Best Home Elliptical Trainers of 2017
Elliptical machines are favorite choices for home gyms. Unlike some alternatives, they bring minimal risk of next-day soreness as they torch calories and tone your whole body. Some ellipticals are much better than others, however, so it can pay to do research. Here we share reviews of five overall best home elliptical machines for 2017. For more elliptical reviews sorted by price and other factors, see our main Best Ellipticals page.
Sole E95 Elliptical Machine
Strong and versatile, the new Sole E95 for 2017 is one of the best home ellipticals for intermediate to advanced trainees. A key spec is the 27-pound flywheel, which helps produce smooth motion while allowing a good range of resistance. Most impressive though is the combination of a steep 40% max incline. It produces a variable stride up to 22” long, so you can easily focus on multiple muscle groups during a single workout.
Sole is strong on comfort too, and great attention to comfort is shown in the pedals. The pedals are well cushioned to optimize the low-impact machine design. With smart biodynamics, they feature adjustable angle and inward tilt too.
As for the console, new for 2017 the E95 elliptical has a 10.1” LCD screen with Bluetooth capability. This lets a user track fitness with the Sole Fitness app or transfer workout data to other fitness apps. Ten training programs are included, including two that can be controlled wirelessly by heart rate. Also built into the console are a sound system for MP3s, workout fans and a bottle holder.
All in all the Sole E95 Elliptical is a great choice for shoppers who are serious about cross-training and care about their investment’s long-term durability. This model approaches light commercial quality, and the competitive warranty backs the components for five years with home use.
Full price for the new E95 is $2799 but online sale prices under $1700 are common.
NordicTrack FS7i (Hybrid Trainer)
Take your budget further with a fine three-in-one fitness machine. FreeStride Trainers from NordicTrack are center drive elliptical trainers with extra range of motion. Choose from stride lengths up to 38 inches! The maximum 38” stride path is auto-adjustable too, so within a single session you can benefit as if training with a standard elliptical, a stairclimber and/or a treadmill. For even more versatility the FS7i has a max 10-degree power incline. The handlebars move too, supporting a whole-body workout.
Any NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer is beautifully efficient at working your major muscle groups, and the new FS7i is the best value in the series for sale in 2017. (The collection also includes FS5i and the FS9i.) In elliptical reviews from 2017 and earlier we named it a Best Elliptical for Home Use, one of the Best Center Drive Ellipticals and also a Best Elliptical Machines Under $2000. It’s especially motivating when used with iFit Coach, a personal training subscription service that’s accessible through the 7” web-enabled touchscreen.
An iFit Coach membership can enhance your fitness with its online video workout library, daily downloads of personalized training routines, and custom workouts that you can design with Google Maps. Draw your path and then stride along with a Street View on the FS7i’s full color screen! You can also use a built-in Android browser as you train.
A possible drawback for stronger athletes, or people especially interested in strength training, is the FS7i’s 20-pound resistance system. You might prefer the top-of-the-line Free Strider FS9i for its greater force. Overall this NordicTrack is one of the best home elliptical trainers for people interested in cross training through intermediate strength levels without the risks of high-impact exercise. The varied workout options and 7” web-enabled screen also make it a top choice for people who can use extra motivation.
Full price for the NordicTrack FS7i elliptical is $2999. Factory-direct sales online often drop the price to $1999, and sometimes the discount is even deeper. In any case the deal includes a five-year warranty on the parts and electronics.
Bowflex Max Trainer M5 (Hybrid Trainer)
Run on your elliptical! The unique Bowflex Max Trainer M5 lets you pedal at such high intensity that it’s not only a great elliptical machine, but also a low-impact alternative to treadmills for runners. Sixteen resistance settings are available for the ideal mix of cardio and strength training.
Besides the benefit of better comfort, a major benefit is calorie burn: The M5 blasts twice the calories of a standard elliptical trainer and about 2.5 times the calories of a treadmill. The famous Bowflex 14-minute workout program is provided, plus nine other workout modes help you reach goals efficiently. Exceptional whole-body toning is an advantage too with its unique handlebar motion.
Bluetooth technology is included for easy logging of your workout data. Max Trainers can sync with a free Bowflex app, which is compatible with more widespread fitness trackers like MyFitnessPal and Apple Health.
Full price is $1799 and a typical online sale price is $1599. The whole machine has a two-year standard warranty and extended warranties are available.
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i (Folding Elliptical)
The rear drive NordicTrack SE9i is among the best home ellipticals for beginners and smaller trainees, and for 2017 it’s better than ever with a 7” full-color HD touchscreen for the web and personal training programs. The available exercise guidance is ample: Thirty workout apps are included, plus the new touchscreen display is enabled for use with iFit Coach. An iFit Coach subscription adds potential for literally endless workout variety, as membership lets you download a new personal training workout every day, access a library of high-def video workouts, and build a new workout route with Google Maps Street View anytime. Also new for 2017, the SE9i ships with a wireless heart rate monitor ($79 value).
This trainer has an 18-pound flywheel and an 18″ stride, which is why we’ve described it as best for beginners who aren’t so large. With light resistance it emphasizes cardio training more than strength, although for extra muscle challenge you can power-adjust the incline of the pedals. (The maximum slope is 10%.) Additionally three pedal orientations are available for a custom fit.
Assembling this elliptical only takes about 15 minutes, so there’s no need to pay a pro for set-up. Full price is $2499, which is a bit high considering the relatively light resistance. But the new SE9i is a bargain when acquired for a sale price around $1499; the factory-direct purchase includes a five-year parts/electronics warranty.
Octane Zero Runner ZR7
Run or hike while respecting your knees with the Zero Runner ZR7. This high-end trainer from Octane Fitness is named for allowing zero impact on sensitive joints even when you train at top speed. It supports stride lengths up to 58” too, so considering its ultra-smooth motion it’s an extraordinary alternative to treadmills for runners and power walkers.
The self-changing stride length is a favorite feature of this trainer. The elliptical path changes with your natural motion so there’s no need to fiddle with buttons to make adjustments. You can take short steps to hone in on your quads, hamstrings and glutes… then lengthen your stride to better recruit your calves. And unlike any other trainers on our review site, Zero Runners have technology that traces your gait and provides feedback to help optimize your performance.
For even more cross-training with just one machine, you can use the ZR7 with resistance bands and weights. It’s built with multiple attachment points specifically for bands that ship with the machine, and additional cross training accessories are sold separately. A customizable workout app combines cardio exercise and strength training with stretching.
Other key specs include 35 diverse workouts, wireless heart rate monitoring, and two placement options for your tablet computer. Please note that to access Octane’s preset workouts, you’ll need to integrate your own tablet computer or smartphone. The Zero Runner ZR7 is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0; third generation iPads and up (including all iPad minis); iPhone 5 and up; and iPod Touch 5th generation or later.
Full price for this trainer is $3299 with a five-year parts warranty. Read more about the Octane Fitness brand here.
Best Home Ellipticals for 2017
|NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS7i||$1,999||38″||24 Levels|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M5||$1,599||N/A||16 Levels|
|NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i||$1,249||18″||24 Levels|
|Octane Zero Runner ZR7||$3,299||58″||Bands|
Hopefully we’ve brought you closer to the best elliptical for your needs and preferences. For additional suggestions and reviews you can follow these links: