best elliptical machine

Top 6 Best Elliptical Machines for 2021

Your choice of gym equipment reflects your priorities. 

Strength training, for example, uses different equipment than cardio training.  You might pick pull up bars for the former, a treadmill for the latter. 

But if you really want to go to the next level an elliptical trainer beats a treadmill, hands down.

Our picks for the best elliptical machines are all designed to get your blood flowing, heart pumping and without any damaging impact on your joints. 

And no matter what you think, there’s always a potential challenge on an elliptical machine – you just have to turn it up high enough. 

So, grab your favorite earbuds and let’s get started!

GOTHIC

Smart Pro 12.9

Nearly silent thanks to the magnetic resistance wizardry and attractively priced. 

CLASSICAL

Bowflex Max Trainer M6

One of the most versatile home gym choices and it’s super compact too to fit in any home. 

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Club Series + Elliptical Cross-Trainer

The absolute king of elliptical cross-trainers but comes at a king’s ransom, sadly. 


Bowflex Max Trainer M6

The Bowflex Max Trainer is simply one of the most versatile home gym machines that we’ve ever seen and the M6 is where value and performance meet.

It has over 5,000 5-star reviews which means it must be doing something right.

We love the fact that it’s compact and fits nearly anywhere but still gives us a very tough elliptical workout. 

bow flex max trainer m6 elliptical

QUICK FACT

If you want to get the most out of Bowflex products you should use the Bowflex JRNY app, which requires a subscription. 

PROS

1. The compact design is so space saving that it’s perfect in any home

2. You can set a BURN RATE and then work towards losing a certain number of calories each workout

3. It’s compatible with the Bowflex JRNY app if you want data on your workout

CONS

1.You have to pay a subscription fee for the app

2.Some users may not like the non-standard elliptical layout

3.It is quite an expensive piece of equipment


Smart Pro 12.9

As you might expect from the name, the Smart Pro 12.9 ships ready to use with your Wi-Fi connection and its own iFIT Family app.

While this is a subscription product, like the Bowflex app, they do, at least, give you a year’s free membership so that you can see whether you think it’s worth it or not.

They also provide a 30-day no quibble money back guarantee.

smart pro elliptical

QUICK FACT

This workout machine uses SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance) to keep the sounds of use to a minimum and it’s super quiet. 

PROS

1. Nice price point for an elliptical machine
 
2. It’s a very quiet model and that’s a real positive in home environments

3. You get a free year of app use before you have to pay for it

CONS

1. You still have to pay to use the app eventually

2. Bigger footprint than the Bowflex model as it’s more traditionally styled

3. Not as flexible as some of other trainers in our round up


Club Series + Elliptical Cross-Trainer

This Club Series + Elliptical Cross-Trainer is as near as you get to professional gym equipment at home and it is, without a doubt, the best elliptical trainer in our round up.

But the price tag is so large that it’s not our top pick, though it does provide solid value for money.

We like the fact that you can choose from up to 25 resistance levels and really tailor your training to your needs.

life fitness club series elliptical

QUICK FACT

The SE3 HD Console setup on this elliptical trainer allows you to follow instructor-led classes as you work out from Life Fitness on Demand.

PROS

1. There is no experience as close to owning your own gym machine as this

2. Supreme design quality with a lot of control over your experience

3. A great live app experience that provides instructor-led workouts

CONS

1. It’s very expensive, not bad value, but expensive

2. Takes up more space than the Bowflex machine

3. Some users say that customer service isn’t great from this company


Precor EFX 700 Line

Another top quality elliptical model experience is the Precor EFX 700 Line which isn’t quite as fully featured as the Club Series + model but is nearly $2,000 less expensive which may make it more affordable to some.

It has a variable stride length that the Club Series + does not but only 20 different resistance levels and a fixed ramp of 20 degree incline.

precor efx 700 line elliptical

QUICK FACT

The Precor EFX 700 line is installed in fitness centers all over the world. That should give you confidence that this is a heavy duty, built-to-last elliptical trainer.

PROS

1. A genuine gym experience at home

2. 22 pre-programmed workouts on the machine

3. You can adjust the stride length

CONS

1. Still out of budget reach for many looking to train at home

2. Fewer resistance levels than the Club Series + model

3. LED Display isn’t as sharp as it could be


Nautilus Elliptical

A more budget friendly, though not cheap, there’s no such thing when it comes to elliptical training, option is the Nautilus Elliptical.

It’s quite a bit bigger than the Bowflex machine but it works very well and you can sync it with the Explore the World App which allows you to take your workouts on a virtual tour of the globe and that’s a heap of fun.

nautilus e616 elliptical

QUICK FACT

The Nautilus Elliptical comes with 29 pre-loaded workout routines and 25 customizable resistance levels and Explore the World offers another 27 routines!

PROS

1. Very well priced elliptical trainer

2. Explore the World app is different and fun

3. Plenty of pre-loaded workout routines

CONS

1. If you want them to assemble it in your home, it’s expensive

2. Build quality isn’t the greatest though it should last a good while

3. Takes up quite a bit of space


Sole E25 Elliptical

This is, perhaps, the most comfortable elliptical trainer that we tried out for our round up. 

That should come as no surprise, mind you, the Sole E25 was designed by physical therapists who wanted to focus on eliminating any joint strain from a workout and they succeeded admirably. 

sole e25 elliptical

QUICK FACT

We really appreciated the built in cooling fan on this elliptical trainer and would like to see more manufacturers include them. 

PROS

1. You get 20 levels of incline which you can adjust easily for a real challenge

2. Rate for use for people weighing up to 350 lbs.

3. Very competitively priced 

CONS

1. It may be too comfortable and lead you to dial down the challenge

2. It’s not the best constructed machine in this roundup

3. No dedicated app, though it is compatible with more generic fitness apps


Last Word on Elliptical Machines

We think that an elliptical machine is an essential piece of equipment if you want a low-risk high-intensity cardio workout.

So, we hope that you found one you like in our top best elliptical machines list. 

Yes, it’s a big investment but one that we believe will pay off as long as you keep on using it. 

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