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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.