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Best Sewing Machine Reviews UK 2020: Our Top 10 Picks

Last Updated On October 6th, 2020

Sewing is a rewarding hobby for millions. It’s a daily or weekly task for many who make their own outfits or must constantly stitch up rips or holes in their kids’ clothes. The work can naturally be done by hand, but the vast majority of women (and men) who sew prefer to use a sewing machine. Of course, this means choosing the best sewing machine for your needs is a job far more difficult than hemming a pair of jeans or fixing a buttonhole. The wide variety of models you can choose from is confusing at best, and frustrating at worst. How many types of fabrics can they handle? Drop-in or front-loading bobbin? How important is the machine’s speed?

To help you find the right choice for your needs, we have extensively studied the popular choices on the market and decided upon the following 10 models. So, read our sewing machine reviews to find the perfect option for you!

Our Favourite Sewing Machines Compared

Editor’s Choice
Singer 3232 Sewing Machine, White and Lavender
Best Value
Portable Sewing Machine with Foot Pedal, 12 Stitches 2 Speed Heavy Duty Sew Machine, Electric Handheld Quilting Embroidery Overlock Quick Sewing Machine Household Sewing Tool
Best Heavy-Duty
Brother HF27 Strong & Tough, Heavy Duty Electronic Sewing Machine
Best All-Round
Janome J3-24 Sewing Machine
Singer 3232
Bossjoy Electric
Brother HF27 Strong & Tough
Janome J3-24
Dimensions
41.5 x 17 x 30.1 cm
31.4 x 29.7 x 14.7 cm
48 x 25.8 x 37.5 cm
46.5 x 37.5 x 21 cm
Weight
5.8 kg
2.47 kg
8.32 kg
8.10 kg
No. of Stitches
32
12
27
24
Drop In Bobbin
Editor’s Choice
Singer 3232 Sewing Machine, White and Lavender
Singer 3232
Dimensions
41.5 x 17 x 30.1 cm
Weight
5.8 kg
No. of Stitches
32
Drop In Bobbin
Best Value
Portable Sewing Machine with Foot Pedal, 12 Stitches 2 Speed Heavy Duty Sew Machine, Electric Handheld Quilting Embroidery Overlock Quick Sewing Machine Household Sewing Tool
Bossjoy Electric
Dimensions
31.4 x 29.7 x 14.7 cm
Weight
2.47 kg
No. of Stitches
12
Drop In Bobbin
Best Heavy-Duty
Brother HF27 Strong & Tough, Heavy Duty Electronic Sewing Machine
Brother HF27 Strong & Tough
Dimensions
48 x 25.8 x 37.5 cm
Weight
8.32 kg
No. of Stitches
27
Drop In Bobbin
Best All-Round
Janome J3-24 Sewing Machine
Janome J3-24
Dimensions
46.5 x 37.5 x 21 cm
Weight
8.10 kg
No. of Stitches
24
Drop In Bobbin

Best Sewing Machine Reviews – Top 10 Picks

1. Singer 3232 (Editor’s Choice)

Singer 3232The 3232 by Singer is the first to make our list of top sewing machines. This simple and elegant machine boasts a host of versatile features, whilst also being very easy to use.

Features

This Singer 3232 is suitable for any sewing level with a diverse set of 32 adjustable length and width stitches, an automatic needle threader, thread cutter and 4 different feet attachments. It may not have every fancy stitch available, but it’s more than suitable for all your everyday sewing needs – such as dressmaking, hemming, button sewing even quilting.

It’s fast, too. The 3232 can sew up to speeds of 750 stitches per minute for rapid results. The convenient front-loading bobbin allows easy access and while the useful quilting guide and darning plate will be particularly helpful if you’re new to sewing.

On the downside, although it is recommended for any sewing level, the Singer 3232 can be difficult to set up for those new to sewing machines. Furthermore, some users complained the bobbin tends to stick and setting the stitch width as well as length can be a little fiddly to get right.

Pros:
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Thread cutter
  • 32 stitch styles
  • Stitch length and width are adjustable
  • Reaches speeds of 750 stitches per min
Cons:
  • Stitch width and length are difficult to set
  • The bobbin is hard to remove
  • Difficult to set up

2. Bossjoy Electric (Best Value)

Bossjoy ElectricIf you’re looking for the best budget sewing machine that will get the job done without breaking the bank, the Bossjoy Electric sewing machine makes a great choice. Although it lacks accessories and has only 2 speeds – this machine still has some very handy features and its accessories are readily available to buy should you need them.

Features

The nifty Bossjoy electric is very easy to use, making it perfect if you are looking for the best cheap sewing machine for kids who want to learn how to sew. It offers 12 stitch options, overlock and reverse functions as well as a free arm for circular sewing. As an extra bonus, it also features a handy thread cutter and can be operated by either hand or foot as you desire.

It is completely portable and offers a convenient battery-powered option for those on-the-go projects. Although it should be noted that batteries are not included.

Pros:
  • 12 stitch options
  • Overlock and reverse functions
  • Free arm option for circular sewing
  • Hand or foot operated
  • Can be battery operated
Cons:
  • Does not come with accessories
  • Only has 2 speeds
  • Batteries not included

3. Brother HF27 Strong & Tough (Best Heavy-Duty)

Brother HF27 Strong & ToughIf you’re looking for the best heavy-duty sewing machine, this Brother HF27 electronic option makes an excellent choice. It consists of a traditional, durable metal chassis – unlike the many plastic versions that you’ll find today. Suitable for sewing both light and thick materials, this machine makes a great all-rounder.

Features

Choose from 27 different stitch types and get creative with your designs. Whether you are home furnishing or dressmaking, this machine can take on very thick layers of fabric. Thanks to its J-foot complete with levelling button. Dressmakers will appreciate the one-step buttonhole feature. And, many will find the automatic needle threader and quick-set drop-in bobbin easy to use. Even if you are new to sewing, the included instructional DVD takes you through all the main features step by step.

Each and every stitch can be varied in width and length. However, note that this is not a computerised machine. Also, when you take your foot off the peddle, the needle stays where it is. It’s because there is no needle up stop position. So, you’ll have to turn the handwheel to pull it up. Lastly, bear in mind that this model only comes with a dust cover and not a hard one.

All in all, if you need a reliable, highly-functional sewing machine that can easily take on thicker fabrics, this is a great buy.

Pros:
  • Durable metal chassis
  • 27 different stitch types
  • J-foot with levelling button
  • Fully adjustable stitches
  • Includes instructional DVD
Cons:
  • No needle up stop position
  • No case, just a dust cover
  • Not computerised

4. Janome J3-24 (Best All-Round)

Janome J3-24The J3-24 is our top pick for the best all-round sewing machine. It offers sewers of all levels the choice of 24 variable width and length stitch options. The stitch selection is also nicely balanced between utility and decorative types, giving you an even choice of both.

Features

Although it is not suitable for heavy-duty sewing, it will easily tackle most everyday household sewing projects such as buttons, buttonholes and dressmaking. It even has a drop-feed for topstitching that makes for nice free-hand embroidery work. However, the feed dogs cannot be dropped, so if thick quilting forms part of your work, you may need to opt for another model.

It has no automatic bobbin winder, but it does come with an automatic needle threader and a handy thread cutter. With regard to portability, Janome’s are generally lightweight sewing machines and the J3-24 os no exception. As it weighs only 6 kgs and includes a convenient storage compartment for your accessories, this model is perfect to take along with you to sewing class.

Pros:
  • Handy thread cutter
  • 24 Stitches with variable width and length control
  • Drop feed for topstitching/free-hand embroidery
  • Convenient storage for accessories
  • Weighs only 6 kgs
Cons:
  • Not suitable for heavy duty sewing
  • Feed dogs cannot be dropped for quilting
  • No automatic bobbin winder

5. Brother AE1700 (Best for Buttonholes)

Brother AE1700 17 stitchIf you’re looking for a simple machine that’s ideal for home sewing tasks; the AE1700 is the best value sewing machine on the market.

Features

In contrast to many standard sewing machines, the Brother AE1700 features a dial thread tension adjuster to enable you to set the top thread tension easily. It also comes with some standard brother accessories, such as 4 different feet attachments and a useful darning plate to prevent tugging at fabric. Like most Brother machines it is nicely designed with an easy selectable 17 stitch jog dial, automatic bobbin winder and drop-in bobbin with a clear cover to help you keep an eye on your cotton.

It is, however, more of an entry-level machine and only has 2 set needle positions with no automatic threader. Furthermore, the 50-watt motor isn’t powerful enough to be suitable for the sewing of heavy duty, heavily folded or upholstery type materials.

Pros:
  • Automatic bobbin winder
  • Drop-in bobbin with clear cover
  • Comes with many accessories
  • Includes zigzag, buttonhole, button sewing and zipper feet
  • Top thread tension adjuster
  • Instructional DVD included when you buy
Cons:
  • 50-Watt motor not suited for heavy-duty projects
  • Only 2 set needle positions
  • No automatic threader

6. Brother FS40 Electronic (Best Computerised)

Brother FS40 ElectronicSimple, yet offering a range of useful features – the Brother FS40 is our choice of best computerised sewing machine. The option of using either the foot pedal or hand operated controls makes it perfect for sewers of all levels, while the comprehensive instructional DVD is a handy addition for beginners.

Features

Sewing is made smooth and steady with the stop/start button, slide speed controls and a needle up/down button that you’re sure to appreciate. However, we did find that foot height and pressure is not adjustable – so you may struggle when sewing thicker materials. The Brother FS40 electronic sewing comes complete with a bright LED light, LCD screen and a box load of accessories that include 7 different feet attachments to complement its 40 stitch settings.

There is no automatic needle threader, but the machine is designed for easy threading and has a convenient top-loading bobbin. However, Brother recommends using only plastic bobbins as a the metal one may damage the machine.

Pros:
  • Easy to use at all sewing levels
  • Instructional DVD included when you buy
  • 7 different foot attachments included
  • Foot pedal or hand operated
  • 40 stitch options with width and length control
Cons:
  • Only takes plastic bobbins
  • Foot height and pressure cannot be adjusted
  • No automatic needle threader

7. Brother FS100WT (Best for Quilting)

Brother FS100WTIf you are looking for the best sewing machine for quilting that will get the job done without breaking the bank – then you must try the FS100WT free motion. The machine comes with an extra wide table attachment, free motion embroidery foot and drop feed mechanism which is perfect for heavy-duty quilting or embroidery projects.

Features

If you prefer flexibility of use when sewing, you’ll be pleased to hear that this machine can be controlled by either the foot pedal or with the hand-controlled stop/start buttons and slide speed controls. The Brother FS100WT also offers a choice of 100 styles of stitches, including decorative options and lettering, which can be effortlessly selected using the large control panel and clear LCD display.

However, there are a few downsides you should be aware of. The 7 feet attachments do not include a walking or seam allowance foot as standard, but you can buy these at most sewing shops. There is also no thread cutter or automatic needle threader on the machine. If you’re an experienced user, this shouldn’t be an issue, but we feel it would have been a welcome addition.

Pros:
  • Motion embroidery foot is included
  • 100 stitch styles, including decorative and lettering options
  • Hand controlled stop/start button and speed control
  • Drop feed mechanism
  • Comes with 7 different feet attachments
  • Instructional DVD included when you buy
Cons:
  • No automatic needle threader
  • No thread cutter
  • Does not come with a walking or seam allowance foot

8. Singer 1507 (Best for Beginners)

Singer 1507Offering a wealth of settings and simple controls, we think the Singer 1507 sewing machine is the best sewing machine for beginners It comes with some handy accessories which include a darning plate, seam guide and four useful feet attachments.

Features

While this sewing machine may be too limited for seasoned users, the choice of just 8 stitch options and 2 set needle positions makes a great option if you’re just starting out. Other models which feature numerous stitch options can prove confusing if you have little experience. Most of the stitch widths are fixed, but you can still get the feel for setting thread width when using the zigzag stitch.

It has a more than adequate 85-watt motor which enables you to easily sew most types of fabric, even bulkier, multi-layered ones. A dial adjustable presser foot also comes in handy if you need a bit of extra control on thicker or layered materials, while the durable canvas cover and accessory compartment are great for storage. However, due to its position, you’ll need to be careful not to break the plastic spool holder when lifting and carrying this machine.

Pros:
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Adjustable presser foot
  • Adjustable Zigzag width and stitch length
  • Accessories include a handy seam guide
  • Durable canvas cover with accessory compartment
Cons:
  • Limited to 8 stitch options
  • Only 2 set needle positions
  • The plastic spool holder is located near the handle and breaks easily

9. Janome 2200XT

Janome 2200xtThe 2200XT is an easy to use sewing machine that is affordable yet reliable. The machine comes with 6 useful snap-on feet attachments and the extra high presser foot lifter is perfect for sewing heavily layered, bulky or thicker materials. The drop feed facility allows you to do free motion sewing, while the two retractable spool pins make twin needle work a breeze.

Features

If you need to sew hard to reach garment items like shirt cuffs, sleeves and collars; the removable storage box works as a free arm to accommodate circular stitching. It also has a handy hem guide which you’ll find useful if you are a beginner. Weighing only 6kg, it is also very lightweight, making it ideal to take with you to sewing classes or out on the road.

The Janome 2200XT features 22 stitch options that include stretch stitch, zigzag and blind hem stitches. The length and width of each can be adjusted, but they do have a maximum limit of 4mm in width and 5mm in length. Unfortunately, though, this model lacks a needle threader and speed control – which may be an issue if you’re a less experienced sewer.

Pros:
  • Easy to use
  • Drop-feed facility
  • 22 easy selectable stitches
  • Comes with 6 useful Snap-On feet attachments
  • Handy hem guide
Cons:
  • No needle threader
  • Limited stitch length and width control
  • Does not have speed control

10. Brother LS14S Chassis

Brother LS14S ChassisIf you’re looking for an easy to use sewing machine which is perfect for beginners and experienced users alike then go for the Brother LS14S Chassis Sewing Machine.

Thanks to the clearly marked jag dial which is comfortably positioned; all levels of sewers will find the 14 fixed width and length stitch settings easy to locate and operate – although this may not be enough choice for all users.

Features

This machine comes with Zig Zag, Buttonhole and Zipper feet to compliment your everyday household sewing tasks, along with a helpful instructional DVD if you need some guidance. Furthermore, should you have shirt sleeves or cuffs that need stitching, the Brother LS14S can be conveniently converted into a free arm machine for extra manoeuvrability. The clear covered drop-in bobbin holder allows you to monitor how much cotton you have at any time – reducing the risk of running out part-way through your work. However, this sewing machine is limited to the use of plastic bobbins as a metal one may damage the machine or affect your stitch quality.

Whilst this is a great machine for quick household fixes and hobbyists, it should be noted that the 50-watt motor is not suitable for heavy-duty sewing projects that require thick or heavily layered materials such as quilting.

Pros:
  • Great for beginners
  • Instructional DVD included when you buy
  • Zigzag, buttonhole and zipper feet included
  • Converts to a Free Arm machine
  • Drop-in clear covered bobbin holder
Cons:
  • Limited to 14 stitch settings with a fixed width and length
  • Only takes plastic bobbins
  • 50-watt motor not suitable for heavy-duty sewing

What to Consider When Choosing a Sewing Machine

needlecraft equipment on a table Now that we have examined the 10 best sewing machines on the market, let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to consider before you buy.

1. Power

Before narrowing down your choices, the first step should be to get a firm handle on exactly how you’ll be using your machine. That will determine “how much” of a sewing machine you’ll need.

There’s no sense in choosing a model which has the power to push through denim or other heavy fabrics if you’ll primarily be using it to make summer dresses, and a lightweight starter machine isn’t going to do the trick if you’ll be working with leather or denim or sewing eight hours a day.

2. Speed

Speed does matter, though, better machines will let you adjust the speed to your project and the material you’re working with. Adjustable tension is also important, whether the machine makes the change automatically or you do it manually.

3. Stitching Options

lady doing needleworkIf you are not looking for the best basic sewing machine then find one with the flexibility to vary the length and width of stitches which is a major advantage. Another thing is the ability to move the needle to a variety of positions to put stitching exactly where you want it instead of having to use the pressure foot as your guide.

You probably don’t need the hundreds of decorative stitches many sewing machines include (beyond the basics like straight and zigzag, of course) but you should make sure that a good number of the types of stitches you’d use regularly are available, particularly if you’re a quilter or embroiderer. A question that’s just important to ask is how many presser feet are included with the machine you buy. It’s hard, for example, to buttonhole without a buttonhole foot.

Twin-needle capability is desirable for hemming, as is an adjustable feed dog that lets you sew free-style. If you’re an accomplished sewer or accustomed to using an older machine, you may not want a machine with a front-loading bobbin or automatic needle threading. However, you’ll likely want these features if you’re just starting out.

4. Controls & Ergonomics

Ergonomics and controls also make a huge difference and that is why you need to compare sewing machines. The controls should be easily within arm’s reach, there should be sufficient room for your hands in the space around the needle, indicators should be easy to read and the machine should respond quickly and properly to changes in speed or tension. Check the sewing machine reviews of your chosen product and if possible, test it yourself.

Computerised machines should have intuitive controls so you don’t have to put aside your project to find the user’s manual. The weight and portability of a sewing machine will also be a factor if you plan on moving or storing it regularly.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a seasoned sewer with millions of stitches to your name or you’ve never used a sewing machine in your life, you’re sure to find your perfect match from our list of top 10 sewing machine reviews. If we had to choose, our pick would have to be our editor’s choice – the Singer 3232 sewing machine.

We just love how many features this machine has to choose from so that you can start creating as soon as you get it out of the box. The possibilities are endless with its 32 adjustable length and width stitches, sewing speeds of up to 750 stitches per minute, and four different feet attachments. What’s more, it features a front-loading bobbin and an automatic needle threader for ease-of-use, as well as a useful quilting guide in case you need some extra guidance when you’re getting started.

Do you have another model in mind? What is your pick for the best sewing machine? Let us know in the comments section.

Additional Resources

14 Responses

    1. Hi Sonia,

      Husqvarna is a well-known brand and they have a reputation for producing excellent quality mowers, pressure washers, chainsaws, etc which have proven to be very durable. Their sewing machines aren’t as popular as Singer and Brother and they don’t have too many beginner models to choose from. This is probably why they don’t sell as much as the two other brands I mentioned. However, I do think it’s worth giving their sewing machines a shot if you have the budget for it.

      1. This was a very timely discovery as I’m in the overwhelming throws of buying probably my last sewing machine, so very interesting to read your reviews on the Husqvarna. Thank you!

  1. Hi,
    The review is very helpful but I’m still confused between two brands. Singer and brother. Singer is what i have experienced as my mother has this brand. And brother’s machine seems to be very easy and have a good range of stitches. Could you please clearify that which brand is more trusted?

    1. They are both big and trusted brands, it’s hard to go wrong with either. Always check the reviews on Amazon for all the extra little details to see if it’s suitable for you.

  2. Hi, I have recently bought Pfaff Expression 720. I had to send the machine back because I could not change the needle. It was truly stuck in the needle holder. The machine came back after being repaired and two weeks later I have same problem. Have you come across this problem? If so, do you know what may be causing it.
    Many thanks
    Kim

    1. Hi Kim. You can try undoing the lock screw fully. Afterwards, gently move the clamp in the opposite direction of the lock screw. Hopefully, the needle should drop off then. Hope that helps. Good luck!

  3. Hi , I have bought an UTEN…and after changing the needle it stops stitching…I have re-threaded it but nothing is changing it looks like the hook of the upper thread isn’t in sync anymore with the lower bobbin thread therefore it look like it is stitching but it is not….Can you please advise? Btw your blog is great 🙂

    1. Hi Vittoria. Sorry to hear you’re in a bit of a pickle. Try changing it back to the old one and see if it works. If it does then the new needle might be a bit bent. Also, when changing the needle just slightly loosen the screw that is holding the needle in place. It can be a bit tricky getting the nut and screw back on there. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  4. Hi there I am relatively new to sewing machines and just wanted to know if you had any recommendations for a machine that is good at personalising my designs? TIA

  5. These reviews seem well balanced and have given me lots to think about. I would be interested to hear your views on Uten machines, especially the Uten computerised electric 200 stitches machine. I have never heard of this brand before and wonder how hard it would be to get it repaired.
    Thanks a lot for your help.
    Fran

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