Sewing is an amazing, fun, and rewarding craft to develop. Whether you are a beginner looking for your first machine or an experienced seamstress looking to purchase something new, buying a sewing machine in the $200 price range will leave you with lots of options.
The market for sewing machines has changed a great deal since the days of buying a machine at your local Sears store (this is where my mom bought hers 🙂 ).
With online resources like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and overstock.com there are so many awesome options for good machines at a reasonable price – and yes even sewing machines under $200.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Machine Under $200
If you are looking for a sewing machine in this price range then it is likely that you are a beginning sewer, which is great. Welcome to the wonderful world of sewing! Or maybe you are upgrading your current machine and looking for something with a few more features. Either way, there are many options in the $200 range.
Some questions you should ask yourself are:
How many stitches do you need? If you’ve done any shopping or comparison for sewing machines you may be blown away by machines that have 80 to 100 or over 200 built in stitches.
I’ve said this many times on the site – don’t get too impressed or excited about this. Here’s why – most basic sewing projects require a simple straight stitch. That’s it! And every once in a while you may use a zig zag stitch.
I can honestly say that I use three stitches for about 95% of my sewing projects – a straight forward, a straight stitch backwards, and a zig zag stitch. And I have a machine with 294 built-in stitches!
All of the sewing machines in the under $200 range have many built-in-stitches so don’t make that be the feature that makes or breaks your purchase in deciding which machine you want.
What kind of projects are you going to use your machine for? If you are a beginner seamstress and you are looking for a decent machine to hem or repair or complete home projects with lightweight fabric, then you’ll find many options that are suitable for your needs.
If you are looking for a machine to sew jeans, upholstery, leather, and even heavy-duty curtains, then read the in depth reviews below to see which ones might be better for this need.
Also, if you are going to be quilting or doing embroidery then it is likely that you will want to get a sewing machine with a larger workspace, such as the Brother Designio below.
Do you want a mechanical or computerized machine? Although there is no clear cut winner on which type of machine is best. It is really based on your preference. My first machine was computerized, so I used to rave about the ease of use in selecting stitches with the touch of the button and the LCD display. But I’ve since used mechanical machines, and I see that both types of machines are great. A mechanical machine will simply have a dial to select a stitch and not the fancy backlit LCD display.
Read more about mechanical vs. computerized sewing machines if you need help deciding what type of machine you want.
Under $200 Sewing Machine Comparison Guide
Let’s take a look at some of the popular, budget-friendly (aka under $200) sewing machines available today.
|MODEL||BUILT-IN STITCHES||AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER||RATING|
|Brother Designio Series DZ2400 Computerized Sewing & Quilting Machine||155||Yes||4.5|
|Singer Sewing 4432 Heavy Duty Extra-High Speed Sewing Machine with Metal Frame||32||Yes||4.0|
|SINGER One Easy-to-Use Computerized Sewing Machine||24||Yes||4.5|
|Janome Jem Gold 660 Lightweight Sewing Machine||8||Yes||4.5|
|SINGER 7258 Stylist Award-Winning Computerized Sewing Machine||100||Yes||4.5|
Keep in mind that if you are looking for even more advanced sewing features then check out my comparison of machines under $500.
My Review and Comparison of 5 Sewing Machines Under $200
Here is my in depth review of each of the sewing machines listed in the table above.Brother Designio Series DZ2400 Computerized Sewing & Quilting Machine
As you can see this is an attractive machine from the Brother brand, but we’re not just interested in looks right? I have a Brother machine that I’ve been using for years and I can say that, with care and maintenance, it has worked perfectly and provided all of the features I need for most sewing projects.
Here are some of the features of the Designio DZ2400:
- As you can see from the photo it has a big and wide workspace to give you the space to maneuver projects like quilts, jackets, curtains, costumers, and more.
- It includes 12 different presser feet for sewing and quilting.
- 8 styles of built-in, one-step buttonholes.
- The stitch speed slide lever gives you control over how fast or slow you want to sew (this is an awesome feature that I use all the time).
- Backlit LCD display with an easy way to select stitches with the touch of a button.
Overall the Brother Designio DZ2400 is a high-quality machine with stitches and features that you’ll be able to explore for a long time. It is lightweight (coming in at just under 10 lbs.) so it is easy to move around if you attend sewing classes or just to pull out of your sewing cabinet.
The Singer 4432 is a heavy dute machine. Heavy Duty Metal Frame for skip-free sewing & overall durability. This is a feature to point out because most of the sewing machines in the under $200 range are made of mostly plastic and may move around while you are sewing because they don’t have a solid weight to them. I have not found this to be the case with my Brother sewing machine, but there machines in the under $100 range that are very lightweight and can easily slide around.
One thing to keep in mind, this machine is marketed as “heavy duty” but it is definitely on the lower end of heavy duty machines. If you will be routinely sewing heavy materials like denim, leather, or canvas, this machine is not a good choice. Instead, opt for another option like the Janome HD 3000.
Other features of the Singer 4423 Sewing Machine:
- It has 32 built-in stitches – 6 basic stitches, 7 stretch stitches, 18 decorative stitches, 1 automatic buttonhole.
- Automatic reverse stitch to easily reinforce your stitches.
- Adjustable stitch width up to 6mm to make a bolder and more pronounced look.
Overall, this is a durable, feature-packed sewing machine in the $200 range, but I would not exactly put it in the top of the list in the “heavy duty” category.
The Singer ONE is a simple machine with all of the features needed for many home sewing projects. It features the Singer SwiftSmart Needle Threading System, where you guide the thread from the spool to the needle area through a single groove and thread the needle by pressing a lever. This can be done in just a few seconds. There are 24 built-in stitches to choose from and you can easily adjust and personalize stitch length and width with the touch of a button.
Other features of the Singer One sewing machine:
- Drop-in bobbin system (makes changing your bobbin simple and fast!)
- Large sewing space that measures 14.7 inches. This makes sewing large projects like quilts much easier.
- An automatic reverse with the push of a button. This allows you to sew in reverse to reinforce the stitch.
This is a popular machine and there are times you can find a used one at Amazon.com, which will save you $20 to $40.
Janome is an awesome sewing brand and the Janome Jem Gold is very simple to operate and could make a perfect first machine for a new seamstress. It sews amazingly straight lines and is very user friendly.
Additional Features of the Jem Gold 660:
- 8 Built-In sewing stitches – Includes 2 stretch stitches and utility stitches and a 4 step-buttonhole.
- Easy dial to select a stitch (but the stitch width is not adjustable)
- Automatic needle threader.
This is a 3/4 sewing machine, so if you need more workspace for larger projects, this machine will be challenging to use.But It is also super lightweight, which makes it easy to take to sewing classes or anywhere else you need to tote it.
The Stylist 7258 is an award winning machine (hence the ribbon on the photo). It was named “best buy” by Consumer Digest in the electronic sewing machine category. This rating was based on its features, ease of use and warranty.
Other features of the Singer 7258:
- Includes 10 presser feet: all-purpose, zipper, buttonhole, blind hem, satin stitch, overcasting, darning and embroidery, gathering, rolled hem, and a quarter inch presser foot.
- Six different one-step buttonhole styles to create perfectly sized buttonholes every time.
- Auto-tie function to tie-off straight stitches with the push of a button. This helps reinforce the beginning and end of the seam to prevent unraveling.
Overall, the Stylist 7258 is a user-friendly beginner sewing machine with tons of features and accessories.
Which Machine is Best for You?
I hope this comparison has helped you narrow down your choices, but keep in mind that I do not own all of these machines so I also highly recommend reading the reviews at amazon.com for each machine. This provides a lot of insight from real users. Good luck on your sewing machine shopping 🙂