The 10 Best Elliptical Machines for 2018 : Great for Home Use & Budget Friendly

When you are looking to buy yourself the best elliptical machine on the market there are so many factors to consider. It is important to make sure that you set yourself a budget and do your best to stick within it; ellipticals can get quite expensive and if you don’t have the money to buy an expensive one this is something that you should use first and foremost to narrow down your options. In order to help you narrow down your options and help you decide on the kind of price tag that you should pay for an elliptical, we have come up with a buying guide as well as a list of our picks for the top ten ellipticals on the market.

Top Elliptical Machine Comparison Chart

Elliptical Machine Buying Guide

Price (Under $200, $300, & $1000+)

This is something that you are probably going to have to put some thought into as there is a very broad range of prices available for ellipticals. If you aren’t someone who regularly exercises and you are hoping to change this by buying yourself an expensive unit then you should probably rethink things over. An expensive unit isn’t going to help you be more active, you can be more active without buying the fanciest equipment that is available and this is something that you should keep in mind. It is important to make a budget for yourself that reflects your financial situation as well as your wants and needs. Rather than creating a budget for yourself blindly, it is a good idea to look up a few different ellipticals to see what kinds of costs they have first and whether you get the features that you need included in the price range that you are comfortable purchasing in.

Warranty

The warranty of a product is a very important aspect of it especially because an elliptical isn’t a very cheap product to start out with, even in the low end versions on the market. It is important to look deep into the warranty to make sure that you are covered for a length that you feel is appropriate as well as to make sure that the warranty covers you for the things that you think you may need it for. It is also a good idea to check out the return policy before you purchase so that you can have some peace of mind knowing that if you uncover and product defects you will be able to return the unit without hassle.

Features

Depending on the type of elliptical that you buy you are going to notice a very broad range of features incorporated into the design. On the most expensive units you should expect to find the most features and you will see things like really large displays, extra tracking modes, built in exercise programs, heart monitoring devices and longer warranties than you will see on the cheaper units. It can be difficult to compromise on features when you are buying a product but some products features really don’t help to explain the high price tag of the unit which is important to be aware of.

Transformation/ Multi-Use

Many ellipticals on the market are capable of being used for several different types of exercises. You will find that some ellipticals are capable of being transformed into a bike position; this is great if you get bored of exercising quite easily as it really allows you to change up your workout routine. Not only will this work out different muscle groups more effectively but it will also give you better value for your money; buying yourself a bike is quite expensive and getting these two machines incorporated into one design is quite a space saver and a real nice bonus.

Stride Length

This is something that you should definitely have a look at if you are a really tall person. Something with a small stride length is going to be difficult for you to use and you aren’t going to be getting as much exercise from something that has a low stride length. Many ellipticals allow you to move with your own stride length but each of them will have their own maximums and it is important to be aware of these so that you can choose an option that works for your body type.

Display

Normally any kind of an elliptical will have some kind of a display incorporated into the design in order to track some of your exercising statistics so that you can improve your exercise regimen or keep track of your progress. An elliptical device is going to likely have some kind of an LCD display; generally, the more expensive the unit the more statistics the screen will track and the better your visual exercising program will be. As the cost rises for a unit it is also much more likely that you will find more exercise programs incorporated into the design that are great to encourage you to keep working hard and attempt to keep you from becoming bored with your workout routine.

Weight Limits

It is important to be aware that many ellipticals do have a weight limit in place and it is important to make sure that you check into it before your purchase your unit. Generally speaking you will find that the more expensive the unit is the higher the weight limit on the unit will be. It is commonplace that exceeding the weight limit will void your warranty and for this reason alone the weight limit of a unit is very important to check because if you are over the weight limit and it causes damage to the unit you likely won’t be covered by the company.

Accessories

Many of the middle of the line ellipticals will come with some nice accessories in an attempt to sweeten up the deal. Some awesome features that you may find included with your elliptical include: a fan to help cool you down during your workout, a water bottle holder so that you can drink and exercise at the same time, as well as some kind of a sound system so that you can blast your music over a speaker to help motivate yourself to workout. Some ellipticals even take a step further and offer things like a USB port to charge your device or some kind of a wireless connection that you can use to help track your progress over time rather than having to do it manually on your own.

Best Elliptical Machine Reviews

 

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical

If you have a significant budget and want one of the most high-end ellipticals on the market then this may be a good option for you. This unit has the option of coming assembled if you don’t want to piece everything together. The unit features a massive stride length of 20-22 inches so that it is capable of working for almost anyone. There are numerous premium features built into this design including adjustable pedals, chest strap heart rate monitor, 7.5-inch display, built-in fan to keep you cool, water bottle holder and even a sound system to name a few of the awesome features. You will find six standard workout programs as well as two custom programs for your own convenience. 15-inch pedals allow almost all users to stand comfortably on the device thanks to a very large 375 lb weight limit. You get a very large warranty with your purchase as well including a lifetime warranty on the frame, a five-year warranty on any electronics or parts and a two-year warranty on labor.

Pros:

  • Capable of holding someone who weighs 375 lbs
  • Built-in fan to keep you cool
  • Two heart rate monitors for extremely accurate results
  • Water bottle holder to keep you hydrated
  • Large 7.5 inch LCD display
  • Built-in sound system to listen to your favorite music
  • Large warranty covers: lifetime on the frame, two years for labor, five years on any electronics and parts

Cons:

  • High price tag is likely out of reach for most people

 

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

If you have a bit of a higher budget then this may be a good option for you. This elliptical has the option of coming pre-assembled if you don’t like dealing with instructions and you are willing to pay an extra price for convenience. Dual LCD displays on this device allow you to monitor as many as 13 stats at any one time so that you can really have a grasp on your exercise routine. A program called Schwinn connect is built into the design and it allows you to track your goals and export your exercise data so that you can look at it on other devices. This elliptical features 22 different exercise programs in the design in order to keep you from becoming bored. Other things you will notice are goal setting options and twenty different resistance options which allow you to exercise as hard or as easy as you like. Also built into the design of this elliptical is a USB charging port so that you can have your personal devices handy and listen to music during your workout.

Pros:

  • Big name brand
  • USB charge port located directly on the unit
  • Pre-assembled option is available
  • Two LCD displays allow you to track your stats with as much as 13 stats being displayed at any one time
  • 22 workout programs are incorporated into the design
  • Goal tracking and 20 levels of resistance to allow you to exercise how you want

 

Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer 2 in 1 

Here’s another budget-friendly version of an elliptical which may be a great option for some (smaller people, light workout, and not much room).  For a serious workout with the intention of building cardio fitness, I’d suggest something more like the Sole Fitness E35.  Yes, it’s absolutely expensive, but it’s one of the few options capable of handling nearly anything you throw at it (weight, abuse, high usage, etc.) and will increase your cardiovascular fitness even if you already have a solid basic fitness level.  I didn’t have the money for one, so I put off buying a good elliptical for over a year.  I saved up and now I have one of the best on the market.  The whole family uses it and it never sits gathering dust!  However, as I mention in other elliptical reviews, there is a place for machines like the Plasma Fit 2 in 1.  If you use it properly it is very capable of getting you moving and circulating your blood while toning muscles.  Movement is life, so get your butt in gear!  It’s a space-saving design, but unfortunately has only an 11″ foot stride (that’s not great – you’ll want double that if you can get it).  It also offers both elliptical use and exercise bike use (with seat).

With tubular steel construction and a pretty wide base, you have some stability and durability.  13.5″ long handrail grips and 6″ textured foot pedals add to the overall value.  Like other machines, it has of course, adjustable resistance for multiple users or progressing fitness levels.  Its LCD panel tracks heart rate (via handrails), speed, time and distance along with calories burned.

Pros:

  • Wide base makes this unit quite stable so that you feel secure during an intense workout
  • Adjustable resistance dial allows you to increase the difficulty of your workout quickly
  • LCD screen displays calories burned, speed, distance run, time and you can even check your pulse to make sure you are training in a healthy area
  • Adjustable handrails and padded adjustable seat make for a comfortable experience whether you are using the elliptical or the bike
  • Low price tag especially considering the bike/ elliptical combination
  • Can be used as both bike and elliptical

Cons:

  • 11-inch stride may be a little bit on the small side of things for a tall person
  • No built-in exercise programs in the LCD
  • You will occasionally have to change the batteries on the LCD display

 

Akonza Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Cross Trainer

This little boy is perfect for home use, being a nice compact size and lightweight enough to move to a different place in your home if you need to.  It’s an ideal machine for beginners or anyone who doesn’t want the complication of the more advanced and more expensive programmable workout elliptical machine. We need to say that because it really is true, and there are many users out there who are older, smaller and just want something to help them keep moving around so they don’t shrivel up and die.  I agree wholeheartedly, and for them, this may not be a bad option.  However, if you’re serious about improving muscle tone and cardiovascular integrity, you’ll want something a bit more substantial (probably in the $500+ range like the one just below this one – the Fitness Reality Trainer)

However, there is a place for a machine like the Akonza.  With its convenient monitor that displays your speed, pulse, distance, time, and calories burned with scan mode option, never wonder about your hard work paying off!  It’s pretty easy to read and has a good deal of info that will help you track your progress and meet new goals!
8 easily adjustable magnetic tension levels will make your workout more challenging
Large anti-slip footplates for comfort and safety and offer 2-way striding capability

Pros:

  • 8 easily adjustable magnetic tension levels will make your workout more challenging
  • Large anti-slip footplates for comfort and safety and offer 2-way striding capability
  • End caps on the unit help with stability
  • 55 lbs, so not too heavy to move around
  • Tension knob makes it easy to change your exercising difficulty
  • Steel construction is quite sturdy and helps to give the user some peace of mind

Cons:

  • Weight limit of 220 lbs may not be high enough for some users
  • No built in exercise programs in the digital screen
  • If you’re serious about your fitness, you’ll want to upgrade within a month or two!

 

Fitness Reality 2366 X-Class 710 Bluetooth Smart Technology Elliptical Trainer

If you are hoping to stay ahead of the technology curve, or at least keep up with it, you might consider the Fitness Reality 2366 X-Class with Bluetooth.  This one’s so loaded with features (including a price tag that won’t kill your Christmas budget for next season).  We can’t get over the features, but trust me, I’ll try to pry out something negative so I’m not just another billboard advertising for a product!

The 44 lb flywheel is about 3 times as heavy as a typical competitor’s wheel and that means a smoother workout with a very professional feel.  It has a full 20-inch stride length and even features 24 different levels of magnetic resistance.  It goes without saying that it features a very slick LCD display with more information than you can probably use (like rpm, calories burned, speed, heart rate and watts – to mention just a few!)  It’ll give you 20 pre-set workout programs, but if you’re a control freak and want to make your own, you have that option!  You can make 2 completely custom programs.  The Bluetooth smart technology is the hallmark feature for this lady (hey, I’m not sexist, just trying to be creative in my writing!).  There’s a free MyFitQuest app on IOS to keep track of your workouts and of course, you can listen to music with the embedded dual console speakers. It gives you a user height range of 5’1″ to 6’4″.  Aluminum rails help to prevent squeaking and oversized pedals are included for extra comfort. A miles/kilometers conversion option is provided, and it has transportation wheels for easy relocation or to storage. The adjustable floor stabilizers help for leveling and they prevent the elliptical from rocking or tipping.

Pros:

  • Magnetic resistance has 24 different tension options you can use to increase and decrease difficulty
  • Leading edge Bluetooth technology to help you keep track of workouts over the long-term
  • 20-inch stride length is great for tall people (most have 18 inches or less)
  • Wheels that come with the unit make it much easier to move around
  • Can set distance, time and calorie goals to help motivate you
  • Nice LCD screen capable of monitoring distance, time, speed, odometer, watts, pulse, and calories burned
  • Pulse sensors are located on your hands to allow for an accurate easy to reach heart rate monitoring system
  • Large leg stabilizers prevent the unit from falling over and give you peace of mind
  • Warranties are: Frame- lifetime, normal wearable parts and electronics – 2 years, Labor and other parts – 5 years.
  • 20 built-in workout programs to keep you entertained and keep you on track with your fitness goals and 2 customizable routines

Cons:

    • Only available in grey
    • Higher price tag may be out of reach for some
    • SUPER heavy because of the quality flywheel

 

 SUNNY SF-E3609

If you are looking to get an elliptical in the average budget range then this may be a good option for you. This elliptical features eight different levels of tension adjustment so that you can exercise at a difficult that is the most comfortable for you. The elliptical has a stride length of eleven inches which is not a bad length for someone who is fairly tall. On the elliptical, you will find a nice LCD display that is capable of keeping track of your statistics during your exercises. You will find that it tracks: your distance, speed, time, number of steps, your pulse as well as how many calories you have burned. This device offers very accurate heart rate readings thanks to large hand pulse sensors incorporated into the design. Extended supports on the front and back side of the elliptical help to keep it nice and stable throughout the duration of your exercise. This elliptical is capable of holding up to a 265-pound person.

Pros:

  • Nice LCD display is capable of showing you your speed, distance, time, pulse, calories burned, and how many steps you have taken
  • Hand pulse sensors are used to provide accurate heart readings
  • Transportation wheels are built into the design so that you can move the unit around easily
  • Eight different levels of tension are available so that you can easily increase or decrease the difficulty of your workout as needed.
  • Large anti-slip foot pads, as well as a large base, allow for maximum stability throughout the duration of your ride

Cons:

  • A bit of a higher price tag than the cheap units, may be out of reach for some people
  • Some users may be over the 265-pound weight limit on the unit
  • No built-in workout programs on the LCD

 

 Stamina In-Motion Elliptical

If you are looking to get yourself something that is really compact then this may be the best elliptical for you. Unfortunately, this elliptical has nothing in the way of handrails and it consists of small pedals that move around in rotation. The stride length of these pedals is quite small but you can pedal in a forward or reverse direction in order to use different muscles during your workout. The nice thing about this device is that it is so compact that you can even use it when you are sitting down. There is an adjustable tension dial in order to increase and decrease the difficulty of your workout as you need and this unit is even available in three different color options. A small monitor on the device helps to track your stats and will keep track of the number of strides you have taken, your exercise time as well as the number of calories that you have burned. This device has non-slip pedals incorporated into the design of the unit which allows you to have some peace of mind; especially thanks to its sturdy steel construction featuring a long bar on the bottom of the unit for support. This unit is designed to provide a low impact workout and is quite easy on your back, hips, knees, and ankles thanks to a small stride length.

Pros:

  • Three color options to choose from
  • This design is great for people with a bad back, knees, hips, or ankles
  • Monitor built into the design will keep track of your exercise time, calories burned and number of strides that you have taken
  • Sturdy steel construction and anti-slip pedals to give you some peace of mind
  • Compact, lightweight design can be used when sitting or standing

Cons:

  • No handrails on the unit
  • Small stride length will not appeal to some people

 

 Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty

This elliptical is available for an average-to-low price tag and has some nice features which help it to stand out in the market. You will find that this elliptical is quite sturdy and prevents the unit from moving around on you during the hardest portions of your workout routine. This design offers eight different tension adjustment options which allow the user to choose how difficult they want to exercise at any given time. This unit comes with a large LCD display which is capable of tracking many of your stats. Some of the stats that you will find include: calories burned, time, heart rate and speed as well as the distance that you have gone over the duration of your workout.

Pros:

  • Option of coming pre-assembled
  • Large LCD screen
  • Capable of tracking stats such as time, distance, calories burned, speed and heart rate
  • Pulse pads on the handles provide accurate heart rate readings
  • Sturdy design to give you some peace of mind when you are working out at an intense pace
  • Good stride length for a tall person

Cons:

  • No built-in workout programs in the LCD screen
  • Could take a while to assemble

 

 Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3416

If you are looking to purchase a device on the cheap side of things then this may be a good option for you. This unit has the option of coming pre-assembled for your own convenience and it comes with a nice steel frame that offers a secure, stable elliptical even during intense exercise. This elliptical is capable of holding someone who weighs 250 lbs and it has a nice LCD display incorporated into its design for entertainment while you run. The LCD display is capable of tracking your stats and will show you things like what speed you are traveling, how far you have gone, what your pulse rate is, what time you have been running for as well as how many calories you have burned during the duration of your workout. This elliptical incorporates transportation wheels into its design which will allow you to easily move the unit around the room. If you like to have some adjustment options; this elliptical is capable of eight different tension options in order for you to be able to make your workout easier or more difficult as you wish.

Pros:

  • Capable of holding up a user that weighs 250 lbs
  • Sturdy steel frame even during intense exercise
  • LCD display tracks your speed, pulse, distance, time and calories burned
  • Eight different tension options to increase or decrease the difficulty of your workouts
  • Can come pre-assembled for an extra price

Cons:

  • No built-in workout programs
  • 250 lb weight limit may not be high enough for some people

 

ProGear 300LS Air Elliptical with Heart Pulse Sensor

The ProGear 300LS is our best cross between VERY budget-friendly and “substance”.  It’s priced nearly as low as they come (just over $100 or so) but at first glance, it looks like a machine costing 4 times or more the price.  It’s not a trainer for serious workouts and its stride length is only 14 inches.  It can handle bigger loads (sorry, that’s not meant as an insult!) of up to 275 lbs.  If you’re bigger than that, there are other exercises we’d suggest you start with like lots of fast walking, and really healthy eating – another topic for another day!

We’re also given a water bottle holder and transportation wheels which, while not exactly a luxury, are items not always found in a budget-oriented unit such as this.

Pros:

  • Weight capacity of 275 lbs – not bad for an inexpensive budget machine
  • LCD display tracks heart rate, distance and calories burned
  • Great for smaller spaces

Cons:

  • No built-in workout programs 
  • 14-inch stride is a little bit stingy

 

Conclusion & Final Recommendations

There are so many factors to consider when it comes to buying an expensive piece of exercise equipment such as an elliptical. It is important to make sure that you try and stick within your budget and it is always a good idea to make a list of the most important accessories/ features that you want included on your unit and use that list to help you narrow down the vast amount of options in the marketplace. Hopefully after reading the buying guide and the top ten list of the best ellipticals, you have learned about some of the features you want and have an idea as to what kind of price you will have to spend to get the features you want or maybe you have even found an elliptical that works for your situation the list and you are considering purchasing the unit. Best of luck in your hunt for the best elliptical and good luck on your fitness journey.

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