I can remember a time when you only ever saw a handful of elliptical machines in the gym because hardly anyone ever used them.
Nowadays, however, they are one of the most popular cardio machines because an increasing number are starting to appreciate the benefits of these machines. So much so that more and more people are choosing to buy one of these ellipticals for their home.
In case you are unaware of these benefits, an elliptical machine delivers a low-impact cardio workout that works your entire body because it engages your arms, legs, chest, back and shoulders, as well as your core muscles.
Therefore an elliptical machine workout will clearly help with toning, but it will also help with fitness and weight loss as well because you can burn as much as 500 – 900 calories during a one hour workout (depending on bodyweight, intensity and a few other factors).
The price of one of these exercise machines varies quite considerably because you can buy one for as little as $100 – $200, for example, or you can pay as much as $3000 – $4000 for a top-of-the-range model.
However here are some of the best elliptical trainers for home use that are available to buy in 2016 in all price categories, starting with some of the top-end commercial-grade machines and finishing with some of the top low-cost machines that are well worth considering:
Top-Of-The-Range Elliptical Machines
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine
There is one stand-out machine that continues to receive rave reviews and is more than good enough for commercial or home use, and that’s the Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine.
This gym-quality machine has a very quiet belt drive system that can run forwards or backwards, and has an impressive 34 pound flywheel at the front that delivers a really smooth workout.
There are 20 resistance levels to accommodate people of all fitness levels, and it is ideal for both men and women of all shapes and sizes because it has a 20-22 inch maximum stride length and a 400 pound weight limit.
In addition, it has a power incline that is adjustable up to 30 degrees, a good quality 9-inch LCD display, a built-in heart rate monitor, 10 workout programs and custom foot pedals that can be adjusted to fit your stride and have a 2 degree inward slope to reduce ankle and knee stress.
Plus it has some really nice extras, including a built-in cooling fan, a sound system and a water bottle holder.
So although this is one of the most expensive ellipticals, it is arguably the best one to buy because it delivers a smooth and quiet workout, and is a strong well-made machine that is built to last and is designed to be as comfortable as possible.
→ Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine – this is a cheaper (but equally impressive) version of the E95 model that shares many of the same features, but this one has a smaller 29 pound flywheel, a slightly smaller LCD display (7.5 inches) and a marginally lower weight capacity (375 pounds).
Sanibel i35 Cardio Core Elliptical
The E95 or E35 models from Sole Fitness are well worth considering, but another top-end model that is ideal for home use is the Sanibel i35 Cardio Core Elliptical from Yowza Fitness.
This one has an electronic power incline up to 35 degrees and a stride length that can be adjusted from 18 inches all the way up to 26 inches, which is considerably more than most other machines.
It also has 12 pre-set workout programs, a docking and charging station for your iPod, a built-in fan and speakers, a heart rate monitor, pivoting foot pedals and counter-rotational handlebars.
Furthermore the LCD display is large and easy to read, and the workout itself is natural and comfortable and will really work every part of your body. Indeed it is said to be particularly good for your abs because of the rotating motion of the handlebars.
Plus as you might expect, this bike is exceptionally strong and stable, which is why it comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame.
Mid-Range Elliptical Trainers
ProForm Smart Strider 735 E Elliptical Trainer
If your budget can’t quite stretch to a top-line model, you might want to think about investing in one of the mid-range ellipticals that are available, such as the ProForm Smart Strider 735 Elliptical Trainer, for example, which is quite a lot cheaper than the two models above.
This is a strong and sturdy machine that has a commercial-grade construction, and offers a range of workout options for people of all fitness levels.
For example, there are 20 digital resistance levels and 22 workout programs that have been devised by a personal trainer, and if you really want to push yourself harder and work different muscle groups, you can adjust the incline up to 10 degrees.
Plus this machine makes use of the latest fitness technology to open up a world of workout possibilities. That’s because it can connect to the iFit module to provide you with a lot more custom-built workouts and enable you to use different routes and different terrains from all over the world using Google Maps, where the incline will automatically change throughout the route.
It is also worth mentioning that this elliptical comes with a few other useful features, which includes some built-in speakers that can hook up with your iPod or iPad, as well as a two-speed fan, and is one of the few ellipticals that can be folded up into an upright position if you don’t want it to take up a lot of space in your home.
So this is a good choice if you don’t have the money to buy a top-of-the-range elliptical trainer, but still want to buy a solid machine that has lots of cool features and workout options, and represents good value for money.
Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical Trainer
Another mid-range machine that you might want to consider buying is the Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical Trainer because this has been designed to deliver the smoothest and most natural workout possible.
This particular model has a low step-on height for easy access on and off, and has a zero gap overlapping motion to eliminate stress on the hips and back.
The stride length is fixed at 18 inches, which is the only slight issue I have with this machine, but otherwise it is pretty good value for money because it has a heavy duty flywheel that delivers a smooth ride, a large console that has lots of different readouts and some useful extras such as a reading rack, accessories tray and built-in surround sound speakers.
It also offers a fairly decent range of workout options because it has 10 magnetic resistance levels and 10 workout programs for you to use.
So although it’s not exactly a gym-standard machine, it is still a good quality elliptical that should be more than sufficient to meet most people’s needs.
Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine
If you are looking for a feature-packed machine that has lots of workout options but isn’t overly expensive, then the Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine has to be top of your shortlist.
This one comes with an impressive 20 levels of resistance and 22 workout programs, which is more than most others in this price range, and has a high speed high inertia flywheel that guarantees a smooth and quiet workout.
It also has a large console display that gives you 13 different readouts, and is compatible with Schwinn Connect and Myfitnesspal if you want to export your data and monitor your performance.
Plus you will find that it has built-in speakers, a 3-speed fan to keep you cool and a media tray to keep you entertained during your workout.
This machine has a fixed stride length of 20 inches, and has static handlebars if you want to concentrate on your lower body, as well as moving arms if you want to work your upper and lower body at the same time. There is also a ramp range of up to 10 degrees if you want to add some variation to your workouts.
So when you consider the relatively low cost of this elliptical trainer, it is easy to see why this is consistently one of the top-selling models.
→ Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine – this is an upgrade on the 430 model that has more resistance levels and workout programs (25 and 29 respectively), as well as 4 user profiles instead of 2.
Low Cost Ellipticals
Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
If you are looking to buy a good quality low-cost elliptical that will deliver a really good workout, then the Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer is an excellent choice.
This machine has an 18 inch stride length that won’t put any strain on your knees or ankles, and enables you to get a full upper and lower body workout.
What really makes this one stand out from all the other low-cost machines is that it comes with 24 computer-controlled resistance levels and makes full use of Bluetooth technology to help you track your performance on your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet whenever you like.
Plus it even offers a range of training modes and workout options, which is almost unheard of for an elliptical trainer in this price range.
Furthermore it is a very strong and stable machine because it has a 3 piece cranking system that guarantees high end performance and continuous momentum.
So in terms of value for money, this one really is hard to beat because it has all the features of a top quality mid-range model, but without the high price tag.
Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical
Finally, if you are on a really tight budget and want to buy a really cheap model that you can use to get a decent workout at home, the Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical is not a bad choice at all.
This is a small and compact machine that is ideal for small spaces, and because it is made by Exerpeutic, it is better quality than many of the other low-cost models.
The computer display is very basic, but it does still indicate all of the essentials, such as time, speed, distance and calories burned, and because it includes movable arms, you can of course work your upper and lower body at the same time.
The natural motion of this particular elliptical reduces stress on your joints, and there is an adjustable resistance knob that you can use to get a varied and challenging workout.
Due to the relatively small size of this machine, the stride length is quite short. Therefore it may not be suitable for men who are over 6 feet tall, for instance.
On the whole, though, this is a pretty strong, well-made elliptical that can accommodate anyone up to 260 pounds, and delivers a really good cardio workout for people on a budget.
Additional Product Reviews
Featured on this page are some of the top elliptical trainers in every different price category, but we have also reviewed some more elliptical trainers that didn’t quite make this list, which are listed below:
→ LifeSpan E2i – this is a brand new top-end elliptical trainer for 2016 that has a really strong construction, and comes with 21 exercise programs and 20 ramp settings to provide plenty of workout options.
→ Universal E40 – this is a new entry-level elliptical for 2016 that has 8 resistance settings, 7 workout programs and a large console that has built-in speakers and a reading rack.
→ Cubii – this mini elliptical trainer is specifically designed to be used sitting down, and is perfect if you want to exercise and keep active at home or in the office.