Best Elliptical Machines

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 12, 2020
Elliptical machines can simulate walking, running or hill climbing. They are perfect for working out your body, being much lighter on joints than treadmills. Hence, we propose you to choose one of the best elliptical machines available on the market. Just do it! ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
RESISTANCE TYPE
RESISTANCE LEVELS
STRIDE LENGTH
PROGRAMS
DISPLAY
EXTRAS
MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOAD
WEIGHT
WARRANTY
 
PROS

The DualTrack™ console on this elliptical has two backlit screens that show the workout data and are easily viewable in low light. It offers 29 programs making it suitable for different workouts.

CONS

The additional tools for assembly are lacking in quality.

OUR VERDICT

The Nautilus E616 is a professional elliptical machine that is suitable for all fitness levels. It offers serious resistance and comes with numerous tailored workout programs making sure you stay motivated and can burn loads of calories. 

detailed parameters
RESISTANCE TYPE

Magnetic

RESISTANCE LEVELS

25

STRIDE LENGTH

20"

PROGRAMS

29

DISPLAY

DualTrack™ LCD displays: Speed, Time, Distance, Calories burned, Heart rate, Programs, and Goal tracking

EXTRAS

Bluetooth connectivity, Syncs with Nautilus Trainer 2 app and RunSocial app, In-console speakers with MP3 input port, USB media charging and adjustable fan

MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOAD

300 lbs

WEIGHT

173.3 lbs

WARRANTY

10 years on frame, 3 years on mechanical parts, 3 years on electronics, 1 year on labor

PROS

The trainer gives you an ability to download a free Run Social App and run through 19 locations with 27 routes alongside people from all over the world in real time.

CONS

The assembly requires considerable time. 

OUR VERDICT

The Schwinn 470 is one of the most motivating and engaging machines to use by the whole family. It can store up to 4 profiles and send all the data to your gadgets. Packed with the Precision Path Foot Motion Technology, it'll make users feel as comfortable as possible.

detailed parameters
RESISTANCE TYPE

Magnetic

RESISTANCE LEVELS

25

STRIDE LENGTH

20"

PROGRAMS

29

DISPLAY

Dual track LCD displays: Speed, Time, Distance, Calories burned, Heart rate, Programs, and other controls

EXTRAS

Bluetooth connectivity, Explore the World App and other apps, Contact & Telemetry enabled heart rate, Media rack, Speakers, Built-in bottle holder, MP3 input port, USB port, Adjustable fan, Oversize foot pedals

MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOAD

275 lbs

WEIGHT

189.2 lbs

WARRANTY

10 years on frame, 2 years on mechanical parts, 1 year on electronics, 90 days on labor

PROS

At 37.8" x 26.6" x 60", it takes minimum space and can fit almost anywhere. With that, it's also very lightweight and can be moved easily from one room to another.

CONS

The stride is rather short.

OUR VERDICT

The Sunny SF-E905 is a good entry-level magnetic elliptical trainer that provides safe upper and lower body workouts. It's one of the best-performing models within the "under $200" category. A great option for those who are limited in space and budget.

detailed parameters
RESISTANCE TYPE

Magnetic

RESISTANCE LEVELS

8

STRIDE LENGTH

11"

PROGRAMS

No

DISPLAY

Monochrome LCD display: Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Pulse, and Scan

EXTRAS

Hand pulse monitoring system, Padded handles, Non-slip foot pedals, Floor stabilizers, Transportation wheels, Oversize foot pedals

MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOAD

220 lbs

WEIGHT

60.78 lbs

WARRANTY

3 years on structural frame, 180 days on other parts and components

PROS

The high-quality flywheel ensures minimum noise during workouts. It's so quiet that you can easily listen to an audiobook without a need to wear your earphones.

CONS

Paint may flake off at the square edges over time.

OUR VERDICT

The Doufit EM-01 is a stylish low-impact elliptical trainer that is ideal for family use. It can accommodate any foot size and is so simple to use anyone including those not technologically savvy will have no trouble with it. Perfect for beginners, kids, and seniors.

detailed parameters
RESISTANCE TYPE

Magnetic

RESISTANCE LEVELS

8

STRIDE LENGTH

14"

PROGRAMS

No

DISPLAY

Monochrome LCD display: Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Pulse, and Scan

EXTRAS

Hand pulse monitoring system, Padded handles, Non-slip foot pedals, Bottle holder

MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOAD

250 lbs

WEIGHT

66 lbs

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The machine is compatible with the iFit Coach app that offers three workout formats - custom-built workouts, Google Map workouts, and HD video workouts by famous personal trainers.

CONS

The 2" speaker is situated a bit inconveniently.

OUR VERDICT

The ProForm Endurance 520 E is a golden mean in a vast range of elliptical machines. Priced lower than $600,  it meets all the requirements of a light-commercial cross-trainer and offers everything you may need for medium-intensity workouts.

detailed parameters
RESISTANCE TYPE

Magnetic

RESISTANCE LEVELS

18

STRIDE LENGTH

19"

PROGRAMS

18

DISPLAY

5" backlit display: Speed, Time, Distance, Calories burned, Heart rate

EXTRAS

Built-in EKG grip pulse sensors, Speaker, IFit ready, 0 to 20 degrees incline capability, Oversized feet, Water bottle holder, tablet holder, Front-mounted transport wheels

MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOAD

300 lbs

WEIGHT

207 lbs

WARRANTY

Lifetime frame warranty, 1 year on parts and labor 

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Nautilus E616

Sturdy Construction

When it comes to innovative, top-quality exercise equipment, Nautilus often comes up as one of the best manufacturers in the industry. Being among leaders in the exercise equipment field, it produces sturdy fitness machines that come with a generous warranty that they are sure to outlast. Besides that, their products aren't too expensive so anyone interested in getting top-of-the-line sports gear that won't break the bank can find something suitable for themselves. One of such machines is the E616 model - it falls into a mid-range category yet offers a great combination of performance specs and features. Let's take a closer look at it.

To begin with, the trainer looks very solid and sturdy with its perimeter-weighted flywheel and sizeable 72" footprint. Due to this large footprint, it's well balanced and isn’t going to move during even the most intense workouts. Next comes its motorized incline which allows adjusting the angle of the machine up to  11° so as to let you vary the intensity of your workouts. Plus, there are 25 levels of magnetic resistance included. Thanks to all this, the machine provides for multiple adjustment options. 

Among other highlights, we'd like to point out the machine's 20″ stride length and max load of 300 lbs that allow it to comfortably accommodate athletes of all sizes. At the same time, the machine itself isn't too big. Made of high-quality materials, the construction weighs only 173 lbs, which's about 50 lbs less than most similar elliptical machines that have the same max load. 

Last but not least, the assembly of the E616 is fairly straightforward and won't take you too long. The machine comes with detailed instructions so you will know what bolt/goes where and will be able to put this elliptical together without professional assistance.

Review of Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer

A Wide Variety of Options

Moving on, this machine is packed with the advanced DualTrack™ computer that offers two blue, backlit display screens, allowing you to view all your workout data at once without having to scroll across all metrics. 

Generally, the console offers you to choose between 29 programs including 12 pre-sets like fun rides, mountain rides and challenges. Also, the machine has pre-programmed heart rate profiles that can help you exercise within your target heart rate zone (provided that you use the grips). It is also of note that the Nautilus E616 can provide a more accurate way of pulse tracking but for that, you will need to purchase a chest heart rate monitor separately. 

Best of all, the machine is Bluetooth-enabled and can transfer all your workout data through MyFitnessPal. Additionally, it can be synced up with the free Nautilus Trainer 2 app, RunSocial app, and other popular fitness apps. All these features make using the Nautilus E616 Elliptical enjoyable and may keep you coming back for more and more exercises. It’s a sturdy machine with lots of pre-set workouts for beginner to moderate fitness levels that are sure to keep you motivated and help you burn a serious amount of calories.

Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $1,499.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B078HHTS9L

What customers say about this product

Design

I do not bother anyone when I workout because elliptical has smooth and quiet drive.

Features

I like that I can use the phone during workouts and immediately charge it through usb.

Key Specs

The resistance can feel a little bit high on the lowest settings but once I got used to how the machine felt I got into it. I was sweating when I was done, that's for sure! Glad I purchased it.
 

Schwinn 470 Compact

Heavy Duty Machine

Schwinn is a big name in the fitness industry that is famous for making great fitness equipment for reasonable costs, and the 470 Elliptical is great proof. It's a quiet-running, durable, and sturdy machine with some extra features that’ll help you stay motivated from workout to workout.

To understand how reliable the machine is, just consider the fact that its frame is backed with a 10-year warranty. So, we can admit that this Schwinn elliptical falls into the category of heavy-duty machines. No wonder, it's quite hefty and requires considerable effort and time for assembly even though it comes with a step-by-step, fully-illustrated manual. Once put together, it looks and feels quite substantial - it weighs about 165 lbs and can accommodate users up to 300 lbs.

The 470 has a 20-lb flywheel, which is an average weight for most high-quality machines. Its 20-inch stride length is also quite standard. However, what makes it different is the Schwinn’s Precision Path Foot Motion Technology. It's designed to mimic a natural running motion and make users feel as comfortable as possible. Thus, every movement will be natural and smooth.

For the convenience of use, the unit is made with a 3-speed fan and a water bottle holder. Its sound system includes sealed acoustic chamber speakers with a USB charging port.

Review of Schwinn 470 Compact Elliptical Machine

Explore the World with Schwinn

The Schwinn 470 offers you 29 presets to choose from, including 9 heart rate control programs, 12 fitness programs, and some custom options. For easy navigation, the console has a dual-track 5-inch LCD screen. The computer is backlit and allows you to store four separate profiles with 13 feedback categories. If you wish, you can transfer all your workout data to the proprietary Schwinn Trainer app or such popular apps like MyFitness Pal, GoogleFit, Apple Health, UA Record, MapMyRun/Ride, Explore the World, and RunSocial. Speaking of the latter app, it allows you to run through 19 different locations with 27 routes. Furthermore. you can compete with people from all over the world in real time.

All this surely makes the Schwinn 470 one of the most motivating elliptical machines on the market. With enhanced Bluetooth opportunities and ultra-durable construction, it's tough to beat.
Schwinn 470 Compact Elliptical Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $1,294.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B01MY88ZZ0

 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905

Super Compact

If you're limited in space but still want to burn some calories in the comfort of your own home, the Sunny Health and Fitness elliptical bike may be a good solution. This small machine fully lives up to the company's great reputation by being a quality, basic cardio trainer that comes at a very affordable price tag.

The unit measures just 37.8" x 26.6" x 60", meaning it's much more compact than the majority of ellipticals available for sale. That's why it can easily fit into most corners of your home. With that, it weighs manageable 68 lbs and has transportation wheels, ridding you of the need to lift heavy weights and strain your muscles if you want to move it to another place or put it out of sight.

Despite being so lightweight, the trainer is relatively steady owing to the floor stabilizers at the bottom. They show good results on both carpets and hardwood floors by preventing tipping and swaying. To help users achieve even more safety and stability, this cross-trainer comes equipped with anti-slip handlebars and footpads. They provide a smooth upper and lower body workout without a jarring impact on your knee joints. The only slight gripe is that the stride length makes only 11 inches, which may be uncomfortable for individuals that like longer strides.

Review of Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer

Frills-Free Model

The Sunny Elliptical machine is fitted with magnetic resistance, so it provides quite smooth, flowing motion for effective cardiovascular workouts. Yet, do note that it doesn't offer any preset programs like higher-end models, so you should rely only on your feelings and body response. By pushing onto the convenient tension knob, you can increase the resistance up to the 8th level in order to keep your workouts challenging.

Owing to the pulse sensors on the handles, the machine monitors your heart rate, allowing you to exercise more correctly and efficiently. It calculates your pulse and accordingly shows how many calories are already burned. Besides these stats, the mini digital monitor also shows scan, time, speed, and distance to help you track your fitness goals.

All things considered, this elliptical bike is a good offering for those who have limited budget and space but still want a decent at-home workout solution. It has a very compact design and shows the most important piece of health data.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer in the use
Last updated price $170.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B002R8CPRY

 

Doufit EM-01

Noise-free Operation

The Doufit EM-01 is another affordable elliptical trainer for those who lead a busy life and want to exercise occasionally without wasting time and spending money on visiting a gym. The Doufit stepper is a good low-impact machine for general toning of your body and exercising of your muscles. It's very easy on joints and bones, so it's also ideal for family use. Even seniors that have a hard time using treadmills and other cardio trainers due to the knee and hip issues will find this elliptical useful and enjoyable.

At a glance, it becomes obvious that the Doufit EM-01 looks different. Instead of a plain all-black design, it comes in an attractive combination of white and black colors. Also, it has a quite small form factor compared to bulky commercial ellipticals, so it can easily fit into a bedroom. And if you need to transport the trainer to another room, you'll be able to do that by tilting it forward and rolling on the two wheels neatly tucked into the front base.

The major selling point of the Doufit EM-01 is the fact that it's stunningly quiet. The high-quality flywheel provides noise-free workouts - the machine doesn’t make any noise when in use, so you can easily watch TV or listen to an audiobook without a need to wear earphones. Plus, the trainer won’t disturb or bother people around you at all.

When it comes to durability, the Doufit elliptical machine boasts a heavy-duty steel frame to provide stable and safe performance. It's equipped with large, textured pedals that are very supportive and can accommodate any foot size really well.

Review of Doufit EM-01 Portable Elliptical Trainer for Home Gym

Tech Specs

As with most budget ellipticals, the Doufit EM-01 uses magnetic resistance with 8 different tension levels. The sensitive digital LCD monitor along with the pulse sensors can accurately track and scan such data as calories, time, speed, virtual distance, total mileage, and heart rate. The display is simple and easily usable so even those who are not tech-savvy will be able to quickly get the hang of it, which makes it a good deal for everyone including kids and seniors. The monitor requires three AAA-type batteries that come included with the purchase. One other extra that's worth mentioning is a small bottle holder. Located under the display and resistance adjustment knob it can accommodate any standard sports water bottle to keep you well-hydrated during workouts.

In all, the Doufit EM-01 is a great low-impact elliptical fitness machine for cardiovascular-aerobic workouts at home. It can suit beginners, kids, and elderly people alike. And owing to the portable and stylish design, it can fit just any environment.

Doufit EM-01 Portable Elliptical Trainer for Home Gym in the use
Last updated price $229.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07YV6DFX5

 

ProForm PFEL55916 Endurance 520 E

Well-Balanced Model

The ProForm Endurance 520 E is a golden mean in a vast range of elliptical machines. Priced lower than $600, this machine is hard to beat in terms of performance and level of comfort you can expect for the money. Actually, it meets all the requirements of a light-commercial elliptical trainer and offers everything you may need for medium-intensity workouts.

First off, we would like to emphasize that the trainer offers a respectable 19" elliptical path, which is a good stride length for most adults up to 6’4" of height. They will experience a full range of motion with no limitations.

Yet, what really sells the product is the variable incline options - there are five incline levels, between 0 and 20 degrees. With each increase in incline, you'll be able to target your muscles a bit differently. Even though the incline function is manual rather than electronic (you'll need to get off the machine and then get back on again), it's a very unique feature for a sub-$600 cross-trainer.

Like most high-end ellipticals, the ProForm 520 E is featured with both stationary and mobile handlebars. The fixed ones have a nicely curved design and offer just the right grip. They have built-in heart rate sensors, which is an important aspect for anyone going to monitor their pulse during workouts.

Review of ProForm PFEL55916 Endurance 520 E Elliptical Trainer

Personalized Training

The ProForm 520 is far superior to cheaper ellipticals in terms of exercising variety. It comes packed with 18 pre-programmed workouts created by a professional trainer. Even better, the Endurance 520 can be enhanced with iFit Coach for unlimited training variety. Just download the iFit® app on your tablet or smartphone, get a preferable subscription, and pop your gadget onto the adjustable tablet holder. The iFit® smart fitness app provides quick and access to numerous training opportunities and offers three main formats - custom-built workouts, Google Map workouts, and HD video workouts by famous personal trainers.

Other extra features include 2" stereo speakers, a music port for an mp3 player, a water bottle holder, and a USB charging port. So, with a small investment, you"ll get a high level of comfort, decent resistance, and practically limitless workout options. A stellar offering for those who're not sure how to plan their fitness routine.

ProForm PFEL55916 Endurance 520 E Elliptical Trainer in the use
Last updated price $1,599.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B01LWVJCDU

 

Infographics

Comparison of Elliptical Machines

What Is an Elliptical Machine?

Nowadays, more and more people take care of their health and body. However, when visiting a gym is not an option, home fitness equipment can come to your rescue, and an elliptical machine is among them. It's a kind of advanced exercise bike that involves more muscles, but the main load still falls on the lower part of the body, namely, the hips, buttocks, and legs. The elliptical trainer combines three different types of load: cycling, climbing, and skiing.

Among numerous benefits an elliptical brings, we can highlight the fact that it not only helps you burn extra fat and tone your muscles but also boosts your stamina and cardio capacity as well. When you do aerobic exercises on an elliptical machine, you eventually strengthen your heart and lungs. Also, an elliptical trainer can improve your balance and make your bones stronger. As you see, there are many advantages of using this cross-body machine, but if you're keen on jogging and don't want to miss a chance to go run even when the weather isn't good for it, we suggest that you get one of the treadmills and keep training at home. To make your workouts even more effective for strengthening muscles of your back, arms, and legs, you can also get an exercise ball.

What Features to Compare

Type

Basically, there are three types of ellipticals depending on their drive position: front, rear or center.

  • Front drive elliptical trainers are the least expensive ones. However, they have many moving parts, which means they are a bit noisy and require more repairs than other types.
  • Rear drive elliptical machines ensure pretty silent and smooth ride. They allow your body to stay in a comfortable upright position, which is undoubtedly a benefit.
  • Center drive ellipticals are the newest type of this sports equipment, thus, they provide users with more high-tech extras. They are also pretty compact and can be stored in any corner.

As for resistance type, ellipticals can be divided into mechanical (belt), magnetic, and electromagnetic machines.

  • The most common are mechanical ones as they are lightweight, relatively compact, simple and have an attractive price, though are rather noisy.
  • Magnetic elliptical trainers provide smoothness and do not create any noise. Such models are relatively expensive, yet have a real advantage over mechanical as they lack jerking when braking.
  • The most advanced type is electromagnetic elliptical trainers as their operation is totally controlled by a computer. These trainers are multifunctional and easy to use since you can see all the information on a screen. In addition, electromagnetic models are known for their durability and silent operation but, of course, they are the most expensive.

Extras

Almost every modern elliptical trainer is equipped with various tracking systems that facilitate control over a workout. They can show speed, distance, time, load or resistance level, burned calories, and heart rate. The most advanced machines can be equipped even with a USB port, MP3 Player, and Bluetooth. The latter option allows you to connect to different apps on your smartphone or tablet and send your fitness stats to them. Also, some apps can help you stay motivated by offering different types of workouts or competitions with other people in real time.

Needless to say, it would be nice if a machine had a tablet holder to let you have your hands-free while exercising.

Convenience of Use

The elliptical should be easy to use. That is to say, if you or your family members have some vision problems, you should go for models with a large backlit display, clear interface, and simple controls. Also, it would be nice if a machine could store several profiles in its memory so that you and your nearest would be able to track their progress and set different goals.

In case you're going to use the machine from time to time, consider models with foldable construction and transportation wheels. This way, you'll be able to fold the cross-trainer down after each use and store it out of sight. If you're limited in space, opt for compact-type machines.

How to:

Sources:

1. Gregory J. Florez Elliptical Buying Guide: Choose the Right Elliptical for You, Precor.

2. Elliptical Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. September 2016.

3. Karina Bray, Matthew Tung Going in circles: is an elliptical machine for me? Choice. July 25, 2014.

4. Elliptical trainer, Wikipedia. August 4, 2016.

5. Jannet Miller 8 Amazing Benefits of Elliptical Machines, The Huffington Post. February 23, 2016.

6. Alexandra Duron 18 Legit Reasons the Elliptical Is Better Than a Treadmill, Greatist. February 25, 2016.

7. Sarka-Jonae Miller Types of Elliptical Machines, LIVESTRONG. February 6, 2014.

8. Sharon Therien What Is the Difference Between an Elliptical & a Cross Trainer? Chron.

9. Ben Greenfield Is an Elliptical Trainer Good for Fat Loss? QDT. May 20, 2013.

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