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1 October 2020

Best sewing machine brands for 2020

Which is the best sewing machine brand? Our exclusive survey reveals what owners think of brands such as Brother, Janome and Singer.
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Jade Harding

We surveyed more than 900 sewing machine owners in September 2017 to get the inside track on which brands are rated best and worst by machinists, and to bring you customer score ratings for big-name sewing machine brands.

Our results show that not all sewing machines are created equal – there's a whopping 30% difference between the best and worst brands when it comes to their overall Which? customer satisfaction score. 

For each brand you can find out:  

  • How reliable the brand is – we ask sewing machine owners to tell us about any problems they’ve had with their machines, and we use this data to assess how likely or otherwise each brand’s sewing machines are to let you down.  
  • How owners rate it – how satisfied owners are with their brand of sewing machine, and whether they would recommend it to a friend. Brands are given a customer score based on this.
  • Our verdict – we tell you, in a nutshell, what we think of the brand.

Sewing machine brands rated

The table below reveals Which? customer scores for each of the sewing machine brands rated in our survey, and shows which sewing machine brands customers are most likely to have experienced problems with.

You can also see star ratings for factors such as ease of use and value for money, so you can see each brand's pros and cons and compare their strengths and weaknesses.

Which? members can log in to unlock the scores in the table below. If you're not already a member, try Which? to access the results.

Best and worst sewing machine brands - overview

Brand Which? customer score Build quality Portability Durability Ease of use Value for money Average spend Which? members say
93% £713 Very easy to use and almost impossible to kill.
85% £348 It's brilliant. I would be lost without it.
81% £111.76 I wish I had bought it years ago.
80% £329.55 A superbly useful bit of kit.
79% £309.44 It has proved to be reliable and efficient, time after time.
78% £553.13 Very good. Smooth running machine.
76% £200 An excellent machine that has not let me down.
75% £147.73 It was built to last a lifetime, and it has.
63% £200 The only grief has been down to poor quality oil.
Table notes: Ratings are based on answers from 962 respondents who took part in our online survey in September 2017 about their current sewing machines, bought in the last 10 years. Which? customer score is based on respondents' overall satisfaction with the brand and likelihood to recommend. Average spend applies to those who have owned their machine for five years or less. N/a means we did not collect enough data to be able to give a result.

Sample sizes: Bernina (81), Brother (133), Elna (38), Husqvarna (51), Janome (308), John Lewis (36), Pfaff (35), Singer (81), Toyota (44)
For in-depth information on each of the brands rated in the table, choose a company from the left-hand menu of this page.

Choosing and using a sewing machine

Whether you're a beginner or a pro, it's important to find a sewing machine with the features you need - whether you're embarking on an embroidery or patchwork project or just want to make a simple cushion cover.

Our sewing machine buying guide explains the different types of sewing machine available. It will also help you find the best machine for your needs and projects.

Once you've picked a reliable sewing machine that's built to last, you'll want to make sure you get the most out of it. Have a look at our guide to the sewing machine essential kit.