Brother XL 2600i Sewing MachineThese top 5 beginner sewing machines all cost under $100 and have outstanding reviews. These are full size home sewing machines that can last for years, offer basic utility stitches plus some extras, have the highest consumer ratings, and are great for kids, too!

Click on the price options in the table for any machine to quickly check current pricing.

Top 5 Beginner Sewing Machines

RankSewing MachineBest PriceReviews, Ratings, and Stitch Patterns
1Brother XL2600i
Brother XL 2600i Sewing Machine
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# of Reviews: 646

Average Rating: 4.4

# of Stitches: 25
2Brother XL2610
Brother XL2610 Sewing Machine
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(Sometimes the price is just under $100 - sometimes it's just over $100 - check to see)
# of Reviews: 88

Average Rating: 4.4

# of Stitches: 25
3Singer Simple 2263
Singer Simple 2263 Sewing Machine
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# of Reviews: 309

Average Rating: 4.0

# of Stitches: 23
4Brother LX3125Click to see price at:
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# of Reviews: 195

Average Rating: 4.1

# of Stitches: 14
5Brother LS2125i
Brother LS2125i Sewing Machine for Beginners
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# of Reviews: 253

Average Rating: 4.0

# of Stitches: 10

The table gives only the basic information about these beginner sewing machines but the list was whittled down based on a ton of information. Following are the specifics of each model.

Brother XL2600i

Brother XL 2600i Sewing MachineThe Brother XL2600i has one very important feature for anyone new to sewing: a drop-in bobbin system. Beginners often find this bobbin system is much easier to work with and is less prone to jamming than front-loading bobbin system.

It also comes with a great set of built-in stitches.

Additional features include:

  • Built-in stitches: 25
  • Presser feet: 4
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • 1-step buttonhole
  • Free-arm sewing
  • Automatic Needle Threader
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Variable needle position
  • 3 bobbins
  • 3 needles
  • 1 twin needle
  • Extra spool pin
  • Screwdriver
  • Darning plate
  • See through bobbin cover

Click to read my report


Deal Alert

The Price on the Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine right now is 47% off of the list price and you can save $70.00 if you buy today.
Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2014-10-02 01:35:45 GMT but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Brother XL2610

Brother XL2610 Sewing MachineThe Brother XL2610 is a recent addition to this list (as of May 2012) because the price has come down to JUST under $100. Sometimes it’s a few dollars more which makes it a borderline option for this category but I can’t ignore it based on the high ratings and reliable performance.

However, it’s the same exact sewing machine as the XL2600i which is #1 and the only difference is the color of the trim. (For some, the extra few bucks is worth it to get away from the blue trim and get something that’s pink.)

Other features:

  • Built-in stitches: 25
  • Presser feet: 4
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • 4-step buttonhole
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Free-arm sewing
  • Twin needle capable
  • Variable needle position
  • Adjustable stitch width and length for more stitch functions
  • Needle
  • Bobbins

Click to read my report

Singer Simple 2263

Singer Simple 2263 Sewing MachineThe Singer Simple 2263 is not only cute and easy to use, but you get a nice set of built-in stitches. While the bobbin system is front-loading, not drop-in like the #1 & #2 options, it does have horizontal thread delivery which is another operating plus.

Additional features include:

  • Built-in Stitches: 23
  • 3 presser feet
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • 4-step buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Free-arm sewing
  • Front-loading bobbin
  • Pack of needles
  • 3 bobbins
  • Darning plate
  • Additional spool pin
  • Twin needle capable
  • Variable needle positions
  • Horizontal thread delivery
  • L Screwdriver
  • Seam Ripper/Brush

Click to read my report

Brother LX3125

Brother LX3125 Fashion FacesThe Brother LX3125 is a great basic sewing machine for mending and small home projects. It’s ideal as a portable backup or for kids who want to learn to sew. If you’re looking for a sewing machine as a gift, don’t miss Walmart’s model of this machine, Fashion Faces, that comes with slick add-on covers in pattern designs to personalize the look of the machine front. Costs a bit more but makes a great present.

Other features include:

  • Built-in stitches: 14
  • Presser feet: 4
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • 4-step buttonhole
  • Free-arm sewing
  • Darning plate
  • 1 bobbin
  • 1 needle

Click to read my report

Brother LS2125i

Brother LS2125i Sewing Machine for BeginnersThe Brother LS2125i includes all the most used utility stitches, is light weight and easily portable. It has a strong consumer rating and solid construction. For it’s price, though, you can see that other options had more built-in stitches so this machine comes in at #5.

Sewing machine features include:

  • Built-in stitches: 10
  • Presser feet: 4
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • 4-step buttonhole
  • Free-arm sewing
  • 3 pack of needles
  • Twin needle
  • 4 bobbins
  • Darning plate
  • Screwdriver
  • Additional spool pin for twin needle

Click to read my report

Building the Top 5 Sewing Machine List

Sometimes, the more options you have, the harder it is to make a decision. This site has expanded to include sewing machines across a number of price bands but if you’re looking for a reasonably priced sewing machine for yourself or for a child, it might just be easier to cut right to the chase so a list of the top 5 machines under $100 seemed very worthwhile.

To build this list of beginner sewing machines, a set of criteria were selected. The machines on the list:

  • Cost under $100
  • Are as resistant to thread jams as possible
  • Incorporate at least a couple of decorative stitches along with the basic utility stitches
  • Weigh 15 pounds or less
  • Have at least 50 online reviews
  • Have an average consumer rating of 4.0 or better
  • Are readily available online

This list works for adults looking for their first sewing machine as well as for those shopping for children. No toy sewing machines were included, however, with reason. One thing my mother has burned into my head is that those things do not hold up. In fact, try as I might I could not find one under $100 that had decent reviews at all. If you know a child interested in sewing, a machine that will break quickly is not the best encouragement. Considering the reasonable prices of the models in this list, you could very well get a real sewing machine for kids that will hold up over time.

How was this list compiled?

  1. Searched for every home sewing machine on Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Overstock that was priced under $100 and added it to a spreadsheet.
  2. Noted the price, number of reviews, and average rating for every machine on every one of those online retail sites.
  3. Calculated the lowest price option, the total number of reviews, and the weighted average consumer rating for each sewing machine.
  4. Sorted the sewing machines by consumer rating (high to low) to find the top 5.
  5. Reviewed the consumer reviews and the sewing machine manuals to identify the number of stitch patterns available, stitch names, the machine weight, and the features that helped to eliminate thread jams.
  6. Made final adjustments to the order of the top 5 based on additional features that added value to the sewing machine.

I come from an aggressive line of comparison shoppers and accountants and we tend to get a bit analytical in our comparisons. Not many would use entire Excel spreadsheets to compare products but I’m a numbers geek, too, so…well…we do what we do. :)

The objective, though, was to get all of this information in one place to speed up your own decision making process. A number of sites had to be considered, not all machines were available in each store, and not all product listings are created equal. Weeding through the detail to boil down a solid set of beginner sewing machines with great ratings will hopefully save you from having to do the same to ensure you get the best value for your money.

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