Best Sewing Machines in 2021: A Buyer’s Guide

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Looking for a new home sewing machine? Wondering which models are the best sewing machines for quilting and embroidery? Looking to jazz up your old clothes, or maybe even make your own?

If so — this complete guide to the best sewing machines is for you.

The pandemic has lead to a massive rise in the popularity of sewing machines (as well as most other DIY crafting machines!). So much so that it can be difficult to find machines in stock if you search locally.

Whether you are interested in dressmaking, embroidery, quilting or simply stitching up the older clothes in your wardrobe, it pays to have a machine that is fit for the task at hand.

And that’s where this buying guide can come in handy.

We’ve listed off the most popular sewing machines that are still in stock in 2021, as well as their best qualities, core features, and who they will appeal to.

Here’s a sneak peek at 3 of our favorite machines…

Sewing Machine
SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
Juki TL-2010Q
Brother CS6000i
SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches, Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects 28.22 Pounds
Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine with Automatic Thread Trimmer for Quilting, Tailoring, Apparel and Home Decor
Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-in Stitches, 2.0" LCD Display, Wide Table, 9 Included Sewing Feet
Good For?
All-Rounder; Multi-Purpose Sewing
All-Rounder; Quilting
Budget Quilting; Simple Sewing
Computerized or Mechanic?
Computerized
Mechanic (Dial)
Computerized
# of Stitch Styles
600 (inc. 13 1-step buttonholes)
1 Needle Lockstitch
60 (inc. 7 1-step buttonholes)
Stitches Per Minute
850
1500
850
SFH Rating
Alternative Stores
Sewing Machine
SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches, Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects 28.22 Pounds
Good For?
All-Rounder; Multi-Purpose Sewing
Computerized or Mechanic?
Computerized
# of Stitch Styles
600 (inc. 13 1-step buttonholes)
Stitches Per Minute
850
SFH Rating
Buy on Amazon
Alternative Stores
Sewing Machine
Juki TL-2010Q
Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine with Automatic Thread Trimmer for Quilting, Tailoring, Apparel and Home Decor
Good For?
All-Rounder; Quilting
Computerized or Mechanic?
Mechanic (Dial)
# of Stitch Styles
1 Needle Lockstitch
Stitches Per Minute
1500
SFH Rating
Buy on Amazon
Alternative Stores
Sewing Machine
Brother CS6000i
Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-in Stitches, 2.0" LCD Display, Wide Table, 9 Included Sewing Feet
Good For?
Budget Quilting; Simple Sewing
Computerized or Mechanic?
Computerized
# of Stitch Styles
60 (inc. 7 1-step buttonholes)
Stitches Per Minute
850
SFH Rating
Buy on Amazon
Alternative Stores

We’ll be providing an in-depth analysis of what features you should look for (see: Things To Consider Before You Buy) – as well as a comparison of the top brands, including: Singer, Janome, Juki, Bernina, Brother and more.

Let’s get started with a rundown of the best sewing machines that are still in stock today!

What Are The Best Sewing Machines?

Here are our carefully curated top sewing machines.

These are all, bar none, excellent machines. Which one you decide to buy will depend entirely on your own personal preferences — so we’ve labelled them according to what type of sewing they’re best for.

That might be garment making, quilting, or even just general home use.

Note: You can find even more recommended machines in our sewing machine reviews section.

Let’s take it away…

Singer Quantum Stylist 9960

Editor Pick: Best All-Rounder Sewing Machine with a Screen

For many people, this Singer Quantum Stylist is the best sewing machine on the market today — just check out the hordes of sterling reviews!

Those in the know describe it as ‘dealer quality’, but the price is low enough to fool you otherwise.

We think it’s a great all-round machine at a very reasonable price.best sewing machine

best sewing machine for clothes making

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • 600 different stitch patterns available
  • 13 different buttonhole styles (in just 1 step!)
  • 850 stitches per minute
  • Computerized with an LCD screen
  • Quick and easy to use: comes with an automatic needle threader, thread cutter, tension, a top drop-in bobbin system and electronic twin needle control
  • Needle up/down button and free arm
  • Comes with 19 presser feet and an extension table, plus a host of other accessories
  • Slow sewing speed option
  • 1-25 year warranty (limited) according to component

>>> Read full review of the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960

Here’s a video of the machine in action:

While we really love the Singer 9960, here’s what could be better:

  • It’s a little noisy at high speed
  • Singer’s customer service leaves a little to be desired

We gave the machine a 4.7/5 rating in our official review:

“The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is one of the most popular sewing machines on the market for a reason — it’s easy to use, has 600 in-built stitches and lots of features for both general sewing and crafting.

It’s not the most portable machine, and beginners may find it a little overwhelming, but it’s undeniably an incredible sewing machine.”
Official SFH Review
Sale
Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
SINGER COMPUTERIZED SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 portable sewing machine has loads of ease-of-use features to allow you to fulfill your creative dreams. Has a large selection of stitches including basic, stretch and decorative stitches for fashion sewing, quilting, home decor and crafting. There’s even a selection of fonts to personalize projects

Brother PC 420PRW

Editor Pick: Great for Fashion Designers and Garment Makers

This sleek and chic machine from Brother is part of their Project Runway collection and is one of the best multi-purpose sewing machines, hands down.

Much like the Singer 9960, it’s an all-round machine that will likely appeal to intermediate sewers and above. Fashion designers and garment makers are likely to favor this machine too.

brother sewing machine project runway

Here’s what we love about the Brother PC420PRW:

  • Includes 294 pre-programmed stitches, including 10 1-step buttonholes and 3 font styles
  • Brother My Custom Stitch feature allows you to design custom stitches — great for crafters!
  • Automatic needle threader and thread trimming
  • Bobbin winding system powered by start button
  • Comes with 11 presser feet and a host of other accessories
  • 6-point feed dogs and built-in knee lifter
  • Works at 850 stitches per minute
  • Adjustable speed control
  • LCD display for easy stitch selection and size control
  • Twin needle function
  • Works quietly
  • 25 year limited warranty

Here’s what could be improved:

  • Very heavy at around 25 pounds
  • Weak lighting system
  • Occasional skipping on the zigzag stitch

>>> Read our full Brother PC420PRW Review

We gave the machine a 4.5/5 rating in our official review:

Versatile, reliable and a great stitcher, it’s no wonder that the Brother Project Runway PC420PRW is such a popular sewing machine with dressmakers and fashion designers!

It’s not a completely perfect machine — we spotted a small issue with the automatic thread cutter — and it doesn’t come cheap, but it’s a high quality machine that offers good value for money when taking into account its many features and quality.
Official SFH Review

Juki TL-2010Q

Editor Pick: Best Long-Arm Machine For Quilting

Fashion designers, tailors and quilters will love this Juki TL-2010Q single needle lockstitch sewing machine, which comes with a high price tag but has that unbeatable Japanese quality.

juki tl-2010q long-arm review

Here’s what we love about this Juki machine:

  • Single needle lockstitch
  • Automatic needle threader and thread trimmer
  • Easy bobbin replacement
  • Knee lifter lever for ease of use
  • Adjustment of presser foot pressure
  • Portable with carrying handle
  • Lots of included accessories
  • Large throat perfect for quilting
  • Free motion quilting capability
  • Can stitch through several layers

And where we think it could improve:

  • It’s really heavy, at over 37 pounds
  • It’s not computerized

>>> Read our full Juki TL-2010Q Review

We gave the machine a 4.4/5 rating in our official review:

A fantastic machine and on the wish-list for quilters everywhere.

It’s incredibly well made, with industrial speed and exceptionally high quality stitches. It’s got that cracking Juki build quality and stitch finesse… but with a matching price tag.
Official SFH Review
Juki TL-2010Q
  • Light weight and portable
  • Arm and bed of TL-2010Q is contructed of aluminum die-casting
  • Larger work area - wider handling area than conventional sewing machines
  • Automatic Thread Trimmer
  • Maximum Predetermined Stop Position of the Needle

Brother CS6000i

Editor Pick: Best Budget Quilting Machine

The Brother CS6000i is a low cost and versatile computerized sewing machine that is particularly popular with quilters and other crafters.

It’s also small and pretty lightweight — ideal for crafting night!

brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • 60 built-in stitches, including 7 1-step buttonholes
  • Computerized LCD display for easy stitch and size selection
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Variable speed control
  • Stop/start button and top drop-in bobbin
  • Comes with quilting table, hard cover, 9 presser feet and a host of other accessories
  • Free arm
  • 25 year limited warranty

And here’s a few areas for improvement:

  • Light is not strong enough
  • The operation manual is a little confusing

>>> Read our full Brother CS6000i Review

We gave the machine a 4.1/5 rating in our official review:

We love the Brother CS6000i — it’s one of the best sewing machines for beginners on a budget. It’s reasonably priced, easy to use and will grow with you as you grow in experience.

It’s not great on multiple layers and the jury’s still out on how well it can handle denim, but it’s perfectly good for most sewing and quilting projects.
Official SFH Review
Brother CS6000i
  • 60 Unique built-in stitches: The Brother CS6000i includes 60 built-in sewing stitches, including decorative stitches and 7 styles of auto-size buttonholes
  • Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: This sewing and quilting machine includes an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes the thread through the needle and a convenient, jam resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Included accessories: The CS6000i includes a hard protective case, wide table, 10 sewing feet, needle set including twin needle, 3 bobbins and more
  • LCD Screen: Easily select your stitches with the touch of a button and view your selections on the LCD display
  • 25 Year limited warranty: The CS6000i is backed by a 25 year limited warranty with free technical support for the life of the product

Singer Stylist 7528

Editor Pick: Great Entry-Level All-Rounder Machine

The Singer Stylist 7528 is another low-cost model from Singer, but this bad boy offers a lot more stitches as well as a programmable needle — ideal!

It’s another easy to use all-round machine — a real workhorse that can be used for everything from dressmaking to freehand embroidery; home furnishings to quilting projects. It is perfect for beginners and intermediate sewers alike.

No surprise then that is is one of the bestselling sewing machines of the last decade.

Singer Stylist 7258

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • 100 pre-programmed stitches, including 7 1-step buttonholes
  • Automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin system
  • Computerized with an LCD display
  • Electronic auto pilot option where you can sew without the foot pedal
  • Comes with 10 presser feet and other accessories
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Programmable up/down needle
  • Speed control with start/stop button
  • 25 year limited warranty

And here’s what could be improved:

  • Not as reliable on thicker materials
  • Machine vibrates on higher speed settings
Singer Stylist 7528
  • PUSH BUTTON STITCH SELECTION: The SINGER Stylist 7258 sewing machine allows you to select the desired stitch with just a simple push of a button. Optimum settings for length, width and tension are set automatically and are customizable with adjustable stitch length and stitch width. Volts : 120V. Amps : 0.62. Watts-74
  • WARRANTY: SINGER Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine has 25 Year Limited Warranty , 60 Hertz
  • This sewing machine is warranted for use in the US and Canada at 110 volts only

Brother SE400

Editor Pick: Great Sewing & Embroidery Combo Machine

In our opinion, the Brother SE400 is one of the best sewing machines for quilting and embroidery from the Brother range. Crafters — you’re going to love it!

We especially love the fact that you can connect it up to your computer and import your embroidery designs straight to the machine.

best combination sewing and embroidery machine

Here’s what we love about it:

  • 67 built-in stitch styles, 70 built-in embroidery designs and 5 lettering fonts
  • 4″ x 4″ embroidery capabilities
  • Can connect to your computer to import in your own embroidery designs
  • 1 touch automatic thread cutter and needle threader
  • 7-point feed dogs — smooth fabric feeding
  • Free arm
  • Comes with plenty of accessories including presser feet, embroidery hoop and arm
  • LCD touch display
  • Brightly lit workspace
  • 25 year limited warranty

Here’s a couple of areas where it could be improved:

  • The pre-programmed embroidery designs aren’t particularly inspiring
  • Not so good at tackling thicker fabrics and multiple layers

>>> Read our full Brother SE400 Review

We gave the machine a 4.5/5 rating in our official review:

We think the Brother SE400 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine is really top of its class. It sews excellently, is easy to use and looks good to boot.

It’s not perfect — the embroidery hoop is a little small and you may need to buy additional accessories — but this is a wonderful all-rounder machine.
Official SFH Review

Singer 4423

Editor Pick: Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine on a Budget

Singer claim that the 4423 can ‘sew through just about anything you throw at it’, which is exactly what we want in a heavy duty sewing machine.

This bad boy is certainly powerful — and it’s fast too, able to stitch 1,100 stitches per minute. It’s great to have industrial level sewing at a home use price!

Singer 4423 leather sewing specialist

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • 23 included stitches, including 1 1-step buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin
  • Can stitch 1,100 stitches per minute thanks to a 60% stronger motor
  • Very heavy duty and durable: stainless steel bed plate and a strong metal frame
  • 4 included presser feet are snap-on
  • Doesn’t vibrate, even at high speed — and no skipping stitches either!
  • Clear view cover over bobbin thread supply
  • 25 year limited warranty
  • Low cost

Here’s where there’s room for improvement:

  • Can be tricky to set the thread tension successfully
  • Lighting could be better
Singer 4423
  • SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE: The 23 built-in stitches including basic, stretch, decorative, and buttonhole stitches allow you to sew a variety of projects, such as fashions, home décor, quilts, crafts, and more
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER SEWING MACHINE: After following the threading path printed right on the machine, this built-in feature helps you to effortlessly thread the eye of the needle without eye strain or frustration. Amps (0.7). Watts (84). Volts (120). Hz (60)
  • HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE:The Singer 4423 Sewing Machine has a maximum sewing speed of 1, 100 stitches-per-minute, so projects can be sewn quickly. The 60% Stronger Motor provides greater piercing power for thick seams
  • HEAVY DUTY METAL FRAME: The Singer 4423 heavy duty sewing machine is a true workhorse. With a heavy-duty metal interior frame, stainless steel bedframe, extra-high sewing speed and powerful motor, this sewing machine can sew through a variety of heavy weight fabrics and provides long lasting stability
  • SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES: A variety of accessories are included with All-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, seam ripper/lint brush, quilting guide, needles, bobbins, screwdriver, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt are all conveniently located and stored in the accessory tray. A soft-sided dust cover is also included in the packaging

Juki HZL-F600

Editor Pick: Best Machine For Advanced Garment Making

The Juki HZL-F600 is truly one of the best sewing machines for build quality. In terms of stitch quality, reliability and creative potential, this machine is almost unparalleled.

Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s definitely high performance. It can be used for everything from simple stitching to the most advanced, professional quality garment making.

Not everybody needs a machine this customisable, and we’d be reluctant to recommend it to beginners. But for small businesses and power users, it ticks every box.

juki hzl-f300 review

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • Includes 255 sewing patterns, 4 fonts and 16 buttonholes
  • Box feed technology
  • Works with lightweight to thicker materials
  • Wide sewing space with an extended sewing table
  • Stitch charts
  • Accessories include snap-on presser feet
  • 900 stitches per minute
  • Computerized with an LCD display

And here’s where it could improve:

  • You can’t use it for embroidering
  • It’s pretty heavy (around 25 pounds)

>>> Read our full Juki HZL-F600 Review

We gave the machine a 4.5/5 rating in our official review:

The Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine is an exceptional high-end machine. 

The design and features of the machine may be intimidating for beginners but is filled with accessories and settings to satisfy all the needs of intermediate to advanced sewers. 

The Juki HZL-5600 is built to last with its durable design.
Official SFH Review
Juki HZL-F600
  • SIMPLE-TO-USE SEWING AND QUILTING MACHINE: 255 built-in stitches including basic, stretch, decorative, letters and buttonhole stitches, meet your various needs for embroidery patterns.
  • USER-FRIENDLY DESIGNED LCD SCREEN: The stitch selector switch allows you to easily see and choose your stitch. Simply select your stitches with the push of a button and view your selection on the LCD display.
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER: This sewing machine includes an automatic needle threader that helps you easily thread the eye of the needle without causing your eyes fatigue or frustration and a convenient, jam resistant.
  • SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES: A variety of accessories are perfect for a wide range of everyday sewing projects, and users from beginners to advanced. They are all conveniently stored in the accessory tray. A soft-sided dust cover is also included in the packaging
  • LCD SCREEN: The intuitive LCD display allows you to easily choose your stitches and settings with the push of a button

Janome 8077

Editor Pick: Great Starter Sewing Machine For Beginners

The Janome 8077 is a perfect entry-level sewing machine for beginners that is great for home use and crafting.

Stitch quality is high and there’s plenty of accessories included for you to customize your sewing experience.

Beginner seamstresses are often looking for a machine that works straight ‘out of the box’. That’s the case here. The machine comes with an automatic bobbin winder, and an automatic needle threader. You’ll be up and running in minutes rather than hours…

Janome 8077

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • Comes with 30 built-in stitches, including 6 1-step buttonholes
  • Equipped with the exclusive Janome jam-proof magnetic rotary hook
  • Start/stop button as well as foot control
  • Extra high presser foot lift for maximum ease of use
  • Sliding speed override — great for beginners
  • Plenty of bonus accessories, including presser feet and a needle pack
  • Can handle lightweight through to heavy duty materials

And here’s a couple of areas for improvement:

  • You can only use the start/stop button when the foot pedal is unplugged
  • There aren’t many decorative stitches, which may deter crafters

Janome DC2014

Editor Pick: Great Stitching & Precision For High Performance

The Janome DC2014 is one of the most popular sewing machines for home use and is highly recommended by sewers who value reliable stitch quality and ease of use.

Thanks for the Superior Feed System, you can depend on the Janome DC2014 to reliably produce precise and accurate stitching, just the way you want it, time after time.

Intermediate and advanced sewers will automatically see the quality of their projects increase when they switch to the DC2014 from a lesser machine. 

JANOME DC2014 COMPUTERIZED SEWING MACHINE

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • Comes with 50 pre-programmed stitches, including 3 1-step buttonholes
  • 7-point feed dogs for smooth feeding
  • Auto-lock button and easy reverse
  • Speed control via slider
  • Top loading drop-in bobbin, automatic de-clutch bobbin winder and built-in needle threader
  • Automatic tension control
  • Free arm and quilting guide bar
  • Extra high presser foot lift for ease of use
  • Memorized needle up/down
  • Start/stop button to sew without foot pedal
  • Works reasonably quietly

And here’s where it could be better:

  • Can be tricky to use the needle threader
  • Not so good on sewing through multiple layers of thick material

>>> Read our full Janome DC2014 Review

We gave the machine a 4.5/5 rating in our official review:

It’s hard not to fall in love with the Janome DC2014 computerized sewing machine. It sews like a dream, is incredibly versatile and is easy to use to boot.

But it’s definitely expensive, so we’d only recommend it for intermediate and advanced sewers, and perhaps committed beginners.
Official SFH Review

Brother HC1850

Editor Pick: Best Budget Machine For Quilting

The low-cost Brother HC1850 machine is good for quilters and other crafters who’ll appreciate the beautiful pre-programmed decorative stitches.

Quilters love the detachable large table, spring action quilting foot, free-motion quilting capabilities and the 14 quilting stitch functions.

Brother HC1850

Here’s what we love about this machine:

  • 130 built-in stitches, including 8 1-step buttonholes and a sewing font for monogramming
  • Special features for quilting, including wide table
  • Includes lots of accessories, like an attached stitch flip chart and 8 specialty feet
  • Computerized with LCD display
  • Super bright LED-lit work area
  • Adjustable sewing speed
  • Automatic needle threader and quick-set bobbin with start button
  • Drop feed for free motion quilting
  • Just over 10 pounds
  • Inexpensive

And where it could improve:

  • Experienced sewers may find the speed a little slow
  • Doesn’t feel as sturdy as some of the heavy duty machines

>>> Read our full Brother HC1850 Review

We gave the machine a 4.6/5 rating in our official review:

The Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine is perfect for beginners on a budget, looking to hone their skills on a quality machine.

Bobbin issues may arise, but there really isn’t much to complain about when it comes to this affordable, versatile machine.
Official SFH Review
Brother HC1850
  • 185 Unique built-in stitches: The HC1850 includes 130 sewing stitches including 8 styles of auto-size buttonholes, plus 55 alphanumeric sewing stitches
  • Advanced needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: This sewing and quilting machine includes an advanced needle threading function that easily pushes thread through the needle with the press of a lever and a jam resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Included accessories: The HC1850 quilting and sewing machine includes a wide table, 8 feet, instructional DVD, manual and more
  • LCD Screen: Easily select your stitches with the touch of a button and view your selections on the LCD display
  • At your side support: The HC1850 quilting and sewing machine comes with Brother At your side support offering free technical support via online, live chat or phone for the life of your machine

Janome 2212

Editor Pick: Best Cheap Machine For Complete Beginners

A *cheap* Janome machine, you say? Believe the hype — good quality stitching in a low priced machine is made possible with the Janome 2212.

This is an easy to use and basic machine that’s perfect for beginners and those dipping their toes into the sewing world. It’s one of the least ‘intimidating’ machines to get to grips with in our selection.

Granted, it can’t work with the number of fabrics that other machines boast, and yes – it has been known to jam on occasion – but if you’re looking to learn the basics, it’s about as simple as it gets.

janome 2212 review

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • Comes with 12 pre-programmed stitches, including 1 buttonhole
  • Drop feed and free arm for free motion sewing and quilting
  • Pattern selection is via the easy turn dial
  • Front loading bobbin
  • Speeds up to 1000 stitches per minute
  • Built-in thread cutter
  • Comes with multiple accessories, including snap-on presser feet
  • You can lock stitches with the reverse lever
  • Limited 25 year warranty

Areas for improvement:

  • Buttonhole requires 4 steps
  • Needle threading and tension control is manual, which could be tricky

>>> Read our full Janome 2212 Review

We gave the machine a 3.9/5 rating in our official review:

While the Janome 2212 Sewing Machine comes with its quirks, it’s an option that should be considered for sewers on a budget. 

Beginners should have the patience to learn on the Janome’s specific settings, while advanced sewers might find it harder to adjust to.
Official SFH Review
Janome 2212
  • Bed type: free arm / flat bed convertible
  • Screen: Pre-printed on the front panel
  • Maximum speed: 860 spm | Type of buttonhole: 4-step
  • Number of built-in stitches: 6 stitches plus buttonhole
  • Bonus Package Includes: 10 Bobbins, 2ea Schmetz 90/14 Universal Needles (5pk). *Items may be substituted and are subject to stock on hand. Packaging might vary

Janome HD1000

Editor Pick: Great Heavy Duty Sewing Machine On A Budget

The Janome HD1000 is one of the best heavy duty sewing machines that is still in stock, at a very reasonable price.

You can expect that usual Janome quality stitching, plus the ability to tackle thicker and layered fabrics — great for garment makers!

janome hd1000 review

Things we love about the machine:

  • 14 built-in stitches, including 1 buttonhole
  • Very heavy duty, made of cast aluminum
  • Built-in automatic needle threader
  • Removable free arm and drop feed for free motion sewing
  • Comes with plenty of accessories, including 4 presser feet, and bobbins
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Front loading bobbin and automatic de-clutch bobbin winder
  • Select stitches via the dial
  • Extra high presser foot lifter
  • 25 year limited warranty

And some things we don’t like so much:

  • Buttonhole requires 4 steps
  • Machine runs relatively loudly
  • Tension control is manual, which can be tricky

>>> Read our full Janome HD1000 Review (Black Edition)

We gave the machine a 4/5 rating in our official review:

Beginners will appreciate the basic stitches and the easy-to-read instructions and labels on the machine, while the more experienced sewer will appreciate the heavy-duty construction of the machine, the manual tension control, and the multiple feet that are included.
Official SFH Review
Sale
Janome HD1000
  • 14 Built-In Stitches including Utility Stitches, Stretch Stitches and a Simple to Use 4 Step Buttonhole
  • The Janome HD1000's Body is Made of Cast Aluminum and Like the Metal Machines of Years Ago the Janome HD1000 is Made To Last
  • Comes with A Bunch of Different Accessories Including - Bobbins, Felt, Extra Needles, Two Screwdrivers, Seam Ripper/Buttonhole Ripper, Zipper Foot, Hemmer Foot, Buttonhole Foot, a Hem Guide and a Soft Cover
  • The HD1000 Has A Free Arm For Sewing Pants, Cuffs and Collars and Drop Feed for Darning, Stippling, Attaching Buttons and Other Free Motion Applications
  • The Janome HD1000 Even Has a Built-In Automatic Needle Threader - Thread Your Needle with Ease and Without Eye-Strain

Singer 5400 Sew Mate

Editor Pick: Great Entry Level Machine For Beginners

This popular sewing machine is low cost, lightweight and easy to use — perfect for beginners!

While you shouldn’t expect miracles from a product in this price range, the Singer 5400 is ideal for small repairs and basic personal use. It’s also surprisingly versatile for a machine that is targeted squarely at beginners.

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • 60 built in stitch styles, including 4 1-step buttonholes
  • Push button stitch selection
  • Automatic needle threader, tension, stitch length and width
  • Front load bobbin
  • Comes with a number of accessories, including presser feet
  • 25 year limited warranty

And here’s what could be improved:

  • The bobbin has to be rethreaded quite a lot
  • Stitch quality is not always consistent (personal use only!)
Singer 5400 Sew Mate
  • SINGER HANDY SEWING MACHINE: Offering 60 built-in stitches, the SINGER 5400 Sew Mate sewing machine includes a large variety of stitches for all types of sewing, such as fashion sewing, quilting, heirloom, crafts, home and decorative sewing.
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER: Sewing’s biggest timesaver.Easily threads the needle without frustration or eye strain.
  • 60 Built-in Stitches: 8 Essential Stitches, 8 Stretch Stitches designed to move with your fabric, 40 Decorative Stitches perfect for embellishments 4 Fully-Automatic 1-Step Buttonholes
  • HEAVY METAL FRAME Sewing Machine: Features including 60 built-in stitches, an automatic 1-step buttonhole, and a heavy-duty metal frame make fashion sewing and other creative projects fun and easy.
  • BEST SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Sew Mate 5400 portable sewing machine is the perfect sewing machine for beginner sewers. With an automatic needle threader, quick-and-easy threading, and adjustable stitch length and width, the set-up is simple and frustration-free.

Singer 1234

Editor Pick: Great Value Portable Machine For Beginners and Kids

If you want a cheap, basic sewing machine, it’s hard to go wrong with the Singer 1234.

Sure, it may not have the bells and whistles of the more expensive models, but it’s well suited to beginners, sewers on a budget, or even kids. And it’s certainly portable.

You can get familiar with some of the sewing basics without being intimidated by dozens of options or a chunky industrial looking machine. Keep in mind, though, that it can’t handle particularly thick materials.

Singer 1234

Here’s what we love about the machine:

  • Automatic bobbin winding system
  • Free arm and darning plate
  • Includes online machine owner’s class
  • 6 built-in stitches, including 1 button hole
  • Pre-set stitch length and width settings
  • Accessories including 3 presser feet
  • Comes with a tote bag and decorative vinyl decals
  • Dual spool pins for twin needles
  • 750 stitches per minute speed
  • 25 year limited warranty

And here’s what could be improved:

  • Programmed buttonhole stitch is a 4-step process
  • No good for thick materials
Singer 1234
  • SINGER FREE-ARM SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Start 1234 Free Arm Portable Sewing Machine has 6 Built-In Stitches including a built-in 4 step Buttonhole. The removable storage compartment houses its sewing accessories which are easy-to-use and versatile.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE: This lightweight and portable machine weighs only 7 pounds, making it great for sewing in smaller spaces or taking to sewing class.
  • AUTOMATIC BOBBIN WINDING SEWING MACHINE: To wind a bobbin, simply follow the numbered diagram printed on top of the sewing machine. The bobbin will automatically stop turning when it's completely filled.
  • BEST SEWING MACHINE FOR BEGINNERS: The SINGER Start 1234 sewing machine is basic, simple, and easy-to-use thanks to 6 Built-in Stitches, all with pre-set stitch width and stitch length. Just select your stitch and start sewing.
  • SINGER Start 1234 ACCESSORIES: Includes All-Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Darning Plate, Pack of Needles, Bobbins, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Spool Pin Felts, Seam Ripper / Lint Brush, Power Line Cord, Foot Control, Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual.

How To Choose A Suitable Sewing Machine

Unless you’ve been brought up in a world of sewing and embroidery, the sewing machine market can be more than a little overwhelming.

There’s a huge number of machines out there, and the list of specifications attached to them can be pretty extraordinary.

If you’re brand new to the sewing market, we suggest you head over to our Home Sewing Machines 101 post. That details everything you need to know about sewing machines and sewing in general before you buy.

If you’re wondering what on earth feed dogs are — this post is for you!

But in the meantime, if you know your lockstitch from your zigzag stitch, stick around here and we’ll clue you in on the best sewing machines that your money can buy.

Best Sewing Machine Makers and Brands

While there are a huge number of individual sewing machines out there, there are only a relatively small number of brands that dominate this market.

The major players are:

Truthfully, if you’re looking for a really high quality sewing machine right now, you’re probably going to be buying a model from one of these brands.

best sewing machines brands

There are, of course, a number of quality, individual machines that don’t belong to these brands, which we’ll highlight as well.

If you’re tempted by a low-cost unbranded sewing machine, we’d advise you to steer clear. While they may in some cases be significantly cheaper than the branded alternatives, they will not be made as well nor will offer the same caliber of capabilities and specifications.

Plus, there are a handful of the best sewing machines under $200 anyway!

A Note on Pricing

Just while we’re on the subject of price, let’s just highlight a universal truth:

You get what you pay for.

With a few exceptions, the better the machine, the higher the price.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that cheaper machines are in anyway bad or low quality but usually that they simply don’t offer the same array of capabilities as their more expensive counterparts.

For some people, this will be fine. As long as the machine delivers high quality stitches and does what you want it to, that’s enough.

For the more adventurous and more diverse amongst us, you may need something a little more specialist, wide ranging or sturdy. That’s fine too — what’s important is that you know what you want and you buy something that meets your needs and expectations.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

Here’s a list of features and capabilities that you should consider whether you need in a sewing machine.

Once you know the answers, you’ll be that much closer to choosing the best sewing machine for you!

best sewing machines for beginners
  • The number of stitch patterns it offers: important for embroiderers and decorative sewers. The more the better.
  • The number of stitches per minute it offers. How fast can it work?
  • What’s the stitch quality like?
  • Is it computerized with an LCD display or mechanical with a dial? We find computerized easier to use, but it’s up to you.
  • What’s the maximum stitch length and width? Especially important for sewers working with thicker materials. Also check if the stitch sizing is adjustable.
  • The number of buttonhole styles it offers. Important for garment makers. The more the better.
  • The number of steps needed for buttonhole sewing. The fewer the better for maximum efficiency.
  • Is the speed adjustable? Especially important for beginners.
  • How big is the throat? The bigger the better — especially for quilters and those working on larger projects.
  • Does it come with automatic thread cutters, needle threaders and bobbin winders? 
  • Does it have twin needle capability? Important for garment makers and hemmers.
  • How big is it? Important for portability.
  • The number of included presser feet and whether it comes with a knee lifter (for removing the presser feet hands free).
  • Are the feed dogs adjustable? And can you easily disengage them?
  • Does it have a free arm? Important for garment makers for sewing sleeves.
  • Does it come with a drop-in bobbin?
  • Is there a warranty available and what’s the support like?

Phew! That’s quite a lot of things to consider — and it’s definitely not an exhaustive list.

If there’s one thing you should be taking away, it’s that you truly need to do your research to find out the best sewing machines for home use.


What are your picks for the best sewing machines?

2 thoughts on “Best Sewing Machines in 2021: A Buyer’s Guide”

  1. interesting you haven’t reviewed any Bernina machines? I appreciate they are very expensive but would be good to know how you feel about them!

    Reply
  2. HI

    I wanna sewing n embroidery machine. Trying to decide between Bernina 560e and Brother NV2600…….
    Can someone suggest me which would be better choice.

    Reply

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