Best Elliptical Machine: Top 10 Picks For You

Elliptical machines are a great way to exercise, and even Harvard agrees they’re one of the best choices for cardio equipment. If you’re looking to buy one for your home, a gym, or any other location, it’s important to find the best machine for the value. Here are our choices for the best machines, as well as why they’re worth the money.

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Comparison Table

Product

Preview

Price

Best Overall Machine #1: Sole E95 product photo of Sole E95 Elliptical Machine

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Best Overall Machine #2: NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i product photo of NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i

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Best Compact/Folding #1: NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i product photo of NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

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Best Compact/Folding #2: Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 product photo of Horizon Fitness Evolve 5

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Best Hybrid #1: Bowflex Max Trainer M7 product photo of Bowflex Max Trainer M7

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Best Hybrid #2: ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro product photo of ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro

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Best Elliptical Bike #1:  ElliptiGo 11R product photo of ElliptiGo 11R

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Best Elliptical Bike #2: ElliptiGo 8C product photo of ElliptiGo 8C

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Most Affordable Machine #1: Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical product photo of Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical

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Most Affordable Machine #2: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer product photo of Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer

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How We Chose Our Ratings

a woman using an elliptical machine

Before we get into the list itself, we’d like to take a moment to discuss how we chose these. We think honesty and integrity are important when creating lists of recommended purchases – especially at the price of many of these machines – so you deserve to know how we came up with our final list.

First, we considered the other reviews available online. For machines like these, there’s value to the wisdom of the masses – especially when it comes to checking for things like build quality and overall longevity. Machines with many positive reviews got moved up our final list, while machines with few or no reviews got moved down.

Next, we took a look at the features. This includes physical features (location and quality of handlebars, etc.) as well as electronic features (number of settings, the variety of exercises you can do, and so on). Electronic features were valued a little more than physical features since most elliptical machines follow the same basic construction.

Best Elliptical Machine: Top 10 Picks For You 1

After some debate, we decided to split the final list into sections based on these features. We considered just providing a straight list of the ten best machines overall, but that would have been a little much. Instead, we encourage you to jump right to the category that fits your needs the best.

Finally, we considered the price of each machine and how well it seemed to fit the quality and features. This is a guide to the best machines, so more-expensive machines tended to show up more often, but we also searched for a few low-cost machines to provide better balance on our final list.

Aside from all of that, we had an additional pass/fail condition – availability. Products enter and leave the market on a regular basis, and there’s no point in suggesting you buy a machine that isn’t actually for sale anymore. You want to get the best elliptical machine, and that means actually getting it. Anything no longer for sale at the time this list was made was removed from consideration.

Top 10 Best Elliptical Machines

product photo of a NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i, one of the best elliptical machine

We decided to split this list into five categories – best overall, compact/folding, hybrids, elliptical bikes, and most affordable.

Best Overall Machine #1: Sole E95

Sale
SOLE Fitness E95 2020 Model Indoor Elliptical, Home and Gym Exercise Equipment, Smooth and Quiet, Versatile for Any Workout, Bluetooth and USB Compatible
  • Features. Max User Capacity- 400 lbs.. Features: Tablet/Phone, USB Device Charging.
  • Program Listed-10. Pulse Grips and Chest Strap Compatible. Heart Rate Monitor.
  • Chest Strap Included. Cooling Fans. Sound System.
  • Water Bottle Holder Included. Flywheel Weight (lbs) 27 lbs.. Pedal Size-Not Listed.
  • Maximum Stride Length- Adjustable 20"-22". Incline Power Adjustable 1-20 Adjustable 10 Positions. Pedals Cushioned.

The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is one of the best machines on the market. It’s also one of the most expensive, with an MSRP of $$$ – although it was on sale for $$ when we checked Sole’s official site. If you can get it on sale, we strongly recommend that you do. Several features help this stand out from the competition.

First, this machine is built with thick, heavy steel that allows it to offer a much higher user weight capacity than many other bikes. It also offers Bluetooth connectivity for better integration with various apps and devices, therapist-designed foot pedals that significantly reduce knee and ankle stress, and adjustable foot pedals that help match the way you walk.

Meanwhile, the custom molded hand grips have a heartbeat monitor, while an included strap offers support for other interactive programs through the 10.1″ full-color display. It also has a built-in cooling fan, as well as high-quality speakers so you can enjoy music during your workout.

The result is a robust machine capable of supporting you through the heaviest workouts.

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Best Overall Machine #2: NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Rear Drive Smart Elliptical with Folding SpaceSaver Design, Compatible with iFIT Personal Training
  • 30-Day iFIT Membership Included; Stream live & on-demand workouts on your equipment with Global Workouts & Studio Classes; Elite trainers adjust your equipment ($15 value)
  • 5-inch Backlit Display; Easily view and track important workout metrics as you train in the comfort of your home; AutoBreeze Workout Fan keeps you cool and comfortable through low-impact exercise
  • 22 Digital Resistance Levels; With iFIT, your trainer auto-adjusts your elliptical; Adjustable Power Ramp allows you to train at an incline; Adjustable stride is perfect for multiple users
  • Vertical SpaceSaver Design; Easily fold your elliptical for compact vertical storage when not in use; Upper Body Grips offer a total-body workout; SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance for quiet exercise
  • 325-pound total weight capacity; Protected with a 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty; 67” H x 32” W x 80” L

NordicTrack’s machine is a little less sturdy than the Sole E95, but it’s still one of the most robust machines on the market. Major features on this machine include a 38-inch adjustable stride system, a power incline of up to 10 inches, a 7″ color touchscreen, and even Google Maps workout routes that can let you ‘explore’ places from the comfort of your home.

In an unusual feature for elliptical trainers, the touchscreen includes a web browser so you can watch other videos or stay engaged with the world in a way you normally couldn’t. 35 workout apps give an outstanding variety of choices, while the moving handlebars help ensure a full-body workout.

This machine doesn’t have quite the same build quality as the Sole E95, but its normal price is comparable and it offers more electronic integration. If the idea of interacting with things while exercising appeals to you, consider this our top recommendation.

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Best Compact/Folding #1: NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

NordicTrack Spacesaver SE9i Elliptical Trainers
  • At the touch of a button: Adjust your resistance between 24 different levels for a higher calorie burn using the convenient one Touch & Rag; controls.
  • Heart RATE training: find the right heart RATE zone for your fitness goals using the built-in heart rate sensors and included iFit bluetooth; Smart chest strap.
  • Wireless iFit Bluetooth chest strap, adjustable oversized pedals, 18 lb. Effective flywheel
  • 7" Smart HD Touchscreen, 30 Workout Apps, Auto Breeze Workout Fan, Integrated Quick Touch Handle Controls,
  • The Space Saver SE9i comes with a 10-Year Frame , 2-Year Parts , 1-Year Labor . Weight Capacity 325 Lb.

NordicTrack gets its second entry on our list with the SpaceSaver SE9i, a foldable machine with built-in wheels to let you get it out of the way as soon as you’re done with it. Of course, these are features that come with a few drawbacks. Most notably, the stride on this machine is only 18″, which is a little too short for the 20″ that adults of average height prefer. As such, this machine is best used by shorter buyers.

Other than that, the SE9i is a somewhat inferior version of FS7i described above. It offers 24 levels of resistance for specific challenges, as well as 30 workout apps to provide the most efficient training. It does have a similar 7″ color touchscreen, and much like its more-effective predecessor, this is a robust and powerful tool. If you’re not monitoring your exercise, you can easily surf the web or play music.

This bike isn’t for everyone, but if you’re of the right height and want something easy to put away, it’s worth looking at.

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Best Compact/Folding #2: Horizon Fitness Evolve 5

Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer (Discontinued)
  • Your purchase includes One Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer, 100391 model
  • Item dimensions – 71.5" L x 26.7" W x 63.2" H | Item weight – 167.3 lbs. | Weight Capacity: 300 lbs. | Stride length – 20” | Lowest step – 6” off the ground
  • 22 programs — 12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness test, 1 recovery test, 1 quick start
  • 20 levels of resistance for a wide range of workout intensity options, and Goal Track capability enables users to set individual exercise goals
  • The minimum ceiling height needed is the height of the tallest potential user in the household, plus 21 inches. Preferably, add a couple extra inches to ensure a comfortable experience

A new name on this list, Horizon Fitness’ Evolve 5 has a heavier flywheel and a longer stride than the SE9i, making it a better choice for taller adults. Unfortunately, it also has a slightly lower weight capacity, making it a poor choice for the heaviest users. Still, there’s a lot to love about this particular machine.

Notably, it offers online workout tracking so you can see how well you’re doing, active workout feedback to keep you motivated, and a straightforward three-step assembly process. It offers 37 programs to support your fitness goals – well above the average – and the front drive works out well.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any incline features, nor does it come with a built-in fan. Those are notable drawbacks when you’re trying to find the best machine for your money, and they’re part of why this machine is in second-place instead of first.

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Best Hybrid #1: Bowflex Max Trainer M7

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You may be most familiar with their commercials on television, but Bowflex produces quite a few high-quality elliptical machines. One of the most notable of these is the Max Trainer M7, which is something of a hybrid between an elliptical trainer and a step machine.

The biggest distinction of this unit is its ultra-low-impact design, which is below where many elliptical machines find themselves. Major features include 20 different resistance levels, a preset workout variety system, high-quality grips, multiple user profiles, a long warranty, and even a shelf for your favorite types of media.

Unfortunately, the quality of this machine comes at a cost. With an MSRP of $$, the Max Trainer M7 is one of the most expensive machines on the market. For many, the extra protection for their joints is worth the price, but it’s worth asking if this is too expensive for your needs.

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Best Hybrid #2: ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro

ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro
  • Unlike other stepper machines, the cardiohiit Trainer Pro is designed for your feet to travel on a 10-inch vertical and 5-Inch horizontal elliptical path. Footprint-29.25 W x 52 D x 66.7 H inches
  • Our ever-growing workout library offers programs made specifically for the cardiohiit Trainer Pro that progress with you from first-time user to daily enthusiast
  • IFit ready, 10 inch Full-color touchscreen, 34 workout Apps, EKG grip Pulse with included iFit Bluetooth Smart chest strap, 350 lb. Weight capacity, coolaire workout fan, integrated tablet holder
  • 30 lb. Effective Inertia-Enhanced flywheel, 26 resistance levels, Track every workout stat, oversized leveling feet, front-mounted Transport wheels, smr silent magnetic resistance.Multi-Function Handlebars
  • The ProForm cardiohiit Trainer Pro is protected with a Lifetime frame Warranty, 5-Year parts Warranty, and 2-year Labor Warranty

This hybrid trainer from ProForm is almost as good as the Bowflex – and it’s more affordable, too. The manufacturer even offers a special financing plan where the unit is available for just $/month, and that’s a helpful offer if you can’t quite afford the full cost of the unit.

As a hybrid machine, it’s also considerably more compact than most elliptical trainers, making it an ideal choice if you want to limit the space required without having to wheel it around every time you want to use it. The 10″ full-color touchscreen is better than many other machines, and the 34 included programs offer a wide variety of workout routines.

Like NordicTrack’s FreeStride machine above, the HIIT Trainer Pro offers interactive scenic tours with Google Maps, making it a top choice for anyone who likes exploring.

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Best Elliptical Bike #1:  ElliptiGo 11R

ElliptiGO 3C Long Stride Outdoor Elliptical Bike and Best Hybrid Indoor Exercise Trainer, Green
  • ElliptiGO 3C: Our entry-level long-stride model. With three gears, the 3C is perfect for anyone who wants to get a great cardio workout on flat terrain or gently rolling hills. 250lb Weight Limit. Ships Almost Fully-Assembled. No Tools Required.
  • MATCH YOUR STRIDE: Stride Length Adjusts from 16 to 25 Inches, allowing you to customize your workout to your body and terrain for the most comfortable ride possible.
  • ACTIVATE MORE MUSCLES: Our long-stride models provide an effective full-body workout with balanced leg activation. Large foot platforms allow various placement options for comfortable, well-rounded workouts
  • ONE SIZE FITS ALL: Adjustable steering column provides a custom fit no matter how tall or short you are, or where your arms and hands are most comfortable holding the bars. Eliminates neck, back and seat pain through a natural "stand up" position
  • WORKS INDOORS: Check out our Fluid 365 Stationary Trainer. Convert your ElliptiGO outdoor stand up bike or elliptical into an indoor training beast! Bad weather? No problem, get the same outdoor elliptical workout from the comfort of your home!

Would you like to get all the benefits of an elliptical trainer while actually going places instead of looking at them on a screen? If so, elliptical bikes may be the machines you’re looking for. This bike offers a normal speed of 15 miles per hour, with eleven levels of resistance and the ability to comfortably climb grades of up to 30%.

The ElliptiGo 11R sits much higher than most bicycles, with a carbon-fiber drive arm. Unfortunately, despite the extraordinary cost – more than $$$! – this machine doesn’t come with a water bottle holder, and it has one of the tallest storing heights in its category. Put simply, this is not a machine meant for everyone. Instead, it’s better to think of it as a bike designed for elite, high-level exercise plans.

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Best Elliptical Bike #2: ElliptiGo 8C

ElliptiGO 8C Long Stride Outdoor Elliptical Bike and Best Hybrid Indoor Exercise Trainer, Red
  • ElliptiGO 8C: Leave the boring gym behind. With eight gears capable of tackling tough climbs, it's perfect for professional athletes and recreational riders alike. Whether your goal is to lose weight, cross-train, or just get moving, the 8C delivers the best bang for your buck. 250lb Weight Limit. Ships Almost Fully-Assembled. No Tools Required.
  • MATCH YOUR STRIDE: Stride Length Adjusts from 16 to 25 Inches, allowing you to customize your workout to your body and terrain for the most comfortable ride possible.
  • ACTIVATE MORE MUSCLES: Our long-stride models provide an effective full-body workout with balanced leg activation. Large foot platforms allow various placement options for comfortable, well-rounded workouts
  • ONE SIZE FITS ALL: Adjustable steering column provides a custom fit no matter how tall or short you are, or where your arms and hands are most comfortable holding the bars. Eliminates neck, back and seat pain through a natural "stand up" position
  • WORKS INDOORS: Check out our Fluid 365 Stationary Trainer. Convert your ElliptiGO outdoor stand up bike or elliptical into an indoor training beast! Bad weather? No problem, get the same outdoor elliptical workout from the comfort of your home!

ElliptiGo claims both spots for elliptical bikes, and really, it’s no surprise. They do make the best elliptical machine choices in this category, and it shows. The 8C is the mid-range model of their lineup, with a lower gear range than the 11R and a sturdy aluminum frame. It only has 8 resistance options, but since it’s an outdoor bike, that’s perfectly adequate for its needs.

There are two major notes with this unit. First, it’s more affordable than the 11R, though its MSRP of $$$ means it’s still an expensive machine. Second, it’s meant for going over rough terrain, rather than doing elliptical workouts on straight, flat areas. If you’re not going to go off-road with this bike, you’re better off buying another elliptical machine instead.

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Most Affordable Machine #1: Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical

Exerpeutic GOLD Elliptical and Exercise Bike Dual Trainer
  • Extended weight capacity up to 250 lbs. Natural elliptical motion eliminates any stress on joints and ankles
  • 4 direction adjustable expanded extra large seat for all users. Dual action workout arms provide an additional upper body workout
  • Easy Dial tension adjustment for a more or less challenging workout. An easy to read computer LCD display indicates time, distance, speed, calories burned and Scan
  • Larger pedal construction with ribbed dot design to prevent foot slippage when exercising. Backward stride capability
  • Reinforced crank System for consistent momentum. 1 year limited Warranty

With a normal selling price of about $ (assuming you don’t get the exercise mat or expert installation), Exerpeutic’s Aero Air Elliptical is one of the most affordable elliptical machines on the market. It’s not as fancy as any of the choices above – it doesn’t even have a touchscreen, much less a nice cooling fan – but it gets the job done if you want a simple, affordable workout option.

Fortunately, there is one positive note: It’s quite compact, so it’s easy to put wherever you want. We strongly recommend placing it near a television so you can watch something while you exercise, though you may need to turn the volume up a little if this machine gets too loud. Alternatively, you can look for other ways of muffling it without reducing its effectiveness.

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Most Affordable Machine #2: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness P8300 Pink Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Elliptical Machine w/LCD Monitor
  • EXPRESS YOURSELF : Make a statement in your room, with a striking Pink Elliptical! Because sometimes you just need to express yourself.
  • AEROBIC TRAINING: Aerobic exercise increases cardio respiratory fitness, which is essential for physical fitness. With just 20 minutes the P8300 can help you lose, control or maintain your weight.
  • LIGHT WEIGHT: Don't get pre-exhausted moving your elliptical around before you workout. At only 51lbs, this is a lightweight solution for your workout needs.
  • 11 INCH STRIDE: 11 inches of stride length allow you to propel your legs forward and backwards with ease and stability
  • FULL BODY WORKOUT: The P8300 Elliptical targets muscles in your arms as well as your legs. Maintain an upright posture so your ab muscles will work as stabilizing muscles increases stability and endurance

Here’s another good choice if you’re on a budget. This machine has an MSRP of $, but it’s often on sale for a significant discount. This machine is a little more elaborate than the Exerpeutic model, and it comes with a hand pulse monitor to help you control your heartbeat for an optimal workout.

The multi-function meter provides several useful types of information, including a scan, the duration of your workout, your speed, the distance you’ve gone, the calories you’ve burned, and your current pulse. These are the only things you really need to know, and while it’s not as elaborate as any of the higher-priced machines up above, it’s enough to let you manually keep track of things.

The biggest thing to be aware of is that this unit has a fairly low weight capacity – at just 220 lbs, it’s well below the 300+ of most better machines. To put it another way, it’s a better choice for people who are at least somewhat fit and may not be a good starter machine.

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