Updated March 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Best of the Best
Brother XR9550 Sewing and Quilting Machine
XR9550 Sewing and Quilting Machine
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

A simple and affordable model from a trusted name that, despite a few lemons, is typically a solid choice.


Boasts 165 programmed designs, featuring 110 utility, decorative, and heirloom stitches. Offers 8 buttonhole styles with auto-sizing and 55 alphanumeric sewing stitches. Easy-to-use LCD screen. Equipped with drop-in top bobbin that is jam-resistant. Auto needle threader.


Reports of defective machines that work improperly or fail to work after a short time.

Best Bang for the Buck
Uten Portable Sewing Machine
Portable Sewing Machine
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Best for Beginners
Bottom Line

This is a great entry-level embroidery machine that has impressive features.


Includes 200 built-in stitches and 8 buttonhole settings. Stitches are selected on an LCD display. Can function as a handheld machine or with a pedal. This machine’s small size makes it portable and easy to store.


The font size on this embroidery machine is rather small.

Brother PE550D Embroidery Machine
PE550D Embroidery Machine
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Built-in Disney Designs
Bottom Line

Users appreciate this model’s easy-to-navigate LCD touchscreen control panel with 125 built-in stitches.


Equipped with 9 built-in fonts and 45 Disney designs. Comes with an embroidery hoop, foot, and alignment tools. Heavy-duty design is suitable for high-volume use. Touchscreen display is easy to navigate.


Manual isn't very transparent about the premium accessories you'll need to buy separately.

SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
Quantum Stylist 9960
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Best for Experts
Bottom Line

With many built-in stitches and lightning-fast performance, this model is for dedicated embroiderers.


Embroider with 600 included stitches. Bright LCD screen. Capable of 850 stitches per minute. Durable. Large working area. Auto needle-threading function. Impressive speed of 850 stitches per minute. Includes a huge array of accessories.


Best for embroidery veterans, this machine might be intimidating for beginners.

Brother SE600 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine
SE600 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

Finding a better-performing machine in this price range would be hard.


Incredibly affordable for the quality and performance it offers. Provides a generous selection of sewing functions for users of all abilities.


Has a difficult time threading through thicker fabric.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best monogram machines

Travel back in time 100 years, and you might find folks sitting around a table hand-embroidering cloth items together. But who has time for that today? If you like the idea of monogramming or embroidering items — but you don't have years to devote to the pursuit — a monogram machine is an excellent compromise.

Modern monogram machines make embroidery easy; the hardest part is picking the right one for you.

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Monogram machines allow you to neatly embroider items. And fortunately, you don’t need years of practice to use one.

What is a monogram machine?

Monogram machines are so named because you can use them to monogram items such as linens and handkerchiefs. But monogramming isn't all they can do; these machines perform other types of embroidery, too. As such, you might hear others refer to them as embroidery machines.

  • A monogram machine looks like a regular sewing machine, but it doesn’t sew; it embroiders.

  • Modern monogram machines are computerized. They include a range of built-in fonts and embroidery patterns; you select the pattern you want from the machine’s LED display.

  • Some monogram machines can be connected to a computer or have space for a USB flash drive. This extends your creativity even further, as you gain access to even more designs.
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Did you know?
Some monogram machines accept only their own branded hoops. Others will accommodate generic hoops.


Number of designs

Some monogram machines offer fewer than 50 built-in designs and just a few fonts; others offer 100+ creative choices.

  • Entry-level monogram machines usually offer 20 to 50 built-in designs and 2 to 5 fonts with no way to download or install extras.

  • Mid-range monogram machines usually offer 50 to 100 built-in designs and 5 to 8 fonts. You may have the chance to add more creative choices via a USB drive.

  • High-end monogram machines usually offer 100+ built-in designs and 8 to 12 fonts. They may offer a direct connection to the internet (for the purpose of downloading new designs), or they may link to your computer so you can design your own patterns with special software.

Ease of use

All monogram machines have LED screens on the body that allow you to select fonts and embroidery patterns, but some are easier to use than others.

It's normally quite simple to select a built-in font or design, but downloading new ones is a bit trickier. If you're not sure that your computer skills extend to designing your own digital patterns or downloading them online, we recommend a machine with an ample number of built-in options.

Embroidery area

Monogram machines have a maximum area in which they can embroider.

  • Basic models tend to have a smaller embroidery area, usually around 4” x 4”.

  • High-end models tend to have a larger embroidery area, often up to 8” x 12”.

The size you require depends on how you wish to use your machine. If you just want to do some basic monogramming, a small embroidery area would probably suffice. However, if you plan to create elaborate pieces of embroidery, you would probably appreciate a much larger embroidery area.

Number of needles

Basic monogram machines include a single needle on the stitching head. Every time you want to change color, you must stop the machine and change the thread.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, consider a multi-needle model. These machines have four to ten needles on one stitching head. Each needle can be threaded with a different color, so you won't need to stop and start for multi-colored designs.

Automatic threader

Some monogram machines have automatic threaders that remove the hassle of threading your needles. While it's a handy function to have, we wouldn't discount a decent machine just because it doesn't include an automatic threader — unless there's a good reason why you need one, that is.

"How many designs do you want your monogram machine to offer? The answer depends on how much embroidery you plan to do. We recommend a machine that allows you to install or download extra patterns for increased creative freedom."


  • If you’re looking for new embroidery patterns to try, check the internet. Many websites offer free or low-price patterns you can download for use with your monogram machine.

  • Before beginning a project, perform a test stitch on a similar piece of fabric. This is especially crucial if you’re going to be embroidering on material that can't be easily replaced.

  • Before you start a new project, ensure that the size of your intended design fits in the maximum embroidery area of your machine.

  • A dull needle can cause snags. Replace each needle after eight hours of embroidery.

  • If you’re embroidering a high-density pattern, we recommend you use a sturdy material. (The density of an embroidery pattern refers to how many stitches it has in relation to its size.)

  • If you want to design and/or download embroidery patterns, you'll need to be confident using a computer.


Entry-level monogram machines

Even entry-level monogram machines can cost a handsome penny. Expect to pay $250 to $400 for a basic monogram machine with a 4" x 4" embroidery area and 20 to 50 built-in patterns.

Mid-range monogram machines

If you want a mid-range model with 50 to 100 built-in designs (plus more available for download) and an embroidery area of roughly 5" x 7", expect to pay $400 to $600.

High-end monogram machines

A high-end monogram machine will set you back as much as $600 to $1,000. For this amount of money, you’ll benefit from a larger embroidery area — up to 8" x 12" — and 100 to 300 built-in embroidery designs.

The majority of high-end models allow you to design your own embroidery patterns and connect straight to a computer or transfer patterns via a USB drive.

Multi-needle monogram machines

Multi-needle monogram machines are terrific, but they’re costly. You can expect to pay $2,000 to $7,000 for a machine with 4 to 8 needles.

Our advice: unless you have a large budget or plan to do an extraordinary amount of embroidery in numerous colors, multi-needle monogram machines are best left to the professionals.

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If you're a serious beginner, you might not want to opt for the cheapest monogram machine you can find. We think it's worth buying a monogram machine you'll grow into as your skills improve.


Q. Is it difficult to learn machine embroidery?

A. Let's put it this way: it's easier to learn machine embroidery than it is to learn hand embroidery. That said, there is a bit of a learning curve with monogram machines.

A person who feels comfortable at a sewing machine might find it easier to learn the ins and outs of a monogram machine than a sewing newbie. But once you’ve set everything up and selected your pattern, a monogram machine does most of the hard work for you.

Q. How do you know when to change thread colors on a monogram machine?

A. If you're using a single-needle monogram machine to create a pattern with more than one color, you'll eventually need to change the thread. Color changes are built into the pattern, so your machine will alert you when you need to change the color. At this point, simply clip the current thread, remove the bobbin, and attach a fresh color spool.

Q. Can I also do regular sewing jobs on a monogram machine?

A. Most monogram machines can only do embroidery; they’re not made for regular sewing. However, there are a few multi-purpose models out there that can be used for normal sewing tasks, too.

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