What Is the Best Sewing Machine on the Market?

Before You Buy... | 9.7.2012 | 26 Comments


A sewing machine can be an expensive purchase and if you’re going to invest your money in something you want to buy a machine that has all of the features you need and is built to last. If someone asks what is the best sewing machine on the market, it’s not possible to just name one machine and tell them that machine X is definitely the best. It really depends on the individual. How are you going to be using the machine? Are you going to be doing lots of delicate, decorative stitching or are you going to be doing a lot of heavy-duty jobs, sewing through canvas and denim? Do you need lots of different features or can you forgo all of the bells and whistles in exchange for a machine that will get the job done at an affordable price? Because there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question “what is the best sewing machine” we have chosen a few different options for you to consider.


Brother PC-420 PRW Limited Edition Project Runway Sewing Machine


One of the machines that has been getting some of the best user reviews online is the Brother PC-420. This machine costs about $390 (if you shop around for the lowest price) and customers have been giving it rave reviews. It has 294 built-in stitches and this loaded with user-friendly features. Even though it is packed with features most people still feel that it is easy to use. People are also commenting that the machine is fast and quiet. With over 180 reviews online this machine received a very impressive average user rating of 4.7 stars. If you are looking for a good machine it’s hard to argue with that kind of customer feedback.


Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine


The Janome HD1000 is quite a bit different than the Brother PC-420. It doesn’t have nearly as many features but it is designed for heavy-duty work. If you need something that is able to sew through multiple layers of denim, canvas or other thick fabrics this machine can tackle the job without any trouble. This machine has also been getting very good reviews online and can be purchased for around $300. This machine is not for the person that wants a million features, it’s for the person that needs a powerful, workhorse of a machine that is reliable and built to last.


Brother CS6000i Sew Advance Sew Affordable 60-Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine


The Brother CS6000i is a great choice for people on a budget. It can be purchased for around $160. This machine has been getting great reviews from customers online and it was also a top-rated machine by Consumer Reports. It is a lightweight and portable machine which is great for someone that needs to put their sewing machine in the car and take it with them. This machine doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the Project Runway machine but it is more feature-rich than many other machines in a similar price range. If you need something portable and affordable this machine would be a great option.


When people ask what the best sewing machine on the market is it would be great if I could just point to one machine and say that’s the one, you definitely need to get that one. However, it’s not that easy. Everyone is different and not everyone is looking for the same thing. For some people, budget is the most important consideration and they need to find a machine that’s affordable. Other people need a machine that is packed with every possible feature. A lot of people are just looking for a reliable machine that will get the job done and will last for many years. The machines outlined above are some of the ones that received the best reviews online and in our research Brother and Janome have consistently been some of the best brands, if you’re still looking for a good sewing machine those brands would be good ones to start with.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


  1. Nan says:

    I’m in the market for a new sewing machine. I’m an “avid” quilter and the Singer XL1000 that I’ve had for years has too costly a repair to justify. I like to make quilt tops, but only quilt small items. What would you recommend?

    • Linda Stidham says:

      I LOVE my new Pfaff 5.0!! With just a tap of the pedal, the needle goes down and the presser foot goes up so you can piece or pivot without stopping!!

  2. diane says:

    My favorite all time sewing machine for clothing and quilt construction is any Pfaff. It has a built in walking foot that feeds fabric evenly. I have a Pfaff Creative 4.0, which is a workhorse on any type of fabric. I have a basic Pfaff for a back up and this machine also has a walking foot built in, is really good for piecing quilts. I have a Pfaff serger, which is also a work horse.
    I have Janome cover stitch for finishing hems, etc.

  3. Barb Palmer says:

    Why are there no Bernina machines listed for quilting? Have they fallen out of favor? I am just getting back into quilting and love bells and whistles. I have been encouraged to trade in my quilting/embrodery machine for a Jannome.

    • Evelyn says:

      I am curious why you have been told to trade in your machine (I’m assuming it is a Bernina) for a Janome. I am in the process of finding the perfect machine for my needs and am out collecting information. Do you like your Bernina? What kind is it?

    • Elaine says:

      I have a really old Bernina that not one of the shops will take as a trade-in nor try to sell me a replacement – why? – because they say that it is better than anything that is on the market nowadays. When I get it serviced I am always told to hang onto it. I have sewn sailcovers to sheers and while it is quite basic it is also a treasure. Do not trade an old Bernina – if you want bells and whistles, then just buy a new macine for that.

  4. Pat says:

    I’m just interested in hearing what the best sewing and embroidery machines are.

  5. Pat says:

    I’m interested in knowing what are considered to be the best sewing and embroidery machines.

  6. ashley says:

    what are peoples thoughts on a singer pixie plus sewing machine??help

  7. Doloria Keeney says:

    Your descriptions of the different “good” machines would be very helpful. I would your description of how a Bernina would fit with the named machines.

  8. BJ DeVore says:

    I have a New Home which is a company Janome bought out. The machine is a work horse. It is approx. 20 years old and has only been in the shop one time. I purchased 2Janomes for our quilting club about 10 years ago, because we were tired of sewing with castoffs and fighting the machines. They just went to be cleaned and serviced for the first time last month. I love my Bernina, but the feet only fit a Bernina and not exchangeable even with all the other bernina’s. I also own a baby lock which is a good machine, but any lint gets in the tension disks and it is back to the shop, until I decided to take it apart myself. I do this frequently to keep it clean. I think most brands out there are comparable. I would never buy the low end machine of any brand. Buy the best you can afford. Normally, if the machine has a needle down function, it is far enough up the ladder to be very serviceable .

  9. Paula says:

    I have 2 machines, 1 is an older machine, a New Home, made by Janome, a definite work horse, free arm, computerized, I love it and use it interchangeably with my newer 6600P Janome which is great for quilting. This has a duel feed foot built in and lots of bells and whistles. Another work horse, now I’m in the market for an embroidery machine. Looking for a strictly embroiderer, nothing more, Baby Lock’s Spirit looks like it fits the bill, any comments?

    • Susan Davis says:

      I have a Spirit and I’ve really enjoyed it. If you get a baby lock single needle machine I’d advise buying the multi thread holder. It might have another name but it attaches to the top of your machine and holds 10 spools of thread.
      The main problem I see with the Spirit or any of the single needle machines is that you can’t do things like caps. I’d love it if they made a single needle with the bed like the multi needle so that it would be easier to hoop some projects.

  10. Lee says:

    I have been making old blue jean quilts and am getting tired of all the tangled threads, broken needles and aching hands. I am looking to buy a heavy duty machine that can easily sew four to six layers of denim. Does a quilting machine only do the stitching after the blocks are put together or do they also work as a heavy duty sewing machine?

  11. Linda Riner says:

    Does anyone have a Bernina 1130 machine and how do you like it? Would appreciate some input from owners of this machine. I got mine when they first came out. Thanks.

  12. Martha says:

    I have alsawy used Singer machines, but am now in the market for a new machine and am having one heck of a time fighting through all the sales pitches and user coments. I want a machine that can easily go from denim to georgette without a bunch of adjustments needed. A little embroidery would be a plus and I do want a drop in bobbin. I also am looking for the most room from the base of the head to the needle. It can get to be quit a chore wading up material on the right side of the needle to fit through to the back of the machine. I have this problem when doing decorative top stitching on Christmas Tree skirts.

  13. rglaes says:

    Would any serious quilter consider either the Brother 6000i or SQ9185 machine for quilting and free motion quilting?

  14. Sharon says:

    My 1st machine was a Brother, and gave me nothing but headaches.
    Next a Sears brand – worked well as an auto zigzag.
    Next – my 1st Janome – fabulous – gave it to my daughter.
    Another Janome – also great – sold it to a friend.
    Janome Quilter’s Pro – wonderful – am thinking of getting another newer machine –
    probably a Janome – newer model with fewer “bells” that I just don’t need.
    I’m looking at a 4120 QDC or a MC6600P.
    I think $$$ will dictate my final choice.
    I belong to a quilting guild and many members also have Janomes!

  15. Sherry Sharpe says:

    I’m looking for a machine that will make quilting easy, endure heavy work and long hours of
    continuous sewing,
    If anyone can suggest a good machine please help

  16. Sandy Farmer says:

    I recently purchased the Laura Ashley Isadore Innovis 5000. I was wondering what your comments and opinions are concerning this machine. I purchased the Brother 2002D when it came out and have almost used it up, so that is why I went with Brother. Couldn’t afford some of the really expensive machines so chose this one. Thanks, Sandy Farmer

  17. Alice Stantliff says:

    I am looking for a good machine for just general sewing. It must have a walking foot. So many brands and sales people that just get me more confused. I don’t want to go too cheap and not get a good machine but I also want to stay in a reasonable price. I don’t think I am interested in embroidery machines because of the price. I would enjoy being able to quilt baby quilts if possible.

  18. Colleen says:

    I have an Ellisimo gold 2 and I love it, it does everything, sewing embroidery etc
    However if I was looking for just a sewing machine the Babylock Symphony is a great machine with so many cool features!

  19. Elizabeth P says:

    I purchased my Bernina 1080 in 1995 and have lovingly cared for her by keeping her cleaned and oiled. I sewed professionally making wedding gowns for many years and continue to make bridal veils. This has been a fabulous machine. Bernina has an amazing feed system, making it so easy to sew difficult fabrics such as velvety, charmeuse, satins, without the fabric “walking”. Alas, after 20 years, my baby is in the shop for repairs for the VERY FIRST TIME. She has never needed adjustments. This machine was well worth the purchase price, which in 1995, on sale was $895.00. I rarely see any of this series for sale (1030, 1080, 1090, 1230) for sale on eBay. I think they are usually kept and loved. They are a workhorse. Bernina does have a entry level, all mechanical workhorse in its line, the 1008 available for $1500. In my opinion, this all metal machine is going to last far longer than machines with plastic bodies and nylon gears.

  20. Maggie says:

    I’ve been sewing since I was in grade school, and retired in 2008 from teaching Home Ec. (now Consumer and Family etc.) I’ve sewn and taught on just about every brand of machine, currently own several brands, and now work in a sewing and vacuum store selling machines and teaching customers how to use them. I do not believe there is one machine that answers every need or is “the best” machine or brand of machine. I’ve sewn on Pfaff since I was 18 yrs old (40 yrs!) and continue to use a German made Pfaff 6270. Bought a second one on Craigslist because I LOVE that machine. I also bought a Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold II and will trade it for the new Destiny by Babylock. Fabulous company, fabulous machines. Bernina is over priced and overrated in my opinion. They are good machines, but not for the price, and Bernina is not the company they used to be, just like Pfaff, Singer, and Viking are not what they used to be. I own two Bernina’s, and they are good machines but lack many features my older Pfaff’s have like the built in walking foot. It really depends on what you are sewing, and how the machine feels to YOU. Is it easy to use? Does it meet your needs? Janome (New Home) makes the entry level machines for just about everyone, and they are also good basic machines, but I’m not sure what everyone is raving about. New Home made/makes all of the Kenmore, Wards, Penneys, Riccar and good old basic machines – nothing fancy. The one thing I will say is to stay away from the Wal Mart, Target, QVC and HSN machines, no matter who makes them. They are designed to be thrown away, not fixed and often don’t even have an internal frame. The best thing you can do is buy from a reputable dealer you trust who will help you get the most out of your new machine. Buy one YOU like and enjoy using. Every brand has good machines – just like cars, one will stand out for you. Trust your intuition!

  21. Nancy says:

    I have two Berninas.. One a 930, just a basic sturdy machine. Metal.It’s at least 20 years old. Never failed me yet. You can do pretty much anything you need to do including buttonholes,etc.

    I bought a more up to date model, an electronic Bernina Virtosa 150 just because I thought I should have something more up to date. Kept the older Bernina. The newer Bernina has more electronic gadgetry including push buttons for specific stitches (like making buttonholes) whereas on the older Bernina it was a combo of the zig zag,etc.

    But surprisingly I went back to the older Bernina More reliable, less problems with stitches.
    I take care of mine as well, oiling, cleaning

    I also have a Brother serger that I probably need to take to the shop.

    I’m primarily a garment sewer.

Add a Comment