The Top 9 Sewing Machine Brands

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Once upon a time, not too long ago, sewing was considered to be something that only lame girls did. It was not cool to sew. It was a granny thing. Until one day, it wasn’t. People woke up to it and realized that getting sewing as a hobby means that you will be able to get cool, custom-made clothes. And now it’s popular. To actually get into the trend, you need to have a sewing machine. But, which brand is best?

While you can always go with a third-party sewing machine brand, there is a lot of benefit in getting a name-brand machine. The most popular ones include:

  • Singer
  • Janome
  • Viking
  • Brother
  • Pfaff
  • Kenmore
  • Juki
  • Bernina
  • Merrow

This is one item that you absolutely should want to splurge on, especially if you want to be able to use your machine for a long time. Let’s talk about which brands are worth your time.

Does Brand Matter When You Buy A Sewing Machine?

Absolutely. In fact, it matters more than the brand of refrigerator you buy—at least when it comes to how long you can use your machine. An off-brand sewing machine means you have no warranty and no guarantee on quality. But, that’s to be expected with any type of machine from refrigerator brands to freezer brands.

With sewing machines, you miss out on a lot more. You can miss out on machine features, usage guides, as well as tutorials. Certain machines also happen to have communities surrounding them. By going for a lesser-known machine, you’re basically opting out of half the fun that comes with sewing. The brand counts way more than the actual model in some cases. Insane, right?

How Much Should You Expect To Pay For A Good Sewing Machine?

A good sewing machine is something that you need to treat like an investment. Thankfully, it doesn’t always have to be a major investment. A typical beginner’s sewing machine can cost anywhere from $100 to $150, depending on the brand and model that you choose. If you choose to get a fancier sewing machine, you should expect to pay up to $300.

Specialty sewing machines, such as embroidery machines and more, may cost more. How much more they will cost, though, remains to be seen. The price hike depends on the features that you want to get.

What Happens If You Get A Sewing Machine That’s Off-Brand?

I mean, if you are a very skilled seamster or seamstress, then it’s not going to make too big an issue. Most beginners will not be allowed to enter a sewing class if the sewing machine is a ‘toy brand’ that barely works. Moreover, trying to sew together two pieces of thick clothing might not be easy. The same can be said about trying to feed in some materials.

The reason that most off-brand sewing machines don’t have a following is that they often come with a lot of headaches. You might not be able to find working parts for them, and replacing them can be a nightmare. Overall, what you don’t pay for in a brand, you will end up paying for in the form of aspirin.

The Top 9 Sewing Machine Brands For Every Occasion

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of branding, let’s talk about each of the major sewing machine brands that are hitting the market. Sewing machine branding is one of those things that you need to be choosy about. Let’s get a better look at the top of the top.

1. Singer

via Sewing Parts Online

You cannot have a sewing machine article without the proverbial elephant in the room. Singer is, has been, and will always be the biggest name in sewing machines. Saying that it’s the gold standard is an understatement. Singer is known for having entire communities dedicated to the art of learning to best use it. It’s been around since 1851, so yeah, it’s deserved.

High-quality sewing machines with tons of stitching features, excellent durability, and one of the best warranties in the world make this a brand that you can rely on. No other brand has as much loyalty, as much community, or as much versatility as Singer. It’s a professional-grade brand as well as a major staple in most sewing classes.

Honestly, I can’t stress how much people adore Singer machines. This is one of those things that can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your experience among fellow sewing fans. (Depending on the circle, you might end up finding yourself in a place where not having a Singer could be an issue.)

2. Janome

While it’s not as famous (or as old) a brand as Singer, Janome’s gained a fair amount of followers in recent years. Why? Because this Japanese brand is more about bringing out the techy side of sewing. If you’re looking for a good machine that has all the bells and whistles of modernity, then this is going to be the brand for you.

Janome is the type of brand that lives for adding innovation to its models, all while keeping them durable. Touchscreen controls, new stitching ideas, and more make this a major powerhouse as far as brands go. Besides, they are able to compete with Singer’s 25-year warranty. That’s pretty rare these days.

3. Viking

Most people assume that Viking sewing machines are going to be the same brand as Viking tools, but this isn’t true. The full name for this brand is Husqvarna Viking. And they are a company that’s really just dedicated to quality sewing equipment. As the name suggests, this brand is known for being tough as nails.

Oddly enough, Husqvarna and Singer actually belong to the same conglomerate. The main difference with Viking sewing machines is a more computerized interface as well as a more innovative look. While the warranties are not as long-lasting (20 years, if you’re curious), no one will look down at you for having a Viking.

4. Brother

via Amazon

Let’s say that you are just starting out in the sewing world. You don’t know the ropes very well and you need to learn. You want a simple, affordable, and yet durable machine that can handle a couple of touch materials. It’s all good. When it comes to user-friendliness and easy moving, you can’t get much better than a Brother.

Brother is an affordable sewing machine brand that understands all the little hurdles that come with learning how to sew. As a result, it’s a staple in beginner sewing classes as well as among groups that just stick to simple stitches.

5. Pfaff

via Pfaff

Much like Viking and Singer, Pfaff is a part of the same large super-conglomerate of sewing machine manufacturers. This brand started out Germany back in the 1860s, and has been a mainstay ever since. In a lot of ways, Pfaff embodies exactly what people expect of German engineering.

Getting a Pfaff machine means that you’re going to get an elegant machine that is fast, efficient, and smartly built. They also tend to have machines that are totally dedicated to specialty embroidery, so people who want to have a professional outcome will enjoy their goods. With that said, recent years have seen Pfaff struggle to keep its rep.

A decline in the machines’ warranty lifespan got people leery. At only 10 years long, you would be forgiven if you felt like you can’t trust the makers. Besides, it’s also been a brand that struggled with bad business decisions.

6. Kenmore

via Sewing Insight

Like the HVAC brand and refrigerator brand? Yep. To many peoples’ surprise, Kenmore actually had a line of sewing machines that it used to sell at the flagship Sears store. Honestly, they aren’t bad. Though the brand itself no longer makes these machines, there’s actually a pretty active underground market on used Kenmore machines.

People like this brand because they were simple, they worked, and they are versatile. They are good for both beginners and experienced users, so there’s no reason to avoid them. If you can find an old sewing machine in a thrift store and it’s a Kenmore, go for it. For what it’s worth, people are petitioning Sears to make them again.

7. Juki

via Goldstar Tools

With a name like Juki, it’s clear that this company originated in Japan. As you can imagine, that tends to be a good thing in the manufacturing circuit. Juki’s sewing machines are as reliable as a clock, and always can work well with a wide range of materials. They range from the simple to the computerized, and everything in between.

The big reason that Juki is so popular deals with their feeding systems and the quality of their industrial designs. Their easy-feed designs mean that you will never have to worry about multiple layers of material snagging on the machine. If you are a worrier about warranties, don’t panic.

They have a solid backing on their warranties, too. You can hem a curtain with or without a sewing machine.

8. Bernina

via Bernina

Ah, Bernina. Even the name sounds like it’s been designed to be elegant. Based out of Switzerland, Bernina is a mainstay in Europe because of its reliable and high quality manufacturing. If you frequently travel and want to be able to use your machine abroad in groups, then you’ll be happy to know that you will be in good company with Bernina owners on a global level.

Though this is definitely a more “Euro” brand, you can still find a lot of diehard sewing fans stateside. With a range that includes both computerized and electronic models, it’s safe to say that you can find a model that will work with your particular style of sewing. Bernina is cool like that.

9. Merrow

via YouTube

If you are a professional seamstress or want to open up your own custom clothing company (who doesn’t?) then you need to have a brand that works with your needs. Or rather, you need to have a brand that is made to work with the rigors of a diehard sewing outfit. Merrow is one of the only brands on the market that exclusively works with heavy-duty, industrial-grade machines designs.

Merrow is a factory-grade sewing machine company that is made to last for upwards of 50 years. Knowing that, prices are going to be way higher than a typical sewing machine will be. However, the trade-off is massive. You will get a machine that can sew just about anything, including shoes and purses.

Did we mention that Merrow is a brand that is made in the United States? It’s true. And if you’re one of those people who wants to buy local, this is basically the only way to do it. Unfortunately, this is one brand that is clearly not for beginners.

Related Questions

How long should a sewing machine last?

A sewing machine should last 10 to 15 years at a bare minimum. Most top-rated sewing machine brands will last for as much as 20 to 30 years with ease, with the most durable models running as long as 40 years. In the words, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing your machine any time soon.

What is the best vintage straight stitch sewing machine?

If you listen to antique collectors and the like, then you should try to get your hands on a vintage Singer. More specifically, the Singer 66 is considered to be one of the best vintage models that can still occasionally be found in auctions. These machines are ridiculously durable not to mention beautiful. As a result, they fetch a serious price in many collector sites.

Is Singer made in the United States?

According to our research, the answer is that they do appear to be made in the United States—or at least, the company still is headquartered here. The Singer company is headquartered in La Vergne, right near Nashville. This makes them a Southern company that seems to be pretty dead-set on keeping their products as American-made as humanly possible. Honestly, we can get with that. It’s a nice change of pace, for sure.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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