The Best Embroidery Machine For All Levels
Table of Contents
Use the links below to navigate to various topics on this page
Comparison Chart of The Best Embroidery Machines
Reviews of The Best Embroidery Machines
Brother SE1800 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
Brother PE770 Embroidery-Only Machine
Singer S10 Studio Embroidery Machine
Brother SE400 Computerized Combo Sewing and Embroidery Machine
Janome Memory Craft 200E Embroidery Machine
Brother Designio DZ820E Embroidery Machine
Singer XL-580 Futura Combo Embroidery & Sewing Machine
Types of Embroidery Machines
Single head, Single Needle Embroidery Machines
Multi-Needle Embroidery Machines
Multi-head, multi-needle embroidery machines
Tips for Picking The Best Embroidery Machine
You’ve been doing hand embroidery for a while and think it’s time to kick it into another gear and start machine embroidery. Or perhaps you already do machine embroidery and need a new machine. Whatever your needs, selecting the right and best embroidery machine can be a daunting task. This is because there are so many choices to choose from and one can easily get lost and not know which machine to buy.
An embroidery machine can be a considerable investment for a lot of us. So it is important to make the right choice and buy a machine that not only meets the requirements of our projects but also lasts a long time and require little maintenance.
Depending on your needs and budget, the best embroidery machines can run into the four figures range. It is, therefore, important to research whatever machine you want to buy before dropping a good chunk of money on them.
Luckily for you, we have spent hundreds of hours to research the best-selling embroidery machines on the market today. We spoke to many industry experts, customers and reviewed tons of user feedbacks to come up with a list of the best.
The chart below presents a summary of our top ten picks that most people can afford. We’ve left out the most advanced commercial embroidery machines because those are too advanced for the hobbyist of the average user. However, visit our commercial embroidery machines page if this is the type of machine you want to buy.
There are many factors to consider when selecting an embroidery machine. Scroll down to read our tips on how to pick the right machine for your needs.
|Brother SE1800 Sewing and Embroidery Machine||Up to 25 years limited warranty||9.5 out of 10|
|Brother PE770 Embroidery-Only Machine||Up to 25 years limited warranty||9.3 out of 10|
|Singer S10 Studio Embroidery Machine||Up to 25 years limited warranty||9.2 out of 10|
|Brother SE400 Computerized Combo Sewing and Embroidery Machine||Up to 25 years limited warranty||9.0 out of 10|
|Janome Memory Craft 200E Embroidery Machine||Up to 20 years limited warranty||8.6 out of 10|
|Brother Designio DZ820E Embroidery Machine||Up to 25 years limited warranty||8.9 out of 10|
|Singer XL-580 Futura Combo Embroidery & Sewing Machine||Up to 25 years limited warranty||8.3 out of 10|
The Brother SE1800 is a combo sewing & embroidery machine. This machine is ideal for those who do embroidery as a hobby or those who want to run a home embroidery business. It is a single-needle machine with a 5” x 7” embroidery field. This version of the machine is called the “grand slam package” and with an army of accessories including a cap hoop for embroidering caps, a socks hoop for socks and a USB stick port so you can download and add your own designs.
It also comes with a 5” x 12” multi-position hoop which lets you work on large embroidering without the need to stop and re-hoop.
What I really like about this machine is how easy it is to set up and use. Even if you’ve never used an embroidery or a computerized embroidery machine in the past, you’ll be turning out beautiful embroidery within a couple of hours of getting the machine. Read through the manual and you’ll be set up and ready to go in no time.
It comes with 136 embroidery designs pre-loaded on the machine and 6 different fonts for lettering. If you need more designs, buying this machine gives you access to a software with over 15,000 more designs, patterns and characters to choose from. It even lets you make your own embroidery designs. You can then download the desired designs from your computer onto a USB stick and then transfer it to the machine. The LCD screen gives you some limited editing of designs. You can change the size, position, rotate and mirror the design right on the machine’s screen.
And when it comes to sewing and quilting, this baby is a gem. It lets you make beautiful, clean and smooth stitches. The arm can be converted into a free arm for some serious free motion quilting.
The SE1800 is one of the best quilting machines for beginners. It is easy to set up and easy to operate. Even those who have never done embroidery will be ready to go within a few hours of receiving the machine. And the fact that it is a combo embroidery, sewing and quilting machine makes it ideal for those wanting to get into sewing for the first time.
As a home embroidery business machine, it is an ideal machine as long as you are not getting very large orders. If that is the case, then you’ll be thinking of getting a multi-needle machine at a much higher cost. This machine is tough and produces A++ quality embroidery.
Whatever your reservations, you’ll fall in love with this machine and feel like you just paid Corolla price for a Ferrari. Everyone I’ve spoken to loves it and it comes very highly recommended.
Brother is a well-known and reputable brand when it comes to embroidery machines so perhaps it comes as no surprise that my first two picks are both Brother embroidery machines. This is not to say the others I’ve picked aren’t as good. It’s just that I can’t stick all of them at #1.
The PE770 is an embroidery-only machine. It is essentially the embroidery-only version of the SE1800 I reviewed above without the “grand slam package” (You can get the “grand slam package” version of the PE770 here). It is not for sewing or quilting. It is an ideal machine for someone looking to embroider at home for family and friends.
If you want to use it as a home embroidery business machine, it will work as long as you are not using it to complete large orders in a short period of time. You just won’t be able to complete the projects fast enough. For simple embroidery designs with fewer colors, it might just work for large orders but for complex multicolor embroidery designs, you certainly need a multi-needle machine.
The Brother PE770 is a single-needle machine with a 5” x “embroidery field which should be enough to handle most embroidery works you’ll ever have to do. You will be able to work on large designs and even combine designs without the need to re-hoop.
The machine comes with 136 embroidery designs pre-loaded and 6 different fonts for lettering. If you need more designs options, a USB port allows you to download designs from your computer onto the machine. It also has a card slot that lets you embroider designs from a Brother embroidery card. You can purchase the design cards separately.
It comes with an LCD display that allows to you do some basic editing of designs such as resizing, rotating and reflecting the design.
Because this is essentially an embroidery-only version of the SE1800, you can consider the review above as a review of this machine as well.
You will have to buy separate hoops that will allow you to embroider caps and other pockets of already made clothes.
The reason I chose this machine as one of the best embroidery machines is that it is easy to use, it is affordable and makes beautiful embroidery. Your projects will turn out great and your customers, family, and friends will be unable to differentiate between your work and those made on a $5,000 machine. After you receive this machine, set it up and start embroidering, you’ll fall in love with it and the recipients of your work will fall in love with whatever you make for them.
What sold me on this machine and made me decide to add it to my review of the best embroidery machines is the price, ample embroidery field size and that it is a great starting point for the budget conscious embroidery enthusiast.
The S10 has features comparable to higher priced machines. It’s ample 5.5” x 5.5” embroidery field size means you can work on large designs without the need to re-hoop often. It also has a 2” x 2” field for working on smaller designs. The size is big enough to let you work on almost any project you get.
The 55 pre-loaded embroidery designs mean you will be making awesome gifts for your children or grandchildren within minutes of getting this machine. And if you need more designs, this machine comes with a software that has over 2,800 ready-made designs to choose from. The software also has over 100 pre-made designs that you can edit to meet your specific needs. You can also make your own designs from scratch with this software. And when you are ready to use a design, it’s just a simple matter of saving it onto a USB stick and then transferring it to the machine via its USB port.
You also have a choice of three different fonts for lettering. And yes you have the ability to adjust the font size to suit your needs. Add beautiful borders to your projects with the 18 pre-loaded border designs.
The LCD screen allows you to make some basic editing. You can adjust the size, rotate, reflect and even combine designs right on the machine’s screen. I love the “trace design feature.” What this does it that, at the press of a button the hoop will move and create the outline of your design. This way, you are can see the position of the design before the machine fills it in. If you don’t like the position, you just undo the outline and reposition it.
This machine is so easy to use even for someone who has never used an embroidery machine before. Read through the guidebook and you’ll be set up and ready to go within a few minutes. And if you get stuck, there is a help button on the machine itself. Press this button and you can access guides like how to thread the machine, how to insert the bobbins, how to change needles etc. will appear on the LCD screen.
And it comes with features such as automatic threading, presser foot pressure sensor, and automatic thread cutter. The drop-in bobbin system makes it easy to insert the bobbin and the transparent cover means you can easily see when you are about to run out of thread.
The Singer S10 is one of the best machines because it is affordable, durable, makes beautiful professional grade embroidery and is very easy to use. And this machine will work as a starting embroidery machine for a budget conscious person who wants to start a home business until they start getting more orders. You will not have any problems with it and you’ll not regret buying it.
I mentioned the Brother SE400 as one of the best sewing machines in my sewing machines review. Well, it turns out it is an awesome embroidery machine as well.
The SE400 is a combo sewing & embroidery machine which is great for the beginner sewing enthusiast. With this machine, you can embroider and sew beautiful items for your home, family, friends and even customers.
It comes with a 4” x 4” embroidery field which is smaller than the machines I’ve reviewed above. It might be big enough for your needs but if you need to, you can purchase a larger hoop for larger designs.
Brother believes so much in the quality of this product that they are offering a 25-years limited warranty and lifetime phone support.
You can choose from 70 pre-loaded embroidery designs and 5 different fonts for lettering. The machine can connect directly to your computer via a USB cable. You can then transfer embroidery design files onto your machine’s built-in memory.
To be honest, this machine is not the best for a home embroidery business but if you are on a very tight budget and just want to start somewhere, then this is one of the best you can get for your money.
To me, this is a sewing machine first and an embroidery machine second. Don’t get me wrong, it makes beautiful, clean and smooth projects, but the hoop size means you may find yourself working longer to complete projects that other machines will do much faster.
If you are a beginner hobbyist, then this is a great starting point to learn embroidery. The machine is easy to use with inbuilt tutorials and automated processes. You will be making beautiful items within minutes of reading the quick start guide.
For those looking for a good embroidery machine for their home, the Janome 200E is one of the best for making home embroidery gifts for friends and family. Janome is well known as the company that first introduced home embroidery machines. Before that, these machines could only be found in factories
The 350E is an embroidery only machine. It has a 5” X 5” embroidery field size, which is ample for most of the designs you’ll ever stitch. It is an easy to use machine suitable for the beginner sewing enthusiast.
You have 73 pre-loaded designs to choose from and 3 different fonts for lettering. And if you need more designs, there is a USB port that lets you copy designs from your computer and transfer them to the machine.
There is a touchscreen LCD display that lets you do some limited editing of designs such as resizing, rotating and the entry of monogram lettering. Other features include auto-threading, auto thread cutter, high presser foot lift, 650 stitches per minute motor. The touchscreen is very useful and guides you easily through a lot of tasks.
The Janome 200E is purposely built to do just one job, which is to embroider. As a result, this little nugget produces end products that are comparable to much more expensive combo machines.
The Designio DZ820E is also an embroidery only machine with a 5” x 7” embroidery field. It comes with 136 designs pre-loaded onto the machine. So you’ll be making beautiful designs within a couple of hours of receiving this machine. It also has 6 different font types for letting.
This version of the DZ820E includes Brother’s “grand slam” embroidery package. This package adds a variety of accessories such as stabilizers, embroidery threads, a pocket embroidery hoop, pre-wound bobbins and much more. The included cap hoop is a great addition that lets you embroider caps with ease.
It has a USB port so you can add designs that you purchase online to the machine. The LCD screen lets you do some limited editing such as the ability to rotate, resize, reflect and reposition your design. The screen also guides you through a lot of tasks if you ever become stuck.
There are convenient functions such as automatic threading, automatic thread cutter and automatic needle up/down button. The drop-in bobbin feature makes it easy to install bobbins.
This machine produces clean, crisp and smooth stitches comparable to more expensive machines. It will let you know when it’s time to switch to a different color thread.
It is easy to use and ideal for the beginner embroidery enthusiast. It is so easy to use that you’ll be making beautiful embroidery items for family and friends within hours of taking delivery o the machine.
Can it be used as a home embroidery business machine? It depends on the quantity of work you get. It has a speed of 650 stitches per minute and an embroidery hoop size of 5” x 7”. In most cases, this should be enough to handle small orders. But if your business grows and you start getting large orders, you might need to upgrade to a faster and possibly a multi-needle machine. What I’m trying to say is that it is a good machine if you only make a few items a week to sell but not so great if you have to do a lot of embroidery work per day.
But for the home sewing enthusiast who wants to make beautiful, basic embroidery items as gifts or as decoration for the home, this is one of the best machines for the job.
One of the best things I like about this machine is the large 10” x 6” hoop which allows you to create large designs. And the do multi-hooping means you can create designs of up to 12” x 20”. You will have to pay mid four figures to get such a large embroidery field with other some other machines.
The Futura XL-580 is a combo sewing and embroidery machine and is, therefore, perfect for those who don’t have space for multiple machines. This machine will let you embroider and sew very beautiful pieces without the need for separate machines.
To get your creative juices flowing, it comes with 250 pre-loaded embroidery designs to choose from. And if you want to add more designs (including those you purchase online from embroidery design websites), the machine has a USB port that allows you to copy your designs onto a USB memory stick and transfer the design to your machine. It supports up to 12 different embroidery design file formats. A USB memory stick has also been provided so you don’t have to buy one separately.
It comes with convenient features such as auto threading, auto thread cutter, drop-in bobbin system and a knee presser foot lifter for hands-free raising and lowering of the presser foot.
This machine is very easy to use even though I’ve seen a couple of reviews from users saying it isn’t for beginners. The reason these people are struggling with the embroidering feature of this machine is that they did not read the manual thoroughly before attempting to use the machine. If they did, they’ll know that you have to lower the feed dog control for embroidery and monogram projects and raise it for general sewing projects.
Once you read through the manual, you’ll be embroidering with this machine within a couple of hours after taking delivery of the machine. It is very easy to set up and the manual provides plenty of illustrated guides to help you along.
So even if you’ve never done machine embroidery, this machine is perfect for you. And as a sewing machine, the XL-580 produces beautiful, smooth and crisp stitches. The long, free arm makes it an excellent machine for free motion quilting. It handles heavy fabrics such as denim with ease.
If you’ve never done sewing or embroidery and want to learn how to do both, then the XL-580 is one of the best combo embroidery & sewing machines to get started with.
There are many factors to consider before buying an embroidery machine. The types of projects you do, whether you are a hobbyist, a serious enthusiast or a professional, will all have an effect on the machine you end up picking.
But first, let’s take a look at the types of embroidery machines available on the market today. Broadly speaking, there are three types of embroidery machine configurations. These are:
- Single head, single-needle embroidery machines
- Single head, multi-needle embroidery machines
- Multi-head, multi-needle embroidery machines
The single head single needle machines look just like your usual sewing machine having a flatbed bottom and a removable embroidery unit. It has a single sewing head with a single needle. This type of embroidery machine is fairly easy to use and often a starting point for beginners. Some are computerized to help in creating more intricate designs.
During embroidering, the single head machine’s needle remains stationary and the embroidery arm moves to create the desired design. There is only a single point of hoop attachment. The hoops are usually smaller than that of a multi-needle embroidery machine. Hoop sizes can range from 4 X 4 inches to 8 X 12 inches. Single needle embroidery machines often have speeds ranging from 300 to 1000 stitches per minute.
The main plus of this machine is that it is easy to use and great if you are just a hobbyist who enjoys making embroidery items for friends and family.
However, this type of machine is not the most efficient if you sew as a source of income. Let me explain what I mean. Let’s say you decide to start sewing to earn extra income or as your main source of income. You’ll find yourself having to embroider several of the same patterns. You’ll have to change threads each time you come to a new color stop. You’ll waste a lot of time doing this and will only complete a few projects.
Another drawback to this type of machine is that there are limitations if you want to hoop ready-made accessories and garments. Take the pocket of tote bag for example. If you want to embroider the pocket, you’ll most likely have to remove the pocket, embroider it and sew it back onto the bag. This is because of the flatness of the machine’s bed and limitations on the hoop. You’ll agree that this is not the most efficient way to work.
If you only sew for a few people, then this type of embroidery machine is best for you. However, if you want to embroider and earn an income from it, this is not your best option. You’ll need a multi-needle embroidery machine.
For those of you who run a sewing business from home or are serious hobbyists and crafters, a multi-needle embroidery machine greatly increases the bars for what you can do. This type of machine is a perfect tool to have for anyone who wants to complete larger projects in a faster time.
There can be up to 10 needles on this type of machine and each of the needles can hold a different color of thread. This means that you don’t have to stop embroidering and change threads when you need to work with a different color thread like you would on a single needle machine.
You’ll often find 2 points of hoop attachment on a multi-needle embroidery machine. It often has larger hoop sizes ranging from 4 x 4 inches to 14 x 14 inches. You can expect speeds between 400 to 1000 stitches per minute and much higher speeds for heavy duty models.
The main advantage of this type of machine is that it finishes multi-colored embroidery patterns faster, easier and with a greater degree is precision than single-needle machines.
This machine also comes with extra add-ons that allow you to add extra hoops which make it easier to embroider on the pockets of apparels and bags, the leg of a pair of pants, sleeve etc. And you won’t have to destroy any seams to achieve this.
This type of machine is also a favorite for embroidering on hats.
There aren’t any negatives with this type of machine. Perhaps the only thing you’ll complain about is the cost. It is more expensive but worth every penny if you consider what you can do with it. A lot of complex tasks can be completed at just the press of a button.
There are commercial, single head, multi-needle machines that have more than 10 needles. These often have larger sewing fields in terms of both depth and width.
The last type of embroidery machine is the multi-head, multi-needle machines.
Multi-head, Multi-Needle Embroidery Machines. If you embroider hats a lot, then a multi-needle embroidery machine is the only way to go.
These are commercial machines and very expensive. They are usually made up of many embroidery machines hooked onto a single unit. This allows you to work on multiple projects at the same time.
If you work on large orders or simply want to have a much faster machine, then a commercial embroidery machine may be the only way to go. It may be expensive to purchase but will pay off big in the long run.
So in conclusion, if you only do the odd embroidery from home as a hobby, then the best embroidery machine for you is the single-head, single-needle machine. But if you start sewing and embroidering to earn extra income, or work on large quantities of embroidery, then a multi-needle embroidery machine is your best option. If you also want to embroider in unusual places such as pockets, inseams of pants, sleeves, and hats, then a multi-needle machine is what you need.
- Brand: What embroidery machine brand should you get? In general, most of the name brand machines are well built. Perhaps the most well-known brands are Brother, Singer, Janome, Juki, Babylock, Tajima, Barudan and Bernina. All of these brands produce quality embroidery machines. A good brand will provide good customer service, multi-year warranty and after sales support.
- Purpose of the machine: Are you buying a machine to use at home or for business. If you want to earn income from your embroidery work, the best embroidery machine for you are commercial machines. They are designed to be workhorses that can hand large amounts of work and continues use.
- What functions do you need? Are you looking for a computerized embroidery machine with loads of automated processes or are you looking for a mechanical embroidery machine? Modern embroidery sewing machines come with many functions such as automatic threading, automatic thread cutting, presser foot sensors, bobbin winding etc.
- Throat Width Size: A lot of modern embroidery machines come with throat widths that rival those of long arm machines. This gives you a lot of room to maneuver your work during sewing and allows you to work on larger fabrics. You might want to consider a machine with a lot of throat room.
- Standalone or Combination? Some an embroidery unit which can be detached from the machine’s body when not in use. These types of machines are combination sewing and embroidery machines. You can sew, embroider and quilt with one machine. So you’ll have to consider if you want an embroidery alone machine or a combination machine. If you already have a sewing machine, then there might be no need to get a combination machine.
- Hoop Size Choices: The best embroidery machines will have multiple and large hoop sizes. Machines that have small hoop sizes (less than 300 X 300 will greatly limit the kind of hooping you can do.
- Accessories: A good machine will have the ability to take on a wide array of accessories. The best can even accept accessories from other brands. The more accessories you can add on to the machine the better
- Built-in embroidery designs: Most modern embroidery machines come with built-in designs. Some have hundreds of embroidery designs that are pre-loaded on the machine. Some machines do not allow the ability to add your own designs to the memory of the machine. The best machines should have computer connectivity so you can add your own designs or premium embroidery designs that you can buy or download from the internet. At the very minimum, you should be able to add designs through a USB memory stick. Some of the very best machines will even allow you to manipulate embroidery designs directly on the machine’s LCD screen.
- Design Software: Some brands offer design software that allows you to create and digitize your own designs and then transfer them to the machine. Some machines will only accept designs from their own software whiles the best should allow you to add designs bought from the internet or those made with other software.
- Support: Some machine brands offer special classes to machine owners where they are schooled on the various functions of the machine. Some even offer advanced embroidery and stitching classes to owners. The best embroidery machines will have a good support system that teaches you everything you need to know about your new machine.
- Warranty & After Sales support: A good brand believes in the quality of their products and will offer a warranty that reflects that. Look for multiple years of warranty and good after sales support. There should be parts readily available should you need them. And a telephone support services is essential.
How much should you expect to pay for the best embroidery machines?
I know we are living in tough economic times and most of us do not have disposable income lining our pockets. However, an embroidery machine can be a major investment so it is important to get the best. And to get the best, you should expect to pay higher than average for it. Let’s look at it this way, would you want to buy a cheap machine that breaks down in a few months or will like one that can last for more than 10 years.
I know we have become a society that has gotten used to throwing things away and getting a new version of the same product year after year. But an embroidery machine doesn’t work that way. For the best multi-needle computerized embroidery machines, you should expect to pay upwards of $10,000. A good single needle embroidery machine will cost from $500 to $10,000. A good, commercial embroidery machines can cost in excess of $20,000. What you get in the end will depend on your budget, the purpose of buying the machine and the type of machine you want. Our advice? Avoid the cheap machines.