When you think of sewing machines, the immediate thing that pops into most people’s heads is all of the high-end models with vast capabilities and hundreds of stitches and fancy features.
For those just learning the first basics of sewing, complicated sewing machines may seem very intimidating. However, there are plenty of affordable sewing machine options out there, with many beginner-friendly features and great performance.
So, what are the best cheap sewing machines? The best inexpensive sewing machines shouldn’t sacrifice quality and efficiency for affordability. They should come with all the necessities you need to sew successfully and be durable, long-lasting, and effective.
If you are unsure of what to look for when buying your first sewing machine, this article will give you the tips and information you need to find the best affordable sewing machine for your needs and skill level.
Affordable Sewing Machines – Buyer’s Guide
Here are the factors to consider before buying a cheap sewing machine.
Before buying a sewing machine, ask yourself what type of projects you will be working on? If you are sewing simple projects like pillowcases and making simple alterations, then you only need a basic sewing machine with a few essential functions. These sewing machines are very beginner-friendly, and they can get most basic jobs done just fine.
However, if you will sew on thick fabrics such as denim or quilt with multiple layers of fabrics, then you will need to get a sturdier machine that allows you to change needles to accommodate the heavy-duty sewing that these types of projects demand.
Similarly, if you want to do some embroidery or create decorative stitches, then you will need to get a sewing machine that has the stitch options that you need.
Quality Vs. Features
If the most important priority you have is your budget, then you will really need to balance the quality of the sewing machine with the features that it offers.
There are many cheap sewing machines with a lot of stitches and customization options, but what you really need to look at is how the sewing machine will withstand the test of time.
It’s better to have a high-quality, functional machine with limited stitch options than a low-quality machine that breaks down before you get to explore all the fancy features that it supposedly offers.
Post-Purchase Warranty And Learning
Even if you already have some experience with sewing, there’s still a learning period when you get to know your machine, explore its features, and test its limits.
You’ll want a machine that offers a warranty in case things don’t go well when you play around with the machine’s features. If you’re unsure about how to work with a sewing machine, you can always find online tutorials or local classes to help you take advantage of the machine’s features.
Types Of Sewing Machines
There are basically three classifications of sewing machines, namely, mechanical sewing machines, electronic sewing machines, and computerized sewing machines.
Mechanical Sewing Machine
Mechanical sewing machines are also called treadle or domestic machines. These are the simplest type of sewing machines, and they are typically low-cost and easy to learn.
Because they are so basic, you shouldn’t expect to have a lot of stitch options when buying a mechanical sewing machine. They are not suitable for thick fabrics such as canvas and denim. These machines are pretty easy to maintain, as regular cleaning and oil changing are enough to keep their longevity.
Electronic Sewing Machine
Electronic sewing machines have plenty more features compared to mechanical ones, including more built-in stitches and customization options.
In addition, you can expect to find fancy features like built-in needle threaders and top-loading bobbins. These machines are very lightweight, which makes them great for taking to class with you.
Computerized Sewing Machine
Computerized sewing machines are the fanciest of sewing machines, with plenty of options to connect to the internet, an LCD screen to help you select and customize stitches, and even SD cards and USB ports to connect you to software that can design stitches for you.
Computerized sewing machines can handle various fabrics, from very lightweight fabrics to thicker ones like canvas, denim, and leather. Plenty of stitch options can be automated, including buttonhole stitches and other complicated tasks, so they are definitely superior to their electronic and mechanical counterparts.
However, as you can imagine, computerized sewing machines are usually more expensive than other types of sewing machines, and if you are a complete beginner at sewing, you probably won’t be able to take advantage of all the features that it offers. Computerized sewing machines are more suitable for an experienced seamstress.
Once you’ve decided what kind of sewing project you’ll be working on, it’s time to consider the features that can help you get the job done. Below is a list of features that a sewing machine can offer, ranging from must-have to nice-to-have.
When you first look at a sewing machine option, the first thing you should consider is how many stitches it offers. The number of stitches will vary depending on the sewing machine, but there are a few basic stitches that you will definitely need in every single project:
- Straight stitch: This is basically a straight line that you can sew with every type of fabric. A straight stitch is required for almost every project.
- Zigzag stitch: A zigzag stitch is perfect for sewing with stretchy materials, and you can also use it to seal off frayed edges.
- Stretch/knit stitch: This is a must-have for sewing with stretchy fabric. When you sew with stretchy fabric, you will need the stitches to stretch along with the fabric. Otherwise, the garment will look crumpled and distorted. These stitches can accommodate stretchy fabric really well.
- Buttonhole stitch: This helps you create buttonholes easily. Many fancy sewing machines offer a one-step buttonhole stitch, while others require multiple steps to create a buttonhole.
In addition to the type of stitches, you should also take a look at how easy it is to adjust the stitch length. Different stitch lengths can help you sew with different types of fabrics as well as employ different techniques in your sewing. For example, lengthening the straight stitch can help you gather the fabric, a popular technique when sewing skirts and puffy sleeves.
There are two main types of bobbin placement: front-loading or drop-in bobbins. Drop-in bobbins are easier to thread than traditional front-loading bobbins, and most drop-in bobbin machines have a clear plastic cover, which allows you to see how much thread you have left in the bobbin, making sewing very convenient.
Front-loading bobbins are more often seen in older sewing machines. This type of bobbin is great if you are embroidering or quilting and need to change the bobbin in the middle of your project – front-loading bobbins make that process quite easy.
Presser Feet are the little component around your needle, which is pressed onto your fabric to help you feed the fabric through the machine while sewing.
Most basic sewing machines have a basic foot that works with most stitches, and some machines come with specialty presser feet, such as a zipper foot or a buttonhole foot, which can help you create those specialty stitches with ease.
The sewing machine’s speed control helps you keep the fabric at a steady pace while you sew. Most sewing machines, including the very basic ones, allow you to control the sewing speed, so if you are a beginner, you can work at a slower speed to ensure accuracy.
Tension adjustment is another basic function that is available in most sewing machines. Tension adjustment allows you to set the thread’s tight or loose tension, which can prevent the thread from getting puckering or loose while you sew.
Workspace refers to the area where your fabric can rest while you sew; often, it’s the length between the needle and the machine’s body.
If you have some basic projects, then you don’t need to have a very big workspace. This site is only useful when working with large projects, such as a quilted blanket, where you need an area that can support that weight.
In some cases, a sewing machine can come with an extension table that provides more space for sewing. This table can be attached to your machine’s body to help support the weight of your sewing project. If you’re planning to work with heavy fabrics and quilt some blankets, then definitely consider this aspect.
The area under the needle that houses the feed dog and bobbin should have an accessory tray that’s removable, revealing a smaller work surface, which is called a “free arm.”
This is a pretty cool adjustment that allows you to sew narrow objects, such as sleeves, which means you don’t have to bunch up the fabric when sewing small loops.
Sewing Machine Needles
Of course, every sewing machine comes with a needle, but you should take a look at how easy it is to switch needles. That’s because sewing machine needles are not one-size-fits-all; you will need to adjust the needle size when sewing with lightweight or thick fabrics so that your sewing machine needles don’t get bent or broken when sewing.
Plus, sewing machine needles can dull over time, so occasionally changing the needle on your machine can help maintain the stitch quality.
Automatic Needle Threader
Threading a sewing machine can be a little intimidating for beginners, and if you get it wrong, your stitches can get tangled and distorted. Some sewing machines now have an automatic needle threader feature that can help you avoid any threading errors.
Automatic Thread Cutter
Cutting thread while you sew isn’t difficult, but it can be tedious depending on the project. An automatic thread cutter allows you to cut the thread with a simple button on your machine, and you should have a nice and clean cut when you finish sewing.
Many sewing machines now also have a small light that provides proper lighting to the needle area, so you can always see where your stitches are going. This is a pretty convenient feature, especially if your sewing corner can get dark, making it difficult to see the stitches.
A knee lifter is a great feature to have if you are going to be quilting. It lets you lift the presser foot by pressing your knee against the lifter bar underneath the table, freeing your hands to adjust the fabric as you quilt. As you can imagine, this feature makes quilting much faster and helps you avoid errors when you create decorative stitches on the quilt.
After reading about all the sewing machine features, if you are looking for an inexpensive option to add to your sewing area, let’s take a look at some affordable options with great quality below.
Best Cheap Sewing Machines
If you want a sewing machine that can help you learn sewing basics and eventually level up your skills, below are some great beginner-friendly machines that you can grow with.
|1.||Brother CP60X Computerized Sewing Machine||60 built-in stitches, LCD screen, auto threading|
|2.||SINGER | M3330 Making The Cut Sewing Machine||Lightweight, easy to use, 97 stitches|
|3.||Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine||37 stitches, auto threader, drop-in bobbin|
|4.||SINGER Mechanical MX60 Sewing Machine||57 built-in stitches, LED lighting|
|5.||Brother GX37 Sewing Machine||37 stitches, auto threading, free arm|
|6.||Mueller Heavy Duty Sewing Machine||Free arm, 24 stitches, backstitching|
|7.||Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine||Compact design, sewing kit included|
|8.||KPCB 505 Sewing Machine||12 stitches, sewing kit included, LED light|
|9.||Kylinton Sewing Machine For Beginners||12 stitches, free arm, beginner-friendly|
|10.||LATT Portable Sewing Machine||19 stitches, LED light, portable|
|11.||MARIQ Sewing Machine For Beginners||16 stitches, sewing light, sewing kit included|
1. Brother CP60X Computerized Sewing Machine
It’s hard to find a computerized sewing machine at this price range, so this Brother CP60X Computerized sewing machine is definitely a steal.
Brother is a reputable brand when it comes to sewing machines, so you can trust in this machine’s top-notch quality and reliable functions.
This sewing machine comes packed with amazing features such as 60 built-in stitches, including utility, decorative, and heirloom stitch functions, and seven auto-size buttonholes stitches.
All of these stitches can be easily identified, selected, and adjusted using the printed guide on the machine’s body and the electronic LCD display, allowing you to see even the most detailed information for the perfect stitch every time.
This machine has a wide range of features to help make sewing easier than ever. The 2-step automatic needle threader is simple to use, and the needle threader reliably pushes the thread through the needle for consistent stitches each time.
The drop-in bobbin system lets you quickly change out your machine’s bobbins with just one hand. In addition, there is also a removable free arm that makes the machine more flexible when it comes to sewing sleeves and pant legs.
Among the wide range of accessories included with the sewing machine, you’ll also get seven sewing feet, which can help you accomplish a wide range of tasks.
This is definitely a worthy investment if you are planning on practicing with a lot of different projects and techniques since it gives you room to experiment with different techniques and hone your sewing skills.
2. SINGER | M3330 Making The Cut Sewing Machine
SINGER is another well-known brand that makes highly reliable sewing machines. The M3330 sewing machine is a lightweight, easy-to-use sewing machine, perfect for a multitude of projects and skill levels.
This machine offers 97 built-in stitch applications for everything from essential stitching to decorative sewing.
You can easily select the stitches using the knob on the body of this machine. All of the stitches are fully adjustable and customizable to fit a variety of purposes.
The sewing machine is packed with time-saving features, such as the front-loading bobbin, needle threader, and one-step buttonhole feature. In addition, you’ll get four presser feet that accommodate these convenient features.
This machine also has a free arm design that allows the machine to transform conveniently for a variety of tasks. On the machine’s body, you will also find convenient LED lighting that can be of great assistance on a sewing project.
3. Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine
If you want a machine that allows you to sew as well as quilt, then this is definitely a versatile sewing machine that can do just that.
The 37 built-in stitches provide an impressive array of options, including blind hem, decorative and quilting stitches, and a 1-step buttonhole.
The machine comes with eight presser feet to accommodate all of the included stitches and features.
This machine is compatible with both thicker fabrics like denim as well as delicate materials such as silk. It features an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes the thread through the needle and a convenient, jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin for easy loading.
This sewing machine can be easily transformed to provide a bigger or smaller sewing area when needed. When you quilt with a big project, you can use the wide extension table to support the fabrics, and when you sew small cuffs and sleeves, you can simply remove the free arm to accommodate.
Although there are fewer stitches compared to other sewing machine options, the range that this sewing machine provides is still quite amiable, giving you room to learn and experiment with different sewing and quilting techniques.
4. SINGER Mechanical MX60 Sewing Machine
For a beginner, a mechanical sewing machine like this SINGER MX60 is the perfect instrument to get started.
This machine includes 57 built-in stitches at the touch of a dial, including a buttonhole stitch.
One limit to this machine is that the stitch length and width are pre-set, which means there’s not a lot of versatility when it comes to customizing stitches.
However, the stitch options available are still enough to help you make small adjustments and simple projects with ease.
This is a front-loading bobbin sewing machine, which allows you to change the bobbin right as you sew. There’s also LED lighting on the machine’s body, which is a big help to ensure nice-looking stitches.
Overall, if you are looking for a machine that can help you make simple projects and quick fixes, then this is a great sewing machine option for you.
The Brother GX37 sewing machine comes loaded with features to help you create a variety of fashion-forward projects.
Its 37 unique, built-in stitches make it easy to stitch and sew different materials, from thick woven fabrics to thin garments such as leather and denim.
The GX37 also has an auto-size buttonhole that makes sewing easy. In addition, it has great features such as an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes the thread through the needle and a convenient, jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin also make sewing a lot less intimidating for beginners.
This is a free arm machine that allows you to easily switch up the working space for sewing with projects of different sizes. The machine also includes six sewing feet, a needle set, and bobbins that can help you accomplish a ton of designs and try your hands with different sewing techniques.
6. Mueller Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
This Mueller Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine is comparable with many complicated sewing machines but at half the price.
This is a lightweight, portable sewing machine with all of the modern features you’d expect, including an easy-set bobbin system and thread cutter.
Ideal for beginners and for projects around the home, this convenient machine offers 42 built-in stitches, including basic and stretch stitches, but also decorative and buttonhole stitches, as well as backstitching.
The stitch chart is neatly printed on the side of the machine for easy reference, and you can choose and adjust the stitches using the knobs on the side of the machine. Of course, the machine also comes with the zipper feet that help you get the job done, plus additional needles, bobbins, needle threader, seam ripper, and lint brush.
A free arm that also acts as storage space is a huge bonus for this sewing machine. It is also equipped with a built-in LED, which can help you achieve nice and precise stitches with ease.
At this price point, this is an excellent machine that not only helps beginners learn how to sew but it’s also a dependable machine that can grow as you expand your skillset.
7. Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine
The Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine is a simple machine that can help you make quick repairs on your clothes and household items.
This handy machine only has a straight stitch design, and you can adjust the speed setting between ‘high’ or ‘low’ speeds depending on what you’re comfortable with.
The threading is also super easy since there are numbers printed on each step to help you thread the machine.
This is a very basic machine, with a neat and compact design that is made to make quick fixes, so it’s handy if you just need to get some small jobs.
There’s not a lot of room for customization or experimenting, but at this affordable price, it’s still a great option for beginners who are just looking to familiarize themselves with basic sewing techniques.
8. KPCB 505 Sewing Machine
This beginner-friendly sewing machine is a bit more versatile, with 12 built-in stitches, including both the basic stitches you’ll use on every project, as well as useful features such as backstitching and buttonhole stitches.
In addition, you can adjust the sewing speed, which makes the machine even more beginner-friendly.
The KPCB is designed to be a compact urban sewing machine that takes up very little space but still has great capabilities, such as a built-in thread cutter, LED light that supports sewing in low-light settings, and a removable free arm for sewing small-sized projects.
While the stitch options are limited and there is not a lot of customization available, this is still an impressive sewing machine at this price range, allowing you to accomplish simple sewing tasks while getting familiar with a sewing machine.
9. Kylinton Sewing Machine for Beginners
The Kylinton sewing machine is a great choice for beginners who want to learn how to sew.
It has a 12-stitch option and the ability to adjust speed for more comfortable sewing. Light and easy to move around, this beginner-friendly machine is the perfect starter machine for kids and adults alike.
This top drop-in bobbin design allows easy loading of the bobbin, and the free arm allows you to easily transform your workspace to sew pant legs and sleeves.
This machine has a very sleek and beginner-friendly design that makes learning how to sew very fun and straightforward. If you just need to get quick jobs done around the house, then this is definitely the sewing machine for you.
10. LATT Portable Sewing Machine
The LATT Portable Sewing Machine is designed to make sewing at home even easier.
It comes with 19 built-in stitches that include decorative stitches, blind hem ones, buttonholes, and much more. All of these stitches are highly accessible via a knob on the machine.
This machine is very lightweight and portable, so you can easily take it in and out of storage at home or even take it to your sewing class.
In addition to all the basic functions of a sewing machine, this one also comes with an LED light that makes it easy to see your stitches as you go.
The free arm design is a big bonus for this machine since it allows you to sew with big and small pieces easily by transforming the working area.
Overall, this beginner-friendly machine can help you get any basic job done around the house and help you master the basics of sewing.
11. MARIQ Sewing Machine For Beginners
The MARIQ is the ultimate sewing companion suitable for beginners. This small machine features16 built-in stitches, including decorative, blind hem, buttonhole zigzag and stretch stitches.
The Maria offers a variety of stitch functions to create both simple and complex sewing patterns and techniques. For added versatility, the machine is also equipped with an adjustable upper thread tension lever to fit various fabric weights.
This machine includes a drawer to provide space for storing sewing supplies, and when removed, it reveals a smaller working area that is suitable for sewing cuffs and pant legs. The built-in sewing light is very convenient when handling details.
This sewing machine comes with an extensive collection of sewing supplies, which is a great starter kit if you are buying your first sewing kit to learn about sewing.