Embroidery is the perfect form of escapism, and whether you’re experienced with a needle or a total novice whipping up your first batch of face masks, investing in a good quality embroidery machine can make all the difference.
And whether it’s a free motion-embroidery machine you’ve got your eye on, or even a two-in-one sewing machine, working out what will be best for your project can be a total minefield.
From the best embroidery machines on the market, you should expect qualities such as automatic needle threading, a good LCD screen, the ability to import your own designs (as well as pre-programmed ones), and a good quality built-in hoop - so definitely look out for those. Some will even let you control them via smart technology.
However, we’ve done the hard work for you, as we’ve narrowed down the best of the best embroidery machines, that we think are worth adding to your wish list.
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The best embroidery machines at a glance
The best embroidery machines:
Brother's Innovis 800E is beginner-friendly, but equally has all the qualities an experienced user would need. The extension table has a great surface area, allowing you more flexibility with your designs, as well as an automatic needle threader, and full colour touch-screen to bring your work to life. This machine is embroidery-only, but it's well worth it for anyone looking for a reliable machine for life. But note, you might want to have a good hoard of craft supplies, as it doesn't come with some basics such as embroidery needles and stabilisers. Pros: Pre-programmed designsDigital previewsSpeed Cons: ExpensiveEmbroidery-only
While the Bernina Bernette B70 is embroidery-only, it's impossible not to love it, mostly for its best-in-class digital screen. You can expect to be able to make edits such as rotations, mirroring, and resizing, either by using one of your own designs, or one of the 208 built-in designs. However, some sewers have suggested you need to be careful with your thread choice, as the machine does have a tendency to snap it easily.Pros: Colour touchscreen to edit and choose designsBernina Toolbox embroidery software included with machineConvenient upper and lower thread sensorsCons: Only suits silky yarnsCheap, plastic cover for an expensive machineNot beginner-friendly
The Singer XL420 is a great option if you're already an experienced embroiderer. The great thing about this machine is that it comes with endless options. From easy to hard, from small to large, the 20 built-in designs can be tailored pretty much however you want them. However, a lot of people have also reported issues with the software, particularly if you're a Mac user. That's not to say it isn't a worthwhile purchase, drop-in (or top-loading bobbin) is one of the best features a sewing machine can have, and the automatic needle threader makes life a doddle. Pros: Embroidery and sewing in oneWell-priced for a premium brandQuietCons: Embroidery software not compatible with Mac
If you do a lot of free motion embroidery, this machine gives you plenty of space to work with thanks for its extendable table. While it comes with a good range of stitches (100), note that you can't import your own designs, and the sizing options are limited. If you're working with the letter stitches, they'll also only come out upper-case. However, for the price, it's definitely good value, and even comes with eight different presser feet. Pros: Reasonably pricedEmbroidery and sewing in oneLightweightCons: Can't import your own designsLimited options on the pre-programmed designs
Brother's iconic Innovis NV2650D is a classic example of how versatility can make all the difference to anyone looking for a new machine. Yes, it's on the more pricey side of embroidery machines, but its LCD display, 850-stitch per minute speed (as well as customised stitch settings) and adjustable embroidery frames ,make it all the worthwhile for keen sewers looking for something that will last. Pros: Large screen for creating your own designsSpeed Sewing and embroidery in oneCons: Expensive
The Silver Viscount CH03 is great for anyone looking for range. It comes with 130 stitch patterns and 70 built-in embroidery patterns – not to mention that its WiFi system allows you to import your own too via the app. However, as there's no digital display screen, you'll need a smart phone to use many of its functions.Pros: Import designs easily via WiFiPerfect for beginners or more experienced embroiderers Cheap price for a high-tech machineCons: No digital screen
Despite being a fairly large machine (weighing a respectable 8kg), the FS130QC is suitable for both beginners and experienced embroiderers. It comes with 10 presser feet, and has a quick set bobbin, as well as an automatic needle threader for ease of use. As with most good embroidery machines, this model also has an LCD digital display, albeit smaller and simpler than some of the others on offer.Pros: Free arm sewingFast bobbin windingSpeed controlCons: Limited LCD display functions