The 8 Best Sewing Machines of 2020

The top models for mending and extending the lifespan of soft goods

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The Rundown
"From the brand that has been making sewing machines since 1851, this popular model packs many features at a reasonable price point."
"This machine is basic enough for beginners but has sufficient features to grow with you."
"Tackle big projects with this high-quality machine, which comes with all the bells and whistles."
"Zip through heavy fabrics such as denim and canvas easily with this Singer."
"With a metal frame, this design includes a detachable wide table for large quilting projects."
"Be as creative as you like with this machine for intermediate to advanced sewers."
"If you want to make a lot of your own clothing, consider this serger, which allows you to add a finished, professional edge to fabrics."
"With enough features to be practical but not too many to become overwhelming, this is a great starter machine for children."

With many people taking up new hobbies this year, the demand for sewing machines has skyrocketed. Whether you’re an avid crafter or are simply eager to learn how to mend clothes to prolong their lifespans, a sewing machine is a priceless tool. Plus, it’s fun and soothing to make something useful (whether your own clothing or household items such as drapes) with your own two hands.

You can search for used machines, which are generally inexpensive, but this is recommended only if you’re an experienced sewer who knows what to look for. Quite honestly, it’s difficult to gauge the mechanical soundness of a machine if you know nothing about them. Also, shops that repair vintage machines are more difficult to find these days, so you may have to ship it somewhere if it’s not something you can fix yourself.

As a bonus, new models typically come with warranties ranging from 10 to 25 years, with a year or two on components such as motors and wires. Below are the best sewing machines available.

Best Overall: Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine

This machine has 600 built-in stitches, including five alphanumeric fonts, and 13 one-step buttonhole styles. At 850 stitches per minute, projects can be finished quickly. The metal frame makes it feel substantial without adding too much weight. With more than 5,000 reviews, it’s a popular machine at a reasonable price point for the number of features included. It’s a good choice for intermediate to experienced sewers, though it may be too much for a novice. Singer, a brand that’s been making sewing machines since 1851, offers a limited 25-year warranty.

Good to Know

Think about how you plan to use your sewing machine, and stick with features you actually need. Just like a car, the more bells and whistles, the more expensive. For example, if you love embroidery and quilting, look for a machine with those capabilities because they’re not features you can add on later. If you plan to stick with hemming or repairs or are a novice, choose a machine with a few basic stitches. Too many features may get in your way and make learning a challenge, rather than a joy.

Best for Beginners: Singer 2277 Tradition Essential Sewing Machine

With 97 stitch applications, a one-step automatic buttonhole option, a built-in needle threader, and a front-loading bobbin, this machine is an attractive choice if you’re a complete newbie. The frame is metal, so it feels substantial compared to other brands of starter machines with plastic frames. At around 14 pounds, it’s easy to take with you to a sewing class or to slide in and out of the closet when not in use. It’s basic enough for beginners but has sufficient features to grow with you as your confidence and skills improve. Plus, you’re not investing tons of money, and it comes with the company's limited 25-year warranty.

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Best for Advanced Sewers: Bernette B77 Sewing and Quilting Machine

These machines have a reputation for quality and include many advanced features such as a touchscreen, four bright LEDs, so you actually can see what you’re doing, a dual feed for reduced slipping and puckering, 133 decorative and 35 quilting stitches, as well as an embroidery function. Eight presser foot soles are included for different applications and fabrics. At 1,000 stitches per minute, you’ll speed through your next project. Bernette offers a 10-year limited warranty.

Best Heavy-Duty: Singer 4452 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

A heavy frame and powerful motor that’s 50 percent stronger than the average machine, you’ll be able to zip through heavy fabrics such as denim and canvas with ease. Features include 110 stitch applications, top drop-in bobbin, adjustable stitch width and length, and variable presser foot pressure, which make it a good everyday machine. If you’re not particularly interested in bells and whistles, this is the logical option. Reviewers say it feels sturdy and sews through multiple thicknesses and heavy fabrics with ease. And as with other Singer machines, it has a limited 25-year warranty.

Best for Quilting: Brother CS7000X Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

This machine offers an LCD display, 70 sewing stitches, an auto needle threader (so you’re not squinting over threading the needle!), and a drop-in bobbin, which are convenient features for both the beginner and the more experienced sewer. With a metal frame, the design includes a detachable wide table for large projects. A spacious needle-to-arm workspace makes it possible to work on big pieces of fabric, such as quilts. It also includes a hard plastic storage case. Many reviewers say it’s a feature-rich machine at a reasonable price, and Brother offers a limited 25-year warranty.

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Best for Embroidery: Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

With 240 stitches and a large 5 x 7-inch embroidery area, you can be as creative as you like with this machine for intermediate to advanced sewers. There’s a large touch display screen and 100 automatic embroidery designs, or you can import your own via the USB port. The automatic needle threader works with a lever, so you’re not struggling when you have to keep changing threads during embroidery projects. Essentially, it's an easy-to-use sewing machine with tons of advanced features and is warrantied for 25 years.

Best Serger: Juki MO-623 Garnet Series Serger

If you’re an experienced sewer or make a lot of your own clothing, you may want to invest in a serger, also called an overlock machine. A serger allows you to add a finished, professional edge to fabrics, especially knit fabrics which can be tricky to sew without stretching. This model has color-coded guides that help you thread the machine properly, while the adjustable stitch length varies from 1 to 4 millimeters. Stitch variations for the edges of fabric include overlock, rolled hem, and overcast options. Note that Juki offers just a five-year warranty.

Best for Kids: Baby Lock Zest Sewing Machine

This machine is a good starter machine for new sewers or kids because it has enough features to be practical but not too many to become overwhelming. With 15 built-in stitches, a free arm so you can do hemming, and a portable design (so it doesn’t hog storage space in a small apartment), you can do plenty with this machine, no matter your age. It’s a popular brand for high-end machines, and reviewers say this little unit is a great place to start learning to sew. Baby Lock has a limited 25-year warranty.

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