Beginner Ukulele 60-Second Shopping Guide

In a hurry? Here are my top beginner ukulele selections, organized by price range.

This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list–it’s just a quick guide for people who want to make a decision quickly without doing hours of research!

Ukes Under $20

Unless you’re shopping for a toddler or just want a novelty gift, stay away from ukes in this price range. Most ukes under $20 are very poor quality and will barely function as a real instrument.

Ukes from $20 to $50

A lot of the ukes in this range aren’t very good, but I think the following models are OK considering the price point.

Mahalo Rainbow Series

Mahalo Rainbow Series Ukuleles - All Colors
Mahalo Rainbow Series Ukuleles

While I can’t exactly give this uke a glowing endorsement, I do feel they’re some of the better ukes to be found in this price range. If you’re on a super-tight budget, you could certainly do worse than this model.

I’ve highlighted a few of their more interesting color options below, but you can click here to view the full rainbow of choices on Amazon.

Mahalo Ukuleles MR1BU Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele
Mahalo Ukuleles MR1RD Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele
Mahalo Ukuleles MR1PP Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele
Blue (MR1BU)
Red (MR1RD)
Purple (MR1PP)
678 Reviews
678 Reviews
678 Reviews
$24.99
$29.95
$34.95
Mahalo Ukuleles MR1BU Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele
Blue (MR1BU)
678 Reviews
$24.99
Mahalo Ukuleles MR1RD Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele
Red (MR1RD)
678 Reviews
$29.95
Mahalo Ukuleles MR1PP Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele
Purple (MR1PP)
678 Reviews
$34.95

Around $50

If you can afford to spend just a little more than $50, these models are great starter instruments.

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
Donner Soprano Ukulele Mahogany DUS-1 21 inch with Ukulele Set Strap Nylon String Tuner
Hricane Ukulele Soprano 21inch Professional Ukeleles For Beginners Sapele Hawaiian Ukele UKS-1 Bundle with Gig Bag
Kala KA-15S
Donner DUS-1 Soprano
Hricane UKS-1
2,103 Reviews
840 Reviews
327 Reviews
$54.99
$49.99
$59.99
Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
Kala KA-15S
2,103 Reviews
$54.99
Donner Soprano Ukulele Mahogany DUS-1 21 inch with Ukulele Set Strap Nylon String Tuner
Donner DUS-1 Soprano
840 Reviews
$49.99
Hricane Ukulele Soprano 21inch Professional Ukeleles For Beginners Sapele Hawaiian Ukele UKS-1 Bundle with Gig Bag
Hricane UKS-1
327 Reviews
$59.99

Under $100

Ukes in this price range tend to have noticeably better build quality, tone, and playability than the cheaper ukes highlighted above.

The Kala KA-15C, Donner DUC-1, and Lohanu LU-C are all highly-rated ukes that can be found for under $100 online. The Donner and Lohanu models are bundled with a number of accessories, making these ukes especially good values.

Official Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Concert Starter Kit, Light Mahogany – Includes online lessons, tuner, and app
Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1 23 inch with Ukulele Set Strap Nylon String Tuner
Ukulele Concert Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-C) 2 Strap Pins Installed FREE Uke Strap Case Tuner Picks Pick Holder Aquila Strings Installed Free Video Lessons
Kala KA-15C
Donner DUC-1
Lohanu LU-C
2,103 Reviews
840 Reviews
2,032 Reviews
$79.99
$65.00
$89.99
Official Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Concert Starter Kit, Light Mahogany – Includes online lessons, tuner, and app
Kala KA-15C
2,103 Reviews
$79.99
Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1 23 inch with Ukulele Set Strap Nylon String Tuner
Donner DUC-1
840 Reviews
$65.00
Ukulele Concert Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-C) 2 Strap Pins Installed FREE Uke Strap Case Tuner Picks Pick Holder Aquila Strings Installed Free Video Lessons
Lohanu LU-C
2,032 Reviews
$89.99

Over $100

If you have a bit more to spend and are looking for something a little more exotic, take a look the following three ukuleles:

Luna Tattoo Acoustic Electric Concert Ukulele with Gigbag
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
Tenor Ukulele Professional Series by Hola! Music (Model HM-427SMM+), Bundle Includes: 27 Inch SOLID Mahogany Top Ukulele with Aquila Nylgut Strings Installed, Padded Gig Bag, Strap and Picks
Luna Tattoo Acoustic-Electric
Cordoba 15CM
Hola! Professional Tenor
404 Reviews
78 Reviews
193 Reviews
$139.00
$109.99
$139.95
Luna Tattoo Acoustic Electric Concert Ukulele with Gigbag
Luna Tattoo Acoustic-Electric
404 Reviews
$139.00
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
Cordoba 15CM
78 Reviews
$109.99
Tenor Ukulele Professional Series by Hola! Music (Model HM-427SMM+), Bundle Includes: 27 Inch SOLID Mahogany Top Ukulele with Aquila Nylgut Strings Installed, Padded Gig Bag, Strap and Picks
Hola! Professional Tenor
193 Reviews
$139.95
  • The Luna Tattoo Acoustic-Electric features a cutaway, electronics (for plugging into an amp) and a unique laser-etched tattoo design.
  • Cordoba’s 15CM concert ukulele has a bound fingerboard and faux-abalone rosette
  • The Hola! Pro Series has a solid mahogany top for a warmer, richer tone and a beveled edge for comfort