Top 5 Best Ellipticals - A Quick Comparison
|Model||Rating||List Price||Resistance||Stride Length||Programs||Flywheel||Pricing|
|$2,699||20 levels||20"||10||27 lbs||See Best Price|
|$3,299||15 Levels||18" - 24"||10||34 lbs||See Best Price|
|$2,999||24 Levels||0" - 38"||35||20 lbs.||See Best Price|
|$4,299||n/a||58"||35||n/a||See Best Price|
NordicTrack C 9.5
|$1,999||24 Levels||18" - 20"||32||25 lbs||See Best Price|
Best Elliptical Trainers by Category
To ease your search for the right trainer, we organize elliptical reviews into useful categories. Click a link to get a category overview and part-by-part reviews for the best ellipticals in the bunch.
Best Ellipticals by Price
What’s your home gym budget? On a dropdown menu up top, our elliptical reviews are divided into several price brackets. Here are quick descriptions of a few price popular price categories:
- The cheapest ellipticals are in the under-$500 category. These are entry-level trainers with short warranties. We typically recommend saving up and spending $500+ on an elliptical machine because at this level, double the price is more than double the quality. See our top rated ellipticals under $500 here.
- Most shoppers choose machines sale priced from $999 to $1999. These tend to be the best ellipticals for overall value. See our favorite ellipticals $1000 - $1500 range and $1500 - $2000 range.
- Elite home ellipticals cost $2500 or more. Some are strong enough for light commercial use. See a list of our top rated high end ellipticals.
Best Ellipticals by Drive Type
Elliptical machines are also categorized according to where their drives (flywheels) are stored. The three categories are rear drive, front drive and center drive. The drive location can influence the machine’s noise level, your exercise posture and more.
- The classic elliptical design is the rear drive. The best rear drive ellipticals are quiet and dependable partly because of their suspended pedals. (Cheaper rear drive machines have pedals that glide along rails, so they’re more prone to noisiness and wear.) A possible drawback is that rear drive ellipticals need the most floor space. Therefore some have foldable frames.
- Front drive ellipticals are sometimes preferred because they cost less than rear drive ellipticals and need less floor space. A possible drawback though is that these machines could be noisy in comparison. Also, some front drive ellipticals encourage you to lean into the console, which isn’t your best possible training posture. To get an idea of how your body would be positioned on a trainer, you can see how a model uses the machine in a picture or a YouTube demo.
- The third category is center drive ellipticals. Like rear drive trainers, these promote good posture -- and compared with rear drive trainers, these machines have small footprints too. When you actually use one of these machines though, your arms and legs will likely extend far beyond the base of the unit. Despite being compact these trainers tend to support long strides.
Favorite Space-Saving Ellipticals
As just mentioned above, center drive ellipticals require the least floor space. Front drive trainers take a moderate amount of space, and rear drive machines need the most room.
- Folding ellipticals might have shock-assist for very quick folding that requires little upper body strength.
- Bowflex Max Trainers look similar to center drive ellipticals and support especially high intensity exercise. With a Max Trainer you can burn calories at about double the rate compared with using a more traditional elliptical cross-trainer.
Best Club-Quality Ellipticals
Fitness machines are categorized as light commercial, commercial or residential. Light commercial ellipticals are typically under warranty for up to three hours of use per day. Commercial ellipticals are designed for up to six hours of use per day.