Best Ellipticals – 2021 Buying Guide
Finding the best elliptical machine for your home gym doesn't have to be a hassle because we did the research for you. Our line up offers a few different styles that range from high end to more affordable and versatile options. We are confident you’ll find what you need here, knowing you will get some great info to guide you in your search.
Just scroll through and check out the Criteria section. You can get tons of information on what to look for when finding the best home elliptical while answering any questions you may have in the FAQs.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Machines that give you a good workout as quickly as possible get the highest scores.
The best elliptical machines are designed to give you an extensive workout without adding strain to the joints, tendons or ligaments. Each platform should give a smooth transition with each push while pushing your muscles, offering a consistent stride and deep cardio work out.
Another addition to the most effective elliptical machines is arm guides. These push your upper body from side to side to give you an even better workout. This elevates heart rate and burns fat faster while strengthening and toning the upper body as well.
Top elliptical machines are an effective tool in alleviating pain and other ailments that running may have caused. They should give a smoother option to any work out while giving you just as much intensity, taking out the strain and pain associated with high impact routines.
Modern ellipticals have a wide variety of options. When looking for an elliptical for sale, it's wise to research those features to know what you are getting.
Today, elliptical machines can come with a wide variety of high-tech options. Bluetooth connectivity, fitness apps, pre-programmed fitness programs, and even latte makers. OK, we're just kidding about the latte makers, but it's amazing the technology that's now being put into these machines. Before buying we recommend thinking about whether or not you want a machine that offers you the ability to use fitness apps and have pre-programmed settings. They can be helpful but certainly aren't necessary and can add to the overall cost.
Elliptical trainers come in three basic configurations. This is determined by the location of the machine’s drive system or flywheel. The majority of models integrate this into the back, the side, or the front of the machine. This can have an impact on functionality, and on the amount of space that the elliptical requires. The three main configurations include:
1. Front-Drive Elliptical Machine
The flywheel is placed on the front part of the machine, perfect for big housing. Most of the time this design will have its pedals securely supported on its wheels. Prone to noise and increased vibration.
2. Center-Drive Elliptical Machine
The flywheel is centrally placed and the pedals have been placed in a way that they can ride on the rollers (that are cylindrical in nature) and a crankshaft. Its the most compact trainer of all the three designs. The center drive trainer is a new model in the market and has the flywheel located on its side, with similar compatibility as the rear drive trainer with very few models of this kind having the foldable feature.
3. Rear-Drive Elliptical Machine
This design has its flywheel on the sides and might be made with a track & roller setting. Its pedals are normally placed on the pedal arms that are long, just between the hand grips that are moving and the drive. The pedals are in the center which means that the ride is smooth and quieter. They are normally very long in size and design.
Ease of Use
Having a machine that's simple to use will help you enjoy the experience and you'll be more likely to use it and stick with your fitness routine.
When choosing the best elliptical machines, we made sure to choose those that were easier to set up and use. Some are even foldable and space-efficient. However, the goal is to offer the top machines that are easy to use so you can spend more time working on your body and less time trying to figure out how.
An easy to set up and use elliptical machine is going to offer user-friendly controls and clear instructions. Monitors and screens should be easy to read and use as well. There shouldn’t be any technical interference when you are trying to hit those health goals, especially when you’ve invested in more expensive equipment like an elliptical.
Using consumer feedback and researching what people were looking for in the top-rated elliptical machines guided us to choose machines with good resistance guides as well. You want a good range for different style workouts that don’t lag or cause too much force to be needed to rotate the elliptical. This was a huge factor to a lot of consumers, therefore we took it pretty seriously.
Another overlooked part of the Ease of Use criteria is maintenance. Things happen and machines aren't always the easiest to send back to the manufacturer although most come with some sort of warranty. We chose elliptical machines that needed very little repair and those that when needed, were very easy to fix.
While reading elliptical trainer reviews and considering to buy one for your home gym, remember to think about the size and space. Before shopping be sure to measure the space you want to put the machine to make sure the one you want can fit.
Before purchasing, be sure to measure the space you’ll be placing the machine in.
Elliptical machines can be tall and large, depending on what you prefer. Measuring the area you want to put it in in your home gym is going to be huge when choosing what best fits your needs.
We came up with a list of some versatile machines. Some fold up and store away, while most are stationary but compact.
There are industrial options that are used for more gym use but we tried to stick to what works for consumers like yourself that want to invest in their at-home training. Another thing to consider is the motions of the elliptical or far your arms and legs will reach.
Sometimes these motions extend beyond the range of the stationary part of the elliptical machine. Open the stride and find what works for the space you have, giving a good 2 to 3-foot clearance space.
These machines can be expensive, so make sure you choose wisely and choose what features you want while avoiding the ones you don't.
This criterion is extremely important when you are investing in any sort of home gym equipment. It can be expensive and you want to get the most for your money.
If you are searching for the best ellipticals for your home gym then you are already thinking budget. Picking out price versus features and style are huge because larger equipment is an investment in a healthy lifestyle versus just buying something like a matt. They aren't small and usually aren’t cheap.
You can choose from standard, at-home use elliptical or go elite. Either way, it all depends on what you are using it for. This is why we came up with the list so you could get a better idea of what consumers were investing in that work for almost any setup.
Versatility in value is huge as well. You want machines that are going to offer you the most effective work out without the hassle of breaking down. You want an elliptical machine that is going to work for you no matter the cost.
Top 20 Elliptical Machine Reviews
1. NordicTrack C 7.5
This is the best elliptical for home out there. This elliptical machine has lots of settings to choose from, is easy to use, and a great investment if you need something to last you the long haul.Read more
This elliptical machine has 26 built-in workouts to choose from. It counts your calories, lets you choose your intensity, and delivers a smooth and natural ride. It can hold up to 325 pounds and one-touch controls for a quick response.
It has 22 digital resistance that is controlled by one-touch controls--so you can get an easy or hard workout, whatever you choose.
Cost and Value
Pretty pricey out of all the other ellipticals for sale, but worth it if it fits your budget.
2. Nautilus E616
The Nautilus E616 boasts several features that many users find incredibly useful. It's pretty pricey for an elliptical machine but well worth it if you are looking for a high-quality elliptical machine to have in your home.Read more
This elliptical machine has Bluetooth connectivity and an app to sync to this way it can track your progress and save your workouts. The fun part is it syncs to RUnSocial App--so you can work out with other people in other parts of the world and has 27 different real routes--similar to the Peloton bike. It has 29 different programs to choose from, and LCD display, and built-in speakers.
This Nautilus elliptical machine has 25 different levels of intensity and resistance along with 29 different workout programs to choose from.
Cost and Value
Expensive but worth it given all of the features it provides
3. Precor EFX 222 Energy
This elliptical machine is pretty pricey, but if you want a high-quality piece of equipment for your home then we recommend you take a look. If it's within your budget, you will find it offers lots of extra features that you will find useful.Read more
This is a high-quality elliptical machine that has a patented design to ensure your comfort and perfect your posture. t has easy to use a display that will track your progress and help you watch your heart rate during your workouts.
This elliptical machine had 3 different settings to choose from and you can adjust your speed and intensity with the display screen.
Cost and Value
Really expensive, but if you need a gym-quality elliptical machine, then this is an excellent one to consider.
4. Octane Fitness ZR7
The Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner is a very quiet elliptical machine with many different functions. You can use it as a stair climber, elliptical or treadmill. It’s cordless, so you won’t need to worry about finding a place near a chord to use. You can practically place it in the middle of your living room!Read more
The elliptical machine has ample space to hold a computer or tablet and a water bottle. The technology features Bluetooth capabilities with options to connect to apps and get customized training programs (for additional fees). You get 35 programs and the heart rate monitor has wireless technology in it.
It has a motion of up to 58 inches with no incline available. Extra resistance is available with extra equipment that comes with the machine.
Cost and Value
The elliptical machine comes with a price range from middle to high cost with a 5-year warranty for parts and one year for labor.
5. Stamina In-Motion
This compact elliptical machine is perfect for the home or office. It can be used sitting, standing, or peddling in reverse. The versatility of this model is incredible. You can workout while reading a book, watching television, or even working. For those looking for an elliptical machine that's easy on the joints, this is a great choice.Read more
This machine's display console shows workout time, total strides, strides per minute, and calories burned. Its petals are textured, so you can rest assured knowing that your feet aren't going to slip. This model is very compact and can be stored easily under a desk or in a closet.
The intensity of your workout can be adjusted by simply turning the "tension knob." It is convenient and easy to use making it one of the most preferred elliptical machines.
Cost and Value
This model is very affordable and comes with a one year warranty on the frame and a 90-day warranty on parts.
6. Sole Fitness E35
This durable, heavy-duty elliptical machine does a great job of providing a quiet, smooth workout which can be performed either in a forward or reverse motion. The heavy flywheel ensures a very stable and secure feel. This model has moving handlebars that can be adjusted for comfort, as well as stationary handlebars that monitor your heart rate.Read more
This model features six pre-programmed standard workouts, two custom programs, and two programs designed for heart rate. A backlit 7.5 inch LCD display shows essential data such as your speed, calories burned, and time elapsed. A built-in fan keeps you cool, and a sound system and water bottle holder are built into the console.
It also has a pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring, ensuring you receive the most accurate reading possible. Other features include cooling fans and built-in speakers for any MP3 player or iPod. Its weight capacity is 375 pounds, which is relatively high compared to other models.
With 20 different levels of resistance and power-adjustable incline, you will definitely receive a challenging workout from this model. It has a 20-22 inch stride length, and the ramp angle can be adjusted up to 30 degrees.
Cost and Value
This model is priced in the mid-to-high range. It comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, a five-year warranty on parts, and a two-year warranty on labor.
7. ElliptiGO 8C
This unique elliptical machine is the "world's first outdoor elliptical bike and your best indoor elliptical trainer" all in one. It sits higher up than a traditional bicycle and has comfortable multi-position grips to hold on to. The front and rear wheels are each 20 inches total and the frame weighs 44 pounds.Read more
With eight levels of resistance or speeds, this is a great choice for those who like to switch up their workouts. Its height can be adjusted from 16 to 25 inches, so you can choose the perfect measurement for you. This machine is ideal for those who want to work out outdoors on various types of terrains.
This model can go up to 25mph and can incline to 30%. It has a total resistance range of 306%.
Cost and Value
While this machine is relatively costly compared to others on the market, it is well worth the price.
8. ProForm Hybrid
This model gives you the option to choose between a cardio recumbent bike and a total toning elliptical. The versatility of this trainer makes it perfect for those looking to work out a variety of muscles. With over-sized, adjustable pedals, it's comfortable to use and your feet won't slip.Read more
This trainer comes with 16 pre-programmed workout apps to make your job simpler. All you have to do is press start. It has soft grips to hold on to, so you don't have to worry about your hands becoming uncomfortable. other features include a water bottle holder, MP3 port, and an EKG grip pulse. Its weight capacity is 350 pounds.
This model features 16 digital resistance levels designed to take you from beginner to pro and its stride length is 15 inches.
Cost and Value
This elliptical trainer machine is moderately priced. It falls among the mid-range priced models. It also comes with a 5-year frame warranty and a 90-day parts warranty.
9. Schwinn 470
This machine has so much to offer when it comes to adding bells and whistles. An excellent option for runners who have issues with their joints. You will definitely not have any issues with impacting your knees or ankles using this machine. One of the best options if you’re on a budget, considering the machine is less than $1000. This one also has a ton of technology positives, including Bluetooth connectivity, connection to fitness apps, LCD screens and different displays.Read more
In addition to all the tech features, the machine also has 29 programs included, 4 user profiles so you can customize programs for different people in the family. It also has a fan which comes in handy when you’re on your workout.
The Schwinn 470 boasts of 25 resistance levels included, 5 incline and resistance keys.
Cost and Value
Schwinn elliptical has a low to medium cost that includes a 10-year warranty on the frame, 2 years warranty on the mechanical, 1-year warranty on the electrical and 90-day warranty on the labor.
10. Schwinn 430
This Schwinn elliptical is a high-quality machine is very popular due to its variety of workout programs and its extensive display console. Two distinct user settings enable you to keep your exercise preferences programmed even after someone else uses the machine.Read more
This machine comes with 22 built-in workouts and has a dual LCD window system which enables you to track up to 13 different display feedbacks. It comes with a charging USB port and goal-tracking system as well. Simply use SchwinnConnect to export your progress and data to your phone or computer in order to stay on top of your fitness goals. It has a weight capacity of 350 pounds and a stride length of 20 inches.
The Schwinn 430 Elliptical comes with 20 different levels of resistance and has a 10-degree manual ramp with 6 positions to choose from.
Cost and Value
This mid-range model is moderately priced and you are guaranteed some of the best features of an elliptical machine.
11. Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical
Exerpeutic, made by Paradigm Health & Wellness, has some pretty decent gear available. The Aero Air Elliptical Machine is definitely worth a look if you're interested in adding a few more tools to your home gym toolbox. We like this one a lot as a good starter, or for those who don't need to spend a ton of money on the extras that they might not tend to actually use.Read more
The computer is decent, not quite as loaded with workout features as a more expensive model, but it is good for getting the job done. The LCD display is easy to read and will give you enough data to keep track of you workouts and progression. You can even peddle backwards on this machine to add a little more to your session.
The workout intensity can be easily adjusted between 8 different magnetic resistance levels to allow a more challenging and effective session. The one-foot long stride is good for just about all sizes of different users. The resistance
Cost and Value
This one is definitely an ideal machine for getting started or a smaller place. We wouldn't put it on our list if we didn't think it would be a valuable investment.
12. Schwinn Compact
These machines often take up as much room in your home gym as a full-sized treadmill, but this compact option from Schwinn is built to save you some room! It is incredibly small and compact but is packed with all of the features you want out of your workout equipment.Read more
The dashboard boasts a large LCD screen that displays important information such as your calories burned, time spent working out, speed, and distance. The swinging handlebars host a metal plate to even detect your heart rate as you train. It is also compatible with the RunSocial app, so even if you are stuck at home you can still go for a ride with your friends!
One thing worth noting is that the stride on this option isn’t as long as some of the full-size models. Standard sizes have a typical stride that measures to be 20 inches, and this compact size only has a stride of 16 inches. This shouldn’t impact on calories burned. The only setback of a shortened stride is that you won’t activate as many muscle groups, and it may feel a tad unnatural.
Cost and Value
If you are in the market for something that saves you space so you have the room to buy more gear, this is a great choice! It comes in at an affordable price point for a trusted brand, and it is packed with features to help you get the most out of your ride.
If money is a little tight, this option from MaxKare is a great option that saves the strain on your bank account. It is packed with features that keep you excited about working out and have resistance levels that scale as you build powerful muscles in your legs. It also uses a smart flywheel that offers a smooth and quiet ride.Read more
What we liked most about this option from MaxKare is that it has a front flywheel that uses magnetic resistance instead of inertia or friction resistance. By using magnets, it creates a very smooth and quiet ride, and it is a lot more durable than other designs that don’t opt for magnetic flywheels.
This design also boasts a super simple LCD screen that makes getting started a snap.
The central screen displays your heart rate, calories burned, time traveled, speed, and distance. Users can adjust the resistance up to 8 levels by turning a knob on the front of the device.
Cost and Value
If you are in the market for something that is simple yet effective (and affordable) this design from MaxKare is worth checking out. It is composed of quality materials that hold up well over time, and it is incredibly easy to use.
14. SNODE E20i
This design from SNODE has a few key features that make it stand out from the pack. Not only is it packed with smart design features for an easy ride, but it is also a little bit smaller than most and super easy to transport from room to room. If you like a change of indoor scenery every once in a while, this is a great option.Read more
The dashboard of this design is Bluetooth compatible so that you can pair your favorite health app to this unit. It has a smart display that is easy on the eyes and makes reading your numbers quick and easy. The screen displays your resistance levels, sets workout programs, shows distance traveled, speed, and calories burned. It even monitors your heart rate!
By using a magnetic rear flywheel, users can easily adjust the tension on the pedals with just the turn of the knob. Resistance levels span 12 different levels, which is slightly higher than other magnetic options out there on the market. Magnetic resistance also provides a smooth and quiet ride as well.
Cost and Value
If you are in the market for something that comes with all of the commercial bells and whistles without the commercial price tag, this is a great option. Plus, it has a pair of wheels on the base that makes transporting this unit from room to room easy on your lower back.