Top 10 Embroidery Machines for Beginners and Professional Embroiderers
Last updated: May 06, 2020
66Hours of Research
For many people, embroidery is an excellent way to give their crafting projects an additional creative touch. Whether you are looking to add a bit of flair to a pair of jeans you love or finish off those pillowcases you sew yourself, an embroidery machine offers you endless possibilities for expressing your creativity. But finding the best embroidery machine for your needs can be tricky, mostly due to the wide amount of options available and the complexity of many of these machines.
There is, of course, an embroidery machine for every budget and purpose, so no matter the reason you might be looking for one it is important to keep in mind the type of use you are interested in as well as your budget. For our review, we considered the most important features you need to take into account when looking for the best embroidery machine for home or business use. These include the type of embroidery machine, the embroidery field area, the number of built in designs, USB connectivity, warranty and more. Our editor’s choice was the Brother SE1900 because it has everything an advanced user might want in an embroidery machine, but you’ll also find models suitable for beginner and intermediate users as well.
Top 10 Embroidery Machines Review 2020
We spent days researching the best embroidery machines on the market, speaking to home and business users to find the top models that would suit just about any need and budget. Our research allowed us to compile a comparison table with all the information you need to make the best choice. You will also find in-detail reviews of each of the machines we selected for our top, together with a buying guide detailing everything there is to know about buying the best embroidery machine.
Our editor’s choice is the Brother SE1900 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine, which we believe to be one the best embroidery machines for a home business because it combines a wealth of features with ease of use and a reasonable price tag (for what you get). An upgraded version of the Brother SE1800, this embroidery machine combines embroidery and sewing functionality in a multi-purpose machine that would suit both home business users and embroidery enthusiasts alike. The Brother SE1900 is a suitable choice for intermediate and advanced users.
This is the one of the best sewing and embroidery machines currently available on the market and it comes with a large 5 x 7 embroidery field, which allows you to create projects of all sizes. It also includes 240 built-in embroidery designs, 10 different frame shapes, and 11 fonts for monogramming. Just like you would expect from a high-end Brother embroidery and sewing machine, this one comes with an inbuilt USB port for easy access to upgrades and downloadable design. The pre-installed software makes it possible to transfer any design to the embroidery machine, and the process is a very intuitive one. This versatile Brother embroidery machine has an LCD screen, so you can easily see the settings and make any changes you want with ease.
What many users liked about the Brother SE1900 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine is the wide variety of built-in stitches that allow you to express your creativity with ease. There are 138 built-in embroidery designs in the machine, more than enough for lots of experimentation. Moreover, thanks to the create your own stitch function, you can create an endless amount of your personal stitches that you can then easily store in the memory of the machine. The Brother SE1900 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine comes complete with multiple accessories, including foot control, knee lifter, pack of needles, embroidery bobbin thread spool and more.
If you are looking for a multi-needle embroidery machine that comes with a multitude of accessories, the Brother PE800 Grand Slam Package could be a great choice. This embroidery machine from well-known company Brother sports a 3.2-inch LCD touch screen display for easy operation and comes with all the embroidery accessories to get you started. It also has a large embroidery field, so you can use it for anything ranging from small projects to more complex ones.
The Brother PE800 Grand Slam Package comes with 138 embroidery designs, 11 built-in fonts and 10 frame designs to boost your creativity. The design editing function of the embroidery machine allows you to customize your project to your heart’s desire, with some of the things you can do including increasing and decreasing the size of your designs, mirror-imaging and rotating so you can see how your design will look before actually stitching it.
Many of the users who tested the Brother PE800 liked that the machine is very user-friendly even though it is not intended for complete beginners. It comes with a comprehensive instructions manual, and you can actually create large designs in a few easy steps. Thanks to the built-in USB flash drive port, you can transfer up to 15,000 designs to the embroidery machine without the need of any additional software. You can either transfer compatible Brother designs you have downloaded from the Internet, or your own creations you made with the help of digitizing software. The Brother PE800 is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.
Another thing we really loved about the Brother PE800 is the fact that it comes with a wide variety of attachments, including a hoop attachment that you can use to embroidery on ball caps. A sock hoop and pre-wound bobbins are some of the other accessories that you will find in the package.
An embroidery-only commercial-grade embroidery machine that boasts an incredible number of features suitable for both home businesses and commercial ventures, the Janome MB-4S works well for professional sewers who have a couple of years of experience under their belt. This embroidery machine is commercial-grade, but you can also use it for home projects, keeping in mind that it is suitable for crafters who are an intermediate or advanced level.
The Janome MB-4S comes complete with a 5.7-inch remote computer screen that allows you to see the design before actually embroidering it, as well as other perks such as automatic thread cutter, a stitch counter, and the possibility to transfer designs via USB port. What we liked most about this commercial grade embroidery machine are the intricate editing options that allow users to edit their designs directly by using the remote-control screen. Some of the editing functions that you can expect to find in this machine include 90° increments for rotation, drag-and-drop, flipping horizontally and vertically, combining designs, and resizing by 80 and 120%. Moreover, you can actually design without any limitations thanks to the existence of up to 65,536 colors that you can edit right on the screen.
While this is of course an expensive embroidery machine, you can expect high quality features and design that will allow you to produce professional results so you can start a home business or use the machine for your existent commercial venture. Many of the users who tested it agreed that the large amount of built in designs and the ease of navigation thanks to the remote-control screen make the Janome MB-4S an excellent choice for professional users.
The Brother PE770 is an embroidery machine that can make your embroidery experience a fun task, mostly because it is very intuitive and easy to learn how to use even if you are a beginner. Right from the start, this embroidery machine offers a lot more features than you might from a model in this price range. These features include a quick-set bobbin, backlit LCD screen, and built-in memory so you can import your own designs from a USB drive.
With an embroidery speed of 650 stitches per minute and auto thread cutter, the Brother PE770 can stitch proficiently and the entire operation is less time-consuming than with other embroidery machines in this price range. We like that the Brother PE770 is very much user friendly and easy to learn how to use even if you haven’t owned an embroidery machine before. A comprehensive manual is included, and many users liked that it guides you through every feature properly so you can get started right away.
The large embroidery area of 5 x 7 inches is much larger than that of other similar embroidery machines and it gives you ample space to create larger projects such as quilts, jacket belts, and larger monograms. A printed number chart on the machine itself helps to make sure that you thread easily, even though some users mentioned that it may take a while to get acquainted with it. The backlit LCD touchscreen display makes threading even easier, because it allows you to navigate through the features of the embroidery machine in a very intuitive way.
The Brother PE770 comes with built-in memory and you can also import any images you have downloaded from the Internet or creative yourself using embroidery software via the USB port. As you would expect, the embroidery machine is compatible with all the designs available from Brother.
If you are always on the lookout for the best embroidery machine on the market, the SINGER Futura XL-550 is definitely one of the choices you should consider whether you are a home user or a professional one. Singer is known as one of the best manufacturers of sewing and embroidery machines in the world, and this model is one of the best products of the company.
Equipped with 125 built in designs and 215 stitches as well as a wealth of automatic features, the SINGER Futura XL-550 also sports a computerized interface that allows you to add your own designs, as well as a large embroidery area makes it possible to work on large-scale designs. The SwiftSmart™ Threading Technology of the automatic needle threader is a feature that many of those who reviewed this machine found incredibly useful because it makes the entire process easier while also saving time. You can also adjust the speed of the embroidery machine is required for your specific projects. The StayBright™ Technology that comes with the six LED lights means that the entire work surface is filled with light so you can see what you are doing at any time.
The SINGER Futura XL-550 has 250 built-in sewing stitches and two built-in spool pins so you can thread both vertically and horizontally. The embroidery software this machine is equipped with recognizes all major design file types, so you can easily import your past projects and use the advanced software for editing them as needed. A feature that you won’t find on many embroidery machines is the possibility to convert any TrueType font you may have in your computer in the embroidery, and you can easily do so without any specialized knowledge, just by following the on-screen instructions.
An embroidery machine designed for commercial purposes, the
MakeIT Products and Equipment Commercial Embroidery Machine sports a wealth of features that are difficult to find in other models. This machine has a very large embroidery area of 20 x 14” and 15 needles that run at speeds of up to 1200 stitches per minute, which make it ideal for any kind of embroidery business.
Many of the users who tested this machine particularly liked that it comes with an auto variable speed mode so you can optimize your quality and efficiency of production. With this machine, you can set your own speeds depending on the type and size of design you want to be embroidered on your garments so you can always know when a batch will be ready. There are 10 fonts available on the on-screen keyboard, so you can produce customizable embroideries from scratch in a very intuitive way.
The laser engraved hoop system of this machine is something that most users raved about because it is very compact and has a rather small footprint, making it suitable for a home-based business. With the hoop system of the MakeIT Products and Equipment Commercial Embroidery Machine, you can create embroideries with a size of up to 510 x 360 mm. This makes it suitable for embroidering on large towels and blankets. Moreover, the machine comes with a 3D Puff function so you can obtain professional results on hats, caps, bags and more. the machine connects directly to your PC so you can easily import your personalized designs, and supports various file formats including .DST files for enhanced versatility.
Our budget choice is the Brother PE535, an embroidery machine that might look a bit basic at first, until you discover some of is excellent features suitable for beginner and intermediate users alike. This embroidery machine comes with an LCD touchscreen, a feature that you won’t actually expect from a machine in this price range. The clean-cut design features just a couple of buttons, but the machine comes with 80 built in designs, including various fonts, florals, borders, and holiday designs. Moreover, you will also get access to Brother’s website, iBroidery, from where you can download a wide variety of designs.
The easy-to-use LCD display of this embroidery machine allows you to see your design in detail before actually embroidering it. What we liked about the touchscreen LCD is that it is full color, so you can edit your design in great detail before sending it to the machine. The Brother PE535 allows you to plug in a USB drive so you can send your designs for embroidering without any effort.
An automatic needle threader is something that most users want for their embroidery machines because it makes the entire embroidering process so much easier. All you need to do to use it with this Brother embroidery machine is raise the presser foot and then raise the needle to pass the thread. There are multiple tutorials available for this embroidery machine both on the website of the manufacturer and online, so you can easily set up the machine and get started quickly, even if you are a complete beginner. Users who tested the machine and reviewed it raved about how easy it is to move and transport it because it is so compact and portable, thus being suitable for classes.
Computerized sewing and embroidery machines are not that easy to come by, but the EverSewn Hero 400-Stitch offers this feature together with every other function you would expect from a top-quality embroidery machine for home use. This is a machine that works well for those who are above beginner level, but who don’t want to invest in a more expensive embroidering machine yet. However, according to many of the users who tested the machine, it still provides good options for advanced users as well, even though it might lack some of the functions of more complicated models.
This good-looking embroidery machine has a sleek design that mixes dark blue contrasts with a lightweight design, so you can easily transport it from one place to another. Reviewers liked that it is a good machine for those who want to travel with it. The EverSewn Hero comes with 40 built-in embroidery designs and a total of 400 alphabet, decorative, and utility patterns. The speed of the machine is 650 stitches per minute, and the computerized functions make it easy to obtain great results with complicated designs in no time. The LCD interface makes navigating through the various functions a breeze, and users were excited to find out that the learning curve with this machine is not that steep, no matter your level.
One of the things we liked best about the EverSewn Hero 400-Stitch is the bobbin monitoring function, which lets you know when the thread is running low so you don’t have to unexpectedly stop in the middle of your work. The quality of the stitches is amazing, and the safety features this machine come with make sure you don’t cause any damage to the machine by mistake.
A sewing and embroidery machine combo, the Janome Memory Craft 350E is an excellent choice for home use and comes with multiple functions such as bright LED lights, greyscale backlit LCD screen and a ruler decal stamped on the front. This embroidery machine is great for those who are looking for a model with a built-in folder system.
Reviewers mentioned that the Janome Memory Craft 350E is very easy to use even by beginners, as minimal guidance is necessary to get the hang of it. The 100 designs that come built-in in the machine are enough to get you started, but you can also import an unlimited number of designs via the USB memory stick. What you may notice from the start when looking at the Janome Memory Craft 350E is that its arm is rather different than that of other models, but nevertheless, it is very easy to position the embroidery hoop even if you don’t have much experience with embroidery.
We have found that the Janome Memory Craft 350E is actually one of the most user-friendly machines we have reviewed. What we liked a lot is that has decals on the work surface, so that you can easily figure out how to attach the hoop. The touchscreen makes it easy to find your favorite fonts for monogramming or select your designs from the built-in or imported files. You can also easily adjust the size and position of the designs, and the entire process is highly intuitive and thus suitable for beginners. What’s even best is that when the design is finished, the machine cuts the threads automatically. However, if you want to snip the threads between various elements or letters yourself, you can stop the machine to do so and then allow it to complete the entire design.
Another embroidery machine from the well-known manufacturer Janome, the Memory Craft 400E has a maximum embroidery design size of 7.9” x 7.9”, which makes it one of the best machines around with a large embroidery area suitable for home use. The machine can go as fast as 860 stitches per minute and comes complete with 160 built-in designs.
A feature that we liked a lot about this machine and that is difficult to find in many other models is the programmable jump thread trimming. The machine also comes with an automatic thread cutter so don’t have to fiddle around with scissors when completing your projects.
The Janome Memory Craft 400E is a computerized embroidery machine with a full color LCD touchscreen that is very intuitive to use and allows you to make on-screen edits that include rotating, enlarging/reducing, copying and pasting, flipping, single color sewing, grouping, and many more. Other features include a top-loading full rotary hook bobbin, direct jumps to desired stitch point, and bobbin thread sensor. Many of the features you can find on this embroidery machine are highly specialized and suitable for professional users, which is reflected in the price of the machine.
What many users liked about it is that you can digitize a design right on the machine and that you can produce larger designs than you would with many of the high-quality machines available on the market. Users also mentioned that the machine produces commercial-grade results, but it is nevertheless very easy to setup and learn how to use. Multiple optional hoops are available, and you can use this machine with threads for Janome, Madeira, Mettler and Robison-Anton.
Programmable jump thread trimming
Automatic thread cutter
Extra wide table
Lacks foot pressure adjustment
When shopping for an embroidery machine, you need to consider many factors, ranging from your skill level to your budget, and everything in between. Before purchasing an embroidery machine, you might want to consider how you want to use the machine, but also keep in mind that your skills might improve quickly, in which case a basic model may be something you will soon outgrow. Below you will find a buying guide with all the details you need to know to make an informed choice when buying the best embroidery machine for your needs.
Advantages of having a top-quality embroidery machine
A few hundred dollars buys a basic, often solid, embroidery machine that can handle most crafts or clothing projects but spending even more can get you a wealth of automated functions that can make your job easier. With a top-quality embroidery machine, there is no need to spend hours trying to embroider by hand, not to mention the wide range of design options. With an embroidery machine, you can easily create your own designs, customize your clothing, develop a new hobby and even improve the creativity of your children. Moreover, this machine may allow you to start a small business working from home, or even a larger-scale embroidery enterprise.
Features to consider when choosing an embroidery machine
When shopping for an embroidery machine, there are lots of factors to consider in order to make sure you make the right decision for your skill level and type of projects you intend to use the machine for. It is always a good idea to look into an embroidery machine with multipurpose features. Begin by checking whether the machine comes with an embroidery unit that is separate from the machine, because if that is the case, you can actually use the machine for embroidery, sewing, and even quilting.
Moreover, you should look for an embroidery machine that sports a large selection of fonts and built-in designs because these can easily boost your creativity. Other features such as multiple LED lights and LCD screens are up to personal choice, as they are not essential, but can definitely improve your embroidery experience.
Type of embroidery machine and what you need it for
The type of embroidery you intend to create is a vital criterion to consider, because it determines some of the features that you cannot do without. A computerized embroidery machine, for example, would be an excellent choice for those who are looking to use their machine for commercial purposes, because it allows you to create your own designs or import designs created by your customers into the machine for truly personalized results. If all you need is some basic embroidery for home use, you don’t need to spend too much on a machine that comes with all the bells and whistles.
Built-in designs and fonts
All the embroidery machines we reviewed come complete with a wide range of built-in designs and fonts, which is an essential feature for creating different projects for home or commercial use. The number of available designs varies from one model to another, with the Brother SE1900 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine, our editor’s choice, sporting 138 designs, for example. With an embroidery machine with lots of fonts and editing features, the creative possibilities are truly endless.
The size of the embroidery area is important because it determines the overall dimensions of the projects you can tackle with the machine. If you want to work on larger projects, like jacket backs or blankets, for examples, you need a machine with an embroidery size that is larger than average. For instance, the SINGER Futura XL-550 has an embroidery area of 18.5 x 11 inches, which is bigger than most of the machines we reviewed.
USB and PC connectivity
If you want to import your own designs to the embroidery machine, or are managing a business that involves getting designs from customers to embroider on various garments, it’s essential to go for a machine that has a USB connection and allows you to upload designs in a variety of formats. Some models, such as the MakeIt, can even connect directly to your PC, so you don’t have to use a USB flash drive to import your designs.
Some of the embroidery machines we reviewed, such as the SINGER Futura XL-550, come with LED lights, so you can get a better view of the work you’re doing regardless of the lightning arrangements you have in the room. Embroidery machines with LED lights are an excellent choice for those who want to work in the evenings and for those interested in having a high degree of accuracy for their projects.
Embroidery machine dimensions
The dimensions of your new embroidery machine matter especially if you don’t have enough room in your home to keep the machine on display at all times and you need to store it away when not in use. Make sure the machine you purchase fits in the designated space you intend to have for it and that it is easy to transport if you need to do so.
Accessories and extras
It’s important to find an embroidery machine that comes with various accessories and attachments that are useful for the projects you intend to tackle. Useful accessories that many top-quality embroidery machines come with include a quilting table and presser feet. Extras may include various hoops and extra software for creating your own designs.
As with any machines used for crafts, different embroidery machine models are available for different budgets, but as a rule of thumb, a quality machine is very difficult to be found under $300. When deciding how much you want to spend on an embroidery machine, consider the features you intend to use, because it’s not worth paying more for features that you’re not actually going to use.
All top-quality embroidery machines come with extended warranties of up to 25 years, which cover parts and repairs, such as the Brother PE535, for example. Models with a lower price tag only have a warranty of one to five years, so it depends on how important durability and peace of mind are for you when making your choice.
Tips on getting started with machine embroidery
Machine embroidery is very different from hand embroidery, not only when it comes to speed, but also the variety of options you get and the overall accuracy of the final product. When starting with machine embroidery, it’s important to be ready to learn, as there is of course a learning curve associated with these machines, particularly high-end models that are designed for semi-professional or professional use. It is always a good idea to start small with a project rated for beginners if you have never used an embroidery machine again, then progress to more challenging techniques.
Some embroidery machines are suitable for quilting, but this depends on the model, its features and size. As a rule of thumb, an embroidery machine that is also suitable for quilting should be no less than $300, as at this price point you can find a model that is durable and won’t let you down.
Choosing the correct type of embroidery thread for your projects depends on the fabric you are using and the stich speeds. Rayon is one of the most popular machine embroidery threads and the good news is that it is readily available in hundreds of different colors. This type of thread is made of organic cellulose and has a soft touch coupled with a luxurious sheen, but it may fade over time. Cotton is a good option for thread if you want to obtain that hand-stitched look with a machine, while polyester works well for those who are looking for a strong and durable type of thread.
The vast majority of embroidery machines available on the market can handle just about any type of fabric, ranging from cotton to denim, but sometimes budget models may not do that great of a job when it comes to tougher fabrics. If you plan on working with thicker and tougher fabrics, it’s worth it to invest in a high-quality machine, even if that means paying a bit more for it.
If you want to be able to embroider hats using your embroidery machine, you need to make sure it comes with a compatible hat hoop. Some models don’t come with it, but you may still buy a compatible one separately for them. Although, there a certain embroidery machines for hats that are easier to use with this type of apparel.
Monogramming is a very popular type of embroidery, which consists of letters and/or numbers to form a custom design with a special meaning. Examples of monogramming include initials and dates, such as a date of birth or that of an anniversary. This kind of embroidery works well on a wide variety of items, ranging from towels and handkerchiefs to caps. Most embroidery machines can monogram, so you don’t actually need a model that specifies it comes with this particular feature.
Whether you are looking for an embroidery machine to use for home projects or in a commercial way, there is a model out there for all needs, so it’s important to look for the features you want before parting with your money. We picked the Brother SE1900 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine as our editor’s choice because it is a complete piece of machinery that works for both embroidery and sewing and comes loaded with just about any feature you may want from this kind of machine. If you are looking for the best embroidery machine that comes with an embroidery package, so you don’t have to spend time looking for extra accessories, the Brother PE800 with a Grand Slam package is worth a look. Finally, if an embroidery machine for a small business is what you are after, have a look at the Janome MB-4S, which works well for commercial purposes.