The 7 Best Ellipticals For Seniors – [2020 Reviews]

An elliptical is truly one of the best workout options available for seniors today.

Especially beneficial if you have bad knees or are recovering from prior injury, these mimic the motion of running, but without the impact.

This is great news for seniors, as reducing the impact on your knees can do wonders for preserving bone health, density and mobility in the long run.

But not all ellipticals are created equal – the right one for you will depend on your body, strength levels and fitness goals, as well as your medical history.

To make your life a little easier, we’ve reviewed the top elliptical machines for seniors on the market today. Once you’re done reading, you should have no doubts about which is right for you.

Best Ellipticals For Seniors

 Bowflex Max Trainer EllipticalSunny Health Under Desk EllipticalMaxKare Home Elliptical
editorschoice
Type:StandingUnder DeskStanding
Dimensions:3.8 x 2 x 2 Feet 2 x 1.5 x 1 Feet3.3 x 1.6 x 5.5 Feet
Resistance Levels:888
Programs:2NoNo

For more of my workout gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Senior Treadmills, Under Desk Ellipticals, Senior Recumbent Bikes.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Ellipticals For Seniors

  1. Bowflex Max Trainer Series Elliptical
  2. Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Elliptical 
  3. MaxKare Home Elliptical Machine 
  4. Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Elliptical 
  5. Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine
  6. Body Power Trio Trainer Elliptical 
  7. Nautilus Elliptical Trainer Series

Our reviews to the top rated ellipticals for seniors with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right machine for you.


Senior Elliptical Reviews

The Bowflex Max Trainer combines the easy low-impact motion of an elliptical with the calorie burning power of a stepper. 

The result is one of the best elliptical machines for seniors on Amazon today.

It features an interactive backlit display with 2 workout programs and 8 different resistance levels so you can continue to challenge yourself even as your fitness level progresses.

Expand To See More

The unique display also offers calorie burn indicators and activity target levels that can help you achieve your goals faster.

In fact, the Bowflex delivers the same cardio benefits of high intensity interval training in as little as 14 minutes!

This product ships unassembled, but comes with a comprehensive assembly manual so putting it together will be a breeze.

Weighing in at 166 pounds, this sturdy elliptical offers a safe and reliable workout for those looking to increase their cardiovascular strength while protecting the bones from heavy impact.

 

Bowflex Max Trainer Series Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Type: Standing
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 2 x 2 Feet
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Programs: 2

Sunny Health & Fitness has packed all the power and functionality of a full-sized standing machine into a compact, portable under-desk elliptical.

This space-saving model features large textured foot pedals, 8 levels of magnetic resistance, and a digital monitor which tracks speed, time, calories and distance.

It fits under most desks, and with a centrally located transportation handle, you can easily move it between the home and office (or wherever you decide to use it!)

Expand To See More

You will get up to 7 inches of stride length and quiet, smooth performance from the integrated wheels.

It is excellent for increasing blood circulation, joint mobility, and improving the muscular endurance of your lower body, all while protecting the knees from impact. 

It arrives fully assembled, so you’ll be able to hop on it as soon as you receive the package in the mail.

This model is definitely one of the best cardio machines for bad knees.

 

Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Type: Under Desk
  • Dimensions: 2 x 1.5 x 1 Feet
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Programs: No

MaxKare has created a safe, high-tech and portable standing elliptical that will elevate your fitness levels while protecting your body from injury and impact.

It features 8 levels of variable resistance that can be adjusted easily with the turn of a dial, and a sturdy 11 pound flywheel for strong yet quiet strides.

The portable front wheel allows for easy transportation – simply tilt the machine slightly and wheel it around the house to wherever it needs to be.

Expand To See More

You’ll never have to worry about falling or instability – the foot pedals are wrapped in textured plastic for secure, no-slip grip.

Don’t forget to include arms in your workout with the dual action handle bars! When you touch the inner handles, your heart rate will be tracked and displayed on the advanced LCD display.

A mobile phone/iPad stand further adds to the convenience and comfort of this machine.

All features considered, this is one of the best ellipticals for seniors out there.

MaxKare Home Elliptical Machine at a Glance:

  • Type: Standing
  • Dimensions: 3.3 x 1.6 x 5.5 Feet
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Programs: No

The Teeter FreeStep is an advanced recumbent elliptical designed with technology licensed from high-end commercial physiotherapy steppers.

Ideal for all fitness levels, the reclined position takes a load off your back and joints for a zero-impact cardio experience.

It features extra quiet, patented stride technology engineered to protect the knees while still delivering full fat-burning results. You can easily adjust the resistance with a simple side dial.

Expand To See More

You’ll be able to track your progress with the easy-to-read, battery-powered digital console which also sports a mobile device stand and water bottle holder.

With convenient transport wheels, you won’t have to sacrifice portability for quality here either. Its compact size of 54″ x 38″ also ensures that this elliptical will be a low profile, high value addition to your home. 

Simply put, the FreeStep offers a superior low-stress, low-impact cardio and resistance workout at a fraction of the cost of the comparable commercial equipment.

It is by far the best elliptical machine for bad knees. `

 

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Type: Recumbent
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 3.1 x 4.5 Feet
  • Resistance Levels: 13
  • Programs: No

Next up, we have the Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine.

This is a high-tech elliptical, fully equipped with bluetooth connectivity and app sync capability.  Pair it with your Schiwnn Trainer App or My Fitness Pal to track your progress comprehensively. 

With 25 different resistance levels and 29 specialized workout programs, it presents both exciting variety and a constant challenge to your fitness levels.

Expand To See More

The dual track LCD display features distance, speed, time, pace, calories and heart rate on an easy-to-read monitor. 

Also included are a mobile device shelf, in-console speakers with MP3 input port, USB media charging and an adjustable fan – pretty much all you need for the perfect workout. 

With all the bells and whistles of modern exercise equipment, the Schwinn provides a safe workout that will save your knees from impact and protect aging bones into the future.

 

Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine at a Glance:

  • Type: Standing
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 2 x 2.8 Feet
  • Resistance Levels: 25
  • Programs: 29

The Body Power Trio Trainer packs the power of 3 different workout machines into 1 super-powered elliptical.

This compact trainer can be used as an elliptical, upright bike, and recumbent bike. Choose between sitting, standing, and 3 sets of integrated handlebars for effortless transition between exercise modalities.

Featuring an electronic computer console, you’ll also be able to track the calories burned, time elapsed, speed and distance.

Expand To See More

Its resistance can also be adjusted magnetically, so it’s easy to get the exact level of challenge necessary for your workout.

A transport wheel located at the front of the machine makes it portable and easy to store, without sacrificing overall stability.

The Trio Trainer is also a child-friendly, family-friendly option due to its quiet, ergonomic performance. The safety encased fan flywheel system allows it to run smoothly with negligible sound.

With its overall versatility and high quality design, this machine is among the best exercise equipment for seniors out there.

 

Body Power Trio Trainer Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Type: Standing
  • Dimensions: 3.6 x 5.1 x 2.4 Feet
  • Resistance Levels: Range
  • Programs: No

Last but definitely not least, we have the Nautilus Elliptical Trainer.

This machine features DualTrack LCD displays, a media shelf, in-console speakers with MP3 input, USB charging and an adjustable fan.

29 programs (12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness test, 1 recovery test, 1 quick start) and 25 resistance levels also offer a wide range of workout intensity options. 

Expand To See More

The Nautilus offers Bluetooth connectivity capacity, so you’ll be able to sync it to the Nautilus Trainer 2 App, RunSocial or any other fitness tracker of your choosing.

At a hefty weight of 173 pounds, it may not be the most portable machine on our list. However, it is extremely sturdy and exceptionally safe, with a 300 pound weight limit.

This elliptical is about 6 feet tall, so consider the height of the tallest potential user, and add 21 inches minimum to determine if it will be a fit. 

It will provide a low-impact, high-reward cardio and strength training experience for users on any end of the age spectrum.

 

Nautilus Elliptical Trainer Series at a Glance:

  • Type: Standing
  • Dimensions: 2.3 x 5.8 x 5.8 Feet
  • Resistance Levels: 25
  • Programs: 29

Ellipticals For Seniors Comparison

Elliptical TypeDimensionsResistance LevelsProgramsRating
Bowflex Max EllipticalStanding3.8' x 2' x 2'824.4 / 5.0
Sunny Health Under Desk EllipticalUnder Desk 2' x 1.5' x 1'8No4.4 / 5.0
MaxKare Home EllipticalStanding3.3' x 2' x 5.5'8No3.9 / 5.0
Teeter Recumbent EllipticalRecumbent4.5' x 3' x 4.5'13No4.6 / 5.0
Schwinn Compact EllipticalStanding4.2' x 2' x 3'25293.9 / 5.0
Body Power Trio TrainerStanding3.6' x 5' x 2.4'RangeNo3.8 / 5.0
Nautilus Elliptical TrainerStanding2' x 6' x 6'25293.9 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Elliptical Machine For Seniors

best ellipticals for seniors
The MaxKare Elliptical features a front wheel for easy transportation.

Now that we’ve gone over the best elliptical trainers for seniors on the market, it’s time bring one home.

This can be a tricky process – with so many great choices, how do you settle on just one!?

The right elliptical for you won’t be the ideal option for someone else – it depends on your body, strength level, fitness goals and unique lifestyle.

With that in mind, there are a few general things you should look out for when selecting a machine, which we’ve outlined in the handy buyer’s guide below.

Keep reading to find out how to choose the right elliptical machine for you.

Talk To Your Doctor!

Before investing in any new piece of exercise equipment, you must chat with your doctor first!

There is no advice like a doctor’s advice, and you should only trust a professional to deal with something as important as your bodily health.

Make sure you speak with your healthcare provider to determine if your body can handle an elliptical workout in the first place.

If you suffer from limited knee mobility, prior injury, osteoarthritis or any other kind of degenerative illness, an elliptical may not be right for you.

Make sure your body can handle the weight bearing and range of motion necessary for elliptical use.

Elliptical Types

The right elliptical for you will be gentle on the joints, easy to balance on, and supportive of your stride.

You can choose between a standing elliptical, a recumbent elliptical or an under-desk option. But each model will bring you different benefits.

Standing Ellipticals

These are great for those who can still support their body weight with their knees and joints.

A standing elliptical offers a full body workout while remaining low-impact, thus preserving the longevity of your knees.

In fact, they can even improve your bone density while keeping your ligaments flexible. All the while, you’ll be getting a cardio and strength training workout in one.

However, if you can’t stand upright for long periods of time, these are probably not for you. Instead you should opt for a recumbent elliptical.

Recumbent Ellipticals

Recumbent, or seated ellipticals, like the Teeter FreeStep, are far easier on the joints than standing models, and even more low-impact than normal exercise bikes.

The seated position allows for weight to be distributed evenly, rather than stressing the knees and back.

They can also open up the hips and torso for greater comfort and better breathing – which can improve the overall quality of your workout and allow for more activity in the long run.

They are also far more accessible – for those on wheelchairs, it is easier to mount and dismount from a seated machine.

Those undergoing physical therapy or recovering from prior knee or back injuries would benefit greatly from a recumbent elliptical.

However, be aware that improper seat height can cause unwanted stress on the back and neck. Be sure that your seat is the correct height for you!

Under-desk Ellipticals

These, like the Sunny Health Under-Desk Elliptical, are the best for those prioritizing portability and convenience.

Because under-desk ellipticals can obviously only be used while seated, they provide a comprehensive yet zero-impact workout, which is great for those who struggle with exercising upright.

If you find yourself on the go and pressed for time to squeeze in a workout, this is the perfect solution – you’ll easily be able to multitask during use.

However, these simply don’t have the same programs, resistance levels and bells and whistles of the full-sized models.

Safety Features

If you’re going to splurge on anything, it should be safety.

To keep your workouts safe, look for a machine with handrails for balancing and dismounting – those with handlebar grips are most secure.

Also look out for textured or grippy pedals which will keep your foot secure in its positioning and stabilize your stride.

You will also want an easy to read display with large font so you can easily check your stats and progress. Many ellipticals come with a heart rate sensor so you can be sure you’re not over-training.

Ellipticals with heavy flywheels, such as the MaxKare, also tend to be more stable, as they have a heavier weight holding down their center of gravity. If you have balance issues, you should definitely consider this.

For households with children, consider investing in a pin lock for your elliptical. Little ones often see exercise equipment as toys, and can easily get hurt if unattended with the machine.

A pin lock will freeze the pedals, screen and operations so the machine can’t be used without a passcode.

Maintenance is also a key part of safety – you must service your elliptical every 6 months, so don’t forget to schedule appointments with a professional so you can fix malfunctions before they impede performance.

If you hear your machine squeaking, you should think about lubricating it. You can do this yourself, or hire someone – but it is an important part of maintenance.

How To Lubricate An Elliptical Machine

How to Lubricate an Elliptical : Fitness & Exercise Equipment

Sizing

These machines are not small! Be sure that your elliptical can fit into the space you plan to install it in.

Consider both the height of your ceiling and factor in extra room for the machine’s range of motion and pedal movements.

As a general rule, you should account for about 20 inches of free space on either side of your elliptical.

It is very important to measure the area you have carefully and cross-check it with the dimensions of your chosen machine.

There’s nothing worse than ordering something that can’t fit into your home! Save yourself the hassle of making a return.

FAQs About Ellipticals For Seniors

Q: Are elliptical machines good for seniors?

A: Elliptical machines are a great workout option for seniors.

As aging bodies are naturally more vulnerable to impact and injury, ellipticals provide a low-impact, high-reward option for the elderly.

They offer both cardio and strength training opportunities in one ergonomic machine, and can help improve mobility, flexibility and bone density in seniors.

Q: Which is better for knees, an elliptical or a bike?

A: If you’re thinking ahead about your knee health, both are great options to build strength and range of motion in the knees.

Using either of them will benefit your overall knee health now and into the future.

However, if you have damaged knees, suffer from prior injury, osteoarthritis or other degenerative conditions, a spin bike is probably the better option.

An elliptical should only be used by those who can stand for reasonable periods of time, as it requires your knees to support your full body weight.

In contrast, biking takes the strain off your knees and requires less weight bearing in general.

Q: Should you use your elliptical every day?

A: No! It is very important to give your body at least 1 rest day out of the week, regardless of age.

If you’re older, this is even more important – if you’re working out rigorously every day, you will run the risk of overtraining.

Allow your body to get the rest it deserves – only then can it get stronger!

Q: What kind of shoes should I wear on an elliptical?

A: The right sneaker will protect your foot and ankle while in motion.

Any classic sneaker or cross-trainer with grippy soles should work perfectly – as long as your foot can be firmly planted on the pedals, you are wearing the right shoes.

Just make sure they’re the right size for you – and if you experience any pain, listen to your body.

Tips For Choosing Elliptical Machines

#1: Safety first!

Safety should be your top priority. What’s the point of investing in your long-term fitness if you end up getting hurt along the way?

Make sure you place a higher value on features like handlebars, grippy pedals, heavy flywheels and readable display.

These should take precedence over resistance levels or workout program offerings.

#2: Maintenance is key!

As mentioned in the buying guide, you should be servicing your elliptical every 6 months (at least!) The ideal range is every 3-6 months.

You’re going to appreciate the check-ups – it’s much safer to solve issues before they arise rather than waiting until your elliptical stops working to call a professional.

#3: Give yourself the rest you deserve.

When you get a new piece of shiny exercise equipment, it can be tempting to use it every day!

However, if you’re already seeking a low-impact workout to relieve pressure on your knees, back or joints, you really shouldn’t push your body too hard.

Giving yourself rest days (at least 2 a week) is important for your physical and mental health, and will lead to improved strength and endurance in the long-run.

Summary

Now that you know all about how to find a good elliptical trainer for seniors, you’re ready to select one for your home.

Whichever you choose, know that you’ll be getting one of the best options on the market today.

Thanks for reading & happy shopping!

Notice:

BestWomensWorkouts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. BestWomensWorkouts earns fees from products sold through qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

Monisha Pillai

Lover of traveling, shopping, and all things nature. When I’m not writing about the latest outdoor gear, you can find me lying out on the beach, trying new foods, or planning my next trip to Asia.

Related Articles

Back to top button