Sewing Machines for Beginners

Sewing Machine for Beginners

Following is our list of the best sewing machines for beginners. In creating our list we considered ease of use, consumer ratings, pros & cons, specifications, machine features, and weight.  Our list of the top sewing machines for beginners is not dominated by any particular brand and includes machines manufactured by Brother, Janome and Singer.

Many of these beginner sewing machines have a limited number of features and stitches, and are fairly lightweight.  Some also have very good manuals and easy-to-follow instructions (but not all).

You can see our choices from #1 to #10 in the table below:


 Rank  Model  Approx. Weight (lbs)  Approx. Price (USD)*
 1  Brother XR3774  12.3  120
 2  Janome 2212  13.2  150
 3  Janome Jem Gold 660  11.6  200
 4  Brother JX2517  12  88
 5  Janome 2206  18  120
 6  Brother CS6000i  13  145
 7  Brother XL2600i  11  80
 8  Singer Fashion Mate 7256  14.6  110
 9  Singer Stylist 7258  15  170
 10  Singer 2259 Tradition  13.6  90
*   Prices are approximate and based on March 2016 Amazon prices.


  • Brother CP60X Sewing Machine

    93.5The Brother CP60X is an affordable but fairly basic computerized sewing machine. The LCD screen allows you to select the stitch, stitch width and length, and it will indicate the correct presser foot to use. Consumer ratings for the CP60X are good and owners report that the machine is lightweight, intuitive, and easy-to-use. This is not a heavy-duty machine however, and it will struggle with thicker materials.

  • Janome 2212 Sewing Machine Review

    88.1 This is a rather plain mechanical sewing machine that is simple and easy to use. It is solid and reliable and likely a good fit for a beginner or even an experienced seamstress who only requires the basics. Consumer ratings are quite good and the machine is well-priced for a Janome. It doesn’t come with some of the usual bells and whistles like an automatic needle threader or a needle up/down button but this doesn’t seem to detract from the praise heaped upon this unit by owners.

  • Brother XR3774 Sewing Machine

    95.5 It’s hard to find anything particularly negative about this sewing machine. It is a mechanical machine that is easy to setup and operate, and ratings are very good. It is also very reasonably priced. It is suitable for beginners and even those with some experience. However folks looking to do more advanced sewing projects may find it a little limiting as it doesn’t have a large number of stitches or features.

  • Janome Jem Gold 660 Sewing Machine


    96.4 The Janome Jem Gold 660 is another Janome sewing machine that gets very good consumer ratings.  This unit can be found online for under $200 (at some outlets) and owners really like it for its simple and straightforward design, ease-of-use and very light weight.[REF Janome Sewing Machine Reviews]

  • Brother JX2517 Sewing Machine

    92.9 The Brother JX2517 is a lightweight, affordable sewing machine. It can be found at some online retailers for under $90.00 and it weighs about 12 lbs. It is getting excellent ratings and reviews from owners, and is especially popular with beginners and those who want a portable unit. This is a straightforward, easy-to-use machine with only 17 stitches. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive sewing machines on the market, but for the money most consumers give it high grades.

  • Janome 2206 Sewing Machine


    90.9  The Janome 2206 is definitely worth looking at if you are in the market for an inexpensive and easy-to-use sewing machine.  It is a no-frills, solid, mechanical sewing machine and it is getting good consumer ratings.  The 2206 is designed for beginners or those who have been away from sewing for awhile.  However it is also fairly popular with experienced seamstresses and, on more than one occasion, we have seen this unit recommended by sewing teachers.



  • Brother CS6000I Sewing Machine Review


    90.2 If you are new to sewing, the Brother CS6000I sewing machine may be worth checking out.  This is because it is easy to use, has quite a few features and doesn’t cost as much as some of the other sewing machines made by Brother.  Priced at under 200USD, this machine is an affordable investment for the beginner.  [REF Brother Sewing Machine Ratings]

  • Brother XL2600i Sewing Machine


    86.9 The Brother XL2600i sewing machine is lightweight, versatile and very reasonably priced.   It also comes with 25 built in stitches, a one-step automatic buttonholer and a number of other features.  Consumers like that it is inexpensive and easy for the beginner to use, but several folks have had difficulty in using the automatic needle threader and have also raised concerns about the level of plastic used in the unit's construction. [REF Brother Sewing Machine Ratings]

  • Singer Fashion Mate 7256


    91.2  The Singer Fashion Mate 7256 is well liked by owners and ratings are very good.  This Singer sewing machine, along with the Stylist 7258, are consumer favorites.  The machine has 70 built-in stitches and a host of other features including an LCD screen with stitch selections, an automatic needle threader and 13 needle positions. Consumers also report that the Fashion Mate is very easy to get up and running.  However, some owners comment on the limited illumination provided by the LED light and the fact that the machine sometimes struggles on heavier material.  [REF Singer Sewing Machine Reviews]

  • Singer Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine


    93.1 With 100 built-in stitches and speed control the Singer 7258 Stylist is getting better reviews from consumers than many other Singer sewing machines.   It is not too expensive and can be found at some retail outlets for about $150 to $200.  Owners like the quiet and smooth operation of the Stylist and indicate that the manual is so easy to understand that they are up and sewing in no time.  [REF Singer Sewing Machine Reviews]

  • Singer 2259 Tradition

    82.5  The Singer 2259 is a lightweight, compact sewing machine that is designed for beginners or for small around-the-home projects.  It is also very basic and easy-to-use.  However, some owners experience problems.  Issues with thread tension and getting used to the side loading bobbin have been reported. In addition, customer support from Singer can be a bit spotty.

See our Sewing Machine Ratings Table!  It provides sewing machine ratings from our reviews all in one place...  

Kick-start your purchase by reading our helpful Guide to Sewing Machine Buying.

About me...
About me - sewing machine ratingsHello!  My name is Alison and I started Sewing Machine Ratings over 10 years ago. Since then I’ve reviewed scores of sewing machines. Sewing has been a hobby for me since I was a young and I love to make my own clothing.
My website should help you find the best machine for your sewing needs. In addition to reviews, I gather owner ratings for each machine and calculate a score. So you can quickly compare one machine to another and also see how others feel about their sewing machine before you buy.
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