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If you’re budgeting and planning for your first sewing machine or just want to upgrade your current machine, knowing the average price of a sewing machine for your skill level is essential.
Unfortunately, the price of a sewing machine fluctuates wildly depending on multiple variables.
So, what features can you expect within different price ranges of sewing machines? And “how much” sewing machine do you even need?
Here’s everything you need to know about how much a sewing machine costs!
How much does a sewing machine cost?
New handheld sewing machines can cost as little as $15. Mini sewing machines are around $20 and above. Full-size mechanical sewing machines start at around $75, and computerized sewing machines usually cost $150 and above.
However, sewing machine prices vary widely. The more features you add to the machine, the more expensive it gets, with some high-end sewing machines, embroidery machines, and quilting machines costing more than $10,000!
Sewing Machine Cost Variation Broken Down (Long Answer)
It’s frustrating that there’s such a large price range, right?
Here’s a breakdown of factors that influence sewing machine price and how to know what you can afford and what you really need.
1. Machine Size
As I mentioned, machine size plays a big part in the price. There are three different sizes of household sewing machines to consider.
A. Handheld Sewing Machines
The least expensive sewing machines (if you can even call them that) are handheld sewing machines that use just one thread to form stitches.
These sewing machines are only for basic mending tasks and cost around $15-$30+, depending on the brand and features.
I’m not a fan of my handheld and recommend that anyone with any desire to do more than a straight stitch not purchase a handheld machine.
B. Miniature Sewing Machines
Miniature sewing machines, like the one above, are bigger than handheld machines and have more features, though nowhere near as many options as full-size sewing machines.
For instance, they often only have a straight stitch, so you can’t zigzag stitch, quickly reverse to lock stitches, or stitch buttonholes.
However, miniature sewing machines are affordable, with a range of prices from $25 to $50+.
I’ve written a review of my miniature sewing machine, and to summarize that, I only recommend this sewing machine to a small group of aspiring sewists.
C. Full-Size Sewing Machines
If you have the budget and space for a full-size sewing machine, I recommend this option for most people.
Full-size sewing machines can be small, such as the above portable Brother CS7000X. They can also be monstrosities like my Brother Luminaire XP2, which weighs 43 pounds and takes up an entire desk.
Entry-level mechanical machines start at less than $100. However, new computerized sewing machines with large workspaces and professional features have a hefty price sticker.
One way to get a better deal on a full-size sewing machine is to purchase pre-owned, which can make the machine cost a fraction of its new price.
2. Machines By Function
Some sewing machines are for home use, while others are for heavy-duty or industrial sewing.
Knowing what you plan to sew and what machine you need to accomplish these tasks will also help you price your next machine.
A. Household Sewing Machine
Household sewing machines can sew projects, mend and alter clothes, and even create quilts.
Household sewing machines are less expensive than more specialized sewing machines, which you’ll find below.
B. Heavy-Duty Home Sewing Machine
For sewists who plan to sew thick fabric like leather, denim, and heavy canvas, a regular household sewing machine won’t have the power to perform well over time.
Heavy-duty machines (for home use) have a stronger motor and other helpful features to make sewing these fabrics much more manageable.
The least expensive heavy-duty sewing machines (the least-featured being the Singer 4411 and 4423) cost less than $200, whereas computerized heavy-duty sewing machines like the Brother ST150HDH or Singer HD6700 run closer to $300 or more.
C. Sewing and Embroidery Machine
Some sewing machines can also switch to become embroidery machines. (Not sure what an embroidery machine does? Read what an embroidery machine is and what it can do.)
I have several sewing machines embroider, and I love the saved space.
These machines are not inexpensive, though. The cheapest embroidery sewing machine (Brother SE600, SE625, and the equivalent 4″x4″ machines) costs anywhere from $300-$500+ depending on the retailer and time of year.
D. Commercial or Industrial Sewing Machine
If you plan to sew in a professional capacity or sew upholstery, for instance, and need a fast speed coupled with industrial strength, you can purchase an industrial sewing machine.
Industrial sewing machines are simple but are much more expensive than base and mid-level sewing machines.
3. Computerized vs. Mechanical Sewing Machines
Mechanical sewing machines boast minimal interior circuitry and require a foot pedal to drive the motor.
The small variety of stitches and their parameters are selected with a knob or dial. Thanks to limited features, mechanical sewing machines are usually uncomplicated for beginners.
They are also less expensive than computerized sewing machines. Some basic mechanical models (like the Brother LX3817 or the Janome Basic) cost less than $100.
In contrast, computerized sewing machines have an LCD screen display and are more sophisticated than mechanical sewing machines.
As such, while they are much more feature-rich, they are also more expensive. Entry-level computerized models like my Brother CS7000X and CP60X run in the $100-$250 price range.
Brand plays a role in price, too, as well as how a sewing machine is manufactured.
For instance, Brother’s and Singer’s entry-level sewing machines are significantly less expensive than Bernina’s and Janome’s.
Some users swear by Bernina and Janome quality standards, but I own 6 Brother machines right now and love every one of them. (Well, except for my 2340CV cover stitch, but there’s a long story behind that.)
5. Added Features
The more features the sewing machine has, the more expensive it will be.
Here are standard features that correlate with an increase in the sewing machine’s price.
- Number and type of stitches (Need hundreds of stitches? Expect to pay more.)
- Automatic needle threader (A must-have in my books, but it is not on the most basic machines.)
- Number of presser feet (You can buy extra presser feet for most sewing machines as an accessory purchase.)
- Buttonhole construction method (1-step buttonhole machines cost more than 4-step buttonhole machines.)
- Pedal-free sewing option (Some computerized sewing machines let you sew with buttons instead of a foot pedal.)
- Extension table (Wide tables hold bigger projects and decrease drag. You can also purchase wide tables separately.)
- Movable needle position (Need more specific needle positioning than just center? Some computerized sewing machines have 25+ needle positions!)
- Quilting features
- Throat space: A bigger workspace means more space for piecing and free-motion quilting and a bigger price tag!
- Feed dog dropping (Free-motion sewists and quilters need feed dogs to drop; a button is easier to use than covering with a darning plate.)
- Knee lifter (Knee lifters raise the presser foot with a knee rather than a hand.)
- Look for several quilting presser feet and even decorative stitch options for crazy quilting.
- Monogramming Fonts (Some machines have a built-in lettering font or two.)
- Maximum sewing speed (Faster speed means the faster your can finish your project, especially if piecing. Slow home machines peak at 400 stitches per min (spm), whereas industrial machines could sew at 8,500 spm!)
- Automatic thread cutting (No need to use the thread trimmer on the machine side; a button (or pre-programming) has the machine cut threads for you. Sewing machines with automatic thread trimming are much more expensive.)
- Automatic reverse or reinforcement stitch (Set the machine to sew these stitches for you rather than having to use buttons each time.)
- Longer warranty (You can extend the warranty if purchasing from specific retailers.)
5. Used vs. New Machines
A used machine will cost less than a new machine.
Buying used from an authorized dealer (in-store or online) with a warranty can be a great way to snag huge savings on top-of-the-line sewing machines.
Not to mention, machines that have been discontinued or are much older (all metal interior parts as opposed to today’s many plastic parts) can only be purchased pre-owned.
Be wary of purchasing from Facebook, random eBay sellers, and even craigslist, though, if you can’t try out the machine first or guarantee at least a 30-day return or warranty period.
6. Where You Buy + Discount Opportunities
The cheapest sewing machines produced for mass production and retail sale often cost less online or at stores like Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn, for example.
In my experience, purchasing a comparable machine at a local authorized dealer will cost more. My dealer, for instance, does not carry new sewing machines less than $200 in store.
I will say that purchasing from a dealer often gives you free lessons and better support. And, high-end sewing machines are only available from dealers.
Furthermore, some dealers will negotiate lower prices on floor model or classroom model sewing machine machines. And, while dealers may not be able to negotiate a lower price on a new machine, don’t be afraid to ask if they will bundle or include extra accessories and supplies.
Also, special times of the year like Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and new product line releases correspond with price decreases on some models.
Is buying a sewing machine worth it?
Yes! Once you master the initial learning hump, sewing is not only a valuable life skill to have, but it can also be a source of great stress relief and creativity.
I own more sewing machines than I should, and I’ve even purchased ones for my daughters so they can enjoy learning to sew, too. I highly recommend purchasing a sewing machine if it fits within your budget.
How Much Is A Sewing Machine? Final Thoughts
Thankfully, entry-level sewing machines are not too costly (especially if you buy pre-owned) and are usually of good quality.
And, there’s no reason to buy top-of-the-line sewing machines either. My family and I have owned multiple retail models of Brother and Singer sewing machines that cost less than $200, and let me tell you, any poor sewing done on them is my fault, not theirs.
Now, are you ready to pick a sewing machine? Check out tips for buying a sewing machine to get started!