Last Updated On June 10th, 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
Best Sewing Machine Reviews – Top 10 Picks
If you’re looking for an easy to use sewing machine which is perfect for beginners and experienced users alike – our top choice is 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.
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.
Simple, 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.
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.
If 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
If 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.
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.
Offering 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.
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.
If 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.
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.
If you’re looking for the best budget sewing machine that will get the job done without breaking the bank, the Like-very 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.
The nifty Like-very electric is very easy to use, making it perfect if you are looking for the best cheap sewing machine if you have 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.
The 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.
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.
The 3232 by Singer is the last 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.
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 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.
What to Consider When Choosing a Sewing Machine
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.
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.
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
If 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.
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 Brother LS14S Chassis Sewing Machine.
We love how this sewing machine has something to offer for everyone. The choice of 14 adjustable stitches will accommodate both serious and starter sewers, while the clearly marked jag dial makes selecting the right setting simple. The option to convert to a free-arm machine also makes traditionally more awkward work, such as sleeves and cuffs effortless. Therefore, with a few quick adjustments, you’ll never find yourself struggling to get the right stitch, no matter what you’re working on.
As if these features weren’t enough, the Brother LS14S Chassis Sewing Machine comes with buttonhole, zigzag and zipper feet, as well as a clear-covered drop-in bobbin holder, so you can keep an eye on how much cotton you have left at any time. And should you need any help, the included DVD ensures you’ll be set up and sewing in no time!
Do you have another model in mind? What is your pick for the best sewing machine? Let us know in the comments section.