How do I choose an elliptical for my home?

Megan Smith
 min read

How do I choose an elliptical for my home? What are the main considerations and are there any pitfalls to consider?

how do I choose an elliptical for my homeThe easier it is to exercise, the higher the chances of actually exercising.

So it can be helpful to consider buying a fitness device for your home.

Many people choose treadmills, but the pounding can be loud and hard on your joints.

On the other hand, ellipticals imitate the movement of running but without the impact. Fabulous, isn’t it?

How do I choose an elliptical for my home? Introduction

This is especially useful if you have poor knees or recover from a lower-body injury, like a torn meniscus.

The intensity of your full-body exercise can be adjusted with the moving handgrips and adjustable resistance.

High-end ellipticals cost up to $ 3,625, but you can get a good elliptical for a fraction of that price.

Because of their sturdier frames, more pricey devices typically have wider foot spacing and are heavier.

The amount of fancy options also varies with the cost of the elliptical device.

This post will help you simplify your choice by explaining the different types and features an elliptical has to offer.

Pick the model that suits you: How do I choose an elliptical for my home?

Great workout devices can be expensive, but the price isn’t the only thing to consider before buying.

Here’s a checklist of all the other important things that need to be thought of:

Safety first

Ellipticals are naturally dangerous for kids since they can get pinched or caught in the moving parts.

People with kids in their household or as visitors must ensure the little ones can’t access the device, for example, by locking the room and using safety elements.

Have a look at our buying guide Best Elliptical For a Heavy Person for various heavy-duty ellipticals with a variety of built-in safety mechanisms.

Test the elliptical if you can

It doesn’t matter if you want to shop online for the best price or buy a device from a brick store. We suggest you try it out face to face if you can.

You might notice an issue with the ergonomics that you can’t see on the pictures or user reviews alone.

Maybe your knees keep bumping against the elliptical’s structure, or the device simply doesn’t move the way you want it to.

Workout programs

Following an exercise program can make a workout more diverse and less bland, which may get you to work out more often.

However, don’t spend money on extras that you won’t even do/use.

Instead, you can get the same results with some standard programs that allow different workouts.

Programs can be named various things by different producers. Still, basic program settings may include:

  • Manual
  • Random
  • Hill Climb
  • Period
  • Long Slow Range
  • Target Heart Rate

Customized programs allow you to create your own resistance profile.

Tip: Read our article Which is better for weight loss: walking or an elliptical? and discover the great weight loss benefits of an elliptical when compared to classic walking.

Connection options

Workout equipment is increasingly getting more connected to the internet:

  • to supply workout tracking
  • a competitive environment
  • social media networks
  • access to a library of workout programs

Ellipticals can have a built-in wireless or Bluetooth connection that links to an app on your mobile phone.

Some even allow you to use a USB stick to move workout data to a web-based tracking function that’s accessible with a laptop.

Dimensions: How do I choose an elliptical for my home?

An average elliptical is 6 feet long and 2.6 feet wide, but the length can vary 48 to 88 inches.

Keep in mind that when it’s in use, the pedals may extend out beyond the length of the device.

You’re also more elevated than you would on a treadmill, so make sure you have a room with a sufficiently high ceiling.

The step-up heights are between 4 and 16 inches. When the elliptical is at the top of its cycle, the pedals reach up to 27 inches above the floor.

You’ll also need at least 21 inches of free room on at least one side and either the front or back for safety.

Weight limit

Are you a little taller than average? Or do you weigh a little more than the average person?

Then you need to make sure you are moving on the right device.

If you exceed the maximum weight limit, you will overload the frame and motor of the elliptical machine.

In other words, you need to invest in an elliptical that can support your weight with telling ease. This is the only way you will be able to use this machine in the long run.

How much weight can an elliptical hold? covers all the details about the weight limits of ellipticals.

Adjustable resistance

All ellipticals have variable resistance.

Check that the lowest resistance setting is easy to pedal and that it becomes hard to pedal at about 80 percent of the largest setting.

Sticking to this simple rule will allow space to grow.

You should feel a gradual but significant change when you lower the resistance or incline.

Some ellipticals have an adjustable slope. Check to see whether it’s automated or needs you to adjust it by hand.

Is the elliptical ergonomic?

As you know, a treadmill allows you to move freely. But an elliptical constrains you to its motion.

Pay special attention to how comfy you feel when using an elliptical.

For example, you need to be able to keep a straight posture when holding the moving handles.

The moving handgrips should be easy to reach, and you shouldn’t have to force your wrists into an awkward position. Instead, the elliptical system should feel comfortable.

For many people, the pedals need to be as close together as possible.

And the moving handgrips and fixed frame elements should not interfere with your shoulders, knees, or arms.

How do I choose an elliptical for my home? 3 things to consider


Ellipticals are heavy, so it’s important to ask about shipment.

Look to see whether assembly is included or available at an extra expense.

It can get quite complex and challenging, even for skilled DIYers.


Check out the store’s return policy, including how much (if anything) it will cost to send the device back, as well as refund costs.

If you’re buying online, find out how return shipping is managed.

Guarantee: How do I choose an elliptical for my home?

Look for a guarantee that provides 3 to 7 years of protection on parts and at least one year on labor.

A lot of ellipticals have a lifetime guarantee on the frame.

More costly devices tend to have a longer warranty on parts and labor.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More