Best beginner sewing machine of the year (updated 2023)

Angie Renner
Published by 
Angie Renner
Last updated: 
December 26, 2023

The best beginner sewing machine will be a full-sized sewing machine with all the capabilities of an advanced machine minus a few bells and whistles. They can be manual or computerized and usually include several accessories. These might include additional presser feet, seam rippers, and other handy-dandy little doodads that are useful.

Our Top Picks:

  1. Best Overall: Janome 2212
  2. Best Budget: Baby Lock Zest
  3. Best Computerized: Brother HS2500
  4. Best Mini: Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine
  5. Best Heavy Duty: Singer Heavy Duty 4432
  6. Best For Quilting: Babylock Allegro Sewing & Quilting
  7. Best Serger For Beginners: Brother 1034D
  8. Best For Children: Singer MX231
  9. Best For Silk: Singer 9960
  10. Best For Embroidery: Brother PE535

Best Overall: Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

Janone 2212 Review

Janome offers three machines in the same general model, the Janome 2206, Janome 2212, and Janome 2222. Aside from slight styling differences and stitch counts, these three models are similar in features. All have manual stitch selection dials, reverse levers, and free-arm options. The 2212 models have a 4-step buttonhole feature.

Janome 2212 Features:

  • 12 stitches (built in stitch chart)
  • 1 four-step buttonhole
  • 5-piece feed dog
  • Extra high presser foot lift
  • Maximum stitch length: 4 mm
  • Maximum stitch width: 5 mm
  • Dual Spool Pins (retractable)
  • Reverse lever to lock stitches
  • Stitch length adjustment

Best Budget: Baby Lock Zest

Baby Lock Zest

If you're looking for a budget sewing machine, then look no further than the Baby Lock Zest. This sewing machine comes with the following features:

  1. 15 built-in stitches, including four-step buttonhole
  2. Front loading bobbin
  3. Free-arm sewing
  4. Darning plate for free-motion techniques
  5. Adjustable stitch length (0mm to 4 mm)
  6. Built-in accessory storage

Baby Lock Zest Warranty:

  • 25-year limited manufacturer's warranty
  • 10-year parts
  • 2-year electrical
  • 1-year labor

Best Computerized: Brother HS2500

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The Brother HS2500 sewing machine boasts 8 styles of 1-step buttonhole settings and 130 built-in stitches. Eight accessory presser foot attachments mean this machine can take on any sewing task. The design includes a needle threading system, Quick-Set drop-in top-loading bobbin, adjustable speed control, and free arm ability. With the LCD, which is backlit for easy reading, and an LED-lit work area, this little workhorse is easy on the eyes.

This machine is the most widely available model in our lineup. Online, it is available through Amazon, Wayfair, JoAnn Fabrics, Michael's, Overstock, and Home Depot. You can check the Brother retail store locator for a brick and mortar retailer near you. Just click on the "Where to Buy" button to find the nearest Home Depot, JoAnn Fabrics, and Exchange locations.

Best Mini: Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine

Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine

Looking for a cheap and beginner-friedly sewing machine? The MagicFly Mini sewing machine is your answer. With a finger guar, dual power operation (cordless when using 4 AA batteries), and 2-speed + light button - this is the perfect machine for those looking to see if sewing is the perfect hobby for them.

Best Heavy Duty: Singer Heavy Duty 4432

Heavy Duty 4411 Sewing Machine

Best For Quilting: Babylock Allegro Sewing & Quilting

Baby Lock Allegro

Quilting machines require more advanced technology to ensure quality and detail. The Babylock Allegro Sewing and Quilting machine is the excellent choice as it comes with a 12 inch workspace, 200 built-in stitches, and so much more.

Product Features:

  • 12 inch work space
  • 200 built in stitches
  • Built in needle threader
  • Programmable Needle Up/Down
  • LCD Screen
  • Quick-Set/Top Loading Bobbin
  • Hands-Free Knee Light
  • Push-Button Features

Best Serger For Beginners: Brother 1034D

Brother 1034D Sewing Machine

Best For Children: Singer MX231
Best For Silk: Singer 9960
Best For Embroidery: Brother PE535

What Sewing Machine Features Should be Included?

With the many available features, we narrowed this list to only essential things that the best beginner sewing machine should have. Those are:

  1. A variety of different stitches
  2. Stitch length adjustment
  3. Tension adjustment
  4. Reverse button/lever
  5. LED or bright work lamp

Stitch count is the number of different stitches a machine is capable of producing. The most basic machines produce at least four different stitches. Some of the more advanced sewing machines offer more than 100 different stitches.

Having a stitch length adjustment is a great feature. The longer the stitch, the fewer stitches per inch. Longer stitches are great for some projects, while other projects require a tighter stitch length.

The tension adjustment allows the user to set a specific thread tension for the finished product. Different types of thread react differently, so tension adjustment is a necessary feature.

A reverse button or lever allows the user to make the machine sew backward. The backstitch is how you create a lock-stitch, which keeps your seam from unraveling. Without a reverse setting, the user can manually create a lock-stitch. That requires turning the fabric under the needle and is a cumbersome process.

Having a well-lit workspace is essential. Most machines have a light mounted that illuminates the sewing deck.

Manual or computer controlled?

Multicolored Rug

The most significant difference between manual and computerized machines is how stitch selections, tensioning, and other features are incorporated. They are both very functional and practical at the beginner machine level. There is also very little cost difference between manual and basic computerized machines.

A manual machine has click-stop selectors or simple buttons to change the settings. The user selects the stitch style, size, and adjusts tensioning which makes these a more hands-on machine.

A computerized machine has a touchpad to select different features. The user pushes buttons on the keypad to select stitch style and stitch length. Many have automatic tensioning adjustments, although a few still include this as a manual feature. Computerized machines are available from beginner level all the way up to highly sophisticated programmable quilting and embroidery machines.

How We Reviewed the Best Beginner Sewing Machine

We created our list of the best beginner sewing machine choices based on many factors. Those included available features, ease of use, stitch selections, and customer reviews. We considered pricing and value for the dollar in our analysis. Finally, we read many commercial reviews. We weighed our findings extensively before making our final selections.

Price Range for Beginner Sewing Machines

Manual machines start around $80 and can range up to and beyond $200. These machines will have features that allow for a wealth of different projects.

Basic computerized machines are available starting at around $100 to $400 and can cost more. Maintaining affordability is an essential factor in finding the best beginner sewing machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the best beginner sewing machine for a specific type of sewing?
    The best beginner sewing machine would be a Brother CS6000i. It's an affordable, feature-rich machine that is perfect for those just starting out. It has 60 built-in stitches, an automatic needle threader, a top drop-in bobbin, and a built-in sewing font. It also comes with a hard case, making it easy to store and transport.
  2. What are the features of a good beginner sewing machine?
    There are a lot of features to consider when purchasing a sewing machine, but here are some of the most important features to look for in a beginner sewing machine: 1. Ease of use. A good beginner sewing machine should be easy to set up and use. It should have clear, concise instructions that are easy to follow. 2. A variety of stitches. A good beginner sewing machine should have a variety of stitches that can be used for different purposes.
  3. What are the benefits of a good beginner sewing machine?
    A good beginner sewing machine will be easy to use and have a variety of features that are perfect for those new to sewing. It will have a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch, as well as a buttonhole stitch. It will also have a variety of feet, including a zigzag foot, a buttonhole foot, and a walking foot.
  4. What are the different types of beginner sewing machines available?
    There are a variety of beginner sewing machines available on the market today. Some of the most popular brands include Brother, Janome, and Singer. Each of these brands offers a variety of models that are designed for different budgets and sewing needs. The Brother CS6000i is a popular choice for a beginner sewing machine. It is an affordable model that is packed with features that are perfect for someone just starting out.
  5. What are the prices of beginner sewing machines?
    The prices of beginner sewing machines can vary depending on the brand, model, and features. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 for a beginner sewing machine. Some of the factors that will affect the price include the type of stitches the machine can do, the speed of the machine, and the weight of the machine.
  6. What is the warranty on a beginner sewing machine?
    Assuming you are asking about a new sewing machine, most beginner machines come with a warranty of at least 1 year. Some companies, like Brother, offer a limited 25-year warranty on their machines. Check your machine's manual or packaging for specific warranty details.
  7. How easy is it to use a beginner sewing machine?
    Assuming you are referring to a mechanical sewing machine, they are not difficult to use. The hardest part is threading the needle, which can be a little fiddly. Once that is done, you simply need to choose your stitch, set the tension and start sewing. It is worth practice sewing on some scrap fabric before you start on your project to get a feel for how the machine works and how to control the speed.
  8. What are the most popular brands of beginner sewing machines?
    There are a few brands that are popular among beginner sewing machine users. Some of the most popular brands include Brother, Janome, and Singer. These brands offer a variety of machines that are perfect for those just starting out with sewing. Each brand has a few different models that are popular among beginners, so it is important to do some research to find the perfect machine for your needs. Brother is a popular brand among beginner sewing machine users for a few reasons.
  9. What are the reviews of beginner sewing machines?
    There are a lot of different beginner sewing machines on the market, so it can be hard to know which one to choose. Reading reviews from other sewers can be a helpful way to narrow down your options and decide which machine is right for you. Some of the most popular beginner sewing machines include the Brother CS6000i, the Janome 2212, and the Singer 4411.