The Ultimate Elliptical Buying Guide

The Ultimate Elliptical Buying Guide

Elliptical trainer: a piece of fitness equipment that has grown immense popularity over the past few years, both in gyms and in homes, the inspiration for our Elliptical Buying Guide. The best elliptical machines on the market can help you reach all of your fitness goals, provided that you maintain a healthy diet on the side and a generally balanced lifestyle. For those who are not familiar with the concept, an elliptical is a fitness machine that recreates the action of walking, jogging or running, without putting your body through the same impact. As opposed to treadmills and other similar pieces of fitness equipment, the best elliptical trainers were designed to be easy on the joints and are great for individuals who want to avoid high impact training. If you have been in gyms, you have certainly seen top ellipticals and probably have worked out on a best rated elliptical at one point.

However, there is a difference between top rated ellipticals in the gym and the best elliptical machines for home. While you most likely will find the best elliptical trainer at your local workout venue, it will definitely have a price tag attached in the thousands range and you might not be able to make it your best elliptical for home. Nevertheless, you can do some research on elliptical brands, elliptical machine reviews, the best ellipticals for home and top elliptical machines and find the best elliptical machine for home, the best elliptical machine for the money you invest, and so on!

To help you with the process, we have put together this complete Elliptical Buying Guide, which will walk you through the benefits of a home elliptical, the types of best eliptical machines, tips for buying an elliptical, the importance of elliptical trainer reviews in the buying process and more. By the end, you will have all the answers to questions like:

  • What is the best elliptical machine for me?
  • What is the best elliptical for home use on a budget?
  • What are some good elliptical machines examples?
  • What is the best elliptical brand?
  • How can I buy elliptical machines wisely?

Ready? Discover the best home elliptical for you with our Elliptical Buying Guide!

Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper

Benefits of Buying an Elliptical Machine

We all know that an eliptical machine can help you stay in shape and all, but what are the core benefits that an eliptical has over other pieces of fitness equipment? Here are just a few:

Low-impact Exercise

Elliptical trainers were specifically designed for low-impact workouts. As opposed to regularly running, a top rated elliptical won’t destroy your joints or make you push yourself beyond your physical limits to the point that it brings harm. An elliptical exercise machine gives you control of your workout and – depending on the best elliptical machine features it offers – allows you to track your progress, monitor your heart rate and more. This makes an elliptical for home the ideal solution for those who have suffered injuries in their lower body area or who have weak joints. On the other hand, the low impact workout that a best home elliptical provides is fine for both the elderly and the young, aiding them in safely staying fit.

Complete Workout

While most pieces of fitness equipment focus specifically either on the upper body or the lower body, a best home elliptical machine offers a complete workout session for the user. This is actually one of the reasons why we wanted to expand on the idea of best rated ellipticals and best home ellipticals and create an Elliptical Buying Guide; a fairly-priced best eliptical machine can bring you more health benefits than you could imagine. Your best home eliptical can help you go from a regular cardio workout to a complete upper and lower body training routine, with the help of the mobile hand bars.

Save Time & Money

Want to know why the term ‘best at home elliptical’ can be found so often when speaking about workout machines? Because the best elliptical machines for home use have quite a series of benefits on their own to consider. Once you find out which is the best elliptical to buy for your requirements and budget (like a Sears elliptical, for example), you end up saving so much time and money that it’s overwhelming. Think about it: how many hours have you lost in traffic on the way to the gym? How about the hundreds or thousands you have spent on all your gym subscriptions until now? You’ll learn in this Elliptical Buying Guide how a small investment can bring you great value and savings in the long run.

Nautilus E614 Elliptical


We know, we know, working out can be tiresome or tedious for those who aren’t generally passionate about staying fit and exercising. We are well aware that most individuals who decide to get a piece of fitness equipment for their homes do so to lose some extra pounds and look the way they want to. This is where another great benefit from our Elliptical Buying Guide comes in: multitasking. Some ellipticals are so quiet that you can easily engage in your media product of choice while working out. For example, you could stay up to date with your favorite TV show, watch a movie, listen to an audio book and more.

Beginners & Pros

Another fantastic benefit of ellipticals is that they are equally useful for beginners and pros. While most individuals who take up elliptical training are novices in the field and do so to generally stay in shape, a wide range of experienced athletes also use ellipticals for their training. Like we previously mentioned, ellipticals are great for low impact exercise, and professional athletes always take extra care when dealing with the efforts they put their bodies through. This also means that you, as a beginner, don’t need to have years of fitness experience to get started with your elliptical; just hop on and find your rhythm!

Types of Elliptical Machines

Like most types of popular fitness machines, ellipticals also come in various shapes and sizes, with different features and costs. When it comes to elliptical machines, there are three main categories:


As the name suggests, basic elliptical machines are great for the novice. Most of them are compact, affordable and designed to meet basic fitness goals. They won’t cost you a small fortune straight from the top and they will help you get the job done if you are looking to burn calories without massacring your joints. Price-wise, basic ellipticals typically cost a few hundred dollars. This makes them some of the most popular elliptical machines on the market, as most users are beginners either on a budget or who are not willing to spend a large amount of money on home fitness equipment.

Inspire Cardio Strider 1


Standard elliptical machines are also a popular choice among average consumers. While they won’t offer all the hi-tech features that elite ellipticals do, they indeed provide a nice range of options that will enhance your workout experience. As expected, they are more expensive than basic ellipticals, but for good reasons. Some basic ellipticals will have hardly any electronic features, while standard ellipticals come with consoles that have nice options for you to experiment with. As far as investments are concerned, a standard elliptical can range from under $1000 to about a thousand and a half, depending on the features you want to be included.


You can tell that this category of ellipticals promises top quality and fantastic results, just by the name. Elite ellipticals are, indeed, the most expensive fitness machines in this class on the market, but they will bring you all the advantages of your investment. Elite elliptical machines can easily cost thousands of dollars, but if you are looking for a complete experience you should consider one for your home. Nevertheless, the rest of our Elliptical Buying Guide will show that basic or standard ellipticals generally work find for home gym use.

Best Elliptical Machine Features

In order to determine whether an elliptical machine is right for you or not, you need to understand the features that these pieces of fitness equipment offer. These are just a few of the most significant ones to look out for, and our elliptical buying guide will also tell you exactly in which way you should pay attention to each and every one of these features.


For the tech-savvy fitness enthusiast, electronics are a must. The more state of the art options an elliptical machine has, the more complex and versatile it becomes for the user. Of course, these electronics come at a price, so be prepared to make an investment if you to purchase an elliptical that works with innovative technology. Most ellipticals have a console that offers tracking options, as well as a series of programs for you to work with. Elite elliptical machines also offer great connectivity options, like the possibility to sync your smart phone or connect to the internet. Please note, though, that many basic ellipticals won’t have most of these options.

XTERRA FS 3.0 Elliptical Trainer

Custom Features

One of the greatest perks of owning an elliptical is that you can share it with members of your family or with friends. Finding an exercise partner will boost the impact of your workout experience, making it more pleasurable and fun to stay fit. This is where a key feature like custom options comes in; quite a few ellipticals have (in addition to a standard set of programs) one or two customizable programs or user profiles. This way you can not only set your very own program, tailored to your personal fitness needs, but you can also keep track of your progress and see how close you are to your exercise goals. This is one of the most sought-after features in fitness equipment like ellipticals, so make sure to keep an eye out for it if you plan on sharing the machine with a friend or relative. Not a lot of elliptical buying guide advice you will find online will consider this feature, but you should remember it.


If you plan on spending a few hundred or thousand dollars on a product, you will surely want to have a warranty attached. Aside from offering you a guarantee that you won’t have wasted a lot of money, a good warranty is the sign of a reliable company that takes pride in its products. You can easily get an idea about the quality of a fitness company’s products by the warranty they offer. While you shouldn’t hope for lifetime warranties off the top, most respected fitness companies will provide at least a one year warranty for the elliptical you buy from them.

Heart Rate Monitoring

As training on an elliptical provides a cardio workout, it is highly recommended that you keep track of your heart rate. Most modern ellipticals offer a heart rate monitoring feature for this, while some basic ellipticals might not have it at all. This is one of the key features to consider when buying an elliptical, especially if you plan on getting a standard or elite machine. Heart rate monitors for ellipticals can either be under the form of chest straps or through hand grips. You can always go for hand grip heart rate monitoring, but we recommend that you choose a chest strap heart rate monitoring option if you have the possibility (for accuracy).

Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine

Ergonomic Design

Ergonomics are essential when it comes to ellipticals and fitness equipment in general. Not only do they add to the overall safety of the machine, but they also boost the practical aspects of the piece of equipment. An elliptical machine with an ergonomic design should not alter your routine in any way, such as through blocking or causing discomfort. If you want to buy your elliptical from a store, you should test its ergonomics by doing a sample routine and see how the hand bars work. If you plan on getting your elliptical online, make sure to go through customer reviews and see how the design and build worked for them.

Flywheel Weight

Now let’s proceed with the semi-technical part of our Elliptical Buying Guide. If you have done a brief search of ellipticals online, you will most likely have seen the word ‘flywheel’ pop up in descriptions and reviews. What you need to know about this part of an elliptical is that the heavier a flywheel is, the greater your results will be. While flywheels weigh usually around fifteen pounds, more advanced ellipticals can have flywheels that easily exceed this weight. Be careful to search customer reviews for details about the flywheel if you cannot find them in the product description; if not, ask the manufacturers directly.

Brake & Resistance

The resistance and brake system of an elliptical machine is decisive for the overall quality. Systems that run on electronic magnets are the most desirable for ellipticals, as they will provide a quiet and pleasant workout experience. If you have an electronic magnetic system for brakes and resistance, you can easily go from one level to the other by pushing the buttons provided. You can also find systems with manual brakes, but we recommend that you get an elliptical with electronic magnetic brake and resistance systems for the best results.

Best Elliptical Brands & Top Rated Elliptical Machines

Even though it wouldn’t be fair to declare a particular brand or model as the best one on the market, there are a few top brands that you should consider when shopping for elliptical machines. Please note that these are just a few examples of brands you can rely on for quality products; there are many other that offer equally efficient ellipticals:


Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn is, by far, one of the most popular companies that manufacture ellipticals. Their Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine is one of the best-selling products in this category on Amazon (actually the 3rd best-selling elliptical machine out of all), as well as other models like the Schwinn 520 Recumbent Elliptical Trainer or the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine. One of the best parts about Schwinn is that the products they design and sell deliver top quality results, while remaining affordable for most customers. The best-selling Schwinn elliptical machines are under $1,000, making them an accessible and trusted choice for your home elliptical.


Proform Hybrid Trainer Elliptical Machine

As a fitness equipment company, Proform enjoys great feedback from its customers. On Amazon, no less than three different Proform models have made their top 20 best-selling elliptical machines list: the Proform Endurance 520 E Elliptical Machine, the Proform Hybrid Trainer and the Proform Hybrid Trainer Elliptical Machine. Of course, these are just a handful of the Proform elliptical options you have at hand. Proform is known for being a respected brand among fitness enthusiasts that will not let customers down.


Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine

If you follow us on, you might have come across our Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine review at one point. We started with this particular Sole model, as it is in the top 20 best-selling ellipticals list on Amazon, and for pretty good reasons too. Like Schwinn and Proform, Sole has succeeded in becoming one of the most reliable brands in this field of activity, with additional models like the Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine or the Sole Fitness E25 Elliptical Machine making it to the top lists. You can find plenty of Sole elliptical machines under $1,000, so read more about them in customer reviews for personal experiences.


Precor EFX 5.33 Elliptical Trainer

If an elite elliptical trainer is what you’re after, Precor is definitely the brand to look for. Even though they are some of the most expensive ellipticals on the market, they are also some of the best-selling elite ellipticals. The Precor EFX 5.33 Elliptical Trainer is quite a popular model, but also crosstrainers like their Precor EFX 576i Premium Commercial Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer or the Precor 225 Energy Series Elliptical Cross Trainer. You need to prepare to pay a few thousand dollars for a Precor elliptical, but you know that your investment will be worth it through your top notch elliptical machine.

Horizon Fitness

Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical Trainer

Another popular company that manufacturers ellipticals is Horizon. One of their best-selling models, the Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical Trainer, enjoys great reviews from customers, just like their Horizon Fitness EX-69 Elliptical Trainer. Their products are fairly priced and bring amazing value for the money you pay, with reliable customer reviews that you can consult prior to making your purchase. The company has quite a few elliptical models to choose from, so look into their Amazon shop and see which one could be right for you.

Best-selling and Highest Rated Elliptical Machines on a Budget

Not all of us can afford to spend thousands of dollars on an elliptical machine; this is also the reason why some of the best-selling ellipticals are also inexpensive. In this regard, here are three of the highest rated elliptical machines that you can buy if you are on a budget:

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

Like we explained in our Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine review, this Schwinn model is a wonderful deal. It could be considered the editor’s pick within our elliptical buying guide. Even though you can always find disadvantages related to any piece of fitness equipment, the Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine has a great deal more pros than cons attached. It is just a bit over $500 and, according to consumer reports, does an excellent job for the money you invest. In addition to this, the Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine is also the 3rd best-selling elliptical on Amazon, so you can imagine how great it is to own one of these ellipticals for home use.

Exerpeutic Aero Air Ellipticals

Exerpeutic Aero Air Ellipticals

The second best-selling elliptical of all time on Amazon is the Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical Trainer. Even though it might not have the greatest average customer rating of all ellipticals, we can understand why it sells so well: this elliptical is less than $100. Yep, you heard us right. Actually, it currently is just $89 dollars on Amazon. It won’t have all the hi-tech features that an elite elliptical machine offers, but it’s great as a basic elliptical for beginners who want to work on getting in shape.

Proform Endurance 520 E Elliptical Machine

Proform Endurance 520 E Elliptical Machine

This particular Proform elliptical is also in the top 10 list on Amazon as a best-selling product. The Proform Endurance 520 E Elliptical Machine has an amazing 4.7 star average customer rating, meaning that those who purchased the machine are highly satisfied with their order. Even though this isn’t the cheapest budget elliptical, you will still be paying well under $1,000 for your product.

Best Place to Buy Elliptical Machines

We highly recommend that you choose Amazon as your source for elliptical machines and fitness equipment in general. Trusted companies have their official Amazon shops where they post their latest offers and discounts, which also include consumer reports elliptical machines require for credibility on the market. Moreover, we always recommend purchasing ellipticals new instead of used to enjoy the full fitness experience with your product (and its warranty).

Best Home Elliptical Buying Guide Tips & Tricks


Before you start shopping for ellipticals, you will need to see what budget you have to work with. Like we explained in our Elliptical Buying Guide, ellipticals can be basic, standard or elite, each with their specific prices. You can buy a basic elliptical machine for under $500 or spend even $7,000 on an elite elliptical, depending on your requirements and preferences. We strongly recommend that, if you decide to make a serious investment and purchase an elite elliptical, you pay attention to the warranty and the features you get with it. Any elliptical over $1,500 should have some pretty cool features that explain the large price tag.


If you plan on getting an elliptical for your home, be careful with the size of the machine you purchase. If you live in a spacious house this shouldn’t necessarily be a problem, but those who reside in apartments or small homes should take extra care in choosing their elliptical. It is best to outline the space you want to place your elliptical beforehand and work with those measurements when browsing for your machine. We can’t stress enough the importance of taking size into consideration; customers have complained about their ellipticals being too large for their homes because they didn’t pay attention to the measurements in the product description beforehand.

Offers, Promotions & Research

When it comes to buying ellipticals, you shouldn’t rush. There will most likely always be a discount or promotion around the corner for the model of your dreams. If you feel that a particular elliptical machine is currently out of your budget, wait and follow the product on Amazon and it will likely enjoy a discount at one point. Also, never stop at the first option. Always do your research and weigh your options among as many ellipticals as possible, instead of stopping at the first model that left you with a good impression. You will almost always find a more inexpensive alternative to the elliptical you have your eyes on, so be patient and do the background work to get the elliptical that’s best for you.

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