In recent years, elliptical training machines have been one of the hottest- and fastest-growing products in the fitness market. These machines have quickly joined the ranks with treadmills and bicycles as a go-to cardiovascular exercise machine. The elliptical machine gets its name from the elliptical pattern of movement that its user’s legs make when exercising on the machine. This unique movement gives the user all the cardiovascular benefits of long-term, high-intensity exercise without the bodily pains and aches that often accompany running. The benefits elliptical exercise offers are becoming increasingly clearer. While elliptical trainers are available at most commercial gyms, waiting for a vacant machine at your local gym is annoying, and driving to and from the gym can be tiresome. If you use elliptical trainers often, then a personal elliptical trainer might be just the solution you need. Because we care about our customers, we at Rubber-Cal have compiled a list of the five best elliptical machines on the 2022-2023 market, each with its own set of pros and cons. We get it, though—these fitness machines can be shockingly expensive. That’s why there are so many available options at different price points, and we’ll make sure to cover every price range. The order of this list isn’t a ranking system: We’ve chosen what we think is the best elliptical trainer for each of the five different price points. We made this list using data from Amazon elliptical reviews and from brand websites, and we distill any fitness jargon into terms that a newcomer in the elliptical game can easily understand. Without further ado, here are the five best elliptical machines on the 2022-2023 market:
1. Below $200: The Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical Machine
At the fore of our list is the under-$200 price range. Now, you might be thinking: There is no way someone can get a quality elliptical at this price range. But, we’ve found that if you’re willing to compromise, $200 can actually land you a decent piece of equipment: the Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical Machine. The main problem with this choice—as you can see—is that it is not a full elliptical machine. However, the fuller-bodied workout that larger machines offer isn’t the main selling point of this trainer. In fact, this elliptical is particularly desirable if you cannot afford enough space for larger ellipticals. The Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical is highly portable, offers fitness tracking capabilities, and has adjustable resistance levels. Like many of the other ellipticals in this list, this product also connects to Fitbit and Apple HealthKit. According to some Amazon elliptical reviews though, this elliptical tends to slide around without a rubber mat beneath it. While Cubii sells a small rubber mat for $40 specifically to solve this problem, other companies, such as Rubber-Cal, offer rubber mats for much less while still getting the job done. The Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical is not the ideal product for everyone. But, for those who are on a tight budget or prioritize compactness, the Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical is the way to go.
2. $200-$400: The Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Exercise Machine Trainer
For a little under $400, you can start looking into larger ellipticals that will deliver the full-bodied workout you’ve been craving. This product, the Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical, is virtually an all-around upgrade from the products in the under-$200 category. This elliptical is made of steel, and it comes pre-set with 24 different workout modes, which is good if you have specific workout goals in mind. Furthermore, it comes with a performance monitor, giving you all the workout data you need to track your gains. This trainer also comes with a built-in media holder. This may seem insignificant, but it shows a level of care and of attention to detail that is reflective of the entire product. When it comes to the quality of a company’s products, lack of attention to detail is a huge red flag. Nonetheless, this product does have its drawback. According to Amazon elliptical reviews, the main issue with this elliptical is that it’s very noisy. In the pictures that these customers posted though, no one had installed a rubber mat beneath the machine. Elliptical vibration is a problem common to all ellipticals, not just the Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical. We at Rubber-Cal offer many rubber exercise mats that are sure to dampen any elliptical noise.
3. $400-$600: The Niceday Elliptical Machine
At this price range, you have a couple options for upgrading your workout experience. We think the best product you can get for $400-$600 is the Niceday Elliptical. Admittedly, it functions the same as many of its more inexpensive counterparts. However, the main selling points that make this product worth the money is that it’s much more aesthetically pleasing and that it has a lifetime warranty. Thus, in the short term, this product might be more costly. In the long term though, the extra $200 can save you the multiple replacement costs you might accumulate from having to replace cheaper ellipticals. A final point we’d like to make about this trainer is that it has a hyper-quiet magnetic drive system, making it quieter than other, less expensive ellipticals. Amazon elliptical reviews for this product are in general agreement: The Niceday Elliptical is very quiet. However, as dampened as the elliptical vibration may be, elliptical noise is ineliminable. Thus, a rubber exercise mat to further silence the machine is a necessity.
4. $600-$1000: The Bowflex Max Trainer Series
At this price range, your options are significantly expanded. While there are many on the market, the one we think is best is the Bowflex Max Trainer Series. Depending on the model of Bowflex Max Trainer you choose, the product features up to 20 resistance levels. Of course, cheaper ellipticals often offer the same feature, so the different programs, resistance levels, and forms of data tracking alone don’t justify the price leap. What makes the Bowflex Max Trainer outstanding is its compact design. What you’re really paying for here is interior space: In some cases, other full-body workout ellipticals take up double the space that the Bowflex Max Trainer does. Thus, the main consideration when it comes to this trainer is how valuable your home’s interior space is to you. If you live in a small apartment, the Bowflex Max Trainer suddenly gains a lot of value—but, if you live in a spacious house, then this trainer’s compactness might not be as important. As Amazon elliptical reviews suggest, this product tends to become noisier as you continue to use it. However, as we’ve mentioned, elliptical noise is ubiquitous across all trainers—a rubber exercise mat will make a world of difference when it comes to dampening this noise.
5. Over $1000: The Nautilus E618 Elliptical
Above $1000 is where your options for elliptical machines exponentially increase. You’re now considering ellipticals like the NordicTrack FS14i which, at $2500, is an enormous splurge. In our estimation though, the best value for your money in this price range is the Nautilus E618 Elliptical. This trainer is one of the best ellipticals for a few reasons. Firstly, it offers instantaneous inclination adjustment. You can alter the incline at which you exercise with a singular button. The range of degrees this product offers is zero to ten, which will suffice for most avid exercisers. Second, this trainer synchronizes incredibly well with multiple phone applications. With the Nautilus Trainer 2 and RunSocial applications, you can virtually exercise with other people in real-time. Using the trainer’s large screen, the applications project videos of up to 27 real-world running routes across 19 different countries. Finally, a special feature of this product is that you can adjust the level of resistance of the handlebars—this is highly valuable because you can now alter the level of upper-body exercise you get when you work out. While the Nautilus E618 Elliptical offers its user many advantages and luxuries that other trainers do not, the Nautilus E618 Elliptical shares the same problem that other ellipticals face: elliptical vibration and the consequent elliptical noise.
Summary: What is the Best Elliptical Trainer for Home Use?
All five of the elliptical trainers above are worthy purchases at their respective price points. With an elliptical trainer, you can enjoy the benefits of exercise in the comfort of your home. Again, this list was compiled using the most updated customer elliptical reviews from Amazon, as well as using data from brand websites. Referencing only a few elliptical machine reviews wouldn’t do our readers justice, so we have scoured Amazon review pages for the most up-to-date information on the performance levels at which each machine operates. Of course, an elliptical machines reviews do not tell the whole story. Using brand websites, we also used the technical specifications of each trainer to inform our choices. Above, we have listed the best home elliptical at varying price points. The best elliptical machine for you depends on your budget. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: The benefits of elliptical exercise are countless. You have options—no matter your budget.