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 since you get resistance from the pedals at your feet and the handles you push with your arms," says certified personal trainer Morgan Coleman. This type of low-impact cardio machine is also an excellent option for those with joint issues. If you're tired of trekking to the gym and waiting around for an open machine, investing in an at-home elliptical will make it easier to get in your daily cardio.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
We’re giving top honors to the Schwinn Fitness 470, which is compact in design but doesn’t skimp on features, such as 25 resistance levels, 29 workout programs, and Bluetooth connectivity. If you’re seeking a budget-friendly option, you can count on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 for a solid workout and sufficient calorie burn.
When shopping around, consider your fitness level, the stats you want it to track (including calories, distance, and heart rate), and the weight capacity and overall dimensions to ensure the machine will work in your space.
We conducted hours of research—looking through third-party reviews and tapping Coleman for her expert guidance to compile our list of the best home elliptical machines. Our picks—which include options for every budget and vary in size and available stats and features—will deliver a solid, low-impact cardio workout from the comfort of your home.
Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine
Syncs with multiple apps
USB charging port
Repair support could be improved
You really 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. It boasts 25 resistance levels, 29 workout programs, two fitness tests, and a backlit LCD screen that monitors 13 fitness stats for up to 12 users (just in case you have a Cheaper By the Dozen situation).
The Schwinn 470 also features Bluetooth connectivity and pairs with several apps, including Explore the World, MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal, GoogleFit, and Apple Health. There's also a USB charging port, built-in acoustic chamber speakers, a place for your phone, and a water bottle holder. What's more, the foot motion technology and ergonomic handlebars keep you comfy and aligned while you get your sweat on. To boot, it's easy and fairly quick to assemble—with the only con being that technical support from the company could be better
Price at time of publish: $1,100
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
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical
Low weight capacity
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 elliptical machine is notably compact. It features a digital monitor, eight resistance levels, pulse sensors, non-slip 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 is fairly easy to assembly, with helpful videos available online if you hit a snag.
Price at time of publish: $150
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
NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride Trainer
Smart HD touchscreen
Requires monthly membership
"NordicTrack makes a very high-tech and comfortable elliptical that works well in a home gym," says Coleman. The FS14i FreeStride 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 this 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).
Price at time of publish: $2,499
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
Body-Solid Best Fitness BFCT1 Elliptical Cross Trainer
Low weight capacity
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.
Price at time of publish: $494
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
ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical with Adjustable Stride & Incline
Simulated outdoor workouts
With the ProForm Carbon EL, you can stream simulated outdoor workouts located all around the world and access thousands of on-demand sessions in the continuously growing library with a paid membership. Not only that, but the real-time trainer feature adjusts the resistance to match your intensity level.
To pump things up, you can elevate the incline or manually select a harder resistance level. We also like that this elliptical has Bluetooth connectivity, a tablet holder, an auxiliary port, and dual speakers.
Price at time of publish: $699
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
Best for Small Spaces
Bowflex M3 Max Trainer
Chest strap included
Fewer bells and whistles than other models
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 workout programs, plus a water bottle holder and a place for your tablet. It also comes with a chest strap for monitoring your heart rate.
Price at time of publish: $999
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Dimensions: 47 x 23 x 27 inches | Stats Offered: Calories, speed, distance, heart rate | Warranty: One year
Best for Comfort
Sole E35 Elliptical
Foot pedals encourage natural running motion
Assembly could be easier
Engineered with your comfort in mind, the Sole E35 has foot pedals designed by physical therapists to encourage a natural running motion. The design, according to the brand, helps eliminate any strain on your knees, hips, and ankles.
In addition to offering a comfy workout, this elliptical calls on a 25-pound flywheel to ensure a smooth, quiet ride. There are several pre-loaded programs to accommodate people of every fitness level, and thanks to the power incline, you can target lower-body muscles other machines miss. Reviewers note that while assembly can be a little tricky, it's nothing too challenging and doesn't take too long to complete.
Price at time of publish: $1,400
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
Nautilus E618 Elliptical
Syncs to apps with Bluetooth connectivity
Padded handlebars have integrated resistance controls
Repair support could be improved
We're also big fans of the Nautilus E618. It has Bluetooth connectivity and syncs with the free Explore the World mobile app—allowing you to stride through 27 routes in 19 locations around the globe.
This elliptical trainer also has a tilting console with two backlit screens, plus a high-inertia drive system that accelerates smoothly with a weighted flywheel. The adjustable padded handlebars have integrated resistance controls, so you can adjust your upper-body workout—a perk that sets it apart.
Price at time of publish: $490
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Dimensions: 73 x 27 x 67 inches | Stats Offered: Calories, speed, time, heart rate | Warranty: Five years
Niceday Elliptical Trainer
High weight capacity
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 has been eliminated from the mechanics—no easy feat.
This reasonably priced cross-trainer has a 16-pound flywheel with 16 resistance levels. We also appreciate the 400-pound weight capacity and almost unheard-of lifetime warranty.
Price at time of publish: $600
Weight Capacity: 400 pounds | Dimensions: 62 x 48 x 25 inches | Stats Offered: Time, speed, distance, calories, heart rate | Warranty: Lifetime
Best for Low Ceilings
Horizon Fitness EX59 Elliptical
Rapid-charge USB port
Short on vertical space? Go with the EX59 Elliptical from Horizon Fitness, which has lower-than-average pedals and shorter strides to provide extra headroom for taller athletes and 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. This elliptical machine also has Bluetooth speakers, a tablet rack, a rapid-charge USB port, and a water bottle holder.
Price at time of publish: $689
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
Cubii JR1 Under-Desk Elliptical
Non-slip mat included
Low weight capacity
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 non-slip 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.
Price at time of publish: $248
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 10 inches | Stats Offered: Calories, strides, distance | Warranty: One year
Our top pick in home ellipticals is the Schwinn Fitness 470, a trainer-approved elliptical with lots of features and a small footprint. However, if you're on a budget, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 is an excellent choice. And for those open to splurging on a high-end machine, we suggest the NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride.
Meet the Expert
What to Look For in a Home Elliptical
Keep in mind that your elliptical will take up a fair amount of space and need room for the pedals to make full rotations, so keep the size of your machine (and the size of the area where you plan to place it) in mind as you shop. Check dimensions to see both the horizontal and vertical size, and keep the height of your ceilings in mind, too.
Ellipticals can vary by intensity, so make sure that the lowest setting is easy for you to navigate but that the higher settings are enough of a challenge to provide room for you to grow.
Some options on this list have Bluetooth connectivity, like the Nautilus E618 Elliptical and NordicTrack FS14i Free Stride Trainer, and sync with fitness tracking apps. You'll want to check what stats each model has, like calories, heart rate, time, and speed, to make sure it aligns with your fitness goals and needs.
Above all, your elliptical should be comfortable for you to use. Ensure you can stay in an upright position as you use your elliptical and that you can easily hold 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.
How much should you pay for a home elliptical?
The picks on our list start at $150 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, our best budget pick, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905, is an entry-level home elliptical with basic features like magnetic resistance settings and a digital monitor and arrives partially pre-assembled for easy setup. Several quality mid-range ellipticals, like our best overall pick, the Schwinn Compact, offer some bells and whistles like Bluetooth connectivity, incline control, and heavier flywheels. High-end ellipticals, like the Nordic Track FS14i FreeStride Trainer, are built for those who want the same workout they would get on a commercial-grade machine at the gym and bonus features like interactive personal training programs.
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.
Additionally, Coleman tells Byrdie, "Ellipticals can be highly beneficial to anyone with joint issues or who prefers a low-impact cardio experience, as they're non-weight-bearing."
How do you use a home elliptical?
First, step onto the pedals so that you're facing the screen and control panel. When you begin pedaling your legs forward in circular motions (similar to a bike, but in a standing position), the monitor should turn on. Then select the quick-start option and choose a pre-programmed workout or adjust the incline and resistance to customize the intensity.
In terms of proper form, Coleman says, "Staying upright while you use the machine makes you keep your core engaged." When you're finished, make sure it's completely stopped before getting off.
Are home ellipticals safe?
Modern home elliptical trainers are designed to minimize the risk of injury. And as mentioned above, they may be a better option than treadmills for those with joint issues.
With that said, 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 make sure no children are in the room while it's in use to prevent them from getting pinched or trapped within 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 interviewed a licensed personal trainer for their product recommendations and expertise on buying and using a home elliptical machine. Before making her final selections, she researched the features and mechanics of ellipticals, referenced peer-reviewed articles, combed through product specs, and pored over reviews. Theresa covers fitness equipment, skincare, and makeup at Byrdie.
Laskowski ER. Are elliptical machines better than treadmills for basic aerobic workouts? Mayo Clinic.
Burnfield JM, Shu Y, Buster T, Taylor A. Similarity of joint kinematics and muscle demands between elliptical training and walking: implications for practice. Phys Ther. 2010;90(2):289-305. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090033
Filipovic M, Munten S, Herzig KH, Gagnon DD. Maximal Fat Oxidation: Comparison between Treadmill, Elliptical and Rowing Exercises. J Sports Sci Med. 2021;20(1):170-178. Published 2021 Mar 1. doi:10.52082/jssm.2021.170
Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. Treadmill or elliptical? how to decide what’s your best workout.