Best sewing machines for beginners in December 2023

Best beginner sewing machines in 2023: Jump Menu

Best sewing machines for beginners; a group of three sewing machines

(Image credit: Singer / Janome / Brother)

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: Singer 4423
3. Best price: Singer M1000
4. Computerised: Brother CP2160R
5. Best for improvers: Singer 5560
6. High end: Janome 14412-P
7. FAQs
8. How to choose
9. How we test

Choosing the best sewing machine for beginners is the first step in starting a fun and rewarding hobby. Whether you're looking to make clothes, style home furnishings or create textile art a sewing machine is an investment that you want to consider carefully.

Beginners often want to start with one of the simplest sewing machines, but you need to be sure it can do what you need. In the guide below, we make our recommendations for the best sewing machine for beginners based on our own testing, customer reviews and a thorough comparison of their specs and features. We've included both mechanical and computerised machines at different price points in order to cover different needs.

We've started with quick links to our top picks. You can scroll down for our choices in full and head to the bottom for FAQs on how to choose the best beginner sewing machine for you. If you need more from a sewing machine, see our pick of the best sewing machines overall, and if you're creating craft work in general, you might also want to see our guide to the best Cricut machines.

The Quick List

The best sewing machines for beginners in full

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best sewing machine overall

Best sewing machines for beginners; a grey Singer sewing machineCB

(Image credit: Singer)
A fast, well made and practical sewing machine for beginners


Size: 6.25 x 15.5 x 12 inches
Weight: 6.58 kg
Number of stitches: 23 built-in stitches including basic, stretch, decorative, and buttonhole stitches

Reasons to buy

Plenty of built-in stitches to get started
An incredibly fast machine
Robust and made to last

Reasons to avoid

Can be a little noisy

The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 is the best beginner sewing machine if you're looking for something that will last. This mechanical machine will stay the course beyond your first few years of sewing. This durable machine has a motor that’s 60% stronger than standard machines, enabling it to handle denim and other tough fabrics with ease. 

Although I've chosen it with longevity in mind, the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 is still easy to use from the outset with simple dials for selecting your stitch and its length. Whilst as a mechanical machine it doesn’t have a vast amount of decorative stitch options, its 23 built-in stitches are more than enough for sewing with any fabric. 

In our Singer Heavy Duty 4423 review, we found this is also a very quick machine, capable of sewing up to 1,100 stitches per minute, which is impressive whether you're new to, or experienced, with sewing machines. The only downside is this speed can make it a little noisy.

The best value sewing machine for beginners

Product shot of Singer M1000, one of the best sewing machines for beginners

(Image credit: Singer)

02. Singer M1000 Mending Machine

A cheap beginner sewing machine for everyday mending


Size: ‎28.96 x 12.95 x 23.88cm
Weight: 2.49kg
Number of stitches: 4 built-in stitches

Reasons to buy

Great value for money
Easy to use
Light and portable

Reasons to avoid

You may outgrow it quickly

Start sewing for under $100 / £110! This basic cheap sewing machine from Singer can handle many everyday mending tasks (it's billed as a 'Mending Machine' rather than a sewing machine). And this may be all that many beginners need.  It's very compact, lightweight and portable, and it does create a decent stitch, making it great for quick fixes if you want a machine you can easily store away when not in use. It has four built-in stitches, three needle positions and can hit 350 stitches per minute.

Just be aware that if you do get more into sewing, you may outgrow this machine very quickly. You can't vary the stitch length and the weak motor can't deal with anything thicker than a layer or two of denin (it will just stop working as a safety measure). So while the cheap price makes sense if you don't see yourself wanting to do more complex work in the future, it could be a false economy if you do develop further and find you have to upgrade.

The best computerised sewing machine for beginners

Best sewing machines for beginners; a white sewing machine with a floral decorationCB endorsed

(Image credit: Brother)

03. Brother CP2160R

A computerised beginner sewing machine with a great display and attractive price


Size: 6.65 x 16.26 x 12.21 inches
Weight: 6.44 kg
Number of stitches: 60 built-in stitches, including utility, decorative, heirloom and auto-size buttonholes

Reasons to buy

Excellent LCD display
Low price for a computerised sewing machine

Reasons to avoid

Instructions could be better

The Brother CP2160R computerised sewing machine is that rare thing, a highly specced machine from a respected brand below £200. I think this feature-packed machine is an absolute steal. 

I’d also say it’s one of the prettiest machines around. With a clear LCD display and push buttons it's very easy to select your stitch, stitch length and width from an impressive 60 built-in stitch options.  

I am extremely impressed to find seven different buttonhole options on a machine at this price, too. Thanks in part to the included automatic needle threader, the Brother CP2160R is also easy to set up and get stitching with straight away.

Being a computerised machine there's some assumptions on Brother's part that you'll have some experience, which is why perhaps the instructions are a little lacking in detail. But you can find videos online to help, and once up and running the Brother CP2160R is excellent.

The best sewing machine for improvers

Best sewing machines for beginners; a small white sewing machine with a case

(Image credit: Singer)

04. Singer 5560

A more complete sewing machine for beginners and improvers


Size: 13 x 22 x 15 inches
Weight: 9.77 kg
Number of stitches: 203 built-in stitches, including one-step buttonhole

Reasons to buy

Small but useful LCD display
Features a lot of built-in stitches

Reasons to avoid

Perhaps too many stitches for beginners

I think the Singer 5560 (also called the Singer Fashion Mate 5560) is particularly good for beginners looking for computerised machine that has plenty to stretch their skills further down the line. With 203 stitches and a removable wide extension table, this machine will serve as a great first machine if you have quilting on the list of things you want to be able to do with your machine. 

The Singer 5560 has a lot of built-in stitches so a beginner may find it a little overwhelming but it ensures this machine can grow with your skill level. The small LCD display makes it easy to see the stitch you’re using at all times, so there is help to get used to this kind of machine.

The best high-end sewing machine for beginners

Best sewing machines for beginners; a white sewing machine

(Image credit: Janome)

05. Janome 14412-P MOD-50

A fantastic quality sewing machine for beginners, but at a price


Size: 13 x 22 x 15 inches
Weight: 5.76 kg
Number of stitches: 50 built-in stitches including three one-step buttonholes

Reasons to buy

50 built-in stitches for every occasion
Well made and will last you
Lightweight for taking to classes

Reasons to avoid

A little expensive for beginners

I've selected the Janome 14412-P MOD-50 as I think this is a great beginner machine due to its easy-to-use speed selector and interface, making stitch and speed choices simple. I particularly like how the easy to navigate interface displays the foot you should use for the stitch you have selected, which makes it great for first-time sewists. 

It’s the only machine on my list with the option to select your speed and the slower speed option can be very useful when you’re just starting out. This is also one of the lighter sewing machines in this guides, making it ideal for taking to classes and a friend's house for a sewing session. 

The Janome 14412-P MOD-50 takes its name from the 50 built in stitches so the machine will still serve you well once you’re up and running at full speed. Overall this is an excellent sewing machine for beginners but it's also one of the more expensive on this list.


Are computerised or mechanical options the best sewing machines for beginners?

Both computerised and mechanical sewing machines can be good sewing machines for beginners, each with their own advantages. Mechanical machines typically have fewer built-in stitches and buttonhole options but are simple to use and easily repaired. A computerised machine can store more information and therefore offer more functions and stitch designs.

Which sewing machine brands are good for beginners?

The main brands we'd recommend would be Janome, Singer, Brother and Bernette; these often have good sewing machines for beginners that come with everything you need to get started at good prices. These are often good machines designed to introduce you to sewing and then upgrade. You may often find that store-exclusive sewing machines from places like Hobbycraft and John Lewis are rebrands of some of these named machines.

What accessories does a new sewer need?

I've listed some of the key accessories anyone new to sewing machine may need, but also do a little research as often the best beginner sewing machines will come packaged with accessories. Also research to see how a sewing machine can be expanded with new feet and tray tables, as you will grow in skill.

  • Seem rippers These are used to tear out seams, hems, buttons and snaps. They can also be used to easily unpick mistakes – so beginners will need one.
  • Fabric scissors These are sharper and more precise than standard scissors and whatever you do don't cut paper with them!
  • Pinking shears These are used to cut fabric to size and leave the edges in small triangular shapes, so the fabric doesn't fray. 
  • Tape measure For measuring your fabric lengths.
  • Rotary cutter A handy tool to cut long and clean lengths of fabric without pulling or tearing.
  • Parchment paper Essential for patchworks and quilting, these also come in triangles and circles for more complex projects.

What is the easiest fabric to sew?

Cotton and linen is great, as would be old shirts and clothes cut up into quarters – reusing old clothes for projects means if you make a mistake it doesn't matter. Beginners should avoid stretchy materials as these are hard to work with (some newer sewing machines for beginners do have a setup to sew stretchy material).

How to choose the best sewing machines for beginners

There are a number of things everyone buying a beginner sewing machine should consider, including whether you want a mechanical or computerised machine, what built-in stitches it features (look for type rather than number), you'll want a good warranty and finally think about the weight – as a beginner you'll want to take it to classes or a friend's house to practise. 

How we chose the best beginner sewing machines for this guide

Over more than a decade online, Creative Bloq has reviewed and tested a wide range of craft tools, including sewing machines. Our craft reviewers test devices in real use situations with different fabrics and techniques to compare how they perform in practice. We also compare manufacturers' specifications and consider pricing to factor in value as part of our evaluation.

Michelle Rowley
Freelance craft writer

Michelle is a sewing teacher, writer and maker based in the Peak District. As a dressmaking tutor and freelance craft feature writer Michelle regularly writes for Love Sewing magazine as well as Woman's Weekly & Woman & HomeAs a sewing tutor and avid dressmaker she has extensive knowledge of sewing machines and overlockers, and the know-how of how to match different dressmakers' needs and budgets to the right machine for them.

With contributions from