In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), type I IFNs promote induction of type I IFN-stimulated genes (ISG) and can drive B cells to produce autoantibodies. Little is known about the expression of distinct type I IFNs in lupus, particularly high-affinity IFN-β. Single-cell analyses of transitional B cells isolated from SLE patients revealed distinct B cell subpopulations, including type I IFN producers, IFN responders, and mixed IFN producer/responder clusters. Anti-Ig plus TLR3 stimulation of SLE B cells induced release of bioactive type I IFNs that could stimulate HEK-Blue cells. Increased levels of IFN-β were detected in circulating B cells from SLE patients compared with controls and were significantly higher in African American patients with renal disease and in patients with autoantibodies. Together, the results identify type I IFN-producing and -responding subpopulations within the SLE B cell compartment and suggest that some patients may benefit from specific targeting of IFN-β.