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The Best Elliptical Machines

What's the Best Brand of Elliptical Machine?

Elliptical machines have enjoyed a surge of popularity in the last few years. With the rise in health-conscious thinking and fitness influencers, it's become more and more popular to start an at-home exercise regimen. If you're looking for a versatile machine easily accessible for a home gym, elliptical trainers are the go-to choice.

What's the reason for the enduring popularity of Elliptical Machines? Well, to begin with, elliptical trainers offer an exercise motion that many prefer over the pounding impact of treadmills. For those individuals with sensitive joints, sore backs, or other conditions that make running or high-impact exercises a no-go, elliptical machines are the perfect solution: cardio that's kind to your knees.

Wednesday, July 17th

2024 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 Fitness, a go-to for home and hotel ellipticals, offers five models priced from $1,099.99 to $2,699.99. The entry-level E25 features 20 resistance levels, a quiet drive system, and Bluetooth speakers, while the top-tier E98 offers a commercial-grade touchscreen, pre-loaded workout programs, and wireless charging. With free curbside delivery, a 30-day return policy with no fees, and a solid reputation, SOLE Fitness stands out from its competitors who don't offer many (if any) of those benefits. For these reasons, and the company's longtime experience, SOLE Fitness earns a 5-star rating as the top elliptical brand in this review.

Xterra Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating

Xterra stands out for durable and budget-friendly home gym equipment, including six elliptical models priced from $229.99 to $799.99. With a focus on affordability, Xterra provides machines with features like 24 resistance levels and an array of tech capabilities. While the 30-day return policy has some fees, the brand still receives rave reviews for durability, earning an excellent rating from us as a top option for budget ellipticals.

NordicTrack Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating

NordicTrack offers elliptical machines ranging from $1,399 to $2,299, with features like touchscreens, adjustable resistance, and iFIT workouts on all their models. NordicTrack enjoys a solid reputation with an "A" BBB rating but faces some customer concerns related to unexpected charges and warranty claim delays. Balancing their better-than-average pricing and solid features against some of the customer service downsides, we've awarded NordicTrack a very good rating. However, be sure to check them out if you're looking for a cost-effective option.

Precor Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating

If you're seeking gym-quality elliptical machines, Precor is the best option out there. With experience making ellipticals for gyms since 1995, they offer a range of machines from $1,999 to $14,440, known for their high quality and long-term warranties. Precor has a no-returns policy once the product is delivered, but their reputation is solid, with an "A+" BBB rating and satisfied customers. On the other hand, a much higher price point and the complete lack of a return policy are disappointing when compared to cheaper models with more features even at the base model level.

ProForm Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating

ProForm, a subsidiary of Icon Health and Fitness, offers a range of elliptical machines from $799 to $1,799, providing affordable home fitness options. Their top-tier model, the PRO HIIT H14, comes with a 30-day iFIT Trial and a 14" Smart HD touchscreen. While their return policy has a $250 return shipping fee and a 10% processing fee, which doesn't come across as particularly customer-focused, they integrate with the iFIT platform, providing live-streamed workouts. However, we did notice an uptick in customer sentiment showing increasing complaints.

Life Fitness Review 3 Star Rating

Life Fitness

3 Star Rating

Life Fitness offers a premium selection of elliptical machines, but they come with a hefty price tag, ranging from $2,899 to $9,499. Although they have various models, they've recently reduced their return policy to just 15 days and now only accept returns for defective or damaged products. Customer reviews from third-party sites express concerns about faulty machines and slow customer service, despite Life Fitness holding a "B" rating from the BBB. These factors, combined with the high cost, suggest you might find better and more affordable elliptical machine options elsewhere.

Bowflex Review 2.5 Star Rating


2.5 Star Rating

Bowflex offers four different elliptical machines, including a basic model at $1,299 and a top-tier option at $1,999. While there are some neat benefits like a 1-year free membership to JRNY for immersive workouts, there are also a host of red flags. For example, the lack of detailed product information on their website and mixed customer reviews raise concerns. We also noticed that both Bowflex and its parent company Nautilus are unrated by the BBB, leaving you a little in the dark about their reputation.

Schwinn Review 2.5 Star Rating


2.5 Star Rating

Schwinn, known for bicycles, offers three elliptical models ranging from $699 to $1,299. While the limited selection and mid-tier features are cost-effective, concerns about customer service bring down Schwinn's score. Free shipping is offered during promos, and the six-week return policy is a plus, but the lack of a BBB rating raises caution, and negative reviews that are worse than its sister site result in a lower ranking for Schwinn than the other Nautilus brand in this review.

Diamondback Fitness Review 2 Star Rating

Diamondback Fitness

2 Star Rating

Diamondback Fitness, initially rooted in cycling, now offers indoor cycles and ellipticals. Their sole elliptical model, the 1280ef, is priced under $1,000, making it more affordable than some competitors. It features adjustable stride length and offers various workout programs. However, their warranty is shorter than competitors, with only a 5-year warranty on the frame. On top of that, Diamondback Fitness has received an "F" rating from the BBB, mainly due to unaddressed customer complaints. There are more customer-friendly brands on the market.

Horizon Fitness Review 1.5 Star Rating

Horizon Fitness

1.5 Star Rating

Horizon Fitness stands out, but not in a good way. With only one elliptical machine available for online purchase, priced at $599, they provide very slim pickings. Horizon Fitness also lacks free delivery, and their return policy includes costly shipping fees and a restocking charge. Customer reviews further indicate dissatisfaction with customer service and availability. As such, we give Horizon Fitness our lowest ranking and suggest exploring elliptical machine brands with better customer satisfaction records.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

On top of being low-impact, one of the key benefits of elliptical trainers is their ability to deliver a comprehensive full-body workout. While the use of handles is optional, most users opt for the simultaneous push-pull motion to engage muscles not only in their legs but also in their arms, core, and back. It's like a two-for-one deal in the gym: targeting your upper and lower body muscles, making your workout sessions more efficient. This way you can combine leg day and arm day into one session if you choose. Or, if you prefer to be sore in only one spot the next day, you can break it up instead. Basically, you've got a variety of workout styles when it comes to an elliptical that you might not have with other machines.

Plus, as you get into browsing elliptical machines, you'll realize that there's a lot of versatility across different models. For example, some models combine the traditional elliptical movement with the convenience of a recumbent or upright bike, while others let you adapt the stride motion to mimic the stepping action of a stair machine or the running sensation of a treadmill. This adaptability means you're more likely to keep using your elliptical trainer over the long term. When your routine starts to feel too stagnant or you're not seeing as much progress as you get stronger, you can change up your routine to bring you back to maximum burn. Elliptical machines allow you to match your current physical condition, your fitness objectives, or the preferences of other family members who share the equipment.

And if you've thought that elliptical machines have missed out on the live-streaming workout trend, think again. Many of the latest models are equipped with large touchscreen displays that offer real-time, coached workout sessions. Some even give trainers remote access to adjust your resistance levels or incline during your workout. So, if you're a tech-savvy workout fan, you can easily join in on modern connectivity with your elliptical machine. And even if your elliptical isn't quite that advanced, most brands and models have a convenient tablet holder, allowing you to choose your preferred workout platform and stream exercise videos or enjoy a few episodes of your favorite TV show - the choice is entirely yours.

So, when it comes to selecting the ideal elliptical machine for your home gym, how do you decide which brand is the right one? Here are some essential factors to help you narrow down your options:

  • Selection. The selection of elliptical trainers offered by the brand is something you want to keep an eye on. The broader the variety, the more likely you are to find the perfect machine with all the features you need.
  • Price. Cost is probably one of the most important factors to consider when buying an elliptical machine. How much does it sell for, and is shipping included in the price? You should be aware of any potential additional costs, such as upgrading to a more modern console or a different frame color.
  • Availability. The demand for home fitness equipment is at an all-time high, and many businesses struggle to keep up with the need. Be sure to check if the ellipticals advertised are in stock, and take a close look at the delivery timeframe. Some stores may suggest immediate availability, only to reveal in fine print that delivery could take up to three months.
  • Return Policy. Understanding the return policy is essential in case your elliptical machine arrives and isn't the right fit for your space or doesn't work with your stride length. Not all retailers offer the same return options, so keep an eye out to be sure the company you choose supports customers through returns.
  • Reputation. Lastly, what do other customers say about their experiences, both with the elliptical machines themselves and with the company as a whole? Customer reviews and ratings from the Better Business Bureau are dependable resources for gauging how well a retailer meets the expectations of its clientele.

To make sure you find the best elliptical machine for your needs, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best elliptical machine brands available today. It's our job to equip you with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision that supports your fitness goals. This way, you can skip the stress of comparing machine after machine and get back to your cardio routine ASAP!

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.
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