Best Ukulele Brands in 2023 – For Beginners & Advanced Players

I know the struggle of selecting the best ukulele brands, I was also in the same boat a few years back when I was looking for a brand new ukulele for me.

A few years back when I was looking for a ukulele, my plan was to purchase it online because of better deals but when I searched about it online, I came across so many ukulele brands which really made me confused. However, at that time I took the help of my friend and he helped me in selecting the ukulele.

Well, coming to the point of this article, I see lots of people get confused in deciding which is the best ukulele brand. So, don’t worry today I am here to help you. I have tried more than 20+ ukuleles from different brands in the past few years and I know which are the best brands for ukuleles in 2022.

If you are a complete beginner, I recommend you to check our ukulele buying guide. Now I am going to share some basic knowledge about ukuleles real quick.

Best Ukulele Brands
Best Ukulele Brands

Before you proceed further

So, there are some rules that you should keep in mind before selecting ukulele brands. Generally, ukuleles come in three different sizes.

  • Soprano Ukulele: This ukulele is the smallest one, very good for kids as well as beginners.
  • Concert Ukulele: This one is 3 inches bigger than the soprano.
  • Tenor Ukulele: The tenor Uke is 3 inches bigger than the concert ukulele.

Size also plays an important role in the sound, the smaller one is generally quieter than the big one. Also, folks with bigger hands often find the small ukulele a little hard to play because of less room to maneuver fingers.

Ukulele Quality Check

The next thing is wood quality, different ukulele brands use different wood quality, so the better the wood quality the more your ukulele will last and also it results in producing a deeper and warm sound.

However, people often think solid wood is the best quality in ukuleles and it produces the best sound, in fact, it is somewhat true but not all the time, there are some more factors that determine the sound production.

As I said, size also plays an important role but along with that the quality of strings, and how well the uke is tuned also equally matter.

Don’t worry below I have listed some of the best brands for ukuleles. Once you made up your mind about the best suitable size for you, you can go with the brands that I listed below.

Mostly the best ukulele brands produce all three sizes of ukuleles. So once you sorted out the brand, you can select which size to go with.

Now in this article, I have created 3 categories, 1) best ukulele brands for beginners, 2) best ukulele brands for intermediate, and 3) best ukulele brands for advanced alike.

In the end, I have also listed some high-quality Hawaii ukulele brands. So, now let’s begin.

Best Ukulele Brands for Beginners

Beginners don’t really need to spend their money on high-end ukulele brands, since you are in the learning phase, I think you should start with the beginner ukulele brands so that once you reach a good level at playing ukulele then you can shift to higher quality brands.

For beginners there are many ukulele brands available, some are as cheap as $20-30 but the quality of those ukes is gross, so at the beginning phase I think a good quality ukulele from a good brand can cost you somewhere between $60-110.

So below are the best ukulele brands for beginners that I have personally tried myself.

1) Lohanu

Lohanu Ukuleles are very famous among beginners as well as intermediate players, this is a Canadian-based company that was founded in 2014 by two friends, JB and JP. Lohanu.

Its mission is to provide top-notch quality ukuleles at affordable prices to musicians of all levels. They also offer a wide range of ukes from beginner models to professional instruments.

You will find most of Lohanu’s ukuleles under $100 which is a good point to consider. The quality of the material and the craftsmanship is quite decent, ensuring that each of their ukuleles sounds great and will last for years.

So, if you are just starting out or even if you are a seasoned player, Lohanu ukulele would be the perfect choice for you.

2) Kala

Kala is the number 1 choice of those who just started their learning journey, many beginners have started their uke journey by practicing on Kala ukulele, and even advanced players also use Kala, that’s why Kala is among the top ukulele brands in the USA and other countries.

Kala is especially known for their quality craftsmanship, outstanding sound, and reasonable prices. Kala offers a wide range of ukulele models to suit every player from beginners to professionals.

Kala uses different varieties of wood in their ukes, mostly they use mahogany, spruce, and maple. Kala pays very much attention to creating an instrument that is both beautiful and durable.

Among all the Kala series, KA-15 Series is the best selling on Amazon, you can find all sizes of Kala ukuleles in their KA-15 series. Check the below links to know about the pricing of each individual ukulele size.

3) Donner

Donner ukulele is considered one of the most trusted brands when it comes to playing the quality ukulele. Donner has been in business for more than 11 years, and Donner has gained the trust of its customers during that time by providing high-quality ukuleles at a very affordable price.

Donner ukuleles are made with Hava mahogany, which results in producing a warm, rich sound. And to increase sustain and produce a fuller sound, Donner ukuleles have used a string-through-body design.

Donner ukuleles are equipped with vintage-style friction tuners, which help to keep the Donner ukulele in tune.

And on top of that Donner ukuleles come with a gigbag, straps, extra strings, etc.

4) Cordoba

Another beginner-friendly brand Cordoba is highly known for quality work and beautiful design. Cordoba was founded in 1997, they are in the ukulele market for over 20 years, and their instruments are used by some of the world’s most well-known performers.

They are also known for their quality guitars instrument, and you will see most of their ukuleles are made in such a way that they somehow serve the purpose of guitar to some extent.

Cordoba ukuleles are made with the highest quality materials, and each one is handcrafted to perfection.

Cordoba features a wide variety of Ukuleles to choose from, making it easy to find the perfect instrument for your needs.

So for a beginner, Cordoba has a Ukulele that will suit your style. So if you’re looking for an instrument that sounds great and looks amazing, Cordoba is the brand for you.

Best Ukulele Brands for intermediate players

If you have already used ukuleles from the above brands and you think you are at a higher level at playing ukuleles then you should definitely go with the below brands.

Below ukulele brands are very good for intermediate players and even for advanced players, however, later in the article I have listed some ukuleles from the Hawaii brand that is more suitable for professional and advanced ukulele players.

1) Lanikai

Lanikai brand is among those brands that are well known for producing high-quality ukuleles for intermediate as well as advanced players. Founded in 1857, Lanikai is one of the oldest players of musical instruments.

Lanikai takes great pride in craftsmanship, using only the finest materials to create their instruments. Some of their ukes are made in Hawaii but most of them are made in China.

Lanikai is also known for producing good-looking ukes, and their ukulele sounds as good as it looks. The smooth action of Lanikai ukuleles makes them a pleasure to play.

Lanikai UkeSB series is my favorite because of the fact that it has a USB port that allows you to record yourself while playing Ukulele.

2) Matin & co.

In the world of ukuleles and guitars, Martin is among the most reputed brands. The company has been making high-quality ukuleles for over a century.

Known best for their excellent craftsmanship, good looking, top quality woodwork, and rich tones. Their ukes are built of very strong material that can withstand years of use.

Martin ukuleles generally cost around $1000-3000 but if you are running tight on budget and still want to go with Martin ukuleles, then you can try their C1 series which cost around $350-400.

3) Aklot

Looking for an intermediate-level ukulele without breaking your bank? if that’s so, then you can’t go wrong with Aklot ukuleles.

There are very limited ukulele brands with a solid top, Aklot is one of them.

There are a few things that set Aklot ukuleles apart from the competition. First, as I just said they use solid mahogany for the body of their instruments, which results in producing warm and rich sounds.

Second, they have a unique bracing system that helps to improve the ukulele’s projection and volume.

And the last point, they use a special treatment process on their strings that makes them last longer and sound better.

If you are an intermediate or advanced player and looking for an affordable ukulele brand then Aklot is your best choice.

Hawaii’s Best Ukulele Brands (High-end quality)

Hawaii is the origin of ukuleles, so getting the ukulele from the origin’s brand is the best option for those who are looking for the highest possible quality without worrying about the price.

Known as “Four Ks” these are the top-notch ukulele builders based in Hawaii.

If you are looking for a top-notch and best-sounding ukulele in the market then these four brands are the ones you should consider. These are the ukulele brands that are used by some world’s famous uke players.

1) Kamaka

Kamaka brand is based in Hawaii and is known for high-end ukuleles. Kamaka brand was founded by Samuel Kamaka in 1916, and it is one of the oldest ukulele brands in the world.

If you are a professional then you can’t go any wrong with Kamaka. All ukuleles by Kamaka are hand-crafted and the quality of the material they use is incredible.

Kamaka ukuleles are played by some of the world’s most famous ukulele players, including Jake Shimabukuro and Herb Ohta Jr.

The quality work you will see in Kamaka is really unmatchable and top in the segment. In short, I would only like to say if you are looking for best-in-class ukuleles without having budget issues then just go with Kamaka ukuleles, you will not regret it.

2) Ko’olau

Another Hawaii-based brand Ko’olau is a crowd favorite and it is also considered the best brand for professional ukulele players.

Founded in 1995 by master luthier Bill Collings, Ko’olau has been crafting some of the finest ukuleles available for over 20 years.

They always make sure to use the best possible materials, and the best part is each one is handcrafted with the utmost care and attention to detail. Ko’olau ukuleles are truly works of art, and their beautiful sound is just as stunning as their appearance.

If you are looking for a traditional Hawaiian-style ukulele or something that look more modern, Ko’olau has got you cover, they have instrument for everyone’s taste.

They also offer custom instruments but the price may go up to $14000 which is completely okay for the quality and the traditional feel you will get.

If you have enough money and want to get a world-class ukulele with unmatched craftsmanship then go with this brand. Ko’olau ukuleles are sure to bring joy to any player.

3) Kanile’a

Kanile’a ukuleles are some of the best on the market and for good reason. They are in the business for a very long time and they have gained massive respect.

Kanile’a ukuleles are handcrafted with care and attention to detail, ensuring that each one is of the highest quality. They have a team of skilled luthiers who create each instrument with so much care and expertise.

They’re also built to last, with high-quality hardware that can withstand years of use.

If you are looking for top-notch Hawaiian-made ukuleles, Kanile’a is a great option.

4) KoAloha

Koaloha is another Hawaii-based ukulele brand that was started in the 1990s. KoAloha is relatively a new brand as compared to other Hawaiian ukuleles brand but even in the short span of time, they have earned the love of their customers.

They Koa wood to make their all instruments, including ukuleles, guitaleles, and guitars. KoAloha ukuleles are known for their five-point crown headstock, and for their warm and rich sound that you won’t find anywhere else.

They have ukuleles in all sizes, so whether you are interested in buying a soprano or tenor, they have it all.

Why you should avoid cheap Ukulele brands

There are a lot of deciding factors when it comes to buying a ukulele, price is certainly of them – but it shouldn’t be the only factor. Very cheap ukulele brands may seem like a good deal at first, but in reality, they often provide inferior instruments that are difficult to play and don’t sound as good as their more expensive counterparts.

Poor quality construction is the main reason why you should avoid cheap ukulele brands, most cheap ukuleles are often made with inferior materials and construction techniques that result in an instrument that is difficult to play and doesn’t sound as good as it should.

Additionally, cheap ukuleles are more likely to fall apart or break after just a few uses.

Also, cheap ukuleles don’t sound great at all, and imagine spending money on something that is not even worth enjoying, it’s waste of time and money, right? so why not wait for more time and collect enough money to spend on a reputed ukuleles brands that I listed above.

One more main to reason avoid cheap ukulele brands is Poor customer service, If you have any problems with your cheap ukulele, good luck getting any help from the company. Cheap ukulele brands often have poor customer service, meaning that you’ll be left stranded if you have any issues.

If you are really running on a tight budget then check out our best cheap ukuleles guide where we listed some good quality cheap ukuleles that are of decent quality with an affordable price tag.

Wrapping Up

That’s it, guys! all the ukulele brands that I listed above are personally checked by me and I am damn sure if you go with any of the above brands, you wouldn’t regret it.

If you have something to say or have any doubts regarding the brands that I listed above then contact me or simply comment down below and I will try my best to solve your query.

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