Our Elliptical Reviews, rating comparison charts and buying guides will help you find the perfect elliptical machine for your workout so you can easily reach your fitness goals.
If you’re just looking for the best elliptical trainer machine for sale then we recommend the Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine. Even though it is priced a little higher than some other models, the extra cost is well worth it when you factor in its durability and all of the included features.
However, if you are looking for a two in one hybrid machine then we suggest that you consider the Proform Hybrid Trainer. With this machine you get the benefits of a recumbent exercise bike as well as an elliptical.
If you just want to see our top 5 picks, here is a quick overview:
Sole Fitness E35
Proform Hybrid Trainer
Ellipticals are capable of providing a full body workout while reducing your risk of injury and thanks to the various settings and features these machines are a good choice for people at all fitness levels.
The Ellipticals that we recommend go beyond being simple cardio machines, and with the help of the various settings you can easily work on different target areas.
While reading our Elliptical Reviews, try to have a general idea of what exactly you want from it and what you’re willing to spend. We’ll do our best to help you navigate your options.
⇢ THE WINNERS: THE BEST ELLIPTICAL MACHINE 2016
#1 Recommendation : Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
The Sole Fitness E35 is considered the best elliptical machine in its class, according to the reviews. It excels at basically every aspect that we used for comparison, though this does come at a price. The cost is basically the only downside to this elliptical trainer, but if you are looking to make a long term investment in your health it is definitely well worth its price.
Some of the top features associated with this elliptical trainer include:
You can easily customize your workouts to meet your needs simply by making a few adjustments.
The stride length can be easily changed for 20” to 22”. Changing the stride length will make your workout more intensive, which will help prevent you from “plateauing”. The foot rests also have a two inch inward slope which helps to improve balance and stability.
The inclination on the foot pedals can also be adjusted, which is an advantage if you have flat feet or high arches. When all of these adjustable components are combined you have a machine that can meet your individual needs so you can get the most out of your workouts, and this isn’t something you find on a lot of elliptical trainers.
Our Elliptical Reviews focus heavy on resistance capabilities. The Sole Fitness E35 comes with ten resistance levels that are built up using flywheels that incorporate electromagnets. This combination will provide you with a nearly frictionless resistance for a smooth workout.
The resistance can be easily changed to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout. You can also change the inclination settings up to 30 degrees for added intensity. With this remarkable machine you are in complete control of your workout.
If the machine is difficult to operate chances are you won’t want to use it as often, but this isn’t a problem with this elliptical trainer. The E35 comes with plenty of tracking features which are clearly displayed on the bright LCD panel.
The panel can even be slightly adjusted to your eye level so all of the data is directly in front of you when you are working out. There are two grips on the handle bars for comfort. You can also adjust the resistance level and inclination simply by pressing the appropriate button conveniently located on the handle bars. This way you can easily customize your workout without having to stop.
It also comes with 10 preset workout programs so you can get started right away. Thanks to its study construction this elliptical is capable of supporting up to 375 pounds, making it a great choice for larger adults. It should be mentioned that this home elliptical does weigh 215 pounds and some assembly is required. Due to its hefty weight we do recommend that you assemble this elliptical in the room you are planning on using it in.
Overall the E35 comes with everything you want from an elliptical. It is packed with useful features, is extremely stable, provides excellent tracking and comes with adjustable components so you can get the best cardio workout possible.
2nd Recommendation : Proform Hybrid Trainer
There are two main reasons why we recommend this machine, its versatility and its price. It is designed to be a 2 in 1 trainer, and come with the high end features you need. Here is a rundown of the top features which makes this elliptical the best bang for your buck.
Our Elliptical Review would not be complete without talking about hybrid features that exist in some machines. What makes the Proform Hybrid Trainer one of the best choices for home workouts is the fact that it can give you the benefits of two types of cardio exercises. This 2 in 1 machine is a recumbent bike and an elliptical trainer.
The pedals are extremely easy to adjust as needed, and you will love the support you get when you are using the bike. This allows you to concentrate on your workout not your balance.
Along with being a hybrid trainer it also comes with a “Target Pacer”. Simply enter in your weight loss goals and a convenient indicator light will let you know when it is time to increase or decrease your pace. We found this to be one of the most convenient features on the trainer, but it is certainly not the only one. There are 14 apps with preprogrammed workouts so you can easily find the best one for you. It is easy to choose or even change your workout model, and simply by pressing a button you can adjust the resistance level. There are several resistance levels to choose from making this hybrid trainer a good choice for beginners and more experienced users.
Even though the price of ellipticals frequently does change, we do consider this model an excellent value for the money. There are a few drawbacks that should be mentioned, but overall they do not subtract from the machine’s overall value.
Some consumers have noted that the stride length is small, and this can decrease the effectiveness of the machine. Others have noted that it can be time consuming to assemble, but in most cases it will be worth it in the end.
Overall once you consider its affordable price, considering it is two machines in one these issues are minor at best. It comes with excellent features and plenty of flexibility, since you are working out on two machines at the same time. It is also supportive and stable. Best of all the transportation wheels are designed to move with ease. We recommend this machine to anyone that likes to have diverse and intensive workouts.
However at the price, these issues are not that relevant. You get some excellent features and flexibility of working out on two machines. It provides excellent support and is stable. The transportation wheels help in moving this machine with ease. We will recommend this machine to anyone who like to have intensive and diverse workouts.
3rd Recommendation : Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
Even though this model was only recently released by Nautilus, it is already getting plenty of attention and receiving favorable reviews. It is one of the few machines that boasts its computational abilities, and also comes with plenty of features that make it an excellent mid-range trainer.
Dual Track LCD
The Nautilus E614 comes with plenty of tracking features which are conveniently displayed on a bright LCD screen. The panel also has several setting which can be easily adjusted on the screen, and this only adds to the machine’s convenience.
What makes it stand out is its Dual Track LCD that provides you with plenty of space for your iPad or other compatible hand held device. With two screens you can watch your favorite shows while also tracking time, distance and number of calories burned.
Having the virtual trainer feature was recently added as an Elliptical Review criteria as more and more machines add on these premium features. Thanks to the powerful built-in computer these ellipticals can act as a virtual trainer. There are 22 workout programs to choose from, far more than any other machine we have currently tested. All of your data is sent to easily accessible apps thanks to the included “Nautilus connect” so you can seamlessly track your workouts and easily see where improvements might need to be made.
You also have the advantage of being able to select from 20 eddy current resistance levels so you can easily make your workouts more challenging. When this is combined with the preprogrammed exercise programs you will find that you are training smarter and better.
Stability is never a problem with this Nautilus E614. It comes with a high speed drive system and perimeter flywheels that will help keep your body balanced, even during your most intensive workouts.
The pedals are designed to accommodate your feet comfortably. The machine is also constructed to support up to 300 pounds. This does make this elliptical heavier than some other models, but this also ensures that it is sturdy and well built.
When in search of the best elliptical trainer, we should mention that you do have to adjust the inclination manually on this one, and this is best done at the start of the workout. However the resistance levels can be adjusted during the workout.
Our trainers give the Nautilus E614 Elliptical high ratings due to its mid-range price and high end features. If you aren’t sure about how much time you should spend working out or want to track every minute, we highly recommend it.
4th Recommendation : Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
The Energetic 1000XI is a simple magnetic elliptical trainer that is designed to provide you with a low impact yet powerful workout. It comes with a minimalistic design that provides you with a simple elliptical motion, which has the advantage of being able to provide your body with improved stability.
Heavy Duty Design
A detailed Elliptical Review would not be complete without talking about sturdiness. This elliptical trainer is built to withstand up to 325 pounds, which makes it a good choice for heavier adults. It is also designed to provide you with a smooth elliptical motion without any of the bouncy movements that can be hard on larger individuals’ ankles and joints. Less pressure on your knees, ankles and joints reduces your risk of injury, and the smooth motions also help to make this machine extremely stable.
Resistance Level and Ease of Transportation
There are 8 resistance levels on this machine that are controlled by a simple turn of the knob. All of the levels are effective, but we did notice a significant change in tension once you’ve passed level 5. Considering its size it is surprising lightweight at 90 pounds and since it comes with small wheels on the bottom it is relatively easy to move from room to room.
One feature you will notice is the pulse monitors that are attached to the stationary handles. This allows you to monitor your heart rate at any point during the workout. The data is clearly displayed on the large LCD screen, and you can also track time, distance and number of calories burned. If you have a heart condition, the pulse monitor might be one feature that you definitely want on your must have list.
The downside to this machine is that it does not come with any preprogrammed workouts, and most of the adjustments do have to be done manually. The stride length is considered average, but overall this machine is a good choice if you are looking for a simple, stress free workout.
Evidently this model lacks in some computational features, but it does provide a solid workout. It is built for a heavy duty performance. It also takes care of your security and provides a near flawless elliptical motion. At the price range, we would say this machine is bang for your buck.
5th Recommendation : Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Our trainers have named this the “No Excuses Machine” and it is easy to see why. It is a lightweight and compact elliptical that can go with you almost anywhere. It also comes at a price that will fit most budgets so you really don’t have any excuses for not working out.
Compact & Portable
Many elliptical reviews out there don’t focus much on portability. When in search of the best elliptical for home use that also allows for portability, you might just have found what you’re looking for. The weight of this machine is easily one of the foremost reasons which make it an ideal choice for a lot of users. The weight of this machine is just 24 pounds. The light weight of this machine makes it extremely portable.
You can even carry this to your office. It is also very compact, and can be stored in your closet also. It is ideal for individuals who have space and time constraints. You can peddle on this machine even when you are sitting.
So if you are working for long hours, you can keep this under your desk and use it.
There is a small knob on the front of the machine that you can easily turn to increase or decrease the amount of resistance. While it doesn’t use magnets to provide tension, it is still smooth and stress free.
Since the pedals are bi-directional you can easily target different areas on your body. While the level of intensity provided by this portable elliptical doesn’t compare with that of high end machines, you can still get good results considering its affordable price.
Exercise while you are sitting
Since there are not any handles you can easily workout when you are stuck sitting behind a desk. Its compact design allows this elliptical to fit underneath most office desks. Our trainers also found this type of workout to still be effective, even though we initially had our doubts.
It also comes with a small digital monitor that tracks the length of the workout and number of calories burned.
While the lack of handle bars allows this machine to fit in small spaces, it can also cause some difficulties. Keeping your balance can be tricky if you use this elliptical while you are standing. This can also affect your posture, which can cause problems later on. The lack of data is another drawback, especially for those who like to track every aspect of their workout.
However if you are looking for a portable elliptical or one for small spaces this model easily wins hands down.
Our elliptical review trainers were happy with the results that it can produce, and it is hard not to like its affordable price.
Difference Between an Elliptical and Treadmill
It is important to understand that ellipticals are different than treadmills, even though both machines are capable of providing you with a full cardio workout. While treadmills are some of the most well researched exercise machines, dating back to the late 1800’s, they still come with some problems. Exercising on a treadmill can be hard on your joints and the unnatural position of the handles, along with an incorrect belt size, often causes problems with posture over time. Treadmills can also be more difficult to use, especially when you are “running up hill”, and this can make some people simply give up on their reaching their fitness goals.
When it comes to elliptical exercise machines the benefits typically outnumber the disadvantages, and this often makes them the best choice for anyone that is looking for a safe and effective way to burn fat and calories.
Benefits of an Elliptical Machine
Some of the benefits associated with using an elliptical trainer include,
- An elliptical is less strenuous on your joints, while still allowing you to emulate running.
- Thanks to the “moveable” handles you can work on your upper and lower body at the same time. This makes it a little easier for you to successfully achieve a full body workout.
- Can be programmed for a “reverse stride” which makes it easy for you to target different muscle groups. This includes your quads, along with a variety of mid body workouts.
- Since an elliptical is easier to use than a treadmill it is not uncommon for people to put a little more exertion into their workout. This allows them to burn the same amount of calories as they would on a treadmill, without having to spend extra time.
The main advantage to choosing a top rated elliptical over a treadmill is the simple fact that these machines are typically safer to use, and this means fewer injuries that could sideline your exercise plan. There are a few disadvantages to these exercise machines that are also important to know before you make your final decision.
Disadvantages of an Elliptical Machine
Even though there are only a few disadvantages it is important that you are well informed since your choice of exercise machine will have an impact on how safe and effective your workout is.
- Ellipticals can be less dynamic than a treadmill unless you choose one that allows you to adjust the incline and speed. These models often come at a higher price, but for some people the added cost is well worth it.
- The same feature that helps to reduce stress on your joints, pedals suspended off the ground, can also be a downside. Since the weight bearing effect is minimalized ellipticals don’t strengthen bones and muscles. This can be important for adults over 50 who are concerned about preventing osteoporosis.
- It is easy to use the machine’s momentum instead of your own when it is set on a lower level, and this will minimize the effectiveness of the workout.
Even though there are some disadvantages associated with using an elliptical trainer, in most cases they are outweighed by the benefits.
Elliptical Machine Ultimate Consumer Buying Guide
Before you start shopping there are a few questions you should ask yourself to ensure you get the best elliptical trainer for your specific fitness goals.
When are you planning on using the elliptical?
One of the most popular and common times for people to squeeze in a good cardio workout is in the morning, often when others are sleeping. This means that you will want to choose one that is designed to be quiet, and there are several ellipticals for home use that are basically noiseless.
Where are you going to put the elliptical?
This is an important question to consider. The last thing you want to do is purchase an elliptical trainer that is too large for the space. Not only is this frustrating, in some cases returning the machine can be a hassle. Carefully measuring the amount of space you have, along with taking note of any low hanging light fixtures will save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
Are you always going to use it in the same place?
Thanks to advances in technology not all ellipticals are large stationary models, some are small enough to fit easily under a desk. If you want to get in a little cardio exercise at the office or take the elliptical when you travel, you will probably want to consider one of the top rated portable models.
Once you have answered these simple questions you will have a better idea of what you are looking for in an elliptical trainer.
Every elliptical trainer comes with certain features, some are standard and others come at price. Spending a few minutes to consider which ones are necessary for you to get the best results out of your workouts will help you choose the right elliptical to help you meet, and even exceed your fitness goals.
Criteria #1 – Stability
One of the first aspects to consider is the stability of the machine, and this is also the most important when it comes to your safety. Previously heavy stationary ellipticals where always considered the most stable, but advances in technology have also made the majority of compact models just as safe for most people to use. When you are using the elliptical you should feel like you are well balanced, regardless of its size. This will allow you to concentrate on your workout, instead of worrying about falling off of the machine. We do recommend a heavier stationary elliptical for larger adults since these machines are designed to provide plenty of balance.
Criteria #2 – Resistance
The next aspect to consider is the machine’s resistance and there should be several levels for you to choose from, ranging from low to high. The amount of resistance will determine how effective your workout is, and being able to adjust it can also minimize your risk of injury. The resistance is generally provide by one of two technologies, fan wheel or magnetic and each comes with its own advantages.
- Fan wheel resistance is commonly found on inexpensive elliptical machines, and it will provide you with a smooth and gradual increase in resistance. The main downside is that it can be noisy.
- Magnetic resistance is quiet and will provide you with a consistent and natural increase in resistance. However this technology does come at a slightly higher price.
Criteria #3 – Computer Technology
Elliptical machines for home use are now designed to provide you with plenty of data during your workouts. This will make it easier for you to track your progress and reach your fitness goals. Often these machines come with preset functions, and it should be noted that the number of functions will affect the price. Some functions that you will want to consider include being able to track heart rate, time on the machine and number of calories burned. Machines that come with different courses will make it easier for you to stay interested, and can help prevent boredom. Some elliptical trainers are even designed to “remember” your favorite courses so you can easily find it again with just the press of a button.
Criteria #4 – Machine Adjustments
Being able to easily make adjusts to the machine, even during your workouts is important. Not only will this eliminate the need for you to stop in the middle of your workout, it also makes the cardio more effective. The best elliptical trainers will allow you to easily adjust the foot pedals, incline and the length of your stride. Your budget will help you decide if the adjustments can be made manually or with just the press of a button. Obviously being able to simply program any necessary adjustments is often preferable, but you can still get an effective cardio workout with a manual elliptical.
A few other features that you might want to consider, if your budget allows include:
- Levers/handles that will work your upper body
- Forward and reverse motions
- Locking pedals for safety when the machine is not in use.
- Low maintenance
- Included product/service warranty
We hope you enjoyed our 2016 Elliptical Reviews. Stay tuned for updates for next year.