Ellipticals are some of the most popular exercise equipment for home gyms. Their unique design allows you to get a high-intensity cardio workout without putting stress on your hips, knees and ankles. The best ellipticals take it a step further, adding advanced metrics, immersive technology and unique pedal designs to ensure that you work hard, but your joints don't. The workout is still intense (just the way we like it), but the machines are so much better.

If you're shopping your for your first elliptical, figuring out what's what and what makes sense for your home gym can get confusing. So we wanted to help you make the right choice by rounding up our favorite ellipticals, from advanced machines to budget-friendly picks with space-saving designs. 

Best elliptical machines for your home gym

While you can find a manual elliptical or a somewhat basic electric elliptical for under $500, most ellipticals typically cost between $500 and $2,000. We've found options that fit any budget.

Best elliptical overall: Bowflex Max Total 16


The Bowflex Max Total 16 is part stair stepper, part elliptical machine and packed with advanced features. There are 20 resistance levels, so you can make each workout as intense (or as mild) as you want. Adjust the intensity as you go or choose from one of the preset workout programs so you can focus on your form while the machine automatically adjusts the resistance.

The Bowflex Max Total 16 comes with a free Bluetooth heart rate monitor armband that's great for heart rate zone training.

If you get the JRNY membership ($20 per month), you can skip the preset workouts and get personalized, adaptive workouts based on your current fitness level and your goals. The Max Total 16 can automatically adjust its settings to follow your personalized training routine.

Get the premium Bowflex hybrid stepper-elliptical machine during the Presidents' Day sale for $1,899 (reduced from $2,499).

Top features of the Bowflex Max Total 16:

  • The hybrid machine offers a higher vertical stride than an elliptical so you get the strength-boosting benefits of a stair stepper.
  • The 16-inch HD touchscreen makes it easy to see your stats, follow a workout or catch up on your favorite shows.
  • 20 resistance levels let you start at your current fitness level and build up strength as you go.
  • The digital display can store up to four separate user profiles so everyone can track their workout history.
  • A Bluetooth heart rate armband makes it easy to accurately track your heart rate during workouts.
$1,899 at Bowflex

Most immersive elliptical: NordicTrack FS14i


For a high-intensity, low-impact workout with all the premium features that you expect from NordicTrack, check out the FS14i elliptical. The smart elliptical offers 26 levels of resistance and an adjustable incline up to 10% so you can customize your workout to the perfect level of intensity.

With an iFit membership ($39 per month), you'll get access to thousands of on-demand workouts, trainer-led classes and immersive videos. Then, you can let the machine automatically adjust resistance and incline settings in sync with your workout. You also have the option to use SmartAdjust technology that will adjust the settings based on your current fitness level.

Get this elliptical at the NordicTrack Presidents' Day sale for $1,999 (reduced from $2,499).

Top features of the NordicTrack FS14i:

  • It's smart enough to learn your fitness level and automatically adjust the settings of workouts to optimize your training.
  • There are 26 levels of resistance, giving you plenty of options for customizing the intensity.
  • This elliptical has incline (up to 10%) to add even more of a challenge to your workouts.
  • It can be used with or without iFit trainer-led workouts, if a monthly subscription is not in your budget.
$1,999 at NordicTrack

Most durable elliptical for heavy use: Sole E95 Elliptical


Driven by a whisper-quiet system, the Sole E95 elliptical earns 4.3 out of 5 stars from buyers who "love this product." The elliptical is unique in that its foot pedal design features a 2-degree inward slope to reduce ankle and knee stress. While many at-home ellipticals have an unsteady side-to-side motion, Sole's four back wheels sit on heavy-duty rails to provide more stability and a smoother workout.

E95 includes power incline levels to up the intensity of your workout and target different muscle groups. And built-in pulse sensors and a heart rate chest strap let you check your pulse as you work out. 

What we like about the Sole E95 Elliptical:

  • Sloped and adjustable pedals fit the way you walk for a more comfortable workout.
  • Adjustable resistance and incline levels customize the intensity and the muscle groups targeted during every workout.
  • A heart rate chest strap is included for more accurate heart rate tracking.
$1,000 at Amazon

CBS Sports Essentials readers' favorite budget elliptical: Niceday Elliptical Machine


The Niceday elliptical is a CBS Sports Essentials readers' favorite. The budget-friendly pick promises a hyper-quiet magnetic drive system designed to eliminate noise.

The popular elliptical features a 16-pound flywheel and 16 resistance levels, more than you'd expect from an exercise machine at this price point.

A 16-pound flywheel and 16 resistance levels provide roughly double the  resistance levels compared to other ellipticals at this price point. Its 400 lb. weight capacity and heavy-duty base, which is made from extra-thick commercial steel, make this model more stable than similarly priced machines.

Regularly $800, you can get the popular elliptical while it's on sale at Amazon for just $600. 

What we like about the Niceday Elliptical Machine:

  • It's a CBS Sports Essentials bestseller -- our readers love this 4.5-star-rated elliptical machine.
  • With 16 resistance levels, you can customize workout intensity according to your fitness goals.
  • Its digital display tracks time, distance, speed, calories burned and pulse.
  • It features a built-in pulse sensor on the handles so you can check your heart rate regularly.
$600 at Amazon

Best under-desk elliptical: Cubii JR1+


Getting your body moving doesn't have to mean buying a heavy piece of equipment. If your space doesn't allow for a full elliptical, or if you want to add a little movement to your workday (or TV time), an under-desk elliptical gets your legs moving and your heart rate up.

Cubii offers a low-impact workout, with a built-in LCD display that tracks progress including strides taken and calories burned. Very little assembly and ease of storage earned this under-desk elliptical 4.2 stars on Amazon.

Get the Cubii JR1+ on Amazon for $230.

What we like about the Cubbii JR1+:

  • The under-desk design lets you exercise even if you have no time for dedicated workouts.
  • The LCD display tracks distance, calories burned and more.
  • The compact elliptical offers 8 resistance levels.
$230 at Amazon

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