Most modern ellipticals are jam-packed with features, specs, and settings which can make shopping for one for your home gym seem overwhelming. In our opinion, the most important considerations are:

Size: Ellipticals are oversized machines by design, so there’s no getting around the fact that they take up a ton of space. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that the models you’re shopping will actually fit your home gym. Keep in mind that it’s not just about the overall footprint (length and width), but whether you can comfortably use the pedals too. Allow for at least a few feet of “buffer” in every direction, including overhead, around your new elliptical.

Comfort and ergonomics: Make sure the stride length and foot pedal size is comfortable for you, as they’re not all created equally. A longer stride length is better for taller individuals, while a shorter stride length is better for shorter individuals. And large, cushioned foot pedals are preferable, as they can accommodate different foot sizes.

Consider whether you want stationary or moving handlebars, too. Moving handlebars can provide a full-body workout, while stationary handlebars provide stability.

Intensity: You’re likely planning to keep and use your new elliptical for the long term. Make sure that the lowest intensity setting is doable at your current fitness level, and that the highest setting will be challenging enough as your fitness level progresses. Bottom line: invest in a versatile machine that works for you now and in the future.

Price: Elliptical machines can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Determine your budget first, then look for models that fit within it.

Display: Look for a display that’s easy-to-read and tracks important metrics like time, distance, speed, and calories burned.

Noise level: Consider how loud the machine is when in use, especially if you plan to use it in a shared living space. Reading reviews can be especially helpful to determine this, but consider demoing in-store models first or finding an elliptical with a buy-back guarantee or in-home trial so you can “try before you buy.” An elliptical is a serious investment, and you want to be sure you’ll enjoy yours for years to come.

Warranty: Look for reputable brands with good warranties in case something goes wrong with the machine.

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