won’t get the best fine motor controls with this one. We would say this is probably a better sewing machine option for the more experienced.
It’s also one of the best sewing machines for the money, considering all of the features you can get at a reasonably low cost.
4. Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
Our pick for the best sewing machine for quilting
The Brother CS6000i ranks as our best sewing machine for quilting. The cost is well under $200, so the price is reasonable. Yet can take on the most intricate sewing. Of all the machines on our list, this one has the most positive reviews across the board.
Fans of the CS6000i rave about how well it handles quilting and sewing. And it has adjustable speed settings to make intricate stitches and maneuver around corners. One thing to note: read the manual before you start. It can be difficult to thread for sewing beginners or those new to this type of machine.
5. Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
Our pick for the best beginner sewing machine runner-up
Although not as well known, Janome makes great sewing machines for beginners. The Janome Magnolia is an easy-to-use, all-around machine with a sturdy build. It scores well with customers, especially those who have bought it as a first sewing machine. As a plus, it comes with a nice bundle of accessories including a muffling mat, bobbins, needles, and a toolkit.
The Magnolia is more expensive, but the sturdy construction makes up for it. If you’re looking for a good, mechanical machine, this one works. But it’s not computerized. So you won’t have many of the technical features you would with a computerized machine.
6. Juki MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Machine
Our pick for the best sewing machine for detailed work
A serger sewing machine allows you to put detailed, finishing touches on your sewing project. This Juki portable serger won’t do stuff like buttonholes, zippers, or topstitching. But it’s great for adding details like ruffles and enclosed seams. The best part is that it’s portable and quiet. Serger machines tend to be loud, but you can use this one at night while your family sleeps.
The Juki is classified as a workhorse by reviewers- meaning it’s able to tackle difficult projects and will work well even during long days of use. Complaints are that it is difficult to thread and the manual is not very informative.
This is by far the best sewing machine for detailed work, and you’ll be getting your money’s worth no doubt.
7. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine
Our pick for the best budget-friendly sewing machine
The Brother Line of sewing machines won the 2018 and 2019 Women’s Choice Award for best sewing machine. Another highly-rated Brother machine, the Project Runway CS5055PRW ranks well among its competitors. It retails fairly low for a budget-friendly option. Reviewers describe this one as a great mid-level machine. It has some bells and whistles but they don’t break the bank.
This machine sports a free arm for sewing sleeves and cuffs. The stitch quality is consistent and produces high-quality stitching. And it has no problem handling buttonholes, zippers, and even stretchy knit fabrics. Users warn to read through the instruction manual first because threading can be difficult.
8. Brother XR9550PRW Computerized Sewing MachineView on Amazon
Our pick for the best computerized sewing machine for the money
For a step up from the CS5055PRW featured above, we recommend checking out the Brother XR9550PRW. What really stands out to people about this model is the large LCD screen. That makes it super easy to navigate and put the computerized features to work for you. Simply select your settings and stitches with the push buttons and you’ll see them appear on the LCD display screen. Then, your off to the races.
This Brother Model has 165 built-in stitches and its got an index of them stamped right on the neck. In addition, this sewing machine comes with a hard case and wide table to help stay organized when you’re in the thick of a larger quilt project. As far as home sewing machines go it is hard to beat the bang of your buck on this one.
9. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
Our pick for the best industrial use sewing machine
The Quantum Stylist is the #1 selling industrial use machine on Amazon. This machine is a steal when compared to other industrial units. It offers a whopping 600 stitches. Customers consider it easy-to-use for a more advanced machine. And it has a clear, color touch screen that’s easy to read.
In the world of decorative stitching, this machine offers a ton of options. And it has no problem sewing through thick materials or layers. Like many of the other machines here, cons and negative reviews center around threading and the instruction manual. Be sure to read the manual before starting up on this high-tech machine.
10. Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle Lockstitch Portable Sewing MachineView on Amazon
Our pick for best industrial sewing machine runner-up
If money isn’t an issue, you can’t go wrong with Juki’s professional TL-2010Q model. At 1500 stitches per minute, it will leave other sewing machines in the dust. If you’re doing some serious garment making and need a streight-stitch industrial-like machine the TL 2010Q is up to the task. Reviewers rave that it is the smoothest stitch they ever experienced and produces immaculate, evenly placed stitches that please the eye with their symmetry.
Juki backs this machine with their 2 year warranty on the motor and 5 years on all the other parts. We even noticed in our research that one reviewer sent three back and got a brand new replacement each time! One of the things folks don’t like about this model is that the user manual is really bad so you’re probably better off cruising YouTube tutorials to learn the in’s and out’s of the needle threader and other parts of the machine.
Some Tips Before You Buy a Sewing Machine
Decide on Your Purpose
Ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Are you a beginner or an advanced sewer?
- Or are you somewhere in the middle, sewing casually?
- Do you plan to quilt with your machine?
- Will you need lots of fancy stitch options?
- What kind of fabrics do you plan to sew?
- Do you want to start your own sewing business?
Choosing the right machine depends on your answers to these questions. Different machines serve different purposes. And you need to get your purpose nailed down before you start.
Set Your Budget
Once you have a clear idea of what you need the machine for, decide how much you want to spend. Figuring out your budget first allows you to outline your plan before you start shopping. You may need to revise your budget once you dig into the available machines.
Brainstorm the Features of the Best Sewing Machine
Today’s sewing machines are full of high-tech features. Some people take on a “the more the merrier” attitude. Others want a machine that’s simple and functional. How many and what kinds of features you want all depends on you. Do your research and make a list of features you like.
- If you are a beginner, a simpler machine might work best. If you have plenty of experience with sewing machines, you might enjoy a more high-tech machine.
- Quilters need certain attachments and functions to achieve the best look. Making your own clothes means you need plenty of stitch options. And the ability to finish pieces with details.
- If you plan to start a business, consider a machine that’s better suited for commercial work. And if you plan to sew heavier fabric, like curtains and upholstery, you’ll need a heavy-duty machine.
Now, take a look at out how these features fit into your budget. Once you’ve got a good idea of what you need and how you will pay for it, you can start shopping!
Benefits of Owning Your Own Sewing Machine
Although sewing machines are not as common in American homes as they once were, they are still a great item to have.
- Mend and maintain your own clothes. You don’t have to toss out those pants because you ripped a seam. Fix them yourself!
- Tailor your own clothes. You’ll have more flexibility when shopping for clothes if you know you can fit them yourself. If you like that dress but it doesn’t fit quite right, you’ve got a sewing machine to make it work.
- Express your creativity. Design and sew your own clothes. Or clothes for your children. It saves you money and gives you an outlet for creativity.
- Sewing is therapeutic. It keeps your hands busy and is a great mental exercise. And it gives you a sense of accomplishment.
What to Look For When Shopping
Read the customer reviews. You want a machine that’s well-received in the sewing community. People who leave reviews for sewing machines know what they’re talking about. Also, you should gravitate toward the sewing machines that have plenty of reviews.
Warranty & Maintenance
Make sure to pay attention to warranty and maintenance with the machine you buy. To keep it running as it should for many years, you want something that’s easy to maintain. This is also important if you buy a “smart” sewing machine. Computer software changes quickly and you a machine that the company stands behind. Check for how the company handles upgrades to the computer on your sewing machine.
Keep your mind open to the options! You never know what you might find in the recommendations of the sewing community.
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.