Check out this mega guide on how to buy a sewing table. You'll learn which features to consider when making your decision.

If you’ve thought about upgrading your sewing table situation but didn’t know where to start — and you’re a Type A personality who loves to do research and make lists — this sewing table buying guide is especially for you.

(If you’re a Type B personality who’s a more laid back, you probably won’t get as psyched about this exhaustive guide. But it’ll probably still be just as useful in your relaxed search for the ideal sewing table.)

No matter who you are, in this sewing table buying guide, you will discover:

  • The three basic questions to ask yourself BEFORE you start shopping
  • How to evaluate sewing table/cabinet options in four different categories
  • The ideal size and height for a sewing table
  • Mini reviews of eight sitting sewing cabinets and tables and three standing sewing tables

Whether you’re thinking about a massive sewing table or a petite rolling sewing cabinet, this sewing table buying guide will help you think critically about a big decision for your sewing practice!

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Why I Wrote a Sewing Table Buying Guide

The answer is simple: I’m getting a proper sewing table in 2017! This sewing table buying guide is my research for my new sewing room table.

My sewing machine currently sits in my home office on a MCM-style kitchen table that’s three feet square. The table is very sturdy, with a laminate top and bent-steel legs.

My little table has been great, but I want a new sewing table for several reasons:

  • I’d like a table at an ergonomically friendly height. The height of my current sewing machine table sometimes makes long stretches of sewing uncomfortable.
  • I’d like a table that lets me keep more tools at hand. I keep most of my gear in plastic boxes in the office closet.
  • I’d like a table with a leaf for sewing larger projects. A leaf would help me in the fight against gravity.
  • I’d like a table that lets me do flat-bed sewing. A flush sewing surface is especially important for quilting.

My handy husband and I plan to design and build a sewing table. We’re looking for a challenge and like working together. Plus, I want control over all aspects of the table. Understanding what’s on the market has helped me decide which features are most important to my sewing practice. Please take my research and apply it to your unique sewing needs!

Editor’s note: I did not end up designing and building a sewing table. Instead I furnished my sewing room with an IKEA table and desk. Check them out here: New Sewing Room Setup: An IKEA Sewing Room Makeover | TOUR. There’s a video of my sewing room!

The No. 1 Question to Ask When Buying a Sewing Machine Table

Where you sew will help you answer the most critical question: Do I need a sewing table or a sewing cabinet?

If you have a sewing room, a sewing cabinet could be a good choice for you. Sewing cabinets (generally) are more substantial pieces of furniture. They tend to have a permanent home in your home.

If you don’t have a sewing room, a sewing table may work better for your needs. Many (but not all) sewing tables are compact and have wheels, making them easy to scoot around and store when not in use.

Regardless of whether you’re eyeing a table or a cabinet, review the sewing furniture’s dimensions before putting down cash! You don’t want to end up with something too big — or too small.

And don’t forget to review your sewing chair situation, too. A poor setup can make sewing physically uncomfortable!

The No. 2 Question to Ask When Buying a Sewing Machine Table

What you sew will help you answer the second-most-critical question about buying sewing cabinets and tables: Do I do more flat-bed or free-arm sewing?

If you’re a garment sewist, free-arm sewing likely is important to your work. A free arm makes easy work of sewing sleeve cuffs and pants hems — the narrow stuff.

If you’re a quilter, flat-bed sewing likely is more important to you. In flat-bed sewing, the arm is flush with the sewing table surface. Flat-bed sewing is important for quilters because it keeps big projects on the same plane as the sewing machine — instead of being pulled by gravity from the arm to the table surface.

The No. 3 Question to Ask When Buying a Sewing Machine Table

It’s probably the most obvious question: What’s my budget?



Checklist: What to Consider When Buying Sewing Cabinets

After you’ve reflected on where you sew and what you sew, use this handy checklist to evaluate sewing room cabinets and sewing room tables.

I separated the sewing table and cabinet checklist into four categories:

1.) Features
2.) Storage capabilities
3.) Construction details
4.) Getting sewing furniture home

1.) Sewing Table and Cabinet Features

If you’re leaning toward a significant furniture-style sewing unit, check:

  • Design options. What’s your home decor style? Modern? Shabby chic? Country? Pick a piece of sewing furniture that reflects your aesthetic.
  • Furniture features. Examine drawers, doors, hardware, feet, and more. These details can add to (or detract from) the upscale feel of a sewing unit.
  • Covert operations. How do work surfaces fold and shut to conceal sewing activity? How important is this feature to you?

If you’d like your sewing machine to sit inside a table or cabinet, check:

  • Compatibility. Certain sewing cabinets and tables don’t accept certain machine models.
  • Shelf adaptability. Can the shelf for the sewing machine adjust for different machine heights?
  • Lift mechanism. If the shelf is adjustable, how does it move up and down (e.g., pneumatic lift)?
  • Inserts. Are there inserts for flat-bed sewing (e.g., to make a flush surface)?

If you’re leaning toward a smaller portable sewing furniture unit, check:

  • Mobility. Does the unit have casters (and do they lock)?
  • Compactness. How big is the table’s footprint?
  • Storage ability. Does it fold up or otherwise reduce its footprint for storage?

These table/cabinet features will make your sewing more productive and enjoyable:

  • Rounded corners and edges. Prevent sewing projects from snagging on sharp corners.
  • Gridded surface. Take measurements at your work surface and square up.
  • Ironing cover. Turn your work surface into a pressing station.
  • Edge ruler. Stay in your seat to use a ruler.
  • Centered needle. Sitting centered in front of the needle is more comfortable than sitting centered in front of the whole machine.

2.) Sewing Table and Cabinet Storage Capabilities

Check whether the sewing table/cabinet has:

  • Drawers and cabinets. Store sewing essentials and your sewing machine in the same place.
  • Baskets and trays. Give your notions and tools a home. (Sidebar: As a sewist, you can’t have too many baskets and trays.)
  • A recessed surface tray. Corral gear at surface level.
  • Cutting mat storage. Vertical or horizontal storage is OK.
  • Thread storage. Can’t sew without thread; might as well keep it nearby.
  • Ribbon and/or stabilizer storage. Rods store notions that come on a roll.
  • Coordinating storage units. Some tables and cabinets have matching mini cabinets and shelving units.

3.) Sewing Table and Cabinet Construction Details

When it comes to how it’s built and how to build it, check:

  • Materials. Is it made of laminate, solid wood, or something else? Each has its pros and cons.
  • Work surface. The work surface likely will take abuse. What will the surface look like when that inevitably happens?
  • Sturdiness. Sewing machines are heavy, and they create vibrations, which can shake a not-so-sturdy table or cabinet. Related: How heavy a machine can the table/cabinet support?
  • Extensions. Table/cabinet leaves are useful, especially for quilters. Look for snag-free hinges and robust leaf supports.
  • Assembly. Will it come built, or is some/all assembly required? What’s more: Most sewists are women. If you’re getting a massive sewing table or cabinet, how difficult will it be for a smaller human to move table pieces and put them together? How long will assembly take? Is there a help line for assembly questions?
  • Hardware and tools. Is hardware included? What tools (e.g., hex key) are included, and what tools must you have on hand?
  • Table neighbors. Can the table/cabinet accommodate multiple machines, e.g., a sewing machine and a serger?

It’s likely you won’t need all these features in one sewing cabinet or sewing table. (Could you imagine?!? I’m not sure if it’d be awesome or a monstrosity.) It’s good, however, to consider what’s out there.

4.) Getting Sewing Furniture Home

Following are questions you’d ask about any new piece of furniture:

  • If you’re bringing it home, do you need to rent a truck? Take out the kids’ car seats and put down the back seat? Borrow a trailer?
  • If bringing it home yourself isn’t an option, what’s the cost of delivery?
  • How are you getting this unit into your house if it’s big? You plus helpful neighbors? Beefcake husband? Squad of sewing pals?
  • Where are you going to assemble your new sewing table or cabinet? Do you need to protect the floors or walls while putting it together or moving it to its final home?

What is a Good Size for a Sewing Table?

Sewing tables come in many different sizes and configurations. If you sew large items (e.g., gowns, quilts), you probably would be happiest with a sewing table or cabinet that has lots of space behind and to the left of the sewing machine. If you sew small stuff (e.g., kid clothes, purses), you don’t need as much room behind and to the left. And if you sew women’s garments (hands go up!), something in between ultra-spacious and compact likely would be just fine.

Let’s look at sewing tables and cabinets at SewingMachinesPlus.com. The smallest table I can find is the Arrow Gidget (featured below). Its tabletop is 40 by 19.75 inches (about 5.5 square feet. To compare, one of the largest tables I can find is the Horn of America 8479. Its workspace when open is 78.75 by 69.625 inches (about 38 square feet).

The main reason it’s important to have generous surface space when stitching big stuff is because big stuff tends to hang off the table. When big stuff hangs off the sewing table, gravity works against you as you try to maneuver your sewing project under the needle. It can feel like someone is tugging on your project as you’re trying to sew it!

Sewing big stuff on a small sewing table is doable. I’ve made (smaller) quilts on a 3-by-3 foot table. It involved a lot of rolling so that my quilts took up as little surface area as possible and didn’t droop off the table. That’s when I realized why having an extension behind your sewing machine was an awesome sewing cabinet feature.

What is the Normal Height of a Sewing Table?

A normal sewing table has a height of 29.5 inches, give or take an inch. The average height of the (sitting) sewing tables reviewed in this article (below) is 29.4 inches. The tallest table is 30.5 inches, and the shortest tables both are 28.5 inches.

What does it look and feel like when your table is the correct height? According to OSHA, the ideal sewing station allows sewists to keep their forearms level — wrists not tilting up or down — and their knees at 90 to 110 degrees. A sewing table (and sewing chair) at the correct height will prevent sewists from maintaining awkward shoulder, elbow, and wrist postures. A table that’s too high forces you to raise your shoulders and elbows, and a table that’s too low forces you to hunch over. A table that’s the correct height will help you sew longer and more comfortably.

Shopping for the Best Sewing Table

For your ease, here’s an alphabetical comparison chart of all the sewing machine tables in this article (including the standing tables). Keep reading to see photos and a mini review of each sewing desk.

Please take into consideration the previous questions and features when choosing the best sewing table for your practice. It’s a personal (and often expensive!) decision, and what’s great for one sewist is garbage for another. I depend a lot on customer reviews when making buying decisions like this. Do some Googling, visit PatternReview.com, and ask questions. Remember: Sewists, in general, love to help each other!

Sewing TableDetails
Arrow Bertha
Cabinet
Type of Sewing: Free arm and flat bed
Work Surface Dimensions: 84 x 39.75 in.
Height: 30.5 in.
Weight: 140 lbs.
Materials: Composite & wood grain laminates
Portability: Has casters.
Storage: 8 notion trays
Assembly: Assembly required.
Shipping: Ships in 3 boxes.
Arrow Gidget
Table
Type of Sewing: Free arm and flat bed
Work Surface Dimensions: 40 x 19.75 in.
Height: 28.5 in.
Weight: 34 lbs.
Materials: Melamine & steel
Portability: Folds up.
Storage: None.
Assembly: Arrives assembled.
Shipping: Ships in 1 box.
Best Choice Products
Cabinet
Type of Sewing: Free arm
Work Surface Dimensions: 46 x 16 in.
Height: 29.5 in.
Weight: 45.1 lbs.
Materials: MDF wood
Portability: Has casters.
Storage: 20 pegs, 2 bins, interior shelf
Assembly: Assembly required.
Shipping: Ships in 1 box.
Costway Sewing
Table
Type of Sewing: Free arm and (possibly) flat bed – if you do a lot of flat-bed sewing, investigate & make a call
Work Surface Dimensions: 46 x 23.5 in.
Height: 30 in.
Weight: 35 lbs.
Materials: MDF & PVC, steel frame
Portability: No casters.
Storage: Lower shelf
Assembly: Assembly required.
Shipping: Ships in 1 box.
Famisky Adjustable
Height Desk
Type of Sewing: Free arm
Work Surface Dimensions: 40 x 24 in.
Height: Adjustable – 28 to 45.5 in.
Weight: 59.4 lbs.
Materials: Particle board & metal
Portability: No casters.
Storage: Desk hooks
Assembly: Assembly required.
Shipping: Ships in 1 box.
Horn of America 8090
Cabinet
Type of Sewing: Free arm and flat bed
Work Surface Dimensions: 78 x 64.25 in.
Height: 29.75 in.
Weight: 301 lbs.
Materials: Melamine & MDF
Portability: Has casters.
Storage: 3 drawers, thread storage, embroidery tools storage
Assembly: Arrives assembled.
Shipping: Ships assembled.
Horn of America 9000
Adjustable Height
Table
Type of Sewing: Free arm and flat bed
Work Surface Dimensions: 60 x 53 in.
Height: Adjustable – 29 to 40 in.
Weight: 272 lbs.
Materials: Melamine, MDF, metal
Portability: No casters.
Storage: Drawer, adjustable shelf
Assembly: Arrives assembled.
Shipping: Ships assembled.
Kangaroo Bandicoot 2
Cabinet
Type of Sewing: Free arm and flat bed
Work Surface Dimensions: 61 x 17 in.
Height: 29.25 in.
Weight: 85 lbs.
Materials: Composite & wood grain melamine
Portability: Has casters.
Storage: 2 bins, 20 spool pins, 2 cubbies
Assembly: Assembly required.
Shipping: Ships in 3 boxes.
Mr. Ironstone
Bar Table
Type of Sewing: Free arm
Work Surface Dimensions: 47.2 x 15.7 in.
Height: 39.4 in.
Weight: 42 lbs.
Materials: MDF & steel
Portability: No casters.
Storage: None
Assembly: Assembly required.
Shipping: Ships in 1 box.
Sauder Sewing
Cart
Type of Sewing: Free arm
Work Surface Dimensions: 62.2 x 19.5 in.
Height: 28.5 in.
Weight: 83.2 lbs.
Materials: Engineered wood & melamine
Portability: Has casters.
Storage: 2 bins, cabinet with 2 shelves, shelf for machine
Assembly: Assembly required.
Shipping: Ships in 1 boxes.
SEI
Sewing
Cart
Type of Sewing: Free arm
Work Surface Dimensions: 31.5 x 19 in.
Height: 29.5 in.
Weight: 47 lbs.
Materials: MDF & melamine paper
Portability: Has casters.
Storage: 4 small exterior shelves & shelf for machine
Assembly: Assembly required.
Shipping: Ships in 1 box.
Sewing table options from Arrow.

Arrow 98701 Bertha Sewing Cabinet

Bertha can accommodate machines up to 60 pounds, and this cabinet features an airlift that moves your machine into position for free arm sewing, flatbed sewing, or storage. The leaf at the back of the cabinet adds five square feet and keeps your bigger projects from hitting the floor. And then there are the eight storage trays!

Arrow 98601 Gidget I Sewing Table

This table has a melamine work surface, and the legs fold up for easy storage. You can do flat-bed or free-arm sewing, thanks to an adjustable platform. Watch this surprising video to see how sturdy it is.

Sewing tables from Best Choice and Costway

Best Choice Products Folding Sewing Table

An Amazon best seller, this compact sewing station features magnetic doors, casters, and interior bins and pegs for storages. Reviewers commented on the ease with which this sewing table came together; you only need a screwdriver for assembly and the parts were well labeled. When folded into storage mode, this little table measures 23 by 27.5 by 15 inches.

Costway Sewing Craft Table

This modern sewing table features a powder-coated steel frame, which limits vibrations from your sewing machine. Adjust the platform to six different positions; I’m almost positive you could change up the positions for free-arm or flat bed sewing. One happy reviewer took photos of her heavy-duty Singer (an Amazon best seller with more than 12,000 4.5-star reviews!) on the table.

Sewing tables from Horn of America and Kangaroo.

Horn of America Model 8090 Sewing Cabinet

Of the sewing cabinets in this article, this is the Cadillac of sewing cabinets. The 8090 model features a universal cutout to accommodate the largest sewing machines. It also features a drop leaf and a drawer extension platform for extra workspace. According to the cabinet review video on the Horn 8090’s product page, this gorgeous beast arrives as your house assembled!

Kangaroo Kabinets Bandicoot 2 Sewing Cabinet

The Bandicoot 2 features a lift that can hoist a 45-pound sewing machine. You can personalize this cabinet with a customized insert for flat-bed sewing. I especially like that the Bandicoot has vertical slots for efficient sewing book storage. The cabinet is set up for center-needle sewing, which is kind on your back and neck, and you can stash other sewing goodies in the door bins.

Sewing furniture from Sauder and SEI.

Sauder Select Collection Easy Rolling Sewing and Craft Table/Cart

This popular sewing cart has more than 1,700 4.5-star ratings on Amazon. You gain extra workspace when you flip up a generous drop leaf. This sewing cabinet features casters, interior storage bins, and a scratch-resistant melamine top. Many Amazon reviewers noted that the Sauder cart was sturdy and easy to assemble.

SEI Furniture Eaton Expandable Rolling Craft Station Sewing Table

This rolling sewing table strikes me as the Little Sewing Station That Could. Yes, it’s basic, but it has more than 700 4.5-star reviews on Amazon, so it’s hitting the RIGHT basics. You get an MDF and melamine cart with lockable casters and a drop leaf. I especially like that the tabletop edges are rounded; you won’t snag fabric on those corners. Amazon reviewers adore its portability.

Sewing on Your Feet: Can You Sew Standing Up?

Yes, you absolutely can sew standing up! If you struggle with poor posture while sewing, a standing sewing desk could be a good option for you. Standing while sewing can relieve pressure on your back. What’s more, it’s easier to move from your sewing machine to your ironing board when you’re already standing.

An important thing to keep in mind as you research standing tables for sewing is the length of your foot pedal cord. There’s a good chance that your standard foot pedal cord won’t touch the floor!

If your foot pedal dangles from a standing desk, check with your sewing machine dealer for suggestions on how to lengthen a pedal cord. They may suggest a product (e.g., mono extension cable) or hack to try. Be aware that if your machine is under warranty and you rewire the foot pedal, the warranty may become void.

Following are three tables (in alphabetical order) that could bring your sewing-while-standing dreams to life.

These are three standing desks that might work for your sewing practice.

Famisky Adjustable Height Electric Standing Desk

This standing desk has a dual-motor design (one motor on each leg), giving it enough power to lift 176 pounds — more than enough robustness for any home sewing machine. The corners are rounded and won’t catch fabric, and the work surface is a generous 40 by 24 inches. The desk height can be set from 28 to 45.5 inches. What attracted me to this desk was the sturdy-looking leg design and four tabletop color options.

Horn of America Model 9000 New Heights Adjustable Sewing Table

This is a sewing-specific standing desk. The height of the Horn 9000 is adjustable between 29 and 40 inches, and you can set three memory height positions. (Wouldn’t it be cool to have auto settings for sitting sewing AND standing sewing?) The universal table cutout can accommodate the largest sewing machines on the market. You also get a drawer extension platform for additional workspace.

Mr. Ironstone Bar Table

This narrow (15.7 inches), pub-height table could pull double duty in your home as a casual dining spot AND standing sewing station. It’s earned more than 1,700 4.5-star reviews on Amazon, where fans highlight the table’s sturdiness, value, and ease of assembly. If you have an uneven floor, you can adjust the table’s feet to improve stability.

Over to you: What are you looking for in a sewing table or cabinet? How can I improve this sewing table buying guide? If you own a sewing table or cabinet, what was your selection process? What’s been your experience with different sewing table/cabinet brands? Please share in comments for the benefit of other sewists! Thanks!

P.S. In case you hadn’t noticed, I LOVE creating sewing guides! If you like this sewing table buying guide, you might want to check out these other blog posts:

53 gifts for sewists: The ultimate guide to gifts for sewing lovers
Amazon Tricks for Fabric Shopping: The Ultimate Guide for Sewists
Online Sewing Classes Guide: Virtual Sewing Lessons in 2021



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