Health & Fitness

The 10 Best Elliptical Machines

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Lea Kuscer Avatar
Lea Kuscer
21 June, 2020 • Updated 11 days ago
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The 10 Best Elliptical Machines

You don’t need me to tell you how important it is to exercise. You also know how difficult it can be to get proper exercise.

There are a lot of things that stand in the way of getting the exercise you need. Some people work long hours and don’t want to spend their free time in a crowded, noisy gym. Others have children and don’t have the luxury of a gym membership.

In many places, extreme weather can keep people indoors and not exercising too. For example, the continental United States and Canada experience long, cold, snowy winters. Between December and February, Chicago gets 29 inches of snow, and low temperatures are often well below freezing.

With all these obstacles in the way, it’s no wonder so many people choose to buy exercise equipment at home.

One of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment is the elliptical trainer. Ellipticals can be used for walking and jogging and can even be set at an incline to simulate hiking. Ellipticals place less strain on the joints than jogging does, making it highly desirable for anyone with joint problems.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Schwinn 470

No matter your reason for buying an elliptical, it’s important to buy one that is going to meet your needs without pushing your budget. My goal is to provide you with the information you need to make that purchase and give you some of the best products to choose from.

Things to Consider

Buying an elliptical machine is a major purchase and not one to take lightly. There are some considerations you need to make before you make the purchase. If you keep these points in mind, you should be prepared to make your big purchase.

1. Price

Like all exercise equipment, a price is a major area of concern. More expensive ellipticals will offer better performance, but also represent a more serious investment. Try to weigh your exercise needs against what you can realistically afford.

2. Warranty

Most ellipticals sold will be covered by a warranty, which might range from one to five years, with shorter warranties on parts. Some budget models may not offer warranties, but if you’re going to spend $500 or more on an elliptical, make sure it’s covered.

3. Stride

Ellipticals can vary greatly regarding stride. Smaller or cheaper ellipticals have smaller strides, which are only appropriate for smaller people. If you expect people of different sizes to use the elliptical, make sure you buy one with a larger stride.

4. Incline

Some elliptical machines have a fixed incline, whereas others allow you to adjust them. An adjustable incline is not necessary, but if you want to use an elliptical to prepare you for hiking, then you’ll want one that can adjust.

5. Resistante

Resistance is how hard the elliptical will fight you when you walk. You don’t necessarily want a lot of resistance in your elliptical, but some people like to be able to adjust the resistance for a more intense workout.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Elliptical Machines


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
3.9
1,225+
1225+
  • 29 different presets
  • Inertia-based flywheel
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2000
  • 29 different presets
  • Inertia-based flywheel
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2000
MOST REVIEWED
3.6
1,280+
1280+
  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $500
  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $500
TOP PICK
3.7
545+
545+
  • 24 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1500
  • 24 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1500
BUDGET PICK
3.4
300+
300+
  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
BUDGET PICK
4.2
25+
25+
  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Weight capacity: 264 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Weight capacity: 264 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
Schwinn 470
Top of the line with digital connectivity.

If you’re looking for the best elliptical machine and don’t shop around, we recommend the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine. It is the perfect combination of performance and value.

3.9
1,225+
1225+
  • 20” Precision Performance stride.
  • 29 different preset workout programs.
  • Inertia-based flywheel offers 25 levels of resistance.
  • Built-in USB port, speakers and fan.
  • Backed by a comprehensive warranty.

Best Elliptical Machines Under $200

Sunny Health & Fitness P8300 Pink Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness P8300 Pink Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Features

  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Digital tracking monitor
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds

The P8300 Pink Magnetic Elliptical Trainer from Sunny Health & Fitness is a tool that helps you stay in shape on a budget. The features of this machine aren’t to oast about to your trainer but it can give you a good workout.

It operates on a magnetic resistance system and you can choose between 8 levels of resistance for your workout. It is made of heavy-duty steel and meta, ensuring stability and durability. It also features a digital tracking monitor that shows you distance, time, speed, calories, total distance, and scan.

The P8300 works smoothly and silently and supports up to 220 pounds. It isn’t much for the bigger folk, but the features of this machine justify the price.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Measures 45 inches x 24 inches x 60 inches
Cons
  • Little weight capacity
  • Faulty parts

Best Elliptical Machines Under $300

MaxKare Magnetic Elliptical Machine

MaxKare Magnetic Elliptical Machine

Features

  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • iPad holder and LCD monitor
  • Weight capacity: 264 pounds

The Magnetic Elliptical Machine from MaxKare, as the name says, works with magnetic resistance to give you the perfect training session. The same as the previous one, it has 8 levels of resistance and the durable metal frame can hold up to 264 pounds, an upgrade from the previous model.

What I like about this model is that it has double handles and a pulse grip sensor on the inner handles, which measures your pulse when you exercise. Also, you can pedal both forward and backward.

The LCD monitor tracks all the important data, while the stabilizer prevents too much shaking when working out. It has a few cool features like a water bottle holder to keep you hydrated and transportation wheels for easy transport.

Pros
  • Still in the affordable range
  • Quiet
  • Measures 38 inches x 25.8 inches x 15 inches
Cons
  • Poor manual

Best Elliptical Machines Under $400

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine

Features

  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Battery-powered performance display and iPad holder
  • Weight capacity: 285 pounds

Another one from Sunny Health & Fitness, the Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine is an upgrade on the previous from the company. Regarding the jump in the price, it also offers a bigger weight capacity of 285 pounds. But let’s see what else you can get with this machine.

It offers 8 levels of resistance you can set according to your needs and has pulse grips that calculate your pulse. The digital monitor shows scan, speed, time, distance, calories, pulse, and odometer.

It has a floor stabilizer to prevent shaking and transportation wheels that let you move it around easily. Like the previous one, it has the device holder between the handles.

Pros
  • Quiet
  • Takes up little space
Cons
  • Defective parts on arrival

Gymbopro Elliptical Trainer Machine Exercise Bike

 Gymbopro Elliptical Trainer Machine Exercise Bike

Features

  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • iPad holder and LCD monitor
  • Weight capacity: 242 pounds

The Elliptical Trainer Machine from Gymbopro is the real beast. It features 8 levels of magnetic resistance and simulates natural movements during a workout. Its display monitor shows your speed, distance, calories, scan, pulse, and ODO.

The sturdy steel frame construction can support up to 242 pounds and the non-slip footplates ensure your stability. The two sets of handles let you exercise any part of the body you prefer and the flywheel operates smoothly, be it your first of 343rd workout session.

Although the eight capacity is just a little bigger than the previous models, it definitely makes a difference. All in all, this is one top-notch elliptical machine.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Quiet
  • Full-body toning
Cons
  • Poor manual

Best Elliptical Machines Under $500

Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Ellipticals

Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Ellipticals

Features

  • 8 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • LCD monitor
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

Just because you have a limited budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of using an elliptical. Sure, you may not get gym-quality results, but you can save a lot of money over a traditional gym membership.

That said, a lot of cheap ellipticals aren’t worth what you pay for them. So, I was pleasantly surprised with the Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical.

The elliptical is pretty smooth, without the annoying bounce that often plagues lesser models. It has eight levels of magnetic tension alignment, helping you to tailor your workout experience. The flywheel is designed for quiet operation so that you won’t get a lot of noise pollution.

In addition to the standard handlebars that move with your feet as you exercise, there are also two stationary handlebars that are used to read your pulse, providing you information on your cardio output. This information is delivered on an LCD screen that also reports distance, calories burned and other metrics.

The elliptical is far from perfect. The computer doesn’t count calories very well, it isn’t nearly as durable as more expensive models, and putting it together is a serious chore.

Although it has a weight limit of 300 pounds, the stride is only 13 inches, which isn’t going to work well for taller people. But it does offer reasonable performance for the price and is backed by a three-year limited warranty.

Pros
  • Offers eight levels of tension resistance
  • Target zone handles monitor your heart rate
Cons
  • Limited stride

Goelliptical V-200 Standard Stride Elliptical Machine

Goelliptical V-200 Standard Stride Elliptical Machine

Features

  • 24 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • Backlit 5.5” display
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

V-200 Standard Stride machine from Goelliptical is the perfect workout tool for your home gym. It operates with magnetic resistance, giving you smooth and quiet cardio. This one also has a bigger weight capacity, at 300 pounds, which makes it a perfect tool for us bigger folks.

The double handlebars give you multiple exercise options, while the backlit display tracks distance, calories, time, speed, and pulse. Moreover, there’s a storage platform for a bottle or a smartphone between the bars. 

With a long footpad, transportation wheels, and a staggering 24 levels resistance, this machine is an excellent addition to the room of any gym enthusiast.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Quiet
  • Full-body toning
Cons
  • Poor manual
  • Defective parts

Best Elliptical Machines Under $700

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine Series

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine Series

Features

  • 20 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • 2 LCD screen displays
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

The latest version of the Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine was released in 2016 and offers a few improvements over earlier models. The Schwinn 430 is loaded with a variety of luxury features that help make your workout session more enjoyable.

The 430 is in every way superior to the reviewed models that precede it. It has a stride of 20 inches, which is standard for all ellipticals. It has two different LCD screens which provide valuable information regarding your workout, as well as information regarding the exercise program you’re currently running.

It offers 20 levels of resistance, which are controlled by the computer rather by magnetics, and has 22 different preset exercise programs. Luxury features include a USB charging port and speakers to play your music, as well as a three-level fan to keep you cool while you exercise, allowing you to workout out longer without overheating.

It also has a ten-inch manual ramp that allows you to adjust the incline, preparing you for hiking or mountain biking or just giving you a more intense workout.

If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s the warranty. Trying to figure it all out is a nightmare because it has four different components to it. The warranty on the frame is ten years, the warranty on mechanical components is two years.

Electrical components have a two-year warranty and labour has a 90-day warranty. This is all way to unnecessarily complicated, but in the end, doesn’t prevent this from being a very good elliptical for the price.

Pros
  • Offers 20 levels of tension resistance
  • Comes with 22 preset workout programs
Cons
  • Weighs 165 pounds

Best Elliptical Machines Under $1000

Nautilus Elliptical Trainer Series

Nautilus Elliptical Trainer Series

Features

  • 25 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • DualTrack LCD screen displays
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

The Elliptical Trainer E616 from Nautilus is an upgraded elliptical machine. It features Bluetooth connectivity and syncs with Nautilus Trainer 2 App to track your fitness progress.

The RunSocial App allows you to run through 27 routes with people all around the world in real-time. It also offers the possibility to connect to apps like MyFitnessPal and Explore the World.

The 25 levels of resistance allow for the perfect range of exercising options, while the high inertia drive system and the weighted flywheel deliver a smooth workout experience. The 29-program option lets you choose which one suits you best. 

The DualTrack LCD monitor shows the important info about your exercise and the dual padded handlebars offer the option to track your pulse. The motorized incline enables you to run uphill and get the feeling on running on natural terrain.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Full-body toning
Cons
  • Poor customer service
  • Defective parts

Best Elliptical Machines Under $1500

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer

Features

  • 24 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • 7ʺ Backlit Display
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds

The ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer is a completely different elliptical, redesigned and very 21st century. In some ways, it functions more like a stair climber than an elliptical, with a reduced stride of 8 or 12 inches, but thanks to its vertical design, the limited stride isn’t a drawback.

The ProForm Cardio HIIT offers 24 resistance levels, 32 workout apps, and is designed to accommodate up to 10 inches of incline. It has a seven-inch LCD screen and iPhone compatibility with built-in speakers.

It comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, a three-year warranty on the parts and a one-year warranty on labor. It has a bottle holder and can support a weight of up to 325 pounds.

You can get a good workout with the ProForm but at a premium price. If you’re looking for a true elliptical machine, however, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Pros
  • Offers 24 levels of tension resistance
  • Comes with 32 preset workout programs
  • Backed by a lifetime/three-year/one-year warranty
Cons
  • Not a true elliptical machine

Best Elliptical Machines Under $2000

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine Series

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine Series

Features

  • 25 levels of easily adjustable resistance
  • 2 LCD screen displays
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

As the numbers indicate, the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine is one step up from the 430 regarding performance and abilities. T difference in price is not substantial, the Schwinn 470 packs more features than the 430.

The differences aren’t major and mostly relate to the levels of resistance and the number of preset training programs. The 470 has 25 levels of resistance and offers 29 different workout settings.

In most other ways, it is similar. It has a built-in fan, USB charging station, speakers, several levels of incline, a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds and 20 inches of stride.

Like the 430, it has the same incomprehensibly complicated warranty, and one additional downside: it’s larger and, at 186 pounds, it’s even heavier than the 430.

I didn’t mention it in my review of the 430, but these are not machines you’re going to want to move around a lot, and chances are you’re going to need help moving it around at all.

Pros
  • Offers 25 levels of tension resistance
  • Comes with 29 preset workout programs
Cons
  • Weighs 186 pounds

Conclusion

If you’re looking to get a machine that’s not going to cost you a lot but can deliver a good workout, your best bet is something in the $300-400 price range. If you can afford the very best, the Sole Fitness E35 delivers a phenomenal experience.

For most users, however, I recommend meeting in the middle with the Schwinn 430. You get a great balance of features and performance at a reasonable price. I hope this information helped, and I hope you find a great elliptical for your exercise needs.

*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.

Lea Kuscer Avatar
Written by
Lea Kuscer
Lea Kuscer is a marketing maniac enthusiastic about testing new products and gadgets. Her new mission is to share her passion with those who want to know which product is the best on the market.