The 4 Best Inexpensive Sewing Machines


Let’s be real. There are a lot of reasons why you may be looking for an inexpensive sewing machine.

You might be looking for a gift for a newbie sewist (who might totally drop the hobby in a year… or a week.) You might want to have an extra machine on hand at your second home (think your cottage, your mom’s house, or the trunk of your car.)

You might just be a rational person who is grounded enough in reality to have a moderate budget when it comes to crafting (if so, I kind of need you in my life. I need accountability in this area).​

No matter what your reason is, I have great news for you: there are some great inexpensive sewing machines out there. Even though you may have to sacrifice a few bells and whistles, you can totally buy a quality machine for less than you think.

Check out more posts on sewing machines!

My 4 Picks for Best Inexpensive Sewing Machines Under $300​


1. Bernette 33

This machine has exactly what you need as a quilter and nothing more, which keeps the price nice and low. Most modern quilters rarely use decorative stitches, so the 15 standard stitches on this machine, including the zig-zag and the blanket stitch, are perfectly adequate for what you’re going for.

If you are leaning toward the Bernette 33, I would encourage you to tack two additional accessories onto this purchase: a walking foot and a patchwork foot (that's the 1/4" foot we quilters like.). This machine does not come with any quilting-related accessories, and those feet will help ensure quilting success.

Price at time of article: $199.00​


2. Janome 2212

If you are a Janome fan (or just a person who likes quality sans price tag), the 2212 is a great, affordable option. This sewing machine is lightweight, but strong, and easy to navigate through, especially for those who are less familiar with sewing machine anatomy.

The Janome 2212 comes with 12 standard stitch functions, a 4-step buttonhole style, a push-pull bobbin winder, and two, vertical and fully retractable spool pins. One downside for quilters: this machine does not come with an oversized table, making it a little tricker when you’re working with larger fabrics.

On the plus-side, Janome sells this machine with a 25-year limited warranty, so you can really milk your investment, even if you’re going the inexpensive route!

Price at time of article: $129.00

The 4 best inexpensive sewing machines – get more bang for your buck with this concise list!

Brother has come out with some fantastic sewing machines, and though this one is available for under $200, it’s no exception. This sewing machine is computerized (which may help or hurt its cause, depending on where you fall on the techy spectrum), and has a LED display monitor built in to help you navigate through the 130 built-in stitches (yeah, this is where this model really stands out.)

True to the Brother brand, the HC1850 is a versatile, portable machine that is known for its smooth, continuous stitching at various speeds. Unlike the Janome 2212, this machine does come with an extra wide table, which is really nice for quilting.

That said, since much of the machine is made of plastic, you do sacrifice a little bit of sturdiness there, but all-in-all, this machine is well-designed, and even at a lower price tag, can deliver some really great results with your sewing projects. (One note: this machine does not come with a carrying case!)

Price at time of article: $190.00

The 4 best inexpensive sewing machines – get more bang for your buck with this concise list!

4. Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter

Another computerized option is the Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter sewing machine. Singer’s reputation has lagged a bit in the last few years, but this machine may be its first step on the road back up to the top. With 98 even, well-defined built-in stitches, this beauty sports drop feed (for free motion quilting) and an electronic needle up/down setting. Some of the bonus quilting accessories include an extension table! 

Though this machine is a reliable one, it’s not recommended for extra thick fabrics or lots of heavy layers (no mending your leather jacket with this baby). It may not be a solid metal Singer from the 70’s, but the 7469Q is another inexpensive machine that can deliver great results on a budget.

Price at time of article: $269.00

These four machines won’t break… and they also won’t break the bank. I’d say that’s a pretty great combo! Have you found a less-expensive machine that you really love? Share the wealth and tell us about your tops picks for the best inexpensive sewing machine in the comments!


49 thoughts on “The 4 Best Inexpensive Sewing Machines

  1. Deb says:

    I just got a bernette seville for a back-up machine and it is amazing, the 1/4 inch is right on and so cute. Just the basics but it works great for peicing.

    • Amanda says:

      This is the machine I have! It was the first sewing machine I purchased and I just love it. East to take to class and does everything I need. Now that I have been getting into sewing and quilting I’m starting to research some bigger machines but I must say this is the perfect first machine!

  2. Tonya Wohlever says:

    When I first went looking for a machine- I went bonkers trying to decide which one!! Wish I had this article then! But, I finally found the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. I’ve had it over a year and LOVE it!!! Price was awesome on Amazon- between $280-$380 depending on the day. Comes with tons of feet for quilting and a table. Also, SO many stitches-not that I’ll ever use them all. My fave features: auto threading, cut thread feature, needle down button, you can lift the presser foot higher,etc etc etc– just a really nice machine for the money. Having said that- I have only sewn on a Brother machine before this one. Thanks for this article- very helpful:)

  3. Emily says:

    Thanks so much for sharing Suzy! Awesome article! Any recommendations for inexpensive machines that come with auto tread clippers? #ballinonabudget

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Great question! After a bit of research it looks like an automatic thread trimmer is a feature that comes with more deluxe sewing machines. The cheapest machine I could find with good reviews is a Brother PQ1500SL. Other brands that market themselves as inexpensive alternatives, such as Singer and Juki would also be good places to look, as long as you read the reviews first. With these inexpensive brands, a good warranty is a major plus when thinking about a purchase.

  4. Ashley says:

    Okay so not specifically on topic and might be a dumb question but I was wondering if you send your quilts out or do you have a long arm machine? Or just a regular one? If you have a long arm what kind is it?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Great question! I do both. Depending on my timeframe, how intricate I want the quilting or how large the quilt is, I will either do it myself or send it to a professional longarm quilter. Currently that’s about 50/50. I don’t own a longarm machine, but maybe someday!

  5. Julia says:

    I’ve made around 15 quilts so am not a beginner…but I am mostly self-taught with a lot to learn. I have a Brother similar to the one you listed here. Stupid question, but… what does a walking foot do?! I’ve only ever used the 1/4″ foot and the standard foot that came with the machine.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      A walking foot is going to change your life! It’s great at pushing layers of fabric evenly through your sewing machine. Try it when quilting your next quilt and I promise you will immediately feel and see the difference.

  6. Lisa Burger says:

    I own almost this exact model of brother, and bought it at Costco for $160-ish. I love it and it does all I need- quilting, garment, and swimsuit sewing! One day I will own a Juki, but for now I’m content with my brother!

    • Sheila says:

      I also have a Brother machine I bought at Costco. I love piecing on it even better than my expensive Baby Lock although I like the bigger throat on it for machine quilting. I bought a second Brother machine from Costco for my daughter.

  7. Mary Ann Hentschell says:

    Another great machine is the Singer 7258 priced now on Amazon for $138.99. It is all metal inside which is very good. It is a computerized machine. I really like mine.

  8. Tutti McCormick says:

    I’m looking for a less expensive machine that has a needle threaded and automatically cuts the threads. Also, are there any machines that you can control the speed of sewing and not control it by the pressed foot? Does that make since?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Hey Tutti, yes, that does make sense, and yes, usually even the most basic of machines have speed settings. My first sewing machine was a very basic Janome. I think it was actually marketed to children because the speed dial had icons of a tortoise and a hare. If you turned the dial all the way down to the tortoise you sewed at about a quarter of the speed as the hare setting.

      A lot of basic sewing machines come with a needle threader, but not so many have an automatic thread cutter. Look at my response to Emily’s comment for more details about machines with that feature.

  9. Amanda Z. says:

    I have been using a Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 for the last couple years and it’s been a great sewing machine. It has an automatic needle threader, thread cutter and speed control. It even came with an extension table and walking foot, and gets great reviews. Right now it’s selling for $338 on amazon, which is in a slightly higher price bracket than the ones you recommend, but does have a ton of bells and whistles.

    Some day I will have a snazzy expensive machine but my Quantum Stylist has really impressed me so far.

  10. Claudia Himmelberg McCarter says:

    What are good portable machines, around 14 pounds, that are reasonably priced. It would be great if I could do free motion quilting on it. No fancy stitches required.

  11. Candace Strong says:

    Can someone recommend a moderately priced machine for free motion quilting larger quilts? I’m looking primarily for a generous throat space and reliability. I don’t need big bells and whistles or embroiderery

      • Jennifer says:

        I’m a fan of the Eversewn line of machines. You can get many of the features normally only found in high-end machines. They are smooth and feel sturdy. I found these at our local Bernina store when I was shopping for a machine for my daughter.

  12. Meagan says:

    This is a question not about sewing machines, but do you have a pattern for the ombré colored quilt that is pictured with the title?

  13. Bailey L. says:

    I know you didn’t write this post for me when I was throwing a million rookie mistakes and questions at you via Insta, but thank you for putting this together! I’m (finally) going to look into these/price these this summer when I get back from a long work trip to Italy (how awful, I know). I’m not so concerned with fancy automatic buttons for needle threading and thread cutting, but I will echo some of the ladies who are looking for more space for free motion quilting. I’m assuming (but you know what they say about assuming) that I could free motion quilt on the machines you’ve listed, but it’ll be a tight squeeze?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Italy? Such a martyr. How will you survive? 😉

      I would have to look again, but I’m not sure these machines are set up for free motion quilting. Technically you can free motion quilt on most sizes, however an extended throat space will absolutely make your life easier.

  14. Fran says:

    i bought a bottom of the line Baby Lock for about $100. It Is a good sturdy machine and the regular quarter inch foot and walking foot fit it. Got it for a granddaughter who I’m not sure how long will want to sew/quilt. Baby Lock is a great brand!

      • Cissie Anderson says:

        I use and have used since 1958 a Singer Slant-O-Magic 503 Special which was a gift from my parents for my graduation. I never learned how to quilt until this year when I took lessons from a local fabric store. It’s great; doesn’t have a thread clipper, isn’t portable and is really heavy but it sits in a table for sewing machines and is perfect for my needs. I appreciate th is article for I am now looking for a machine for my daughter. She wants to learn to sew for her daughters and I had no idea where to turn. By the way, I took her daughter to the same shop where I get my materials and she had a series of lessons, ending up wi the a purse, pajamas and a pillow case! I think she got the bug!

  15. Phyllis says:

    Most of the machines considered as small/light weight do not list the actual weight of the machine. I am 80 years old and can no longer carry my heavy weight machines to my quilting fellowship group. I need to stay within the $100.00 range on price. I reviewed a Brother machine on line but no weight was listed. It looks like a good machine but do not want to purchase without knowing the weight. 15-20 lbs would be max.

  16. Whitney says:

    Hi Suzy! I love your blog and really find all the info you have super helpful. So thank you for all your work! I’m not a brand new quilter, but my machine died and I am on a tight budget, so this post is awesome. I did have a question, I was just introduced to the Eversewn brand, and am trying to compare it to the ones here. I was interested mostly because of the Bernina connection. Do you have any experience with the brand? Or are the ones in this post more solid performers from a quilting standpoint? Any advice would be awesome. 🙂 Thank you again!

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      I am familiar with EverSewn and have heard really good things! Even though I haven’t sewn on one personally, I think it would be a solid choice based on other reviews and the BERNINA connection.

  17. HM says:

    I have a Singer Curvy and it is a great little machine for NON-quilting purposes. For quilting… I HATE it! The stitch selection and settings auto reset everytime you turn off the machine. If you take a break when quilting you have to reset everything. The slide selections are honestly pretty confusing on top of it. The needle plate is raised and snags on every seam. It is very slow and underpowered. You need a walking foot for pretty much everything. It is too big to fit in a standard drop in table. The throat space is decent and there is a 1/4 marking on the needle plate which are a plus for quilting, but other than that it’s not my favorite.

    Don’t get me wrong it is a nice machine, I love it for other sewing projects and the stitches really are beautiful, it is very easy to thread, I love the top loading bobbin, the needle threader is great and it’s reliable…

    … but for quilting I would recommend the Singer Heavy Duty 4423… It is a basic mechanical machine but it is a work horse and I LOVE it. It’s only like $130.

  18. Fairlyparticular says:

    I love the Janome 2212! It’s the one I recommend to all my students and has been well received by Everyone that gets it. I use it myself as my travel machine and has held up well through making my own Jeans, Waxed Canvas bags as well as quilting and piecing.

  19. Kathleen Pearson says:

    RE: Best machines. I taught myself to sew at age 66 when I retired and as a birthday present for myself. I bought a Brother very similar to one above and it was super easy to use as a newbie to the whole thing. I still use it almost every day after 7 years and still LOVE it. It is a workhorse and the only drawback is it’s weight (or lack of) when trying to quilt a big heavy piece. Therefore I bought a used Janome Memory Craft 6500 Pro from a dealer and it works in almost identical ways and the big
    difference is the weight. Otherwise not worth the extra money.

  20. Jane Palik says:

    My portable sewing machine is an Elna eXperience 560. Elna is owned by Janome. I have a problem sitting for a long time, so my machine is on my tallest kitchen counter and I start and stop the machine by hand with a button.

    Also, I have discovered the Quilt-As-You-Go technique which is perfect for a small machine and a beginner like me. My double-bed size quilt will have no sashing but it will have plenty of stitching.
    There are some videos at where you can learn this easy technique.

    I live in Europe and love your modern designs, especially the hand-sewn, big-stitch embellishments. Best wishes, Jane

  21. Lorenza says:

    Hello, I´m a beginner in quiltting. Which machine do you recommend me more between Brother HC1850 and Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter for muy first sewing machine?
    thank you

  22. Phyllis Obenshain says:

    I’m looking for a sewing machine for free motion quilting only. I have a Bernina 1130 and use it for quilting except it doesn’t have a spring loaded free motion quilting foot. What would you suggest that would also have a wide throat.

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