There are lots of home workout machines, but which one is the best for you? A home cardio machine will definitely give you the best bang for your buck. In this article, you’ll learn why exercising at home is ideal, why doing cardio is optimal for weight loss, and finally which cardio machine is right for you. There are more home cardio machines to choose from than you think.

Not all cardio machines will work for all people. There is a lot to consider when you shop for a machine. Will you use it? Is it affordable for you? Read on to discover which home cardio machine will be a good fit for what you want.

Why Work Out at Home?

Woman doing cardio work out at home.If you’ve ever joined a gym in the past, you know that initially there can be a lot of excitement. You’re pumped that you’re doing something for yourself and that you will finally get in shape. Reality hits, however, when the excitement wears off. Gyms are notoriously intimidating and expensive. All that equipment and all those people in skimpy outfits trying to impress each other—it’s a recipe for making you to just make up excuses to stay home. Meanwhile, you’re stuck with membership fees.

There’s also the issue that many gyms are giant germ factories. With people sweating all over machines and equipment, the spread of illness can happen easily. In the colder months, you are locked in a giant box with recirculated air making it very easy to get sick. The best tip if you’re working out at a public gym? Wash your hands when you’re done.

Exercising outside might work, but you’re pretty limited to what you can do. Plus, there are always long periods of the year where it’s too hot or cold. Who wants to bundle up in a million layers and slip on the ice? Or who wants to get a sunburn and dehydrated working out in 100-degree weather? Not to mention, that depending on your schedule, the best time for you to exercise may be early in the morning or in the evening when it’s dark outside.

When factoring in all the annoying parts of working out at the gym or outside, that’s why we advocate for working out at home to achieve the weight loss you desire. Working out at home is a great option. It’s always available, it’s climate-controlled, and you don’t have to pay a membership fee to go there! You can fit it into your schedule when it works best for you. You can even watch TV while doing it!

Cardio Equals Weight Loss

Woman weightloss by cardio exerciseNow the question is, what type of home workout should you do? Weight lifting can strengthen your muscles, but what you really need is to burn calories. Studies show that cardio is your best bet for weight loss, but there are other benefits as well, including an improved cardiovascular function for your heart and lungs. You also can expect:

  • Reduced risk of heart attack
  • lowering high cholesterol
  • decreasing high blood pressure
  • combatting diabetes
  • improved circulation and blood flow

If you want to lose weight effectively and do it in the comfort of your own home, your best option is a cardio machine.

Cardio machines at home are a built-in way for you to have an exercise routine. It’s always ready to go. You just need to hop on! There are lots of options for home workout equipment. Cardio machine options can include elliptical machines, treadmills, a variety of bikes, stair climbers, and rowing machines. Basically, any machine that keeps you active and gets your heart rate up for a long period of time qualifies as a cardio machine. Why invest specifically in a cardio machine when trying to achieve weight loss?

In a study by Duke University, researchers tracked 119 overweight volunteers for eight months. What they found was that those doing cardio lost more weight than those doing resistance training or a combination of the two. That’s because cardio engages so much of your body at once.

As you are moving, you’re using your heart, your lungs, your muscles. The blood is pumping and everything works together and gets stronger. As a result, your heart circulates blood better, your capacity to breathe increases, and you can do more with your muscles. All of this movement expends calories, which means your body lets go of fat. Pretty great, right?

In essence, investing in a cardio machine is a long-term investment in your health. Don’t just think of it as a piece of equipment—think if it as a tool for you to live your best life. Imagine yourself with stronger muscles and lungs and lower body fat, with more energy and excitement for facing the day. Now that’s what we’re talking about.

Choosing the Best Cardio Machine for Weight Loss

Unfortunately, too many home cardio machines sit, gathering dust or acting as a clothes hanger. That could be for a lot of reasons, including the fact that the machine isn’t effective. When looking for the best home cardio machine for weight loss, it’s important to get the best. The best quality, the one with the best features, all for a competitive price. The happier you are with the product, the more likely you will be to hop on every day. Before we show you which is the best home cardio machine, let’s discuss why it’s the best option for your goals.

Choosing the best cardio machine comes down to several aspects of how the machine works and what it does for you. You’ll want to consider the quality of the workout, ease of use, best workout in less time, long-term use as you age, and price.

  • Quality of Workout

The number one question to ask is, does it work your whole body or just a specific area? Many bikes or stair machines, for example, just work your legs, leaving the arms out of the equation. This could be a deal-breaker because why invest in a cardio machine that can’t deliver a whole-body workout? In that case, you’ll probably be expending fewer calories and those upper body muscles won’t get the workout they need. However, just because it doesn’t work your arms doesn’t mean you don’t get a good workout. You’ll just need to do something else if you also want toned arms.

  • Ease of Use

You simply won’t use a machine that’s difficult to use, so keep that in mind. It comes down to how your body moves and your personal preferences. Don’t like to run? Then don’t buy a treadmill! Feel uncoordinated on an elliptical? Then get something else! Other home cardio machines like rowing machines are effective, but if that particular movement isn’t your cup of tea or you aren’t particularly good at it, you won’t be motivated to use it every day.

That can really put a damper on your weight loss goals. The best machine is one that you can jump on, day after day, without thinking about it, and just go. Results are determined by consistency, so the best workouts or machines in the world won’t do anything if you’re not motivated to use them. Finding cardio that you’re excited to do allows you to be consistent, and this is what produces results.

  • Best Workout in Less Time

While all cardio machines offer methods for you to burn calories, finding the best cardio machine that you can use in the least amount of time but still get a great workout is ideal. Let’s face it—you don’t want to spend hours working out. You don’t have that kind of time, energy, or interest. You have other things to do.

A study in the Journal of American Medical Association compared several home cardio machines to see which ones burned the most calories.  The study looked at a treadmill, stair stepper, cross-country-skiing machine, Airdyne bike, cycle ergometer, and rowing machine. The winner? The treadmill offered the most calories expended through walking or running. The rowing machine was also a good contender. When looking to purchase the best cardio machine, be sure to research the average calories burned during a typical workout.

  • Long-term Use as You Age

Another thing to consider is how your body will change over time. If you ever have an injury or develop joint problems, or you want to keep using your cardio machine as you age, you’ll want to get a machine that you can keep using in the years to come. If you have bad knees, for example, you might not want to spend the money on a treadmill or a stair climber. A better option would be something low impact, like an elliptical or a stationary bike. What aches and pains are you experiencing now? Or can you see yourself using a particular machine in 10+ years? Think about it.

  • Price

The saying, “You get what you pay for,” definitely applies to cardio machines, so keep that in mind while considering which one you want to buy. Some brands are cheaper and cater to that market. Other brands are top of the line. Some brands have a variety of cheaper to more expensive.

The key is to get the most bang for your buck. Make sure the machine is well made, with all the features you want. There are so many cardio machines on the market these days; it can make your head spin! But that’s also a good thing. You’re more likely to find something that fits your budget but is also a wise chose for long-term use.

Also, keep in mind that buying a home cardio machine is maximizing your time and energy. Every time you workout at home, you aren’t spending time or money driving to and from the gym or on a gym membership. That’s a huge plus when factoring costs. There is also the motivation factor. The prospect of having to drive, fight traffic, and look for parking can put you off going to work out. Knowing your workout is only a few steps away will help you adhere to getting fit.

As you compare prices, also consider this. Remember what you are saving vs a gym by investing in a cardio machine. In fact, we call purchasing a cardio machine an “investment” because that’s exactly what it is! It’s like buying or renting a house. In buying a house, you are building equity and after the loan is paid off, the house is yours. Not so with renting. So while it can feel like a hit to make a big cardio machine purchase, remember that after that, you’re home free.

Top-rated Home Cardio Machines

Now that you know that a cardio machine at home is your best option for weight loss, and you’ve considered different aspects of different types of machines, now it’s time to shop! Here are some top-rated cardio machines that you can buy, with reviews from actual users.

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding TreadmillThis bestselling treadmill boasts good shock absorption and a quiet motor. As far as price goes, it’s right about in the middle of the road. A great option if you want to hop on and burn a lot of calories quickly.


  • 16″ x 50″ walking/running surface
  • 5 inch LCD display for speed, incline, time, distance, calories, and pulse
  • Speed range 0.5 -10 MPH
  • 12 preset programs
  • 3 manual incline settings

Who Makes It

XTERRA Fitness is a fitness equipment company that offers treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, seated steppers, and rowers. It is owned by Dyaco, focused on fitness and health. XTERRA originated in 1996 as a triathlon comprising an open-ocean swim, a mountain bike race, and a trail run. Their products are meant to help fitness enthusiasts meet their goals at home.

Bottom Line

This isn’t a top of the line treadmill, but it’s not the cheapest, either. If you’re looking for a good workout for a good price, this is definitely it. It also folds so it can be stowed away out of sight. It’s easy to assemble and you’ll be happy with the display options and accessory holder.

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn 470 Elliptical MachineThe fluid motion of this machine makes it easy to use. Just hop on and go! It also has some fun features, including the RunSocial App for tracking your progress. This is a high-quality machine that works your upper and lower body and will last a long time.


  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 29 workout programs
  • 25 levels of resistance
  • DualTrack LCD displays
  • Media shelf, in-console speakers with MP3 input port, USB media charging and adjustable fan

Who Makes It

Most people have heard of Schwinn, at least the bicycles. They found the company in 1895 in Chicago and dominated the bike industry for many years. It’s a sub-brand of Pacific Cycle, which is owned by Dorel Industries of Canada, which focuses on juvenile products, bicycles, and home furnishings.

Bottom Line

Ellipticals like this one are definitely more expensive than other cardio machines like treadmills, but sometimes paying more is worth it. This cardio machine offers the low impact you may look for if you have knee or joint problems. It also offers a really great arm workout. Assembly can take longer than other machines, but it includes thorough assembly instructions.

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709Exercise bikes have come a long way, and the market has exploded with many options. This recumbent—which means you lean back in a reclined position—exercise bike has all you need for a great workout at home in a small package. It also couples well with TV watching or reading.


  • 8 resistance levels
  • LCD computer screen that shows time, speed, distance, and calories burned.
  • Padded seat
  • Adjustable foot straps

Who Makes It

Marcy is a brand started by renowned strong man in 1959, Walter Marcyan. The brand is now owned by IMPEX, located in California, which started in 1982 and offers fitness products. They also own Apex, Steelbody, Hers, Bionic Body, and Competitor brands. They are sold at most large retailers, such as Walmart, Costco, Dick’s, Big Five, and more.

Bottom Line

This is a very inexpensive option for doing cardio at home. Since the bike is recumbent, the user can sit back while working their legs. The recumbent position is also good if you have a bad back as it takes to strain away from it. The Marcy is also compact, so it can fit in a small space or be hidden from view when not in use.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing MachineIf you can master rowing, then you can really get a great workout in less time with this machine. Rowing is a full-body workout, but it can be hard for some. They design this rower to last and it is very affordable.


  • LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count.
  • Foam grip handlebars
  • Textured non-slip foot pedals and foot straps
  • Built-in transportation wheels for easy portability.
  • Adjustable resistance

Who Makes It

In business for 15 years, Sunny Health & Fitness is located in Los Angeles and imports and distributes fitness machines. They carry equipment from manufacturers in Taiwan and China. They focus on competitive pricing.

Bottom Line

You’ll get a sweaty, low impact, and intense workout with this rowing machine. Rowers are some of the fittest athletes on earth because rowing is a cardiovascular and muscular endurance workout all in one. Rowing works a majority of the muscles in the body including your core. This rower won’t break the bank, and what you get in return is a machine that you can invest just a little time with every day for maximum benefit.


Having home cardio equipment can help you burn more calories and lose more weight. It’s easily accessible any time you want, and you can use it from the comfort of your own home. The trick is to research different high-rated machines for quality, ease of use, best workout in less time, long-term use, and price. What is really comes down to is if you will enjoy using it?

Once you find the right cardio machine to buy, now you just have to get it home, set it up, and hop on! You’ll be burning calories in no time, and it will be a huge kick start to your weight loss plan.

What home cardio machines have you tried? Which ones do you like the best? Any home cardio machines you haven’t tried that you are curious about? Comment below!