6 Best Ellipticals of 2024, Tested and Reviewed by Fitness Experts

6 Best Ellipticals of 2024, Tested and Reviewed by Fitness Experts

Best Elliptical Overall

Schwinn Fitness 470 Elliptical Machine

Amazon’s Choice

470 Elliptical Machine

Best Elliptical Overall

Schwinn Fitness 470 Elliptical Machine

Pros
  • Compact footprint fits in tighter spaces
  • Bluetooth-capable to connect a variety of apps
  • Built-in acoustic speakers
  • Excellent reliability with durable steel construction
  • USB charging port
  • Free delivery
  • Good value for the price…
Cons
  • Limited preset workouts

Best for: Home fitness enthusiasts of all levels

Who It’s for

Whether you’re looking to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, or build strength, this machine has you covered. Its versatility, customizable resistance settings, seamless app integration, and overall build quality make it an excellent choice for individuals of all fitness levels. Its wide range of workout options and adjustable resistance settings make it suitable for nearly anyone, too.

Why We Like It

The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine has proven to be the most reliable elliptical machine I’ve had the pleasure of using. Its sturdy construction, easy one-person assembly, and whisper-quiet operation make for a machine that is as easy to use day-to-day as it is durable over time. The machine operates almost silently, which is a welcome feature for those who want to work out without disturbing others in their household. This reliability translates into a protected investment, knowing this machine will last for years to come.

With a whopping 29 different workout modes, this machine offers a range of options to keep your elliptical routine exciting and challenging. Whether you prefer high-intensity interval training, steady-state cardio, or endurance workouts, you can do it all on this machine.

The Schwinn 470 has 25 resistance settings that can be adjusted swiftly to match your desired workout intensity. Whether you’re aiming for a gentle warm-up or a grueling full-body workout, you can easily fine-tune the resistance to meet your needs.

Connectivity is a major plus with this. machine. It seamlessly syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing you to connect with popular fitness apps like MyFitnessPal, Google Fit, Apple Health, and more, making it easy to track and share your progress.

Read more: Best Home Gym Equipment

    Max weight capacity 300 lb.
    Dimensions (L x W x H) 28.2″ x 63.2″ x 70.1″
    Warranty 10 years (frame) / 2 years (mechanical parts) / 1 year (electronics) / 90 days (labor)
    Resistance levels 25

    Best Elliptical for Tough Workouts

    Bowflex Max Trainer M9

    On Sale

    Max Trainer M9

    Best Elliptical for Tough Workouts

    Bowflex Max Trainer M9

    Now 20% Off

    Pros
    • Built for challenging workouts
    • Versatile elliptical-meets-stepper design
    • Beautiful 10″ HD touchscreen display with streaming capabilities
    • Streams a wide variety of content
    • Solid 3-year warranty
    • Free shipping

    Best for: Those who want a tough cardio workout

    Who It’s for

    The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is tailor-made for individuals who are ready to challenge themselves on an elliptical. Whether you’re working out on an elliptical to supplement your cardio or strength training routines or to improve cardiovascular health, the M9 delivers the toughest workout we’ve discovered in the world of elliptical machines.

    Why We Like It

    The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 leaves other ellipticals in the dust when it comes to a challenging workout. Its unique combo of elliptical and stepper movements creates a high-intensity workout experience that we felt got us sweating and our muscles burning more than competing machines. With 20 resistance levels at your disposal, you can gradually increase the challenge, ensuring that every session remains demanding and effective.

    Let’s talk specifics. The variety of positioned handlebars offers versatility in your workout routine, allowing you to target different muscle groups and maintain proper form throughout your sessions. Its 10″ HD touchscreen is crisp yet modestly sized, allowing you to stream workout videos, music playlists, and even video services like Netflix and Hulu. This feature adds a layer of entertainment and motivation to your workouts, ideally making your time spent on the machine more enjoyable in the long run.

    We love it for home use because it operates almost silently. This is a significant advantage, especially if you live in a shared space or prefer to work out without creating noisy distractions.

    Yes, it comes with a premium price tag, but it justifies every cent with its build quality and performance. Its construction delivers on durability and longevity, making it a worthwhile investment for those committed to their home fitness journey. The combination of tech features, reliability, and the ability to provide one of the toughest elliptical workouts in the industry makes it one of the best ellipticals we’ve ever tried.

    Read more: Best Workout Shoes for Men

      Max weight capacity 300 lb.
      Dimensions (L x W x H) 49.2″ x 30.5″ x 65.1″
      Warranty 3 years (frame & parts) / 1 year (electronics) / 90 days (labor)
      Resistance levels 20

      Best Premium Elliptical

      Bowflex Max Total 16 Elliptical

      On Sale

      Max Total 16 Elliptical

      Best Premium Elliptical

      Bowflex Max Total 16 Elliptical

      Now 20% Off

      Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
      Pros
      • 16-inch interactive WiFi-enabled touchscreen display
      • Surprisingly compact footprint is great for small spaces
      • Bluetooth-enabled
      • Dual rail design with six-grip handlebars
      • Free shipping
      • 6-week buy-back guarantee
      • 1-year JRNY membership included
      Cons
      • Nearly double the price of most mid-range ellipticals

      Best for: Those who need a spacious, easy to read/navigate console

      Who It’s for

      The Max Total 16 will give you a similarly intense workout as the Max Trainer M9. In fact, the experience using either Bowflex machine is very similar. The Max Total 16 and Max Trainer 9 offer the same warranty, are the same size, have the same weight capacity, and feature the same levels of resistance. So, what the difference? This machine features a larger, crisp 16″ touchscreen to make streaming classes and following preset workouts even more user-friendly.

      Why We Like It

      The Max Total 16 is the latest in this Bowflex series. It’s super compact for an elliptical-style trainer, so it’s perfect for city-dwellers with smaller living spaces. With up to 20 levels of resistance and pre-programmed workouts, we found this machine to really help push you while working out at home. The generous, 16-inch touchscreen console also comes with Max Total, a platform of custom-guided workouts and virtual coaching to provide structure and motivation for those who like that kind of thing.

      At north of $2,000, it’s pricier than most ellipticals we’ve seen and tested. But, given its premium build, Bowflex branding, and long list of features (namely, a massive touchscreen) we think it’s worth it for those who prefer a spacious interface. We especially love the six-week buy-back guarantee that allows you to try before you commit to buying. Plus, it’s often on sale.

      Read more: Best Rowing Machines

        Max weight capacity 300 lb.
        Dimensions (L x W x H) 49.3″ x 30.8″ x 65.7″
        Warranty 3 years (frame + parts) / 1 year (electronics) / 90 days (labor)
        Resistance levels 20

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        Most Versatile Elliptical

        NordicTrack FS10i Interactive Elliptical Trainer

        On Sale

        FS10i Interactive Elliptical Trainer

        Most Versatile Elliptical

        NordicTrack FS10i Interactive Elliptical Trainer

        Now 10% Off

        Credit: nordictrack
        Pros
        • Versatile 3-in-1 design works as an elliptical, treadmill, and stepper
        • Adjustable stride and resistance levels
        • 10-inch touchscreen for streaming workouts, videos, and music
        • Automatic trainer control to adjust your workout regimen
        • Bluetooth-capable with dual two-inch speakers
        • 30-day family iFIT membership
        • Generous 10-year frame warranty
        • Free shipping

        Best for: Those who want the Swiss army knife of ellipticals

        Who It’s for

        This elliptical trainer is a perfect match for individuals of all fitness levels, from beginners looking to kickstart their home gym to those craving diversity in their cardio routine. If you appreciate versatility, interactive training, customization, and a compact yet robust design, the FS10i is made for you.

        Why We Like It

        The FS10i is the definition of versatility when it comes to ellipticals, functioning as an elliptical, treadmill, and stepper—all in one compact design. The ability to switch between these modes means you can diversify your workouts from one machine, target different muscle groups, and add variety to your fitness routine. The customizable, auto-adjusting stride can be set anywhere from 0 to a generous 32 inches to adapt to most users’ heights and preferences to find their perfect stride.

        With 26 resistance levels and an adjustable incline of up to 10 percent, you have complete control over the intensity of your workouts. Whether you want to embark on a gentle cardio session or a high-intensity interval training session that leaves you breathless, this elliptical can accommodate your needs.

        Its user-friendly, 10-inch smart touchscreen is your gateway to tracking personal performance and enjoying an interactive workout experience. Access to personal training and on-demand workouts adds a dynamic dimension to your elliptical training regimen. Whether you prefer virtual outdoor runs or live, instructor-led classes, this elliptical offers a ton of options to keep you engaged and challenged appropriately.

        With a price tag of nearly $2,000 and weighing in at 300 pounds, its not a small investment, but it’s versatility proves its worth every penny.

        Read more: Best Adjustable Dumbbells

          Max weight capacity 375 lb.
          Dimensions (L x W x H) 58.5″ x 29.5″ x 74″
          Warranty 10 years (frame) / 2 years (parts) / 1 year (labor)
          Resistance levels 26

          Best Budget Elliptical

          ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical

          Carbon EL Elliptical

          Best Budget Elliptical

          ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical

          Credit: Proform
          Pros
          • iFIT trainers can adjust your resistance according to your workout level
          • 19-inch adjustable stride and ramp (0-20°)
          • Bluetooth-enabled with dual two-inch speakers
          • Front-mounted transport wheels for easy moving
          • Free shipping
          • Excellent value for the price
          Cons
          • Built-in LED screen is very basic
          • Requires separate smartphone or tablet

          Best for: Home gym beginners and budget-conscious consumers

          Who It’s for

          The ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical is the best choice for budget-conscious individuals who want to enjoy elliptical workouts at home without breaking the bank. This elliptical machine is particularly suitable for beginners and first-timers looking to begin building a home gym repertoire. With its durable build, user-friendly features, and budget-friendly price tag, it’s an excellent option for those who want a reliable and effective elliptical without the hefty price.

          Why We Like It

          Despite it being a budget model, this machine offers a comfortable workout experience. Its oversized pedals and 19-inch stride length improve its accessibility, especially for larger individuals.

          Staying connected is a priority, and the Carbon EL doesn’t disappoint in this regard. It seamlessly connects to your smartphone or tablet, offering access to a library of engaging workouts. We love that the machine’s resistance can be adjusted automatically when using certain pre-set programs, which simplifies the user experience. This feature also adds an interactive element to your workouts, making it feel like you have a personal trainer guiding you towards your goals.

          During my time using the ProForm Carbon EL, I was impressed by its sturdy and stable feel, particularly for a budget model. No wobbling or instability here, even when we picked up the speed and intensity.

          The main highlight of the ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical is undoubtedly its price. At $800 delivered, it offers exceptional value for the budget-conscious consumer. It’s not the absolute cheapest option on the market, but its combination of durability, features, and affordability strikes the perfect balance between quality and cost-effectiveness.

          Read more: Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

            Max weight capacity 275 lb.
            Dimensions (L x W x H) 25” x 68.5” x 67.75”
            Warranty 10 years (frame) / 1 year (parts + labor)
            Resistance levels 18

            Most Durable Elliptical

            Sole E25 Elliptical

            E25 Elliptical

            Most Durable Elliptical

            Sole E25 Elliptical

            Pros
            • Reasonably priced
            • Solid and stable
            • Lifetime frame warranty
            • Comes with a heart rate strap
            Cons
            • Heavy (more than 200 lb.)
            • Stride length is not adjustable

            Best for: Those who want an ultra durable machine with premium features at a reasonable price

            Who It’s for

            The Sole E25 Elliptical is all about a stable ride and high-end features without breaking the bank. That’s where this machine shines.

            Why We Like It

            It was co-developed with physical therapists to eliminate all strain on knee, hip, and ankle joints for an even-lower-impact workout. With 20 levels of resistance, it’s completely customizable, so you’re guaranteed to get a great workout regardless of your fitness level. The 20-pound flywheel, 10 preset workouts, and oversized foot pedals keep every workout feeling smooth and comfortable. Plus, it also has a cooling fan, water bottle holder, and Bluetooth speakers built into the console.

            At just north of $1,000 (including free shipping), this is not just one of the most durable elliptical trainers we’ve tested, it’s also among the most affordable machines for users of all levels. We especially love the generous, and rare, lifetime frame warranty—something even most premium elliptical trainer brands don’t offer.

            Read more: Best Treadmills

            Max weight capacity 350 lb.
            Dimensions (L x W x H) 70” x 24” x 71”
            Warranty Lifetime frame, three-year parts, and one-year labor
            Resistance levels 20

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            How to Choose the Best Elliptical (for You)

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            Most modern ellipticals are jam-packed with features, specs, and settings which can make shopping for one for your home gym seem overwhelming. In our opinion, the most important considerations are:

            Size: Ellipticals are oversized machines by design, so there’s no getting around the fact that they take up a ton of space. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that the models you’re shopping will actually fit your home gym. Keep in mind that it’s not just about the overall footprint (length and width), but whether you can comfortably use the pedals too. Allow for at least a few feet of “buffer” in every direction, including overhead, around your new elliptical.

            Comfort and ergonomics: A longer stride length is better for taller individuals, while a shorter stride length is better for shorter individuals. Large, cushioned foot pedals are preferable, as they can accommodate different foot sizes. Compare the measurements and specs of ellipticals your shopping to determine if the build is right for you.

            Durability: You want a machine that will stand the test of time and provide reliable performance for years to come. Look for features like a sturdy frame, a generous weight capacity, robust construction, a reputable brand, and positive customer reviews that attest to its longevity. You’re looking for an elliptical that will go the distance with you, so it’s worth investing in a reliable and durable machine.

            Price: Elliptical machines can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Determine your budget first, then look for models that fit within it.

            Display: Look for a display that’s easy-to-read and tracks important metrics like time, distance, speed, and calories burned.

            Noise level: Consider how loud the machine is when in use, especially if you plan to use it in a shared living space. Reading reviews can be especially helpful to determine this, but consider demoing in-store models first or finding an elliptical with a buy-back guarantee or in-home trial so you can “try before you buy.” An elliptical is a serious investment, and you want to be sure you’ll enjoy yours for years to come.

            Warranty: Look for reputable brands with good warranties in case something goes wrong with the machine.

            Can You Lose Weight Using An Elliptical?

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            “Like all pieces of cardio equipment, the elliptical can help on any weight loss journey if it’s a style of cardio you enjoy and are comfortable doing repeatedly,” explains Samuel.

            Weight loss boils down to creating a calorie deficit, meaning burning more calories than you consume through your diet. “Any device that helps you be more active throughout your day can help you burn more calories and push you closer to that deficit.”

            That includes the elliptical. “It won’t deliver the most intense calorie burn out there, and it won’t build much muscle. And the more muscle you carry, the more calories you burn at rest, so don’t discount that value.”

            However, if you enjoy the elliptical experience more than, say, an airbike or a rower, then you’ll use it more frequently, contributing to overall calories burned. Pair it with some strength training to supplement, and you’ll be on your way to a well-rounded training program to achieve your weight loss goals.

            Who is An Elliptical Best for?

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            Among the many reasons someone looking to invest in their health may want to buy an elliptical is one primary advantage: it provides a low-impact workout. Which makes it an especially great option for those with joint issues, older adults, or those recovering from an injury.

            For those who prefer some guidance and entertainment to stay engaged during lengthy cardio sessions, you’re in luck. Many ellipticals on the market today offer a range of workout programs and modes included trainer-led sessions, live leaderboard rankings, global scenic routes, and more. Making it hard to ever get bored.

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            What Is Zone 2 Training?

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            Zone 2 training is defined by working out with your heart rate hovering between 60 and 70 percent of its maximum. Think of it like this: When exercising in zone 2, you should be able to talk on the phone, but the person you’re talking to should be able to tell that you’re working out.

            It’s more than just a workout; some believe it’s a key player in building and strengthening your mitochondria—the cellular powerhouses responsible for generating the energy needed for muscle contractions. Dr. Kenneth Jay, a seasoned sports scientist, has conducted extensive research on this topic. His findings underscore the importance of Zone 2 exercises in enhancing mitochondrial efficiency and boosting cellular energy production.

            Do Ellipticals Provide a Full-body Workout?

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            In addition to being low-impact and great for cardiovascular health, elliptical machines offer a legit full-body workout. The motion of the pedals engage many of the muscles in the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, without the shock to the joints.

            For those machines with moving handlebars, you’ll also work the chest, back, shoulders, and arms, providing a true workout for the entire body. Plus, it’s a great way to burn calories, which helps to support full-body weight loss.

            But the intensity of the workout and which muscles are targeted will vary based on factors like incline, resistance, and fitness level. Meaning users can customize their workout to target different muscle groups and burn up some cals.

            Should You Buy An Elliptical or a Treadmill?

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            While treadmills and ellipticals are similar, they differ in a few key ways. Researchers at the University of Mississippi found that elliptical trainers provide the same cardiovascular benefits as treadmill running, without the impact on your joints. So they’re a perfect solution if you’re a runner who wants to stay in race shape without excessive pounding to your ankles, knees and hips.

            But a 2001 study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise determined that the treadmill burns calories at the highest rate of any exercise machine. So if you’re looking for a cardio machine that’s easier on joints, an elliptical is your best bet. However, if you’re looking for a rig that can burn calories fastest, invest in a treadmill instead.

            Read more: Exercise Machine Guide

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            Why You Can Trust Us

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            At Men’s Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations. Our writers and editors thoughtfully select experts for collaboration on product recommendations, and are also experts in their own right, using their informed opinions to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality.

            Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage. Which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.

            How We Selected the Best Ellipticals

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            For this roundup, we thoroughly researched and tested more than three dozen of the best, most highly rated ellipticals available today. We carefully evaluated every major feature, including size, build quality, smart connectivity, workout comfort, and, of course, price. We even paid attention to the smaller details like USB charging ports, water bottle holders, and built-in media shelves. The list above represents our honest picks for the best ellipticals worth shopping in 2024.

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            Headshot of Talene Appleton, NASM-CPT

            Talene Appleton is a fitness and food writer and editor, certified personal trainer (NASM-CPT), and former professional dancer based in New York City. Passionate about both exercise and cuisine, she merges her fitness, nutrition and culinary expertise with the goal of motivating others to embrace balanced healthy living. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, General Surgery News, The Food Institute, The Nessie, and more.

            Headshot of Ebenezer Samuel,  C.S.C.S.

            Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men’s Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He’s logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men’s Health in 2017, he served as a sports columnist and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.  

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