Solid builds and high-quality parts are all important when looking for the best elliptical for heavy people.  

I have been reviewing ellipticals for many years, and I’ve reviewed everything from the cheap, lightweight machines to the commercial-grade beasts you see in your local gym. From experience, I can say to you the lightweight low cost ellipticals you see on Amazon for a few hundred bucks will not last more than a few months coping with heavy loads.

Heavy Duty Frames and High-Quality Parts

If you’re over 300lb, then a heavy-duty elliptical is a must if you want it to last. You’ll also need a machine made from high-quality parts, as this is vital for the machine to function properly under heavy loads. You don’t want an elliptical that’s made from cheap lightweight materials because the parts will wear fast under the weight, or at worse, break.

Still, there’s good news. You don’t have to go full Commerical grade to find a heavy-duty machine; those ellipticals cost over $3k. We can get close to commercial grade with companies like Sole Fitness for half the price of full commercial. So today, we’re looking at semi-commercial machines.

Semi Commercial machines are perfect for heavy people who need a solid elliptical for home that’s durable, high quality, and won’t break the bank

For those in a rush you can check the comparison table below for our top picks or if you have more time, please scroll past the comparison table and read the review summers of our Top 5 Ellipticals For Heavy People.

Best Elliptical For Heavy People Comparison Table

NordicTrack 14.9
  • side view NordicTrack elliptical 14.9
  • Stride Length – 19″
  • Resistance Levels – 25
  • Single Pedal Rail
  • Weight Capacity – 350lb
  • Incline – Power Adjust 0-20%
  • Weight – 210lb


side view of sole e95 elliptical machine

1. Sole E95 Elliptical

Sole Fitness are a company who have been around for a few decades. These guys have a ton of experience making commercial gear for hotels, and they also make semi-commercial equipment for our home gyms. So there’s no doubt they know what they are doing when it comes to cardio equipment.

The Sole E95 elliptical is a semi-commercial machine. The E95 weighs 235lb assembled. This is almost commercial heavy, which is great news as the weight of an elliptical gives us the biggest clue to the overall quality of the parts used, and the heavier, the better.

It’s a solid machine with a substantial frame that can handle up to 400lb—making it one of the best choices for a heavy person.

Duel Rails With Wheels

The heavy-duty build will always be what’s most important about an elliptical for a heavy person. Still, other features of the elliptical are also vital, like how smooth does everything feel and how strong is the resistance? And this is where I think the Sole E95 outshines all of its competitors, as you have a feature none of the others include, and that’s the dual rails with wheels for the pedals.

The dual rails are an excellent feature as they prevent the pedals from any sideway movement and ensure the path of stride stays nice and straight, and the wheels keep everything moving through smoothly.

When you combine the duel rails, the heavy flywheel, the high ratio gears, and the frictionless resistance system, you have the smoothest elliptical motion you’ll find in this price range.

You also have a 0-20% power incline which is great for working those large posterior chain muscles like your glutes and hamstrings. You can adjust the incline either from the quick touch buttons of the monitor or from the handlebar controls, a handy feature that saves time.

And let’s not forget you get a 27lb premier weighted flywheel, which is easily heavy enough to keep resistance strong in those all-important upper levels.

The only slight drawback with the Sole elliptical is that the monitor isn’t that impressive, you don’t get anything advanced like an HD color touchscreen or auto trainer control. The monitor is pretty basic. But it’s always been this way with Sole Fitness.

Sole are all about the build quality of their ellipticals, and the monitors come second, which for me, is a good thing. I’d rather they put all their efforts into the essentials of the elliptical.

And the monitor really isn’t that bad. It comes with a 10″ screen, 10 workout programs, 20 levels of resistance and incline, wireless heart rate monitoring, and they throw in the HR chest strap for free, saving you a few bucks. The monitor does include everything you need. But I know some of you may be disappointed there’s no HD color touchscreen like you get with the NordicTrack ellipticals.

And lastly, you have the best warranty found on any elliptical in this price range with lifetime on frame, 5 years on parts and electronics, and 2 years on labor. A warranty this good reflects how much confidence these guys have in their gear which is always a good thing.

The Good

Rock solid – can handle 400lb

Dual rails with wheels – helps keep pedals aligned and motion smooth

Adjustbale stride length – allows for a user height range of 4’11” to 6’4″

Impressive 20 level, 20 degree power incline

Adjustable foot pedals

Excellent warranty that includes 5 years on parts and 2 years labor

400lb weight capacity

Pulse grips and wirless heart rate monitoring – includes HR chest strap

Built in tranpsort wheels, speakers, cooling fan, BlueTooth and tablet holder

The Bad

Monitor LCD isnt a touchscreen which I thought was disspointing

Only 10 built in workout prorgrams

You’ll need a lot of space to house this beast


NordicTrack 14.9 elliptical machine with blue pedals

2. NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical

NordicTrack hasn’t always been a company you might associate with heavy-duty, durable fitness gear. I’ve reviewed a lot of their equipment, and yes, the quality of a few of their treadmills is questionable, but their ellipticals, especially their new commercial line, are very impressive. NordicTrack seems to excel when it comes to ellipticals, and the 14.9 is my favorite out of all they offer right now.

The 14.9 is their best-selling front-drive elliptical. It weighs just over 200lb assembled, so it’s not some lightweight, poorly built machine. It feels sturdy, and the frame can handle 350lb. Not as heavy-duty as the Sole E95, but not far off.

What I like about the 14.9 is that it boasts a 32lb flywheel, the heaviest you’ll find on any elliptical in this price range. And a heavy flywheel is important as it’s the main factor determining how smooth an elliptical feels. Also, a heavy flywheel will ensure the resistance is strong.

And the 14.9 elliptical gets the other essentials right too, like the incline. It boasts one of the best power adjustable inclines you’ll find, with a 20% 20-level incline.

Including a decent incline on a front-drive machine is vital, as front drives only really work the quads.

Pedaling on an incline will switch the workout’s focus from the small anterior muscles of the legs, like the quads, to the much larger posterior muscles, which have a higher caloric output requirement, so you’ll burn at least twice as many calories pedaling on an incline.

Best Monitor – With 14″ HD Color Touchscreen

The monitor of the 14.9 is unbeatable. No one else comes close to NordicTrack when it comes to montoirs. This elliptical includes a 14″ HD tilt touchscreen with features such as auto trainer control, large one-touch buttons, and one month free of their app iFit.

iFit is a fitness app that includes thousands of workouts, too much to mention here, but if you want to make the most out of that loverly HD screen, it’s best to subscribe to their app. I recommend the single-person subscription as it’s half the price.

Overall, NordicTrack has got all the essentials right with their 14.9 elliptical, thankfully this elliptical isn’t just about their app and the touchscreen; the build quality is also there, and so too are all the essentials like an excellent power incline, heavy flywheel, an adjustable stride, and the warranty isn’t too bad either, with two years on parts and labor.

Not as heavy-duty as the Sole elliptical, but if you only need a 350lb weight capacity, the 14.9 offers a lot of bang for your buck.

The Good

Sturdy build can handle 350lb

Crisp 14″ HD touchscreen – looks great

Impressive 20% power adjustable incline – work your glutes and hamstrings

Power adjustable stride 

Auto adjust technology for resistance and incline – can be used with global routes, trainer-led classes and Google maps

1 month free of iFit

32lb flywheel keeps things nice and smooth

Wireless heart rate capabilities

26 levels of magnetic resistance and its strong in the upper levels because of that heavy flywheel

Built-in transport wheels, cooling fans, BlueTooth, speakers, and tablet holder

The Bad

Needs more built-in workout programs for people who dont want to subscribe to iFit

Warranty is a bit dissapointing

Although they have improved lately, customer service with NordicTrack can still be slow


3. Nautilus E618 Elliptical

Nautilus is the company that owns Schwinn, so you’ll find their ellipticals are very similar. The reason I’m recommending the Nautilus and not the Schwinn is that Nautilus, for some reason, update their line of ellipticals more often. They’re the same price, so you might as well choose the updated version with Nautilus.

The Nautilus E618 elliptical is slightly cheaper than the Sole and NordicTrack ellipticals. I think it’s selling for around $1200, which is a great price considering the build quality is right up there with the best. It’s my favorite elliptical under $1500 right now.

The E618 weighs 210lb out of the box, so no need to worry about stability problems with the E618. It is a sturdy, well-made machine with a max weight capacity of 350lb.

You don’t have quite as impressive an incline as the top two ellipticals. The Nautilus E618 can only boast a 10% ten level, but it’s enough for incline workouts.

Where this elliptical shines is the stride length with a large 22″ stride, that’s a commercial length stride making this elliptical an excellent choice for taller users with a max height limit of 6’4″.

And the monitor is impressive. You get 25 resistance levels, 29 workout programs, and free access to the Explore the World App, where you can try some Global routes and download all your workout stats,

Like the Sole elliptical, you have wireless heart rate monitoring, and an HR chest strap included.

The only drawback is the flywheel weight. It’s a bit light for a $1200 elliptical at just 17lb, which means you won’t get so much of a premium feel with this machine. Resistance isn’t going to be as strong as the Sole or Nordictrack ellipticals. The flywheel is just about heavy enough to keep things smooth, but still, I was disappointed to find a 17lb flywheel, especially when everything else about this machine is so impressive.

The Good

Sturdy, heavy build for price point

Impressive 22″ stride length

10° power adjustable incline

Decent monitor with wireless heart rate monitoring, quick touch buttons and 29 workout programs (plus Explore The World App – global routes)

Large pedals

HR chest strap included

Magnetic resistance system and belt drive, make for a quiet elliptical

Built-in transport wheels, cooling fan, BlueTooth, and speakers

The Bad

Stride length too long for some users

Nautilus known for slow customer service

No HD screen 

Flywheel is light side


Sole E25 Elliptical with new screen

4. Sole E25 Elliptical

If you only want to spend $1k on an elliptical and weigh 350lb or under? Then they don’t come better than the Sole E25 elliptical, which has been Sole’s best selling elliptical for many years. And the reason it sells so well is that it boasts most of the features of their higher-end ellipticals like the E95.

You still get those dual rails for the pedals keeping everything straight and smooth. You also get the 20-level power incline, wireless heart rate monitoring with chest strap, and an impressive 20″ stride. And, of course, the heavy-duty build, not as heavy-duty as the Sole E95, but it’s close – the E25 weighs 212lb assembled for a $1000 elliptical. This is impressive!

Still, what I really like about the E25 is the excellent warranty, with 3 years on parts, even though it’s their lowest-priced elliptical. Most $2k ellipticals don’t offer that.

Overall you can’t fault this elliptical for the money, it’s not as heavy-duty as its bigger brother, but you won’t find a better 350lb capacity treadmill for just over $1k – it has the build, all the essentials, and a 3-year parts warranty.

The Good

Solid build for price point – can handle 350lb

Smooth elliptical motion

Impressive 20 level power adjustable incline

20″ stride length suitable for users up to 6’3″

Heavy duty dual rails with wheels, prevent side movement of pedals and help keep everything feeling smooth

20lb flywheel

Wireless heart rate monitoring with chest strap included

Excellent warranty that includes 3 years on parts

Whisper quiet magnetic resistance

Built in transport wheels, cooling fan, Bluetooth speakers and tablet holder

The Bad

Monitor is a little basic

I would of liked to of seen more built-in workout programs as there’s only 10

Stride length isnt adjustable


woman using niceday elliptical machine

5. Niceday Elliptical (let’s go under $1k)

I didn’t really want to go under $1k for a heavy person because nothing under $1k can really cut it, but this elliptical from Niceday has impressed me over the past couple of years. It’s a sturdy machine for the price point, and if your budget is tight, then this is the only low-cost elliptical I would consider.

It states a 400lb capacity but scrap that, go at least 50lb under that, so a more realistic weight capacity for the NiceDay elliptical is 350lb, and that’s still at a push.

Still, what I’ve always liked about his elliptical is just how smooth the motion is, this thing is silky smooth despite only having a 16lb flywheel.

16lb for the flywheel isn’t bad considering the price but light in comparison to the higher-end heavy-duty machines, and it means resistance won’t feel that strong, so it’s more an elliptical for beginners and intermediates.

Also, this is a small elliptical, so you’re looking at a 15.5-inch stride which is nothing to moan about for an affordable elliptical, but it does mean the max height for the machine is around 5’11”.

The drawbacks? There’s no incline, and the monitor is basic, but this is to be expected in this price bracket.

Overall the Niceday elliptical is as good as it gets for an affordable high-capacity elliptical, it’s well made, and most importantly, it’s been around for a few years, so it stood the test of time. People are still parsing this elliptical years after owning it, which is reassuring.

The Good

Study build – Supports weight capacity up to 400lb

18 levels of resistance – suitable for beginners and intermediates

Super quiet machine – won’t disturb others with the sound of your workouts

Low maintenance

Built-in pulse sensors

Transport wheels

Two sets of handlebars one fixed – one moving for full-body workout

Transport wheels, just tilt and roll to move

Impressive lifetime warranty on parts

The Bad

Basic monitor that doesn’t include workout programs

No online connectivity

Can only use pulse sensors when using the fixed handle bars


Buying Tips – What You Need To Know Before You Buy

Before buying any elliptical, knowing what to look for and what to avoid is always a good idea. I’ve put together a quick buyer’s guide outlining the most important features an elliptical should include and what to stay clear of. It’s worth a read, especially if this is your first elliptical.

1. How Much Does It Weigh?

The weight of an elliptical, treadmill, or exercise bike will always give you a good clue to the overall quality of the parts used. Low-cost ellipticals almost always will weigh the least, some under 100lb. Anything this light is made from cheap, low-quality materials, and durability and stability will be the biggest problems when choosing a lightweight machine.

Commercial ellipticals weigh over 300lb; they are built to last, with high-quality parts and heavy-duty frames, this type of elliptical costs over $3k.

For a home elliptical, you want to get as close to commercial grade as possible for your budget. If you’re a heavy person, you’ll need a heavy duty machine, so it’s best not to choose anything that weighs less than 200lb. Semi-commercial is the best choice for a home elliptical, you’ll avoid the high prices of the commercial machines, but you still get the build quality and durability you need. (look for over 200lb in weight – price tag less than $2k)

And lastly, remember, the heavier the machine, the more stable – you don’t want an elliptical that moves around while exercising.

Why An Incline is Essential

If you’re choosing a front-drive elliptical, an incline feature is essential. Why? Because on front-drive ellipticals, you tend to stand on the front of your feet as you have to push the flywheel to get it spinning. And because you’re pushing rather than pulling, you are mainly using the anterior muscles of your legs like your quads.

It’s great to give the quads a good workout but to get the most out of your workouts, you want to work the much larger posterior muscles like your glutes and hamstrings. The glutes are the largest muscles in the body, and the hamstrings are three times larger than the quads.

Because of their size, the posterior muscles have a much higher calorie output demand than the smaller anterior muscles. You’ll burn at least twice as many calories working these muscles. To work the posterior muscles on a front drive elliptical, you have to have a decent incline feature, as pedaling on an incline will switch the focus of your workout from the front to the rear muscles.

It’s always best to look for a power-adjustable incline as it saves you from having to get off of the machine and adjust the level of incline manually. Most ellipticals with a price tag over $1000 will include a power-adjustable incline.

A decent incline will be 10%  or over with more than 10 levels. An elliptical with a max of 20% is ideal for a home elliptical. You won’t need an incline steeper than this.

rear view of woman pedaling on schwinn elliptical

Stride Length

The next most important elliptical essential is the stride length. The stride length is important because it determines who can use the machine. The last thing you want is for your stride to be restricted.

Most commercial ellipticals, like those used in your local gym, are equipped with 20″ strides. A 20″ stride is desirable because it accommodates most people’s heights with a height range of 5ft to 6’3″.

If you’re tall, you’ll need to look for a 22″ or even 24″ stride, not many ellipticals on the market include such long strides, but there are a few, so expect to pay extra for the privilege.

Flywheel Weight

Never buy an elliptical without checking how much the flywheel weighs first. The weight of the flywheel is the main factor determining how smooth the elliptical motion feels. Heavy is best. Anything over 20lb is good enough for a home machine, but if you can find over 20lb for your budget, that is even better.

Also, the weight of the flywheel does have some effect on how strong the resistance feels. If the flywheel is too light, resistance may be too weak even in the upper levels, and you’ll outgrow the elliptical quickly.

Resistance Type

Magnetic resistance is the perfect type of resistance system for an elliptical, as it’s frictionless. Frictionless resistance systems make little noise as the magnets never have to make contact with the flywheel. They’re smooth and whisper quiet, which is exactly what you want.

Also, because the magnets of the resistance system never have to make contact with the flywheel, there’s also no wear and tear, which means little to no maintenance, which is always a good thing.

Monitor/Control Console

The monitor and its features are not as vital as the other features I just mentioned. The monitor of an elliptical is more down to what you want/need. I prefer basic, easy-to-use monitors. I don’t like anything over complicated.

Still, there are a few features you need to look for; large quick touch buttons for incline and resistance are always a handy feature because they save time, and handlebar controls are even better, as they save you from having to reach forward to the monitor in the middle of the workout to adjust resistance, etc.

And wireless heart rate morning is another monitor feature I think is vital, especially for those who love to work out in their chosen heart rate zone. Wireless is more much more accurate than the handlebar pulse sensors. Not all ellipticals will include wireless capabilities, but most good ones do. And some even have the HR chest strap.

Things like workout programs, cooling fans, and built-in Bluetooth speakers are also nice features to have.

Other high-end features like HD Color touchscreens and even VR can be had, but usually come at extra cost.

Weight Capacity

Be careful with weight capacities as some cheap $300 machines love to throw huge numbers around, when in reality, the elliptical is a cheaply made machine with a lightweight frame and won’t last more than a month with a heavy person.

Large, heavy-duty ellipticals will always have high weight capacities. Their weight capacities are much more realistic because they have a heavy-duty frame and high-quality parts to cope with heavy loads.

To Sum Up

Finding an elliptical that has a heavy duty build, doesn’t cost the earth, and boasts a warranty impressive enough to give you peace of mind when buying is tough.

And for under $2k, there really is only one elliptical that has it all, and that’s the E95 from Sole Fitness. It’s a solid machine that weighs over 230lb. But perhaps what’s just as important is its smooth elliptical motion. The 27lb flywheel, high ratio gears, and those excellent dual rails with wheels give the E95 elliptical the smoothest elliptical motion in its price range.

Yes, the E95 doesn’t come with an HD touchscreen like the NordicTrack, but it’s a small price to pay when everything else about the E95 is so good. If you want something that will last and excels on the important essentials like the build, stride length, smoothness of motion, and incline, the Sole E95 is the best choice under $2k

And you don’t need to pay for the extended warranty on the E95 elliptical as the manufactures warranty is more than good enough, with lifetime on the frame, 5 years on electronics and parts, and 2 years on labor.

Best Ellipticals For a Heavy Person FAQs

Is an Elliptical Good For Overweight People?

A 350lb person will burn 408 calories per 30 minutes workout on an elliptical, making it one of the best cardio machines for weight loss. If you buy an elliptical with an incline feature, you can expect to burn twice as many calories.

Do Ellipticals Have a Weight Limit?

Most ellipticals have a weight limit of 200-300lb. More expensive ellipticals, like the semi-commercial and commercial ellipticals, will have higher weight limits ranging from 350lb to 500lb.

However, some low-cost ellipticals have high fake weight limits. It’s always best to avoid the cheap ellipticals as they do not have the heavy-duty build to handle such heavy-weight loads and will likely break in the first few months of use.

Which Type of Elliptical is Best For Weight Loss?

A front-drive elliptical with an incline feature is best for weight loss. Pedaling on an incline will burn twice as many calories. Also, ensure your elliptical includes two pairs of handlebars, one moving and one static. The moving pair of handlebars allow for a full body workout, training your arms and legs and thus burning even more calories.