Elliptical trainers offer a cardio workout like a treadmill, but without the impact and stress on your lower body joints. When you combine the elliptical leg motion with the movable handles you can also get a full body workout.
When shopping for these machines, you want a model that is well built, sturdy, quiet, and has a smooth operation. All these qualities cost increasingly more money for increasing quality. You should also look for resistance and incline adustability to keep you working hard as your fitness level improves. Some other features to watch for include easy-to-use controls, heart rate monitors, preset programs that you will actually use, and the warranty for each model.
One important thing to keep in mind is how large elliptical machines are. They can take up a space that is up to 7 feet long by 3 feet wide by over 6 feet tall. There are some models that are designed to have a smaller footprint, but make sure you have the space for the one you plan on buying.
After reviewing dozens of models we could have made our list entirely of ellipticals that cost more than $3000, but we tried to pick models suited for home use from a variety of price points. We also rated the top elliptical machines under $1000. Below is our list of the best elliptical machines. At the bottom of this list we also provide a comparison chart so you can easily compare the specs of each model.
The console features on the EFX 245 really stand out. First there is 4 different user IDs so several different people can use it as they want. There are 24 different preset workouts, plus 4 custom ones for each ID. There are also 27 different workout feedback metrics and 12 workout summary metrics upon completion. With Preva tracking you can automatically upload results from every routine to keep track of your stats.
There is no significant weaknesses to the EFX 245, except for the price tag. Therefore, we highly recommend the Precor EFX 245 Energy Series for anyone who wants the best home elliptical they can buy.
The EFX 225 features 10 preset workouts including heart rate monitoring, 16 resistance settings, and motorized CrossRamp elevation range of 15 to 25 degrees. It also has convenient features like a console headphone jack, volume controls, reading rack, SmartGrip phone and tablet holder, and large center storage compartment.
Overall the Precor EFX 225 is a great choice for a top-end home elliptical machine, however it is still expensive and there are cheaper options available.
The E95S is also Bluetooth capable which means you can transfer workout data to their smart device on the Sole app or other fitness apps. Other features include fan, speakers, chest strap for heart rate monitoring, and sturdy frame with heavy duty 34 pound flywheel.
Overall the Sole E95S works best for multiple users for home use.
The stride length ranges from 20 to 22 inches and the incline is adjustable from 0-30 degrees. It also comes with custom articulating pedals to reduce sore toes, ankles, and feet. The blue LCD console displays essential workout data and includes a built-in fan, speakers and water bottle holder. However, the speakers are very weak.
We highly recommend this model for home users who don’t want to spend the money on a high-priced gym-quality unit. Although the build quality is not quite as good as Precor, it still will hold up well for almost any home user or even multiple users. The footprint is also quite large on this unit – 82″ x 31″ x 67″ – so you will need plenty of space to set it up and use.
The M30 features 6 preset workout programs plus a heart rate control workout, 25 resistance levels, and a fixed 21-inch stride length. You can work out your whole body or only your upper body with the use of the side steps. The control panel is pretty simple to use with readouts for time, distance, RPM, HR, work level, Watts, METs, and calories.
Its biggest flaw is that it is not very adjustable with a fixed stride length of 21 inches and no incline levels. However, we still highly recommend the M30 for those of you who do not have a lot of space, but want a quality elliptical machine.
It is also available at TrueFitness.com.
The console provides 2 user profiles that can each setup a custom workout. There is also 12 workout programs with 20 resistance settings. Heart rate monitoring is tracked by hand grips or chest strap.
Unfortunately the Life Fitness E1 is not very adjustable. It has a fixed 20-inch stride length and no incline settings. However, it is still a really good quality machine that we would not hesitate to recommend.
The 222 still has Precor’s outstanding construction quality, however this model only has a manual, 3 position CrossRamp design with elevation ranges of 15, 20, or 25 degrees. It does have 10 preset workouts, 16 resistance levels, and touch sensor and wireless strap heart rate monitoring.
Overall the Precor EFX 222 Energy Series is for those of you who want a super reliable elliptical that can withstand lots of abuse and do not need a huge variety of preset workouts.
One negative of the Q35x is its fixed 20.5-inch stride length, so it’s not as adjustable as some other models.
Other features include a 7-inch hd display that is iFit compatible, 24 resistance levels, 0 – 10° power adjustable incline, heart rate monitor from grip sensors or chest strap, 30 workout apps, and fan.
The biggest problem of the SE9i is the fixed 18-inch stride length. This might be too short for taller people.
It has 6 standard workouts, two custom programs, and two heart rate programs which can be used with the included chest strap or the pulse grip monitor. The E35 has also now been updated with Bluetooth capability to transfer workout data to a smart app.
Like most ellipticals, it has a large footprint (82″ x 31″ x 67″), but for home users who want a more affordable model while not sacrificing too much quality we highly recommend the Sole E35.
Elliptical Comparison Chart
|Heart Rate Sensors||User IDs||Weight
|Precor EFX 245 Energy Series||9.4||$3,898.00||Rear||Adjustable||24||8||16||Grip & Chest Strap Compatible (Not Included)||4||500||76″ x 29″ x 65″||214 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Console – 3 years, Labor – 1 year|
|Precor EFX 225 Energy Series||9.3||$3,398.00||Rear||Adjustable||10||8||16||Grip & Chest Strap Compatible (Not Included)||2||500||76″ x 29″ x 65″||214 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Console – 3 years, Labor – 1 year|
|Sole E95S||9.2||$2,199.99||Front||18″ – 24″||10||0||20||Grip & Chest Strap||400||84″ x 32″ x 70″||265 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Console – 5 years, Labor – 2 years|
|Sole E95||9.1||$1,799.99||Front||20″ – 22″||10||20||20||Grip & Chest Strap||400||82″ x 31″ x 67″||236 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Console – 5 years, Labor – 2 years|
|True Fitness M30||9||$2,299.00||Center||21″||12||0||25||Grip & Chest Strap Compatible (Not Included)||1||300||42″ x 30″ x 64″||275 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Labor – 1 year|
|Life Fitness E1 Go Cross-Trainer||9||$2,199.00||Rear||20″||13||0||20||Grip & Chest Strap||2||400||82″ x 30″ x 59″||211 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Console – 3 years, Labor – 1 year|
|Precor EFX 222 Energy Series||8.9||$2,694.00||Rear||19″ – 21″||10||3||16||Grip & Chest Strap Compatible (Not Included)||2||500||75″ x 29″ x 65″||193 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Console – 3 years, Labor – 1 year|
|Octane Fitness Q35x||8.8||$2,167.23||Front||20.5″||8||0||20||Grip Only||300||65″ x 26″ x 55″||210 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Labor – 1 year|
|NordicTrack Spacesaver SE9i||8.8||$1,499.00||Rear||18″||30||0 – 10°||24||Grip & Chest Strap||325||80″ x 32″ x 67″||218 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Labor – 2 years|
|Sole E35||8.7||$1,399.99||Front||20″||10||20||20||Grip & Chest Strap||375||82″ x 31″ x 67″||231 lbs||Frame – Lifetime, Parts – 5 years, Console – 5 years, Labor – 2 years|
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