A honest and impartial list of 6 best lightweight sewing machines you can get in US for under $200. Low quality machines are completely discarded.
Lightweight sewing machines are a must for those who attend sewing classes. A lightweight sewing machine is also very useful for those who don’t have a permanent location for their machines. Choosing the best lightweight sewing machines is a daunting task. If you go too far down, you are compromising on build quality. So it is a very thin line between build quality and portability. I will not recommend machines under 5 pounds because 99% of them are just toys. Don’t even think of such machines, you will be wasting your hard earned money for nothing.
When looking for a lightweight sewing machine, you must make sure that it has a heavy duty internal frame. To help you out, I have handpicked 6 best lightweight sewing machines that you can buy for under $200 in US. The list is not solely based on machine weight. Here quality and performance is the top priority and then I filtered out the lightweight machines among them and ranked accordingly. Your selection must be based on quality first and weight second (because you won’t regret your decisions if you put quality first, be it anywhere in your life).
Philosophy apart, now let us head straight into the list
1. Brother XR9500PRW
Cons : The automatic needle threader might require couple of attempts to get used to.
Machine Weight : 9.2 Pounds
2. Brother XL-3750
XL-3750 is another value for money proposition. Recently there was a price cut because of the arrival of a new updated model namely Brother XR3774 (which is slightly over priced to me). Brother XL-3750 weighs 12 pounds. It comes with 35 built-in stitches, 1-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader etc. The current price is very reasonable and it is feature rich.
Cons : Dim LED work lights and short foot pedal cord.
Machine Weight : 12 Pounds
3. Brother XL2600I
XL2600I is the best sewing machine in the under $100 price category. It weighs 11 pounds and has a good variety of features for the price. It is the king of inexpensive sewing machines. It has 25 built-in stitches, 1-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin and automatic needle threader. Even though it was offered at an excellent price tag, recently I saw a price rise which takes it beyond the scope of being ‘affordable’. So before buying it, you must compare it with the price of Brother XM2701 as it is the updated version of Brother XL2600I with two extra stitches. If the price difference is not more than $10, you will be better of with XM2701.
Cons : Not suitable for sewing heavy fabrics
Machine Weight : 11 Pounds
4. Brother CS6000i
CS6000i is the most sold sewing machine model in US. No other sewing machine comes even close to this one in sales volume. When compared to XR9500PRW (first machine in this list), it is slightly heavier but it makes up for it in price. Brother CS6000i comes with 60 built-in stitches, automatic needle threader, programmable needle up/down, sewing start/stop and speed control slider. It has excellent stitch quality as well. However, the arrival of XR9500PRW has affected CS6000i’s sales slightly as the former comes with 40 more stitches and that too at a reasonable price.
Cons : Free motion sewing is difficult on this machine.
Machine Weight : 13 Pounds
5. Brother CS5055PRW
CS5055PRW is pretty light in weight, but it does lack features like programmable needle up/down, start/stop button, speed control slider etc when you compare it with XR9500PRW and CS6000i. The price is also not very reasonable. So I can’t really recommend this machine in terms of features. Now you may ask why I included this machine in this list. There are two reasons. One, it weighs just 10.65 pounds and two, it sews well. Quality is there, but not the features.
Cons : The availability of better models from Brother has dented its popularity.
Machine Weight : 10.65 Pounds
6. Singer 7258
This is the best Singer machine under $200. It has won several awards including Women’s Choice award for the best home sewing machine in America. However it is slightly on the heavier side, weighing at 14.6 pounds. It comes with 100 built-in stitches, automatic needle threader, 1-step buttonhole, programmable needle up/down, sewing start/stop button and speed control slider. The stitch quality is excellent and the price is very affordable.
Cons : No option to lower feed dogs, which is a huge disadvantage for those who like to do free-motion sewing.
Machine Weight : 14.6 Pounds
This concludes the list of 6 Best Lightweight Sewing Machines Under $200. You may think that I have a liking for Brother. I am not biased, actually you can’t really find better lightweight sewing machines from other manufacturers under this price range. I am helpless as Brother is the only manufacturer that makes lightweight machines with good features and quality in the category. Even though Singer and Janome make good quality sewing machines in the category, they all are on the heavier side.
So my final verdict is, go with Brother XR9500PRW if you are looking for a quality lightweight sewing machine. If your budget doesn’t allow you to buy XR9500PRW, consider Brother XL2600I which is a cute little, affordable machine.