10 Best Elliptical Machines for Your Home in 2020

We take a look at the best elliptical machines you can add to your home gym!

Best Elliptical Machines For A Home Gym

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Elliptical machines are some of the most popular gym equipment. Compared to a treadmill, ellipticals can minimize the stress on knees and joints so you can get a good, low-impact cardio workout.

Beyond physical benefits, ellipticals can be a fun change of pace from normal cardio exercises like running or biking.

Buying an elliptical for home use can be confusing because of the sheer number of options. Ellipticals come in all different sizes and modes and if you are not familiar, then you may not even know where to start your search.

So we put together this guide on the top 10 elliptical machines for home use. We also included a buying guide on what to look for in an elliptical for your home gym.

Top 10 Ellipticals for Home Use


1. Sole E95 Elliptical

Sole E95 Elliptical

Up first is the Sole E95 Elliptical. The Sole E95 is a front-drive elliptical machine that boasts a super quiet track guide system and awesome technological features.

The E95 features oversized foot pedals for increased stability and has several settings for different workout intensity levels. It also has 20 levels of incline and is made from a heavy-duty steel frame.

The Sole also has some good high-tech features such as Bluetooth audio speakers, a USB port to charge your phone, an integrated tablet holder for smart-devices, and a built-in incline/resistance controls in the handlebars. It also has a unique “worm drive” adjustment dial that allows for even more customization when adjusting settings.

This machine is fairly long so it has a very long range of extension; good for low-intensity cardio workouts. The fact that you can adjust the incline by 20 levels means you can vary the intensity to a precise degree to get the optimal workout.

Highlights

  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • Unique “worm drive” adjustment dial
  • Long extension good for low-intensity workouts
  • Very stable
  • Good tech features (Bluetooth, USB, tablet-holder, etc.)
  • Extremely generous warranty policy

Drawbacks/cons

  • Long; might be hard to fit in some rooms
  • Heavy and difficult to move 

What’s Included

  • Frame
  • Pedals

Features

  • Capacity: 375 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Front-drive design
  • Colors: Black
  • Dimensions: 82” x 31” x 67” (L x W x H)
  • Maintenance: Wipe down with a cloth after usage.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime frame warranty

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The long extension and good tech features allow for a low-intensity interactive workout routine.

Bottom Line

The Sole E95 is one of the best elliptical machines out there. It has a sturdy frame, great adjustability options, and a good suite of high-tech features. The 20-levels of incline adjust allow for several different workout intensities.

Where You Can Buy It

Soletreadmills.comWalmart.comAmazon.com

2. NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i Elliptical

Nordictrack Freestride Trainer Fs7i Elliptical

Up next is the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i Elliptical. The FS7i is a center drive elliptical with a uniquely long pedal extension. It has 32” adjustable strides and allows up to 10% extra decline for calorie burn and muscle tone.

You can change the pedal orientation so it works like an elliptical, Stairmaster, or traditional treadmill. In that sense, the FS7i is kind of like 3 machines in one.

Like the Sole we covered earlier, the FS7i has a good set of tech features. It has wireless telemetry and comes with a free 1-year membership to iFit, a smartphone fitness tracking service. It is iPhone compatible and has built-in stereo speakers, along with a tablet holder, a cooling fan, and a water bottle holder.

To top it all off, the FS7i comes with a generous 10-year frame warranty.

Highlights

  • 3 exercise modes
  • Longer extension than average
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • Highly adjustable incline and resistance
  • Keeps track of workouts
  • Media compatibility
  • Comes with free iFit subscription

Drawbacks/cons

  • Expensive
  • All the features can be hard to figure out

What’s Included

  • Frame
  • Pedals
  • 1-year iFit subscription

Features

  • Capacity: 375 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Center-drive design
  • Colors: Black/gray
  • Dimensions: 58.5” x 29.5” x 74″
  • Maintenance: Clear sensors and frame with a soft towel after use
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The NordicTrack FS7i has some great adjustability options and is basically 3 machines in one.

Bottom Line

The FS7i is a great top-of-the-line elliptical from NordicTrack. The 3-setting design makes it uniquely flexible and the included tech features are a nice touch. It has 35 built-in workout apps and comes with a generous 10-year warranty policy.

Where You Can Buy It

Nordictrack.comAmazon.com

3. Bowflex Max Trainer M8

Bowflex Max Trainer M8

The Max Trainer M8 is a top-of-the-line elliptical from Bowflex, a well-known manufacturer of home-gym equipment.

The M8 is a front-drive elliptical that features a uniquely high step rise and several levels of adjustability. It is based on the award-winning M7 model and adds on some LCD screens, over 20 resistance levels, and multi-grip dynamic handles.

It’s also compatible with Bowflex’s JRNY App that features “Max”—a dynamic AI coach that keeps track of your workouts.

Other good features of the M8 include the Bluetooth compatible heart rate monitor, connectivity for up to 4 separate users, a magnetic rack for tablets and smart devices, as well as USB ports for charging stuff. It also just has a really sleek and elegant design that looks like something you’d find in a professional gym.

Highlights

  • Attractive design
  • Unique multi-grip handles
  • Over 20 levels of resistance settings
  • Dual-mode LED screens
  • Bluetooth heart rate monitor
  • Comes with JRNY app compatibility
  • Bowflex brand quality

Drawbacks/cons

  • Expensive
  • Tall; needs a high ceiling clearance

What’s Included:

  • Frame
  • Contact mat
  • Free JRNY subscription

Features

  • Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Front-drive
  • Colors: Black/red
  • Dimensions: 49” x 30.5” x 65.5”
  • Maintenance: Wipe down machine and sensor with a soft cloth after use
  • Warranty: 3-year frame and parts, 90-day labor

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The highly adjustable design is great for all kinds of workouts.

Bottom Line

The Bowflex M8 is a fantastic elliptical that comes with the trademark Bowflex name and quality. It’s highly adjustable, has great tech integrations, and has a good looking design that looks cool in your home gym. It is on the expensive side though.

Where You Can Buy It

Bowflex.comWalmart.comAmazon.com

4. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

The Schwinn 470 Compact Elliptical Machine is a small-scale elliptical that is very affordably priced.

It is a front-drive elliptical and features 29 distinct workout programs, support for 12 exercise profiles, and 25 levels of resistance to choose from. It’s also very compact and makes a good elliptical if you need to save on space.

The Schwinn also features dual-LCD displays, a media shelf, and a built-in console with speakers and MP3 input. You can charge your devices with the USB ports, and there is a handy fan for post-workout cooldowns.

Highlights

  • Compact design
  • Very affordable
  • 29 built-in exercise programs
  • 25 levels of adjustment
  • Extra-long angled handles are easy to move
  • Syncs with Schwinn Trainer app and other fitness apps.

Drawbacks/cons

  • Can make a lot of noise
  • Warranty is hard to cash in

What’s Included

  • Frame
  • Pedals

Features

  • Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Front-drive design
  • Colors: Black/gray
  • Dimensions: 1” x 28.2” x 63.2”
  • Maintenance: Wipe down after use. Check bolts and gears monthly. Do not clean with petroleum-based products
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year mechanical

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The Schwinn is an affordable and compact elliptical that makes a good budget option.

Bottom Line

The Schwinn 470 Elliptical machine is a great entry-level option that is compact and won’t burn a hole in your wallet. It has a decent operation and some good connectivity options. It can produce a lot of noise though, so you need to make sure that the tracks are clear before and after use.

Where You Can Buy It

Schwinnfitness.comWalmart.comAmazon.com

5. Nautilus Elliptical Trainer E616

Nautilus Elliptical Trainer E616

Up at 5th is the Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer, a decent and affordable front-drive elliptical.

The Nautilus features 25 separate levels of resistance and over 29 built-in programs, allowing for great variance in exercise modes. The high-speed inertia system uses a weighted flywheel to counterbalance motion and keep the machine stable.

It also features Bluetooth compatibility, dual-track LCD displays, an MP3 input jack, and USB-media charging capabilities.

Highlights

  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Light and easy to move
  • Special flywheel mechanism improves stability
  • Ergonomic extra-long handles
  • 25 levels of resistance and 29 built-in programs
  • Easy to put together

Drawbacks/cons

  • Loud
  • Some users report onboard sensor problems

What’s Included

  • Frame
  • Pedals

Features

  • Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Front-drive
  • Colors: Black
  • Dimensions: 51” x 33” x 22”
  • Maintenance: Wipe down after use, tighten bolts once a month
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year electronics

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The Nautilus is compact and affordable. It’s a great budget pick if you want something easy to assemble and use.

Bottom Line

The Nautilus is not the highest quality elliptical out there, but it has a very good price/quality ratio. The materials are durable, and it has enough adjustability options to allow for a wide range of workout options.

Where You Can Buy It

Nautilus.comWalmart.comAmazon.com

6. Proform Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer

Proform Cardio Hiit Elliptical Trainer

Up in 6th is the Proform Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer. The HIIT is a front-drive elliptical that has a higher step raise than normal.

The pedals feature a durable rubber traction grip and the handles are extra-long and padded. This stepper has a unique hybrid stride that mixes the motion of a stairmaster and elliptical machine.

With 24 levels of resistance and an enhanced flywheel, there are plenty of options for workouts.

It also has a 7” backlit display, a calorie burn estimator, an integrated tablet holder, and smart device compatibility to track workouts.

Highlights:

  • Unique hybrid stride
  • 24 levels of resistance
  • Magnetic resistance rails reduce friction for smoother steps
  • Connects to fitness tracking apps
  • Solid steel construction

Drawbacks/cons

  • Expensive
  • High vertical clearance required

What’s Included

  • Frame
  • Pedals
  • 30-day iFit trial

Features

  • Capacity: 325 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Front-drive
  • Colors: Black/gray/red
  • Dimensions: 66” x 29.25” x 39”
  • Maintenance: Clean with a cloth and mild soap after use
  • Warranty: 3-year frame, 1-year labor

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The vertical design is good for getting a large apex cycle.

Bottom Line

The ProForm Cardio HIIT is a great elliptical trainer that has a unique design, good connectivity features, and comes with a free subscription to a very popular fitness tracking app.

Where You Can Buy It

Proform.comWalmart.comAmazon.com

7. Precor EFX 222 Energy Series Elliptical Crosstrainer

Precor Efx 222 Energy Series Elliptical Crosstrainer

The Precor EFX 222 Energy Series Elliptical Crosstrainer is a rear-drive elliptical machine that has an ultra-ergonomic design and functioning.

The patented frame has an ultra-smooth gait that keeps the body in a natural and upright position. It has a wide range of adjustability which allows for several variations to your workout and also has 3 angled incline settings at 15, 20, and 25-degrees.

It features a 5” digital LCD display but unfortunately does not have USB-charging. It does have a digital touch sensor and an extra-large water bottle holder.

The Precor is a rear-driven elliptical so it takes up more space than normal. On the flip side, the pedals do not overextend so you don’t have to guess on your space requirements.

Highlights

  • Simple, no-frills design
  • 5” LCD display
  • Extra-long ergonomic handlebars
  • Narrow profile
  • Rear-wheel drive is very stable
  • Built-in exercise modules
  • High weight capacity

Drawbacks/cons

  • Not very many features
  • NO USB-charging

What’s Included:

  • Frame
  • Pedals

Features

  • Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Rear-driven
  • Colors: white/gray
  • Dimensions: 75” x 29” x 65”
  • Maintenance: Clean with soft cloth and solution
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, 5-year parts, 1-year labor

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The simple, no-frills design is easy to operate and does not take much to set up.

Bottom Line

The Precor EFX 222 Energy Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer is a simple elliptical that is not very fancy but does the fundamentals well. It’s a smart, reliable elliptical for someone who does not care much about connectivity options.

Where You Can Buy It

Precorhomefitness.comAmazon.com

8. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Sf E905 Elliptical Machine

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine is an ultra-light and compact elliptical for home use. It has the most space-conscious design of all the machines we have covered so far and is fairly heavy-duty to boot.

The unique design centers the motion in the center and 8 levels of magnetic resistance allow you to modify the intensity of your workout.

It also has anti-slip handlebars and foot pads to ensure a solid grip. The center console is small and does not contain many indicators or measurements, but it’s a trade-off to keep the design as compact as possible.

Highlights

  • Ultra-compact space-conscious design
  • Unique center stabilization
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Measures speed, calories, and pulse
  • Extremely affordable

Drawbacks/cons

  • Not many connectivity features
  • Stride may be too shallow for some people
  • Low weight capacity

What’s Included

  • Frame

Features

  • Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Center-drive
  • Colors: White
  • Dimensions: 8” x 26.6” x 60”
  • Maintenance: Wipe down with a cloth after use
  • Warranty: 1-year frame, 90-day components

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

It has a unique ultra-compact design so you can get a workout if you don’t have much space.

Bottom Line

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine has one of the more unique designs of an elliptical we have seen and is a great choice if you don’t have much space. The connectivity features are limited, but it is extremely affordable so it’s a bargain no matter what.

Where You Can Buy It

Sunnyhealthfitness.comWalmart.comAmazon.com

9. Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer

Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer

The Body Rider Fan Trainer is a compact elliptical machine designed for use in small spaces.

The main feature of the Body Rider is the large fan front-wheel design. Working the machine works the fan, so you can keep cool during your workouts.

It does not have any console so there is no tracking, but the design is solid and reliable. The dual-handlebars also let you get an upper-body work-out at the same time.

Highlights

  • Ultra-light and compact
  • Built-in fan
  • Dual-grip handlebars give you an upper body workout
  • Includes workout video lesson

Drawbacks/cons

  • No console
  • No tracking
  • No adjustability
  • No connectivity features

What’s Included

  • Frame
  • Workout instruction video

Features

  • Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Center-drive
  • Colors: Black
  • Dimensions: 6” x 20.1” x 57.7”
  • Maintenance: Wipe down after use. Clean fan blades regularly and oil chain monthly
  • Warranty: 1-year frame

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The fan design is a great way to get a workout and cool yourself at the same time.

Bottom Line

The unique fan design of the Fan Rider is a major draw and it’s simple design makes it easy to use. It has no connectivity features but is solid and reliable.

Where You Can Buy It

Walmart.comAmazon.com

10. EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical

Efitment Magnetic Elliptical

Last but not least on our list is the EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine. This compact trainer features a rear-drive mechanism and relatively small extension which is good for moderate low-intensity workouts. it is also very space-conscious and extremely affordable.

Highlights

  • Compact
  • Low-intensity workouts
  • Provides total body workout
  • Extra-long handlebars
  • Extremely quiet

Drawbacks/cons

  • No connectivity options
  • Belt-drive can come unaligned

What’s Included

  • Frame

Features

  • Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Material: Steel & plastic
  • Design: Rear-drive
  • Colors: Gray
  • Dimensions: 41” x 25” x 59.5”
  • Maintenance: Wipe down with a cloth after each use
  • Warranty: 90-day warranty

Why it’s good for the intended usage/goal

The EFITMENT is space-conscious and an affordable way to get a good workout.

Bottom Line

The EFITMENT is not the fanciest elliptical out there, but it’s a solid choice if you are tight on space and can’t spend too much money.

Where You Can Buy It

Efitment.comWalmart.comAmazon.com

Elliptical Buying Guide

Type of Elliptical

There are 3 main types of ellipticals configurations:

  • Front-Drive ellipticals have the wheel located at the front of the machine and pedals supported by smaller wheels on a track. Front-drive ellipticals tend to be shorter length-wise and so are better for tighter spaces. They also usually have a shallower extension and higher step raise.
  • Center-drive ellipticals have drive wheels located on either side of the center, along with cylindrical rollers supported by a crankshaft. Center-drive ellipticals are kinda like being on long skis in the middle. These kinds of ellipticals tend to have the longest extension and medium pedal rise.
  • Rear-drive ellipticals have the main wheel located in the back with a track/roller setup for the pedals. These kinds of ellipticals usually have variable incline settings because the ramp can tilt back. Rear-drives tend to be the longest kind of elliptical and take up the most space.

Size/Portability

Elliptical machines tend to be pretty large pieces of equipment, so portability will most likely not be an option. That being said, you should still make sure you get a space-conscious design. The most important size constraint is that you have enough space for the elliptical to get a full extension on each stride.

An average elliptical is about 6’ long and 2.5’ across. The pedals will extend further than the machine so it will be longer in operation. Ellipticals are also raised higher than treadmills, so you need to make sure you have enough ceiling clearance.  Ellipticals with the largest cycles have pedals that max out at about 25” above the floor. You also need to have a few feet of space on either side so you can mount and dismount.

Budget

The average consumer elliptical will run you anywhere between $1,000-$2,000. Some high-end ellipticals can cost as much as $10,000. Ellipticals in the $1,000-$2,000 range generally have a good mix of quality, functionality, features, and durability.

There are decent ellipticals under $1,000, but they are rare to come by. If you are strapped for cash, the absolutely lowest we recommend going is $800. Any lower than that and you are likely to be buying something cheap and poorly made. If you want a machine that will last you years, you need to invest a bit of cash.

Ergonomics

Treadmills allow you to move relatively free form, but your motion is constrained on an elliptical. The key thing here is to make sure you can maintain a comfortable and upright position while the machine is in operation. The handles should be placed so you can grab them without angling your wrists, and your legs should be no further than shoulder length apart.

The motion itself should be easy to pull off too. If you feel like your legs are straining to make the complete cycle, then the machine is probably too long. Ideally, you should be able to glide in a single smooth motion without bouncing or straining your muscles.

Material/Build

You should only look for ellipticals that are made out of durable components, such as heavy-duty ABS plastic and steel. Ideally, the frame should be metal, and the moving components and foot pedals should be made from durable composites.

Settings/Intensity

You should be able to adjust the exercise intensity of your elliptical machine. Elliptical machines let you adjust the pedal resistance and sometimes the incline. You should be able to comfortably stride until you hit about 75% of the max intensity setting. That way you will have some room to improve.

Some ellipticals will let you adjust the incline as well. You should feel a definite change in resistance whenever you increase or decrease the settings. Make sure to check if the adjustment is automatic or manual as well.

Programs/Connectivity Features

Elliptical machines are fairly high tech and have a lot of nice accessibility features. Modern elliptical machines can be programmed for exercise routines. For example, a lot of machines include a “Random” setting which will randomly vary the resistance and incline at different points of the workout. Or there could be a “target heart rate” mode that modulates settings to keep you at a certain heart rate.

Many ellipticals can sync up to cloud devices to track exercises, find libraries of workout routines, or have wireless connectivity or browsers. Others may have headphone jacks, USB ports, and other multimedia features.

You definitely don’t need to shell out for all the fancy bells-and-whistles. But if you have the cash, then buying an elliptical with some high-tech features can make your workouts more exciting and dynamic.

Maintenance

Keeping good care of your elliptical will ensure it stays in working order for years. When servicing your elliptical, make sure to stick only with lubricants recommended by the manufacturers. Common oils and greases like WD-40 might seem useful but they can damage components. You can contact the manufacturer for more lubricant if you run out.

Safety Features

Ellipticals are big machines and so can be dangerous if not operated. Some models come with a pin-lock feature that locks the pedals so your children won’t accidentally smash their fingers. Try to find one with a warm-up and cool-down period too, as these can prevent straining yourself during workouts.

Brand Reputation/Warranty

Ellipticals come in varying builds and quality. Big brand name devices generally cost more, but that extra premium carries the reliability that large successful brands have. Reputable brands also typically have better delivery policies and may offer professional installation.

It also helps to check any available warranties. Ideally, you’ll never have to use the warranty policy, but it’s a good failsafe in case something breaks. Keep in mind that different components of the machine may be covered under different warranty policies.

Elliptical Machine FAQ

Why use an elliptical? 

Ellipticals are a good idea because they give a low-impact cardio workout. The motion of ellipticals mimics the natural gait of the legs and your feet never actually leave the pedals so there is no shock on the legs, unlike when you are running. If you have leg or joint problems, an elliptical can be a great way to get exercise without the pain.

Which muscles does an elliptical machine work? 

Ellipticals work virtually every muscle in the body, but the focus is on the lower body and legs, which includes your core, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus (your butt), calves, and hip flexors. The back and forth motion of the handlebars also works your lats and upper shoulders.

What types of elliptical are there?

There are three main types of elliptical configurations: front-drive, center-drive, and rear-drive. Front drives tend to be the most space-conscious, center-drives have the most stability, and rear-drive ellipticals normally have the longest horizontal motion. All three types focus on the same muscle groups but have a slightly different gait motion. 

How much should I spend on an elliptical machine? 

A quality consumer elliptical costs between $1,000-$2,000. We do not recommend going below $800. Any lower than that and you are in the realm of cheap, poorly made ellipticals.

Where can I buy an elliptical machine? 

You can buy an elliptical machine from any notable sports or gym equipment manufacturer. You can buy them in person or you can buy them online and have them delivered to you.

If you buy in-person, the store will usually present you with some delivery options. 

Are ellipticals better than treadmills?

It depends on your exercise preferences, but ellipticals have a few benefits over traditional treadmills.

First, ellipticals give a more dynamic range of motion than treadmills.

Second, running on a treadmill puts wear on the ankles and knees when your feet hit the track. With an elliptical, your feet never leave the pedals so there is no shock.

Third, ellipticals usually have more adjustment points, so you can better tailor a workout to your personal needs.

Ultimately though, this is a question of preference and so doesn’t really have a correct answer. If you prefer traditional running, then a treadmill might work better for you. But if you want something that is low-impact, then an elliptical may be a better choice.

How much room do I need for an elliptical?

It depends on the specific model you get. Most ellipticals are at least 6’ long, so factoring in the extension of the pedals, you need a space with at least 8’ of length.

Ellipticals are usually about 2.5’ across and you need about 1-2 feet on the side to mount and dismount properly. Based on our estimation, you need at least a 9’ x 6’ room to comfortably fit your elliptical. Make sure you factor in actually getting it inside the room too.

Gymventures

Written by Gymventures

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