Best Home Cross Trainer 2020 - Reviews & Comparison
We tested 50 home cross trainers for 3 months and show you our reviews and the results of our tests!
During our tests and for our comparison, we took into account the following technical criteria:
- the weight of the flying wheel
- the maximum power in watts
- the number of resistance levels
- the weight of the elliptical bike
- the maximum user weight supported
- the size of the cross trainer
- the console's characteristics
- the pedaling comfort
- the smoothness of resistance changes
- the movement of the elliptical
- the elliptical bike's solidity
- the pedaling noise after 10 hours and 100 hours of exercising
- the stability of the elliptical machine bike during a sprint
- the design
- the general impression of the cross trainer
- the price
We reveal you what's the best cross trainer for home use in 2020 in the UK and present you the results of our tests and our reviews in a comparison chart.
The Best Home Cross Trainer in 2020 in the UK
The DKN XC-140i elliptical cross trainer is the winner: the "best home cross trainer of 2020" in the medium price category (between £300 and £600). Well designed, quiet and stable during intense or interval training, it offers a very fluid pedaling and guarantees a good position of the body during the exercise. Its power and resistance levels allow you to follow cardio workouts as well as HIIT interval workouts. The DKN XC-140i has the best price on the market for that level of quality.
It performs very well in the most important criteria. The movement is fluid and comfortable thanks to its ergonomics and a 14 kg flying wheel. The resistance changes in a very smooth fashion and allows to go up to 250 watts by 5 watt increments. It has a solid construction and has been well designed: It does not make any noise after 10 hours of striding and hardly after 100 hours of use. On top of that, it has a Bluetooth connection, unlike most cross trainers in the same price range, which allows to use compatible training apps that make the workout more engaging and interactive. The Vescape App for example offers cardio and HIIT workout programs as well as fitness tracking with stats. All in all, a very good cross trainer for home at a highly competitive price!
The Kettler Skylon S Folding Cross Trainer arrives first in the ranking of the best home cross trainers in 2020 in the upper price range (above £600). It is of outstanding quality and the smoothness, comfort and fluidity of the movements are exceptional. For sure, it is an expensive equipment but well deserved!
The Kettler Skylon S scores very high in all criteria and has excellent technical characteristics: a 22 kg flying wheel which ensures a very fluid stride, smooth changes in resistance, a power going up to 400 watts and a comfortable position of the body. You can really feel the wheel turning while striding on the elliptical and it's a very pleasant sound, almost meditative (no unpleasant noise at all). The elliptical bike is very stable and can be adjusted on any type of floor thanks to small stabilizers. Its neat and elegant design, all in black with a blue circle around the wheel, suits to any living room or bedroom. Little wheels in the front allow to move the elliptical bike easily and it can be folded to be stored easily in a separate room. The Kettler Skylon S has a beautiful console with the Bluetooth connection and an iPad holder. The Bluetooth connection allows you to use workout apps on Android and iOS like the Vescape App. The Skylon S by Kettler is probably the highest quality elliptical trainer for home training.
Ranking and Comparison of the best elliptical cross trainers in the UK in 2020
Here are the results of our cross trainers tests presented in a comparison chart as well as our tips to help you choose the best home elliptical bike. Our ranking takes into account the most important criteria you should consider before buying a cross trainer as well as our reviews regarding the comfort and fluidity of the movements, the position of the body during the exercise.
When you want to buy a cross trainer, it is extremely important to know if you are going to to work out regularly and intensely since it will determine the price range you should aim for:
- If you intend to exercise once or twice a week, then you can find a very good equipment between £300 and £600.
- If you plan to use your cross trainer at least 3 to 4 times a week for one hour or more over a long period of time, that is at least 1 or 2 years, then you should definitely aim for a higher quality elliptical machine with a price above £600. It will be more robust, will have a longer life and will not squeak after one year.
No good workout without a good material! In addition, you will not achieve your goals, whether it is to lose weight, get back in shape, gaining muscle or for rehab, if the fitness equipment you buy is of low quality. Below £300, you will unfortunately not find a good quality cross trainer and it won't last long.
Here is our exercise bikes comparison chart according to the weight of the flying wheel, the maximum user weight supported and the other criteria mentioned above.
Comparison of the elliptical cross trainers in the price range £300 to £600
The following elliptical trainers are ideal for those who want to work out regularly from 2 to 3 times a week and get a full-body workout at home.
Comparison of the elliptical cross trainers in the higher price range (£600 and above)
The following elliptical trainers are ideal if you are planning to exercise more than 3-4 times a week (5 to 10 hours per week) over one year or more: they are more robust and will last longer. These elliptical bikes have higher quality parts and won't squeak or make any noise after one year or two years of use. Plus, the striding comfort and the feeling while running are superior to that of the cheaper elliptical bikes.
The conclusions of our tests and reviews
1. What is the best cross trainer brand on the market?
In our opinion and according to our tests, DKN Technology and Kettler are the best brands for cross trainers for home use.
In the medium price category (£300 to £600), you may find cross trainers from other brands with similar characteristics but quite often, the price-quality ratio varies a lot. In our opinion, the best value for money is offered by the fitness brand DKN Technology with the DKN XC-140i for £499.
In the upper price category (above £600), the elliptical machines by the well-known brands such as DKN, Kettler, Nordic Track, ProForm, JTX are all of very high quality. If you spend more than £600 to £800, you won't buy a cross trainer with bad characteristics. But you can end up paying more for the same quality. If you are ready to spend more than 1000 , we would definitely recommend you the Skylon S by Kettler. If you are more limited in your budget, the DKN XC-160i is an excellent choice for £799.
Kettler is a famous German home fitness equipment brand. They used to produce everything in Germany and manufactured high-end cross trainers (and exercise bikes) of outstanding quality. However, they changed their production mode about two years ago and have since been focusing on cheaper models, so that their very high-end elliptical bikes like the Skylon S are still available, but surely not for long.
2. Are compact folding cross trainers a good choice?
The cross trainers in the lower price category that are sold for less than £300 are of course cheaper but their quality is much lower than the cross trainer in the upper price range.
- The movements are not very fluid and the resistance not smooth.
- During an interval training (HIIT workout), these elliptical bikes lack of stability.
- Cross trainers in the lower price category (below £300) have less power and cannot go very high in watts.
- Some of them are quite silent at the beginning but after 10 to 15 hours of exercise, they all start squeaking. Then, they make more noise over time and the rotation of the inner wheel becomes less and less smooth, which impacts the fluidity of the strides. Their lifetime is very limited.
- The compact cross trainers are smaller and have a smaller stride length, which is a great limitation in the workout. The position of the body on these ellipticals are not always very appropriate.
Most of the compact foldable cross trainers are in this price category. It is for sure practical since you can store them after your workout but this benefit comes at the expense of quality. In the end, cheap elliptical bikes do not offer the best price-quality ratio. If your goal is to exercise regularly and not to stop after 2 or 3 weeks, it's better to invest a bit more and be sure to have a high quality trainer with smooth movements. It's important that you enjoy your workout if you want to make progress and stay motivated!
3. Is the Flywheel weight the most important buying criteria?
The flywheel weight is probably the best criterion for judging the quality of an elliptical cross trainer. With a flying wheel that is too light (below 11-12kg), the movements on the cross trainer will not be as smooth and fluid. In worst cases, jerks will come with each stride. Other criteria like the stride length, the weight of the elliptical and the maximum user weight are also important criteria. Usually, if a cross trainer performs poorly in one criterion, it will also perform poorly in the other criteria.
4. Bluetooth connection: are all cross trainers equipped with it?
Unfortunately not... The Bluetooth connection allows you to connect your iPad, iPhone or tablet via Bluetooth to your cross trainer and makes the workout more interactive. There are many apps available, like the Vescape app, that gives you the possibility to follow training programs, customize or create new workouts and follow your stats. It's really a great advantage but many cross trainers, also in the high end segment, do not have the Bluetooth.
OUR ADVICE: Before buying an elliptical cross trainer, think of how you are going to use it and how frequently you intend to exercise. If you plan to work out once or twice a week, then a cross trainer in the medium price category would be an excellent fit. But if you plan to exercise 3 to 4 times a week, with another person at home as well, your wife or your children for example, then we would rather recommend you to choose an elliptical trainer in the upper category which will be more robust and last longer.
David Anderson is a professional coach with 15 years of experience in the sports and fitness industry. He has been writing about fitness and giving workout tips and advice since 2016.