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The best ellipticals: Top elliptical trainers for your home gym

What is the best elliptical? Our recommendation is the NordicTrack Commercial 14.9. An elliptical trainer can transform your physique with low-impact cardio and strength building. Here are more of our favorite at-home ellipticals in 2022.
Written by Gabby Rosas, Contributor on
Reviewed by Allison Murray

The market for at-home fitness equipment has been on the rise, from weights and mats to stationary bikes and streaming aerobics classes. 

For those with the extra space for larger pieces of equipment, an elliptical trainer is an excellent addition to a home gym, offering many benefits and an enjoyable experience. 

Let's review the advantages of elliptical trainers and present our top picks for these versatile machines available in 2022.

We picked the NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 as the best elliptical . You may have seen NordicTrack machines at your local fitness club, as it's one of the most dominant fitness equipment companies around. With three categories of ellipticals -- rear-drive, front-drive, and an innovative "freestyle" machine with a center flywheel -- means NordicTrack has something for everyone. 

It's not the most inspiring name for a machine, but one look at this elliptical, and you'll see the instant appeal. The Commercial 14.9 is named for its 14-inch Smart HD touchscreen, which brings the machine's price up to $1,999.99. 

This front-drive elliptical combines classic design with modern quality-of-life upgrades like powerful fans, Bluetooth connectivity, and oversized, cushioned pedals with auto-adjusted strides. 

You'll also gain access to an iFit membership, which comes to life on that HD screen.

Pros

  • 14-inch smart touchscreen 
  • Included iFit membership
  • Auto-adjusted strides

Cons

  • Assembly can be difficult
  • Complaints about issues with iFit membership promo

Offering a wide range of cardio equipment, Sole Fitness has a reputation for providing quality machinery to hotels nationwide. The company offers free shipping, lifetime warranties, money-back guarantees, and stellar customer service. 

The E95 is durable and packs a lot of tech into the console, like Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, an integrated tablet holder, built-in speakers and more.

In addition to a stronger frame and heavier flywheel, the E95's customizable "Worm Drive" is a significant upgrade here from other models. You can save programs, settings and track your progress over time.

Pros

  • Built-in speakers 
  • 27-pound flywheel 
  • Charging port for your devices

Cons

  • Only 10 workout programs 
  • Speakers could be more powerful



This machine might not look like a standard elliptical, but it's not. The FreeStride is a powerful, flexible machine that shifts functionality with your natural motion, using a unique center flywheel setup unlike anything else. 

Use it as a climber, an elliptical, or a treadmill-like stepping platform to engage more muscle groups and ramp up the intensity. 

With that 14-inch touchscreen making a return, this machine is simply on another level, and the price reflects that $2,499.99. If money is no object, we can't recommend the FreeStride enough.

Pros

  • 3-in-1 training 
  • 32-inch adjustable stride 
  • Automatic trainer control 

Cons

  • Lighter flywheel at 20 lbs.



If cost-effectiveness is your top priority, you can find a Schwinn 430 online for $799, making it the true budget option on our list today. 

The build on the 430 is a little bare, and you won't get many tech features, but this is the best bang for your buck when building a home gym, bar none.

Pros

  • Most inexpensive option
  • 22 preset exercise programs 

Cons

  • A little noisy
  • Light flywheel means less intense workouts



Compared to some of the famous fitness brands, ProForm is still relatively new on the scene. However, we're impressed with their array of quality fitness equipment and a range of offerings in the elliptical department

At $999.99, this is ProForm's mid-range elliptical, and we think it's worth the upgrade over the Carbon model. The pedals are more comfortable, the flywheel is smoother, and the display has received a much-needed upgrade. 

It is still a reasonably simple front-wheel elliptical, but it has an old-school charm that seems perfect for any growing home gym setup. For the price, it's a top performer.

Pros

  • 32 workout programs 
  • Inexpensive for a quality machine
  • Comes with iFit membership

Cons

  • No touchscreen display

Why should you use an elliptical?

It might not be the most glamorous way to work out, but the elliptical trainer is one of the most reliable, safe, and effective machines. The key advantage of the elliptical machine is the dual-effect of both upper and lower body cardio and strength building, something that can't be said for bikes, treadmills, and climbers. 

Ellipticals require you to walk, run or climb with your lower body while "pumping" your arms back and forth with an alternating push and pull motion. The result is a considerable amount of calories burned – between 200 and 400 in just 30 minutes, depending on intensity and settings. Regular workouts will boost endurance, strengthen muscles from top to bottom, and burn stubborn belly fat. 

An elliptical is also a great low-impact exercise method, especially compared to running on pavement or even a treadmill. You'll save your joints and tendons strain by opting for an elliptical session over a jog. 

Finally, an elliptical is arguably the safest machine for at-home exercise, requiring less intense focus or coordination than a treadmill. You've got a firm grip on the handles, a platform for balance, and total control over speed and intensity. 

What is the best elliptical?

In our opinion, the best elliptical is the NordicTrack Commercial 14.9. However, any of our picks will be solid choices, it just depends what you're looking for. If want to spend less, the Schwinn 430 elliptical is a budget-friendly choice, and, if you want a machine that can do more than just an elliptical workout, we recommend the NordicTrack FS14i Freestride. 

Below, you'll find some of the most important specs of each bike for a proper comparison. 

Elliptical

Price

Resistance levels

Flywheel weight

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

$1,799

26

32 lbs

Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical

$1,799

20

27 lbs

NordicTrack FS14i Freestride

$2,499

26

20 lbs

Schwinn 430

$799

20

under 20 lbs

ProForm PRO 9.9

$999

24

28 lbs

How did we choose these elliptical trainers?

Selecting an elliptical will come down to your preferences and home gym needs, but we want you to keep a few things in mind before making a final call. 

First, always look at stride length because that's an indicator of comfort based on your height. We prefer the ability to adjust pedals if possible. You don't want to be stuck with a machine that doesn't fit your frame. 

Also, consider flywheel weight and the amount of resistance you want from your machine. If you plan on putting in serious hours on the elliptical, your strength will increase quickly, and you might outgrow an entry-level machine sooner than you think. 

Finally, be honest with yourself about how much tech you need from an elliptical. Those shiny HD screens might be appealing, but are they truly worth the significant cost bump? Since most of us have phones, tablets, and TVs already, you may not need them.

Are there alternative elliptical trainers to consider?

Here are a few other options to look into:

Editorial standards

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