10 Best Sewing Machines in 2020

One of the Best Sewing Machines w Thread
Image by Leonid Yastremskiy / Canva

Sewing by hand? No, thank you! The best sewing machines offer a more practical way to make and mend your own clothes. They’re also ideal for creating different types of crafts, bedding sets, window treatments, and more. With the machine doing all the heavy lifting, tailoring your own projects has never been easier.

The only problem? With so many sewing machines on the market (the first sewing machine came out in 1851), and so many different features, your options are nearly endless. But don’t worry. If you’re a creative interested in fashion, clothing, or even home decor, we’ve curated the 10 best sewing machines in various categories. No matter what project you decide to take on, one of these machines should do the trick.

Our Top Picks: Best Sewing Machines

Here’s a quick rundown of our top picks:

1. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine

The best sewing machine overall

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine

Brand: Brother |  Stitch Options: 50 |  Weight: 14.75 lbs | Computerized: Yes | Price: 💰💰

Brother sewing machines are routinely ranked among the top brands by avid sewers. In fact, the company received the Women’s Choice Award for sewing machines, with nine out of 10 users highly recommending the brand. The Project Runway CS5055PRW is our pick for the best rated sewing machine overall. It retails at an affordable price, and reviewers describe it as a great mid-level machine. It has some bells and whistles, but they don’t break the bank.

This machine sports a free arm for sewing sleeves and cuffs. The stitch quality is consistent and produces excellent results. It also has no problem handling buttonholes, zippers, and even stretchy knit fabrics. Reviewers recommend reading through the instruction manual first because threading has a bit of a learning curve.

  • Versatile
  • Free arm
  • Easy to use

  • Difficult to thread
  • Lacks some high-tech features

2. Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

The best sewing machine runner-up

Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

Brand: Janome |  Stitch Options: 18 | Weight: 17 lbs | Computerized: No | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Although it’s a lesser-known brand, Janome makes great mid-range sewing machines. The Janome Magnolia is an easy-to-use, all-around machine with a sturdy build. It scores well with customers, especially those who are new to owning a sewing machine. As a plus, it comes with a nice bundle of accessories, including a muffling mat, bobbins, needles, and a toolkit.

The Magnolia is on the pricier side, but the sturdy construction and quality build make up for it. If you’re looking for the best mechanical sewing machine, this one is definitely worth a look. Just keep in mind that you won’t have many of the technical features you would get with a more high-tech machine since it’s not computerized.

  • Great for beginners
  • Accessories included
  • Lightweight and portable

  • Some say it’s loud
  • Only 18 stitch options

3. Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

The best budget sewing machine

Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Brand: Singer |  Stitch Options: 23 | Weight: 14.5 lbs | Computerized: No | Price: 💰

The Singer 4423 offers 23 different stitch varieties and is one of the best cheap sewing machines on the market. It has a sister machine called the 4432 that offers 32 stitches, and both are great sturdy machines. If you’re planning to sew denim, heavy vinyl, or upholstery fabric, a heavy-duty model like this one is the way to go. This Singer has a 60% stronger motor than your garden variety sewing machine.

One drawback noted by reviewers is that the speed is difficult to control. The powerful motor goes from zero to 60 with just a light tap of the foot, so keep in mind that you won’t get the best fine motor controls with this one. We would say this is probably a better option for more experienced sewers. However, it’s definitely one of the best basic sewing machines for budget-conscious consumers, considering all of the features you can get at a reasonably low cost.

  • Super affordable
  • Great for thick and heavy fabrics
  • The automatic needle threader is easy to use and convenient

  • Very sensitive foot pedal
  • Not many bells and whistles

4. Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine

The best sewing machine for beginners

Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine

Brand: Brother |  Stitch Options: 27 | Weight: 12.6 lbs | Computerized: No | Price: 💰💰

The Brother XM2701 makes our list as the best sewing machine for beginners. It’s lightweight and small, and it retails at a reasonable price. The machine comes with an instructional DVD and is perfect for light, everyday use. With 4.5 stars, reviewers like the ease of use and versatility of this machine.

Spruce up your living room with new curtains or make yourself the perfect sundress. This is a great machine for everyday sewing projects. One downside of this machine is the foot pedal. The speed isn’t easy to control, and it might wear out quicker than other, higher-quality machines. As a company, Brother continues to rise above the competition.

  • Easy to use
  • Pretty affordable
  • Helpful instructional DVD

  • Difficult-to-control foot pedal
  • Some say the LED light isn’t very bright

5. Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle Lockstitch Portable Sewing Machine

The best sewing machine for advanced sewers

Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle Lockstitch Portable Sewing Machine

Brand: Juki | Stitch Options: 1 | Weight: 37.8 lbs | Computerized: No | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰

If money isn’t an issue, you can’t go wrong with Juki’s professional TL-2010Q model. At 1,500 stitches per minute, it will leave other sewing and quilting machines in the dust. If you’re doing some serious garment making and need a straight-stitch powerhouse, the TL 2010Q is up to the task. Reviewers rave that it offers the smoothest stitch they’ve ever experienced and consistently produces immaculate, evenly placed stitches.

Juki backs this machine with its two-year warranty on the motor and five-year warranty on all the other parts. In our research, we even noticed that one reviewer sent three back and got a brand new replacement each time! One of the things folks don’t like about this model is that the user manual leaves a lot to be desired, so you’re probably better off cruising YouTube tutorials to learn the ins and outs of the needle threader and other parts of the machine.

  • Great for heavy-duty projects
  • Produces immaculate straight stitching
  • Two-year warranty on the motor and five-year warranty on all other parts

  • Expensive
  • Difficult-to-follow user manual

6. Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine

The best sewing machine for quilting

Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine

Brand: Brother | Stitch Options: 60 | Weight: 13 lbs | Computerized: Yes | Price: 💰💰

The Brother CS6000i ranks as our best sewing machine for quilting, and the price is reasonable for what you’re getting. This machine can tackle even the most intricate sewing projects. Of all the machines on our list, this one has the most positive reviews across the board.

Fans of the CS6000i rave about how well it handles quilting and sewing, and it has adjustable speed settings to make intricate stitches and maneuver around corners. One thing to note: read the manual before you start. It can be difficult to thread for sewing beginners or those new to this type of machine.

  • 60 stitch options
  • Includes accessories
  • Adjustable speed settings

  • Some complain of frequent jams
  • Can be difficult to thread, especially if you’re a beginner

7. Brother XR9550PRW Computerized Sewing Machine

The best computerized sewing machine with screen

Brother XR9550PRW Computerized Sewing Machine

Brand: Brother |  Stitch Options: 165 | Weight: 8.96 lbs | Computerized: Yes | Price: 💰💰💰

If you’re interested in a more advanced version of the CS5055PRW, we recommend checking out its sister machine, the Brother XR9550PRW. What really stands out about this model is the large LCD screen, making it super easy to navigate and put the computerized features to work. Simply select your settings and stitches with the push buttons and you’ll see them appear on the LCD screen. Then, you’re off to the races.

This Brother model has 165 built-in stitches, and it’s got an index of them stamped right on the neck. In addition, this sewing machine comes with a hard case and wide table to help you stay organized when you’re in the thick of a larger quilting project. As far as home sewing machines go, it’s hard to beat the bang for your buck on this one.

  • 165 stitch options
  • Great for advanced sewers
  • Easy-to-navigate LCD screen

  • Some say it’s difficult to thread
  • Can’t accommodate certain types of fabric

8. Juki MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Machine

The best sewing machine for detailed work

Juki MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Machine

Brand: Juki | Stitch Options: 1 | Weight: 15.18 lbs | Computerized: No | Price: 💰💰💰💰

A serger sewing machine allows you to put detailed, finishing touches on your sewing projects. This Juki portable serger won’t do things like buttonholes, zippers, or topstitching, but it’s great for adding details like ruffles and enclosed seams. The best part is that it’s portable and quiet. Serger machines tend to be loud, but you can use this one at night while your family sleeps.

The Juki is classified as a workhorse by reviewers, meaning it’s able to tackle difficult projects and will work well even during long days of use. Complaints include that it’s difficult to thread, and the manual is not very informative.

This is the best intermediate sewing machine for detailed work by far, and you’ll be getting your money’s worth from a trusted brand like Juki.

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Quiet, which is rare for a serger
  • Great for beginners and advanced sewers alike

  • Threading can be tricky
  • The user manual leaves a lot to be desired

9. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine

The best industrial-use sewing machine

Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine

Brand: Singer |  Stitch Options: 600 | Weight: 18.2 lbs | Computerized: Yes | Price: 💰💰💰💰

The Quantum Stylist is the #1 best industrial sewing machine on Amazon. This machine is a steal when compared to other industrial units. It offers a whopping 600 stitches, and customers consider it easy to use for a more advanced machine. It also has a clear, colorized touch screen that’s easy to read.

In the world of decorative stitching, this machine offers a ton of options, and it has no problem sewing through thick materials or layers. Like many other machines on our list, negative reviews center around threading and the instruction manual. Be sure to do your research before you fire up this high-tech machine. If you’re looking for the best heavy-duty sewing machine, this is the one.

  • Lots of high-tech features
  • 600 unique built-in stitches
  • Very affordable for an industrial machine

  • Difficult to thread
  • Poor instruction manual

10. Singer 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine

The best sewing machine with extra features

Singer 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine

Brand: Singer |  Stitch Options: 100| Weight: 14.6 lbs | Computerized: Yes | Price: 💰💰

This Singer machine packs on the features and is our pick for the best mid-range sewing machine. It has 100 built-in stitches with an easy, push-button stitch selection. It also offers high-speed sewing and an automatic needle threader. Some other great features include a drop-down needle mechanism for easy corner maneuvers, a see-through bobbin cover, and an automatic thread cutter.

Plus, this machine is tough. It easily sews through sturdy fabrics like denim and leather. It retails for a fair price and has great consumer reviews on multiple retail sites. The downside? Several customers disliked the way the machine threaded and were dissatisfied with the customer service offered by Singer.

  • 100 stitch options
  • Easy-to-use LCD screen
  • Great price for the number of features you get

  • Some say it jams
  • Lacks detailed instructions for some of the advanced features

What to Look for in a Sewing Machine

Woman w One of the Best Sewing Machines
Image by Canva

Here are some key things to consider when buying a sewing machine.

1. Specific Features

Many of today’s sewing machines are full of high-tech features, including dozens of built-in stitches, automatic needle threaders, and computerized internals.

Some people take a “the more bells and whistles, the better” approach to sewing machines. Others want a machine that’s simple and functional. How many and what kinds of features you want all depends on you. Do your research and make a list of features you like as well as ones you don’t.

Ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • Are you a beginner or an advanced sewer?
  • Do you plan to quilt with your machine?
  • Will you need lots of fancy stitch options?
  • What kind of fabrics do you plan to sew?
  • Do you want to start your own sewing business?

Choosing the right machine depends on your answers to these questions. Different machines serve different purposes, so it’s a good idea to get your goals nailed down before you make a purchase.

2. Price

Once you have a clear idea of what you need the machine for, decide how much you want to spend. Figuring out your budget first allows you to narrow down your options before you start shopping. Just keep in mind that you may need to revise your budget once you dig into the available machines.

3. Warranty & Maintenance

Make sure to pay attention to any warranty and maintenance offers that come with the machine you buy. To keep it running as it should for many years, you want something easy to maintain. This is also important if you buy a “smart” sewing machine. Computer software changes quickly, and you want a machine that the company stands behind. That’s why it’s a good idea to find out how the company handles upgrades to the computer on your sewing machine.

Benefits of Owning a Sewing Machine

Although sewing machines are not as common in American homes as they once were, they’re still useful and a great item to have. Here’s why:

  • Mend and maintain your own clothes. You don’t have to toss out those pants because you ripped a seam. Fix them yourself!
  • Tailor your own clothes. You’ll have more flexibility when shopping for clothes if you know you can fit them yourself. If you like that dress, but it doesn’t fit quite right, you’ve got a sewing machine to make it work.
  • Express your creativity. Design and sew your own clothes, or clothes for your children. It saves you money and gives you an outlet for creativity.
  • Sewing is therapeutic. It keeps your hands busy and is a great mental exercise. Plus, it gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Our Process

For this guide on sewing machines, our team spent 3 hours researching the most popular sewing machines from over 25 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read one hundred and twenty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each machine. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 10 sewing machines on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

If you enjoyed this read, sign up for our newsletter below and get special online shopping deals delivered straight to your inbox.

Related Reading

Share This Article