Best Compact Sewing Machines

Sewing is a great way to add your own personal and unique twist to your clothes. You can customize the seams and stitches to create an authentic and original look. And, now you can enjoy sewing practically anywhere and anytime with some of the best mini sewing machines. All you need is a compact sewing machine that offers the flexibility and versatility to create new styles or modify existing ones easily and conveniently.

Today, you have a range of the best mini sewing machines that offer the features and functions of a regular model, but in a small and lightweight design. Ideal for beginners, students, designers, frequent travelers and sewing enthusiasts, the small machines offer all the benefits of larger-sized models in a space-saving design.

Apart from being very lightweight, portable and taking up very little storage space, the best mini sewing machines have many other great features and functions that make them a must-have appliance at home. Most mini sewing machines are extremely easy to use, they use less power, can handle a variety of jobs and are sleek and stylish looking. Owing to the fact that the best mini sewing machines are very lightweight, they can be moved around quite easily or carried wherever you go. Moreover, the best small machines are ideal for people living in smaller apartments or those who find that non-mini sewing machines are too large and heavy to use on a daily basis.

So, here is our review of some of the best mini sewing machine options available on the market today.

Top 10 Compact Sewing Machines

There is a wide range of mini sewing machine options available on the market and finding the best one for you may be a tough task. You may be left wondering which is the best mini sewing machine to buy. Now, there’s no cause to worry. We have compiled some of the best portable sewing options on the market on the basis of key features such as weight, portability, ease of storage, variety of built-in stitches, etc. and also their pros and cons, which will help you decide the model that’s perfect for your specific needs. So, read on to get the lowdown on some of the best compact machines that you can buy.

#1. Singer Start 1304

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10

First on my list of the best is the Singer Start 1304. Although this high-quality mini sewing machine is for beginners, it has loads of power and functionality. This mini sewing machine packs a lot of punch. The basic mini sewing machine is very simple, extremely easy to use and is very affordable too. The automated features and setup of this mini machine offer a lot more for what you’re paying, which makes the Singer Start 1304 Mini Machine an excellent beginner’s machine.

Features

Built-in Stitches

The mini sewing machine has 6 built-in stitches – straight, zigzag, satin, scallop, blind hem and a 4-step buttonhole. You can select the stitch that you want very easily by using the stitch dial.

Quick and Easy Threading

The mini sewing machine has the threading diagrams printed on the right side that allows you to set up the machine and get started in no time at all.

3 Presser Feet

The mini sewing machine comes with 3 presser feet for various sewing projects – the All-Purpose Foot is suitable for all types of projects, the Buttonhole Foot allows you to sew buttonholes, ribbon slots, etc. and the Zipper Foot allows you to sew zippers, cording, piping, etc.

Dual Spool Pins

The mini sewing machine has 2 vertical spool pins that make twin needle sewing easy and quick. Twin needle sewing allows parallel rows of stitching and is ideal for hemming and adding decorative touches to your projects.

You can buy the Singer Start 1304 here.

PROS:

  • Very compact and portable mini sewing machine.
  • Automated functions make the machine very easy to use.
  • Smooth and powerful motor.
  • 25-year warranty.

CONS:

  • The foot pedal is made of plastic.
  • The speed and speed control are very limited.

#2. Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.9 out of 10

The best choice for beginners, the Brother XM2701 has excellent features and ergonomic operation. Easy to operate, the sewing machine features 27 built-in stitches and 63 stitch functions with the dial allowing you to select the stitch. The XM2701 mini sewing machine comes with a foot pedal that offers hands-free operation. The mini sewing machine has all that you need for a basic, beginner machine, but advanced sewists will also find the machine very versatile, and one of the best portable machines to have around.

Features

27 Built-in Stitches

The mini sewing machine has 27 built-in stitches including decorative, quilting and blind hem stitches that are ideal for a wide range of sewing projects. And, you can select the best built-in stitch option you want by simply turning the stitch selector dial.

Automatic Needle Threader

The machine features a lever on the side that pushes the thread through the eye of the needle automatically allowing you to thread easily and quickly.

Top Drop-In Bobbin

The unique top drop-in bobbin is jam-resistant and ensures that the bobbin remains in place; offering reliable and top-quality stitching.

LED Light

The machine features an LED light. The light illuminates the work area so that you can see your work clearly.

You can buy the Brother XM2701 here.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and compact machine.
  • Easy to thread.
  • Quite affordable.
  • 25-year warranty.

CONS:

  • The machine is not suitable for several layers of fabric.
  • The LED light is not very bright.

#3. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.8 out of 10

You can now make high-end fashion creations at a very affordable price with the Brother Project Runway Sewing Machine. This computerized sewing machine is very easy to use — the inbuilt range of 50 stitches and practically effortless sewing makes any sewing project extremely easy to complete. Now, you can get the best completely customized and professional results with the advanced Brother Project Runway Machine.

Features

Convenient Stitch Chart

Now, you can conveniently see all the inbuilt stitches that are available at a glance with the stitch chart that is printed on the front of the machine.

Stitch Selector and Easy-View LCD Display Screen

You can now use the intuitive push button to select the stitches and see the selection information clearly displayed on the LCD screen. The display shows the details of the selected stitch, width, and length of the stitch and the foot you must use for each kind of stitch.

Vertical Spool Pin

The vertical spool pin feature is usually found in a more high-end, expensive machine. It helps to ensure consistent feeding of the thread, especially metallic and other kinds of specialty threads.

You can buy the Brother Project Runway Sewing Machine by clicking here.

PROS:

  • Has 50 inbuilt stitches.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Good even for professional use.
  • Quiet working.

CONS:

  • Has a small workspace.
  • It does not have speed control.

#4. Singer 3232 Portable Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10

If you’re looking for one of the best, simple, yet well-rounded machines that offer all the basic features and functionality that can get you started on your sewing projects, then nothing can beat the Singer 3232 Portable Sewing Machine. With its lightweight design, the machine is one of the best portable options and can be carried and used anywhere at all. With its sturdy and lightweight aluminum frame, the durable machine is built to last. Do not be fooled by the small size of the Singer 3232, the machine is very intuitive and functional.

Features

Automatic Needle Threader

Threading the sewing machine is extremely easy and you can have the thread right from the spool to the eye of the needle within seconds. The inbuilt threader allows you to thread the needle’s eye effortlessly.

Sewing Speed

The machine has a maximum sewing speed of 750 stitches per minute that allows you to complete all your larger projects quickly.

Adjustable Stitch Width and Stitch Length

You can adjust the length and width of the stitching by just turning the dial. You can also prevent the bunching of the fabric and also make your seams very strong by using the correct stitch width and stitch length.

You can buy the Singer 3232 Portable Sewing Machine by clicking here.

PROS:

  • Double speed option – low and high.
  • Very compact and portable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Works on electricity or battery powered.

CONS:

  • May not be very durable in the long run.
  • It has only one type of stitch.

#5. Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.6 out of 10

The small, cute and adorable Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine is sure to make you go “aww”. This machine is very popular with kids and is perfect for all their sewing projects. The versatile machine is equipped with 2 speeds that can be adjusted according to your child’s comfort and it features a double switch that allows your child to operate the machine either by hand or foot.

Features

Extension Table

The machine features an extension table that makes the appliance more stable and lets you work on larger projects easily.

LED Light

The inbuilt LED light illuminates the workspace better and allows you to operate the machine without straining your eyes.

Double Thread Design

This allows you to make your stitching stronger and end your sewing without tying the thread.

You can buy the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine here.

PROS:

  • The machine has a heavy-duty frame that allows skip-free sewing.
  • 23 inbuilt stitches.
  • Impressive stitching speed.
  • Easy to use.

CONS:

  • The bobbin gets jammed at times.
  • Average build quality.

#6. Singer Tradition 2277 Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

Featuring a range of 23 stitches, the Singer Tradition 2277 Sewing Machine is one of the best basic mechanical sewing machines. This simple sewing machine without any bells and whistles is easy to set up and use. This is an excellent sewing machine for beginners or if you want to work on simple repair and sewing projects. So, if you’re looking for a solid sewing machine that will work for your budget, then the Singer Tradition 2277 Sewing Machine is among the best to consider.

Features

23 Inbuilt Stitches

The sewing machine features a range of 23 stitches – 6 essential, 11 decoratives, 5 stretch, 1-step buttonhole stitching. The range offers you everything you need for any sewing project.

Arm with Storage

The machine is equipped with a free arm that allows easy access to collars, cuffs, pant hems and other areas that are difficult to reach. The arm has onboard storage that allows you to store and access all your accessories easily.

Heavy-Duty Metal Frame

The machine has a sturdy internal skeleton and the rigid support holds all the components perfectly and offers excellent durability and perfect sewing.

You can buy the Singer Tradition 2277 Sewing Machine by clicking here.

PROS:

  • Sturdy and strong machine.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Can handle some thicker fabrics.
  • Simple and beginner-friendly machine.

CONS:

  • Not a great machine for advanced sewists.
  • Not feature-rich.
  • Lacks an extension table.

#7. Brother XM1010 Portable Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10

If you’re on a tight budget, yet want the best high-quality sewing machine with all the features for your day-to-day sewing, then the Brother XM1010 Portable Sewing Machine is an excellent choice. Winner of the “2019 Women’s Choice Award,” the basic machine is perfect for beginners and offers a range of 10 inbuilt utility and decorative stitches that work well for all your basic sewing needs.

Features

10 Inbuilt Stitches

The sewing machine features 10 utility and decorative stitches and you can opt for a zigzag, decorative, blind hem or any other stitch you want. The designs are printed on the selector dial that lets you simply turn the knob and choose the stitch you want and start stitching.

Drop-In Top Bobbin

The machine has a drop-in top bobbin that secures firmly into place. The bobbin is jam resistant which ensures smooth and steady top-quality stitching.

Free Arm

The sewing machine features a versatile free arm that is ideal for a wide range of day-to-day, beginner to advanced level projects. You can also convert it into a small desk space that lets you sew and hem cuffs and sleeves easily.

You can buy the Brother XM1010 Portable Sewing Machine easily by clicking here.

PROS:

  • Cost-effective.
  • Lightweight, compact and portable.
  • Simple to use.
  • 25-year warranty.

CONS:

  • It cannot handle thick materials.
  • Not suitable for big jobs.

#8. Haitral Portable Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10

If you want to sew materials like wool, silk, denim, repair rips, and holes or hem pants, etc. then the Haitral Machine is one of the best portable options for a good basic sewing machine that you can use at home, work or carry wherever you want. The machine has two speeds that make it perfect for beginners or kids who want to learn how to sew.

Features

Double Switch

The sewing machine has a push-button hand switch or a foot pedal and you can use whichever mode you want.

Double Speed

The sewing machine has two speeds, high and low and the hassle-free speed adjustment lets you adjust the speed according to your comfort.

Two Power Operation

You can use the sewing machine by connecting to a power outlet and if you are in a place without a power plug, then you can use 4 AA batteries.

You can buy the Haitral Portable Sewing Machine by clicking here.

PROS:

  • Compact size and portable.
  • The sewing area is brightly lit and allows you to see your work clearly.
  • Easy to use.
  • It comes with instructions and a teaching video.

CONS:

  • It does not have a reverse button.
  • It cannot sew thick fabrics.

#9. Nex Portable Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10

This cute and lightweight sewing machine is a great appliance for beginners. The model is very versatile and works on 6V electricity or using 4 AA batteries. The sewing machine is equipped with nice features such as 12 inbuilt stitches, automatic buttonhole, thread cutter, etc. that allow you to work on a variety of sewing projects. Overall, the small and inexpensive Nex Portable Machine is one of the best machines to consider.

Features

Multifunctional

The mini sewing machine has many functional features such as forward/reverse sewing button, hand/foot pedal switch, automatic thread rewind, speed adjustment, and storage drawers.

12 Inbuilt Stitches

You can choose from the 12 inbuilt stitch patterns for all your different sewing projects. The design of the mini sewing machine allows you to change the stitch patterns while sewing quickly and easily. As well as multiple stitch patterns, the sewing machine can stitch around 330 stitches per minute.

LED Light

The mini sewing machine features an LED at the sewing foot that illuminates the workspace and allows you to see your work very clearly.

You can buy the Nex Portable Mini Sewing Machine here.

PROS:

  • Easy to set up.
  • Safe and easy to use.
  • It has two sewing speed options.
  • Automatic thread cutter.
  • Compact and portable.

CONS:

  • Not very durable.
  • Cannot sew thick layers of fabric.

#10. Neala Mini Portable Sewing Machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.1 out of 10

Don’t let the size of this machine fool you. This mini sewing machine offers a lot more. The small size of the sewing machine makes it convenient to store anywhere without occupying much space. The cute looking machine is available in two colors, pink and blue, and the extremely lightweight appliance has a carrying handle that lets you carry the machine around wherever you want.

Features

Multifunctional

The mini sewing machine’s two sewing speeds, double power supply, and dual threaded design allow you to choose the model that works best for you. The machine has 12 inbuilt stitches and by turning the gears, you can choose the stitch you want.

Safe and Convenient

The machine features a non-slip pad at the bottom and is made of environmentally-friendly materials. The 3C-certified power supplies and UL-certified cables make the machine safe to use.

Compact and Lightweight

Weighing just 5.39 lbs, the Neala mini sewing machine is quite lightweight and its small size (10.6” x 4.7” x 9”) makes it very easy to store.

You can buy the Neala Mini Portable Sewing Machine by clicking here.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and portable mini sewing machine.
  • Easy to use.
  • It has two sewing speeds.
  • The stitch selection is very easy.

CONS:

  • It does not have a jam-proof bobbin.
  • The needle eye is difficult to thread.
  • Lacks an automatic thread cutter.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

There may be an instance where you need to sew or repair an item quickly or when you’re on the move. And, whether you’re a beginner, attending sewing classes, a parent or a child starting to sew, a mini sewing machine can be a lifesaver. Selecting the best mini sewing machine that can be used by you or your child is not a very difficult task if you know what you’re looking for.

There are many benefits to having a top-quality mini sewing machine. First of all, a mini sewing machine offers excellent portability and you can carry it anywhere you go. Also, with a mini sewing machine, you don’t have to worry if there is no electric power available because these machines can also be battery operated.

Another benefit of a mini sewing machine is that it is extremely easy to operate and maintain and is ideal for beginners and kids. Setting up the machine is very easy and quick and they are quite affordable too. Also, the small size of the sewing machine makes it ideal for easy storage and it will not occupy much space.

We will discuss some of the factors that you must keep in mind while choosing the best sewing machine. This will give you an idea about what to look for so that you’re able to choose one that works best for your requirements. Before you make your purchase, there are a few things to consider so that you can avoid the unpleasant experience of ending up with a mini sewing machine that does not accomplish your sewing needs. So, read on to know more about the criteria used to evaluate the best portable and mini sewing machines before you buy one.

Dimensions

While it does not necessarily mean that bigger is always better, when shopping for a mini sewing machine, you must ensure that you buy one that will fit into even a small space easily and comfortably. The dimensions of the sewing machine must be small enough to fit into small spaces. And, if you’re planning to carry the best mini machine with you while you travel and need it only for small repair jobs, then it is a good idea to opt for the smallest size of a sewing machine.

Weight

Weight is an important factor to consider when buying a sewing machine. Choosing the best mini sewing machine is ideal if you travel a lot and you can carry it wherever you go very easily. Typically, the best portable sewing machines are lightweight because they usually have a plastic housing that helps to reduce the weight.

A heavy and bulky sewing machine defeats the purpose of being able to carry it around easily. And, even if you do not travel, a lightweight machine can be very useful and still provide the best portable sewing experience. You can use it anywhere in your home instead of having a large machine sitting in one corner of your home.

However, when buying a mini sewing machine, you must take care that it is not too light or it will not be stable when you’re operating it. Find a model that offers the right balance of size, stability, portability, sufficient working space, and features.

Inbuilt Stitches

When buying a sewing machine, check if it has inbuilt stitches to handle all types of sewing projects that you want to undertake. Inbuilt stitches are essentially patterns that are integrated into the sewing machine and can be modified easily by adjusting the length and width of the stitching. The patterns are formed using the programmed needle movement and speed. They are designed for particular fabrics and stitching styles.

The number of inbuilt stitching options will mainly depend on your proposed use of the machine and the different kinds of fabrics that you’ll be working with. For instance, some sewing machines can handle a variety of fabrics ranging from silk and canvas to quilts and many other fabrics.

Speed

Check the speed or stitches per minute of the sewing machine. The faster the sewing machine sews, the quicker you can complete your sewing projects. The more stitches produced in a minute the quicker you can finish your projects. And, speed is especially important if you like to sew when on the move. You don’t want to end up with a slow sewing machine that ends up taking a long time to complete even a simple sewing task.

Controls

Usually, sewing machines are controlled mechanically, automatically or electronically. Usually, computerized sewing machines have features such as pre-set stitching programs and speed, touchscreen capability and an LCD display. Sewing machines can be controlled via buttons, dials or a touchscreen. Automatic sewing machines may require you to have a bit of technological knowledge.

Presser Feet

A very important feature to consider when shopping for your sewing machine is the presser feet. Presser’s feet are essentially footplate attachments that help to apply pressure onto the fabric as the feed dogs move the material under the needle. The pressure helps to keep the fabric flat and prevents it from moving up and down along with the needle.

When considering the presser foot, there are different types – low shank, high shank, and slant shank. You must ensure that the sewing machine you buy has a presser foot or different types of presser foot options for various types of projects. Presser’s feet are available for various types of jobs such as hemming, quilting, attaching zips, fringes, and braids.

You also have the option of the all-purpose foot that can be sued for different types of sewing jobs. Usually, presser feet come along with accessories when you buy a sewing machine; however, you can also buy them separately.

Auto Needle Threading

Threading the needle of your sewing machine can be quite painstaking, especially when you consider that you need to put the fraying ends of the thread into the minuscule eye of the needle. And, when you add poor lighting, shaky hands, and poor eyesight into the equation, things get worse. At such times, an automatic needle threader can be of great help.

With an automatic needle threader, the thread is hooked by the needle threader and then looped by making use of a thin hook, which threads the needle. The auto needle threading feature is available on most sewing machines nowadays and can help to save your time and also ease the frustration of trying to thread the needle manually.

Free Arm

This is another feature that you must consider when choosing a sewing machine. Usually, the free arm isn’t visible and you can access it by sliding the accessory section. It helps to sew curved pieces like collars, cuffs, and hems, etc. This is done by sliding the fabric around the arm and increasing the bobbin, the feed dog and shuttle space.

The best portable sewing machines have removable free arms that can be removed easily, which helps to increase the portability of the sewing machine. Many arms also offer convenient storage space, especially if you do not have a dedicated space. This feature can be quite useful in the long run.

Illuminated Work Area

To make your sewing process easy and seamless, you should look for a sewing machine that is equipped with an LED light that helps to illuminate your work area brightly. This will help you to see your work clearly, especially if you’re working with dark fabrics. Fortunately, these days, there are plenty of models of small sewing machines that have an LED lighting feature.

LCD Display

Mainly, computerized sewing machines feature a built-in LCD display. While manual dials work quite well and give good results, having a backlit LCD displays gives more information and allows you to identify the proper settings for the specific sewing task and fabric accurately. The LCD display also displays other information such as the recommended presser foot, width, and length of the stitching, etc. The LCD interface makes it very easy to navigate the various stitch options with just the press of a button.

Is It Suitable for Beginners?

Sewing machines vary in terms of features, functions, and technology. While some may have very advanced features that can be quite intimidating for beginners, others may have complex mechanisms and controls that beginners may find difficult to navigate because of a poor user interface or lack of a good instruction manual.

If you’re a beginner and new to sewing, then you should look for a sewing machine that is easy to set up and operate and has easy instructions that you can follow without any problems. While a mechanical sewing machine may be less complicated, you could opt for a computerized machine too. You can slowly learn the capabilities of the sewing machine and perfect them as you hone your sewing skills.

Warranty

Always look for a sewing machine with a warranty, irrespective of the purchase price. Having a warranty offers security and support and will enable you to seek compensation for any damages or in the event that the machine does not function as promised by the manufacturer or as expected. It is a good idea to go through and understand the terms and scope of the warranty so that you are aware of what you can claim in the case of an accident or damage. Also check the repair policy carefully, as unauthorized repairs can cause your warranty to be void. Usually, for repairs, your seller will direct you to an authorized technician or service center.

FAQs

What kinds of threads can I use?

This really depends on what you’re sewing. The type of thread is determined by the kind of fabric, machine, stitching style, needle size, and type. The most commonly used thread is polyester, which is followed by cotton. If you’re using topstitching thread, then you must use an all-purpose thread, whereas, for machine embroidery, you have a special bobbin thread and if you want to sew heavy materials such as canvas or upholstery, then you must use a heavier thread.

Why is sewing machine oil used?

Usually, sewing machine oil is applied to the various moving parts of the sewing machine, which helps to reduce friction and wear and tear, thereby helping to improve the performance of the sewing machine.

Can I use a compact sewing machine to sew canvas fabric?

Typically, such a sewing machine is small and lightweight and they fail when you want to sew heavy fabrics like a canvas material. Most of these small sewing machines are quite small and are equipped with small motors. This makes it difficult to use them to sew heavy fabrics such as canvas, upholstery, etc. You may find that the needle keeps malfunctioning or breaking as these mini machines are not well-suited to handle heavy sewing.

Why is the sewing machine skipping stitches?

There are several reasons why the sewing machine may be skipping stitches. However, you need to examine your machine needle when the machine begins to do this. If the sewing machine was sewing perfectly and then starts skipping suddenly, it may be time to change the machine needle, which may have gotten blunt or bent accidentally while you were pulling the fabric. Another reason why the sewing machine may be skipping is that the needle and thread may be mismatched.

What is the free arm of the sewing machine?

The free arm of the sewing machine is located at the bottom and sticks out from the main body just after the needle and feed dogs. Usually, it has an inbuilt bobbin race, stitch plate, and feed dogs. The arm allows you to sew a layer of fabric without it touching anything.

Are all types of fabrics suitable for compact sewing machines?

Mini sewing machines are not suitable to sew all types of fabrics. Heavy fabrics require a machine that has high-speed settings and a powerful motor like heavy-duty models. Most smaller sewing machines are not suitable for sewing thick and heavy fabrics.

Do you need a special set of needles?

There is no need for a special set of needles. The needle depends on the thickness of the fabric and the sewing task. Using universal needles is sufficient.

What is the timing of the sewing machine?

It is essentially synchronizing the parts of the sewing machine so that you can get uniform stitches on the fabric.

What is the ideal height of the sewing machine table?

The sewing machine table height is really dependant on your height. As all users have different heights, there is no ideal sewing machine table height. The key is that when you’re choosing a sewing table, you must ensure that the table keeps the fabric at elbow height and your wrists straight.

Why are all sewing machines noisy?

Not all sewing machines are noisy. In fact, some machines do not make a loud noise while sewing. The noise of the sewing machine is produced because of the mechanical principles that are used to build the appliance.

How can I reduce the noise produced by the sewing machine?

Regular maintenance and controlling the sewing speed can help to reduce the noise produced by the sewing machine.

Do all sewing machines produce big stitches?

No, all sewing machines do not produce large stitches. Many models have the option where you can choose the length and width of stitches as required.

Do all mini machines work on electricity?

No, not all mini sewing machines work on electricity, some mini sewing machines work manually and you also have some models that are battery-powered.

In conclusion, the best mini sewing machines offer plenty of advantages when compared to traditional machines. They are small and sleek and the most key benefits are that they offer convenience in terms of portability and storage. The best mini sewing machine models in our review are lightweight, small, have plenty of useful features, built-in stitch options, built-in LED illumination, and free arm, etc. that make them great for beginners, kids and experienced sewists alike.

However, before buying one of the best portable sewing machines, it is a great idea to evaluate the various models, brands, and options of mini sewing machines on the market along with their pros and cons and then pick the best mini sewing machine that meets all your sewing requirements and will give you excellent benefits.