Best Ukulele For Beginners

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking for the best ukulele for beginners, you’ll know that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the options.

In this guide, I’m going to look at good beginner ukuleles that fall within the $50 to $100 price range, which I feel is a good budget for an entry-level uke.

A couple quick notes before I jump in:

  • I’ve purchased at least one ukulele from most of these manufacturers and am in the process of writing individual reviews for each. Check my reviews section for updates.
  • I help manage a small acoustic music shop and have played hundreds of ukuleles over the years. I’ve played $20 toy ukes, $2000 boutique models, and everything in between, so I feel like I have a lot of experience with ukuleles of different price ranges.
This article is designed to help beginning players quickly find the best starter uke for their budget. Those who want to dig in a little deeper before making a purchase should check out my article on how to buy a ukulele.

Best Ukuleles For Beginners: My Top Picks

For those who just want to cut to the chase, here are my top picks for best beginner ukuleles.

I own each of these ukes, and after spending some time with them I’m happy to recommend them to new uke players. These ukes have also received good reviews from other buyers, so you don’t have to take my word for it.

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
2,164 Reviews
874 Reviews
2,124 Reviews
$67.00
$68.00
$89.99
Official Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Concert Starter Kit, Light Mahogany – Includes online lessons, tuner, and app
Kala KA-15C
2,164 Reviews
$67.00
Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1 23 inch with Ukulele Set Strap Nylon String Tuner
Donner DUC-1
874 Reviews
$68.00
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
2,124 Reviews
$89.99

Kala is one of the best-known brands when it comes to beginner ukuleles. As part of their popular KA-15 series, the KA-15C offers solid tone and playability at a reasonable price.

I’ve also been really impressed with Donner DUC-1 and Lohanu LU-C ukes. I didn’t know anything these models when I purchased them from Amazon (except what I read in the reviews) so I was pleasantly surprised when they turned out to be nicely made instruments with great tone.

Both the DUC-1 and LU-C have excellent fit, finish, playability, and tone. On top of that, they each come with a nice gig bag, clip-on tuner, extra strings, and a strap.

I honestly can’t recommend one model over another because I think they’re all very good beginner ukes. The Lohanu LU-C is a little more fancy (and expensive) because of the white binding on the body and fingerboard, but otherwise they’re surprisingly similar.

The ukes above are all concert-sized ukes. I think concert ukes are great for beginning players, but you can also get these models in a smaller soprano size or a larger tenor size. For more on this topic, see my article on ukulele sizes.

Amazon Top Sellers: Lohanu Ukuleles

The Lohanu LU-S, LU-C, and LU-T are currently the highest-rated, best-selling ukuleles on Amazon.

Based out of Canada, the Lohanu company only sells on Amazon. By selling directly to customers and cutting out the middleman, they’re able to offer good package deals at very competitive prices.

Ukulele Soprano Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-S) 2 Strap Pins Installed FREE Uke Strap Case Tuner Picks Pick Holder Aquila Strings Installed Free Video Lessons BEST UKULELE BUNDLE DEAL Purchase Today!
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
Ukulele Tenor Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-T) 2 Strap Pins Installed FREE Uke Strap Case Tuner Picks Pick Holder Aquila Strings Installed Free Video Lessons BEST UKULELE BUNDLE DEAL Purchase Today!
Lohanu LU-S (Soprano)
Lohanu LU-C (Concert)
Lohanu LU-T (Tenor)
2,124 Reviews
2,124 Reviews
2,120 Reviews
$79.99
$89.99
$99.99
Ukulele Soprano Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-S) 2 Strap Pins Installed FREE Uke Strap Case Tuner Picks Pick Holder Aquila Strings Installed Free Video Lessons BEST UKULELE BUNDLE DEAL Purchase Today!
Lohanu LU-S (Soprano)
2,124 Reviews
$79.99
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 (Concert)
2,124 Reviews
$89.99
Ukulele Tenor Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-T) 2 Strap Pins Installed FREE Uke Strap Case Tuner Picks Pick Holder Aquila Strings Installed Free Video Lessons BEST UKULELE BUNDLE DEAL Purchase Today!
Lohanu LU-T (Tenor)
2,120 Reviews
$99.99

The craftsmanship on these ukes is tight and clean. Playability is solid, and the tone is full and rich. I’ve been really impressed with my Lohanu, especially for the price.

These three ukuleles all come with a gig bag, tuner, strap, and extra set of strings.

Lohanu’s ukes have hundreds of great customer reviews touting their excellent build quality and tone, but one thing that I really appreciate is their lifetime warranty and commitment to customer service.

Best Budget Ukes

If you’re hoping to spend a little less on a beginner ukulele, these budget-friendly options are good ukuleles for the money.

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
2,164 Reviews
874 Reviews
364 Reviews
$54.99
$58.00
$59.98
Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
Kala KA-15S
2,164 Reviews
$54.99
Donner Soprano Ukulele Mahogany DUS-1 21 inch with Ukulele Set Strap Nylon String Tuner
Donner DUS-1 Soprano
874 Reviews
$58.00
Hricane Ukulele Soprano 21inch Professional Ukeleles For Beginners Sapele Hawaiian Ukele UKS-1 Bundle with Gig Bag
Hricane UKS-1
364 Reviews
$59.98

The KA-15S is a clear crowd favorite and is one of the best budget ukes on the market. In my review of the KA-15S I write about how it’s a well-made entry-level uke that looks good, sounds great, and is easy to play.

It’s a perfect choice for beginners seeking a respectable starter uke, but it’s also an excellent option for seasoned players in search of an affordable second instrument.

The Donner and Hricane models don’t have Kala’s brand recognition, but the Donner DUS-1 Soprano and Hricane UKS-1 are both great values and are similar to the KA-15S in terms of build quality, playability, and tone.

The UKS-1 includes a nice padded gig bag, while the DUS-1 comes as a complete package with gig bag, tuner, strap, and extra strings.

You may notice that these budget ukes are all soprano sized. Soprano ukes tend to be less expensive since they’re smaller and use fewer materials. The ukes mentioned above are all available in larger concert and tenor sizes.

Good Value: The Hricane UKS-1 Series

Like the other models I’ve highlighted in this article, the Hricane UKS-1 series combine quality, craftsmanship, and playability into a surprisingly affordable package. In terms of customer ratings, Hricane ukes are among the best-reviewed ukuleles for sale on Amazon.

The UKS-1 is available in a soprano, concert, or tenor size and includes a padded gig bag.

Hricane Ukulele Soprano 21inch Professional Ukeleles For Beginners Sapele Hawaiian Ukele UKS-1 Bundle with Gig Bag
Hricane 4-String Ukulele, Sapele (FBA_UK)
Hricane Tenor Ukulele UKS-3 26inch Professional Ukulele Starter Small Guitar Hawaiian Guitar Bundle with Gig Bag
Hricane UKS-1 Soprano
Hricane UKS-1 Concert
Hricane UKS-1 Tenor
364 Reviews
364 Reviews
364 Reviews
$59.98
from $59.99
from $59.98
Hricane Ukulele Soprano 21inch Professional Ukeleles For Beginners Sapele Hawaiian Ukele UKS-1 Bundle with Gig Bag
Hricane UKS-1 Soprano
364 Reviews
$59.98
Hricane 4-String Ukulele, Sapele (FBA_UK)
Hricane UKS-1 Concert
364 Reviews
from $59.99
Hricane Tenor Ukulele UKS-3 26inch Professional Ukulele Starter Small Guitar Hawaiian Guitar Bundle with Gig Bag
Hricane UKS-1 Tenor
364 Reviews
from $59.98

Best Beginner Ukuleles With A Solid Top: Aklot AK Series

Aklot makes the most affordable, highest-quality solid top ukuleles I could find.

Their standard mahogany-top ukulele is available in a soprano, concert, and tenor size and includes a gig bag, tuner, and other accessories.

AKLOT Soprano Ukulele Solid Mahogany Ukelele 21 inch Beginners Starter Kit with Free Online Courses and Ukulele Accessories (AKS21)
AKLOT Concert Ukulele Solid Mahogany Ukelele 23 inch Beginners Starter Kit with Free Online Courses and Ukulele Accessories (AKC23)
AKLOT Tenor Ukulele Solid Mahogany Ukelele 26 inch Beginners Starter Kit with Free Online Courses and Ukulele Accessories (AKT26)
Aklot AKS21 (Soprano)
Aklot AKC23 (Concert)
Aklot AKT26 (Tenor)
374 Reviews
374 Reviews
374 Reviews
$59.99
$64.95
$69.99
AKLOT Soprano Ukulele Solid Mahogany Ukelele 21 inch Beginners Starter Kit with Free Online Courses and Ukulele Accessories (AKS21)
Aklot AKS21 (Soprano)
374 Reviews
$59.99
AKLOT Concert Ukulele Solid Mahogany Ukelele 23 inch Beginners Starter Kit with Free Online Courses and Ukulele Accessories (AKC23)
Aklot AKC23 (Concert)
374 Reviews
$64.95
AKLOT Tenor Ukulele Solid Mahogany Ukelele 26 inch Beginners Starter Kit with Free Online Courses and Ukulele Accessories (AKT26)
Aklot AKT26 (Tenor)
374 Reviews
$69.99

Why does a solid top matter? As a general rule, ukuleles with solid tops have a more warm, rich voice compared to similar ukes with a laminated top.

The Aklot ukes are quite a bit more affordable than most other solid top ukes, so I felt like I was rolling the dice when I ordered my AKT26 tenor (review coming soon).

Fortunately, the glowing customer reviews were accurate and I received a uke that was beautifully built, sounded great, and played well.

For the money, I’m really impressed with Aklot’s ukes. As long as you don’t mind the unusual bird-shaped bridge, these ukuleles are definitely worth a closer look.

Cordoba 15CM and Luna Tattoo

These two ukes don’t fit neatly into any of the above categories, but I still think they’re great beginner options.

Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
Cordoba 15CM (Concert)
Luna Tattoo (Concert)
343 Reviews
406 Reviews
$99.00
from $94.49
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
Cordoba 15CM (Concert)
343 Reviews
$99.00
Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
Luna Tattoo (Concert)
406 Reviews
from $94.49

While I don’t own the Cordoba 15CM (yet) I’ve played a handful of them over the years and have always thought they were very well made for the price. I especially like the15CM’s faux abalone rosette and bound fingerboard. These are neat little cosmetic touches that you don’t often see on ukuleles in this price range.

Luna’s Tattoo concert ukulele is another model that surprised me with its quality. It gets its name from the unique Hawaiian tattoo pattern etched onto the top. The bold design may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for something a little different this uke is worth a look.

Cheap Beginner Ukuleles

While I recommend staying away from most ultra-cheap ukuleles for sale online, I can appreciate that some people want to spend as little as possible on a ukulele.

Maybe you have a limited budget, are shopping for young children, or just want a semi-disposable uke for camping or travel.

These ukuleles are for sale online for $30 or less at the time of writing. None of these models qualify as amazing instruments, but they’re not terrible considering their low price.

Mahalo Ukuleles MR1BU Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele
Lanikai Kohala Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Song Book, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele - Mahogany Brown
Mahalo MR1BU Soprano
Lanikai Kohala Soprano
Donner DUS-1 Soprano
691 Reviews
256 Reviews
759 Reviews
$30.99
$34.99
from $40.48
Mahalo Ukuleles MR1BU Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele
Mahalo MR1BU Soprano
691 Reviews
$30.99
Lanikai Kohala Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Song Book, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
Lanikai Kohala Soprano
256 Reviews
$34.99
Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele - Mahogany Brown
Donner DUS-1 Soprano
759 Reviews
from $40.48