Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews

Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews and Comparisons – Which is the Best Cross Trainer in 2021?

Elliptical cross trainers have always had fans, though over recent years their popularity has grown – both in the gym and for home use. The secret to their success is the combination of intense workout with low impact. You’ll certainly feel you had a good full body workout after using one, though your joints will not be jolted and jarred in the same way as running or cycling might affect them. This guide to the best elliptical trainer has you covered for home models at all price-points. The format below mixed summaries with detailed elliptical cross trainer reviews.

Quick Note on Terms:

” The terms Elliptical Trainer and Cross Trainer are used interchangeably here, instead of using the full ‘Elliptical Cross Trainer’ every time. This is simply a matter of what you prefer to call them.”

On this page you will discover the kind of cross trainer you can expect in different price brackets, and the features and extras which come with these machines. There are a lot of models available from many of the biggest and best home fitness equipment makers. Once you decide on a model, it should last you for years – so making sure you pick the best elliptical for your personal profile is definitely worth the time spent.

How the Info is Laid Out:

Below you will find and overview of what to expect from budget, mid-range and top-end elliptical trainers. This includes links to detailed elliptical cross trainer reviews (with summaries). After that I have outlined some of the key features found in the different models, this will allow you to narrow down your search by deciding which are the key criteria for you.

First of all, here are the popular elliptical trainers which combine popularity with great feedback from buyers in each of my price brackets. You can check out the discounts at amazon.co.uk directly, and you’ll find links to the detailed reviews below:

Best Elliptical Trainers in Different Price Bands 2021

Best Sellintg CT300 from JLL

Category Best Seller: The JLL CT300

I'd put this popular elliptical cross trainer in the 'Budget+' category. It ticks all the right boxes, a decent size, LCD console and smooth resistance at a very reasonable price point.

Check Price! Read Review
X-Fit Cross Trainer from Branx Fitness

Mid Priced Marvel - X-Fit from Branx

More quality from the Branx Fitness range. This super-spec'd cross trainer includes a huge 32lb flywheel, app connectivity and even a USB charger - great quality.

Check Price! Read Review
Commerical Cross Training with the Sportstech LCX800 Elliptical

Commerical Level: The Sportstech LCX800

German engineering meets a commercial grade home elliptical. Connect with KinoMap, and enjoy this big, solid, robust cross trainer from the increasingly well-regarded Sportstech brand.

Check Price! Read Review
Air Walker - From Sunny Health and Fitness

Manual: Sunny Fitness Air Walker

No-frills air walking machine from the Sunny Fitness studio. This budget level model is perfect for those returning to fitness / older users looking for a basic, easy to use unit.

Check Price! Read Review
Best Budget Elliptical Trainer - the JLL CT200

Great Value Budget Elliptical: JLL CT200

The popular entry level model from the UK-based JLL. With solid engineering and top-rated service, this is another example of what JLL does brilliantly.

Check Price! Read Review

Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews: Prices – What You Get at Each Price Level

I have used the following price brackets:

  • Budget = Under £200
  • Mid-Range = £201 to £400
  • Upper-End = £401 and up
  • Commercial £800+

Of course, there will be some overlap – and maybe you disagree with where my boundaries are! Since the prices change a lot (and discounts come and go) each summary elliptical cross trainer review will give a broad idea, and a link through to the amazon product page for the latest offer. So you have plenty of opportunities to compare the models (and buyer feedback) for yourself before you click ‘buy’.

Best Elliptical Trainers Compared - Cross Trainer Reviews at Different Price Points

Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews – Budget Elliptical Trainers

You can now pick up a basic elliptical for less than £100, with some nicer models around the £150 to £200 mark. These even come with LCD screens to track your distance and calorie burn. There is a lot of variation in quality at this end of the market, and user feedback becomes more important than ever.

Keep in mind that with a budget elliptical, the size and build will not be similar to what you find in your local gym. Every budget model I have ever seen has people leaving comments who are surprised that their machine is small and a little wobbly in comparison… Once you understand that the gym models cost 20x as much as the budget home elliptical trainers, it is easier to have a fair comparison.

What you will find is hybrid elliptical / exercise bikes dominate the budget end of the market. these are essentially cross-trainers, with the cycling capability added on (rather than bikes which work like ellipticals). There are budget models from some well known brands, including XS Sports and Sunny Fitness. I have picked a JLL as my top pick, this combines a solid build with Uk based brand which is well known for their after sales / customer service – providing good value for money:

Budget Pick – The JLL CT200 Elliptical Trainer

JLL C200 Budget Level Elliptical TrainerThe JLL CT200 Elliptical has been best-seller – with the latest model proving just as popular as the previous versions. It works perfectly as an entry-level machine. At this price point, you will be hard pushed to match the build and features list. It includes 8 levels of magnetic resistance and an LCD console to track your stats. This is not a big machine, it does not have the bells and whistles of the more expensive units. What is does give you is smooth resistance, a decent cardio workout and the opportunity to tone up or burn fat on low-impact elliptical.

JLL have an excellent reputation for looking after their customers. This is a UK-based company, with after-sales service which you simply will not get from those ‘no name’ units that proliferate these days.

You can check the feedback, the gallery (including videos) and check the latest price for yourself over on  this dedicated Amazon.co.uk product page.

Alternatively, my more detailed review can be found here.

Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews – Mid-Range Elliptical Trainers

elliptical reviews - great value cross trainers for 2021If you are willing to spend between £201 and £400, you can get a far more robust machine with some features that almost all the budget models miss. Some models in this bracket even have the ability to fold away – though most will require a dedicated space.

Resistance levels that automatically change via the computer, some device compatibility (trackers and entertainment) and preset workout programmes in the console will now come as standard. Your cross trainer will keep track of your progress between workouts, and not just monitor the burn on a single session.

If you are in the mid-range price bracket then you can expect a solid build as a bare minimum. If I see any user feedback even mentioning the word ‘flimsy’, then it is time to hit the back button and try again. By the time you come into the mid-range then you’ll get some of the better brands to choose from.

Mid-Range Elliptical Pick: The Reebok ZR8 Elliptical

Elliptical Trainers for burning fatThe ZR8 range from Reebok now includes treadmills and exercise bikes. The ZR8 Elliptical is hugely popular. It combines great looks with a lot of features that you would expect to pay a lot more money for. They include a back-lit console that includes preset programmes. You get all the usual stats, including a calorie count estimate too. This console can be programmed – something you will not get often in mid-budget machines.

You get a bigger elliptical compared to the budget range, this model is 50kgs. That allows for smoother, more stable action and predictable resistance. There are 32 resistance levels in total, meaning this elliptical is more than capable of keeping up as your fitness level improves.

Check out the gallery, feedback and discount for yourself on the dedicated amazon.co.uk product page

Alternatively, you can find my detailed review of the Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer here.

Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews – Upper End Ellipticals

You can spend more than £500 to get the very best home ellipticals, with those I would say come closer to commercial gym spec at £800 and up (covered below).  If you already know that cross training is the right workout for you, and want the best models for home use – then you can find some wonderful elliptical trainers in this price bracket.

The first thing you’ll note is the size and weight. Some machines go over 80kg, making them solid and robust (no squeaks or rocking motion). Resistance that changes as you use the machine, as part of either preset or custom programs should come as standard. You should expect built in entertainment (speakers, smartphone music and tracking app links and so on). You should also expect a longer stride length to suit your size along with comfort, quality and style. Look out for models which link to KinoMap and similar. This adds a new dimension to your cross trainer, allowing for group activity, coaching and scenic ‘routes’ for your activity.

There are certain manufacturers which stand out when it comes to the best quality equipment (Sportstech, a big German brand are hugely popular). You’ll see a preview of my top pick first, and then 2 other popular models are linked via their reviews underneath that.

Upper End Elliptical Pick – The X-Fit from Branx Fitness

X-Fit Elliptical from Branx FitnessThe first thing that will strike you about this model is the size, it is much more like the big gym trainers than some of the smaller and sometimes flimsy home models. It has a full 19.5 inch stride length. 60kgs, you get a solid machine. A significant part of this weight is accounted for with a 32lbs flywheel – this generates plenty enough resistance even for the fittest users.

While it does have a (backlit) display, the app compatibility gets the best from the X-Fit. It has bluetooth, which can use iConnect to synch with a lot of popular apps. They include KinoMap for group training and coaching. A heart rate tracking chest strap is included with this machine. This allows you to set up a training program based on your heart rate. You can save data on many apps, increasing the intensity as your fitness level improves.

Compared to similar priced models, the X-Fit has a lot of positive feedback. I recommend you check those comments (as well as those for the other models of course), to get an idea of how this machine compares.

Check the full picture gallery for this impressive elliptical – along with the latest feedback on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

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An Alternative Way of Choosing an Elliptical Trainer – Focus on Features

Elliptical Trainer Features Checklist 2021Another way of narrowing down the reviews is to create a personal checklist of features, and then excluding those elliptical trainers which do not have them. This will at least help to narrow the field (though not as much as with some other equipment, since many features are must-have for cross trainers in general).

#1 – Smoothness: The smoothness of the action is determined by the size of the fly wheel to a large extent. If having a super-smooth ride is important to you (especially as you up the resistance levels) then look out for a 10kg+ wheel.

#2 – Stride Length: Some ellipticals have shorter 16 inch stride lengths – while the majority go for 18 inches. If you are taller, then I recommend you go for a little more, 22 inches (the top level) is too much for most people, though it can’t hurt to have some to spare.

#3 – Programs: The better machines will come with 10 or 20 pre-set programs. These vary in intensity and also help to keep things fresh while you work out. If you feel you would quickly get bored of the same few workouts then go for a machine with more of  these.

#4 – Heart Rate Monitors: Good cross trainers will have built in monitors checking your heart rate (usually via hand sensors). Some will have extra compatibility with POLAR trackers or chest pad monitors. As you climb the price levels, you will often get a free chest strap heart rate monitor included.

#5 – Entertainment: Some people like to have built in speakers to keep their workout interesting. You can even find machines which you can sync wirelessly with your smartphone music collection. A USB port for charging is a real boost, especially at the end of the day, when your phone could do with a top-up.

#6 – App Connections: Bluetooth has become the standard for fitness equipment connections. There are now 100’s of apps you can use with this. Look for iConnect, which acts as an interface for most apps. Some brands have their own apps, while others use the more popular commercial apps including KinoMap. This will unlock group training / social activities, as well as the ability to work out while enjoying scenic routes.

#7 – Folding Elliptical Trainers: This is not the norm for elliptical trainers, due to their setup. At the budget end, you will find folding models like the Sunny Fitness Air Walkers. If you are short on space then the under-desk DTX100 Elliptical from Sportstech is an alternative option.

Build Quality: One Feature to Rule Them All

I have left out build quality from this list of features. This is largely dependent on your budget, though with the action of cross trainers it is more important than for most machines. If you narrow down your choice to 2 or 3 models, then I strongly recommend you make your final choice based on which one has the most robust and solid build.

Best Cross Trainer Reviews

Elliptical Cross Trainers: Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Calories Can I Burn on an Elliptical Trainer?

The number of calories you can burn on any fitness equipment depends on your size, the intensity with which you exercise and your current fitness level. As a rule of thumb, a 30-minute session on an elliptical will burn around 250 to 300 calories. This compares well to exercise bikes and rowing machines, with treadmills burning more.

Will I Need to Assemble My Elliptical?

Most home elliptical trainers require some assembly. They don’t come out of the box ready to use. While there are tools and instructions, users that are not ‘practical’ can find this a challenge. If this is you, there are 2 choices. Most manufacturers have optional expert assembly, which costs from £50 to £80. Your other option is to get a friend or relative to help.

Do Cross Trainers Fold Away?

As a rule, ellipticals don’t fold. Their setup means there is no easy way to save space. There are smaller options. They include the manual ‘air walker’ type machines (for example from Sunny Fitness) and the under-desk models. If you are short on space, consider a folding exercise bike as a great alternative.

Are Home Elliptical Cross Trainers Suitable for Tall Users?

If you are 6 foot or over, then the budget end models will feel super small. There are options which have 19.5-inch stride lengths, which give you some more flexibility. If you are significantly over 6 foot, then you will need to look at the commercial grade machines with stride length of 21 inches or more.

Can I Connect my Elliptical Trainer to Fitness Apps?

Yes. Once you get above the basic models with simple tracking consoles, you will find ellipticals which are Bluetooth compatible. These mid-budget machines allow you to connect with mobile phone or tablets – running apps. There are new apps coming out all the time. These make your workouts more interesting with group training, coaching and scenery.

How Much Do Elliptical Trainers Cost?

There is a huge range of prices for these machines. You can spend less than £100 on a fold-away ‘air walker style machine – or go way over £1000 for a gym-grade unit. For a basic home model with LCD display, you need to budget £200 or more. As you climb to the £500 range – you will have a lot of choices of big, high-tech cross trainers.

Table: The Best Elliptical Trainers

I have ended this page with a repeat of the table from the top of the page. If you read (or even skimmed) the detailed information here, then you will have a far better understanding of the reasons each of the cross trainers listed made the cut. All that remains is for you to identify those key features that you want, combine that with the budget level you are comfortable with – and start getting the low-impact, high-calorie benefits of an elliptical trainer for yourself.

Best Sellintg CT300 from JLL

Category Best Seller: The JLL CT300

I'd put this popular elliptical cross trainer in the 'Budget+' category. It ticks all the right boxes, a decent size, LCD console and smooth resistance at a very reasonable price point.

Check Price! Read Review
X-Fit Cross Trainer from Branx Fitness

Mid Priced Marvel - X-Fit from Branx

More quality from the Branx Fitness range. This super-spec'd cross trainer includes a huge 32lb flywheel, app connectivity and even a USB charger - great quality.

Check Price! Read Review
Commerical Cross Training with the Sportstech LCX800 Elliptical

Commerical Level: The Sportstech LCX800

German engineering meets a commercial grade home elliptical. Connect with KinoMap, and enjoy this big, solid, robust cross trainer from the increasingly well-regarded Sportstech brand.

Check Price! Read Review
Air Walker - From Sunny Health and Fitness

Manual: Sunny Fitness Air Walker

No-frills air walking machine from the Sunny Fitness studio. This budget level model is perfect for those returning to fitness / older users looking for a basic, easy to use unit.

Check Price! Read Review
Best Budget Elliptical Trainer - the JLL CT200

Great Value Budget Elliptical: JLL CT200

The popular entry level model from the UK-based JLL. With solid engineering and top-rated service, this is another example of what JLL does brilliantly.

Check Price! Read Review