Best Elliptical Trainers 2018

You might think that you need a lot of space at home if you want to own one of the best elliptical trainers 2018. For some, yes but there are plenty that don’t take up too much space and are worthy of further investigation.

Knowing which one to go for might be a daunting task, which is why we’re looking at the best elliptical trainers 2018. We’ve picked nine of them, which are popular according to their sales and customer feedback and we’ve done a comparison to give a better insight.

Why an Elliptical Trainer?

The best at home elliptical trainers probably those in the mid-price range because at this level, they’re normally almost up to a professional standard. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with entry level models as both types can give good elliptical workouts.

Sometimes known as a cross trainer or X trainer, an elliptical trainer is usually seen as an alternative to the treadmill as the type of workouts are similar. They’re good for upper and lower body exercise and can be used to simulate running, walking and even climbing.

They’re a fairly new type of exercise machine with the first being introduced in the mid 1990’s, although research into “elliptical path generation” goes back to 1988. You can read more about it at Wikipedia.

Benefits of Using an Elliptical Trainer

As already mentioned, most are good for working the upper and lower body, plus it’s low impact exercising. You might be surprised at how versatile they are and the variety of exercise they can give you.

Make no mistake, this is good aerobic exercise, by gradually building up you’ll see an increase in your capacity. You’ll also be able to lose a few pounds if you want to as it’s good for calorie burning. If you check the calories burned in 30 minutes chart from Harvard Health Publications, you’ll see that an elliptical trainer does better than a rower.

Have a look at our list of the nine best elliptical trainers 2018 to see if one of them is right for you.

NameResistanceStride LengthMax LoadPrice
Stamina InMotion E1000FrictionN/A250 lbs See Amazon
Schwinn 430Magnetic20"300 lbs See Amazon
Gazelle EdgeNoneVariable250 lbs See Amazon
ProGear 360None36"225 lbs See Amazon
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905Magnetic13"220 lbs See Amazon
Stamina InMotion Compact StriderFrictionN/A250 lbs See Amazon
Schwinn 470Magnetic20"300 lbs See Amazon
Nautilus E614Magnetic20"300 lbs See Amazon
Nautilus E616Magnetic20"300 lbs See Amazon

 

Stamina InMotion E1000

If you’re looking for an elliptical trainer that’s not at the high end but delivers a good performance, then the Stamina InMotion E1000 could fit the bill. It’s certainly not one of the most expensive there is, so it isn’t top of the range, but it’s really popular, gives good value for money and is our first choice as best elliptical trainer 2018.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 1

The design is such that it can be used at home or in the office, it’s lightweight and compact but it doesn’t have any arms. This means it will conveniently fit under a desk so you can do a workout while working or easily store it away in a cupboard. It doesn’t take up much space being 20” x 12” and only weighs 24 pounds.

You should be aware that the E1000 wouldn’t stand up to the more expensive elliptical trainers that are available, but then you probably wouldn’t expect it to given the way it’s designed. If you’re just looking to do some low impact exercise and perhaps burn off some calories in the way you would by jogging, then this one is worth considering.

The construction is solid with a good quality steel frame, the pedals are textured so they are non-slip, as you would expect and they can be pedalled either forwards or backwards. This is good because it means you’re able to add variety to how you work your muscle groups. It’ll also helps to increase your heart rate level and perhaps, even burn off some calories.

Something to note, is that because it pedals forwards and backwards, there is no freewheeling. Generally, that shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s worth remembering, particularly if you’re using it standing up, because if you stop pedalling, the pedals won’t!

Having a good strong frame and stability is really important as this trainer is for using either sitting down or standing. You may wonder about balancing as there are no arms to hold on to, but the front plate together with the rear stabilizer, which has non-slip end caps, together with the pedal design, will help to take care of this. It might take some getting used to, but balancing shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Resistance levels can be adjusted via the tension control knob on the front, so you can make your workout harder or easier. The flywheel system that it controls, runs smoothly and quietly. It’s well constructed, should last a few years.

Once you’re into your training you can keep track of how you’re progressing with the electronic display monitor. It shows strides per minute, total strides, exercise time and calories burned. The stats can be displayed either individually or you can set to auto scan through them.

The maximum user load is 250 pounds but that is for those who intend to use the trainer to exercise standing up. It obviously doesn’t matter if you’re intending to do it from a sitting position.

There is some assembly required but it isn’t difficult at all. The instruction manual gives easy to follow instructions so you should be able to do it fairly quickly and the tools needed are provided. The Stamina InMotion E1000 is a good solution for elliptical training at an affordable price.

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight and affordable
  • Solid construction
  • Use standing or sitting
  • Low impact on joints
  • Forward and backward pedalling
  • Good non-slip pedals
  • Home or office use
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Balancing might be an issue
  • Fairly short stride length
  • Only lower body workouts

 

Schwinn 430

If the Schwinn 430 is an entry level elliptical trainer, it’s certainly a very good one. It’s a great option no matter what level you’re at and perfect for a home gym. You know you’ll get quality from Schwinn, a company that’s been around since 1895 renowned in the fitness industry.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 2

It has a strong, solid and durable construction but it isn’t heavy duty at 168.7 pounds. There’s oversized crossbar tubing, center frame support, which makes it more stable and two integrated levellers add to this as well. In many ways it’s probably better for those who are serious about exercise but aren’t too fanatical about it.

The footplates are quite large and are designed to move with cushioning so it lessens the amount of strain put on to the knees and ankles. There will be some stress but it’s fairly low impact which is good if you have any injuries or have problems with your joints.

It has a high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel which is 14 pounds, but more expensive models would normally have heavier than that. The heavier the flywheel, the smoother the performance.

There are 20 levels of resistance to give variety to your workout, which should be enough for most people. It has an eddy current resistance, therefore magnetic so it operates smoothly. This also means that there’s very little maintenance required.

There’s a ten-degree manual ramp with six positions you can choose from. This is also good for working out but some other models offer twenty degrees of incline. One thing to be aware of, is that the adjustment for the incline is manual.

While this shouldn’t be a problem, it does mean that if you want to target different muscle groups during your workout, you’ll have to stop and then adjust the settings. Other machines, which aren’t manual like the Schwinn 430, allow you to continue while the settings change.

It includes static and moving handlebars so you have the flexibility to position them in the way that’s best for you. They’re covered with crossbar tubing to ensure you’re able to get a good grip.

There’s also a heart rate monitor built into the handles in the form of a pulse grip counter, which senses the pulse as you grip the handlebars.  Although not as good as a traditional heart rate monitor, it does give you an idea of your current rate so you can adjust the program accordingly.

To monitor and track progress the display console has the SchwinnDualTrack LCD panel with two windows. You can see all thirteen workout display readouts. You’re able to set up two user profiles and there are 22 pre-set programs which includes nine workout programs and eight heart rate controls. You can also adjust the levels of resistance from the console.

A handy USB connection allows you to download your data, then upload it to the SchwinnConnect website so you’re able to store and track your progress. It’s also compatible with MyFitnessPal.

Other useful but perhaps not necessary features include a sound system with acoustic chamber speakers, there’s a three speed fan to keep you cool and even a dock for multimedia devices. The maximum user load is 300 pounds and there’s a generous ten year warranty on the frame, two years on the mechanics, a year on the electronics and ninety days on the labor.

Yes, this is an entry level elliptical trainer, but it probably falls into the mid-range. It’s from a well-established, highly respected company and certainly built to do a good job and last a long time. There is some assembly required and it can be a bit confusing.

The bottom line is that the Schwinn 430 is a quality trainer which incorporates technology brilliantly and will be a great addition to your training.

Pros
  • Solid and durable construction
  • Friction free, smooth and quiet running
  • Comfortable to use
  • 20 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Good 2 window LCD panel
  • 22 preset programs
  • Pulse rate monitor on the fixed handlebars
  • USB port to download data and connect to SchwinnConnect website
Cons
  • Assembly not the easiest
  • Cooling fan could be stronger

 

Gazelle Edge

If you’re into fitness you’ve probably heard of Tony Little. His story is a fascinating one which you can read about at Wikipedia. He developed the Gazelle Edge as an elliptical trainer at a price lower than you’d normally have to pay. The function is to be able to target any muscle group in the upper and lower body to tone and strengthen.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 3

The way it works is fairly simple, with the gliding motion helping to burn calories and giving a good cardiovascular workout. Although the Edge is effectively a glider, it does qualify as an elliptical trainer, giving a low impact aerobic workout.

There are three types in the range, with the Edge being the starter model, but if you’re at entry level, it could be right for you. Although it’s good for beginners, it’s also great for all levels of fitness. The great thing about it is that you can use it to glide for a slow walk up to a full run.

Admittedly, Gazelle Edge does look a little odd, but is it one of the best elliptical trainers 2018? It’s certainly a big seller which can do a great job. The A-frame body has two foot platforms attached to it. They pivot near to the center of the frame as you move your legs backwards and forwards. You have control over how fast you move and the rate at which you’re exercising.

A set of handlebars are connected to the front of the pedals so you’re able to do an arm workout at the same time. Movement of the pedals and handlebars is very smooth because of the patented dual-action split suspension. Thai adds to the range of motion and enhances the freedom of movement.

Because the main propelling of the motion is done by moving your legs, it’s important that your feet are firmly on the pedals and won’t slip. The platforms are extra-wide and non-slip to make sure you are stable. The handlebars are covered with a high density foam to help the grip and to give extra comfort.

It looks like it might not be very stable, but don’t let it fool you. The frame is built from 1 ½” diameter rolled steel so it’s very solid and durable. It can carry a maximum load of 250 pounds.

When you assemble it, be sure to stand it on a flat surface to make sure it goes together correctly. It runs very quietly but after quite a lot of use it can develop some noise so you may find you have to oil it in places.

There’s a display readout which comes with batteries supplied. It’s a five-function workout computer which tracks your speed distance, time and an estimate of the calories you’ve burned.

The Gazelle Edge isn’t large, it’s dimensions are 43”L x 28”W x 53.8”H, but you’ll need a bigger space to use it in. When not in use, it does fold up so it can be stored away.

Using it does take a bit of getting used to as the motion movements aren’t exactly the same as you get from walking or running. It’s best to start off with the basic glide first. This is where you have each foot on the pedals/platform and move them backwards and forwards while holding on to the handlebars.

Once the basics are overcome, you can move onto the more intense wide glide and high glide. This is where you take longer strides, extend your arms and legs as far as possible. It will work your muscles better, but takes time to get used to.

There’s no doubt that you’ll benefit by using this trainer, as you firm your muscles and improve your cardiovascular performance. If you have joint problems or a medical condition, be sure to consult your doctor first, but if you’re looking for upper and lower body exercise that isn’t too difficult, check out the Gazelle Edge.

Pros
  • Good for upper and lower body exercise
  • Low impact
  • Smooth motion
  • Firm and stable
  • Comfortable and secure
  • Large non-slip foot platforms
  • Quiet
  • Easy to assemble
  • Folds away
Cons
  • No resistance
  • 250 lbs maximum load
  • Very basic readout

 

ProGear 360

The ProGear 360 Dual Action Stride Air Walker is another glider like the Gazelle Edge, but it can qualify as an elliptical trainer, although strictly speaking, it isn’t one. The difference with the ProGear is that it lets you do side-to-side stretches as well as backwards and forwards.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 4

The good thing about this type of trainer is that it gives low impact body toning and helps you to lose weight. It’s suitable for just about anyone, no matter what stage you’re at with your fitness or how tall you are. It is, however, only suitable for those up to 225 pounds.

Having a 180 degree range of motion gives it an edge as it can target more muscles so you get a better workout. The 36” stride length is very good and together with the 180 degree motion range, you’ll be able to do lots of different workouts. The wide stride is good for taller people as well.

One thing to bear in mind is although it doesn’t take up too much floor space, you will need extra room to accommodate the 36” stride. It’s best to allow at least 2 feet clearance at the front and back, and about 1 foot on either side.

The ProGear is well built with most of the from being made from 2 ¾” durable powder coated tubular steel. You need something sturdy when exercising in this way. As we mentioned, the maximum load is 225 pounds, but there are reports of people up to 20 pounds heavier than that having no problem. It is more than the manufacturer recommends though.

With anti-corrosive enamel on the steel, it’s not only more durable but it looks good too. The base and front posts are black, while the legs are silver. This is a nice combination – practical and attractive!

At the back of the ProGear 360 there’s an adjustable floor stabilizer. This obviously helps with the overall stability of the whole unit as you do your workout. Because it’s adjustable, you’re able to level it out if the floor is uneven.

The foot pedals are good because they are oversized at 15” long and have ribbed pads to make sure you’re stable and won’t slip. This is important as it’s your legs working hard that could otherwise cause you to slip.

There are multi-grip handlebars fitted, both mobile and fixed. This gives you more options on how you work out. They’re covered in a rubber foam material to provide comfort and a good grip.

The handlebars also have stainless steel pulse sensors built into them. Having an idea of your heart rate when doing cardiovascular exercises is useful, so this is a good feature.

You can see your heart rate displayed on the LCD display which is situated between the handlebars. It also shows distance, calories burned, time and step count. It shows large numbers so they’re easy to see and you can set them to scroll on the screen or all show at the same time.

There’s only one mode for the display console so it’s very easy to use. It has an on/off button, but it’s built to detect movement and will automatically switch on when you begin to workout.

Putting the unit together is very easy as it comes part assembled. Because the frame folds, that’s how it’s shipped, rather than in pieces. There are full instructions in the manual and it should take around 15 minutes. There isn’t very much maintenance required other than keeping it clean and perhaps a little lubrication every now and again.

If you’re looking for a good cardiovascular workout without having to go to too much effort, the ProGear 360 Dual Action Stride Air Walker might fit the bill.

Pros
  • Very sturdy and stable
  • Wide Stride
  • Diverse workouts with side to side and back and forth strides
  • Adjustable to suit variable heights
  • Oversize footrests for extra safety
  • Dual action handlebars
  • Pulse monitor built-in to handlebars
  • On-board computer to track progress
  • Very quiet operation
  • Low impact
  • Floor stabilizer
  • Folds away
  • Wheels to move around
  • Easy assembly
Cons
  • No resistance adjustment
  • Oiling or greasing joints needed from time to time

 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 is a good entry level elliptical trainer. Although not expensive, you know it’s a quality machine because of the name of the company that makes it. They are highly respected for their quality and affordability.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 5

As with any elliptical trainer, the SF-E905 is designed to give a smooth workout without damaging any of your joints. It isn’t too big so if you’re limited on space it will be ideal.

For a low impact cardio workout at home, it’s great. It isn’t up to the standard of the much more expensive models you find in the gym, but if you want a good workout without spending too much, this could be for you.

The frame is in one piece and made from steel coated with anti-corrosive paint. The drive system cover is made from plastic. It’s a sturdy piece of equipment but because it isn’t that big, measuring 26.6”W x 37.8”L x 60”H, it’s not recommended for heavy or tall people.

It is stable but it doesn’t have stabilizers, instead there are levelling caps. These are ok but not as good as a levelling stabilizer. The maximum user load is 220 pounds and because it has a fairly small stride reach, anyone who is taller may not get the full benefit of high intensity workouts. The ideal heights recommended are between 4’5” and 5’8”.

The pedals or platforms on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 are large and have an anti-slip material on them with a ribbed design. They don’t pivot in any way but this doesn’t hamper the smooth operation. The drawback, as already mentioned, is the small stride it provides.

Both the handlebars and arms are multi-grip in design and are covered in a rubber foam padding. This is good for a firm grip and comfort. The stationary handlebars have pulse sensors fitted so you can keep a rough track of your heart rate.

You can track your progress with the on-board computer but it’s a fairly basic one. It will show time, speed, distance, calories burned and there’s an odometer function too. The pulse sensor data is also displayed here.

As with other similar readouts, you can set it to show a specific piece of data or you can set it to scroll through all of them, showing each for 6 seconds at a time. You’re also able to set basic goals and it has an alarm to alert you when they are reached. Please note the alarm isn’t available on computers that only have the “mode” button.

The resistance is magnetic which helps the SF-E905 to run smoothly and quietly. A steel pulley connects to the flywheel with a solid belt. To adjust the resistance, there’s a control knob just below the console.

As you turn the knob, which is connected to the magnetic pad by a wire, the pad moves closer or further away from the flywheel to create less or more resistance. There are 8 levels of resistance you can choose from.

Putting the whole thing together isn’t difficult, the instruction manual gives full details, but there aren’t that many parts to assemble. The resistance unit is already assembled inside its housing, so it’s just the handlebars, leg bars, pedals and console wire that need fitting.

Any maintenance should be minimal, with an occasional oiling or greasing of the joints and flywheel. The resistance mechanism is maintenance free as there are no parts that come into contact.

Pros
  • Well-built and compact
  • Magnetic resistance
  • Quiet operation
  • Large anti-slip pedals
  • Pulse sensor
  • Computer tracking
  • Easy assembly
Cons
  • Short strides
  • No workout programs
  • Small footprint can make it unstable for taller people

 

Stamina InMotion Compact Strider

Elliptical, mini elliptical or compact strider. If you’re looking for something small to use at home or in the office, it doesn’t matter what it’s called, as long as it does a good job. The Stamina InMotion is really a compact elliptical, although it’s called a compact strider.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 6

Obviously if you’re limited for space this type of machine is perfect and they can be used either standing up or sitting down. You can use it for toning both your upper and lower body. This is why these types of compact trainers are so popular.

Because of the way it works, you’ll get a low impact workout standing or sitting. If you are standing you’re best to begin with the tension set low so you can get used to it and then increase it as you become more comfortable.

The Stamina InMotion is well-built with the frame made from steel. Both the rear bar and the plate at the front are also made from steel. Although this helps to make it stable, at 24 pounds it might be a little heavy for something this size. Because it’s sturdy, the maximum user load is 250 pounds for standing.

The bar at the back has rubber feet and the front plate has a foam padding underneath. Anything that adds to the overall stability can only be a good thing because, as already mentioned, it takes a little getting used to when you first stand on it.

Resistance is the friction type, where a felt resistance pad moves closer to and further away from the flywheel to increase or lessen the tension. It’s connected to a control knob for the intensity, but there aren’t any levels, you just adjust until you get the resistance you want.

The flywheel gives a smooth and consistent momentum because it’s balanced and to drive it, uses a heavy duty belt which is stretch proof. It’s housed in a durable plastic cover and runs very quietly.

The axle and cranks are made from steel and the footplates/pedal are a tough plastic, they’re large and have a ribbed design to make them non-slip. You’re able to pedal forwards and backwards to vary the kind of workouts you do.

With the InMotion you’re also able to work your upper body as well with the resistance tubes which give a medium resistance and have adjustable handles for extra comfort. The arms can be used on the upper body even if you’re sitting down. They attach to the rear stabilizer bar and are made from a natural rubber latex.

You’ll probably want to keep a track on how you’re progressing and this can be done with the multi-function monitor which fitted on top of the flywheel casing. It’s very basic, but will show distance, strides, calories burned and time. Each measurement can be viewed manually or be set to scroll.

It comes part assembled, so there isn’t much for you to do for the set up. It won’t take long with full instructions and the tools needed supplied. There shouldn’t be any maintenance necessary but sometimes a squeak can develop, so some lubrication might be needed. The bottom line is that the Stamina InMotion is one of the better compact elliptical machines for home.

Pros
  • Sturdy design
  • Compact
  • Can be used standing or sitting
  • Good to use in the office under a desk
  • Is able to work upper and lower body
  • Adjustable resistance
  • Basic monitor to show progress
  • Runs quietly
  • Easy assembly
Cons
  • Short stride for some people
  • Can develop squeaks
  • Standing on it takes getting used to

 

Schwinn 470

The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine has to be on the best elliptical trainers 2018 list because of its quality and flexibility to customise your workouts. It’s similar to the Schwinn 430, but with more features and better technology. This makes it a little bit more expensive.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 7

It’s a very well-built machine and stable, as you’d expect. The ergonomically designed frame is like the 430 except the 10 degree ramp is motorized as opposed to manual on the 430. It can be adjusted using five keys which makes the transition smooth. Because the incline is motorized it means it has to be connected to a power supply.

This is a very stable machine with the two levellers and center frame support adding to it. Stability is obviously important, especially for intense workouts on such a big machine. The oversized crossbar tubing adds to the stability too. There are wheels fitted to make it easier to move around.

Still with stability, the handlebars help it and the balance. It has both moving and fixed handlebars. The ones that move are angled and designed to help you find a comfortable position. There’s a grip heart rate monitor incorporated into the static handlebars.

It has a 20” Precision Path stride length which is better than many other elliptical training machines. This means you’re able to get a better workout and it’s also good for taller people.

The stride length isn’t adjustable, but adjusting the incline, you’re able to get a little bit more. It’s also possible to pedal backwards if you wish without affecting tracking your progress.

The footplates/pedals are large and made from a tough ribbed plastic with cushioning for extra comfort. The pedals have rollers with sealed bearings that ride on the rails of the machine.

In some ways the flywheel on the 470 is on the heavy side at 20 pounds, but this is in keeping with the fact that it’s a big elliptical. Its perimeter weighted so it operates very smoothly. The belt will last a long time as it’s very heavy duty and even industrially tested.

The resistance is magnetic and uses an eddy current brake system. It’s controlled from the console and has an incredible 25 levels. You’re able to either increase it gradually or use the on board quick keys.

There’s a dual LCD display on the comprehensive console. It can show 13 different metrics, time, distance, speed, calories burned, resistance level, RPM, profile, pulse, heart rate zone, completion percentage, intensity, goal achievement and user. It can show all of them at the same time without affecting the size of the display.

Another good feature is that there are 29 built-in workout programs, including 12 profile programs, 9 heart rate programs, 2 fitness tests, 1 recovery test and 4 custom programs to choose from. If you decide on a custom program, you have to input some data such as age, weight, height etc.

Setting up goals is also featured in the console SchwinnConnect is part of it. It’s also compatible with MyFitnessPal and data can be transferred to it. A heart rate chest strap can also be attached to the console, although it isn’t included, but is compatible with quite a few different ones.

Perhaps a bit of a luxury, but there’s also a sound system, three speed fan and a tablet tray built into the 470 console.

The Schwinn 470 is a bit of a beast, it’s a heavy elliptical machine, weighing 164 pounds, but it does have a maximum user load of 300 pounds. Putting it together isn’t difficult but it might take some time and is better if two people do it.

It does come part assembled but be prepared to spend an hour or so assembling it. Once done there shouldn’t be any maintenance required and because it’s a mid-tier elliptical trainer, almost at a professional level, you know the Schwinn 470 is built to last.

Pros
  • Strong, durable and solid
  • Very smooth and quiet running
  • 20” stride length
  • Auto incline to 10 degrees
  • 25 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Excellent console features
  • 29 workout programs
  • 4 custom programs
  • Pulse sensor
  • Goal tracking
  • SchwinnConnect built-in
  • Compatible with MyFitnessPal
  • Good warranty
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Fixed stride
  • Takes time to assemble
  • Heart rate monitor not completely accurate

 

Nautilus E614

The Nautilus E614 is an entry level elliptical trainer, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was at a higher level. It’s in the mid-price range, so is affordable and can be found in many home gyms. The way it’s designed is to give a comfortable workout with great results.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 8

This is a solid machine that can give a full body workout for stamina training as well as a good cardio exercise and Helping you to lose some weight. Although described as an entry level machine, it’s good for whichever level of training you’re at.

The frame is in two parts, with the front which holds the flywheel is connected to the rear part and the rails on it. Steel tubing makes up the frame, making it a very stable machine.

There are three stabilizer bars with plastic caps and leveller adjustments so it can sit on an eleven floor without a problem. It has small wheels at the front and a handle at the back so it isn’t difficult to move around. This is good when you consider it’s 70” x 28” and 167 pounds. The maximum user weight is 300 pounds.

Two sets of handlebars on the Nautilus E614 are in keeping with other similar models. One set moves and is angled for comfort. The static ones include a heart rate or pulse monitor. Both sets are covered in rubber foam for a better grip and comfort.

The footplates/pedals are big enough for virtually any foot size and they’re cushioned to help reduce any impact to the joints. As with many other elliptical trainers at this level and quality, the E614 has a 20” stride. It’s not the longest you can get, but should be ample for most people. Taller people, perhaps over 6 feet, may find it’s not quite enough.

Having a perimeter weighted flywheel makes the operation very smooth with a heavy duty, non-stretch belt connecting it to a large pulley wheel. The resistance is magnetic, using an eddy current brake. There are 20 levels of resistance, but if you only want to use the lowest one, it doesn’t need to be plugged into the power supply, but for all twenty, it does.

You’re able to get a wide range of workout routines because there are six levels of incline. Adjustment is manual and can be altered by moving the lever that’s fixed to the back of the flywheel casing.

The console is very good, it has a dual LCD display so you can see a lot of data at a glance. It can show speed, time, distance, pulse, RPM and it also shows the resistance setting.

22 workout programs are included: a quick start, 9 profile, 8 heart rate, 2 fitness tests and 2 custom. With the custom programs, you can tailor to your own goals and set up a personal workout routine.

The E614 console has a USB port so you can transfer your data to Nautilus Connect or MyFitnessPal. It’s a great motivational feature as you can share your data or even compete with others. It also has a three-speed fan, a good sound system and a place to rest a tablet computer.

You shouldn’t find the assembly too difficult as full instructions are included and most people find them easy to follow. Maintenance is minimal with just a bit of cleaning and greasing required from time to time. For an entry-level elliptical trainer, the Nautilus E614 is at a very high standard.

Pros
  • Well-built, stable and quiet
  • Moving and fixed handlebars
  • Heart rate sensor in fixed handlebars
  • Perimeter weighted flywheel
  • Magnetic resistance – 20 levels
  • Resistance uses an eddy current brake
  • Large cushioned footplates/pedals
  • Dual LCD display
  • 22 workout programs
  • Compatible with Nautilus Connect and MyFitnessPal
  • Easy assembly and maintenance
Cons
  • Stride length is fixed
  • Incline levels manually operated

 

Nautilus E616

For a mid-priced elliptical trainer, the Nautilus E616 comes fairly close to a professional grade elliptical machine. It’s the next step up from the E614, being a little bigger and having a few more features. This does make it cost a bit more, as you might expect.Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 9

Most of it is made from steel tubing, including the frame, legs arms and cranks. The three steel stabilizer bars help to give good stability with the middle and back ones having adjustable feet for uneven floors. The front stabilizer bar doesn’t have adjustments, but instead, rubber pads to sit on the floor.

The notable differences between the E616 and E614 are that the E616 is bigger, heavier, has more resistance levels, more workout programs and a motorized incline. It also has Bluetooth connectivity so you can sync your data online.

Although not the largest you can get at this level, it is 71.5” L x 26.7” W. It isn’t huge but you should also bear in mind that you’ll need extra room either side and at the front and rear, so it can be used comfortably. It weighs just over 173 pounds, so is quite heavy and this is also something you might want to consider. The maximum user load is 300 pounds.

One welcome feature on the Nautilus E616 is the motorized incline. You can operate it either automatically or from the console via the quick keys. The incline goes from 0 to 11 percent and not having to manually adjust it makes a difference.

The stride length is 20” which is enough for most people and tends to be the norm for this level of elliptical trainer. There are some people who would prefer it to be a bit longer.

The resistance is magnetic, using the eddy current system which is probably the best you can get. There are 25 levels of resistance, so it’s very flexible for your workout.

Because the magnetic resistance pad doesn’t come into contact with anything directly, it runs very quietly, smoothly and needs virtually no maintenance. You can change the resistance level manually or if you’re running one of the built-in programs, it does it automatically.

Having a flywheel that’s perimeter weighted and balanced, also adds to the smooth running. It’s driven by a pulley that’s connected to the flywheel by a heavy-duty belt. The pulley wheel is larger than the flywheel.

Comfort, safety and stability are for the E616 and that’s true for the footplates/pedals. They are large, ribbed and cushioned, making them both comfortable and safe.

The handlebars on the E616 are similar to those on the E614 with moving and static ones. A grip heart rate for use with heart rate programs is fitted to the static handlebars.

There are two blue backlit displays on the console. The larger one at the top shows your program data, resistance level, heart rate zone, and workout intensity. It also displays your profile and tracks goals. The smaller display shows RPM, Calories burned, speed, time and distance.

Between both displays you have access to a lot of data at a glance. There are 29 built-in programs you can choose from. These include four custom programs so you’re able to create your own workouts.

In addition to the USB port, the console also has Bluetooth connectivity so you have options how to transfer your data. Your data can be stored at NautilusConnect or MyFitnessPal. The console also has a three-speed fan, a sound system and a tray to rest your tablet on.

Although part assembled and a clear instruction manual, putting the Nautilus E616 together might take a bit of time because it’s large and quite heavy. It can be done by one person, but it’s better if two do it.

Pros
  • Well-built and very stable
  • Smooth running and quiet
  • 20” Precision Path stride length
  • Large ribbed, cushioned footplates/pedals
  • Motorized incline
  • Fixed and moving handlebars
  • Heart rate sensor incorporated in fixed handlebars
  • 25 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Dual LCD display
  • 29 built-in programs
  • Tracks goals
  • USB port
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sound system
  • 3 speed fan
Cons
  • Assembly can take some time
  • Fixed stride length

 

Best Elliptical Trainers 2018 Buyer’s Guide

The first two things to consider are budget and space. You don’t need to break the bank but a good entry level or mid-price would be best. You’re going to get better at working out, so allow for that. The amount of space you have is important, plus you’ll need enough extra room around the machine so you can use it properly.

Check the minimum and maximum height, also the maximum user load. These are crucial to buying a machine best suited to you. If other members of the family are going to used it too, make sure it’ll be good for them as well.

Specifications to Consider

Larger and better machines often have both moving and fixed handlebars which can help with better workouts. If you can, go for this option. You’ll find that these often have a pulse rate sensor built into the static handlebars and while not always completely accurate, it does give an indication of the cardio benefits you’re getting.

If you’re opting for a small elliptical for home, some have side straps which help to work your upper body and assist with balance. A portable elliptical trainer under your desk won’t need side straps, but these types can often be used standing up as well, so bear that in mind.

Quality of build is obviously important so make sure the frame is made from a good steel. The crank system needs to be robust and the flywheel should be as heavy as possible as this can be an indication of smooth running.

Magnetic resistance is best because it’s quiet, runs smoothly and shouldn’t need any maintenance. How many levels of resistance you want is a matter of choice, but around 16 to 20 or above should be alright.

Stride length is important as it will determine whether the machine is useful for shorter and taller people. Longer is better, with an average of 20” being the norm.

Having an adjustable incline helps to vary the workout and can alter the stride length. It’s worth paying attention to this and, if you can, opt for one that has motorized adjustments. If you have to manually adjust the incline, it means stopping and interrupting your workout. The pedals should be large and ribbed to prevent slipping. If possible they should also be cushioned for extra comfort.

The console should give at least a basic read out. You’ll want speed, distance, time and calories burned. The more sophisticated, the better but that does mean you’ll pay more.

Ease of assembly should also be considered because, although many come part assembled, if you’re not the sort of person who likes to put things together, you might struggle. You’ll probably get detailed instructions in the manual and the tools required, but it’s worth thinking about.

Finally, check the warranty because they can vary a lot from 10 years down to none at all. If you’re looking at one of the best elliptical machines for sale, then you shouldn’t have a problem anyway – hopefully!

There’s a lot of choice out there for working out at home and we hope you find our nine of the best elliptical trainers 2018 helpful.