People who sew professionally and home sewers looking for a long-term investment often turn to Bernina for the ultimate high-quality, long-lasting sewing machine. If you want a machine that runs like a Swiss clock and features all the latest innovations and software, Bernina has exactly what you need! You may want to do some serious research before committing to this investment, though, because Bernina sewing machine prices are as high as the quality of their legendary machines.
Bernina sewing machine prices run from a mere $200 for an entry-level model to a whopping $25,000 for an advanced quilting model. The average price for most of the Bernina models lies around the $1,000 range. The company charges high prices because of the quality design and durable parts used in their machines.
In this article, you’ll learn what makes Bernina sewing machines so special. You’ll also find out what different models typically cost and where to buy them.
- Bernina Sewing Machines
- Where Are Bernina Sewing Machines Made
- Bernina Sewing Machine Prices
- How Much Do the Most Expensive Bernina Models Cost?
- What is the Least Expensive Bernina Sewing Machine?
- Where to Buy Bernina Sewing Machines
- Used Bernina Sewing Machines
- Bernina Quilting Machine Price
- What is the Best Bernina Sewing Machine to Buy?
- Is it Worth it to Buy a Bernina?
- Bernina Vs Pfaff & Viking
Bernina Sewing Machines
Bernina International AG lays claim to a long history of quality sewing machine innovation. Founded in 1863 by Karl Freidrich Gegauf, the Swiss company got its start as the purveyors of the first sewing machine that could use a hemstitch.
In the mid-1800s, Gegauf and his brother invented and sold this unique machine. At one point, they had to move their whole operation to an abandoned barn when their original factory burned down!
Despite these setbacks, the family business held its ground. In 1932 one of Gegauf’s sons, Fritz Gegauf, officially applied the name “Bernina” to the sewing machines.
In the mid 20th century, Karl Freidrich’s daughter, Odette Ueltschi, took the reins. She led the company through another series of innovations. These included creating the famous knee-activated presser foot lifter that so many Bernina users love.
Odette handed over the responsibility of the company to her son in the late 80s. You might find it interesting that the line of “Bernette” models was named after her!
Today, Hanspeter Uelstchi, who is Odette’s son and Gegauf’s grandson, leads the company. It continues to introduce sewing machines with exciting new capabilities to the market. For example, in recent years the company launched its embroidery machine software.
If you have been around the sewing community for a little while, you’ve almost certainly heard of Bernina. You may even own one of their machines! Either way, you probably associate this brand with the words “expensive” and “quality.”
The company does offer a much more affordable line of machines under the “Bernette” brand today. That said, Bernina’s most expensive machine currently sells for as much as $25,000. You probably think of that sum of money as the cost of a car or the downpayment on a small house!
Why do sewists pay so much money for a sewing machine when Singer, Brother, and other brands offer much more affordable models?
The answer is simple. For over a hundred and fifty years, Bernina has established a reputation for stellar quality. Their reputation is founded on both the durability and the design features of their machines.
One of the reasons Bernina machines last so long is their construction. They contain a large percentage of metal parts, just like the vintage machines made in the days of yore that still run after a century of use!
Poke around online, searching for bad reviews of Bernina machines. Go ahead–take your time. You won’t find any!
The company has not produced a high volume of different models over the years. That said, each time they introduce a new model, it contains significant innovations. For example, when the Bernina 830 debuted in the early 2000s, the company filed fifteen new patents to cover all its new features!
Bernina also focuses on specific sewing needs. Several of their most famous machines target quilting and embroidery features. The quilting community almost universally adores Bernina!
Where Are Bernina Sewing Machines Made
Many Bernina machines are still manufactured at the original facility in Steckborn, Switzerland. The company also now produces its less expensive models at an additional facility in Thailand.
Bernina develops and tests all models at their facility in Switzerland. They also produce their most expensive models and all of their longarm quilting machines at this facility.
The company switched to manufacturing all lower and mid-level price range models at a new facility in Thailand. The new factory opened in the 1990s. About half of all Bernina employees work at the Thailand facility today.
The company does state publicly that they have no intention of reducing or closing their Swiss facility. That said, the lower costs of overseas production played an obvious role in opening the factory in Thailand, so time will tell.
Bernina Sewing Machine Prices
Bernina sewing machine prices range from just over $1,000 for their beginner line of Bernette models to over $20,000 for some of their advanced Q-line quilting machines. You can always find the most current price of any model on Bernina’s official website or the official Bernette website.
As a pro tip, searching for a Bernette model on the Bernina page doesn’t work! You have to visit the separate Bernette website.
Also, Bernina and Bernette do not publish the prices at first glance. You have to select “buy now” before you can view the price of a model. Probably this is so prospective buyers won’t be scared away at first glance by the astronomical prices of some of these amazing machines!
The company does not provide a comprehensive Bernina sewing machine price list. But they do provide current pricing for each model. You can compare and contrast at your leisure.
Likewise, you won’t find a Bernina embroidery machine price list officially published on the manufacturer’s website. But you can easily find the price for their current embroidery machines to compare on your own.
How Much Do the Most Expensive Bernina Models Cost?
Bernina sells some extremely high-tech sewing machines that range in price from ten or twelve thousand dollars to over twenty thousand dollars.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, hop down to the next section on the least expensive machine!
If you sew professionally and own a tailoring company or an Etsy shop, you probably want a top-of-the-line machine. Or perhaps you just really passionately want the highest-tech option for quilting or embroidery! Either way, take a look at the three models listed here!
At less than half the price of the Q20, the 770QE sells for about $7,000 today. This high-tech embroidery machine fits a maxi hoop and has a long free arm ideal for working on quilts. It is fully computerized and operates through a touch screen.
Those familiar with Bernina’s famous embroidery capabilities will note that the 770 comes with the embroidery module. You can easily import embroidery designs via USB. This model can stitch up to 1,1100 stitches per minute.
Depending on the frame option you select, the Bernina Q20 and Q24 models can cost up to $25,000! The Q series offers a range of models mounted on either quilting frames or smaller tables. The Q20 looks like a sewing machine on top of a fancy ping-pong table. It comes attached to a computer screen that provides digital thread control and an easy selection of quilting stitches.
The Q20 offers an impressive stitch speed of 2,200 stitches per minute. It also allows you to select a stitch pattern for sewing over many layers of quilting fabric. Alternatively, you can choose to free-hand stitch yourself using comfortable ergonomic features.
For a slightly less pricey option, the Q16 model comes mounted on a table instead of the giant frame. It has a lot of the capabilities of the Q20 and clocks in around a mere $15,000.
Bernina recently replaced their top model 830 with the even sleeker 880 PLUS. You can still find 830 models for sale from some dealers or as used models. Don’t get too excited, though, because even used 830s sell for around three thousand dollars!
The Bernina 880 sells for about $16,000 directly from the company. This model highlights all the characteristics the company is known for. It contains every cutting-edge advanced embroidery machine option.
The Bernina stitch regulator automatically controls the feed dogs and the presser foot. The spacious design of the frame provides a 12” free arm and five inches of space between the needle and the needle plate. Perhaps most importantly for an embroiderer, the integrated stitch library offers easy access to 1,764 different stitches through an LCD touch screen.
This machine is not a toy. It’s the ultimate luxury in embroidery for ultra-serious hobbyists or professionals.
What is the Least Expensive Bernina Sewing Machine?
The least expensive Bernina sewing machine is the Bernette 33. The company markets this model as an “inexpensive sewing machine for beginners.” The Bernette 33 usually sells for around $400.
Sadly, it is no longer in production and you will have to seek it out from a local dealer.
The Bernette line offers all of Bernina’s most affordable machines. The newest Bernette model, the Bernette 70 line, sells for just under $2,000 today.
In the late 1980s, Bernina launched an offshoot brand, the Bernette line of sewing machines. These machines all operated mechanically until 2019. At that point, the company upped the game and introduced the Bernette 70 line.
The 70 Bernette models have a computerized touchscreen operating panel.
Essentially, these Bernette models offer the durability and careful construction of any Bernina machine but lack some of the advanced tech and high-level features of the fully computerized models. They serve best as working machines for hobbyists who love to sew and can invest in a machine that will last a long time.
Where to Buy Bernina Sewing Machines
The easiest way to get a brand-new Bernina sewing machine is to purchase it directly from the manufacturer! You can easily do this by visiting the company’s website. If you’re looking for Bernina sewing machines near you so you can look it over in person before buying it, you can often find a local, official dealer nearby.
Bernina provides a button for a “find shop” option right next to the “buy now” button for each model on their website!
Of course, you can always compare prices on Amazon and Walmart for some models to see if any seller is holding a sale.
Here’s the catch, though: if you buy from Bernina or an authorized seller, you will get an awesome warranty! So pay attention when you make your purchase to be sure it is authorized.
Used Bernina Sewing Machines
You can find used Bernina sewing machines at an incredibly wide range of prices, depending on the model you search for and its age. A pre-owned Bernina 830 in uncertain condition might go for under four thousand dollars on eBay.
You might have better luck searching for the used Bernette models. It’s pretty common to spot a used Bernette 33 or Bernette 35 for under three hundred dollars!
What can you do if you have always dreamed of owning a Bernina sewing machine and your budget just can’t support the cost of a brand-new model? Well, you might have good luck searching eBay, Etsy, or Amazon. You could also haunt the local thrift stores just in case, though it’s pretty rare to spot a discarded Bernina!
Is it worth the risk to buy a used machine? This depends on your perspective. If you really, really want that solid Swiss construction and you’re willing to risk the possibility that the previous owner damaged something in the machine, go for it!
You should probably take your used machine to a professional sewing machine technician for once-over after buying it. If nothing else, the technician can give it a thorough cleaning.
The other reason you might consider buying used is that you can’t purchase some older models of Bernina sewing machines from the company, as they have gone out of production.
For a full list of Bernina sewing machine models by year, you can visit the company’s website.
Bernina Quilting Machine Price
Bernina offers a robust selection of quilting machines right now, ranging in price from just under $3,000 to the previously mentioned $25,000 Q24.
You can meet all your basic quilting needs with a model like the 475QE. It costs less than four thousand dollars and comes with touchscreen operation, a seven-inch workspace, and a jumbo bobbin. That said, it may go out of production soon and is already marked as having limited models left.
Bernina tends to phase out the oldest model in a particular line as new models hit the market. This gives you a chance to snag a brand-new machine for less money, but the older models won’t remain available forever.
The mid-range quilting models tend to cost around the ten thousand or fifteen thousand dollar price range. These come with larger work areas and more complex stitch selection options. Some of these models include the 790 and the previously mentioned 880.
What is the Best Bernina Sewing Machine to Buy?
The best Bernina sewing machine to buy depends on your budget, your sewing specialization, and your skill level.
Let’s take a quick look at some Bernina sewing machine reviews to give you an idea of the most popular model for fashion sewing, quilting, embroidery, or serger sewing.
For Fashion Sewing
You really can’t go wrong with any Bernina sewing or sewing-and-embroidery machine for fashion sewing. That said, the 790 hits all the right buttons to meet just about any fashion sewing need.
It has a dual-fabric feed for fancy or tricky fabrics. It has stretch stitch capabilities. It comes with all kinds of awesome automated touches like the Bernina Stitch Regulator.
For embroidery needs, it has an extra-large embroidery work area. Besides the typical touchscreen and embroidery stitches to select, the 790 allows you to design your own stitches by drawing directly onto the touchscreen!
Fashion designers use this machine, which gives you a good idea of how luxurious and precise it is!
Leaving aside the super pricey Q20 and Q24 quilting machines, the Q16 goes above and beyond what the average quilter could ever hope for. This model comes attached to a handy table with height adjustment that provides sixteen inches of throat space. It also comes loaded with tools to make your quilting life easier, like the Bernina Stitch Regulator and a stitch counter.
Of course, like all modern Bernina models, it is fully computerized and operates via a customizable touchscreen. The exciting new Kickstart option lets you sew without holding down the presser foot. This will allow you to complete big quilting projects without any fatigue!
Aside from the brand new 880 PLUS and the 790 already mentioned, the Bernina 570 gives you a solid, all-around embroidery and sewing machine that will meet all your needs. This machine operates via touchscreen and has a jumbo bobbin perfect for large-scale embroidery projects. It also offers the essential Bernina Stitch Regulator and dual-feed options that make sewing on tricky fabrics a breeze!
The 570 is not the newest model, but it does offer a lot of nice touches like 450 different stitch patterns and a stitch length control. Plus, you can choose to purchase the embroidery module along with it!
Is it Worth it to Buy a Bernina?
For many professional fashion designers, tailors, and seamstresses, buying a Bernina is worth the price because of the dependability of these machines. Home sewers struggle more with this issue. It’s hard for many hobby sewers to justify spending thousands of dollars on a product they plan to use as a fun hobby!
So, if you find yourself asking this question, you’re not alone! These considerations might help you make a final decision.
First, know yourself. Honestly, if you enjoy sewing for a couple of hours each month, the average Brother or Singer can probably handle the workload just fine. If your greatest joy in life is making all the costumes for your local community theater every season, though, you may want to upgrade to a brand famed for its durability, like Bernina!
Second, think about the lifespan of the average domestic sewing machine. If you’re looking for the hottest new toy and plan to keep trading up, you might not want a Bernina. You buy these guys to keep for a long, long time because they keep working forever!
Of course, this durability means you won’t have to save up more money for a replacement model a few years in.
Finally, Bernina machines provide a level of luxury and automation that many more affordable brands do not. Things like the stitch regulator do make life easier if you sew a lot!
Ultimately, of course, the choice is yours. If sewing is a big part of your life, you might be ready to make the Bernina investment!
Bernina Vs Pfaff & Viking
Bernina is usually considered the best manufacturer of quilting machines in the world, but Pfaff and Viking sometimes rank as the best embroidery machine manufacturers. There’s not a clear winner among the top sewing machine manufacturers globally. Your best bet is to visit a local sewing store and try using each of the brands to see which suits you best!
You would have a hard time finding a sewist who thinks Bernina machines suck. That said, plenty of sewers love a particular Husqvarna Viking machine. Pfaff also has a strong, loyal fan base!
Pfaff is a German-based company that has a great reputation for precise and durable machines. Viking manufactures its machines in Sweden. Today, Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking are owned by SVP Worldwide. This company also owns Singer!
The bottom line about Bernina is that it is a family-owned company that has built a centuries-old reputation by providing high-quality, precise, long-lasting sewing machines.
Bernina sewing machines cost as little as four hundred dollars and as much as $25,000 brand new! The company offers a less complex line of machines under the Bernette brand name for a lower price range. They also offer some of the most advanced sewing machines in the world for much higher prices.
Couture designers, professional tailors, and home quilters all use and love Bernina machines.
Do you own a Bernina? What advice would you give to a home sewist looking to buy one today? Leave a comment below to let us know!
Sunday 30th of May 2021
Bernina is the best machine there is! I have been using a Bernina sewing machine for nearly 50 years now and wouldn’t even consider buying another brand. Sometimes I dream of trading up to Bernina’s top of the line embroidery- quilting machine but can’t possibly abandon my beautiful 1230! Bernina is the best!!’