9 of the best mini and portable sewing machines 2022
Small in size but mighty in potential – we round up the best portable sewing machines out there with our expert round-up of the best handheld, lightweight and small scale machines out there.
Curious about home sewing or dressmaking and want to have a dabble before you commit to forking out on a state of the art sewing machine? There are some surprisingly versatile and easy-to-use mini sewing machines on the market and we're here to share our favourites.
These portable models are lightweight and easy to use for beginners – plus they won't break your budget. Many of the models int his round up are from brands you'll have heard of, but we've also included some popular machines from lesser known makes that come highly recommend by other makers. Mini sewing machines are great if you just want to speed up your stitching, have a go at some simple home sewing or making your own clothes, or perhaps you have a growing pile of repairs and alterations that you need to do but can't face stitching by hand.
From turning up trousers to fixing rips, mini and handheld sewing machines can come in seriously handy. Plus many models have some really quite comprehensive functions and can do many things that larger machines can, but in a much smaller package.
Portable sewing machines are also appealing if you are short of space – perhaps you're studying away from home or travelling, or you just don't have your own dedicated sewing desk so need a lightweight machine that you can easily transport from room to room. Mini sewing machines can have surprising benefits that mean many prefer them to larger models – not only can they tackle a variety of everyday sewing jobs from buttonholing to sewing hems or even thin quilts, they consumer less power and often have a cordless battery-operated option.
We've spent hours researching the machines in this round-up so you don't have to. These models would make great first sewing machines for adults or kids, but you may also like our sister guides to the best sewing machines for kids or the best sewing machines for beginners. If it's a mini machine you're after though, read on!
Best portable and mini sewing machines
If it's a lighter or small sewing machine you're after, try these popular models. We've compared them for weight, stitch options and size, and also included a summary for you of their main features and benefits.
Magicfly mini sewing machine
With 12 built in stitches offering a mixture of straight stitches, zig zag, decorative and buttonhole and easy-to-adjust tension dial , this is a handy little starter machine with an entry level price tag if you're curious about sewing but not quite ready to dive into overlocking or sewing heavyweight fabrics yet.
It even comes with a 42 piece set of pre-threaded bobbins and spools, plus scissors, assorted needles and a tape measure, so has everything you need to start sewing instantly. It also comes with three different sewing feet, alongside the main one, so you can sew zips, invisible zips and buttonholes.
While the machine itself is small scale, it comes with an extension table to support sewing larger projects, but you get the lightweight benefits and handy size of a portable sewing machine.
- Weight: 3.39 kilograms
- Stitches: 12
- Size: 37.6cm x 32.29cm x 19.7cm
Silver Mini Sewing Machine
- Buy now on eBay (£49.99)
This lightweight and portable mechanical mini sewing machine offers a reverse button for strengthening your stitches plus 12 stitches, including embroidery, an automatic 4 step buttonhole and two sewing speeds to choose from.
Its small size and light weight make it ideal for sewing on the go – from holidays to train journeys. It's best for sewing lightweight fabrics but may struggle with heavier weight projects or sewing elastic.
This machine comes with plus some accessories to start you off – 2 thread spools, 2 bobbins, a needle threader and needle. You can power it up by the mains lead or by adding batteries.
- Weight: 2 kilograms
- Stitches: 12
- Size: 27 x 27 x 12cm
Hobbycraft midi sewing machine
- Buy now from Hobbycraft (£40)
Learn the basics of sewing and dressmaking with this nifty little starter machine, complete with beginners stitches to practise the basics plus a few decorative options and one-step or four-step button hole sewing.
You'll get to enjoy all the basics of a lightweight sewing machine – it's easy to store and carry – but from a trusted brand, and in a range of funky colours! You'll also get some versatile options to mix up your makes – you can adjust your sewing speed, direction and stitch with the user-friendly knobs and dials, plus easily change sewing direction with the reverse stitch lever at the front.
The built-in accessories drawer gives it one of our favourite features of larger scale machines – this one comes with two thread spools, metal bobbins, a needle threader and thread-cutter.
- Weight: 1.922 kg
- Stitches: 12
- Size: 28cm x 28cm x 12cm (11in x 11in x 4.7in)
Sew Amazing Sewing Studio Sewing Machine
Initially marketed as a kids' sewing machine, this super dinky model is also handy for adults who are just curious about sewing and want to see what all the fuss is about. As it's designed with younger makers in mind, you get the reassurance that it is hugely beginner friendly to use.
Choose between mains or battery power, plus a handle for carrying it out and about to friends and family homes for crafternoons. Learn the ropes with two-speed settings, a foot pedal and upper and lower threads.
If you really are brand new to sewing from scratch, you'll also find it handy that this model comes with threads, fabrics and even a pattern to make a simple clutch bag to get you started.
Brother LS14s Manual Stitch Sewing Machine
The sturdiest machine in this round up, this great all-rounder machine for new sewists isn't the lightest in this round-up but it's jam packed with handy functions to offer a trustworthy addition to your sewing space.
It comes with 14 stitches and a 4-step buttonhole, making it pretty versatile for a small sewing machine for learning how to sew and building your skills. It has a drop-loading bobbin, and handy accessories set including a zig-zag foot (great for trying out sewing with stretch fabrics), buttonhole foot, zipper foot plus needles and a spare bobbin.
The 3 year guarantee, coupled with this being a Brother sewing machine – one of our favourite brands – gives you reassurance that your machine will last for years.
- Weight: 26.4KG
- Stitches: 14
- Size: 35.5 x 44.5 x 19cm
KPCB 505 Mini Sewing Machine
You may not have heard of the brand, but this user-friendly little machine consistently comes up highly recommended by fellow sewists and in online reviews. It's also got the genius design feature of having a tape measure actually printed on to the front, which we think should be a feature of all sewing machines, no matter what their size or weight.
With it's handle for ease of carrying, it weighs 2.4KG, making it one of the lighter portable sewing machines in this round up. Despite it's compact size it's not light on features – you'll get a built-in light and thread cutter plus 12 stitches to test out, yet it's small size make it a great space saver for those of us with smaller workspaces or desks that double up for other uses.
You'll be able to confidently try straight stitch, zig zag sewing, buttonholing, sewing seams, hems and zips, plus the simple reverse stitch option at the front enables you to easily start and finish your threads securely. You can power it up with it's mains adapter (included) or use batteries if you don't have a plug socket nearby.
- Size: 26.5 x 11.5 x 35.5cm
- Weight: 2.4KG
- Stitches: 12
Singer M1605 mini sewing machine
- Buy now (Hobbycraft, £90)
The only Singer in this round-up, the M1605 offers you a lightweight and portable machine, but with some pretty nifty features for home sewing, making or repairing clothes. It comes with six basic stitches (straight, zigzag, blind hem, multi-step zigzag, decorative scallop and a four-step buttonhole) and preset stitch length and width: meaning beginners don't have to worry about adjusting a thousand settings, although this does offer a little less flexibility if you want to adjust these.
You can adjust the thread tension – which is useful when sewing different weights of fabric, and an extra high presser foot lift so you can fit thicker fabrics or multiple layers (like quilts) under your needle. It comes with an all-purpose foot, zipper foot and four-step buttonhole foot, plus a pack of needles, seam ripper and lint brush combined, extra bobbins and a darning plate.
- Size: 29 x 37 x 18cm (11.4 x 14.6 x 7.1 in)
- Weight: 4.4kg
- Stitches: 6
Best handheld sewing machines
Not sure you're ready to commit to a traditional sewing machine yet, even a small one? Or perhaps you don't have space but are finding your have a growing pile of alterations to make to fix or adjust clothes around the house. Try these handheld options for speedy stitching in the palm of your hand. These chaps are just the thing if you're really just looking to do a few light repairs.
Mini Handheld sewing machine
Cordless, compact and portable, lightweight, practical and inexpensive, this dinky handheld sewing machine may not be ready for major quilt projects, but it will take care of basic sewing tasks, from turning up trousers to mending rips.
It can only sew fabrics up to 1.8mm thick, so you'll need to stick to medium weight fabrics, but you can pop it in your bag and take it out and about and it's easy to get to grips with.
It's powered by either batteries or a mains power adapter (neither are included). It comes with some threads and a manual to get you started. As with all the handhelds in this round up, be prepared to give it a few practise goes before you set it loose on turning up your favourite pair of trousers – handheld sewing machines can't replicate the full power or precision of bigger models, but they can be a really useful addition to your sewing toolkit nonetheless.
Singer Stitch Quick 2 handheld sewing machine
While it won't give you the full range of famous Singer sewing machine functions, in exchange for it's cheaper price point, the Stitch Quick 01774 could be the one for you if you just want a quick, handheld sewing machine to do a few simple repairs and alterations.
It's cordless, lightweight and we really love the ergonomic handle for ultra easy handheld control. Somehow they've even built in bit of storage to hold your notions, and it comes with thread, bobbins, needle and a needle threader to start you off. You'll just need to supply the AA batteries.
Zoe is the launch Editor of Gathered.how. She has over a decade of craft publishing experience under her belt. She's a quilter and sewist who works with the UK’s best-selling craft magazines including Today’s Quilter, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Simply Sewing and The World of Cross Stitching. Zoe loves being immersed in Gathered’s quilting content, tweaking our tutorials and publishing new patterns. Zoe has previously written for radiotimes.com, Simply Knitting and The World of Cross Stitching and was previously Deputy Editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine. She has guest-lectured at Bath Spa University. She’s a keen quilter with 5 projects in progress at any one time and another 12 or so planned.