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Elliptical machines are one of the best ways to exercise, a worthy addition to your home gym. Efficient and highly effective, the device provides a full-body workout without totally ravaging your joints the way, say, running on a treadmill could. Thanks to its low-impact design, your feet never leave the pedals as you move; it’s like striding in midair, reducing any strain and tension that comes from hitting the ground forcefully.
Basically, the best elliptical machines will help jump-start your fitness goals with ease, keeping you refreshed while still working your quads, glutes, hamstrings and core muscles. We should note, though, that not all units are one and the same. There are a number of options in the market, each suited for different spaces, skillets and more. Brands such as Bowflex and NordicTrack, for instance, have elliptical machines with built-in subscription training services to help you maximize exercise routines. Schwinn Fitness and Iron Company offer designs that are best for confined areas. And Sole places comfort front and center.
No matter what you’re looking for, having an elliptical machine at home will prompt you to put one foot in front of the other and get your daily dose of cardio—without excuses. So, don’t hesitate and check out 10 of the best below.
Best Overall Elliptical Machine
Nautilus E618 Elliptical Machine
The E618 offers pretty much everything you could want or need in an elliptical machine—and then some—thanks to a handful of built-in training programs and 25 different resistance levels. For data-driven fiends, Bluetooth capabilities track and monitor statistics, interfacing with a variety of different apps. Best of all, the weighted flywheel allows for an easy start and smooth workouts.
Dimensions: 51.20 x 22.00 x 34.30 inches.
Stats Tracked: Time, distance, speed, calories, speed, RPM and heart rate.
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: 15 years; parts: 5 years; electrical: 5 years; motor: 15 years; labor: 2 years.
Best Compact Elliptical Machine
Schwinn Fitness 470 Elliptical Machine
With its modern look and feel, the Schwinn 470 will fit nicely into any home, regardless of whether or not you have a gym area or not. The machine doesn’t have any included Wi-Fi capabilities, but it does offer plenty of Bluetooth functionality, including connectivity with tracking apps like MyFitnessPal. For taller bodies, the 20-inch stride length provides ample room to stretch that pace, assuming you have the space in your home to account for it.
Dimensions: 28.2 x 63.2 x 70.1 inches.
Stats Tracked: Time, distance, speed, calories, speed and heart rate.
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: 10 years; parts: 2 years; electronics: 1 year; labor: 90 days.
Buy Now on Amazon:
Best Three-in-One Elliptical Machine
NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride Elliptical Machine
Combining three different stride styles (stepper, elliptical and treadmill) into one device, the NordicTrack FreeStride is a fantastic full-body workout machine. The impressive and vivid 14-inch HD display allows you to work out in gorgeous vistas thanks to the Global Workouts. You can even engage in specialized training sessions through iFit’s suite of live classes (you’ll need a subscription, however). With 26 levels of resistance, you’ll have myriad ways to stay engaged.
Dimensions: 63 x 30.71 x 25.59 inches.
Stats Tracked: Time, distance, incline/decline and heart rate.
Weight Capacity: 375 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: 10 years; parts: 2 years; labor: 1 year.
Buy Now on NordicTrack: $2,299
Best Minimalist Elliptical Machine
Iron Company Elliptical Machine
The Iron Company’s elliptical is pretty no-frills—but a minimalist style approach is sometimes the best way forward. A simple display keeps track of key metrics, including heart rate. It’s a great entry-level machine for those looking to get a better idea of how ellipticals work will find a lot to enjoy here, as the eight levels of resistance training help to provide a good challenge. Plus, it’s small enough to tuck away when you’re not using it.
Dimensions: 45 x 26 x 66 inches.
Stats Tracked: Heart rate, time, distance, speed and calories.
Weight Capacity: 225 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: 5 years; parts: 1 year; electronics: 3 months; labor: 90 days.
Best Vertical Elliptical Machine
ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 Elliptical Machine
The ProForm Carbon H7 machine is taller than it is wider, which is extraordinarily helpful for those tight on space. Despite appearing more like a stair stepper, this is still an elliptical capable of providing all the same health benefits as the classic designs. The 7-inch touchscreen provides real-time data and also includes training classes from iFit. One fun feature: the built-in speakers that are Bluetooth-enabled, so you can still stream your lovingly cultivated Spotify playlist.
Dimensions: 55 x 33 x 18 inches.
Stats Tracked: Incline/decline, heart rate, time, distance, speed and calories burned.
Weight Capacity: 235 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: 10 years; parts: 2 years.
Best Features on an Elliptical Machine
Bowflex M9 Max Elliptical Trainer
If you spent any time watching cable television, you’re likely familiar with Bowflex. The exercise company, however, makes more than its titular machine—as evidenced by this elliptical. The full-body cardio device provides HIIT workouts to ensure you’re staying fit, while six different grips along the handle yield plenty of options for hand placement. Without a doubt, our favorite feature is the vivid 16-inch display that streams not only workout classes through Bowflex’s JRNY membership program, but you can also download streaming apps such as Netflix or HBO Max to watch your favorite streaming shows while you sweat it out.
Dimensions: 49.2 x 30.5 x 65.1 inches
Stats Tracked: Heart rate, time, calories and intervals.
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: 3 years; parts: 3 years; electronics: 1 year; labor: 90 days.
Best Elliptical Machine for Sensitive Feet
Sole E35 Elliptical Machine
Sole’s E35 elliptical machine is notable for a handful of reasons, but chief among them is the fact the unit’s pedals—which are adjustable and slightly sloped to mitigate stress on the legs—were created and designed with feedback from physical therapists. The overall effect helps reduce impact on your whole lower body. This means you can work harder, faster and stronger without putting your muscles through complete hell.
Dimensions: 26.38 x 32.28 x 8.66 inches.
Stats Tracked: Calories, distance, heart rate and time.
Weight Capacity: 375 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: lifetime; electronics: 5 years; parts: 5 years; labor: 2 years.
Most Stylish Elliptical Machine
Technogym Elliptical Machine
What immediately stands out in Technogym’s elliptical machine is its silhouette; its sleek appearance feels like it pulls from the best bits of Apple’s design philosophy. Also, the unit can fold its legs up into the body, taking up less space in a given area, which is helpful if your exercise room is cramped or you just want to get it out of the way after a workout. Features include a tablet that allows you to access all of Technogym’s live training sessions and a charging cord that won’t let you skip a beat if your device isn’t powered up and ready.
Dimensions: 63.8 x 25.6 x 63 inches.
Stats Tracked: Time, distance, heart rate and incline.
Weight Capacity: 286.6 pounds.
Warranty: 2 years.
Most Ergonomic Elliptical Machine
Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Machine
Boasting a setup that takes no longer than 30 minutes, the EX-59 elliptical from Horizon Fitness is designed for ease of use above all else. The intuitive controls make it so you can jump on it and go with the press of a button. The LCD display isn’t anything too fancy, but you can place a tablet (complete with an included charging port) to provide entertainment while you stride. The placement of the pedals is staged in such a way to naturally reduce stress, while the stride itself helps to mimic the overall natural movement of a step to further help your body.
Dimensions: 52 x 19 x 30 inches.
Stats Tracked: Calories, distance, heart rate, program level, speed, time and watts.
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: lifetime; parts: 1 year; labor; 1 year.
Buy Now on Horizon Fitness: $999
Best Budget Elliptical Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Series Elliptical Machine
For those looking to invest in a quality but affordable elliptical option, the Essential series from Sunny Health and Fitness offers a strong contender that doesn’t skimp on features. The magnetic elliptical includes a digital monitor readout for statistical information and features an eight-level resistance knob to adjust the difficulty when you’re in the mood for a challenge. And the anti-slip pedals include stabilizers and safety. Note: The compact design may not offer a wide stride, but the wheels on the bottom make it easy to roll away when you’re done.
Dimensions: 17 x 28 x 57 inches.
Stats Tracked: Time, speed, distance, calories and pulse.
Weight Capacity: 220 pounds.
Warranty: Frame: 3 years; parts: 180 days.
What to Consider Before Buying the Best Elliptical Machines:
Size: Most home gyms aren’t as expansive as your local Equinox, which is why making sure you have a machine that can fit into a given space is key. Ellipticals, in particular, often extend outward horizontally, which means you need enough room to take those strides. And if you’re on the taller side, you’ll really need to pay close attention to the length of the stride path so as to ensure your legs don’t get cramped.
Features: The more bells and whistles you have on a machine, the more it’s bound to cost. Some brands have built-in training functions that may require a subscription, while others include connectivity to tracking apps and entertainment services. Just pick the option that’ll keep you on your elliptical longer.
Comfort: While ellipticals are inherently low-impact, some machines take this philosophy a step further by providing additional benefits in the form of larger foot pedals, closer pedal placement or textured handles. Naturally, comfort often comes at a premium. This category largely comes down to personal preference, but it’s worth considering nonetheless.
Design: Most home machines look like something you’d find at a gym, but there are some stylish options that’ll gel better with your interiors. It’s not just about appearances, though; there are design elements such as rollers, data displays and sensors that make ellipticals easier to handle. Of course, the best ones will feature all of the above.