Picking from one of the top embroidery machines out there may be a daunting process, as there is a lot to consider for both rookies and professionals. Every embroidery and sewing machines unique and have a lot of different features, capabilities, sizes, and additional accessories. For example, you can easily get a simple, cheap, and small embroidery machine that’s around the $100 – $200 price range and that’d be suitable for a couple of embroidery purposes. Or you can purchase a high-quality, computerized sewing and embroidery machine that’s closer to $1000 than it is to $100 and that’s capable of sewing hundreds of different and complex embroidery designs, as well as quilting, and many other features.
As long as your choice has a high enough quality that matches its price, it should be a “good” choice. But how should you make sure that you’re getting exactly what you need? There’s a lot of research that goes into a successful embroidery machine purchase, and a lot of it is quite complicated, especially if you’re new to this niche.
Reading plenty of customer reviews is an excellent start to the research process and is pretty much a must, but it can also be quite confusing given how subjective and ill-informed a lot of customers often are. Reading the reviews and articles of an industry professional is also a good next step as they are typically very well-informed and educational. However, they can also be a bit biased, unfortunately, which may stray you away from models and brands that would have otherwise suit you perfectly. So read our best embroidery machines guide carefully to find your top choice and brand.
TOP 10 BEST EMBROIDERY MACHINES AT A GLANCE
What you’ll learn from our embroidery machine guide?
So, to help you out with all this research, we decided to compile a Top 10 list of embroidery machines we could find on the online market right now. The list includes a large variety of machines from most price ranges and designs. We’ve included some specialized embroidery machines that don’t have any other sewing capabilities, several sewing & embroidery machines that can do both things very well, and we’ve also added several sewing machine models that can do pretty much everything your sewing needs might require.
Most of these devices are suitable for both rookies and professionals, although some are more suited for the former group and others – for the latter. Which would be better for you is up to your personal needs and preferences, we’ve focused on making sure that all the products here are of a high enough quality, especially concerning their price. None of them are perfect, of course, but most of the problems you might read about occur in individual devices and are not familiar to these models as a whole.
After the Top 10 list, we’ve also included a quick buying guide on what you should consider before making your purchase and selecting from our embroidery machines guide.
Hopefully, all of this will be helpful in your search of the best embroidery machines
First on our list is the PE535 model of Brother Sewing. A straightforward but versatile embroidery machine, this model isn’t a sewing machine but is an embroidery machine exclusively. It has a lot of different features such as an LCD touchscreen display for easy control, a memory function, and a USB port, which, together, allow the user to import any designs they want to work with, as well as 80 built-in and fresh designs that can be embroidered right away.
In addition to all these designs, the PE535 also offers different font styles, lettering and monogramming, as well as various frame patterns. All these functions and features, as well as the overall quality of the machine, make it suitable for both beginners and professionals alike. Plus, said quality is further illustrated by the generous 25-year limited warranty offered by Brother.
- The PE535 model has 80 built-in and ready to use embroidery designs.
- Equipped with a memory function and a practical LCD display, this Brother Sewing embroidery machine model can also easily be used with USB-imported designs.
- The Brother Sewing PE535 model comes with a 25-year limited warranty.
Next, we present the “big brother” of the previous model – the Brother Sewing PE800. This model offers everything the last machine embroidery did but in larger quantities and with the same high quality. It has a large and very practical to use embroidery area of 5 x 7 inches which is fantastic as it allows for more complicated and combined designs, for more intricate lettering, as well as for less rehooping overall.
Just like the PE535, this model also has built-in embroidery designs, but here they are 138 in total. Plus, this model also has a beautiful LCD touchscreen, a memory function, and a USB port, allowing the user to import as many designs as they wish.
- The PE800 embroidery machine is equipped with a unique 5” x 7” stitching field for more extensive and more versatile designs.
- This model also has a large touchscreen LCD display as well as a memory function which you can use to load countless designs.
- This larger Brother Sewing machine comes with 138 built-in embroidery designs.
The third and last Brother Sewing embroidery machine on our list is the PE550D, but is it the embroidery machine for you? Let’s take a look. Intended for families with kids, this model has 125 built-in designs, 45 of which are Disney-themed. This makes it an excellent choice if you want to embroider fun designs on their kids’ clothes and blankets. If that’s not your style, however, the PE550D also offers a memory feature which allows you to add and store many more designs through the machine’s USB port.
This model also has an excellent LCD touchscreen display, allowing you to control its many features. The embroidering field is 4” x 4” which is pretty standard although other models have larger areas if that’s what you’re looking for.
- This Brother Sewing embroidery machine also comes with 125 built-in designs, 45 of which are Disney-themed for people with children.
- The built-in memory that’s typical for Brother Sewing is also a part of this model, allowing the customer to add countless designs to the machine.
- The PE550D also has an embroidering editing feature, allowing the user to rotate, move, mirror image, and resize before embroidering.
For something different, here we have a sewing machine that comes with an embroidery foot as an additional extra. The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is one of the best sewing machines for beginners who want to explore the different avenues sewing has to offer. It comes with a lot of features together with its embroidery foot – a button sewing foot, an open toe foot, an overcasting foot, and much more.
Speaking of embroidery, in particular, the Quantum Stylist doesn’t have some of the embroidery features that dedicated embroidery machines have, but its overall quality and the fact that it can be used for more than just embroidery make up for that.
- The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is exceptionally well priced for the overall quality and impressive amount of features it offers.
- In addition to its embroidery foot, this sewing machine also comes with an all-purpose foot, an overcasting foot, a satin stitch foot, a rolled hem foot, a quilting foot, and many others.
- The Quantum Stylist 9960 is very easy to study and allows even novice users to use its full potential very quickly.
If sewing and embroidery are your two main goals, the EverSewn Hero is an excellent tool for both. It has a price to match its quality, but it’s very much worth it. The Hero model is very practically designed and is both easy for novices to learn on as well as sufficient enough for skilled craftsmen and women to appreciate. It offers an ample working space of six and a half inches length and is capable of very complex embroidery or sewing feats.
The machine comes with 40 built-in embroidery designs as well as over 400 sewing patterns. It also has a USB port which allows the user to load whatever additional designs and patterns they choose. The user display and keyboard are straightforward and intuitive to use and make for a quick working process.
- A great combination of sewing and embroidery, the EverSewn Hero, is capable of 40 built-in embroidery designs and over 400 pattern stitches.
- The embroidery area of the EverSewn Hero is 4.3” x 6.7” which is more than the standard 4” x 4” for most other embroidery machines.
- This model comes with eight additional presser feet.
For another computerized sewing model that can work great for embroidery, the Janome JW8100 sewing machine comes at a great price. It’s excellent for novices and amateurs who want something that’s both practical and budget-friendly. The machine comes with a hardcover and an extension table, as well as a total of 22 other accessories. It’s capable of 100 different built-in stitches and seven auto buttonhole styles. Some of the features you can expect from this machine include a speed control slider, a locking stitch slider, and a reverse lever. There are quarter inch foot, an even feed foot, and several others. Overall, the machine is has a very quick learning curve and is exceptionally easy to use. The one downside of this Janome model is that its hoop can face specific difficulties with thicker and heavier materials, and can’t be replaced with too many alternative hoops.
- The Janome JW8100 comes with an extension table.
- This sewing machine is capable of different 100 built-in stitches, as well as seven auto buttonhole styles.
- While this isn’t a dedicated embroidery machine, it’s a very budget-friendly option.
- This model may face some difficulties with thicker materials.
This could be the embroidery machine if you are after alot of patterns. So for another option from Singer, the Superb EM200 is a specialized embroidery sewing machine that has a total of 200 built-in embroidery designs and six alphabet options. The EM200 is made out of quality materials and has a very durable and practical design that’s inspired by some of Singer’s iconic sewing machines. This model has a very large and convenient to use the embroidery area of 10 x 6 inches, which is perfect for intricate designs or combinations of several different patterns.
The EM200 also comes with a myriad of additional features and accessories such as a seam ripper; a spool pin felt, a lint brush, an auxiliary spool pin, and much more.
- The Superb EM200 comes with 200 built-in embroidery designs in a total of 6 different alphabets.
- The embroidery hoop on this model has impressive dimensions of 10” x 6”.
- The EM200 is also equipped with an LCD touchscreen display, an upper thread sensor, a snap-on presser foot, an automatic thread tensions, a USB embroidery stick, and many other features.
For another great combination of sewing and embroidery capabilities, the Singer Legacy C440 is a neat little wonder. It’s capable of very high sewing and embroidery speeds of up to 800 stitches-per-minute, it is equipped 3 Staybright LED lights, an LCD touchscreen, and more. It also comes with a ton of accessories in addition to its embroidery foot – a button sewing foot, a blind hem foot, a satin stitch foot, a parallel sewing foot, and a lot of others.
- This Singer sewing machine comes with a myriad of accessories including an embroidery foot, a zipper foot, a seam ripper, an open toe foot, and many others.
- The maximum sewing speed of the Singer Legacy for both embroidery and sewing is 800 stitches-per-minute.
- As a sewing machine, the Singer Legacy C440 has a total of 250 built-in stitches.
Back to Singer one last time, this is their XL-420 Sewing and Embroidery machine. It is a very high-quality machine, especially considering the sheer number of features it has to offer. It is rather pricey, but that’s to be expected of a Singer model with so many capabilities. The XL-420 comes with 200 built-in embroidery designs of all sizes, as well as 30 sewing stitches, and five monogramming fonts. The machine is straightforward to operate by both novices and experts, and it gives the user the freedom to perform basic editing on all designs. The XL-420 is designed to work at 110 volts in Canada and the U.S., and it’s warranted for these countries only.
The XL-420 model includes 200 different built-in embroidery designs – small, large, and endless alike.
The embroidery hoop has a comfortable size of 4” x 6.75”.
As a sewing machine, the XL-420 also has 30 built-in sewing stitches and five popular fonts for monogramming.
Last but not least is the Janome 2030QDC-B model. This computerized sewing and quilting machine offers exceptional quality and is also accompanied by an additional quilt kit. Made with great quality design and with a lot of extra features, this Janome model is straightforward and comfortable sewing machine to use. The additional quilting kit includes a cloth guide, a walking foot quilt guide, and several great feet. The machine features 30 built-in stitches and three one-step buttonholes. It also has a built-in needle threader, a manual thread tension control, a snap-on presser foot, and a Superior Plus feed system (SFS+). A genuine contender for the best embroidery machine.
- This Janome model has a high-quality LCD display for easy navigation when working.
- In additional to its embroidery capabilities, this model also includes a lot of extra features such as a bobbins spool pin felt, a satin stitch foot, an overedge foot, and many others.
- This model is very lightweight at 12 pounds and is very easy to operate.
Embroidery accessories you will need
If you have experience sewing and embroidering you are likely well aware of what you need in addition to a nice embroidery machine. If you’re new to embroidering, however, you might want to know about the dozens of other accessories and useful items you’ll also likely need. Getting a nice embroidery machine is often a great purchase, but doing so without having the myriad of other tools it should go with can be rather pointless.
So, what are the most important embroidery accessories you will need while practicing the craft? Here are our recommendations:
Chalk is widely viewed as the best material for painting marks and signs on the fabric as you’re sewing or embroidering. That’s because it’s very easy to remove from the fabric, much more so than pencils, crayons or other such tools a lot of people use. They are viable too, of course, but it’s important to make sure that they are soft and easily washable. Chalk, on the other hand, is not only washable but can easily be removed even without the need for washing most of the time.
Lots of them too. And of lots of different types. Pins are useful for everything related to sewing, quilting, embroidering, etc., as well as for so much more. Ball-point pins are very useful for jersey fabrics as they can slip between the threads of the fabric without penetrating them. Silk pins, on the other hand, are made to work with extra fine fabrics such as satin and silk. They are needed as they don’t damage the delicate fabrics as much as other pins do. You can also get them with nickel coating as it is rust-proof. Alternatively, you can use standard metal pins that are of a thinner variety. If you plan on doing some quilting, quilting pins are also a great thing to have.
Some of you likely just sighed a “duh”, but we’ll point this out as it’s important to have nice and new sharp scissors for sewing and embroidering only. We all have scissors at home but your old rusty and dull kitchen scissors will just make you a disservice if you try to use them on your nice and delicate embroidery piece. Pretty much any set of scissors that have been used to cut paper and other harder materials is not suitable for use while sewing and embroidering. It’s also a good idea to get several different pairs of scissors – one big pair for most of your needs, one small pair for cutting threads and the random tiny edges. Scissors with a spring mechanism are also a great addition to any craftsperson as it can be very tiring to have to cut large quantities of fabric. Spring scissors solve that problem by making cutting much more effortless and easier. Additionally, they are great for when you have to cut thicker fabrics such as denim or leather, or when you want to cut multiple layers of fabric at once. It’s also often a good idea to get a good set of electric scissors as they can be very useful in plenty of situation, although we wouldn’t’ say they are a necessity.
Ironing board and a good iron
These are another set of items that most people have in their homes but if you’re going to do embroidering and sewing it’s important that your iron and ironing board are of high quality and in a good condition. In fact, if you’re serious about embroidering, quilting or sewing it can be a good idea to get a whole different iron and ironing board just for that. The key thing about the iron is that it needs to have good heat settings. For softer fabrics such as silk and satin, the iron needs to have low heat settings that go as low as 135 degrees Celsius or 275 degrees Fahrenheit. For its maximum temperature, it should go to something close to 230 degrees Celsius / 445 degrees Fahrenheit. As for the ironing board, it needs to be a large enough size for your needs, as well as smooth and clean enough for your embroidery.
Of course, neither sewing nor embroidery can be done with any degree of efficiency without measuring tape. There isn’t much to be said about measuring tape – it needs to be long enough for all your possible future needs, as well as of a good enough quality to last you for decades without a hitch. Additionally, it’s smart to make sure that your measuring tape has both metric and imperial markings on both its sides. This is important even if you’re only using one of the two systems in your country, as a lot of the sewing and embroidery patterns you’ll find online or in other places can come in either of the two systems. Also, as you’re sewing or embroidering, always make sure that all the numbers are in the same system – you’ll be surprised how often people make the mistake of mixing the two measurement systems together.
Another vital component of the sewing and embroidering process, the seam ripper is used to remove stitches and seams. You might think that scissors can serve that purpose and small scissors can indeed do that to a certain extent. But the small and pointy design of the seam ripper makes it infinitely better at going inside the tiny thread loops and getting a hold of them. For embroidery, in particular, seam rippers are even more important as embroidery involves the creation of a lot of little loops that can be a pain to remove without a seam ripper.
Both embroidery and sewing involve a lot of fabric movement. If you’re not careful you can often find yourself overwhelmed with all the different pieces of fabric around you. Sewing clips are very handy for these inevitable situations by helping you keep everything you work on and with neatly organized. With sewing clips, you can keep multiple layers of fabric together without having to pin then even once.
Thimbles aren’t used when operating an embroidery machine but are instead meant for use when sewing by hand. We are mentioning them, however, simply because sewing by hand is something that’s bound to happen every once in a while when you’re embroidering or sewing. And when it does, thimbles can work wonders at keeping you safe from sticking a pin in your finger, especially when working with thick fabrics such as denim or leather. If you’re new to embroidery and sewing then we definitely recommend thimbles for the protection that they offer. And if you’re experienced, then you are well aware of what we mean.
A lamp with a magnifying glass
A lot of the good, high-end embroidery machines on the market, including most of the ones on our list, come with a convenient lamp and a magnifying glass, as well as a nice LCD display for extra control. However, a lot of other embroidery machines don’t have those features. Plus, even when they do, a lamp with a magnifying glass is still an extremely useful tool when you have to perform certain tasks by hand.
Self-healing sewing mats
Especially important for quilting but not only, self-healing sewing mats serve by protecting your table or another surface from cuts and holes that it’s certain to accumulate over the years otherwise. A big and durable piece of a self-healing mat is guaranteed to solve that problem and to make the whole experience infinitely more pleasant and rewarding.
This is a feature that a lot of brands allow you to purchase for your embroidery machine. Extension arms essentially replace the standard accessory tray. In doing so, the larger extension arm helps you by preventing the fabric from falling over the edge. This is especially convenient for embroidery and quilting where this is a major problem and annoyance. Additionally, extension arms offer a lot of extra space for your other, smaller accessories. This way you’ll be able to keep everything in one place where it’s going to be handy and easy to work with.
Of course, not everything can fit on the accessory tray and it can be a nightmare to have dozens of sewing accessories scattered across the table. Owning one or more compartmentalized sewing boxes can help you maintain order and tidiness around your workplace in the easiest possible way.
Spool stand or thread rack
Embroidery, as well as quilting and sewing, usually requires much more than just a couple of thread colors. Instead, most people love to use a lot of different colors and thread types to help them craft the most beautiful creations. If you like to do that, however, you’ll likely run into the problem of having too many threads lying around. Thread racks and spool stands help with that by providing you with a nice and organized place for your threads.
Far from a necessary item but extremely convenient, spoon huggers are simply small rubber, silicone or plastic hoops that are mounted on top of thread spools. Their purpose is simple – to keep track of the thread. They also work to prevent the unwinding of the thread and making sure that the thread tails are in control at all times. Besides, they are very cheap and can be used for a lifetime so they are always a good purchase if you’re serious about sewing and embroidery.
Sufficient cabinets and shelving space
Buying entire new cabinets or shelves may sound like overkill if you’re just starting with your embroidery hobby. And that may very well be the case but we think it’s important to mention them anyway. If you are well aware of the scale of work you’re about to do and the amount of fabric, threads and tools you’re going to use, outfitting your working space with a nice cabinet or shelving unit can be a great idea. Instead of keeping everything on the table or in boxes around the room, you’ll be able to keep everything tidy and organized.
A table with adjustable height
Since we’re talking about larger and pricier purchases, let’s mention the many benefits an adjustable height table can bring with it. Not only is this an ergonomically sound choice if you want to avoid back pain or neck pain problems, but it’s also a great space-saving choice. Instead of having to use a separate table for cutting and ironing, having one table with adjustable height can allow you to do everything on one surface. This is a great option for people with limited space or for those who just like to optimize things.
Types of embroidery machine stitches
There is a potentially infinite number of possible embroidery patterns – as many as there are paintings and sculptures. It’s only the imagination of the creator of the pattern that limits it. Embroidery stitches, on the other hand, aren’t nearly as numerous. In fact, it can easily be said that embroidery machines really have just one basic stitch – the straight interlocking stitch. It’s from that one stitch that all others follow. Still, to explain a bit further the different types of derivative stitches, here are the basic ones you’ll need to familiarize yourself with:
- The straight stitch. A simple line of repeated stitches, the straight stitch one of the most basic embroidery stitches there are. It can be as long as you want it to be and it can make multiple passes on the fabric. Alone, it can make for a rather dull pattern, however, which is why it’s usually only used for small and detailed pieces, outlining, or manual shading.
- The satin stitch. Also known as the column stitch, this stitch works by tracking back and forth over a narrow area, creating a zig-zagging pattern. It’s the most frequently used stitch for text embroidery so we’ve all seen it at one point or another. It’s also often used for other narrow elements such as borders, small strokes in text, and most other miniature components of an embroidery pattern.
- The fill stitch. This one can also be called the Tatami stitch or the Ceeding stitch. Essentially, it’s made with numerous lines of straight stitches that are worked extra closely to each other. This allows the fill stitch to completely cover any given surface which is where its name comes from. The “Tatami” name comes from the traditional Japanese woven mats which typically feature multiple flat fills laid at an angle.
All three of these stitches, as well as the other various other sub-types of embroidery stitches, can all be described as just “a series of straight stitches”. And that pretty much shows the secret of embroidery – regardless of what machine or additional tools you’re using, if you have the time, skill, and patience, you can always create even complex embroidery patterns. The sophisticated embroidery machines simply make it all easier, not necessarily possible.
Still, that’s more than just a convenience – whether you’re doing embroidery as a hobby or as a profession, there’s no point in spending unnecessarily more time on a single piece than you can.
Where to find the best embroidery designs?
So you have your machine, your have all the necessary accessories, you’ve practiced on the all the in-built machine designs. Now it’s time to spread your wings!
Finding great designs for your embroidery machine can be a challenge. But, we have one recommendation, which is a one-stop shop for all your future design needs and it’s also backed by an excellent community!
Embroideres.com is your place for all things Embroidery design their design catalog is vast and varied!
This comes in as our number one place to extend your skills and also to connect with other passionate creatives about all things Embroidery!
What you should consider when finding selecting from the embroidery machines
As you can see, there’s a lot of variety when it comes to sewing and finding the best embroidery machine. As long as you buy a model that’s of good quality you won’t, technically, have made a bad purchase, but it’s essential that you buy the right machine for your particular needs. To help you out with that a bit further, here are several tips and suggestions for what you should consider before buying anything:
How big and small do you plan your future embroidery designs to be?
Hoop sizes matters when selecting the best embroidery machine for your needs. If you’re confident that you’re only going to do smaller embroidery designs in the foreseeable future, then buying a machine with an extra-large hoop may be a waste of money. Then again, why not get a larger hoop which would allow you to some larger and more complex designs, as well as combinations of several patterns? Also, keep in mind that the size of the hoop isn’t the exact size of the embroidery pattern you’ll be able to make on it – embroidery designs are not stitched to the precise edges of the hoop.
Also, don’t forget to take a look at the physical inner size of the machine. Consider the distance between the body of the machine and the needle – this is the maximum embroidery width the model will be capable of. Soon you will be making amazing creations like these beautiful embroidery gems
Are you going to need the embroidery machine for anything else? Sewing? Quilting?
You might not be planning on things like that right now, but what about in a year or so? Buying an embroidery-only machine now can mean that you’ll have to buy another device later on. Then again, there’s no point in splurging extra money for a machine with features you’re not going to use.
What additional embroidery hoops come with the machine?
What extra accessories are there? Some of the best embroidery machines have more options. And, probably most importantly – what extra accessories can be bought separately in the future? Buying a non-standard embroidery machine can mean that you won’t be able to get replacement parts or additional accessories for it, which can be a big problem down the road.
How many built-in designs does the machine come with?
What are they – would they serve your needs, or are they too simplistic, ugly, or pointless for your needs? Additionally, and even more importantly, does the machine have the memory and ability to receive new embroidery designs via a USB or another method? Having an embroidery machine that doesn’t support the embroidery designs you want to do is rather pointless.
Is the touch screen colored or black & white?
How many control options does it offer? Will you be able to edit the designs? These quality-of-life features can drastically enhance the abilities of the machine, as well as your enjoyment of using it.
What are the brand and class of the embroidery machine?
The brand isn’t everything, of course – there are sub-par models from famous brands and excellent machines from unknown and budget-friendly brands. However, especially if you are new to this niche, buying and finding the best embroidery machine from a reputable vendor and a well-known brand can be an excellent safeguard for your purchase.
And there you have it. Of course, we can’t possibly exhaust the whole subject with just one quick article. However, we do hope this list and our quick guide will help you find the best embroidery machine for your needs.