Is it possible to find amazing models when looking for the best sewing machines under 100 dollars? That’s what we’re here to find out.
If you’re a beginner who isn’t too sure that a sewing machine is something you should spend a lot of money on, just in case you decide that sewing isn’t the right thing to do in your free time, then looking for a cheaper model under $100 is the logical option.
Or maybe you want to transition from sewing by hand to using a machine that is so much faster and can relieve you of any cramps but your budget is pretty limited.
Whatever the case, I’m absolutely thrilled to review some of the best sewing machines under 100. I hope you find the perfect model for you without much trouble.
If you’re interesting in learning more about how to use a sewing machine and what projects or mending you can make, check out my reviews for the best sewing books.
7 Best Sewing Machines Under 100 Dollars
If you don’t know much about the market of sewing machines, you might be surprised to discover that some of the best sewing machine brands also sell models under $100.
Some of the most famous manufacturers that you’ll come across in this article are: Singer, Brother, and Janome.
It’s always comforting when we recognize a brand name that is within our budget. Singer is known for quality and durability, Brother for ease of use for all levels of experience and Janome is known for durable, simple to use, and portable sewing machines.
However, we can’t only go by brand name. We also have to make sure that the quality they’re famous for also extends to cheaper models. That’s imperative and that’s where I come in with my reviews. I hope you find them useful.
If you’re looking for even cheaper models, check out my reviews for the best sewing machines under $50.
1. Singer M1000
I didn’t select the Singer M1000 just because it has a price under $100 but because it’s also one of the most popular models on the market.
It’s a machine designed for mending. However, you can also do other projects, as long as you’re using light-weight and medium-weight fabrics. It won’t be capable of handling heavy-weight materials but that’s the compromise we have to make for lower prices.
Before delving into its features, I should warn you right from the start that the Singer M1000 is a bit of a controversial machine.
What do I mean by that? It’s just that some users absolutely love it and are very successful at using it, while others haven’t been so lucky. You’ll see what I’m talking about as we go over features, pros, and cons.
I should disclose that I’m just a tiny bit partial to Singer because the machine I use is also a Singer. Although, it’s a bit more expensive than this M1000 so I’m not going to think that all Singers are just the best for all budgets.
The main specs are:
- 32 stitches: straight stitch, basting, zigzag, multi-step zigzag, blind hem
- we can’t control the width and length for stitches from wheels
- no buttonhole stitches
- we also get a free arm that allows us to remove it when we need to sew harder and smaller to reach areas, like the hems and cuffs
- class 15 transparent bobbin – the manufacturer promises an easy to thread and easy to see experience, the transparent aspect ensures that you won’t run out of thread in the middle of a seam
- 4.25 inches sewing space, very good even for quilts, and 3.75 inches height
- also comes with LED light
- the presser lifter can be lifted extra high to accommodate thick fabrics
- the foot switch doesn’t control the speed, it turns on and off the power – that’s disappointing because it means that the Singer M1000 has only one speed and that’s it, we get no choice over it
- needle thread tension is 2 to 6 for straight, 2 to 5 for zigzag, 1 to 4 for multi zigzag and blind stitch
- small, lightweight, and portable – weighs only 5.5 pounds
This machine is awesome for repairs and for creating durable hems on a wide variety of fabrics. It’s basic but of good quality, durable.
The design is very simple. It’s basic and easy to use and beginners will appreciate this aspect. But you still need to read the user manual so that you know exactly how to use it.
We get a wheel for selecting the stitch type, which is called stitch selector.
And we get a smaller one right next to it, which is a thread tension dial.
We also get the standard 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.
There’s no automatic needle threader,. Usually, you won’t find this component in the best sewing machines under 100 but if you extend your budget up to $150, you’ll find models that include an automatic needle threader.
The accessories included are: bobbins (4 pieces class 15 transparent), needle (3), threader, AC adapter, foot switch, screwdriver.
For the straight stitch applications we get: seams, quilt piecing, topstitching, edge stitching, decorative stitching, attaching trims, raw edge applique, narrow/rolled hems, topstitched hems, understitching, stay stitching, seams and topstitching for both the left and right position.
The zigzag ones are: seam finishing, applique, decorative stitching, attaching trims, elastic insertion, lettuce edging, edge joining.
The multi-step zigzag includes: mending, decorative stitching, elastic insertion, attaching trims, seam finishing, edge joining.
The blind hem stitch covers: blind hemming, decorative stitching, couching.
The Singer M1000 has a basic design and it’s easy to learn to use it, which can be perfect for beginners.
There are enough stitches to do pretty much any project, whether we’re talking repairs or doing projects from zero with just a sewing machine, needle, threads, fabrics, and a good pattern.
However, those projects will be restricted to light-weight and medium-weight fabrics.
Once you read the user manual and practice for a bit, you’ll be able to learn it all.
And the price is very affordable.
Even people who had absolutely no experience with sewing found the Singer M1000 easy to use and perfect for their projects.
It’s easy to handle and carry but it still delivers sturdiness.
The foot switcher doesn’t control the speed. In fact, this M1000 has only one speed. Some found it to be too fast, others thought it was too slow. But the fact that we can’t control the speed is a pretty big con.
Another con is that there are no buttonhole stitches. If you want to create products with buttons, you’ll have to learn to do the buttonholes manually.
Some users had difficulty threading the needle even after following the user manual.
Others managed to break the needle on day one, while I saw a review from someone who broke 6 needles. It never happened to me in over 20 years of using sewing machines so I don’t know how that could happen. It’s definitely not a complaint only reserved for this Singer model.
For some, it just stopped working.
I also recommend watching some YouTube videos on how to use it, it might be easier than following the user manual. There’s also a short YouTube review that I recommend checking out.
All in all, if you’re looking for one of the cheapest sewing machines from a very popular brand, the Singer M1000 might be just the model for you.
Nevertheless, weigh the pros and cons carefully because it’s a slightly controversial model when it comes to how much some people love it and how much others don’t.
It’s not for professionals but I still think that it’s perfect for beginners who don’t plan on doing extravagant projects.
I wouldn’t buy it for heavy-weight fabrics although the manufacturer assures us that it can work for everything. I think that light-weight and medium-weight fabrics work the best with the Singer M1000.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to go just a bit above that $100 limit, then check out my next two reviews.
Where to Buy?
2. Brother XM2701
The main features are:
- 27 unique built-in stitches with 63 stitch functions – it offers pretty much everything we might need, including blind hem, decorative and quilting stitches, besides the usual straight, zigzag, etc.
- 1 one-step buttonhole – it might be just one but it’s a big plus that we get a buttonhole stitch
- automatic needle threading system
- free arm for easily fitting smaller pieces under the needle (hems, cuffs, trouser legs, sleeves)
- 800 stitches per minute
- LED lighting for the sewing space
- the foot controller controls the sewing speed – that’s absolutely awesome, it basically has 2 speeds, slower and faster
- it weighs 12.6 pounds – it’s pretty lightweight, I would say that this weight could be considered portable for a lot of people
The standard components that come with the XM2701 are: 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.
Accessories: zigzag foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, darning plate, button sewing foot, bobbin (4), needle set (3), screwdriver, extra spool pin, foot controller.
Among these 27 stitches, you’ll find a pretty complete list: 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 the rest are all different decorative stitches.
These are all very interesting stitches, I love the variety that the Brother XM2701 offers. Such amazing possibilities.
You need to check the user manual because for each stitch there’s a recommended width and length. It’s especially helpful for beginners.
It’s also great to see the Brother XM2701 including the 1-step automatic buttonhole.
I would call it a pretty complete sewing machine, whether you’re a beginner or someone who has experience with using machines for their projects.
There are a lot of accessories that can complete whatever project you have in mind. I would call it close to perfect in this area.
Considering what it offers, I wouldn’t call it expensive. Plus, the design is very pretty. It just invites you in to test your skills and get better and better at sewing wonderful things.
The user manual is also very helpful. Brother XM2701 is amazing for beginners but also for more experienced users.
There are always going to be people who will find fault even with a nice machine like the Brother XM2701.
For example, someone mentioned that this is the worst sewing machine that they’ve ever used in over 30 years of sewing.
The frequent complaint is related to tension problems.
Others mention that problems arise after a few months. It also seems that the hook and bobbin case are cheap plastic.
Thread jamming and bird nest also seem problems that can arise.
Is the Brother XM2701 perfect? No. There are users who have had problems with it. But there are also many others who think of it as being as close to perfect as they can get for this price tag.
Where to Buy?
3. Singer MX231
I wanted to review the Singer MX231 right after reviewing Brother XM2701 because these two have very similar price tags. They’re both just a bit above $100.
I personally prefer this model to the Singer M1000 when we’re talking about the best machines under 100 but I also understand that it’s a bit more expensive than our limit.
- 97 stitch applications – these are a lot so I’m definitely not going to over all of them but you can be sure that you’ll find the right stitch for any fabric
- even though we get 97 applications, the main stitches are: straight, stretch, blind hem, 4-step buttonhole, 1-step buttonhole, zigzag
- the stitches are selected through the stitch selection dial, it’s straightforward
- there are also 3 smaller wheels at the top, representing tension, thread width and length
- automatic 1-step buttonhole – that’s another advantage over the Singer M1000 but it also depends on the type of projects you want to make
- we also get a zipper foot for zippers and piping
- built-in needle threader
- front load bobbin
- adjustable stitch width and length
- the foot switch is called foot speed control because it controls sewing speed, which is very helpful
- LED lighting for illumination
- sewing space of 5.7 inches – it can fit in quilts and other objects like that
- it weighs 11.79 pounds, it’s not the heaviest, it’s quite easy to carry around
The components for the MX231 are: 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.
You can also download the Singer Sewing Assistant App if you have any things you need help with.
Accessories: 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.
If you get no user manual with your MX231, you can download it from here. You can then print it if you prefer having it on paper. I definitely prefer having it on paper and reading everything with attention.
We pretty much get a complete set of accessories. With the MX231, Singer has managed to include a lot of them.
It’s also an affordable model that comes with a cover. Portability with protection.
It might take a while to get used to selecting stitches, their length and width, and the tension of the thread, all these selecting processes involving 4 wheels, but you’ll get used to it by practicing.
Some beginners love it and mention that it’s easy to learn to use the Singer MX231 so I would also recommend it as a good model for beginners and experienced sewists alike.
If you get no user manual with your MX231, you can download it for free from the manufacturer’s website. There were a few buyers who complained that they didn’t receive a user manual with their MX231 but that’s easy to fix.
Someone who has used Bernina, Viking, Juki and other machines over 60 years, mentioned that the stitches are uneven and not uniform top and bottom, no matter how much we adjust the tension.
As always, some people found the Singer MX231 unusable while others think that it’s awesome once you get the hang of it.
In case you end up buying this model or any of the other best sewing machines under 100 then use it as soon as you get it. And use it as frequently as you can to make sure that it’s the right machine for you, before the return period expires and you’re stuck with something you hate.
Where to Buy?
4. Janome Pink Lightning Basic
The Janome Basic series actually has a bunch of identical models that go by different names. Their names are conferred by the color of the machine and they all have the same price and features.
We’re mostly used to white sewing machines with maybe a bit of color but Janome has decided to go full color with this affordable line of sewing machines. For example, Pink Lightning Basic is the name for a machine painted in vibrant pink in its entirety.
Thus, if you want to pick some of the most colorful best sewing machines under 100, Janome has a line of them.
The names of the models are: Pink Lightning, Graceful Gray, Watermelon Crush, Lady Lilac, Mystical Mint, Purple Thunder, Bandana Blush, and Citrus Circus.
I think they deserve an extra point for their creativity but let’s see if the quality is just as delightful as these names are.
You should know that these Janome models are some of the cheapest sewing machines that you could get. The price for the Janome Pink Lightning Basic is about half the price of the Brother XM2701. That should tell you how cheap they are.
I also recommended the Janome Pink Lightning Basic as one of the best mini sewing machines. It’s pretty awesome.
- 10 stitches – it doesn’t feature an impressive number at first glance but you get everything you’ll need for most projects
- we get straight, zigzag, crescent with two needle positions
- we can’t control the width and length for stitches from wheels but the 4 types of stitches come with 6 stitch width and length variations
- there’s no blind hem stitch but you can still get it for hemming, plenty of users bought it mostly for that particular operation
- the crescent stitch is for embellishment and applique
- there’s also a multi-stitch zigzag stitch for stretch fabrics like knits
- there’s no buttonhole stitch
- top drop-in bobbin with clear cover
- free arm for easy access to sewing smaller parts or harder to reach parts, like hems or sleeves
- dial for selecting the stitch type
- wheel for selecting thread tension
- there’s no light over the needle area, you’ll have to get a bendable LED light to make your work easier
- unfortunately, the foot switch only turns the machine on and off, it doesn’t control sewing spin – the Janome Pink Lightning Basic only has one speed, just like the Singer M1000
- it’s a tiny machine that weighs just 5 pounds but if your needs are basic, it’s more than capable of helping you with your projects
It has the needed standard components: 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.
Accessories: bobbin (2), needle, threader, foot switch.
Even though it’s a basic machine and it might look simple at first glance, that can also be a good thing.
Those who don’t know what they could possibly do with 70 stitch applications or have no need for decorative stitches, are going to appreciate the simple approach.
Janome Pink Lightning Basic is all about being tiny, lightweight, basic, and just overall a nice model for its price tag.
My favorite positive review was from someone that took it to a quilting guild retreat. How awesome does that sound? The person was happy with the experience and satisfied with the capabilities of this Janome Pink Lightning Basic for quality stitching.
It’s also great for kids.
All in all, it’s certainly worthy of being considered one of the best sewing machines under 100.
Obviously, there are cons. This Janome Basic line doesn’t lack those at all.
For some, the machine broke quite quickly. That’s certainly concerning and you should consider that you might be taking a risk that the same might happen to you.
An experienced seamstress called it a kid machine.
However, overall the major problem seems to be that the plastic parts can break down easily, I wouldn’t call it the most reliable machine.
Where to Buy?
5. Janome Pink Sorbet
Their prices are just a bit above $100 so they’re significantly more expensive than the Janome Pink Lightning Basic.
What is different to warrant the higher price?
We get 15 stitches instead of 10. We can also adjust the stitch length and width with the turn of the dial.
One major difference is that we get a four-step buttonhole.
There are other accessories that we get for this higher price: general purpose foot, zipper foot, blind hemming foot, sliding buttonhole foot.
There are also dual retractable spool pins for smooth fabric feeding on all thread types.
This is a full-size sewing machine. It’s not as portable as the Pink Lightning Basic but it does offer plenty of space for whatever you’re sewing.
Thus, I would say that the price is justified by the extra features but it’s up to you to decide if your projects will actually benefit from these additions or if you can do just fine with a more basic, cheaper model.
The main thing about Janome Blue Couture is that, as a full-sized machine, it is capable of handling all types of fabrics, not only light or medium-weight ones.
Where to Buy?
6. Donyer Power Electric Sewing Machine
If you’ll check out the user reviews for the Donyer Power Electric Sewing Machine, you’ll notice immediately that some are very pleased with it. In the other camp are those who don’t understand how this machine could receive such positive reviews.
I guess we have another controversial model on our hands.
But I can confirm that it’s a situation that will happen even with a lot more expensive models than these best sewing machines under 100 dollars. So don’t be scared that it’s only something that happens with cheaper machines. It’s a general occurrence in this world.
This Donyer sewing machine is about the same price as Janome Pink Lightning Basic.
They’re both mini sewing machines. I’m sure that professionals won’t need one of these. However, it can work as the first sewing machine for a beginner. Or as a gift for kids who want to learn to sew.
It’s not my favorite but neither was Janome Pink Lightning Basic. My favorite models on a budget were reviewed in the beginning of this article for the best sewing machines under 100 dollars.
- 12 stitches that are easy to select: straight, fancy, button, curve lock
- it’s nice to see that it has two button stitches
- 2 speeds (high and low) – it’s actually surprising, most cheap machines only have one speed
- adjustable stitch length and width
- free arm for smaller objects or harder to reach areas
- LED lighting
- weighs about 5 pounds, which is expected since it’s a mini-machine and not a full-sized one
Lightweight and affordable.
It’s good for small projects but it only handles light-weight fabrics. However, the manufacturer also mentions that it can handle medium-weight materials.
If you want to see if you could see yourself using this model, check out this YouTube video.
Someone mentioned that as soon as you want to sew more than 2 pieces of perfectly ironed cotton, this machine jams and messes up. Moreover, the same user mentioned that hemming jeans is out of the question.
But that is to totally be expected for machines that are closer to $50 than to $100.
Thus, it’s certainly a machine good for lightweight operations and fabrics.
Moreover, given that Donyer Power is not exactly a famous brand, it will be hard to buy different accessories.
It’s much easier to buy accessories if you go with highly recognizable brands like Singer, Brother, and Janome.
Others mentioned that it’s not easy to use. Thus, the categories of users that it targets, beginners and children, might possibly have a hard time getting it to work properly.
All in all, I recommend checking out first the Singer and Brother models that I reviewed above and then you can make up your mind if you really want this Donyer Power model.
Where to Buy?
7. Singer Heavy Duty 4423 – One of my Favorites
Is it right to complete my recommendations for the best sewing machines under 100 dollars with a model that costs double that? Not exactly but if you’re looking to make an investment for many years to come maybe you can consider it.
Just compare what the Heavy Duty 4423 offers with what all the other much cheaper models offer and then you can make your choice.
- I love the metal frame, it’s the first thing you’ll notice above the Heavy Duty 4423 and you’ll immediately know why the name fits
- 50% more power for thick fabrics – it’s not called Heavy Duty just for its metal frame, it’s also called that because it’s designed to handle all kinds of fabrics, including heavy-weight fabrics
- 97 stitches, just like the more affordable Singer MX231 – it’s got variety but it’s not the most suitable if you are looking for decorative stitches, Brother XM2701 is a bit better in that area
- all these 97 stitches can be gathered under a few primary types of stitches: straight, ric rac, zigzag, multi-step zigzag, blind hem, one-step buttonhole, picot hem, decorative, straight stretch, reinforced zigzag, honeycomb, double overlook, slant overedge, and bartack buttonhole
- the usual class 15 transparent bobbin, top drop-in bobbin
- extra high sewing speed – professionals and experience amateurs might be thrilled to hear that but beginners won’t enjoy this feature in the beginning
- the adjustable presser foot pressure allows us to sew very lightweight sheers
- automatic needle threader
- 6.25 inches sewing space and 4.25 inches height
- stainless steel bedplate allows the fabric to glide with ease
Accessories: general purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, edge/quilting guide, pack of needles, bobbins, spool caps, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt, screwdriver, seam ripper/lint brush, soft dust cover.
It has plenty of accessories for a wide array of projects.
There are a lot of components for this Heavy Duty but it’s only different from the Singer MX231 by a couple of components.
The 4423 has the following: thread tension dial, presser foot pressure adjustment, thread take-up lever, reverse sewing lever, thread cutter, presser foot, needle plate cover, removable extension table/accessory storage, three needle position dial, bobbin stopper, stitch width dial, stitch length dial, pattern selector dial, automatic threader, one step buttonhole lever, horizontal spool pin, bobbin winding spindle, hole for second spool pin, handwheel, buttonhole stitch balance adjustment slot, bobbin thread guide, upper thread guide, face plate, presser foot lifter, drop feed control, foot speed control.
You might notice that this is the first machine that I reviewed in this article that offers the possibility to adjust the position of the needle.
However, we must also remember that the Heavy Duty 4423 is also two times more expensive than what many of you are looking to spend. Thus, we absolutely can’t fault the other models for coming without bells and whistles.
The 4423 also offers additional components for making buttonholes and for sewing buttons. That’s another indication that it’s a perfect match for people who intend to use it for extensive projects.
With the Singer 4423, we enter the territory where even professionals can find immense satisfaction when using this machine.
This can fit everyone’s needs: beginners who are willing to spend a lot more than the $100 limit, experienced amateurs, and even some professionals.
One of my favorite reviews for the Heavy Duty 4423 is from someone who tells buyers to read the instruction manual. The person also mentions that it uses all kinds of materials with this model and they get a beautiful stitch regardless of the material they use.
I totally agree and the instruction manual for this model is particularly detailed. You can also watch YouTube videos for visual guides.
Singer 4423 is one of the most highly praised sewing machines but there are always going to be negative reviews.
I recommend reading those to get the full picture before making the final decision.
Where to Buy?
Best Sewing Machines Under 100 Dollars Buying Guide
Since the budget is already taken care of, I want to mention a few simple things that you must keep in mind before making your final choice for the best sewing machine under 100.
Number of stitches
Among the first things you should check out is the number of stitches that the machine provides. Usually, they should offer at least between 16 and 24 stitches, it’s pretty much the standard.
Most of the best sewing machines under 100 will offer a wider array of stitches to use in your projects.
Buttonholes stitches are not found in machines that are priced under $100. It’s something that you’ll find in models that cost $120-$150.
However, you can still sew a buttonhole even if the machine doesn’t have a dedicated stitch or a buttonhole foot. This video is proof of that.
The casing needs to be sturdy so that it remains stable when you’re doing your projects.
Portability is pretty much offered by all these models. It’s an important feature for some since it allows you to carry the machine wherever you need it. There’s also a handle on top for carrying it.
Very few models in this price range will come with a hard case for increased protection. Others will just include a canvas or plastic slip.
A removable extendable free arm can be another useful feature because it allows the users to easily handle the fabric. It can come in handy for areas like trouser legs and sleeves.
Beginners and people who are on a budget shouldn’t turn their attention to computerized models that come with memory functions that can be linked to computers. Even without that, you’ll still be able to sew pretty much everything you want.
Other additional components you will acquire along your journey of enjoying your new machine are: fabrics, threads, sharp dressmaker’s shears, a pair of small scissors, paper scissors for paper patterns, needles, pins, tape measure, short ruler, seam ripper, markers, buttons, iron and ironing board, and maybe a sewing box.
As we’re ending this article, there’s one last thing that I want to remind everyone and that has nothing to do with the fact that we’re searching for affordable, cheap models. This applies to all budgets.
You need to read the user manual properly, give it your undivided attention. You need to understand your sewing machine if you truly want to make the most of the best sewing machines under 100 dollars.