The 7 Best Ellipticals for Seniors of 2024 (Tried, Tested, Approved)

While growing older can result in new aches and pains that can derail your fitness routine — I ate some chips the other day too aggressively and threw out my back — the best ellipticals offer a form of low-impact cardio that also brings your upper body in on the action. These machines can help lower blood pressure, boost your mood, and decrease the risk of heart disease while limiting stress on achy joints and injuries. (1)(2)

If you’re an older adult and interested in bringing an elliptical trainer into your home, you’ll find that the market is filled to the brim with options. To navigate these choices, you’ll need to know what sort of equipment will best suit you and your abilities. Do you need programming to help kick-start your routine? What about cushioning for a more comfortable ride? Our team of fitness pros tried and tested over 20 of the top ellipticals available and consulted with our experts to cut through the noise and bring you the best ellipticals for seniors. Here are our top picks.

The 7 Best Ellipticals for Seniors of 2024

Best Elliptical for Seniors Overall: NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

Most Sturdy Elliptical for Seniors: Sole E25

Best Elliptical for Seniors with Streaming: ProForm Pro HIIT H14

Best Beginner Elliptical for Seniors: Horizon EX-59

Best Budget Elliptical for Seniors: Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912

Best Compact Elliptical for Seniors: Niceday Elliptical Machine

Best Under-Desk Elliptical for Seniors: Cubii GO

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cited and the ellipticals we listed to help ensure we were providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations. 

How We Tested and Chose the Best Ellipticals for Seniors

The BarBend team is stacked with fitness fanatics, from CrossFit coaches and certified personal trainers to gym owners who know a thing or two about the best cardio machines. We’ve gotten hands-on experience with over 23 different ellipticals, and to provide our findings, we’ve scored factors such as durability, workout experience, adjustability, and more on a scale from 1 (that’s bad) to 5 (that’s really good). The following are some of the areas we focused on when considering the best elliptical machines for seniors.

Portability: While not all of our choices can be easily moved from room to room, we wanted to make sure to provide a good selection of portable machines with transport wheels, handles, and reasonable weights of around 100 to 150 pounds. 

Durability: We took note of how each elliptical felt in use, making sure to highlight which ellipticals felt steady during high-intensity sessions and which ones had some shake or wobble. We also looked for machines built with high-quality materials like alloy steel and aluminum, with warranties that can protect your investment for years to come.

Comfort: The best ellipticals for seniors should emphasize comfort. We kept our eyes peeled for large cushioned pedals, multi-grip handles that allow for the most ergonomic hand placement, adjustable stride lengths, and flywheels of at least 16 to 20 pounds.

Programming: Many ellipticals include built-in programs to help give you the foundation for a solid workout. However, we also included some options with fitness app integration for access to immersive trainer-led classes and scenic rides.

Price: Ellipticals with integrated programming and HD touchscreens can cost up to $2,000. While we included a few options around this price point, we also wanted to make sure that many of our picks could also be found on our list of the best ellipticals under $1,000. Seniors, after all, may not be interested in spending all of their retirement funds on fitness equipment. 

Best Elliptical for Seniors Overall: NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

With 26 levels of resistance, incline and decline capabilities, and an adjustable stride length that toggles to your personal preferences, the AirGlide 14i is one of the most tech-savvy and feature-rich ellipticals on the market. Plus, like other NordicTrack machines, this elliptical is compatible with iFIT, unlocking over 17,000 live and on-demand workout programs for a fresh sense of training each time you hop on for a session.

Shop NordicTrack


Price: $1,799

Resistance Levels: 26

Stride Length: 17.8″ to 18.5″

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Dimensions: 71″ H x 69″ L x 25″ W

Product Weight: 244lbs


Seniors looking for immersive programming will appreciate the 14-inch HD touchscreen with iFIT integration, which provides access to over 17,000 on-demand workouts.

Cushioned pedals can add some comfort to your strides.

The 300-pound user weight capacity will keep users of many sizes feeling steady during their workout.


While there are transport wheels attached, this machine weighs a whopping 244 pounds.

Assembly can be difficult, so our team recommends getting a white glove service to put it together for you.

iFIT requires a monthly $39 subscription after a free one-month trial.

NordicTrack’s luxe AirGlide 14i is the Florida retirement community of ellipticals. It has 26 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance, cushioned foot pedals, and a 14-inch HD touchscreen integrated with iFIT programming, all of which can provide a comfortable, immersive workout for senior athletes looking to stay active in style. Tech capabilities, durability, customizations, workout experience, and ergonomics scored a 5 out of 5.

Our tester using the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i elliptical

iFIT provides access to thousands of trainer-led workouts both in studio and across scenic terrain via the 14-inch HD touchscreen. “The iFIT programming on this machine is a strong competitor to Peloton,” noted our tester, a certified personal trainer, who scored dynamic programming a 5 out of 5. 

[Related: iFit Review]

Another tester, a CrossFit Level-1 coach, enjoyed iFIT’s SmartAdjust feature, which can automatically adjust this elliptical’s 26 levels of magnetic resistance and -5 to 15-percent incline during select classes. “I was running up the side of a volcano in Hawaii, and my resistance and incline adjusted automatically, so it really felt like I was right there with my trainer,” they said. However, this iFIT integration will cost an additional $39 a month after a free one-month trial. You can use the AirGlide without iFIT, but there are very few free programs available, so if you don’t want iFIT, I’d suggest looking for a more affordable elliptical.

The 300-pound user weight capacity is the industry standard we look for in top-performing cross trainers. “While on this elliptical, it felt very sturdy. I felt very secure, and didn’t notice any shake or wobble,” said our tester. Durability scored a 5 out of 5.

The pedals and deck on the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i.

Although there are transport wheels, this exercise machine weighs 244 pounds and may be difficult for older adults to move without assistance. Additionally, we recommend getting white glove assembly since putting all of the heavy-duty moving parts together can be daunting (just be aware that professional assembly will cost a little more). 

Our team paid for white glove assembly. “If you don’t opt for that option, you’ll definitely need at least two people to move and build this machine,” said our tester who gave delivery and setup a 3 out of 5 and footprint and portability a 3.5 out of 5.

Most Sturdy Elliptical for Seniors: Sole E25

Sole E25 Elliptical

Sole E25 Elliptical

The E25 is a high-quality, no-frills elliptical. It features a budget-friendly price tag, a 350-pound weight limit, and a 20-pound flywheel. 

Shop Sole


Price: $1,199.99

Resistance Levels: 20

Stride Length: 20”

Weight Capacity: 350lbs

Dimensions: 70″ H x 70″ L x 24″ W

Product Weight: 209lbs


The 350-pound user weight capacity is 50 pounds higher than the industry standard. 

This machine features 2-degree inward-sloping pedals and heavy-duty rails designed to reduce stress on the knees and ankles.

It has large, textured pedals that provide comfort and stability during workouts. 

The 7.5-inch backlit LCD screen makes reading your metrics easier in low-light settings.


Without a touchscreen, you’ll need to use your own device to stream content during a workout.

Per our tester, assembly can be a difficult process due to poorly-labeled parts.

Older adults looking to incorporate more low-impact cardio into their routine will likely appreciate the sturdy build on the Sole E25, which supports athletes up to 350 pounds — 50 pounds more than the industry standard. This machine features inward-sloping pedals and heavy-duty rails that work to place less stress on your knees and ankles. The low-impact nature of ellipticals and this design provide a work around for knee discomfort for older riders.

Our tester, certified personal trainer and BarBend editorial member Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, gave durability a 4.5 out of 5. “The 20-pound flywheel made my workouts feel super smooth, and I was able to move forwards and back with only some slight shake to the machine,” she said. 

Our tester riding the Sole E25 Elliptical

Additionally, the 20-inch stride length suits a wider range of riders — generally accommodating users between 5 foot 3 and 6 feet tall — and is the standard we recommend for high-quality ellipticals. (3) Adjustability and ergonomics scored a 4.5 out of 5.

Twenty levels of adjustable resistance and 20-percent incline capabilities can be adjusted from the center console. The 7.5-inch LCD screen is backlit, which makes reading metrics like heart rate, speed, distance, time, level, calories, and pace, easier in low light or for those with poor vision. 

Our tester adjusting the controls on the similar Sole E25.

You’ll also find nine built-in programs here. Meier notes, “There’s an animation on this screen so you can see when a difficult moment is coming up during a workout.” Dynamic programming scored a 4 out of 5.

While you won’t find a touchscreen, users can stream programming from their own device and store their tablets or phones on one of two device holders. Meier appreciated the Bluetooth connectivity. “The speakers paired really easily with my phone, and I was impressed because they were able to play my music quite loud,” she said. Users can also take free workouts with the Sole+ app from their phone or tablet, which can connect via Bluetooth to the elliptical for data sharing. Tech capabilities scored a 4.3 out of 5.

Our tester holding the handles on the Sole E25.

While we love the sturdy nature of this elliptical, its build comes at the cost of delivery and setup, which scored a 3 out of 5 with Meier. “The instructions were so confusing that it took me two hours to put this machine together,” she said. “If you can, I’d opt for professional assembly.”

Read our full Sole E25 Elliptical Review.

Best Elliptical for Seniors with Streaming: ProForm Pro HIIT H14

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

This unique profile combines a stair stepper and elliptical for a space-saving, high-performance training experience. The Pro HIIT H14 is also integrated with the iFit online workout program, giving you access to over 17,000 live and on-demand fitness classes.

Shop ProForm


Price: $1,799

Resistance Levels: 26

Stride Length: 10” vertical, 5” Horizontal

Weight Capacity: 325lbs

Dimensions: 66” H x 52” L x 29” W

Product Weight: 224lbs


The 14-inch HD touchscreen is integrated with the iFIT app, providing access to over 17,000 trainer-led workouts.

At 10.47-square-feet, this elliptical’s footprint is between 2 and 3 square feet smaller than the average elliptical we’ve tested.

The 30-pound flywheel and Silent Magnetic Resistance help to keep noise to a minimum during home workouts.


Some users may be disappointed in the feel of this machine since the 10-inch vertical and 5-inch horizontal stride can feel more like a stepper or stair climber.

A subscription to iFIT will cost $39 a month after a free one-month trial.

You can only stream iFIT content via the touchscreen. 

If you’re in need of an elliptical with impressive streaming capabilities, the ProForm Pro HIIT H14’s 14-inch HD touchscreen provides crisp and vibrant imagery for iFIT programming. iFIT integration gives you access to over 17,000 on-demand in-studio and scenic trail workouts, where users can follow along with expert coaches across visually stunning scenic landscapes. Plus, its SmartAdjust feature further immerses you in your experience, automatically adjusting your resistance depending on the needs of your workout.

Our tester working out with the ProForm HIIT H14

Our tester, a certified personal trainer, thinks this programming goes head-to-head with other popular workout streamers. “The iFIT programming on this machine is a strong competitor to Peloton,” she noted, giving dynamic programming a 5 out of 5. Users get a free one-month trial to iFIT, and then a subscription will cost $39 a month after that.

While we’re huge fans of iFIT, this is the only content that can be streamed from this screen. If you like to watch your favorite shows or stream workouts from other apps, you’ll need to use your own device. Unfortunately, as our tester pointed out, “there isn’t a shelf to hold your phone or tablet.” For this, conveniences scored a 3.75 out of 5. 

They did, however, love their overall workout experience, rating it a 4 out of 5. “The 30-pound flywheel, higher than the average 16 to 20-pound flywheels I’ve seen, paired with 26 levels of whisper-quiet Silent Magnetic Resistance provided a smooth and quiet workout,” noted our tester.

Our tester moving the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 into position

While the footprint for ellipticals tends to fall between 11 and 13 square feet, the Pro HIIT H14’s more vertical layout takes up a reasonable 10.47 square feet, making it one of the best compact ellipticals we’ve tried and tested. This is thanks to the foot pedal path’s 10-inch vertical and 5-inch horizontal stride length, which provides more of a stepper workout as compared to a typical elliptical. 

Best Beginner Elliptical for Seniors: Horizon EX-59

Horizon EX-59

Horizon EX-59

This Horizon Fitness elliptical can be a great starter machine for budding home gym enthusiasts thanks to its approachable price tag, intuitive controls, and comfortable handlebar setup. The stride length is also accommodating at 18 inches, which can be great for athletes of most sizes.

Shop Horizon Fitness


Price: $999

Resistance Levels: 10

Stride Length: 18”

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Dimensions: 64.5” H x 74” L x 25” W

Product Weight: 145lbs


This beginner-friendly elliptical has five built-in programs to help kickstart a new routine.

The fixed handlebars can help users new to elliptical training get accustomed to the movement before they start working their upper body with the moving handles.

The built-in transport wheels and below-average 145-pound weight made moving this machine around that much easier. 


The 14.3-pound flywheel is smaller than the 16- to 20-pound flywheels we tend to see on machines at this price point.

You won’t find any incline or decline training available on this machine.

There isn’t a touchscreen to stream content or programming from.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is just an excuse for those who are afraid of feeling like a beginner again. I had an old dog named Rags as a kid and he learned how to finally play fetch in his twilight years. The Horizon EX-59 is our choice for best beginner elliptical for old dogs due to its built-in programming, relatively lightweight build, and set of fixed and moving handlebars. Our tester, a certified personal trainer, scored conveniences, portability, and value a 4 out of 5. 

Our tester working out atop the Horizon EX-59 elliptical

Due to the reasonable $999 price tag, you won’t find a touchscreen for streaming programming or incline and decline training. However, our tester appreciated the 10 levels of magnetic resistance and five built-in programs — distance, interval, weight loss, manual, and calorie — on the 4.5-inch LCD display. “This is an elliptical meant for beginners with awesome Bluetooth speakers and basic programming to help kickstart a new routine,” they said. Tech capabilities scored a 3 out of 5.

If users are interested in streaming shows or content from their own devices, they’ll be happy to see a media shelf and a USB charging port built into the console. This is great for those new to cardio and in need of a little distraction in the form of streaming workouts or entertainment. Conveniences scored a 4 out of 5.

[Related: What is Cardio?]

While the moving handles can help get your upper body in on the cardio party, there’s also a set of fixed handlebars to help newbies get accustomed to the feel of moving their feet before they add in moving arms as well. Sometimes you’ve got to pat your head before you can pat your head and rub your tummy.

Horizon EX-59 elliptical handlebars

Weighing in at 145 pounds, our tester scored portability a 4 out of 5. “One person can easily move this elliptical around by tipping it onto its transport wheels and using the handle on the back,” they noted. “I’ve moved a lot of ellipticals around and this felt smaller and easier to transport than others.”

“This isn’t a tech-rich elliptical,” they added. “But you’re getting a quality, basic machine at a reasonable price, which is great for those just getting into elliptical workouts.” Value scored a 4 out of 5.

Best Budget Elliptical for Seniors: Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912

Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912

The elliptical from Sunny Health & Fitness provides 16 levels of programmable magnetic resistance, a 15.5-inch stride length, wide and textured foot plates, and heart rate pulse sensors on the fixed set of handlebars.

Shop Sunny Health & Fitness


Price: $699.99

Resistance Levels: 16

Stride Length: 15.5”

Weight Capacity: 330lbs

Dimensions: 64.5” H x 55” L x 23” W

Product Weight: 104.8lbs


This budget elliptical is often on sale for under $500, making it roughly half the cost of the average elliptical we’ve tested.

This budget buy has an impressive 330-pound user weight capacity — 30 pounds more than the standard elliptical.

It comes loaded with 24 built-in programs. 


The 15.5-inch stride length may be too short for taller riders.

Assembly of this machine was difficult and the instructions weren’t very clear.

There aren’t any speakers or Bluetooth capabilities here.

“This elliptical doesn’t have fancy extras, but Sunny Health & Fitness nailed the basics,” notes Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, BarBend editorial member and certified personal trainer. Budget buys can often eschew fancy tech like touchscreens and Bluetooth capabilities, but we think this elliptical provides a reliable, sturdy, and supportive means to reach your fitness goals. Durability scored a 5 out of 5, and we rated its footprint, portability, customizations, and tech capabilities a 4 out of 5.

Our tester riding the Sunny Health and Fitness Elliptical SF E3912.

It has a budget-friendly price of $699.99, but this elliptical is often on sale for under $500, making it roughly half the cost of the average elliptical we’ve tried and tested. “Budget-friendly” buys may leave you fearful of low-quality equipment, but this elliptical provides peace of mind with an impressive 330-pound user weight capacity — 30 pounds more than the standard elliptical. Adjusting the resistance was smooth and I didn’t feel any shake during my workout,” says Meier, who gave durability a 5 out of 5.

While it doesn’t include Bluetooth capabilities, speakers, or a touchscreen, the basic LCD display comes pre-loaded with 24 built-in programs that can help you create fitness goals

The 15.5 inch stride length suited Meier, who’s 5 feet 4 inches, but she noted, “I like to see 20-inch stride lengths on ellipticals, so this length may not be comfortable for taller people.” Ergonomics scored a 3.5 out of 5.

LCD Screen on the Sunny Health and Fitness SF E3912

Assembly was a burden and took Meier about an hour and a half to complete by herself. “The diagrams in the user manual were complicated, and getting the pedals to attach took trial and error,” she noted, giving assembly a 3.8 out of 5.

Best Compact Elliptical for Seniors: Niceday Elliptical Machine

Niceday Elliptical Machine

Niceday Elliptical Machine

This quiet elliptical from Niceday has a 16-pound flywheel, 16 resistance levels, and comes 90 percent assembled. Plus, it doesn’t require external power, so you don’t have to worry about where to plug it in. 

Shop Amazon


Price: $799.99

Resistance Levels: 16

Stride Length: 15.5”

Weight Capacity: 400lbs

Dimensions: 62” H x 48” L x 25” W

Product Weight: 106lbs


It takes up 8.33 square feet of floor space, well under the 11- to 13-square-foot average taken up by most ellipticals we’ve tested. 

The 400-pound user weight capacity is 100 pounds more than the standard elliptical.

Per our tester, this elliptical is quiet while in use.


The 15.5-inch stride length may not be comfortable for taller riders.

There are no Bluetooth capabilities on this machine.

The 16-pound flywheel is on the low end of the 16- to 20-pound flywheels we tend to see on the average elliptical.

The Niceday Elliptical Machine takes up 8.33 square feet, making it roughly 3 to 6 square feet smaller than the average elliptical. “For those in tight quarters, some of the appeal for this machine comes with the ability to use this wherever you have space, since it doesn’t need to be plugged into a power source,” says certified personal trainer and BarBend editorial member Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1. Footprint, portability, delivery, and setup all scored a 4 out of 5.

This compact machine has built-in transport wheels and weighs just 106 pounds. “It’s a lightweight elliptical, and the built-in wheels make tipping this thing over and rolling it out of the way relatively easy,” noted Meier. While these wheels can get the job done, don’t expect premium parts and construction here. “They’re fairly stiff, so rolling it around wasn’t super smooth,” Meier added.

Meier did a 15-minute interval workout, cycling through all of the 16 levels of resistance available. “There isn’t any programming on this elliptical, or Bluetooth that would allow you to pair with an app, but if you’re looking for a simple, super-quiet elliptical, this could be the right fit,” she says. 

[Related: The Best Interval Running Workouts and Tips from Top Running Coaches]

The 16-pound flywheel is on the bottom range of the 16- to 20-pound flywheels we like to see on ellipticals. Plus, the 15.5-inch stride length may be too short for some riders. We tend to look for ellipticals with a 20-inch stride to allow for a more ergonomic experience for a wider range of user heights. 

“I’m 5 feet 4 inches and I wasn’t uncomfortable with this stride length, but anybody taller than me might not find this length ideal,” mentioned Meier, who scored workout experience and ergonomics a 3.5 out of 5.

While tech is limited, there are heart rate pulse sensors on the handlebars and an LCD display that provides training metrics like time, speed, calories, distance, and pulse. These tech capabilities scored a 3 out of 5.

Best Under-Desk Elliptical for Seniors: Cubii GO

Cubii GO

Cubii GO

This under-desk elliptical has 10 levels of resistance to help add some cardio to your work day. It also comes with a telescopic handle and transport wheels, so you can move this compact machine from the office to wherever else you want to squeeze in some movement.

Shop Cubii


Price: $299.99

Resistance Levels: 10

Stride Length: 6.25”

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Dimensions: 10” H x 23.5” L x 17.5” W

Product Weight: 21.8lbs


The compact 10-inch height of this elliptical can easily fit under your office desk to help you stay active during the workday.

The telescopic handle and transport wheels, similar to what you’ll see on rolling luggage, allow for easier movement.

Most users can easily carry this machine since it only weighs 21.8 pounds.


Tech on this machine is limited to a basic LCD display that may be difficult to view while pedaling.

Athletes or those looking for more training intensity may be dissatisfied by this machine’s 10 levels of resistance.

If you’re looking for an office workout or to stay active while you’re seated on the couch, the Cubii Go is our choice for the best under-desk elliptical for seniors. This fun-sized elliptical provides 10 levels of resistance and takes up only 2.86 square feet of floor space. It measures just 10 inches tall, which should allow you to pedal comfortably while sitting at desks between 28 and 30 inches tall.

Our tester using the Cubii Move while working on her computer.

While there are a couple of options offered by Cubii, we chose the GO model for this roundup due to its 21.8-pound weight, telescopic handle, and transport wheels, which can make moving this unit around easier for seniors or those with limited mobility. 

The tech on this machine is limited to a basic LCD display that provides basic stats like stride count, mileage, calories burned, and duration. However, it’s important to take some of these readings with a grain of salt, since a calorie counter without the ability to track heart rate or consider your current weight may not provide a true prediction of energy expenditure. 

Close look at our tester pedaling on the Cubii Move under-desk elliptical.

Additionally, this screen is locked onto the under-desk elliptical, which may make viewing your stats while in use difficult for some users.

[Related: Best Under-Desk Ellipticals]

The 10 levels of resistance may not be suitable for serious cyclists or more advanced athletes, but many seniors reviewing the machine have said it suits their purposes just fine. A 70-year-old reviewer who uses this machine as a rehab tool noted, “It’s great equipment and [has] helped me to gain my strength back.” 

How Much Do the Best Ellipticals for Seniors Cost?

Our roundup of the best ellipticals for seniors includes options for all types of budgets, from big-ticket buys around $1,799 to bare-bones models costing as little as $300. The chart below gives you a quick glance at how much you can expect to spend on one of these home-use cardio machines.

Options creeping towards $2,000 tend to offer HD touchscreen and integration with apps like iFIT, which allows you to take trainer-led classes and immersive scenic rides. However, this programming will require a subscription fee that costs an additional $39 a month after a free one-month trial. The picks on the lower end of the price spectrum may not offer fancy displays or integrated apps, but they’ll still provide sturdy rides, a variety of training intensities, and some built-in programming to assist your routine.

What to Consider When Buying an Elliptical for Seniors

“Ellipticals, even the simpler, budget-friendly models, are machines with many components, so potential buyers should be aware of what’s considered standard, better, and best when it comes to elliptical specifications,” mentions Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC,

Whether you’re the star of your silver sneaker fitness class or are an older adult just looking for a little more movement in your day, there are some key factors to consider before bringing an elliptical into your home.

[Related: What to Consider Before Buying an Elliptical Machine]


“You’ll pay a lot of money to get top-tier features on an elliptical, just like you will for any other big piece of cardio equipment. While there are plenty of budget-friendly ellipticals available, they won’t check all of the boxes for a lot of people. Additionally, higher-end models are generally very heavy and can be unsafe for one person to move on their own. White glove delivery and assembly, which costs extra, might be required,” mentions Capritto.

Set a budget range of what you’d like to spend and what you’re willing to spend, then peruse our list of ellipticals for models that fit within your means. Keep in mind that ellipticals with iFIT programming will require an additional $39 monthly subscription. Also, check out the links to the products we’ve listed since the prices for some models can fluctuate and go on sale.

User-Friendly Controls

While some feature-rich cardio equipment may seem alluring, you’ll want to make sure the ease of use and navigation process on this equipment is something with which you’ll feel comfortable. There’s no shame in struggling with technology — in fact, understanding your tech literacy can help guide you toward or away from equipment that may not suit you.

Sole E25 elliptical center console and integrated tablet holder

Keep a look out for consoles with easy-press buttons for adjustments, simple tension resistance turn knobs, and LCD screens that are large enough for you to view your stats and training metrics. When building a workout program, the less struggle you have with your equipment, the more you’ll be able to focus on your training.

Cushioned Pedals

While I love to recommend HOKA running shoes for those who need some extra cushion beneath their steps, many ellipticals come with cushioned pedals to provide added support for achy knees and joints. I shattered my ankle in college when I rode a boogie board down a staircase, and I’ve found the extra cushioning on cardio machine pedals can help keep the arthritis that’s developed from acting up.

Ease of Assembly

Ellipticals are often large machines that require many steps to put together. When assembly was a struggle for our tester, we made sure to recommend having a helping hand or opting for white glove service, where the company will send out a team to build the equipment for you for an additional fee. If you plan on putting your elliptical together by yourself, look for smaller builds and fewer components. 

Benefits of the Best Ellipticals for Seniors

For those who need low-impact exercise options, ellipticals sit near the top of the list. These cardio machines provide a full-body workout without putting undue stress on the joints,” says BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC.

Purchasing an elliptical can provide you with a sweaty, calorie-burning, low-impact cardio workout from the comfort of your own home. Access to this type of workout puts the benefits of cardio exercise within reach, like lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease. (1)

Less Pain, Low-Impact Cardio

“Ellipticals are a wonderful option for individuals who want to increase their cardio exercise volume but need a low-impact way to do it,”  notes Capritto, “Compared to other forms of low-impact cardio, like cycling and rowing, ellipticals keep the user in the upright position, making them ideal for individuals who struggle with back pain, too.”

Since your feet are in constant contact with the moving pedals, there’s less downward force that can cause impact, pain, or discomfort on your knees or joints. This allows users to torch calories, strengthen their hearts, and improve their mental health while protecting their bodies from high-impact exercises. (4)

Strong Bones

Elliptical training is considered a weight-bearing exercise, meaning your bones are fighting against gravity to keep your body upright. This weight-bearing work, unlike riding on an exercise bike from a seated position, can help strengthen bones. In fact, the bone density benefits from elliptical training are similar to that of running when done for equal amounts of time. (5)

Small Footprint

While the price of exercise equipment is often one of the primary deciding points when navigating your options, figuring out if you have enough floor space can be the next hurdle before pulling the trigger. Most of the ellipticals we’ve come across take up between 11 to 13 square feet of floor space, however, many options on our list are even smaller, going as small as 3 square feet for under-desk options to around 8 square feet for a standard machine. 

Additionally, ellipticals tend to be more narrow than treadmills by about 8 or 10 inches, which can leave more floor space available in your home.

Total-Body Workout

Ellipticals provide a total body workout, primarily hitting muscle groups in your arms and legs. The moving handles can help strengthen your triceps, biceps, and shoulders depending on your grip and pushing-pulling intensity, and the moving pedals primarily benefit your lower body, targeting your glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Additionally, to maintain that upright posture, you need to engage your core.

[Related: What Muscles Does An Elliptical Work?]

Final Word

For seniors looking for access to low-impact home gym equipment, ellipticals can provide a heart-boosting cardio session without causing added irritation to knees and joints. While there’s a wealth of options vying for your consideration, take into account the type of training you’d like to do and your current ability. Do you want incline capabilities to kick your routine up a level? Do you need a machine that’s lightweight and easy to move? How much space do you have available to dedicate to an elliptical in your home or home gym?

No matter your fitness level, starting a new routine and bringing new equipment into your home can be scary, so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re rolling solo — YOLO — consider paying extra for expert assembly (or bake some special brownies for your handy neighbor). Before you pull the trigger and make your purchase, make a list of your must-haves and use our list to help you find the perfect fit.


What is the best elliptical for seniors?

While some seniors may only want a bare-bones elliptical for their homes, we picked the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i as the best elliptical for seniors because it has it all. This elliptical has a 14-inch HD touchscreen, adjustable stride length, and -5 to 15-percent incline and decline capabilities. The 32-pound flywheel provides a smooth and stable ride, and the cushioned foot pedals feel super cozy compared to standard ellipticals with basic plastic pedals.

Is a treadmill or an elliptical better for seniors?

While elliptical machines are great for a low-impact workout, treadmills are also worthy considerations for seniors who are looking to work on mobility or aid in weight loss. While both of these workouts are weight bearing, walking, running, and jogging on a treadmill can deliver more of an impact on your joints than working out on an elliptical. Before purchasing either option, it’s best to check in with your primary care physician to discuss your potential new fitness routine.

How long should a senior use an elliptical?

How much cardio is too much? Since everyone’s different, there’s no one hard rule about how long users should work out on an elliptical. However, most older adults can aim for around 10 to 15 minutes to start. If you’re new to this type of training, or are just coming back to it after some time away, make sure not to go too hard too fast. It’s best to start slow, and gradually increase your time or the resistance as you build your foundation.


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