The Best Sewing Machines on the Market—Plus, How to Choose the Right One for You
Investing in your seamstress skills? Here are the solid choices for every skill level, from beginner to professional, available today.
Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, there are hundreds of sewing machines to choose from. How do you know what's right for you? First, think about your personal needs. "Basic machines with fewer bells and whistles and a smaller stitch selection will suit most hobby sewists' needs,” says Lisa Ruble, quilter and sewing expert at Sit n' Sew Fabrics. Advanced sewers can focus more on some of the more complex and comprehensive options out there. "Many of today's machines have 100-plus stitch choices, and as your skills improve, you'll find more ways to use these specialty stitches, especially in the areas of embellishment, appliqué, and embroidery," she explains.
Beyond that, some of the most important things to look for when shopping for the best sewing machine are convenience, durability, quality, and price, says Maddie Iverson, fashion designer and seamstress for O' Field Apparel. On the whole, you can rely on popular sewing machine brands like Singer, Janome, and Brother to deliver on these fronts. When searching for the right machine, it’s also crucial to think about how tech-savvy you are. "Many machines are now made to connect to your computer or other devices," she explains. "If you are not quite as tech savvy, then it would potentially be best to look for a more simplified machine with buttons as opposed to a machine with a built-in computer screen."
With so many machines on the market, you're going to need a little more guidance as you sift through all the options. To help you uncover the best of them, we asked our pros to recommend some stellar machines for every skill level and interest.
Best for Beginners
If you're new to sewing, look for a machine that's easy to use and understand. Enter this relatively basic version by Brother: Because it features an automatic needle threader and a drop-in top bobbin, you'll have an easier time getting started—the key to sticking with a new hobby. There's plenty of room to grow, though, as the sewing machine is a quality one with 37 unique built-in stitches, including an auto-size buttonhole. Just as importantly, your purchase grants you free technical support via online, live chat, or phone for the lifetime of your machine.
Shop Now: Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine, $270, amazon.com.
Best for Advanced Sewers
If you've already mastered the art of sewing, consider this computerized machine. It comes with a vast array of accessories, so you can have fun exploring and expanding upon existing skills. The easy-to-use control panel gives you access to 120 stitches, including seven buttonholes and a built-in alphabet. The accessories are seemingly endless too—you'll get eight sewing feet, an extension table, an assorted needle set, small and large spool holders, an extra spool pin, bobbins, a screwdriver, a lint brush, a seam ripper, a stitch chart, a hard cover, and an instructional DVD to help you get acquainted with the machine.
Shop Now: Janome 4120QDC Computerized Sewing Machine with Hard Case, $699, amazon.com.
All of our experts agreed that you don't have to spend a small fortune to get your hands on a reliable sewing machine. Though significantly less expensive than others on the list and a very manageable size, this sewing machine performs—especially when it comes to more basic projects, like crafting, hemming a dress, or whipping up a face mask. The machine comes programmed with 23 of the most popular stitches, plus four presser feet for buttons, zippers, and more.
Shop Now: Singer 2277 Tradition Essential Sewing Machine, $130, joann.com.
Advanced sewists will be delighted by a machine, like this one by Juki, that offers a little more flexibility and advanced features like decorative stitches and more than 250 patterns, a large throat space for bigger projects, and a walking foot for sewing multiple layers of dense fabric like denim or leather. Though you'll pay the price for all of these extras, it's one that's worth it: This reliable, stable, and quiet machine will stay with you for years.
Shop Now: Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine, $1,049, amazon.com.
Best for Quilting
Most importantly, quilters need adequate space to wrangle their projects. Choose a machine, like this one, with a large throat space in the area to the right of the needle to accommodate any rolled up fabric and an extension table to support the rest of the fabric as you work. This model also comes with 37 built-in stitches, including blind hem, decorative and quilting stitches, as well as eight feet, including walking and quilting foot accessories that make the job easier. There are no complex computer systems to content with either, so you can focus on what matters most—making a beautiful blanket.
Shop Now: Brother XR3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine, $210, amazon.com.
Best for Making Clothes
If you're sewing your own wardrobe, a heavy-duty machine is a great option—particularly if you plan to sew through denser and more challenging fabrics like leather and denim. This tough-as-nails machine has a heavy-duty metal interior frame, a stainless steel bed frame, plus size 16 needles, an extra-high sewing speed, and a powerful motor that can sew reliably and stably through a variety of heavy-weight fabrics. It also comes with a non-stick adjustable foot that makes sewing lighter fabrics like cotton just as easy.
Shop Now: Singer Heavy-Duty 4423 Sewing Machine, $221.47, amazon.com.
Best for Embroidery
This combination machine is a wonderful choice for hobbyist, since you can dip your toe into both crafts without splurging on two dedicated machines. Though not solely an embroidery machine, this model offers plenty of versatility, with over 80 built-in designs that are easy to preview and edit on the LCD screen. For added flexibility, you can also access thousands of designs from Brother's online library or upload your own creations via the USB port. All in all, a worthy option for making your own embroidered clothes from start to finish.
Shop Now: Brother SE625 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4x4 Embroidery Machine with Color LCD Display, $799.95, walmart.com.
Best for Kids and Teens
Similar to beginners, kids and teens—especially those just starting out—benefit from a machine that’s comprehensive enough to experiment, but not so comprehensive that it will overwhelm. This lightweight machine by Brother finds that perfect happy medium, with 27 built-in stitches, including decorative, blind hem, zigzag, and stretch stitches and an auto-size buttonhole, as well as an automatic needle threader and a drop-in top bobbin. And, like other Brother machines, your purchase gives you access to lifetime support via online, live chat, or phone.
Shop Now: Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine, $100, amazon.com.