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Elliptical Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on December 11, 2017

Editor's note: Sole Fitness still rules the full-sized elliptical world, but Schwinn, Sunny and Stamina make top-notch budget, space-saving and portable ellipticals that will be a great fit in your home. These machines provide the best, most effective, low impact workout of any other piece of home exercise equipment, and there's one for any budget or fitness goal, from light workouts to serious training.

Sole Fitness E95 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Stride length - 20" - 22" Resistance levels - 20 Max. user weight - 400 lbs.

Best home elliptical

The Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical's super-smooth ride, sturdy frame, auto-adjust incline ramp and extensive warranty make it hard to beat. It's also a great value compared to other high-end ellipticals, which typically sell for much more. Its eddy current braking system is quiet and dependable, the heavy flywheel makes for a smooth ride, and owners largely have good things to say about Sole's customer service.

Buy for $1,796.84
Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Stride length - 20" - 22" Resistance levels - 20 Max. user weight - 375 lbs.

Mid-priced elliptical

It's a bit lighter than its big sibling, the Sole E95, but the less-expensive Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical is equally praised by reviewers for its quality build and durable components. It has a slightly smaller LCD screen, but its 30-degree incline and a plethora of adjustments and programs earn a lot of praise. Owners love the great value this machine represents, saying it's a club-quality elliptical at a price that's very reasonable.

Buy for $1,799.98
Schwinn 470 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Stride length - 20" Resistance levels - 25 Max. user weight - 300 lbs.

Best cheap home elliptical

For most people, the Schwinn 470 elliptical will be a good fit for their exercise room without making their wallet lose too much weight. Reviewers say it's stable and quiet, with 25 levels of eddy current braking. Included in its impressive array of features are 29 programs, including options for beginners to advanced users and a customizable setting. The 470's 20-inch stride length, smooth operation and a decent warranty combine to make the Schwinn 470 an excellent value if you're on a budget.

Buy for $1,063.73
Sunny Air Walk Trainer Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Stride length - N/A Resistance levels - N/A Max. user weight - 220 lbs.

Compact elliptical

The Sunny Air Walk Trainer is as highly rated as ellipticals costing much more, but is lighter and much more compact. It does not have the bells and whistles of a full sized, high-end exercise machine, but most say that it provides all you need if you just want an effective, low-impact exercise option. Owners note that it's very quiet and is uncommonly comfortable to use.

Buy for $68.81
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Stride length - N/A Resistance levels - N/A Max. user weight - 250 lbs.

Portable elliptical

Reviewers say the Stamina In-Motion Elliptical may take some getting used to, but once you do, you'll love it. It's little more than a set of wheels you pedal, but it's extremely portable and many dedicated exercisers take it to work, on trips, or keep it in their dorm rooms. It can be used standing or sitting and go in forward or reverse to add variety.

Buy for $88.61

Ellipticals offer an intense, low-impact workout

An elliptical provides a workout that resembles a combination of walking (or running) and climbing in place. Ellipticals feature oversized pedals that move with the motion of your legs. Many people like ellipticals because they are easier on the joints than walking outside on a hard surface or running on a treadmill. You can go as fast or slow as you'd like on an elliptical machine, and in either forward or reverse to vary your workout. In addition to giving you a great cardio workout, most ellipticals have moving handlebars that provide full-body resistance as you pedal in place. One great feature of a home elliptical is that it is very quiet, so you won't disturb your downstairs neighbor -- a big plus for apartment dwellers.

Types of Ellipticals

Full-Sized Ellipticals

Full-sized ellipticals offer a range of workout options, from intense to easy, as well as the ability to work your upper body and lower body; some even offer the option to isolate the upper body (most allow you to isolate the lower body). Many also feature plenty of nice touches -- like LED screens, cup holders, tablet rests, fans and more -- to make your exercise session a bit more pleasant. Some even offer Bluetooth connectivity so you can sync your workout with your smartphone and various fitness apps.

Compact/Portable Ellipticals

If you simply don't have the space for a full-sized elliptical, we found a couple of very highly-rated home ellipticals that give you a great workout, but have a relatively small footprint -- some are even small enough to tote to the office. One drawback is that these elliptical machines are designed to have one, relatively low-intensity workout level. However, users who are just trying to move more, who describe themselves as "un-athletic" or who simply want an easier workout love them.

Finding The Best Ellipticals
Our Sources
"10 Best Ellipticals"
"Elliptical Reviews by Industry Experts"

To find the best home ellipticals, we looked at a few important factors: Smooth, stable and quiet performance; easy-to-use features and controls; long-term durability and reliability; and a good warranty backed by responsive, helpful customer service. Consumer Reports is the only credible professional organization we spotted that tests and ranks ellipticals, but there are some other good expert sources that review individual ellipticals.

Most important, we evaluated hundreds of customer reviews to gauge owners' satisfaction with the features and usability of their home elliptical machines. This information, along with expert evaluations, led us to finding the best ellipticals for any home fitness regimen.

Recently Updated
Ellipticals buying guide

What every best Ellipticals has:

  • A heavy flywheel.
  • Enough resistance levels.
  • Quiet magnetic braking.

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