Home Best Elliptical Machine Buying Guide and Reviews

Best Elliptical Machine Buying Guide and Reviews

Ellipticals and other compact exercise training equipment, such as treadmills, have many different features and quality. Therefore, when it comes to choosing the best elliptical bike that fits your needs, there are many things to keep in mind. Here on EllipticalRatings.net we have reviewed the most popular ellipticals based on brand, price, and other important features to ensure that you end up with a top rated elliptical machine.

Every single unit in our countdown has a smooth motion of movement, which is a vital asset of an elliptical. You want a wide range of motion, but you also want it to be natural enough for you not to stretch any of your muscles weirdly. Although that soreness comes with exercise, the wrong kind of soreness leads to injury if you’re using an elliptical with unnatural movement. Ellipticals are not toys, and it can be dangerous to your health to try to go beyond what it was intended for. Use it with caution, and it’ll take care of you. Below, you will find the 12 best rated elliptical machines available on the market today.

  • E616
  • Brand: Nautilus
  • Dimension: 51.2 x 34.3 x 22.1 inches
  • Weight: 186 pounds
  • Warranty: 10 years frame, 2 years mechanical, 1 year electrical, 90 days labor
  • Fitness E35
  • Brand: Sole
  • Dimension: 32.3 x 8.7 x 26.4 inches
  • Weight: 300 pounds
  • Warranty: Frame: Lifetime, Mechanical: 5 years, Labor: 2 years
  • Twister Stepper
  • Brand: Sunny Health & Fitness
  • Dimension: 19 x 17 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • E614
  • Brand: Nautilus
  • Dimension: 50 x 34 x 22 inches
  • Weight: 186 pounds
  • Warranty: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year electronics, 90 days labor

Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer

First on the list is the Nautilus E616 machine and this is a mid-priced Elliptical Training solution for the user that wants premium features without an expensive price tag. The two LCD displays are blue backlit with dual-track, displaying the status of up to 13 work out details. Connectivity options include the use of a single USB port and Bluetooth LE connectivity. As far as charging goes, you will be able to charge all your devices.

Stride length is 20 inches, featuring 29 programs, 25 levels of resistance and selectable user profiles. The speakers are very efficient, and they do a good job at delivering high-quality sound that doesn’t sound tinny or weak. If you have a supported chest strap, you can use the grip heart rate or telemetry during your work out.

Several apps are supported like the Nautilus Connect portal, the Nautilus trainer app, and even the ever growing popular MyFitnessPal. Considering that MyFitnessPal works across nearly all platforms, it is an incredibly useful feature to have available on your elliptical. Keeping track of your goals has never been more intuitive as when using this Nautilus Elliptical Trainer. Ramp adjustment is a motorized 0 to 11% adjustment with articulating footplates with cushioning.

Up to 25 levels of Eddy Current Resistance will keep you challenged while the integrated inertia perimeter weighted flywheel makes sure your movements are smooth while the machine is very quiet. This unit is a great choice for those who are looking for a machine that includes a lot of features that you can only find in more expensive ellipticals. With up to date core features, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best choices in our countdown.

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Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine

Another option from Sole Fitness Elliptical trainers is the high priced Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine that tracks essential training data through the 7.5-inch blue backlit LCD. There are a lot of adjustable options to suit different needs, like the adjustable power stride with a 20-22 inch maximum stride length. The multitude of features includes six standard programs, two heart rate programs, and two custom programs. This unit comes with a water bottle holder and sound system that delivers a decent quality. The warranty is just as iron-clad, and you’ll get great support if something goes wrong. Although there is no chest strap included, it does have the ability to use pulse grip to monitor your heart rate during workout. There is also a built-in fan to cool you off, along with a front drive system with 15-inch pedals. You won’t suffer from any hiccups in the machinery while doing your workout, as it operates extremely smoothly.

The 29-pound flywheel with high gear ratio makes this machine work at an incredible workhorse rate. The power incline works from 0-30 degrees, and while you’re at your best, you can count on the pulse sensors in the handlebars to do correct monitoring of your heart rate. For users in cramped spaces, this unit can be a bit of pain since it does not fold up so easily. It does roll very well with the included wheels, but there are some limits to where you will be able to store the unit, especially if you are short on space in your home.

You will need to assemble this machine when it arrives at your doorstep since the unit comes in pieces. However, with a pair of extra hands, assembling will take around one hour, and the instruction manual makes the process of putting it together very easy. This unit is extremely reasonably priced, and this is a prime machine with a lot of awesome features. Additionally, it is well worth the investment since the warranty and customer service is top-notch.

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Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper

Our next unit is one of the lowest priced items on the list, called the Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper. This unit is extremely compact small and easy to store in the smallest place in your house, and if you’re creative enough, you can hang it on the door. Rather than buying a full-sized elliptical, users can opt to purchase this portable version that comes with a built-in resistance training program.

Besides being portable, it’s also very fun to use. For example, you can use the unique twist-motion technology to shape your thighs and buttocks nicely. Moreover, without putting too much stress on the vital areas of your body, you can get a full cardiovascular workout for only a fraction of the high-end elliptical machine price. You can thoroughly workout your arms, chest, shoulders and back using the adjustable resistance bands that are designed to meet different workout needs. The small size of the unit does not affect how durable it is, and with such a heavy-duty steel construction, this unit will last you for many years to come. The slip-resistance foot plates are oversized enough to keep you comfortable and planted during an intense workout.

On top of all the great features, there is also a high-quality LCD with an onboard computer that shows you how many calories you have burned, the time, and repetition count. Therefore, all the data you’ll ever need are easily readable on the LCD during your workout. The maximum weight that the unit can withstand is 250 lbs. Technically it can operate efficiently if the user is over the 250 lbs range, but there is always damage and injury risk involved when going past the recommended weight of any unit.

Moreover, have in mind that the recommended time of use per rep is 15 minutes, or else the machine may overheat. This is because of the hydraulics system inside the machine that requires you to monitor the device to avoid injuries and damages. The manual goes into greater detail on it, but it does put a bit of a limit on your own personal workout if you wanted something more intense. For those looking for a light, good performing workout, this is a great option that will fit any household.

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Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer

This awesome gadget from Nautilus is a good example of the great features you can get in an elliptical machine when you’re willing to go the extra mile and spend a little more money. There are up to 13 workout details to choose from that are easily readable from the dual LCD track display. This high-quality LCD features a crisp screen that gives you a full view of your workout data. The unit integrates perfectly with Nautilusconnect.com and myfitnesspal.com when you need to use the data export feature. Moreover, if you need to charge your phone or tablet, you can simply use the built-in USB connection. Additionally, with the popularity of mini USB, there are plenty of other devices that you can charge and synchronize, for example, extra fans and other USB-powered electronics. Stride length is 22 inch, while 20 levels of resistance and 22 programs keep you busy with high-impact and low-impact workouts.

This is an ideal unit for couples who like to workout together. There are 2 user profiles that can be programmed, allowing you to keep your special preferences separate for each of your routines. The acoustic chambered speakers deliver decent sound quality, and this sound system is one of the better combos on the list by far. The standard grip heart rate is available if you want to check your heart rate without stopping or interfering your workout. This machine is able to program goals, check distance traveled, monitor calories burned and workout time. Therefore, this is an ideal solution for the person that wants the top of the line elliptical and has the money to back it up. Nautilus also includes a 3 speed fan that works extremely well to keep you cool while working out. While some of the units on our list have fans that do an adequate job of keeping you cool, this one lets the blowers fly and does an awesome job. This unit is one of the top quality ellipticals on the list, so definitely give it a look if it fits your budget.

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  • SF-E902
  • Brand: Sunny Health & Fitness
  • Dimension: 28 x 16.5 x 57 inches
  • Weight: 37 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • EX-59-02
  • Brand: Horizon Fitness
  • Dimension: 68.2 x 22 x 646 inches
  • Weight: 145 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • Edge 1285
  • Brand: Gazelle
  • Dimension: 43 x 28 x 53.8 inches
  • Weight: 42 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • 1318
  • Brand: Exerpeutic
  • Dimension: 55 x 25 x 64 inches
  • Weight: 84 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

Sunny Air Walk Trainer

Simplicity would be a great way to describe the Sunny Air Walk Trainer, which takes all of the guts out of the more expensive units and delivers a traditional feel. This low priced elliptical can give you an impressive cardio workout that will fully tone the most unfit part of your body. This workout machine is an upgraded version that includes an abdominal support pad that allows you to lean in without worrying about irritating your midsection. Additionally, the abdominal pad provides a good and comfortable support while you exercise. Moreover, this is one of the quietest on the list since there are no electronic moving parts. Therefore, you need to take that into consideration when weighing how important a noiseless model is.

The onboard computer monitors all the important data during your workout and shows calories burnt, total distance, count, and time. Here we have a basic elliptical machine for home use that does exactly what it says on the tin without any complications. You can also download a free app that will double the built-in features. Weight capacity is only 220, so there will be some users that are not capable of purchasing the unit even though it fits well with what they want in their home.

Overall, this is a fantastic solution for those who are looking for a simple elliptical that includes the basic features. It does not come with all the fancy electronic bells and whistles that you can expect from a high-priced elliptical machines under $1500, but it includes everything you need to get into the shape of your life. Having said that, if you are in the market for a technological wonder, then you should look somewhere else. However, even if you are looking for something low tech or high tech, you should give this one a look, because it is a retro piece of exercising equipment that fits most workout needs.

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Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical Trainer

Another high priced elliptical machine on the list is the Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical Trainer and this a durable elliptical with ten resistance levels powered by an ECB brake system. The flywheel used in the machine can handle a lot of abuse and is a 14.3-pound monster that guarantees a smooth workout. To prevent injuries, there is a low step-on height that will benefit users of all sizes. High-quality Sonic Surround sound speakers are compatible with MP3’s and provides excellent sound quality. Additionally, there is a 5 inch LCD that shows everything you need to know about your current workout. Rather than forcing you into an unnatural motion while working out, the unit aims to use zero gap overlapping pedal motion. So while working out your movement is not mechanical, but feels and looks like a natural stride.

Weight capacity of the unit is 275, so there are some limitations to other users that may need to sweat off more pounds than what this machine can take. Moreover, the detailed display shows speed, calories, heart rate, program level, time, distance and watts. Additionally, there are 10 preset programs for rolling, reverse train, random, calorie goal, constant watts, manual, weight loss, and intervals.

This is a six star certified machine that will serve anyone who is in need of a full featured elliptic machine. There are not many ellipticals on the market today, apart from this Horizon Fitness, which feature multiple high-level programs. On top of that, it was built from the ground up to make sure that you maintain correct posture while working out.
The headphone output is icing on the cake, although most people doing an intense workout would opt to use Bluetooth instead. You won’t regret buying this at all, especially with how it was tailor-made for several body sizes. There is a lot to love about how they built it, and very little to hate and you can rest assured that this unit was built to last. To ensure its durability, Horizon Fitness provides a lifetime warranty on the frame, with 2 year for parts and 1 for labor.

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Gazelle Edge

For those that had the pleasure of catching the original Gazelle starring Tony Little in all his infomercial glory, the Gazelle Edge is a top of the line low priced exercise option with a lot of great features. There is nothing fancy about its design or how it’s presented, and it’s another on the list that is a throwback to the old-school style of exercise. Your cardiovascular muscles will be at the height of their performance as the Edge excels in hitting the most important part of your body, whether it’s at full speed or slow walk. This unique design of elliptical machine means you can change speeds without any sudden stops, all in one smooth motion. The small onboard computer does a great job of tracking time, distance, and even speed while maintaining other functions. Your footing won’t be uncomfortable with extra wide non-skid foot platforms, all which can handle a weight capacity of about 250 pounds.

The 250-pound limit will severely hinder a lot of people above that weight range that would greatly benefit from the use of the Gazelle Edge’s unique features. The handlebars are made of high-density foam but can get a bit uncomfortable if you’re working up a real big sweat. One of the other big features of the Gazelle Edge is that it can be folded and tucked away for storage.

This works well for places with limited spaces, and since it’s one of the quietest on the list, is great for shared homes. For younger or older users, this is the safest elliptical on the list. Besides the handlebars that can be a bit much for intense workouts, this machine does a wonderful job of giving you what you need at a great price. Overall, this is a fantastic elliptical and you won’t be disappointed if you settle on a Gazelle Edge.

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Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

As one of the more interesting elliptical machines on the list, this offering from Exerpeutic is a high priced and packed with great features. It was developed to give great workouts without straining the knees or ankles, and people with joint problems will be drawn to its ease of use. An elliptical stride length of 18 gives you a full range of movement and yet delivers smooth performance at the highest settings. For the high-tech user, there is a mobile app tracking built into this machine that supports Bluetooth. That way, you will have all the important exercise data clear across several platforms. This feature works extremely well for the user that is always on the move, so you can have workout stats wherever you are. The parts were built for repetition and strong movement, with a three piece cranking system that delivers consistent results for years.

There is a built-in computer console with few that include the 24 level adjustable magnetic tension. It supports max weight up to 270 pounds, and therefore, it will not benefit those in the 300+ category. This seems to be about in line with the average weight an elliptical can handle. There is also an advanced hand pulse sensor built into the machine that will serve you well during an intense workout while targeting key heart rate zones. When comparing the size of this elliptical to others on the market, you’ll notice that the design was made to give you the most space possible without limiting the overall usefulness of the product. Considering all you get for the price, this is a hard to pass deal that will please users of all ages.

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  • EX-69-2
  • Brand: Horizon Fitness
  • Dimension: 75 x 24 x 66 inches
  • Weight: 208 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • 430
  • Brand: Schwinn
  • Dimension: N/A
  • Weight: N/A
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • Hybrid Trainer PFEL03812
  • Brand: ProForm
  • Dimension: 45 x 18 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 142 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

Horizon Fitness EX-69-2 Elliptical Trainer

Our next item is one of the most expensive products on the list, but a high-end item for users that are serious about their physical fitness. It’s a 6 star certified platform that’s not only easy to get into, but easy to step onto with a 10-inch height. A built-in fitness fan will let you stay cool during intense workouts while the 14.3-pound flywheel, with magnetic brake resistance, offers smooth performance.

You can opt for a heavy workout or a light one, with a range from 1-20 for electronic resistance range. The typical oversized footpad is included with traction edges, and with 20 inches to play around with, you’ll never be in an uncomfortable position. This is one of the few items on the list that supports 300 pounds, so it easily caters a wide range of users. The weight limit is directly attributed to the construction which is top-notch and won’t show any signs of slowing down for years.

A lifetime warranty is included for the frame and brake with 1 year for parts and labor. There are many useful programmable options available, for example, the unique goal center tracking that keeps you on pace throughout your routines. Premium features include the contact grips, sonic speakers with MP3 input, along with headphone output and low noise output even at the highest setting. There are plenty of prime quality elliptical on the list but none that covers as much ground as this one. Current users did mention that the LCD is just a basic monochrome green that may seem outdated for potential buyers. Therefore, a nice color screen with more spacing would have been preferable, but again that is just a minor drawback and has no effect on the functionality of the elliptical.

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Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

Here is another elliptical in the high priced field and this is the Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine that is one of the best-designed options on the list if that’s something you care about. It comes with a dual track two LCD window system that throws a wealth of information your way. If set up correctly, you can monitor 13 different feedbacks, all within comfortable viewing of each other. Fitness goals can be taken anywhere with the data export feature, as Schwinn Connect goal tracking is on par with some of the better fitness apps across all platforms. Up to 22 programs with 2 user settings and several goal tracking options make this a prime choice for a multiple user setups or for an exercise with changing routines. The easily adjustable inertia perimeter weighted flywheel supports up to 20 levels of resistance that ensures that you get into shape quickly and efficiently.

One of the better features is the USB port, which is conveniently located in an accessible area for your charging or data needs. Compatibility with modern apps, like MyFitnessPal means that you aren’t tied to their proprietary Schwinn Connect system, leaving you to experiment with other options if you prefer. You’ll feel the burn with the ten degrees six-position manual ramp, made from the same high-quality materials that Schwinn has become so well known for. With a built-in 3-speed fan and acoustic chamber speakers, this has all of the premium amenities you would expect in quality of ellipticals from Schwinn as a top priority.

Just like the previous ellipticals on the list, the weight limit is 300 pounds, so this machine will suit many users out there. This unit also comes with a fantastic warranty that features a 10 year warranty on the frame, 2 years mechanical, 1 year electrical and 90 days labor. Here we have one of the most comprehensive and best warranties in the business. Therefore, you can count on this unit to last for many years. If you are having a hard time deciding on the best machine to purchase off of the list, you should seriously consider investing your money in this machine because it has a lot to offer.

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ProForm Hybrid Trainer

Last on the list is the ProForm Hybrid Trainer and this is the most comfortable unit on the list, but don’t let the comfort level fool you into thinking it’s not high impact. You can work out your upper body, arms, and even lower body with the recumbent seat and oversized pedals. There is support for up to 14 workout apps with 14 resistance levels and a 15-inch stride length. There is nothing easy about the workouts, and it’s just as high-impact as the others on the list. An inertia enhanced flywheel is one of the smoothest and most durable ones on the list, and users will notice an impressive performance when working out. Fitness goals and targets can be monitored through the LCD, which also has an RPM meter for you to track. There is also an adjustable leveler for feet.

This unit can be used both standing up or sitting down, making it the most versatile elliptical on the list. It also has the highest weight capacity at 350, which is an outstanding figure when you consider that most cap-out at 300 pounds. Extra features include a water bottle holder, dual-grip EKG heart rate monitor, and transport wheels so you can easily move it around your home gym. This unit can be set to work as both a recumbent bike and elliptical gives it an edge over the other units on the list.

Whichever position you’re in, the console is adjustable, so it’s at a comfortable viewing position for you while working out. With a total weight of 145, the wheels are a necessary feature. If you need to carry the unit up the stairs, there will be some struggle, but it’s nothing too out of the way. You won’t find a better deal on this list or anywhere if you’re looking for the best of both worlds. The ProForm Hybrid Trainer combines two high-quality workout routines into one incredible product for a moderate price.

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Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine

Our next pick is one of the highest priced units on the list, but extremely popular and efficient machine. It tracks all the important training data, thanks to the easy-to-read massive 9-inch blue backlit LCD, which is one of the more sophisticated displays available today. This unit comes with an adjustable 20-22 inch maximum stride length, along with 2 custom programs, 2 hearts rate programs, and 6 standard programs.

There is enough on the core exercises to keep you busy for months on a routine. Unlike some of the other elliptical on the list that require external devices for heart monitoring, this unit includes a heart rate chest strap, which enables you to start your workout right out of the box. Other features are the built-in fan to keep you cool during workouts, ECB resistance, and 15-inch pedals.

There is a water bottle holder, and a decent sound system included. Weight limit is capped at 400 pounds, so beware of passing that limit when using the unit. When it comes to warranties, you’re going to get your money’s worth with this product. The manufacturer warranty protects your investment against defects in materials with a lifetime on the frame, five years on electronic parts and up to 2 years on labor.

You will be pleasantly surprised how smoothly and quietly this machine operates in both forward and reverse position. Additionally, you will enjoy fully adjustable ramp that goes from 0-30 degrees, and that is a great premium touch that will keep your entire body toned for years. Overall, there is a lot to love and little to hate about this elliptical. It’s an incredible buy that won’t disappoint even the most demanding buyer.

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Elliptical Ratings Buyer Guide

Best Elliptical Machine Buying Guide

1. Overview

The data we used to create the elliptical reviews include features and tests from multiple websites. Then, every product was rated according to the following criteria;

  • comfort
  • construction quality
  • technological features
  • workout effectiveness
  • size and storage
  • price and
  • extras (warranty, shipping, etc.).

Important features like stride length, workout programs, resistance, incline settings, and weight capacity are also used to gauge which elliptical trainers are best suited for you.

2. Comfort

Comfort is an important feature of an elliptical because many people will be spending a lot of time using the machine to get results. Therefore, every machine in our countdown is known for comfort and efficient performance. However, every user will share different comfort level and there is no One-Size-Fits-All elliptical on the market. Therefore, of all the machines surveyed, the Gazelle Edge is easily the most comfortable elliptical, based on user experience. The reason is that the Gazelle Edge has a glider design and motion, but lacks other features, like workout programs and resistance.

It is very reasonably priced and can support up to 300 lbs, but the absence of basic elliptical trainer features makes it more suitable for the elderly or people recovering from joint injuries or operations. There are also other ellipticals that include oversized footpads to provide stability and slip-free footing for their users, which is a great feature to have. Therefore, if comfort and basic features are your main priority, then you should consider purchasing the Gazelle Edge. However, there are other comfortable units in our countdown as well, such as the Sole E35 and the Horizon Fitness EX-59-02.

3. Construction Quality

Elliptical Machine Buying GuideAll the machine that are mentioned above have great construction quality. They are made of high-quality steel and built to last. Although built from steel material, the overall weight is kept relatively low. Most of the ellipticals support up to 300 lbs. and understandably, the ones that can support more than that are also the pricier ones. If durability is something that matters to you, then you should check out the SOLE E95 because it is one of the strongest elliptical on the market, being able to support 400 lbs. On the other hand, the Sunny Air Walk Trainer has the lowest maximum capacity of only 220 lbs. The difference is significant, and have in mind that the price holds in had with the support level.

When it comes to construction quality, the steppers and gliders (Sunny Air Walk Trainer, Stamina In-Motion, Sunny Health and Fitness Twister Stepper, and Gazelle Edge) have outperformed the elliptical trainers. For pure strength and construction quality for elliptical trainers, the Schwinn A40 and Proform Hybrid Trainer have pretty much the same weight to maximum capacity ratio.

4. Technological Features

The truth is that technology is not for everyone and you either love it or hate it. Elliptical come in all sizes and shapes, with different features. Some units are very basic while others have varied stride length. Moreover, some have incline settings while some do not. Small differences such as these can greatly affect the overall performance of your desired pick. Therefore, it all pretty much depends on what matters most to the buyer but the average budget that buyers set themselves range from $500 to $1000.

There are many sophisticated elliptical that you can find below the $1000 mark, such as the Schwinn 430, which has incline capability. For those who want a complete package, the Schwinn 470 or the Proform 14.0 CE will most likely fit the bill. The Schwinn 470 has a wide range of workout programs, a total of 29, while the ProForm includes 18.

Additionally, the Schwinn features 25 resistance levels, while the ProForm has 14. On the other hand, the ProForm has a better incline settings, 10 – 25 degrees, while the Schwinn features 10 degrees. Warranty is something that both Schwinn and ProForm take seriously, and Schwinn offers a lifetime warranty for the frame and 1-year parts and labor, while the ProForm offers 10 years on frame, 1 year on electronics and 90 days on labor.

For the ones who do not worry about spending a little bit more, the SOLE E35 and SOLE E95 have a variable stride length of 20” to 22”, the same number of resistance level (20) with incline settings of 30 and 40 degrees respectively. The Precor EFX 5.23 and Precor EFX 5.33 are quite pricey, but packed with the newest technological features, and they are extremely popular machines among happy users.

Workout Efficiency

Elliptical TrainerWhen it comes to workout effectiveness, it is extremely important to enjoy, and feel that the machine is working. Workout effectiveness is all about how good the workout session is and how much the machine helps you to provide the best result possible. Therefore, the Proform Hybrid Trainer is an excellent option if you are looking to get the most out of your training because it features two machines in one.

Comfortable seat is another important element that you need to consider in order to make the workout efficient. The ProForm Hybrid includes a variety of different features that help you to reach your fitness goals. The Schwinn 470 also scores well in workout effectiveness because of the great combination of stride length (20”), workout programs (29), resistance levels (25), and the incline setup it provides (10).

Size and Storage

Not surprisingly, the best performing machines in this category are the steppers and gliders because they are all extremely compact and light. Therefore, they can be brought and used pretty much anywhere. Great examples of compact elliptical training machines include the Stamina In-Motion, Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper, Sunny Air Walk Trainer, and the Gazelle Edge.

The best thing is that users like this kind of ellipticals, not just because of affordability, but also because of portability that allows you to bring it anywhere. In a world where many hours are spent in the office, mobility is a great advantage for an exercise equipment.

A lot of the more conventional elliptical trainers do have transport wheels to help make them easier to move around. Machines like the Exerpeutic 1000Xl, Schwinn A40 and Nautilus E514c are great options, but the Proform 14.0 CE is by far the best one since it can be folded.

Price

Obviously, this is one of the biggest factors to consider when buying an elliptical trainer, and there are machines out there ranging from the Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper worth $50 to the high-end Precor EFX 5.33 that has a $4500 price tag. When you are thinking about investing in an elliptical trainer, you have to consider the features that each machine brings to the table.

If you’re looking to get a balanced and affordable elliptical trainer with great features, you might want to check out the Schwinn 430 that has all the bells and whistles you need and is worth just above the $600 point. However, if you’re looking for an entry level elliptical trainer, then the Schwinn A40 and the Schwinn 420 are below the $500 mark, and the Exerpeutic 1000Xl is around $200, with less features but still does the job well.

Warranty

When it comes to warranty, the longer it is the better. The warranty plan is one of the biggest deal maker or breaker since it provides peace of mind to the customer and allows them to save money if there are issues with the machine later on. In this respect, there are many manufacturers that provide lengthy warranties, and it is important that you investigate the warranty period thoroughly. The length of the warranty usually holds in hand with the quality. Price is not always a guarantee of a lengthy warranty, therefore, if you opt for a high-priced unit, it should include a lifetime warranty. On the other hand, more affordable units also come with a lifetime warranty.

The Precor EFX 5.33 is a world-class elliptical that performs well and comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, 10 years for the parts and 1 year for labor. However, it is worth around $4500, and it goes without saying that it should come with a great warranty plan. On the cheaper side, we have affordable choices like Horizon Fitness EX-59 with a lifetime warranty on the frame, 20 years on the brake with 1 year on parts and labor for only $600. Other good examples are the Sole E95 and E35 with a lifetime warranty on the frame, five years on electronic parts and two years on labor worth over $1500 and $1300 respectively. For those who are looking for even more affordable options, around the $1000 price mark, the Kettler Axos Cross comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and two years for electronics and parts.

Important Features to Keep in Mind

Portable vs. Stationary

Best Elliptical MachineIf you decide to go for a compact unit, have in mind that it may include fewer features, and a lower user-supported max weight. The reason for this is that lighter and compact units are usually not designed for more supported weight. However, the weight difference is usually not a significant factor if you are deciding between a portable unit and a stationary unit. A feature rich elliptical will be a winner whether it’s portable or stationary, especially on models that have modern support for apps and Bluetooth. Moreover, Android and iOS support is becoming a standard in today’s ellipticals.

There is no question about it, if you are low on space, portable and compact unit should be your number one option. However, keep in mind that a lot of the larger units can also fold and fit under your bed, or even upright in your closet. Making sure you get the dimensions and portable features of the unit right will make a big difference in which one works better for your needs.

App Support

MyFitnessPal is one of the more popular workout tracking apps available, especially since it’s free and has high compatibility on all platforms. Usually when looking for an elliptical, support for that app is the first thing most people will look for. But not everyone uses the same app, or have even heard of MyFitnessPal. This is where things get interesting for people that have never been introduced to fitness apps of any kind.

A lot of the units on this list come with built in apps that will suffice for what most users want to get from their workout machines. Ellipticals can monitor heart rate, RPM, goals and even set goals by week, month, and year. You can set weight goals with built-in apps, and even the harder-to-reach caloric goals that are so hard to come by.

Companies like Schwinn have created their own MyFitnessPal services that perform better than the apps mentioned above. The Schwinn apps include a web service that means you can take your workout information with you wherever you go. The most important part of using a proprietary system like this, is that you can be sure to receive support for as long as your elliptical works, unlike a third party app like MyFitnessPal that could end its support at any point and time. There is also no guarantee of compatibility with any of your equipment, which can lead to frustration if you become too dependent on one app.

Hybrid Machines

Elliptical Ratings Buyer GuideThere are some interesting hybrid machines on the list that perform the workout routines of more than just an elliptical. Some even include unique motions that hit other muscles, like the Gazelle Edge. There isn’t a wrong choice in this area, as long as you know what your targeted muscle group is, and the machine hits it constantly. Hybrid ellipticals are not a gimmick at all, they are very much a great value to those that want to hit different points in their body for the best workout.

Hybrid machines also operate better than machines that only use one function. Therefore, an adjustability option for an elliptical that is unavailable in a full elliptical may be available in a hybrid machine. With a hybrid machine, you can even maintain comfort level by moving from one position to the next, all without losing functionality. Having said that, you should take a close look at the available options and when you narrow down your list, do a side by side comparison because you may surprise yourself with the results and eventually, change your decision.

Summary

The best elliptical machines are easy to spot when you do your homework and pick a unit from a thoroughly reviewed list. There isn’t a huge difference between portable and stationary models, so you can end up with quite a long list to narrow down. Therefore, it is important to make a note of your current weight and pay close attention to the weight restrictions of some of the models, as using it past this limit will not only void your warranty, but also can lead to personal injury.

The weight limits aren’t hard set, but as a rule of thumb, it’s best to follow it as closely as possible. Exercise with caution and don’t go overboard, and as always consult your physician if you feel uncomfortable while using any of the units. The best elliptical machines are not only easy to maintain and get a hold of but choosing the right one could change your life for the better.