Best Elliptical Machines 2018 – Buyer Guide

Elliptical machines are a great all rounder in terms of fitness equipment. There are many on that market and it can be hard to know what key features to look for.

In addition what makes one machine better than another? In the following post we will delve into fundamental aspects of an elliptical machine as well as our recommendations for the best elliptical machine currently on the market.

$2,599.00
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Last updated on July 18, 2018 2:25 pm

Key Features to Look For when Buying an Elliptical

An Adjustable Incline and Resistance

Adjusting the incline of an elliptical machine will add extra intensity to a workout if you desire. It can also be a great idea to mix up your routine and to keep you motivated once your fitness improves.

Being able to change the resistance is also important for changing your routine and intensity.

Natural and Smooth Movement of the Machine

Ensuring your elliptical runs smoothly and evenly is important in mimicking the motion of running or walking. For minimal impact the idea is that your feet remain on the pedals the entire time. If you heels are lifting when the elliptical becomes stuck then it’s defeating the purpose.

It is a great idea to test a few ellipticals out before making your purchase. We all know that online is going to be cheaper but there are places you can try. It’s also important that your elliptical isn’t overly noisy. Even at high intensity it shouldn’t be overly loud.

Handles

Many ellipticals feature moving handles which are great if you want to incorporate an upper body workout as well. This will only be a light workout though so if you prefer your upper body to remain still then handles that don’t move will be a good idea.

Forwards and Reverse

In general, most ellipticals have this option, if they don’t then I wouldn’t recommend buying one. The movement should be fluid both forwards and backwards.

Digital Console Features

There can be many additional but not regarded as necessities. There can be displays that show calories burned, time elapsed, stride, incline level, hear rate interactivity.

In addition there are also courses you can set yourself on which can make the workout fun. I personally like the quick start option as well.

One last consideration – Be sure there are basic safety features.

Best Elliptical Machines

With so many on the market we share our top selections for the best ellipticals on the market. Covering the key features, pros and cons, read on for more information before making your purchase!

1. Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine

Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine

$2,599.00
1 new from $2,599.00
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as of July 18, 2018 2:25 pm

Features

  • Elliptical machine provides challenging cardio workout, supported by blue, backlit LDC display that helps you track essential training data
  • Power adjustable stride with 20-to-22-inch maximum stride length; six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart rate programs
  • Pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring and includes heart rate chest strap; LCD console with nine-inch display; ECB resistance, built-in fan, and 15-inch pedals; includes sound system and water bottle holder
  • Measures 27 by 62 by 83 inches (W x H x D), with 215-pound weight and 400-pound weight limit
  • Includes the following manufacturer's warranties against defects in materials and workmanship: lifetime on frame; five years on electronics and parts; and two years on labor

The Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine is one of the most popular ellipticals on the market. Packed with many great features this machine rightly sits in top position.

Key Features

  • Forwards and reverse motion
  • Very quiet
  • Smooth and fluid to use
  • Stationary or moving handles
  • Heavy 34lb flywheel
  • 20 levels of resistance
  • Heart rate detection in stationary handles
  • Blue backlit LCD display
  • Adjustable stride with 20-22 inch maximum stride length
  • 6 standard programs
  • 2 custom programs
  • 2 heart rate programs
  • Pulse grip and chest strap for heart monitoring
  • Measurements- 27 x 62 x 83 inches (W x H x D)

The Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine performs in a natural, fluid motion which makes your workout much easier without compromising on the intensity. The entire system is extremely quiet.

The machine boasts a heavy 34lb flywheel and this along with the high gear ration provides you with a very natural and smooth workout.

Featuring 20 levels of resistance, the intensity can be adjusted as you need it.

Moving handlebars give the option of an upper body workout as well as the lower body. In addition there are stationary handles if you prefer this.

The stationary handles also have heart pulse sensors which can detect your heartbeat and display it on the LCD display.

Elliptical machines are designed for mininmal impact on the body joints. The Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine has gone above this and adjusted the oversize foot pedals with a 2 degree inward tilt which further reduces ankle and knee stress.

Pros

  • 20 levels of resistance
  • Stationary and moving handles
  • LCD display with key information
  • Pre set courses and custom ones
  • Smooth and natural to use
  • Really quiet system

Cons

  • Assembly can be difficult

The 6.5″ LCD display has many features including cooling fans, bottle holder and built in speakers for a MP3 player, iPod or music device. The E95 has a weight of 215-pound and 400-pound weight limit. 

The Fitness E95 Elliptical also comes with a manufacturers warranty.  The warranty against defects in materials and workmanship: lifetime on frame; five years on electronics and parts; and two years on labor. 

It’s not hard to see why the Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine is a favourite amongst many people.

2. Body Solid E300 Endurance Elliptical Trainer

Body Solid E300 Endurance Elliptical Trainer

$1,670.00
16 new from $1,670.00
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Features

  • Patented center drive design
  • Rare blend of space efficiency and stability
  • Low center of gravity combined with a balanced frame prevents rocking
  • Dual-action upper and lower body with premium handgrips
  • Easy step-up height

The Body Solid E300 Endurance Elliptical Trainer incorporates patented technology to improve stability and space efficiency. The elliptical is quite compact, making it a good choice for those who are restricted with space.

Incredibly smooth the machine provides a very natural rhythm without compromising on intensity.

Key Features

  • Centre drive design
  • Low center of gravity which prevents rocking
  • Dual-action upper and lower body with premium handgrips
  • Stationary handles as well
  • Easy step-up height
  • Very compact
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Basic LCD display
  • Quick start mode
  • 6 program modes and 2 user modes

LCD display is basic but displays 4 numeric fields. Time, distance, speed strides/min and calories/hour. Below that this is a vertical bar which shows the current level you are out. The LCD is very basic but functional.

The Body Solid E300 Endurance Elliptical Trainer has moving and stationary handles and the stationary handles also include the heart rate sensors. It must be noted that the sensors need at least 30seconds to provide an accurate heart rate reading.

Pros

  • Solid, sturdy construction
  • Comes packaged well for easy assembly
  • Very compact
  • Smooth and quiet
  • Good customer service

Cons

  • Not many programs to choose from
  • No incline options

The Body Solid E300 Endurance Elliptical Trainer is very easy to assemble thanks to the parts being bagged separately as per step.

The product dimensions are 37 x 49 x 28 inches which is a small footprint in terms of ellipticals. The foot pedals extend forward and backward roughly 6 inches.

In addition the front wheels and handles in the rear make it easy to move the unit around. The compactness of the machine makes it very appealing to many customers.

3. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

$1,299.00
$849.99
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Features

  • Dual Track two blue back-lit LCD screen System offers increased visibility to programs and Goal tracking
  • Bluetooth connectivity offers seamless transition of data to Supported Smart devices
  • 25 levels of computer Controlled resistance for a wide range of workout intensity options
  • 29 programs, 4 users settings and Goal tracking are all there to keep you motivated and challenged
  • Charging USB port, speakers, adjustable three speed fan, media shelf

The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine presents great value for money. The machine is packed full of great features to help you get the most out of your workout.

With 29 preset programs and 25 levels of resistance you can change your workout as you please.

Key Features

  • Stationary and moving handlebars
  • 29 preset programs
  • 25 resistance levels
  • Quick keys for incline and resistance
  • Backlit LCD screen with many great features
  • Assembled dimensions 70L x 28W x 71H inches

The elliptical also includes a backlight LCD screen. Through bluetooth you can connect your preferred fitness app on your smartphone. This can track your progess, distance and calories.

The footplates are cushioned and very stable with a total weight capacity of 300lbs.

The handles are ergonomically positioned to match your stride on the machine. The Schwinn 470 elliptical can have up to 4 user profiles.

The LCD screen also has 6 LED tracking lights, a 3 speed fan, as well as speakers.

Pros

  • Cheaper than many other models with same features
  • Multitude of preset programs
  • 25 resistance levels to choose from
  • Quick start options
  • Up to 4 users can register
  • LCD screen
  • Cushioned footplates
  • Stationary and moving handles

Cons

  • Not as quiet as some other machines

The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine is relatively inexpensive when compared with other ellipticals yet it still has all of the great features. In addition it also comes with a 10 year frame warranty, 2 year mechanical warranty, 1 year electrical warranty and 90 day labor warranties.

4. NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical

NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical

$1,032.19
3 new from $1,032.19
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Features

  • 26 work Apps. Get the training you want with built-in workouts designed by a Certified personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals. Choose from calorie, intensity and performance workout Apps
  • 20 lb. Flywheel. Engineered for incredibly smooth performance, this 20 lb. Effective Inertia-Enhanced flywheel delivers a more even, natural ride and User Weight Capacity up to 325 pounds
  • 22 digital resistance levels. Quick, responsive, one touch controls adjust your incline and resistance to vary workout intensity. With smr silent magnetic resistance, every adjustment is quiet, smooth and natural
  • Front drive elliptical. Placing the drive mechanism at the front of the machine provides a design that accommodates Adjustable stride and incline while maintaining a small home footprint
  • One touch controls. Quick, responsive controls adjust your resistance and incline in seconds at the touch of a button. Your focus stays on your workout, instead of scrolling through options

The Nordic Track C 7.5 Elliptical has been designed for ease of use. This machines has an incline ramp feature which allows the user to target specific muscles.

Key Features

  • 26 built in workouts
  • Flywheel weight of 20lb which enhances the natural motion of the elliptical.
  • 22 resistance levels
  • One touch controls
  • Quiet
  • Stationary and moving handles
  • iFit enabled
  • 5inch display
  • Adjustable stride
  • Tablet shelf
  • Sound system

The 26 pre installed work outs have been designed by a certified personal trainer. There is the option to choose your workout based in calorie burn, performance or intensity.

Quick start options and all adjustments can be made with one touch. Through SMR (silent magnetic resistance) each adjustment is very smooth and very quiet.

The Nordic Track C 7.5 Elliptical is a front drive elliptical which means that the drive mechanism is in the front of the machine.

Pros

  • One touch controls
  • Tablet shelf and built in speaker
  • 26 built in workouts
  • 22 resistance levels

Cons

  • Bluetooth feature is not free

The Nordic Track C 7.5 Elliptical has a user weight capacity of 325pounds and comes guaranteed with a lifetime frame warranty, a 2-year parts warranty, and a 1-year labor warranty.

As the bluetooth feature is not free the heart rate monitor and iFit will not work without a paid subscription.

5. ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer

$899.99
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as of July 18, 2018 2:25 pm

Features

  • iPod compatible audio, 7" backlit display, 32 workout apps, 24 resistance levels, 5" elliptical stepping path with 10" vertical
  • Integrated tablet holder, EKG grip pulse heart rate monitor, integrated in-handle controls, commercial-grade steel construction
  • Multi-function handlebars, cool air workout fan, Inertia-Enhanced flywheel, oversized cushioned pedals
  • Water bottle holder, transport wheels, leveling feet, 350 lb. Weight capacity
  • The ProForm Cardio Trainer is protected with a lifetime frame warranty, 3-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty

The ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer is great value for money for a total body workout.

The elliptical has a smooth 10 inch path that incorporates powerful upper body movements as well as the lower body.

Key Features

  • Compatible with an iPod for audio
  • 7 inch display
  • 24 resistance levels
  • 5 inch elliptical stepping path
  • 10 inch vertical stepping path
  • Tablet holder
  • Pulse heart monitor
  • Cool air workout fan
  • Oversized cushioned pedals
  • Transport wheels for ease of movability

For those of you wondering what HIIT training is it stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Scientifically proven to be more effective in a shorter time frame the cardio.

You work your body at the highest intensity possible for short periods of time and have short recovery times between sets.

Pros

  • Well priced
  • SMR makes sure the machine is very quiet and smooth between transitioning resistance levels
  • Very small footprint

Cons

  • Difficult to assemble

The ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer has many features and is relatively inexpensive considering. The small footprint and transport wheels make it easier to move around.

In addition it comes with a lifetime frame warranty, 3 year parts warranty and 1 year labor warranty.

6. Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Cardio Machine

Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Cardio Machine

$2,199.00
2 new from $2,199.00
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as of July 18, 2018 2:25 pm

Features

  • 11 programs and 20 levels of computer controlled resistance
  • M7 performance targeted programming learns and adapts to each user's fitness level over time to set new targets
  • Perfect for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Oversized, high contrast, dual backlit LCD/LED display
  • 4 user profiles

The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Cardio Machine is another HIIT elliptical matchine. It stores and records information of your workouts which is great for keeping track as well as pushing yourself.

Key Features

  • 11 programs offered
  • 20 levels of controlled resistance
  • Perfect for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Oversized, dual backlit LCD/LED display
  • 4 user profiles

This elliptical is quite compact and has a small footprint of 49″ L x 30.5″ W x 65.5″ H.

The training programs offered are incredibly good and will give you a solid workout.

Pros

  • 11 programs offered
  • HIIT training
  • 4 user profiles

Cons

  • Expensive

While this is one of the more expensive ellipticals on the list it has many great features. The HIIT training option will give you a thorough and high intensity, low impact workout.

What Exactly is an Elliptical Machine?

An elliptical machine or more technically correct elliptical trainer or cross trainer is a stationary machine that is much more gentle on the body.

When I say gentle I do not mean you will not get a hard workout. On the contrary what I mean is that there is minimal pressure on the joints which reduces the risk of injuries.

The name Elliptical comes from the path of the machine when in operation. Designed in 1988 it allows the foot to roll from heel to toe similar to running and does so in a smooth, elliptical path.

What Makes Ellipticals So Good?

Ellipticals provide a total body workout minus the impact so you can get a high intensity cardiovascular workout without damaging your joints.

The heels of your feet remain in contact with the pedals the entire time. This reduces joint, muscle and tendon stress.

If you have had or currently have injuries from impact, such as sore knees, ankles or hips then an elliptical is the perfect machine.

Ellipticals can simulate climbing stairs, running, walking and even work the upper body too. It can be a very light workout or very intense depending on what the user wants.

Elliptical workout tips and tricks:

Bottom Line

Ellipticals are a great machine to provide the body with a full body workout without the impact. If you are considering making the purchase then be sure to do your research thoroughly. Our favourite is the Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine and for those on a budget the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine is great value.

9.9 Total Score

Ellipticals have been proven to be the best cardio machines giving you a solid yet low impact workout. These machines work by keeping your feet firmly planted on the paddles and due to this your joints remain safe and impact free.

Sole Fitness E95
9.9
Body Solid E300
9.8
Nordic Track C 7.5
9.9
User Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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