7 best elliptical machines for home workouts in 2024

Working out at home has its perks — no hectic parking lots, no membership fees and no crowds. There are tons of great options for home gym equipment, and we’ve consulted with experts to better understand what goes into the best dumbbells, treadmills, stationary bikes, indoor rowers and more. But who should consider an elliptical for a home gym?

We spoke with fitness experts on why ellipticals may work better for you than other workout machines and how to shop for one.

SKIP AHEAD The best elliptical machines | Why use an elliptical? | How to shop for an elliptical

The best elliptical machines

We leveraged our expert guidance to find top-rated products from reliable brands within the fitness space, focusing mostly on ellipticals under $2,000. For each machine, we noted key specifications, like weight capacity, flywheel weight, resistance levels and more. 

Sole Fitness E35

Sole makes some of the highest-rated ellipticals under $2,000. The E35 is one of their mid-tier models and offers a great experience for beginners and enthusiasts alike, according to the brand.

With the built-in monitor, you can select workouts, adjust 20 levels of resistance or play audio with the Bluetooth speaker. It also has many different hand-hold positions, with inner and outer handlebars, and carries a 4.3-star average rating from 727 reviews on Amazon.

Dimensions: 82” (L) x 31” (W) x 71” (H) | Weight capacity: 375 lbs | Stride Length: 20” | Resistance: 25 lbs flywheel | Built-in monitor: 7.5-inch LCD | Membership: Downloadable Studio app free trial | Warranty: Lifetime frame, five years parts, two years labor

NordicTrack FS10i Elliptical

The NordicTrack FS10i bills itself as a “hybrid” trainer, able to mimic elliptical, stair-stepper and treadmill movements thanks to a long stride length, 24 resistance levels and an adjustable incline, according to the brand. The machine’s numerous settings make it a good pick for shoppers seeking versatility and variety in their workouts, which can help to keep you engaged in your routine. 

It is also a good option for those that appreciate classes: along with tracking your stats, the built-in screen can be used to watch iFIT fitness training and programming, which is available for $15 per month after a 30-day free trial.

Dimensions: 58.5” (L) x 29.5” (W) x 74” (H) | Weight capacity: 375 lbs | Stride Length: 32” | Resistance: 20 lbs flywheel | Built-in monitor: 10-inch touchscreen | Membership: iFIT Membership free trial | Warranty: 10-years frame, two years parts, one year labor

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical

This elliptical from Sunny Health & Fitness is one of the most affordable top-rated machines available. It’s much more basic than our other recommendations, but still has multiple hand-holds, eight levels of resistance and a basic built-in monitor. It’s also very compact with wheels on the bottom for easier transport, according to the brand. Plus, it has a 4.1-star average rating from 18,807 reviews on Amazon.

Dimensions: 28” (L) x 17” (W) x 57” (H) | Weight capacity: 220 lbs | Stride Length: 11” | Resistance: Magnetic | Built-in monitor: Yes | Membership: N/A | Warranty: Three years frame, 180 days parts

Bowflex Max Trainer M6

Bowflex’s Max Trainer series is part elliptical, part stair-stepper, hence its very vertical shape. It comes with a ton of different hand-hold positions, which helps it perform both elliptical and stair-stepper duties. Unlike our other recommendations, the Max Trainer M6 comes with a year-long membership to Bowflex’s JRNY training app. You can also use the M6’s magnetic media rack to stack your smartphone or tablet and watch classes, according to the brand.

Dimensions: 46” (L) x 26” (W) x 64.2” (H) | Weight capacity: 300 lbs | Stride Length: 16” | Resistance: Magnetic | Built-in monitor: Yes | Membership: One year JRNY membership included | Warranty: Two years frame and parts, 90 days labor

Octane Q37Xi

Zachary Moxham, a certified personal trainer at Physical Equilibrium in New York City,  recommends this Octane model for a professional, gym-quality feel that “has the best experience for resembling running.” He highlights the brand’s “real running motion” as the key differentiator that “does a great job in providing a running experience with very little impact to the joint.” The Q37Xi is also one of Octane’s best-selling models, and includes a detailed built-in screen, multiple hand holds, and options for cross-training, interval programs and more. 

Dimensions: 65” (L) x 30” (W) | Weight capacity: 300 lbs | Stride Length: 20.5” | Resistance: Magnetic | Built-in monitor: Yes | Membership: N/A | Warranty: Lifetime frame, five years parts, one year labor

Schwinn 470

This elliptical comes with 25 resistance levels and a motorized adjustable ramp that lets you customize the intensity and incline of your workout, according to Schwinn. It’s made of a black alloy steel and has a 20-inch stride, and can also measure heart rate and distance. This model also includes a Bluetooth connectivity feature that lets users pair and monitor their progress on app-based trackers, along with a user-friendly LCD display, which comes pre-loaded with 29 different workout programs.

Dimensions: 28.2” (D) x 63.2” (W) x 70.1” (H) | Weight capacity: 300 lbs | Stride Length: 20” | Resistance: Flywheel | Built-in monitor: Yes | Membership: N/A | Warranty: 10 years frame, two years parts, one year electronics, 90 days labor

Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical

As recommended in our guide to under-desk ellipticals, the Cubii JR1 is a top-rated mini elliptical for use when sitting at a desk. Its small size and light weight are its biggest strength: it can fit almost anywhere, and be easily moved. It offers eight levels of resistance, and tracks basic stats on the built-in LCD monitor.

Dimensions: 22.52” (L) x 13.39” (W) x 11.1” (H) | Weight capacity: 250 lbs | Stride Length: 6″ | Resistance: Magnetic | Built-in monitor: Yes | Membership: N/A | Warranty: One year or two years (if registered online)

Why use an elliptical?

Our experts say ellipticals are uniquely low-impact, full-body workout machines. “They offer a full-body [exercise] experience with very little load,” says Moxham. While ellipticals are commonly associated with cardio, they are also excellent for full-body warm-ups, to increase stamina or even HIIT (high-intensity interval training), according to our experts.

Clair Mason, the owner of Elliptica Studio in Westport, Connecticut, says that ellipticals are especially useful for “people with hip, knee or lower-back issues or injuries.” “[They] are able to push to a higher level of cardio on an elliptical due to it being low (zero) impact,” she says.

How to shop for an elliptical

When shopping for an elliptical, Moxham suggests trying out as many as you can before making a purchase. “Take a tour of your local gym and try out as many as they have,” he says. “Unlike stationary bikes and treadmills, each elliptical has its own unique swing to it. Some feel like your natural running pattern and others feel like you’re gliding.” Ensuring your elliptical feels right for you should be your first and top priority.

Outside of feel, here are a few other, more technical features to be aware of.

Flywheel vs magnetic resistance

When using an elliptical, resistance is provided by either a flywheel or an internal magnetic system.

Flywheels are more traditional and rely on friction to increase and decrease resistance. A heavier flywheel generally creates a more stable machine, which is why our experts advise aiming for a flywheel around 20 pounds. Flywheel ellipticals typically require a faster pedaling pace to maintain resistance when compared to a magnetic system.

Magnetic systems use electromagnets near a flywheel to adjust resistance levels. They are quieter and less costly to maintain, but are typically more expensive than flywheel ellipticals, according to Moxham.

Metric tracking

Most ellipticals will have some form of progress tracking. Many have built-in programs or classes you can select to give yourself more workout guidance. Some require a subscription to use these programs. You can, of course, forgo the built-in routines in favor of your favorite fitness app.

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Why trust Select?

Hannah Horvath, Lauren Levy and Harry Rabinowitz are experienced writers and reporters covering shopping and ecommerce. For this piece, they interviewed fitness experts and researched top-rated elliptical machines on the market.

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