Ever since ukuleles washed up on the shore of Hawaii in 1879, there’s been a worldwide mesmerization with their catchy and graceful melodies. But the mesmerization simmered down, and over time, the grandeur of ukuleles got buried under the weight of newly emerging types of music.
That’s until some of the most influential musicians in the world wiped the dust off the Hawaiian instruments and brought them to light again, like Eddie Vedder and Paul McCartney. If you want to follow in the footsteps of these worldwide renowned artists, then it’s time to purchase a high-quality ukulele, and that’s what I’m here for.
I’ve made a list of the nine best ukulele brands right now. Whether you want beginner ukuleles, affordable ukuleles, or luxurious and high-quality ukuleles, you’ll find your perfect match. So let’s jump in!
The 9 Best Ukulele Brands
Here’s a detailed list of the nine best ukulele brands on the market.
Although not Hawaiian, Kala offers some of the best ukulele models on the market. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’ll find a suitable choice for your skills among its musical instruments.
Kala offers tenor, soprano, baritone, and concert ukuleles. Its stringed instruments have striped ebony, pacific walnut, mahogany, Hawaiian koa wood, and basswood tops. So, you get to choose your preferred top material.
Kala offers the Travel ukuleles line for adventurous souls and wanderers. So, if you want to take a road trip with ukulele melodies in the background, you can purchase a lightweight Kala ukulele and embark on your journey.
As for professional musicians who want to carry unique, handmade ukuleles, Kala proudly presents the Kala Elite USA line.
Finally, the Makala line comes as a knight in shining armor for beginners, with its affordable price tags, high-quality materials, and vintage designs.
Lohanu is one of the most popular ukulele brands on the market, and for all the good reasons. It offers beginner-friendly bundles that won’t break your bank and will give you a headstart in your learning journey. Furthermore, to show their commitment to helping beginner ukulele learners, Lohanu manufacturers offer suitable lessons for beginner and intermediate players.
What makes Lohanu ukuleles special is that they come with a lifetime warranty that you probably won’t find anywhere else. The warranty also applies to the accessories, and you can register for it on their online website.
But if I’m being honest, the Lohanu ukuleles shine more in the hands of beginners. So they might not be your best options if you’re looking for luxurious, professional ukes.
Martin specializes in high-end, luxurious ukuleles. It’s been selling musical instruments for nearly 200 years, and worldwide acknowledged artists like Elvis Presley, John Mayer, and Bob Dylan have used its products. So, if you want a unique ukulele with inspiring history, you’ll love the Martin brand as much as I do.
Martin offers soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles of varying colors and prices. In addition, it has many elegant finishes like solid Hawaiian koa, satin lacquer, and more. The bottom line is, if you decide to purchase a Martin uke, you’ll have a wide variety of choices in nearly every category.
A brief example of the uniqueness of this brand’s ukuleles is the Konter Uke. It’s a replica of the only instrument to travel to the North Pole, hidden under an airplane’s seat.
On top of that, the original one was signed by some of the most famous historical figures worldwide, like Amelia Earhart, Theodore Roosevelt Jr, and Thoman Edison. To preserve its charm, the manufacturers replicated the signatures using laser etching.
Lanikai specializes in ukuleles and prides itself in having suitable choices for all ukulele artists out there. If you visit the Lanikai website, you’ll find soprano, concert, tenor, baritone, and bass ukuleles. And that’s not it. You’ll also find five-string, six-string, and eight-string ukuleles.
If you’re looking for a traditional ukulele that suits your skills and breeds an authentic uke sound, I recommend Lanikai. Another point that adds to the authenticity of this brand is that all ukuleles are manufactured in Hawaii, where the unique musical instruments gained their splendor nearly 150 years ago.
When purchasing a Lanikai ukulele, you can search by series instead of type. For instance, Lanikai offers the LU series for intermediate learners with a limited budget and the Oak series for those who love quirky designs and crisp tones. You can also find many more types that Lanikai ukulele manufacturers proudly present.
All in all, Lanikai ukuleles are almost as good as Kamaka ukuleles, which is one of the most famous Hawaiian brands.
Want to buy a reliable, high-quality musical instrument and don’t mind denting your wallet a bit? If so, consider buying a Fender ukulele. Whether you want a soprano, tenor, or concert ukulele, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Fender also offers various other instruments, like basses, guitars, and nylon-stringed instruments.
While Fender doesn’t sell at high prices, it still doesn’t offer the most budget-friendly prices in the ukulele market. However, you’ll get an amazing sound, rich tone, and high-quality materials in exchange for your money.
You should also know that Fender doesn’t sell baritone ukuleles at the moment.
Luna ukuleles are known for their unique designs, high-quality manufacturing materials, and fascinating sounds. While they aren’t the most budget-friendly on the market, they aren’t on the pricey side either.
Luna is one of the most reliable ukulele brands, and it prides itself in having one of the highest-selling ukuleles in the world, the tattoo mahogany concert ukulele. It has a remarkable Hawaiian-inspired design and is manufactured from mahogany woods. Not only that, but Luna also offers suitable ukuleles for all learning levels.
So whether you want a tenor, baritone, bass, or soprano ukulele, you’ll find your match. Luna also offers acoustic guitars of varying qualities. So, if you want a classical guitar along with your uke, you should definitely consider this brand.
If you’re a ukulele enthusiast, you must have heard about Mahalo ukuleles before. Mahalo is one of the most famous brands worldwide, and it offers some of the best ukuleles on the market. However, it only offers beginner models. So, if you’re a professional musician, it might not be your best option.
Mahalo offers a wide variety of ukulele colors, designs, and accessories. It also has electric models and beginner-friendly packs.
However, the part I love the most about Mahalo ukuleles is that they come with suitable price tags for everybody. So, if you’re still at the beginning of your learning journey and don’t want to dent your wallet, you’ll love what it has to offer.
If you’re looking for a nylon-stringed instrument, then you should look at the Cordoba website. Cordoba specializes in classical guitars, acoustic ukuleles, and electric ukuleles. It’s one of the best ukulele brands on the market if you’re looking for high-quality craftsmanship and reliable instruments.
Cordoba offers ukuleles that satisfy every taste, ranging from various tenor models to a limited variety of concert ukuleles. You’ll also find many ukulele sizes to choose from with elegant and durable solid wood tops.
While Cordoba doesn’t exactly offer affordable prices, it certainly checks all other boxes as a high-quality uke brand.
Donner should be your go-to ukulele brand if you’re looking for affordable models. It offers beginner-friendly kits with very reasonable prices and a wide variety. And whether you want a soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele, you’ll find a suitable match.
Donner isn’t only known for selling ukuleles. You’ll also find acoustic guitars, electric guitars, drums, keyboards, and pianos. But to be frank, I only recommend its ukuleles for beginners. To master playing ukuleles, you might need to upgrade your Donner ukulele faster than you’d want.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Uke Brand Is the Best for Beginners?
Mahalo and Lohanu are ideal for beginners with their affordable price tags and good-quality craftsmanship. But if you’re looking for luxurious ukuleles and don’t mind paying a higher price, you can take a look at the Makala line presented by Kala.
Which Uke Brand Is the Best for Professionals?
If you’re a professional ukulele player, you should take a look at Kala, Martin, and Luna products. They offer high-quality instruments that shine in the hands of professionals.
To Wrap Up
The quality of your ukulele playing depends only partially on your skills; the brand and craftsmanship of your uke can make all the difference. That’s why I listed nine of the best brands on the market for both beginner and professional ukuleles.
To sum it up, you should consider Kala, Luna, and Martin if you’re a professional player. They offer unique designs and guarantee high-quality manufacturing materials. However, they’re on the pricier side of the market. On the other hand, Mahalo, Lohanu, and Lanikai are more suitable for beginners.
Now that you know enough about the best ukulele brands, you can make a well-studied decision.