Elliptical 2016 Buying Guide

Gym & Fitness at Home

Ellipticals are designed to recreate the motions and movements of running without any impact. This helps people who are going through rehabilitation, have bad knees, or simply prefer a different style of full-body workout. Similar to treadmills, ellipticals offer the customization to create personalized workouts. The qualities to look for in a good elliptical are: sturdiness, ease of use, stride motions (does it support your natural running motion), and metrics/features. When buying any workout machine it's important to make sure you have measured the space required, as well as the packaged dimensions to ensure it will fit through any doorways. 

Below you will find a variety of some of the best ellipticals at budget levels ranging from $80 - $9,000. For the most expensive/gym-grade machines, you'll normally be able to find reduced prices at local dealers for the brand so be sure to search in your area first. 

Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer

Info: Very affordable, compact, portable, decent range of resistance, forward + backward movements, can get a pretty good workout overall. Often used under desks while working. 

Price: $88

FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical

Info: Offers the lowest pedal rotation height available, 8 position magnetic resistance and balanced high velocity flywheel keeps the pedal motion smooth and quiet, foot-shifter allows for hands-free tension adjustment. Also comes with a rolling foot massager to soothe tired feet. Overall another excellent portable desk elliptical option for people on a tight budget.

Price: $109

Proform Hybrid Trainer Fitness Tracker

Info: A great entry level ellptical that's inexpensive, 350 lb capacity, doesn't require an AC current, is compact, quiet, and has 16 workout programs, 16 resistance levels, and 15 in. elliptical stride. LCD screen is simple and easy to use. Users note that assembly can be a bit difficult. Counts in revolutions rather distance.

Price: $383

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

Info: Excellent value for the price; an all-around superb entry level ellptical for those looking to get a solid starter machine. Features a dual track LCD to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks, has built-in goal tracking and data export via USB, offers 22 programs, 2 user settings, 20 levels of resistance aligned with a high speed high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel make workouts smoother and quiet. Users note that assembly is fairly simple for this machine.

Price: $577

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Info: A bumped upgrade from the 430, the 470 simply offers more: 29 programs, 4 user settings and goal tracking,  dual LCD monitoring, 300lb max capacity, runs smooth and quiet. The most notable differences include the 470s' 10 degree motorized ramp range with quick keys (as opposed to the 430s manual ramp range) and a heart rate monitor using a telemetric enabled console. The 470 can also store up to 4 users as opposed to 2. 

 Price: $760

Bowflex TreadClimber TC10


Info: A compact, heavy duty midrange 3-in-1 cardio machine that combines best attributes of treadmill, stair climber, and elliptical. Features 4 separate LCD screens with four electronic functions - speed, distance, time, and calories, 4 MPH max readout speed. Low impact, 300lb capacity. Users note that assembly can range from easy to difficult and requries proper calibration.

Price: $1298

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine


Info: This machine is essentially the middleground between a good home machine and a professional commercial gym grade machine. It's constructed sturdily, runs quiet and smooth, adujustable pedals and console, adjustable stride and incline, offers 6 programs, 2 custom programs, 2 heart rate programs, pulse+chest strap heart rate monitoring options, LCD console with a large display, built-in fan, 15-inch pedals, soundd system and water bottle holder.

Price: $1400 - $3000 (price varies for new ones on Amazon) or $1400 (direct from Sole during their current promo discount)

Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical Trainer


Info: Noticeably high quality build and engineering for this machine; great center of gravity, runs smooth and quiet for long periods of usage, heavy duty flywheel, 37 programs, very easy assembly, ergonomic design, folds/compacts well. An overrall great elliptical for beginner - advanced workouts. 

Price: $1500

Precor EFX 221 Energy Series Elliptical Cross Trainer


Info: An excellent gym-grade elliptical at a reasonably affordable price for the value and quality; features 3 manual positions, 15-20-25 degree elevation ranges, sturdy handlebars, touch snesor + wireless heart rate monitoring, 13 workout metrics, 10 preset workouts, 2 user ID storing, magnetic resistance sysem with 16 resistance levels, 5-inch high contrast LCD display with easy controls.

Price: $2200

Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner


Info: A uniquely designer, gym-grade elliptical that simulates the running motion/experience with no ground impact. Does not run on electricity (self powered). Offers short strides with increases to running motions up to 58 inches. Data monitoring with stride tracing data and SmartLink App integrtation. Runs quiet. Console displays all workout data essentials.​​​​​​​

Price: $3000

Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer


Info: A seriously overpowered elliptical designed for targetting specific / all major lower body muscle groups with adjustable cross-ramp angles (13-40 degrees). Low impact motions, smooth and natural, reduces muscle + tendon stress, ergonomic moving handlebars, reversible pedal rotation, 20 resistance levels, integrated transport wheels, accessories holder, advanced heart rate monitoring, advanced LED display with well over a dozen readouts and metrics, 13 preset programs, and a 10yr warranty. 

Price: $7500 (try searching for local Precor dealers for lower pricing)

Precor Commercial Series Adaptive Motion Trainer 


​​​​​​​Info: This is essentially one of the best ellipticals currently on the market that brings you gym-grade or better quality in your home. Built to last and offer enough versatility to never feel restricted in your workouts. Features a naturally adapting stride length from 0-36 inches with Open Stride technology where users can adapt stride height from 6.8 inches to 10 inches. 20 resistance levels, heart rate sensors + chest strap, dual action workouts, over a dozen readouts/metrics, and runs smooth and quiet. 10 yr warranty.

Price: $9100