The Best Elliptical Machine
If you’re a regular at the gym or have done some research into building cardiovascular strength and complete body fitness, you know that find the best elliptical machine is the most effective and comprehensive tool with which to get into and stay in shape.
Gym memberships cost money though, and we often don’t feel like going to one, especially during the winter.
The solution is simple – get a home elliptical machine! Reliable models can be had for as little as a couple hundred dollars.
Here are in-depth reviews of five of the best elliptical machines that will invigorate, strengthen, and sculpt you and your family into healthier, happier people.
The Top 5 Best Elliptical Machines: Comparison Chart
Schwinn had resounding success back in 2013 when they released a new line of elliptical machines catering to the serious home gym owner.
The SCHWINN 470 Elliptical Machine builds on the original design, adding a dual screen, many diverse programs, and support for a number of fitness apps. It’s the ideal elliptical work out machine for the connected fitness enthusiast while being accessible enough for any family member to give it a go as well.
Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine: Product Highlights
The Schwinn 470 was built to be a comprehensive solution to your cardiovascular and muscle-toning workouts. It is outfitted with magnetic eddy brakes that ensure a good selection of resistances (25 in total) without having a negative impact on your joints.
Workouts are both easy to start and control thanks to a dual screen display which shows all pertinent info on two screens. You can cover one with a book or tablet and still keep track of distance traveled, calories burned etc.
The Schwinn 470 Elliptical ensures your workout is both comfortable and enjoyable. It has a 3-speed fan to keep you cool, a set of speakers, and a USB charging port. You get to choose between 29 programs including ones intended for intense cardio and fitness assessment.
The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine supports up to four user profiles so everyone in the family can have instant access to their preferred settings. The elliptical’s maximum incline is 10 degrees and split up into five stages you can switch to automatically.
What’s to like about the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
This Schwinn Elliptical model performs solidly on all fronts and is affordable considering all the features you get. Still, its stand-out feature is the variety of supported apps. It integrates with the Schwinn Trainer, an app which keeps track of your performance and allows you to set long-term fitness goals.
The data it gathers can be exported to MyFitnessPal, an app that provides nutritional data and recipes tailored to specific diet plans. Finally, the Schwinn 470 Elliptical supports RunSocial, an app that turns your elliptical workout into a mixed reality experience by simulating real-life trails.
What’s not to like about the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
Although it is well-built, something in the Schwinn 470’s design can cause it to start making a clicking sound when it’s been in use for a while. This has no bearing on its performance but may become annoying. Its labor warranty is only 90 days, far below that of competitors like ProForm.
- Check: Good balance of price and performance
- Check: Excellent connectivity options
- Check: Useful dual screen setup
- Starts to make clicking noises with use
- Short warranty on labor
Nautilus is another company with a long tradition of creating superb exercise equipment. Their Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer is a mid-range elliptical trainer that anyone can hop on and start using while still being able to keep up with the needs of exercise veterans.
The Nautilus trainer has fewer programs than Schwinn’s 470, but you’re getting features like a dual screen display and 3-stage fan at an even lower price. Plus, the same magnetic eddy brake technology is used, so expect a smooth ride no matter the resistance level you set.
Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer: Product Highlights
The Nautilus E614 Elliptical has a small footprint, meaning you can set it up in a smaller gym without cluttering it up. At 170 pounds it isn’t exactly light, but a set of wheels make transporting and setting it up anywhere easier. Once it’s installed, you’ll find that the Nautilus E614 is easy to configure and use.
Comfort is taken care of with a 3-stage fan, bottle holder, and built-in speakers. To ensure the best workout results, the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer has ergonomic padded pedals and a heart rate monitor that’s built into the handlebars. There’s a dual screen setup similar to that of the Schwinn 470 Elliptical.
The only significant difference is that the Nautilus E614 Elliptical’s screens are monochrome. Still, they’re intuitive and easy to read even in subdued lighting.
What’s to like about the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
This elliptical comes with 22 programs which cover everything from good running simulations through 8 stages of cardio to workouts designed to assess your fitness level. The programs geared towards running are especially interesting.
They’re split into three groups of runs each with three stages. These cover more casual runs for novices, simulated mountain conditions for hikers, as well as grueling challenge runs for the most experienced users.
What’s not to like about the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
By far the biggest problem with the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer is its lack of automatic incline adjustment. There are six stages of incline, but you’ll have to step off of the machine and adjust each one manually.
This may not bother most people, but will quickly turn into a problem for those that incorporate varying difficulty into their outlines. At the height of their rotation, the pedals end to tilt forward, which may be awkward or even painful.
- Check: Great selection of programs
- Check: Easy to assemble and set up
- Check: Integrated heart rate monitor
- Incline needs to be adjusted manually
- Pedals tilt forward at rotation high point
Creature comforts are fine and all, but they can motivate as well as distract you from reaching your fitness goals. Ancheer offers a more barebones solution in their elliptical trainer. This is a lightweight, portable elliptical machine without the bells and whistles of more expensive models.
Even so, it’s a great entry-level elliptical since it offers eight resistance levels and noiseless operation. It’s perfect for people who exercise a few times per week or on the weekend and want a dependable elliptical that can easily fit into the living room.
Ancheer Elliptical Machine Trainer: Product Highlights
At around 80 pounds, the Ancheer Elliptical Machine Trainer is the lightest elliptical on our list. Don’t mistake this for shoddy construction though – the build quality is good and further supported by massive screws. Setting Ancheer’s elliptical trainer up is a breeze. If you follow along with the well-written instructions, you can have it running in half an hour.
The pedals have two non-slip pads each which add to your stability. The grips are rubberized and have pulse sensors which accurately transmit your heart rate to the LCD screen. Speaking of which, the screen shows different exercise stats in big, easy-to-read numbers.
You can monitor your pulse, traveled distance, burned calories, time spent on the machine, or your current speed. Pressing the scan button will toggle between a single stat and a rotation containing all of them.
What’s to like about the Ancheer Elliptical Machine Trainer
The best thing about Ancheer’s elliptical trainer is its ease of use. The eight resistance levels are easy to switch between using a knob, and accessing any piece of workout data is as easy as pressing the corresponding button.
Exercising on this machine feels smooth and rewarding. It is whisper-quiet, doesn’t start making odd sounds even with continued use, and is easy to move around.
What’s not to like about the Ancheer Elliptical Machine Trainer
The ANCHEER Elliptical Machine Trainer Magnetic Smooth Quiet... has a very short stride. A 20-inch stride is recommended for average-sized adults while shorter people and teens should be comfortable with strides of 16-18 inches.
At 13 inches, Ancheer’s stride is far shorter. This isn’t a problem on its own but may be uncomfortable for taller people and the workout won’t be as effective since the leg muscles aren’t stretched enough.
- Check: Quick and easy setup
- Check: Affordable
- Check: Tracks pertinent fitness data on big LCD screen
- Small stride length
- No incline adjustment options
At close to $1,000, the ProForm Endurance 920 E Elliptical is the most expensive elliptical we’ve tested. Considering its excellent build and a host of features normally found on much more expensive models, it’s value is actually one of the ProForm 920 E’s standout features. This is the elliptical to get if you’re building a serious home gym and want to push yourself with endless track setups and in-depth settings.
ProForm Endurance 920 E Elliptical: Product Highlights
Every setting on the ProForm Endurance 920 E Elliptical’s touchscreen LCD display can be adjusted to suit your needs. There are 24 resistance levels, 32 programs including preset and custom options, and the incline can even be adjusted up to 20 degrees. Meanwhile, you’ll always be cool and comfortable thanks to a 2-speed fan and a set of speakers outfitted with a docking port for an iPod.
Along with numerous workouts, you can tailor your position on the ProForm Endurance 920 E as well. It features an adjustable stride length and handles that can be gripped from different heights and angles to adjust your workout difficulty.
The screen console has both battery and AC power and runs a fully functional Android operating system, meaning you can browse the web or watch movies while exercising. One of its more interesting features is support for iFit. This service grants you access to Google maps of running and hiking trails from all around the world.
As you progress on the trail, the incline changes to match that of the real trail and you’re treated to vistas of real-life landmarks you’d encounter on it.
What’s to like about the ProForm Endurance 920 E Elliptical
The ProForm Endurance 920 E Elliptical is the only elliptical on the list with an adjustable stride. Most people will find the default 20-inch stride most comfortable, but if you want to burn some extra calories or make the machine easier to use for a shorter family member, 18- and 22-inch options are also available. The flywheel is mounted in the front which considerably decreases the machine’s footprint.
What’s not to like about the ProForm Endurance 920 E Elliptical
iFit is an integral part of the ProForm training experience. Unfortunately, it isn’t free – subscriptions start at $9/month. It takes a while for the screen’s so to load everything, so you’ll need to wait up to a minute before you can adjust settings and keep track of a workout.
- Check: Excellent value for the money
- Check: Lots of programs and custom tracks to choose from
- Check: Adjustable stride length
- iFit requires a monthly subscription
- LCD screen boot up takes a long while
The last of our elliptical machine reviews is also the least expensive. It is made by Exerpeutic and even though it offers mostly basic features, the Exerpeutic 1000XL Magnetic Elliptical is still a worthwhile investment.
The elliptical is easy to use, provides a good workout for both your lower and upper body, and won’t take up much space in your home gym. This is the elliptical to get if you’re just starting out on your exercise journey and are looking for a no-frills, reliable piece of equipment.
Exerpeutic 1000XL Magnetic Elliptical: Product Highlights
Less-expensive ellipticals tend to have jerky movements which disrupt your natural rhythm. You’ll experience nothing like that when using the Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical. Its motions are fluid and free from bouncing. Coupled with the freely moving handlebars, you can go through a full range of motions and get a full body workout.
The elliptical has 8 resistance levels adjustable by turning a knob located under the onboard computer. Speed, elapsed time, travel distance, burned calories, and your heart rate are tracked on a monochrome LCD screen. It runs on two AA batteries which don’t need to be replaced frequently.
What’s not to like about the Exerpeutic 1000XL Magnetic Elliptical
For an elliptical which costs less than $200, the Exerpeutic 1000XL Magnetic Elliptical is a machine with superb stability. In spite of having solid steel tubing, it isn’t nearly as heavy as ProForm 920 E. Even so, this model has a respectable weight limit of 300 pounds and won’t buckle under it.
What’s not to like about the Exerpeutic 1000XL Magnetic Elliptical
Like Ancheer’s elliptical trainer, this model has a fixed stride length of 13 inches. This is good if you want to minimize your elliptical’s footprint but may lead to worse results as your muscles won’t be used to the fullest.
The Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical was also the hardest elliptical to assemble. It comes with many tiny parts and confusing instructions. If you decide to get it, consider having it assembled by a pro to save yourself the trouble.
- Check: Everything you need for a basic workout
- Check: Very affordable
- Check: Excellent stability even at its weight limit
- Small stride length
- Hard to assemble
Confronted with a diverse array of elliptical machines and brands available on the market it can be a daunting task and quite frightening sometimes when it comes to investing a workout equipment. But it really comes down to your budget, comfort level (professional or beginner) as well as what features you are looking for.
But considering the breadth of features, creature comforts, and the value you’re getting, we believe that ProForm Endurance 920 E Elliptical is by far the best elliptical machine you can get for your home gym today whether you are a beginner or a Pro.
If you aren’t ready to spend quite as much money, SCHWINN 470 Elliptical Machine is a good alternative that doesn’t sacrifice on quality or features.
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible and still get an elliptical machine that won’t fall to pieces after a month of use, the Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical is your best bet.
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Last update on 2021-04-28 : Disclosure: We may earn a small fee on qualified purchases made through links on this blog