Best-Rated Sewing Machines

Canstar Blue’s sewing machine review compares Singer, Elna, Janome and Brother on performance & quality, reliability, features & functionality, design & appearance, quietness while operating, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Best sewing machines 2022

Most Satisfied Customers | Singer

Aussies rated Singer best in Canstar Blue’s sewing machine review for the second year in a row, scoring it five stars for ease of use, performance and quality, design and appearance, reliability, value for money, and overall satisfaction.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

Singer still rated ‘sew’ good in sewing machines ratings

Are you ‘knots’ over repurposing curtains into one-of-a-kind outfits? Or maybe you’re feeling a little frayed after hemming jeans for the first time? You’re not the only one! But while a good worker never blames their tools, as the adage goes, sometimes the right (or wrong) equipment really can make an impact on the final product.

To help you avoid getting stitched up, we’ve asked 400 Australian consumers for their feedback on the new sewing machine(s) they’ve purchased and used in the last three years. Respondents rated brands on performance and quality, features and functionality, ease of use, quietness, design and appearance, reliability, value for money and overall satisfaction. Manufacturers that received the minimum survey sample size (30 responses) are compared in our report.

So, which brand is the best of the bunch and which seems a little ‘sew-sew’? Singer achieved another seamless win, earning full marks for overall satisfaction two years in a row! It also scored five stars in several other research areas.

Best Sewing Machines

Singer sewing machines

Here are the best sewing machines in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s review:

  1. Singer
  2. Elna
  3. Janome
  4. Brother

Singer gave a top-notch performance after receiving the only five-star review for overall satisfaction. It also achieved top marks for ease of use, performance and quality, design and appearance, reliability and value for money.

Impressively, all other brands featured in our latest review also scored five stars in at least one category. Janome got the edge in terms of quietness, while Elna and Brother got top marks for value for money. Elna additionally got the same result for design and appearance, features and functionality, and ease of use.

Sewing Machines Compared

Singer

Singer sewing machine review

Leading brand Singer spins a wide range of sewing machines, helping you tackle everything from simple hemming jobs to highly detailed embroidery and cosplay projects. Prices start from $159 for beginner models and reach up to $2,199 for heavier duty options. You can also find exclusive Singer sewing machines from Spotlight.

If you’re starting as a budding quilter or aspiring fashion designer, you might want to check out sewing machines for beginners like the Singer Fashion Mate (3337) and Singer Embroidery Machine (EM9305). These ‘entry-level’ machines are specifically designed for people new to the sewing world and contain features such as an automatic needle threader, one-step buttonhole functionality, and a variety of built-in functions for basic stitching and decorative sewing.

  • Singer was rated five stars for ease of use, design and appearance, performance and quality, reliability, value for money, and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for quietness and three stars for functionality.

Elna

Elna sewing machine review

Elna is another leading brand that’s taking on the sewing world with its hugely popular range of sewing machines, computerised sewing machines, embroidery machines, mechanical sewing machines and quilting machines. It also stocks up on overlockers and presses. You’re likely to fork out at least $149 for the most affordable model, the Elna Mini 525. On the other end, the Elna eXperience 500 will set you back $999 if you want the brand’s top-of-the-range machine. Although Elna’s sewing machines are noticeably cheaper than some other brands, including those mentioned in this year’s ratings.

If you want to add another ‘smart’ appliance to your home, the brand sells sewing machines like the Elna Air Artist Embroidery Machine that syncs with your smartphone to spark even more creative creations. This particular model comes with 260 built-in embroidery designs, plus 12 fonts, a Japanese font and Kanji characters. There’s also a slow redraw function, which offers a simulation of design stitching.

  • Elna earned five-star reviews in most research categories, namely design and appearance, features and functions, ease of use, and value for money. It ended on four stars for performance, reliability, and overall satisfaction, plus three stars for quietness.

Janome

Janome sewing machine review

Having produced sewing machines for more than 100 years, powerhouse Janome certainly knows a thing or two about the needle and thread. The brand offers a variety of sewing machines, quilting machines, embroidery machines and overlockers. Janome additionally sells specialty models including the Janome CoverPro 2000CPX, a cover stitch machine for professionals.

The brand tailors its range to suit different skill levels and sewing demands. For the casual sewer, there are models like the Janome FD216 or the Janome Sewist 725S that offer a variety of built-in stitches to help make tasks, such as sewing buttons, fairly simple. The brand’s line-up alternatively features models like the Janome DM7200 and Janome Sewist 780DC for heavy-duty tasks. These two workhorses are said to provide a sewing speed of 820 SPM, with the Janome DM7200 even packed with 200 built-in stitches.

  • Janome was rated best for noise, receiving the only five-star review for quietness while operating. It got four stars everywhere else, including for overall satisfaction.

Brother

Brother sewing machine review

There’s no need to ask mum to tailor your pants, especially since Brother offers a large range of sewing machines and overlockers to choose from. Many of these are made for basic sewing, mending and dressmaking, as well as making different size quilts and working on denim or sheer fabrics. Brother’s sewing machines and overlockers will set you back at least $350 for the Brother Sewing Machine (TY200A), with the most expensive model being the Brother Comp Sew Machine (TY600C) retailing for $800.

For regular clothing alterations, Brother sells a large number of mechanical sewing machines and computerised sewing machines to choose from. Computerised sewing machines can be particularly helpful when dealing with denim and other heavy fabrics, or when you’ve got some big jobs ahead of you. The Brother Computerised Sewing Machine (FS101) is one of the brand’s top-of-the-line units and boasts 100 built-in sewing patterns and multidirectional sewing.

  • Brother pocketed five stars for value for money, before landing on four stars for the majority of the remaining categories. The only exception was overall satisfaction, where it got three stars.

Other Sewing Machine Brands

The brands featured in our ratings aren’t the only ones worth checking out. Here are a number of other brands you might want to look at:

  • Husqvarna
  • Pfaff
  • Quilter’s Choice
  • Semco
  • Timber & Thread

What are the different types of sewing machines?

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all model when it comes to sewing machines. Each sewing machine is designed for a different purpose, like basic mending for beginners or large-scale quilting for professionals and hobbyists.

Most Australian consumers we surveyed bought an electronic sewing machine (42%), followed by mechanical (19%) and an automatic or computerised sewing machine (13%). A handful of respondents purchased an embroidery machine (6%), an overlocker (6%), and a quilting machine (3%).

Here is a rundown of the main types of sewing machines:

Mechanical sewing machine

What’s a mechanical sewing machine?

Mechanical sewing machines use manual controls and are mostly used for basic sewing and simple alterations or small sewing projects. These still feature many of the same functions as contained in computerised sewing models and other types of models. Mechanical sewing machines aren’t necessarily cheaper than computerised versions, especially as many brands continue to make more advanced, feature-packed versions.

Computerised sewing machine

What’s a computerised sewing machine?

Computerised sewing machines are stated to be made with microprocessors that can control and automate various sewing functions. Compared to mechanical sewing machines, they’re more convenient to use, with automated functions including needle threading, built-in stitches, and better speed controls.

Overlocker sewing machine

What’s an overlocker?

An overlocker (or serger) is a type of sewing machine designed to connect the edges of one or two pieces of material by creating what’s called an ‘overcast’ or ‘overlock stitch’, while also simultaneously trimming the seam allowance. A seam allowance is the space between the line of stitching and the raw edge of the fabric. It’s usually located inside the garment.

An overlocker can be particularly useful for producing a flat seam allowance and ensuring a neat finish, or securing the edges to extend the lifespan of your favourite shirt.

Is it worth getting a sewing machine?

Yes ─ if you’re constantly paying for alterations, purchasing a machine with basic mending functions is a great way to help you save a small fortune in the long run! But if it’s just for the odd hemming job here and there, it’s probably best to stick to altering clothes by hand. Whether or not you should buy a sewing machine ultimately depends on the type of DIY projects you want to undertake and how often.

Don’t forget that you don’t need the most expensive sewing machine when just starting a new hobby. There’s always a wide variety of entry-level quilting machines and other types of sewing machines easily available, typically at a much more affordable price than advanced models.

Here’s what respondents to our survey commonly use their sewing machine for:

  • Repairing clothes and odd jobs: 43%
  • Making their own clothes: 22%
  • Quilting: 11%
  • Embroidery: 11%
  • Making clothes for family and friends: 10%

Our research revealed Aussies spend an average of $344 on a new sewing machine ─ although nearly one in five wished they had spent more on a better-quality model (16%).

Finding the best sewing machine shouldn’t be as difficult as looking for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, brands offer a variety of models to suit a wide range of needs and skill levels. To get the best sewing machine for your kit, try researching different models available before buying.

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.

Compare Front Load Washing Machines

*Prices are taken from respective retailers and Spotlight, correct as of February 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed more than 6,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new sewing machine in the last three years (this may include sewing machines, embroidery machines and overlockers) – in this case, 400 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

  • Best sewing machine for overall satisfaction: Singer sewing machines rated best overall.
  • Best sewing machine for value: Consumers also ranked Singer number one for value.
  • Best sewing machine for reliability: Singer sewing machines proved to be the most reliable.
  • Best sewing machine for features: Elna sewing machines ranked best for functionality.
  • Best sewing machine for quietness: Janome sewing machines were seen as the least noisy.
  • Best sewing machine for ease of use: Consumers rated Singer sewing machines as the easiest to use.
  • Best sewing machine for performance & quality: Singer sewing machines additionally ranked first for performance and quality.
  • Best sewing machine for design & appearance: Singer sewing machines scored best in design & appearance.

Here is the previous winner of Canstar Blue’s sewing machines review:

  • 2021: Singer

Related Appliance Articles

Wahing Machine Buying Guide

How to Pick Your Next Washing Machine

Find out which type of washing machine is best for your home and family. Compare features and models with Canstar Blue’s review of washing machines.

– Read more

Washing Machine Bearings: What you need to know

If your washing machine sounds more like an airport runway than an appliance that belongs in your laundry room, it could be a sign of broken drum bearings. It’s a common problem with a lot …

– Read more
water efficient washing machines review

What are the best washing machines for saving water?

There’s loads to think about when deciding which washing machine to buy. From price, washer type, size, spin speed or specific wash programs, there are a ton of important factors that make it difficult to …

– Read more
Cordless clothes iron prices

Cordless Clothes Irons Buying Guide

Feel like you’re running out of steam when smoothing out the stubborn creases on your favourite shirt? The cordless clothes iron is gliding its way into Aussie homes and helping us break free from the …

– Read more
steam washing machines australia

Washing Machines with Steam Programs

It seems the best place in the house to get hot and steamy is the laundry room, according to some major appliance brands like Samsung, LG and Miele. From getting rid of allergens and bacteria, …

– Read more