Best Ellipticals for Home Use in 2020

Which elliptical is best for home use? Below you’ll find our three top-ranked elliptical trainers for home use in 2020. Everyone’s workout needs, budget, and home gym space are different. Below you’ll find our buying guide for home ellipticals which features expert advice on how to compare the huge selection of machines on the market so you can find your perfect match.

Once you’ve learned what to look out for when shopping for a new elliptical, you can start to compare models by price, brand, or type of machine on our site. Need some more help getting started? Check out our elliptical machine buying guide.

Three Best Ellipticals for Home Training

The best elliptical trainer for any home must fit the space and, most importantly, the user. Most shoppers prefer home ellipticals that aren’t as large as club versions, yet don’t skimp on durability. The best home ellipticals allow full-size strides with enough resistance to challenge every user.

Here we rate three ellipticals in terms of size, stride length, resistance, warranty, and more.

Buying Guide for Home Elliptical Trainers

How much should you spend on an elliptical machine? The quality of home elliptical trainers varies widely and their cost dictates quality. You can get a low quality elliptical machine for less than $500, while the best home ellipticals will set you back thousands. Here are some tips about elliptical machine features to help you make a smart purchase.

See best ellipticals by price.

Performance

The best home ellipticals perform like health club fitness machines but take up less space. Here are some performance essentials to keep in mind when shopping for a new elliptical.

Resistance: Look for units which offer multiple levels of resistance to challenge trainees, whether in peak physical condition or just starting out. Although a heavier flywheel makes an elliptical machine more expensive, it makes a big difference to the performance quality of the machine. Look for a flywheel weight of at least 20 pounds if you want your cross trainer to carry you beyond the beginner’s level or if you are a heavier individual. Otherwise, the elliptical motion might not feel so smooth.

Stride Length: The best home ellipticals have stride length settings for every intended user. In some families one size fits all, but in others it’s wise to choose an adjustable stride elliptical, which is usually available on mid-range and high-end models. Elliptical machines with especially generous stride ranges are also called hybrid trainers because they perform like low-impact treadmills or step machines as well as elliptical cross trainers.

Upper Body Training: Many home ellipticals have moving arm bars. The best elliptical handlebars are angled to comfortably fit people with different “wingspans” and should also offer natural feeling coordination between the upper body and lower body motion. If you opt for a cheaper machine, the movements might not feel as synchronized.

Durability

What influences an elliptical machine’s durability? The more you spend, the more you can expect from the electronic features along with long-lasting mechanical performance. Here are some of the most important factors contributing to elliptical durability.

Maximum User Weight: Maximum user weight is a great clue to an elliptical's durability. The best home elliptical trainers have user weight capacities of at least 300 pounds.

Metal vs. Plastic: Durable elliptical machines have more metal and tough resin parts as opposed to plastic. Higher quality materials reduce the chance of breakdowns, and heavier components make the exercise machines more stable during workouts.

Rear Drive Design: Rear drive ellipticals are generally associated with fewer maintenance needs. Still, durable ellipticals with center drives and front drives are easy to find here on our review site. An advantage of center drive and front drive ellipticals is that they’re more compact. Also, front drive ellipticals tend to cost less (assuming stride length, flywheel weight, and other factors are equal).

Warranty: Definitely read the product warranty to get an idea about durability. The best residential elliptical deals include standard parts/electronics warranties of at least two years.

Features

The best elliptical cross trainers for home use have just the right amount of features to keep you motivated, like workout program menus and interactive training capability. Here are some of the most popular features available for 2020.

Adjustable Incline: Some ellipticals have adjustable incline to bring your workouts to the next level. Adjusting the incline lets you simulate climbing at different angles for muscle toning and rapid calorie burn. In general, the incline options expand as price increases. Some of the most popular ellipticals pair incline training with interactive video so you actually feel the rise and fall of a terrain you are virtually exploring, or the increase in challenge of a workout routine you are completing. Check out iFit and Passport media player if this is something you think you would benefit from.

Customized Programs: The quality and variety of exercise programming makes quite an impact on the overall cost of a cross trainer. On cheaper elliptical machines, there might be many programs but little variety. The best home ellipticals support multiple user profiles, have excellent preset program variety, and can also supply personalized workout programs.

Heart Rate Control: The best home ellipticals have chest straps for wireless heart rate monitoring along with programs for heart rate control. These ellipticals automatically adjust their resistance to help users work within target heart rate zones.

HD Video: Premium home ellipticals have touchscreens that support high definition video so you can immerse yourself in live and on-demand workouts and easily track your workout data. A common screen width on home ellipticals for 2020 is around 7-10”.

Sounds Systems: These days, a lot of home ellipticals have a sound system so you can plug in your phone or tablet and stream your workout playlists through built-in speakers. High-end ellipticals have higher-quality speakers and sometimes offer on-screen controls for mobile devices. Secure holders, sometimes with charging ports, are also built into the machines so you can dock your devices safely.

List of Elliptical Trainers for Home Gyms

Our top three recommendations for home ellipticals are shown below along with their star ratings and key specs so you can easily compare them.

Best Ellipticals for Home Use

Model Rating Flywheel Resistance Price Lowest Price
Sole E95 5-stars 27 LBS ECB Under $2,000 See best price »
NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i 5-stars 20 LB 24 Levels Under $2,000 See best price »
Bowflex Max Trainer M6 5-stars magnetic and fan based resistance 16 Levels Under $2,000 See best price »