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Best Elliptical Trainers

Top Pick
Schwinn 430 Compact Elliptical Machine

Best Under Desk
FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical

Best Budget
Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper Step Machine

About the Author James Cooper
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With the changes unleashed by the COVID-19, trying to find ways to exercise effectively within the four walls can be challenging. Fortunately, you can get a low-impact, full-body workout with just an elliptical trainer. There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars and create a full-gym in your home as the right elliptical machine does it all.

If you’re worried about the overwhelming brands and models of ellipticals in the market, we’ve researched for you and listed the best ones to spice up your home fitness training.

  • 1

    Schwinn 430 Compact Elliptical Machine

Schwinn’s model is considered a top model from the brand, and it’s easy to see why. It guarantees personalized, smooth fitness training as you can try out 22 different workout modes and adjust to any 20 levels of resistance.

The machine comes with a manual and tools needed for assembly. There’s no way you can’t set-up the elliptic yourself as the manual includes step-by-step instructions with illustrations for each step. Reading through the manual, you’ll be surprised how easy to follow the instructions are. More than that, you get to know the machine and all of its parts a little more intimately during set-up. This experience comes useful should the details need repair or repair in the future. While you can choose to hire a professional during assembly, we highly recommend putting the elliptical trainer together yourself.

What’s striking about this elliptical is it sells for $799 plus delivery. Thus, it can compete with elliptical trainers of similar features that are priced hundreds more. It features an oversized crossbar, center frame support, and front flywheel. You can find small handlebars on the front of the elliptical in case you need to move it around. It’s quite challenging and can accommodate riders up to 300 lbs. The Schwinn 430 has a 20-inch non-adjustable stride equipped with Precision Path Foot Motion Technology. It imitates a natural running motion so that everything feels natural on your part. From the moving handlebars’ placement to the foot pedals’ angle and size, the elliptical machine assures no strains during training.

Other convenient features of the Schwinn 430 is high-end for its price. The multi-speed cooling fan, USB charging port, water bottle holder, MP3 port, media shelf, Bluetooth data export, and transport wheels can make your workout incredibly user-friendly. The mobile device shelf is designed so that you can do two things simultaneously- keep an eye on your progress and watch TV on your device.

Get ready to sweat and explore nine different workout profiles, eight heart rate control options, two fitness tests (beginner and advanced), two user-defined shapes, and a quick start- all in a single machine.

In sum, we recommend the Schwinn 430 because we like to see your resources unwasted.

PROS

Home-friendly machine size

Easy to assemble; comes with manual and sketches

Records time, calories, steps, etc.

Adjustable resistance

Noiseless operation

Substantial handlebars for support

Pre-installed workout programs

CONS

No wireless heart monitoring

Manual incline instead of automated incline

  • 2

    FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical

While the FitDesk Elliptical Trainer might not look like the standard elliptical, it performs functions for someone who is looking for a small machine. Those who have limited mobility or those who have back or knee troubles can now workout at their desk.

One feature that works in favor of this elliptical trainer is how easy it is to set up. It only takes less than 30 minutes to set up the full machine. Though the device weighs in at 31 lbs, it still is incredibly easy to transport since it comes on wheels. Super handy, right?

Another feature that makes the FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical a standout is the desktop monitor. With this monitor, you can control tension settings and track usage. There’s no need to fumble around under your desk always to change a setting. Hence, this machine is one of the most technologically advanced on our list.

Just like standard under desk ellipticals, this one may begin to squeak after prolonged use. However, you can solve this issue with the addition of WD40 to the bottom of the machine. The machine also packs in the same features of much more expensive machines, including a foot massager.

PROS

Easy to set-up

Foot massager

Hands-free operation with desktop monitor

Easy to transport

CONS

May not fit all desk sizes

  • 3

    Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper Step Machine

You don’t have to shell out the big bucks to get a rewarding elliptical workout. The Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper Step Machine will have you sweating it out at an affordable price.

One thing you should realize is that this machine is a two-in-one of sorts. It is both a stepper and a twister that can be purchased at a very affordable price. It stimulates climbing the stairs but with an added twisting motion. While it is as compact as the regular mini-stair stepper, the pedal twist still makes it a better purchase. This additional feature helps you attain both lower and upper-body workouts. During heavy-duty exercise, the pedal twist engages your outer and lower thigh muscles and upper and lower leg muscles.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper Step Machine features a stable and sturdy platform as it comes with two foot pedals that regulate the twisting. The twist-action, which the elliptical imposes upon your body, tones and works thighs, calves, bum muscles, and leg muscles. This gear also reduces the joints and bones’ pressure, enhancing the workout’s efficiency and quality.

This option is also technologically advanced, especially with the multifunctional LCD computer that presents and stores data about time, calories, and scanning. You can intensify your workouts per day and bar while adjusting the tension and resistance. You can also pause your workout should the need to run a few errands arise. Additionally, you can adjust the height while the handlebar provides balance as you use the elliptical. Sunny Health & Fitness designed this elliptical with convenience in mind since it’s lightweight and movable. In case your living room gets extra hot and humid, you can move the elliptical around your house.

So the question is, is this elliptical for you? With the special price, the answer is a resounding yes. We don’t see any harm in investing in an inexpensive, quality elliptical. It is also worth considering that not all the right products such as this one are rarely cheap!

PROS

Cost-effective

Easy to assemble; comes with manual and sketches

Adjustable resistance

Noiseless operation

Substantial handlebars for support

Stepper features a twist-action

Records time, calories, and steps

CONS

Heart rate for the pulse is not recorded

No media shelf/tablet holder

  • 4

    Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine

Bring home the perfect gym equipment in the form of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine.

There are a few vital features that make this elliptical decent enough for your daily workout. First off, it uses magnetic resistance. Ideally, magnetic resistance is preferable to air-based resistance. It tends to be extra reliable and a whole lot quieter, too. There are eight different resistance levels that you can adjust through the micro-adjustment trial.

Another valuable feature of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine is the two sets of handlebars. The stationary handlebars are equipped with a pulse sensor, allowing you to keep track of your cardio output. At the same time, the moving handlebars is a versatility factor most ideal for upper-body fitness training.

If you like to keep track of how you are doing, the elliptical comes with the right LCD for fitness tracking. You can easily read stats such as time, speed, distance, and calories. Most importantly, the heart sensors will give out your pulse readout on the LCD. This gear is for your convenience as you can measure how fast your heart is beating and make appropriate adjustments for the right intensity.

The foot pedals on the elliptical are somewhat enlarged, and so, it can accommodate any foot size. Better yet, there is an anti-slip feature for added safety.

Setting up the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine is not too hard as it comes with all the necessary instructions and tools needed for assembly.

PROS

Smooth and reliable magnetic resistance

Compact design

Easy to assemble, two sets of handlebars

Quiet operation

CONS

Cannot be used by anybody weighing over 220lbs

Cannot be folded

  • 5

    Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

Bowflex is a renowned brand that prides itself on creating more human movements during fitness training, and their M3 Max Trainer is a direct reflection of that mindset. This elliptical is one of the best-selling ellipticals on the market and for a plethora of good reasons.

At first glance, this elliptical looks different from anything you’ve seen in commercial gyms. Well, that’s because the Bowflex M3 Max Trainer is half stair climber and half elliptical. This combination makes the elliptical so popular among fitness enthusiasts who want to burn more calories and tone muscles seamlessly.

The challenge with wanting to look good all-around your body is that you have to do a lot of different exercises. If you’re after juicy biceps or pectorals, jogging isn’t enough. Similarly, if you’re after hips, thighs, and glutes, weight machines in the gym aren’t enough. Instead, a full-body workout is necessary, such as doing push-ups, dips, core work, and rows after going for a run. It’s a hassle, especially when you don’t have the luxury to construct the perfect multi-faceted workout plan.

With the Bowflex M3 Max Trainer, constructing a full-body fitness training is no longer a challenge. The elliptical works every muscle in your body simultaneously. Every time you hop on the elliptical, you can complete a full, multi-faceted workout. Hence, the elliptical stays true to the brand’s motto, “truer human movement.” After a series of exercises, you will be able to tone all of your muscles and lose weight everywhere. If a toned body you love looking at sounds like the best achievement, the Bowflex M3 Max Trainer is your best option.

As for the features, the elliptical comes with two popular workout programs, Mac Interval and Manual Interval. The elliptical also offers eight resistance levels so that you can adjust to the difficulty of the workout. You can begin exploring the lowest resistance level, but as you build your stamina and get in better shape, you can gradually crank up the resistance to higher levels. Just like the more advanced models in the Bowflex series, this one includes easy to read indicators for calories burned and burn rate. You can also keep monitoring your heart rate through the included chest strap.

PROS

Smooth and reliable magnetic resistance

Heart-rate monitoring chest strap included

Compact design

Easy to assemble

Convenient media shelf/tablet holder

Quiet operation

CONS

No heart rate contact grips

No iPod connections or built-in speakers

  • 6

    Bowflex M8 Max Trainer

Another amazing fitness machine from Bowflex is the M8 Max Trainer. It’s a little on the expensive side, but its performance level is worth every penny you spend.

The elliptical cross between a stair stepper and an elliptical makes for a great low impact workout. It offers two levels of resistance to cater to beginners and advanced athletes. The levels align with the new Bowflex Max Intelligence Platform that is based on artificial intelligence technology. This means that the app will automatically assess your workouts and suggest the next level of difficulty. You can think of it as a personal trainer on call. The app also has 29 on-demand videos via a subscription- 17 available on the app for free.

For the stats, enhanced dual-mode LCD/LED screens are provided. What makes the machine more unique is that the monitor will display calories burned and increase your workout activity simultaneously. Additional features include a heart rate monitor that tracks integrated contact grips, comfortable multi-grip handles, four programmable workout profiles, and a media rack for smartphones and tablets.

You also have the option of spending a few hundred dollars on a performance pack upgrade. It includes the said intelligence trainer with a Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6-inch tablet, a Bowflex machine mat, and an armband heart rate monitor.

If you’re looking for the perfect addition to your family gym regardless of the various fitness levels of exercisers: this is it!

PROS

Compact size

Performance pack: Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6" Tablet/ armband heart rate monitor

Enhanced-dual mode LCD/LED screens

Max Intelligence Platform enabled

CONS

No cooling fan in console

Higher price point

  • 7

    Body Max Body Rider Elliptical Trainer

The Body Rider Elliptical trainer is a piece of unique exercise equipment from Body Max that combines two machines in 1, something that delivers a low-impact cardio workout for your whole body. If you have back, knees, and hip problems, this elliptical will give you the most advantage.

Depending on which suits you best, you can use this dual trainer as a regular trainer machine or an exercise bike. The trainer has settings for both devices, and the electronic console can track your time, distance, speed, and calorie burned. The elliptical is engaged in stress-free in elliptical mode. It will artificially mimic natural motions experienced during walking, cycling, stepping, or skiing. To strengthen your arms and legs, the elliptical follows a smooth and fluid movement. The experience you’ll get with this elliptical is similar to using a treadmill where you are in an upstanding position while holding the handrails. Yet, your feet will remain in the foot pedal all through the workout. Again, the elliptical will not impact any impact or harm on your back, knees, and hips.

In a nutshell, the trainer is compatible with all ages and caters to different fitness levels. With the inclination angle and intensity settings, you can choose your preferred difficulty level. You can also determine your workout’s complexity based on your health needs, all while enjoying a gentle puff of air through the cooling fan.

PROS

High-momentum fan blades

Electronic console tracks time, speed, distance, and calories burned

Easy to assemble

CONS

Cannot be folded

Frequently Asked Questions


How long will an elliptical machine last?

Ideally, the elliptical machine should last 7-12 years, with ten years about average. But, with proper maintenance, the elliptical can exceed the average. For maintenance rules, refer and follow the manual of the elliptical.

What should be done when a malfunction in the display occurs?

In most cases, your elliptical’s display will flicker due to low batteries. Consult the manual section on your elliptical trainer FAQs and replace the old batteries with new ones. If it still doesn’t work, contact your tech support. We also recommend that you get tech support for all advanced troubleshooting issues.

What kind of shoes is best for elliptical training?

Shoes made of leather material are ideal for your elliptical training since leather tends to be a little rugged and offers extra durability. Also, shoes that are made of mesh and stretch materials provide additional ventilation and comfort. For your elliptical training, invest in shoes that offer both durability and ventilation.