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NordicTrack, Teeter, and Bowflex round out a strong crop of ellipticals for smooth cardio. See which others made our list.

When it comes to exercising at home, there’s no shortage of cardio workout equipment to choose from.

Elliptical machines are a popular choice because they’re easier on your joints than treadmills but still offer a challenging workout.

However, because they vary significantly in size, features, and price, it can be a challenge to find the best elliptical for your needs. Here’s our roundup of the best 7 options available.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, list prices range from $129–$3,299, but your actual price will depend on available discounts and where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $750
  • $$ = $750–$2,000
  • $$$ = over $2,000
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Here’s a quick look at how our top-rated ellipticals compare:

Product and priceDimensionsMax weight capacityIncline and resistance levelsSubscription service and cost
NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride TrainerT
58.5 × 29.5 × 74 in (149 × 75 × 188 cm)375 lb (170.5 kg)• -10–10% incline
• 26 levels
• iFit
• $39/mo
EllptiGO 3C Outdoor Elliptical Bike
75 × 50–58 in
(190.5 × 127–147 cm)
250 lb (113.6 kg)• none
• 3 gears
Sunny Health & Fitness Air Walk TrainerL
25 x 19 x 57 in
(63.5 x 48.3 x 144.8 cm)
220 lb (100 kg)• none
• none
Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and EllipticalD
55.25 x 38 x 52.5 in (140,3 x 96.52 x 133.4 cm)‎300 lb (136.0 kg)• none
• 13 levels
• TeeterMove
• free
Cubii JR1 Under-Desk EllipticalL
‎23.15 x 17.56 x 10 in
(58.8 x 44.6 x 25.4 cm)
250 lb (113.6 kg)• none
• 8 levels
• Cubii Studio+
• $7.99/mo or $74.99/yr
Bowflex Max Trainer M9
49.21 x 30.5 x 65.12 in
(125 x 77.5 x 165.4 cm)
300 lb (136 kg)• none
• 20 levels
• Bowflex JRNY app
• $19.99/mo
Decathlon EL520 Self-Powered Elliptical
57.5 x 24.8 x 62.6 in (146 x 63 x 159 cm)285 lb (130 kg)• none
• none

L = LCD display, T = Touch screen display, D = Digital monitor

We researched the best ellipticals on the market and evaluated them based on the following criteria:

  • Workout modes and resistance levels: For the best workout possible, we looked for ellipticals with customized workout options.
  • Special features: We know it’s the little things that really set an elliptical apart, so we factored in features like cupholders, fans, touch screens, and instructor-led classes.
  • Price: Because budgets can vary, we included machines at a variety of price points, from high end machines to ellipticals under $750.
  • Warranties: Ellipticals aren’t cheap, which is why we researched the warranty policy for each product.
  • Customer reviews: Some things you just can’t know until you try a product. We’ve combed customer reviews to find the top-rated ellipticals according to those who’ve used them first-hand.

Our list is not in rank order because we recognize that the best elliptical machine for you will depend on your specific needs and desires. To help you with this, we’ve tried to select the best options for a variety of features.

Note that the prices above reflect the current market list price and may vary by retailer.

Ready to buy an elliptical? Here are some factors to consider:

  • Space: How much room do you have for an elliptical? Do you have space for additional equipment, or do you need a multipurpose machine?
  • Your exercise needs and desired features: How many resistance and incline levels do you want? Are you fine working out on your own, or do you prefer instructor-led classes?
  • Warranties: An elliptical is a pricey investment, so you’ll want to check what’s covered under the warranty and for how long.
  • Customer reviews: Especially if you’re ordering online and can’t try it out for yourself, look for a product that’s rated highly by consumers.

Are home ellipticals worth it?

If you use a home elliptical frequently enough, it’s worth the investment. For many people, buying an elliptical machine for home use is worth it, since it can be easier to get a quick workout at home than it is to go to the gym.

Consider creating a regular exercise routine to ensure you get your money’s worth.

If you’re not sure whether you’ll enjoy using an elliptical, consider trying one out in a gym or at a sports equipment store before making a purchase. If you prefer to use a variety of gym equipment, a gym membership might be more worthwhile.

Are front- or rear-drive ellipticals better?

Personal preference plays a large role in choosing between the two elliptical styles.

Front-drive ellipticals tend to be cheaper and more compact, but having the flywheel in the front can also limit stride length a bit. This can affect taller people whose legs need extra stride room.

Rear-drive ellipticals tend to flatten exercise movements and have a more natural feel. They also tend to be quieter and have fewer moving parts, which can mean less maintenance. These ellipticals may not offer the same range of incline options as a front-drive elliptical, though.

What muscles do ellipticals strengthen?

Elliptical machines can offer a full-body aerobic workout. An elliptical workout can strengthen your:

  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quads
  • chest
  • back
  • biceps
  • triceps
  • core muscles

Have a specific area you’d like to focus on? By changing the incline and resistance, you can focus on specific lower body muscle groups such as your quads or calves. Moving the pedals in reverse allows you to focus on your hamstrings and glutes.

If you stand up straight and release the handlebars, you can even work on core strength and balance.

Are ellipticals safe?

When used appropriately, ellipticals can be a safe way to get a low impact workout. In fact, using an elliptical can be less stressful on your knees, hips, and back than running or using a treadmill.

Before beginning any new exercise routine, it’s important to check with a healthcare professional. They can advise you on any specific personal health concerns that would make working out on an elliptical unsafe.

Is an elliptical better than walking?

Both walking and using the elliptical are cardiovascular exercises, and they both burn calories. While walking is a free and relatively accessible workout, elliptical workouts offer some distinct advantages over a long stroll.

If you’re looking for a low impact workout to reduce strain on your joints, using an elliptical may be better than walking.

A 2022 study showed that an elliptical workout is less weight-bearing than walking and other cardio exercises.

A study from 2020 found that elliptical workouts put less pressure on the plantar fascia than walking, which may make ellipticals better for people who tend to get plantar fasciitis.

To reap all the benefits of elliptical exercise, it’s a good idea to speak with a physiotherapist or personal trainer. This is an especially good idea if you have an injury or specific health concern.

What brand is the best elliptical?

It depends on your personal preference, as all ellipticals have their own unique features and benefits. However, if you’re looking for a high quality elliptical brand, all the brands mentioned above are worth considering.

Is the elliptical machine good for losing belly fat?

No specific workout can help you lose belly fat faster than another. However, if you want to burn calories, elliptical machines can offer a high intensity workout without affecting your joints as much as, say, a treadmill.

Working out on an elliptical machine can improve your core muscles, which won’t necessarily help you lose belly fat, but can help you strengthen your abdominal muscles.

What single machine is better than an elliptical?

A treadmill has some benefits over an elliptical: It can be more effective for burning calories and improving strength. However, the elliptical is easier on your joints, especially your knee joints, offering lower impact workouts.

If you’re looking to get something specific out of your workouts, it might be best to discuss it with a physiotherapist or personal trainer, as they can give you personalized advice on which machines to use.

Elliptical machines are a low impact way to get your heart rate up at home.

Before buying an elliptical machine for home use, consider how it will fit into your:

  • lifestyle
  • physical space
  • budget

You can use this list as a starting point to find the best elliptical for your needs. Remember to check with a healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise plan.