What are the Best Sewing Machines for Beginners in 2022?
We’ve compiled a list of ten of the best sewing machines for beginners. The following machines were selected for their ease of use, price point, access to resources that make the machine quick and easy to learn, and availability of features that are ideal for beginning sewists. Some of the following 10 models are computerized and others are basic. They’re listed in no particular order.
Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine
Brother is well-known for its excellent craftsmanship and this reasonably-priced model is no different. This compact model offers beginner sewists the best in features, price, and ease of use. For a basic mechanical machine, it offers you an impressive 27 built-in stitch options, six presser feet, and a one-step buttonhole feature.
This model handles fabrics of all types, from the sheerest to heavier denims and woolens. Several of the user-friendly features include a free arm option for sleeves, cuffs, sewing curves and working on small projects, a top-loading bobbin that winds automatically and an automatic needle threader. Purchase includes a comprehensive DVD to help you get started.
- Reasonably priced
- Great craftsmanship
- Beginner friendly
- Many built in stitch options
- Can handle heavy fabrics
- Automatic needle threader
- Includes a DVD guide
- Motor is not the longest lasting
This basic machine might be low on features and functions, but it’s one of the most reliable models on the market and one of the best sewing machines for beginners. Janome created this old-school model to help beginners learn from the ground up. The cost of this no-nonsense model is somewhat higher than similar models but it offers you the option of being able to handle heavier and multi-layer sewing projects with ease.
The 12 built-in stitch options, buttonhole feature, and impressive presser foot lift height ensure ease of use on any project. Locking stitches is a breeze with the reverse stitch lever. Stitch length is 4 mm and stitch width is 5 mm. In addition to handling multiple layers with ease, the 2212 is powerful and sturdy enough to sew heavy fabrics such as denim and canvas, reptile skins, suede and leather.
- Great for heavy fabrics
- Can easily handle multiple layers
- Great beginner model
- Very durable and reliable
- Great presser height
- Easy to lock stitches
- More expensive than comparable models
- Limited stitch types and features
Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
Singer sewing machines remain very popular with entry-level and experienced sewists. This model offers a handful of features and functions that combine learning the basics with an incredible ease of use. The large LCD screen allows you to change the stitch options, choose your stitch pattern, stitch width, length and thread tension, a warning alarm and animated troubleshooting tips to correct stitching errors.
The impressive functions and features also include 600 built-in stitches, your choice of 13 fully automatic buttonholes, five diverse fonts, a double needle option and 19 presser feet. The heavy-duty metal frame adds stability and durability and dual LED lights ensure a well-lit work area. The Quantum Stylist is one of the more expensive models on this list but well worth a look.
- Very easy to use
- High quality LCD display
- Many included accessories
- Heavy duty and super durable metal frame
- LED lights to illuminate the work area
- 600 built in stitches
- Quite expensive
- Big and heavy
Brother HC1850 Sewing Machine
This very affordable model is a great option for beginners thanks to its ease of use and a very low learning curve. In addition to a comprehensive instructional DVD, there are plenty of videos online that give you step-by-step directions on a wide range of uses and projects. This model includes a one-step needle threading lever and 27 built-in traditional and decorative stitch options, all of which are displayed on the front of the machine.
The one-touch adjustable buttonhole feature, free arm function, automatic needle threader, bright LED light, variable speed foot pedal and drop-in bobbin tray make this Brother machine far less frustrating to use than other models in the same class.
- Ideal for beginner use
- Comes with an instructional DVD
- One step needle threading
- Comes with decorative stitch options
- One touch buttonholes
- Great LED light
- Limited stitch types
- Not exactly the pinnacle of durability
Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machine
This sewing machine is definitely one of the best sewing machines for beginners. In addition to a very manageable price, it includes 6 built-in stitch options, a free arm function and a four-step buttonhole feature. The heavy-duty metal frame keeps the machine very stable and secure when in use. The pre-set stitch length and width takes out the guesswork, a plus for anyone new to sewing.
In addition to a presser foot for traditional stitching, this model includes presser feet for zig-zag, blind hem, and a decorative scallop stitch. The comprehensive threading diagram on the front of the machine makes it a breeze to learn to thread it and includes two thread spool pins for dual needle sewing.
- Cost effective
- Built in free arm
- Easy buttonholes
- Durable heavy duty frame
- Easy preset stitch sizes
- Comes with many presser feet
- Simple threading system
- Not ideal for thick fabrics
- Quite chunky and heavy
- Limited number of stitch types
Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
This easy to use Janome model includes 18 stitch options, a four-step buttonhole function with an automatic balance adjuster for working on different types and weights of fabrics and a top-loading bobbin. The 7-piece feed dog system ensures precise control over all fabric types. This machine handles all types of fabrics without missing a beat. It is one of the best for beginners because it is designed to work on linens, quilts, crafting and home decorations.
The price of the Magnolia is reasonable and it’s easy to thread and use. Janome quality ensures stability and the ability to handle quilting layers and the heaviest fabrics. Stitch length is adjustable to 5 mm and width to 4 mm. It includes four presser feet and an impressive set of accessories.
The great things about the Janome Magnolia are the durability, simplicity, and ability to handle a high workload. It is reviewed as the best sewing machine for beginners and is delivered fully assembled.
- Super beginner friendly
- Good amount of stitch options
- Automatic balance adjuster
- Great control for most fabric types
- Can handle fairly thick fabrics
- Reasonable price
- Fairly durable build
- Difficult to raise the feed dog once it is lowered
- The light is not very bright
- Extremely loud
Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine
This computerized sewing machine offers you a wealth of features at a very reasonable price. In addition to 50 built-in stitches, it includes an LED screen that allows you to choose the perfect stitch, a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute, and six specialty presser feet. It also includes a one-step buttonhole system that automatically adjusts to fit each button.
Each stitch is clearly displayed on the front of the machine for easy selection and you also have the option of working with dual needles. The LED screen gives you all the information you need on each stitch, including stitch length and width. One touch-threading makes this machine even more user friendly.
- Fully computerized
- Many stitch options
- Very reasonable price
- Very fast sewing speed
- Has many presser feet
- Easy one step buttonholes
- Great LED display
- Simple one touch threading
- Expensive when compared to non-computerized models
- Has some minor software issues, especially with prolonged use
Janome HD1000 Mechanical Sewing Machine
The 14 built-in stitches on the HD1000 include a four-step buttonhole stitch and stitches designed for working on stretchy fabrics. The price is heftier than other models on this list, but includes an automatic needle threader, a free arm option, and a three-piece feed dog system for great fabric control. The heavy-duty internal aluminum construction ensures durability and stability.
Each stitch option is clearly marked on the machine and easy to choose using the stitch selector knob. Another knob allows you to choose or change the length of each stitch selection and a reverse lever lets you easily lock your stitches.
- Simple stitch selector knob
- Ideal for stretchy fabrics
- Easy four step buttonholes
- Great fabric controls
- Heavy duty aluminum build
- Very durable and stable
- Could have more stitch options
- Some minor issues with the feed dog
Singer Tradition 2259 Portable Sewing Machine
This mechanical sewing machine offers much more than its relatively low price. In addition to 19 built-in stitch options that encourage any beginner’s creativity, it includes a bobbin re-winding function, an impressive presser foot lift height, and easy stitch selection.
Additional features include a built-in needle threader, a free arm function, adjustable stitch length and width, and an accessory storage area. Four presser feet are included with purchase and it’s remarkably easy to thread and use. Great Singer construction makes this machine sturdy and durable.
- Great price
- Reasonable amount of stitch options
- Easy bobbin rewinding function
- Great presser foot lift height
- Easy needle threader
- Fully adjustable stitch size
- Many presser feet included
- Lightweight and portable
- Small size limits its usefulness
- The motor is not the longest lasting
Haitral Portable Sewing Machine
If you’re not ready to try out a large portable sewing machine, this mini (7 by 8.5 by 3.5 inches), ridiculously low-priced model can give you an idea of how sewing machines work. It offers a dual speed option and your choice of using a foot pedal or a hand control button. Being a hand-held machine, it’s not suitable for heaver fabrics such as denim and there are no additional stitch options.
You can also operate this using electric power or 4 AA batteries and the work area is brightly lit. Once you’ve got the hang of handling a sewing machine, this model makes a great backup for small jobs and fast repairs.
- Very lightweight and compact
- Super portable
- Good price
- Dual speed option
- Dual control methods
- Can be powered by batteries
- Ideal for small jobs
- Cannot handle big jobs
- Not ideal for thick fabrics
- Limited durability
Let’s talk about the essential features and factors to consider when choosing a sewing machine. These are the most important considerations when purchasing a sewing machine for beginners.
Size & Weight
One thing to keep an eye on is how large and heavy the sewing machine in question is. Generally speaking, a larger sewing machine can handle larger jobs. However, a large and heavy sewing machine is also not very portable.
Therefore, you do need to consider whether or not you want your sewing machine to be portable. Do keep in mind that heavier sewing machines are generally made out of heavy-duty materials.
You do of course also want to pay attention to the construction quality of the machine in question. Yes, this does relate to the weight of it. A high-quality sewing machine will have either a heavy-duty aluminum or steel construction.
Keep in mind that a heavy-duty construction with a good amount of weight to it will help keep the machine stable during use. Also, make sure that the machine in question has a good motor that won’t burn out due to prolonged use.
Responsive Controls & Ergonomics
You do also want to look for a sewing machine that has very responsive controls, particularly in relation to the foot pedal. Also, look for a machine that isn’t going to stall when you are sewing multiple layers of fabric, especially thick fabrics.
All of the controls on your sewing machine should be very easy to reach. You should also be able to manipulate the controls with a single hand.
Another thing to keep in mind in terms of ergonomics is how much space there is to the right of the needle. The more space there is to the right of the needle, the more space you have for your hands and for fabric.
A Needle Threader
Something that you should definitely look out for is an automatic needle threader. Having to thread the needle manually can be extremely difficult and time-consuming. An automatic needle threader will help make life a lot easier.
The Feed Dog
You do also want to look for a sewing machine that has an adjustable feed dog. Having an adjustable feed dog will allow you to create more versatile stitches. Many sewing machines with adjustable feed dogs also allow for freestyle darning and embroidery.
Yet another thing to look out for in a good sewing machine is an automatic buttonhole maker. As you can see from our reviews, this does vary from one machine to another.
Some machines have four-step buttonhole makers, whereas some have one-step buttonhole makers. Of course, if you are going to be working with a lot of buttons, then a simple one-step buttonhole maker is called for.
The next important factor to look out for here is how many types of stitches the machine in question can create. When it comes down to it, there are literally dozens or even hundreds of different stitch types. The best machines will allow you to create all of these stitch types.
You want to ensure that the machine in question has a variety of basic and more complex stitch types. On a side note, also pay attention to the maximum stitch width and length that the machine can be adjusted to. Being able to easily adjust stitch sizes is important as well.
Simple Tension Adjustment
Depending on the type of fabric that you are working with, you will need that thread to have varying levels of tension. To ensure that you always have the right level of tension, having a sewing machine with simple tension adjustments is called for.
Whether you’ve never tried using a sewing machine or you’ve already been introduced and would like to pursue it further, you need a great machine that’s perfect for beginners. It all comes down to choosing the right machine for your needs, and hopefully our list of the best sewing machines for beginners has helped to narrow it down for you.
Sewing is a fun, rewarding skill that allows you to expand your creativity in so many ways. From making clothes to customizing your home décor to creating personalized quilts and gifts, sewing is a wonderful lifelong experience. Whether you want to dive right into sewing with a full-feature computerized model or merely want to practice on a mini portable, the world of sewing offers you limitless opportunities to create custom projects of all kinds. Have fun!