Top Home Use
Since time immemorial, there’s been a stark difference between the best commercial ellipticals and ones designed for homes use.
One look at the machine and you could spot the difference. It was as evident as chalk and cheese to be honest.
Commercial units were made of better components, had beefier frames, tough motors and markedly better warranties.
Our Top Picks
Schwinn 470 - Best Commercial Grade for Home Use
- Commercially Rated
- Built to Last
- Extremely Quiet
- Extremely Popular & Highly Rated
- Has All Features Needed
- This is the Elliptical That I Personally Own in my Basement
Sole E25 - Best Elliptical for Commercial Use
- Built For Gyms & Commercial Use
- Most Popular Elliptical In Big Public Gyms
- Highest Rated Commercial Elliptical You'll Find
- Built To Last - Thing is a Freaking Tank -Extremely Reliable
- Comparatively Affordable when Compared to the Competition, yet it's built better.
- Has all The Features Needed
Sole E25 - Best Hybrid Trainer Elliptical for Commercial Use
- Stairstepper Elliptical Cross Trainer. Nuff Said.
- Best for Users Who Want the Best Of Both Worlds.
- Built for Commercial Use
- Built To Last - Extremely Reliable
- All Bells & Whistles
- Comes in at an Affordable Price
Home units seemed pale in comparison to commercial units.
However, home workouts have become more popular in the last few years. The deep-rooted belief that you have to drive down to the gym every day to stay fit, has started to change.
As a result, there have been a bunch of really good elliptical machines that can seamlessly blend in both places, homes as well as gyms.
Today, we will share our views on some of the best commercial ellipticals for both, home use as well as for a commercial setting.
Our Top Commercial Rated Home Use Picks
Schwinn 470 Compact Elliptical Machine
Editors Choice - Best Overall
Best Bang For Buck
Horizon fitness EX-59
Best Commercial Ellipticals for Home Use or Those on a Budget
It’s a great time to be working out from home. You have this expansive choice of fitness gear to pick from, that can rival the ones that you’d see in a commercial setting.
But what if you are on a shoestring budget?
Can you still get the same quality?
Absolutely. Here are four commercial ellipticals for those on a budget.
1. Schwinn 470 - Best Overall Commercial Rated Home Use Elliptical
- 20-pound flywheel
- 20-inch stride length
- Large foot pedals
- Precision Path Foot Motion Technology
- Sensors to track the heart rate
- 25-levels of EC resistance
- 29-workout presets
- RunSocial app
- Blue backlit LCD screen
- Speaker, water bottle holder and USB charging port
The Schwinn 470 is the mid-range model from Schwinn’s commercial range of ellipticals. It is compact enough, boasts of an extremely ergonomic design and comes with a 20-pound flywheel.
It weighs just 164 lbs. and yet has an impressive max user weight capacity of 300 lbs.
You get roomy footplates that will help users of all heights and weights, get a comfortable position on the elliptical, and there’s Schwinn’s Precision Path Foot Motion Technology which mimics your natural running motion.
On the handlebars, which are amongst the most ergonomic ones that we have used, there are integrated sensors to track your heart rate. You can also use telemetry heart rate monitoring, provided that you have the chest strap.
For those who are unaware, telemetry also allows you to track more detailed parameters like blood oxygen levels and pressure.
You can choose from one of the 25 levels of eddy current resistance and you can also incline the unit by 10-degrees, if you are looking to make your workouts more challenging. In addition to this, there are 29 preset workouts that include goal-specific options like HIIT, fitness tests and custom ones.
The elliptical is also compatible with the RunSocial app, which you can use to add some variety to your workouts, as well as simulate outdoor conditions.
You can store up to 4-user profiles on the Schwinn 470.
The console is a blue backlit LCD screen that has a dual-track display. If you are using a tablet on the portable device holder, only a part of the display gets blocked, giving you access to the important information, like distance covered and calories burnt.
There are a bunch of other convenience features too, like sealed acoustic chamber speakers, a cooling fan, a water bottle holder and a USB charging port.
If you were to buy a dedicated commercial unit with all these features, you’ll have to cough up at least a couple of thousand more. The Schwinn 470 brings terrific value to the table.
2. Schwinn 430
Best Bang For Your Buck
- 20” stride
- Compact footprint
- Water bottle holder, media rack and USB charging port
- DualTrack LCD display
- 20 Eddy Current resistance levels
- 22 preset workout programs
- Heart rate sensors
- 10-degree manual incline
Priced a little lesser than our #1 pick, the Schwinn 430 has an impressive feature-list as well, that can more than suffice for a comfortable and challenging workout for you and your family.
It has a 20” stride, pretty much on par with the best in the business and it comes with Precision Path foot motion technology, which ensures that you have a natural, full-range of motion while working out.
You can choose from 20 Eddy Current resistance levels; you can manually incline it by 10-degrees in 6-incremental positions to make your workouts tougher.
If that wasn’t enough, there are 22-preset workout programs on board and you can store two user profiles. 9 of these are workout profiles, 8 are heart-rate based programs and 2 are fitness tests.
The form factor is a little smaller than the 470. But it has a very similar construction. A heavy duty metal frame, plush foot pedals that give you great traction, and ergonomic handlebars that ensure that your shoulders, arms and neck muscles don’t get over exerted as you work out.
It is a Bluetooth-compatible unit and you can log all your vital details with any fitness program of your choice.
In addition to the standard features, like a device holder and a water bottle holder, the Schwinn 430 also has a media rack for portable devices and a USB charging port allows you to charge your device on-the-go.
A 3-speed fan keeps you cool while the DualTrack LCD display keeps you informed about the vitals.
Overall, there’s very little difference between the Schwinn 470 and the 430. The 470 offers you more resistance, more preset workouts and more user profiles which might be better for a larger family.
But if you are empty nesters or a nuclear family, you might find the 430 to be an equally good option.
3. Horizon fitness EX-59
- 18” stride
- 14.3 lbs. flywheel
- 10-Eddy current resistance levels
- 10-preset workouts
- Oversized pedals
- Ergonomic handlebars
- Water bottle holder
- Device holder
- 4.5” LCD display
- Great warranty
The EX-59 is the entry-level model from Horizon Fitness that boasts of a feature-list comparable with some much higher-priced commercial units.
It is a six-star rated unit, which means it has all six features that allow a natural, comfortable gait.
These features are a design that allows you to stay upright (not forward-leaning), perfect foot pedal spacing, handlebar spacing, easy step-up height of 10”, smooth motion due to the flywheel and a natural, full-range of motion when you move.
The EX-59 has a 14.3-lbs. flywheel that gives you a very smooth-running machine. There’s no jarring or sporadic resistance jitters. It works like a charm.
The stride is 18”, which is only a feather lesser than the 20” standard stride in this category of machines. The pedals are oversized and adjustable as well.
Arm bars as well as foot pedals are spaced evenly and ergonomically, ensuring that you don’t end up exerting muscles that you shouldn’t.
There are 10 Eddy Current resistance levels and 10-preset workouts integrated into the machine for some variety and to add some extra buzz to your workouts.
On the top, you have a 4.5” console that’s bright, colorful and shows you the deets in clear, large fonts.
The things that are missing here are an incline function and a cooling fan.
Are those deal breakers?
Certainly not for us.
4. ProForm Endurance
- 15-pound flywheel
- 19” adjustable stride
- Stainless steel frame
- Front drive design
- 18 Eddy Current resistance levels
- 18-preset workout programs
- Option to sign up for iFit
- Large LCD display
The ProForm PFEL55916 is one of the best commercial elliptical machines for home use.
It’s a tad smaller than the Schwinns. But with a 15-pound flywheel and a 19” stride length, we don’t see why this cannot give you as good a workout as any.
The PFEL55916 boasts of a front drive design and has a durable stainless steel frame. No wobbling or squeaking noises mid workout.
Rubberized feet under the unit ensure that it stays as steady as a rock when its functional.
It has an adjustable stride length with a maximum of 19”. This means that users of different heights and ages in the house can use it without overexerting their muscles.
We love the oversized and adjustable foot pedals as well as the soft grip handles with the built-in heart rate sensors. Gives you a comfortable position to start off with and your feet get a fair amount of traction too, so that they don’t slide forward on the pedal.
You can choose from 18 Eddy Current-based resistance levels, which are very challenging. To add to this, there are 18-preset workout programs as well.
If you find that to be inadequate, you have the option to sign up for iFit.
In fact, that is one of our complaints with this machine. It asks you to activate your elliptical to be able to use it (totally unncessary) and then sneakily takes you to the iFit website where they ask you for your credit card details.
Please remember this.
- Only the first 30-days of this so-called membership are free.
- You can activate the unit without an iFit membership. Just check the iFit button on the top corner of the console and deep press it for 30-seconds. That’s it. You can skip the entire registration bullshit and start exercising.
Other than this tiny quibble with an easy workaround, we just loved the Proform pfel55916.
Our Top Picks For Commercial Use
Precor EFX 835
Editors Choice - Best Overall
Best Bang For Buck
Commercial Elliptical Reviews
If you aren’t limited by Benjamin, then you have an extensive range of commercial ellipticals to choose from.
Here are five of them that we feel will be a great fit for a commercial setting, and/or your home if need be.
1. Precor EFX 835
Best Overall Elliptical for Commercial Use
- Unique design with a converging cross ramp
- Narrow handlebars and foot pedals
- 21” stride
- Thick, sizeable foot pedals
- 20-magnetic resistance levels
- 15-preset workout programs
- P30 Console
The Precor EFX835 is a different beast altogether that has a unique design with a converging cross ramp.
At first glance, that might seem gimmicky. But the moment you step on it, you’ll realize that this creates a more natural range of motion, as compared to conventional treadmills.
The 21” stride is perfect for tall and heavy users who find the 20” option too limiting. You get comfortable handlebars and thick, sizeable foot pedals that keep you comfortable throughout. To add to this, it has a max user weight capacity of 500 lbs.
There are 20-magnetic resistance levels which range from easy to almost impossible. In addition to this, there’s an option to set an incline from 10-35-degrees and 15 preset workout programs that are neatly categorized into variety, performance, heart rate controlled, manual and interval.
The EFX 835 features Precor’s new P30 console that displays 20+ work out details. The buttons are intuitively positioned and the visuals are crisp and bright, ensuring that even seniors get clear visibility. You also have the option to connect a PVS (Personal Viewing Screen) and PEP (Personal Entertainment Player).
Overall, you’d be hard pressed to find a better combination of features at this price point.
2. Sole e25
Best Bang For Buck Elliptical For Commercial Use
- Compact commercial-grade unit
- 20” stride
- 20 lbs. flywheel
- 10-inbuilt workout programs
- 20 incline settings
- Comfortable, ergonomic design
- 350 lbs. max weight capacity
The Sole E25 is a beast of an elliptical machine that surprisingly, is available for a very, very affordable price.
We emphasized on Very and used it twice. We don’t usually do that. Here’s why we feel that the Sole E25 brings great value to the table.
It has a stride of 20” (not adjustable though), a max user weight capacity of 350 lbs. and a 20 lbs. flywheel that keeps it working butter smooth. There is no noise at all except for a gentle whirr as the wheels turn. The weight capacity means that there’s ample scope for the entire family to use this.
The form factor is pretty compact at 70” long and 24” wide. It can fit into any small room (like a basement) and in a fitness center, it allows you to add some much-needed versatility to your cardio station without hogging space.
There are 10 inbuilt workout programs and 20 incline settings to rev up your workout levels. You can choose from Cardio, a dedicated fat burning routine, an uphill climb, Interval training and Strength building.
A 6.5” LCD display, which is amongst the biggest ones that we’ve seen, is just the first of a large list of convenience features which include an integrated speaker, a device holder and a cooling fan.
Apart from the touch-sensors built into the handlebars, the Sole E25 also comes with a heart strap for more detailed statistics.
3. Sole e35
- Heavy duty construction
- Max weight capacity of 375 lbs.
- 20” stride
- Front-drive design
- 30-levels of incline
- 10-workout programs
- Bluetooth compatible with fitness apps
- 7.5” backlit LCD display
If you thought that the entry-level model from Sole gives you great bang for your buck, the E35, which is the mid-range model combines some best-in-class specifications with terrific build quality.
Make no mistake, this is one of the best commercial ellipticals and its built like one.
It has a beefy stainless steel frame, a front-drive design and a 25 lbs. flywheel that makes the operation extremely smooth. The max weight capacity is 375 lbs. and if you ever got unsettled by working out on a wobbly elliptical machine, this is just what you need.
It stays rock solid.
The stride is a sizeable 20” and the power ramp can be adjusted to 30-levels of incline. That’s more than what you’ll get in many higher priced machines.
Ergonomics are top notch. The pedal has a two-degree inward incline as recommended by physical therapists and you can further select from three-angles for this. Lots of cushioning too. Handlebars have ample padding and are positioned perfectly for a comfortable workout without straining your upper body.
You get 10-integrated workout programs which can be selected from the 7.5″ backlit LCD display screen. That might seem limited. But it’s Bluetooth enabled and you can just sync it with any fitness app of your choice to add some variety.
4. NordicTrack 12.9
- Auto-adjusting stride from 17-19”
- 30 lbs. Flywheel
- 24-digitally powered resistance levels
- 20% incline
- Sizeable foot pedals with firm grip
- 7” web-enabled touchscreen display
- Auto-cooling fan
- One-year free iFit membership
- Casters on the front for easy transportation
NordicTrack is one of our favorite brands of fitness equipment and the C 12.9 is their mid-level, commercial offering that boasts of a 17-19” adjustable stride among a range of other best-in-class features.
The stride auto-adjusts by the way, depending on the level of incline or the workout preset that you select. This takes guesswork out of it and also allows you to target specific muscle groups depending on your fitness goal.
We also loved the thick, sizeable foot pedals that give you a firm grip on the machine. There’s zero chances of slippages even when you are working out at the highest setting.
The 30 lbs. Flywheel keeps things butter-smooth and you can choose from 24-digitally powered resistance levels, in addition to 20% of incline.
Everything, right from the resistance to the speed, can be controlled on the 7” web enabled touchscreen display. It’s so easy to use even on-the-go.
We also liked the intuitive placement of the auto-cooling fan. We have seen fans crammed in awkward places on an elliptical, almost like an afterthought. Not this. You will get a cool breeze on your face and torso.
What increases the value proposition of this machine is the 1-year iFit membership that you get bundled in the package. That alone is worth $365.
You get access to tons of workout programs and on-demand, live trainers who can guide you with the best workouts. To be fair, the C 12.9 is a terrific purchase for your commercial setting, even without the iFit membership.
Our Top Hybrid Elliptical Trainers
Bowflex Max Trainer M7
Editors Choice - Best Overall
Proform elliptical trainer
Best Bang For Your Buck
Best Commercial Elliptical Hybrid Trainers
If you are looking for commercial-grade full body trainers, then here are our picks.
1. Bowflex max trainer M7
Best Overall Hybrid Trainer for Commercial Use
- Full-body trainer for low-impact exercising
- Sports-grade, stainless steel construction
- 11-workout programs
- 20 computer-controlled resistance levels
- Oversized, dual-backlit LCD/LED displays
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Sync with the Max trainer App to use goal-specific workouts
The Bowflex M7 Max Trainer is a total-body, cross trainer that keeps your joints happy as you work out.
Ellipticals were always designed to be low-intensity workout machines as compared to treadmills. But that might not be the case always.
If you find them too harsh on your joints, the M7 can give you the same intensity of workout minus the pain. In fact, a lot of sportsmen have switched over to the Max Trainers these days.
Everything about the M7 screams quality. It’s built from ground up with stainless steel, including the foot pedals, which are sports-quality racing pedals.
The handles are commercial-grade with built-in heart rate sensors. You also have the option to upgrade to Aerobars if need be. These are triathlon bars with forearm rests that let you lean forward in a more aerodynamic position.
While the specifications might not seem to be special, the big draw about Bowflex M7 is the tech.
There’s tons of tech in the machine. For starters, it automatically detects your intensity and workout progression and adapts to it. In a nutshell, it’s an AI coach.
If you don’t need that option, you can select from one of the 11-workout programs built into it. Or from one of the 20 computer controlled resistance levels.
The oversized, dual-backlit LCD/LED display keeps you aware of the details as well as your workout progression and comparisons with your previous levels.
You can also sync it (Bluetooth 4.0) with the Max Trainer® App to add more variety to your workouts or to use the trainer to target specific body parts. Oh yes, you can do that. You can choose from strength training, cardio, HIIT, heart-rate-based programs as well as workout any of your major muscle group.
If you still haven’t used a Bowflex, we highly recommend the M7. Since Bowflex released the M8, which is like the Cadillac of full body trainers, you can get the M7 at a great price.
2. Proform Elliptical Trainer
Best Bang For Your Buck
- Unique, hybrid design
- Low impact HIIT workouts
- Adjustable foot pedals and handlebars
- Grip pulse sensors
- 28-pound flywheel
- 24-resistance settings
- One-month of iFit membership
- 7” LED display
The Proform Elliptical trainer is designed for athletes who seek an HIIT workout without straining their joints.
Tough ask, we know. But Proform walks the talk with this.
It looks like a hybrid between a stair climber and an elliptical. That’s precisely what it is.
It gives you the calorie burn of a mountain climber with the low-impact design of the elliptical trainer.
You’ll be able to work out on this for an hour without the slightest of impacts on your ankles, knees, shoulders and wrists. The foot pedal rises by about 10-inches while moving 5-inches forward during the workout, while the commercial-grade handlebars workout your upper body like a sparring session.
Great combo for calorie burn as well as for resistance training.
It has a 28-pound flywheel for smooth operation and 24-resistance settings to choose from. In addition to this, there are 32-workout programs that come bundled in it.
Also, you get a one-month complimentary iFit membership. So there’s no dearth of workout programs really.
The 7” LED display shows you the standard details. Surprisingly, it doesn’t show iFit workouts. You’ll have to sync your tablet or smartphone for that. Or you can upgrade to the Pro version which comes with a 10” LCD display that can live cast the workouts.
Talking about iFit, you should give it a try if you haven’t yet.
You can download unlimited workouts with live street simulations from Google Maps. It’s terrific.
Overall, we like the unique design and the ample workout options that come with the ProForm full body trainer. It should be a great addition to any commercial setting.
How to Choose the Best Commercial Elliptical
With tons of elliptical trainers in the market, and most of them trying to masquerade as commercial-grade units, how do you ensure that you have a true-blue commercial model?
Here are some of the important factors to consider before you shop.
The Stride Length
In a commercial setting, multiple people will be using the elliptical. So, if you have a machine that has a fixed, short stride length, then it may not serve the purpose. Even in a home gym, you need an elliptical trainer that has a variable/adjustable stride length. The average stride length for commercial units is 18-21”. There are a few models that provide up to 24”, but they are ridiculously expensive even by commercial-standards.
The heavier the flywheel, smoother the operation of the machine. Ellipticals designed for home use will have flywheels weighing between 14-20 lbs., while the best commercial ellipticals have 20-30 lbs. flywheels.
To make things easier for you, we have picked models that have flywheels of varying weights.
Resistance and Incline
A quality commercial elliptical trainer will have an extensive range of resistance that can be adjusted digitally. The exact levels might differ depending on the brand and model you select.
Apart from having a bunch of resistance levels, it should also be easy to adjust and use. Controls positioned around the display console are the easiest to use followed by arm-bar controls.
Most of the best commercial ellipticals will have a bunch of built-in workouts. That’s a given. But eventually, you are going to outgrow these workouts and crave for some additional customization. That’s where third-party apps come into the picture.
Compatibility with third-party apps is vital if you or the members of your gym demand variety in their workouts.
IFit alone can give you access to almost 16000 workouts. Go figure.
Personally, we don’t pay much attention to whether an elliptical has a water bottle holder or a USB-port or a tablet rack. But there are some users who consider these to be key features.
So, you might want to consider these while shopping for the best commercial ellipticals.
FAQ buyers have when shopping for a commercial elliptical
If you were wondering about the difference between a commercial elliptical and one designed for home use, then here are some answers that will help clear the air.
Q. What Are The Different types of elliptical machines?
A. Believe it or not, there are many different types of elliptical machines that you can buy. But with most of them, the differences are very subtle and the features overlap each other. For example, the elliptical cross trainer and the elliptical glider are almost the same in the design. The only difference is that the glider does not have the flywheel.
Having said that, there are two distinct types of Elliptical trainers that you’ll come across.
Front Drive Ellipticals
A front drive elliptical has the flywheel positioned on the front of the machine while the roller-tracks are positioned at the rear. This gives them a lower-profile design, closer to the ground as compared to a rear-drive unit. Makes it easier to hop on to for everybody in the house. Also, their designs are somewhat similar to stair climbers which means that you can get a vertical range of motion (More calories)
Rear Drive Elliptical
Rear drive units are the exact opposite. The flywheel is on the rear while the roller-tracks are positioned on the front. Rear wheel units are the oldest design and provide a comfortable, natural gait as you walk. But the movement is more horizontal which may not be as effective as front-drive units.
Hybrid Elliptical Trainers
These machine are a mix between a stairstepper machine and an elliptical. These are especially good for people who want to build their booty and want to have the best of both worlds.
Is a standard elliptical trainer better than an Elliptical cross trainer?
Standard Elliptical trainers are designed primarily for cardiovascular workouts and for low-impact lower body workouts. These require you to step-up on the pedal and do the exercise while standing up all the time.
You will not be able to recline, or lean forward or be seated at any point of time.
A cross trainer on the other hand is designed for a total-body workout. Depending on the brand and the model, it may resemble a stair master or even a stationary bike. It may or may not have a seat. If it does, you can be seated while you push the foot pedals forward or backward.
It’s still low impact mind you. But you have more options on the body parts that you can target and the type of workouts you can do on an elliptical cross trainer.
Commercial ellipticals vs residential ellipticals
Last but not the least, what are the primary differences in commercial and residential elliptical machines?
- Commercial ones are beefier with heavier duty frames. These are designed for vigorous use by multiple users
- These have heavier flywheels which makes the operation smoother
- These have more magnetic resistance levels to choose from
- These are ideal for HIIT, strength training or any other type of custom workout
- These have bigger strides, roomier foot pedals and adjustable handle bars
That’s it folks. That sums up our list of the best commercial ellipticals. We hope that enjoyed reading our recommendations.
If you have anything to add, there’s the comment box right below this.