There are so many sewing machines in the market, aren’t they? It can get so confusing to choose one. We make multiple lists, compare each machine to another, and even then, some of us end up not being sure of which one to buy. At times like this, some of us might have decided to go with the brand name instead, right?
Bernina is one such brand that is trusted by a lot of people. Yes, it is expensive compared to most of the other brands. But when we are assured of quality, we don’t mind spending some more dollars, isn’t it?
Do you know how and when Bernina entered the markets?
The company was established in Steckborn, Switzerland, in 1893 by Karl Friedrich Gegauf. It is one of the oldest and leading sewing machine producers in the markets across the world. The company has a range of sewing machines specially designed for sewing, quilting, embroidery, crafting, home textiles, and more.
You can find comfortable models for a newbie, high-end, sophisticated models for a professional, and a few more models for users with varying skill levels. We can say that there’s a sewing machine for everyone.
However, the price is something that makes people pause. The higher price is because of the advanced features it offers with the traditional sewing machines. The front-loading bobbin system is made of steel and is uniquely designed for better performance.
From stitch regulation to free-motion arm to built-in dual feed and more, Bernina’s sewing machines are sure to grab your attention. It’s no surprise that users love this brand as much and are more than happy to pay extra money.
But how do we choose the best Bernina sewing machine? Which one would suit your needs? Well, that will depend on what your sewing requirements are. However, we’ve listed the top 5 Bernina sewing machines and explained their features and benefits in detail. We also have a buying guide with factors to consider when investing in a Bernina sewing machine.
Shall we get started with the details?
Table of Contents
The Best Bernina Sewing Machines For The Money
#1 Bernette 38 Swiss Design Computerized Sewing Machine - EDITOR'S CHOICE
In case you are wondering, Bernette is a part of Bernina’s family. Bernette 38 is one of the top and best models released by the company. While it is still expensive, we can say that this model is comparatively cheaper and affordable, that too when it is a computerized variant. With 394 built-in stitches, 8 buttonholes, and 3 alphabets, you can imagine the variety this model offers. Also, with the sleek interface, LCD screen, stitch regulator, and other features, we have a dream sewing machine for professionals. Let’s see more about this model in detail, shall we?
Features & Benefits
The machine has a neat design that gives a professional and modern look. It weighs 21.7 pounds and can easily fit into compact spaces. The LCD screen and the buttons appear very much a part of the machine and do not stand out. The white body frame with black underbelly adds to the classy touch while also adding to its sturdiness and long life span.
The machine comes with an extension table, eight presser feet that can be used for a variety of stitching purposes, and four bobbins (one is fitted to the machine), along with other accessories. The brand provides a hard case to cover and keep the sewing machine safe when it is not in use.
From dresses to quilts, you can use this model to sew most things. However, it cannot embroider. The extension table can be used to work on larger projects and removed when it is not needed. The machine has a storage memory where you can store stitch designs and use them when needed. Simply connect to the wifi, download the designs, and save them in the memory.
Since it is a computerized model, the machine comes with an automatic needle threader and an automatic thread cutter (trimmer). It also suggests which presser foot to use for which fabric and which stitch design. You can sew different types of fabrics on this machine, be it silk or muslin. It is a durable, dependable, and reliable sewing machine.
Ease of Use
This is one of those easy-to-use sewing machines, whether you are a professional or a beginner. Once you take the time to study the operations, you can start experimenting with the stitches and let your creativity fly high. The manual is the best thing that comes with this model. It is written in simple and clear language that can be understood by most people.
From setting up the sewing machine to handling unexpected tiny troubles, the manual will show you how to effectively use the unit. The stitching speed adjuster is a big bonus that allows you to reduce the speed to a comfortable level. Many users call this a dream model, and we can see why, isn’t it? It offers most of what one wants from a sewing machine, even if it is noisy than what it claims to be. But that’s a minor setback.
#2 Bernette 33 Swiss Design Sewing Machine - Best for Beginners
Bernette 33 is a stylish, modern, and cute-looking sewing machine. It is a truly lightweight model and is yet sturdy and durable. This machine has been designed for beginners who want to learn sewing and master the art. That said, it is quite expensive for a beginner model (but all Bernina models are costly). The features are simple and easy to use. The accessory box is larger than other models and helps you store everything related to the machine in one place. What else makes this one of the best Bernina sewing machines? Let’s see below.
Features & Benefits
Weighing just 0.44 pounds, this is probably one of the most lightweight sewing machines on the market. You might worry that it will not be able to handle a heavy workload. But have no fear. Bernina’s sewing machines are all capable and efficient. It is also a heavy-duty sewing machine that can work on bigger projects with ease.
This is not a computerized model. So it has two knobs to choose the stitch designs and regulate speed. There is a reverse stitch lever on the side at a convenient place. With just one touch, you can turn on the reverse stitch mode and reinforce stitches to make them stronger.
The model has just 14 stitch patterns, which are found on the side. There are clear instructions with the designs showing how to select the stitch by turning the knob. The stitching speed is 860 stitches per minute. It can be adjusted and reduced to a slower stitching speed so that beginners will be comfortable with using the machine.
It comes with 5 different presser feet that allow you to work on versatile projects. The buttonholes have 4-step operations. The bobbin has to be loaded from the front, which will need some practice. Also, some users mentioned that the bobbin tended to jam at times. You might want to be sure about threading and loading it correctly to avoid such issues.
Ease of Use
Since we have already mentioned that it is a model for beginners, you can expect the operations to be quite simple. You will have to learn how to thread the needle and use the manual thread cutter (though they are both easy). The stitch width is fixed at 5mm and cannot be changed.
It comes with a presser foot that is used to adjust the stitching speed. The presser foot can be lifted in two steps. This allows you to work on thicker fabrics and multi-layered projects without any problem. You can easily sew more than one layer of jeans on this model. It has a free arm motion and an LED backlight. It also has dual needles for stitching. Changing the presser foot is a quick job. However, if the machine needs any repair, it will turn to be costly. That’s one disadvantage of this model.
#3 Bernette 35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine - Best for the Price
On the third place, we have Bernette 35, which is yet another affordable model aimed at beginners. It is a regular model with no computerized settings. However, it has other features that make it easy to use, even if you are still a novice. It has a solid body that is durable and sturdy to last for a long time. There are three knobs on the machine to select the stitch designs, to adjust the stitch length and width, and for other adjustments. The company gives a limited warranty of 25 years on the unit. Shall we see what else this model offers?
Features & Benefits
The unit weighs 15.8 pounds and is compact in design. Its chassis is made of metal to ensure a long life. There is an extension table for you to work on larger projects with ease. Though it is highly convenient, the machine makes a lot of noise, especially when sewing heavy fabrics. It seems like the motor takes the pressure of stitching through thick materials.
There is a storage compartment for you to keep all the accessories in one place, be it the bobbins, screwdriver, presser feet, or other items you need for stitching. One thing we love about the machine is the universal bobbin that comes with it.
Bernette 35 is efficient in many ways. It has an automatic needle threader that works when you pull a small lever. It also has an automatic thread cutter that trims the extra thread with the touch of a button. Then you can adjust the stitch length and width between 1 mm and 4 mm.
What’s more? The thread tension is adjustable using the wheel. You can adjust it as you continue to stitch. With just a turn of the knob, you can choose from the 23 built-in stitch designs. The designs are mentioned on the side, along with the instructions to operate the knob.
Ease of Use
The stitching speed of this model is 860 stitches per minute. You can adjust the stitching speed to suit your convenience. The unit comes with 7 different presser feet used for varying stitching purposes. The presser foot can be lifted in two steps to provide a firm grip on the fabric you are working on. It comes with a free arm to stitch sleeves, cuffs, collars, etc.
It also has an automatic one-step buttonhole option. But some users found that the machine skips stitches when using this feature. But that shouldn’t be much of an issue. It doesn’t always happen.
#4 Bernette 37 Swiss Design Computerized Sewing Machine - Best Noise-Free Model
We have yet another computerized model, Bernette 37, at fourth place on our list. This is also a user-friendly model that comes at an affordable price. It is easy to set up and use while being entirely noiseless. Yep. This one doesn’t make a sound. Be it the built-in stitches or the stitching speed, this model sits in the mid-range. In fact, it is a perfect sewing machine for working on mid-sized projects. The company offers a 10-year warranty on the unit. What else does this sewing machine do? Let’s check out.
Features & Benefits
The unit weighs 25.9 pounds and is not a portable machine. It has a very simple design and appearance with a plain white body and black underbelly. There is an LCD screen display where you see the settings you choose. However, the LCD display is a bit different from other models. You might have to spend a little time understanding it.
There are buttons around the screen for various functions. Just take time to read through the manual and learn the operations. Since it is a computerized model, it has a start/ stop button that is used to operate the machine instead of a foot pedal. However, a foot pedal is also provided with other accessories.
The machine comes with 50 built-in stitches. The variety is good enough for most home professionals as they include quilting designs and buttonholes along with utility and darning stitches. The stitching speed is 700 SPM and can be reduced to suit your comfort levels.
The bobbin is a drip-in model, unlike most Bernina sewing machines that come with front-loading bobbin systems. There is an automatic needle threader and a presser foot adjuster. The sewing machine also has a bright LED light to illuminate the work area.
Ease of Use
The machine is quite easy to use once you get a hang of it. There are no complex features to confuse you. The automatic bobbin winder is a time-saver, and the needle position button is a bonus. The presser foot height can be adjusted to work on thicker fabrics.
However, the machine is not good with thick materials. It works well for fabrics with thin to medium thickness. Anything around 4 layers or more can cause the unit to jam or the needle to break. Just be careful about that.
#5 Bernina 530 Sewing and Quilting Machine - Best for Quilting
Do you want a computerized quilting machine that works like a dream? Bernina 530 is the one for you. It can sew and quilt with equal ease. This model can be used by beginners and professionals, though we would say that it’s easier for professionals to handle it. Newbies will need to spend some time understanding the operations. Whether you want to use it for regular stitching or for heavy-duty projects like big quilts, this model will satisfy the requirements and deliver professional-level output. It is quite expensive, but it is totally worth the price.
Features & Benefits
This is the heaviest model on our list at 33.7 pounds. That said, Bernina has other models that are as heavy. The machine looks professional and even intimidating due to the LCD display screen and so many buttons near it. But when a sewing machine has various features, it will need buttons to use the features, doesn’t it?
The machine has memory storage where you can save the new stitch designs you created by mixing the existing ones. There are 148 built-in stitches that include 117 decorative ones, 22 utility stitches, 12 quilting stitches, and 4 alphabets. It also has 9 buttonholes. Yep, you can use this for monogramming as well. Cool, isn’t it?
Be it adjusting the needle position, customizing the stitch length and width, or adjusting the presser foot pressure, the machine allows you to do everything. It has an automatic needle threader but not a cutter. That said, it has not one but three manual built-in thread cutters. That should compensate, right?
One thing we wish came with the machine was the special Bernina Stitch Speed Regulator. With this model, you’ll have to buy it separately. It seems like an additional expenditure when the unit is quite pricey. That said, the 900 stitching speed per minute seems like a good one for professionals.
Ease of Use
It is not too easy to use this model. But it is not impossible either. Going through the manual, watching the tutorials, and practicing will help you master the operations. Do you know that memory is divided into short term and long term in this model? Yep, you can save the designs according to the project requirements.
You can operate the machine through the start/ stop button or the foot controller. That means it can be used as a regular model and a computerized one. It also has an extension table and a free arm motion for working on quilts. The workspace is 7.5 inches.
Best Bernina Sewing Machine Buying Guide
That’s an awesome list of sewing machines, isn’t it? Before we move on to the buying guide, let’s take a peek at the benefits in brief.
Benefits of Buying the Best Bernina Sewing Machine
- Even the simplest model has technically advanced features
- The stitch-regular feature is just wonderful
- The sewing machines are easy to use
- The sewing machines are modern and efficient
- The performance of the sewing machines meets expectations
- The machines are consistent and effective
Factors to Consider when Buying the Best Bernina Sewing Machine
The factors here would be different from the factors we consider for other sewing machines. While details such as the number of built-in stitches, stitching speed, etc., are still applicable, the warranty and overall maintenance and performance would be more or less similar, if not exactly the same.
What’s Your Budget?
We’ve already discussed how Bernina sewing machines are expensive. You can get a mid-range model of other brands for the price you pay for an entry-level model. The higher the series number, the costlier the sewing machines get. For a professional model, you will have to shell out more than $2000. It is important to fix your budget and then list out what you want from the sewing machine.
Number of Built-in Stitches
The number of built-in stitches is not really an independent factor here. Embroidery machines have more built-in stitches compared to sewing machines. The serger models have a different purpose. And then, there are all-in-one models that can be used for sewing, quilting, embroidery, etc.
The main purpose of this machine is to embroider and monogram letters. These cannot be used for regular stitching. Bernina embroidery machines are rich in features that will make a professional embroider one of the happiest people on earth.
A serger machine is used to overlock the ends of the seam. After stitches two ends together, the overlocking stitches are run throughout to prevent the stitches from tearing up. But that’s not the only purpose of a serger machine. Overlocking stitches can be innovative and trendy with various types of stitch designs. These are used to add finishing touches to the project and make it even more appealing. A serger machine can usually be used for minor sewing jobs.
Bernina sure has all-in-one models that can sew, quilt, embroider, and serger. If you do a bit of everything, this would the right choice for you. But ultimately, you can’t go wrong with any model unless you buy something that’s the opposite of your requirements.
Just make sure to pick the one that matches your skill level. If you are a beginner, stick to the entry-level models. The professional ones might be too much to work on immediately.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Are you not sure which model to buy? Bernina has such good sewing machines that it is difficult to decide. From our side, we would recommend Bernette 38 Swiss Design Computerized Sewing Machine with 394 built-in stitches.
We have already seen the features and benefits in detail that make this model versatile and perfect for newbies and professionals. Also, it is an affordable model when we see how pricey Bernina sewing machines can be. Bernette 38 Swiss Design Computerized Sewing Machine is worth the price.