Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

The Best Elliptical Machines

Where Can You Buy the Best Elliptical Machines?

On the market for more than two decades, these versatile pieces of workout equipment are some of the most popular in fitness centers and home gyms alike. Why? First of all, many people prefer the motion of an elliptical trainer over treadmills because of the decreased impact on joints. Not everyone can hop on a treadmill and run a 5K with painful knees and ankles; using an elliptical machine gives you a high level of cardiovascular exercise without as much strain.

Another advantage of using an elliptical trainer is the ability to get a full-body workout. Although using the handles is optional, most exercisers like to use the push-pull motion to strengthen muscles in the arms, abs and back at the same time as the lower body. Who wouldn't benefit from the efficiency of working out multiple muscle groups at once?

Thursday, October 21st

2021 Elliptical Machine Reviews

SOLE Fitness Review Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award 5 Star Rating

SOLE Fitness

5 Star Rating Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

SOLE remains at the top of the list when it comes to affordable, high-quality elliptical machines. With 6 models to choose from, all priced under $2,500, there's something for everyone. Best of all, SOLE gives you 30 days to decide if you want to keep your equipment - and they'll even cover the return shipping fees if you don't! This retailer hits the mark for great elliptical machines at impressive prices, with customer-friendly policies to match. SOLE Fitness earns our highest rating.

Xterra Review 4.5 Star Rating

Xterra

4.5 Star Rating

Xterra makes it possible to get a good-quality elliptical machine at a fantastic price, with their most advanced model coming in at less than $700. Customers say that the ellipticals are surprisingly sturdy and provide a terrific workout. Just be aware that the user weight limits tend to be lower than other machines', and that the shorter stride lengths on Xterra ellipticals might make their equipment less suitable for very tall individuals.

ProForm Review 4 Star Rating

ProForm

4 Star Rating

If you're looking for an elliptical that offers live coached workouts - and where trainers can actually change the resistance on your machine in real time - ProForm is one of two retailers that offers that through the iFit platform (along with NordicTrack). This store has several models to choose from, including one design that mimics both an elliptical and a stair climber and another that combines an elliptical with a recumbent bike. Prices are on the lower end, and customers say that ProForm machines offer a solid workout for the money.

NordicTrack Review 4 Star Rating

NordicTrack

4 Star Rating

NordicTrack is the sister brand to ProForm, offering elliptical machines that are slightly more advanced (and a little more expensive too). Customers love the interactive personal training that comes with the complimentary 1-year iFit membership included with every elliptical purchase. NordicTrack machines provide an exceptional level of quality and features for the money, putting some of today's hottest fitness trends within reach of most shoppers.

Precor Review 3.5 Star Rating

Precor

3.5 Star Rating

If you have warm fuzzy feelings about your favorite elliptical at the gym and wish you could have one for your home, Precor can make that happen. Precor machines are found in many gyms around the world and are available for purchase by everyday consumers too. Of course, expect a gym-level price tag - the least expensive model sells for $2,700 - and be aware that Precor doesn't accept returns for any reason after delivery. While that puts their ellipticals out of reach for many customers, their machines deliver an unparalleled workout when money is no object.

Schwinn Review 3.5 Star Rating

Schwinn

3.5 Star Rating

Schwinn isn't just for bicycles. They offer three basic styles of elliptical machines that will give you a solid all-body workout without emptying your wallet. Schwinn offers a longer return period and warranty coverage than many rival retailers, but availability may be an issue: only one machine was in stock during our most recent visit. The company will need to up their inventory in order to move up in our rankings, but it's still worth taking a look to see what might be available when you're ready to buy an elliptical.

Life Fitness Review 3 Star Rating

Life Fitness

3 Star Rating

LifeFitness gym equipment can be spotted almost everywhere, and for those who have the money and want to replicate their fitness center workouts at home, these elliptical machines are dependable and high-tech. On the downside, LifeFitness isn't as customer-friendly as it was in the past, with a shorter return window, higher costs for delivery and setup, and fewer elliptical trainers to choose from overall.

Horizon Fitness Review 2 Star Rating

Horizon Fitness

2 Star Rating

Horizon Fitness used to be one of our highest-ranked retailers of elliptical machines. Unfortunately, their selection has dropped to just two models available for purchase online. Those two ellipticals get plenty of praise from customers, but we found numerous issues reported regarding Horizon's lackluster-to-nonexistent responses to warranty issues and other problems. You'll probably have a better experience buying your elliptical machine from a higher-rated store.

Diamondback Fitness Review 2 Star Rating

Diamondback Fitness

2 Star Rating

Diamondback Fitness is best known in the cycling industry, but their two-model selection of ellipticals has made some progress since our last review - including one that offers a touchscreen that can connect with your favorite apps (fitness or otherwise). But, the company doesn't have a great reputation when it comes to customer service, with complaints about the difficulty of getting help when equipment arrives damaged or needs warranty service.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Plus, many elliptical machines can be used in different ways: some combine a traditional elliptical system with a recumbent or upright bike, while others let you change the stride motion to more closely resemble a stair stepping machine or even a treadmill. This flexibility makes it likely that you'll use your elliptical trainer for a long time, because you can change the workout to match your mood, your physical capabilities at the moment, your fitness goals, or the other users in your household.

And, if you think that elliptical machines have been left out of the live streaming workout craze, think again! Some of the most advanced models offer large touch screens that can deliver real-time coached workout sessions - and may even allow a trainer access to change your resistance levels or incline during the workout! Even if your elliptical doesn't come with that built-in feature, almost all brands and models have a tablet holder, allowing you to choose your own workout platform and go for it (or just binge a few episodes of your favorite TV show: your choice!).

When choosing the right elliptical machine for your home gym, how can you tell which retailer should get your business? Here are several factors to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Selection. How many elliptical trainers does the store carry? The broader the selection, the more likely you'll be able to get exactly what you want without paying for features you don't need.
  • Price. Speaking of features, how much will you spend for an elliptical machine at the retailer you're browsing? Is shipping included? Will you have to pay extra to get a more up-to-date console or a different frame color?
  • Availability. Home fitness equipment is more popular than ever, and many businesses are feeling the strain of keeping up with demand. Are the ellipticals the retailer advertises actually in stock? Be sure to check delivery timeframes: some stores show that certain models are available for purchase, but when you add one to your cart you might spot some fine print that says that delivery may take up to three months!
  • Return Policy. What happens if your elliptical machine is delivered and it doesn't fit where you planned to put it? Or your significant other is too tall (or too short) for the stride length? Not every retailer will allow you to send it back for a refund.
  • Reputation. What do other people say about their experience, both with the elliptical machines themselves and with the company overall? Customer reviews and a rating from the Better Business Bureau are two reliable ways of determining how well a retailer is living up to shoppers' expectations.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best retailers of elliptical machines available today. We hope this information helps you pick the right equipment for your home gym!

The Best Elliptical Machines Compare Elliptical Machines Compare Elliptical Machine Reviews What are the best Elliptical Machines Best Elliptical Machine Reviews

Elliptical Machine FAQ

An elliptical machine is a low-impact stationary cardio trainer that combines an upper and lower body workout. The user stands on the pedals, holding onto the handles with both arms outstretched, and moves his or her feet along the track in an oval-like (or "elliptical" ) path.
Some ellipticals are more expensive than others depending on their features - such as whether or not they include a touch screen, workout programs or tracking capabilities - and how long they are built to last. The most inexpensive ellipticals out there are priced around $350, but for a quality trainer that will last you for years, expect to pay at least $500-$1,000.
Ellipticals are predominantly cardio machines. Increasing the resistance and using the handlebars of your elliptical will engage, strengthen and tone nearly every muscle group, but if you're looking to build real bulk, you should probably look elsewhere.
Scientists have debunked spot-reduction weight loss. Only by creating a caloric deficit can you lose weight, and that weight loss will be distributed across your entire body. That being said, elliptical workouts are a fantastic way to create a caloric deficit and tone up at the same time.
In flywheel ellipticals, resistance is created by friction. The heavier the flywheel, the stronger the resistance and the smoother the movement. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are able to increase resistance levels with more accuracy and require less maintenance than their friction-dependent flywheel counterparts. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are quieter than flywheel ellipticals, but they are also typically more expensive.
Elliptical training cannot improve your running form or posture, but it can help you prepare to transition to running outdoors or on a treadmill. When done regularly and with enough intensity, elliptical training can increase your strength and stamina.
When compared to a high impact exercise like running, yes, elliptical training is much gentler on knees and joints. However, many elliptical users still report feeling pain or discomfort in their knees and feet as a result of pushing themselves too hard or having poor form.
As with any piece of fitness machinery, regular maintenance is necessary to prevent injury and to keep your machine functioning properly. Depending on how frequently your elliptical is used, you should have your elliptical serviced every 3-6 months. Check your user manual for more information.
See the Best Elliptical Machine
The Best Reviews of Elliptical Machines