The 11 Best Ellipticals of 2023

Bowflex Max Trainer M6 has 16 resistance levels and is our top pick

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The Best Ellipticals to Use at Home

Verywell Fit / Sabrina Jiang

If you’re looking for a low-impact cardio, yet effective workout, consider an elliptical. Unlike other forms of cardio—like running, jumping, and HIIT—which can make you more prone to injury, ellipticals tend to put less stress on your lower ligaments.

Reviewed & Approved

With 16 resistance levels and easy-to-grip handles, the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 is our top pick and will challenge you with every stride. Plasma Fit's Elliptical Machine is a good budget buy and offers you two machines in one.

Ellipticals can vary greatly in price. A basic machine that gets the job done can start around $150. If you want all the bells and whistles, it may cost a few thousand dollars. Some factors to consider when purchasing home gym equipment are your lifestyle, budget, space, and fitness goals.

We researched dozens of ellipticals and evaluated them for resistance levels, price, size, and comfort. Based on our research, these are the best ellipticals on the market.

Best Overall

Bowflex Max Trainer M6

4.9
Bowflex Max Trainer M6

Dick's Sporting Goods

Pros
  • 16 levels of resistance

  • Connectivity for up to 2 individual users

  • USB charging port

Cons
  • Workout may be too strenuous for some users

  • Noisy when in use

We chose the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 as our top pick because it's a compact elliptical that blends the smooth strides of an elliptical with the strength-building steps of a stair-stepper, giving you a dynamic challenge every time you work out. The elliptical’s cushioned handles are easy to grip and its wide pedals offer a smooth, comfortable stride. Take advantage of the machine’s 16 resistance levels as you increase the intensity of your workouts over time.

The elliptical’s large console makes it easy to track your progress, and its media rack and USB port are great for multitasking. In addition to the built-in features, enjoy two months of complimentary access to the Bowflex JRNY app. You'll get trainer-led workout videos, virtual coaching, and adaptive workouts that get harder as you get stronger.

Price at Publication: $1,500

Weight Capacity: 300 lbs | Dimensions: 46" L x 26" W x 64.2" H | Stats Offered: Heart Rate Monitor, Burn Rate | Assembly: Optional Assembly Service

Best Budget

Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine

Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine

Amazon

Pros
  • 2-in-1 machine

  • Adjustable Tension/Resistance Levels

  • Front rollaway wheels for easy movability and storage 

Cons
  • Seat is hard and uncomfortable

  • Not suitable for larger users

  • Can feel a bit unstable when in use

Part elliptical and part exercise bike, the Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine is a solid two-in-one trainer. It’s available at a much lower price point than many classic ellipticals. If you want to use the machine as a standard elliptical, simply climb onto its wide pedals, grip its cushioned handlebars, and start striding.

If you want to convert it into an exercise bike, adjust the machine’s seat and start cycling. You’ll use the same pedals for both. Change the intensity of your workout by turning the tension knob on the frame. An LCD display screen tracks your speed, time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate.

Price at Publication: $135

Weight Capacity: 220 lbs | Dimensions: x 35.5" D x 21.5" W x 58.25" H | Stats Offered: Speed, Time, Distance, Calories Burned, Heart Rate | Assembly: Some Assembly Required

Best Mid-Range

Schwinn 430 Compact Elliptical Machine

Schwinn 430 Compact Elliptical Machine

Amazon

Pros
  • 20 levels of resistance, 22 preset workout programs

  • 2 LCD screen displays for increased visibility to programs and goal tracking


  • Smooth and quiet operation

Cons
  • Elliptical weighs 168.7 lbs

  • Challenging to assemble

The Schwinn Fitness 430 Elliptical Machine is a classic elliptical that offers quality and value. The machine is straightforward, easy to use, and sure to deliver a solid workout every time. The elliptical is equipped with 22 preset workout programs and 20 resistance levels, including beginner and advanced options. (It also boasts a “quick start” mode if you prefer a no-fuss option.)

You can use the machine’s unique Goal Track feature to set goals and track your progress over time. No matter which settings you choose, the Schwinn 430 promises a smooth, quiet ride—and its wide, cushioned pedals help keep your strides comfortable.

Price at Publication: $900

Weight Capacity: 300 lbs | Dimensions: 70.1" L x 28.2" W x 63.2" H | Stats Offered: Heart Rate, Time, Distance, Calories | Assembly: Optional Assembly Service

What Our Testers Say

“You’ll definitely want to assemble this machine with two people since the process is complicated and time-consuming and the instructions need to be done in the correct order to make sure you get the most out of your machine. It is so nice for us to have such a high-quality, high-functioning workout machine in our home.” Deanna McCormack, Verywell Writer and Product Tester

Best Splurge

NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride Trainer

NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride Trainer

Amazon

Pros
  • 3-in-1 training with elliptical, stepper, and treadmill capabilities

  • 32" Auto-adjustable stride

  • 10% adjustable incline and decline

Cons
  • Takes up alot of space

  • Machine is heavy in weight

  • Monthly subscription cost for iFIT technology

NordicTrack's FS14i FreeStride Trainer is a high-tech elliptical that will automatically adapt to your stride and habits, giving you a personalized fitness experience. You can also use the machine's ample range of motion, including a 32 inch stride to make your workouts more versatile. By sliding your feet forward and back, you can convert the elliptical into a treadmill. Press your feet up and down to use the machine as a stair stepper.

Many ellipticals boast several resistance levels, but this one offers a whopping 26 levels of resistance. It also gives you the option of a ten-percent incline or a ten-percent decline—a rare feature that will let you make your workouts even more dynamic. The 14 inch Smart HD Touchscreen allows for interactive, personalized training.

The FS14i comes with a complimentary 1-month iFIT Family Membership, which you can use to access thousands of on-demand workouts. You can also activate iFIT’s automatic trainer control feature which allows your incline and resistance level settings to be adjusted for you as you work out. Although the FS14i works in manual mode, you'll need an iFIT subscription to get the most out of your machine. For instance, the heart rate monitor only works using iFIT. After the first month, membership will automatically renew at the current rates.

With world-class trainers, unmatched variety, and 3-in-1 functionality, this machine will help you beat workout boredom and stay motivated.

Price at Publication: $2,500

Weight Capacity: 375 lbs | Dimensions: 58.5" L x 29.5" W x 74" H | Stats Offered: Time, Speed, Distance, Resistance, Incline, Decline, Calories | Assembly: Self-Assembly

Best Two-in-One

ProForm Hybrid Trainer

ProForm Hybrid Trainer

Amazon

Pros
  • 2-in-1 design converts into a recumbent bike

  • iFIT compatible for personalized workouts

  • 16 resistance levels

Cons
  • Not suitable for users heavier than 250 lbs

  • Noisy when in use

  • Difficult to assemble

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT is an elliptical that doubles as a recumbent bike—giving you two exercise machines in one. The adjustable seat and pedals make it easy to transition from elliptical to bike and back again. Opt-in to the optional iFIT technology for access to an ever-growing library of fitness programs, renown trainers, and advanced features. The first 30 days are complimentary with your purchase.

Unsure about a monthly subscription? No worries. You can still track your distance, time, resistance, and calories in manual mode. So, whether you're using the ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT as an elliptical or recumbent bike, with iFIT or manually, you're sure to get a solid workout from the comfort of home.

Price at Publication: $600

Weight Capacity: 250 lbs | Dimensions: 70.5" D x 24.5" W x 60.5" H | Stats Offered: Distance, Time, Resistance, Calories | Assembly: Self-Assembly

Best Recumbent

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Elliptical

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Elliptical

Walmart

Pros
  • Zero-impact, full body exercise

  • 2 transport wheels at the rear base

  • Large seat cushion with reclining and height adjustability

Cons
  • May be difficult to mount and dismount for users with limited mobility

  • Not challenging enough for advanced users

  • Console dimly lit

The Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer is an elliptical and recumbent bike hybrid. The machine combines the seated, reclining style of a recumbent bike with the arm and leg motion of an elliptical, making it a new breed of exercise machine—a recumbent elliptical.

Every time you use your Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer, you’ll be seated. The adjustable seat has three recline settings and multiple height settings for a customized fit and feel. You’ll stride the same way you would on a standard elliptical, and you’ll also use the moving handlebars to engage your upper body. This makes the recumbent elliptical more dynamic than a standard recumbent bike, but lower-impact than a classic elliptical—an excellent option for people who want a workout that’s challenging, but still comfortable.

Price at Publication: $900

Weight Capacity: 300 lbs | Dimensions: 54” L x 38” W x 52.5” H | Stats Offered: Time, Distance, Speed, Calories | Assembly: Optional Assembly Service

Best Under-Desk

Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider

Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider

Amazon

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight, and portable

  • Use seated or standing, forward or reverse stride

  • Supported by müüv, a free, smart audio coaching app

Cons
  • Wheels may begin to squeak over time

  • Short stride length may not be suitable for taller users

  • Lacks durability with prolonged use

The Stamina InMotion E1000 is a compact option that you can fit just about anywhere—under your desk or table, in front of the couch, and more. The lightweight, portable machine was designed with multitasking in mind. It promises a relatively quiet, unobtrusive workout, letting you log a little exercise while you work or watch TV.

Adjust the intensity of your workout using the built-in tension dial to scale your resistance up or down. Use the free müüv smart audio coaching app for custom workouts and tracking your progress with no subscription required.

Price at Publication: $108

Weight Capacity: 250 lbs | Dimensions: 24.5" L x 17" W x 11.38" H | Stats Offered: Strides Per Minute, Total Strides, Time, Calories, Distance | Assembly: Self-Assembly

Best for Outdoors

ElliptiGO Outdoor Stand-Up Bike

ElliptiGO Outdoor Stand-Up Bike

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight, but durable

  • 3 resistance levels

  • Adjustable stride length from 16'-25"

Cons
  • Not suitable for rugged or hilly terrain

  • Maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs

The ElliptiGO 3C is the entry-level model in the ElliptiGO line-up of outdoor elliptical bikes. With three gears, it is best suited for flat, paved roads and gentle hills with a 5% climbing grade or less. You’ll burn more calories in less time with the smooth running-like motion that’s easier on your hips, knees, and ankles.

The ElliptiCO 3C ships almost fully assembled and you won’t need any tools to complete the job. Both the steering column and stride length are adjustable so you can enjoy a comfortable and fun workout. Customize your bike with optional accessories such as the Fluid 365 Stationary Trainer and you can bring your workout back indoors.

At only 42 pounds, this bike is lightweight, yet sturdy. The ElliptiGO is highly rated by customers of all ages. Especially those who are getting back into exercising after an injury. 

Price at Publication: $2,500

Weight Capacity: 250 lbs | Dimensions: 75" L x 50-58" H | Stats Offered: None | Assembly: Almost Fully Assembled, No Tools Required

Best for Small Spaces

EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine

EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine

Amazon

Pros
  • Compact with wheels for easy portability and storage

  • 8 resistance levels

  • Quiet operation

Cons
  • 220 lbs maximum weight capacity

  • May not be suitable for taller users

  • Fixed 11 inch stride

The Efitment E005 Compact Elliptical Trainer is an incredibly space-saving machine—making it a great option for those with limited room. It is relatively lightweight at 63 pounds, and comes equipped with transport wheels for portability and storage. It also comes reinforced with leg stabilizers that keep it from rocking and swaying as you work out.

Though compact, the machine is still sturdy enough to support you through your workout. Its wide pedals promise a smooth, comfortable ride. Its adjustable tension knob lets you access eight different resistance modes, and its built-in digital monitor makes it easy to track your progress. The stride length is fixed at 11 inches and may not accommodate taller users.

Price at Publication: $300

Weight Capacity: 220 lbs | Dimensions: 34.5" L x 24.5" W x 61" H | Stats Offered: Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Pulse | Assembly: Self-Assembly

Best Foldable

Sunny Health & Fitness Air Walk Trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness Air Walk Trainer

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight and foldable for easier storage

  • Zero impact, full-body, at-home workout

  • Low price-point

Cons
  • No resistance

  • Not suitable for users over 220 lbs

  • May not be challenging enough for advanced users

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Trainer may not look like other ellipticals due to the unique glider design. The pedals hover in mid-air rather than resting on a bulky base. The result is a machine that’s particularly low-profile. The glider pedals also mean that it takes more effort to balance, thus engaging your core.

The 30 inch stride length offers the benefits of stretching, running, cross-country skiing, and an aerobic workout without jarring movements that often lead to injury. Glide your way to better health by tracking your progress on the built-in LCD monitor.

Price at Publication: $100

Weight Capacity: 220 lbs | Dimensions: 25" L X 19" W X 57" H | Stats Offered: Time, Count, Total Count, Calories | Assembly: Self-Assembly, Tools Included

Best High-Weight Capacity

Niceday Elliptical Trainer

Niceday Elliptical Trainer

Amazon

Pros
  • Heavy-duty frame for increased stability and load capacity

  • Suitable for users 4'9" to 6'2" up to 400 lbs

  • 16 resistance levels using a whisper quiet magnetic flywheel

Cons
  • Fixed 15.5" stride

  • Inconsistent fitness tracking

  • Display blocked when using a tablet on the built-in holder

The Niceday elliptical is a reasonably priced, mid-size machine that safely accommodates users up to 400lbs. The frame is made with extra thick commercial grade steel for added stability and load capacity. The adjustable tension control knob ranges from levels 1 through 16 of resistance. You can gradually increase the intensity of your workout using the "10 percent rule" to prevent injury. The Niceday machine comes partially assembled and has transport wheels for easy portability.

Price at Publication: $600

Weight Capacity: 400 lbs | Dimensions: 48" D x 25" W x 62" H | Stats Offered: Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Pulse | Assembly: Partially-Assembled, Tools Included

How We Selected the Best Ellipticals

To find the best ellipticals, we researched dozens of machines from top fitness equipment retailers and brands, opting for best-sellers and options with stellar customer feedback. We also reached out to experts—including two certified personal trainers—for recommendations and advice on what to look for when selecting an elliptical.

To narrow down our options, we evaluated ellipticals based on their features, ease of assembly and use, adjustability, sturdiness, comfort, and value. Based on how each elliptical held up to these criteria, we determined which ellipticals were best suited for different needs.

Schwinn 470 Elliptical

Verywell Fit / Deanna McCormack

What to Look for in an Elliptical

Resistance Levels

Most elliptical machines are equipped with adjustable resistance levels—the ability to increase or decrease the tension of your stride. Typically higher-end ellipticals offer a wider range of resistance levels which allows you to engage in endurance, high-intensity, or more advanced training exercises.

Workout Modes

Many ellipticals offer a range of workout modes in addition to their resistance levels. These may include hill climbs, fitness tests, and other training programs. Use these preset options or switch to manual mode to control your own workout.

“I would suggest buying one that allows you to change the angle and degrees of the glide,” says Adrien Deffes, CPT. With the ability to make manual adjustments, people can engage in a variety of exercises even if their machine doesn’t come with multiple workout modes included.

Use

“In my opinion, an elliptical is one of most user-friendly machines anyone can own,” says Deffes. He notes that they can be great for beginners and the older population, in addition to seasoned athletes or people who engage in regular workouts. 

Though most ellipticals tend to be similar, there are some that are unique—like foldable ellipticals, under-desk ellipticals, outdoor ellipticals, and ellipticals that convert to other fitness machines. Consider your fitness goals, space, and how often you'll use the machine before selecting an elliptical—there’s likely an option that meets your precise needs.

Schwinn 470 Elliptical

Verywell Fit / Deanna McCormack

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What muscles does the elliptical work?

    When used properly, the elliptical targets the major muscle groups of the leg, including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. “If the moveable handles on the machine are also used, muscles of the upper body are also worked, including biceps, triceps, pectoralis, and latissimus dorsi,” says Nicole Thompson, an ACE certified personal trainer. 

  • Which is better: an elliptical or a treadmill?

    Both the elliptical and treadmill have benefits. Whether you pick a treadmill or an elliptical at the gym may depend on a few factors, such as your fitness level, goals, and injury history.


    If you’re prone to injuries or you’re recovering from one, you may want to choose the elliptical since it’s lower-impact than the treadmill. “The elliptical machine requires both a leg and an upper-body movement, which could make it a better workout for your upper body compared to running,” says Thompson.


    However, you’ll most likely burn more calories and get a more intense workout on the treadmill, so it may be a better option for those trying to lose weight or training for a race.

  • How many calories does an elliptical workout burn?

    The number of calories burned during an elliptical workout depends on your weight as well as the intensity and duration of your workout. As an estimate, using a moderate effort, a 200-pound person burns about 470 calories per hour on an elliptical, and a 140-pound person burns about 325 calories per hour. Most elliptical machines have a calorie counter on the console, but the number is usually a rough estimate.

  • Is the elliptical good for cardio?

    Yes, using an elliptical properly and regularly can help improve your cardio capacity and stamina. “Since the elliptical uses large muscle groups that require increased blood flow and oxygen, using an elliptical for 20 or more consecutive minutes can be considered an effective cardio workout for some individuals,” says Thompson.

Why Trust Verywell Fit 

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3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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