Embroidery machines give you the ability to customize anything from napkins and accessories to home furnishings, and with a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.
Whether you’re an avid sewist looking for a way to add detail to your work, a seasoned embroider looking for a new machine, or you’re taking your first steps towards needlework, there’s a machine that’s ideal for you. These are our ten best embroidery machines.
How to buy an embroidery machine
- Do some initial research and talk with your local dealer if you have one
- Again, your dealer is your new best friend. Shop according to your dealer’s knowledge but also make sure that the dealer's looking out for your best interest too. Some are a bit shady. Ignore what random comments suggest or whatever the crazy cat lady on the internet tells you to buy
- Write down the features you know you NEED and buy according to that. Don’t waste money on features you won’t really use 99% of the time. A shady dealer will try to up-sell you features that you don't actually need if you go in unprepared.
- Heavier machines are made of better materials but they probably also cost more. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a new machine buy a quality used one.
- Old quality machines might be better and cheaper but harder to find replacement parts for.
- Dealers should let you test drive a machine before buying it. Bring your own fabric.
Make sure there is a good manual and Youtube videos about your embroiderer. They are the 2 most important things outside having a dealer
- A bigger price tag doesn’t always mean a much better machine. Sometimes it’s just a silly cosmetic upgrade with some designs to increase price.
- Each machine has it’s own learning curve and personality. There will be an adjustment period. Your local dealership might offer classes or there might be some online.
- Unless you specifically know that you don’t need more than a 4×4 hoop size, get the biggest hoop size you can afford/need because most people find 4″ x 4″ to be too small.
- Trust statistics – When looking at reviews look for devices with the highest satisfaction and the biggest amount of reviews
There are more than 27 different companies that make embroidery machines. And as said before hundreds of machines themselves. I would advise against reading individual comments about the reliability of a brand. Most will either have a good or a bad experience with a machine and that experience will often be extended to the entire brand. Unless a person has experiences with 100s of machines (like a dealer) you should take with a grain of salt everything they say. Of course there are predatory companies that take advantage of consumers so:
Brands that aren’t perfect but are generally trustworthy:
Brother, Babylock, Janome, Bernina, Pfaff, Husqvarna, Amaya, Tajima, Viking
The Memory Craft 400E from Janome is the best embroidery machine for small business.
- +Large work field
- +Plenty of pre-programmed designs
- +Lots of customization options
This powerful machine makes it quick and easy to personalize and embellish a wide range of clothing, home décor, and accessories. This makes it the best embroidery machine for home businesses on our list.
There is a large pro-level 7.9 x 7.9 inch embroidery field which is something that you don’t often see from embroidery machines at this price point. There’s also an extra-wide table which gives you plenty of room to work.
There are plenty of pre-programmed templates to get you started, with 160 built-in embroidery designs and six fonts which are perfect for monogramming. If that’s not enough, there’s also a USB port for importing designs of your own.
The full-color LCD touchscreen allows you to make edits to your designs including enlarging, flipping, and rotating images, combining designs, and copying and pasting. You can also select single color sewing, program jump thread trimming, and adjust the speed up to 860 stitches per minute as you embroider.
The price of this machine will make it unsuitable for most casual embroiderers, but if you want a workhorse without going for a commercial machine, this is the one for you.
Singer’s Futura XL-550 is perfect for creatives who want to combine sewing with embroidery.
- +Lots of design editing options
- +Automation features are designed for beginners
- +Option for four different hoop placements
- -Tricky to work with different materials
This all-in-one machine makes it simple to harness your creativity and create beautiful designs on t-shirts, napkins, and anything else that can fit into the 6 x 10 inch workspace. If you want to expand on the workspace, there’s the option to use up to four different hoop placements to create a finished design of 24 x 40 inches.
There are 125 designs and 215 stitches pre-programmed into this machine, but Singer’s software also makes it possible to create unique embroidery. You can edit the pre-programmed designs, convert clip-art, and utilize every TrueType font on your PC. If that all sounds too tricky, there are lots of automation features that make it a great choice for a beginner.
There’s no onboard screen as there is with the Janome model, but it’s easy to program and control the machine without it so it’s no huge loss. It can be tricky to embroider on different materials, so if you’re just starting out it might be smarter to stick to just one.
Fun fact in 2017, Brother manufactured its 60 millionth home sewing machine.
The PE800 is the best Brother embroidery machine for passionate hobbyists.
- +Easy to use features
- +Lots of design customization options
- +Good for high-volume tasks
- -Workspace isn’t huge
Professional and dedicated embroiders will love how many productivity and creativity features can be found on this machine.
There are 138 designs and 11 fonts built-in to this easy-to-use machine, and the expandable memory option lets you add more via USB so there are no limitations to your creativity.
You can also edit your designs to create custom pieces by adjusting the size, and reflecting and rotating images.
A maximum of 650 stitches per minute is ideal for high-volume tasks or anyone who takes commissions and sells their creations.
The 5 x 7 inch workspace is bigger than average but isn’t huge so you might find yourself limited with how large you can go with your creations.
The PE770 from Brother is a great lower-priced alternative to the PE800 and is our best embroidery machine for beginners.
- +Easy setup
- +Editing options via the LCD screen
- +Great value
- -Not suited to professionals
If you’re a novice embroider but you want to create professional designs, there are plenty of features in this machine that will help you achieve exactly that. The quickset bobbin makes setup easy: just drop the bobbin into place, put the thread through its slot and you can begin embroidering.
136 designs give you plenty of options to work with if you don’t want to create your own, but if you want to edit them on the LCD screen or upload your own via the USB port you can do so. The 5 x 7 inch workspace matches that of the PE800 and is plenty of room for beginners to get to grips with.
This great value embroidery machine isn’t well suited to professionals, and it can have a tendency to jam, but for the price, it’s a superb option for beginners and hobbyists.
The EverSewn Hero is a great all-rounder capable of complex creativity and easy-to-learn basics.
- +Combination embroidery and sewing machine
- +Compact and lightweight
- +Over 400 stitched available
- -Customer service is lacking
EverSewn might be a lesser-known brand, but with this machine, it easily stands up to the bigger names.
We love that this is a combination machine which means you can sew on it, too. This is a great feature for people who like to do both crafts and it makes the price much easier to digest. The small footprint of the machine also makes it a great option for anyone with a small workroom, which is appealing to non-professionals without a dedicated embroidery space.
As well as being able to handle simple utility stitches, it’s also great with more complex and decorative embroidery. There are more than 400 stitches available to choose from, and a maximum speed of 800 stitches per minute means that you can power through your designs incredibly quickly. As with the other options on our list, there are plenty of pre-loaded patterns and fonts to choose from, and you can also download your own onto the machine via USB.
The lack of customer support and user instructions is the main downside of this model, but if you don’t have any problems which warrant help you’re sure to love this machine.
Singer’s Futura XL-400 is another great combination machine that’s ideal for beginners.
- +SwiftSmart threading system
- +Large work area
- +Speed control for volume or precision
- -No screen
The SwiftSmart threading system is ideal for new and non-nimble embroiders get set up and can save a lot of time when working with a variety of colors.
125 designs come built in, along with 30 stitch types and five fonts. That’s plenty to get newbie embroiders started. Designs can also be transferred via a USB cable connected to your PC if you want to try something new.
The 18.5 x 11 inch embroidery area is a real plus point of this machine, as it opens up the possibility to create large-scale designs on clothing, soft furnishings, and anything else you want to personalize.
The speed control is great for switching between precision and volume and makes it easy for beginners to control. There’s no screen on this model which can be useful for new embroiders when getting to grips with the craft.
This limited edition XR9500PRW Project Runway machine from Brother is perfect for hobbyists or as a backup machine for professionals.
- +Wide table
- +Backlit LCD screen
- +Plenty of stitches and stitch functions
- -Not a dedicated embroidery machine
This machine isn’t dedicated to embroidery but there’s still plenty you can do with it, making it a superb option for anyone wanting to give the craft a try.
The wide table is ideal for larger projects, and the backlit LCD screen makes it easy to keep control of whatever you’re working on.
There’s only one built in font so if monogramming is your thing you might want to give this machine a miss. However, there are 100 unique stitches and 140 stitch functions so you can get creative with patterns. There aren’t any designs built in so you’ll need to rely on your own creativity, but if you’re looking for a machine to play around with, this could be a great option for you.
Brother’s SE600 is the best sewing and embroidery machine for the price.
- +Versatile and easy to use
- +Handy color LCD touchscreen
- +Variable speed
- -Software is expensive
What makes this best sewing and embroidery machine combo is that it’s versatile, easy-to-use, and great for beginners. The self-threading needle will save you lots of time, and it’s pretty quick and simple to switch between sewing and embroidering modes.
The 4 x 4 inch embroidery area is small when compared to other options on our list, but with 80 designs and 103 stitches built in, you can cram a lot of creativity into that space.
You can import and edit designs too, by changing individual thread colors, arcing lettering, and moving images around. The color LCD touchscreen allows you to preview your edits before you commit to stitching them, saving you from wasting time and materials on designs that don’t work.
Speed is variable so you can adjust it to suit how you like to work, and the seven included quick-change sewing feet make it easy to switch between zigzag, blind stitch, monogramming, and more.
The main issue with this machine is that you’ll most likely want some software for it, and it doesn’t come cheap. This is a little frustrating but otherwise, the SE600 is a gem.
2. Singer 9960
Singer’s 9960 is one of the best machines available for budding designers.
- +Time saving features
- +Capable of 850 stitches per minute
- +LCD screen
- - Not a specialized embroidery machine
There are some super handy features available on this machine that make it really enjoyable to use. The automatic needle threader makes it easy to thread the machine, and the built-in thread cutter trims thread with one touch. The speed control is also handy as it allows you to get through your project quickly, take your time on every stitch, or settle somewhere in between.
If you want to get through a job quickly, you’ll love the maximum of 850 stitches per minute. However you choose to work, the LCD screen provides information on your project so you can monitor things like stitches and foot recommendations to ensure your settings are exactly as you want them.
This isn’t a specialized embroidery machine so if you’re a novice sewist and embroider you might want to go for something with more automation and some pre-loaded designs. There are five fonts and 600 built-in stitches though, so if you want to test your creative flair there are lots to try out.
1. Singer 7258
For under $200, the 7258 from Singer is the best cheap embroidery machine.
- +Easy to use
- +Works for sewing and embroidering
- +Automatic bobbin winding
- -Small work area
This is a sewing machine that can be used for embroidery, so don’t expect pre-loaded designs. You can, however, expect an easy-to-use machine that’ll have you stitching in minutes. The addition of an embroidery foot makes it simple to switch to this function, which is handy for people that like to work across both disciplines.
Threading the machine is also automatic and takes just six seconds to do.
There are 100 built-in stitches to choose from, and there are great practical features such as the automatic bobbin winding which stops when it’s full and doesn’t move the needle in the process.
The LCD screen is a nice feature for a machine of this price, and it makes it easy to check and change your settings at a glance.
This machine isn’t perfect and the most irritating thing about it is the small workspace around the needle. It feels very cramped and is difficult to maneuver even small hands and fabrics around it.
For businesses, the Memory Craft 400E from Janome cannot be beaten and apart from its high price we have nothing negative to say about it. If you’re a passionate hobbyist or you like to sell crafts as your side hustle, we recommend the PE800 from Brother because of its array of customization options and its ability to handle high volume tasks. If you’re looking for a well-priced embroidery machine or you’re a beginner, try the SE600 from Brother. The large touchscreen makes it easy to use and the variable speed allows you to work at your own pace.
Which embroidery machine do you use and why? Let us know in the comments.