Elliptical machines re-create an outdoor activity in your own home, acting as a sort of midway point between full-scale exercise and basic indoor workouts. Depending on the design, they can simulate everything from walking and biking to climbing and skiing, and each of them offers a unique set of features and internal parts that change the way they function and the kind of exercise and results you'll see after using them.
Many of them even find their way into home gym setups for dedicated exercise fans: but how do you decide which one is actually going to give you the results you want? Below are ten of the best elliptical machines on the market right now, along with details about what they can offer you as a user.
10 Best Ellipticals in 2021
- Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
- ElliptiGO 8C Elliptical Trainer
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine
- Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine
- ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
- Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer
- Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
- Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
- EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine
- NordicTrack Elliptical Training Machine
Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
- Very quiet operation.
- Multiple optional resistance levels.
- Built-in pulse pads.
- Perfect for use around the home.
- Eliminates harmful bouncing motions.
This tough elliptical machine offers eight different tension levels to let you tailor the workout to your preferences and current strength, helping you build up to your fitness goals over long periods of time. The natural motion removes any bouncing, and the built-in LCD display keeps you up to date on everything you might need to know, acting as a heart rate monitor, distance tracker and speedometer all at once. Not only that, but it's surprisingly quiet, using a special flywheel and belt drive to make sure that it produces as little noise as possible while you're exercising.
ElliptiGO 8C Elliptical Trainer
- Unique bike-style design.
- Uses a high quality and comfortable shape.
- Suitable for all skill levels.
- Allows for excellent performance.
- Can accommodate a range of user heights.
This unusual elliptical bike is actually designed for outdoor workout purposes, acting as a cross trainer with wheels. The lower body copies the shape of a stable bike with pedals that connect to the rear wheel, making each pedal motion more like a step in terms of your stride. Not only does this give you the same performance as a regular bike, but it also helps you get up slopes and hills due to the increased amount of force you can put on each push, all while staling balances and getting a smooth, bump-free ride.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine
- Eight resistance levels.
- Compact overall shape.
- Built-in transport wheels.
- Anti-slip feet.
- Built-in heart rate monitor.
This simple trainer machine offers a straightforward full-body workout, giving you a way to exercise your upper and lower body at the same time without over-complicating things. The machine has a special magnetic resistance system that lets you swap between 8 different settings on the fly, as well as a digital display that can monitor and track different statistics about your current workout session. Thanks to the stride length of 28 centimeters, you can easily fit it into a smaller area of your home, meaning that you aren't forced to clear a wide space for it each time you want to exercise.
Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine
- Plenty of resistance options.
- Exercises both your upper and lower body.
- Comes with mixed-reality race programs.
- Perfect for challenging yourself.
- Works best in small spaces.
This ellipitical trainer makes use of a mixed-reality app to simulate a range of different racing paths, letting you compete with friends or against pre-defined par times to help you stay motivated and always aiming at beating your previous time. The compact body makes it easy to fit the machine into smaller spaces for easier use around the house, and there are sixteen different resistance levels to give you full control over the results you get from your exercise. Not only that, but the stride length of 18 inches gives you plenty of freedom of movement, so you don't need to feel contained and restricted.
ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
- Offers great performance.
- Works best with various apps.
- Durable and tough machine design.
- Can simulate certain real-world trails.
- Built-in cooling fan.
This cardio-focused elliptical trainer has plenty of internal tools that can be used to enhance your workout experience, including an audio jack, built-in pulse monitor, special handle controls and even a cooling fan to stop you from overheating. The design can work with a range of over 30 workout apps to track your exercise and performance, and the tough design has a high weight capacity that makes it much easier to use regardless of your shape and size. Even better, the magnetic resistance system has 24 different settings for a much more precise level of customization with how much you challenge yourself.
Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer
- Built-in transport wheels.
- Easy to use adjustment knobs.
- Compact multi-functional display.
- Quiet and smooth operation.
- Works best for full-body workout sessions.
The particular style of motion offered by this elliptical machine makes it a great way of working out your entire body at once, and the chain-driven fan-based design ensures that the mechanism works quietly and reliably to give you the best experience possible each time. The dual-action handlebars are similarly smooth, letting you mix them into your lower-body workouts without having to jerk yourself around much. The small smart display gives you all the information you might need without taking up too much space, and the knob-based adjustment helps you to get the best results for your current skill and fitness levels.
Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
- Wide range of built-in programs.
- Reliable drive design and flywheel.
- All-in-one LCD screen.
- Lets you set custom programs.
- 20 resistance options.
This elliptical trainer offers 20 different levels of resistance to give you plenty of new workout options, ensuring that you can always move one step higher when you start to get comfortable. It also has 22 built-in programs, including fitness tests and custom settings, as well as a reliable high-speed drive system that's built to be as smooth and consistent as possible across each workout session. The dual-track LCD display system presents all of the relevant information to you directly, meaning that you don't have to keep switching modes every time you want to see another piece of data or information that's not currently on-screen.
Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
- Pulse monitoring system.
- Made using long-lasting, high-quality parts.
- Reliable backlit display.
- Easily adjustable design.
- 375-pound weight limit.
This elliptical machine has a backlit display that can help track different elements of your current workout, letting you get a good idea of your performance and current status. The grip and chest strap pulse monitoring system keeps your BPM rating constantly updated, and the built-in fan works to keep you cool if you're starting to overheat. It also has an audio system and a space to hold drinks, making your workout much more comfortable. Thanks to the adjustable 15-inch pedals and great drive system, it's able to work for users for any skill or experience level.
EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine
- Perfect for full-body exercise.
- No-impact design.
- Useful display monitor.
- Very quiet operation.
- Easy-to-move, compact design.
The compact and tough body of this elliptical trainer makes it very easy to use in a smaller home, offering a great full-body workout while still being small enough to easily add to an existing space. It's designed to be safe on your knees and joints while still offering all of the features you'd expect: a pulse monitor, speed trackers, distance estimation and calorie burning readings, all connected to a quiet and smooth flywheel and belt setup. There are eight different resistance settings for the magnetic system, letting you quickly alter the machine to suit your current strength level.
NordicTrack Elliptical Training Machine
- Great display screen.
- Adjustable stride.
- Well-cushioned design.
- Very quiet.
- Built-in exercise fan.
This elliptical trainer uses a silent magnet-based resistance system to make your workouts as convenient as possible, as well as a workout fan and proper cushioning to help you stay comfortable while you're pushing yourself into tougher workout programs. The adjustable stride can be up to 19 inches in size, letting you get the exact type of exercise you want for your body shape and size. Not only that, but the elliptical machine has a built-in ten-inch screen that's used to track and display your current stats, making it easier to see how your performance stacks up against a previous session.
Ellipticals Buyer's Guide
Buying a new elliptical trainer may seem simple, but there are dozens of models out there, each claiming to be the best elliptical trainers for a particular kind of person. The best ellipticals for you won't always be the ellipticals used by other people, so understanding what to look for in a machine can help you track down the best elliptical machines for your preferred activity or workout style.
Some people will want to get elliptical trainers that focus on a particular part of their body, while others will prefer ellipticals that can exercise their entire body at once. The best ellipticals will vary depending on which of these are more important to you: if you want lower-body workouts, there are elliptical machines that can offer you nothing but exercise for your lower body, but you'll have to look elsewhere if you want an elliptical that can exercise your top half as well.
Each type of elliptical you can buy will be designed in a slightly different way, and no single elliptical can emulate every type of exercise equipment. If you like cycling, you can get elliptical trainers that take on the style of a bike: either one that you use at home or an outdoor elliptical machine. Others, like crossfit ellipticals, will have a more conventional design, or might have a shape that's entirely unique to that particular brand of ellipticals.
Can you lose Belly Fat by using an Elliptical?
Like all exercise, you can use an elliptical to shed pounds off both your upper and lower body. However, you still need to be dedicated and use the machine properly: an elliptical machine isn't going to magically remove your stomach fat, even if it's advertised as the best way to tone a certain area. Losing weight is still a matter of “calories in, calories out”.
What is the Best Elliptical Machine to buy?
There's no single “best” choice of elliptical out there, so you need to think about your own needs first and foremost. Consider your price range, your current level of fitness and the kind of features you'll want. Watch out for fakes: even if a company has all of its rights reserved, there can still be bootleg elliptical, and it's easy to buy something that isn't up to your quality standards.
Is Elliptical better than a Treadmill?
Ellipticals are generally seen as far safer than treadmills due to the lower pressure on your joints and the lack of an incline setting. Both can still have an impact on your body health and can provide reliable exercise, so it comes down to your preferences: do you prefer running on an actual flat surface, or simulating one? The best option is whichever one you're most comfortable using, since using an elliptical that's causing you pain or serious discomfort can be a sign of health risks.
Always read elliptical reviews, no matter whether you're on Amazon.com or the manufacturer's original site. Not only do you get an idea of what each elliptical can offer, but you'll be able to hear opinions from other customers and users that might have had problems. If someone has run into problems with getting a fake product from a company that should have their rights reserved, or been charged for additional products that they didn't want, you'll hear about it right from the customer themselves.
Not all ellipticals will be designed to work in the same way, and some elliptical machines might look identical but function entirely differently. The best way to use an elliptical is to read the manual or instructions first, especially since you could end up harming yourself if you use them incorrectly.
Did You Know?
Ellipticals are great for losing weight and building muscle, but they still need to be used in a safe way. The best thing to do before buying an elliptical is to make sure your posture and form are correct first, then try to get the right clothing and safety gear that you'll need to avoid hurting yourself.