Home » Best elliptical machine in 2024 – our top home picks

Best elliptical machine in 2024 – our top home picks

Best elliptical machine

If you’re looking for the best elliptical machine, you’ve come to the right place.  Elliptical machines are an excellent way to stimulate running and involve your entire body. Every muscle group can be incorporated, from your abs, shoulders, and arms to your legs, glutes, and back, which leads to more calories being burned and a…

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If you’re looking for the best elliptical machine, you’ve come to the right place. 

Elliptical machines are an excellent way to stimulate running and involve your entire body. Every muscle group can be incorporated, from your abs, shoulders, and arms to your legs, glutes, and back, which leads to more calories being burned and a more toned physique. 

Some ellipticals also have an incline feature which can stimulate running uphill/downhill. This only adds to the experience and challenges you to break through your limits.

So, if you are looking to purchase an elliptical machine and find yourself confused by the number of brands and options with varying features, we’ve got you covered. 

To help you, we’ve put together this in-depth buying guide, which lists different options with their details and pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

Our list of the best elliptical machines 

  • Best elliptical machine overall: Schwinn 490
  • Best budget elliptical machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical (Classic/SF-E3912)
  • Best high-end elliptical machine: SOLE E98 Elliptical Machine
  • Best compact elliptical machine: Schwinn 411 Elliptical Machine

How we picked 

We looked at and researched various options from different brands and compared them based on their build quality, stride length, price, resistance levels, and other important features to present you with the best options to make an informed decision. We’re always updating our guides with the latest information, so check back for newer additions. 

Best elliptical machine overall

No products found.

ProsCons
325-pound weight limitNo touchscreen display
20” stride The device holder blocks the 7” display
25 magnetic resistance levels
Incline and decline functionality 

If you’re looking for the best elliptical machine, we recommend you check out the Schwinn 490.

First off, this elliptical machine features a slim design with a metallic finish. This could be a nice addition to your living space. The frame primarily consists of metal, which should give it a layer of durability, as we can see from the maximum weight limit of 325 pounds. On top of that, the machine itself weighs around 187 pounds/84kg. This makes it a heavy elliptical machine, so if you plan on moving it around a lot, ask your partner or friends for help. 

Despite its smaller footprint, it sports a 20-inch stride, which is found in larger ellipticals. What this means is that people with varying heights and sizes can comfortably use this elliptical as they’ll have enough space to go through the full range of motion. 

The Schwinn 490 also features 25 magnetic resistance levels, a -5 % – 15 % incline range, and terrain control technology. What this translates into is that you can manually adjust the resistance to make your workout more challenging or increase the incline or decline to stimulate uphill/downhill running. 

On top of that, the terrain control technology should allow the machine to adjust the incline and resistance settings automatically depending on the terrain of your program. For example, running uphill in the workout program will increase the incline percentage and resistance to accurately stimulate that and provide a more realistic experience. However, you will need a monthly subscription to the JRNY app to access all these scenic workouts. 

This elliptical machine sports a 7” color display, which displays performance metrics like time, calories, distance, incline percentage, and resistance level. This should help you better keep track of your progress and make slight adjustments that are more in line with your fitness goals.

It also has Bluetooth connectivity that you can use to connect your mobile device, speakers, heart rate monitor, and other fitness gadgets. This adds a layer of accessibility that should help you track your performance or make your workout sessions more fun with some music. 

Regarding the handles, this elliptical machine offers various grips, such as wide or narrow. This should help you find the grip that feels most natural to you, and you can then go at it with all you’ve got. Overall, the features and functionalities the Schwinn 490 brings to the table gave it the top spot on our list.

Best budget elliptical machine

No products found.

ProsCons
15.5” stride lengthOnly one set of moveable handlebars
16 magnetic resistance levels
Bluetooth connectivity 
Inexpensive 

If you’re looking for the best elliptical machine that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 elliptical might be for you. 

Let’s kick things off with its price and build quality. The SF-E3912 comes with a price tag of $389.15 (at the time of writing), meaning it’s very cheap compared to other ellipticals. However, that doesn’t take away from its features or durability. 

This machine features an alloy steel frame, which should make it durable and sturdy enough to handle rigorous workouts day after day. On top of that, it has a maximum weight limit of 149kg or 328 pounds. This means it should be able to cater to individuals of different sizes without a hitch. 

This elliptical machine features 16 magnetic resistance levels and a 13.2 lbs flywheel. Add to this the 24 preset workout programs, and you’ve got yourself a killer combination that should give you a run for your money. It also has a 15.5” stride length, which should be more than enough for more people and allow this machine to be used in relatively less space. 

It sports a performance monitor that should display information like calories burned, watts, time, speed, distance, and more – everything you’ll need to gauge your current and overall progress. Other than that, the pulse sensors on the handlebar should also help you maintain your target heart rate for more efficient workouts. 

Lastly, it comes with a bottle holder that you can use to keep yourself hydrated (very important), a device holder that can hold your mobile phone or tablet, and a non-slip foot pedal for a comfortable grip. All-in-all, while this elliptical machine might not have some fancy features such as automatic resistance adjustment, it does offer a good amount of features and at a very reasonable price point – that is something to keep in mind.

Best high-end elliptical machine

No products found.

ProsCons
400-pound weight limitComes with a hefty price tag
Bluetooth speaker and cooling fanVery heavy
20 incline and resistance levels
2° inverted foot pedals designed by physiotherapists

If you’re looking for the best elliptical machine money can buy, we recommend you check out the SOLE E98.

The first thing you need to know about this elliptical machine is that it is by no means a small machine, and it weighs approximately 246 pounds/111kg. This means it won’t be easy moving it around without employing the help of a couple of friends. 

It has a maximum weight limit of 400 pounds, which should be more than enough to cater to individuals who are a bit on the heavier side. It also features 20 incline and resistance levels that can be adjusted by the buttons on the handlebars. This means you can challenge yourself, give it your 100% each day, and go beyond your limits. 

The SOLE E98 sports 2° inverted foot pedals designed by physiotherapists. The manufacturer claims that this design should reduce ankle and knee stress and deliver a more natural stride. It also has a 20” stride, which isn’t surprising given its size, but it should adequately cater to taller individuals. 

It comes with 10 preset workouts that you can choose from, which adds a layer to its accessibility as you won’t have to fiddle around with the settings and can just get to work. This machine also comes with Bluetooth speakers and cooling fans, which is a nice addition as you can listen to music or an audiobook while the fans keep you nice and cool. 

One great aspect of the SOLE E98 is its quiet operation despite its size. Loud machines might be a deal breaker for you if you have pets or young ones, as they can get distraught by them. That said, this machine should provide a solution to that as well. 

So, while it does cost a good amount of money, the customizability, preset programs, incline, and other functionalities more than justify it. 

Best compact elliptical machine

No products found.

ProsCons
18” stride lengthVirtual courses are behind a paywall
Compact design and lightweightNo incline feature
16 levels of magnetic resistance 
Bluetooth connectivity 

If you don’t have a lot of space and are looking for a compact elliptical machine, check out the Schwinn 411.

Let’s start with its build quality. This elliptical machine is made from alloy steel, which brings its total weight to around 100 pounds/45 kg. This means it is light enough to move around but should be durable enough to cater to people of various sizes. It also has a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds, which adds a layer to its build quality and durability. 

The dimensions of the Schwinn 411 are 53.8” in length, 24” in width, and 62.5” in height. What this means is that it’s compact enough to be stored and used in smaller houses or apartments without crowing the space.

It also features 16 levels of magnetic resistance, which can be adjusted with the center console. This should allow you to increase or decrease the difficulty of your workouts depending on your goals. 

Despite its compact design, it sports an 18” stride length, only 2 inches shy of that found in larger models. This means you should have more space to play around with your range of motion and see the range that best suits you. 

As for the handlebars, there are two moving and two fixed ones that have heart-rate grips on them. This should help you keep track of your heart rate and adjust your workout to maintain it in the desired range for the most efficient training. 

On top of that, the Schwinn 411 has Bluetooth connectivity options, a bottle holder, a streamlined center console, and the option of virtual courses, for which you’ll need an Explore the World subscription.

All in all, despite its compact design, it certainly brings its A-game, making it one of the best compact elliptical machines you can buy.

Do ellipticals burn belly fat? 

First, you need to know that you can’t burn fat from designated places on your body. Fat loss happens as a whole, and working out on an elliptical can lead to that. Since elliptical machines utilize almost all major muscle groups at the same time, this means that more fuel (calories) is being used, which leads to fat loss. 

How to pick the best elliptical machine

There are many factors to consider before investing in any product, including an elliptical machine. We’ve listed some of the factors you need to remember to help you make an informed decision. 

Stride length

The stride length is the distance between your feet, and the stride length of an elliptical relates to your natural footpath.

Tall people have long legs, so their steps (or strides) are longer than those of shorter people. The stride of a person 6’3″ (190 cm) is naturally longer than someone who is only 5’5″ (165 cm).

Why is that important?

Well, various elliptical trainers are capable of achieving different maximum stride lengths. Women and men with average height shouldn’t care too much, as most ellipticals have stride lengths that are comfortable for most people.

But if you are taller than, say, 6’2″ (188 cm), it would be better for you to get ellipticals that have longer stride lengths.

Machines with longer stride lengths also tend to feel more natural than ellipticals with shorter strides.

Some machines have a fixed stride, while others allow you to adjust the length of your stride, which may be useful if your home includes people of extremely different heights.

Size and footprint.

When shopping for an elliptical, you need to pay attention to measurements for length and width so you can be sure your new machine will fit in its designated area.

Ellipticals aren’t too big, but like treadmills, they do take up considerable space. Just make sure you have enough space. Specs by companies also take into consideration the pedals that will go further than the length of the machine when in use.

Break and resistance system

Ellipticals have programmable resistance levels to increase the intensity of your workout.

The way that resistance is applied to the flywheel is one of the most important characteristics of an elliptical because it is a good clue as to the machine’s durability.

Manual Brakes – Low-budget ellipticals use manual brakes to create resistance. You can turn a knob that will make it easier or harder to stride. Sometimes, the resistance is applied unevenly or may feel choppy; it can also be louder.

Motorized Brakes – With motorized brakes, you can essentially press a button for the same effect as the manual system gives you.

Eddy Current Magnetic Resistance – That’s a fancy name, but all you need to know is that it is the best system and makes it smoother and more even. This method is sometimes called quiet drive or silent magnetic resistance.

Verdict

No products found.

After comparing the different features, specifications, and functionalities of the listed elliptical machines, there was a clear winner: the Schwinn 490. It comes chock full of features. To name a few, it has a 20” stride length, incline, and decline functionality, 25 magnetic resistance levels, and varying grips. All these factors combined put it at the top of our list, and we’re confident its reign will be long. 

If you’re interested in exploring more options to deck out your gym, we’ve covered options like the best-curved treadmill and the best functional trainer as well. 

About Tim & Lisa

Tim

Hey there, I’m Tim, co-founder of GymPerson.com.
I am a former fitness physique competitor with over 20 years of intense experience in strength training, weight lifting and body transformation.

I’m Lisa, a donut eater turned into a health conscious person turned into a marathon runner (side note: losing some 60+ pounds along the way!)

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