Magnetic Vs. Air Resistance Elliptical Trainers

Elliptical machines offer cardiovascular workouts and toning benefits from the comfort of your home. These machines tout a low-impact workout that burns between 500-850 calories in an hour.

Machine Size

Elliptical machines are typically low profile; both the magnetic and air resistant styles are designed not to take up a lot of room, usually ranging between 14 and 20 inches wide with the stride range considered.


Both air-resistance and magnetic elliptical machines offer a body mimicking design that copies natural movements and monitors the pulse. They feature gripping foot pedals to make for a safer workout. Most magnetic machines come with the added feature of preprogrammed routines that can be adjusted as your skill level increases.

Noise Level

Magnetic elliptical machines are much less noisy than air resistance versions because they do not have fan blades beating the air; the relative silence allows for users to listen to music or watch TV/videos while exercising.

Calorie Counting

All cardiovascular workout machines, including elliptical machines, allow for the loss of eight to nine calories per minute, a loss comparable to that of jogging or running at a moderate speed. This adds up to around 500 calories per hour, which can be increased if the machine offers an upper-body workout along with the lower-body workout .

Resistance Levels

According to the list of Best Elliptical Machines gathered by, magnetic elliptical machines are the only ones that provide the option of adding or decreasing resistance levels, many allowing changes to resistance levels during your workout.