11 Best Sewing Machines for Beginners: Reviewed and Compared

So you are going to master sewing and need a quality working horse to master a new skill? But let me ask you a question. Are you planning to use the machine over the coming years? Or your only goal is to make basic repairs? In each case, your requirements will differ.

If you envision a move to more complex projects, it will make sense to find something suitable for all levels. Otherwise, you’ll have to purchase another machine when you overgrow the cheaper unit you start on. 

But let’s get to the nitty-gritty and try to find the best beginner-friendly machine for your purpose.

Are you interested in a particular question about choosing the best sewing machine for beginner? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Here’s how I picked the best sewing machines:

  • I’ve analyzed the selection of most popular sewing machines that are sold on Amazon.com and selected 90+ best-rated units, easy enough for beginners to master.
  • I’ve scrutinized the shortlist based on the design, users’ reviews and feedback, functionalities and more. 
  • The final list of the top 11 best sewing machines for beginners was categorized based on the crucial machines’ features: whether its quilting functionality, portability or else. 

Compare best sewing machines for beginners

For your convenience, you can access all the major data points describing each sewing machine in the rating in one table below. You can quickly find the detailed review related to the particular model by clicking on its name in the left column. 

ModelWeight, PPriceStitchesSYS Score
Best Portable: Mini Machine by Shendian3.22$18.5
Easiest: Janome JW810020.9$$1009.5
Best small: SINGER | Start 13049.8$68.5
Best cheap: Brother XM270115.65$278.7
Best basic: Spiegel SP320115.76$329.0
Best computerized: Brother CS6000i13$609.5
Best rated: Juki HZL-F600 33.4$$$$2259.7
Best for embroidery: Brother SE190038.5$$$2409.5
Best value: Janome 221215.5$$129.3
Best serger: Janome MOD-893314.3$$n/a9.2
Best heavy duty: Singer Heavy Duty 442314.5$$238.7

And now let’s dive deeper into details about the best sewing machine for beginners in each category.

Portable sewing machine for beginners

Mini Beginner Sewing Machine by Shendian


does anything you might need for your beginner projects. It’s so small that it can fit even in the tiny apartment. It comes with everything you might need apart from the machine itself, including needles and threads too.

It’s great for sewing and making plushies, and this machine would work great if you’re on a low budget. Foot pedaling is suitable for sewing control, and built-in LED light provides an adequate light source. 

Since the machine is lightweight, it is easy to move around. And you can fit in the handbag if it is necessary to bring it along somewhere.

Mini Beginner’s Machine by Shendian manual

Watch tutorial video created by the manufacturer here


  • Includes large table 
  • Comes with metal hook tip, which makes it easier to sew on thick fabrics
  • Two-speed control
  • Easy replacement of bottom bobbin

You can check more specifications

Easy sewing machine for beginners

Janome JW8100


Fantastic quality for its price point.  can help you take on virtually ANY project-whether you want to create a dress, a quilted blanket, or personalized gifts for your loved ones. And it is very intuitive. The machine is quiet, and even if you’re new to sewing, you’ll quickly gain confidence in your skills due to complete speed control…

Even using the foot pedal to control the speed is a breeze. The bobbin is easy to wind and load, the selection and size of the stitch are simple to program. It has so many incredible features such as a needle up / down button and a needle threader that made sewing and quilting so much easier.

It comes with tons of stitch functions for any possible project. Along with lots of accessory feet, which would be much more expensive to purchase separately.

Janome JW8100 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • 100 Built-In Stitches (18 for quiltings, 28 for home decor, etc.)
  • 7 Auto Buttonhole Styles
  • Includes an extension table
  • Computerized
  • Free Arm
  • Needle Up/Down Position
  • TONS of accessories 
  • Comes with hard cover

You can check more specifications .

Love Janome? Check our research of the best Janome sewing machines HERE.

Small sewing machine for beginners

SINGER | Start 1304


is of high quality, has a clear instruction manual, is easy to use, is well supported by the manufacturer, and creates beautiful stitches every time. And it is tiny and lightweight (only 9.8lbs).

An excellent choice for beginners, as you get the most basic functions, Singer quality, and it all comes at an attractive price.

Simply select your stitch and start sewing. If you need a compact, reliable machine to learn how to sew and get an idea of the basic stitches, you will find the machine easy to use, straightforward and fun. In a nutshell, it is a small, simple, easy-to-use mechanical sewing machine.

SINGER | Start 1304 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • Lightweight and Portable
  • 6 Built-in Stitches (Straight, Satin, ZigZag, Blind Hem and more)
  • Easy threading with visible guides
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • Comes with three feet (all-purpose, buttonhole, zipper)
  • Built-in four-Step Buttonhole
  • Free Arm to sew around cuffs
  • Preset Stitch Length/Width

You can check more specifications .

Best cheap sewing machine for beginners

Brother XM2701


is the perfect combination of good price, unit quality, and various functionalities that you can benefit from during your sewing-skills-mastering journey. It will be handy not only when you start with the basics, but also later on.

You’ll love the needle threader, extra feet, and automatic bobbin drop-in feature. Definitely worth the investment (although the price is quite unbeatable).

Brother XM2701 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • 27 built-in stitches, including decorative, blind hem, zigzag, and more
  • Comes with 6 quick-change sewing feet
  • Jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Free arm 
  • Great manual
  • Lightweight and user-friendly 
  • Automatic needle threader

You can check more specifications

Looking for more inexpensive options? You might like our list of 8 best cheap sewing machines HERE.

Best basic sewing machine for beginners

Spiegel SP3201


is a fine machine, particularly for beginners who are not yet sure that sewing will be a big part of their habit. It’s a breeze to use and arrives with everything you need to get started. Just buy some mo threads, and you’re ready to go. It also looks sturdy and sews very nicely, pulling the fabric straight through and not too loud. It is also quite powerful and fast ~700 stitches per minute. 

So, if you’re looking for a simple basic machine to learn how to make simple clothing alterations – Spiegel SP3201 would be a wise choice. It would cost much more to pay for shortening, hemming, etc., so this investment will quickly pay for itself within a few weeks. 

Just be aware that this machine will not last you too long if you plan to do anything other than basic sewing. It is not strong enough to last more than a few years of heavy use. But getting this one to get you started and then move to a better one later is an excellent idea.

Spiegel SP3201 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • Automated buttonhole 
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Adjustable thread tension
  • Removable accessory tray
  • Adjustable length and width of your stitches

You can check more specifications .

Best computerized sewing machine for beginners

Brother CS6000i


If you’re a novice seamstress looking for a computerized option but just want a simple machine, Brother CS6000i is close to perfect. Set-up and instructions are clearly explained, and this works like a charm. machine smoothly goes through thickest materials. 

It has terrific decorative stitches with which you can have so much fun. It has the computerized stitches and tells you which presser to use. All in all, user-friendly and portable sewing and quilting machine at an affordable price. Offers a wide range of quilting and sewing features.

Brother CS6000i manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • Comes with 8 sewing and 1 Quilting Feet
  • Hard protective case and wide table included
  • Offers a wide range of quilting tools
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Adjustable sewing speed control system
  • Built-in free arm 
  • 60 built-in sewing stitches

You can check more specifications

Best rated sewing machines for beginners

Juki HZL-F600


First things first, when we say top-rated, we don’t mean top-rated by us, but has the highest user rates compared to other models. With that being said, Juki HZL-F600 is an incredible sewing machine. It beats all the competition when it comes to the higher-priced units. This machine is TOUGH and without a hitch will go through multiple thick fabrics.  

It has a ton of useful features and stitches. Intuitive controls and an excellent manual that’s easy to navigate and understand. Great machine for the price, and with many features of the very best high-end models.

Juki HZL-F600 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • 16 buttonhole styles 
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Complete control with just a push of the button
  • Automatic Thread Tension
  • Industrial style box-feed system 
  • Free Motion Sewing

You can check more specifications .

Interested in more “the best of the best” options? Check our comprehensive research of the best sewing machines with comparison and current deals HERE.

Best embroidery sewing machine for beginners

Brother SE1900


Even if you’re just starting with embroidery, with you’ll be able to learn quickly.  It has all the bells and whistles as any sophisticated embroidery machine, while not breaking the bank. And the instruction manual is still straightforward to follow and will give you all the directions you need. 

Instead of the memory cards of the old days, any data, including your own designs, can be transferred to machine memory via USB port. There are a ton of built-in embroidery designs, plus you can instantly select alternate color combinations for each picture.  If you’re looking for an easy-to-use combo sewing and embroidery machine for beginners, the Brother SE1900 is an exceptional choice.

Brother SE1900 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)

Download Embroidery Design Guide (PDF)


  • 240 built-in stitches 
  • 5” x 7” embroidery field for larger designs
  • Comes with 8 sewing feet (overcasting, monogramming, zipper,  embroidery and more)
  • 138 beautiful designs included
  • A USB port for uploading own designs
  • 7 fonts for monogramming
  • Free-motion sewing
  • You can design your own custom sewing stitches

You can check more specifications .

Best value sewing machine for beginners

Janome 2212


Oh, Janome… Your tension is great. The foot stays firm while sewing to make the perfect stitching lines. The foot of the buttonhole is straightforward. It’s also easy and convenient to spool a bobbin.

The stitching options are basic, which keeps it simple for a beginner, but still ensures some variety. A few straight stitches and a few zig-zag stitches choices… Overall is a high-quality, affordable, easy to use sewing machine for beginners.

Janome 2212 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • 12 stitches
  • 1 four-step buttonhole
  • Snap-on presser feet
  • 5-piece feed dog
  • Free arm
  • Drop feed
  • Push-pull bobbin winder
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Comes with bonus bundle that includes Pack of 10 Janome Bobbins, Size 14 Needles and more

You can check more specifications .

Best serger for beginners

Janome MOD-8933


The primary function of a serger is to finish the ends of clothing. And to do this, it uses 2 needles. Have you ever been intimidated by the idea of threading the serger in the past (like most of us)? Well, it’s about to stop. Threading is relatively straightforward as there are labels all over that remind you how to do it. 

It also has some neat functions: a rolling stitch and a cutting stitch. The rolling stitch rolls the fabric edge into the stitch to create a rope-like effect. The cutter trims off the end to create a stitch at the very end of the fabric. So, not only are your projects easier to complete, but they will have that professional, polished look to them.

This fantastic machine will remove all the mystery of serger sewing for any beginner. Overall, easy to set up and highly functional.

Janome MOD-8933 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • 3 and 4 Thread Convertible
  • Easy Lay-in Tension Dials
  • Threading Chart 
  • Quick Change Rolled Hem
  • Easily Retractable Upper Knife
  • Adjustable Foot Pressure
  • Adjustable Stitch Length 1mm to 4mm
  • Adjustable Cutting Width 3.1mm to 7.3mm
  • Maximum Speed: 1,300 SPM
  • The left side of the serger opens for easy viewing while threading

You can check more specifications

Best heavy duty machine for beginners 

Singer Heavy Duty 4423


The stitches of Singer are so beautiful. The machine is fast and precise, feeling sturdy while still quiet and lightweight. And the automatic threader is so ingeniously straightforward! And although it’s light and small in size, it’s still sturdy. Nice, simple machine that works very well on heavy fabric.

Singer Heavy Duty 4423 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)


  • 23 Built-in Stitches – basic, stretch, decorative
  • One-Step Buttonhole
  • Heavy Duty Metal Frame for long-lasting durability
  • Adjustable Stitch Length
  • Free Owner’s Class videos and lessons via Singer App
  • Powerful Motor for extra-high sewing speed
  • Adjustable Presser foot pressure
  • Top Drop-in Bobbin
  • Includes tons of accessories: All-Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Button Sewing Foot, Soft-Sided Dust Cover,  Seam Ripper, extra bobbins, etc.
  • 1100-stitches-per-minute 

You can check more specifications .

Last tip for the beginner seamstress

I really hope this guide has been helpful and you’ve been able to make your choice in finding your best sewing match. The last thing I would love to share is just a few words of encouragement. 

The hardest in starting anything is to take your time and be patient with the process. That includes learning how to sew and use the machine.   If you begin getting tired or frustrated while trying to finish your first project, just STOP, do something else and take it up later. 

The most challenging part about mastering sewing is the realization (and accepting) that your projects won’t be perfect for some time. And that’s okay for many beginners. All that really matters is that you practice your new skills and enjoy yourself. Eventually, you’ll get better and better. You can definitely do it! 

Beginners sewing machines deals and pricing guide

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9 used from $156.55
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12 new from $1,199.00
2 used from $1,199.00
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Tips for buying a sewing machine for beginners

First, you have to think about the primary intended use of your machine. 

Will you occasionally mend one piece of clothing or another? Or maybe you’re willing to create fashion pieces from scratch? Or do you have a strong desire to save on gifts from now on and you need the perfect sewing kit to create personalized handmade presents?

 What do you need this machine for? 

Most beginners make an error of buying a very simple sewing unit, but after some practice, they are missing features in their sewing machine. 

How often are you willing to use it? This may seem self-evident but be honest about how often you plan to use your sewing machine. If you just pull it out very occasionally, then it doesn’t make sense to spend a thousand dollars on a highly technical model.

Buying a cheap machine made mainly of plastic is highly unlikely to be a wise decision either for those planning prolonged and sustained use.

And also how much space are you willing to dedicate to your new appliance?   Are you going to move it around a lot? (Maybe you are traveling or would you like to attend sewing courses?). 

Answering all these questions will set the tone of your searches. And also help to figure out the precise features you have to look for in your perfect sewing match. It’s not boiling down to price, brand name and reviews by the end (although keeping the related preferences in mind too). The most important thing is to understand what YOU want.

Beginners’ sewing machine basic features

Types of sewing machine

Mechanical sewing machine 

Machine not powered by electricity is the most straightforward choice of all. Many of the mechanical versions you see today are considered “vintage.”

They lack the features present in modern advanced varieties and also require much more physical work on the owner’s part. But due to the extreme durability, many sewers still prefer this type. Those are still quite versatile and well-suited to the most basic projects. 

Electronic sewing machine

 This machine has a single motor that powers the needle electronically. A foot pedal, also electronic, helps you control the speed. Applying pressure with your foot means you will have both hands free and can control the fabric.

The stitches are straightforward to adjust with a dial that is usually located on the side of the unit. And electronic machines come with more wonderful extras depending on the model.

These are perfect for more or less any project you have in mind. And also easier to grasp. 

Computerized sewing machine

Technology is advancing at a tremendous rate. Computerized versions enable you to make the sewing machine fit your precise needs. LED, LCD, or touch screen displays make it extremely easy to operate.  

Even the most basic computerized machines can memorize your favorite stitches and set the tension accordingly.  With the higher-end models, even advanced programming for elaborate embroidery patterns is possible. 

It’s a fantastic idea to create your own designs on the computer, and then upload it to your machine via USB slot. Everything is possible. Computerized machines are an extremely versatile investment that helps you speed up the rate at which you can attack any project.

Although the convenience often comes with the price, some models, are still worth considering due to the terrific price-value ratio. 

Overlocker Machines / Sergers 

This type of machine is highly specific.  Its primary purpose is to finish seams and hems professionally. They have fewer functions than regulating sewing machines but can handle most fabric super fast.

Overlocker machines work differently from standard sewing machines. Using between 2 and 9 threads along with several needles.

It’s ideal for making hems or curtain as well as sewing knitted material or adding that polished look to all your projects. 

Embroidery / Sewing Machines 

Those may come as embroidery only, but let’s talk about the functionality of the sewing machine WITH embroidery here. In addition to all the features and options found in a standard sewing machine, you will also be able to do monogramming and embroidery for all types of projects. Clothing, pillows, you name it. 

This type of machine has a hoop under its needles and moves it as the needle sews in all four directions. It works like this: you start by stretching fabric over a hoop. Secure it under the needle.

A touch screen or computer link allows you to position the design and specify colors for design elements. Machines often will enable you to resize, reposition, and mirror the patterns, and more. Designs are pre-built into the unit’s memory, but can also be purchased/created and uploaded to the device via data sticks. 

If the idea of creating handmade gifts seems entertaining to you, the embroidery machine can be such a huge money saver. And, who knows, maybe it will turn your new sewing passion into a successful home business? 

Something about the brands

The price bands of models from most known brands span from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. At the upper end are flawless machines well suited for precise commercial tailoring. Brother, Husqvarna, Janome, Viking, Bernina, Babylock, and Juki have plenty to offer.

If you’re a beginner, then Brother, Singer and Janome all have a proven history of producing great basic machines. Besides, those are equipped with more than enough features to satisfy you.

Overall, check out the price/value ratio + remember all your “wants” for the perfect machine. That’s coming first.

If you are curious to know more about those brands we have dedicated articles about best Brother and Janome sewing machines. Along with analyzing particular sewing units we’ve also covered the history behind the companies there. So if it’s something you’re interested about going ahead and read it.


Most beginner-oriented sewing machines are quite affordable.

Many of them cost less than $200 and will effectively help you start building the skills you need.

More costly options can be priced in the $700 + range.

And can be a logical option if you are really determined to invest time and efforts in building that new sewing skill. 

Good quality sewing units aren’t particularly cheap. You will notice a reduction in quality with plastic machines. Maintaining precise movements with these is much more difficult.

Ultimately, if you go for a cheaper option, be realistic.  Sometimes all those negative reviews you can read on the internet related to solid but cheap machines are because of buyers’ irrelevant expectations. Generally speaking, the more you pay, the more you get in return. 

Do your math. Decide what you can afford to spend.  

Make your purchase when you found the perfect compromise between all your requests on sewing machine features, quality, and price.

Features that make your life SO MUCH easier 

I’ve compiled a list of beginners-handy sewing machine features that you might want to have in your machine. Those will simplify and speed up the learning process significantly. And you’ll be able to finish your first project practically in no time. So here it goes: 

Built-in stitches 

Choose a sewing machine with at least 15 built-in stitches. It must have all the essential stitches (nearly all beginner machines have this) plus some decorative and buttonhole stitches. It gives you some room to grow your creativity. If you only have a sewing machine with a couple of stitches, you will outgrow it quickly. 

Top Drop-in Bobbin 

There are beginner machines with front-loading bobbins, which means you need to remove the storage compartment attachment whenever you want to change the bobbin. 

Top drop-in bobbin improves the ease of unit’s use to some degree. Most of them even come with a transparent cover that allows you to keep an eye on the thread supply. 

One-step buttonhole

 Old mechanical sewing machines came with 4-step buttonholes. It means you’ll have to go through four steps to finish a buttonhole. Modern sewing machines come with 1-step buttonholes that allow you to finish it in a single step. It’s a no-brainer what to choose.

Needle Up / Down

This function is a must If you are interested in quilting. With this button, you can tell the machine to either stop the needle in the up or down position. This is vital when pivoting or removing the fabric, and it literally works like an extra hand. 

Automatic Needle Threader 

Threading used to be a big PITA on old machines, now it’s not, thanks to the automatic needle threader. The automatic needle threader will thread the needle’s eye for you, thereby saving you from eye strain. 

Drop Feed And Free Arm 

The free arm allows you to sew around easily. Drop feed will enable you to do some free-motion designs.  While most beginner sewing machines have free arm feature, drop feed is a rare gem.

Powerful motor 

A sewing machine with a powerful motor will be able to easily sew through multiple layers of thick fabrics such as denim. And do it FAST, too. Usually, a beginner machine will have a motor speed ranging from 700-900 stitches/min, and it’s okay. Anything higher than that, and you can consider yourself lucky. 


Find out what’s coming with your machine. It’s great if it includes a lot of presser feet. Each of these can have different purposes, so you’re not going to spend extra on buying it separately. A multi-purpose foot allows you to do straight and zig-zag stitches for basic sewing, but you’ll also want a zipper foot and buttonhole foot. Ruffler will assist with fabric coordination to make ruffles. An adjustable presser foot controls how tightly the machine handles the fabric while you are sewing, preventing puckering and stretching. There are many presser feet to choose from. And the more comes with your device, the better. 

Working space

 When you sew anything bigger than a baby blanket, the amount of sewing room to the right of the needle becomes a problem. You don’t have to jam your project through when you have extra width and height. It’s easier to see what you’re doing, and you’re actually going to have the room to try things like meandering stitching. So make sure that your dream machine has enough of space.

Credits: photos by Canva

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