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The best sewing machines for 2021

A quality sewing machine is a time-saving device that is useful for making alterations, repairs, and stitching materials that are too tough to sew by hand. The best models have several features that could help you launch a successful crafting business.

We are particularly fond of the Brother CS5055 Computerized Sewing Machine. It is affordable and easy to use, but it can grow with you to accommodate all of your sewing needs with its customizable options.

To learn more about what to expect from the best sewing machines of 2021, keep reading.

What to know before you buy a sewing machine

Why you want a sewing machine

A sewing machine is a tool. Like any tool, the best one to get is the one that’s design fits your needs. If you just want a sewing machine to use for apparel emergencies, you may only need a basic model. If you’re starting a crafting business, purchasing the most affordable machine may cause your business to suffer as you cannot accomplish the tasks required. Carefully consider your current needs and possible future needs before buying a sewing machine so you have a firm grasp of what the device must be able to do.

Mechanical vs. computerized sewing machine

When shopping for a sewing machine, the first decision you will need to make is whether you want a mechanical machine or a computerized machine.

Mechanical: Unless you learned on a mechanical sewing machine, it will be more challenging to operate and require greater skill. However, for some, the hands-on approach can provide comfort and deliver greater satisfaction when accomplishing tasks. Mechanical models also tend to be more affordable.

Computerized: If you’re new to sewing, a computerized sewing machine gives you professional results before you’re a pro. A computerized sewing machine has greater versatility and reduces tedious tasks down to the press of a button. On the downside, a computerized sewing machine costs more money.

What to look for in a quality sewing machine

Automated features

Before purchasing a new sewing machine, carefully consider the list of automated features. This can include anything from automatic threading to stitching a buttonhole at the press of a button. If you desire something that is not on the list, keep shopping. Conversely, if there are several automated features that you will never use, consider a model with fewer bells and whistles. 


A beginner doesn’t need many options. In this situation, the best machines limit choices so you can focus on learning how to sew. However, an advanced user will want to have the ability to nuance the machine to their particular needs. Needle position, speed control, variety of stitches, tension adjustment, variety of presser feet and more are all options that may be appealing to a seasoned crafter. A third option is to choose a machine that can grow with you. Something easy to learn but can also be customized as you progress in your abilities.

Built-in lighting

Having adequate onboard lighting may sound like a small feature, but you will realize how important it is for creating your best work when you need it. 


If you are a beginner and you need a machine that you can take back and forth to a sewing class, you will want a lightweight model that is easily portable. However, if you are a serious crafter with a dedicated workspace, you will likely need a heavier model that is sturdy and built to last.

How much you should expect to spend on a sewing machine

A sewing machine can cost as little as $30, but these models will only offer the most basic stitches and won’t be very durable. To find something versatile enough for everyday needs, you should look at the $100-$300 price range. If you desire all the bells and whistles, models with unique features such as extended tables and embroidery capabilities, those machines can cost $600 and up.

Sewing machine FAQ

How often should a needle be changed?

A. Needles wear at different rates depending on the task at hand. You can use a guide of a certain amount of hours before changing, but it is more important to listen to your machine. The louder the sound a needle makes when penetrating the fabric, the duller it is.

Why can’t I sew a straight line? Is my machine broken?

A. A common mistake for beginners is focussing on the needle when sewing. This is a problematic strategy because the needle moves up and down, making it nearly impossible to follow, which will eventually lead to a less-than-straight stitch. Another reason is that you are looking at where you are at, not where you are going. Imagine how hard it would be to follow a narrow path if you looked at your feet instead of the course. A better strategy is to focus on something that doesn’t move and lets you see where you are going instead of where you are.

What is the best sewing machine to buy?

Top sewing machine

Brother CS5055 Computerized Sewing Machine

Brother CS5055 Computerized Sewing Machine

What you need to know: Striking a balance between performance and price, this feature-packed machine is our top choice.

What you’ll love: This impressive model features 60 built-in stitches along with utility, decorative and heirloom stitches. The drop-in top bobbin is easy to load and jam-resistant. This purchase includes seven sewing feet, four bobbins and a needle set.

What you should consider: While the machine works well, some users felt a few parts were a little flimsy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Top sewing machine for the money

SINGER Start 1304 Sewing Machine

SINGER Start 1304 Sewing Machine

What you need to know: If you are looking for a simple sewing machine designed specifically for beginners, this model should top your list.

What you’ll love: With just six built-in stitches, this sewing machine is simple and easy to use. It is lightweight, making it ideal for taking to a sewing class. This purchase includes all the required accessories along with a few bonus items.

What you should consider: This machine delivers basic functionality, no bells and whistles. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Worth checking out

SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine

SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine

What you need to know: With its metal frame and 110 built-in stitch applications, this machine is for the serious sewer.

What you’ll love: This model is self-threading, has a maximum sewing speed of 1,100 stitches per minute and comes with several bonus accessories. The stainless steel bedplate and metal frame help ensure skip-free stitching.

What you should consider: While this is a capable machine, some do not feel it is actually for heavy-duty use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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