Top 9 Embroidery Threads for Hand and Machine Embroidery: Take Your Designs To The Next Level

Last updated: Apr 19, 2020
34 Models Considered
59 Hours of Research
6 Experts Interviewed
217 Reviews Analyzed

Beautiful embroidery is much more than just the design – its look is often determined by the quality of the stitches and the type of thread used to create it. To create your own embroidery masterpiece, either as a hobby or for commercial purposes, you need to use the best embroidery thread you can get your hands on. However, given the multitude of embroidery threads available on the market, choosing the right one for your projects can be a difficult task. The first thing to consider is whether you need thread for hand or machine embroidery, but you also need to take into account various other factors as well.

To make the search easier, we gathered the best nine embroidery thread sets on the market so you can find the one that suits your needs best with ease. From the type of embroidery you may need thread for, to technical specifications such as thread weight, length, and number of colors/spools, there are numerous specifications to consider, and we included them all in our review.

Top 9 Embroidery Threads Review 2020

We spent days researching the best embroidery on the market, looking at the most popular sets as well as the reviews provided by those who tested them in their homes or in a professional way. Below you’ll find a comparison table outlining the specifications of the nine best embroidery threads we selected, together with in-depth reviews for each of them. In the end, you can consult our buying guide that summarizes everything there is to know about purchasing embroidery thread for your hand or machine creations. Now let’s have a look at the best embroidery threads we selected.

Editor's Choice

Rayon machine embroidery thread with 80 spools

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Best Machine Embroidery Thread

Polyester thread for machine embroidery, comes in 260 colors

Read Our Review
Best Embroidery Thread for Brother

Quality thread from Brother, with a spool length of 600 yards

Read Our Review
Best Thread for High Speed Embroidery Machines

Comes in 100 colors, with a thread weight of 40

Read Our Review
Best Metallic Embroidery Thread

Strong thread with a length of 550 yards, comes in 20 metallic colors

Read Our Review
Best Glow in The Dark Embroidery Thread

5 glow-in-the dark color spools with an incredible 1100 yard length

Read Our Review
Best Polyester Thread for Embroidery Machines

Durable thread, comes in 25 variegated color options

Read Our Review
Best Thread for Hand Embroidery

Embroidery floss for hand embroidering, includes embroidery needles and threader

Read Our Review
Budget Pick

Hand embroidery thread, comes in a huge range of colors

Read Our Review

  • Use for: machine embroidery
  • Thread weight: 40
  • Length: 220 yards, 2 1650-yard spools
  • Number of spools: 80

Extra features: rayon, comes with an embroidery design CD, includes storage box

Our best all-around pick is the Madeira Incredible Threadable Embroidery Box 20928082, which includes 80-color 220 yd smart spools that can be easily removed and replaced. While this may look like an expensive purchase to many home users, the Madeira embroidery box has a built-in threading system that allows you to use the thread directly from the box without having to unpack it. Many of the users who tested these thread spools mentioned that the system is virtually tangle free and light that it comes with a thread cutter built into the handle.

This embroidery thread box is suitable for machine use and works well with most of the bestselling models on the market. It comes with an embroidery design CD and a cooler guide to help you get started right away. Users also raved about how easy it is to use the thread right from the box. Even though many users are happy with the selection of colors provided in the box, some of them mentioned that there is not a lot of thread of the same color, which may be a bit inconvenient for large projects where you may need to use a specific color for a larger surface.

  • Ease of use
  • Selection of colors
  • Can be used straight from the box
  • Difficult to replace specific colors


Kolors Embroidery Mega KitBest Machine Embroidery Thread

  • Use for: machine embroidery
  • Thread weight: 40
  • Length: 550 yards
  • Number of spools: 260

Extra features: polyester

Featuring a staggering 260 different colors, the Kolors Embroidery Mega Kit is made from polyester and suitable for embroidery machines. Each of the spools has 550 yards, and each of them comes individually sealed in plastic for protection against dust. Many of the users who tested this here mentioned that the color selection is difficult to beat especially at this price. Most of them also reported that the colors are vibrant and that there is a beautiful sheen to the end project.

The Kolors Embroidery Mega Kit is one of the best choices out there if you want a set that comes with a very wide color palette and if you want to be able to purchase individual spools if you need to replace the collars that you use most often. Some users mentioned that you may encounter a bit of difficulty when it comes to finding the beginning of the thread on some of the spools, but otherwise the kit is very easy to use. You can choose to store the spools in the boxes provided, but you can also fit them on thread racks.

  • Incredible variety of colors
  • Quality, shiny thread
  • Suitable for machine embroidery
  • May be difficult to find the beginning of thread


Brother Designio 50-Piece Embroidery Thread Set SA650Best Embroidery Thread for Brother

  • Use for: machine embroidery
  • Thread weight: 40
  • Length: 600 yards
  • Number of spools: 50

Extra features: specially designed and tested for Brother embroidery machines

If you are looking for the best embroidery thread for Brother embroidery machines, the Brother Designio 50-Piece Embroidery Thread Set SA650 is the best choice out there. This 50-piece embroidery thread set is not only the perfect starter kit for a Brother machine, but also produces rich, beautiful tones to give an outstanding finish to all your embroidery projects. Each of the 50 spools in the set contains 600 yards of embroidery thread at 40-weight, which is the recommended way for most of the Brother machines.

Because this is a genuine Brother accessory, you can be sure it is tested for optimal results with your embroidery and sewing machine. You can use it with just about any model of Brother embroidery machine, but you can also use it for other brands as well. Many users like that this high sheen embroidery thread retains its color and is very durable as well as resistant to heat. Moreover, many of the people who reviewed this embroidery thread set mentioned that the array of colors covers the entire spectrum and is ready to use straight out from the box.

  • Compatible with all Brother machines
  • High sheen
  • Vibrant colors
  • Only 50 colors


ThreadNanny PREMIUM 100 ConesBest Thread for High Speed Embroidery Machines

  • Use for: machine embroidery
  • Thread weight: 40
  • Length: 1100 yards
  • Number of spools: 100

Extra features: high strength, no color fading

A premium quality embroidery thread set that includes 100 colors, ThreadNanny PREMIUM is suitable for high-speed embroidery machines. The 100 cones have 1100 yards each, which is more than enough for all your embroidery projects, whether you need the thread for home or professional use. This thread works well for any home or commercial machine and comes with a colour conversion chart to make it easy to choose the right cones for your project.

Users who reviewed the thread said mentioned that the colours are vibrant and durable, and that they experience little to no running in normal washing. There are no repeat colors in the set, and according to users, you cannot buy them individually to replace the ones that you use up the most. The thread is compatible with most brands of embroidery and sewing machines, and users raved about how long the thread lasts because the cones are so thick. Some of the brands of embroidery machines you can use this thread set with include Brother, Janome, Babylock, Singer, Bernina and more.

  • Vibrant colors
  • Resistant to washing
  • Works for home and commercial machines
  • Packaging


New Brothread Metallic Embroidery Machine ThreadBest Metallic Embroidery Thread

  • Use for: machine embroidery
  • Thread weight: 40
  • Length: 550 yards
  • Number of spools: 20

Extra features: machine-washable

One of the best choices out there for metallic embroidery machine thread, the New Brothread Metallic Embroidery Machine Thread features 20 assorted colors which can make your designs look truly spectacular. Often used for emblems and uniform embroidery, metallic threads are also a popular choice for decorative embroidery for ornaments and elegant clothing. These threats are made from extra strong polyester that is then coated with metal foil to reduce the risk of breaking during the embroidery process. Most of the users who tested the New Brothread Metallic Embroidery Machine Thread set mentioned that even though it is generally a little trickier to use metallic thread than normal embroidery threads, they encountered no problems with this particular kit.

Each of the spools in the set has 40 WT and 550 yards, so they last throughout many projects. The thread is also washable and resistant to tarnish, which means that all work clothing with embroidery designs created with this metallic thread are suitable to be washed by hand and in the machine. Some of the users who tested these threads mentioned that you need to use a needle with a larger eye that allows the metallic to run smoothly.

  • Smooth stitching
  • Vibrant colors
  • Good selection of colors
  • Requires special needles


Sinbel Glow In The Dark Embroidery ThreadBest Glow in The Dark Embroidery Thread

  • Use for: machine embroidery
  • Thread weight: 30
  • Length: 1100 yards
  • Number of spools: 5

Extra features: glow in the dark colors

A glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread is a sure way to get beautiful results when embroidering clothes and blankets for children and adults alike. With the Sinbel Glow In The Dark Embroidery Thread, you get five shades of glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread with its full featuring 1100 yards. The green, white, yellow, blue and pink colors make this set a suitable choice for just about any type of embroidery. Many users tested this set for projects such as birthday shirts or tablecloths for parties mentioned that the spools are very easy to use and that the instructions they come with are very easy to follow.

When it is not exposed the dark, the appearance of the thread is glossy like regular embroidery thread, but when the light goes off it glows in the dark for a truly special effect. The Sinbel Glow In The Dark Embroidery Thread work well in just about any type of embroidery machine, including popular brands such as Brother and Janome. While some users mentioned that the thread may break a couple of times, the results you get are exceptional and the level of glow in the dark is outstanding.

  • Easy to use
  • Beautiful glow in the dark effect
  • Suitable for all embroidery machines
  • May break a bit, especially at high speeds


New brothread Variegated Polyester Embroidery Machine ThreadBest Polyester Thread for Embroidery Machines

  • Use for: machine embroidery
  • Thread weight: 40
  • Length: 550 yards
  • Number of spools: 25

Extra features: high strength, machine-washable

Featuring very interesting color combinations, the New brothread Variegated Polyester Embroidery Machine Thread contains 25 shades and works well with all popular brands and models of embroidery machines, including Brother, Babylock, Janome, and more. The bright and vibrant colors are suitable for any type of embroidery project, be it for a hobby or commercial purposes. Even though the manufacturer mentions that you can use these threads for hand stitching, many users mentioned that because they are very thin, they might not be the best choice for hand stitching.

The high-strength build of these threads means that the risk of breaking or fraying is low, so you can use them to stitch on a wide variety of fabrics. According to many users, the threads are holding up their colors even when they are subjected to chemical cleaning and commercial laundering, which makes them ideal for uniforms and linens used in commercial settings. Each of the 25 spools included in the New brothread Variegated Polyester Embroidery Machine Thread set has 55 yards and you can use them straight out from the box even without peeling the sticker.

  • Bright colors
  • Suitable for commercial use
  • Durable
  • Not thick enough for handstitching


Mira HandCrafts Premium Rainbow Color Embroidery FlossBest Thread for Hand Embroidery

  • Use for: hand embroidery
  • Thread weight: not specified
  • Length: 8.75 yards
  • Number of spools: 150 – 35 colors

Extra features: comes with 10 embroidery needles and a threader

Featuring an outstanding 210 floss skeins, the Mira HandCrafts Premium Rainbow Color Embroidery Floss is a budget friendly set of lads for embroidery that works perfectly for and stitching. With this set you get a wonderful color variety that makes it ideal for both hobbyists and professional users. Made from 100% cotton, this embroidery floss is mercerized for extra shine for outstanding effects on many types of fabric. Some of the users who tested this embroidery thread mentioned that there are no codes for the colors included, but that they are easy to use for cross stitching.

This is one of the best sets on the market that works well for various DIY products and bracelets, being very friendly for those who are only starting with embroidery as a hobby. Other uses include decorating Christmas cards and cross stitch projects. Some users mentioned that some of the flosses are softer than others in the same set, which means that they may tangle a bit easier. The approximately 70 colors available in each pack provides users with all the versatility they need to complete their hand stitching projects.

  • Great variety of colors
  • Needles included
  • Mercerized for extra shine
  • No color codes


SOLEDI Embroidery FlossBudget Pick

  • Use for: hand embroidery
  • Thread weight: not specified
  • Length: 8.7 yards
  • Number of spools: 150

Extra features: comes with 10 embroidery needles, 12 floss bobbins and a needle threader

Our budget pick is the SOLEDI Embroidery Floss, a set that includes 50 skeins of floss that is suitable for hand stitching, making friendship bracelets, cross-stitch projects, and children’s crafts. The set offers great value for money as it comes with 10 embroidery needles, one needle-threading and 12 floss bobbins. Each of the flosses is approximately 8.75 yards long and many of the users tested them mentioned that they are very easy to weave in and out.

Even though the floss skeins in the set are not color-coded, they are suitable for just about any kind of hand stitching project and are very popular with children who enjoy using them in their crafts mostly because of the wide variety of colors included.

This is one of the best sets on the market for beginning cross-stitchers, including children. Users love that the thread is strong and that the colors vibrant at the same time. This thread set is not suitable for embroidery machines, but it works well for all types of hand embroidery projects.

  • Comes with needles and floss bobbins
  • Vibrant colors
  • Durable thread
  • No color codes
  • Not suitable for embroidery machines

Buying Guide

In order to be able to obtain professional looking results every time you use your embroidery machine, it is essential to use high quality thread that is suitable for the type of fabric you intend to use and your specific project. From picking the right thread weight to the material from which the thread is made, there are multiple things to take into account when choosing the best embroidery thread for your projects. Whether you prefer to embroider by hand, or you like to use your trusted embroidery machine to create your stitches, the buying guide below can help you make an informed choice every time you shop for embroidery thread.

Advantages of high-quality embroidery machine thread

The quality of the embroidery thread you use has a deep impact on the final result of your embroidery. Moreover, you can easily avoid disappointment and wasting your time dealing with thread that breaks at high speeds by choosing a quality product from the start. The best embroidery thread features vibrant colors and exquisite finishes that will allow you to create designs that are bound to impress and last.

Features to consider when choosing thread for your embroidery projects

Embroidery ThreadSome of the most important features to consider when shopping for the best embroidery thread for machine or hand use include the type of embroidery you intend to create, the material the thread is made from, as well as the fabric and needles you intend to use it with. Finally, you should also make sure that embroidery thread you choose is compatible with the specific make and model of embroidery machine you have.

What kind of embroidery will you be doing?

One of the most important things to take into account when choosing embroidery thread is the type of embroidery you want to create. For example, you will need different thread for creating shiny stitches on denim than you would need for cross-stitching. You need to make sure that you know the difference between thread that is suitable for machines and comes in bobbins, and floss, which consists of six strands that can be easily separated and are used for hand embroidery, such as the Mira HandCrafts floss that we’ve reviewed above.

Number of spools and colors

All the embroidery thread sets that made it to our top contain multiple shades, ranging in numbers from five to over 200. The number of colors you need depends on the type of project you want the company as well as your personal preferences. Some sets contain more spools of the same color, whereas others do not have any duplicates, so you need to replace the ones you use more often on an individual basis.

Thread weight and strength

Embroidery ThreadThe thread weight refers to the thickness of the embroidery thread and is expressed in numbers on a scale from 30 to 120. The scale works from thick to thin, which means that the higher weight number the thinner the thread. For example, 120 weight thread is thinner than 40 weight thread.

Spool length

The spool length refers to the actual amount of thread that fits onto a spool. Most of the threads we reviewed for our top come with spoon lengths ranging from 500 to 1200 yards.

The more yards a spool contains, the thicker it is.

Thread material and style

Just like in the case of fabric, the materials embroidery thread is made is important for the final look of your project. Some of the most common choices include polyester, rayon, nylon, cotton, as well as more intricate options such as metallic (as in the case of the New brothread Metallic Embroidery Machine Thread) and glow-in-the-dark thread (such as the Sinbel thread set). The type of material the thread is made of also has an impact on the overall durability of the thread, with polyester and rayon often being good choices for those who want more strength for their thread.


A thread net is not necessary for embroidering, but many users prefer to have it because it can help to prevent tangling and breaking while keeping the thread intact.

Your thread may keep breaking if it is too thin for the type of needle or fabric you are using for your embroidery project. Also, your settings on the embroidery machine may cause the thread to break. This usually happens when the thread is too tense or when you’re going too fast. To prevent the breaking of the thread, you should adjust the embroidery speed or loosen the tension.

One of the easiest ways to find the start of the thread is still carefully on the side of the spool in search for a slipknot. When you find it, pull it twice and the starter will start to unwind.

Our Verdict

Whether you are looking for the best embroidery thread to use with your embroidery machine or for hand-stitching projects, it’s important to keep in mind that the quality and technical specifications of the thread can make or break your project. We found the Madeira Incredible Threadable Embroidery Box 20928082 to be the best thread money can buy because it mixes an incredible quality of the thread with one of the best selections of colors out there. If you want an embroidery thread set designed to be used with just about any embroidery machine brand and model on the market and that offers outstanding results with hundreds of colors, the Kolors Embroidery Mega Kit is an excellent choice. Finally, the Brother Designio Embroidery Thread Set made it to our top as the best thread to use for all brands of embroidery machines, particularly Brother, and allows you to finish your project in no time without compromising on quality and accuracy.

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