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Compare the best sewing machines

Stitch up a great deal.

From beginner sewing machines to top-notch ones with all the bells and whistles, there’s no shortage of models to choose from. Find the best one for your needs and budget to get started on your next big project.

Popular sewing machines

NameAvg. price
(USD)
Bobbin typeNeedle threaderNumber of threadsPurchase
Janome Coverpro 900CPX
Janome Coverpro
$500Drop-inYesN/AShop Now
Singer Heavy Duty 4432
Singer Heavy Duty 4432
$162.84Drop-inYes32Shop Now
Juki HZL DX7
Juki HZL2
$1,400Drop-inYes287Shop Now
Singer Fashion Mate
Singer Fashion Mate
$130Drop-inYesN/AShop Now
Data obtained May 2020. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Compare types of sewing machines

There are four main categories of sewing machines:

DescriptionProsCons
Mechanical sewing machinesControls are manipulated by hand.
  • Most affordable.
  • Can be used for hemming, repairs and making simple craft projects.
  • Small number of stitch types and operations.
  • Less widely available.
Electronic sewing machinesUse a built-in motor operated by a foot pedal to control the needle.
  • Makes sewing quicker and easier.
  • Wide range of models to suit everyone from beginners to professionals.
  • Foot pedal leaves your hands free to guide the fabric through the machine.
  • Dials and push-button controls are available.
  • Many models come with a selection of attachments and stitch settings.
  • More expensive than mechanical models.
Computerized sewing machinesFeatures a microprocessor that is pre-programmed for different stitch styles.
  • Available features include an LCD screen, touchpad controls and settings for hundreds of complex stitches.
  • Some models allow you to download designs from the Internet.
  • If you want more features, you’ll have to pay more.
Sewing and embroidery machinesThese models take all the features of a computerized machine and add the ability to do complex embroidery.
  • Most advanced model.
  • Allows you to add embroidery to garments, bedspreads and more.
  • Most expensive.

How much do sewing machines cost?

The cost of a sewing machine depends on the features you need:

  • Beginner sewing machines. A beginner sewing machine should offer a basic selection of stitches, at least one buttonhole setting and solid construction. Prices in this category range from $100 up to around $800, with computerized models usually starting around the $300 mark.
  • Mid-level sewing machines. Machines for intermediate sewists offer a wider range of basic and decorative stitches, embroidery patterns, more attachments and an automatic needle threader. They’re capable of tackling a much wider range of challenging and ambitious tasks, and are generally priced anywhere from $700 or $800 up to $3,000.
  • Advanced sewing machines. Top-level machines offer the widest selection of stitches, presser feet, embroidery capabilities and customizable features. Please note that these are only for experienced sewists, as many of the advanced features and options will be a waste of money for anyone new to sewing. You can expect to spend several thousand dollars if you’re shopping in this category.

How to compare sewing machines

Once you’ve thought about the type of sewing you want to do and how much you’re willing to spend, consider the following essential factors:

  • Bobbin type. Top-loading or drop-in bobbins are easier to replace than front-loading bobbins. Most models also feature a see-through cover so you can monitor how much thread is remaining.
  • Types of stitches. A machine with a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch is all you need to take care of a wide range of essential tasks. However, more expensive models come with dozens or even hundreds of stitch settings, so determine how many stitches you’re likely to use and whether it’s worth paying extra for any you may not need.
  • Adjustable stitch width and length. Can you adjust the length and width of stitches to suit your sewing project? While many machines support this feature, some entry-level models don’t.
  • Needle threader. A built-in needle threader is an important inclusion that can help with an otherwise frustrating task. High-end machines have an automatic needle threader, but it’s usually only semi-automatic on less-expensive models.
  • Needle up and down and needle position adjustment. The needle up and down feature allows you to stop the needle while it’s in either the up or down position, which makes it much simpler to pivot and turn corners.
  • Automatic buttonholer. Computerized sewing machines allow you to sew a button in one step without having to turn the piece of clothing around halfway through.

Additional features to consider

  • Presser foot. Check what sort of presser foot attachments the machine comes with to help you tackle different tasks, including inserting zippers, sewing buttonholes and completing hems.
  • Foot pedal. Is the foot pedal of a decent size? Is it responsive to pressure and does it have an anti-slip base?
  • Lighting. Check the machine’s task lighting so you can be sure that you’ll be able to clearly see what you’re sewing. Also, check how easy it is to change the lightbulb — it’s quite a complicated task on some models.
  • Case. Look for a heavy-duty case that will ensure your machine won’t wiggle and wobble when in use. At the same time, make sure it’s light enough to be easily moved when needed.
  • Free arm capability. Being able to convert to free arm sewing makes it much easier to tackle tight and round sections of fabric like sleeves and pant hems.
  • Noise. Noise is a factor many people neglect to consider when buying a sewing machine, but it could be a dealbreaker if the only time you get to sew is late at night when the kids are in bed and silence is golden.
  • Warranty. Check the length of the warranty, what it covers and what’s excluded. Also, check what the policy is on repairs — is there an in-store service or will your machine need to be sent back to the manufacturer or to a repair center should something go wrong?

Where to buy a sewing machine online

Some of the best places to find the latest sewing machine models and accessories are craft stores like Joann, Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

You can also find a smaller selection on Amazon and Walmart.com.

Bottom line

Sewing machines widely range in price and complexity, so compare a few different options before selecting the model that’s right for your sewing needs, skill level and budget.

How did we choose these products?

To choose our list of the best sewing machines, we conducted online research to determine some of the most popular models currently available. We also factored in price, ease of use and overall features.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the best sewing machine for beginners?

Look for a sewing machine that’s easy to use, moderately priced and has good stitch quality. A few models that might be good for beginners are:

  • Singer 7256
  • Janome 2212
  • Brother XR3774

Which Singer sewing machine is best?

It’ll depend on your skill level and what you want and need your sewing machine to do. Some of the most popular Singer models are:

  • Singer Fashion Mate 3333
  • Singer Heavy Duty 4432
  • Singer 7258 100-Stitch
  • Singer 3232

What’s the best sewing machine for kids?

Look for a basic sewing machine without a lot of bells and whistles to get your kids started. A few models to consider are:

  • Michley LSS-202
  • Janome 11706
  • Singer 1507WC

Photo by Jake Yoon on Unsplash

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