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Published Jun 16, 2022 9:00 AM

The best Brother sewing machines meet the needs of the user and provide years of dependable service. Brother Industries Ltd. (the company that manufactures Brother sewing machines) traces its history back more than 100 years. In 1908, Kanekichi Yasui founded the Yasui Sewing Machine company, working at his home in Nagoya, Japan. He repaired industrial sewing machines and manufactured machine parts for local use. When Yasui’s sons inherited his company, they changed the name to Yasui Brothers’ Sewing Machine Company, and the company title eventually shortened to Brother.

Throughout its 114-year history, Brother Industries has developed into a global leader in the design, innovation, and manufacturing of sewing machines. Currently, the company offers one of the most advanced line-ups of innovative machinery for home-sewing pursuits. Its models include reliable sewing machines for basic projects, as well as state-of-the-art, computerized models designed for advanced embroidery, quilting, and crafting. Consumers rely on the best Brother sewing machines to provide quality, value, and features for both utilitarian and creative purposes. Here are our picks from the company’s impressive line-up.

How we chose the best Brother sewing machines

In the process of selecting six Brother sewing machines for our list of recommendations, we drew on personal experience, peer suggestions, and public opinion. We then narrowed it down to 11 different models and accessed the in-depth product details and specifications available on the Brother-USA company website. Then, we selected Brother products that are easily available and read the product descriptions, user impressions, and FAQs on retailer sites. Knowing that various readers bring an array of needs, preferences, and monetary resources to the search, we tried to assemble a diverse assortment of Brother sewing machines for our list.

We considered both computerized and mechanical sewing machines. Although the computerized models exhibit advanced, technological features, many users prefer the simple operating procedures and easy maintenance of the mechanical machines. Additionally, we looked for both computerized and mechanical models that provide automated processes such as needle threading and buttonhole making, as these features make sewing easier and more pleasurable. As a guiding principle, we searched for Brother sewing machines to meet the needs of beginning sewers and those who engage in basic sewing projects, as well as those with more advanced skills and experience in quilting, crafting, and fashion design. We endeavored to present Brother machines that meet the requirements of these various types of sewists. 

What to consider when buying the best Brother sewing machines

With a large number of options to choose from, it can be daunting for any consumer to select the most appropriate Brother sewing machine for their purposes. Here are several factors to consider before making a selection:

Computerized or mechanical?

Brother Industries manufactures both mechanical and computerized sewing machines. The mechanical models tend to be easier to operate and maintain. They’re durable and reliable, offering basic sewing features for beginners and hobbyists. As an added bonus, many of the mechanical models include automatic functions for ease of use. On the other hand, some sewists prefer the advanced, technological capabilities of computerized sewing machines. Especially for embroidery, crafting, and quilting projects, the computerized machines can’t be beat.

Built-in stitches

As a standard feature, all Brother sewing machines include varying arrays of built-in stitches. These range in style from straight, utilitarian designs for basting and sewing seams to complex, decorative stitches for the artistic embellishment of garments, quilts, home decor, and crafts. The built-in stitches offered by the Brother sewing machines reviewed here range from as few as 17 to as many as 240 options. Advanced, computerized machines include alphanumeric fonts among their built-in stitches to facilitate monogramming and customization of sewing projects. Additionally, the Brother sewing-and-embroidery machines include built-in embroidery designs with memory capability for importing or creating additional options. 

Automatic features

In addition to computerized and mechanical operating systems, shoppers might consider the availability of automatic functions on various Brother sewing machines. These features make the machines easier to use and increase the enjoyment of sewing as a pleasurable activity. Many of the Brother machines offer automatic needle threading. This function saves time, frustration, and eye strain as it eliminates the need to thread the needle by hand. Additionally, the inclusion of a 4-step or 1-step buttonhole function is a time-saver for sewists as it tailors a buttonhole of the precise size and shape for every button.

The best Brother sewing machines: Reviews & Recommendations

Best overall: Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

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Why it made the cut: The Brother XM2701 sewing machine offers versatility as it provides automated features and numerous built-in stitches for advanced sewists along with ease of operation for beginners. 

Specs

  • Weight: 12.6 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 12.1 x 5.9 x 15.3 inches
  • Number of built-in stitches: 27

Pros

  • Automatic buttonhole function
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Both decorative and straight built-in stitches
  • 6 interchangeable feet included

Cons  

  • Not computerized

The Brother XM2701 sewing machine is easy to operate, making it a viable choice for beginners. On the other hand, it boasts a wide array of stitch options as well as automated features that appeal to experienced sewing enthusiasts. Stitch options include multiple decorative and quilting stitches along with basic, straight stitches for seams and basting. With 27 built-in stitches and 63 stitch functions, users can create crafts, fashions, home decor items, and quilts. 

Although it is not a computerized machine, the XM2701 offers several automated features to make sewing projects go more smoothly and quickly. For example, the automatic needle threader eliminates the frustration and eye strain that come with threading the needle by hand. An automatic, 1-step buttonhole function saves time and ensures consistent, professional-looking results. Additionally, the task of winding the bobbin is an automatic process.

Several convenient features make the XM2701 a popular and versatile sewing machine. The jam-resistant, drop-in bobbin is located on the top of the machine to speed up the sewing process. The work area is brightly lit by an LED light. Additionally, the free arm feature makes it easy to manipulate the fabric when sewing cuffs, sleeves, and pants. 

The XM2701 model includes six interchangeable feet to accomplish multiple sewing tasks, including: Buttonhole foot; Zipper foot; Zigzag foot; Narrow hemmer; Blind stitch; and Button-sewing foot.

Best computerized: Brother XR9550 Sewing and Quilting Machine

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Why it made the cut: With computerized, push-button stitch selection and automatic functioning, the Brother XR9550 sewing machine offers advanced features for quilters, crafters, and hobbyists as well as sewing artists. 

Specs

  • Weight: 10.14 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 17.9 inches 
  • Number of built-in stitches: 165

Pros

  • Extra-wide sewing surface for large projects
  • Push-button stitch selection, including decorative stitches and alphanumeric fonts
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Protective hard case included

Cons

  • Not the best choice for beginners

For the avid sewist who is ready to take their craft to a more sophisticated level, the Brother XR 9550 computerized sewing machine provides numerous features to spark the imagination and facilitate creative success. The machine offers 165 built-in stitches. These include utilitarian and decorative stitches along with heirloom stitches. Choose from among eight different buttonhole styles and the machine will automatically sew a tailored buttonhole around any button. For monogramming and personalizing projects, a selection of 55 alphanumeric stitches facilitates automatically sewing letters, numbers, and symbols onto fabrics. 

Numerous features of this machine provide ease of operation, taking the stress and frustration out of sewing. The built-in stitches are clearly marked on the front of the machine. Simply push a button for the computerized stitch-selection function and a backlit LCD display shows the appropriate choice. Additionally, this machine includes an automatic needle threader and a jam-resistant, top drop-in bobbin.

Quilters appreciate the drop-feed feature that facilitates free-sewing for quilting. The work surface is illuminated with a bright LED light and the extra-wide table allows quilters to handle bulky fabrics and large projects. Alternatively, sewists can use the free arm to sew sleeves, cuffs, and trouser legs.

The XR9550 includes seven interchangeable sewing feet along with accessories, including: Zigzag foot; Buttonhole foot; Button-sewing foot; Overcasting foot; Blind stitch foot; Monogramming foot; Quilting foot; Protective, hard cover; and an Instructional DVD.

Best for embroidery: Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

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Why it made the cut: Sewists can achieve artist-quality results in creative DIY projects by choosing from among 138 built-in embroidery designs included in the Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine.

Specs

  • Weight: 22.1 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 23.19 x 11.54 x 13.43 inches 
  • Number of built-in stitches: 138 embroidery designs + 240 built-in stitches

Pros

  • Large number of built-in embroidery designs and stitches
  • Built-in memory for imported embroidery designs
  • Built-in memory for personal, custom-designed stitches
  • LCD touchscreen display

Cons

  • Not the best choice for beginners

Take your sewing and crafting projects to the artist level with the Brother SE1900 computerized sewing and embroidery machine. Select from among 138 built-in embroidery designs and see them displayed on the large-size, full-color, LCD touchscreen. Alternatively, users can import new designs and save them to the machine. Additionally, the machine is capable of combining designs and storing them in its memory. Measuring 5 inches by 7 inches, the embroidery field provides ample versatility for creative sewists. A hoop is included to facilitate larger embroidery designs, so users are limited only by their imaginations.  

The 240 built-in stitches inspire customizing a plethora of crafting, quilting, and garment-making activities. Among the stitch options, the SE1900 offers 11 built-in fonts for monogramming and personalizing the original projects. Additionally, 10 styles of buttonhole stitches facilitate automatic sewing of precisely sized buttonholes.

Several convenient features of this computerized machine take the effort and frustration out of sewing pursuits. The advanced, automatic needle threader eliminates threading the needle by hand. Instead, the thread inserts precisely through the eye of the needle with a simple press of a lever. The jam-resistant feature facilitates a consistent feed of thread from the top drop-in bobbin, preventing the work delays that come with tangled threads. With a maximum speed of 850 stitches per minute along with labor-saving features for smooth operation, sewing on the SE1900 is an enjoyable and inspiring experience.

To facilitate a broad array of sewing tasks, this machine includes eight interchangeable sewing feet, including: Blind stitch foot; Buttonhole foot; Button fitting foot; Zipper foot; Zigzag foot; Monogramming foot; and Overcasting foot.

Best for beginners: Brother CP60X Computerized Sewing Machine

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Why it made the cut: The easy-to-use Brother CP60X computerized sewing machine is a top choice for beginners to embark on a learning adventure in the world of sewing, quilting, and crafting.

Specs

  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 16.26 x 6.65 x 12.21 inches 
  • Number of built-in stitches: 60

Pros

  • Utilitarian and decorative stitches built in
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Durable metal frame
  • Capable of sewing denim and thick fabrics

Cons

  • Not capable of monogramming

Use the Brother CP60X computerized sewing machine to embark on a lifelong hobby of sewing, crafting, and quilting. It offers straightforward, easy-to-use operating procedures, suitable for beginning sewers. An array of 60 built-in stitch options is prominently displayed on the front of the machine. Make a choice by simply pressing a button and the information shows up on the clearly visible LCD screen. In addition to decorative and heirloom stitches, the machine offers a selection of seven auto-size, buttonhole stitches. 

With a fixed needle bar, this machine is particularly well-suited for beginning sewers. The needle remains fixed in place to ensure clean stitching and even seam lines. Additionally, the 2-step, automatic needle threader accurately pushes the thread through the eye of the needle. It saves time and frustration so that beginners can enjoy their sewing activities. 

The CP60X is a versatile sewing machine for multiple purposes. With its heavy-duty frame and exceptionally smooth feed system, the machine handles denim and other thick fabrics without snagging. A favorite feature of quilters, the drop-feed system allows free-motion sewing. Additionally, the machine facilitates free-arm sewing for constructing shirts, cuffs, and trousers. 

This CP60X provides an ample collection of accessories to get started with a sewing hobby. These include a 3-piece needle set, bobbins and a bobbin cover, a quilt guide, and a bilingual instruction manual. The included supply of seven interchangeable feet facilitates multiple types of sewing tasks, including: Blind stitch foot; Zigzag foot; Buttonhole foot; Button sewing foot; Overcasting foot; Zipper foot; and Monogramming foot (used for decorative stitches only).

Best for quilting: Brother XR3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine

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Why it made the cut: With built-in stitches for both utilitarian and decorative applications along with automatic features and an extra-wide table that accommodates quilts, the Brother XR3774 is a standout machine for quilters.

Specs

  • Weight: 15.87 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 15.3 x 5.8 x 12 inches 
  • Number of built-in stitches: 37

Pros

  • Wide work surface for bulky quilts and large sewing projects
  • One-step buttonhole function
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Jam-resistant, drop-in bobbin

Cons

  • Not computerized

Here’s a mechanical sewing machine with automated features and a large workspace for bulky projects. The large throat area and the extra-wide work table make the Brother XR3774 sewing and quilting machine a viable choice for quilters. For projects other than quilts, sewists may utilize the free arm. This feature facilitates sewing sleeves, cuffs, trousers, and skinny jeans. 

In addition to providing ample space for quilting, this machine offers ease-of-use through several automated functions. The 1-step buttonhole stitch automatically turns out perfectly sized buttonholes. An automatic needle threading system eliminates the frustrating task of threading the needle by hand. Simply press a lever on the side of the machine and the thread inserts precisely through the eye of the needle. Additionally, the top drop-in bobbin winds automatically, and it’s jam-resistant to ensure a smooth, continuous feed of thread. 

The XR3774 includes 37 built-in stitches that produce 74 stitch functions when applied to various sewing tasks. These include both utilitarian and decorative stitch options for multiple sewing and quilting purposes. The 37 pre-set stitches are prominently displayed on the front of the machine. Select a unique stitch pattern by simply turning a dial to the appropriate number. 

This machine includes an ample supply of accessories to facilitate varied sewing and quilting activities, including: Walking foot; Blind stitch foot; Zigzag foot; Zipper foot; Buttonhole foot; Button sewing foot; Spring-action quilting foot; Narrow hem foot; Wide table, detachable work surface; Hard cover to protect the machine when not in use; and an Instructional DVD.

Best budget: Brother LX3817 Sewing Machine

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Why it made the cut: The Brother LX3817 is an affordable machine for the sewing hobbyist, offering ease of operation along with versatile features for basic sewing tasks as well as creative projects.

Specs

  • Weight: 10.36 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 17x 7 x 14 inches 
  • Number of built-in stitches: 17

Pros

  • 17 built-in stitches
  • 4-step buttonhole function
  • LED light for well-lit workspace
  • Jam resistant bobbin

Cons 

  • Not computerized
  • Not as many built-in stitches as other machines

Available at a budget-friendly price, the LX3817 sewing machine provides an array of features to suit the needs of beginners, as well as experienced sewing hobbyists. It’s a full-size machine with 17 built-in stitch options. These include straight stitches, zigzag stitches, blind hem stitch, and couching stitches. The stitch choices are clearly marked on the selection dial, located on the front of the machine. Simply turn the dial to choose the desired stitch patterns for constructing garments, sewing crafts, and embellishing home decor creations. 

In addition to the 17 stitch options, the LX3817 provides a 4-step buttonhole function. With a quick turn of the dial, users may select the appropriate stitches to produce consistent, auto-size buttonholes, lending a professional look to finished projects. 

Several features make this machine a pleasure to use. The work area is well-lit with an LED light and the bobbin cover is transparent for visually monitoring the thread supply. The jam-resistant feature means that the thread on the drop-in bobbin does not become entangled. A convenient control dial lets users adjust the upper tension to avoid loose stitches or fabric puckering. Additionally, the machine’s design facilitates free-arm sewing for cuffs, sleeves, and trouser legs. 

This machine includes four interchangeable feet: Zigzag foot; Zipper foot; Buttonhole foot; and Button-sewing foot. The LX3817 includes all necessary parts to ensure success on multiple sewing and crafting projects, including: Darning plate; Bobbin cover; Bobbins; Set of 3 needles; and an Instructional DVD.

FAQs

Q: How do you thread a Brother sewing machine?

You thread a Brother sewing machine by following the steps in the instruction manual. First, turn off the machine. Then raise both the presser foot and the needle. Pull up the spool pin on top of the machine and place a spool of thread on it. Pass the thread toward you in the groove on the thread guide, and a spring will catch the thread. Pass it through the take-up lever from right to left. Bring the thread behind the guide above the needle. Thread the needle from front to back.

Q: Are Brother sewing machines good for beginners?

Several models of Brother sewing machines are good for beginners. A beginner might enjoy learning to sew on the XM2701, the LX3817, or the CP60X models. These machines offer versatile features with easy-to-use operating procedures.

Q: How do you use a Brother sewing machine?

A Brother sewing machine may be used for sewing garments and home decor items from original designs or from commercial patterns. Alternatively, it can be used for creating and embellishing craft projects or making quilts. Select a Brother sewing machine that exhibits the qualities to meet your needs, Then, simply follow the directions in the instruction manual or DVD that comes with the machine. 

Q: How do you set up a Brother sewing machine?

You set up a Brother sewing machine by following the steps in the instruction manual or DVD that comes with the machine. It’s a good idea to read the manual or watch the DVD before setting up the machine. To get started, place the sewing machine on a clean, flat work surface. Attach the power cord and the foot-pedal cord. Place a spool of thread on the thread pin and follow the markings for the thread path, culminating in threading the needle automatically or by hand. Wind thread onto the bobbin, and drop the bobbin into its case. 

Q: What’s the easiest sewing machine to use?

The easiest sewing machine to use is a mechanical model with clearly marked stitches, thread guides, and stitch-selector dial. Computerized models with numerous stitch options and advanced, automatic features may be more complex in their operating procedures.

Q: How do I choose a good sewing machine?

You can choose a good sewing machine by deciding the type of sewing projects you wish to undertake. Perhaps you’re a beginner who wants to learn basic sewing techniques. On the other hand, you might be an experienced quilter or crafter who needs a more advanced machine. After determining your needs, research sewing machines on the manufacturers’ websites. Investigate options at a local dealer’s store, if possible. Additionally, it helps to read consumer reviews and ratings.

Q: How much does a Brother sewing machine cost?

Brother sewing machines vary in cost from approximately $130.00 for a basic, mechanical machine to $900.00 for an advanced, computerized sewing machine that creates colorful, artistic designs on fabric. Computerized machines that provide versatile features for sewing, crafting, and quilting range in price from approximately $200.00 to $400.00.

Final thoughts on the best Brother sewing machines

Many sewists appreciate the straightforward operating procedures and simplified maintenance of a non-computerized sewing machine such as the Brother XM2701 model. It’s a popular, mechanical machine that provides an ample selection of built-in stitches along with automatic needle threading and buttonhole making. Overall, the XM2701 offers value and versatility for multiple sewing and crafting activities.