Best Small Sewing Machine in 2022: A Stitch Artist’s Guide

By Marian Kret •  Updated: Mar 12, 2022 •  Guides

In this article, I am sharing my recommendations for the best small sewing machine on the market today, with a quick introductory section on what mini sewing machines are and why you might want one.

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If you’re in a hurry, here’s my quick recommendation for the best small sewing machine – after all, a stitch in time saves nine!

Table of Contents

But no more small talk! Let’s get into a big discussion about the best mini sewing machines on the market today!

What is a Mini Sewing Machine?

Well, the most obvious answer is a sewing machine that is, you know, mini…

But a more satisfying, or at least more complete, answer would be that a small sewing machine, or mini sewing machine, is one that is very small, and yet while it may be a very basic sewing machine, it offers the same kinds of features and benefits, as well as quality – both stitch quality and overall material quality and reliability – as a normal size sewing machine.

Now of course this is not always true – some mini sewing machines are almost too basic to be very useful, and lots of them are pretty poor quality in one or more ways. But if you find a really good one, even zero in on the best small sewing machine for your budget, it is a fantastic thing to have – a great tool for sewing and all kinds of crafts and DIY projects.

What are the Advantages of a Mini Sewing Machine?

Besides the fact that most mini sewing machines are just as cute as a button, there are other – perhaps even more important – reasons why a good small sewing machine is so nice to have.

The main benefits of a small sewing machine include:

They are easily portable

If you are taking a sewing class, or going to school, these highly portable sewing machines can be ultra-easy to take with, and they are great for craft parties and community events as well.

They take very little space, and can be used almost anywhere

Perfect if you simply don’t have much room or like to work in different places around the house

They are easily stowable

If you can’t, or don’t want to, leave your machine set up all the time or devote a permanent space to sewing

They are less expensive

Even the best mini sewers can be much more affordable than equivalent full sized machines

They can be easier to use

For beginners, or for people who just want to sew and not think too much about the machine and how it works, mini sewing machines are often simple and intuitive to operate

They can be just as capable as a full sized machine

Of course this isn’t always true, and you might even want your small sewing machine to be a lot more basic than your main machine, but many minis are pretty full-function these days.

They can be a high quality second or backup sewing machine

If you choose the right one, and small sewing machine can stitch just as well and consistently as most normal machines, and offer great material quality and reliability as well

Are There Disadvantages to a Small Sewing Machine?

Some people actually find a mini sewing machine a little harder to work with than full size sewing machines, simply because there is less room for your hands or for larger pieces of fabric.

Of course a lot of the same people change their mind once they get used to the size, but it should be said that a small sewing machine is not ideal for larger garments or projects, and often won’t work well – or at all – with heavier and thicker materials like canvas, leather or even denim.

Small sewing machines won’t offer as many choices, for stitches, finishing and the like, as their bigger cousins, and they usually won’t sew as fast.

Finally, a small sewing machine may not be as long term reliable as a larger unit – this, though, is a bit of an overstated issue on many forums.

Yes, there are a lot of really cheap and poor quality mini sewing machines available, and they are generally neither durable or reliable, but if you can find and purchase one of the better ones, you can expect years of dependable service – and rest assured that this is a major consideration in all of my picks!

What Else Should You Consider?

I am highly partial to simple sewing machines with high quality mechanical switching, and tend to avoid the overly complex or computerized sewing machine. Yes, if you learn the system and interface, and all the functions, they can be quite useful, but it takes some time.

Ayway, I’ve heard too many stories about even expensive computerized sewing machines failing, and the repair costs being prohibitive to the point that it makes more sense to replace rather than repair.

With this in mind, to make sure you get a machine you can use for years, I will really focus on simple, mechanical designs.

One final note – for some bizarre reason, it seems that so many buyer’s guides to mini sewing machines list at least a few full size sewing machines, and even when you do a product search at most retail sites, like “mini sewing machine,” the vast majority of your results will be full sized machines as well. Just too big to be considered mini, they’re really just sewing machines at that point…

But rest assured that the machines here are really small, markedly smaller than most normal ones. No big deal – after all, that’s what we’re talking about, isn’t it?

How Can You Find the Best Small Sewing Machine for You and Your Needs?

Well, that’s just what we’re here for!

We are going to assume that you want your new mini sewing machine to have the most desirable features and qualities, if possible, like:

Automatic Needle Threader

Top Loading Bobbin System

Adjustable stitch length

A Great Design and Layout – Easy, Intuitive and Useful

A Decent Number of Stitches

Relatively Fast Sewing

HIgh Levels of Material and Build Quality

A Good Warranty and a Good Company Behind It

Excellent Value

And while not every recommendation below will have everything, I have kept all of this, and a lot more, in mind when putting together a list of the best mini machines you can find.

More than that, though, I will draw upon my own personal experience – with more sewing machines than I’d care to count – and the feedback and recommendations I’ve gotten from friends and people in various crafting communities.

The end result is a list of really nice mini sewing machines, any of which would make a wonderful choice and a wonderful working tool for any seamster, seamstress or crafter.

I will put my top recommendations in order of price, from the most to the least expensive, and so it should be really easy for you to find the best sewing machine for your budget.

And now, on to the list!

Overview: Best Mini Sewing Machines in 2022

  1. SINGER | MX60 Sewing Machine With Accessory Kit and Foot Pedal
  2. SINGER | MX60 Sewing Machine With Accessory Kit and Foot Pedal

    Best Mid-Priced Mini Sewing Machine

    57 Stitch Applications - Simple & Great for Beginners


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. SINGER | Start 1304 Sewing Machine with 6 Built-in Stitches
  4. SINGER | Start 1304 Sewing Machine with 6 Built-in Stitches

    Best for Beginners and Students

    Free Arm Sewing Machine - Best Sewing Machine for Beginners


    Buy Now on Amazon
  5. Janome Graceful Gray Basic Compact Sewing Machine
  6. Janome Graceful Gray Basic Compact Sewing Machine

    Easy-to-Use, 10-Stitch Portable, Compact Sewing Machine with Free Arm only 5 pounds


    Buy Now on Amazon
  7. Magicfly Portable Sewing Machine
  8. Magicfly Portable Sewing Machine

    Best Portable Mini Sewing Machine

    12 Built-in Stitches Mini Sewing Machine for Beginner with Reverse Sewing, 3 Replaceable Feet, Extension Table, Accessory Kit


    Buy Now on Amazon
  9. MICHLEY Little Sew and Sew LSS-505+
  10. MICHLEY Little Sew and Sew LSS-505+

    Best for Younger Sewers

    12-Stitch Sewing Machine


    Buy Now on Amazon
  11. NaCot Handheld Sewing Machine with Accessory Kit
  12. NaCot Handheld Sewing Machine with Accessory Kit

    Best Handheld Sewing Machine

    Mini Portable Electric Sewing Machine for Beginners Adult, Easy to Use and Fast Stitch Suitable for Clothes, DIY Home Travel, Fabrics


    Buy Now on Amazon

Best Mini Sewing Machine Overall

Based on features alone, the Brother XM2701 is an easy choice for best small sewing machine on the market today. With drop-in bobbin and automatic threading, 27 easily selected stitches, including auto-sized buttonholes, and 6 feet included, this is a highly advanced and versatile machine for seamstresses and seamsters and for all kinds of hobbyists.

And it’s incredibly easy and intuitive layout and simple mechanical switching make the 2701 so easy to use. In fact, with the easy bobbin changing and auto-threading, this is one of the best beginner sewing machines you can get, as well as a perfect choice for even the most advanced stitchers.

This is the largest machine I’m recommending in this buyer’s guide to best small sewing machines, but it is still noticeably smaller than regular sized units, and nicely lightweight and portable.

For all that, though, the Brother XM2701, like all Brother sewing machines, is a sturdy, overbuilt and very durable machine, which works flawlessly every time, never jams, skips or stops, and is engineered and made for many, many years of reliable sewing.

For anybody, and for any category, this is an easily recommendable product, and a great value in every sense, but for compact sewing machines it’s clearly the best I’ve ever used.

Best Mid-Priced Mini Sewing Machine

Mid-Priced
SINGER | MX60 Sewing Machine With Accessory Kit and Foot Pedal

Best Mid-Priced Mini Sewing Machine

57 Stitch Applications - Simple & Great for Beginners


Buy Now on Amazon

The Singer MX-60 compact sewing machine is in many ways a very simple unit.

It has only six basic stitch options – which, to be fair, are more than adequate for the vast majority of sewing and crafting work – and a front load bobbin – though with automatic tension this is not much of a concern.

More than anything, though, the MX-60 is an extremely tough, durable and reliable sewing machine. While lots of mini sewers are pretty flimsy and unreliable affairs, the MX-60 has a full metal chassis, a quiet and low-stress motor, a solid and usable foot pedal and simple, overbuilt mechanical controls.

So if fancy computerized controls and a myriad of stitches is more important than reliability and usability, look elsewhere. But if you want a small machine that is incredibly easy to use, works well every time and will last for years and years, the Singer MX-60 is hard to beat!

Best for Beginners and Students

Students & Beginners
SINGER | Start 1304 Sewing Machine with 6 Built-in Stitches

Best for Beginners and Students

Free Arm Sewing Machine - Best Sewing Machine for Beginners


Buy Now on Amazon

Back to Singer for my top choice for beginner sewing machine, and a great choice for anybody who wants a nice, compact and reliable machine that is almost absurdly easy to use.

With the wonderfully straight forward, and quite reliable, large dial stitch selector, you can easily choose one of the six basic stitches, as well as the four simple buttonhole stitch steps. There is no size selection, and so while this does make the 1304 slightly less versatile, it also makes it very simple to sew with, as does the built in thread cutter.

Versatility is increased, though, with the three included running feet, and the 1304 also includes all the accessories you need to get sewing and perform not only basic sewing tasks but more advanced work as well.

So many manufacturers of sewing machines concentrate on an overwhelming number of stitch choices, as well as so many other options, the vast majority of which almost no sewer or hobbyist will ever use. And too often all of this is only accessible through confusing, and often hard to read, electronic control panels.

But the Singer 1304 (like pretty much every machine I love and recommend, here and elsewhere) takes a different tack – a simple sewing machine with reliable mechanical controls, an understandable selection of the most important and most used stitches, and a super reliable, strong and durable machine that always works perfectly for all of your sewing projects.

Great for beginners and an equally a wonderful choice for a portable or second unit, or a first choice as a really affordable sewing machine for primary use – in fact, at this price, the 1304 is a no-brainer!

Best Budget Mini Sewing Machine

Budget Option
Janome Graceful Gray Basic Compact Sewing Machine

Easy-to-Use, 10-Stitch Portable, Compact Sewing Machine with Free Arm only 5 pounds


Buy Now on Amazon

Ok, so the Janome Graceful Gray mini sewing machine looks a little silly – even more so in the other colors! – but it is in fact a really serious machine, with quality and usability that absolutely blow anything else in this lower price range away.

It is a basic but well designed sewing machine, with ten stitches selectable on a large mechanical dial, an easy to use reverse stitching button, free arm sewing, and an intelligent and highly usable layout.

This wee Janome sewing machine does not have variable speeds or a work light, and some machines in this range may offer a larger selection of stitches or a faster stitching speed, but nothing will offer this level of quality and reliability, and none will come close to the consistency, tightness and evenness of its stitches.

A fantastic mini sewing machine for the money, then, and a perfect choice for beginners or students with limited funds, anybody with limited space, or even the most serious sewers who want a great backup machine – the obvious choice for best value in a mini sewing machine, and very highly recommended! 

Best Portable Mini Sewing Machine

Portable
Magicfly Portable Sewing Machine

Best Portable Mini Sewing Machine

12 Built-in Stitches Mini Sewing Machine for Beginner with Reverse Sewing, 3 Replaceable Feet, Extension Table, Accessory Kit


Buy Now on Amazon

I should start by saying that really any one of the recommendations on this list would make a great portable sewing machine, and since the Singers and Brothers listed above are so well known for high material and construction quality and durability, they would be especially good choices for a machine you can schlep around without worry.

So why the darling little Magicfly? Well, not (just) because it’s darling!

The Magicfly is especially worth considering because it is so small and light, and so easy to carry around, and yet is still a very well designed and well made full feature sewing machine, with twelve stitch choices, reverse sewing and three replaceable presser feet..

It runs on both AC and batteries, though you aren’t going to get great battery life with continued use, and the machine is not quite as strong as on AC. Still, nice to have!

And it comes with a great accessory kit, with tons of different threads and all the tools you need, and a nice, sturdy extension table for working.

There are a lot of cheap and tiny mini sewing machines out there, and – to be frank – based on my own experience, feedback from friends and colleagues, most of them are, well, not worth buying.

The Magicfly portable sewing machine, though, is a serious unit, with enough capability to satisfy almost any sewer and a surprisingly high level of material and build quality for the money – an easy recommendation!

Best for Younger Sewers

Best for Young Sewers
MICHLEY Little Sew and Sew LSS-505+

Best for Younger Sewers

12-Stitch Sewing Machine


Buy Now on Amazon

I was tempted to choose one of the brightly packaged, fun looking sewing kits as the best choice for kids, but in fact I’ve used this Michley Lil Sew and Sew, and I can report that it is a much better quality machine, and though it’s a bit pricier is, IMHO, a much better value to boot.

The Michley is a real, full function sewing machine that, despite its diminutive dimensions, offers twelve easily selectable stitches, reverse stitching and two sewing speeds. It has a top loading drop in bobbin, replaceable presser feet, and it runs on either AC or batteries.

So while many of the beginner kits and kid-oriented machines out there are fine choices, this Lil Sew and Sew will teach kids much more about sewing, let them go farther in their work, and will offer much better, higher quality and more consistent results – which, in turn, will encourage them as they learn, keep them engaged and wanting to continue with sewing.

The Lil Sew and Sew is also a much better built machine, which should offer significantly longer life and be more reliable and consistent day to day.

The Michley LSS-505+ Lil Sew and Sew is, in fact, a great machine for adults and more experienced sewers as well – especially for a backup machine or a portable that will offer high quality results similar to your regular sewing machine – but for kids it is absolutely perfect, and my pick for best small sewing machine for children.

Best Handheld Sewing Machine

Handheld
NaCot Handheld Sewing Machine with Accessory Kit

Best Handheld Sewing Machine

Mini Portable Electric Sewing Machine for Beginners Adult, Easy to Use and Fast Stitch Suitable for Clothes, DIY Home Travel, Fabrics


Buy Now on Amazon

There’s not much to say about this little gem, except that it is small, solid and works great – I mean really, amazingly great, with a strong, tight straight stitch and no problems.

And it comes with a nifty accessory kit, with ten bobbins of thread, a sewing needle, a cloth tape measure, a needle threader and more – pretty much everything you need to get started.

The NaCot handheld sewing machine can be used either with 4 AA batteries, or you can plug it in using a DC adaptor. The adaptor is not included (neither are the batteries, of course), but if you are going to use this little stitcher at home it’s a great idea to get one – I really like a good universal DC adaptor, which can be used for a lot of other things as well, like the excellent SoulBay 30W Universal AC/DC Adapter.

I’ve tried a bunch of handheld sewing machines for different purposes, a lot of them cheaper than this one, and none of them feel as good or work as well as the NaCot, which is my choice for best handheld sewing machine, and a handy way to end our buyer’s guide!

Thanks so much for reading this article – The Best Small Sewing Machines: A Stitch Artist’s Guide. I hope it has helped you in understanding these wonderful little machines a bit better, and in selecting your new machine.

And please visit our website – Art Side of Life – for more articles, buyer’s guides, fascinating interviews, tutorials and lots of other resources for artists, crafters and all kinds of creative folk!

Other articles in the Craft Tools series:

Hi, I am Marian (pronounced |mar·e·ahn|). I am a crafter, tech & business manager, and the founder of Art Side of Life™. I've been doing all kinds of crafts since I was a kid, testing different tools and supplies. I love the process of creating something out of nothing and through the articles on our website I want to contribute to your creative journey.

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