The Best Sewing Machine for Your Budget

With hundreds of brands and models of sewing machines on the market, there are a number of factors that you can base your choice on.

You may want a machine that is lightweight enough to take to sewing class or sturdy enough to stand up to the demands of professional use.

If you like to sew crafts, you will want a sewing machine that has a lot of stitches, a free arm, and is easy-to-use. In addition to finding a machine that fits your functional needs, you probably have a specific budget in mind.

To help you make the choice of sewing machines that is right for you on every level, I have chosen to compare the best sewing machine under $1000, $500, $200, and $100. These are the Singer S18 Studio, the Pfaff Smarter C-1100 Pro, the Brother HC-1850, and the Brother XL2600I sewing machines.

The Best Sewing Machine Under $1,000

The Singer S18 Studio sewing machine is a high performance machine for both quilting and sewing that is dealer grade. The machine from a leader in sewing machine brands is comparable to a professional model but at a much lower cost.

With 400 built-in stitches which includes 7 styles of button holes, you have unlimited for creating all types of professional-quality projects. It also allows you to store up to 50 stitch combinations. When you are ready to use them again, simply pull them up with the touch of a button.

Quilters will appreciate the Singer S18’s ability to use block and script letters and numbers in 5mm or 7mm sizes to create custom quilt labels. Programmable needle up and down also enhance quilting and applique projects.

Additional features include pattern elongation, automatic thread cutting, 80 quilting stitches, and an extra-large sewing space for more versatility in taking on a wide range of sewing projects. This is the best sewing machine under $1,000 for sewers and quilters alike.

The Best Sewing Machine Under $500

The Janome Computerized DC2013 is a home sewing machine with the features and performance you would expect from a high-end sewing machine. With 50 stitches, including 3 buttonholes, it is a versatile machine that is as good for crafts and scrapbooking as it is for garment sewing and home decorating projects. Features include an auto-lock button, speed control slider, and easy reverse. The features that make this machine a real standout are its stability and reliability.

The DC2013 also features Janome’s exclusive Superior Feed System to deliver consistent, even stitch quality. Computerized direct stitch selection buttons and a memorized up and down needle stop position make it easy to continue sewing without interruption. The built-in needle threader also simplifies sewing preparation for those of us that have a little trouble seeing the target!

The bright LED screen and easy navigation keys let you choose the stitch you want to return to an existing project or to go back and forth between multiple jobs. This machine ranks high as the best sewing machine under $500 for its versatility and reliable performance for all types of projects.

The Best Sewing Machine Under $200

The Brother HC1850 is a feature-packed, versatile and reliable sewing machine that you can use for sewing, quilting, decorative stitching and basic monogramming.

In addition to 130 stitches, it also has a sewing font for monogramming and 8 different styles of 1-step auto-size buttonholes. The Brother HC1850 is the best sewing machine under $200 for decorative sewing, heirloom sewing and quilting.

Brother HC1850

The sewing machine has a number of special quilting features such as a spring action quilting foot, the ability for free-motion quilting, detachable wide table, and 14 quilting stitch functions. It comes with an attached stitch flip-chart, 8 specialty presser feet, a detachable foot controller and an instructional DVD and user’s manual. The Brother brand and versatile features make this the best sewing machine under $200 for quality and versatility.

The Best Sewing Machine Under $100

The Brother XL26001 has overwhelmingly been voted as the best sewing machine under $100 by the many customers who have tried it firsthand. It exceeds a basic sewing machine with 25 built-in stitches and Brother brand quality. A free-arm feature lets you work on hems, sleeves and other small items. An accessory storage place is built into the free arm where you can keep accessories close but out of the way.

Additional features of the XL26001 include a needle threader, drop-in bobbin loading, thread cutter, and 1-step auto-size buttonholer. It is simple enough for beginner use and has features that meet the basic needs of a home sewer.

It works great for sewing clothing and crafts and it is backed by a 25-year limited warranty that reflects the quality of the brand. A jam-resistant drop-in bobbin and easy stitch selector let you go fluidly from project to project. The Brother XL26001 has all the features needed to make it the best sewing machine under $100.

Sometimes those new to sewing will try to find the cheapest possible machine, perhaps even a hand held sewing machine, as their first model. I strongly advise against this. Those machines can have their place for certain use cases, but they will be frustrating to a novice. Stick to the Brother model above for an affordable entry point to sewing.​

The Best Sewing Machine For Your Budget

It is important to note that price does not always directly reflect the quality of a sewing machine. The price frame used in this review is not according to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Instead, they are based on the discount that you get when you shop online.

For example, the Brother XL26001 is the best sewing machine under $100 at $79.30. However, the actual manufacturer’s recommended retail price is $149.99, meaning that it is a higher quality machine that makes it an even better value.

The same is true when looking for the best sewing machine under $1000 or more. Sewing machines offered at a much higher price for their professional capabilities may actually have less to offer than those priced lower.

This is why you should choose a machine for the quality of the brand, the appropriateness of the features to the price, and the value that fits comfortably into your budget. The machines listed here are the best sewing machines for each price category based on all the important features that you need to get great results every time you sew!

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