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What Is The Best Elliptical Machine For Home Use
Elliptical machines, known as elliptical trainers, are one of the most popular forms of exercise today. With the increased search for elliptical machines by individuals – with the recent lockdowns playing a massive role in it – we decided to do our research and see which are the best elliptical trainers available in the market and bring you our honest review.
For that, I went to different gyms in my local area to know which machines they have and know the opinion of the people who worked there. Then, I thoroughly researched elliptical machines and went through clients’ reviews on the brands’ websites, amazon, and complaint websites like Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Complaint Boards.
So what is the best elliptical machine for home use? Unfortunately, there isn’t a redundant answer for that question since there are many things to consider like budget, space, goals, and personal health.
Another fact to consider is that nowadays, there are multiple brands with excellent trainers – to all types of purses – with slight differences between them, so it’s safe to say that you have a couple of good options to choose from under a specific value.
To help you cope with that task, we provide you with our ultimate guide to find the best option for your needs. Here you will find the best options available at different prices, ranging from under 200$ up to a couple of thousand dollars. In that way, I assure you of viable options despite what your intentions are.
Do you want to learn more about elliptical workouts, their benefits, risks, and how well they perform compared with other similar exercise modalities? If that’s the case, you can check our article here on the subject.
So without further ado, let’s see the best elliptical machine for home use in 2021.
Under 200$ – SF-E3908 Compact Stand Up Elliptical
- Brand: Sunny Health & Fitness
- Model: SF-E3908 Compact Stand Up Elliptical
- You can find at: Sunny Health & Fitness
Under the 200$ mark, you’ll have a hard time finding a better option than the SF-E3908 Compact Stand Up Elliptical by Sunny Health & Fitness.
With a 1-year warranty on the structural frame and a 180-day warranty on other parts and components, the SF-E3908 is an excellent option if you’re short on budget and space.
Below you have a description provided by Sunny Health & Fitness concerning the SF-E3908 Compact Stand Up Elliptical’s specificities:
“Achieve a versatile cardiovascular and lower body workout with the SF-E3908… in an ultra-convenient, space-saving, and lightweight elliptical exercise machine. Perfect for homes, bedrooms, and shared spaces… it has a smooth belt-drive system that minimizes noise.
Eight levels of adjustable resistance enable progressive increases in difficulty to help you reach your fitness goals and take your workouts to the next step!”
One of the best ways to know if a product can live up to expectations is by looking at what buyers have to say. Within SH&F’s website, verified buyers can leave their thoughts on the brand’s products.
There, the SF-E3908 Compact Stand Up Elliptical has a rate of 4.8 stars., so let’s take a look at what buyers have to say about the SF-E3908.
“Overall, this machine is exactly what the description says. Super easy to put together. Light enough to move around. But here are a few ideas/tips that you might want to think about:
- You will need to lean your weight forward a bit to keep the machine steady.
- The wheel glide is very short so the foot movement is more like a stair-stepper than an elliptical. If you have ankle issues, this probably is not for you.
- It does put stress on your ankles/feet. Maybe the Sunny will consider making this wheel glide longer so we can have a smoother glide!
Can’t beat the price, so if you think you will be happy, then go for it!” – Rated three stars.
“It’s the perfect size for home use. Not bulky and compact enough to store inside my closet. It glides smoothly and will get your heart racing for sure!” – Rated five stars.
“I chose this model because it’s easy to carry around. There’s a handle on the bottom, so I just lift and carry it to wherever I want it. The pedaling motion is so smooth! I like that I can watch tv without having to turn up the volume because of how quiet this elliptical is.” – Rated five stars.
As you can see, buyers are pleased with the SF-E3908 despite its limitations – which are acceptable attending the price.
In the first – and least – rated review, you can see well elaborated the weak points of the SF-E3908. Although they shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for someone starting their elliptical journey, it might constitute a problem for a seasoned practitioner or someone over 200lbs.
Concerning the space, noise, and gains while working out, it seems that buyers are happy with the elliptical machine, so again, if you’re on a short budget, lack space, or taking your first elliptical steps, the SF-E3908 Compact Stand Up Elliptical might be what you’re looking.
Under 500$ – SF-E3981 Carbon Pro Magnetic Elliptical
- Brand: Sunny Health & Fitness
- Model: SF-E3981 Carbon Pro Magnetic Elliptical
- You can find it at: Sunny Health & Fitness
Next on our list, in the under 500$ category, we have another piece of equipment made by Sunny Health & Fitness, this time, we bring you the SF-E3981 Carbon Pro Magnetic Elliptical. The SF-E3981 has a 3-year warranty on the structural frame and a 180-day warranty on other parts and components.
One of the reasons for making our list is that this elliptical machine usually costs way more than the initial. Another reason is that Sunny Health & Fitness’ elliptical trainers are less expensive than most other brands, with the most costly elliptical machines staying a bit over one thousand dollars. Meaning SH&F produces excellent products under a certain value.
The SF-E3981 has a rate of 4.4 stars. Below, you have what the SH&F has to say about their elliptical machine:
“The Carbon Pro Magnetic Elliptical Machine model SF-E3981 is an excellent rear-drive system model for low-impact cardiovascular exercise. The performance monitor allows you to track your personal time, distance, calorie, pulse, speed, and RPM.
Great for users of all fitness levels and anyone needing recovery training after surgery or start an in-home calorie-burning exercise routine. With ten levels of magnetic resistance, you will be able to change up your workouts to help you reach your health fitness goals.
With the description behind us, let’s see what verified buyers say about the SF-E3981 Carbon Pro Magnetic Elliptical.
“Overall, the elliptical was very easy to put together and is a very smooth machine. Now I will say that I was coming from an older NordicTrack that broke recently, and this machine is fairly basic compared to that. But it does everything I need.
The stride is not as long as I had hoped for, it’s more of a medium stride if that makes sense, so it’s a little awkward at first for me, but I’ve gotten used to it. The only other issue I’d say is the footpads are relatively small and don’t have a ton of traction, so my feet tend to slide around when using it.” – Rated four stars.
“I choose this model due to the high weight limit. I am 250lbs and am happy to report that the machine is sturdy as a rock. I also like that you can work out your arms as well to get a full-body workout.” – Rated five stars.
“My husband and I both use this elliptical, and we have no issues with the stride length. FYI he’s 5′,9, and I’m 5’2. The resistance is enough for me and a good challenge for my husband. Overall, we’re really happy with this product.” – Rated five stars.
The reviews are rather positive, with buyers happy with their investment. The first makes important remarks concerning the footpads and directly compares with another elliptical machine (NordicTrack) whose design and values must be superior, yet the buyer isn’t disappointed.
The two other reviews mention the sturdiness and stability of the SF-E3981. The first attests to how well it handles a weight around 250lbs, and in the second, we learn that unless you’re over 6′ inches tall, you should not have issues performing in the SF-E3981 Carbon Pro Magnetic Elliptical.
Once again, I stress the fact that this elliptical machine originally cost way more (800$) than the actual price. For how long the current price will remain? I don’t know, but as far as it remains at the present value, the SF-E3981 will be our top choice under 500$.
Under 800$ – SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical
- Brand: Sunny Health & Fitness
- Model: SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical
- You can find it at: Sunny Health & Fitness
Three-time is a charm. Our third choice, now under 800$, will be again a Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical machine, this time the SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical.
Once again, the main reason for choosing an SH&F is that initially, this model was way more expensive (1,140$) than it currently is, being, at the time, the most costly and complete elliptical machine provided by SH&F.
Therefore, under its value, the SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical is one of the best elliptical machines on the market. Below you’ll have the SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical’s description.
“Create a total body training experience in the comfort of your own home with the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E3865 Stride Zone Elliptical. Mount the large non-slip foot pedals designed with a pronounced inner rim to help keep feet in place while you stride. Open your stride to a larger range of motion with the 20-inch stride length as you move the 44 lb flywheel.
Get your upper body working with the curved multi-grip, non-slip, full potion handlebars to engage muscles in your arms, chest, shoulders, and back. Increase the intensity of your lower body musculature when you move through 16 levels of motorized smooth belt drive resistance. Each level will test your glutes, thighs, calves, and core to help you progress towards your fitness goals.“
The SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical rates 4.7 stars, which is great, but are there any concerns to consider? Let’s see that in the comments provided by verified buyers n the brand’s website.
“The elliptical works really well. I get a good workout on it. My one complaint is after the first two workouts, it started squeaking and making a clicking noise. I hope this doesn’t cause a problem down the road.” – Rated three stars.
“Not as good as the one I was using in the gym, but that model costs $6000. For the money, this has been great for the past two months. It does squeak a little, and I can’t figure out how to stop that. Customer service is fantastic.” – Rated four stars.
“Love it. Silent. Perfectly packaged. Really – kudos. Assembly is an exercise by itself; it took me approx. 2 hours. But the guidelines are perfectly clear.
So far great to exercise. I need to learn all the possible program settings it offers. Love it. Delivery was perfect – was called multiple times and informed about the progress and time of delivery. Very satisfied.” – Rated five stars.
The reviews show that the SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical sometimes makes some undesirable noises. However, it seems to be exceptions to the rule, as most of the reviews I read point out how silent, sturdy, and reliable the SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical is.
Fare to say that the value of the SF-E3865 Magnetic Elliptical goes 20$ over the 800$, but attending this elliptical machine’s quality and the previous price, we decided to include it on our list, as long as the price remains the same.
Under 1000$ – Schwinn 470 Elliptical
- Brand: Schwinn
- Model: Schwinn 470 Elliptical
- You can find it at: Schwinn
Now we arrived at the four digits, and the elliptical machine of our choice under 1000$ is the Schwinn 470 Elliptical.
The Schwinn 470 Elliptical it’s a very reliable elliptical machine with twenty-nine programs, twenty-five levels of resistance, large footplates, ergonomically placed moving handlebars and many more.
As usual, I will provide you with the brand’s description, in this case, the Schwinn 470 Elliptical.
“The Schwinn 470 Elliptical is our top-of-the-line trainer due to its premium quality, fluid motion, and innovative features.
Every inch of the Schwinn 470 is designed to keep you inspired and motivated – from Explore the World compatibility to easy data tracking.
With the 470, you’ll get the training experience you need for the strength, endurance, and weight loss you want.”
The Schwinn 470 Elliptical rates 4.6 stars on Schiwinn’s website, with the reviews being only provided by verified buyers. So let’s see what they say about the Schwinn 470 Elliptical.
“My only cons are the following: The van is very weak, Bluetooth is only for the app and not for wireless music playback, and the heart rate monitor is very low. Also, the machine feels like it was designed for someone about 5′ 6″… I am 5’11,” and it works fine, but the controls are a little low.” – Rated four stars.
“I had to assemble this. Putting it together was very easy, and the directions were easy to understand. I like that there are four user profiles so that multiple family members can keep track of workouts. There are several different pre-programmed workouts, or you can do a manual program to set resistance and intensity. The elliptical is very quiet. It glides smoothly.” – Rated five stars.
“Easy to set up and keep track of the workouts for multiple household users. Assembly was rather simple as all the instructions were so easy to follow. I found some of the nuts and bolts were already in place, so it was quite easy to assemble, taking less than two hours to complete. The display itself is terrific but took some getting used to, but after that, it was easy to follow your workout. My hats are off to your engineering and marketing department. This unit far exceeded our expectations.” – Rated five stars.
As you see, there are some complaints concerning the Schwinn 470 Elliptical, mainly about the van’s power and Bluetooth limitation.
Aside from that, as you can attest, the reviews are positive, with the primary reasons being:
- Easy to assemble.
- User-friendly software, up to four user profiles.
- Elliptical is very quiet and smooth.
There are more reasons to buy a Schwinn 470 Elliptical, though the ones I provide you are the most pertinent.
If you’re just starting or a seasoned practitioner, under 1000$, the Schwinn 470 Elliptical will not let you down.
Under 1300$ – Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial
- Brand: NordicTrack
- Model: Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial
- You can find it at: NordicTrack
The Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial elliptical machine has coverage of a 10-years warranty on the structural frame, 2-years on parts & electronics, and 1-year labor.
Although the price might be forbidden to some purses, the Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial delivers in every aspect, aesthetics, performance, durability, sturdiness, and comes with a streaming training system (one-month free trial).
Let’s see what NordicTrack has to say about the Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial.
“Elevate your gain through enhanced incline while enjoying the comfort that comes from oversized, cushioned pedals, soft-touch grips, and the ability to customize your stride length.
Explore the world or engage in best-in-class studio sessions through iFIT interactive training, featuring a talented team of personal trainers.
With AutoAdjust technology, your machine will adjust incline and resistance automatically throughout your workouts.”
Reviews weren’t available on the brand’s website, Amazon, Reddit, etc. So to cope with that, we saw what authority websites within the fitness industry have to say about the 9.9 Commercial.
Elliptical Reviews says “the key features that made it a fan favorite – a 25-pound flywheel, 20% power incline that automatically adjusts with training programs, and a 7-inch HD touchscreen.
The diversity of available training is significant and includes everything from more gentle workouts that focus on mobility to high-intensity sessions that are all about that calorie burn.”
FitRated rated the Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial 92.2/100. Here’s their opinion on the elliptical machine:
“Combining items like interactive training options, adjustable stride length, and a touchscreen display make the bang-for-buck factor on the NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 Elliptical reasonably high overall. However, depending on your height and inseam measurement, that stride adjustment will make a big difference to your overall comfort when using the machine.”
I found it disappointing don’t find any clients’ reviews from the Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial as I wanted to provide you with the thoughts of verified buyers.
With that said, NordicTrack is one if not the most successful brand globally concerning elliptical machines, so there are enough reviews online to understand how good or how bad the Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial performs.
One of the most common critics I came across online is that the Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial, in some aspects, fails to be a commercial elliptical trainer. But, aside from that, all the reviews were quite positive, which made me chose the Nordictrack 9.9 Commercial as the best elliptical machine for under 1300$.
Under 1500$ – Nautilus E618 Elliptical
- Brand: Nautilus
- Model: Nautilus E618 Elliptical
- You can find it at: Nautilus
Under 1500$, our choice falls on the Nautilus E618 Elliptical. ellipticalreviews.com described the Nautilus E618 Elliptical “as the top elliptical trainer in its series.”
And there are plenty of reasons for that. With a 15-years warranty on the structural frame, 5-years on parts & electronics, and 2-years labor, a heavy flywheel (30lbs), cushioned pedals, wireless heart rate with one chest strap included, and many more, the Nautilus E618 Elliptical is one of the best options you can get.
Below, you have the brand’s description, and after, we”ll be looking at what customers have to say about this elliptical machine.
“From the Nautilus Performance Series comes the E618 Elliptical Trainer. Designed for serious competitors looking to up their game, the E618 is fully loaded with dozens of training programs, Bluetooth connectivity, and free app-based tracking tools that help maximize motivation and power up performance.”
“Very solid machine, well built. Assembly was fairly straightforward but couldn’t be rushed. A few pictographs in the assembly manual were a bit misleading, but I figured it out. My heart rate monitor in the handgrips does not work, waiting for replacement parts from the manufacture, which were very willing to help. I’m happy so far with everything; let’s hope the heart rate monitor can be fixed.” – Rated four stars.
“The spring-loaded foot pads are wonderful, allowing more aggressive strides with solid comfort. Key articulations in the stride assembly had actual sealed bearings and what appeared to be high-quality steel axles at each of the articulations between striding elements.
For large people (I’m 6’3″ and just under 250lbs), this is the only type you should consider. Models like this with the dual roller tracks on each side are simply the only way this device should be made.
I found using the console buttons during an exercise awkward because of the proximity to the swinging arc of the handgrips. Probably better to only make changes with the buttons on the handgrips while actively working out – otherwise, stop and change the settings while stationary.
This is a heck of a machine, well worth the list price, as it will easily last me a lifetime based on the quality of parts I saw during the assembly process. Bluetooth connectivity was flawless to the Nautilus Trainer app.” – Rated four stars.
As we can see from the previous reviews, the E618 Elliptical Trainer delivers in all aspects. With the first, we can learn that although some manufacturing problems could happen, the technical support is responsive.
The second is what I’d call a six stars review on the customer’s behalf. Very detailed on the product’s quality, performance, sturdiness, and longevity.
If you’re somehow a seasoned athlete looking for an elliptical machine for the long run under the 1500$, the E618 Elliptical Trainer is an option to consider!
Under 2000$ – E3i+ Elliptical Cross Trainer
- Brand: LifeSpan Fitness
- Model: E3i+ Elliptical Cross Trainer
- You can find it at: LifeSpan Fitness
If you’re feeling like spending a good chunk of cash in an elliptical machine for home use that stands for life, the E3i+ Elliptical Cross Trainer by LifeSpan Fitness is a serious candidate for your hard earn bucks.
With a lifetime warranty on the frame, 5-years on parts & electronics, and 2-years labor, the E3i+ Elliptical Cross Trainer is one of the best elliptical machines of its series, made by one of the best and most innovative brands on the market.
There are plenty of features available that makes this elliptical machine so unique. Below, you have some of that features shared by the creators of the E3i+ Elliptical Cross Trainer.
“Find your ideal fitness with the E3i+ cross-trainer. Improve your cardiovascular health and tone muscle, all while engaging in a low-impact cardio workout. Exclusive CoreBalance technology and heavy-duty hardware come standard, ensuring the quality in-home fitness experience available.
The patented LifeSpan CoreBalance Technology registers irregularities in your training movement. Special sensors in the foot pedals measure the amount of pressure on the foot pedals exerted from your legs and display this directly on the elliptical console. This ensures your training movement is always symmetrical.”
As you can see by this short description, the E3i+ Elliptical Cross Trainer displays unique features. Let’s see what customers have to say about this elliptical machine.
“This cross trainer works great and has all the features I needed. It feels pretty natural versus other cross-trainers I tried in the past. Happy with my purchase.” – Rated four stars.
“Feels very solid when using. The console is functional and easy to use. I do like the readout that shows your balance of left vs. right side. It is smooth when pedaling forward or backward, which I like to do. It is big and not so easy to roll around.” – Rated four stars.
“Just started using this again after a summer break. I use this every morning for 20-30 minutes prior to getting kids on the bus, and the plus is that the den is next to the kids’ room, and my working out does not wake them up as our old treadmill would.” – Rated four stars.
We can conclude that the E3i+ Elliptical Cross Trainer matches buyers’ expectations, which shouldn’t constitute a surprise since LifeSpan Fitness is behind this beauty.
LSF doesn’t have the recognition has other household names within the industry like Precor or NordicTrack. Still, they are top-notch in what they do; with several award-winning machines -mostly on their treadmills – LSF produces the highest quality products with a budget-friendly compared with their competitors.
If you’re serious about elliptical training and want to make a once-in-the-life investment that will fit your needs – despite which they are – the E3i+ Elliptical Cross Trainer, it’s a serious contender for your hard-earned money!
Premium – E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer
- Brand: LifeSpan Fitness
- Model: E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer
- You can find it at: LifeSpan Fitness
You want the best that money can buy and make it last for eternity, but without overspending (if that’s logical)? If that’s the case, I present the E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer to you, brought to us again by LifeSpan Fitness.
With the same warranty model that the previous E3i+, the E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer comes with even more features than the former, as you can see in the description below.
“New to the LifeSpan commercial line, the E5i Elliptical Trainer delivers a superior cardiovascular experience. The E5i is built with high-quality commercial-grade components including, sturdy double rollers set on twin rails, a durable mechanism, and a drive system.
Plus, it’s all backed with a commercial warranty. Best of all, the E5i commercial elliptical runs entirely off of self-generated power. Meaning, you don’t need to worry about placing it near an outlet or having cords clutter your floor space.
This elliptical features heavy resistance, making it ideal for fitness lovers and experienced athletes. Start off with Level 1 and continue to push yourself by advancing the resistance up to Level 20.
Whether you are looking for a professional elliptical machine for your gym or commercial facility, the LifeSpan E5i is a perfect fit.”
By the time I’m writing, I didn’t found verified buyers’ reviews though I found what the most reputable websites within the fitness industry have to say. So let’s hear their thoughts on the E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer.
ellipticalreviews.com says that “The E3i got all of the basics covered from great program variety to a dependable drive system.”
the-home-gym.com: “The E3i comes with a great features-to-price ratio… a high-grade unit that has a lot to offer when it comes to performance specs and features, and it comes with a heavy flywheel and a stride length most people should find comfortable… with a generous selection of workouts to choose from and plenty of resistance and incline levels to keep your routines interesting.”
As you can attest, the E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer had positive reviews, with the value of the trainer being above its commercial value. That doesn’t appear as a surprise; after all, we are talking of LifeSpan Fitness.
There are more expensive elliptical machines on the market and maybe with more features than those displayed in the E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer, but the price will be likely way above the ones practiced by LSF.
If you’re looking for the cream of the crop at two steps away from your bed, the E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer must be in your equation!
My Two Cents
I want to remind you that this list is just our opinion in the end, so if you’re starting your elliptical journey, please do your research, check different sources, and pay attention to what other customers have to say about a specific product.
I decided to summarise and highlight features from the different trainers instead give you the complete and detailed information available – which is a lot – because it might be overwhelming and make you fall down the rabbit hole.
If you want more detailed information, you can always check the brands’ websites, marketplaces, and authority websites within the fitness industry.
There you have it guys, our list of what is the best elliptical machine for home use.
Do you think I miss something? Do you want to add something or just give me your thoughts on the subject? Don’t hesitate to drop me a message in the comment section below, and I’ll gladly reply to you back!
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If you like our content, please consider following us everywhere (except on the street, that’s weird:)) and I’ll catch you in our next post; until then, stay strong and keep on moving! Amor Fati! : )
Founder of Against the Ropes.