Popular mechanics; Courtesy of Janome
A sewing machine is a must-have for anyone who enjoys making clothes, quilting or embroidering custom designs. But with the rising cost of goods and services, they’re especially useful for everyday tasks like mending clothes or hemming pants.
Whether you’re an experienced sewer or a total beginner, there’s a wide range of fashions to suit your needs, and they vary in size, shape, functionality, and cost. There are compact manual sewing machines that only offer a few stitches, and at the other end of the price range are high-tech computerized models with hundreds of stitches and embroidery programs. Of course, that leaves plenty of options in between, so you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your skill level and budget.
We’ve rounded up the best models on the market, so read on for our top recommendations, plus anything else you’ll want to consider before you buy.
The best sewing machines
What to consider
The most important factor to consider when buying a sewing machine is what you intend to use it for. If you’re just fixing torn seams on your family’s clothes or making sewing projects, you’ll probably do just fine with an inexpensive model that offers less than 100 stitch options. However, once you get into quilting, embroidery, or more intricate projects, you might want to upgrade to something that offers more intricate stitches and attachments.
Sewing machines are either mechanical or computerized models. Mechanical models are less expensive, but they are often more complicated to use. You will probably have to adjust the string tension manually and the stitches may not be as accurate. On computerized models, there are more advanced settings and features, as well as smoother stitching, but these sewing machines are more expensive and expensive to repair.
Other factors to keep in mind include size, weight, included accessories, buttonhole options, and special sewing machine features.
How we selected
To find the best sewing machines, we started our search with products from the most reputable brands, including Singer, Brother and Janome. These manufacturers have a long-standing reputation for quality and offer a wide selection of models, including options for beginners and more advanced users.
We compared different sewing machine models, noting their stitch options, accessories and features, and read dozens of user reviews to get an idea of their potential strengths and weaknesses, as well as of their main applications. From there, we have selected the best models for various purposes, with the aim of providing options for all budgets.