Which brand of sewing machine is considered to be the best? The opinions of owners were gathered in an exclusive study, and they were asked about brands such as Brother, Janome, and Singer.
In August 2020, we polled over 2,800 sewing machine owners to get the inside scoop on everything from ease of use to durability and value for money, so you can learn which sewing machine manufacturers are the best and worst. If you’re thinking about buying a sewing machine, keep reading to learn more about the different models, how consumers rate them, and how much you should anticipate to pay. Our findings reveal that not all sewing machines are made equal: the brands at the top of the table and those at the bottom of the table have a significant variation in their overall Which? customer satisfaction score. You can learn the following about each brand:
We ask sewing machine owners to review how long their machines have lasted and how durable the brand is.
How owners rank it – how happy they are with their sewing machine brand and whether or not they would recommend it to a friend. Based on this, brands are awarded a consumer score.
Our conclusion — in a word, we tell you what owners think of the brand.
Brands of popular sewing machines are explained.
To give you an in-depth look at each brand, we’ve gathered our unique customer insight. The highest-scoring sewing machine brand has an outstanding customer satisfaction rating of 88 percent, while the lowest-scoring brand does not even reach 70 percent. Only one brand received a perfect five-star rating for build quality and one for durability, while two brands received a dismal one-star rating for portability. These may be worth avoiding if you plan on moving your sewing machine around a lot.
Sewing machines by Bernina: models and prices
Bernina is a Swiss firm that was formed in 1893. It targets the high-end market, claiming that Swiss perfection lies at the heart of every Bernina sewing machine. At its London Sewing Centre, it offers free foundation sewing training with the purchase of most of its overlockers and sewing machines. Bernina sewing machines can be purchased directly from Bernina or through a variety of different retailers such as Jaycotts and Tysew. Bernina makes roughly 13 sewing machines, as well as quilting and embroidery machines and overlockers. The Bernina 325 is the business’s entry-level machine, while the Bernina 880 Plus – the company’s most sophisticated machine – should provide sewing professionals with nearly endless possibilities, according to the company.
Sewing machines by Bernina
Bernina’s 2 Series sewing machines are the most basic you’ll discover from this brand — they’re the simplest and easiest to operate, but you can update them with new attachments as you grow. The Bernina 325 is the cheapest model, but at £749, it’s a lot more expensive than other manufacturers’ entry-level sewing machines. The 3 Series is also appropriate for beginners, and these sewing machines can also be used for quilting tasks. The Bernina 325 is the cheapest in this class, costing roughly £749, while the Bernina 335 (£995) is the most costly. The 5 Series, 7 Series, and 8 Series are geared for professionals; you may use these feature-rich machines to sew, embroider, or quilt. Costs for the 5 Series’ more compact models begin at £1,995 for the Bernina 540, while prices for the 7 Series begin at £2,850. (Bernina 720). The Bernina 880 Plus (£7,900) is the most recent addition to the line. It comes with fully automated threading, a longer free arm, and additional embroidery options.
Bernina sewing machines are rated on a scale of one to ten.
Bernina came out on top in our table of ten main sewing machine brands, with an outstanding total score.
A customer satisfaction rating of 88 percent.
That’s a significant advantage over Husqvarna, which is in second position with 84 percent – and miles ahead of Jones and Singer, who are in last place with 63 percent. Bernina’s customers gave these sewing machines a perfect five-star rating for build quality and longevity, making them the easiest to use of all the brands we tested. Bernina was also the only brand to receive a perfect five-star grade for its machine construction. Bernina’s owners gave them an 88 percent customer satisfaction rating. Despite the fact that Bernina sewing machines were more expensive than machines from other companies, users thought they were good value for money. One disadvantage of this table-top brand is its lack of portability. If you aren’t planning on taking your sewing machine with you, this may not be an issue.
Ranges and costs of Brother sewing machines
Brother, a Japanese company, is a leading producer of low-cost sewing and embroidery machines. These range from entry-level sewing machines to high-end semi-professional embroidery machines for small enterprises, with prices starting at around £100. The variety of functions included in even the most basic Brother machines is a distinguishing attribute of the brand. Its machines may be found online and in places including Argos, John Lewis, and Hobbycraft. Brother offers 18 different sewing machines, six different embroidery machines, and six models that combine the two. Sewing machines for other craft projects, such as quilting, are also available. Sewing machines from Brother are excellent for beginners as well as professionals. The L14S, which costs £990 and is aimed at amateurs conducting basic changes and repairs, is the cheapest and most basic type. The Innov-is A150 (£449) is a fully computerised sewing machine intended towards persons with some sewing experience. If you also want to try your hand at embroidery, models like the Innov-is 440e (£799) combine both features in a small sewing machine. The Innov-is XJ1 – built for those who are’serious about sewing,’ according to Brother – may cost up to £6,499, depending on how much you want to spend. With a price tag of £6499 to match.
Sewing machines from Brother are highly rated.
Brother received a 74 percent total customer satisfaction rating. While this isn’t bad, it’s still a far way from Bernina’s top-scoring customer score of 88 percent. Brother’s rating puts it in the middle of the pack, but it’s still a long way ahead of Singer and Jones, who are at the bottom of the table with 71 percent and 69 percent, respectively.
Sewing machines of average quality
Brother is the only brand that has received three-star ratings in every category. Customers gave Brother’s sewing machines average, or acceptable, ratings for everything from portability and ease of use to durability, value for money, and build quality. It’s the only brand in our 2020 study that received three stars in every category.
Ranges and pricing of Elna sewing machines
Elna has always thought that sewing should be enjoyable. Sewing machines had to be simple to operate, adaptable, and modern in order for this to happen. The first Elna was released in 1940, and it was dubbed the Elna #1. It is the first compact, portable electric sewing machine with a free arm, according to the manufacturer. It claims to have been the first to pioneer a variety of unique sewing machine features, including the automatic needle threader, heirloom stitches, and the first overlock stitch on a home sewing machine (in 1963). Elna has since gone on to manufacture truly international industrial and residential sewing machines. The Sew Fun is one of 21 sewing machines in the line, which includes tiny starter models, computerised sewing machines for more intermediate sewers, and specialised embroidery and quilting machines. Click through our gallery to explore a variety of Elna sewing machines, ranging from basic versions to those designed for more complex crafts.
Sewing machines by Elna
Elna sewing machines can be found in specialty stores like Tysew. The Elna Sew Fun (£119) is a basic sewing machine that is marketed as “user-friendly” and “the ideal partner for novices.” Buttonhole, stretch stitches, and triple stitches are among the 15 stitches available on this machine. Stitch length may be adjusted, and there’s also a sewing light, an instant reverse lever, and a large-view stitch display to aid you. The Elna Star (£369) is a tiny machine with many of the same outstanding features as a full-sized model, according to Elna, making it ideal for sewers who are constantly on the go. It has a stitch library that is easy to navigate, stitches that can be modified in length and width, 20 stitches to try out, and a slew of accessories. The Elna eXperience 580 is ideal for individuals who desire to sew, quilt, or perform patchwork and are searching for something more complex. This machine offers a wide range of stitches (120 in total), as well as seven different designs of automatic button holes and stitching speeds of up to 820 threads per minute. Elna has released three new machines: the eXcellence 680+ and 580+, as well as the eXperience 550. The eXcellent family of machines offers a wide range of features for maximum sewing efficiency. The newest machine in the eXperience line is an all-around sewing machine with an LCD display screen and between 50 and 280 stitches to pick from, depending on the model; it can handle a variety of fabrics with ease, according to the company.
Elna sewing machines have a high rating.
With an overall customer score of 82 percent, Elna came in third place in our table of ten main sewing machine companies, only behind Husqvarna (84 percent) and Bernina (84 percent) (88 percent ). Jones, with a 69 percent overall customer score, is at the bottom of the table.
Sewing machines of high quality
Elna owners consistently gave them high ratings. It’s the only brand with four stars for durability, use, build quality, portability, and value for money. Elna sewing machines have received positive feedback from owners, so this brand is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a good sewing machine. Bernina was the only brand to obtain a perfect five-star grade for its machine construction.
Sewing machines by Frister and Rossman: ranges and costs
Frister & Rossman is a German sewing machine manufacturer that was founded in 1864. It also has ties to Singer, a competitor in the sewing machine industry, as Singer imported F&R sewing machines. Sewing Machines Direct now owns the brand (SMD). On the SMD website nowadays, you’ll discover a few sewing machines, overlockers, and steam presses in its line. Only two sewing machines, an overlocker, and many steam presses are listed on Frister & Rossman’s website via SMD. More models are available for sale secondhand on eBay. View a collection of Frister and Rossman sewing machines in our gallery.
Sewing machines by Frister & Rossman
According to Sewing Machines Direct, Frister & Rossman’s 6423 is “cheap on price” and “high on value.” This die-cast aluminium sewing machine includes 22 stitch options, a stitch speed of up to 800 stitches per minute, and an LED light. There’s a needle threader, a front-loading bobbin, and variable stitch length and width. This portable sewing machine weighs only 6 kg and costs about £209. The 6424 is a step forward from the previous model, with 31 stitch options, one step buttonhole, front-loading bobbin, and automatic needle threader. It can stitch at up to 800 stitches per minute, just as the 6432, and is ideal for modifications, repairs, dressmaking, and home furnishings. This machine, according to Frister & Rossman, is suitable for taking to class, using as a second machine, or for a newbie searching for their first machine. It will set you back £239. There is nothing more advanced in the Frister & Rossman range right now. As of September 2020, prices are correct.
Sewing machines from Frister and Rossman are rated.
Frister & Rossman are in the centre of the sewing machine table with a score of 77 percent. Owners give their machines high marks for longevity, build quality, and overall value. The ease of use and portability are both evaluated as average. Most owners have a foot-operated electric sewing machine that they have had for a long time – indicating a high level of longevity – and they use their F&R sewing machines every two to six months.
Sewing machines for the middle of the table
With a customer satisfaction rating of 77 percent, Frister & Rossman ranks in the middle of our brand survey. The most common jobs for which owners utilise their F&R sewing machine are repairs and modifications, followed by dressmaking and curtain-making.
Ranges and pricing of Husqvarna sewing machines
Husqvarna is a Swedish brand that began as a royal armaments manufacturing in 1689 and evolved into a sewing machine industry in 1872. The first machine was known as the ‘Nordstjernan,’ which translates to “Northern Star.” Sewing stitches in a straight line and an oscillating bobbin were developed in the following decades, and a free-arm machine named the ‘Husqvarna Zig Zag’ was debuted in 1947. Quilting machines, stunning embroidery machines, and machines with top-of-the-line characteristics, including the first smart sewing machine from this company, are all available today. Husqvarna offers 16 sewing machines, with models for beginners, professionals, and everyone in between. There are other machines designed specifically for embroidery and quilting. Owners said their machines are mostly electric or computerised, and that they paid between £500 and £750 for them. Browse our portfolio to see a variety of Husqvarna sewing machines, ranging from basic models to those ideal for more sophisticated jobs. Sewing machines from Husqvarna
Beginners will find the HiClass E10 sewing machine to be an affordable option. For roughly £179, you can obtain a simple-to-use sewing machine with a variety of different sewing ‘foots,’ 21 stitches, and four easy-to-use buttonhole options. The stitch length can be adjusted from 0 to 4mm. This lightweight machine comes with a protective cover for protection and weighs only 6.3kg. The Viking Opal 670 (£749) is a feature-packed computerised sewing machine with a touchscreen control panel, automatic thread cutter, and a bobbin thread sensor that warns you when your thread is running low. There are 200 stitch options and a thread width of 7mm, as well as programmes to preserve your preferred stitch settings. A built-in needle threader, three LED lights, and a button-stitching programme are among the other essential features. The designer Epic is a sewing machine made ‘by sewers for sewers’ if you’re searching for a more complex machine. This latest Husqvarna machine is a high-tech equipment with a 10.1-inch touchscreen control panel, which the company claims is the’market’s largest display.’ It comes with a 30 percent larger bobbin and a huge working space, making it ideal for quilters. With a wireless connection, you may also access your ideas from a desktop or table. Telescopic thread paths, brilliant LED lighting, and a sensor system that detects and adjusts what you’re stitching are among the other high-end features. This advanced equipment will set you back £8,999.
Sewing machines from Husqvarna are rated.
With an overall customer score of 84 percent, Husqvarna finished in second in our table of ten main sewing machine companies, slightly behind Bernina (88 percent) and ahead of Elna (82 percent ). The sewing machines received high marks for ease of use, build quality, durability, and value for money, so if you’re looking for a sewing machine, a model from this company would be a smart choice. Customer satisfaction rate of 84 percent Husqvarna is the second brand in our table, with an excellent 84 percent score. Every two to six months, a third of owners use their machines. Around a fifth of owners use their computer two to three times each month, while a small percentage use it every day. The machines were rated average – or acceptable – for portability in our poll, which is the only disadvantage of this brand. This may not be a problem if you don’t plan to move your sewing machine between rooms or need to transport it.
Janome sewing machines are available in a variety of sizes and pricing. Janome
The New Home Sewing Machine Co Ltd was founded in 1969 and changed its name to Janome in the mid-1990s. It also produces sewing machines under its own brand for John Lewis. For all sewing, quilting, and embroidery applications, Janome has a wide choice of sewing machines, overlockers, and software. The Janome Training Centre in Stockport offers a variety of sewing classes led by industry professionals. Janome sewing machines are available from retailers like as John Lewis and Hobbycraft, as well as online retailers such as Sewing Machine Direct, Amazon, and Tysew. Janome has over 30 sewing machines, ranging from basic versions for beginners to fully computerised machines with embroidery capabilities. View our photo gallery to see a variety of Janome sewing machines, ranging from basic models to those fit for more difficult jobs.
Janome is a brand of sewing machines.
Janome’s Standard line includes the most basic devices. These are also the most affordable variants, with costs ranging from around £169 for the 2200XT to around £399 for the HD2200. Fully computerised sewing machines are also available, including Janome’s long-arm models, which offer more space while working on a larger project. Janome’s fully computerised CXL301 starts at roughly £279. Some of Janome’s Memory Craft sewing machines are also ideal for embroidery. The Memory Craft 15000 – one of Janome’s flagship models – starts at roughly £1,499 and goes up to an eye-watering £7,999.
Janome sewing machines are rated on a scale of one to ten.
In our survey, Janome received a high rating. It had a remarkable total customer score of 81 percent, putting it in the top half of the table among all of the large brands we surveyed. Elna, Husqvarna, and Bernina are all above it, with scores above 80%. Janome received favourable reviews for ease of use and portability, but only average to acceptable three-star reviews for build quality and longevity. While some may believe that the value for money may be better, Janome’s customers generally spent between £100 and £300 for their sewing machines.
Sewing machines from John Lewis are available in a variety of sizes and pricing.
John Lewis first opened its doors in 1864 on London’s Oxford Street, and it is now one of the country’s largest merchants, selling everything from homewares to clothes to flowers and sewing machines. John Lewis sells a variety of sewing machines from a variety of brands, as well as the John Lewis collection, as it does in all other departments of the store. Its own-brand line consists of two basic machines for novices that come in a variety of designs. The JL110 and JL111, both available in a variety of colours and styles, are the two models in the John Lewis series. Both machines are appropriate for novices and machinists who want to utilise them for minor repairs or modifications. And then there’s the JL220. From basic white designs to a machine decorated in daisies, browse through our photo gallery to view a variety of John Lewis sewing machines.
Sewing machines by John Lewis
The technical abilities of all five machines in the John Lewis family are the same, but the colours and patterns vary. The original JL110 retailed at £109 and was available in four colours: white, peppermint, steel blue, and rose. The JL11, on the other hand, costs £119 and is available in blue ditsy and daisy chain patterns. Both machines are appropriate for novices and can handle light and medium fabric modifications, hobby stitching, and repairs. With a drop-in bobbin and a free arm, they both provide 14 stitch possibilities. They also have an LED light and a four-step automatic buttonhole mechanism. The models come with a range of extras, including a dust jacket and needles.
Sewing machines from John Lewis are rated.
Although John Lewis’ score of 73 percent appears to be respectable, it ranks near the bottom of our chart of 10 main sewing machine brands. Only Singer (71%) and Jones (69%) are seated below it at the table. Although John Lewis did not receive five stars in any category, it did receive good marks for portability and ease of use. The build quality may possibly be better, as it received only three ratings. Bernina was the only brand to obtain a perfect five-star grade for machine build quality.