Best Sewing Machine for Beginners

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Major Takeaway
Pros
Cons
 Best Bang
baby lock zeal sewing machine

Baby Lock

Zeal
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Best sewing machine for small DIY projects. Offers 25 quality stitches, including one one-step buttonhole

You won't have to fret with a 25-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. 
° 25 quality stitches
° Good for small projects
° Self-threading
° Stitch size adjustment
° Built-in buttonhole
° Free-arm sewing
° Built-in needle threading
° Quick set-up
° Affordable

° Not best for big sewing projects
° No LCD
° Limited to 25 stitches (should be more)
° Not best for professional sewing

Best Value

Singer

9960
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Best value beginner sewing machine, which also doubles up as a quilting machine. Offers 600 quality stitches, including 13 buttonholes
° 600 stitches
° Extension table available
° 13 in-built buttonhole stitches
° High-speed stitching
° Well-accessorized

° Longer learning curve
° Not portable
° Not easy to set up
° It doesn't allow saving of own patterns
° Smaller working surface

Best Overall
Janome Memory Craft 9850

Janome

Memory Craft 9850
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Best overall beginner sewing machine, which also doubles up as an embroidery machine. Offers 175 built-in embroidery stitches and 200 sewing stitches
° 2-in1 functionality (sewing machines + embroidery machine)
° Quality stitches
° LCD visualization
° Fast stitching
° User-friendly
° Design editing and ° USB transfer

° Costly
° Less portable

Best Budget

Bernette

B35
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Best budget mechanical sewing machine, best for domestic sewing. It offers 23 stitches and seven pressure feet
° Budget-friendly
° Free-arm sewing
° High-speed stitching (700spm)
° Seven pressure-feet for various patterns
° Quality stitches
° Lack computerized control
° No LCD
° Not best for bigger projects

 
baby lock sewing kit

Baby Lock

Jubilant
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Best portable beginner sewing machine; a jack of all trades for quilt piecing, basic garments, and home decors. Offers 80 quality stitches, including eight 1-step buttonholes
° 80 quality stitches
° LCD visualization
° Stitch adjustment
° Motion-free stitching
° High speed (850spm)
° Quick set-up
° One-touch buttons for needle up/down, speed control, and reverse sewing
° Slightly expensive
° Lots of controls which can be confusing
° Longer learning curve
Best Bang

Baby Lock Zeal

baby lock zeal sewing machine
Major Takeway
Best sewing machine for small DIY projects. Offers 25 quality stitches, including one one-step buttonhole

You won't have to fret with a 25-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Pros
° 25 quality stitches
° Good for small projects
° Self-threading
° Stitch size adjustment
° Built-in buttonhole
° Free-arm sewing
° Built-in needle threading
° Quick set-up
° Affordable
Cons
° Not best for big sewing projects
° No LCD
° Limited to 25 stitches (should be more)
° Not best for professional sewing
Check Price
Best Value

Singer 9960

Major Takeway
Best value beginner sewing machine, which also doubles up as a quilting machine. Offers 600 quality stitches, including 13 buttonholes
Pros
° 600 stitches
° Extension table available
° 13 in-built buttonhole stitches
° High-speed stitching
° Well-accessorized
Cons
° Longer learning curve
° Not portable
° Not easy to set up
° It doesn't allow saving of own patterns
° Smaller working surface
Check Price
Best Overall

Janome Memory Craft 9850

Janome Memory Craft 9850
Major Takeaways
Best overall beginner sewing machine, which also doubles up as an embroidery machine. Offers 175 built-in embroidery stitches and 200 sewing stitches
Pros
° 2-in1 functionality (sewing machines + embroidery machine)
° Quality stitches
° LCD visualization
° Fast stitching
° User-friendly
° Design editing and USB transfer
Cons
° Costly
° Less portable
Check Price
Best Budget

Bernette B35

Major takeaways
Best budget mechanical sewing machine, best for domestic sewing. It offers 23 stitches and seven pressure feet
Pros
° Budget-friendly
° Free-arm sewing
° High-speed stitching (700spm)
° Seven pressure-feet for various patterns
° Quality stitches
Cons
° Lack computerized control
° No LCD
° Not best for bigger projects
Check Price

Baby Lock Jubilant

baby lock sewing kit
Major Takeaway
Best portable beginner sewing machine; a jack of all trades for quilt piecing, basic garments, and home decors. Offers 80 quality stitches, including eight 1-step buttonholes.
Pros
° 80 quality stitches
° LCD visualization
° Stitch adjustment
° Motion-free stitching
° High speed (850spm)
° Quick set-up
° One-touch buttons for needle up/down, speed control, and reverse sewing
Cons
° Slightly expensive
° Lots of controls which can be confusing
° Longer learning curve
Check Price

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in a space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

Buying Guide for

Best Sewing Machine for Beginners

Proficient sewing is a beneficial skill that everyone passionate about fashionable clothes, trendy decors, and DIY crafts should have. And from a professional angle, the skill can enable you to set up a business.

But the reason, notwithstanding, you need the best sewing machine to perfect the skill. Overall, it's best to get a modern sewing machine, preferably electronic, with cutting-edge specs like built-in stitches to add unique touches to fabric and an LCD to visualize the stitches.

You also need an option with a pressure foot for improved usability, self-threading for easy threading, built-in lights for clarity when stitching, and a free-arm for circular stitching, among other valuable features.

So, whether your goal is to prepare or design clothes and save money or do the same for business reasons, you should get a sewing machine that matches your sewing needs, and that's where this guide comes in.

Let's start by looking at essential buying considerations for the best beginner sewing machine. But if you are in a hurry, check out an overview of five of our most recommended beginner sewing machines in the above comparison table.

janome sewing machine stitching
Janome is has been a trusted brand in sewing for generations

The market stocks a variety of sewing machines – some for professionals and others for beginners. 

So, how do you find the latter? Well, it starts with prioritizing these factors: 

  1. Sewing machine type – While there are mechanical and electronic sewing machines, you should go for electronic, also known as computerized sewing machines. They offer you automated control that makes the sewing seamless. 
  2. Threading system – Preferably, you should opt for an automated 'self-threading' needle to help you pass the thread through the needle's eye effortlessly. 
  3. Stitch options (built-in stitches) – While you need zigzag and straight stitches to get started, consider blind helm and other options. Usually, the more the built-in stitches, the more the possibilities of creating unique patterns on fabric. 
  4. Up/down needle – The mechanism allows you to quickly move the needle up and down and do it with the seamless movement of the pressure feet. 
  5. Twin needle (double needle) – The function enables you to create decorative patterns on fabric. 
  6. One-step buttonholer – The feature allows you to make buttonholes just in one step. 
  7. Low noise – Go for a less noisy sewing machine to avoid the annoyance of louder options. 
  8. Stitch count – Consider the number of stitches presets the machine delivers, as the more they are, the easier and more creative the sewing. 
  9. Build quality – You want a sewing machine that's sturdy enough to last long. It should come in a solid build to withstand day-to-day handling. 
  10. Size and weight – If you plan to move with your sewing machine, you should choose a small and low-weight option to guarantee portability. 
  11. Budget – It's essential to go for a sewing machine you can afford. While most quality sewing machines cost over $1,000, you can get decent budget options for around $500. You may, however, need to compromise on some specs. 
  12. Special Features – Also consider an option with exceptional features like: 
    • Adjustable speed control to allow you to stitch neatly and at a steady tempo 
    • Built-in light to illuminate your working space 
    • LCD to visualize your stitching 
    • Drop-in bobbing for easy set-up of the machine 
    • Pressure foot for improving the machine's usability and saving stitching time
    • Drop-feed function for free-motion sewing 
    • A free-arm mechanism for easy circular-sleeve sewing

5 Best Sewing Machines for Beginners Reviewed

Baby Lock Zeal – Best for Bang for Your Buck

If you are looking for a feature-packed but affordable modern sewing machine for smaller projects, very few can beat the Baby Lock Zeal. This sewing machine offers you 25 quality stitches, including one 1-step buttonhole, to allow you to add creative touches to your project.

Its inbuilt needle threader and threader cutter save you time, while its electronic foot controls offer you more flexibility when stitching. You can adjust the stitch sizes by a turn of a button, and you get to enjoy free-arm and drop-feed free-motion sewing.

Other cool features include stitch size adjustment, drop-in bobbing, free-arm and twin-needle sewing, foot control, and drop-feed.

The downsides are that it's not best for big professional projects, lacks an LCD, and only limits you to 25 stitches.

Singer 4452 sewing stitches
Janome is has been a trusted brand in sewing for generations

Janome Memory Craft 9850 Sewing Machine – Best Overall

This is our selection for the Best Sewing Machine for Beginners. Its ease of usage combined with its versatile capabilities, a beginner can to grow into, make it the best investment for a someone starting out on their sewing journey. 

With Janome Memory Craft 9850, invention meets purpose, while creativity meets inspiration. This digital sewing machine also doubles up as an embroidery machine to allow you to emend stitch decorations on garments.

Janome 9850 offers 175 built-in designs, 2-3 letter monograms, and 2 European fonts for unique finishes as an embroidery machine. And as a sewing machine, it delivers 200 distinctive stitches, including six one-step buttonholes, which you can visualize on an LCD touchscreen.

Through self-threading, the machine saves you from manually doing the threading, and with its memorized up/down needle mechanism, you can program the needle's automatic up and down motion.

Singer 9960 QUANTUM-STYLIST Sewing Machine – Best Value

The Singer 9960 may not be the most affordable sewing machine for beginners, but it proves its value in performance. This sewing machine also doubles up as a quilting machine to allow multi-layer decorative stitching.

It enjoys 600 built-in stitches, including 13 one-step buttonholes and five alphanumeric fonts – the most patterns on this list. The sewing machine promise 850 stitches-per-minute (SPM), which is pretty fast and enjoys a simple set-up, thanks to its drop-in bobbing.

You can adjust the stitches seamlessly and visualize the patterns on its LCD.
Singer 9960 comes with a small extension table and employs self-threading for seamless threading, mirror imaging for inverted stitching, and built-in lettering for quilting.

Other features include free-arm stitching, twin-needle operation, thread cutter, and drop-feed.

Sadly, it has a longer learning curve, is not easy to set up and less portable, and doesn't allow saving of own designs.

Baby Lock Jubilant Sewing Machine – Best Portable Option

Want a jack-of-all-trades to take to class or work? Then consider the baby Lock Jubilant.

This portable sewing machine is perfect for quilt piecing, basic garments, and home decors. Its selling points are its 80 decorative and utility stitches, including eight 1-step buttonholes that give unique touches to your fabric.

The sewing machine is fun to use thanks to its built-in 'self-threading' needle threader, free-arm sewing mechanism for circular sewing, and LCD for stitch visualization.
Other outstanding features include a one-step buttonhole, drop-feed, variable-speed control, needle up/down, and reverse sewing.

However, the sewing machine has so many controls, which can be confusing, giving it a longer learning curve. In addition, it's slightly expensive for a domestic sewing machine.

Bernette B35 Sewing Machine – Best Budget Buy

Lastly, the Bernette B35 is a budget buy for domestic use that promises a gratifying sewing experience. While the sewing machine is not computerized, you can easily set the stitch patterns and sizes by a simple turn of the knobs.

You can also adjust the tension mechanically using its accompanying wheel and stitch at high speed of 700 stitches per minute.

This mechanical sewing machine offers you 23 decorative and utility stitches for excellent stitches. It comes with a one-step buttonholer to make professional buttonholes.

The fun part is the seven pressure-feet functions for satin stitch, button stitch, blind stitch, zipper stitch, zigzag, and bobbies.

Its concerns are the lack of computerized controls and LCD, making it unideal for bigger projects.

Closing Thought

Overall, it takes the discussed factors to find the best beginner sewing machine. They are tailored to help you get a sewing machine that serves your sewing needs and offers you something extra like embroidery or quilting. But more importantly, it should match your budget.

Our Top Recs

Best Bang for the Buck
baby lock zeal sewing machine

Baby Lock Zeal

Bottom Line
The Baby Lock is a  Zeal feature-packed, affordable, modern sewing machine. It's limited to 25 stitches and we wish it had more (along with an LCD screen). But it's self-threading and reliable.
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Best Value

Singer 9960 QUANTUM-STYLIST

Bottom Line
The Singer 9960 Quantum-Stylist is value packed. This is a good purchase for someone early in the sewing/quilting game. Singer is a great brand name, know for value.
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Best Overall
Janome Memory Craft 9850

Janome Memory Craft 9850

Bottom Line
This is TopRec's choice Best overall beginner sewing machine due to it's overall ease of use and long-term potential. The Janome Memory Craft is a machine you can grow with, from beginner to expert. While the cost is hirer upfront, this machine will take you farther. 
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Best Budget

Bernette B35

Bottom Line
Buy the Bernetter B35 if you prefer the budget buy. The usage and potential are limited on this machine, but it does does, straight forward, domestic tasks.
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