The 8 Best Beginner Sewing Machines of 2020

If you're just starting out, these are the picks for you

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"This machine includes all the essential features to get beginner sewers going (and an instructional DVD to help them along the way)."
"Affordable and easy to learn on, this budget option would make a great first sewing machine for newbies."
"A trusted favorite of many, this reasonably priced machine comes with a 25-year limited warranty."
"Smart features like a walking foot and an extendable table for draping fabric will meet all types of quilters' needs."
"This simple machine has enough features for both beginners and experienced seamstresses to complete their projects."
"It comes with 70 built-in embroidery designs—and once you get the hang of things, you can even create your own."
"This straightforward machine lacks the advanced of other options, allowing young sewers to get going on projects right away."
"This plug-and-go option is great to take along with you to sewing classes and craft nights with friends."

If you're interested in sewing, you'll need a machine that can whizz through seams, bind together the fabric in a flash, and produce uniform, even stitches. But a quick scan will reveal that there are tons of options. Which machine is right for you? Finding the perfect sewing machine comes down to a few main factors: price, weight, features, and more.

To help you make the right decision, here are the best beginner sewing machines on the market.

Best Overall: Singer 2277 Tradition Essential Sewing Machine

This Singer sewing machine comes with everything a beginner could need to get started (thus the “essential” in the machine’s name). The machine is equipped with a built-in needle threader and the ability to switch stitches and also adjust their width and size. It also comes with several helpful accessories. 

Reviewers appreciate its ease of use—several have gone from having no sewing experience to sewing up masks and on to bigger projects like curtains and outfits. A bonus for beginners: It comes with an instructional DVD that several reviewers note was quite helpful.

Best Budget: Haitral HT-CS141WPU Mini Portable Sewing Machine

When you first start a hobby, it can be hard to know just how invested you should get when it comes to buying supplies—what if this hobby doesn’t last for months and months? Or what if you want a machine for very occasional projects and not everyday use? In those scenarios, it can truly make sense to start with an option that doesn’t break the bank. 

But of course, that doesn’t mean you want something disposable or poorly made. That’s where the HAITRAL Mini Sewing Machine comes in. It’s petite and lightweight, but durable too. And, it has all the basics you’d expect: two speeds, lighting to make it easy to see what you’re sewing, a thread cutter, and more.  

Newbie sewers say that it’s great to learn on, and is easy to figure out. Just note that this probably isn’t the best option if you’re looking to sew thick fabric, according to reviewers. 

Best Splurge: Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine

Brother is one of several trusted brands when it comes to sewing machines (you’ll find machines from other long-term, trusted favorites on this list, such as Janone and Singer). 

This particular machine is popular for good reason: It’s reasonably priced but packed with features galore, such as built-in stitches, an automatic needle threader, and an LCD screen. But, the machine is not so complicated that a beginner will feel overwhelmed at needing to read through a thick manual. 

Many reviewers note that they’ve used the machine for years with pleasure. (It’s worth noting that it has a 25-year limited warranty.)

"The Brother CS6000i is designed for streamlined sewing. Winding the bobbin and threading the needle are simple tasks."—Rebekah Joan, Product Tester

Best for Quilting: Brother XR3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine

Quilters have specific needs when it comes to sewing, and this machine delivers. It comes with a walking foot (a must for quilters!), along with an extendable table for draping fabric. It has plenty of beautiful decorative stitches and is available at a budget-friendly price. 

Plus, while reviewers note that this Brother machine is incredibly beginner-friendly, several are also long-term sewers who have used machines for years.

Best Manual: Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

Looking for a simple—but incredibly durable—option? A manual sewing machine can fit the bill. No, you won’t get the computerized options that come with a computerized version. Still, if you’re sick of everything being a computer (your phone, the TV, the washing machine, and so on) you might appreciate the simplicity of this machine. 

The machine’s simplicity is a true perk for beginners—you can learn the core tasks that are required for sewing, without having to delve into a complicated instruction manual or watch multiple YouTube tutorials. Reviewers appreciate that ease of use directly out of the box but feel that the machine has enough features that it’ll grow with them. In fact, several users note that it’s good for beginners and experienced seamstresses alike.

The machine includes a stitch selection and length dial, along with a stitch chart, bobbin hook, and other key features. There’s also a convenient storage area underneath the sewing workspace (handy for storing odds and ends).

Best for Embroidery: Husqvarna Viking Jade 20 Sewing Machine

This beginner-friendly machine has a guide located in the lid, so you can take a peek if you’re unsure of how to proceed with your fabric type. That’s truly handy if you’re new to sewing since figuring out the correct settings for a project is a process that can take experience and time to master. 

This Husqvarna Viking Jade has a large embroidery hoop, along with offering 70 built-in embroidery designs and 100+ built-in stitches. As you get more comfortable with the machine, and with embroidering with it, you’ll be able to take advantage of the machine’s software for creating embroidery designs. 

Reviewers praise the machine for running incredibly well, not to mention quietly. They also single out the machine’s storage—since you can pack up the pedal and power cord, it’s easy to travel with. A few reviewers note that the reverse functionality doesn’t work quite how they expected.

Best for Young Sewers: Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machine

Looking for a gift? Gifting a sewing machine early on can lead to a lifelong habit that’s incredibly useful. Of course, any young sewer will need supervision (needles can be sharp, and a real sewing machine is not a toy). 

This Singer is lightweight, which is convenient if you envision your child taking it along to sewing classes (or over to grandma’s house). And it offers just the right amount of basic features to get kids started with sewing: It has a stitch selector, a four-step buttonhole maker, a reverse lever, and more basics. Every dial and button is clearly and simply labeled to avoid making users feel overwhelmed. 

Reviewers praise this machine—while it’s suitable for children, it’s also a great option for adults. The lack of bells and whistles is a feature, not a deficit, which many reviewers praise for allowing them to get going on projects right away.

Best Portable: Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine

If you want to sew with friends, attend classes, or just generally be able to move your sewing machine from point A to point B, a portable machine is a must. These machines are also ideal if you don’t want to take up too much space, and only really sew occasionally.

This mini machine has two speeds, a small collection of accessories, and an extension table for bigger projects. It’s got beginner-friendly features, like an easy threading option. You can plug it in, or power it with batteries (handy if you’re in a location that doesn’t have outlets available). 

Reviewers say it’s a great fit for beginning sewers, describing it as a plug-and-go option that’s ideal for small projects.  

Continue to 5 of 8 below.