The Best Ellipticals for Home Gyms: 

2024 Elliptical Buying Guide

Are you searching for the best elliptical for your home gym? 

Maybe you’re wondering what to look for in an elliptical, or what must-have features come with top-rated ellipticals.

Or maybe you’re trying to learn what an elliptical warranty covers, the weight capacity on a typical elliptical, or the difference between a front-drive vs. a rear-drive elliptical.

No matter what brought you here or what questions you have, this massive elliptical buying guide is for you.

We’ll help you narrow down which elliptical is best for your home gym, and we’ll help you find one that supports your health and fitness goals.

We’ll also share what to look for when buying an elliptical online and everything else you need to know before you make a purchase. 

Here’s a breakdown of all the topics we cover in this elliptical buying guide: 

Before we show you what to look for, there are three things you’ll want to nail down first:

3 Questions to Answer Before You Browse Ellipticals Online

When browsing elliptical machines online it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options staring back at you.

To help mitigate this, it’s a good idea to answer these three questions first to understand what you’re looking for.

This will help you narrow down your search.

Grab a sheet of paper and spend a few minutes answering the following questions to make this process a little easier:

1. What are your fitness goals?

Are you looking to improve your cardiovascular health?

Do you want an effective, low-impact, full-body workout that you can do at home?

Are you looking to train for an upcoming race, and you want to use the elliptical on your off days of running?

These answers, along with nailing down your fitness goals, can help you find the right elliptical machine to meet your needs.

Take a few seconds to note your fitness goals and why you want to get an elliptical machine before moving on to this next question.

2. Will anyone else use the elliptical machine?

If you are not the only one in your household using this elliptical, it’s essential to consider your other family members or roommates who might be.

For starters, if you have varying height differences, you’ll want to find an adjustable elliptical machine that can accommodate multiple users.

This ensures that everyone can comfortably use the machine and that it can help maximize each person’s performance.

On top of that, consider getting an elliptical machine that offers stat tracking per user so that you can keep track of your performance metrics separately.

3. How much space do you have for an elliptical?

Lastly, but just as important, you’ll need to consider how much space you have for an elliptical.  

Your first step here is to measure how much room you have for your elliptical. Then, you’ll want to see how the ellipticals you’re looking at compare.

To do that, check the elliptical’s footprint first, which is the dimensions of the machine’s base when it’s not in motion.

Next, look at the necessary clearance space when the machine is in use.

Check the Elliptical’s Clearance Space

Most elliptical machines will need a certain amount of space around the machine. This is known as the clearance space, which is the required room in front of, behind, and on the sides of the machine.

The NordicTrack Freestride Trainer, for example, needs at least 120 cm of clearance in the front of the elliptical, 180cm in the rear, and 60cm on each side. 

Not all ellipticals will need this much space. That’s why it’s essential to look at the machine’s footprint and the area it uses when in motion to ensure it’s a good fit for your room.

You can do this by checking out the specs on the ellipticals you’re searching online, and, in many cases, it’s also a good idea to consult the user’s manual (most can be found online for free) before purchasing a machine to make sure it’s a good fit for your space. 

If you’re short on space, the type of elliptical you go with is key.

Front-drive ellipticals, which we’ll discuss in a moment, usually have a smaller footprint when they’re not in use but often have a larger one when in motion since the pedals and arms may swing out past the footprint of the machine.

Some rear-drive ellipticals can take up a bit more space when they’re in use since they have a longer footprint, but some can be folded up and stored away when they’re not in use.

Rear-drive elliptical machines usually have arms that move forward beyond the footprint base, but the pedals rarely stretch behind the machine or its flywheel.

For now, measure out how much space you have for an elliptical machine, and then move on to this next section, which will help you narrow your selection further.

7 Things to Consider Before You Purchase an Elliptical Machine Online

This next section answers the most common elliptical FAQs (frequently asked questions).

By the end of reading it, you should have a better idea of the type of elliptical that makes the most sense for your needs.

The first big decision you’ll want to consider is whether you want a front-drive, rear-drive, or centre-drive elliptical. 

You may also hear these exercise machines referred to as a front-mech elliptical (front-drive), a rear-mech elliptical (rear-drive), or a mid-mech elliptical (for centre-drive ones).

Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with those terms. We’ll go over them in detail now.

1. The difference between front-drive, rear-drive, and centre-drive ellipticals

If you’ve already started your elliptical research, you may have questions like:

  • What are the three types of ellipticals?
  • What’s the difference between front-drive vs. rear-drive ellipticals?
  • What’s better, front-drive or rear-drive ellipticals?
  • What type of elliptical is best?

We’ll help answer the first three questions so that you can determine which type of elliptical is best for you.

Here’s what you need to know about each type of elliptical machine:

Front-Drive Ellipticals

As seen in the image above, with front-drive ellipticals, the flywheel, which is the circular piece that spins and creates resistance as you exercise, is located on the front of the machine.

Placing the flywheel here offers more incline and mimics walking or running up a hill.

When you step on a front-drive elliptical, you may already feel a slight incline before you even adjust the incline or resistance levels. It’s less flat than a rear-drive elliptical.

The only exception to this general rule is the NordicTrack AirGlide which offers a decline option through a patented incline and decline system.

This patented technology gives you the feeling of exercising on a downhill slope, challenging and engaging different muscles. 

Rear-Drive Elliptical Machines

On the flip side, as the name suggests, with rear-drive ellipticals, the circular flywheel is located on the back of the machine.

These ellipticals lay flatter than front-drive ellipticals, which mimic walking or running on a flat surface more, and they tend to have fewer incline options as well.

While they can adjust the incline, it’s usually not as steep as a front-drive elliptical.

In addition, rear-drive ellipticals often have a longer footprint base, however, some can be folded up and stored using a smaller footprint, which is something to consider.

When you step on a rear-drive elliptical, you may also feel more level and upright than the natural incline of a front-drive elliptical.

On top of taking up more space, rear-drive ellipticals may cost a bit more than front-drive ones.

Centre-Drive Ellipticals

Lastly, and again, as the name suggests, centre-drive ellipticals, or mid-mech ellipticals as they’re sometimes referred to, have the flywheel in the middle of the machine, usually on either side of the pedals. 

You can think of centre-drive ellipticals as a cross between front-drive and rear-drive elliptical machines.

They offer a slight, natural incline like a front-drive elliptical, but you also stand more upright, similar to a rear-drive elliptical.

Having a centre-drive setup means you can stay more upright during your workout, and you’ll experience less of that natural lean forward that happens with front-drive ellipticals.

The stride length is the next important piece to consider when looking at ellipticals online.

If you’re wondering, What stride length do I need in an elliptical? This next section will help answer that question for you.

2. Stride Length

Stride length in an elliptical refers to the back-and-forth motion in the legs.

Shorter users will want a shorter stride length, while taller people will need a slightly longer one.

The problem is, if you don’t find the proper stride length, it may be uncomfortable to use. 

On the other hand, if the stride length is too short for your height, you may not get enough of a challenging workout, or you may be uncomfortably cramped as you exercise.

Ideally, you want to find a natural stride length that doesn’t feel like you’re stretching yourself too far but that it also challenges you enough.

On top of that, if multiple people will use the elliptical, as mentioned earlier in this buying guide, you’ll want to find an elliptical machine with an adjustable stride length.

A good stride length range for shorter users is around 17” to 18” inches, while taller users may benefit from ones over 20”.

One of the unique features of the Nordictrack Freestride trainer is that it seamlessly adjusts up to a whopping 32”, making it an excellent choice for tall users. 

And there are no dials to turn or buttons to push. It automatically does it on its own as you adjust your stride.

The Freestride trainer is still an excellent choice for shorter users since it also auto-adjusts to smaller stride lengths. 

Generally speaking, high-quality elliptical machines will have adjustable stride lengths to accommodate different users. Lower-priced ellipticals often have short stride lengths that may be too small for most users.

3. Adjustability & Incline

On top of adjusting the stride length to your height, a good quality elliptical machine will also let you change the resistance level and the incline.

Adjusting the resistance level changes how hard or easy it is to move the flywheel.

The higher the resistance, the harder the challenge will be, and vice versa.

In addition, you could perform a series of high-intensity intervals by adjusting the resistance up or down for short bursts.

Another way to increase the challenge in your elliptical workouts is to adjust the incline.

Increasing to a 15% to 20% incline offers a greater challenge than no incline, and ellipticals with a decline feature mimic what it’s like to walk or run downhill.

We’ll cover more must-have features in an elliptical machine next.

4. Elliptical Features

Some other features to consider when browsing ellipticals for sale include:

  • Is it a smart elliptical that can connect to Bluetooth®-compatible headphones?
  • Does it track your stats, including distance travelled, resistance and incline levels, heart rate, calories burned, etc.?
  • Does it connect to trainer-led workouts that auto-adjust based on the workout program?
  • Does it have a touchscreen display that lets you easily adjust the settings?
  • Does it offer comfortable, cushioned pedals?
  • Does it have easy-to-use controls?
  • Are the handles designed with comfort in mind?

Consider which features matter to you and jot down your must-haves before moving on.

5. How much does a home elliptical cost?

A high-quality home elliptical can range from $1,499 to $4,499 

You can also finance your elliptical and make smaller payments over time if that’s better for your budget. 

6. What is the weight limit on home ellipticals?

Each elliptical has a user weight limit, which can differ even within the same brand.

That’s why it’s essential to check the specific machines you’re looking at to ensure you, or anyone in your household who may be using it, are under the weight threshold.

Depending on the model, the latest NordicTrack ellipticals range from 135 to 170-kilogram weight limit. 

Double-check the elliptical’s weight limit before hitting that add-to-cart button.

7. Do ellipticals come with a lifetime warranty?

Most ellipticals on the market do not come with a lifetime warranty, however, good ones will still offer some good coverage.

So, what does an elliptical warranty cover?

All NordicTrack ellipticals come with the following warranty coverage: 

  1. Lifetime Frame Warranty
  2. 2-Year Parts Warranty
  3. 1-Year Labor Warranty

You can learn more about NordicTrack’s warranty by visiting that page. 

The Top 3 Best Ellipticals for Your Home Gym in 2024

Now that you know what to look for in an elliptical, it’s time to get to the best part of this guide: the best ellipticals for home use.

We’ve broken each elliptical trainer down individually and by category to help you find your perfect match.

This first one is our best elliptical overall and will quickly become the best elliptical of 2024. See why that is next.

1. NordicTrack’s AirGlide 14i Elliptical

NordicTrack’s latest elliptical, the AirGlide 14i, features a tilting 14-inch smart HD touchscreen display, up to a -5% decline, which mimics going downhill, up to a 15% incline, Soft Touch™ upper body grips, and oversized cushioned pedals for the ultimate comfort. 

The NordicTrack AirGlide 14i Features

This front-drive elliptical trainer also has the following features:

  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Two 2” Digitally-Amplified Speakers
  • ActivePulse™ Technology (which adjusts your speed, incline, and decline to maintain your optimal heart-rate zone. Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • 32-pound Effective Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 17.8″-18.5″ Auto Adjustable Stride
  • Power-Adjustable Incline
  • 26 Digital Resistance Levels
  • One Touch® Controls
  • 136kg User Capacity
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • AutoAdjusting™, Automatic Trainer Control (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Google Maps™ Integration (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Stat tracking for multiple users

It also comes with the following NordicTrack elliptical warranty: 

  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty

Lastly, the footprint for this machine is 176cm L x 64cm W x 183cm H.

In addition to that base footprint, you’ll need to leave at least 90cm of clearance on the front and rear of this elliptical and 60cm on each side.

It’s also a good idea to place this elliptical on a level surface, and you may want to use a mat underneath to protect your floor or carpet.

You can learn more about the AirGlide elliptical trainer by visiting that page now.

2. NordicTrack’s Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Machine

Next for the best elliptical machine for home use is NordicTrack’s C14.9 , a front-drive elliptical.

The main difference between the Commercial 14.9 and the AirGlide 14i is the incline and decline features.

The Commercial 14.9 reaches an incline of up to 20%, offering you an even bigger challenge than the AirGlide 14i’s max of 15% incline. However, it does not decline like the latter, so that’s something to consider if that’s a must-have feature for your health goals.

Another small difference is that the Commercial 14.9 has a slightly larger user weight limit at 150kg, compared to AirGlide’s 136kg limit.

The NordicTrack C14.9 Features

Other than those differences, the C14.9 elliptical also comes with the following features:

  • 14-inch Smart HD Touchscreen Display
  • Soft Touch™ Upper Body Grips
  • Oversized Cushioned Pedals
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Two 2” Digitally-Amplified Speakers
  • ActivePulse™ Technology (which adjusts your speed, incline, and decline to maintain your optimal heart-rate zone. Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • 14kg Effective Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 18”- 20" Auto Adjustable Stride
  • 26 Digital Resistance Levels
  • Power-Adjustable Incline
  • One Touch® Controls
  • 150kg User Capacity
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • AutoAdjusting™, Automatic Trainer Control (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Google Maps™ Integration (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Stat tracking for multiple users
  • Front-Mounted Transport Wheels

The warranty for this elliptical machine includes the following: 

  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty

The footprint for this elliptical is L 174cm x H 174 x W 74cm.

In addition to that base footprint, you’ll need to leave at least 90cm of clearance on the front and rear of this elliptical and 60cm on each side. 

It’s also a good idea to place this elliptical on a level surface, and you may want to use a mat underneath to protect your floor or carpet.

You can also check out the Nordictrack elliptical reviews for this machine below. 

To learn more about this top rated elliptical, visit that page now. 

3. NordicTrack’s FreeStride Elliptical Trainer

If you want to take your workouts to the next level, the NordicTrack FreeStride Elliptical Trainer might be a good fit. 

With this innovative machine, you can experience the benefits of an elliptical, stepper, and treadmill all in one.

So, if you’re on the fence over whether to go with an elliptical vs. a treadmill (learn more about the differences between those two machines by visiting that link), you can try the FreeStride Trainer and experience the benefits of both machines plus a stepper. 

Unlike the AirGlide 14i and the C14.9, the FreeStride Trainer is a centre-drive elliptical trainer, meaning the flywheel is located in the machine’s centre with the pedals on either side.       

The FreeStride Trainer also has a slightly smaller footprint than those two ellipticals at L 149cm x W 75cm x H 188cm, as opposed to 176cm L x 64cm W x 183cm H.with the AirGlide 14i and 174cm L x 174cm H x 74cm W with the C14.9.

However, the FreeStride Trainer requires more clearance space than the AirGlide and C14.9 elliptical. 

You should have at least 120cm of clearance in the front of the FreeStride Trainer elliptical, 180cm in the rear, and 60cm on each side. 

Other Stand Out Features of the FreeStride Trainer

A few of the other main differences and stand-out features of the FreeStride Trainer include the following:

  • 32” (81cm) Auto-Adjustable Stride*
  • -10% Decline and 10% Incline
  • 9 kg Effective Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • 170 kg User Weight Limit

*The 32” (81cm) auto-adjustable stride is unique to the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer. 

A one-of-a-kind cushioned belt design effortlessly adjusts to your stride length as you comfortably find your pace and stride length.

So, there’s no cranking dials or pushing any buttons while you’re moving.

Instead, you start moving, and the machine automatically adjusts to a stride length that’s comfortable for you.

Many people often describe it as a cool, floating experience.

On top of that, you can take small steps that mimic a natural stair motion, or you can pick up your stride for more of a running pace all in one machine and without changing any settings.

The machine adjusts with you to find the perfect resistance level to meet your exercise goals.

There’s really no elliptical machine on the market like it.

And, since it can adjust up to 32” (81cm), it’s great for tall users looking to use an elliptical. 

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer Additional Features

With the Freestride Trainer, you also get the following same-great features that come with the Commercial 14.9 

  • 14-inch Smart HD Touchscreen Display
  • Soft Touch™ Upper Body Grips
  • Oversized Cushioned Pedals
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Two 2” Digitally-Amplified Speakers
  • ActivePulse™ Technology (which adjusts your speed, incline, and decline to maintain your optimal heart-rate zone. Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 26 Digital Resistance Levels
  • Power-Adjustable Incline
  • One Touch® Controls
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • AutoAdjusting™, Automatic Trainer Control (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Google Maps™ Integration (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Stat tracking for multiple users
  • Transport Wheels

The FreeStride Trainer also comes with the following elliptical warranty: 

  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty

To learn more about this elliptical machine visit that page now.

2024 Best Elliptical Overall: NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

If you’re looking for an elliptical that’s high impact on your goals, low impact on your body, and gives you a great total-body workout, the AirGlide 14i may be right for you.

With up to a -5% decline, up to a 15% incline, and up to 26 Digital Resistance levels, you can engage your muscles in a variety of ways.

The 14.5kg Effective Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel, along with the SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance, also gives you a smooth resistance that’s challenging yet comfortable.

Lastly, the Soft Touch™ upper body grips and the oversized cushioned pedals ensure your body is well-supported so you can focus on your workout.

NordicTrack AirGlide Additional Features

As mentioned above, you also get the following features with the front-drive AirGlide 14i:

  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Two 2” Digitally-Amplified Speakers
  • ActivePulse™ Technology (which adjusts your speed, incline, and decline to maintain your optimal heart-rate zone. Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • 17.8″-18.5″ Auto Adjustable Stride
  • Power-Adjustable Incline (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • One Touch® Controls
  • 136kg User Capacity
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • AutoAdjusting™, Automatic Trainer Control (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Google Maps™ Integration (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Stat tracking for multiple users
  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty

To learn more about this elliptical, visit that page now.

Most Unique Elliptical of 2024: The NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer

The NordicTrack FreeStride Elliptical Trainer is truly unlike any other on the market. 

A one-of-a-kind belt that runs underneath provides a similar, cool experience to running on a trampoline.

Some users even report that it feels more like floating than exercising on a traditional elliptical.

You can start with tiny circles where your feet are barely moving, and it feels more like a step machine, or you can increase your stride length to reach a running stride. The choice is yours.

It’s also a top choice for anyone tall who prefers the low-impact option that ellipticals offer.

But it’s just as suitable for shorter users since the belt auto-adjusts as soon as you start moving.

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer Additional Features

With the FreeStride Trainer, you also get the following same-great features that come with the C14.9 and the AirGlide 14i: 

  • 14-inch Smart HD Touchscreen Display
  • Soft Touch™ Upper-Body Grips
  • Oversized Cushioned Pedals
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Two 2” Digitally-Amplified Speakers
  • ActivePulse™ Technology (which adjusts your speed, incline, and decline to maintain your optimal heart-rate zone. Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 26 Digital Resistance Levels
  • Power-Adjustable Incline
  • One Touch® Controls
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • AutoAdjusting™, Automatic Trainer Control (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Google Maps™ Integration (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Stat tracking for multiple users
  • Transport Wheels

The FreeStride Trainer also comes with the following elliptical warranty: 

  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty

To learn more about this elliptical machine and to check out its latest customer reviews, visit that page now. 

Best Value Elliptical: NordicTrack C9.9 Elliptical 

Lastly, the NordicTrack C9.9 might be perfect for your budget if you want a lower-priced elliptical. 

With this elliptical trainer, you get the same great NordicTrack quality plus many features as the other ellipticals on this list.

Those features include the following:

  • 7-inch Smart HD Touchscreen Display
  • Front-Drive Flywheel
  • 22 Digital Resistance Levels
  • 0% to 20% Incline
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Soft Touch™ upper body grips
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • AutoAdjusting™ Automatic Trainer Control (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Google Maps™ Integration (Available with an active iFIT membership)
  • Stat tracking for multiple users
  • Transport Wheels
  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty

Enjoy a full-body, low-impact workout for less when you choose the C9.9 elliptical trainer. 

You can learn more about that elliptical by visiting that page.

Find the Elliptical That’s Right for You

We hope the information we shared in this elliptical buying guide helps you narrow your search.

Before we sign off, we also want to share one last tip: research where you’re getting it from before you decide to purchase an elliptical machine online.

In many cases, it pays to go direct, buying from nordictrackfitness.com.au

for example, to ensure you’re getting the best quality product and the exact warranties that it comes with. 

Doing so will save you headaches and hassles both in the short and long term.

Once you do that, all that’s left is picking out the right elliptical for you and enjoying at-home workouts once it gets delivered. 

In a few workouts, you may see that it was one of the best decisions you could have made.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.