If you’re interested in sewing, chances are you’re inclined to try embroidery, too. Embroidery is a fun and creative way to express your artistic side, imagination, and add style to your projects. Usually hand-embroidery is the first introduction with this craft, although lack of time and skills will point to embroidery machines as the most efficient solution. Plus, buying an embroidery machine is the next logical step for experienced sewers who want to advance their business.
Regardless of what motivated you to look for an embroidery machine, picking just the right machine for your needs is an important but tricky task. Needless to say, there are more embroidery machines than you can shake your stick at on the market today, which makes this quest that much harder.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you by reviewing some of the best embroidery machines available for purchase. Whether you’re looking for something that can use downloaded patterns or you just want a machine that has stock, built-in images, and monogramming, make sure to check out our recommendations to find the perfect match.
The Best Embroidery Machines for 2020
A lot of embroidery machines are good, but only a few are great. How can you tell which one will be the best for you? The chart below is a good start. Quickly compare and contrast models and then take a look at our in-depth reviews.
Best Overall: Brother PE800 Embroidery
The famous Brother PE800 embroidery machine is our recommendation for the best embroidery machine for most people. It’s a fully automated and computerized machine that has a large embroidery field and more than enough built-in designs you can further customize, or download unique patterns for. The Brother PE800 is a great option for both amateurs and experienced sewers.
Reasons to Buy:
Large Designs. The Brother PE800 is an embroidery-only machine that features an embroidery foot and a large 5″ x 7″ inch embroidery hoop perfect. This means you can easily work on large designs like quilts, dresses, pillowcases, and the like.
Versatility. We love that Brother PE800 is versatile and can compete with commercial-grade embroidery machines, while still being affordable and suitable for home businesses. It comes with 138 built-in designs from scrollwork and florals to many unique quilt patterns. Also, you can choose from 11 built-in fonts for monogramming. They include 7 English, 3 Japanese, and 1 Cyrillic font styles for all of your monogramming and lettering needs.
USB Port. While beginners will be more than happy with those features, professionals will be especially happy to know that Brother PE800 also has a USB port, which you can use to import an unlimited number of designs and patterns for embroidering.
Touchscreen. Brother PE800 allows for advanced personalization of your designs thanks to its LCD color touchscreen. You can rotate, increase or decrease the size, or use a mirror image to edit your designs right on the machine.
Instructional. We believe most people will be satisfied with the Brother PE800 because not only does it offer some amazing features, but it’s also suited for complete beginners. The machine comes with step-by-step tutorials that are shown right on the LCD touchscreen display. For example, you will learn how to thread the machine, how to attach the embroidery arm, and so much more.
Warranty. Best of all, Brother PE800 comes with an excellent warranty and amazing customer support with free phone and online technical support at all times.
Reasons not to Buy:
Learning Curve. The only drawback we noticed is that some customers have complained that there’s a learning curve to this machine and getting comfortable with it might take some time.
Best on Budget: SINGER Futura XL400
SINGER Futura XL400 is an amazing inexpensive embroidery machine that we highly recommend for beginners and home business owners. The machine can easily be compared with higher-end embroidery machines thanks to the automatic system, large embroidery field, and plenty of built-in designs. Best of all, it’s a two-in-one sewing and embroidery machine which is perfect for anyone who can’t afford to buy two separate machines.
Reasons to Buy:
Functionality. SINGER Futura XL400 is an entry-level embroidery machine that has everything you need to start your journey right away. You can easily choose between 125 built-in embroidery designs which include 5 fonts and an outline lettering. When it comes to sewing, you can choose from over 30 popular built-in sewing stitches with two fully automatic one-step buttonholes.
Large Designs. Even as a budget pick, we love that SINGER Futura XL400 has a decent embroidery field of 10” x 6” with multi-hooping capability. This allows you to work on designs as large as 20 inches, like many tablecloths, bedspreads, dresses, and more.
Easy-to-use. We also love how perfect for beginners this embroidery machine is. The SINGER Futura XL400 comes with an automatic needle threader and a drop-and-sew bobbin system, so you can easily set it up and monitor the whole process.
USB Port. However, what we’re truly most impressed by is that the SINGER Futura XL400 can easily rub shoulders with higher-end computerized embroidery machines thanks to the USB cable which allows you to connect the embroidery machine to your tablet, laptop, or PC. This means you can add or edit designs and patterns just like in high-end machines, but for the fraction of the cost.
Warranty. Just like our other higher-end recommendations, the SINGER Futura XL400 comes backed with an excellent warranty of 25 years, which is impressive considering its price tag.
Reasons not to Buy:
Thread Tension. Some customers have noticed that sometimes the machine has thread tension issues, which can be annoying.
Support. Also, some people were disappointed that SINGER as a brand failed to offer top-notch customer service worthy of its reputation.
Best Quality: Janome Memory Craft 400E
Janome is one of the most reputable names when it comes to embroidery and sewing machines, and their Memory Craft 400E model deserves a lot of praise for its amazing quality and efficiency. We love the Janome Memory Craft 400E embroidery machine because it’s a sophisticated model with extra features and functionalities which will make a lot of professionals happy.
Reasons to Buy:
Large Designs. Thanks to the Janome Memory Craft 400E, you can now work on large projects involving décor items, garments, and accessories. The machine has a large embroidery field of 7.9″ x 7.9″ which means you won’t have to replace the fabric frequently – a tedious and difficult task.
Versatility. We can also praise the Janome Memory Craft 400E embroidery machine for its versatility, as it comes with 160 built-in embroidery designs, as well as 6 fonts for monogramming. Of course, just like other high-end embroidery machines, the Janome Memory Craft 400E is also computerized and has a USB port through which you can import unique designs.
Speed. With the Janome Memory Craft 400E, you’ll finish all of your projects very quickly. The unit has great maximum speed and is capable of going up to 860 stitches per minute without compromising precision and stability.
On-Screen Editing. However, what truly makes the Janome Memory Craft 400E stand out from the competition are the advanced on-screen editing functions which include zooming, enlarging, reducing, rotating, combining, arc, drag and drop, as well as copy and paste options. Basically, you can forget about a PC or laptop since most of the editing can be done directly through the display screen on the machine. Some other advanced features that you won’t find in many other embroidery machines include the flexible stitch traveling (by units 1, 10, 100), programmable jump thread trimming, adjusting speed while embroidering, as well as auto-return post thread break. All of these features will save you a lot of time and make embroidering easier.
Reasons not to Buy:
Overkill for Beginners. Although suitable for home businesses, the Janome Memory Craft 400E might be a little overwhelming for beginners who are just starting with embroidery. Plus, considering its price, it might not be worth the price difference as some of our other recommendations are more than enough, especially for beginners.
Learning Curve. Since the Janome Memory Craft 400E is very innovative, there’s a learning curve you need to take into consideration until you can be completely comfortable operating the machine.
Most Versatile: Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery
Another amazing sewing machine from Brother is the SE1900 model that also doubles as an embroidery machine. The multi-functionality of the machine coupled with its quality and advanced functionality makes it stand out from the competition and grab a spot among the best embroidery machines of today. It’s highly versatile and relatively affordable which makes it a great choice for people who want to fully explore their creativity and make unique designs.
Reasons to Buy:
Touchscreen.Brother SE1900 comes with a large, LCD touchscreen in color which allows you to view and choose the colors of your imported design. This feature lets you change individual thread colors and preview how your design is going to look like before starting to embroider.
Versatility. However, the Brother SE1900 model stands out with its versatility, which basically means your options for stitching and embroidery are unlimited. The machine has 138 built-in designs and 11 built-in fonts for embroidery, and 240 stitch options with 10 styles of auto-size buttonholes for sewing.
Functionality. From the 11 built-in fonts used for monogramming and lettering, you can choose between 7 English fonts, 3 Japanese fonts, and 1 Cyrillic font. Not to mention, you can edit and customize the letters by changing the font size, arranging letters in an arc, or changing the color of each letter individually.
USB Port. And if that’s not enough, the machine features a USB port so you can import any design you can find or make yourself. This gives you unlimited embroidery design options. In case you don’t know where to find embroidery designs, you can visit ibroidery’s website where you can choose from more than 1000 designs, including licensed designs, exclusively for Brother customers.
Free-Motion Feature. Finally, for the more skilled and experienced sewers, you can always choose to draw your designs with the thread as you’re sewing, thanks to the free-motion sewing feature.
Easy-to-use. Setting up and operating the machine is simple and user-friendly. The Brother SE1900 features an automatic needle threader and quick drop-in bobbin system, which makes this machine very easy to use.
Reasons not to Buy:
Learning Curve. Just like other higher-end embroidery machines, the Brother SE1900 has a learning curve that takes some trial and error before you can effortlessly make beautiful designs.
Loud. Additionally, some customers have complained that the machine is quite loud, which can be frustrating for people with home businesses.
The Brother PE800 Embroidery is a durable, versatile, and easy-to-use embroidery machine that can be used by professionals as well as new embroidery enthusiasts. It comes with a lot of built-in designs and the ability to transfer your own patterns through a USB port. Also, the machine comes with a large embroidery field which will allow you to work on bigger designs without re-hooping often. All this and more make this unit our number one choice as the overall best embroidery machine.
Since buying an embroidery machine is a serious investment, the SINGER Futura XL400 is a great alternative for people with smaller pockets. The machine is very well-built, durable, and features many automatic functionalities that are beneficial for beginners. Best of all, it connects with your tablet or laptop from where you can add or edit designs, which truly makes this machine a steal.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Janome Memory Craft 400E model is a costly, yet impressively feature-rich embroidery machine. Aside from being a well-built, high-quality unit, this machine is like a small supercomputer with advanced design maneuvers fit for professionals and long-time sewers looking for the best of the best. The ability to edit designs on-screen and program the jump thread trimming delivers a futuristic sewing experience.
Finally, the best multifunctional sewing and embroidery machine which can also be used for quilting is the Brother SE1900 model. If you like to take up embroidering as a hobby and explore your creativity, or simply need a high-quality all-in-one machine on which you can stitch straight, quilt, and embroider, this is the way to go. The machine has a large embroidering field, plenty of built-in designs, customizable options, monogramming options, as well as free-motion sewing, which will give you all the freedom you need to create beautiful pieces.
What Is an Embroidery Machine and Why Do You Need One?
Do you remember those beautiful stitched portraits that your grandmother had hanging on her wall? Or do you perhaps have a quilt that has some incredible images on each square? All those beautiful designs are the work of embroidery.
The modern embroidery machine can help you create unique patterns that are perfectly stitched in a fraction of the time of hand stitching. You simply place the material into the frame and let the machine do the work!
Some embroidery machines offer the ability to connect to the internet so that you can download unique patterns. Others have USB 2.0 compatibility so you can transfer pattern files you’ve downloaded onto your computer into the embroidery machine. Either way, you’ll be able to create intricate patterns of florals, fonts, and other fantastic images!
If you are looking to take your sewing to the next level – perhaps to turn your hobby into a great business opportunity, then you’ll need one of the best embroidery and sewing machines to help you accomplish this goal. Nothing is better than an embroidery machine, especially if it can accomplish your straight stitching chores as well. Look for a sewing machine that has a detachable embroidery frame with good drop-down dogs so your materials can be fed through to the needle without difficulty.
What Are the Different Types of Embroidery Machines?
Embroidery machines fall into three basic categories:
1. Some have built-in patterns with no downloadable options,
2. Some have built-in patterns and connect directly to the internet for thousands more, and
3. Some have built-in patterns with a USB port to let you transfer compatible files.
When looking at the best embroidery machines from a cost standpoint alone, the machines with the built-in patterns alone are the best deal. They cost about 30% less than other types of embroidery machines and will give you some customization to fuel your creativity. These machines are perfect for those who have never tried embroidery before. However, they can feel limiting in the long run.
For those who just want to jump in and begin with a professional-grade machine, any option that allows you to add files to the stock options is a good investment. You’ll want to look for a machine that allows you to modify the downloaded pattern from the machine itself if you want to add another level of customization to your embroidery experience.
Many embroidery machines will only do embroidery, but there are some that can sew, quilt, and do so much more, like monogramming, stitching, ruffles, and whatever else you can imagine doing with a sewing machine! These all-in-one machines are typically commercial-grade and most expensive, but they are also the most valuable. If you really want to step up your sewing game, this is the way to go.
How Do I Find the Best Models?
If you’re looking for a high-quality embroidery machine, the first thing you should look for is a machine that offers automatic thread tension and autopilot functions. Only the most skilled sewers can manually control all of the aspects of embroidery while maintaining manual control, and even they like to take a break every now and then!
Therefore, look for a machine that has a good reputation for providing consistent tension and consistent speeds, thanks to the automated functions.
You’ll also want to find an embroidery machine that offers a top-loading bobbin and color-coded threading to make sure the machine is easy to use. Embroidery also takes a lot of extra thread when compared to other sewing chores, which means you may need to wind bobbins at the same time you are sewing. Use our best embroidery machine reviews to find the perfect features to meet your needs and you won’t be disappointed with the sewing machine you choose.
The best embroidery machines also provide you with a large frame in which to work. The minimum size you should look for is 4×4 inches square so that you can create amazing quilting squares. With certain machines, you’ll then be able to connect the squares after you’ve finished embroidering them.
The best embroidery machines should give you access to thousands of extra patterns through .pes files that you can download either for free or for a small cost. Load them directly onto your machine and then customize them, sometimes down to every stitch, so that you can create exactly what you have in mind.
What Are the Prices?
Even if you just want an embroidery-only sewing machine, you’ll find that the costs of this type of machine are a little more than your standard sewing machine. You can find an entry-level model starting at $350 on Amazon today, but most brands and models have at least a $600 price tag accompanying them. That’s about the average price you would expect to pay today.
If you’re looking for a top-quality embroidery machine that can handle a professional output, then you’ll be looking at $1,500 to $3,000 machines, or even more expensive. In return, however, you’ll get a sewing machine that’s a complete all-in-one tool for all of your sewing needs, able to download new patterns and get firmware updates that keep the machine running well.
Before You Leave
Practicing embroidering can be incredibly fun and rewarding, and if you really get into it, you can turn it into much more than a hobby. And, the best way to advance your skills and start embroidering professionally is to move from hand-embroidering to an embroidering machine.
The best embroidering machine will deliver professional designs that look just like a real image. Plus, with computerized options and free-motion sewing, you can really express yourself artistically without limiting your creativity.
Hopefully, you found the best embroidery machine for you among our recommendations. But if you’re still in doubt, feel free to follow the links where you can see current prices, in-depth product specifications, and customer reviews, which will help you make an informed decision.
Also, don’t forget to check out our many other product guides, sewing machine reviews, and sewing tips and tricks.
Last update on 2020-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API