The best sewing machines to buy for all your craft projects

We've found the best sewing machines for beginners and beyond.

Best sewing machine

by Lily Anderson |
Updated on

If you're a keen crafter or have simply been inspired by The Great British Sewing Bee, getting the best sewing machine will help you become a master of all sorts. From quick garment fixes and embroidery to making your very own clothes and cushion covers, having a sewing machine to hand will mean that come rain or shine, you can experiment with your sewing capabilities.

When it comes to choosing the best sewing machine for you, you need to choose a sewing machine based on what you want to achieve as well as your skillset. There's no point in buying a sewing machine for beginners if you've been creating garments for years. Likewise, if you want to sew quilts, for example, you'd do best with one with special functions to tackle the thicker fabric.

Before you take a look at our pick of the best, here's a quick guide to the different options available to help narrow down your choices:

Portable sewing machines: Are you looking for a sewing machine that can be used on the sofa, in the kitchen or in the bedroom? Well, you're in luck as portable sewing machines exist. And with mini sewing machine options available, they're ideal if you need a machine that's lighter and more compact. However, as they usually only have a few stitch options, we wouldn't recommend using these for thick fabrics or big projects.

Quilting sewing machines: Calling all passionate quilters, if you love creating blankets or just enjoy joining fabric together, it'll be worth opting for a quilting sewing machine. Not only will this equipment give you more room to work with, but it also has additional features like extra speed settings.

Computerised sewing machine: Practise your embroidery with ease thanks to a computerised sewing machine that can select an easy-to-use stitch from the touch of a button. Plus, you'll be able to control a whole host of things like speed settings and automatic needle threading from this device.

Best sewing machines

Great for beginners

We know looks aren't everything, but we love the aesthetic of the John Lewis sewing machines with more colours available on the website. Suitable for complete beginners, this retro-inspired machine can tackle both light and medium weight fabrics and comes with a dust jacket included.

Pros: Simple to use - great for beginners.
Cons: A twin needle can be used, but it doesn't come supplied.

Specs
Size: 33.5 x 22 x 43.5cm
Stitch: 14 stitch options
Box includes: Sewing machine, dust jacket, foot control darning plate, standard and buttonhole foot, seam ripper, spare bobbins, and spare needles.

Best for household sewing needs

Singer Tradition 2250NT Sewing Machine
Price: £140 (was £160)

www.argos.co.uk

What a lovely little sewing machine! The Singer Tradition 2250 is perfect for beginners looking to branch out into a new hobby.

Pros: An easy machine to use with great functions.
Cons: It's noisy - so it's not ideal for anyone whose set-up is in the living or dining room.

Specs
Size: 22 x 16 x 37cm
Stitch: 10 different options
Box includes: Electronic sewing machine, easy snap-on presser feet, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, screwdriver, pack of needles, bobbins, edge/quilting guide, darning plate and spool holder.

Best for affordability

KPCB Tech Mini Sewing Machine with Extension Table
Price: $39.99

Your sewing is going places thanks to this mini machine. Its special design has been created with portability in mind as well as stability. We love the built-in lamp that helps you see the dainty thread easily.

Pros: It comes pre-threaded and can be used for projects like alterations, dressmaking, and more.
Cons: Works better with thinner material as it's not the most powerful machine on this list.

Specs
Size: 17.5 x 8.9 x 21.8cm
Stitch: 10 different options
Box includes: Sewing machine, extension table, power adapter, foot pedal, four bobbins, needle, needle threader and manual.

Best for craft projects

Easy to use? Check. Easy to carry? Check. Easy to fall in love with? Check. Brother sewing machines have a fantastic reputation for a reason and they're excellent products at affordable prices.

Pros: No bells and whistles needed for this sewing machine, just everything you need to stitch.
Cons: This is a starter machine; it wouldn't be as beneficial for advanced sewers.

Specs
Size: 44.4 x 19.4 x 37cm
Stitch: 14 different options including three embroidery
Box includes: Sewing machine, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, four bobbins, instructional DVD, and LED sewing light.

Best for advanced sewers

Singer 9985 Quantum Stylist Sewing MachineVery

Wow, this is an extraordinary bit of kit. Not only is it a sturdy machine that is built to last, but it also offers incredible functions like the ability to personalise a name or phrase in block or script.

Pros: Yes, there really are 960 stitches to choose from including 10 basic, 21 stretch, 13 fully automatic and 919 decorative stitches.
Cons: It has to be the price: yes, it's expensive but it literally does everything you could possibly need and more.

Specs
Size: 21.5 x 29.5 x 42.5cm
Stitch: 960 different options
Box includes: Sewing machine, multi, zipper, blind hem, 1/4inch, button sew, satin stitch, darning, open toe, walking, cording, overcasting, narrow hem and one-step BH feet.

Best for versatility

Whatever your experience, you'll find this computerised sewing machine from Uten is a fuss-free option as you select stitches and settings at the touch of a button. Now that's what you call convenience at your finger tips.

Pros: We love that this machine has an automatic bobbin winding system, different sewing speeds and free motion for embroidery.
Cons: This sewing machine requires a lot of housekeeping and maintenance to ensure that it runs smoothly and properly.

Specs
Size: 40 x 34 x 15.8cm
Stitch: 60 built-in stitches and features
Box includes: Sewing machine, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, zigzag foot, hem guide foot, three bobbins, needle set, twin needle, screwdriver, ripper/brush and extra spool pin.

Best for embroidery and quilting

The quick-touch stitch selection, length and width adjustment with an easy to drop in bobbin will make embroidering and quilting easier than hand-stitching with the same stylish touch.

Pros: It comes with an extra wide table, and a free motion embroidery foot which is perfect for all your free motion embroidery. It's also easy to adjust and has simple speed control so you'll always feel like you know what you're doing.
Cons: This machine may not be the one for you if you're going to use it for anything but delicate and intricate work.

Specs
Size: 51.5 x 32.2 x 45.6cm
Stitch: 100 Stitch and 1 lettering style
Box includes: Sewing machine, extra wide table, free motion embroidery foot, quick set drop in bobbin and drop feed mechanism.

Best for heavy-duty projects

The Singer 3321 Talent is a robust sewing machine that can tackle all your heavy-duty home projects, from home furnishings to creating a new wardrobe from scratch. It's easy to use, light to carry, and great for letting your creative talents loose.

Pros: Sturdy and simple to use but still with plenty of different functions.
Cons: The automatic needle thread is reportedly quite fiddly.

Specs
Size: 30 x 41 x 17cm
Stitch: 21 built-in stitches
Box includes: Sewing machine, all-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, edge/quilting guide, bobbins, small and large thread spool cap, spool pin felt, darning plate, screwdriver, seam ripper/lint brush, and soft vinyl cover.

Our verdict: Which is the best sewing machine?

Still undecided on which sewing machine to buy? That's completely normal. You want to make sure that your new purchase ticks all of the right boxes. Talking of checklists, taking the top spot for the best sewing machine is the Brother LK14S Sewing Machine - not only is it exceptional value for money, but it boasts a whole host of beginner features, like stitch pattern indicator. Plus, it comes with a manufacturer's three-year guarantee.

This doesn't mean that the rest of the sewing machines on this list aren't stand out for their own reasons. All of these sewing machines are the best in our eyes, for many different reasons, and you may find another better suits your needs.

How to thread a sewing machine?

Have you just taken up sewing? Or are you in need of a new machine? Either way, it's absolutely necessary that you put the new tool to the test. Unfortunately, you can't take it home and try it, but, you can watch other people using the sewing machine you're interested online.

We love that how-tos and review videos on YouTube also provide great tips on how to use the machines. As each machine is different, there will be certain instructions you need to follow for each model.

Here, fashion design graduate and YouTuber, Vania shares her knowledge of sewing and fashion, including how to thread the amazing Singer Tradition 2250 Portable Sewing Machine:

Why does my sewing machine thread keep breaking?

There's nothing worse than being in the rhythm of a project and suddenly your thread keeps on breaking. Even with the most advanced machines, thread breaking does occur. If you're looking for a quick solution, you're in luck...

Here are two ways why your thread keeps breaking, and quick ways to solve it.

Thread tension is too tight: This can be a common problem when it comes to sewing. Simply check that the thread is installed correctly and decrease the tension setting.

Damages: The last thing you want is for anything to break or cause any more issues, so make sure that your needle hasn't been damaged or bent. If it is, it'll need replacing.

Related: Best sewing machine bags that are stylish and practical

Best sewing machine brands

Finding the right sewing machine for you doesn't have to be difficult. Here at Yours, we understand that making this purchase is a big decision, that's why we want to provide you with all the information you need to buy the right sewing kit for you.

That's why it's essential to carry out some research on your own.

If you haven't already looked into the leading sewing machine brands, here is a good place to start:

Elna
Pfaff
Janome
Singer Corporation
Brother Industries
Bernina International
Husqvarna Viking
John Lewis & Partners

Do you have an Instagram account? It's simple to set up on your phone. By following your favourite sewing machine brands, you can join a community who are passionate about sewing, embroidery and quilting - and post about it!

This just makes us want to stick the kettle on and get creative.

Lily Anderson is a contributing writer for Yours. When she isn’t trying out the latest kitchen appliances, garden furniture and home essentials, Lily is pushing forward health products for women, educational toys and the latest fashion collaborations.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us