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10 Best Cardio Machines for Home Use Fully Reviewed

last updated Nov 26, 2019
If you are on the hunt for the best cardio machines, then you have come to the right place! Here we will go over the best selections currently available on the market along with their Pros and Cons and what to look for before making your purchase.

Here we feature more than just treadmills, so if you only want to check out the best treadmills then take a look here. Instead, we made sure to include different types of cardio machines—from treadmills and rowers to assault bikes and step machines

Nowadays there are a ton of selections to choose from it comes to the top cardio machines, so find the best of the best can be difficult to do. We rated each of our selections based on effectiveness, use, size, value, and ease of use.

Enjoy our top picks!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
98.4/100 our score
Effectiveness
98
Use
99
Size
97
Value
99
Ease of Use
99
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
Why is it better?

Low-impact

Full body engagement

Easy to store

Sophisticated monitor

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
Test Winner: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
2
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.3K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most recent update brings a lot of new information to the table. We have updated each of our product reviews and streamlined them to ensure they are easy for our readers to sift through and compare when looking for the perfect product. We have also added more information throughout our entire buying guide, so make sure to scroll through the end.

Sorting Options
Effectiveness Use Size Value Ease of Use By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.4
Effectiveness
98 %
Use
99 %
Size
97 %
Value
99 %
Ease of Use
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$945.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Effectiveness
98 %
Use
97 %
Size
96 %
Value
97 %
Ease of Use
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$699.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Effectiveness
94 %
Use
93 %
Size
90 %
Value
96 %
Ease of Use
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$324.98
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Effectiveness
89 %
Use
91 %
Size
92 %
Value
91 %
Ease of Use
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$199.98
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Effectiveness
87 %
Use
85 %
Size
89 %
Value
86 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$349.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Effectiveness
86 %
Use
84 %
Size
83 %
Value
85 %
Ease of Use
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$224.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Effectiveness
80 %
Use
81 %
Size
80 %
Value
82 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$143.98
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Effectiveness
80 %
Use
76 %
Size
83 %
Value
79 %
Ease of Use
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$815.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.6
Effectiveness
79 %
Use
74 %
Size
76 %
Value
77 %
Ease of Use
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$699.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73
Effectiveness
77 %
Use
73 %
Size
74 %
Value
70 %
Ease of Use
71 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$41.66

Top 10 Cardio Machines

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.4
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
98
Use
99
Size
97
Value
99
Ease of Use
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$945.00
Pros:

Low-impact

Full body engagement

Easy to store

Sophisticated monitor

Cons:

Price

Rowing machines provide a challenging and effective full-body workout with very low impact. All these qualities make this an excellent cross-training option for runners. Consider this an investment for high quality, sturdy design. This sophisticated monitor with data monitoring and motivational programming sets this top of the line machine apart from the rest. Read more

Read more

Effectiveness

The rowing motion has a very low impact and is a great option for those who need to give their joints a break.

Use

This low impact machine works the entire body and is great for cross-training or keeping you in cardiovascular shape when you cannot get out to run. Rowing does require some instruction and practice to learn proper form. However, after some practice, this machine is very safe and has few risks for injury.

Size

The machine itself is long and skinny with wheels at the front to move it easily into position. This rower also features a convenient quick-release frame lock that separates the machine into two easy-to-store parts with no tools and little effort.

Value

The higher price tag is the only real downfall of this piece of equipment. However, this quality machine is built to last and is a justifiable investment for your fitness.

Ease of Use

Adjustable footrests and ergonomic handles make this machine easy to customize for maximum comfort during exercise. Users love the user-friendly Performance Monitor 5 that tracks data for each row. Additionally, this machine is compatible with RowPro Software to help you get even more out of your workout.

Finally, the flywheel and adjustable damper let you control resistance and keeps the machine’s noise level down to that of a fan.

2. LifeCORE Fitness Assault Air Bike

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
LifeCORE Fitness Assault Air Bike
LifeCORE Fitness Assault Air Bike
LifeCORE Fitness Assault Air Bike
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
98
Use
97
Size
96
Value
97
Ease of Use
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$699.00
Pros:

Challenging full body workout

Comprehensive computer screen

Motivational programs

High quality durable design

Cons:

Price

Some find the seat uncomfortable

A staple of CrossFit and HIIT workouts, assault bikes provide a tough full-body workout with little impact. The air resistance from the fan builds as you pedal creating more resistance the harder you work. This challenging aspect makes it difficult not to get a great workout regardless of how fast you go. Users prefer this particular model for the sturdy build and quiet fan.

Read more

Effectiveness

Unlike other exercise bikes, the Air Bike engages your arms as well as your legs for a full upper and lower body workout. The Assault bike utilizes air resistance that builds as you pedal. So, the harder you work the more resistance you are met with. Some care may be required when mounting and dismounting this bike but the stable design poses little risk for falling or slipping off.

Use

As you can imagine this is not a great piece for coasting or zoning out while you clock your 30 minutes of cardio. Whether you keep it steady at a target heart rate or are sprinting for a high-intensity workout, you will be sweating within minutes of climbing on this bike. This hardcore but low impact piece of equipment is great for tough cross-training.

Size

This bike takes up less space than the typical treadmill or elliptical and does feature some front wheels to roll it in and out of storage. However, there are no collapsable features.

Value

There is a very little impact when seated on the bike and slightly more if you choose to stand on the pedals. This is still an improvement on the beating your joints take from regular running on pavement. The price is a bit higher than others on the market but users feel the durable design and quiet fan make the cost easy to justify.

Ease of Use

The comprehensive computer screen shows distance, time, speed, RPM, watts, and calories as well as motivational programs. The seat is adjustable up and down as well as forward and back for a more comfortable fit. Some users do find it uncomfortable for long workouts, however, it does not seem to be a deal-breaker. Those who really do not like it solve the issue easily by adding an extra pad or replacing the seat entirely.

3. Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
94
Use
93
Size
90
Value
96
Ease of Use
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$324.98
Pros:

Easy to store

Comfortable running 

Keeps you running through the winter

Cons:

Small size

275 lb weight limit

This space-saving treadmill is perfect for the home thanks to its folding design. It features a two-position incline and has good cushioning for your comfort. It's also one of the few treadmills that aren't going to break your bank when you purchase it. You'll love the six personal trainer workouts, too.

Read more

Effectiveness

The treadmill is an effective replacement for running or jogging outside. It features six personal trainer workouts and a 2-position manual incline so that you can push yourself as hard or as little as you want. Each workout is designed by a personal trainer who has been certified so that you can get more out of your workout.

Use

It is best used indoors when it's too hot, cold, or rainy to run outside. Treadmills can be a bit risky so this may not be the best option for the clumsy or easily distracted. This particular machine does have an emergency stop key you can clip to your shirt. It also has handles for gripping as you run.

Size

This treadmill is smaller than your typical gym treadmill. The small size, collapsible design, and wheels make this machine easy for storing out of the way. Some users do feel that the size is a bit too small. However, most feel it is adequate for getting in comfortable strides.

Value

Running on a treadmill does have some more impact on your joints than many other machines. However, the treadmill belt is specially designed with a layer of cushioning for the best stride impact absorption. This is a great option for runners on a budget as it is a fraction of the cost of higher-end machines.

Ease of Use

This treadmill is very simple to use thanks to its blue-tinted LCD with priority display. You can track your workout speed, distance, and calories so that you can check on your progress throughout your entire workout. It also monitors your heart rate. When you're done, it simply folds up with just a lifting motion.

4. EFITMENT Elliptical Machine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
EFITMENT Elliptical Machine
EFITMENT Elliptical Machine
EFITMENT Elliptical Machine
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
89
Use
91
Size
92
Value
91
Ease of Use
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.98
Pros:

Easy to assemble

Provides thorough workout

Adaptable to different workout conditions

High quality

Easy to use computer monitor

Safe and sturdy

Cons:

Easy to assemble

Provides thorough workout

Adaptable to different workout conditions

Range of motion takes getting used to

Monitor isn't the best

This small and affordable elliptical is perfect for home use. If your joints are too sore or the weather is just not cooperating, this is a great option to replace a run.

Read more

Effectiveness

Many studies show that low-impact elliptical machines have the potential to raise heart rate and burn calories just as well as running. Some critics note that the movement on an elliptical is restricted and unnatural, making it less effective. It is also easier to slack off on an elliptical than on some of the other machines mentioned.

However, this machine does engage the upper body and comes with 8 resistance settings and a monitor to help you meet your goals.

Use

An elliptical is a great option for getting in some cardio when your joints are hurting. This elliptical has a stable build to ensure safe usage.

Size

This model has a smaller footprint than most and is designed to take up less space in the home. It also has wheels to make it easier to move into and out of storage.

Value

The price is relatively inexpensive for this high quality and durable machine. It is a fraction of the cost of full-sized gym ellipticals.

Ease of Use

This machine is easy to use properly with little learning required. The computer is simple to understand and operate. Elliptical training relieves much of the impact of typical running and will not add additional stress to your joints.

5. Stamina X Air Rowing Machine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Stamina X Air Rowing Machine
Stamina X Air Rowing Machine
Stamina X Air Rowing Machine
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
87
Use
85
Size
89
Value
86
Ease of Use
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$349.00
Pros:

Less expensive

Full body workout

Low impact

Compact and mobile

Cons:

Louder fan and belt

Simple monitor

Not ready to invest in the top of the line Concept2 Rower? This is a solid and more affordable option for easing your way into the very effective full body workout provided by a rowing machine. The computer is a bit more basic and the belt is slightly louder but this machine is a great value for the cost and provides the same great workout. Read more

Read more

Effectiveness

Rowing is a great option for full-body, low-impact cardio. It is a tough and very effective method of cross-training and this model is basic but completely sufficient to give you a good workout.

Use

This option is best for entry-level rowers. The machine and computer are more basic than the Concept2 rower but you will still get an effective full-body workout. With attention to proper form, there are not many risks to using this machine.

Size

This model folds in two for compact storage and featured front wheels allow easy mobility.

Value

Rowing is a very low impact making it a great exercise to strengthen muscles without stressing joints. At less than half of the price of the Concept2 this is a great option for a home cardio machine. Most users agree this rower has great quality for the price.

Ease of Use

Again, there may be a learning curve when beginning rowing. However, the simplistic design and computer are easy to use.

6. Marcy AIR1 Fan Bike

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Marcy AIR1 Fan Bike
Marcy AIR1 Fan Bike
Marcy AIR1 Fan Bike
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
86
Use
84
Size
83
Value
85
Ease of Use
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$224.99
Pros:

Lower price tag

Challenging full body workout

Easy to store

Low impact

Cons:

Loud belt

Not as durable

A more affordable alternative to the Assault Bike. The design and monitor of this Fan Bike are more basic but it uses the same air resistance to create tough workouts at a fraction of the price.

Read more

Effectiveness

The simpler design of this Air Bike provides the same tough, full-body workout as the higher-end models. This is a low-risk machine.

Use

This is a great option for anyone new to resistance biking or those who do not see themselves using it regularly. The simpler monitor and slightly less durable design is perfect for beginners but may not hold up to the harsh punishment of frequent tough workouts.

Size

The fan on this bike is slightly smaller than the Concept2 Assault bike. It does fold in half and has wheels for easy storage.

Value

Fan bikes are a great low impact exercise for cross-training. Great value for the price! This bike is easy to use for challenging workouts for less than half the price of higher-end models.

Ease of Use

This bike is easy to use and features a simple monitor to track speed, time, distance, and calories. The seat and handles are adjustable for a comfortable ride but the fan cannot be adjusted to change resistance.

7. Maxi Climber Vertical Climber

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Maxi Climber Vertical Climber
Maxi Climber Vertical Climber
Maxi Climber Vertical Climber
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
80
Use
81
Size
80
Value
82
Ease of Use
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$143.98
Pros:

Great for muscle toning

Compact

Quiet

Easy to use

Engages upper and lower body

Inexpensive

Cons:

Not as challenging

The vertical climber is a great core and cardio workout for some lower intensity cross-training. There is no added resistance or challenge so you get in what you put out. However, this more affordable machine does engage the upper and lower body for an effective workout.

Read more

Effectiveness

The Maxi Climber engages the upper and lower body for an effective full-body workout. Unlike the Assault bike, it does not challenge the user with increased resistance so you need to push yourself on this machine.

Use

This is a great option for lower intensity cross-training with muscle toning. It will certainly get your heart rate up but the climbing motion will provide a nice burn for muscles throughout your body.

Size

This machine does put more weight in the legs than some others listed but it is still relatively low impact. The climber is fairly small in size and folds for easy storage.

Value

This machine is very safe to use. Some users note a bit of movement with climbing but none feel at risk of tipping over or falling off. This is fairly inexpensive for any cardio machine.

Ease of Use

This climber is easy to use and the ergonomic handles and adjustable height are easy to customize. With an automated timer, you can track your workouts and the quiet nature makes it great for using while watching TV. The pedals are spiked so shoes are required even when at home.

8. Concept2 SkiErg

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Concept2 SkiErg
Concept2 SkiErg
Concept2 SkiErg
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
80
Use
76
Size
83
Value
79
Ease of Use
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$815.00
Pros:

Easy to assemble 

Provides thorough workout

Adaptable to different workout conditions

Light and mobile

Monitors performance

Wall mount and stand options

Cons:

May require maintenance in long-term

The Concept2 SkiErg is a bit of a unique cardio machine, simulating the challenge of skiing. The solid construction and ergonomic design of the SkiErg make it a smooth machine in both appearance and use. The SkiErg performs as well as it looks and will provide anyone with a challenging and fulfilling workout.

Read more

Effectiveness

This machine is praised for its ability to utilized many muscle groups. Concept2’s SkiErg may not seem like it, but it works on many different groups of muscles simultaneously, giving you a well-rounded workout.

Use

The Concept2 SkiErg is meant for intense sessions dedicated to improving your strength and endurance. The flywheel adjusts to your pull strength to maximize the potential of each rep and each set. No safety concerns or issues have been reported with the SkiErg. The SkiErg has also been reviewed as being quite stable.

Size

The SkiErg isn’t notably big and also can either be arranged with a floor stand or a wall mount so you can put it wherever is most convenient for you.

Value

The Concept2 SkiErg comes at a rather high cost, but the product's performance and long-term quality are noteworthy, making it well worth it. The SkiErg does use pull cables which will see consistent wear, so something to consider in the long run is the eventual need to replace them.

Ease of Use

The SkiErg is an incredibly accessible machine. It is easy to assemble, with options to either have the machine wall-mounted or set on the floor with an additional stand. The SkiErg is also light and maneuverable when not mounted.

9. Schwinn AD6 Airdyne

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.6
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
79
Use
74
Size
76
Value
77
Ease of Use
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$699.00
Pros:

Quiet

Heavy and sturdy

Provides challenging workout

Good for recovery use

Easy to assemble

Good fan placement

Smooth ride

HRM and RPM tracking

Cons:

May have belt issues

Display is hard to read

Seat uncomfortably designed

What isn’t to love about an exercise bike that rewards you for your hard work with a gentle cooling breeze? The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike not only turns your efforts into comfort but in doing so allows you to keep cool and push your session that much farther.

Read more

Effectiveness

The AD6 Airdyne’s full cardio challenge comes from its very nature as a fan bike. The fan blades are scooped to make the air harder to push. Thus in your efforts to cool yourself, you end up working harder. This creates a cycle that makes certain that you will work as hard as you can.

Use

Exercise bikes are a good tool when going outside for your cardio isn’t an option. Rain and cold are usually inhibiting factors, but this bike is also a good option in areas where it becomes too hot to go outside since it has that additional cooling factor.

Size

The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne isn’t notably big or small. It does have front-mounted wheels to aid in moving the equipment if needed. Users of the Airdyne praise it for being a low impact and smart choice for those recovering from surgery or injury.

Value

The AD6 isn’t the most affordable option on this list, but few products will be able to promise a comprehensive upper and lower body cardio workout all while cooling you off in the process. This is why believe that the Schwinn’s AD6 Airdyne is deserving of a place on this list.

Ease of Use

This Schwinn exercise bike is easy to assemble, meaning you will be free to work out with it in no time. The bike also rides smoothly and has specialized balanced paddles with securing straps. You can also track your RPM and heart rate with the AD6, but the display isn’t lit so it has some visibility issues.

10. Sunny Health and Fitness Mini-Stepper with Resistance Bands

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73
Sunny Health and Fitness Mini-Stepper with Resistance Bands
Sunny Health and Fitness Mini-Stepper with Resistance Bands
Sunny Health and Fitness Mini-Stepper with Resistance Bands
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
77
Use
73
Size
74
Value
70
Ease of Use
71
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$41.66
Pros:

Stays grounded

High quality

Compact

No assembly needed

Cons:

Seems expensive for the size

Limited movement

Does not engage full body

A fraction of the size and cost of a bulky Stairmaster, this machine is great for cardio and working the glutes and calves. Unlike most stair steppers, this device does not have grab bars to get in the way of natural arm movement. The resistance bands are a nice extra feature, letting you get an upper body workout while you're also working your lower body.

Read more

Effectiveness

Stair steppers are a great way to raise heart rate while toning the calves and glutes. In general, the stepping movement is a bit unnatural and restricted but this small machine actually has an advantage over the large stair steppers as it allows your arms to swing naturally. This stepper is solidly built to support sprint workouts as well as steady climbing.

Use

This is great for any intensity cross-training that focuses on toning the lower body. The resistance bands also let you choose to add in an upper body workout as well.

Size

Higher impact than seated machines but still less impact than running outside. This stepper is a fraction of the size of any other machine listed and is very easy to store away.

Value

This small stepper is safe and easy to use. This may seem pricey for this small piece of equipment but this compact stair master solidly built and stays stably grounded during your workout, unlike budget options.

Ease of Use

This stepper requires no setup and is very simple to use. The resistance is easily adjustable and the silicone fluid makes for quiet and smooth.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

Investing in a cardio machine that is effective and helps you reach your goals should be a the top of the list, which is why we made sure to put it at the top of our list to ensure that we provide you with the best cardio machines out there.

Probably the baseline criteria for this list is the effectiveness of the machines. Whether this is your first piece of equipment or you are adding to an established home gym, it’s common sense that the effectiveness of a machine is one of its most important aspects. You will want a machine that is capable of producing results, no question.

In order to fully assess how effective each of the cardio machines we chose to feature on our list, we made sure to take a look at countless user reviews before we decided to place them on our list of reviews. Sometimes you don't know how effective a product is until you put it to the test, which is why we take a look at real-world user reviews.

All in all, you need to make sure you invest in a cardio machine that will work for you and help you effectively reach your goals--whether it is to lose weight, run faster, or improve your overall athletic performance. Make sure you put your preferences and needs into consideration to ensure you get something that works for you.

Use

The cardio machine you invest in should be something you look forward to using every time you want to get some cardio in. We rated our choices on the types of exercises you can do with each machine.

It is important to consider what each cardio machine is ideally suited for. Each machine will help raise your heart rateto keep you in great cardiovascular shape, but it can also help you strengthen and tone certain muscle areas. Some machines are ideally suited to replace your outdoor runs and others are best for working different muscles in cross-training to complement your regular running schedule.

We looked for options that cover a wide spectrum of needs--so there should be an option on our list for everyone no matter who you are. As you can see we included everything from treadmills and rowers to skiers and walkers. So, if there is a specific type of exercise you prefer, then we got you covered.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure you get something you enjoy using--after all, if you are working out inside and getting your cardio in rain or shine you might as well do something you enjoy. The cardio machine should also be straight to the point and offer the versatility you need (or don't need).

Size

Before you buy, make sure your cardio machine fits in your space--the last thing you want is to end up with something that's way too big and in the way.

One of the first ways something is innovated is through making it more compact. Exercise machines used to be much more cumbersome and bulky, but now most companies have developed more compact and easy to store options. A lot of them are also much more portable today then they were back in the day.

The portable options allow you to easily move them around when you need to. If you get something that folds up, you will be able to easily store it or move it out of the way when you have guests over. The lighter options are also less bulky and easier to set up when--so if it's just you then you will love these.

Last but not least, if you realize you don't have the space for the cardio machine on our list that you truly want, try and consider the smaller or lighter options that are not at the top of your list. If you don't plan on moving to a place where you have space anytime soon and don't want to give your cardio routine, then you may have to compromise with yourself.

Value

Value is not just about money, so make sure to take everything into account before deciding whether or not the investment is worth it.

A cardio machine is an investment. Keeping that in mind, the machines on this list aren’t the cheapest or the most expensive, but the cardio machines that give the most bang for the buck. However, we did make sure to include options for everyone--no matter what your budget is--so if you want to spend a pretty penny you certainly can if you want to.

To determine the overall value of the treadmills featured on our list of reviews, we made sure to look at all of the features they had to offer. This is important because we don't want our readers to overpay for something that they don't need. If you know you need something that is jam-packed with features that's fine but stay away from those models if you don't need them.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to ensure you invest in a cardio machine that works for you. It should definitely fit your budget and should turn out to be a great long term investment. Remember, just because something is the most expensive option on our list, does not mean it's the best so stick with your main needs and preferences before you buy.

Ease of Use

Ease of use one of the most important factors to consider because no one wants a cardio machine that is difficult to use or get used to.

The convenience of a gym comes partly from having staff available to assist and advise you on your workout. It is unlikely you will have such expertise on hand at home. This is why we believe having easy to use machines is essential, so you won’t end up with a machine that will worry or intimidate you.

Before you buy, take a look at product reviews to see what real-world users have to say about the cardio machines you are considering. Sometimes the best way to see how easy to use a cardio machine can be is by putting it to the test and seeing what other people have to say. This is especially important for those of you who want something jam-packed with features.

If you are tech-savvy you probably won't have a problem with any of the machines on our list. On the other hand, if you aren't super techy, some of these may have a bit of a learning curve because of all of the features and connectivity options they have to offer. Stick to what you need and what you know you can use and you should be fine.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Great for injuries

Using equipment at home vs the real thing can work wonders for those of us who have specific injuries and low-impact sports needs.

Price over time

Gyms and athletic clubs can be very expensive, even though you may have sticker shock from a one-time machine purchase. Over time, with routine maintenance, you can definitely save money.

Other Factors to Consider

Responsiveness

Every runner varies on their preferred exercise tempo. Some people live for the high-intensity workouts such as CrossFit or HIIT that leave you in a sweaty heap on the floor. Others are looking for a steadier tempo to raise their heart rate and stay in shape. It is important to consider where on this spectrum you fall.

If you really hate to go anaerobic, an assault bike may not be the best option for you. Just as those who thrive on high-intensity work may not be satisfied by an elliptical. Those who like to go hard one day and nice and steady the next may look into a more versatile machine such as a treadmill or spin bike.

At the end of the day, you know yourself best. If you don't have any experience with using a cardio machine, then you need to make sure you get something that works with you and not against you. So, no matter what you get, you need to make sure you invest in a machine that is responsive to your every movement.

Application

Consider what you are looking for in a cardio machine and how you plan to incorporate it into your exercise routine. Machines such as a rower, assault bike, or vertical climber engage different muscles than running. These machines serve as great additions to a runner’s workout schedule and can be valuable options for cross-training.

Other options, such as the treadmill and elliptical, simulate the running motion and are more appropriate for supplementing runs when you cannot make it outside or are injured. When considering the purpose you may also think about how often you will use this machine. The price of these machines correlates with durability and sophistication.

So, while every machine on this list is high quality, some are going to be more durable and can take more punishment than others. If you plan to exercise regularly at high intensity, you may consider investing in a higher-end model. However, if you plan to use this machine more moderately, save some money by opting for a simpler machine.

Safety Hazards

At the end of the day, you need to make sure you prevent injury and ensure you get a cardio machine that will prevent injury and help you recover from any injuries you may be dealing with. When we took a look at the safety hazards of each of our selections we made sure to dig deep and make sure no consistent injury.

Injury recovery

Cardio machines can provide an excellent break from running when recovering from an injury. However, some machines may be better than others for certain types of pain. For example, if you have knee pain, avoid the treadmill and those with back pain may want to avoid the rower machine. If you are having consistent pain, talk with your doctor about what machine would work best for you.

Emergency stop system

Make sure you take a look at how the cardio machines are stopped and how the emergency system works. In the case of an emergency, you need to ensure you invest in a system that will quickly and safely stop when you need it to. At the end of the day, it's important to watch out for your own safety and get something will work effectively for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is the best cardio machine if I want to lose weight?

a:

As far as burning calories, any of these machines will work well. Machines that engage more muscles in the body will burn more calories than those who don’t. Ultimately, the best machine for weight loss will be the one that you use most regularly.

q: I suffer from shin splints, other than a treadmill what type of cardio machine can I use?

a:

If you are tired of dealing with shin splints or if you are more prone to them when you run on a treadmill, then you will want to consider investing in a rower or a bike. These cardio machines minimize the weight put on your legs so they reduce strain and minimize common injuries, like shin splints.

q: Can I set these cardio machines up by myself?

a:

In a word, yes! While you may want another person there to help, all of these machines either come complete without needing to be assembled or require simple assembly and come with clear instructions. Gone are the days of overcomplicated and bulky machines!

These companies all know that nowadays customers expect simple assembly (if there is any at all), and will choose another option if their machine seems like it will be difficult to assemble.

q: Any suggestions on keeping myself motivated?

a:

We understand where you're coming from! Most of us have purchased something in the past that ended up just sitting around gathering dust. All of the machines on our list of the best cardio machines are really easy and enjoyable to use, which will help keep you motivated. We also recommend putting the machine somewhere you will see it often to help motivate you.

Finally, we suggest rewarding yourself for your workout: watch a favorite show while working out, or get caught up on a favorite audiobook. By doing something you enjoy while working out, you'll be much more likely to use your machine, and will build a great at-home workout habit! And, of course, investing in one of the best cardio machines will definitely get you on the right path!