Best Elliptical for Home Use | With detailed buying guide
This is our guide for the best ellipticals.
One of the best ways to bring home the gym experience is through an elliptical cross-trainer. It gives you a total body cardio workout targeting the upper and lower body. The elliptical machine for weight loss is designed for users to walk, run or climb without placing too much pressure on the joints.
Choosing the best elliptical for home use can be challenging because they come in different sizes and shapes and offer distinct advantages. Our extensive research has listed the most common elliptical categories and picked the best elliptical representing that category.
A recumbent elliptical combines a recumbent exercise bike and an elliptical, offering the best of both worlds. It allows you to do a power-packed workout without stressing the joints as it has a cushioned seat supporting the back and lower body. It is ideal for users who want to do a total body workout but have limited mobility or are recovering from an injury. Seated elliptical cross trainers are also great for seniors and overweight/obese users.
The XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper is the best-seated cross trainer because it offers an excellent ergonomic design, comfortable seating, and a liner pedal motion make working out easy.
The mesh seat supports the back during the workout. The self-balancing pedal and moveable side handlebars promote ease and comfort, and the 24 resistance levels allow you to challenge your progress. In addition, the smooth gliding pedal motion gives a great workout without stressing the knees, hips, joints, and ankles.
With built-in speakers and a lifetime warranty on the frame and brakes, this elliptical is a sure-shot winner in this category.
However, we understand that you could have some very specific requirements. For this, we have curated a list of the best Recumbent Elliptical Cross Trainers with detailed reviews, which you can check out.
What is a heavy-duty elliptical and who is it for:
A heavy-duty elliptical can accommodate heavy users as it has a high weight-bearing capacity. Ideally, these high-weight ellipticals are best suited for those who weigh between 300 lbs and 500 lbs and provide a great low-impact workout. In addition, it helps target both the lower and upper body, which can often be challenging for a large person.
The best heavy-duty elliptical on the market is the Schwinn 470 Elliptical, which has a 300 lbs weight capacity. The 470 is Schwinn’s most advanced gym equipment with many impressive features, such as a 20-pound flywheel and the Precision Path Foot Motion technology to give the rider a natural feeling of running but on an elliptical.
The 20″ stride length makes the workout comfortable, and the 25 resistance levels ensure you always challenge yourselves with a sweaty cardio session.
An interactive LCD allows easy tracking of critical workout metrics, and the seamless Bluetooth connectivity connects this home elliptical machine with numerous fitness apps.
What is a rear-drive elliptical and who is it for:
A rear-drive elliptical is where the flywheel is located at the back of the machine. This elliptical is best suited for those looking for a more natural walking or running motion but doesn’t offer a steep incline.
These ellipticals are often found in public gyms and are generally more expensive because of their size. However, with technological advancements, many rear-drive elliptical options are now available for home use.
The top-rated rear-drive elliptical currently available on the market is NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE71. Packed with features such as the 18” adjustable stride length and a 10% auto-adjustable incline, the SE71 is a powerhouse piece of equipment.
It includes a 30-day free iFit membership with interactive training, giving you a real-time personal workout experience. And the 24 built-in workouts ensure that your workouts don’t get boring.
The large cushions on the pedals enhance the ergonomics, while the heavy flywheel offers a super smooth ride. Bluetooth connectivity, a cooling fan, and a 10 year warranty make the SE71 a multifunctional rear-drive elliptical offering more value than its contenders.
What is an elliptical bike combo and who is it for:
An elliptical bike combo combines an upright bike and a cross-trainer to give you the maximum benefit from one machine. You can stand and use the elliptical function or sit to ride the bike. This machine best suits those looking for low-impact exercises, as the seated exercise position allows better body weight distribution. Variety during the workout is an added benefit of this elliptical.
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is our top pick for the best elliptical bike combo. This equipment is budget-friendly and offers fantastic features, like a 30-day free iFit membership and a super comfortable ergonomic design.
The adjustable handlebars and seats allow you to change your position smoothly while transitioning from one type of workout to another. The LCD tracks the distance and calories burnt, amongst other metrics. The inertia-enhanced flywheel offers a smooth ride, and the adjustable pedals make you comfortable in both workout positions.
While we recommend the ProForm Hybrid Trainer as the best elliptical bike combo, other options are available to match your additional requirements. You can take your pick from the 6 Best Elliptical Bike Combo Machines.
What is a space-saving elliptical and who is it for:
A space-saving elliptical machine is compact, with a small footprint, and is easy to fold and move. It can be stored away after a workout, ensuring you have enough space to do other activities. These ellipticals make exercising possible for those who live in small apartments or have limited space for gym equipment.
Our research finds the Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical as the best small space elliptical. Despite a compact design, the Schwinn 411 offers an 18″ stride space seen in standard ellipticals. In addition, the 16 resistance levels on the machine allow individuals to challenge themselves by intensifying the workouts based on their progress.
With the Schwinn 411, you can exercise your way around the world through its “Explore the world” app. It lets you travel through 50 global routes that auto-adjusts in real-time based on your progress.
A folding elliptical can be folded easily and is portable around the house. It is compact and weighs less compared to other full-sized ellipticals. A foldable elliptical is ideal for individuals who have limited space and want to squeeze in a quick workout at home.
The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7I is one of the best folding elliptical machines for home use. An 18 lbs flywheel provides a smooth gliding motion during a workout, and the 22 resistance levels help you intensify your workout as you get fitter.
The SE71 has a 325 lbs user weight capacity, making it suitable for multiple members in the family. In addition, the 30-day free iFit membership and the on-demand workout sessions make the training sessions fun, and the long-term warranty provides peace of mind.
An elliptical is one of the most lauded gym equipment because it offers numerous benefits.
Good Cardio Workout
Working out on an elliptical is an excellent form of aerobic exercise that improves overall heart health. The parallel movement of hands and legs encourages the heart and lungs to work harder to supply blood to the muscles, thus building stamina and endurance.
Mimic Natural Walking Movement
Ellipticals are excellent at simulating the natural walking movement as it seamlessly pairs the upper and lower body. The overall walking feel, however, is determined by the flywheel position.
Mild Impact on Joints
Walking can often strain your joints as your feet come in contact with uneven surfaces based on the terrain you walk on. On the other hand, Ellipticals are excellent at simulating the natural walking movement without impacting your joints because your feet never leave the pedal.
Full body workout
An elliptical is one of the few machines that simultaneously work the arms and legs. The handlebars on the machine encourage the rider to move the hands as fast as the legs. The workout targets the lower body (glutes, hamstrings, thighs) and upper body (arms, quad, chest, bicep, etc.).
What to consider while buying an elliptical?
The below factors are essential to consider when buying a home use elliptical:
A flywheel is a thick metal disc revolving on an elliptical that helps increase or decrease momentum during a workout. The flywheel weight determines the smoothness of the machine. A heavier flywheel provides a smooth and quiet ride making it easy to work out in the house without disturbing other members.
Stride length is the distance an individual covers when taking a step. On an elliptical, stride length gauges how far the pedals separate from each other when in motion. It is a factor that affects your entire workout. If the stride length is too short, you may feel cramped by the end of your training. Therefore, look for stride length based on your height for a comfortable workout.
Any exercise equipment should be comfortable and help maintain a good posture during the workout. The ergonomics of the machine determine this. For example, when buying an elliptical, ensure you can keep an upright position, can reach the handlebars easily, and the overall ride is comfortable.
Ideally, try out the machine if you have an option.
Type of elliptical
There are a couple of points to consider in this. First, check if you need a rear, center, or front-drive elliptical. This is determined by your workout goals, budget, and space in your house.
Next is to decide if you want a regular standing elliptical, a recumbent elliptical, or a hybrid model. The recumbent elliptical works well for those recovering from an injury or who have mobility issues, whereas a hybrid elliptical can give you a lot of variety during the workout.
Ellipticals are heavy machines that take up space. Even compact folding ellipticals need a resting place. Therefore, choose an elliptical based on the space in your house.
Resistance indicates the level of difficulty while exercising on an elliptical. Look for an elliptical which offers multiple levels of resistance so that you can progress along your fitness journey.
The incline is another excellent feature to have to make your workouts challenging.
Max User Weight
The user weight capacity determines the maximum weight the elliptical can hold. Beyond that, the machine can malfunction and cause injury. It is, therefore, essential to consider the heaviest member of the family and buy an elliptical with a slightly higher weight capacity.
Like any standard machinery, ellipticals are also prone to wear and tear. Selecting an elliptical with a long-term warranty can help save repair or replacement costs. Check with the manufacturer or seller before buying the equipment.
An elliptical is an expensive investment, so make sure your chosen elliptical gives you as much usage as possible for the money spent. Some of the additional features to consider are:-
Heart rate monitoring
Water bottle/tablet holder
Adjustable stride length/handlebars
Disclaimer: The information mentioned in the article above is for educational and informational purposes only. It shouldn’t be considered as health or medical advice. Please consult a doctor or a qualified health professional if you have any medical/health conditions questions.