Best Cross Trainer 2021: Top Ellipticals For Home Gyms

The best cross trainer should be the ideal cardio machine for a full-body workout.

In fact, cross trainers are sometimes compared to exercise bikes because they are both excellent for home gyms, however, an elliptical differs slightly as it aims to replicate a motion that is best described as cross-country skiing.

If this sounds like your kind of cardio, then we're here to help. We've compiled a list of our top picks, based on specs, price, and reviews to help kick off your search in the best way possible.

From well-rounded machines, like this JLL CT300, to gym standard cross trainers, like this Life Fitness E1, we've got everything you need right here.

Best Cross Trainer

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Best All-Round Cross Trainer - JLL CT300

Best cross trainer JLL product image of a silver machine with a magnetic drive system
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Image Credit: JLL

Brand: JLL Fitness | Material: Steel | Dimensions: 120 x 61 x 167cm | Resistance: Magnetic | Max. Weight: 100kg

JLL Fitness is a Birmingham-based fitness manufacturer that focuses on creating quality products, like the CT300, but for great value.

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In terms of what the CT300 has to offer, it comes with a 5.5kg, two-way flywheel which should provide a challenging yet smooth workout, and 8 levels of magnetic resistance to up the difficulty when you feel the time is right to progress.

It also comes with an LCD display with 8 readouts including time, speed, distance, and more, which are all crucial for tracking how hard you're working and to help you improve.

All in all, the CT300 is a great option for home gyms, especially because it comes with built-in wheels which will likely make it easier to transport and store away once you've nailed your cardio session.

Best Cross Trainer On A Budget - XS Sports Luna Pro

Best cross trainer XS Sports product image of a battery-powered black machine with XS written on the side in red and white writing
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Image Credit: XS Sports

Brand: XS Sports | Material: Steel | Dimensions: 122 x 60 x 154cm | Resistance: Unspecified | Max. Weight: 110kg

The Luna Pro is not just one of the top budget cross trainers, but it also doubles as an exercise bike which makes it, arguably, excellent value for money.

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It comes with a front-mounted flywheel designed to improve the machine's stability, and adjustable resistance levels for both high and low-intensity sessions to suit both beginners and more advanced athletes.

The Luna Pro also has a multi-function LCD display that records your pulse, time, speed, distance, and calories burned, as well as an additional scan function to cycle through them all to keep you up to date during your workout.

Being a 2-in-1 machine, the Luna Pro should definitely be considered a top elliptical as well as fighting a case for featuring in our top exercise bike under 500 list as well.

Best Gym-Standard Cross Trainer - Life Fitness E1

Best cross trainer Life Fitness product image of an all-black elliptical
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Image Credit: Life Fitness

Brand: Life Fitness | Material: Unspecified | Dimensions: 209 x 77 cm x 150cm | Resistance: Friction | Max. Weight: 181kg

If you're searching for something akin to the cross trainers you get in a commercial gym and have the budget for it, then the Life Fitness E1 might be for you.

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Although the Life Fitness E1 is a premium product, it comes with a few smart features that make it slightly more advanced like the contact heart rate sensors, something normally found on top fitbits, to help you keep track of which exercise zones you're working in.

Moreover, this elliptical offers 20 levels of resistance which should mean there is plenty of room for progression, regardless of your experience and fitness level.

On the whole, if you're looking for something similar to what you'd find in the gym then the E1 is definitely one to consider.

Best Cross Trainer For Tall People - NordicTrack SE3i

Best cross trainer Nordictrack  product image of a black and silver machine with a 5" display
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Image Credit: Nordictrack

Brand: NordicTrack | Material: Unspecified | Dimensions: 152 x 63 x 160cm | Resistance: Magnetic | Max. Weight: 125kg

We've featured NordicTrack before in lists like our best rowing machines because they are one of the best in the game in terms of fitness equipment, and the SE3i will likely continue this trend of top-tier machines.

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At 160cm tall, this elliptical should be a perfect choice if you're a taller individual who finds some cross trainers slightly uncomfortable due to height.

In terms of specs, it comes with a 14kg inertia flywheel and 22 levels of magnetic resistance that can be altered with NordicTrack's QuickTouch controls, meaning you can up the difficulty on the move as and when you're ready.

The console is a 5" iFit display but the SE3i also includes a device holder so you can kick back and watch your favourite TV shows whilst you complete some low-intensity cardio as well.

Best Cross Trainer For The Office - Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Elliptical

Best cross trainer Sunny Health & Fitness product image of a gray, small exercise bike-esque machine
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Image Credit: Sunny Health & Fitness

Brand: Sunny Health & Fitness | Material: Steel | Dimensions: 20.5 x 16 x 10.5" | Resistance: Magnetic | Max. Weight: Unspecified

We've featured Sunny Health & Fitness before in our best exercise bike under 500 list, so it's probably no surprise we've featured them again.

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Although this may not be your conventional cross trainer, the Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Elliptical will likely be a great way of incorporating lower body movement into your working day.

Measuring in at just 20.5" long and 10.5" tall, this machine should easily fit under your desk and it comes with an integrated handgrip so you can pick it up and store it more easily.

In terms of the difficulty, the Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical has 8 levels of magnetic resistance to make things progressively harder if you feel like it, and a 3.52lbs flywheel which will likely be heavy enough for low-intensity exercise whilst working.

Ultimately, this may not include all the features of a standard cross trainer, but it does tick a lot of boxes in terms of the perfect machine for office workouts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cross Trainers

People often have a tonne of questions about ellipticals, but we're here to clear up a few common queries to help you make your purchase.

Are Cross Trainers Worth It?

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Ultimately, this depends on your budget and what you're looking for in a piece of cardio equipment.

Generally speaking, using an elliptical is a good way of incorporating your whole body into one workout which is ideal for burning calories and for improving mobility.

If you're looking for a way to build muscle, then even the most intense elliptical workout won't compare to weight training with a top barbell, but, for improving cardio, the cross trainer is up there as one of the best and is sometimes even compared to the top spin bikes.

Should I Use The Cross Trainer Every Day?

Even though you can use a cross-trainer every day, it is normally advised, like with any form of exercise, that you have a least one rest day a week for recovery purposes.

Also, undergoing the same exercise every day can become repetitive and your muscles will likely adapt to the elliptical motion, so a smart choice would be to incorporate other forms of exercise like walking, running, or swimming to workout different muscle groups and avoid repetition.

How Much Should I Pay For An Elliptical?

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As touched on in our comparison of treadmills and ellipticals, the cost of a cross trainer is very dependent on its features and design and they can often vary drastically in price.

If you're looking for a commercial-grade machine then you may need to expand your budget slightly as they are normally more expensive pieces of kit.

If you plan on using your cross trainer for personal use at home then there are a few budget options out there, like the Luna Pro, that offers most of the essential elliptical features, but for a fraction of the cost of gym-standard machines.

Read More: Best Ellipticals Under 500 - Our Top Picks