Elliptical Trainer Buyer’s Guide

Before you purchase an elliptical trainer, please read this Buyers Guide very carefully.

 noiseNoise Level

When buying an elliptical trainer from a retail shop, most of the time you will not be able to differentiate noise level (because of various sound in the shop). But when installed in your house, noise plays an important role. Because

  • Most of the users listen to TV or music when they use elliptical trainers. And a noisy elliptical trainer will create distraction
  • It will disturb your friends and family living in the same house
  • If you live upstairs, a noisy elliptical trainer will disturb people living downstairs.

Normally, cheaper elliptical are mostly louder. Magnetic resistance is quitter than belts. A solid, more heavy elliptical will be quitter than a wobbly one. Most of the time tightening bolts may reduce the noise level.

footpedalFoot Pedals

Size does matter, and for foot pedals –bigger is better. Foot pedals should be large enough to fit your feet, it must not slip and has some sort of grip. Remember, when using elliptical for a long time, in high speed your feet can slip and it may result stumbling or injury.


If you have limited space to spare for your elliptical trainer, give extra care ensuring the size. Many people underestimate the size factor. Elliptical trainers can be big. Also you need to free space for flywheel (for some specific models)

heartrateHeart Monitor

Elliptical machines are used for cardiovascular workout, and monitoring heart rate is very important in cardio training. Because you need to check your progress and stop yourself from overdoing. There are various types of Heart rate monitor, like pulse rate monitor or chest strap monitor. It can be wired or wireless. If you already have a heart rate monitor watch or similar gadget, you may buy elliptical trainers without heart monitors. But remember, your gadget may not sync with your trainer; and keeping track of everything may cause hassle in future.

stridelength1Stride Length

Stride length is one of the most important thing to checkout before buying an elliptical. If you are long, short-stride may cause injury to you. The longer the stride, the more range of motion for its user. A full range of motion is important for a full workout. Try to avoid short stride trainer as much as possible.

Stride length of elliptical trainers needs to be determined by the user’s height.

  • If you are 5’3” or shorter you can comfortably use an 16” to 18” stride length
  • If you are 5’7” to 6’7” your best choice will be a 20” or 21” stride length.

Any time you come across a stride length of an elliptical trainer with less than 18”, it’s going to feel less comfortable to most people, resulting in short choppy strides.

Comfort level will vary from person to person. A lot of factors come into play: the smoothness of the flywheel, the angle of the footpads, the brake system—all of these factors come into play. But strode length should be the most important factor for making final decision on any elliptical trainer.