So you decided to take up sewing as a new hobby? Or you have years of experience with different sewing projects and are looking for an upgrade to your old sewing machine?
Picking the best sewing machine depends on your skill levels, your budget as well as the projects you are planning on working on.
If you are a newbie sewist, you probably want to invest in a simple and less expensive machine, which will help you learn the sewing basics. While as more advanced sewists may want to look into buying a higher end sewing machine with more specialized features and a more durable make.
Today, there are machines which are suitable for embroidery, quilting and for serging seams. There are also heavy duty sewing machines which will allow you to work with tougher fabrics and materials such as vinyl and leather.
We have tested dozens of sewing machines, to come up with our ultimate list of the best sewing machines available in 2018.
Read on to find out more about each one, and pick the machine which best suits your needs and your budget.
We love the Brother CS6000i because it is easy to use, so both new sewists and advanced ones will enjoy using it, especially given its very affordable price. It is perfect for sewing and for quilting, as well as for completing large projects, thanks to its extra wide detachable table which provides all the space you need for your quilting materials.
This sewing machine has a user-friendly design and an easy to read stitch selector and a large backlit LCD display. You get to choose among 60 different intricate stitches including decorative ones and 7 buttonhole styles. All you need to do is enter the number of the stitch of your choice and you are set to go. So, you don’t have to fiddle with adjusting the stitch width and length manually.
The automatic needle threader is a must-have, especially if you have failing eyesight or are not so dexterous.
The speed can be adjusted so you will have complete control over your project at all times. It can reach to up to 850 stitches per minute,. It is one of the fastest sewing machines we tested, and yet we were pleasantly surprised that it isn’t as noisy as some of the other high-speed machines. Plus, thanks to the easy manual speed control, you don’t have to focus on pressing the pedal harder if you want a higher speed. In fact, you can abstain from using the pedal altogether with this fine machine.
The machine also has a built-in free arm which is perfect for sewing pant legs, sleeves, cuffs or other cylindrical garments.
The CS6000i has 9 presser feet for overcasting, buttonhole, zipper, blind stitch, zigzag, monogramming, button fitting, and spring action quilting and walking. In fact, it is one of the machines which we tested with the most added presser feet.
It also has a sharp thread cutter, a seam ripper, bobbins, a cleaning brush, and a useful LED light so you can see how the sewing is going at all times.
It is sold with a solid hard carrying and storage case, which is great for those you who need to take their sewing machine to sewing classes or when traveling. And you don’t have to worry about carrying it with you as it weighs less than 13 lbs.!
Even if you are completely new to sewing machines, don’t worry. The Brother CS6000i sewing and quilting machine comes with a very detailed manual, an instructional DVD and a quick start guide to get you going.
Best of all, it is sold with a 25-year warranty by Brother, so you can rest assured that you will get the assistance you need if anything goes wrong with the amazingly simple and yet versatile sewing machine.
Our runner-up is yet another excellent computerized sewing machine from Brother who partnered up with Project Runway to make this superb machine. The XR9550PRW has an amazing array of 110 built-in stitches to choose from. You can choose between the numerous stitch types which include some beautiful decorative, utility and heirloom stitches. You also will get a choice of 8 additional one-step buttonhole styles with an auto-sizing option with this machine.
The backlit large LCD display makes choosing the stitches and making the adjustments a breeze.
You don’t need to fiddle with the threading, as the XR9550PRW has a nifty automatic threader for the needle. This is a superb feature for those of you who don’t have perfect eyesight or a steady hand. Plus, thanks to the drop-in bobbin system, getting the bobbin ready for use will take just a few moments.
The machine has a detachable large table for quilting and other larger projects. It also is sold with a hard case to keep it stored safely as well as for easy travel and portability. The weight of this machine is a little over 10 lbs. so it won’t be a hassle to move it around.
The feet included with the sewing machine are for zigzag, blind stitch, buttonhole, overcasting, monogramming, spring action quilting and button sewing. The machine may be lightweight, but it can handle both delicate and tough materials with ease.
This is another perfectly affordable machine which is simple enough to be suitable for newbies, and yet has a wide range of features which most of you advanced sewists will truly enjoy as well.
It has a smart and clean design, with a footprint of 20 x 12.5 x 17.8 inches and will look great in your workspace.
The warranty for the chassis is 25 years, and you will get a 1-year warranty for the parts and labor and 2 years for the electrical parts too.
Overall, at this price, its ease of use and the multitude of adjustable features, the XR9550PRW is possibly one of the best buys available in 2018.
It has 27 built-in stitches to choose from including some basic ones, decorative, zigzag, blind hem and stretch stitches. It also has a one-step buttonhole setting to make those buttonholes look perfect every time. Selecting the stitch of your choice is easy peasy, and so is the threading and the bobbin loading thanks to the automatic needle threader and the top-loading bobbin.
The budget-friendly XM2701 comes with 6 presser feet including feet for zippers, narrow hemming, blind stitching, buttonholes, zigzag and for button sewing, and can handle tougher materials such as denim without a problem.
The speed can be adjusted from very slow to up to 800 stitches per minute.
The built-in free arm is great for properly and easily making sleeves and pant legs.
Plus, the XM2701 has a twin needle capability which is very useful for hemming and is a great feature to have in an entry-level sewing machine.
It is sold with a useful instructional DVD, a user manual in two languages and free technical support by Brother. You will also get a 3 piece needle set, a spool pin, 4 bobbins, a darning plate and a screwdriver with this affordable sewing machine from Brother.
The XM2701 too has a 25-year limited warranty as our top picks.
It is an excellent choice both for beginners, as well as for advanced sewists who are looking for a more versatile sewing machine, and thanks to its small size and light weight it is a great choice for a second machine to take on the road.
Our other top picks for 2018
- Easy to use, computerized machine which is great for sewing, heirloom, quilting, decorative stitching and monogramming
- 130 built-in stitches including multiple decorative ones, 55 alphanumeric ones and 8 types of one-step auto-size buttonholes
- An easy to read stitch choice flip-chart built in the machine
- A large backlit LCD display
- 8 presser feet: zigzag, monogramming, overcasting, zipper, blind stitch, button sewing, buttonhole and quilting
- An automatic threading system which makes threading easy even if your eyesight is poor or hands are not that steady
- A quick set bobbin and easy bobbin winding
- An intuitive push-button selector for the stitches
- A detachable foot pedal for controlling the speed – you can use the pedal or not, depending on your preferences
- Adjustable speed via a slide control
- A highly efficient feed system which can handle just about any type of fabric
- A detachable large table for large projects such as blankets or quilts
- A drop-feed for your free motion quilting projects
- A LED light for better viewing when working with darker fabrics
- Lightweight and easy portability
- Comes with 3 bobbins, a twin needle, a 3-piece needle set, a ballpoint needle, an eyelet pinch, a cleaning brush, screwdriver, an extra spool, 3 spool caps, and a seam ripper
- A detailed user manual and a DVD with instructions
- 25-year limited guarantee
- A versatile machine for sewing, quilting, and embroidery
- 4 x 4-inch embroidery area
- 67 sewing stitches, 70 embroidery designs, 120 frame patterns and 5 lettering fonts to choose from
- Computer connectivity will allow you to import embroidery designs to the machine from websites like iBroidery.com
- A handy one-touch automatic thread cutter
- Design editing such as mirror-imaging, rotating and increasing or decreasing the size of the designs
- 7 feet for buttonhole, zipper, overcasting, blind stitch, button fitting, monogramming, and embroidery
- Easy and smooth feed thanks to the 7 point feed dogs
- Intuitive backlit LCD touchscreen display
- Automatic needle threading and quick-set drop-in bobbin and easy bobbin winding system
- LED lighting for a better view of your work in progress
- A free arm for sewing cylindrical items and an accessory compartment
- Built-in tutorials – perfect for beginners
- A quick start guide and a bilingual user manual
- Comes with a 4×4 inch embroidery hoop, an embroidery arm, an embroidery bobbin thread, a USB cable, seam ripper, touch pen, needle set, cleaning brush, 2 screwdrivers, 3 spool caps, 3 bobbins, scissors, and a soft cover
- 25-year warranty and free phone support
- A collaboration between Brother and Project Runway which results in a couture level result
- Suitable for new sewists and for advanced ones as well
- 70 unique built-in stitches including stitches for clothing, decoration, heirlooms, and quilting – all printed on the front of the machine for easy viewing
- 7 automatically sized one-step buttonhole options
- An extra wide table which with ruler markings which is ideal for quilts, blankets, curtains, prom dresses, and formal wear
- Easy automatized threading and a jam resistant quick set-top bobbin with an easy bobbin winding system
- Easy computerized selection of the stitches via the LCD display
- 7 specialty feet: zigzag, zipper, overcasting, monogramming, buttonhole, blind stitch, button fitting
- A LED lighted working area
- Convenient need plate markings for the perfect straight stitches
- A drop feed for easy free motion quilting
- An accessory pouch which contains: a 3-piece needle set, 4 bobbins, a ballpoint needle, a twin needle, a screwdriver, an extra spool pin, 3 spool caps and a seam ripper
- A foot controller pedal
- A quick start guide
- 25-year warranty
The Brother Laura Ashley CX155LA is not only pretty but also has a wide variety of features and comes with one of the largest sets of accessories we have seen, which make it an outstanding choice for new and for advanced sewists.
- 11 sewing and quilting feet – the most feet included with a sewing machine in 2018 (buttonhole, overcasting, button sewing, zipper, blind stitch, monogramming, zigzag, quilting, walking, ¼ inch quilting and a quilting guide)
- Large and easy to read LCD display to pick the stitches and make adjustments
- 155 built-in stitches, including 55 alphanumeric ones, and 8 one-step auto-sizable buttonhole one
- An extra wide table for large garments and projects – can fit King size quilts
- Adjustable speed control via a start and stop button, and a speed of up to 850 stitches per minute
- Smooth fabric feeding via the 7 point feed dogs
- A jam resistant, quick-set drop-in bobbin
- An accessory pouch with a twin needle, a needle set, ballpoint needle, extra spool, 4 bobbins, a seam reaper, bobbin clip, eyelet punch a cleaning brush and a screwdriver
- A useful DVD with video instructions and an operation manual
- 25 year long limited warranty
- Heavy duty and sturdy make – suitable for heavyweight fabrics and materials thanks to the motor which is 60% more powerful than in other sewing machines
- A very high speed of up to 1,100 stitches per minute
- 32 built-in stitches including basic, stretch, decorative a fully automatic buttonhole
- A smooth fabric feed and flow thanks to the stainless steel bedplate
- A metal frame ensures consistent and skip-free stitching
- Automatic and frustration-free threading of the needle
- Comes with 4 snap-on presser feet – all-purpose, zipper, buttonhole and button and 2 bonus feet for even feed and a non-stick foot
- The accessories are stored in the built-in accessory tray and include: a seam ripper, quilting guide, lint brush, bobbins, an extra spool pin, a spool pin felt, size 16 heavy duty needles and a clearance plate, and screwdriver
- Top drop-in bobbin
- A free arm for sleeves, cuffs and pant hems
- An extra-high presser foot lifter which allows for easy maneuvering of bulky fabrics under it
- Adjustable presser foot pressure to accommodate to the different types of fabrics
- The length of the stitches is adjustable, and the machine can stitch up to 6mm in width
- An automatic reverse function to reinforce the stitching
- A soft dust cover
- Suitable for all kinds of sewing projects including fashion, crafts, home décor, quilting, heirloom, and decorative sewing
- 100 built-in stitches, including 7 automatic buttonholes and 76 decorative stitches
- A built-in needle threader
- A speed of up to 750 stitches per minute and a lever and a foot pedal for easy speed control
- Easy push-button stitch selection
- The stitch lengths and widths are preset, but you can adjust each and every one of them manually too
- 10 Presser Feet: all-purpose foot, blind hem foot, buttonhole foot, quarter inch foot, darning or freehand embroidery foot, narrow rolled hem foot, satin stitch foot, gathering foot, overcasting foot, and zipper foot
- Accessories included: needles, bobbins, a needle plate, a darning plate, thread spool caps, extra spool pin, spool pin felt, seam ripper, screwdrivers and a lint brush
- Computerized and easy to control via the large LCD display
- A 6 segment feeding system
- Reverse stitching
- Horizontal threading
- Electronic start and stop
- Programmable lowering or raising of the needle
- A clutch for automatic bobbin winding
- Extra high foot lifter to move thicker fabric easily
- Lightweight and portable – only 14.6 lbs.
- Instruction manual in English, French, Spanish and an intro DVD
- 25-year limited guarantee
- 50 built-in stitches for garment making, quilting, decoration, and heirloom – all are printed out on the front of the machine for easy viewing and reference
- 5 one-step buttonhole stitches which are sized automatically
- Large LCD display
- Very small footprint, lightweight and a nifty carrying handle for added portability
- A free arm for sleeves, cuffs, and pants
- 6 specialty presser feet: zippers, blind hems, overcasting,
- twin needle top stitching
- easy threading of the needle via the built-in automatic threader and the one-step quick set drop-in bobbin
- A LED light for a better view of the work area
- Vertical spool pin provides a reliable and consistent feed
- An effective feed system for smoother movement of the fabric
- You can do free-motion quilting projects thanks to the drop feed
- 25 year limited warranty
- Affordable price
How to choose the best sewing machine
Sewing machines are quite complex machines with a lot of features, so it is not so easy to pick the best one, especially if you have no experience. Expert sewists recommend that you pick a sewing machine based on its ease-of-use, as well as on other features including the built-in stitches, the sewing speed, automatic threader, one-step buttonholes, the number and types of presser feet and other accessories and features.
Here are the basic characteristics to look for when you are shopping for a sewing machine:
Make sure that the machine has a heavy duty case which provides a nice and solid footprint. If you want a portable machine, choose a smaller and lighter one, but keep in mind that sewing machines which are too light can wobble around when you are working with heavier fabrics. On the other hand, a machine which is too heavy is not suitable for those of you who want to take it to classes with you or to move it around easily.
Automatic needle threading
This is a time-saving feature, which is a must-have if your eyesight is not too good, or if you have shaky hands. It is a great convenience both for novice and for advanced sewists.
Easy bobbin installation and winding systems
Like the above, this feature will save you a lot of time and hassle of having to wind the bobbin and to load it. the easier and faster it is – the more time you will have to enjoy working on your projects.
Type of machine and versatility
We have picked some all-in-one sewing machines for you. Even though some of them are specialized for embroidery, and others have added features for quilting, most of our top picks have them all in one, so there is no need to buy a machine designed specifically for just one craft.
Our top picks are from Brother and Singer which are the leading manufacturers of non-professional sewing machines. Both sell top quality sewing machines which come with 25-year limited warranties and a reliable customer care and technical assistance service.
The different sewing machines on our list have different numbers and types of built-in stitches. Choose the one which has the types of stitches you are most likely to use. Also, pick a machine which has an easy stitch choice and adjustment control. Thankfully, all of the sewing machines we have picked for you are user-friendly and easy to set and adjust.
Look for a machine which has a free arm, a detachable table, a carry case or cover, and other added accessories, which will ensure that you can use it for multiple purposes and for different types of projects. The more presser feet and accessories you receive with the sewing machine, the less you will need to spend on buying them separately afterward.
We have chosen affordable sewing machines for you. Our top budget choice costs less than $100, and the others are also very reasonably priced, given the quality provided and all the features they have.
Did you find the perfect sewing machine for your needs?
If you are still deliberating among the various options we have provided you, don’t worry because whichever one you pick – you will be making a wise investment and choice!
We are glad if we have helped make your choice, and wish you many fun-filled hours with your new sewing machine!
Now that you have your hands on the sewing machine of your dreams, all you need to do is find a great pattern, some beautiful fabric, and good quality threads, and you are set to go!
Good luck with your sewing projects and we hope you enjoy your new machine as much as we enjoyed testing our top 10 best sewing machine picks!