Whether you’re a beginner that’s just now starting to sew or you want to buy a machine for your children or you want a portable model that you can take with you everywhere, buying the best mini sewing machine can be an answer to all those needs.
The major advantage of mini sewing machines is that they can also be some of the best sewing machines under $100.
If you want an even lower price limit, I also wrote an article reviewing the best sewing machines under $50.
While the major advantages are low prices, portability and ease of use, the disadvantages are that these tiny sewing machines can mostly handle light-weight or medium-weight fabrics.
I would say that it’s a bit hard to find a mini machine that can handle hemming jeans smoothly. But we’ll see what we come up with. Maybe we’ll find an exception, like the Janome Pink Lightning Basic.
Best Mini Sewing Machine Reviews
The main characteristics of a mini sewing machine are: portability, lightweight, cheap/affordable prices, and fewer features than a full-sized model.
Some models might also include a space for batteries so that they have the option of being operated cordless, battery-operated. But that isn’t a feature that many people are looking for because you have to invest quite a lot in AA batteries, which aren’t even included.
Most manufacturers will use words like mini sewing machine or compact sewing machine to indicate that these are small-sized models. However, you can tell just from the pictures that these are quite smaller than full-sized models.
Besides reviewing the best mini sewing machines that also include that designation next to the model name, I will also review a few portable models. They’re just a bit bigger in size but they have a few important characteristics that they meet: they’re lightweight, weighing not more than 6-7 pounds some of them, and they’re quite affordable.
1. Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine: Cheap Mini Sewing Machine
With a price well under $50, this Magicfly mini sewing machine can seem like the best choice for some people.
But is this cheap model really the best mini sewing machine? In my opinion, it’s not. But people with a small budget might want to give it a try and see how it goes.
That’s why I decided to review this one from Magicfly first because, after this model, we’re moving on to prices that are above $50 and maybe even a bit above $100.
Since I want to offer everyone a chance to find the machine for them, let’s start with one of the cheapest mini sewing machines and see what it can do for us and our potential projects.
This is also the type of model that has space for fitting in 4 AA batteries if you want to transform it into a battery-operated model. The batteries are not included.
Also, you can watch this short video if you want to see a bit about how it works.
That’s right. With such a low-priced model, like the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine, we only get one stitch.
It can be enough for complete beginners and for those who want to do some light mending on light fabrics.
It can definitely be enough if this is your kid’s first sewing machine. Eventually your kid will outgrow but not very fast.
One particular con that I came across is that a professional seamstress said in a review that she couldn’t get the machine to not break the thread.
With cheaper models you never know what to expect. Some will say that it’s the worst thing they’ve ever bought, while others will be quite pleased with the way it works and what it can do for their projects.
Just make sure to try it out as much as you can before the return period expires. That’s the best way to ensure that you really want to keep it and use it for as long as it lasts.
There aren’t that many components but it ensures that it’s fully functional: thread spindle, takeup lever, presser foot, thread gap, bobbin spindle, handwheel, bobbin winder spool, needle clamp, finger guard, tension screw.
The list is quite tiny. For example, there’s no reverse stitch lever.
It really is a very basic, cheap machine.
The accessories are also basic but nice: extension table, extra needles, threader, bobbins, and dust-proof bag.
Surprisingly, we get a button to change between two speeds: high and low.
There’s a button for the light, too.
All in all, we can’t say that the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine is extraordinary but it can maybe be exactly what some people might be looking for as the best mini sewing machine.
Where to Buy?
2. Janome Pink Lightning Basic: Overall the Best Mini Sewing Machine
With this Basic line of sewing machines, Janome has created compact, lightweight and very colorful models. The name of each model is identified by its respective color. This is the most colorful series that I’ve ever seen for sewing machines.
Thus, you’ll find models that carry names like Pink Lightning, Graceful Gray, Watermelon Crush, Lady Lilac, Mystical Mint, Purple Thunder, Bandana Blush, and Citrus Circus.
Another thing you’ll notice immediately is the cheap price. This is also a good choice for beginners on a low budget or for those who want to buy a sewing machine for kids.
It’s not exactly tiny but it’s not full-sized either. I would say the Janome Pink Lightning Basic is right in between these sizes. Which means that I totally get to recommend it as the best mini sewing machine.
It weighs 5 pounds. Thus, it’s a portable mini sewing machine that can be carried everywhere the user goes, whether we’re talking about an adult or a kid.
The available sewing space is 4.3 (W) x 3.8 (L) inches. It’s tiny but, at the same time, it can be more than enough.
Considering that some users are satisfied with the quilting that the Janome Pink Lightning Basic can do, I would say that it’s overall pretty amazing.
10 stitch applications
There are 4 main stitches categories: straight (letters A to E), zigzag (F, G, H), crescent/scallop (I), and multi-stitch zigzag (J).
The other 6 options are stitch width and length variations.
You’ll be able to select all these from a dial.
There’s no hem stitch but many users use this cheap Janome to do mostly hemming so you can still do it, as long as the fabric isn’t too thick.
Light and medium-weight fabrics but some denim, too
In the user manual, which you should absolutely read, you’ll come across a small table that includes some fabrics, like: organdy, georgette, linen, cotton, and percale.
That gives you a more clear idea of what this model can handle if you decide to pick it as the best mini sewing machine.
The type of needle that you need for these materials is also included.
The Pink Lightning Basic comes with size 14 (90) needles only. That’s recommended for cotton and percale.
For the other more light fabrics, the manufacturer recommends a size 11 (65) needle but it isn’t included among accessories.
It’s not surprising that the manufacturer doesn’t recommend this Janome for hemming jeans or for working on projects that use thick fabrics.
However, if you get the right needle you can sew through denim layers with this tiny Janome machine.
If you’re going to watch this video, you’ll see that the Janome Pink Lightning Basic can sew through 4 denim layers. Even if the manufacturer doesn’t mention denim or heavy-weight materials, it can be done with the right needles.
We get the usual components that we would expect but for this price range, I would say that they’re enough: bobbin winding tension disk, upper thread guide, thread take-up lever, thread tension dial, needle plate, hook cover plate, reverse stitch lever, stitch selector, accessory drawer, needle clamp screw, needle bar thread guide, needle, presser foot, setscrew, bobbin winder spindle, bobbin winder stopper, handwheel, presser foot lifter, spool pin.
The accessories included are: bobbin (2), needle, threader, foot switch.
As it happens with cheaper models, we only get one speed. Thus, the foot switch is just for switching the machine on and off since there’s no speed variation.
That might mean that some users will think that the needle stitches too slow, while others will think that it’s too fast. Until you get to use it yourself, I can’t say how you’ll find it.
What this model is completely missing is a LED light. I’m surprised to see that because even cheaper models than this Janome Pink Lightning Basic come with one.
If you need a light over the needle plate, I recommend getting a cheap, bendable, small LED light. That will solve that problem. Or you can check out my reviews for the best sewing lamps.
Where to Buy?
3. Singer M1000: Lightweight Sewing Machine
We could call the Singer M1000 a compact sewing machine. It measures 11.4 inches in length and 9.4 inches in height.
Moreover, it only weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5kg) so it’s certainly one of the lightest machines on the market.
Last but not least, it’s an affordable model, with a price under $100.
These are the reasons why I decided to recommend the Singer as the best mini sewing machine, even though its overall size is not the smallest. But it is lightweight, compact and pretty affordable.
However, you should also read the negative reviews when you check it out.
The problem is that corners have definitely been cut when this popular sewing machine brand made this model. It’s a very clear difference between the M1000 that costs less than $100 and a model that costs almost $150, like the Singer MX231.
Some users are absolutely, completely satisfied with it. Hopefully, you’ll end up being one of those if this is the model you set your eyes on.
The user manual includes the needed information on how to use this Singer M1000 so make sure to study it carefully.
Beginners might not get all the instructions just from reading about the procedures. For any machine you can also search YouTube videos for visual instructions.
If you have a problem with threading the M1000, check out this tutorial.
Mending sewing machine
The main purpose of the Singer M1000 is as a mending sewing machine. It’s to be expected.
You can also undertake other projects, as long as they involve sewing together light-weight and medium-weight fabrics.
If you want a machine for hemming jeans, this kind of lightweight machine is not what you should be looking for. The Janome Pink Lightning Basic seems to be capable of sewing through a few denim layers.
Thus, it’s quite limited in its performances but it also depends on what you expect from the best mini sewing machine that you plan on buying.
32 stitch applications
For some, 32 stitch applications will sound like a very good number.
We can group these 32 in a few main types of stitches: straight stitch, basting, zigzag, multi-step zigzag, blind hem.
We can certainly do a lot of things with these main types. They certainly cover the main types, especially considering that the straight and the zigzag are two of the most frequently used.
Each stitch application is selected from a dial.
We don’t get separate wheels for stitch width and length.
However, we can fine-tune the stitch length of straight stitches by setting the dial between the symbol letters. You need to experiment with it for a bit until you learn all the different stitches that the M1000 can do.
The straight stitch applications are represented by letters A to F. You’ll find in the manual what each letter stands for.
The basic zigzag is represented by letters G, H and I.
Letter K is for the multi-stitch zigzag.
J is for blind stitch. It’s good for hemming but not for hemming jeans because this machine can handle materials that are on the light side.
There are no buttonhole stitches.
It also includes a 4.25 inches sewing space and 3.75 inches height. It’s big enough for a compact model.
With the Stinger M1000 we get a pretty good list of components: upper thread guide, thread take-up lever, needle plate, presser foot lifter, finger guard, bobbin cover plate, reverse stitch lever, bobbin winder spindle, bobbin winder stopper, balance hand wheel, foot switch jack, thread cutter.
The foot switch doesn’t change speeds because this model has only one speed. The foot switch just turns the machine on and off. That’s another thing that we can totally expect with cheaper models.
We also get a free arm, typical of most sewing machines.
This machine, like most Singer nowadays, uses a class 15 transparent bobbin.
The included accessories are pretty basic because this model is overall pretty basic: bobbins (4 pieces class 15 transparent), needle (3), threader, foot switch, screwdriver.
Where to Buy?
4. Michley LSS-505+
The Michley LSS-505+ is another typical model that you can pick as the best mini sewing machine. It has a price just a bit above 50 dollars.
Since Janome Pink Lightning Basic is close in price to this Michley machine, I would say that I prefer Janome, if I were to choose between the two.
The Michley LSS-505+ is also a bit more complex than the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine, which is a bit cheaper but not by much. Between these two mini sewing machines, I personally prefer the Michley LSS-505+.
12 stitch applications
We get a nice number of stitch applications. These are more than enough for various projects so I really like that aspect.
Sew through a variety of fabrics
Surprisingly, some users mentioned that they were able to hem jeans with this tiny machine. I find that really incredible.
Thus, it’s not only for light and medium-weight fabrics. One user uses the Michley LSS-505+ exclusively for hems (jeans, sweatpants) or for shortening sleeves on t-shirts or light fleeces.
Medium weight denim is a fabric that you can add to the list.
It has the necessary components, it’s quite good: take up lever, upper thread tension dial, pattern selection dials, thread cutter, light, needle clamp screw, hand wheel, reverse lever, bobbin winder pin, bobbin winder stop, bobbin winder tension disk, presser foot lifter, presser foot.
There are a few accessories included, too: foot pedal, thread spool (2), bobbin (2), needle threader, and a needle.
There are 2 speeds that are changed from a button: H for fast and L for slow.
A button for light is included, too.
All in all, I like the Michley LSS-505+ as an option for the best mini sewing machine but make sure to read the negative review, too, before buying. There are quite a few of them so you should know that to expect.
Where to Buy?
5. Singer MX231: Best Value for Money
In the introduction, I mentioned that I will include compact models that weigh 7 pounds max. However, I thought that we could increase that weight-limit a bit. Let me tell you why.
The Singer MX231 is certainly a full-sized model so I’m not sure how many of you might consider this one as the best mini sewing machine if you only care for a small-sized machine.
Nevertheless, I decided to review the MX231 for those who want a more complex model and are willing to spend about $150.
Besides the affordable price, especially for what it offers, the Singer MX231 can be considered lightweight because it weighs about 12 pounds.
It’s certainly made for adults but it’s very good for beginners, experienced amateurs, and maybe even for some professionals that are looking for a competent machine that combines quality with portability.
It’s totally different from all the other models that I reviewed above. You’ll see just how much the Singer MX231 offers for the price. It’s pretty impressive and it’s certainly one of my favorite Singer sewing machines. The other model that I really like is the Singer Heavy Duty 4423.
97 stitch applications
These are more than enough for whatever projects you want to make.
These 97 stitch applications can be broadly categorized as: straight, stretch, blind hem, 4-step buttonhole, 1-step buttonhole, zigzag.
Thus, we get the addition of a 4-step buttonhole and 1-step buttonhole.
It will sew together all types of fabrics. It has the capabilities to handle heavy-weight fabrics, too.
You don’t need to wonder if some project is possible because the MX231 is entirely capable of pretty much everything you want it to do.
The sewing space measures 5.7 inches, which is really big. This is certainly not the sewing space that mini-sewing machines offer. To make a comparison, the M1000, which is more compact, offers a sewing space of 4.25 inches.
The tension thread, stitch length, and stitch width are all selected from their respective tiny wheels.
Stitch type is selected via the stitch selection dial.
The list of components is very long and comprehensive: thread tension dial, thread take-up lever, reverse sewing lever, thread cutter, presser foot, needle plate, removable extension table/accessory storage, stitch width dial, stitch length dial, bobbin stopper, pattern selector dial, buttonhole lever, needle threader, horizontal spool pin, bobbin winder spindle, hole for auxiliary spool pin, handwheel, bobbin thread guide, upper thread guide, face plate, presser foot lifter, foot speed control.
As you can see, we get an automatic needle threader. That’s a first on this list but it’s totally expected with a machine that costs more than $100.
The foot speed control controls sewing speed, which is awesome.
Moreover, buyers are informed that they can use the Singer Sewing Assistant App for additional help, although I imagine that plenty of beginners will also want to watch some YouTube tutorial.
The accessories coming with the Singer MX231 are really great: all purpose foot, zipper foot, 4-step buttonhole foot, 1-step buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, L-screwdriver, seam ripper/brush, pack of needles, class 15 bobbins (4), edge/quilting guide, darning plate, spool holder, soft cover.
Thus, we can also sew buttons, zippers and do so many other things.
Where to Buy?
6. Brother XM2701: Popular Portable Sewing Machine
Since I already included a Singer model that weighs about 12 pounds, it’s only right that we also include a Brother model that is pretty lightweight and it can be chosen as the best mini sewing machine.
Brother is certainly one of the most popular sewing machine brands so it’s only right to include a model from them, too.
Moreover, some beginners absolutely love their machines and mention how easy some of them are to use. I think Brother can be considered a bit easier to use than Singer. However, if you follow the instructions and maybe you watch some YouTube videos, I think the same thing can be said of all manufacturers.
The Brother XM2701 weighs 12.6 pounds so we can say that it’s lightweight. It’s a portable model for most adults. It’s also in the same price range as the Singer MX231.
Thus, if you have around $150 to spend on a portable sewing machine, these two models from both Singer and Brother are my top recommendations.
The Brother XM2701 is also one of the cheapest drop-in sewing machines.
There are a lot of stitches to choose from. XM2701 offers a lot of choices and it even has a few nice decorative stitches.
The variety of the projects that these stitches enable is impressive.
Among these 27 stitches, you’ll find the following: straight, zigzag, blind hem, shell tuck, elastic stitch, stretch blind hem, scallop, double action, bridging, rampart, elastic shell tuck, bead stitch, arrowhead, parallelogram, scallop, lightning stitch, square stitch, decorative stitch, triple stretch stitch, triple zigzag stretch, elastic overlock, feather stitch, comb, fagoting stitch, decorative hem stitch, and a bunch of decorative stitches.
This model works for all types of fabrics.
There’s also a 1-step automatic buttonhole.
It’s capable of doing 800 stitches per minute.
We also get the usual free arm and LED lighting.
The stitches are selected from a dial and there are smaller wheels for stitch length, stitch width, and thread tension.
With Brother XM2701 we get a lot of components: bobbin winder, stitch length dial, spool pin, stitch with dial, upper-tension control dial, thread guide, thread take-up lever, thread cutter, automatic needle threader, quick-set bobbin, flat bed attachment with accessory compartment, presser foot, reverse sewing lever, pattern selection dial, handwheel, buttonhole fine-adjustment screw, presser foot lever, buttonhole lever, foot controller.
It has pretty much everything we might need. It’s especially awesome for beginners but can work for those with experience, too.
There are 2 speeds to switch from the foot controller.
The accessories for the Brother XM2701 are: zigzag foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, darning plate, button sewing foot, bobbin (4), needle set (3), screwdriver, extra spool pin, foot controller.
As you can easily see, we get a lot more complex machines as the price increases considerably. The size of these models also increases, since these models weigh around 12 pounds.
Nevertheless, if you want to choose a cheap model that weighs around 5 pounds as the best mini sewing machine, you saw that there are plenty of options to choose from: Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine, Michley LSS-505+, Janome Pink Lightning Basic, and Singer M1000.
Where to Buy?
7. Janome New Home 49360
The Janome New Home 49360 is first of all an expensive machine with a price around $500-$600.
It only weighs 12 pounds so we can say that it’s portable. We can take it classes and we can take it to quilting retreats or wherever else we might go.
While it’s a lightweight sewing machine, this Janome is not a mini sewing machine because it’s quit bigger.
But it’s an excellent model for people with high expectations and high budgets.
Plus, it comes with a hard cover for transportation.
The Janome New Home 49360 was created with a quilter’s needs in mind but it can be used for many other projects, including for making clothes and sewing wigs.
It’s a versatile model that includes a lot of amazing features.
And it’s one of the best quilting sewing machines.
There are 60 stitches. They’re more than enough.
These 60 stitches also include 6 one-step buttonholes.
The user manual will feature a table with types of fabrics we can sew, the sewing thread we can use, and the needle type that works for each category of fabrics.
Light fabrics: lawn, georgette, tricot, wool, polyester.
Medium weight fabrics: cotton, polyester, fine jersey, wool.
Heavy weight fabrics: denim, jersey, coating, quilting.
This is another proof of just how versatile the Janome New Home 49360 is. And how capable it is.
Since this is such an expensive portable sewing machine, we also get some very impressive features: automatic needle threader, automatic thread cutter, and speed control button.
The automatic thread cutter comes in the form of a button with a scissors icon on it. It cuts both threads automatically as soon as we press it.
The speed control slider allows us to control the sewing speed from a slider and skip on using the foot controller. We slid to the left for a slower speed and to the right for maximum sewing speed.
This Janome also comes with a superior plus feed system with a 7-piece feed dog. We can drop the feed dog for free motion sewing and quilting.
Sewing feet: custom crafted zigzag foot, automatic buttonhole foot, zipper foot, overedge foot, satin stitch foot open toe, blind hem foot, ¼” seam foot.
Other accessories: bobbin (3), spool pin felt, needle set, additional spoon pin, seam ripper, screwdriver, lint brush, small spool holder, large spool holder, spool stand, foot control, hard cover for transportation.
Where to Buy?
All in all, if we’re looking for the best mini sewing machine, we have a lot of options to choose from that will cover all needs, budgets and expectations, whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced sewer.