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Janome 230D sewing machine review

Our expert testers test drive this entry-level, computerised sewing machine – perfect for beginners or those looking for a portable machine. Spoiler alert – we really liked it.

Our rating 
4.3 out of 5 star rating 4.3
Janome 230DC Sewing machine

Our review

This easy to use, high quality machine, with mega portability is a win for us! This computerised machine offers 30 stitches (adjustable length and width), top loading bobbin and is easy to thread
Easy to use
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Extra functions
3.0 out of 5 rating 3.0
Stitch options
3.0 out of 5 rating 3.0
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Worth the money
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Pros: Lightweight, three one-step buttonhole options, lots of extras included
Cons: Cons a little noisy, small harp space

This easy to use, computerised sewing machine will get you started sewing right out of the box. It has lots of features and included accessories, making it feel like a higher priced machine. At around 6kg, it’s super easy to move around whether you’re short on space and need to pack it away frequently, or you want to take it on the road.


What does the Janome 230DC do?

  • 30 stitches (including 3 buttonhole)
  • Built-in needle threader
  • Auto needle up/down
  • Start/Stop button
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Speed control slider
  • Top loading bobbin
  • Extension table included
  • Hard cover included
  • 6 feet included (standard foot, overedge foot, automatic buttonhole foot, blind hem stitch foot, satin stitch foot, zipper foot)

How much is Janome 230DC?

This machine is available from £399 upwards online.

Is Janome 230DC good value for money?

With more than just the basics, this is a brilliant bargain of a machine that will surely become a faithful friend for many years.

Is the Janome 230DC easy to use?

Straight out of the box, it’s super simple to set up. The dark grey numbered reminders printed right on the machine make threading it really easy. And the automatic needle threader means even if your eyesight isn’t the best, it won’t take you long. The top loading drop in bobbin and snap on feet are super quick to change. I love this feature, when I’m working on a bag or dress where I may need to change threads or feet throughout the project, and it’s literally a “snap”.

Though it’s a smaller computerised machine, I love that the screen is nice and big. The cursor moves back and forth with the arrow keys, which meant I always knew just which part of the stitch I was adjusting (width, length, needle position).

I did have to look twice when it came to using the reverse stitch button. When it wasn’t right next to the lockstitch feature, I thought maybe it was missing, but a second look revealed it was just above the “start/stop” button (right in front of my face!), so once I figured that out I was rolling along!

The light was very powerful, perfect for my sewing space, where the light really varies depending on how cloudy it is outside.

Janome 230D machine

Janome 230DC quality and durability

I absolutely love Janome machines, and this version certainly lived up to the name. It has a strong motor that was able to deal with all the materials I threw at it, including layers of quilt batting and thick foam interfacing. That said, I found it a bit of a squeeze when I needed to fit a larger project through the small harp space. So, I certainly wouldn’t try to quilt a large quilt on this machine.

There are lots of extras that are harder to find at the same price point, making this machine really stand out. It includes plenty of feet, an easy open storage area on the front of the machine, and the extension table is also included.

I love the large range of seam widths on the clearly organised needle plate. Though I mostly use imperial seam allowances, I do sometimes need to use metric (like when sewing continental patterns), so it’s really nice to have both. I also love the angled marks on the plate, especially for getting into square corners.

Janome 230DC functions and stitch options

With 30 built in stitches, you’ve got plenty to work with for whatever type of sewing you’re looking to do. Though most my sewing involves the most simple stitches (straight stitch, zig zag, triple stitch, and the occasional buttonhole), it’s nice to have a few fancier embroidery stitches, darning and eyelet stitches for those special projects. I also love that there are three different options for button-hole stitches (my favourite is rounded one).

Speaking of button-holes, have you come across the automatic button-hole foot yet? This machine comes with one, and it is definitely one of my favourite sewing machine inventions. Many machines at this level come with the simpler type of foot that means you have to measure your buttons carefully and pay really close attention to what you’re doing. With this machine, you can stick the button you’re using into the back of the foot, snap it on the machine, select the buttonhole stitch you want, and just hit go! Well, as long as you remember to lower the special little bar that helps it measure…read the instructions through and have a practice on a scrap your first time through. Then I hope you find you love it as much as I do!

The speed control slider is also a great feature. I love to turn it down to super slow when I need real precision, or I’m working on thicker fabrics. But this is also really helpful for new stitchers who want to work their way up to full speed.

How portable is it?

This machine is very portable. I could easily carry it with it’s handle, and the hard case means it’s protected if you’re taking it on the road. The flip down feet on the sewing table mean that’s easy to transport too.

Our verdict: should you buy Janome 230DC?

Whether you’re looking to buy your first sewing machine, or looking for a machine that can easily travel without compromising on features and accessories, I fully recommend buying this machine. For its price point, I’m not sure you could find much better. Janome is a tried and trusted brand who really deliver on quality and value.

Where to buy Janome 230DC