July 25, 2024


Interior Of The Road

Best Ellipticals 2022

An elliptical machine allows you to log a solid cardio workout without overly taxing your joints. And while they’re a staple at most neighborhood fitness centers, it’s no surprise if you want to get your stride on in the comfort of your own home. Choosing one of the best ellipticals for your place is a sizable investment, so there are some important features to consider before you open your wallet.

If you’re a regular elliptical user, you already know that these workout machines can—like a treadmill—get your heart rate up and improve your endurance while working both your arms and legs. (If not, consider yourself informed.) But there’s a wide range of options on the market and choosing the right one for you depends on several factors (more on that at the bottom of this story).

Like today’s other hot trend in workout tech—a fitness mirror—some ellipticals deliver curated and live workouts. Others have fewer bells and whistles (and a lower price point) while still allowing you to get in solid exercise. There’s even a range of footprints: Some ellipticals are larger machines that consume an entire corner of your home gym, while others fold up easily to allow you to pull them out when you want them and stash them out of sight when you don’t. Naturally, there are plenty of machines in between, too.

To choose the best ellipticals, we analyzed the bestselling machines on the market and narrowed things down by factors like workout options, easy of use and value. With that in mind, these are the best elliptical machines you can buy for your home use.

Best Elliptical Overall

A Crowd-Pleasing Option That Has All The Features You Need

Dimensions: 73 L x 27 W x 66.9 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 350 pounds | Stride length: 22 inches

If you want an elliptical machine that’s rugged, versatile and features great ergonomics, the Nautilus E618 Elliptical Trainer is a solid choice. You get 25 levels of resistance, a 10-degree motorized incline and a generous 22-inch stride. The padded foot pedals are adjustable so you can set it up to perfectly fit your natural movement, and the system tracks metrics like time, distance and calories on the LCD display. Granted, the LCD display is nothing to write home about, but if you’re mainly looking to keep track of your workouts, it’ll get the job done.

The E618 works best in conjunction with Nautilus’s Explore the World app, which lets you cycle through beautiful courses around the world (you’ll need to pay a subscription for certain features). If you want to follow along as you work out, you can connect your own tablet via Bluetooth.


  • Lots of resistance
  • Large stride


  • LCD display is simplistic

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Best Full Body Workout Elliptical

A Sweat-Inducing Machine With An Intense Calorie Burn

Dimensions: 49.2 L x 30.5 W x 65.1 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 300 pounds | Stride length: N/A

Bowflex’s Max Trainer series is what you get when you cross an elliptical with a stair stepper. The result is a machine with 20 levels of resistance that delivers full-body, low-impact exercise with an intense calorie-burning workout. Bowflex says that lets you burn more calories in less time for more efficient workouts, and the company cites a study that asserts the M9’s unique motion provides greater upper body muscle activation than traditional ellipticals. Because the M9 is vertical rather than horizontal, it also takes up less space.

The 10-inch color HD touchscreen keeps you informed about your exercise progress and is compatible with the JRNY app—that’s Bowflex’s own subscription service for personalized exercises. You get a free two month trial with your purchase—and up to four users can work out with their own profile and progress. And don’t forget the matching workout mat, a must for protecting your floors and adding stability to your workout.


  • Smaller footprint
  • Free workout mat


  • Can be loud at higher speeds

Best Compact Elliptical

A Space-Saving Elliptical That Rolls Away When You Need It To

Dimensions: 80 L x 32 W x 67 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 325 pounds | Stride length: 18 inches

It’s right there in the name. The NordicTrack SE9i is called the SpaceSaver, and it gets that title by folding up like a transformer vertically for storage. In other words, it can easily stand unobtrusively in a corner instead of taking up half the room.

But there’s a lot more to this elliptical than just easy storage. Thoughtful ergonomic touches include padded foot pedals that lower the impact of your workout as well as an integrated fan. You get 24 resistance levels and 10 degrees of adjustable incline. The 7-inch HD touchscreen is compatible with iFit software, so with a subscription, you can take advantage of live coaches and trainers, and jog your way through courses that take you to gorgeous real-world locations. Meanwhile, the SE9i can automatically change incline and resistance based on your route and workout.


  • Folds up easily
  • Good ergonomics


  • Stride too short for some users

Best Value Elliptical

A Well-Built Machine That Won’t Break The Bank

Dimensions: 63 L x 28 W x 70 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 300 pounds | Stride length: 20 inches

If you’re looking for a higher quality machine at a budget-friendly price, the Schwinn 470 is it. While it doesn’t have a fancy display or large touchscreen, the console features a basic backlit LCD console that allows you to monitor your speed, progress and calorie burn. This full-size machine has a 20-inch stride path, 25 resistance levels and a motorized adjustable ramp that lets you set inclines of up to 10 degrees.

While all ellipticals provide a lower impact workout than other cardio machines, this one also has large cushioned footplates and ergonomically placed handles that add to the comfort and flexibility. Plus, it’s integrated with Bluetooth, so you can connect to Schwinn’s Explore the World app or most other metric-tracking apps, like MyFitness Pal, GoogleFit or Apple Health.


  • 25 resistance levels
  • Cushioned footplates


Best Elliptical For Beginners

An Easy-To-Assemble Machine With Just Enough Features

Best Budget Elliptical

A Budget-Friendly Option That’s Built To Last


Dimensions: 66.9 L x 24.8 W x 64.6 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 330 pounds | Stride length: 18 inches

If price were no object, you’d probably work with a personal trainer every morning. But price often is an object. Sunny Health & Fitness offers the Magnetic Elliptical Trainer, a $700-ish model that shows you can get a quality exercise machine without breaking the bank. This machine is best for people with a short stride—the stride length is 18 inches—and the motorized magnetic resistance system has 16 levels.

There’s an on-board LCD display to track your speed, time, distance, calories and other metrics. You can also use it to choose from among a generous 24 workout modes. And while the display doesn’t work with any kind of coaching system or streaming workout program, you can easily mount your tablet or phone above it and watch your own streaming workout or video.


  • Good price
  • 24 workout modes


Best Elliptical For Sensitive Joints

A Smooth Machine Designed By Physical Therapists

Dimensions: 83 L x 27 W x 58 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 375 pounds | Stride length: 20 inches

The Sole Fitness E35 has a feature not a lot of other ellipticals can claim: foot pedals designed in collaboration with physical therapists. The oversized pedals have adjustable foot beds and a 2-degree inward slope that reduces ankle and knee stress—a fairly common complaint with other ellipticals. The overall design of the E35 eliminates strain on your knee, hip and ankle joints so that turns an ordinarily low-impact workout into essentially a no-impact workout, regardless of which of the 20 resistance levels you choose.

The 7.5-inch display has built-in Bluetooth speakers for connecting your phone or tablet (which has its own handy mount), along with a USB port for powering or charging your device while you work out.


  • Reduces ankle and knee stress
  • Extra low-impact workout


Best Commercial-Grade Elliptical

A Splurge Option That Rivals The Machines At Your Favorite Gym

Dimensions: 86 L x 29 W x 64 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 400 pounds | Stride length: 20 inches

You’ve probably used Life Fitness equipment at the gym, but you might not be aware that the company makes some of the best ellipticals for home as well. And these machines are just as durable as the commercial models. Case in point: The Life Fitness Club Series Elliptical Cross-Trainer is a quiet and reliable machine that feels as solid as gym equipment. It features an especially long stride of 20 inches, oversized pedals and 25 resistance levels to keep you challenged.

This machine is admittedly a substantial investment, but it also comes with technology to make it feel worthwhile—like an enormous 21-inch HD touchscreen that works with a wide variety of apps including Netflix, Pandora and Life Fitness On Demand, a subscription service that includes live coaching and workout sessions.


  • Durable
  • Large touchscreen


Best Under-Desk Elliptical

An Elliptical That Lets You Work Out At Your Desk Or Couch

Dimensions: 23.5 L x 17.56 W x 10 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 250 pounds | Stride length: N/A

There’s no law that says you have to use your elliptical in a designated workout space—you can use it in your home office or from your couch with this under-desk machine. The Cubii Jr1 is just 10 inches high, making it easy to slide under most spaces. But don’t be fooled by its small size. This machine gives you that smooth gliding motion you love from an elliptical, along with eight different resistance levels to ramp up your heart rate.

The whole thing is quiet, so you can easily watch TV, read or take Zoom calls while you exercise. A built-in LCD display showcases your calories burned, strides pedaled and your distance traveled. The whole thing is portable, too, so you can take your workout on the road when you travel.


  • Highly portable
  • No setup required


Best Cordless Elliptical

An Option That Doesn’t Require an Outlet

Dimensions: 43 L x 28 W x 53.75 H inches | Maximum user capacity: 250 pounds | Stride length: N/A

The Gazelle Edge Glider is a little different from other ellipticals. For starters, it doesn’t plug in, so there’s no need to set it up near an outlet. There are also no resistance levels to flip through. Instead, you change the positioning of your body to work different areas. Since this isn’t electrical, there’s also very little distracting noise, so you can listen to your favorite shows, music or podcasts interruption-free.

Given that you provide the power here, you can easily shift speeds smoothly (and without pushing any buttons). Meanwhile, a tracker keeps tabs on your speed, distance, time and calories burned. Once you’re done, just fold the whole thing up and stash it away. It’s the very definition of a body weight workout.


  • Easy to stow
  • No outlet needed


  • You create your own resistance

What To Consider When Buying An Elliptical Machine For Your Home

All ellipticals provide a low-impact cardio workout, but the right one for you depends on your size, fitness level and home gym space. You’ll want to consider additional features, too. Some ellipticals come with large, Wi-Fi connected touchscreens that let you follow along with a personal trainer, while others skip those bells and whistles. Here’s how to choose the best elliptical for you.


First off, consider your fitness and experience level, as well as your usage intentions, before purchasing an elliptical machine. For instance, someone looking to be challenged long-term should consider ellipticals with 20-plus resistance levels, and daily users will want to forego the budget picks and opt for one that’s sturdy and long-lasting. If you’re a beginner looking to try one out without making a huge financial commitment, there are several user-friendly machines under $1,000 that offer just enough features to get you started. For occasional or casual users, a lower-cost elliptical—or an under-desk unit that lets you move while you work—will get the blood flowing.


“Home gym” means something different to everyone, and if you’ve got a dedicated space for exercise equipment, a high-tech, heavy-duty machine could be the way to go. But if you’re lacking square footage, check out compact or foldable ellipticals that can collapse and roll out of sight when they’re not in use.

Stride Length

The stride length of an elliptical machine impacts your comfort level while using it. Specifically, stride length is relative to height: Shorter users are generally more comfortable with a shorter stride length, which can make tall users feel restricted. According to Sunny Health & Fitness, as a general rule, users around five foot to five-foot-three should aim for a 14- to 16-inch stride length, while those closer to six feet should seek machines with a 20-inch stride length. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. If you want some flexibility, make sure you get an elliptical with an adjustable stride length feature.

Maximum Capacity

Ellipticals are excellent cardio machines for people of all fitness levels. Heavier users looking to begin or continue their workout journey should be aware of weight maximums so they can safely work out and preserve the longevity of their machine.

Other Features

Just like any modern exercise machine, feature options run the gamut. If an immersive experience will drive your motivation, look for an elliptical machine with a big, built-in screen that’ll let you stream workouts or your favorite shows while you work up a sweat. (Note that some built-in screens are only compatible with partnering subscription-based services while others support a whole range of apps, including Hulu and Netflix.)

Maybe you’d rather save some cash and get a model with a deck and charging port where you can secure your own iPad for entertainment while you exercise. Other features worth considering include models that are foldable and those designed for whisper-quiet operation, perfect for early-morning or late-night workouts.

Elliptical Machines FAQ

An elliptical machine is a big purchase, and it’s understandable to have questions about how to choose the right one for you. These are some of the most common ones people face.

Should I get an elliptical or a treadmill?

It’s important to consider your personal needs—and limitations—when making this decision. If high-impact exercise is tough on your joints, an elliptical may be more your speed. Ditto if you want to mix up your indoor workouts from what you’d typically do outdoors. However, if you like to pound the pavement and want the option to flip between indoor runs and walks, a treadmill could be a good option.

Can an elliptical help me lose weight?

Typically, you get out of fitness equipment what you put into it. An elliptical can help you lose weight if you use it regularly and choose workouts that get your heart rate up, like intervals or using the machine for longer periods of time.

Is an elliptical a low impact workout?

Ellipticals have a solid reputation for providing a great low impact workout. Running or other high-impact workouts like HIIT can be tough on your lower joints and hips. However, your feet stay on the pedals when you use an elliptical, so there’s no pounding to bother your knees, ankles, and hips.