Best cross trainer: 6 top buys for 2021

Invest in the best cross trainer for home use – whether that's in your home gym or living room – and burn calories fast

Best cross trainer: Reebok GX40s One Electronic Cross Trainer in use by woman
(Image credit: Reebok)

Considering buying the very best cross trainer for use at home? Whether you are missing the gym or you find it much easier to work out from home, you can find a cross trainer – or elliptical machine, as some may call it – to suit your needs, with our help.

A cross trainer can work your legs, arms and abdomen all at the same time, so there's no wonder there's always a queue to use one at the gym. Buying one for personal use at home is a smart idea – whether in a home gym, spare bedroom, garage or in your living room – especially if you don't have space for more than one piece of home gym equipment. Should you be looking for something to blend in with your home, the majority of these machines are on wheels for easy moving into a cupboard or hidden corner. When choosing the best cross trainers on the market, as well as being mindful of price and performance as well as what reviewers have to say, we considered how many pre-set programmes each machine has, as well as its stride length and incline levels. We've listed all of these stats below.

You can find more of the best home gym equipment recommendations in our guide.

The best cross trainers 2021

Best cross trainer: JLL CT300 Elliptical Cross Trainer

(Image credit: JLL)

1. JLL CT300 Elliptical Cross Trainer

The best cross trainer you can buy

Specifications
Workout programmes: 8
Stride Length: 32cm
Incline: N/A
Reasons to buy
+9-function monitor+Heart rate sensors+Tablet holder+Transportable
Reasons to avoid
-Not as advanced machine as others-Not a great choice for those over 6ft

What's the best cross trainer you can buy? When considering both price and performance, we rate the JLL CT300 Elliptical Cross Trainer highly. 

What reviewers loved
Apart from the fact this cross trainer is clearly good value for money, lots of reviewers praise it for being very easy to use as well as simple to assemble. Users are happy with its compact size, its sturdiness and how quiet and smooth it is while in use, too.

Design
Designed to be both durable and stylish at the same time, the JLL CT300 Elliptical Cross Trainer can simulate climbing, walking or running, all without causing excessive pressure on your joints. It's also on wheels so it can be easily moved around your home.

The important stuff
This cross trainer has a nine-function LCD display monitor that shows RPM, speed, distance, time, temperature, heart rate, calories, body fat and pulse; and its dual-action handlebars feature comfortable foam grips. It features eight levels of magnetic resistance and you can pedal forwards and backwards thanks to its 5.5kg flywheel. Our favourite part? There's a tablet holder for those who like to catch up on their favourite programme while exercising instead of looking at the number of calories they've burned.

Best cross trainer for home: Reebok GX40s One Electronic Cross Trainer

(Image credit: Reebok)

2. Reebok GX40s One Electronic Cross Trainer

The best cross trainer for home use

Specifications
Workout programmes: 12
Stride length: 38.1cm
Incline: No
Reasons to buy
+Water bottle holder+On wheels+Mobile phone holder+
Reasons to avoid
-No incline-Takes a while to assemble according to reviews-Needs tightening every now and then as it may become loose

The Reebok One is a cross trainer we would be more than happy to have in our homes. Whether that be in a dedicated home gym space or in a spare bedroom. Why? It's not as bulky looking as other cross trainers on the market, meaning it can be slightly hidden away if need be. 

What reviewers love
This cross trainer is said to be, by those who have tried and tested it, well-built, quiet when in operation and really good value for money. Though some say it's hard to assemble, and it may develop a squeak after a lot of use – just tighten the bolts when this happens.

Design
This cross trainer is on wheels so you can move it around your home with ease, and it has a 15-inch (31.8cm) stride length, too. It has a maximum user weight of 120kg.

The important stuff
For starters, it has a 9kg rear-drive flywheel for a smooth workout. Just make sure you pop it near a plug socket though since it's mains powered – it also has floor level adjustment feet for use on uneven ground. It features 12 pre-set programmes to jazz up your workout, while there's a five-inch LCD display for tracking your stats – time, distance, calories heart rate and more. 

The best 2 in 1 cross trainer and exercise bike: Opti 2 in 1 Air Cross Trainer and Exercise Bike

(Image credit: Opti)

3. Opti 2 in 1 Air Cross Trainer and Exercise Bike

The best 2 in 1 cross trainer and exercise bike

Specifications
Workout programmes: N/A
Stride length: 11-inch
Incline: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+2-in-1+Compact for what it is+Adjustable+Console feedback+Wheels for easy moving
Reasons to avoid
-Basic – no workout programmes or incline levels-Not the most comfortable bike seat according to reviews-Needs tightening frequently-Noisy when in use

Use this 2-in-1 exercise bike and cross trainer to promote good blood circulation and increase your lung capacity – all from one machine. Use this machine sitting as an exercise bike or standing as a cross trainer, your choice.

What reviewers love
Not only is this machine convenient – as it's 2-in-1 and works your entire body – but reviewers praise it for also being super compact and easy to store. Since this machine is super affordable, it's expected for it to have a few issues – it may need tightening after every use, and it's apparently quite loud when in use.

Design
This 2-in-1 cross trainer and exercise bike is great for those with limited space. Use this machine to work your entire body at once and improve your cardiovascular fitness from home. With a 1.9kg flywheel and an 11-inch stride length, it's perfect for occasional use or beginners. It's even on wheels for easy transporting.

The important stuff
Boasting an air resistance system with free tension control, it's completely adaptable to your fitness level. Both the seat and handles are adjustable depending on the height of the user, while it boasts self-levelling pedals. While it's admittedly basic in terms of features – a lack of pre-set programmes and no incline levels – this machine does offer console feedback on everything from speed to distance and calories burned. 

Find the best exercise bikes in our dedicated guide.

The best cross trainer under £500: JTX Strider-X7 Magnetic Cross Trainer

4. JTX Strider-X7 Magnetic Cross Trainer

The best cross trainer under £500

Specifications
Workout programmes: 21
Stride Length: 16in
Incline: No
Reasons to buy
+Folds away  +Not too complex +Inexpensive
Reasons to avoid
-No techy features which is expected for the low price tag

If you’re thinking of investing in your first cross trainer and don’t want to spend too much money, then the JTX Strider-X7 Magnetic Cross Trainer could be the machine to help you get started. 

What reviewers love
Besides its high-quality design, reviewers particularly love that it's easy to assemble, quiet when in use and most importantly, that it has a great range of workout programmes to explore.

Design
It boasts no-frills, but it’s a slim machine that can be folded away when not in use which is also great for those who lack the space for a bigger feature-packed machine. It has a 16-inch stride length and a maximum user weight of 130kg.

The important stuff
You’ll have a large console with 21 different workout programmes so you can still monitor your progress as you go, and it uses magnetic resistance which means you’ll still get the same smooth experience as with some of the other cross trainers on the list.

The best cross trainer under £300: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Magnetic Elliptical Cross Trainer

(Image credit: Sunny Health)

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Magnetic Elliptical Cross Trainer

The best cross trainer under £300

Specifications
Workout programmes: 0
Stride length: 28cm
Incline: No
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Large, anti-slip foot platforms+LCD monitor+Heart rate reading
Reasons to avoid
-100kg max user weight-Basic with no incline or workout programmes

Choose this Sunny Health & Fitness cross trainer if you are on a budget. Not only is it affordable, but it's safe to use, too. A great cross trainer for occasional use.

What reviewers love
Besides the fact this cross trainer is a total bargain, it's also said to be surprisingly sturdy as well as easy to put together. It's great for compact spaces, and it's quiet when in use. Although probably not the best pick for serous cross trainer users, or if you're planning on using your new cross trainer every day.

Design
With anti-slip foot platforms that are large and secure, as well as eight levels of adjustable resistance, you can tailor this machine to your fitness level. It's even on wheels for easy moving, and it has a compact stride length of 28cm – great for smaller homes. It has floor stabilizers so it can be used on uneven ground or carpets, too. There's a maximum user weight of 100kg, but other than that you should be good to go!

The important stuff
Though basic since there are no workout programmes available and you can't adjust its incline, this cross trainer does have a hand pulse monitoring system to provide heart rate readings, as well as an LCD monitor. Refer to this monitor to track your time, speed, distance, calories and more.

Best cross trainer elliptical: NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i Elliptical

6. NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i Elliptical

The best cross trainer with incline

Specifications
Workout programmes: 35
Stride Length: 38in (adjustable)
Incline: 0-10%
Reasons to buy
+ Bluetooth compatibility  + Silent magnetic resistance  
Reasons to avoid
- Tricky to assemble- Expensive

For those who are building their very home gym, the NordicTrack FreeStride FS7i Elliptical 3-in-1 trainer could be the ideal piece of kit for your workouts. 

What reviewers love
You might need a hand putting this large piece of kit together, but once it’s up it’s said to be easy to operate and smooth when in operation. Users love that it's multifunctional as it adds variation to their workouts, while its 24 resistance levels mean it can be adapted to your fitness level.

Design
Admittedly large in size, we think this cross trainer is best suited to a dedicated home gym. It has a 32-inch stride length that's adjustable, as well as a 10 per cent incline. This NordicTrack cross trainer has a sound system so you can motivate yourself with your favourite tunes during a workout. Other design features we love include a fan and Bluetooth compatibility to your smart device to track your progress.

The important stuff
This three-in-one treadmill, cross trainer and stepper is multifunctional, and it's easy to switch between modes. Not only is the machine feature-packed with 24 workout programmes and an adjustable stride, but it’s also perfect for multiple people to use even if they have different fitness levels.

How to buy the best cross trainer

There are a few different types of cross trainer you can buy, and some things you’ll want to consider before choosing the right elliptical machine for you.

Electromagnet or belt resistance?
There are different types of resistance that can be used on these machines, the most common being electromagnetic, with some cheaper models having a belt resistance. 

Stride lengths
If you’re looking for a cross trainer that can be used by multiple members of the family, then make sure you pick a cross trainer with variable stride lengths. This will allow you to adjust the length of your strides depending on your size and what type of workout you want to do.

LCD monitor
If you'd like to track your progress and have access to pre-set workout programmes so you can make the most of your machine at home, then make sure the cross trainer you use has an LCD monitor to display this information.

Price
For some of the most high-end machines, you’ll be looking at setting yourself back up to £2,500, but if you’re on a budget or short of space, there are plenty of more basic options available for as little as under £200. Consider the type of training you will be doing, and how often you will be using the machine, and then see what each of our choices has to offer…

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