The 7 Best Sewing Machines to Buy in 2018

Shop for the best sewing machines from brands like Singer, Brother, and more

Fashion designer working with sewing machine in her studio

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine at Amazon

"Can do it all at a reasonable price."

Best Budget: Brother XM2701 Full-Featured Sewing Machine at Amazon

"Offers a lot of sewing machine for the price."

Best High-End: Singer 9960 Computerized Sewing Machine at Amazon

"Boasts a staggering 600 types of stitches, including 13 one-step buttonholes and five fonts for embroidering letters and numbers."

Best for Beginners: Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine at Amazon

"Does a great job balancing value, features, and ease of use."

Best for Quilting: Brother PQ1500SL Quilting and Sewing Machine at Amazon

"A straight-stitch-only machine...with a roomy sewing area."

Best Serger: Juki MO644D Portable Serger at Amazon

"Though Juki recommends this machine for light- to medium-weight fabrics, reviewers say it’s still powerful enough for many thicker fabrics."

Best for Kids: Cool Maker Sew N' Style Sewing Machine at Target

"Includes everything they need to get started including fabrics (fancy sparkly fabrics at that), patterns, embellishments and more."

  • 01 of 07

    Best Overall: Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine

    SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with DVD, 10 Presser Feet and Metal Frame
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    Very Good

    Buyers looking for a sewing machine that can do it all at a reasonable price should consider the Singer 7258. Available in either 70- or 100-stitch versions, this computerized machine offers the basics (straight stitches and zigzags) as well as decorative stitches, quilting and heirloom stitches, and seven kinds of one-step buttonholes. Ten metal presser feet are included with the machine.

    Reviewers rave about the Singer 7258 when it comes to ease of use. Features include an automatic needle threader, top-loading bobbin, an LED-illuminated sewing surface, speed control, and a needle that can be programmed to stop in the up or down positions. Users say it’s easy to switch between stitches with built-in arrow buttons, and they also love how quiet the machine is while it’s sewing. A few warn that a heavy-duty machine might be a better choice for projects involving thicker fabric, though. 

    The Singer 7258 is backed by a 25-year limited warranty. Singer touts the machine’s “heavy-duty metal frame,” but some reviewers say they are disappointed that crucial parts such as the pedal and bobbin cover are made of plastic.

  • 02 of 07

    Best Budget: Brother XM2701 Full-Featured Sewing Machine

    Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, and Instructional DVD
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    While it isn’t as feature-packed as its pricier competitors, users say the non-computerized Brother XM2701 still offers a lot of sewing machine for the price. There are 27 stitches, including all the basics for garment construction, as well as decorative, blind hem, zigzag and stretch stitches. It also includes a one-step buttonhole setting and six presser feet.

    Users like the machine’s simple dial stitch selector, and they appreciate the top-loading bobbin and automatic needle threader. There is also automatic bobbin winding. Several say they’ve used this model extensively, and even with thicker fabric, without problems. However, some reviewers say it’s hard to maintain consistent sewing speed with the pedal, and others say the included LED light is too dim.

    The Brother XM2701 comes with a 25-year limited warranty. While most reviewers are pleased with durability, especially for the price, some are skeptical that the plastic frame and parts will hold up year after year.

  • 03 of 07

    Best High-End: Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine

    SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Extension Table, Bonus Accessories and Hard Cover
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    Intermediate and advanced sewers with a bit more money to spend give the feature-packed Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist high marks. This computerized sewing machine boasts a staggering 600 types of stitches, including 13 one-step buttonholes and five fonts for embroidering letters and numbers. It also includes 18 presser feet.

    The Singer 9960 has the ease-of-use features most sewers would expect from a pricier, more powerful machine: There’s an automatic needle threader, automatic thread trimmer, speed control, top-loading bobbin, and a large sewing surface with an extension table. An “auto-pilot” function lets sewers take their foot off the pedal without missing a beat, and the needle can stop in up or down positions. An LCD screen shows users which stitch they’ve selected, stitch length and width, and the recommended presser foot. Reviewers enthusiastically embrace all these features, and they say the machine is smooth and quiet.

    The interior frame of the Singer 9960 is metal, and the machine comes with a limited 25-year warranty. While most users say it’s high-quality, there’s also more that can go wrong with more complicated sewing machines—there are scattered reports of thread jamming and other issues.

  • 04 of 07

    Best for Beginners: Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

    Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    Beginners who can overlook the flowery case will find plenty to like about the Janome Magnolia 7318. Experts say it does a great job balancing value, features, and ease of use. This non-computerized sewing machine offers 18 decorative and utility stitches and a four-step buttonhole. It comes with three presser feet.

    The Janome Magnolia 7318’s features include a top-loading bobbin, large sewing surface and adjustable needle position. The machine has easy-to-use dials that control the stitch selection and width. While the sewing speed is controlled with the foot pedal. This model also gets praise for its smooth and consistent stitching. Reviewers like that the presser foot can be lifted quite high to accommodate thicker fabric.

    Some users say they wish the machine were quieter, and while some note it doesn’t include many presser feet, they say they are cheap and readily available. Janome backs the Magnolia 7318 with a 15-year limited warranty.

    Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best beginner sewing machines available online. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best for Quilting: Brother PQ1500SL High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine

    Brother PQ1500SL High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    Quilters who want a reasonably priced, mid-range machine that can help speed along their work should opt for the Brother PQ1500SL, which can blaze through up to 1,500 stitches a minute. This is a straight-stitch-only machine—preferred by most quilters because they are simple and more powerful—and it comes with seven presser feet.

    One of quilters’ biggest demands is a roomy sewing area, which the Brother PQ1500SL has, especially with the included 12-by-18-inch extension table. It also has an automatic thread trimmer, needle positioner, and needle threader. Reviewers particularly love the four feed dog settings that allow them to evenly sew just about any kind of fabric, thick or thin, but say they’re easy to raise for free-motion quilting, too. They also love the knee lifter, which lets them raise or lower the presser foot while keeping their hands on their fabric instead. However, setting the thread tension can be tricky, some say.

    The Brother PQ1500SL comes with a limited 25-year warranty. Reviewers are pleased that there are very few plastic parts, and there are few durability complaints.

  • 06 of 07

    Best Serger: Juki MO644D Portable Serger

    JUKI MO644D Portable Serger
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    Advanced sewers who want fast, clean seams often add a serger to their repertoire, and reviewers say the Juki MO644D is one of the best. Users can sew seven types of stitches with two, three or four threads. The machine comes with a multi-purpose presser foot that can handle tape and elastic, and it is compatible with other Juki presser feet.

    The Juki MO644D has features including a differential feed, a color-coded threading guide, dial-adjusted thread tension, a built-in heavy-duty fabric knife, automatic rolled hemming and adjustable stitch length and width. Though Juki recommends this machine for light- to medium-weight fabrics, reviewers say it’s still powerful enough for many thicker fabrics including denim, fleece, and multi-layered wool. They also say it’s quite stable while working, and they like the machine’s relatively small footprint. The five-year warranty is shorter than many, but there are very few durability complaints.

  • 07 of 07

    Best for Kids: Cool Maker Sew N' Style Sewing Machine

    cool-maker-sewing-machine
    Courtesy of Target

    Kids can get creative and make some cool things with this sewing machine designed just for them. Recommended for ages 6 and up, it includes everything they need to get started including fabrics (fancy sparkly fabrics at that), patterns, embellishments and more. It also comes with a pom-pom maker for pops of fun anywhere. There are patterns and materials included to make five adorable projects, including a stuffed unicorn. Once those are complete, they can use the machine to come up with their own designs.

    It runs on four AA batteries (not included), which makes it ultra-portable. A storage drawer is built-in too to hold all the fabric and accessories and keep everything neat and tidy. Customers say it’s safe (the needle is protected with a plastic covering) and fun, though they caution that it’s not a “real” sewing machine.

Products Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent eight hours testing one of the most popular sewing machines available. We asked them to consider the most important features when using this machine — from its design to its performance — and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Sewing Machine

Skill level If you’ve never used a sewing machine before, you don’t need a high-end model with hundreds of different stitches and fancy features — leave those for more advanced sewers. Opt for an easy-to-use machine that’ll help you master the basics.

Capabilities If you’re looking to sew a particular type of item, you may want to research the different functions of various machines. Some products stick to the basics — like plain stitches and buttonholes — while others come with more advanced features like embroidery, decorative stitches, and interchangeable pressure feet.

Computerization Consider whether you’d prefer a computerized or non-computerized sewing machine as you browse different products. Computerized machines are more expensive, but they often have more automatic features, like needle threading and various stitching options. However, computerized machines can be complicated if you’re not tech-savvy and often have problems sooner than their mechanical counterparts.

Test Results: Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine (Best Overall)

Very Good

What We Like

  • Attractive design

  • Great performance

  • Many special features

What We Don't Like

  • Complex setup

  • Not ideal for beginners

Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine
Singer 7258 Sewing Machine
Singer 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine
Singer 7258 Machine
Singer Sewing Machine

One of our testers used this sewing machine to make a pocket square, repair and re-hem a pair of jeans, and create a table runner. He recommends this machine for intermediate and advanced sewers: “I would suggest this product to anyone who's already trained on using a sewing machine and wants a relatively compact, cost-effective machine with a lot of features and stitches,” he said. One negative aspect of this model is that the setup process is complex and not particularly intuitive, according to our testers.