Best Ellipticals for Home Use

Woman on NordicTrack elliptical

Which elliptical is best for home use? Below you’ll find our five top-ranked elliptical trainers for home use in 2020. Everyone’s workout needs, budget, and home gym space are different. Below you’ll find our buying guide for home ellipticals which features expert advice on how to compare the huge selection of machines on the market so you can find your perfect match. Once you’ve learned what to look out for when shopping for a new elliptical, you can start to compare models by pricebrand, or type of machine on our site. We know this can be quite daunting, as not all ellipticals are created equal. In creating this guide we took a deep dive into the features, specifications, and respective prices of the top ellipticals available on the market today, and ranked the top contenders based on our years of extensive research in the category

Need some more help getting started? Have a look at our comprehensive buying guide for home elliptical trainers, found below our top picks.

Top by Category

Best Overall: Sole E95
Runner-up: Nordictrack Commercial 14.9
Best Folding: NordicTrack SE9i
Best For Small Spaces: Sole E55
Best Budget: Horizon 7.0 AE

The Best Ellipticals for Home Training

The best elliptical trainer for any home must fit the space and, most importantly, the user. Most shoppers prefer home ellipticals that aren’t as large as club versions, yet don’t skimp on durability. The best home ellipticals allow full-size strides with enough resistance to challenge every user.

Here we rate three ellipticals in terms of size, stride length, resistance, warranty, and more.

 

1. Best Overall Elliptical for Home — Sole E95

The Sole E95 Elliptical delivers the goods to justify its hefty price tag of $3,399 MSRP, with online offerings even lower yet. This model is consistently one of our “Best Buy” recommendations for front-drive elliptical trainers and is now better than ever with enhancements for the 2019 model year. This elliptical trainer provides one of the smoothest rides in the industry and supports all skill levels. Key specs include the adjustable 20” to 22” stride, an impressive 30-pound flywheel, 20 resistance levels, and 20 incline levels for targeted muscle toning. It even has moving arm bars for total body training and stationary handles with heart rate sensors. The new E95 features a 10.1” console screen, 10 workout programs, and a Bluetooth connection to share exercise stats with third party fitness apps such as iHealth and MyFitnessPal. The Bluetooth connection also allows users to incorporate their own tablet or smartphone as an alternative program monitor. Just like health club ellipticals, the Sole E95 boasts extra features to enhance comfort and motivation including two cooling fans, a water bottle holder, an integrated tablet holder, Bluetooth audio speakers, and a USB charging port.

Sole ellipticals are known for supporting fluid, natural motion. Since the E95 has one of the heaviest elliptical flywheels available, the ride is smoother than Snoop Dogg’s voice. This machine operates almost silently thanks to magnetic resistance and top-notch construction. The automated incline offers additional resistance and can diversify workouts with 20 elliptical paths. Using the incline is an excellent way to target muscles in the legs and, of course, the glutes. For upper body training, the Sole E95 Elliptical has movable arm bars with molded hand grips. Controls for the machine’s resistance and incline are conveniently built into the handles. Stationary handlebars with pulse sensors are provided too, and for wireless heart monitoring the E95 is shipped with a chest strap.

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Pros Cons
  • Adjustable Stride Length
  • Bluetooth Audio and Heart Rate Monitoring
  • Good Incline Range
  • Top Notch Warranty
  • Limited Workout Variety
  • Weaker Built-in Speakers

Key Specs

Flywheel 27 lbs
Incline 20 degrees (adjusted in 1-degree increments)
Stride Length 20 to 22 inches adjustable
Folding No
Fans Yes
Weight Capacity 400 LBS
Dimensions 82″ L x 31″ W x 67″ H
Screen 10.1″ LCD
Warranty Lifetime Frame; 5 Years Electronics & Parts; 2 Years Labor

2. Best Runner Up Elliptical for Home — NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

NordicTrack 14.9

It’s all in the name. The new NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 elliptical trainer is built with commercial-grade parts, while offering advanced options that are typically only found on workout equipment at the gym. But for just under $2,000, it’s also fairly affordable. Equipped with one of the heaviest flywheels on the market, the Commercial 14.9 is driven by a 32-pound flywheel. Match this super-heavy flywheel with the Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR) and you have a supremely smooth and natural stride. The flywheel is probably one of the most essential features of an elliptical trainer because it points to the durability and overall feel of the trainer, so a heavy flywheel is a very good thing.

This powerful drive system supports 24 digital resistance levels, a 20-inch power adjustable stride, and a power adjustable incline range of 0 to 20 degrees. The fact that there are so many ways to use this trainer, with the ability to vary the stride length, height, and intensity, makes it a very versatile machine for both training and comfort. You can target specific muscle groups at once, focus on cardiovascular endurance, and get an all-over total body workout. Every good piece of workout equipment needs a reliable, modern console to keep you up to date on your workout stats, motivated, and entertained. This model provides just that with a large 10-inch web-enabled color touchscreen display that is iFit-enabled and equipped to work with the wireless heart rate monitor also included. Additionally, the unit features dual CardioGrip heart rate monitoring sensors as well. You have 35 workout apps to choose from, all designed by personal trainers, and you can stay updated and motivated with an integrated tablet holder to keep your devices safe and secure while working out. The audio options include iPod compatibility, two 2-inch speakers, and the console area features a single water bottle holder, Autobreeze auto adjustable workout fan, and one-touch controls for both incline and resistance. There are even in-handle controls on the stationary handlebars so you can make fast, efficient changes to incline and resistance.

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Pros Cons
  • Great Value
  • Large HD Touchscreen
  • Heavy Flywheel
  • Interactive Training Through iFit
  • Shorter Warranty
  • Additional iFit costs

Key Specs

Flywheel 32 lbs
Incline 20%
Stride Length 20-inch power adjustable
Folding No
Fans Yes
Weight Capacity 350 LBS
Dimensions 64.5″ L x 26″ W x 80.25″ H
Screen 14-inch HD Touchscreen
Warranty 10 Years Frame; 2 Years Electronics & Parts; 1 Year Labor

3. Best Folding Ellpitical for Home — Horizon 7.0AE

Horizon 7.0 AE Elliptical in a black and gray metal frame with 2 sets of hand grips plus a blue water bottle holder. A centerpiece console for the speed control.The Horizon 7.0 AE Elliptical represents the value-end of the company’s line-up of products and their reputation as a manufacturer of durable and reasonably priced exercise machines. The 7.0 AE Elliptical has a heavy frame and 23-pound flywheel, making it sturdy, smooth, and quiet, for most users. This comes in handy when you’re working through 20 levels of resistance training and 20 levels of incline, whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced fitness enthusiast. The stride length of 20” and the over-sized pedals (rubberized inside) make it comfortable for those between 5’3 – 6’5. It’s also equipped to accommodate users up to 325 pounds. Having this high weight capacity in conjunction with its resistance and incline levels are a testament to its sturdy construction. This is because it can handle both a heavier user, and the increase in force that someone would need to put on the machine as they move through increasingly harder level workouts.

One of the smarter moves by Horizon was the addition of available 0% financing on their treadmills and ellipticals. Available on terms of 6, 12, 18, or 24 months, financing your new equipment will make life a little easier as you kickstart your new fitness routine. Bluetooth connectivity allows the use of various apps for Apple and Android. You can augment your workout with the free AFG Pro App (tablet or smartphone), Record by Under Armor and FitBit. Or, just enjoy a little escapist entertainment by watching Netflix on your device, which you can rest on the device holder while you train. The machine’s integrated speakers allow you to listen without headphones.

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Pros Cons
  • Great Overall Value
  • Good Resistance Range
  • 7″ Touchscreen Display
  • Reasonable Warranty Given Price
  • Limited On-Board Programming

Key Specs

Flywheel 20 lbs
Incline 20 %
Stride Length 20 inches
Folding Yes
Fans Yes
Weight Capacity 325 LBS
Dimensions 78.7″ L x 31.9″ W x 66.4″ H
Screen 7-inch LCD
Warranty Lifetime Frame; 3 Years Electronics & Parts; 1 Year Labor

4. Best Small/Compact Elliptical for Home — Sole E55

Sole E55 Elliptical Sole E55 EllipticalCompact but capable, the Sole E55 Elliptical is ideal for shoppers with small workout areas and rather high standards. The new model has the smallest foot print of any Sole elliptical trainer at 27 by 71 inches, yet has an impressive 375-pound weight capacity. Equipped with many of Sole’s best performance components for home ellipticals, the unit comes with digital upgrades including an improved display screen with adjustable angle, a Bluetooth connection for use with the Sole Fitness App, an integrated tablet holder, Bluetooth audio speakers, and a USB charging port. Most importantly, like all Sole ellipticals, the E55 has excellent ergonomics from the pedals to arm bars. For extra motivation, the E55 has music speakers and a secure tablet computer holder, and to help with comfort, personal cooling fans, and a water bottle holder. The online sale price of $1,499 ($2,799 MSRP) offers an excellent value, especially considering the product’s long warranty. Purchased directly from Sole Fitness, the price includes delivery and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

A favorite feature on the E55 and other Sole ellipticals this year is 20 levels of incline up to 20°. The automated incline makes this machine especially effective for targeted muscle toning. In effect, you get 20 elliptical paths instead of just one. For convenience, Sole ellipticals have incline controls built into the arm bars.

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Pros Cons
  • High-Quality Parts
  • Built-in Fans
  • Good Incline Range
  • Top Notch Warranty
  • Limited Workout Variety
  • Weaker Built-in Speakers

Key Specs

Flywheel 20 lbs
Incline 20 degrees (adjusted in 1-degree increments)
Stride Length 20 inches
Folding No
Fans Yes
Weight Capacity 375 LBS
Dimensions 71″ L x 27″ W x 71″ H
Screen 9″ LCD
Warranty Lifetime Frame; 5 Years Electronics & Parts; 2 Years Labor

 

5. Best Folding Ellpitical for Home — NordicTrack SE9i

NordicTrack SE9i Folding EllipticalThe SpaceSaver SE9i is the top elliptical trainer in the NordicTrack SpaceSaver Series. It shares many performance specs with the SE7i, but it has advanced electronics and carries a much longer warranty. The new SE9i is distinguished by its 7″ touchscreen, which is high definition and ready for browsing the web while exercise stats are collected in the background. Also bringing in on-board entertainment potential are a tablet computer shelf and a set of 3″ console speakers. Other key specs are wireless heart rate monitoring, an 18″ stride, an 18-pound flywheel, and a power incline of up to 10 degrees. SpaceSaver Series ellipticals have a rear drive design and rear drive ellipticals are generally appreciated for their natural-feeling strides and easy balance during exercise. The size of a rear drive elliptical can be a drawback, but obviously the SpaceSaver SE9i is a space-conscious model. You can fold it vertically for everyday storage after workouts (and it also has wheels to make it easier to move).

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Pros Cons
  • Compact When Folded
  • Access to iFit
  • 7″ Touchscreen Display
  • More Built-in Programming
  • 24 Resistance Levels
  • Shorter 18″ Stride Length
  • A Bit Heavy To Fold

Key Specs

Flywheel 18 lbs
Incline 10 %
Stride Length 18 inches
Folding Yes
Fans Yes
Weight Capacity 325 LBS
Dimensions 78.7″ L x 31.9″ W x 66.4″ H
Screen 7-inch HD Touchscreen
Warranty 10 Years Frame; 2 Years Electronics & Parts; 1 Year Labor

Buying Guide for Home Elliptical Trainers

How much should you spend on an elliptical machine? The quality of home elliptical trainers varies widely and their cost dictates quality. You can get a low quality elliptical machine for less than $500, while the best home ellipticals will set you back thousands. Here are some tips about elliptical machine features to help you make a smart purchase.

See best ellipticals by price.

Performance

The best home ellipticals perform like health club fitness machines but take up less space. Here are some performance essentials to keep in mind when shopping for a new elliptical.

Resistance: Look for units which offer multiple levels of resistance to challenge trainees, whether in peak physical condition or just starting out. Although a heavier flywheel makes an elliptical machine more expensive, it makes a big difference to the performance quality of the machine. Look for a flywheel weight of at least 20 pounds if you want your cross trainer to carry you beyond the beginner’s level or if you are a heavier individual. Otherwise, the elliptical motion might not feel so smooth.

Stride Length: The best home ellipticals have stride length settings for every intended user. In some families one size fits all, but in others it’s wise to choose an adjustable stride elliptical, which is usually available on mid-range and high-end models. Elliptical machines with especially generous stride ranges are also called hybrid trainers because they perform like low-impact treadmills or step machines as well as elliptical cross trainers.

Upper Body Training: Many home ellipticals have moving arm bars. The best elliptical handlebars are angled to comfortably fit people with different “wingspans” and should also offer natural feeling coordination between the upper body and lower body motion. If you opt for a cheaper machine, the movements might not feel as synchronized.

Durability

What influences an elliptical machine’s durability? The more you spend, the more you can expect from the electronic features along with long-lasting mechanical performance. Here are some of the most important factors contributing to elliptical durability.

Maximum User Weight: Maximum user weight is a great clue to an elliptical’s durability. The best home elliptical trainers have user weight capacities of at least 300 pounds.

Metal vs. Plastic: Durable elliptical machines have more metal and tough resin parts as opposed to plastic. Higher quality materials reduce the chance of breakdowns, and heavier components make the exercise machines more stable during workouts.

Rear Drive Design: Rear drive ellipticals are generally associated with fewer maintenance needs. Still, durable ellipticals with center drives and front drives are easy to find here on our review site. An advantage of center drive and front drive ellipticals is that they’re more compact. Also, front drive ellipticals tend to cost less (assuming stride length, flywheel weight, and other factors are equal).

Warranty: Definitely read the product warranty to get an idea about durability. The best residential elliptical deals include standard parts/electronics warranties of at least two years.

Features

The best elliptical cross trainers for home use have just the right amount of features to keep you motivated, like workout program menus and interactive training capability. Here are some of the most popular features available for 2020.

Adjustable Incline: Some ellipticals have adjustable incline to bring your workouts to the next level. Adjusting the incline lets you simulate climbing at different angles for muscle toning and rapid calorie burn. In general, the incline options expand as price increases. Some of the most popular ellipticals pair incline training with interactive video so you actually feel the rise and fall of a terrain you are virtually exploring, or the increase in challenge of a workout routine you are completing. Check out iFit and Passport media player if this is something you think you would benefit from.

Customized Programs: The quality and variety of exercise programming makes quite an impact on the overall cost of a cross trainer. On cheaper elliptical machines, there might be many programs but little variety. The best home ellipticals support multiple user profiles, have excellent preset program variety, and can also supply personalized workout programs.

Heart Rate Control: The best home ellipticals have chest straps for wireless heart rate monitoring along with programs for heart rate control. These ellipticals automatically adjust their resistance to help users work within target heart rate zones.

HD Video: Premium home ellipticals have touchscreens that support high definition video so you can immerse yourself in live and on-demand workouts and easily track your workout data. A common screen width on home ellipticals for 2020 is around 7-10”.

Sounds Systems: These days, a lot of home ellipticals have a sound system so you can plug in your phone or tablet and stream your workout playlists through built-in speakers. High-end ellipticals have higher-quality speakers and sometimes offer on-screen controls for mobile devices. Secure holders, sometimes with charging ports, are also built into the machines so you can dock your devices safely.