Best Embroidery Machine Reviews for 2023
The art of embroidery used to be a painstaking, yet highly creative skill which involved a great amount of effort and time to perfect. Hand embroidered tapestries, elegant monograms and intricate designs – old and new – are still considered works of art.
Thanks to the huge advances in sewing equipment and technologies, the ability to create beautiful embroidered pieces is open to anyone willing to invest some time and money in an embroidery machine. Like any type of sewing machine, there is a wide range of models on the market designed to fit any skill level and budget.
After analyzing the features, functions, pros and cons, reviews, and costs of the most popular embroidery machines available, we compiled a list and short description of our top 10 picks for best embroidery machines. Some are designed for beginners, others for experts, but all are worth further investigation. Unless otherwise noted, all machines on this list are sewing/embroidery combo machines. Enjoy!
Our Top 5 Picks
Best Embroidery Machine Reviews
With 136 built-in embroidery designs and 6 lettering fonts, this embroidery-only Brother model gives anyone new to machine embroidery a head start. Higher priced than other models, it includes the ability to edit fonts and designs and to import your own designs or those purchased from Brother’s iBroidery.com website via a USB drive. This model also includes the option of accessing thousands of separately purchased Brother embroidery designs and uploading them via a special card slot. The built-in memory makes saving your favorite designs a breeze.
The PE770 offers you an expansive 5-inch by 7-inch embroidery field and hoop for making designs in several sizes. The machine is easy to thread and operate, and includes a drop-in bobbin feature. The LCD touchscreen gives you fast access to embroidery designs and editing features. This model will best suit beginners and intermediate users.
The Brother PE770 5×7 inch Embroidery-only machine with built-in memory, USB port, 6 lettering fonts and 136 built-in designs is one of the best embroidery machines on the market. If you like to embroider and want a great value for your money the Brother PE770 is a great deal for the money!
- Easy to learn and use, with lifetime support
- Massive range of stitches, designs, options, and editing functions with large 5×7 embroidery area
- Drop-in bobbin, auto thread trimmer, and touchscreen for simple and efficient embroidery
- Quiet, sturdy, quality machine
- Embroidery-only machine
- Some find the LCD screen difficult to see and read clearly
While the cost of this embroidery machine is not for the faint of heart, it’s an excellent investment if you plan to start up a home embroidery business or wish to learn on one of the best.
In addition to a large 7-inch by 9-inch square embroidery field and an extra-wide work area, this Janome model includes 160 built-in stitches and an adjustable stitching speed of between 400 and 800 stitches per minute. In addition to 6 built-in lettering options, this machine includes a 2- and 3-letter monogram function. The 400E also includes the ability to adjust the sizes of upper-case letters and choose from a selection of border patterns.
The large, color LCD screen allows you to choose borders and designs and make edits with ease, and the 13 function keys allow you to choose, duplicate or edit each selected pattern or design and adjust the hoop position. In addition to built-in memory and the option to upload designs using a USB flash drive, this model includes a drop-in bobbin with automatic winder and automatic needle threader.
- Professional quality embroidery machine
- Large 7.9”x7.9” embroidery field
- USB port to import designs from other devices
- Full-color LCD touchscreen with a vast range of editing and customizing functions
- Efficient and straightforward features like direct jump, auto return, auto thread cutting, easy bobbin winding, and more
- Learning curve for beginners
This reasonably priced embroidery-only machine from Singer offers a whopping 200 embroidery design options, a good-sized embroidery field and two hoops: a large embroidery hoop (10 1/4 inches by 6 inches) and a smaller one (4 inches by 4 inches). The design settings and 6 lettering options can be chosen, edited, or adjusted for size via the large LCD touchscreen. The automatic thread tension feature and automatic needle threader save both time and frustration. You can even rewind the bobbin while operating the machine!
The generous accessory package includes an illustrated book featuring every built-in design and alphabet option, a pack of needles, 5 clear plastic bobbins, and a USB embroidery stick. Also included is a DVD which includes more specific information on each design and computer software that will allow you to import additional designs from CDs or the internet. This machine is a great choice for anyone interested in or accomplished at machine embroidery.
- Wide range of tutorials and online learning to get the most from this machine
- Extra-large embroidery and work area for hoops up to 10 1/4”x 6”
- USB connection for design transfer
- Comes with a great variety of accessories
- 25-year limited warranty, with a 90-day warranty on parts
- Embroidery-only machine
- It might be a difficult machine for beginners to learn on
If you’re looking for an embroidery only machine at a ridiculously low price but with a wealth of features and stitch options, this might be the model for you. Whether you’re just starting out or want a dependable, user friendly machine for your kids, the PE550D includes an impressive 125 built-in embroidery stitch options, which includes 45 Disney designs, a large color LCD display screen and automatic needle threader. Those are only a few reasons why this versatile machine earned the 2018 Women’s Choice Award for Embroidery Machines.
While embroidery design size is limited to 4 inches by 4 inches, this model includes built-in memory and a USB port for importing additional designs, 5 built-in lettering fonts and the ability to angle, curve, and insert multiple lines of text. You can increase or decrease the spacing between each letter. You also have the option of creating your own freestanding embroidery designs.
- User friendly and easy to use, even for beginners
- Large full-color LCD touchscreen
- Good range of included designs, editing options, and customization features
- Comes with all the necessary beginner accessories
- USB port for importing or saving designs
- Embroidery-only machine
- Just 4”x4” hoop size
This top-of-the-line combo machine by Janome is designed with the expert or professional in mind. Along with the staggering price tag comes a huge assortment of functions and features. In addition to featuring 5 bright LED lights in three different locations on the machine, the 9900 includes an adjustable sewing speed rate of between 400 to 800 stitches per minute and a memory storage capacity of 3MB. It also includes an LCD touchscreen with on-screen assistance and a built-in timer that tells you how long it takes to complete each embroidery project.
Multiple design editing options include the ability to resize, flip, duplicate, combine, arc, drag and drop, trace, and zoom. In addition to 175 built-in embroidery designs, this model features 200 decorative and utility stitches, 6 one-step buttonhole stitches and 3 font options. The only drawback is the limited embroidery field of 6.7 inches by 7.9 inches. Additional features and functions are too numerous to include, but this is a serious machine.
- Sewing and embroidery machine, without needing to remove embroidery module when sewing
- Huge range of capabilities, with 200 sewing stitches and intricate embroidery designs up to 200,000 stitches
- Full-color high-resolution touch screen with simple and powerful onscreen editing
- Comes with a good set of sewing and embroidering accessories
- Embroider up to 6.7”x7.9” and 800 stitches per minute
- Quite expensive
This somewhat expensive Singer model includes several useful and time-saving features and functions. It’s ease of use is an immense plus for beginners, but includes enough technological advances to impress experts.
In addition to an impressive 200 built-in embroidery designs in various sizes and 20 endless design choices, it includes 5 lettering fonts and 30 built-in stitch options. Purchase includes three different sizes of embroidery hoops and the spacious, well-lit embroidery field is a rarity in most models.
This Singer model also includes unique capability to use multiple embroidery hoops at the same time and the drop feed function allows you to embroider beautiful free motion designs on a large range of fabrics and projects. Purchase includes software for your computer or laptop, which must be connected to the machine during use.
- Sewing and embroidery machine
- Endless hoop for continuous borders and multiple hoops for oversize designs
- 30 sewing stitches, 200 embroidery designs, 5 fonts
- Easily embroider free motion quilting effects
- Automatic buttonholes and other automated sewing capabilities
- No digital display for editing and previewing
This embroidery only model by Brother includes a 5-inch by 7-inch embroidery field and a full color LCD touchscreen. The built-in USB port and memory allows you to upload and store both purchased and custom embroidery designs with ease. This machine also includes 138 built-in embroidery designs and 11 lettering fonts, 7 of which are in English, 3 in Japanese, and 1 Cyrillic font. The fonts are available in serif, sans serif outline, and script styles.
The editing function allows you to increase or decrease the size of your designs, rotate them, or create a mirror image. You can also try out different color combinations on your designs using the large color LCD touchscreen. The bright LED light perfectly illuminates the work area, a plus when working on dark fabrics. If you’re looking for a sturdy, dependable embroidery only machine, the price and features on this model won’t disappoint beginners or experienced users.
- 138 built-in embroidery designs and 11 font styles
- Easy to use and learn with built-in onscreen tutorials
- Color LCD touchscreen for easy editing and previewing
- USB connection for importing new designs
- Bilingual instruction manual
- Embroidery-only machine
This lightweight, low-priced portable doesn’t include some of the more advanced features and functions of others on this list, but user friendliness is a guarantee on any Brother machine. The back-lit LCD touchscreen supplies you with all the controls and information you need to access the 70 built-in embroidery design options, 67 stitches and 5 lettering fonts. By connecting the SE400 to your computer or laptop via the included USB cable, you can download and transfer hundreds of additional designs, both free and purchased.
Another useful feature is the one-touch automatic thread cutter, which cuts both the top and bobbin threads simultaneously. The 7-point feed dog system ensures all types of fabric move smoothly beneath the needle, no matter what project you’re working on and the bright LED light keeps the work area well illuminated. In addition to an informative user manual, this Brother model includes built-in tutorials and a quick-start guide you can access via the LCD touchscreen.
- Sewing and embroidery machines can also be used for quilting
- Get started quickly with 67 sewing stitches, 70 embroidery designs, and 5 fonts
- Use USB or embroidery card slot to import designs
- Easy to use, with automatic threader, simple bobbin winding, and built-in tutorials
- Touchscreen LCD display
- Only 4”x4” embroidery area
- Black and white display
While this combo machine is geared toward intermediate users, it’s so easy to use that it’s also a great choice for those new to machine embroidery. The mid-range price reflects the useful and varied range of features and functions, although the embroidery field is limited at 6.5 inches. However, this model does include 400 built-in utility, decorative, and lettering stitch options and 40 built-in embroidery designs.
The large LCD display screen allows you to interact with the machine in normal, memory, and embroidery modes, which makes navigating to the proper function a breeze. The Hero also monitors both the upper needle thread and the bobbin thread levels. This built-in warning system will alert you if the bobbin thread is running low and will automatically stop the machine if the upper thread spool is empty or the thread breaks. A USB port makes uploading new and custom designs fast and easy.
- Sewing and embroidery machine
- 400+ built-in stitches, 40 embroidery designs, 10 buttonholes
- Compact and lightweight for small spaces
- Intuitive and easy to use
- USB port for updates and importing new designs
- Black and white display
- No automatic thread cutter
This Janome model is a moderately priced embroidery-only model. It arrives with 73 pre-programmed embroidery designs and 5 fonts for monogramming: these include Gothic, Script and Cheltenham fonts. It also includes a maximum embroidery hoop size of 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches. A smaller 2-inch by 2-inch hoop is also available by separate purchase.
While this machine may seem somewhat expensive for its limited number of built-in designs and small embroidery field, your own or purchased designs can be uploaded via the USB port. Editing features, available through the LCD touchscreen, include the ability to enlarge and decrease design sizes, create mirror images, and rotate designs. The multi-folder memory system keeps your designs organized. the top-loading bobbin saves time, as does the machine’s top speed of 650 stitches per minute.
- Many preprogrammed designs
- Can upload purchased designs
- LCD touchscreen
- Advanced editing capabilities
- Fast stitch speed
- Overall user friendly design
- Relatively small embroidery field
- Not all that many fonts available
Embroidery Machine Buyers Guide
Before we call it a day, we want to leave you with some essential tips for choosing the best possible embroidery machine. The following factors should be paid close attention to when selecting an embroidery machine.
Hoop Size & Embroidery Field Size
One of the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing an embroidery machine is how large the embroidery field is. Related to this, how large the hoop size is should also be considered. The size of the hoop and the embroidery field will determine how large of an embroidery you can make.
When it comes to the more cost-effective machines out there, you might get an embroidery field that is just four inches or five inches squared. This does of course limit the size of the embroidery that you can create. However, some of the more expensive embroidery machines have much larger embroidery fields.
As you can see, one of the models we reviewed today has a 5 inch by 7 inch field. If you want to make large embroidery designs, then you absolutely need a large embroidery field. Of course, the hoop size is also related to this. Ideally, you want to look for a machine that comes with various hoops of different sizes. There are also machines that allow you to purchase various hoops on the side. Simply consider the size of the embroidery that you want to make before purchasing a machine.
Another very important factor to keep in mind when choosing an embroidery machine is the display. When it comes to your more cost-effective embroidery machines, they usually don’t have great displays.
Their displays are generally very small, and this makes it hard to see the design that you are choosing. Not having a clear picture of the embroidery design that you are choosing does of course make life more difficult.
This can be especially problematic when you want to make multicolored designs or use more than one font. You actually want to be able to see what you are choosing before you make the embroidery.
Therefore, going for a high-quality LCD display of a decent size is preferred. It doesn’t have to be huge, and it doesn’t have to be a full high definition display either. However, it should be large and clear enough so you can easily see the fonts, designs, and colors that you are choosing.
The next important feature to consider is what the design library of the embroidery machine in question contains. Some machines come with as little as 20 or 30 different embroidery designs, whereas others come with literally hundreds of designs.
If you just want to do some basic embroidery, then a cost effective machine with limited designs may be fine.
However, for most people, more is better. If you are a professional, or just planning to do a variety of work with your embroidery machine, then looking for one that has plenty of designs is called for.
Some of the higher-end models come with 200 or more embroidery designs to choose from. Keep in mind, the higher-end designs usually also have more colorful designs to choose from.
Another thing to consider is the type of connectivity that the embroidery machine in question has, if any at all. Some lower-end models may only allow you to use the designs that come preprogrammed onto them.
However, today, all decent embroidery machines should allow you to purchase or download additional designs. Some of the highest-end models may even have Wi-Fi connectivity so you can directly download designs onto them.
Most normal embroidery machines allow you to either connect to a computer or to insert a USB drive. This allows you to purchase or download the embroidery designs of your choosing and upload them onto the machine. It is of course a big advantage for people who want plenty of variety.
Combo Machine vs Embroidery Only
Another thing to consider here is whether you want a machine that can only do embroidery, or you want a combination machine that is also a sewing machine.
Of course, this all depends on what your main purpose is. If you are just doing embroidery designs, then you obviously don’t need a sewing machine.
However, if you plan on doing a variety of sewing and sewing related tasks, then you may as well go for a combination machine. If you are going to be doing both embroidery and sewing, then there is not much point in having two separate machines taking up a ton of space.
All of that said, if you want to do very high-quality embroidery, then a combination sewing and embroidery machine might not cut it. There are some embroidery-only machines that come with several needles. This is generally helpful when you want to embroider tough materials and abnormal shapes.
We aren’t going to spend too much time talking about the cost. However, one sentiment that you should always keep in mind is that you get what you pay for.
If you want the very best features, you will have to pay for them. Therefore, if you plan on doing a lot of embroidery work, making a significant investment is warranted.
Size & Weight
You might think that a small and lightweight embroidering machine is great. However, these machines really don’t need to be portable. Therefore, going for something a bit bigger is ideal, especially because a larger machine has a larger embroidery field.
Additional Helpful Features
There are some additional features that you want to look out for to help make life easier. Some of these features include a variable speed option, on-screen editing, embellishment capabilities, automatic thread tensioning, thread trimming, and archable fonts.
Like any piece of sewing equipment, choosing the best embroidery machine for your skill level and needs is a matter of preference, features, and price. Whether you plan on buying an embroidery-only machine or prefer the convenience of not having to move between machines, thorough research and a few test drives at your nearest dealership can help you make the perfect selection.