Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed & Rated
Some of us don’t have the time or the privilege to be part of a monthly gym. Although memberships at local gyms with expert trainers have gone down dramatically over the last decade, many of you out there still wish to someday have your own personal home gym, where you can train in peace without judgment or distractions. Well, elliptical machines are the best place to start your search. Whether it be stairmasters, cycling machines, or even treadmills, these will diversity your home workout experience in a comfortable and convenient way. It’s easy to get motivated when you need to drive a long while to the gym each day, and even more so if you undergo a busy work schedule. With these, however, there’s no excuse for putting a day off of improving your health.
- SOLE Fitness E35
- Quiet Drive System
- Advanced Sensors
- EFITMENT E006
- Magnetic Resistance
- Quiet Belt Drive
- Stamina In-Motion
- Multi-function Monitor
- Textured Paddles
Most of us wish we had our own home gym. In fact, there are some of us who envy those who do—but believe they can’t simply because of the excruciating prices of different machines. Well, we don’t want you to give up, and neither do these promising companies that want to see the country shine and be the best version of themselves. That’s why many have become cheaper and more effective over the course of the decade, resulting in a market full of innovation and convenience for the consumer. “Mini” options have even become a thing within the last few years, featuring small devices that can be used under desks or workplaces—convenient and affordable. With the development of elliptical machines, we believe you’ll never have another reason for why you can’t lose that pound of fat or gain that pound of lean muscle.
10 Best Elliptical Machines
1. SOLE Fitness E35
Probably what this elliptical machine is best known for. Listen carefully—it's absolutely quiet! No one can hear you when you're working out late at night or early in the morning as the Quiet Drive System ensures zero noise or cranks from the machine. The worse thing is the have a home gym that you can't use for half of the day because of loud, unnecessary noises.
The advanced, built-in sensors on the handlebars are high-tech monitors that keep track of your heart rate and pulse while featuring many interactive heart rate programs that help you set goals for a resting and working heart rate.
Cost and Value
It's no secret that this premium model might cost you a small fortune, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it. With the advanced features, such as highly accurate sensors and easy-to-use power incline, you'll get the very most out of your home workout.
Quiet Drive System
Heavy Duty Rails
2. EFITMENT E006
Magnetic Resistance is always the best and safest type of resistance for elliptical devices. The machine is made of quality magnetic engineering to give you 8 levels of precise resistance while helping you successfully alter your workout and set different difficulty levels.
Quiet Belt Drive
The quiet and mobile belt drive is another advantage for the E006. The machine is whisper quiet and offers a smooth, low drive while also being transportational, as it is equipped with wheels for those who want to move and store their equipment easily.
Cost and Value
Even though this is a high quality elliptical machine, the E006 is one of the most affordable machines we've seen listed. The high durability and quality is what makes this machine phenomenal for anyone, and it's also easily assembled without expert help.
Total Body Workout
Digital LCD Display
Quiet and Mobile
Non-Slip Foot Pads
220 lbs Max
3. Stamina In-Motion
This vivid LCD monitor is also multi-functional so it can display stats from all sorts of categories—such as total strides, exercise time, calories burned, and strides per minute. Above this, it includes a scan function that automates periodically during workouts to keep your stats updated without you having to do anything.
It doesn't matter if you stand or sit, the textured paddles are meant to keep your feet from falling off the paddle and gives you a firm grip through high resistances and sweat. With textured paddles, you can go as fast and hard as you can without worrying.
Cost and Value
For such an affordable cost, there's no reason you can make the excuse that you don't have the time or money to have a home gym. This elliptical can be used even under your desk while you work, helping you gain muscle and increase productivity.
Convenient to Use
4. Exerpeutic Magnetic Bike
The 8-level tension control system allows you to freely customize your workout through easier or more difficult levels of resistance. No matter what your goal or strength is, this bike will help you find the right resistance to power through workouts, but just barely—so you can see maximum results.
Not only does this bike perform exceptionally, with little to no break down or malfunctions, the design is extremely functional and ergonomic so the user doesn't have to stress. The compact design allows the bike to be easily folded stored anywhere, with added wheels to help transportation. We all know that in the world of home gyms space is a big issue. With the amount of machines you need, and so little space, having machines that can be easily moved or stored is a huge advantage.
Cost and Value
Because of its incredible design, this machine will cost you far, far less than regular elliptical bike machines. This is because of how compact the design is, while still providing all the necessities such as an LCD Display and Hand Pulse Sensors. This is a machine that gives you everything while still being affordable.
Large Seat Cushion
Large LCD Display
Not as Durable
5. Cubii Jr
This built-in-monitor makes the Cubii Jr better than other mini elliptical machines. The display shows just about everything, from the amount of calories you burn to distance and strides you make. This smooth, ergonomically designed machine allows you to incorporate a natural fluid motion with each stride no matter where you are.
A patented design, the Cubii Jr can be used naturally while sitting or standing while ensuring an optimized posture. It doesn't just mimic the motion of a bike, the Cubii Jr's ergonomic design accurately stimulates a fluid motion that's "easy on the knees".
Cost and Value
It won't cost you a fortune, that's for sure. This product was designed to be easily accessible and convenient for anyone, so it's natural that the price tag isn't going to keep you from buying other models.
Built-In Display Monitor
Smooth Pedaling Design
Only Tracks 99 Minutes
6. Harvil Foldable Magnetic
The monitor for the Harvil is compact and digital, offering LED display that tracks miles, pulse, speed, and time duration of your workout. The display is also easy to use and conveniently placed with options being changed from a touch of a button.
I think we can also all agree that a padded and durable backrest is a necessity often overlooked by cycle machines. The padded backrest by Harvil is different from other upright bikes, as it's padded for comfort and durability—and you can adjust it and the seat whenever you want.
Cost and Value
Surprisingly, the Harvil Foldable Magnetic won't cost you as much as regular cycle machines will. This foldable design is greatly advantageous while making the product limited in features so the price won't be as high. Foldable chairs are fantastic for anyone not looking to spend a lot but still want to experience a quality crafted elliptical.
Well Designed and Engineered
10-Levels of Resistance
Digital LED Monitor
Requires Lower Extension
7. Sunny Health Indoor Cycle
This featured named the Flywheel is what the front wheel of the cycle is called. The Flywheel on the Pro Indoor Cycle is up to 40 lbs heavier, creating more stability and momentum and keeping your workouts active for longer periods of time. The Flywheel is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of equipment in the game of elliptical cycles, so having a quality, durable flywheel is essential.
From the seat to the handlebars to the resistance, everything is completely and easily adjustable. Sunny & Health want to give you the best customizable experience which is what indoor fitness should be about.
Cost and Value
The product won't cost as much as traditional cycles, but it provides far more. With the moderate price range, you get a variety of features from the Flywheel to the leather padded seat; this is a premium, trusted machine for a moderate price.
Felt Pad Resistance
Leather Padded Seat
8. ProForm 150I
In addition to a large LCD Display, the monitor also offers iFIT, which is a range of 12 amazing workout apps with an EKG heartrate monitor. The monitor is also iPod-compatible so you can easily since your tunes and listen whenever you want.
12 Resistance Levels
With a 17 inch stride length, the 12 resistance levels adds on to the features in this that seem to one-up everything else on the market. 12 levels lets you completely customize your workout with ease.
Cost and Value
We know how difficult it might be for families to own their own workout equipment, so we're glad that companies like ProForm have developed affordable machines that are still high in quality and design. With the inertia-enhanced flywheel and app syncing, this is your best choice in the low price range.
Front Drive Design
5-year Frame Warranty
9. AFG Sport 5.5AE
With the precision drive in the high quality crafted flywheel, you can be sure that you're getting the most performance at the quietest and smoothest it can be. The system allows easy and smooth drive without clanking or unnecessary noise that can be a distraction to both you and others in your household.
3 LED Displays
Talk about lots of monitors! This machine offers up to 3 LED Displays that track a plethora of stats while you exercise. It also offers 10 quick touch keys to help you personalize and customize your workout.
Cost and Value
We've gotta be honest, the price for this goes a bit out of range for a standard model. It also doesn't offer enough features to be completely worth it over other less-durable but more affordable products. We do think, however, that this machine is still a great investment because of its superior motion and compact design.
3 LED Displays
10 Touch Keys
10. Bowflex BXE116
You won't need help finding motivation after you download and use the RunSocial App, which easily syncs to your apparatus. This premium app allows you to run in up to 19 locations with 27 routes and compare your stats with your friends and family. Competition is the best form of motivation, and Bowflex have perfected you with the option.
Switch Select Technology
The switch select cushioning system is made to be adjustable with 3 levels of tilt adjustability in any degree or direction—perfect optimization. This increases muscle activation and allows you to push harder to achieve greater results.
Cost and Value
The price for the Bowflex BXE 116 might look staggering, but we reassure you that this is a premium device and the price is perfectly justified through all the expensive features and the highly engineered design. If you're looking at a product in the high price range, this is your very best option.
Switch Select Technology
Burn Meter Monitoring
Now I’m sure you know that there are many different criteria to understand before you go needlessly searching for a brand new machine. With the number of innovative fitness products spreading in the market, it’s difficult to tell which ones have a good reputation and which ones are well known to break down easily or be severely overpriced. Luckily, we’ve got some tips on aspects you should be looking at in terms of the criteria and elements of the apparatus. It’s easy enough to know which machines are the best, but you should also know what makes them the best, so you can formulate your own opinion on these products and choose the most suitable one for your needs.
Criteria Used for Evaluating the Best Elliptical Machines
The flywheel is probably one of the most important parts and is also one of the main criteria you should be looking at before buying. The flywheel is a huge impact on the quality, comfort, and fluidity of the motion in cycling, and usually has a weight will have a great effect on cycles. For example:
- 7-10 kg – This weight in the flywheel is generally thought of as being far too light and it will disrupt your cycling with jerks and unpleasant noise. Cheaper cycles often offer these lighter flywheels in compensation but these are pretty much asking for disaster, as the flywheel is bound to spin too fast and end up being damaged. It will also be easier to change the acceleration of the flywheel, leading to potential durability issues when the change of speed is too great. We wouldn’t recommend a flywheel that weighs less than 10 kg, even if it’s on an affordable cycle.
- 11-20 kg – This is usually the ideal range for flywheel weights. This type of flywheel allows frequent use without seeing much damage as the pedaling becomes more fluid and there are far less sudden jerks. Many trainers can be seen in this weight range, but you should still be careful before making a decision. Generally the heavier the flywheel is the more fluid the motion will be, and the less acceleration between a change of speed which is a good thing for the durability of the wheel.
- 21+ kg – This is the weight range you generally see for professional machines. At 21+ kg, you can use this flywheel very frequently (such as 2-3 times a day) without seeing any damage for the duration of months and even years longer. A flywheel at this weight will not only have a smoother motion, it’ll offer more resistance levels as a heavier wheel can be added to resistance.
Finally, we recommend that you be cautious of products that don’t list their flywheel weight. It’s always best to know what weight the flywheel is before buying, as it is probably the most crucial aspect.
We’ve talked about cycles, but how about drive systems? The stride is as important in drive systems as they are in elliptical cycles since it determines greatly the amplitude of movement along with the pedaling comfort. A natural, smooth drive will allow you to properly activate the muscles without putting too much stress on your knee joints or body. The stride length is also important because they need to be able to support sufficient length as to not have the movement too limited or restrained—ever. This is why the greater the stride length, the better and freer the machine will be. Even a stride length of up to 40 cm is ideal because it allows the maximum stretching and resistance levels, offering more freedom and extension with every repetition.
Of course, there is a correlation between the stride length and the size of the apparatus. The bigger the elliptical, the longer a stride length it can support. This also goes for mini options, which, although cheap, often can’t support stride lengths of over 20 cm. Even though smaller machines take up less space and are cheaper, they never really provide the same freedom of movement and natural stride of bigger machines. With small ones, you often run the risk of putting great stress on your joints with shorter stride lengths.
Even your height is influence whether it is right for you. If you are taller than 6ft, that means that your stride will naturally be longer and short stride devices will inevitably limit your freedom of motion. This isn’t good as you can’t get the most out of your workout and may suffer from joint stiffness in some areas.
Mechanical vs. Magnetic Resistance
- Mechanical resistance – A type of resistance that works by adjustable weights within the wheel that operates through rotational energy. There are many setbacks through mechanical resistance as based resistances have a limiting factor: you would need a very heavy flywheel in order to achieve high resistances, and this means more an expensive, bigger wheel that takes up more space. Mechanical options are also more difficult to adjust to different resistance levels.
- Magnetic resistance – These are the type that dominate the market—the magnetic resistance machine. These types of machines are high-performing exercise bikes that use magnetic resistance to easily solve all the problems of mechanical resistance. For example, magnetic resistant uses two powerful magnets to direct the resistance in the flywheel, no matter the weight or size of the wheel. It acts like a magnet conductor, and the resulting motion is more fluid and smooth as the magnets don’t touch the flywheel. These are also easier to adjust and you can increase or decrease resistance levels while on your bike—effortless!
Connectivity and Interface
In today’s technological world, it’s always a question of can or can’t your device connect to different apps or settings through Bluetooth. Connectivity has become a promising trait in the world of innovative exercising that includes a must for apps and programs that keep track of your progress every step of the way. Although many devices don’t include Bluetooth or connectivity, they at least provide a decent monitor that tracks your data efficiently. Many mini options will give you an app because they’re simply not large enough to incorporate an LCD screen to display your numbers. Whether or not it can provide you a connection with Bluetooth, you should always be keen on trying to know these few essential metrics:
- Heart Rate – One of the key metrics machines is heart rate because it is essential to know what both your resting heart rate and your working heart rate is to know how to set guidelines for your health. Heart rate monitoring should be essential as it determines what intensity and weight of the equipment are meant for you.
- Speed and Distance – Especially when running, knowing the speed and the distance you go is essential in helping you set training plans and quotas to be met each day or week you exercise. It’s not fun just to aimlessly exercise—you need goals. Knowing how far you’re going is another important metric.
- Calories Burned – Again, it’s essential for monitors or apps to display your progress. The biggest mark of all next to weight loss is calories burned. This important stat is what you need to know and formulate how much you’re exercising compared to what you’re eating. Without it, there’s no way to know whether you’ll be losing weight or gaining weight—or neither.
The Drive System
Here’s some information about the difference of drive systems that may let you know how we have evaluated these. Each drive should comply with an ergonomic design to fit the user the best; here’s what we look at the most:
- The Front Drive – A front drive motor is where more designs are known to be cheaper and more compact. They are affordable but can lack in other aspects compared to Rear and Center drive systems. They generally allow more moving parts with a less ideal design so there may be severe damage after excessive use.
- The Center Drive – This is a new and complex option for a drive system. The center drive is often expensive but offers a wide range and array of customizable options and adjustability.
- The Rear Drive – Most notably the most standard and common of drive placement, the rear drive system allows for a traditional style with a natural-feeling stride that emphasizes upright posture and better durability. Rear drive systems are often more expensive than Front drive systems, but not nearly as complex or expensive as Center drives. They do, however, take up more space.
We’d recommend checking out Center and Rear drive systems, but forget Front drive, as these cheap drives are just waiting to break due to their excessive use of moving parts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do elliptical machines do?
A: They are a convenient and efficient way to exercise. They offer a full-body workout, meaning they exercise both the upper and lower body while being easy on the joints compared to treadmills, which can be harsh when just starting out on running or jogging.
Q: How do they work?
A: Each one use drives or a flywheel (depending on which type of machine used) to set resistance levels through magnetic resistance in order to help you burn calories. They are great because they engage the core muscles while you lose weight.
Q: What muscles do these work?
A: Well, there’s a ton: the hamstring, the quadriceps, the gluteus maximum, triceps and chest, biceps and back, deep core muscles, and many more—just not all specifically. It offers a full body workout touching a little bit on many muscles.
Q: Are they effective for weight loss?
A: Yes! A hundred times yes. This device is perfect because they effortless help you burn calories without putting pressure or stress on your joints. They are far more safe and reliable than treadmills and, paired with nutritional weight loss supplements, can help you lose tons of weight!
Q: Are they easy to assemble?
A: Depending on how complex the machine is, most are very easy to assemble, with some mini machines not requiring any assembly whatsoever. Complex and more expensive machines, however, may require professional assembly to ensure there aren’t any mistakes in setting it up.