Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, you can still get the best cheap ukulele and end up with a high-quality instrument that you’ll love.
There are four main sizes of ukuleles, including soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone ukuleles, but when you’re aiming for a uke that is inexpensive above everything else, all you need to do is research the various instruments so that you can get the best deal in the end.
Below are just some of the inexpensive ukuleles that you’re very likely to be happy with.
1) Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele (Soprano)
With a mahogany body and a rosewood fingerboard, this high-quality but cheap ukulele has 12 frets that are clearly marked for easy playing and easy tuning.
It has a satin finish and top-notch Nylgut strings, but its most significant feature is its size and portability because this is one instrument that you can take anywhere you go.
In fact, when you consider all of its features and qualities, you’ll likely wonder why anyone would pay more than this for a good ukulele. Read our complete Kala KA-15S Ukulele Review.
2) Donner Ukulele Spruce DUC-3 23-Inch (Concert)
With its mahogany sides and a top and bottom made of spruce, this ukulele is both attractive and easy to play. It is comfortable for anyone’s fingers, and it comes with the same chrome-plated tuners that are usually included with guitars.
Its bridge and fingerboard are made of rosewood, and it comes with a uniquely designed case along with picks, a strap, and a tuner. When you’re ready to play, all you have to do is take it out of the bag and start strumming because everything else you need is right there with it.
3) Kala Makala Mahogany Ukulele (MK-S) (Soprano)
The best cheap ukulele is not necessarily one that is substandard in design as this uke easily proves.
With geared tuners and agathist body, the Kala MKA-S is available in different scale lengths and is the perfect instrument when you’re looking for both quality and a reasonable price.
It has attractive black strings and a bridge and fingerboard made of rosewood, enabling it to both look and sound extraordinary.
4) Caramel CT102A Zebra Wood Acoustic Ukulele (Tenor)
Designed for players of all experience levels, the Caramel CT102A has Aquila strings that help you get the absolute best vibrations, and its tone is second to none.
It is easy to forget that this is a cheap ukulele once you play it and the wood used includes everything from zebrawood to buffalo bones.
It also comes with 18 frets, and if you know a young child who simply loves playing the ukulele, this would be the perfect step up from that instrument. Here is our special ranking list on the best kids ukulele.
5) First Act JL285 Justice League Mini-Guitar Ukulele
Weighing a little over one pound, this ukulele is true to its name because its extra-small size makes it perfect for the youngsters you know who keep trying to steal your adult-sized instruments.
It has a traditional shape, a beautifully designed exterior, and other features that make it conducive to a young child playing it, including nylon strings and real tuning gears.
Although not meant to be a musical instrument for adults, it is perfect for the youngsters in your life.
6) Strong Wind Ukulele Soprano 21-Inch Mahogany
When you’re looking for the best affordable ukulele, you want excellent sound as well, and this particular uke never disappoints.
Made mostly out of mahogany, the Strong Wind uke has a warm tone and tuning heads made of chrome metal.
Although portable and small, this ukulele produces a great sound and remains in tune for a long time, so it makes a great ukulele for traveling and for taking from place to place with ease.
7) Diamond Head DU-106 Rainbow Ukulele (Soprano)
One of the most significant aspects of this ukulele is that it comes in a variety of rainbow colors, which makes it a lot of fun for players of all ages. The company that makes the uke has paid a lot of attention to detail.
The instrument itself has an attractive glossy finish and nickel-plated tuners that are similar to those for a guitar. It is also both durable and great-sounding, making it perfect for both beginners and more experienced players alike.
8) Luna Vintage Mahogany Ukulele (Soprano)
A high-quality cheap ukulele with a lot of great features, this ukulele is made mostly of mahogany and consists of a rosewood fretboard and black hardware.
If you’re left-handed, you’ll have to re-string the instrument to suit you. It has a C-shaped neck with 12 frets. Quality materials such as shark teeth are used for the inlays, so this is definitely a high-quality instrument that will never cost you a lot of money.
9) Moukey 4 Basswood Ukulele Pack (Soprano)
When you want the best cheap ukulele, you don’t want a toy but a fully functional ukulele that sounds great and lasts a very long time. This Moukey ukulele definitely foots the bill.
This is a 12-fret uke with a clip-on tuner and a basswood body as well as four comfortable nylon strings. It is especially suitable for beginners, even though it is easy for both beginners and more experienced users to hold and play.
10) Moukey Ukulele Mahogany Beginner Kit (Soprano)
One unique feature of this ukulele is its design, which consists of various flower laser patterns, but it is also a high-quality uke for both beginners and experienced players.
You can easily rotate it when tuning it, thanks to its tight pegs, and the tunes tend to last a long time as well. This uke also has detailed features, is made of high-quality materials, and guarantees an excellent playing experience every single time.
11) Hola! Music HM-21BR Ukulele (Soprano)
With colors that include blue, purple, orange, and green, the Hola! Music ukulele truly offers something for everyone. This cheap ukulele also has high-quality materials and easy-to-play nylon strings.
It has a rosewood bridge and fingerboard and geared tuners that make that part of the job much easier. Hola! Music ukes are also durable and have beautiful tones; they are made for players who want a strong uke that doesn’t cost a lot of money.
12) Makala MK-SD/LBL Blue Burst Ukulele (Soprano)
This ukulele has a dolphin-shaped bridge and a rose fingerboard along with Nylgut strings and geared tuners. In addition, this is the perfect uke to choose if you have a child in the home who is interested in playing guitar as it shares some of the features of that instrument.
It is a lightweight instrument that is easy to carry around, making it great for beginners, and it has the high-quality sound and durability that you need and deserves when choosing the right ukulele.
13) Makala MK-S Ukulele (Soprano)
With excellent sound and vibration, this ukulele is perfect for beginners of all types, especially those who have played string instruments in the past.
It makes for an easy transition from another stringed instrument to the uke and its 12 brass frets and strong mahogany neck enable it to have a tone like no other.
If you want the best inexpensive ukulele because you’re on a strict budget, you can still get a quality instrument if you choose the Makala MK-S.
14) Diamond Head DU-150 Ukulele (Soprano)
The Diamond Head’s DU-150 ukulele has a classic look and feel, and its second-to-none tone allows for one extraordinary strumming experience.
You don’t even have to guess at it when tuning the instrument, thanks to its attention to detail and its geared tuners.
Designed for players with all levels of experience, this uke is super easy to play any time that you feel tempted to strum out a few tunes.
15) ADM Mahogany Professional Ukulele Starter Pack (Concert)
Made mostly of mahogany and consisting of Nylgut strings that are easy to play, this ukulele offers two advantages that make it easy to tune -- its die-cast, dustproof tuners, and its slip-free tuning capability. It is small in size and very lightweight.
It is perfect for the beginner because it comes with picks, a strap, a tuner, and much more. In other words, you’ll be ready to start playing as soon as the package arrives because you’ll have everything you need to start strumming immediately.
16) HUAWIND Ukulele for Beginners (Soprano)
Available in various colors and made specifically for beginners, the HUAWIND ukulele is great for traveling, thanks to its portability. This is definitely one of the best travel ukulele.
It has a gloss finish and is made of basswood, but its fingerboard is made of hardwood, not rosewood as so many other ukes are.
If you are looking for the perfect ukulele to present to a child or a beginning player, the HUAWIND soprano ukulele is the one you want.
17) Sawtooth ST-UKE-MS-KIT-1 Mahogany Ukulele (Soprano)
Another soprano ukulele, the Sawtooth uke is made at a low cost without sacrificing quality. It has 15 frets, a beautiful laser rosette design, and a natural satin finish for extra attractiveness.
Its geared tuners help it stay in tune for a very long time, and its Aquila strings make both tuning and playing the instrument very easy to do. The Sawtooth enables you to have a cheap ukulele without feeling as if you’re playing a toy ukulele, which is what everyone wants.
18) Mahalo MK1TBR Kahiko Series Ukulele (Soprano)
One of the easiest ukuleles to learn to play; this uke comes in four very distinct finishes and produces a beautiful tone that is reminiscent of traditional Hawaiian experience.
Made mostly for beginners and short-term playing, the uke contains brass frets and comes with its own carrying bag. Unless you want something for professional or long-term use, the Mahalo MK1TBR ukulele should definitely be considered when you want to learn to play this instrument.
19) Pyle Solid Wood Mahogany Ukulele (Soprano)
The Pyle ukulele is a traditional-looking ukulele with 15 frets and Aquila strings. It is so well-made that it is even popular among professional ukulele players. It comes in a beautiful design and has die-cast tuners that make the process a lot easier on you.
The gears themselves help hold the tune in place for a very long time, so there is no need for continuous tuning. It also has an extraordinary look and a beautiful, full tone.
20) Kangaroo 22.5" Ukulele with Electronic Tuner
The Kangaroo ukulele is perfect for children who want to learn the instrument but who do not want a toy ukulele to practice on. The uke is very reasonably priced but made for serious players as well.
It is made with faux wood and plastic but is still high in quality, and it weighs only around two pounds. The
Kangaroo uke can teach both adults and three-year-old children how to play so if you’re researching the best cheap ukulele on the market, it is a good idea to take this one into consideration.
Final thoughts on the best cheap ukuleles
Looking for the best cheap ukulele that is also well made is not as difficult as some people think. Of the above-mentioned ukuleles, most experts consider the following three to be the absolute best:
- The Hola! Music HM-21BR Ukulele.
- The Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele.
- The Donner Soprano Ukulele Spruce DUS-3 Ukulele.
The results are based on overall quality, attractiveness, ease of playing, ease of tuning, sound, color, and, of course, affordability. You don’t have to settle for low quality just because you’re looking for a cheap ukulele and this list of ukes proves it.
You’ll also notice that most of these ukuleles are the soprano type and this is not by accident. Soprano ukuleles, because of their size, tend to be smaller and therefore less expensive than other types of ukuleles.
Obviously, this does not mean that small ukes are always substandard because nowadays more and more companies are concentrating on making ukuleles that both beginners and experienced players can enjoy, not to mention ukes that are both well made and reasonably priced.
A little due diligence on your part can help you find the right ukulele for your needs. Whether the uke you’re shopping for is a first-time purchase or a replacement, it is good to know that you no longer have to spend a lot of money just to get a ukulele that you’ll enjoy playing for some time.