8 Best Elliptical Machines of 2018 – Our Top Picks Tested!

best elliptical machine

Today’s best elliptical machine offers technically advanced options, like fitness tracking information and superior ergonomic support.

Elliptical machines continue to grow in popularity as people look for cardio workouts and options to tone their body and lose weight.

With the growing popularity, a solid elliptical gym machine gets easier to find. The top elliptical machine will be the proper size, have solid ergonomics, have high-tech features, and offer various high intensity programs. Finally, it should have ample safety features.

There are many types of gym equipment to meet one's fitness goals, but the elliptical is unique due to its ability to avoid strain on your knees. This is called non-impact conditioning.

Finding the right home exercise equipment starts with our best elliptical machine review.

​In this guide, we'll look at the top rated elliptical trainers available for ​your
home gym.

Top 8 Elliptical Machines in 2018

Image
Product Name
Flywheel
Resistance
Price

Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer

27-Pounds

20 Levels

NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical

20-Pounds

22 Levels

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

27-Pounds

20 Levels

NordicTrack SE7i SpaceSaver

18-Pounds

22 Levels

Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer

Perimeter Weighted

20 Levels

ProForm Hybrid Trainer

15-Pounds

18

20 Levels

Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical

20-Pounds

18

24 Levels

Body Champ Cardio 2-in-1 Dual Trainer

15-Pounds

16 Levels

Home elliptical machines come with a variety of features in a wide price range. You can find machines starting at under $100 to over $1,000. In our review of elliptical machines, we list our favorites according to options and price.

When it comes to choosing a home elliptical trainer, size plays a huge role. You need a trainer that fits the space and the person. Most shoppers prefer elliptical trainers smaller than the machines found in commercial gyms, but large enough for good cardio workouts.

The best home elliptical machine is small but gives full-size strides with a resistance that’s challenging.

The top considerations for choosing a home elliptical machine are:

  • Resistance
  • Stride Length
  • Upper Body Workout
  • Maximum User Weight
  • Rear Drive Design
  • Plastic or Metal Build
  • Added Features
  • Warranty

8 Best Elliptical Machines on the Market

1. Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer

While the Sole E95 is the most expensive in our reviews of elliptical machines, it also has the best features. If you consider this machine from the point of paying for what you get, the E95 has a reasonable price. Users report the overall experience of using the E95 as comfortable and worthwhile.

The Sole E95 comes in on the larger size of 27” x 62” x 83” and a weight of 251-pounds. But the larger size means handling a maximum user weight of 400-pounds, with a power-adjustable stride of 20-inches to 22-inches.

Perhaps the best feature of the E95 is the articulating pedals with custom foot medals. The flexibility of the foot pedals adds great ergonomic stability, and heavy-duty rails keep it cool and stable.

The rear-drive trainer gets it power from the whisper quiet drive system that functions in both forward and reverse. The 27-pound flywheel and high gear ratio deliver a smooth yet challenging workout with lots of resistance.

A power incline feature adds extra resistance, and variable positions give you push button control. The ramp has a fully adjustable angle from 0 to 20 incline levels, targeting all the lower body muscles.

The E95 has an easy use electronic console with a 10.1-inch TFT display and features found on health club models. An included bottle holder and built-in fan keep you cool and hydrated on those intensive workouts. Built-in speakers for your MP3 Player or other device lets you rock out while working out.

Rounding out the long list of E95 features are custom mold hand grips, stationary handle bars, and built-in pulse sensors.

Pros

  • 400-pound user weight.
  • Smooth ride with four rear wheels attached to the heavy-duty rail system.
  • Ergonomic articulating pedals to reduce ankle and knee stress.
  • Resistance and incline control integrated into the handles.
  • Bluetooth compatible.
  • Built-in speakers and MP3 and Apple compatible.
  • Includes heart rate strap.
  • Transport wheels for relocation.
  • Full 5-year parts warranty and lifetime frame warranty.

Cons

  • Limited fitness programs.
  • Large and bulky.
  • Doesn’t fold up for storage like many home models.
  • A heavy machine weighing 251-pounds.
  • Built-in speakers not very powerful.
  • Cooling fan needs more powerful airflow.

2. NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical


With its many features, the NordicTrack C 7.5 is one of the top elliptical trainers for under $1,000. Overall, this best-rated elliptical is perfect for beginners all the way to intermediate users.

Pros

  • Front drive elliptical for adjustable stride.
  • Up to 20-inch stride.
  • 22 digital resistance levels.
  • Inertia balanced 20-pound flywheel.
  • Incline power up to 20 degrees.
  • Weight capacity of 325-pounds.
  • Moving arm bars.
  • Convenient incline and resistance controls in handlebars.
  • 26 preloaded workout apps.
  • Additional workouts with an iFit membership.
  • iPod compatibility with docking.
  • Dual 2-inch speakers with Intermix Acoustic Sound System.
  • Handlebar cardio grip sensors.
  • Water bottle holder.
  • Wheels for transporting.
  • 2-year parts and 1-year labor warranty.

Second on our list of best elliptical machines is the NordicTrack C7.5 Elliptical. A simple and capable trainer, the NordicTrack C 7.5 offers a lot of features and advanced technology at a budget-friendly price.

The 20-pound flywheel, 20-inch stride, and 22 incline levels add workout challenge to this front drive elliptical trainer. You won’t find this type of path length and resistance on other trainers in this price class. 

A power incline up to 20 degrees and 26 preset workouts designed by certified personal trainers offer unlimited workout variety. The included workouts control the machine’s incline and resistance to maxim effect.

Pair the workout presets with an iFit membership and use your tablet to replace the 5-inch data screen. The iFit program delivers workout videos in high definition letting you download unlimited professional training programs. Use iFit to download advanced stat tracking, professional workouts, and more.

With a subscription cost under $100/year with four user profiles, iFit comes in much cheaper than a gym membership.





Cons

  • Not an advanced user system.
  • Bulky and heavy.
  • Poor customer service.

3. Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

A most-trusted name in fitness gear, Schwinn offers a good value for the money with its 430 Elliptical Machine. For the price, the Schwinn 430 is one of the best value elliptical on the market.

Providing an informative and effective workout, the Schwinn 430 has an LCD dual track window system with 13 different displays. The 22 workout programs and two user settings offer a diverse set of features in this price range.

Pros

Of the 22 workout programs included with the 430, eight of them are heart-rate controlled, and two are fitness tests. The two-track LCD screen delivers information of what you are doing with your workout. Changing your resistance level is easy by using the control board while monitoring your onscreen workout information.

Weighing in at 168-pounds, the Schwinn 430 measures 70.1-inches x 28.2-inches x 63.2-inches. This sturdy elliptical machine offers a superb and stable full-body workout with easy-to-adjust stride lengths up to 20-inches. Along with a generous stride length, Schwinn includes a 10-degree manual ramp and six adjustable ramp positions.

Additional features include USB connection, media tray for your smartphone or tablet, and an advanced goal tracker. The Schwinn 430 includes a 10-year frame warranty, 2-year mechanical warranty, and a 1-year electrical warranty.

This affordable machine and its multiple programs and two user settings make it a best elliptical exercise machine.


  • Weighted flywheel for smooth motion.
  • Workout stability with a center frame support.
  • Friction free riding.
  • 20 levels of Magnetic DCB adjustable resistance.
  • 20-inch Precision Path ™ elliptical stride length.
  • Manual 10-degree ramp adjustment with six different positions.
  • 350-pound user weight limit.
  • Console LCD double window system.
  • Handlebar heart rate grips.
  • USB charger in the console.
  • Cooling fans.
  • Includes water bottle holder.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Easy relocation with included transporting wheels.

Cons

  • Loud for a home elliptical machine.
  • Not recommended for anyone recovering from a knee injury.
  • Weight limit is low at 300-pounds.
  • Bad warranty at only ten years for frame, two mechanical, and one electrical.

4. NordicTrack SE7i SpaceSaver Elliptical Trainer

With the SE7i, good things do come in small packages. NordicTrack’s compact elliptical machine delivers a power workout with its ergonomic and innovative natural stride movement. You can target specific muscles with the power adjustable incline and infinite training programs through iFit Coach.

An 18-pound inertia wheel, rear drive motor, and 22 resistance levels give a smoother ride than traditional compact elliptical machines. Large cushioned pedals and an 18-inch stride gives short and average users a comfortable ergonomic workout.

With the impressive features and lifetime warranty on the frame, the SE7i is one of the best in home elliptical. For entry-level users looking for a compact machine, the SE7i is a top elliptical at a great price.

The NordicTrack SE7i SpaceSaver has the smallest and most compact storage footprint of any elliptical trainer on the market. You can assemble the SpaceSaver SE7i and start your training workout in 15 minutes, unlike other top home elliptical machines.

Pros

  • Easy assembly takes 15-minutes for setup.
  • Compact and foldable for easy storage.
  • Has 22 digital resistance levels.
  • Quieter workout with SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • Greater challenge with 8 degrees automated incline.
  • Perfect for petite users with an 18-inch stride.
  • Oversized adjustable pedals.
  • Incline and one touch resistance control on handlebars.
  • Built-in EKG Grip Pulse monitors target heart rate zone.
  • 24 built-in workout apps.
  • iFit Coach capability.
  • 2-inch speakers and iPod compatible.
  • Includes water bottle holder.
  • Easy moving with included transport wheels.

Cons

  • Too light weight for heavier users or advanced trainees.
  • The 18-inch stride is uncomfortable for taller people.
  • No wireless monitor for heart rate.
  • The 5-inch display screen is too small.

5. Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer

With a name synonymous with quality and innovative exercise equipment, the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer carries on the tradition. One of the older Nautilus machines, the E614 incorporates innovative technology with a cutting-edge design.

Stable and durable, the E614 supports a 300-pound weight capacity and its perimeter weighted flywheel keeps the machine balanced. The 20-inch stride length and weighted flywheel gives you smooth movements without friction and is perfect for many body types.

With the Nautilus E614, you get 20 Magnetic Brake resistance levels and an outstanding eddy current brake system. This advantageous magnetic resistance system works smoothly without friction. Plus, it delivers a smooth and quiet operation with little or no maintenance costs.

​Coming in as the most popular feature is the E614’s large display, DualTrack™ LCD monitor with a smaller second display. The dual displays let you prop up an iPad or book while still viewing workout data on the smaller screen.

​Pre-loaded with 12 workout routines, the E614 takes you from beginner to intense workout with the push of a button. Use the pre-programmed workouts or make your own routine. You have lots of options for an intense workout that’s also downloadable using MyFitnessPal and Nautilus Connect.

Store your statics and track your performance from each workout with the onboard computer capability and apps. In-console speakers with a MP3 input port, regulating fan, and USB media charging helps keep your workout moving.

Pros

  • LCD DualTrack window for tracking progress and using a tablet.
  • Phone or tablet charging station.
  • Nautilus Connect ability for tracking data.
  • Data transfer to different fitness clients.
  • 22 digital workout programs with different fitness goals.
  • Large padded footplates.
  • 20 resistance levels.

Cons

  • Six position ramp is manually adjusted.
  • A set stride length of 20-inches.
  • The user weight limit is only 300-pounds.
  • Lots of parts making assembly difficult.
  • Warranty not as good as others in its class.

6. ProForm Hybrid Trainer

The budget-friendly ProForm Hybrid Trainer is a cross between a recumbent bike and elliptical training machine. The ProForm Hybrid is like getting two quality exercise machines combined in one home trainer.

Designed for low-impact light duty exercise, you get one seamless workout session.

With the dual exercise options, you get exercise variety that keeps your workout routine varied and interesting. One of the key aspects of any successful long-term fitness program is staying interested in the daily workout routine. The ProForm Hybrid Trainer offers plenty of versatility.

Lean back for recumbent cycling or get a standup, full-body elliptical workout. The Hybrid has a design for weight loss and cardio training. Textured oversized pedals make your workout secure, and you can track your pulse with the grip monitor.

​Besides the ProForm’s dual training features, this elliptical has great options like 16 pre-programmed workouts and heart rate monitoring. Fifteen resistance levels let you modify the workout intensity for increased calorie burning and body toning. A 3-inch by 4-inch LCD monitor displays speed, time and distance, watts, and calories burned.

If the included 16 workout programs aren’t enough, the Hybrid has a tablet platform and is iFit capable. By staying connected digitally through the ProForm Hybrid you get the motivation to meet your speed and calorie goals.

A design feature of the Hybrid that some users might take issue with is the lightweight drive and short stride. The 15-inch stride might not work for larger body sizes while the 13-pound flywheel gives a rougher and louder ride.                            

Pros

  • Two machines in one; upright elliptical and recumbent bike.
  • Adjustable seat for comfort.
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance helps with noise.
  • 16 levels of resistance.
  • Built-in console tablet holder.
  • 16 pre-programmed workouts.
  • iFit enabled.
  • Sound system with iPod compatible port.
  • Pulse rate grip monitor.
  • Included water bottle holder.
  • Transport wheels.
  • Low entry level price.

Cons

  • The 13-pound flywheel is too light.
  • 15-inch stride is too short for larger people.
  • Machine has a squeaky operation.
  • No cooling fans.
  • No wireless heart rate monitor.
  • Reports of product arriving damaged.
  • Bad reviews of ProForm customer service.
  • Only a 90-day parts and labor warranty.

7. Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

With a strong body frame, the Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic has a user weight capacity of 270 pounds. The compact frame of the 5000 Magnetic has a space saving dimension of 55-inches long, 25-inches wide, and 64-inches high.

Weighing only 84-pounds, the elliptical trainer and its included transport wheels make moving the device easier than the bigger models. Don’t let the machine’s light weight fool you. The 5000 has excellent weight distribution which enhances the machine’s stability.

An 18-inch stride helps reduce stress on knees and ankles while keeping the workout routine flowing smoothly. The long stride of the 5000 Magnetic is rare for a low budget machine. This home elliptical trainer works well for anyone under 6-feet tall.

Like higher end machines, the 5000’s steady momentum comes from a three-piece cranking system, built for durability. This cranking system gives a circular motion of the free wheel into a smooth elliptical path. The cranking system provides great motion without too much up and down bouncing.

​Comfortable foot plates with perfectly placed in between distance ensure a comfortable ride without any balance issues. Even upper body muscles have the benefit of targeted exercise with the adjustable dual action handlebars. These built-in features mean lots of comfort for the longest workouts.

Pros

  • Stable body frame.
  • Increased body frame stability adds safety.
  • Body made from high-quality materials.
  • Extremely light weight.
  • Compact space saver.
  • 18-inch smooth electrical stride for comfort.
  • Perfectly distanced foot plates for a comfortable workout.
  • Reduced ankle and knee strain.
  • 3-piece cranking system for continuous momentum.
  • 24-level magnetic tension.
  • LCD monitor shows basic data and heart rates.
  • 12 workout programs included.
  • Bluetooth link to a smart phone for additional workout routines.
  • Mobile app workout tracking.
  • Easy assembly for short setup time.

Cons

  • Heart rate monitor reported as inaccurate.
  • Short warranty.

8. Body Champ Cardio 2-in-1 Dual Trainer

The Body Champ Cardio 2-in-1 rounds out our reviews on elliptical machines with the lowest price of the eight machines. A new hybrid breed of exercise equipment, the Body Champ combines an elliptical machine with an exercise bike. This dual trainer combination gives the user a wide variety of exercises providing a workout that’s more enjoyable.

Being an entry level, budget friendly machine, the Body Champ Cardio 2-in-1 isn’t feature loaded. But, the 2-in-1 does offer the user some great exercise options for an extremely low price. Most notable features of the trainer features are the 12 pre-programmed workouts, including heart rate workouts, and heart rate monitoring.

The Body Champ Cardio Dual comes with some outstanding comfort features for an enjoyable workout. Adjusting the comfort level comes easy with the two-way adjustable seat with vertical and horizontal settings.

A fitted seat in the point of centripetal force guarantees the user’s proper posture while sitting on the machine. With the movable handles, simply sit down, grab the handles, and you have an intense bike riding workout.

​Set an individualized pace with the included, adjustable magnetic straps. Changing the adjustment to the user’s tastes means maximum convenience and a successful workout that goes as planned.

​The properly placed, adjustable and firm handlebars give you a comfortable grip and enable an intense shoulder and arm workout.

​While this dual training machine is lower priced with fewer features, it does deliver a great overall cardio workout. The unique blending of two cardio machines provides distinct health benefits.

Pros

  • Good versatility for this price point elliptical machine.
  • Extremely effective standing mode workout.
  • Works in forward and reverse motion.
  • Great beginner level home elliptical machine.
  • Extremely affordable home workout machine.

Cons

  • Short 14-inch stride makes using difficult for taller people.
  • Wobbles if used at high intensity.
  • Less tension when using reverse mode.
  • LCD not backlit.
  • Parts made of plastic and break after heavy use.

Our Final Review for the Best Elliptical Machines

When considering a top rated elliptical machine, it should include everything you need for a comfortable and challenging home workout.

Other considerations include your workout area and what size home exercise machine fits the space. If you need a movable machine, then you must look for a fold up system or one with transport wheels.

Since workout routines can become boring, some users like the ability to play music, watch videos, or watch workout programs. If you can’t put your machine in front of the TV, then you need one that is Bluetooth and internet capable.

Regardless of the features you choose, it’s important you get a comfortable, stable, challenging and low-impact workout. Enjoying your workout while losing the pounds and getting in shape is what a best rated elliptical trainer is all about.

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