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With an embroidery sewing machine, you can achieve new levels of creativity and artistry. These machines enable you to create and transfer designs, adding monograms and decorative stitching to all kinds of fabric, from clothing to decor items. Since there are many of these machines available—and at a wide range of price points—we've researched the best ones on the market to help you pinpoint which one will work best for your needs.
Ahead, the best embroidery machines for all of your embroidery needs.
Best Overall: Janome Memory Craft 500E
Dimensions: 7.9 x 11 inches | Weight: 20 pounds | Included Stitches: 160 | Attachments: Automatic Thread Cutter | Power Source: Electric
This embroidery machine from a well-regarded brand comes with 160 built-in embroidery designs and six fonts. Four hoops are included with the machine, which offers a large, user-friendly LCD touchscreen so you import designs (using a USB) and edit them on the machine.
The maximum embroidery size on this machine is 7.9 by 11 inches. It offers time-saving, convenient features, such as a built-in needle threader, along with features that make it a pleasure to use, such as a very bright light.
The stitch quality is high. Plus, people tend to find this machine easy to operate.
Best for Sewing and Embroidery: Husqvarna Designer Jade 35
Dimensions: 9.5 x 6 inches | Weight: Varies | Included Stitches: 120 | Attachments: Thread Net | Power Source: Electric
This computerized embroidery sewing machine is loaded with features and functionality. It offers a large embroidery area, which means that you can make large designs. It includes an embroidery font and 70 embroidery designs. Intro software is included, and you can create your own designs on your computer and then use them with the machine.
And if you’re going to split your time between sewing and embroidery, this machine is ideal, since it offers a large sewing surface, the ability to stop your needle in the down position, a built-in needle threader, and other key features that sewers will appreciate.
Compared to most machines with these levels of powerful functionality, the Jade 35 is relatively lightweight, making it easy to bring along to classes. And in a nifty bit of design, the machine transforms into its own carrying case.
Best Budget: Brother SE600
Dimensions: 21.18 x 15.51 inches | Weight: 26.24 pounds | Included Stitches: 100 | Attachments: Drop-in top bobbin | Power Source: Treadle Powered
Compared to the steep prices of some embroidery machines, this option from Brothers—a reputable and reliable brand—is quite budget-friendly. The machine comes with many helpful bits of functionality, like an automatic needle threader, along with 80 built-in designs and more than 100 sewing stitches.
It includes a color touchscreen and has a 4-inch by 4-inch embroidery field. (Note: This is a relatively small embroidery area compared to some other machines.) Using the screen, you can preview the design and make adjustments. You can also upload your own patterns with a USB cable.
The Brother SE600 comes with a 25-year limited warranty, and phone support is available for free for the entire lifespan of the machine. This isn’t the right machine if you’re looking to start a custom embroidery business, but is a great, beginner-friendly machine that offers a great deal of functionality without costing a ton.
Best for Design: Brother PE800
Dimensions: 21.75 x 19.02 inches | Weight: 13.74 pounds | Included Stitches: 120 | Attachments: Built-in embroidery designs | Power Source: Treadle Powered
The Brother PE800 machine comes with a lot of designs and fonts, but if you want to create your own, this is the machine for you since it comes with a USB port and memory for storage, along with the ability to tweak these designs—changing their size, orientation, and more.
This machine comes with a large—5-inch by 7-inch—hoop space and also comes with an easy-to-use, color LCD touchscreen. Plus, the Brother PE800 is covered with a 25-year limited warranty along with free phone and online support.
Our favorite embroidery machine is the Janome Memory Craft 500E (view at Amazon) for its design catalog, large embroidery design field, included hoops, and its extra features, such as the built-in needle threader and LCD screen. However, if you're new to embroidering with a machine, try out the Brother SE600 (view at Amazon). It's budget-friendly, and although it has a smaller embroidery design field, you can still upload your own patterns.
What to Look for in an Embroidery Machine
Size and Portability
Will you want to take the machine to classes or tote it from one location in your home to another? If so, size and weight matter. You’ll also want to look for an option that comes with a case.
You’ll want to note the maximum embroidery design size for the machine and see if it fits with the designs you plan to create.
The number of designs included can vary widely. You can design on your own (or use designs that you find online) with nearly all machines—still, it’s nice to have a machine that starts with a lot of options readily at hand.
Note which hoops are included and their sizes.
From an automatic threader to an LCD screen that’s color as opposed to black and white, a machine’s features can make a big difference to your experience using it.
How do you use an embroidery machine?
While much of the process will resemble sewing on a sewing machine, you’ll need to make sure you use an embroidery needle. You’ll also want to choose the appropriate thread—embroidery thread is different than regular ol’ sewing thread—as well as fabric.
If your machine has both sewing and embroidery functionality, make sure you’re in the correct mode. Then once you have your design in mind, embroider away!
Can you sew with an embroidery machine?
It depends. Some embroidery machines are intended solely for embroidery, while others are combination machines that can perform both functions.
Do I need a single-needle or a multi-needle embroidery machine?
The answer, once again, is that it depends Single needle machines are generally cheaper and beginners may find them easier to use. With a multi-needle machine, you can load up each needle with different colored embroidery thread, so you won’t have to re-thread the needle every time you switch colors. If you plan to make multi-colored designs—and lots of them—the speed you’ll get from using a multi-needle machine may be worth the additional expense.
Why Trust The Spruce Crafts?
Madeleine Burry has written for The Spruce since 2019, covering everything from crafting to pets. She’s written previously about sewing, including round-ups of the best sewing machines for beginners and quilters. To assemble this list, she consulted customer reviews and third-party websites for insight.