One of the best ways to ensure we remain healthy is by implementing a consistent and heart-healthy exercise plan. When it comes to in-home workouts, there are few better ways to conduct low-impact cardio than through ellipticals.
Ellipticals are among the most in-demand machines both at fitness centers and for home use. This popularity is likely because these stationary exercise machines allow people to enjoy fitness activities without putting pressure on their joints. In turn, this minimizes workout pain and decreases the risk of injury.
After hours of research and investigation, we identified five machines that met our standards for the Best Elliptical Machines for Seniors. Read on to learn which ellipticals made the list and which factors made them stand out to us.
When choosing the best ellipticals for seniors, we looked for the following criteria:
Low-impact exercise: Low-impact exercise, which is gentle on the joints and can be performed in a fluid motion, is a common need among older adults, especially those who have arthritis or orthopedic issues. All ellipticals provide low-impact workouts, yet some machines offer less impact than others.
Stability: A machine that will remain still and noise-free is important to most customers, but it’s critical for seniors who are more susceptible to falls and injuries.
Price: We searched for ellipticals that provide the best value for their price, as well as devices that fall in an affordable range for the average American senior. We also made a point to include budget machines for those on tighter incomes.
Warranties: With most ellipticals costing several hundred dollars, we looked for machines that offered protection against damage and defects.
Senior Ellipticals Compared
Schwinn Fitness 430 Elliptical
70.1″ (L) x 28.2″ (W) x 63.2″ (H)
Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Electronics: 1 year
Labor: 90 days
2 user profiles
22 preset exercise programs
20 resistance levels
Schwinn Connect goal tracking
Heart rate contact grasps
Charging USB port
Sole E25 Elliptical
71″ (L) x 24″ (W) x 70″ (H)
Parts, Electronics, Labor: 3 years
30-day money-back guarantee
Connected fitness partner with 3,000 instructor-led fitness on-demand classes
Integrated tablet holder
20 resistance levels
Doufit Elliptical Machine
50″ (L) x 25″ (W) x 62″ (H)
1 year on all parts
30-day money-back guarantee
Digital monitor and pulse sensor
8 manual resistance levels
Professional technical service team
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
The Schwinn 430 offers a high-quality workout at a budget cost. Equipped with an abundance of digital and design features typically common on more expensive machines, the Schwinn 430 allows users to select from 22 pre-programmed routines or set their own pace and intensity with its 20 resistance levels and six-setting adjustable ramp.
Regardless of workout choice, the Schwinn 430 enables users to establish goals and visually track their progress. A front-drive machine, the Schwinn 430 doesn’t demand the significant space many other ellipticals do, and its moving arms provide users with a full-body workout. It’s also lower to the ground, making it easier for seniors with mobility issues to climb on. The console at the front of the machine features a dual LCD screen setup and Bluetooth connectivity, which allows it to export users’ exercise data.
Many aspects of the Schwinn 430 are particularly convenient for older adults. With Precision Path foot motion technology, the machine helps users mimic the body’s natural running motion for a smooth ride and safe form. Another example of physical safety with the Schwinn 430 is its front flywheel design, which puts the machine’s pedals closer together, which places less strain on the hips.
Schwinn also offers a competitive warranty compared to providers of similar equipment. For example, ProForm offers only a two-year warranty on ellipticals — for the entire product. On the other hand, Schwinn guarantees the elliptical frame for 10 years. Parts are covered for two years, electronics for one year, and labor for 90 days. While Schwinn provides customers with a solid warranty, it does not give them options for extended protection, and it does not offer a lifetime warranty on the frame, as many comparable companies do.
At a slightly higher price point but arguably worth the cash, the Sole E25 offers premium fitness and safety features at a price the general population can manage financially. Designed in conjunction with a renowned physical therapist and sports expert, the award-winning SoleE25 elliptical is well known for its stability, low-impact workout, advanced console technology, and smooth, comfortable movement.
The Sole E25 is ideal for older adults because its construction ensures a remarkably low-impact workout that’s entirely free of strain on seniors’ most vulnerable areas, such as their knees, hips, and ankles. In addition, its heavy-duty steel frame and dual wheel design make your workouts safer, smoother, and more effective.
While using the Sole E25, you’ll have Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to listen to music from your smartphone through the elliptical’s speaker or automatically transfer your fitness data, including workouts, into the Sole App or other compatible fitness apps. You can use this handheld data for a little friendly competition with loved ones or to help inform your doctor or other professionals about the specifics of your progress. The console also features an integrated tablet holder with a USB port that charges your devices. Additionally, while the Sole E25 and Schwinn 430 both feature adjustable ramps for additional incline options, the Sole’s incline is electronic.
Sole’s robust warranty includes a lifetime guarantee on the frame and motor. Additionally, the company provides a three-year warranty on parts, electronics, and labor.
The Doufit Elliptical Machine (EM-01), with its heavy-duty integrated steel frame, offers seniors a low-impact home workout at a discount store price. Seniors who like a quiet home or don’t want to disturb a resting spouse or grandchild will appreciate how the Duofit EM-01’s silent flywheel design keeps your workout quiet and smooth, without annoying wobbling or squeaking, even though that is common among other lightweight items.
Additionally, the Duofit’s textured and large foot pedals are helpful as they keep users from falling by increasing the friction from their shoes. This machine is lightweight, quiet, and easily one of the most affordable ellipticals on the market.
Duofit offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for undamaged products. Customers who purchased their elliptical from dealers like Amazon must provide proof of purchase with a date for the money-back guarantee or any warranty to be honored. After the initial 30 days, there’s a one-year warranty with access to the professional technical service team.
Advanced health-tracking features
Less durable than other ellipticals
4. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer - Best Digital Features
One of the most affordable full-size ellipticals on the market, the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer (SF-E905) offers users a compact, lightweight machine (only 68 pounds) with eight resistance levels and the option to design custom workouts to meet unique needs and fitness level. Large anti-slip foot pedals, which provide added stability and safety, offer older adults extra confidence about their well-being while using the Sunny SF-E905. Its front and rear stabilizers are another source of stability and support, and are effective on any ground surface.
Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, the Sunny SF-E905 employs a revolutionary magnetic resistance, which results in a smooth workout and maximum comfort without issues such as the machine shaking. Full motion, or moving, handlebars ensure that the user’s upper- and lower-body muscles are equally and simultaneously engaged. Seniors can also use the pulse monitoring system built into the stationary bars to ensure they are maintaining their target heart rate. When this is achieved, the heart is strengthened and pumps blood more efficiently. Your pulse and other exercise metrics can be viewed on the machine’s digital monitor and can be tracked to help you reach ideal results. These include time, speed, distance, and calories.
Finally, older adults, particularly those living in small spaces, will appreciate the ease of transporting the Sunny SF-E905. Customers never have to worry about lifting heavy parts. Instead, its convenient transport wheels allow users to tilt and roll the lightweight machine from room to room.
Sunny provides a three-year warranty on the frame and a 180-day warranty on other parts and components.
Custom workout feature
Designed for stability
Heart rate meters
Noisier than other machines
5. Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider - Most Compact Elliptical
For seniors with limited time for workouts, those who simply don’t enjoy sitting still, or individuals who have trouble getting onto or using a full-size elliptical, we recommend the steel-constructed Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider. This unique elliptical can be used while standing or sitting. For standing use, resistance bands with hand grips are a great way to maintain balance and exercise the arms in spite of a lack of handlebars.
With its lightweight, portable design, seniors can easily transport the Stamina InMotion E1000 to their chosen destination, whether that’s the workplace or in front of the living room television. It even has an easy handle for carrying. Unlike other ellipticals, under-desk ellipticals like the Stamina InMotion E1000 allow you to incorporate your exercise into other parts of your day. Think of it as the ultimate form of multitasking: You get your cardio in while watching your favorite sports teams, participating in a Zoom call, or catching up on work emails.
Like other ellipticals, the Stamina InMotion E1000 offers a low-impact workout designed to protect joints, and for older adults with poor blood circulation or who’ve recently had surgery, the backward and forward pedaling options promote muscle building and circulation.
Stamina Products, Inc. provides customers with a one-year warranty on the Stamina InMotion E1000’s frame and a 90-day warranty for defects in materials and workmanship. While Stamina’s compact E1000 offers seniors a convenient and budget-friendly workout option, customers should keep in mind they could be looking at steep fees for repairs or the cost of purchasing an entirely new machine less than three months after their initial purchase.
Can be used while seated
No dedicated handles
If you don’t find an elliptical you like here, use these five machines as a starting point for your search. First, determine which of the five is most similar to the elliptical that best fits your needs. Then look for machines with similar qualities as that one, as well as the additional features you prefer. Either way, you’ll soon be on your way to better health with a cardiovascular exercise routine and your chosen product.
To learn more about the best ways to stay in shape, be sure to check out our helpful guides:
Ellipticals are a great method of low-impact exercise for seniors, as they are gentle on joints. Of course, with any type of exercise, your health, fitness level, and experience will all determine whether an elliptical is the right choice for you.
Both treadmills and ellipticals can provide the aerobic exercise seniors should incorporate into their daily routines. That said, ellipticals tend to be much easier on joints, making them a safer option for older adults.
While under-desk ellipticals can be beneficial for a senior’s health, they do not provide the same impact as full-size ellipticals. In an hour, the average individual will burn 350 calories on a normal elliptical and only 150 on an under-desk elliptical.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here