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April 17, 2023

The Best Elliptical Machines for Your Home Workouts

Written by Julien Raby

We can all agree that doing an at-home full-body workout has its perks – you’re not bound by gym membership fees, you don’t have to worry about getting to a certain place at a certain time and you can control the ambiance in which you want to train.

Among the potential pieces of fitness equipment that meet these criteria are ellipticals. These cardio machines are by far the most convenient and reliable options out there, with their low-impact movements providing effective exercise.

But how do you decide on the best elliptical machine for your specific needs?

In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Training MachineNordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Training MachineNo products found.Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE Elliptical Trainer Exercise Machine for Home Workout, Fitness & Cardio, Advanced Cross-Trainer with Bluetooth, Built-in Speakers, 20 Resistance Levels, 325 lb Weight Capacity
Product's nameBest Overall
NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Training Machine
Great Alternative
NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Training Machine
Budget Pick
No products found.
Best Compact Option
Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE Elliptical Trainer Exercise Machine...
Final ThoughtThe main selling point of the Commercial 14.9 has to be its attractive combination of adjustability and connectivity.This model comes with a heavy flywheel that provides a smooth, low-impact workout to even the most demanding user, while the sturdy steel frame is built to last and is easy to move when necessary.For a budget elliptical, the Horizon 7.0 AE holds a lot of value and performance in a relatively small package.The key thing you notice when you look at this device is the slightly taller flywheel housing, which is where the neat vertical orientation comes from.
Machine Size28.8"D x 68.3"W x 68.5"H34"D x 66"W x 23"H76"D x 24"W x 65.5"H52"D x 29.25"W x 66 "H
Resistance MechanismMagneticMagneticMagneticMagnetic
Levels of Resistance26.020.020.024.0
Stride Length17'' to 19''18''20''10''
Max User Weight350 lbs325 lbs 325 lbs 325 lbs 
Price$$$$$$
Learn moreSee at AmazonSee at AmazonNo products found.See at Amazon

Why You Should Trust BoxLife

The Boxlife team has set its eyes on the latest and greatest offerings in the gym equipment sphere. We try to stay on top of the latest trends in the industry, with a keen eye on items that are as functional as they are affordable. With a variety of fitness experts in our ranks, we’ve tested out various pieces in both commercial and home settings and under various circumstances.

We take great pride in our extensive research and testing methods, which combine both theoretical and practical elements. We focus on user experience and safety, as well as general longevity and value for money. What we gather from this research is then distilled into our buyers’ guides, which are tailored to various audiences and needs.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical
Based on our testing, this is the best budget Elliptical for beginners. For less than 475$, it has most essential features that you've come to expect. It's compact and sturdy, frankly it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 3 years warranty.

Who Is This Guide For?

In a nutshell, anyone that wants to create a personalized exercise program at home but doesn’t have the space or funds to invest in multiple pieces of equipment. Elliptical workouts are an amalgamation of cardio and strength training that caters to a wide range of fitness levels and specialized goals.

A group of people using the best elliptical machine of 2023

How We Picked the Best Products

By setting aside our own experiences with all of the elliptical models, we looked at things from a different perspective by digging through major fitness threads and discussions on Reddit and Quora. These platforms are notoriously populated by hardcore fitness enthusiasts who can provide unbiased opinions on equipment and provide another layer of scrutiny.

We also looked at existing customer reviews across some of the biggest online retailers, including Amazon, Titan, and Rogue Fitness. Each item was carefully examined, along with the entirety of its features and specifications. This also opened new doors, as we were able to see which of the ellipticals was doing better than its competitors in terms of user satisfaction.

How We Graded Each Product

When we’d taken care of the obvious bits and pieces, we then proceeded to do an in-depth analysis of the shortlist of potential candidates for the best elliptical machine. Even though each one has its set of trademark features and advantages, we still looked at them through the same lens and evaluated them across the following criteria:

  • Performance Capabilities – The way a certain elliptical trainer can handle and process both complex and simple workout routines speaks volumes about its capabilities and overall quality. Some devices don’t deliver on promises and instead have lackluster performance when it comes to even the simplest movements.
  • Build Quality – Since it’s subjected to constant use and wear, ellipticals need a solid foundation to withstand the pressurizing elements of workouts. We inspected the construction, materials used, and overall design of each item to guarantee a certain level of durability and longevity.
  • Resistance Levels – This is the first step towards customizing a workout program and determining its intensity. We looked at the available resistance settings of each product, being mindful of the range it provides and how functional it is. Some options have greater flexibility, while others come with preset levels.
  • Price Ranges – No matter how promising the features and specifications may be, an elliptical machine should still fit into a particular budget. Naturally, we ran into some overpriced and overhyped models on more than one occasion, but we still managed to find a few gems that are worth every penny.

The Products

When we’d done the digging and the testing, we were left with four options that seemingly satisfied the majority of the criteria for the best elliptical machine for home use. Even if they weren’t perfect in every single department, each of them had something special to offer that made it stand out from the rest.

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 – Best Overall

Best Overall

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

The main selling point of the Commercial 14.9 has to be its attractive combination of adjustability and connectivity.

There’s hardly a name as prestigious and renowned as NordicTrack when it comes to workout equipment, and the Commercial 14.9 Elliptical stands as valid proof of that fact. This is an exceptionally well-built machine that’s feature-packed and user-friendly, living up to the expectations of even the most demanding athletes.

Pros

  • A full year’s worth of iFIT classes right off the bat
  • Sleek and ergonomic design that’s as appealing as it is efficient
  • Adjustable stride length for greater control over your workout
  • A heavy flywheel of 32 pounds for a more stable and comfortable experience

Cons

  • Slightly more advanced assembly
  • Quite a large and heavy unit

Key Specs

Machine Size28.8″D x 68.3″W x 68.5″H
Resistance MechanismMagnetic
Levels of Resistance26
Stride Length17” to 19”
Maximum User Weight Capacity350 lbs

Why It’s Great

The main selling point of the Commercial 14.9 has to be its attractive combination of adjustability and connectivity. The 32-pound flywheel is one of the heaviest on any machine of this kind, with a resilient aluminum construction and smooth ball bearings that keep it going no matter what.

You can also benefit from a full year of iFIT classes, which automatically gives you on-demand access to preset workouts, live training and even exploring different terrains through immersive virtual tours and simulations. All of these features are neatly displayed on the stunning 14-inch LCD display, with crisp graphics and accurate tracking.

Speaking of tracking, the Commercial 14.9 also allows you to monitor your heart rate and keep track of your calorie burn in real time. Not only is this an invaluable source of insight and motivation, but it’s also an incredibly useful tool when it comes to keeping up with your progress. You can up the intensity or lower the resistance if needed, with accurate metrics and detailed data that can be saved and shared with other users on the platform.

As far as ergonomics go, NordicTrack has spared no expense to guarantee the utmost comfort and convenience, from soft-textured and anti-slip handlebars that are large enough for a secure grip and textured foot pedals for increased stability. You can even modify the maximum stride length to suit your current fitness goal on the fly, which is a huge plus for anyone who wants to switch up their routine and explore different types of exercises.

Who It’s Best For

The NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical is a superb choice for serious athletes who want to take their performance and workout experience up a notch, as well as casual exercisers who appreciate a good cardio session without the stress or risk of joint pain. Given its higher price point, however, it’s not exactly the most accessible option for those on a tight budget.

Sole Fitness E25 – Great Alternative

Great Alternative

Sole Fitness E25

This model comes with a heavy flywheel that provides a smooth, low-impact workout to even the most demanding user, while the sturdy steel frame is built to last and is easy to move when necessary.

Another force to be reckoned with in the exercise equipment world is the Sole Fitness E25 Elliptical, a mid-level machine that brings together all the benefits of modern design with an array of features tailored for the home user. This model is known for its excellent build quality, robust performance, and competitive user-focused features that make it a solid choice for anyone looking for an all-in-one workout station.

Pros

  • An affordable price point for a multitude of features
  • Industrial-grade construction for greater reliability and durability
  • Includes a dedicated heart rate chest strap
  • Simple and intuitive interface with quick-touch controls

Cons

  • No adjustable stride length
  • Somewhat basic LCD screen

Key Specs

Machine Size34″D x 66″W x 23″H
Resistance MechanismMagnetic
Levels of Resistance20
Stride Length18”
Maximum User Weight Capacity325 lbs 

Why It’s Great

Sole Fitness takes a lot of pride in its products, and the E25 is no exception. This model comes with a heavy flywheel that provides a smooth, low-impact workout to even the most demanding user, while the sturdy steel frame is built to last and is easy to move when necessary. Despite the lack of flashy features, the E25 still has plenty to offer when compared to other options of the same caliber.

In terms of performance, it does get a bit shaky when subjected to really intense exercise regimes, but it’s still more than capable of taking the brunt of a regular workout. It also comes with an integrated chest strap for heart rate monitoring, as well as quick-touch controls that are tactile and responsive for convenience.

While the built-in screen isn’t particularly advanced, it still gets the job done with a bright display that offers basic information about your workout and progress. You can monitor the distance, time, and speed of your exercise, as well as the calories burned, incline, and resistance levels. The final two can be adjusted with the side-mounted buttons with just a quick and simple press.

For comfort, the cushioned foot pedals focus on joint protection, while the movable handlebars add to the overall stability of the machine. The E25 is also surprisingly quiet for a mid-level machine, so you can work out without bothering the neighbors or other people in your house.

Who It’s Best For

The low noise level and resilient construction make the Sole Fitness E25 a fantastic option for people who need to save a few bucks but still want to enjoy a full-body workout. It’s also quite user-friendly, which is a bonus for beginners who haven’t used a home elliptical before.

Horizon 7.0 AE Elliptical – Budget Pick

Budget Pick

Horizon 7.0 AE Elliptical

For a budget elliptical, the Horizon 7.0 AE holds a lot of value and performance in a relatively small package.

Speaking of budget cardio equipment, the Horizon 7.0 AE Elliptical packs some serious punch at a lower price point. Not only does it have a sleek and modern design that’s an absolute pleasure to look at but the performance is also up to par with the more expensive models. Its heavy-duty aluminum frame can take quite a beating, with reinforced joints and a 23-pound flywheel that works in tandem with the outer housing for a smooth and consistent workout.

Pros

  • Solid value for money
  • Lifetime warranty for the frame and brake plates
  • Convenient tech features like Bluetooth-enabled speakers and USB charging port
  • Quite stable and non-slip foot pedal

Cons

  • Smaller backlit LCD screen
  • Slightly larger footprint

Key Specs

Machine Size76″D x 24″W x 65.5″H
Resistance MechanismMagnetic
Levels of Resistance20
Stride Length20”
Maximum User Weight Capacity325 lbs 

Why It’s Great

For a budget elliptical, the Horizon 7.0 AE holds a lot of value and performance in a relatively small package. It has some of the same features as its more expensive counterparts, like Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music or videos during your workout, fast USB charging capability, power incline control and an integrated cooling fan. These features can be quite helpful for those who take their exercise routine seriously, as they cater to the needs of even the most advanced users.

Additionally, the device can connect to a free-to-use app called Pro, which can automatically modify the magnetic resistance levels based on your goals for better results. It’s not exactly the same as a 30-day iFIT membership but it does offer that extra bit of motivation and personalization for your workout.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical
Based on our testing, this is the best budget Elliptical for beginners. For less than 475$, it has most essential features that you've come to expect. It's compact and sturdy, frankly it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 3 years warranty.

In terms of other workout metrics, this elliptical trainer monitors your target heart rate, calorie, and fat burn rate, distance traveled and time elapsed. It’s quite accurate too, and the included chest strap sends precise readings to the console for better precision.

Finally, the padded handlebars move seamlessly with the frame, providing comfort and stability during your session. The cushioned foot pedals also help to reduce fatigue and joint stress, allowing for longer workouts and less soreness afterward.

Who It’s Best For

If you’re looking for a cheap and reliable elliptical, then you could definitely benefit from this device. It’s not as feature-rich as the more expensive models, but it does have some great components that can help you stay motivated and reach your fitness goals.

ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 – Best Compact Option

Best Compact Option

ProForm Carbon HIIT H7

The key thing you notice when you look at this device is the slightly taller flywheel housing, which is where the neat vertical orientation comes from.

One of the biggest limitations the average user faces when trying to set up a home elliptical training area is the size. Many models are quite bulky and take up a lot of space, which is nearly impossible for those who live in small apartments or homes. That’s where the ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 makes a real difference, with a compact design and reliable flywheel mechanism.

Pros

  • Has both cardio and strength-training capabilities
  • Comes with a unique vertical orientation for easier storage
  • Steep yet fluid-motion footpath
  • Compact design with a low-profile frame

Cons

  • The digital monitor could be more user-friendly
  • The warranty period is shorter than many other models

Key Specs

Machine Size52″D x 29.25″W x 66 “H
Resistance MechanismMagnetic
Levels of Resistance24
Stride Length10”
Maximum User Weight Capacity325 lbs 

Why It’s Great

The key thing you notice when you look at this device is the slightly taller flywheel housing, which is where the neat vertical orientation comes from. It accommodates the inertia-enhanced flywheel perfectly, and the magnetic resistance system is controlled using a simple knob that’s easy to reach. It doesn’t feel like a cheap model, however, as the frame is made of sturdy aluminum and can withstand some serious use.

Upon closer inspection, the steeper elliptical footpath takes center stage. It’s optimal for HIIT workouts, as the height and angle make it easier to push yourself a little harder during your session. With dual-grip power handlebars, you can also target different muscle groups depending on which one you use at any given time. The boxing-like movements make this device more dynamic than other ellipticals, giving total body workouts a whole new level of intensity.

This inherently translates to a shorter stride length though, which might be a bit of an issue for taller users. It may not be the most comfortable elliptical out there, but it’s definitely worth considering if you need to save space and don’t want to compromise on quality.

Lastly, ProForm always keeps comfort in mind with all its products, and that’s certainly the case here. The padded handlebars move smoothly with the frame, with adequate cushioning and support for longer workouts. The oversized cushion pedals fall in the same boat and help to reduce fatigue during your session.

Who It’s Best For

If you want a quality elliptical that doesn’t take up the entirety of your free space, the ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 could be a great choice. Its vertical orientation allows for better storage and its shorter stride length challenges your entire body more efficiently.

A muscular man using the best elliptical machine of 2023

Tips on Buying an Elliptical Machine

Are you looking for a low-impact workout that can still challenge your body and improve your cardiovascular health? An elliptical machine may be just what you need. These machines simulate the motion of walking or running, but without the jarring impact on your joints that can come with those activities.

Plus, because you’re working both your upper and lower body at the same time, you’ll burn more calories and get a more efficient workout overall. But with so many different models and features available, it can be hard to know where to start when shopping for an elliptical machine

Price

Elliptical machines can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the features and quality of the machine. Before you start shopping, decide on a budget for your purchase. Keep in mind that while a more expensive machine may have more features or be built with higher-quality materials, there are also plenty of affordable options that can still provide a great workout.

Size and Space

Elliptical machines can take up quite a bit of space, so consider the size of your home gym or workout area before making a purchase. Some machines can fold up for easy storage, while others are designed to be more compact. Make sure you measure your space and choose a machine that will fit comfortably.

Resistance

Resistance is what makes an elliptical machine challenging and helps you build strength and endurance. Look for a machine with adjustable resistance levels, so you can increase or decrease the difficulty of your workout as needed. Some machines may also have pre-set workout programs that automatically adjust the resistance throughout your workout.

Stride Length

The stride length of an elliptical machine is the distance between the pedals as you move. This can vary between machines, and it’s important to choose one with a stride length that feels comfortable for your body. A shorter stride length may feel choppy or uncomfortable, while a longer stride length may feel too stretched out.

The monitor of the best elliptical machine of 2023

Console and Display

The console and display on an elliptical machine can vary greatly between models. Look for a machine with an easy-to-use console and a clear display that shows your workout stats, such as distance, calories burned, and heart rate. Some machines may also have built-in speakers, a fan, or other features that can make your workout more enjoyable.

Weight Capacity

Make sure to check the weight capacity of any elliptical machine you’re considering, especially if you’re a larger person. Most machines will have a weight limit listed in their specifications, so choose one that can safely accommodate your weight.

Brand and Reviews

Finally, when choosing an elliptical machine, consider the brand and read reviews from other customers. Look for a reputable brand that offers good customer support and a warranty on their machines. Reading reviews can also give you an idea of any potential issues or concerns with a particular model.

FAQ

Do ellipticals help lose belly fat?

Absolutely, the elliptical provides a fantastic upper-body workout that engages your core muscles in the abdomen and chest. With each rep, your body works to stabilize itself and this is especially true when you increase the resistance.

Is 30 minutes of elliptical enough?

Depending on the workout modes and the intensity of your session, 30 minutes is a sufficient amount of time on an elliptical to work up a sweat. However, for better results, it’s best to gradually increase your exercise time as your fitness level improves.

Which is better: a treadmill or elliptical?

In theory, ellipticals burn more calories than treadmills, but it really depends on the intensity and duration of your workout session. The specific model and features can also affect the effectiveness of your cardio workout, so it’s best to test them both out and see which one works better for you.

About Julien Raby

My name is Julien Raby and I’m one of the owner of BoxLife. Here’s my background on LinkedIn if you want more info. I’ve been active pretty much my whole life and I discovered Crossfit about 7 years ago. I want to help you improve your Crossfit performances by giving tips on specific movements, workouts and equipment. You have a question? Get in touch!