In the lineup of top sewing machine brands, there are tried and trusted names that have been around in sewing circles for a long time. Then there are newer, equally efficient machines made with new technology and modern materials.
Some machines with modern technology, are computerized and perform multi-functions while other mechanical machines are long-lasting with limited functions. This tutorial will go through all the main sewing machine brands so you can make the best decision with your next purchase.
Sewing Machine Brands
Here are the best-known sewing machine brands in alphabetical order.
- Husqvarna Viking
A lot of people like to know where their machines are manufactured and while that does affect pricing, I would not prioritize this information when purchasing a new machine.
Look at the brand's reputation and its market share as well as its quality positioning. Sometimes the same factory can manufacture a lower quality machine and a higher quality machine. Also, keep in mind that industrial machines are far more expensive than domestic machines although they have fewer features.
If you are purchasing a second-hand machine you may find the country of manufacture different from that below as changes and mergers of sewing machine companies have occurred over the years.
The company SVP Worldwide now manufactures Singer, Pfaff, and Husqvarna sewing machine brands.
Many sewing machine brands have multiple manufacturing plants so it is always best to double-check the information when you are purchasing a machine.
Sewing machine brands may also have hits and misses in their catalogs so always check for reviews on the particular model you are looking at. While not absolute, Amazon customer reviews are a good place to start keeping in mind that cheaper models often have higher quantities of reviews since they sell more often. Look at the ratings of the reviews rather than the number of reviews for higher-priced machines.
Best Sewing Machine Brands
Sewing Machine Brands - Baby Lock
Baby Lock is a newer and less known brand of sewing machine that was created in 1968 in Japan. They actually produced the first home serger.
While Baby Lock is a separate company to Brother, some machines are made in the same factory so have a similar look. Baby Lock has a large part of the share of the Japanese sewing market.
Company Website: https://www.babylock.co.jp/global/
Sewing Machine Brands - Bernina
Bernina was founded in Switzerland and was one of the first machines to be able to offer multiple functions. Bernina has a wide range of machines from the simple starter level to high technology, computerized embroidery machines, and sergers.
Many Bernina sewing machines are still made in Switzerland but they also have a manufacturing plant in Thailand. As a general rule, their more expensive machines are made in Switzerland.
Bernina is the parent company of Bernette which is the name used for many of their domestic sewing machines.
Company Website: https://www.bernina.com/
Sewing Machine Brands - Brother
This is a very popular machine that is made in China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Brother sewing machines have the reputation of being easy to operate and easy to maintain in good order.
Brother machines are a good balance of plentiful features at a lower price hence their popularity. They made a large variety of models for beginners, quilters, and embroiderers. The majority of their machines are computerized.
Company Website: www.brother-usa.com/HomeSewing/
Sewing Machine Brands - Elna
Elna is a Swiss design and resonates well with top quality. Elna has a wide selection of machines including top-quality embroidery machines and sergers.
My mother has an old Elna machine with a metal body that was my grandmother's and it still sews beautifully. I'm guessing it is from the 1950s and although it only straight stitches the quality of those straight stitches beat my modern machines.
Elna sewing machines are currently manufactured by JANOME factories that are located in Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan. Most of the modern Elna machines are no longer metal.
Company Website: www.elna.com
Sewing Machine Brands - Husqvarna
Husqvarna Viking is a Swedish brand. It has a reputation for high-quality machines. Husqvarna introduced the zig-zag function to their machines in 1947. They make all kinds of machines, including sergers, and are reputed to have been the first to introduce a microchip into their machines.
Husqvarna is owned by the same company as Singer and Pfaff and their sewing machines are mainly manufactured in China.
Company Website: www.husqvarnaviking.com
Sewing Machine Brands - Jaguar
Jaguar is another well-known brand name associated with quality cars. Their sewing machines are manufactured in China and Vietnam. According to their website, they are one of the largest manufacturers in the world producing millions of machines.
Company Website: https://jaguarsewingmachines.co.uk/
Sewing Machine Brands - Janome
There is a wide range of models manufactured by Janome including sewing machines, sergers, and cover stitch machines. Janome has a consistently top-class reputation.
They produce industrial machines and smaller models for home use. Janome was one of the first machines to make a computerized household sewing machine and is strong in the market for home embroidery machines with their memory craft series.
I own several Janome sewing machines and have found them good quality machines that last well.
Janome machines are manufactured in Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Company Website: www.janome.com
Sewing Machine Brands - Juki
This sewing machine brand is based in Japan and started with just making industrial sewing machines. Today they have a wide range of industrial and home sewing machines for sewing including electronic machines and sergers.
Wikipedia lists Juki sewing machines as the number one sewing machine manufacturer in the world. They certainly dominate the rag trade and produce quality industrial workhorses that last.
Manufacturing of Juki is done in Japan, Vietnam, and China.
Company Website: www.juki.co.jp/en/products/home/
Sewing Machine Brands - Pfaff
This sewing machine brand originated in Germany in 1862 and was founded by George Michael Pfaff. Eventually, the brand was purchased by SVP Group which owns Singer, Viking and Pfaff and it is currently manufactured in China.
The Pfaff sewing machine brand has improved through the influence of other companies, but the machine has retained its original name and is known as a high-quality product.
Company Website: www.pfaff.com
Sewing Machine Brands - Singer
Singer is a sewing machine brand name that is one of the most well-known makes on the market.
The functions and quality of the machine differ as there is a wide range to choose from. It is important to research well and get the right machine for your needs.
Singer makes modern heavy duty sewing machines with metal internal bodies that are particularly popular and highly regarded. They also make computerized upmarket machines for sewers looking for additional features.
Vintage Singer sewing machines are now collectibles and you will probably recognize these black metal machines with gold writing. Many have intricate and beautiful gold scrolls which is why they are so in demand.
I own a Singer serger that is now 30 years old and still going strong. I've also owned a Singer industrial leather machine I purchased second-hand that was a powerhouse and sewed beautifully.
While Singer had its origins in America, but now like many others, is manufactured in China.
Company website - www.singer.com
Sewing Machine Brands - Toyota
Toyota is a name generally associated with cars but also has sewing machines manufactured under its branding. Toyota specializes in computerized machines and electromechanical machines.
Company Website: www.home-sewing.com/en/
Sewing Machine Brands FAQs
What is the Most Popular Sewing Machine Brand?
The most popular and well-known sewing machine brands are Singer, Brother, Juki, and Janome. These brands make machines in the most popular pricing categories for home sewers. Some of the higher-end sewing machine brands include Pfaff, Bernina, and Husqvarna.
If you look on Amazon, you will realize that popularity is dominated by brands with strong representation in models that are under $500.
What are the Most Reliable Sewing Machine Brands?
When looking at the most reliable brands, consider buying any of the well-known ones such as Singer, Brother, Janome, Juki, Pfaff, Bernina, and Husqvarna. This list is not exhaustive as you will find lots of brand models with popularity in different sewing circles.
Before purchasing individual models, look at the reviews online and post questions in sewing forums. Even good brands can have hits and misses in their sewing machine lineups.
Where to Buy Sewing Machine Brands
You can buy sewing machines from online marketplaces such as Amazon or your local sewing machine store. The advantage of buying in person is that you get to try the machine first. If you are on a budget, then why not consider purchasing a used sewing machine.
What is the Best Sewing Machine Brand for a Beginner
If you are a beginner looking for the best sewing machine brand, first think about your budget and sewing requirements as this will affect your choice. Any from the well-known ones such as Singer, Brother, Janome, Juki, Pfaff, Bernina, and Husqvarna will do you well. If you have never sewn before and want a reasonably priced machine to try this new hobby then I suggest you look at the lower-end Brother machines.
What Other Things Should I Look at When Buying a Sewing Machine?
Besides the sewing machine brand, you should think about what functions you require the machine to do. There are specialty machines within each brand such as quilting machines, computerized sewing machines, embroidery machines and heavy-duty sewing machines. This is not even exhaustive!
Also, look at the extra features such as adjustable stitch length and the presser feet that come with the machine. If you are going to sew heavy fabrics such as denim you will need a more heavy duty machine.
Sewing Machine Brands - In Conclusion
A good sewing machine is a worthwhile investment. One machine of good quality could last you a lifetime. There will always be repairs on clothing or alterations to do at home.
Making your own soft furnishings can save you money and be very satisfying. Investing in a leading sewing machine brand could even lead to starting a small home industry. Choose wisely and look for machines with solid reputations.
SANDRA I Rivera Huertas
I love my Bernina. Very good stiches, better embroidery.
My original machine I purchased at 18 and was a New Home. She was a real work horse and works to this day with no issues. Wanting some fancy features like button holes I bought a Brother machine in 2006 which I enjoyed but I literally wore it out in less than 3 years because it had nylon parts which were just not up to regular use!
I traded that in to purchase a 10 year old Bernina with metal parts and over my ten years of use have given it an annual service with minor running repairs. It continues to run like a dream, has all metal parts now and at 20 years old shows no signs of letting me down. I do miss features like cutters, needle threaded and easy button holes but modern machines are just not built to do the many miles of sewing I put in. One day!
I have a few machines. Juki is favorite. Baby loc as well. Hate my brand new bernina. Very overrated. Baby loc hands down for serger.
I have owned Janomes and I love them. I have a small one for retreats, and a 6600 for home and 2 sergers
I purchased a 1958 Singer 403a from a thrift store for 10 dollars. It is a well built machine. It sews like a dream. I'm now on the hunt for the Rocketeer 500 series.
I love my bernina machines and they run with little maintenance (cleaning, lubrication) for well over 25 years.
The Bernina 830 I bought in 2010. Definitely do not recommend Bernina sewing machines! They cost me a fortune in repairs!
I've had a BabyLock Quest for several years, and, for the most part, liked it. I just took my machine in for routine maintenance, and because I was having a problem with my needle jamming into the bobbin. Turns out, my problem was caused by a broken gear that runs the bobbin. No replacement part available. So now my BabyLock is essentially toast.
Thanks for this information!
"Bernina is still made in Switzerland" Not really true. The top of range model is but the rest of the models are made in Asia just like every brand these days. Up until recently Bernina sergers were made by Juki.
Most budget machines of any brand are made in the same handful of Asian factories as tooling up for new budget machines on a regular basis would be cost-prohibitive.
Yes, they are great too although not as easy to find in some countries. They are popular in the US.
What about Babylock? They are one of the top brands and one of the best, IMO.