Top-rated 10 Best Beginner Ukuleles for under $100 | Good Cheap Ukulele Review

good cheap ukuleles to buy for beginners

Are you searching for what is the Best Ukulele for beginners? Not sure which model to pick up? Let’s follow this article.

When you decide to buy a ukulele, you might be wondering:

  • Which ukulele is the best cheap to buy for beginners?
  • How can I buy a good-sounding ukulele on the budget?

I used to be in your position, so I researched, reviewed, and picked out a list of good-quality ukuleles for your reference.

Good ukuleles for beginners are the ones that you will enjoy playing year after year, even as your skills grow.

What is the best cheap ukulele to buy for beginners?

If your budget is tight, I recommend Kala KA-15S Soprano Ukulele and Oscar Schmidt OU2 Concert Ukulele. Both are good budget ukuleles, with good sound quality, and the look is great for the price.

To save your time, and get to the point, I pick out a list of good cheap ukuleles under $100 for you, below:

Green-Horizontal line

>>> Top 3 Best Ukes For Beginners – Most Recommended ⇓⇓

Nice sounding, well-made craftsmanship, and a unique design with a rounded edge for comfortable playing.

Green-Horizontal line

>>> Top 3 Best Beginner Ukulele on Amazon – Best Sellers ⇓⇓

Warm rich sound. Feels smooth in the hands. The great ukuleles to get started on.

Green-Horizontal line

>>> Top 3 Best Budget Ukes – Best Value Ukulele for Beginners ⇓⇓

Nice quality, great sound. The ukulele bundle pack includes everything you need to get started.

Green-Horizontal line

>>> Top 3 Best Solid Top Ukuleles for under $100 ⇓⇓

Solid top Mahogany for better sustainability and pure sound. The edges of the ukuleles are rounded so that you will feel comfortable with your arms.

Green-Horizontal line

Soprano vs. Concert vs. Tenor vs. Bariton – Which ukulele size is best for beginners?

  • If you buy a good cheap ukulele for kids, the soprano is a good choice because of its small neck and frets.
  • If you buy the ukulele for adults, the concert and tenor size are the best choices because once you get some experience, you will want more frets to play some songs.
  • The baritone size is best suited to well-players.

Do you really want to PAY for the GOOD sounding ukulele?

If you say “yup!” then great! The good sound and good-looking ukulele will inspire you to learn to play it day by day. Please believe me, a poor sound and ugly uke would soon destroy your passion.

And now, below is the list of top-rated best ukuleles for beginners of all ages. All of the ukes in this review are under $100 and are sold on Amazon.

#1. Top rated 3 BEST Soprano Ukulele under $100  for Beginners

The soprano ukulele is the smallest one which looks very interesting and cute. They normally have 12 to 14 frets and have very delightful sounds. Because of the small and narrow neck so it is best suited for kids and small-hand-players.

1. Kala KA-15S Mahogany

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Mahogany body and neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • 12 Brass Frets

Why do I like it?

The Kala KA-15S was one of my first uke which I bought from Amazon, it is the best ukulele under 100.

Frets were dressed nicely and the neck is very comfortable for small hands like me. As for the sound/tone, it has more treble and gives very delightful sounds.

2. Lanikai MA-S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Top and Back and Side construction: Nato
  • Fretboards construction: Rosewood
  • 12 Brass Frets

Why do I like it?

The Lanikai MA-S Soprano Ukulele is another great choice for those ones who are looking for a good soprano uke.

Most beginners are often confused between Kala KA-15S vs. Lanikai MA-S.

In general, they both produce similar sounds but Kala KA-15S has a mahogany wood body and Lanikai MA-S has a nato wood body.

The mahogany wood and nato wood produce a different tones.

However, Kala KA-15S vs. Lanikai MA-S is made from laminated wood so the sound and tone are not different so much.

3. Cordoba 15SM

Cordoba 15SM Soprano Ukulele

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Mahogany top, back, and sides
  • Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
  • Abalone rosette
  • 12 Brass Frets

Why do I like it?

The Cordoba 15SM has a cool design with an abalone rosette. I played Cordoba 15SM several times (borrowed it from my friend) and it was great by the feel of the neck from the start, it was so smooth and perfectly sized for small hands.

Plus, it has a full, rich sound. If you are a strict man, the Cordoba 15SM is best for you.

#2. Top rated 3 BEST Concert Ukulele under $100 for Beginners

The concert ukulele is slightly bigger than the soprano. That means it produces deeper, fuller, and louder sounds.

They’re popular beginner ukes for those with larger hands. Plus, they have 14 to 17 frets which lets you play more complicated songs easily.

1. Oscar Schmidt OU2

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Mahogany body & neck
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Chrome tuners
  • Satin finish
  • Handcrafted quality

Why do I like it?

Oscar Schmidt OU2 offers the best price for beginners, it is the best ukulele under 100. The intonation and tonal qualities are good. Its sound is perfect for campfires and the living rooms.

In my opinion, it is far better than the others in a comparable price range. It’s a great beginner uke!

2. Cordoba 15CM

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Mahogany top, back, and sides
  • Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
  • Abalone rosette
  • 14 Brass Frets

Why do I like it?

If you’re looking for the best concert ukulele under $100. The Cordoba 15CM is quite impressive in look and sound quality (more mellow and full rich sound).

It gives a really amazing tone for the $100 range. Besides, if you’re a big fan of Kala, the Kala KA-C Satin Mahogany is worth considering as well.

3. Kala KA-C Satin Mahogany

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Mahogany body and neck with a gloss finish
  • Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge
  • 18 Silver Nickel Frets
  • Chrome Die-Cast Sealed Geared tuners

Why do I like it?

I care for sound, playability, and nice looking. So I went for the Kala KA-C Satin Mahogany concert ukulele and you haven’t regretted it.

Its sound is so beautiful with high enough volume and it handles well.

#3. Top rated 3 BEST Tenor Ukulele under $100 for Beginners

The tenor ukulele is a great choice for beginners as well as experienced players who maybe want to perform on stage or in clubs.

They have a fuller and deeper bass range than both the soprano and concert ukuleles have. They have 17 to 19 frets that give you more notes to work with.

1. Makala MK-T Tenor Ukulele

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Agathis body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • Geared tuners
  • Satin finish
  • 18 brass frets

Why do I like it?

I’ve played the Makala MK-T several times. The bright and rich sound is good for me.

This is a NOT bad choice if you’re looking for a good beginner tenor ukulele, especially for the budget-friendly one.

2. Kala KA-T Mahogany

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Mahogany body and neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • Geared tuners
  • Traditional white binding
  • 18 brass frets

Why do I like it?

Are you looking for the best beginner tenor ukulele for playing long-term with a nice sound? The Kala KA-T is an excellent candidate for beginners to get started on.

However, the price of Kala KA-T is not “very pleased” but it will pay off for you in the long run. You know “buying cheap means buying twice,” as the old saying goes. Still, if your budget is really tight, I recommend MK-T Makala as a good replacement.

3. Luna Tattoo Mahogany Series

>>> Today’s Best Deal: Check Latest Price on Amazon

What is great about it?

  • Mahogany body and neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • Laser-etched Tattoo
  • Satin finish

Why do I like it?

The Luna  Tattoo Tenor Ukulele is awesome for those ones who want a cool tenor ukulele. It has a nice mellow sound and great looking.

If you are looking for a great tenor uke at a great price do not hesitate to Luna  Tattoo Tenor Ukulele.

You will be very pleased with your purchase. I recommend it for any beginner and anyone would like it as a travel or camping instrument.


Below here is common questions and answers about choosing the best budget ukulele for beginners.

#1. Makala MK-T vs. Kala KA-T:  Which is better?

I’ve played both and own the KA-T. The main difference is the wood: Mahogany(Kala KA-T) vs. Agathis (Kala MK-T) but they are both laminated wood.

So as for the sound, it is not different from each other so much. They all have a bright and full rich sound.

The Makala MK-T is cheaper and a bit less nice looking (just my own personal feeling) than Kala KA-T because the Kala focuses more on aesthetics.

#2. What’s a good price for a ukulele?

For beginners, I would recommend spending between $50 and under $100. This price range is best suitable for most beginning players.

Here are the top 3 quality ukuleles that are great for serious beginning players:

  1. Kala KA-15S Soprano
  2. Oscar Schmidt OU2 Concert
  3. Makala MK-T Tenor

#3. How do I choose a ukulele?

First, you need to set your budget. Most of the good beginner ukuleles has around $50.

Second, you need to know which ukulele size is your favorite. Soprano and concert are the popular sizes for most beginners because they are small and cute. You can take it everywhere easily.

Third, there are good plastic ukuleles for waterproofing. If you intend to buy a uke for kids or outdoor camping, plastic ukuleles are a great choice.

#4. How much should I spend on my first ukulele?

A good ukulele for beginners has a price range from $50 to $100. If you buy a cheap ukulele for under $30, it is just a toy ukulele rather than a musical instrument.

#5. What should I know before buying a ukulele?

There are three main things you should know before buying a good beginner ukulele:

  • Budget:

You don’t need to spend a huge buck for a ukulele. You are easy have a decent ukulele at around $50.

  • Brands:

You can’t go wrong with Kala, Luna, Cordoba, Oscar Schmidt, Lanikai. Personally, I prefer Kala because my first ukulele is Kala KA-T (bought it 2 years ago) and it has still worked well.

  • Ukulele size:

Soprano, concert, and tenor are three sizes for beginners. If you buy a ukulele for kids, the soprano is a perfect choice. And, if buying for an adult, the concert and tenor are great.

#6. What size ukulele is easiest for beginners?

Soprano, concert, and tenor are three popular sizes for beginners.

So, which size is easiest for beginners? It depends on you.

In my experience, the soprano and concert are best for children and small hand beginners. Whereas the tenor is great for all people who want full deep sound and more frets.

#7. Is a tenor ukulele good for a beginner?

Yes. tenor size is good for beginners who have bigger fingers or larger hands. You will be comfortable playing and holding a tenor uke with bigger hands.

Or you may love full deeper sounds than soprano and concert, the tenor size is a great choice.

#8. Is Kala Ukulele a good brand?

Yes. Kala ukuleles are a pretty good brand. It has targeted entry-level to higher-end expensive ukuleles at a reasonable price.

They have a wide range of ukuleles, with multiple styles and woods. They are worth the price tag.

#9. Are Kala and Makala the same brands?

Yes, they are the same as KALA. It includes two brands:

1. Kaka ukuleles cover good entry-level to expensive ukuleles because of expensive woods, high-quality laminated woods, solid woods, quality build, etc.

2. Makala ukuleles are essentially the budget brand for Kala. They are focusing on quality ukes at an affordable price. Makala is the perfect uke for beginners.

In short, both, in my experience, are very good quality ukuleles. You won’t have any issues with either.

#10. How can I make my cheap ukulele sound better?

Strings and your skill will improve the ukulele so much. So if you want to make a cheap ukulele sound better, the first thing you need to do is change strings.

The ukulele strings have an enormous effect on the uke’s sound/tone. There are three main kinds of uke strings: Nylgut, Titanium, and Nylon.

So which one is the best for the ukulele?

Aquila and D’Addario are popular choices for most users in the world.

I have played with both brands and I feel that:

  • Aquilar’s strings are a bit lower in tension and a little bit warmer.
  • D’Addario strings are a bit higher in tension, thicker feeling, and are a little more bright.

Note: Each set of ukulele-string-size will best suit to individual ukulele type. For example, you do not use soprano-ukulele-strings for tenor-ukulele-strings and some things like that.

#11. Why does my ukulele go out of tune?

Here is why your ukulele goes out of tune:

The new strings on the ukulele will take some time before they hold their tune. There’s a misperception that a “good” ukulele will stay in tune once you’ve tuned the strings. It is not always true.

When you replace new strings, your ukulele might not be holding its tuning for a long time because of tension and stretch.

So, you need to tune it multiple times. Every time you play, you have to tune it. After a week of playing and several times of tuning a day, your ukulele will be holding its stay-in-tune.


It’s really hard to say what is the best ukulele for beginners because there are so many of them, and because it’s you who decide what fit you the most as well.

But at least, I hope that I did a good job telling you about good cheap ukuleles reviewed out there, and inspiring you to have a try at this interesting instrument.

In my opinion, there are many good options for the best cheap beginner ukuleles for under 100.

If you are a beginner, the good cheap ukulele is the soprano, concert, and tenor because they are easier to learn, easier to get started on, and you can go a long way with them.

“Everyone should have and play the ukulele. It is one instrument you can’t play without a laugh!” – George Harrison.

best beginner ukulele to buy - good qulity ukuleles for beginners

the best beginner ukuleles to buy - good cheap ukuleles for beginners under 100

Leave a Comment