11 Best Elliptical Machines for Low-Impact Workouts at Home | kzfbfkttn.com

11 Best Elliptical Machines for Low-Impact Workouts at Home

An elliptical workout is a great way to get moving when the weather isn’t ideal for jogging, or you’re not in the mood for a HIIT session. “The elliptical can give you a full-body workout, thanks to resistance on the pedals at your feet and the handles you can push with your arms,” says certified personal trainer Morgan Coleman. If you’re tired of trekking to the gym in the rain or hate waiting for an open machine, investing in an at-home elliptical can make it easier to get in your daily cardio. When shopping around, consider your fitness level, the stats you want it to track (calories, distance, heart rate), the weight capacity, and the machine’s overall dimensions to ensure it’ll fit in your space.

We conducted hours of research and tapped Coleman for her expert guidance. Our picks—which include options for every budget—will deliver solid, low-impact cardio workouts from the comfort of your home.

Our Top Picks

BEST OVERALL:

Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine at Amazon ($1,299)

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BEST BUDGET:

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical at Sunnyhealthfitness.com (See Price)

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BEST SPLURGE:

NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride Trainer at Amazon ($3,900)

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BEST MID-RANGE:

Body-Solid Best Fitness BFCT1 Elliptical Cross Trainer at Amazon ($470)

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BEST EXPERIENCE:

ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical with Adjustable Stride & Incline at QVC ($699)

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BEST FOR SMALL SPACES:

Bowflex Max Trainer at Amazon ($1,299)

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BEST FOR COMFORT:

Sole E35 Elliptical at Amazon ($1,200)

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BEST FOLDABLE:

Youngfit Elliptical Machine at Amazon ($399)

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BEST QUIET:

Niceday Elliptical Trainer at Amazon ($800)

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BEST FOR LOW CEILINGS:

Horizon Fitness EX59 Elliptical at Amazon ($688)

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Best Overall

Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine

Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine

PHOTO: 

Amazon

$1,099 AT AMAZON AMAZON$1,099 AT WALMART WALMART$1,029 AT LOWE’S LOWE’S

What We Like

  • Syncs with multiple apps
  • Acoustic speakers
  • USB charging port
  • Ergonomic design

What We Don’t Like

  • Repair support could be improved

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Dimensions: 28 x 63 x 70 inches | Stats Offered: Calories, number of workouts, progress, heart rate, time, speed, distance | Warranty: 10 years for frame, two years for parts

You can’t go wrong with the Schwinn 470. Measuring just 28 x 63 x 70 inches, Coleman says it’s one of the best options for those short on space, and we’d have to agree. While this elliptical machine is conveniently compact, it doesn’t skimp on features, boasting 25 resistance levels, 29 workout programs, and a backlit LCD screen to monitor 13 fitness stats for up to 12 users. The foot motion technology and ergonomic handlebars keep you comfy and aligned while you get your sweat on and there are built-in acoustic chamber speakers along with a water bottle holder for hydration. To boot, it’s fairly quick to assemble.

Best Budget

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical

PHOTO: 

Amazon

VIEW ON SUNNYHEALTHFITNESS.COM

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly
  • Digital display
  • Pulse sensors

What We Don’t Like

  • Low weight capacity

Weight Capacity: 220 pounds | Dimensions: 28 x 17 x 57 inches | Stats Offered: Time, speed, distance, calories, heart rate | Warranty: Three years for frame, 180 days for parts

If you’re not ready to invest in a high-end model, the SF-E905 Cross Trainer is a solid choice. At 28 x 17 x 57 inches, this wallet-friendly machine is notably compact. It features a digital monitor, eight resistance levels, pulse sensors, nonslip foot pedals, and wheels for easy transport and storage. While this elliptical doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterparts (and has a lower weight capacity), you can count on a heart-pumping workout and sufficient calorie burn. It’s great for beginners and easy to assemble, with helpful videos online if you hit a snag.

Best Splurge

NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride Trainer

NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride Trainer

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Amazon

$3,900 AT AMAZON AMAZON$2,499 AT NORDICTRACK.COM NORDICTRACK.COM$2,500 AT DICK’S DICK’S

What We Like

  • Smart HD touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • On-demand workouts

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires monthly membership

Weight Capacity: 375 pounds | Dimensions: 59 x 30 x 74 inches | Stats Offered: Calories, activity, heart rate, distance, speed, strides, goals | Warranty: 10 years for frame, two years for parts

“NordicTrack makes a very high-tech and comfortable elliptical that works well in a home gym,” says Coleman. This Trainer has a 14-inch smart touchscreen and a continuously expanding library of on-demand workouts. Plus, you get access to elite personal trainers, so you never get bored. Though the top-tier machine requires a monthly membership, we like that you can add up to four user profiles. It also flaunts Bluetooth connectivity, two digitally amplified speakers, and magnetic resistance for near-silent operation (a pro if you like your neighbors).

Best Mid-Range

Body-Solid Best Fitness BFCT1 Elliptical Cross Trainer

Body-Solid Best Fitness BFCT1 Elliptical Cross Trainer

PHOTO: 

Amazon

$470 AT AMAZON AMAZON$469 AT TARGET TARGET$470 AT WALMART WALMART

What We Like

  • Reasonably priced
  • LED screen
  • Pulse sensors

What We Don’t Like

  • Low weight capacity

Weight Capacity: 225 pounds | Dimensions: 45 x 26 x 66 inches | Stats Offered: Time, distance, speed, calories, heart rate | Warranty: Five years for frame, one year for parts and electronics

For a mid-range option, we’re loving the Best Fitness BFCT1. This elliptical cross-trainer has a small LED screen, large foot pedals, transport wheels, and synchronized arms to engage your abs and upper body. You can choose from eight resistance levels and track your time, speed, calories, and distance. The handles also have built-in pulse sensors to monitor your heart rate.

Best Experience

ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical with Adjustable Stride & Incline

ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical with Adjustable Stride & Incline

PHOTO: 

Amazon

$699 AT QVC QVC$650 AT DICK’S DICK’S

What We Like

  • Simulated outdoor workouts
  • Tablet holder
  • Dual speakers

What We Don’t Like

  • Membership required

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Dimensions: 69 x 25 x 68 inches | Stats Offered: Power output, distance, time, calories | Warranty: 10 years for frame, one year for parts

With the ProForm Carbon EL, you can stream simulated outdoor workouts located all around the world and access thousands of on-demand sessions in their library with a paid membership. Not only that, but the real-time trainer feature adjusts the resistance to match your intensity level. We also like that this elliptical has Bluetooth pairing, a tablet holder, an auxiliary port, and dual speakers.

Best for Small Spaces

Bowflex Max Trainer

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

PHOTO: 

Amazon

$999 AT AMAZON AMAZONVIEW ON BOWFLEX.COM

What We Like

  • Compact
  • Tablet holder
  • Chest strap included

What We Don’t Like

  • Fewer bells and whistles than other models

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Dimensions: 47 x 23 x 27 inches | Stats Offered: Calories, speed, distance, heart rate | Warranty: One year

If you’re working with limited square footage, your best bet is the Bowflex M3 Max Trainer. Measuring just 47 x 23 x 27 inches, it’s small but mighty with lots of cool features. This simple elliptical machine has a digital display and a user-friendly control panel, where you can select from eight resistance levels and various workouts. It also comes with a chest strap for monitoring your heart rate.

Best for Comfort

Sole E35 Elliptical

Sole E35 Elliptical

PHOTO: 

Sole

$1,200 AT AMAZON AMAZON$3,000 AT DICK’S DICK’SVIEW ON SOLETREADMILLS.COM

What We Like

  • Foot pedals encourage natural running motion
  • Power incline
  • Quiet operation

What We Don’t Like

  • Assembly could be easier

Weight Capacity: 375 pounds | Dimensions: 27 x 58 x 83 inches | Stats Offered: Calories | Warranty: Two years for frame, five years for electronics, lifetime for frame

Engineered with your comfort in mind, the Sole E35 has foot pedals designed by physical therapists to encourage a natural running motion, eliminating any strain on your knees, hips, and ankles. In addition to offering an ergonomic workout, this elliptical calls on a 25-pound flywheel to ensure a smooth, quiet ride. There are several pre-loaded programs to accommodate every fitness level, and thanks to the power incline, you can target lower-body muscles that other machines miss.1 While assembly can be a little tricky, it’s nothing too challenging.

Best Foldable

Youngfit Elliptical Machine

Amazon Youngfit Elliptical Machine

PHOTO: 

Amazon

$359 AT AMAZON AMAZONVIEW ON SEARS.COM

What We Like

  • Stows with ease
  • Front wheels make it easy to move
  • Arrives mostly assembled

What We Don’t Like

  • The front base can be a bit tricky to attach

Weight Capacity: 330 pounds | Dimensions: 44 x 20 x 63 inches | Stats Offered: Distance, calories speed, heart rate | Warranty: ‎Lifetime

We’re also big fans of Youngfit’s foldable wheel-away elliptical, which is ideal for small space dwellers who don’t want to stare at their fitness equipment 24/7—or anyone who wants to take their workout outside for a change of pace. With 22 resistance levels and pulse pads on the handlebars to monitor your heart rate, it’s a solid piece of machinery that lets you sneak in more steps whenever you want. The best part? It comes 95% assembled, making it a breeze to finish the job in under 30 minutes.

Best Quiet

Niceday Elliptical Trainer

Niceday Elliptical Trainer

PHOTO: 

Amazon

$500 AT AMAZON AMAZON

What We Like

  • Magnetic drive system controls sound at 20 decibels
  • High weight capacity
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Small screen

Weight Capacity: 400 pounds | Dimensions: 62 x 48 x 25 inches | Stats Offered: Time, speed, distance, calories, heart rate | Warranty: Lifetime

If you want to work out super early in the morning or late at night without waking anyone up, go with the Niceday Elliptical. Thanks to the hyper-quiet magnetic drive system and compact screen, virtually all noise is eliminated. This reasonably priced cross-trainer has a 16-pound flywheel with 16 resistance levels. We also appreciate the 400-pound weight capacity and lifetime warranty.

Best for Low Ceilings

Horizon Fitness EX59 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness EX59 Elliptical

PHOTO: 

Amazon

$688 AT AMAZON AMAZON$599 AT HORIZONFITNESS.COM HORIZONFITNESS.COM

What We Like

  • Low pedals
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Rapid-charge USB port

What We Don’t Like

  • Short strides not ideal for those with long legs

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Dimensions: 74 x 25 x 65 inches | Stats Offered: Time, calories, distance, weight loss | Warranty: Lifetime for frame, one year for parts

Short on vertical space? This elliptical has lower-than-average pedals and shorter strides (a pro for some, a con for others) for those with low ceilings. The overlapping stride rotation makes for comfortable movements, and you can pump up or scale back your workouts with one of the 10 magnetic resistance levels. It also has Bluetooth speakers, a tablet rack, and a rapid-charge USB port so your tunes never die mid-workout.

Best Under-Desk

Cubii Under-Desk Elliptical

Cubii JR1 Under-Desk Elliptical

PHOTO: 

Amazon

$200 AT AMAZON AMAZON$230 AT TARGET TARGETVIEW ON CUBII.COM

What We Like

  • Compact
  • Nonslip mat included
  • Quiet operation

What We Don’t Like

  • Low weight capacity

Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 10 inches | Stats Offered: Calories, strides, distance | Warranty: One year

With the Cubii JR1, you can get your strides in while typing emails and attending Zoom meetings. This small, under-desk elliptical machine is just 23 x 18 x 10 inches and comes with wheel stoppers, a nonslip mat, and batteries for the LCD. The screen monitors your calorie burn, time, and distance, while the patented design ensures whisper-quiet operation. Though membership isn’t required, you can get more from your workout with a subscription to the Cubii Studio+ app.

What to Look for in a Home Elliptical

  • Size: Consider each machine’s dimensions and the dimensions of your allotted workout space. Check the length, width, height, and ceiling clearance before you buy so you can ensure a full range of motion (aka full pedal rotations).
  • Features: Ellipticals can vary by intensity, so make sure that the lowest setting is easy for you to handle, while the higher settings offer enough of a challenge so you have room to grow. We also recommend checking out each model’s stats (like calories, heart rate, time, and speed) to align with your fitness goals. Plus, extra bells and whistles like Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to sync with fitness-tracking apps add to the experience.
  • Ergonomics: Above all, your elliptical should be comfortable for you to use. Ensure you can stay in an upright position and that you can easily reach the moving hand grips. Your feet should feel secure, and the components of the machine shouldn’t interfere with your arms or legs as you’re on the elliptical path.

FAQ

  • How much should you pay for a home elliptical?The picks on our list start at $250 and go to over $2,000, which is a pretty big price range. Deciding how much to invest depends on your fitness level, the features you want, and your budget. If you’re looking for a light workout, opt for an entry-level home elliptical with basic features like a handful of resistance settings and a digital monitor. Several quality mid-range ellipticals offer Bluetooth connectivity, incline control, and heavier flywheels, while high-end options are built for those who want the same workout they would get on a commercial-grade machine at the gym. These models usually come with bonus features like interactive personal training programs.
  • Is it hard to assemble an elliptical machine?If you’re worried about putting together a complicated piece of equipment, look for models that arrive partially pre-assembled for easy setup.
  • What are the benefits of using a home elliptical?”An elliptical is a stationary cardio machine,” explains Coleman. This means it gets your heart pumping by engaging your respiratory system, making you break a sweat, and burning calories in the easiest possible way.2 “Ellipticals can be highly beneficial to anyone with joint issues or those who prefer a low-impact cardio experience, as they’re non-weight-bearing,” adds Coleman.
  • How do you use a home elliptical?First, step onto the pedals and face the screen or control panel. The monitor should turn on when you begin pedaling your legs forward in circular motions (similar to a bike, but in a standing position). Once you’re moving, select either the quick-start option or choose a pre-programmed workout. Either way, you can adjust the incline and resistance to customize the intensity. When you’re done, make sure the machine has come to a complete stop before getting off.
  • Are home ellipticals safe?Modern home elliptical machines are designed to minimize the risk of injury.3 And as mentioned above, when compared to treadmills, ellipticals are better for those with joint issues. Regardless, it’s important to use proper form, ensure the machine has fully stopped before getting off, and ask your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen. As with all mechanical workout equipment, you should also ensure no children are in the room while it’s in use to prevent them from getting injured by the moving parts.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a former fitness trainer and freelance writer specializing in exercise, self-care, and lifestyle. For this story, she researched the features and mechanics of ellipticals, referenced peer-reviewed articles, combed through product specs, and pored over reviews. For this story, she spoke to an expert to gain further insight:

  • Morgan Coleman is a certified personal trainer with expertise in HIIT workouts. She is the founder of Ready Set Sweat Fitness, an at-home fitness program geared towards women.

Kelli Acciardo covers fitness equipment, skincare, and makeup at Byrdie. A lover of at-home workouts, she sees no need to take it to the gym when you can create your own, so she did a deep dive to find the best elliptical machines on the market.

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