An elliptical machine allows you to get good aerobic exercise without putting too much strain on your joints. And, while they’re a common sight at most local gyms, it’s no surprise that you can get your stride on in the privacy of your own house.

Choosing one of the best elliptical machines for your home is a significant investment, so there are a few key characteristics to consider before you open your wallet.

To choose the best ellipticals, we examined the most popular models on the market and filtered things down based on aspects such as exercise alternatives, ease of usage, and price. With that in mind, here are 10 elliptical machines that are excellent additions to your home gym.
We offer a full review for every elliptical trainer, beginning with our Top Pick, the Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine, and continuing with a Buyer’s Guide and FAQS about the finest elliptical trainer and much more.

Best Affordable Elliptical Machines at a Glance

BEST OVERALL
SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Machine
9.7
SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Machine

The Schwinn 411 is an economical elliptical machine, and it has an outstanding set of performance specifications and features. The 411 features an 18-inch stride length, 16 levels of resistance, and 13 built-in exercise routines. The console also supports Bluetooth and is compatible with chest strap heart rate monitoring.

BEST BUDGET
Marcy Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine
9.5
Marcy Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine

The oversized pedals hold your feet securely in place, and the vinyl-covered foam grips provide an ergonomic grip for a safe and pleasant workout. It also has eight preset magnetic resistance levels for a personalized exercise, and an easy-to-read LCD dashboard with time, speed, distance, and calories.

BEST VALUE
Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Elliptical Peddler
9.1
Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Elliptical Peddler

It has a steel interior frame and base plate, which significantly increases the unit's overall sturdiness. It easily comes completely constructed and is quite portable. The pedals on the device are big enough to fit shoes of various sizes. They contain inner and outer guards for added foot stability, as well as a textured anti-slip surface.

Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine – Best Overall

What we like

  • It has a tiny footprint, making it ideal for small areas.
  • Heart rate monitoring with Bluetooth
  • Smooth magnetic resistance has 16 levels.
  • Despite its compact size, the machine has a heavier capacity of 300 pounds.
  • Schwinn provides excellent customer service and has an excellent warranty policy.

What we don’t like

  • The stride length of 18″ is shorter than average elliptical trainers.
  • There is no illumination on the basic console.
  • There is no adjustable inclination (not even manually)

The Schwinn 411 is the company’s most economical elliptical machine to date. Having said that, it has a fairly outstanding set of performance specifications and features, which I can’t say for most ellipticals in this price bracket.

The 411 features an 18-inch stride length, 16 levels of resistance, and 13 built-in exercise routines. The console also supports Bluetooth and is compatible with heart rate monitoring through a chest strap.

Schwinn goes a step further and backs the 411 with a pretty good warranty, which we don’t often see in this price bracket. Overall, if you’re on a limited budget, I think the 411 is a great investment.

Marcy Elliptical Trainer Cardio Workout – Best Budget

What we like

  • It has a low-profile design, and it’s light in weight.
  • This is a low-cost piece of equipment that will provide a nice alternative to the gym
  • It’s relatively simple to use.
  • It can be easily assembled.
  • It is not loud to use.

What we don’t like

  • The ride isn’t as smooth as it might be on more costly gym equipment.
  • There aren’t many tension settings.
  • The mileage tracking appears to be inaccurate.
  • Be careful not to strike your knees on the handles, especially if you are tall.

The Marcy elliptical machine is an all-in-one workstation that allows you to exercise both your upper and lower body simultaneously. This is ideal for developing various muscle groups and carrying out full exercises at home.

This revolutionary fitness equipment simulates walking, jogging, and climbing stairs with 8 resistance levels. It has a tension knob that lets you adjust the resistance to meet your specific exercise goals.

It also contains an ultra-functional battery-powered LCD panel that allows you to keep track of time passed, distance traveled, and calories burned while skimming across the display to monitor your progress.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3872 Magnetic Under Desk – Best Value Under Desk Elliptical

What we like

  • Compact design, compact footprint.
  • A lifting handle is provided.
  • Front caps with anti-slip properties and EVA base pads.
  • Larger pedals with inner and outer protection.
  • Magnetic resistance technology with no friction (8 stages)
  • Belt drive technology provides a smooth and silent pedaling motion.

What we don’t like

  • For its price, the digital monitor included is below average
  • Does not allow for standing-up exercise (exclusively for use while seated).

You can track speed, time, distance, and calories with its digital monitor, which is centrally positioned. Additionally, you may use the scan function to scroll over all variables while working out. It’s one of the best affordable elliptical machines on the market.

The Sunny Health Fitness SF E3872 elliptical combines a belt-drive motor with magnetic resistance to provide a low-maintenance, smooth, and silent workout. With the use of the tension knob, you may choose between 8 degrees of resistance to enhance your workout intensity as you gain muscle endurance.

Furthermore, its low-profile elliptical will fit under most desks and around your favorite chairs, allowing you to work out while sitting in a variety of situations, and its centrally situated transportation handles make moving your elliptical a breeze.

Stamina InMotion Elliptical – Best Mini Elliptical

What we like

  • 3 color options
  • The tension is adjustable
  • It can be used to pedal forward or backward.
  • Quiet and smooth operation

What we don’t like

  • More expensive than other models
  • The non-slip base is ineffective

The Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer is an inexpensive approach to indulge in a low-impact cardio exercise whenever and wherever you choose.

Because it hides conveniently under a desk or in a closet, it is lightweight and compact enough to use at home or at the workplace. You may also use it while sitting, standing, or in reverse to target various muscles.

This small and light equipment makes it simple to use and transfer to any house or business, especially if you’re just using it as a desk elliptical with minimal resistance. It’s arguable if you’ll get long-term usage out of the Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer if you use it standing up and at high intensities.

Gazelle Gedgecat Edge Glider – Best Alternative

What we like

  • The patented dual-action split suspension provides a wide range of motion.
  • Excellent for individuals with knee issues, joint discomfort, the elderly, the obese, and those with limited mobility.
  • Train from the convenience of your own home.
  • It works every muscle in your body, from your forearms to your biceps and triceps, abs, obliques, shoulders, and your whole legs and glutes.

What we don’t like

  • After a few weeks of use, it squeaks slightly.
  • The bottle holder is far too tiny.

The Edge’s unrivaled range of motion allows you to go from a leisurely stroll to a full sprint with no sudden stops, so you don’t put unnecessary strain on your joints.

It contains an easy-to-use console that gives you instant information on your speed, distance, time, and estimated calories burnt. The patent-pending, dual-action split suspension gives you a full range of motion and flexibility of movement.

It also includes a 1-1/2-inch gauge steel frame that can support up to 250 pounds with extra-wide, nonskid foot platforms for enhanced stability and high-density foam-covered handlebars for maximum comfort.

The equipment can also be folded rapidly for convenient storage, so it won’t take up room in your house. Also, it’s one of the best affordable elliptical trainers on the market.

Body Rider Body Flex Elliptical – Best For the Inexperienced

What we like

  • Simple to use
  • A low budget alternative
  • Its overall size is compact
  • Doesn’t require any electricity to operate

What we don’t like

  • The equipment could wobble when being used
  • The chain drive system can be a bit noisy
  • The stride is a little short

The rotating handlebars keep your arms engaged while propelling you forward. This implies that the machine can provide you with a great lower and upper body workout. Exceptional outcomes are expected everywhere with the Body Rider Body Flex Elliptical.

Also, if you believed you needed a mansion to build your home gym, you were mistaken. Because of its small form, this elliptical trainer can fit virtually everywhere. It’s also completely portable, thanks to the attached transfer wheel.

Furthermore, this is terrific training equipment for any skill level, whether you’re just starting in the fitness world or a seasoned athlete. Because elliptical workouts are low-impact on joints, they are also an excellent form of exercise for seniors.

Fitness Reality E5500XL – Best For Levels of Resistance

What we like

  • At a relatively low price, you get high-quality components and many functions.
  • High construction quality.
  • Magnetic resistance has 24 levels that may be easily adjusted via the console.
  • A dual transmission system that aids in the retention of momentum during exercises.
  • There are 21 built-in full-body workouts to choose from.
  • Smooth stride action and relatively quiet performance.

What we don’t like

  • There are no inclination choices 
  • There is just a one-year limited manufacturing warranty.

The Fitness Reality E5500XL Elliptical provides you with all of the fitness routines you need to track your progress. The smooth 18-inch stride, 24 resistance levels, and smart goal management computer offer you any training difficulty you want.

The equipment is meant to be much more compact than other elliptical trainers, with coronary heart rate sensors that target your coronary heart charge zone.

This highly adaptable and dependable gadget is jam-packed with features that may easily outperform its competition. Users may determine how difficult their workouts should be based on the various magnetic resistance levels and a library of pre-installed routines.

Schwinn 470 Elliptical – Best For Low-Cost Ellipticals

What we like

  • Changing the position of the handlebars for total-body toning
  • Training feedback is provided by a DualTrack blue backlit LCD window system.
  • Having an elliptical stride of 20 inches
  • 25 levels of resistance
  • Magnetic braking that is smooth
  • 29 fitness plans that may be customized, including 9 with heart rate control
  • Wireless heart rate chest straps are supported.
  • Bluetooth allows you to share workout data with fitness monitoring applications.

What we don’t like

  • The labor warranty is only valid for 90 days.
  • Maintenance is occasionally needed within six months.
  • Pedaling isn’t especially smooth for heavyweight users.

The Schwinn 470 is one the best affordable elliptical trainer on the market, and despite its low price, the machine has several features that you would expect from a more costly elliptical. Its standard stride length is 20 inches, and there is a power incline to mold lean muscles.

The equipment also has a console that can store up to four user profiles, and Bluetooth is onboard for wireless heart rate monitoring and data export. Thanks to improved Bluetooth connectivity, users may configure, track, and analyze progress using popular app-based monitoring tools.

With a 10° motorized adjustable ramp, you can vary the elevation for enjoyable and demanding exercises and 25 levels of resistance for a variety of training intensity options.

Body Champ Trio Trainer 3-in-1 Home Gym Elliptical – Best Multifunctional Ellipticals

What we like

  • It is easy, pleasant, and very simple to use
  • The Body Champ is a three-in-one piece of fitness equipment.
  • It is extremely cost-effective.
  • This three-in-one trainer is made of high-quality materials that will last for years.
  • It allows you to change the resistance level to raise or decrease the difficulty.
  • Includes a built-in Media Shelf as well as an easy-to-use LCD interface.

What we don’t like

  • Only 8 Levels of Resistance
  • No slope option
  • The stride length of 12 inches
  • The base is weak, which may cause the machine to wobble.

The Body Champ 3-in-1 Trio Trainer is an elliptical exercise bike that may be used for elliptical, recumbent, or upright cycling training.

This three-machines-in-one approach is becoming increasingly popular as customers seek more from their training equipment. There are no adaptations required for this elliptical bike to function as an elliptical, recumbent, or upright cycle.

This trainer, however, does not provide a lot of resistance as it only has 8 levels. And there’s no power resistance — you have to turn a knob to modify the resistance.

This implies that if you’re reasonably fit, you may quickly reach your limit at the maximum resistance level and have nowhere to go.

Exerputic 6000 QF Magnetic Elliptical – Best For Rigidity

What we like

  • Strong frame – can accommodate people weighing up to 270 lbs.
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear
  • The front base has transport wheels.
  • Handlebars that are fixed and have pulse sensors.
  • Large pedals with textured surfaces for increased adhesion.
  • Narrow Q-factor, which eliminates lateral stress on the knees.
  • The stride length is 18 inches.
  • Automatic resistance, 24 levels of eddy current.
  • 24 predefined workouts.

What we don’t like

  • No sound system.
  • No USB port for recharging your phone.

The steel frame of the Exerpeutic 6000 QF is encased in an ABS shell for the drive and resistance components. The frame is made up of ovalized, cylindrical, and rectangular tubes. All of the steel pieces are finished with a long-lasting, corrosion-resistant paint finish.

Furthermore, the Exerpeutic 6000 QF is a household elliptical cross trainer. It has a twin belt driving system, an automated eddy current magnetic resistance mechanism with 24 levels of difficulty, and a console with 24 exercise routines.

The console is also Bluetooth-enabled and works with the MyCloudFitness app. It’s an excellent piece of equipment for light to a hard cardio workout, muscular toning, stamina enhancement, recovery training, and weight reduction.

Final Verdict

The main objective in selecting an elliptical was to select a variety of elliptical machines with varying features. Others choose cutting-edge technology and top-of-the-line features, such as the Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine, while others simply want a machine that’s easy to use, gets the job done, and doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.

However, if you can’t afford to be ambitious with your elliptical trainer, the Marcy Elliptical Trainer Cardio Workout is a clear winner.

Buying Guide

Material, Durability, & Weight Capacity

High-end elliptical machines endure a long time and are ideally suited to sustain extended hard training; they separate themselves from affordable elliptical machines by the use of extra-strong materials, which contributes to their durability.

Additionally, select an elliptical machine with a maximum user weight capacity that is greater than your current weight. The heavier the elliptical is, the more stable it is. High-end elliptical trainers have the most weight capacity limitations and are more expensive.

Consider upgrading to the next weight level up if you’re near the weight limit. When selecting an elliptical trainer, keep in mind that the further you are from the minimum weight limit, the better.

Length of Stride

The length of a stride is the distance the pedals travel back and forth, and you have to choose an elliptical that should be appropriate for you. In general, the longer your stride distance should be, the taller you are (or, more specifically, the length of your legs).

Some machines have adjustable stride lengths, while others have fixed stride lengths. It doesn’t really matter whether you pick an adjustable version or not as long as it’s suitable for you.

If more than one individual is going to utilize the trainer, the odds are that they have various stride lengths. In that instance, an adjustable stride length can come in handy. However, the transition is not always simple. It needs certain tools and some time to do it.

Resistance

The resistance on all elliptical machines varies from model to model. Make sure that the lowest resistance level is simple to cycle and that it becomes challenging to pedal at roughly 75% of the highest setting since this will give you some opportunity to improve.

A flywheel and magnets are typically used to adjust resistance in an elliptical machine. The greater the resistance settings and the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the action and the more intense exercises a machine can deliver.

Keep in mind that the additional weight will raise the machine’s weight and, in most cases, the cost. With the click of a button, automatic resistance controls change the current to the electromagnet, whereas manual resistance requires you to pause your exercise to modify.

Smoothness of Operation

The elliptical trainer’s action should be smooth overall. While the machine is moving, you really shouldn’t hear any loud screeches, scratches, or other noises. The elliptical intensity should not vary much between machine levels of intensity.

Right now, there are several types of ellipticals competing for the title of “best elliptical design.” These types can be divided into three broad categories: front-drive, rear-drive, and middle drive. All of these elliptical classifications will affect the fluidity of the equipment.

This is one aspect where you will need the assistance of someone who understands what they are doing. The smoothness will be affected by the manufacturing quality. You will be able to recognize the difference in the same type of equipment with ease.

Make a decision on the sort of elliptical design you want before attempting to assess the quality of the equipment. Otherwise, type smoothness variations will compromise the findings.

Reverse Motion

All elliptical machines, in general, go forward and backward. The option to travel forward or backward provides diversity and difficulty to the exercise. When performed correctly, going in reverse shifts the emphasis of the workout to different muscle groups.

This also decreases the danger of repetitive usage injuries, which are frequent among treadmill and stair climber users. Moreover, quality units will have reverse motion routines and should feel smooth when doing so.

This allows you to work out an entirely new part of your leg muscles while gliding in reverse, which you would never be able to accomplish on a treadmill.

Comfort and Safety Features

The pedals are a crucial feature of elliptical bikes since you will spend a lot of time pedaling hard. These should be as big and comfy as possible so that you can cycle in the proper position. 

The handlebar should be ergonomic, with a simple and pleasant grip and cushioning to protect the hands. There are safety and design regulations for all kinds of exercise equipment, but there is always the possibility of injury while exercising.

However, an elliptical machine overcomes many of the issues that individuals have with treadmills. One of the most frequent treadmill injuries is a fall when attempting to get on or off the machine while it is still running or tripping when they do not effectively match their running or walking pace with the treadmill’s speed.

Also, if you have little children, look for safety features such as an automated safety turn-off button and a protected flywheel. Check that the handrails are strong enough to sustain the heaviest user.

Fitness Goal or Purpose

Once you begin your search for an elliptical machine, consider your goals and the goals of other possible exercisers in your home. Most households will have more than one person who will use the equipment.

For instance, non-impact activities will assist runners as a supplement to their running, and older users will appreciate the smoothness and ease of movements.

Price

The pricing of the equipment is what most people will start with. If you are prepared to pay more money, you can nearly always acquire something better. However, your bank account is unlikely to be limitless.

How much you want and can spend is entirely dependent on your specific circumstances. Your health is worth investing in, but not to the point of causing financial hardship. Affordable elliptical machines aren’t inexpensive.

Sure, you can find some cheaper versions, but they might not be what you are looking for. The average cost of an elliptical machine is somewhat more than $2200. Prices range from $179 to $7000+, with a nice elliptical machine costing between $800 and $2000.

More costly versions will have higher build quality, smoother motion, longer warranties, and more features.

Other Features

Other elements to look for in an elliptical machine are adjustable inclination, smooth elliptical motion, natural movement, dependent upper and lower body action, customizable resistance, and silent operation.

Furthermore, many ellipticals offer a variety of features designed to entice customers, ranging from fans and interaction to displaying calories burnt. Think about what’s essential to you and how you’ll utilize it.

The goal is to find electrical elements that are both inspiring and challenging to YOU. Look for an electronic package that will grow with you as you advance and can meet the demands of several users.

Frequently Asked Questions

Using an elliptical trainer, minute by minute is estimated to burn more calories than walking. Because the calorie burn associated with an elliptical is larger than that of certain other cardio equipment, such as the stationary cycle, it can help you reduce body fat in less time.

Check for adjustable incline, smooth elliptical motion, natural movement, reliant upper body action, customizable resistance, forward and reverse motion, silent operation, and electronic features.

The key distinction between an elliptical and a recumbent exercise bike is the size and form of the pedaling motion. Elliptical machines offer a longer, low-impact elliptical pedaling action and a limited range of motion than a recumbent bike.

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