The 5 Best Elliptical Machines for Your Home Gym Space

Are you Looking for the best elliptical machine for your home? Our expert-curated Elliptical Reviews and buying guides will help you find the perfect elliptical machine for your home, so you can easily start your workout and stay focused on your fitness goals.

Best Home Elliptical Machine Reviews 2023

You have a tight budget or limited space in your home, but you want to be fit and need to find the best exercise machine to suite your requirements. Knowing what to look for when going for cheap ellipticals can be tricky however. It will pay to know what ellipticals are, why people use and are benefitted by ellipticals and top elliptical features to set the best budget ellipticals apart from the rest.(Make Sure You Read Our : Best Cardio Machine For Home )

What Is An Elliptical Machine?

Ellipticals are types of exercise machines that use an elliptical motion to drive the feet forwards or backwards. Two pedals or feet platforms (striders), that look like 15 inch plastic skis, connect to a motor. After planting your feet in the striders and switching the machine on, you will be guided on the elliptical motion of the track.

Elliptical exercise machines are different to stationary exercise bikes or treadmills, because they have a much lower impact on our bodies. The resistance and incline some of these machines include all the components for a full body workout. Examples of Elliptical Machines are elliptical trainers, cross trainers or X-trainers. Elliptical machines are also referred to as strider machines occasionally.

The 2 min video in this link contains more detailed information on elliptical cross trainer machines, if that didn’t already sum it up for you!

A Look At the Different Types of Elliptical Machines

Elliptical Trainer machines only works the lower body and is a pure cardio workout. They do not have armrests or levels with which to work your torso muscles. It has pedals that move in an elliptical motion and when you use an elliptical trainer, you hold onto stationary handle bars right in front of you. This can help you to tone up your legs, but the best elliptical machine will allow you to work your whole body.

  • Elliptical Trainer machines only works the lower body and is a pure cardio workout. They do not have armrests or levels with which to work your torso muscles. It has pedals that move in an elliptical motion and when you use an elliptical trainer, you hold onto stationary handle bars right in front of you. This can help you to tone up your legs, but the best elliptical machine will allow you to work your whole body.
  • Elliptical Cross Trainers are considered by most elliptical machine reviews to be the best elliptical machines for home use. These ellipticals come fully equipped with handlebars and will give you the maximum value for the time you spend exercising on it. Cross trainers are also seen as the best ellipticals, because they can keep your whole body slim and are usually better at helping you hold good posture. Click here for workout machines.

In the sections to follow, we will largely be looking at cross trainer elliptical machines, being the best home ellipticals for a comprehensive exercise solution.

  • Elliptical Glider – these ellipticals have no electrical parts involved, consisting of mechanical striders that are suspended above the ground by some kind of supporting structure. These are not usually considered the best elliptical machines, as electrified ellipticals can offer you exercise programs to further your fitness levels appropriately.

Top Elliptical Machines To Consider in 2021

SOLE E35 Elliptical Machine

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine

One of the most popular elliptical machines, the Sole E35 has been getting rave reviews and accolades all over the world. It works well even if you are only starting on your fitness journey and keeps challenging you even when you move on to intermediary levels.

There are a lot of features that make this one a stand-out buy for the home gym owner. It has a front drive design with a solid 25 pound wheel. It gives a 20” stride with both forward and reverse movements incorporated. It’s ramp is power adjustable with over 30 different levels for muscle toning.

While it is a bit expensive, it offers a full-fledged elliptical fitness experience which is second to none.

Notable traits

  • 30 different incline levels
  • Magnetic resistance
  • 20” stride for optimum comfort
  • Convenient resistance controls placement

Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine

Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer

This is a really clean looking elliptical which is suitable for the whole family including kids. It brings to the table 22 different workout programs along with a comfortable and standard 20 inch stride length. The only thing we found that was lacking is that it only has support for 2 different profiles.

It has acoustic chambered speakers which deliver punchy sound should you feel like listening to your own music. On the other hand, if you want a color console and customizable options, you might have to look elsewhere.

Notable traits

  • 22 different workout programs
  • 20 different incline levels
  • Nautilus Connect helps keep track of your progress
  • Outlet to charge your phone and tablet

Bowflex Max Trainer M5

Bowflex Max Trainer M5

I’ve always loved the Bowflex brand and its fantastic alternative to exercise equipment. The M5 is one of the most exceptional ellipticals that we have come across. It has fantastic build quality and looks the part as well. The Bowflex M5 allows total body workout without any harsh impacts.

It’s working is inspired by treadmills in that even new people can get the most out of it and move at full speed on it. If you compare the M5 with a typical cardio machine, it burns calories 200% faster.

Notable traits

  • 16 resistance levels
  • 8 different workout programs
  • 2 user profiles
  • Compact size

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i iFit Enabled

This is one of the hottest ellipticals on the market right about now and for good reason. Its innovative 3-in-1 design means that it’s a stepper, elliptical and treadmill all in one. This is a boon for people who are confined to smaller spaces and want the benefits of all the 3 types of equipment.

This is the only equipment here which offers users a stride length of 38 inches. This along with the ability to have adjustable inclines of up to 10 degrees makes this a challenge to master. it has OneTouch controls that adjust the angles and varies muscle group to target them effectively and efficiently.

Notable traits

  • 38 inch adjustable stride
  • Easy assembly
  • Center drive design
  • Has iFit app

Elliptical Machines can also be categorized by where the driving mechanism of the elliptical motion is placed:

  • Front Drive – This describes ellipticals where the rotating wheel that drives the pedals, sits in the front. These ellipticals became popular alongside elliptical recumbent bikes and soon users wanted an elliptical bike combo.An elliptical recumbent bike combo machine will set you pedaling at an angle on your back, lying down, such as in recumbent bike riding. Stationary recumbent elliptical bikes exist and are a popular form of elliptical leg-only exercise.
  • Rear Drive – this is the most common form of elliptical, in which the drive wheel sits behind you whilst you pedal yourself into shape. Cross trainer elliptical machines will mostly use a rear drive mechanism.
  • Center Drive – this has posed some very unique elliptical machine designs, in which the user can feel like they are running inside a boxed-in cubicle! Usually the wheel is placed in the center under you, with the pedals moving on either side in the usual elliptical motion. If you want to purchase a center drive elliptical machine, make sure the feet pedals are not spaced too far apart or you can risk hurting your back.

How Do Your Muscles Get A Workout From Elliptical Exercise Machines?

Many people are wondering: are ellipticals a good workout? The question of ‘are ellipticals good?’ should be answered with ‘most certainly!’. Elliptical machines have the potential to give your entire body a full workout without putting pressure on your joints or body.

The best elliptical exercise machines for home or at the gym all should come with a console to adjust the settings. The best elliptical workouts are those in which resistance can be increased, as well as the incline. Try running at maximum resistance and you will understand exactly how much of a workout this machine can give you! The incline can also be adjusted to make striding easier or more difficult. Make sure you have a good posture when using an elliptical machine, as this will greatly improve your workout’s efficiency.

Elliptical machines mostly give your legs a workout, emulating running. When you adjust the resistance and angle of strider inclination, you also are working out a variety of different muscle groups in your legs, thighs and calfs. This low impact running is also a very effective cardio workout, increasing your heart rate like ordinary running does but without jarring your knees or body. Running backwards on an elliptical machine really gets your buttocks muscles working. This is a really great way to tone down and get into shape.

Cross trainers with the handle bars make the best elliptical machines. You can work your arms at the same time, emulating a full on running motion. Rotating your upper body in this way while “running” works your core muscles and can result in giving you abs over time. You do have to make use of this feature fully however to reap the benefits of working your arms out. Elliptical reviews point out that your legs will be worked guaranteed, but the user needs to take full advantage of working out their arms to make it work.

Top 10 Features Found in the Best Elliptical Machines

Take a look at this list of the best features you absolutely need in your home elliptical machine, compiled from many elliptical machine reviews:

  1. Handlebars – All ellipticals have handle bars, but there is a difference between moving handlebars and stationary handle bars. Having moving handlebars on your elliptical machine shows that you can work out your upper and lower body as well as improve core muscle strength. Some cross trainers come with the option of changing your hand grip on them to work different arm muscles too.
  2. Stride Length – The best elliptical machine comes with an elliptical adjustable stride length. The best stride length for most people tends to fall between 15 and 20 inches.
  3. Resistance Options – Elliptical machine reviews claim that the best elliptical machines have adjustable resistance options or settings. This is a sign that the exercise machine will give you a suitable workout and encourage you to get fitter and stay there.
  4. Weight Limit – One can almost immediately ascertain a cheap elliptical machine by a lower weight limit. Commercial cross trainers have higher weight limits and are built to last much longer. Aside from knowing the maximum weight to keep safe from breaking the machine, it’s also a good indication of durability.
  5. Power Incline – Being able to train using an adjustable incline will also make your elliptical stand out from the rest. If you are looking for a body power elliptical to maximize your body strength, you will need to get one with a power incline or an adjustable incline.
  6. Console – Electrified elliptical machines are better than non-electrical ellipticals. A console on the best elliptical machine can describe how many calories you’ve burned, how far you’ve traveled, display your heart rate and more!
  7. Workout Programs – An electric elliptical exercise machine will have different programs you can select on the console. Choose to have a Heart Rate Workout for a full cardio experience or do a slower workout program to wind down after some vigorous exercise!
  8. Feet Pad Placement needs to be close together so you don’t get back problems. This is especially important on cross trainers or ellipticals where center drive is being used as the motor can move your feet too far apart.
  9. Dual Action – this is the option of being able to move backwards and forwards in an elliptical motion. The dual action feature is essential if you would like to work your hamstrings or buttocks.
  10. Storage – sometimes space is an issue so keep your eyes peeled for compact elliptical machines. Some of them are easy enough to fold up and pack away, while others attempt to conserve as much space as possible in a room. Make sure you give the machine enough girth to be used at the very least!

You can learn more about what to look for in Ellipticals by watching this brief Ellipticals video.

Top Benefits of Elliptical Trainer Exercise & Fitness

The top benefit of all ellipticals would have to be that they are low impact exercise machines that can still work up a sweat in people! The striders of the best elliptical machines support the ball and heel of the foot, as it moves and rotates when in use. This support takes full orthopedic pressure off your musculoskeletal system. This feature makes ellipticals much safer than treadmills or high impact exercises and people with sore joints can use them too for more gentle workouts.

The benefits of giving yourself a full body workout on an elliptical trainer are much the same as running or any cardio-intensive exercise. Cardio Exercise benefits include: stronger heart muscles, better breathing, more energy, improved moods, stronger immune system, release of endorphins, increased mental clarity and increased mobility in the body. Make sure you drink enough water and set a challenging enough exercise for yourself without overdoing it!

The motion of moving in an elliptical shape also encourages fantastic circulation, especially in the hips, knees and lungs. Improved blood flow helps to drain unnecessary fluids from joints and can result in ache or pain relief. After a while of draining all excess fluids properly, your body will start to have far more energy, which is can use on other areas like your immune system.

Another frequently asked question is “are ellipticals effective for weight loss?” The answer is yes. If you use one of the best elliptical machines to its fullest potential, you will lose weight across your entire body. The trick with exercise is daily consistency. Even 10 minutes a day will get you much further than 1hour a week! For the fastest weight loss results on an elliptical machine, get your heart rate pumping and actually sweat.

Speaking of sweat, the last best benefit of elliptical exercise is being able to detox one’s body in a gentle manner. Sometimes elliptical machines can actually be more gentle than a diet change or help one to quickly process a detox reaction from dietary changes. Getting rid of lactic acid build-up and things that clog us up can result in easier breathing, no more headaches and radiant skin.

If you are interested, this video on the benefits of using an elliptical cross trainer contains much more information.

Elliptical Machine Maintenance: How To Look After an Elliptical Trainer

The moving parts found in your cross trainer may need lubrication after a time to keep them moving healthily. If your trainer makes a noise while you stride in it, something is wrong and it needs to be looked at. Elliptical machine reviews have claimed that some elliptical machines do make a noise when you change different settings however.

To keep it clean, simply wipe it down. Keeping the sweat off of it is very important as excess moisture can rust some of the parts. Wiping it down with a damp cloth every now and then will keep it looking good.

Final Thoughts

Some extra considerations to make when using an elliptical machine would be concerning the right running shoes and clothing for elliptical workouts. Ordinary running shoes are perfect for use on elliptical cross trainers. Do not wear baggy clothing on any exercise machines however, as they can get caught in the moving parts and damage you and your machine. Lastly, keep kids and pets away from them for the same reasons.

Now that you know what constitutes the best elliptical machines, you are empowered to make the right decision when going to make an elliptical strider purchase.