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Top 5 Best Ellipticals - A Quick Comparison

Model Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the elliptical's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

Resistance

Resistance is what determines calories burned per stride. The more levels, the more precisely you can control the difficulty.

Stride Length

Stride Length is important for comfort and smooth strides. A stride length of 18-21 inches is ideal for most heights (5'3 - 6'7).

Programs

Elliptical Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

Flywheel

The flywheel controls the smoothness and resistance of your workout. In general, the higher the better.

Pricing

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the best price we've found.

1 The Sole E95 is a tremendous value.

Sole
E95

Rating: 95.1%
$3,39920 levels20"1027 lbsSee Best Price
2 bowflex-max-trainer-m6-compact-size-16-resistance-levels-integrated-heart-rate-monitor

Bowflex M6

Rating: 94.5%
$1,69916n/an/an/aSee Best Price
3

NordicTrack
FS7i

Rating: 94.5%
$2,69924 Levels0" - 38"3520 lbs.See Best Price
4 The top rated elliptical trainer overall, the Sole E98 is a powerhouse this year.

Sole
E98

Rating: 94.1%
$4,79920 Levels20"1030 lbsSee Best Price
5 The compact but powerful Sole E55 Elliptical is a top recommendation for shoppers with smaller workout spaces.

Sole
E55

Rating: 94.1%
$2,799Multiple20"1017 lbsSee Best Price


Best Elliptical Trainers by Category

To ease your search for the right trainer, we organize elliptical reviews into useful categories. Click a link to get a category overview and part-by-part reviews for the best ellipticals in the bunch.

Best Ellipticals by Price

What’s your home gym budget? On a dropdown menu up top, our elliptical reviews are divided into several price brackets. Here are quick descriptions of a few price popular price categories:

  • The cheapest ellipticals are in the under-$500 category. These are entry-level trainers with short warranties. We typically recommend saving up and spending $500+ on an elliptical machine because at this level, double the price is more than double the quality. See our top rated ellipticals under $500 here.
  • Most shoppers choose machines sale priced from $999 to $1999. These tend to be the best ellipticals for overall value. See our favorite ellipticals $1000 - $1500 range and $1500 - $2000 range.
  • Elite home ellipticals cost $2500 or more. Some are strong enough for light commercial use. See a list of our top rated high end ellipticals.

Best Ellipticals by Drive Type

Elliptical machines are also categorized according to where their drives (flywheels) are stored. The three categories are rear drive, front drive and center drive. The drive location can influence the machine’s noise level, your exercise posture and more.

  • The classic elliptical design is the rear drive. The best rear drive ellipticals are quiet and dependable partly because of their suspended pedals. (Cheaper rear drive machines have pedals that glide along rails, so they’re more prone to noisiness and wear.) A possible drawback is that rear drive ellipticals need the most floor space. Therefore some have foldable frames.
  • Front drive ellipticals are sometimes preferred because they cost less than rear drive ellipticals and need less floor space. A possible drawback though is that these machines could be noisy in comparison. Also, some front drive ellipticals encourage you to lean into the console, which isn’t your best possible training posture. To get an idea of how your body would be positioned on a trainer, you can see how a model uses the machine in a picture or a YouTube demo.
  • The third category is center drive ellipticals. Like rear drive trainers, these promote good posture -- and compared with rear drive trainers, these machines have small footprints too. When you actually use one of these machines though, your arms and legs will likely extend far beyond the base of the unit. Despite being compact these trainers tend to support long strides.

Favorite Space-Saving Ellipticals

As just mentioned above, center drive ellipticals require the least floor space. Front drive trainers take a moderate amount of space, and rear drive machines need the most room.

Special options recommended for small spaces are folding ellipticals and Bowflex Max Trainers.

  • Folding ellipticals might have shock-assist for very quick folding that requires little upper body strength.
  • Bowflex Max Trainers look similar to center drive ellipticals and support especially high intensity exercise. With a Max Trainer you can burn calories at about double the rate compared with using a more traditional elliptical cross-trainer.

Best Club-Quality Ellipticals

Fitness machines are categorized as light commercial, commercial or residential. Light commercial ellipticals are typically under warranty for up to three hours of use per day. Commercial ellipticals are designed for up to six hours of use per day.

List of Ellipticals by Review Score

The following models aren’t featured on the “Top 5 Best ellipticals” chart but are still worth a look.

6 The Sole E95S is a high quality residential elliptical trainer that's earned its $2,199 price tag.

Sole E95S

Rating: 93.9%
Price: $4,199 - Best Price: $2,199

The top rated elliptical trainer overall, the Sole E95S is a powerhouse this year. Focused specifically on quality and specs over bells and whistles, the E95S has an excellent warranty and will last a long time. Read Review »

7

NordicTrack FS9i

Rating: 92.8%
Price: $2,999 - Best Price: $2,999

The NordicTrack FS9i is the top of the line Freestride Trainer with all of the extra features and programs. Read Review »

8 The Sole E35 Elliptical

Sole E35

Rating: 92.6%
Price: $2,799 - Best Price: $1,399

The Sole E35 is an elliptical that features all the specs (20 resistance levels, 20" stride, 25 lb. flywheel) needed to reach your fitness goals. It also features cushioned and adjustable pedals as well as Bluetooth compatibility and an industry-leading warranty. Read Review »

9

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

Rating: 92.3%
Price: $2999 - Best Price: $1,499

The NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 features a full-color 10" web enabled LCD display with 32 workout apps and all sorts of bells and whistles. Read Review »

10

Cybex 770A

Rating: 92.3%
Price: $8,245 - Best Price: $8,245

The Cybex 770A is an appealing alternative to elliptical machines. Using an arc shape instead of an elliptical shape, it delivers superior muscle toning and calorie burn while being lower impact than ellipticals too. Read Review »

11 landice-e7-elliptical-total-body-exercise-medical-grade-safety-handrails-wireless-heart-rate-monitoring-3-fitness-tests

Landice E7

Rating: 92%
Price: $3495 - Best Price: $3495

Three factors make the Landice E7 Elliptical a leader: exceptional durability, smooth ergonomics and high quality electronics. Read Review »

12 Bowflex BXE216

Bowflex BXE216

Rating: 92%
Price: $2,199 - Best Price: $1799

The Bowflex Results BXE216 Elliptical is part of the Bowflex Results series, which was developed with lots of research into what customers want versus what’s already on the market -- and the effort shows! Read Review »

13 ProForm Smart Pro 16.9 NE

ProForm SMART Pro 16.9 NE

Rating: 91.9%
Price: $2,499 - Best Price: $1,499

The ProForm SMART Pro 16.9 Elliptical is full of options for the workout and entertainment lover. Read Review »

14

NordicTrack C 9.5

Rating: 91.6%
Price: $1,299 - Best Price: $999

The NordicTrack C 9.5 is a top buy front drive elliptical machine. It is equipped with 24 Digital Resistance Levels, 32 workout apps and a 7-inch web-enabled color touchscreen. Read Review »

15

Diamondback 1260Ef

Rating: 91.5%
Price: $2,299 - Best Price: $2,299

Rated as a top pick by FitRated and other related sites, the Diamondback 1260Ef elliptical is a sturdy and reliable machine with many of the basic expected features in an elliptical. While not the most feature rich machine, it's value shines in the quality. Read Review »

16 The Sole E25 elliptical is of good value at under $1,000.

Sole E25

Rating: 91.3%
Price: $1,799.99 - Best Price: $999

The E25 is Sole's most affordable elliptical at just $999. The elliptical features a stride length of up to 20", a 6.5-inch LCD display, 10 programs and wireless chest strap for heart rate monitoring. Read Review »

17 image of lateralx lx5 a silver elliptical with black handles

Bowflex LateralX LX5

Rating: 91.2%
Price: $2,699 - Best Price: $2,699

Three factors make the Bowflex LateralX LX5 Elliptical a leader: exceptional durability, smooth ergonomics and high quality electronics. Read Review »

18

NordicTrack C 12.9

Rating: 91%
Price: $1,599 - Best Price: $1,299

The NordicTrack C 12.9 is full of advanced features to make your workout effective and something you look forward to. Read Review »

19

Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner

Rating: 90.8%
Price: $4,299 - Best Price: $4,299

The Octane ZR8 Zero Runner is an ideal cardio trainer for runners who want to avoid injury and boost performance. If the ZR8 fits your budget, it could be your best choice for a zero impact home cardio trainer. Read Review »

20

Life Fitness Platinum Club Series Elliptical

Rating: 90.8%
Price: $7,999 - Best Price: $7,999

The Platinum Club Series Elliptical is a favorite among luxury shoppers. It features the impressive performance of spa fitness machines, plus it connects with the world to enhance workout options and provide entertainment. Read Review »

21 NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

Rating: 90.8%
Price: $2,499 - Best Price: $1,299

The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i takes up the smallest footprint on the market when folded up for storage. The elliptical also features a web-enabled 7" display and 30 workout apps. Read Review »

22

Octane Fitness XT-One

Rating: 90.6%
Price: $8,500 - Best Price: $8,500

The Octane XT-One is an exceptional fitness machine. Like no other it supports striding, running and climbing along with advanced cross training. It can even be used as just an upper body trainer if side platforms are added. Read Review »

23

Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner

Rating: 90.3%
Price: $3,299 - Best Price: $3,299

The Octane Fitness ZeroRunner ZR7 is an impressive zero impact alternative. It has a good warranty, is Bluetooth compatible and if you buy online you get an iPad mini for FREE! Read Review »

24 Bowflex BXE116

Bowflex BXE116

Rating: 90.3%
Price: $1,999 - Best Price: $1499

The Bowflex Results BXE116 is a powerful elliptical machine with a long stride. An especially results-oriented series of cross trainers, the BXE116 supports smooth exercise with cushioned pedals and a 30-pound resistance system, and it has Bluetooth for fitness data management. Read Review »

25

NordicTrack FS5i

Rating: 90.0%
Price: $1,499 - Best Price: $1,299

The NordicTrack FS5i features an innovative floating suspension design, a 7" backlit display with 32 workout apps and 22 levels of resistance. Read Review »