people's choice

The Best Sewing Machines on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Ron Tom/NBC via Getty Images

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 especially 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

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.”

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

Best sewing machine for beginners

Singer Start 1304

Over 120 five-star reviews say this sewing machine is great for beginners. The stainless-steel bed plate ensures that fabrics can feed through easily, which is beneficial for someone just starting out with sewing, and it has only six built-in stitches to learn instead of 30-plus like other machines. One customer made “a commitment to learn to sew” and needed an easy-to-learn machine. So far, she’s “completely happy with this purchase” because it’s “very easy to use.” Another reviewer says it’s so easy to use that her 6-year-old granddaughter can operate it. She calls it a “solid beginner machine for your budding seamstresses and tailors” but does warn that, even though it’s pretty foolproof, “adult supervision is definitely still required at all times.” A third reviewer concludes that “it is a nice little machine, great for beginners and those who don’t really need all the bells and whistles.” She used it with muslin and flannel to test the strength of the machine and says “it held up well on both.”

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 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