A closed gym doesn’t mean the end of your workout routine. Elliptical machines have surged in popularity as an investment in at-home exercise. An elliptical is a stationary exercise machine that mimics your natural stride with very low impact on your joints. They are an ideal option for aerobic exercise, which strengthens your heart and lungs and increases your endurance.

Ellipticals offer flexibility — you can vary the resistance, your pace, or your position to target different muscles and achieve varying levels of intensity. Unlike many forms of movement, running on an elliptical doesn’t require you to lift your feet from the pedals. This means you’re not adding additional stress to your joints. Compared to running, jogging, or jumping, ellipticals provide low-impact movement.

For people looking for a full-body, regular exercise regime, choose one of the stationary machines with handlebars. Other users may enjoy one of the under-the-desk ellipticals — these can be set near a sofa or under your table so you can move while seated. Many office workers enjoy setting these to low intensities and peddling throughout the workday.

Users who enjoy an outdoor workout may opt for a simpler machine that’s outdoor-friendly, while those who want to replicate their gym may choose to invest in the same devices their gym purchases.

Are Elliptical Machines Good For Weight Loss?

Are elliptical machines good for weight loss?

Ellipticals provide accessible, low-impact, aerobic exercise that almost anyone can do. When you’re exercising for weight loss, you’ll want to ensure that you’re burning more calories than you consume over the course of the week. Many ellipticals will track the number of calories you burn per session. If you use an elliptical without a tracking device, you can look up estimates based on your weight online.

To burn the maximum number of calories, make sure you’re exercising at or close to your target heart rate. You can calculate your target heart rate range by subtracting your age from 220, then multiplying the figure by 60% and 70% to determine the lower and upper boundaries.

You don’t need to be at your target heart rate the entire session, but reaching it and sustaining it for longer periods over the course of your workout is the basis of interval training. Many ellipticals are equipped with heart rate sensors, making this element even easier to achieve. For more information on how to use an elliptical machine effectively, check out this article from Mayoclinic.org.

The 10 Best Elliptical Machines For Any Home Gym

1. Aceshin Elliptical Machine Trainer

Aceshin elliptical machine for home use.

This standing elliptical provides eight different levels of magnetic resistance, giving you a range of levels to exercise with. Smooth and quiet, it’s a standard option for ellipticals. Moving handlebars work your upper body as you exercise your lower body. Most importantly, the stationary handlebars include heart rate monitoring so you can track your heart rate as you exercise.

The machine will also track distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan and target zone heart rate monitoring. These are displayed on a simple, easy-to-read LED screen.

This five-star elliptical machine received rave reviews for the ease of assembly and its convenience. Customers reported that it took less than two hours to assemble.

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2. ANCHEER Elliptical Machine

Elliptical machine for home gym by Ancheer.

This standing elliptical offers eight levels of magnetic resistance with swaying handlebars that work your upper body. Non-slip pedals support your stability, while the flywheel ensures the machine moves silently. It’s also built with transport wheels to allow you to move it around the house. The heart-rate monitor and LED-lit screen conveniently track calories, time, speed, distance, total mileage, and your heart rate.

Reviewers report that this elliptical is quiet, easy to assemble, and convenient to move if needed.

To read the latest reviews, click here.

3. MaxKare Elliptical Machine

MaxKare home elliptical machine.

This standing elliptical machine offers extra-large, non-slip foot pedals and eight levels of magnetic resistance. Dual-track design and an eleven pound flywheel ensure quiet, smooth exercise. The dual handle bar will exercise your upper body, so you’ll be getting more variation in your workouts.

This elliptical includes a heart rate monitor on the stationary handles and an LCD screen to track distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan and target zone heart rate. Front wheels make the machine portable, and there is a compartment to store an iPad or book to read while you exercise.

This machine is known for being lightweight and portable, but sturdy. Several reviewers said it’s time consuming but simple to assemble.

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4. Sunny Health & Fitness Portable Stand Up Elliptical

Portable stand up elliptical machine by Sunny Health.

This elliptical is perfect for standing or seated exercise. Unlike others, it does not include handlebars, making it a perfect choice for exercising while at a desk or in front of the TV. This is an ideal choice for users who are at risk of a fall or who want to exercise while seated.

To make things easier, this machine comes ready to use with no assembly required. Because of its size, the elliptical can be easily stored when not in use, and there is a built-in handle for easy portability. There are also eight levels of magnetic resistance for more variation, and it can safely hold up to 220 pounds.

Reviewers praise the elliptical’s ease of use and portability. Although it’s advertised for use while standing, most reviewers struggled to find their balance and preferred to use it while seated.

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5. GoElliptical V-450 Standard Stride Elliptical

Home gym elliptical machine by GeoElliptical.

This standing elliptical includes 24 different levels of resistance. It allows you to set different programs, including a random program that will change the levels for infinite variations. It includes swinging handlebars for an upper body workout.

This elliptical is fitted with a water bottle storage cup, a smartphone and tablet holder, speakers that plug into your music device, and a USB charging port. The display will show your time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate.

Reviewers report that it was easy to assemble, though assembly took up to two hours. Many people also mentioned that it was quiet and made minimal noise.

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6. DeskCycle Ellipse: Under Desk Elliptical Machine

Under desk elliptical machine by DeskCycle.

Do you work from home? If so, this is the perfect elliptical for you — it includes an online tracking system where you can view your activity, share your steps to a FitBit, and track your progress over time. Manufactured to fit under desks as low as 24 inches, it’s easy to place this discreetly under your desk in your home office.

It has eight levels of resistance and features extra-long and wide pedals that allow you to adjust your stride depending on foot placement. It’s generally recommended to only use this machine while seated.

The great thing about this machine is that you can set the resistance very low, allowing you to pedal all day but still feel the effects. You can also set it higher for short, intense workouts. Reviewers were pleased with the silent movement, allowing them to exercise in shared offices.

The on-machine display screen is detachable, so it’s easy to keep it on your desk to track progress. A few reviewers noted that the elliptical began to squeak over time, but customer service was very responsive and sent replacement parts.

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7. Octane Fitness Zero Runner

Octane fitness runner elliptical machine.

Runners, this is your elliptical; it’s designed to replicate running motion without the impact on your joints. It can accommodate a slow walking stride or stretch to a full run with a stride of up to 58 inches. The machine can be operated with the SmartLink app, which tracks your workouts, monitors the health of your stride so you can adjust your form as you go, and provides custom workout sessions.

The stationary handles are fitted with heart rate monitors or you can use the included Polar heart rate strap. Even without the app, the console provides all relevant workout data. This elliptical is bulkier than most and best kept in one place. It includes seven connection points and a free set of resistance bands to add additional resistance training.

Reviewers — including several runners — raved about this product. Some comments noted that it was useful for replicating running when an injury made regular running painful (please consult with a doctor before beginning any type of exercise regime after an injury). Other runners used it to supplement their on-road workouts.

Reviewers note that the console is not back-lit and is difficult to see in dark rooms, and some people had trouble with the apps regarding connectivity and accurate reporting.

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8. Stamina Outdoor Fitness Strider

Outdoor elliptical machine by Stamina.

Many people shy away from exercise equipment because it forces them inside. With this glider, you can move your home routine to the outdoors. It’s constructed from steel and features UV-resistant outdoor paint to protect it from rust, fading, corrosion, and chipping even when housed in the elements.

This is the perfect machine for people who don’t want the bells and whistles — it’s simple, with swinging handlebars for an upper body workout. There’s no tracking device or associated app. Your purchase includes an illustrated book on different techniques to change the intensity and target muscles in your workout. Use this elliptical to settle into an outdoor workout without fussing with additional technology.

Reviewers praised this glider for adding a smooth and enjoyable outdoor workout to their routines. The machine has a reputation for being stable, sturdy, and easy to assemble. Although it does not include adjustable settings, many people found it easy to vary their position to change their workout.

We advise against storing it outside during the winter as not all the parts are rust-proof, and it’s recommended to keep it under a patio covering.

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9. Gymbopro Elliptical Machine

Simple and easy-to-use, this machine comes with eight levels of magnetic resistance, belt-driven technology, swinging handlebars for an upper body workout, and pulse sensors in the stationary handlebars. The movement is quiet and the LCD monitor displays time, speed, distance, and calories burned.

Reviewers praised this machine for the simplicity and ease-of-use. It is ergonomically designed and has a sturdy stainless steel construction. One reviewer reported that although it took an hour or more to assemble, the directions were clear.

To read the latest reviews, click here.

10. Life Fitness 95x Inspire Elliptical

Indoor elliptical machine for home use by Life Fitness.

This is the same elliptical that many gyms purchase, making it a worthy investment if you want to bring the quality of your gym’s equipment into your home. It includes swinging arms, a 7” touch screen display, a built-in virtual trainer with multiple workout programs, and stationary bars with a heart rate monitor.

Reviewers were pleased with their investment in this machine, saying it’s very sturdy and extremely user-friendly. Even better, it arrives fully assembled, so you don’t need to worry about trying to put it together.

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To Sum it Up…

Ellipticals provide accessible, low-impact exercise for almost everyone. Whether you’re looking for a small elliptical to position under your desk, an outdoor machine for use in nature, or a gym-worthy piece of equipment with tracking devices, one of these ellipticals will provide you with the perfect machine for your needs.

They are easy to assemble and offer a convenient, flexible way to burn calories and lose weight. With reduced stress on your joints and options for exercising in your home, ellipticals provide a low-impact, safe way to stay healthy.

Thinking of setting up a home gym in your garage? We tell you how in this article.