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The Best Elliptical Machine

Last updated on January 27, 2022

We looked at the top 15 Elliptical Machines and dug through the reviews from 116 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Elliptical Machines.

Best Elliptical Machine

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Our Picks For The Top Elliptical Machines

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Sunny Health & Fitness

Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Overall Take

Budget-Friendly OptionThe economical price tag on this elliptical machine makes it accessible for most.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Top Fitness Magazine, Geeky Views, Fit & Me, Best Gear List, Bizrate, Fitness Verve and 5 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
" The compact size allows people who only have a small space the ability to workout in the comfort of their own home."
Cons
"Low-Quality Construction"
  Upgrade Pick

Schwinn Fitness 430 Goal-Tracking High-Speed Elliptical Machine

Schwinn Fitness

430 Goal-Tracking High-Speed Elliptical Machine

Overall Take

High-End ModelThis elliptical machine starts up quickly and runs quietly for a more relaxed workout.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Fits Under Desk

Stamina Portable Quiet Elliptical Machine

Stamina

Portable Quiet Elliptical Machine

Overall Take

Small Yet MightyThis elliptical machine is a portable elliptical for tough workouts at home, at work or while traveling.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Best Women’s Workout Reviews, Dr. Body Gadget, Fitness Gears Lab, Fitness Geko, Jay’s Home Gym, Best Fitness Equipment and 20 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Target.
Pros
" Another plus of this elliptical machine is that it makes next to no noise when in use. You will be able to work out without disturbing anyone else in your house, even if they are sleeping."
Cons
"In addition, it has been reported that the distance reading can still increase when you have stopped using the machine, meaning it could be inaccurate, or that it has a delay in it’s tracking. This is something to watch out..."
  We Also Like

body power Resistance Training Elliptical Machine

body power

Resistance Training Elliptical Machine

Overall Take

Designed to Save SpaceThis elliptical machine uses a special curved crank technology that is easier on the joints.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
22

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the elliptical machines available to purchase.
15

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

116

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Best Gear List, Fitness Verve, The Gym Guides, Brandon Heath, Sweat On Fitness.

58,932

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 15 Elliptical Machines and also dug through the reviews from 116 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Elliptical Machines.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer


Our Expert Score

7.6
11 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

7.3
1,082 user reviews

Our Take

Keep your body in shape with this easy-to-use elliptical machine. The handles feature pulse sensors, so you can keep an eye on your heartrate while you work out. There are also eight different resistance levels, which allow you to start out slow and work your way up to your desired intensity.

What other experts liked

The compact size allows people who only have a small space the ability to workout in the comfort of their own home.
- Top Fitness Magazine
These are also ideal because they can be incorporated into the home gym, allowing you to exercise regardless of the weather and without leaving home.
- Geeky Views
February 24, 2021 | Full review
We also really like the large anti-slip foot platforms which the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Trainer comes with. The pedals are big enough to accommodate most sizes of feet, plus their anti-slip design makes them safe to use.
- Fit & Me
Using revolutionary magnetic resistance, the Sunny Health and Fitness Elliptical – SF-E905 magnetic elliptical machine simulator offers fluid exercises for your upper and lower body.
- Best Gear List
Great deal, easy to assemble. I am 5'4 i wouldnt recommend this to anyone 5'8 and taller because the track length is much shorter than a gym elliptical.
- Bizrate
Pedals are pretty comfortable but not too large. If you are one of those people who can’t stand oversized elliptical pedals, you are in the clear with this one.
- Fitness Verve
Here is a unique and lightweight machine that also has got wheels; hence can easily be moved and transported.
- Z7 Premium
May 11, 2019 | Full review
You can customize the resistance levels to be in line with your workout goals. The heart rate monitor is also accurate and is strategically positioned on the hand bars for a precise hand pulse monitoring.
- Best For Lives
August 15, 2019 | Full review
The pedals were pleasantly anti-slip, our feet felt secure during our testing and reviewing. The arms felt good, they were adjustable and had built-in heart rate monitors for the essential data.
- Stuffoholics
The frame is extremely sturdy and you don’t have to be a genius to put it together with ease. If you live in a small apartment or can’t afford an expensive model yet, this could be it for you.
- Fitness Cheat
An interesting addition and quite useful addition to the design of this contraption comes in the shape of a pulse rate monitor. The designers from Sunny Health & Fitness built these in the handles, so you can always monitor your...
- Brandon Heath

What other experts didn't like

The main problem we have with this machine is the lack of warranty. It leaves the purchaser exposed if a problem arises.
- Top Fitness Magazine
Low-Quality Construction
- Geeky Views
February 24, 2021 | Full review
The stride length is only 11 inches long. While it does make this elliptical trainer compact, it may not be large enough for some taller people.
- Fit & Me
Assembling it might be difficult for some people
- Best Gear List
Very disappointed with this machine. The tention wheel never worked.
- Bizrate
Stride length could be too short for some users out there.
- Fitness Verve
Does not feature bonus accessories such as bottle holders
- Best For Lives
August 15, 2019 | Full review
Some complaints of poor craftsmanship
- Stuffoholics
Failure to lube the parts regularly leads to squeaking sounds which can be quite annoying
- Fitness Cheat
Some tall users have complained about too short stride length
- Brandon Heath

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Stamina Portable Quiet Elliptical Machine

Our Expert Score

7.8
26 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.0
4,544 user reviews

Our Take

You won't have an excuse not to exercise with this elliptical trainer. It's small enough to fit under your desk for workouts at work, and it's portable enough to take along on vacation. You can break a sweat sitting or standing with this machine.

What other experts liked

Another plus of this elliptical machine is that it makes next to no noise when in use. You will be able to work out without disturbing anyone else in your house, even if they are sleeping.
- Best Women's Workout Reviews
The small size of the Stamina InMotion is one of the strong points of having this kind of elliptical over a full body elliptical. It’s easy to store when not in use, and it can be kept in a closet or under your desk where it can remain out of...
- Dr. Body Gadget
The model is compact, and you can carry it anywhere you go. The machine can track all stats and show the result with the built-in multi-functional monitor.
- Fitness Gears Lab
Extremely compact design fits under almost anything from bed to desk.
- Fitness Geko
August 25, 2018 | Full review
Mini computer with LCD display, keep an eye of time and distance traveled
- Jay's Home Gym
August 12, 2019 | Full review
Sturdy frame and cranks for a small elliptical, able to hold users up to 250 lbs, in stand-up workout position
- Best Fitness Equipment
Awesome for the office and use at work
- The Fitness Mojo
The Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer offers amazing features for a reasonable price. This is one of the main elements that turned the product into a best seller for both at home use and gym owners.
- Fitness Tech Pro
The LCD display will allow you to see your workout stats like calories you burned, time elapsed, strides and total stride number
- Fitness Fixed Gear
January 3, 2019 | Full review
This trainer is lightweight and convenient. It can be used standing or sitting. A workout can happen while sitting at a desk! There are various benefits to this simple machine.
- Train For A 5K
This elliptical machine is equipped with a textured pedal surface to prevent slipping while pedaling fast and hard.
- BoosterWP Reviews
August 18, 2019 | Full review
The compact and small design of this mini elliptical trainer makes it easy to hide under your desk, beneath a bed or in a closet. It is only 21 inches x 14 inches x 14 inches and weighs 30 pounds, making it easy to move around your home and exercise...
- Review Lab
This one is highly compact and portable, making it easy to take to-and-from the office as you please. Coming in Silver, Green, and Orange, they look quite trendy, too.
- Best Womens Workout
The Stamina Elliptical Trainer is a wonderful way to provide non-jarring exercise for your heart and lungs. You will get all the benefits of jogging without the possible damage to your joints.
- Weightloss Triumph
January 18, 2011 | Full review
Keep a track on your strides, calories and exercise time with its electronic motor
- Wired Shopper
July 23, 2019 | Full review
This model is a great way to improve your circulation while gaming or browsing the internet.
- Review Geek
September 6, 2019 | Full review
It is a compact elliptical machine that allows training even when in offices without standing.
- AmaPerfect
September 7, 2019 | Full review
It can be used while you are seated or you can stand and use it – it’s up to you.
- Garage Gym Power
Tracking your workout is simple and straightforward thanks to a handy electronic display. Aside from strides per minute, the display also features calories burned, total number of strides, and your exercise time.
- Heavy
It also has non-slip pedals thus you don’t have to worry about getting into an accident when you are on this workout trainer. You can also adjust the resistance levels electronically.
- The Dear Lab
July 2, 2019 | Full review
The machine is small enough that it can be easily packed into a closet or wardrobe when you don’t need it, and getting it working is the simplest thing in the universe: you just start pedaling.
- Stuffoholics
Because it is so lightweight, this machine can even be carried to your office for some cardiovascular workout during your lunch break or any free time that you might have. This definitely adds to the motivating factor and makes the machine even easier to operate. The footplates are wide and...
- Best Fitness Advisor
The trainer allows you to adjust for intensity and to watch your progress with the tension knob and the multi-functioning display panel.
- Home Fitness Focus
One of the best things about the Stamina In Motion is that it is easy to stay motivated, because I can watch TV anywhere and still do my workouts, and I don’t have to go outside in the hot sun to work out!
- WX Fitness
Stability for this machine is taken care of by its front base plate, chassis, and a rear stabilizer that make use of rubberized feet (rear stabilizer) and foam sheet( front base).
- Ellipticalist
The Stamina InMotion is a very simple machine that weighs very little for easy transport and storage. It is basically foot pedals attached to a small steel base.
- Fitness Finest

What other experts didn't like

Anyone who is used to exercising on an elliptical machine with support arms will probably find it a little difficult to balance on this elliptical trainer at first.
- Best Women's Workout Reviews
In addition, it has been reported that the distance reading can still increase when you have stopped using the machine, meaning it could be inaccurate, or that it has a delay in it’s tracking. This is something to watch out for.
- Dr. Body Gadget
Produce noise after some time of usage
- Fitness Gears Lab
A few users have reported issues regarding balancing on the trainer
- Fitness Geko
August 25, 2018 | Full review
Taller people may struggle with the short stride
- Jay's Home Gym
August 12, 2019 | Full review
Resistance pad and joints may begin to squeak after a while. However, the problem is easily fixed with a little lubrication.
- Best Fitness Equipment
Its small size doesn’t allow it to flow as smoothly as full-sized elliptical machines.
- The Fitness Mojo
Few customers complained about the short stride that affects taller users who feel a slight discrepancy between their regular stride and the one offered by the Inmotion elliptical.
- Fitness Tech Pro
A minor downside would be the fact that the InMotion doesn't rate it's resistance levels with numbers.
- Fitness Fixed Gear
January 3, 2019 | Full review
The lack of poles means that you can’t work out your upper body with this product. This elliptical targets your abs when standing, but is strictly a lower-body workout when used while sitting down.
- Review Lab
Other people complained that stepping too hard on your heels while exercising could cause you to fall backwards.
- Weightloss Triumph
January 18, 2011 | Full review
Occasionally rocks slightly from side-to-side which may cause injury
- Wired Shopper
July 23, 2019 | Full review
Heavy and some may find it hard to move.
- Garage Gym Power
Resistance range could be better
- Heavy
No upper body workout
- Stuffoholics
There is no “weight-bearing effect.” A weight-bearing exercise, such as running, requires you to work against gravity. Therefore, these exercises strengthen bones and muscles in ways an elliptical workout cannot.
- Home Fitness Focus
A little unstable
- Ellipticalist
However, the base is fairly small, so balance and stability become an issue, especially with no handlebars to hold on to. Also because there are no handlebars, you don’t get to work out your upper body as much. Also there is no console, exercise programs or digital feedback.
- Fitness Finest

Overall Product Rankings

1. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 15

3. Stamina Portable Quiet Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 34

4. body power Resistance Training Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 1

5. NICEDAY Silent Steel Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 1

6. Body Rider Smart Tracker Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 12

7. Doufit Adjustable Magnetic Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 1

8. Aceshin Non-Slip Digital Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 5

9. ProForm Cardio HIIT H14 Trainer Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 13

10. Schwinn A40 High Speed Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 13

11. Sunny Health Space Saving Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 15

13. MaxKare Bottle Holder Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 4

14. Exerpeutic Tension Resistance Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 32

15. Schwinn 470 Bluetooth Elliptical Machine

Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 1

Our Elliptical Machine Findings


Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

What We Liked: Keep your body in shape with this easy-to-use elliptical machine. The handles feature pulse sensors, so you can keep an eye on your heartrate while you work out. There are also eight different resistance levels, which allow you to start out slow and work your way up to your desired intensity.


Schwinn Fitness 430 Goal-Tracking High-Speed Elliptical Machine

What We Liked: Whether you need to outfit a commercial gym or you simply want the best equipment in your home gym, this elliptical machine is a top choice. It’s outfitted with an astounding 22 preset workout routines and 20 resistance levels. There are even two LCD screens to better keep track of your goals.


Stamina Portable Quiet Elliptical Machine

What We Liked: You won’t have an excuse not to exercise with this elliptical trainer. It’s small enough to fit under your desk for workouts at work, and it’s portable enough to take along on vacation. You can break a sweat sitting or standing with this machine.


body power Resistance Training Elliptical Machine

What We Liked: A smooth workout is what you’ll get from this top notch elliptical machine. The machine also doubles as a stepper, giving you more options when planning an exercise routine. Users are sure to love the machine’s compact design as well, especially if storage space is an issue.


NICEDAY Silent Steel Elliptical Machine

What We Liked: Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re an exercise instructor, this elliptical machine will meet your needs. If offers 16 resistance levels and is equipped with wider pedals and a set of comfortable handlebars. The unit is also designed to run quietly, which is a big plus if you enjoy working out early in the morning while family members sleep.

Our Expert Consultant

Stephanie Mansour   
Certified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Expert

Stephanie Mansour, host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public broadcasting, has been coaching women for over a decade on how to lose weight and make it last. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis on women’s studies and psychology from the University of Michigan. She holds certifications in life coaching, personal training, yoga and Pilates.

Our Elliptical Machine Buying Guide

You already know about the mental and physical benefits of exercise, but it’s tougher for some people to break a sweat. If you’re recovering from an injury, exercising with chronic pain or just new to working out, you’ll want a routine that’s simple to learn and easy on your joints. Elliptical machines are an accessible alternative to treadmills, stair climbers and stationary bikes.

Elliptical machines are standalone exercise machines that mimic the movements of running, stair climbing or skiing. They are very low-impact, so they won’t aggravate existing injuries to your joints, and you don’t need any special training to use one. 

“An elliptical machine is a fantastic piece of cardio equipment that is simple to use and great for burning calories,” says Stephanie Mansour, personal trainer and host of “Step It Up With Steph” on public broadcasting. “It’s great for people with knee issues, joint pain, hip issues, or anything preventing them from walking or running.”

Most ellipticals offer a full-body workout. You can push your legs, glutes and calves to the limit with the machine’s gliding pedals, then you tone your biceps, triceps and upper back with the elliptical’s ski pole-inspired handles. 

“Look for the arm handles,” says Mansour. “Do they move or are they stationary? If you’re looking for an arm workout, look for the arm handles that move.”

There are three major categories of elliptical machines. “Rear drive” ellipticals have a large flywheel behind the foot pedals. The pedals are usually in a track-and-roller configuration or they’re suspended on long arms between the drive wheel and handgrips. Some users say that rear-drive ellipticals feel more like natural walking or running than other types of ellipticals. They tend to have the longest “strides” of all ellipticals, with more lateral movement and less vertical motion. Many rear-wheel-drive models also offer an incline feature to add another layer of difficulty to your workout.

“Center drive” ellipticals have drive wheels in the middle of the machine. The pedals ride on cylindrical rollers and a crankshaft. Center-drive ellipticals have a rounder, bouncier and shorter stride than rear-drive ellipticals. 

The flywheel on “front-drive” ellipticals is stationed in front of the pedals. The pedals glide forward and backward on tracks. Front-drive ellipticals have much shorter stride lengths than rear or center-drive ellipticals. This makes them very compact, and the motion feels more like a stair climber. Front-drive ellipticals are more affordable than most rear or center-drive machines. 

There are a few other types of ellipticals that fall outside of these three categories. Some ellipticals don’t have a flywheel at all. These machines rely on the momentum from your feet, hands and arms to get moving. Sometimes they’ll have a support pad for your abdominals to help you keep your spine straight and maintain your balance as you exercise. These ellipticals are very lightweight and convenient, but they don’t have any digital settings to play with.

Under-desk ellipticals are portable machines with two pedal footpads on tracks. You can use them standing in place or sneak them under your desk for a workout at the office. They have very short strides, creating a round, energetic gait. They’re incredibly popular due to their convenience and easy setup.

Now that you know your elliptical basics, stride over to the Tips & Advice section for more detailed notes.

DWYM Fun Fact

The world’s first elliptical trainer was introduced in 1995 by Precor. The fitness company was run by industrial designers who created some of the most widely-used workout machines around, and most of their designs were a smashing success. However, Precor’s former president Paul Byrne remembers one huge failure: the StretchTrainer. 

The StretchTrainer is a smaller piece of gym equipment that improves flexibility. In just 10 minutes you could stretch all of your major muscle groups, and the StretchTrainer’s design makes it impossible to hyperextend any muscle.  

So what went wrong? Byrne went all-in with the StretchTrainer’s advertising, shooting a pricey infomercial in Florida with professional actors and physical therapists. But the flashy ads didn’t attract individual consumers, and Precor took a huge hit in the revenue department.

Today, StretchTrainers are available in thousands of fitness centers across the United States. But you’d be hard-pressed to find one in someone’s home — they’re much more likely to have an elliptical machine.

The Elliptical Machine Tips and Advice

  • Elliptical machines can be your best friend if you’ve just started exercising or if you have problems with your knees, hips and back. However, you should always ask your doctor before you start or change a workout program, especially if you have joint problems or nagging injuries.
  • Ellipticals are for everyone! “The elliptical machine is so beneficial for people looking for a good form of cardio that anyone at any age could benefit from using it to exercise,” says Mansour. “Elderly people and teenagers alike can work this easy-to-understand machine to speed up their metabolism, burn fat, build muscle, and get their heart rate up.”
  • Your elliptical machine’s stride length is one of its most important features. A too-short stride length creates tight, awkward movement. A too-long stride length can pull muscles in your legs or hyperextend your knees. Your height determines the stride length you should look for. If you’re 5’3” or shorter, shoot for an elliptical with a stride length of 18 inches or less. If you’re 5’7” or taller, look for an elliptical with a minimum stride length of 20 inches. 
  • Many elliptical machines have a screen with digital controls. You can modify the resistance and incline, time your laps, track your distance, choose from custom workout programs and more. Go for an elliptical with many different settings options if you want to track your progress and change up your routines. 
  • Measure the length, width and height of your available space before you buy. Make sure to include estimates for any extra room you’ll need to accommodate moving pedals and handles. “Keep in mind that this is not a small piece of equipment; you’ll need to find a space for it in your home, office, basement, or wherever,” Mansour says. “You cannot fold it to make it smaller. However, this does mean that it’s very sturdy and durable and will last a very long time.”
    Fear not; you can almost certainly find one for a smaller space if you opt for a front-wheel-drive model or a portable under-desk version. 
  • Many elliptical trainers have heart rate monitors built into the handgrips. This isn’t as helpful as it sounds: handgrip heart rate monitors are notoriously unreliable. If you want to track your heart rate throughout your workout, use your smartwatch (or better yet, a chest-strap monitor). 
  • You should feel challenged at the mid-range settings on your elliptical trainer. That way you have room to increase the difficulty as you get stronger, and you can drop down to lower settings when you need a break. 
  • Check out your elliptical’s weight before you order it. Full-size elliptical trainers can be well over 100 pounds. Make sure that you have another person at home to help you if you need to lift it or assemble heavy parts.
  • All ellipticals should have a weight limit listed in their specifications. Make sure that your current weight falls under that limit before you buy. If you use a machine that you’re too heavy for, you could wind up damaging the elliptical or hurting yourself.
  • Mansour recommends testing ellipticals out in person by going very fast to make sure you feel sturdy on the machine. “If the machine feels or sounds wobbly, look for a sturdier machine,” she says.
  • Try to check out the assembly instructions before you buy your elliptical. You can find many instruction manuals with a quick internet search. Do you have all of the tools you need? Will you need a second person to “spot” you? Is it too complicated to put together without professional help? Answering these questions before you buy will save you time and stress later. 
  • Wipe down your elliptical regularly with disinfectant wipes or spray cleaners. Follow any included instructions for cleaning the pedal tracks and flywheel, too. 
  • Carefully examine the warranty and return policy before you click “Complete Purchase.” Ellipticals can be heavy and expensive, and you want to make sure you understand all of the fine print before you pay.

About The Author

Abby Stassen 

Abby Stassen is a professional content writer, copywriter and journalist. You can find her work on Salon, Entrepreneur, the Huffington Post, Verywell, the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Weekly and more. She's also an award-winning comedy writer and Second City graduate with nine years of experience under her belt. She's a proud University of Michigan graduate, a cat owner, a crossword puzzle enthusiast and a huge ABBA fan.