You’ll want to consider Bluetooth capabilities, resistance levels, stride length, and included workout programs — not to mention your overall budget.

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Our top pick

Sole Fitness E35

The pedals, stride length, incline, and more are all adjustable and its quiet drive system keeps noise levels to a minimum.

Best value

Schwinn 470

Works with health apps like RunSocial and Schwinn Trainer, is Bluetooth capable, has in-console speakers, an MP3 port, and a cooling fan.

For those looking to work out at home and maybe even lose a little weight, elliptical machines are the top choice for many fitness fanatics who prefer to keep the gym as close to them as possible — AKA their house. 

Most ellipticals don’t take up that much space, and they provide really comprehensive cardio workouts for even the most dedicated gym rats. 

But for some reason, ellipticals aren’t as well-respected as other cardio-based workout machines — we presume that’s because not everyone fully understands the benefits of using one. (More of a yoga person? Try this.)

Clair Mason, co-founder of elliptical-based gym Elliptica, prefers the Keiser elliptical because it’s well-made and really easy to maintain. But at more than $2,000, it might not be the most practical buy for most home gyms.

SEE ALSO: Best online fitness apps and digital coaches

Mason told us via phone that there are some pretty clear benefits to an elliptical workout: 

“You can get the same kind of cardio workout from a treadmill, or running outdoors, or a stationary bike — but the good thing about the elliptical [is that] you’re in the body’s natural position,” Mason says. 

“You’re not hunching down like you are on a bike, you’re not pounding like you are on a treadmill or out on the road… it’s just the way the body is. It simulates a natural body movement.”

High impact exercises can do a ton of damage to your joints over time, so sticking with low impact workouts (like with an elliptical machine) is the way to go. That’s not the only benefit of using an elliptical machine, though.

“The engineering of the equipment is based on a push/pull movement that syncs the arms and legs of the user simultaneously, maximizing a dual action movement,” said Josh Grimm, a certified personal trainer and fitness expert with Zeamo, an app that helps you find a gym while traveling. 

“Keep in mind, you can also reverse pedal, which works in the hamstrings and the calves.”

When shopping for an elliptical machine for your own home gym, there are a few different things you should be aware of before making a purchase. After all, there are a ton of options, and they range in price from less than $150 to nearly $3,000. The short answer is that it really just comes down to preference. 

SEE ALSO: These are the best smart scales for your home

You’ll want to consider Bluetooth capabilities, resistance levels, stride length, and included workout programs — not to mention your overall budget. 

We spoke to a range of fitness experts while coming up with this list, and the overwhelming winners based on our research where the machines by Sole Fitness and the NordicTrack. Read on to see all our top picks for the best elliptical machines you can buy online and get some buying tips on how to choose the best elliptical for you.

 


More incline options than most ellipticals • Quality over quantity • Minimalistic and fitness-focused

The Sole Fitness E35 is all about quality over quantity — it has all the necessities of an elliptical and executes them at a high level.

1. Sole Fitness E35

The pedals, stride length, incline, and more are all adjustable and its quiet drive system keeps noise levels to a minimum.

  • Maximum stride length:
    22 inches
  • Weight:
    215 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    No
In an email interview with Mashable, personal trainer and nutrition counselor Josh Grimm lauded the Sole Fitness E35 elliptical’s effectiveness during his travels:

“It was a star cardio piece in my hotel in Dubai and, with its quiet sound, adjustable stride length, super stable construction and incline adjustable to 30 degrees, I would easily say this was my favorite elliptical piece I’ve shredded some calories on.”

That’s quite the compliment coming from a fitness professional — and well-deserved. 
Perhaps the biggest selling point of this machine is its versatility. The pedals, stride length, incline, and more are all adjustable to your liking. Its quiet drive system keeps noise levels to a minimum and makes for a smooth session every time. The incline system is higher than most elliptical machines: the Sole Fitness E35 can be adjusted to 30 degrees, where others usually only go up to 20. The machine has 10 programmed workouts, as well as a built-in fan, sound system, and minimalistic LCD screen.
The E35 is very similar to ellipticals that you might find in your neighborhood gym, making this a superior option for at-home workouts and a really great price.


Bluetooth connectivity • LED screen with RunSocial • 25 levels of resistance

Bowflex is a trusted brand name in workout equipment for a reason, and the BXE116 elliptical is no exception to the rule.

2. Bowflex BXE116

Integrated controls on the built-in handrails are easy to access, and allow for real-time custom programming

  • Maximum stride length:
    22 inches
  • Weight:
    289 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    Yes
Bowflex is a name that you most likely recognize. That’s because their flashy ads have been playing on your TV for the past decade. But don’t think that means that they’re some shoddy infomercial product — Bowflex has always made quality home gym equipment that has helped numerous people burn massive amounts of calories, all while keeping them motivated in the process. 
The BXE116 is no exception to the reputation that precedes the Bowflex name. It’s comfortable, responsive, and durable — it can handle some pretty intense cardio sessions. 
The integrated controls on the built-in handrails are easy to access, and allow for real-time custom programming. The 7.5-inch LED screen has all the information that you’ll need during your workout. The screen is also compatible with the RunSocial app, which puts you in a first-person view of 19 different running locations across the world. As an added bonus, it’s Bluetooth capable, meaning you can connect to the Bowflex Results Series app and track all your progress through your fitness journey. 

Great value • Fun extras • Vast amount of program options

The Scwinn 470 has all the makings of much more expensive elliptical machines — just at a much lower price.

3. Schwinn 470

Works with health apps like RunSocial and Schwinn Trainer, is Bluetooth capable, has in-console speakers, an MP3 port, and a cooling fan.

  • Maximum stride length:
    20 inches
  • Weight:
    190 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    Yes
If you’re new to ellipticals, you may only know the name Schwinn from that bicycle that’s currently collecting dust in your garage. 
It might surprise you that the same company that makes bikes is also the manufacturer of one of the best elliptical machines on the market — and at one of the fairest prices, too. 
The Schwinn 470’s has 29 different programs, ranging from heart rate control, to fitness tests, to custom routes and more. It employs a wide range of intensity options with its 25 separate resistance levels, and also includes the benefit of integrated health apps like RunSocial and Schwinn Trainer. It’s Bluetooth capable, just like many high-end ellipticals these days, and has a few fun bells and whistles like in-console speakers, an MP3 port, and a cooling fan.
You’ll find all of these features in much more expensive machines, so the Shwinn 470 really exemplifies the term “bang for your buck.”
Amazon user James S. Nowick was a fan of the Schwinn 470, writing:

“I have been using my Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine each day for almost five months and I am pleased with its performance and the value that it offers. I purchased it because of the strong review it received in Consumer Reports, which compared it favorably to more expensive equipment. I will also note that it is a different class than the many low-end elliptical machines listed on Amazon, which do not appear to be competitive with the machines that one uses in the gym. The Schwinn 470 is, even though its track mechanism is different and is intended for home use, not for use in a professional gym.”


Ergonomic • Lots of program options • Focuses on comfort

An ergonomic elliptical that’s packed with lots of features and myriad programs for a moderate price.

4. Nautilus E616

Padded handlebars are designed to provide optimal comfort throughout the duration of your cardio sessions.

  • Maximum stride length:
    20 inches
  • Weight:
    196 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    Yes
The Nautilus E616 is all about creating a comfortable workout experience for its users — you’re already putting such a huge strain on your body, so why make it worse? 
The padded handlebars are designed to be ergonomic and provide optimal comfort throughout the duration of your cardio sessions. It has a multitude of intensity options, a 20-inch path stride, and 29 programs.
The high speed, high inertia drive system makes for easy start up and smooth, consistent workouts. It’s also compatible with the RunSocial app, has intuitive fitness tracking on its LCD display, and has an MP3 port so you can enjoy your favorite workout playlists during your sessions. 
Ultimately, the Nautilus E616 is an all-encompassing elliptical that has a ton of features for a moderate price. 

Easy, quick assembly • Folds for storage • Intuitive controls

More programs would be nice

The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i doesn’t get in your way due to its easy storage capabilities, and showcases a slew of great features to boot.

5. NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

The entire machine folds down so you can easily store it under a bed or in a closet.

  • Maximum stride length:
    18 inches
  • Weight:
    218 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    Yes
  • Folds down for easy storage:
    Yes
“The NordicTrack SpaceSaver is perfect for individuals [who] want a total body workout, all from the convenience of their home,” iFit trainer Mecayla Froerer told Mashable via email. “It’s design folds the machine, making it great for those looking for a great sweat in a smaller living area.”
Right out of the box, the SpaceSaver is a cinch to assemble — getting you to your workouts that much faster. You can adjust resistance at the touch of a button between 24 different levels for a higher calorie burn. The built-in heart rate sensors and chest strap are incredibly accurate and Bluetooth enabled — pair with your favorite health-based app on your smart device. The LED smart touchscreen is loaded with 30 workout apps as well. 
As you might’ve guessed from the name, the biggest benefit of going with the NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i is the ability to fold the entire machine — making it a breeze to stow away or simply create more space. It will be in your home, after all, so not taking up too much real estate is more important than you may initially think. 

Self-powered • Includes resistance bands • Wide spectrum of stride lengths

Pricey • Lacks high-tech extras like Bluetooth and a digital display

The ZR7 Zero Runner is a professional-grade machine that is well worth the investment for its spectrum of stride lengths and self-powered design.

6. Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner

Looking to conserve energy? You’ll never have to plug in this elliptical because it’s completely self-powered.

  • Maximum stride length:
    58 inches
  • Weight:
    195 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    Yes
One look at the Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner, and you can immediately tell that this elliptical is in a league of its own. Its striking, unique design isn’t the only special thing about it, though — it’s a professional-quality exercise machine that covers many bases and will have you sweating buckets.
This elliptical replicates a real-life running experience without any of the painful impact. It has a huge stride length (up to 58 inches), but also allows for a more relaxing walking simulation. It’s whisper quiet, and the center console screen tracks and reports essential training data right back to you in real time. The elliptical also comes with a set of resistance bands that you can use for more manual workouts before or after your cardio session. One of the best parts of this elliptical is that it’s energy-conscious — you’ll never have to plug it in because it’s completely self-powered. Eventually, it’ll shave precious dollars off your energy bill, all while helping to reduce your overall carbon footprint. 
The price is steep, and due to the fact that it’s only power source is you, this elliptical is lacking in some of the more high tech bells and whistles like Bluetooth capability or a digital display. But if you’re looking for a machine that’ll help you get a great workout and won’t slurp up energy, then this is an awesome choice.

Lightweight • Low price point • Easy to stow away

Very bare-bones • No built-in programs

This machine is great for someone who is on a budget and doesn’t need anything too flashy to get their workouts done.

7. Sunny Health Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer

Great for someone who is on a budget and doesn’t need anything too flashy to get their workouts done.

  • Maximum stride length:
    11 inches
  • Weight:
    60 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    No
  • Folds down for easy storage:
    Yes
The cheapest option on our list, the Sunny Health elliptical is a magnetic trainer, meaning it uses magnets to create the resistance during your workouts. This makes it harder to adjust, but it keeps it at a really reasonable price since it lacks many of the advanced features of more expensive models. 
This elliptical still has some cool specs though, like a pulse monitor and digital screen. It’s also very lightweight and can be folded down small enough to fit in a closet. For all the things that the Sunny Health doesn’t have, it makes up for in a smooth, low-impact, quality cardiovascular workout.
Felcia H. Dozois, an Amazon reviewer, had great things to say about the Sunny Health elliptical:

“I got this elliptical after I had our third son because I don’t have time for the gym anymore (obviously!). First, this was SO easy to put together. The directions are straight forward and all pieces are labeled. It also comes with the tools you will need. For some parts, you will need two people, but it can mostly be done by one. The directions even tell you how to fix a problem, if one arises (which it didn’t for us). We are so pleased with how easy it was to put together! I have used it a few times and it works great! It is so quiet that my husband had no idea I was even using it and he was in the other room, about 10 feet away. It is very compact, but still gives me the workout I need. This is the best decision for us based on noise level (none) and ease of putting it together. We would definitely recommend!”


2-in-1 design • Plenty of programs

The ProForm Hybrid elliptical is two workout machines in one at a great price.

8. ProForm Hybrid Trainer

You can convert the ProForm from your standard elliptical machine to a stationary bike in seconds.

  • Maximum stride length:
    15 inches
  • Weight:
    135 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    Yes
The ProForm Hybrid elliptical earned its spot on this list because of its versatile, 2-in-1 design. In seconds, you can convert the ProForm from your standard elliptical machine to a stationary bike, and then back again. That’s two completely different low-impact workouts for you to choose from whenever you want, meaning you can easily switch up your workout without having to buy an entirely different piece of equipment.
Also boasting a fair price for what you’re getting, the ProForm includes Bluetooth and iFit capability, 16 total resistance levels, and an adjustable bike seat. 
Don’t just take our word for it, check out what Amazon user ooremy had to say about the ProForm Hybrid:

“I was skeptical at first if this could hold up to my initial size/weight. I’m 6’2” 275. This thing is quite sturdy. Noise is minimal from the flywheel, no other parts make noise. The unit does rock a little while using the elliptical feature, but I expected as much and doesn’t degrade from the performance.

Switching the foot rests from bike to elliptical mode takes less than 4 seconds. (2 seconds per side). At 6′, 2″ and all legs, the bike seat went back far enough for me. I set it on the last position, but even that was too far. If you wear pants with 34″-36″ inseam, this bike has you covered. Seat and backrest are decent comfort level.”


Great for HIIT • Well-rounded muscle activation • Quiet

No horizontal stride for traditional elliptical lovers

This elliptical is great for anyone who enjoys partaking in HIIT — it provides a full-body workout, and at the ProForm’s price tag, it’s well worth it.

9. ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer

When you use the HIIT trainer, you’ll be activating your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, biceps, and triceps all at once.

  • Maximum stride length:
    10 inches (vertically)
  • Weight:
    180 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    Yes
Another elliptical from ProForm, this machine focuses on HIIT, also know as high intensity interval training. This technique involves repetitively giving maximum effort for a set amount of time followed by short recovery periods, which helps keep your heart rate up throughout your workout to burn more calories and build strength. It’s tough, but efficient — and this elliptical was made specifically for this type of training. 
Opting for a vertical stride rather than the standard horizontal, the ProForm elliptical simulates walking briskly up a long flight of stairs — but without the joint-damaging impact. It combines its unique elliptical path with upper body movements as well, giving you a well-rounded workout that’s smooth but challenging. When you use the HIIT trainer, you’ll be activating your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, biceps, and triceps all at once. 
This ProForm elliptical is a very manageable size (just like its price) and will fit in whatever room you decide to convert into your home gym (either permanent or temporary). It comes with 24 different resistance levels, Google Maps support, customizable routes, and a workout library with fresh daily routines. 
If you want an intense, full-body workout without the high impact of other cardio exercises, the ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer is a great choice.

Commercial quality • Unrivaled durability • Easy maintenance

The Keiser M5i Strider is a commercial quality elliptical that will last you a lifetime with minimal maintenance.

10. Keiser M5i Strider

A commercial quality elliptical that will last you a lifetime and requires minimal maintenance.

  • Maximum stride length:
    13.5 inches
  • Weight:
    130 lbs
  • Bluetooth capability:
    Yes
Clair Mason, co-founder of elliptical-based gym Elliptica, told Mashable via phone that she uses Keiser machines in her gym due to their superb, long-lasting quality. 
Though pricey, the Keiser M5i Strider exudes the professional-grade quality that you would expect to find in a gym that prides itself on its elliptical workout programs. These machines use magnetic resistance, are whisper quiet, and nearly maintenance-free. The familiar data tracking included with many ellipticals can be seen here as well when connected to the Keiser M Series app. It will also come fully assembled if you get it delivered. 
Yes, the price is steep, but with the Keiser brand, you know you’re getting an elliptical that’s going to last you a long time.
Amazon user plspom had this to say about the Keiser M5i Strider:

“The strider is expensive for home use, but offers excellent low impact, smooth, weight-bearing exercise. It’s well built, wonderfully quiet and has a small footprint.”

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