Best Elliptical For Home Use

by NoShinSplints

Finding the best elliptical for home use can be a daunting task unless you know where to look. The answer may surprise you.

Which is the Best Elliptical Trainer for the Home?

And what is the best way to shop for it?

It wasn't too long ago (OK, maybe it was nearly 30 years) when my parents took me on a wild goose chase to find my mom's first treadmill. I have no idea what brand it was, I just remember thinking at the time what an utter waste of my Saturday all that shopping had been.

My dad had made some appointment with the staff of Sears or some other place like it - even that's fuzzy now. I just remember thinking that my mom killed my plans for Saturday: no cartoons, no tree fort, no fun - I was tagging along and trying not to complain too loudly.

I managed to keep myself entertained by getting lost for about an hour at a nearby toy store - and remember it well because my mom paged my name over the P.A. system and I knew I was busted.

What does this have to do with finding the best elliptical for home use?

Without divulging too much of my traumatized boyhood, it struck me recently as I was shopping for my wife for her first elliptical. I didn't leave the house actually, I went online.

Ellipticals for Home Use

Some Budget Ellipticals Worth Considering
Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

Exerpeutic Aero Air Ellipticals

If you're short on space and funds, the Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical is the elliptical for you.Perfect for areas with limited space Low-impact upper and lower body workout Max...

$139.99  $87.77
Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Trainer 2 in 1 Exercise Bike Total Cardio Fitness Home Gym with Hea...

Plasma Fit presents this brand new, compact, elliptical trainer with pulse rate sensors. This sturdy, well-built machine provides a full body, low impact, cardio workout at an e...

Only $139.99
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer

The Stamina® InMotion® Elliptical trainer is an affordable way to work out at home on one of the most popular machines in the gym. It is compact and lightweight enough to use at...

Only $200.00
Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Ellipticals with Pulse

Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical with Pulse The Exerpeutic 325 provides a “zero impact” workout with no stress on hips, ankles and joints plus the benefit of upp...

$299.99  $199.00
Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

With all the features and workout programs you need to meet your fitness goals, the Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer features a smooth 18-inch stride, 24 leve...

Only $379.99

Shopping the Best Elliptical Trainers Online

Finding Great Fitness on a Budget

I still remember as a kid how many stores my parents drug me to - and how thankful I am that I can get my shopping done (for Christmas or whatever) without even leaving my home if I want. Doesn't seem "fair" almost, but I'm not complaining.

What I did to find the best elliptical may not work for you - I review fitness equipment and own a website on elliptical machines (I know the industry). I've reviewed classic models like the Sole E95, and brand-new models like the Yowza Pompano.

Despite my familiarity with the industry, what worked for me should work for you.

  1. Get into the mid-range elliptical market. Maybe you have the money to spend on a Cybex Arc Trainer, I don't personally - most people will find a lot of value in the mid-range ellipticals. There are essentially 3 markets or price ranges for ellipticals: Club Quality Ellipticals, Mid-Range or "Special" Brands, Cheap Ellipticals. I like to think of them as Goldilocks did the porridge: too hot, too cold, just right (mid-range being "just right").
  2. Hunt down critical reviews. This usually takes you to, but you can find critical reviews from or their magazine (especially their once-a-year annual review), or Google your elliptical brand and "problems" etc. Also you can try the "Discussions" tab in Google to find forums discussing your product (people get downright nasty when they think it's a private conversation). Mine these places for troublesome posts.
  3. Ask professionals their opinions. I run an elliptical website, but I'm critical of products, I know what I like and don't. But I'm suggesting here you check out physical therapists, personal trainers, athletes, chiropractors, etc. These people know what they're talking about in terms of ergonomics and injuries - and many have their favorite brands of ellipticals.
  4. Check out website reviews. Here you need to be picky - there are a lot of scammers out there who just want you to get your wallet out and buy. Ask yourself if the review seemed competent, or was it just re-hash? Are they adding anything to the mix other than listing spec's and prices? Be skeptical, but you can find great reviews if you look.
  5. Look for consistency. Some brands just do really well naturally, like the Sole Fitness brand or the Smooth Fitness brand. Others are still trying to establish their mark, like LIVESTRONG or Yowza Fitness, and still others have proven their lack of quality (anything from ICON Fitness is suspect). Pay attention to trends, they're there for a reason.
  6. Contact manufacturers. They have contact forms - use them. Call them up, question them - and pay attention to their customer service. Are they patient or rude? Do they pick up the phone or leave you hanging? These are huge indicators of what to expect when you (may) need a service call.

I would list other factors like "only buy if you can try," but honestly I don't shop that way personally. I buy site-unseen all the time, I know what I'm shopping for (and you should too: like what stride length do you need, etc.). 

And I often think back to the "dark ages" when my parents would lug me around town and ruin Saturday by shopping for hours - it was torture. 

If you're like me and prefer convenience while shopping, you can be confident in proven winning brands selling their ellipticals online. I'm not just saying that as a webmaster of a review site, I'm saying that out of experience (my home gym is entirely built from online purchases), you just need to know your product and what to look for.

Finding the best ellipticals for home use is easy to do, without leaving your home (and you save lots of money this way as a consumer: no retail markup = huge savings, more value).

Updated: 11/30/2011, NoShinSplints
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