In this article, we will be looking at the best elliptical machine for home use. We will search for the ideal machine for most budgets and help you to find your ideal elliptical trainer. These machines are incredible for improving your fitness and finding the right one can be difficult. Luckily, this guide will cover all of the areas you need to consider.
What Makes a Good Elliptical Machine?
The good thing about elliptical machines is that they are all often excellent value for money. Compared to more expensive cardio machines, elliptical trainers are high performing, durable, and often quite low in price. It’s a surprise that they aren’t more popular than they are!
Here are some things you should be looking out for when searching for the best elliptical machine for home use:
- Value for money – It’s not so much the price of your machine that you should be focusing on, it’s how good a deal it is. An expensive elliptical machine that will last decades is obviously better value for money than an elliptical machine that is inexpensive but doesn’t last.
- Durability – How long is your elliptical machine going to last? How much punishment can it take and stay in one piece? How intensely can you use it? Durability is massively important when it comes to fitness equipment.
- Space – How much space does your elliptical machine take up when not in use? In fact, how much space does it take up when in use? This is also important. Elliptical machines are often chosen instead of treadmills because space is an issue. So, you really want one that barely takes up any space.
- Noise – A really well made elliptical machine will barely make a sound when in use, whereas a poorly made one can be incredibly loud. This isn’t always a dealbreaker, but if you live in an apartment or share your space with a lot of other people then noise can be very important.
- Portability – As with noise, this isn’t always crucial. If you don’t plan on moving your elliptical trainer at all once it’s set up, then how portable it is doesn’t matter too much. But if you plan on moving it into and out of position between cardio sessions, the portability of your elliptical machine is crucial.
In this article, we will be comparing 8 of the best elliptical trainers, using these five criteria as a basis for their overall score. In the table (below) you will see how each one ranks; we will then take an in-depth look at all eight elliptical machines.
|Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use||Value||Durability||Space||Noise||Portability||Total|
|PooBoo Elliptical Trainer||4||3||3||4||4||18/25|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M3||5||5||5||4||4||23/25|
|Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905||5||3||4||4||5||21/25|
|SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer||4||3||4||5||4||20/25|
|Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical||4||4||5||4||4||21/25|
|Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine||4||5||3||4||3||19/25|
|Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical/Stepper||4||4||5||3||5||21/25|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M5||4||5||5||4||5||23/25|
As you can see, we have two Bowflex elliptical trainers, and both top our charts for the best home elliptical machine. There is a real range of elliptical trainers on this list, ones that will suit a huge variety of requirements. In the next section, we will be taking a closer look at each elliptical machine in turn.
Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use #1: PooBoo Elliptical Trainer
The elliptical trainer from PooBoo is certainly in contention for the best elliptical machine under $500. It’s sturdy, high in quality, and looks excellent with a lovely colour scheme. There are two colour schemes available: elderberry and rose dust. Neither of those names have anything to do with the actual colours available, but both options are surprisingly pleasant.
The machine comes with a neat little digital display monitor, which allows you to track your time, speed, calories burned, and distance. Heart rate sensors in the handles allow you to measure your pulse as you workout, helping you to stay within that fat burning zone and burn maximum calories.
The monitor also has a space for you to place your iPad or tablet so that you can watch movies, TV shows, or listen to music while you exercise.
The PooBoo elliptical trainer uses a bidirectional flywheel that is designed to be safe, quiet, and to provide a smooth ride. Considering the generous price point, the machine does well to live up to these claims.
We’ve scored it a 3/5 for space, but that is only a reflection of how compact some of the other ellipticals are on this list. The PooBoo elliptical machine is 61.4 inches high, by 39.4 inches long, and just 21.5 inches wide, so it’s not going to be taking up too much space at all.
Luckily, it is very easily moved once you’ve finished using it. There are wheels attached to the frame, making it simple to tip it and wheel it away.
Another benefit of this machine is a surprisingly generous warranty. The machine has a 12 month part replacement policy. Something that many elliptical machines don’t have.
Overall, this is one of the best value elliptical machines out there. If you are on a budget, then this could well be a wise investment.
Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use #2: Bowflex Max Trainer M3
This is the first of two Bowflex elliptical machines on this list. The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is not just an elliptical machine, it is also a stepper. This hybrid machine allows you to burn more calories without putting any strain on your joints. An ideal combination of two incredible cardio machines.
While this machine is by no means inexpensive, it represents incredible value for money, scoring a 5/5 on our list. This is due to its amazing ability to provide a powerful workout, and the durability of this machine.
The display screen is absolutely stunning, seriously, it has this amazing old school vibe that looks amazing. It’s also ridiculously easy to get to grips with. Always a great benefit for anyone who doesn’t want to read an instruction manual the size of War & Peace!
Everything about how this machine looks and performs is cool, and the whole machine is aesthetically pleasing. It’s so narrow in size, making it perfect for small spaces. The foot pads are large enough to get on safely yet take up so small a space.
There are two programs that you can follow, and the machine is able to record workout histories for up to two users. There are 8 resistance levels, which can be easily changed using a gorgeous lever that will remind you of a classic motorbike.
Due to the sleek design, and the wheels on the frame, it’s fairly easy to move this around the room. If you want a machine that you can use in one part of the house and then transport to another area for storage, then this is perfect.
As you can see, we absolutely love the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, and it absolutely justifies it’s joint-top score.
Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use #3: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine
What we love about Sunny Health & Fitness, and the reason why their machines always find a place on our lists, is the incredible value for money they offer. They are always on the lower end of the price range, yet they are durable and good enough to still justify purchasing.
This is certainly clear when it comes to the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 elliptical machine. Which is well made, durable, and incredibly well priced. Sure, it may not be as durable as the Bowflex Max Trainer that we just looked at, but it’s a fraction of the price!
If you are new to training and just want something that will fit your budget without falling apart, then this is the machine for you. It offers a lot of excellent features. Pulse sensors in the handles provide a decent estimate of your heart rate. There are 8 resistance levels to choose from, and a simple knob that easily adjusts each level.
The digital monitor may not be much to look at, but it provides all the data you need to succeed. Distance, time, calories, and progress are all shown on the small digital monitor. One of the main downsides is the max user weight capacity, which is just 220lbs.
Heavier users may want to consider a more expensive (and therefore durable) alternative. But if you are under 220lbs, you should find this elliptical machine to be absolutely fine. The elliptical is easy to transport, doesn’t take up much space and is surprisingly quiet.
Overall, this is an excellent machine, that will suit anyone on a budget. A wonderful introduction to home gym equipment.
Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use #4: SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
The SNODE magnetic elliptical trainer is an ideal mid-range elliptical machine, that will last you a decent length of time, is excellent value for money, and will provide a great workout.
It has a higher maximum weight capacity than the Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical, promising 265lbs rather than 220lbs. And it feels a little more durable when you’re using it. One of the best aspects of this elliptical machine is how quiet it is, getting a 5/5 score in this criterion.
It’s also fairly easy to move around, with two wheels on the front of the frame. All you have to do is tip the machine towards you and walk backwards with it. Very simple and easy to do.
The display is definitely better than the Sunny Health & Fitness machine, with a large screen and simple interface. The tension knob makes adjusting difficulty very simple and offers 8 resistance levels. The crank is very decent and should last you a very long time.
One really cool feature is a horizontal stabiliser that is situated on the frame. It makes a huge difference and will stabilise your machine beautifully on any surface. The pedals are nicely designed and are completely non-slip.
Overall, this is a great elliptical machine, that justifies its price tag and will deliver a high quality workout.
Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use #5: Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine
The Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine really reminds us of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3. They are similar prices, are both similarly narrow, and both look very aesthetically pleasing. The Bowflex model may have a cooler design, but the Schwinn 411 offers twice as many resistance levels (16) and is a more traditional elliptical (rather than an elliptical stepper hybrid).
What’s great about this elliptical is the fact that it is incredibly compact, but still offers an 18” stride length. This is as long as any elliptical, but Schwinn manage this in around half the space.
The elliptical is well made and incredibly durable, as with anything that Schwinn makes. It is also quite easy to transport, with wheels on the front. It weighs just 46 kilograms, so when wheeling it you should find it very easy to move.
There is a built in media rack, which makes it easy to set up your iPad or tablet, helping you stay entertained during your workout. It also offers you access to the Explore the World app, which provides virtual reality settings for you to run on.
This is a really good piece of kit, and represents an excellent long term investment. If you want an elliptical machine that will provide good workouts for years and years, then this could well be the one for you.
Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use #6: Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
It may seem odd to mention two Schwinn elliptical machines one after the other in the same article, but the Schwinn 470 elliptical machine is a completely different beast to the Schwinn 411. So much so, that it more than justifies its inclusion here.
The Schwinn 470 is a gorgeous piece of kit. Offering 29 workout programs and 25 levels of resistance, giving you a huge range of different workout intensity options. Now, this elliptical is a bit of a monster, so it’s not scoring high for space or portability. But it more than makes up for that in durability and quality.
This is a more expensive version of the Schwinn 411, but it is also an excellent long term investment, and as such it still scores highly for value for money. It has great pedals, a superb display screen, heart rate sensors on the handles, and it is structurally sound. The strides are really natural and super smooth, this is a seriously enjoyable elliptical machine, and is definitely gym-quality, yet still ideal for home use.
If you are looking for a seriously long-term investment cardio machine that will provide high quality workouts that are at a high intensity, then the Schwinn 470 elliptical machine is perfect for your needs.
Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use #7: Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Trainer
If you want a durable, well made elliptical, that is low in price and suitable for the smallest spaces, then the Body Power 2-in-1 elliptical trainer and stepper is the perfect machine for you. It is very similar to the Bowflex elliptical stepper hybrid, with the more upright design allowing you to transport it easily and store it away tidily when not in use.
The display is well designed, with a beautiful and understated LCD screen, and simple controls that don’t take much concentration to work out. The handles contain excellent heart rate sensors, and the elliptical utilises curve crank technology to eliminate the standard pedal dead-zone allowing for the smoothest ride possible.
The aesthetic will appeal to anyone who likes spin bikes, and you can see why these ellipticals are also popular in studios and gyms, where you could place a large number of them in a small area. They are easy to transport, with a metal handle on the back and wheels on the front.
They are designed, like the Bowflex, to be used as a standard elliptical, or to be used as steppers. Doubling the types of exercise, you can perform, and allowing you to change the focus to your quads, hamstrings, or glutes.
Best Elliptical Machine for Home Use #8: Bowflex Max Trainer M5
The final elliptical on our list is the second Bowflex, this time it is the Bowflex Max M5, a serious upgrade on the M3. There are also further upgrades to the M7 and M8, but we’re focusing on the M5 which we believe is slightly better value for money.
The biggest difference between the M3 and M5 is the number of workout programs (there are 8 workout programs on the M5 compared to 2 in the M3). There are also twice as many resistance levels (16 vs 8).
This is a durable, powerful, beautifully designed elliptical stepper hybrid from Bowflex, and it is quiet, easy to transport, and doesn’t take up much space thanks to its upright design. Overall this is a great investment and perhaps the best elliptical machine for home use.