people's choice

The Best Sewing Machines on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

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Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about lots of jeans, and about the satisfaction of giving monogrammed items, here we’ve rounded up the best sewing machines, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated sewing machine

Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine

With nearly 6,000 five-star reviews, this sewing machine led one user to compare it to a “friendly sewing robot.” Hundreds of reviewers say it is specifically ideal for those new to sewing as well as hobbyists — it “fits right in between that beginner and intermediate level” explains one. Many cite its value, ease of use, and lightweight but sturdy feel, and fans love the ease of the drop-in bobbin; one notes that the “bobbin is a dream to wind and insert.” Amid the hundreds of users who talk about how fun this machine is to use, one promises that this Brother will help users find “joy in the sewing process instead of frustration.”

Along with the many first timers, dozens of reviewers write about returning to sewing on this machine, like the not-atypical user who says, “I had not touched a sewing machine in 30 years, but having recently become semi-retired, find myself with extra time on my hands and decided to try sewing again. I am a novice seamstress, so I only needed a simple machine … I am totally impressed with everything about the machine. Set-up and instructions for use were clearly explained, and it worked like a charm, even going through thick portions of material easily.”

Best-rated (less expensive) sewing machine

KPCB Mini Sewing Machine

Though some say it looks like a toy, according to reviewers, this is a functional and effective one-stitch sewing machine. As one reviewer says about the KPCB, “A mini sewing machine is a small, capable machine that are a good place to start when teaching a child how to sew.” Others describe it as the ideal unit for people deciding whether they want to get into sewing. “I decided to buy this portable one as it was cute, and if I felt sewing wasn’t for me then it was easy to just put away,” writes a typical user, who goes on to note, “I was able to sew a little tie for my son’s birthday outfit.” Numerous people talk about how it’s great for small items, it has a great price, and it’s easy to get started on quickly. Another fan writes, “I’m a 67-year-old man that wanted to learn to sew but didn’t want the learning curve to take weeks or months. This little machine does basic stitching and I was able to learn it in one hour without any previous experience. And, quite inexpensive to boot!”

And now for some micro-picks for every type of sewing machine you might be looking for.

Best sewing machine for beginners

Brother XM2701 Lightweight Full-Featured Sewing Machine

Reviewers are enthusiastic about this Brother sewing machine, especially those new to the hobby. One reviewer sums up the general consensus about the Brother XM2701: “Cheap and easy to use. It has many different ways to stitch.” Dozens say how helpful the included DVD is, but one reviewer notes that as useful as it is, it’s “extremely corny.” Many say they appreciate the self-threading feature. As one says, “When I lived in the city, I’d run to a random neighbor’s house and ask who ever answered the door to thread my needle so I could hand sew stuff. Now I don’t have any neighbors. So the most important feature for me is the self threader. YEAH!” A few fans of the machine itself are not fans of of the purple flower decoration, and in the DIY spirit of owning a sewing machine, one reviewer says they “didn’t care for the decals on the machine so I went to the dollar store and added my own, now I LOVE the way it looks.”

Best sewing machine for beginners with manual needle threading

Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

Over a quarter of the reviewers call this mechanical machine from the Japanese company Janome “easy” or “simple” to use, and, as one reviewer who hadn’t “touched a sewing machine since a half-semester long home-ec class in 7th grade some 30-ish years ago,” writes, “The printed instruction manual is clear and easy to read.” Users are not bothered that this machine does 12 stitches rather than dozens. One declares: “I know there are high end fancy digital and lots of bells and whistle like machines but I wanted something more old school that just is a good working machine and user friendly and with this I found exactly that and in a price I could afford, it rocks!” That same reviewer claims, “I am making wonderful things so easily now, seriously in love with this machine, I even hugged it!”

Several others like the mechanics of this machine. One satisfied customer who bought this for their young daughter explains her choice of this sewing machine: “I wanted her to learn the manual instincts of sewing. For example, manual fly wheel handling that teaches you to complete the last stitch by hand when necessary, and when the needle is in the correct position to raise the foot and pull the threads … Because my preferred machine has many bells and whistles that do these things electronically for me, and understanding a basic mechanical machine first, I thought, was important. It has met and exceeded my expectations!”

Best sewing machine for crafting

Singer Stylist 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

Dozens of reviewers talk about how excited they are about the 76 decorative, customizable stitches offered by this automated, affordable, solid yet portable Singer. As one user writes, “To my surprise, I’m enjoying the patterned decorative stitches and have used them more than expected.” Another points out that “The built-in handle makes this easy to take along for events or for a crafting get together.” But it’s also sure enough to earn it’s place at home — one reviewer says it is “Designed and built well. Solid (heavy) because the gears and important operating parts are metal not nylon or plastic.” The Singer 7258 can even sew beyond expectations. One admitted novice writes, “After being forewarned by these ladies at Joann Fabrics that most machines can’t do patches, I tried anyway and was blown away. I did five patches for my brother, and fixed another thicker one that was glued on months ago.”

Best basic computerized sewing machine

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine

With 165 stitches, including letters and numbers for monograms and the like, reviewers love the range of this computerized machine. One compares the experience of wielding its features to those of a student with a scientific calculator: “This thing is like the Texas Instrument calculators where you may not know what you are doing but this thing can do just about anything.” The options on this might seem like extra, but, as one reviewer points out, “You don’t know how much you need obscure features until you have them and think to use them.” Dozens are impressed by how quiet it is. A reviewer sums up the consensus view by saying it “runs like a Cadillac, smooth and quiet.”

Best sewing machine for buttonholes

Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW 70-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Wide Table

“I purchased this machine for the sole purpose of making buttonholes,” writes one reviewer who owns a sewing contracting business. “I have recently obtained a contract for men’s and dogs (yes, DOGS!) shirts and have found myself making no less than 100 buttonholes a day,” they continue. “This machine makes an automatic 1-step buttonhole and it is awesome.” Another satisfied purchaser, with less professional experience sewing, writes, “I am by no means an expert sewer. This machine was purchased to replace the basic one that I actually bought for my daughter. Wow, what a difference! The stitching is so smooth and the machine is much quieter than my basic Brother model. The buttonhole is the best exclamation point, I was always afraid to make buttonholes before but now they’re my favorite.” Plus, these are the machines from Project Runway, a fact that swayed at least one reviewer: “I fully intended to select a Singer, until I became a fan of the show Project Runway. The designers share these machines and it can sew basically any type of material … After ordering and receiving the Brother Project Runway, I am very pleased with the ease and function of it!”

Best computerized sewing machine with automatic needle threader

Brother Computerized Sewing Machine XR9550PRW

Several satisfied reviewers note that this is their first computerized sewing machine, but, as one writes, “It is very user friendly, making the transition quite easy. The automatic bobbin threader, needle threader, speed settings, and needle placement options are particularly useful.” One customer compares this to a much more expensive sewing machine, and notes, “For a fraction of the price, this machine has many of the features that made my old one great. Already have made a bed skirt, curtains and pillows for a bed room, recovered and ottoman, and sewed several garments for my granddaughter.” And though it’s a divisive topic in the reviews, many love the automatic needle threader: “The bobbin is easy to load into the machine and the needle-threader is wonderful for the younger and older sewer alike. I’ve been teaching my three daughters that are above age 8 to sew on these machines without issue. I loved it so much, I bought one for myself.”

Best computerized sewing and quilting machine

Brother Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

“I do a lot of sewing and machine quilting. This is my third sewing machine after many years of sewing. This Brother HC1850 is the best I’ve ever had,” writes one happy customer, adding, “It sews, quilts, and embroideries with a computer that is easy to use. The instructions are clear enough for novice seamstresses.” And dozens of five-star reviewers also love the versatility of this machine. One goes so far as to call this “a real dream machine for both sewing and quilting.” Another writes, “I needed something dependable and that could handle everything from quilting to working with outdoor fabrics. I’ve had it for a week, and have already completed three baby quilts and other little baby projects, and a soft case for my Brother HC1850 sewing machine. It is a great machine.”

Best sewing machine with screen

Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine

One of the features that sets this computerized sewing machine apart is the large, color LCD touchscreen, which, according to one reviewer, “provides clear and easy viewing of stitch functions including stitch length, stitch width, tension settings, recommended presser foot, needle up/down position and more.” Another reviewer is impressed with this machine’s preprogrammed stitch variety, writing, “It really is a ‘push and play’ type feature. Simply push the specialty stitch button, look at the screen display and select the stitch you want. Right there on the display it tells you exactly which foot you will need and then you just put in your thread, bobbin and material and go!” But there are plenty of other features that helped it garner nearly 2,000 five-star reviews. As one reviewer summarizes, “I had bought this machine about two months ago now, and I absolutely love love love it. Runs quiet and absolute perfect stitches every time. It’s very nice to be able to go to your machine, turn it on push a button and sew ‘til your hearts content. Singer, you knocked it out of the ball park with this machine.”

Best portable sewing machine

Singer Simple 3232 Portable Sewing Machine

“Lightweight” is a word used by many reviewers to describe this Singer sewing machine, and many like that it’s so easy to use. “It truly is simple it even has directions right on the machine to help you thread it,” writes one customer, adding, “I’ve never used a machine or sewed anything in my life and I found it very easy to use. It’s also lightweight and compact in size so it’s very easy to travel with.” Another agrees: “It’s lightweight, easy to move and so easy to use and the instructions are easy to understand. I am enjoying being able to sew again! Well worth every penny I paid.”

Best heavy-duty sewing machine

Singer Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine with 32 Built-in Stitches

On the other end of the spectrum is this heavy-duty sewing machine from Singer, which one reviewer calls “a workhorse and a half. I chose this model based on the heavy duty description, as I really do sew for hours a day.” Another writes, “It had plenty of power to go through multiple layers of Sunbrella fabric smoothly. It took me a little to get to ‘know’ the machine and adjust my settings correctly, but once I got the hang of it this machine performed flawlessly.” A third, who admits they’d had some tough luck with Singer machines in the past, but took a chance on this machine and is now a convert: “Let me say, WOW. Sews like butter, gets the job done and love that I can go from sewing silk and fur to canvass and denim in one sitting.”

Best leather sewing machine

Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

This Singer is, as one reviewer writes, “a nice, simple machine that works very well on heavy fabric.” Another says, “Strong motor, fast stitching, and will do every stitch you will want or need.” The fact that it is relatively low tech is also considered a bonus among satisfied reviewers. As one reviewer exalts, “I also LOVE the fact that this is pretty much completely mechanical. Sure, it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some of the electronic/computerized ones, but in a pinch this unit could be used completely by hand, with no electricity whatsoever.”

A solid machine, the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 is referred to by dozens of reviewers as a “workhorse” that powers through heavy fabrics with ease. “I can sew directly through leather and vinyl, and even through woven seagrass baskets and fans, which previously broke my needles instantly if I made the tiniest error,” writes one impressed user. Another writes about this machine’s ability to sew through almost any fabric, “I also teach bag-making classes with my local guild, and have never had problems getting through multiple layers of interfacing, fabric, canvas, or batting. I’ve even been able to sew leather handles on. You gave to go slowly, but it’s totally doable.”

Best sewing machine for quilting

Brother XR3774 Full-Featured Quilting Machine

Many reviewers of this machine are just beginning to learn how to quilt, or even sew, and are pleased with this lightweight sewing machine from Brother. In fact, over 100 reviewers use the phrase “easy to use” to describe it. “As a beginning quilter, I was looking for something easy to use, but specific to quilting. This machine is awesome for that purpose,” one happy reviewer writes. “I know there is still a lot to learn, but I feel more confident knowing that the machine came with everything I needed to get started!” But even one self-described “experienced sewer” with two more expensive machines writes, “I bought this primarily because it is light enough for me to carry to my quilting club, but it sews nicely and is easy to use. I really like that I can see if the bobbin needs thread. So far, so good.” Another writes, “I just finished making curtains for 3 bedrooms and I can’t find one negative thing to say. I have been a seamstress and have taught production sewing for over 30 years, and this is a great affordable machine to have.”

Best longarm sewing machine for quilting

Brother PQ1500SL High-Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine

Reviewers are happy with the dimensions of this longarm sewing machine and, as one typical user sums up, “The motor is strong, the stitches are even (regardless of how fast you sew), and the extension table is very convenient.” A reviewer who has used this model for five years says, “I have made table runners and queen size quilts with all over free motions quilting and it does the job beautifully.” While it can be put to general use, those who know what they want it for will be best served here. One reviewer relates, “I am a professional textile artist, and this machine, for me, is like going from a humble Honda to a freakin’ Ferrari!”

Best serger sewing machine

Juki MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Sewing Machine

Those ready for the efficiency and professional finishes that can be had with a serger find passionate recommendations for this Juki. One reviewer writes, “I pried myself away from her to go to bed at 1 A.M. I sew almost exclusively with knits, and within 30 minutes of ownership, Juki has changed my life. The feel of the machine is dense, compact, quality. Like a super expensive industrial thing. Nothing frilly or brittle or wobbly or shaky. Just — hardcore. YET — friendly and sexy and enjoyable to touch.” There seems to be a learning curve with this sewing machine: Over a dozen reviewers talk about learning how to use this machine from online videos. One writes, “Threading it was frightening at first but I found a youtube video where an experienced professional sewist shows exactly how to thread this particular model.”

Once going however, reviewers are pleased with its dependability; a reviewer who uses the Juki professionally “making items out of jean material, cork and vinyl fabric, upholstery fabric, and just your everyday run of the mill quilting fabric” says, “I abuse this thing and it still works like a dream! I’ve had this machine for close to three years and I’ve only serviced it once by a professional to keep well oiled and cleaned out.”

Best coverstitch machine

Brother 2340CV

“This machine has changed my sewing life,” raves one reviewer. “I can now hem ANY stretch fabric, no matter how thin or delicate, and put a professional store-bought finish onto every top I make. I use it to sew PERFECT necklines, armholes, and hems.” Another satisfied customer explains, “A cover stitch will really bring up your game, especially with knits. Hemming is my least favorite part of sewing, followed by attaching bands like a neck band. The cover stitch machine zooms through hemming. It also creates chain stitching for decorative attaching. Cover stitch machines are definitely a splurge but if you sew a lot and sew a lot of knits it’s a good investment.” A third avid sewer agrees about the value of this machine: “This machine is well worth the money, and trust me, you won’t be able to live without it once you start using it. I made a robe in about a half an hour with this machine, and no one in my family could tell I hadn’t bought it off the rack.”

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The Best Sewing Machines on Amazon, According to Reviewers