Finding the Best Elliptical Machine For You

Above are some of the best ellipticals based on popularity and customer satisfaction.

Relative Price

All of the ellipticals for sale featured here are relatively cheap in comparison to some you can buy. We have then categorized each elliptical machine’s price relative to each other as Cheap, Average or Expensive. To see the current price of each click the
Price Details button.

Popularity & Satisfaction

These elliptical cross trainers represent the most popular with the best customer satisfaction; all have good customer satisfaction and are very popular. If popularity and satisfaction is an important factor for you we have rated them relative to each other using a weighted calculation of both the combination of popularity and customer satisfaction to provide you the 3 classifications of Excellent, Very Good and Good.

Stride Length

The stride length is how far the foot pedals will travel during a single stride; this has a big affect on the comfort of using the elliptical machine. Typically stride length ranges from 13” to 20”. If the machine you choose has a stride length too long you’ll end up straining, however if the machine has a smaller stride length than you need you’ll find you’re bouncing up and down all the time. We’ve classified the stride length of each of these elliptical as either short, medium and long, relative to each other, you’ll find the actual stride length details under the More Details button on the specification tab.

Adjustable Resistance

Ellipticals with adjustable resistance allow you to determine how difficult it is to push and make each stride, generally these all work by using magnetic resistance to slow the flywheel within the elliptical, some are analogue operated by a dial, but most are digital set via the LCD console. If you’re looking to maximize your calories burned you’ll want one with an adjustable resistance setting.

Cooling Fan

The cooling fan does as you’d expect; blows air in your face to help cool you down, generally you get what you pay for with these machines. The cheapest elliptical don’t usually have fans, the average priced ones have cooling fans but they’re not that great and the more expensive ones have the really powerful fans.

Storage of User Settings

Ellipticals that store usage settings will allow you to record things like, your age, weight and sex, which are all used when calculating your elliptical calories burned. If the machine does not store your user settings either you’ll have to enter them each time, or it will display a very average calories burned result not taking into account your weight, or it won’t display you any details about your calories. If more than one person will be using your elliptical machine you’ll need the ability to store multiple user settings, otherwise you’ll both end up having to change the stored details each time.

Book Holder

The book holders are simply a shelf you can rest a book or magazine on while working out on your elliptical. In reality if you’re doing a hard workout you’ll probably find you’re moving about too much to focus on the book / magazine and can’t read it properly anyway.

Transport Wheels

The transport wheels are small wheels on one side of the elliptical, in order to use them you tip the machine so it rests on the wheels making it easier for you to wheel it from one room in your home to another. This is a must for the larger machines which can be quite heavy. In general all machines here have transport wheels with the exception of the smaller light-weight ones where it’s not as much of a requirement.

Water Bottle Holder

The water bottle holder of your elliptical can make a real difference to the comfort of your workout. If you’re working hard you will be sweating, causing you to dehydrate and you’ll need to keep taking on fluids, the last thing you want to have to do is jump off the elliptical interrupting your workout to go reach a glass / bottle of water. The machines with water bottle holders allow you to store your drink in front of you in easy reach for whenever you need it.

Speakers & MP3 Connection

The ellipticals that have speakers also come with an MP3 connection jack socket, you’ll need an audio output cable from your phone / mp3 player when then plugs into the Elliptical machine’s audio jack, playing your playlist through the built in speakers. Similar to the cooling fan; you get what you pay for with the built in speakers, the cheaper machines won’t have them, the mid range ones will but they won’t be that powerful, the more expensive machines will have the most powerful speakers.

Pivoting foot pedals

Ellipticals with pivoting foot pedals are ergonomically designed so they either articulate in the same way as your foot does as it moves through the stride or they let you manually adjust the peddle angle to your needs. This helps reduce foot strain and keeps correct alignment with your hips, knees and ankles. When using an elliptical machine which doesn’t provide some pivot of the foot pedal you may find you end up with numb feet due to restricted circulation.

Adjustable Handlebars

If the handlebars adjust this allows you to set them to the most comfortable height for your height and arm length. This helps ensure you don’t end up with back ache from straining forward if the bars are not at the right height for you, particularly important if you’re tall.

Movable Handlebars

The elliptical machines with moveable handle bars allow you to pump your arms at the same time as your legs, maximizing the amount of calories you’ll burn and helping to give you a full body workout.

Fixed Handlebars

Sometimes you’ll want to rest your arms and just concentrate on your legs. If a machine has fixed handlebars this allows you to just grab them and stride away with your lower half while resting you arms, typically used as a cool down exercise. Most of the machines that have movable handlebars also fixed handlebars.

Workout Programs

The elliptical workout programs give you different routines to follow, often these will be based on completing a specified distance or staying in a certain heart rate region or will have predetermined or random resistance / incline adjustments throughout the course of your workout.

Grip Heart Rate Monitor

If the elliptical machine has grip heart rate monitors these will be pieces of metal located in the handles which when gripped measure your heart rate while working out. This measurement of your heart rate is used both to provide your feedback of how hard you’re working and to calculate your calories burned. Usually these grip heart rate monitors are located in fixed handles, meaning you’ll only periodically measure your heart rate and not constantly during your workout, as the fixed handles don’t allow you to push with your arms. If you want to constantly measure your heart rate during your workout you are going to need one of the machines with a wireless heart rate monitor.

Wireless Heart Rate Monitor

Ellipticals that have a wireless heart rate monitor come with an adjustable elastic chest strap which you place directly against your skin under your top. The chest strap detects your heart rate and sends this wirelessly to the elliptical machine. This allows you to constantly monitor your heart rate throughout your entire workout without needing to be holding the grip heart rate contacts. Ideal if you want to either keep your hands free to keep pumping for a full workout.

Incline Adjustment

Adjustable incline allows you to replicate workout up a hill. The higher the incline the harder you’ll have to work and allows you to focus your workout on different muscles, building more strength and burning more calories.

Supported User Weight

Each elliptical for sale has a maximum user weight rating, if you’re on the heavy side you’ll need a machine capable of supporting you fully. The max weight ratings range from 250lbs (113kg) to 375 lbs (170kg).

Warranty

Generally Elliptical Machines come with multi part warranties covering the frame, parts, electronics and labor. The warranty filter you’ll see listed above is for the frame and ranges from 1 year to lifetime support. For more details about the length of the parts, electronics and labor warranties see the More Details button for each machine.