Best High End Ellipticals

With $3K or more to spend, it's easy to score a club-quality elliptical trainer. Some high end models are identical to health club ellipticals but carry especially long warranties for home use. Others feature commercial components but have compact frames to better fit home gyms. But besides being durable, these machines are especially enjoyable to use. Variety is a hallmark: The best ellipticals in this price class have power-adjustable strides, are loaded with plenty of workout programs, and support digital entertainment so that each workout session can be different from the last. Read on for help finding the best high end elliptical for your needs.

Three Best High End Ellipticals

Some of the best home ellipticals over $3,000 could easily handle commercial settings such as health clubs and university gyms. These machines tend to be highly adjustable in terms of resistance and stride length, so they're ideal for multiple users. When used by just one household they can endure for many, many years.  Some of the best high end ellipticals are multipurpose too. These hybrid fitness machines or “elliptical alternatives” can function as standard ellipticals, low-impact treadmills and stairclimbers. Here are three top-ranked ellipticals and elliptical alternatives.

Buying Guide for High End Elliptical Trainers

Whatever your taste, the best high-end elliptical trainers have excellent appeal. Here are some shopping tips.

Performance

Spending $3,000 on an elliptical, you can expect the feel of gym workouts as well as the durability of commercial equipment. The best machines in this price class can withstand at least six hours of daily use in pro workout settings, so with lighter traffic in your home gym an elliptical might last a decade or more before you’d consider a replacement.

Resistance: Compared with average home ellipticals, club-quality ellipticals support even smoother striding. This is largely because of their superior resistance systems. These machines also offer more effective upper body sculpting when compared with cheaper alternatives.

Stride: On a high end elliptical the striding is especially well-coordinated; the user's upper body and lower body move together naturally, whereas on cheap machines the motion is less comfortable. Additionally the best ellipticals fit each user's natural gait but allow for stride variety. Some of the top-ranked models in our reviews have extreme ranges to support stepping, striding and gliding.

Low Impact: Ideally every elliptical trainer is low-impact, but cheap elliptical trainers are noticeably rougher on the knees in comparison with better ellipticals. The greater the impact, the more energy is deflected from exercise and the sooner a trainee will tire. High-end elliptical alternatives are especially low-impact and sometimes zero-impact for remarkable comfort and training efficiency.

Durability

Durability improves dramatically as we move from low-budget ellipticals to high-end ellipticals. Here are a few signs that a machine is built to last.

Rear Drive Design: Rear drive ellipticals generally cost more to produce than front drive alternatives, but they are generally more durable too. Another advantage of rear drive ellipticals over front drive models is their natural feel; it is easier to stay well-balanced on front drive models. Center drive machines make it easy to balance too.

Maximum User Weight: The best ellipticals selling for $3,000 and up have maximum user weight capacities of about 400 pounds. The machines themselves tend to be heavy, partly because of their steel frames and heavy drives.

Warranty: Many high-end elliptical trainers are under commercial warranty only. Others are only meant for home use. Still others have a choice of commercial or residential warranty. In the luxury price class you can expect very generous parts protection (five years or more) on a residential warranty but not necessarily more than two years on a commercial warranty.

Features

High end ellipticals often have special features for training and entertainment. Here are some examples.

Choice of Console: Some fitness brands sell their club-quality elliptical trainers with a choice of consoles. This customization lets each owner benefit from top-notch biomechanics without paying for more programming than they'll actually use. Consoles sold especially for health clubs have features not found on most home versions, such as multilingual programming, customizable media and wiring for subscription services. Basic and advanced consoles alike can integrate with fitness apps for wireless data tracking and workout guidance. Most have headphone jacks, beverage holders, accessory trays and tablet computer holders.

Hybrid Training: Some of the best elliptical trainers are hybrid fitness machines. Shorten the stride for low-impact stairclimbing, or lengthen the stride to mimic treadmill exercise without the usual harsh impact. Power-adjustable settings and preset programs that adjust stride allow for dynamic training sessions.

Heart Rate Control: High end ellipticals support efficient cardio training with wireless heart rate data and interactive workouts. Their preset programs can adjust the elliptical's resistance in response to pulse in order to support exercise within a target heart rate zone.

Entertainment: Many brands outfit their high end ellipticals with high-definition screens that not only show workouts but also support live TV, on-demand TV, the internet and more. Ellipticals in all price classes can play MP3s too. High-end ellipticals tend to offer the best sound fidelity and have convenient on-screen controls for iPhones and iPods.

List of High End Elliptical Trainers

Three top-scoring elliptical trainers and elliptical alternatives are shown above and below. Additionally here are classic and hybrid elliptical trainers priced at $3,000 and up.

Best High End Ellipticals

Model Rating Flywheel Resistance Price Lowest Price
Precor AMT 835 with Open Stride 5-stars N/A 20 Levels Over $2,500 See best price »
Octane Zero Runner ZR8 5-stars N/A Resistance Bands Over $2,500 See best price »
Life Fitness Platinum Club Series Elliptical Cross-Trainer 4-stars N/A 26 Levels Over $2,500 See best price »