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Having lived in my fair share of apartments, I’m all too familiar with hearing my neighbors through paper-thin walls. Nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to what sounds like someone performing an intricate tap-dancing routine above you, am I right? 

Sometimes it can be hard to strike the balance between making minimal noise and getting a good workout in, especially when the workout in question is on a cardio machine. If you’d like to skip the noise complaints (or just stop making too much noise while your partner or roommate sleeps), we can help you find the best quiet elliptical on the market. Whether you’re searching for a budget-friendly option or a compact elliptical for a small space, we have you covered (but in a super quiet way, of course). 

When it comes to finding the best elliptical that’s also whisper-quiet, there’s a few things that our team of certified personal trainers, CrossFit coaches, and competitive weightlifters look at:

  • Noise level: Is it truly quiet? Could you use it with a sleeping baby in the room?
  • Workout performance: How does the machine feel while in use?
  • Durability: Will it remain in good condition for many years?
  • Value: Is it worth the price tag?

5 Best Quiet Ellipticals

Best Quiet Elliptical Overall: Sole E25

Good for: Someone who wants a quiet machine with great specs

Best Quiet Elliptical Overall

Sole E25

Product Highlights

  • Budget friendly and under $1,200
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame
  • User capacity of up to 350 pounds
  • Large footprint at 71” H x 70” L x 24” W

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Under $1,200
  • 20 levels of resistance
  • 350-pound weight capacity
  • Heart rate chest strap included
  • High-quality heavy-duty steel frame

Cons

  • Difficult assembly with unclear instructions
  • Heavy at over 212 pounds
  • 20-inch stride length does not adjust

Bottom Line

The SOLE E25 Elliptical provides effective workouts through its use of comfort and natural feel. The quiet front drive system, inward foot pedal design, and heavy duty steel frame all create a smooth, effective workout.

Listen up elliptical searchers: The Sole E25 is here to end your quest once and for all. This machine has a specially designed Quiet-Drive system, which is meant to make the E25 as silent as possible. 

The 20-pound flywheel doesn’t hurt either, as the hefty weight provides lots of secureness for the well-constructed base. The sturdier your machine is, the less noise you’ll likely create, even when using a high resistance level.

Besides having a variety of resistance levels, the Sole E25 has 20 different incline options, which is especially impressive for the $1,100 price. I’m also a fan of the 20-inch stride length. If you’re a taller person, you want to make sure your elliptical has a stride length of at least 18 inches, but 20 is even better. I also love the 350-pound user weight capacity, which is 75 pounds higher than the industry standard. If you’re a heavier person, this is an excellent elliptical for you.

sole e25 ellptical

It is worth noting that this machine is not simple to assemble. If you choose to bravely go at this alone, don’t. You’ll absolutely need at least an additional set of hands, especially when wiring the display. If you can spare the extra cash for professional assistance, I wholeheartedly think it is worth it to save yourself the hassle.

For those with balance issues, the Sole E25 may not be your best choice. With a 14-inch step-up height, it might be difficult to mount and dismount for some prospective users.

Read all the juicy details in our Sole E25 elliptical review.

Flywheel20 lbs
Dimensions70” L x 24” W x 71” H
Stride length20”
Weight capacity350 lbs

Best Quiet Elliptical for Apartments: NordicTrack FreeStride FS10i

Good for: Someone looking to get multiple uses out of their cardio machine

Best Quiet Elliptical for Apartments

NordicTrack FreeStride FS10i

Product Highlights

  • Low-impact and delivers high-intensity workouts
  • Combination of a stepper, elliptical, and treadmill.
  • 375-pound weight capacity
  • 32-inch auto-adjustable stride
  • Up to 10% incline

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low-impact
  • 3-in-1 unit: stepper, elliptical and treadmill
  • Long auto-adjustable stride
  • iFIT compatibility
  • Good warranty
  • High weight capacity
  • Auto-incline
  • 56 on-board workouts
  • Incline options

Cons

  • 20-pound flywheel is not enough for more advanced cardio-lovers
  • Adjustable stride is a bit tricky to do mid-workout
  • Small screen

Bottom Line

The NordicTrack FS10i is a solid, versatile trainer with a strong, connected training package via iFIT. Anyone looking for a quality but low-impact workout would benefit from this machine

Apartment owners have little to no room for single-use exercise machines, which makes the three-in-one NordicTrack FreeStride FS10i a perfect fit for people who are looking to maximize space. It can be used as an elliptical, stepper, or treadmill depending on which direction you step in.

I personally tested this machine and found the elliptical and stepper functions to be smooth, but the “treadmill” use just didn’t feel right. Sure, you’re moving your feet in the same direction as someone who’s running but because your feet don’t leave the oversized pedal it just doesn’t feel right.

RELATED: Best recumbent exercise bike

using Nordic Track FS10i

That said, it’s still a highly versatile machine that takes up less room than a traditional elliptical because the 20-pound flywheel is located in the center of the machine instead of behind it. That’s the good news. The bad news is you need a dedicated space for this 284-pound machine.

Taller people will be happy to know the stride length can go up to 32 inches—it has an auto-adjust feature to accommodate users of all sizes—which is much higher than the industry standard of around 20 inches.

Read my full NordicTrack FS10i review for more details on this hybrid trainer.

Flywheel20 lbs
Dimensions58.5″ L x 29.5″ W x 74″ H
Stride lengthAuto-adjustable up to 32″
Weight capacity375 lbs

Best Quiet Elliptical for Small Spaces: Niceday Elliptical

Good for: People who are working with limited space

Best Quiet Elliptical for Small Spaces

Niceday Elliptical Machine

Product Highlights

  • Designed with 90% pre-assembled pieces makes installation simple
  • 16-lb flywheel offers 16 levels of smooth resistance with a high gear ratio
  • Extra-thick steel frame is exceptionally sturdy and able to hold weights up to 400 pounds
  • Fits individuals 4’9” inches to 6’2”
  • Minimal noise emission measuring only 20dB

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Simple assembly
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • No electrical source required
  • Stable
  • High user weight capacity

Cons

  • Short stride of 15.5 inches
  • Circular stride versus oval may feel awkward
  • Basic display reportedly breaks easily

Bottom Line

With eight levels of magnetic resistance, a sturdy frame, and 400-pound user weight capacity, the Niceday Elliptical Trainer may be a good choice for those needing higher weight limits.

If you currently live in a small space (I do, too!), you may have to get creative with your home gym. Finding a quiet elliptical without a large footprint may seem like a daunting task, but the Niceday elliptical is here to help. 

This affordably priced machine can be moved around seamlessly and doesn’t have to be plugged into an outlet to work. That’s right, this machine can go anywhere! Your walk-in closet. Next to your oven (just don’t light it on fire). Maybe even next to your work-from-home setup. Whatever works for you, works for the reasonably sized Niceday elliptical. 

When I initially tried this machine, I equated it to being “as quiet as a little church mouse,” and I firmly stand behind this statement. Besides not causing a ruckus, the Niceday elliptical has an impressive 400-pound user weight capacity and 16 different levels of resistance. This makes this machine a viable option for heavier people, which is always a win in my book.

Nice Day Elliptical being used

I do want to note that the flywheel is a little light for my taste. Sixteen pounds is the lowest we’d expect to see on a good elliptical, so you need to be aware that the Niceday may shake ever so slightly at higher resistance levels. However, the slight play in this machine doesn’t equal noise in this case, so don’t be too concerned. 

Take a look at our full Niceday elliptical review for the 4-1-1.

Flywheel16 lbs
Dimensions48″ L x 25″ W x 62″ H
Stride length15.5”
Weight capacity400 lbs

Best Budget Quiet Elliptical: Schwinn 430 Elliptical

Good for: Individuals looking to spend under $1,000 on a quiet elliptical

Best Budget Quiet Elliptical

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

Product Highlights

  • Front-drive elliptical
  • 20” stride 
  • 20 levels of resistance 
  • 6 levels of incline
  • 22 built-in programs 
  • Dual LCD screens

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 20 levels of magnetic ressistance
  • Cheaper entry price compared to other similar ellipticals
  • Longer stride length compared to other ellipticals in this price range
  • Manually adjustable incline levels

Cons

  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Big footprint

Bottom Line

If you're looking for an economical option for an elliptical, this could be a good choice. While it does not have all the bells and whistles of the higher-tech ellipticals, you’ll still get a good workout in.

If you want a machine that likely won’t wake the baby (or piss off the neighbors) without spending a ton of cash, the Schwinn 430 elliptical might be a good choice for you. At just around $900, this cardio machine is ready to help you get your sweat on (quietly, of course). 

The 20 levels of resistance go hand-in-hand with the 22 preset programs, which can help you get an excellent workout in. The 20-inch stride length is also an excellent feature of the 430, especially for all my tall friends out there. Nothing is more satisfying than a machine that actually supports your natural stride!

It is worth noting that Schwinn doesn’t share the flywheel weight of the 430 on the website. I was able to find a few different guesstimates across the internet, but no definitive answer from the brand itself. I do find that slightly strange, but the machine is still quite sturdy, so it is less of a concern.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have adequate space for the 430 to live full-time. This machine doesn’t fold or compact at all and it has a large footprint. This isn’t a deal-breaker, especially with all the other things the 430 has to offer (but it’s still worth noting). 

Read our full Schwinn 430 elliptical review.

FlywheelN/A (Not shared on website)
Dimensions70.1” L x 28.2” W x 63.2” H
Stride length20”
Weight capacity300 lbs

Other Ellipticals We Researched

Want more inspiration for equipment that might work in your space? Check out a few of our roundups for more products we love:

How We Picked and Tested

When choosing an elliptical, we suggest asking yourself the following questions:

  • Noise level: How loud is this machine? Would a next-door neighbor be able to hear it during a cardio workout?
  • Flywheel: How heavy is the flywheel? How does this weight compare to the industry standard we’ve come to expect?
  • Price: How expensive is this elliptical machine? Would it be considered a budget option or a more expensive/high-end elliptical machine in terms of price range?
  • Brand: What brand is this elliptical machine? Is it Sole Fitness, Sunny Health & Fitness, Nautilus, Bowflex, or from Amazon?
  • Dimensions: What are the dimensions of this elliptical trainer? Is this a large footprint or a more compact design?
  • Adjustable: Is the stride length adjustable? Are the foot pedals adjustable?
  • Resistance: Does this machine have resistance options? If so, how many levels of magnetic resistance does it have?
  • Incline: Does this exercise machine have power incline? 
  • Portability: Can this machine be moved easily? Does it come with transport wheels? Is it advisable to have more than one person move this elliptical machine?
  • Technology: Does this machine have any preset elliptical workout programs? Can the elliptical be connected to interactive programming? 
  • Extras: Are there extras on-board like Bluetooth connectivity, a USB charging port, speakers, cooling fan, tablet holder, or water bottle holder? Does this cross trainer come with a chest strap for heart rate monitoring?
  • Handlebars: Are the handlebars well-cushioned? Is there a single set or a fixed set plus a non-moving set?
  • Display: Is the display a touchscreen, LCD, or LED digital monitor?
  • Foldability: Does this machine fold?
  • Stride length: What is the stride length? How does this match up with industry standards?
  • Weight: How heavy is this machine?
  • Weight capacity: What is the weight capacity of this elliptical machine? How does this compare to the 275-pound user weight capacity standard?

Benefits of Quiet Ellipticals

Having a high-quality, quiet elliptical is definitely beneficial––you don’t need to just hear me hooting and hollering about it. Instead, enjoy certified personal trainer (and GGR writer) Anthony O’Reilly’s thoughts on the matter:

“Ellipticals are one of my favorite cardio machines because they provide a full-body workout while minimizing stress and impact to your joints, allowing you to workout for longer periods of time,” Anthony explains. “These machines are generally pretty quiet, and as someone who’s lived with his fair share of roommates, I can tell you that it can come in handy when you’re looking to get an early-morning workout in without disturbing anyone.”

“Silence is also golden when it comes to a machine’s durability,” Anthony adds. “Noise might be a sign that an elliptical’s internal gears are grinding against each other, which can wear down the mechanics over time.”

Buying Guide: What to Look for in Quiet Ellipticals

When trying to find a (mostly) silent elliptical, here are the top three things I recommend keeping in mind:

Noise Level

This is obvious, but some ellipticals are just louder than others. Having an expert (ahem, me) who has tried the machines herself can be helpful in the buying process, or go in person to test a few out yourself. 

Keep in mind that maintenance and lubrication are important steps in caring for your elliptical. If you regularly perform maintenance on your machine, you’ll notice it will be quite a bit quieter. 

Heavy Flywheel

Although a heavy flywheel isn’t a necessity for an elliptical to be quiet, it can definitely help. The heavier a flywheel is, the smoother (and quieter) the overall operation will be. If having a heavy flywheel is important to you, I recommend picking one that is between 16 to 20 pounds. Think of the flywheel as the engine powering a car: The stronger it is, the easier it will be to stride and the less noise it will make. 

Sturdiness

A sturdy elliptical is a quiet elliptical! When ellipticals are cheaply made or constructed mostly out of materials like plastic, this can cause the overall sturdiness to suffer. For machines that aren’t sturdy, they can cause a lot of noise squeaking or thumping against the ground (since the machine isn’t flush with the floor). 

Quiet Ellipticals FAQs

Is an elliptical quieter than a treadmill?

Although this depends on the machine itself, I’d say generally yes. Since ellipticals are low-impact, they don’t cause as much noise as treadmills. When you’re running, jogging, or sprinting on a treadmill, you’ll be making quite a bit of noise as your feet hit the deck versus the striding motion of an elliptical.

Are NordicTrack ellipticals quiet?

Yes, the majority of NordicTrack ellipticals are quiet. NordicTrack creates some of the best ellipticals (and exercise bikes for that matter) on the market for home workouts. I always suggest checking out the exercise equipment that they’re offering because they are excellent for home use.

Are ellipticals too loud for an apartment?

Nope, ellipticals can be a great choice for apartments. The main concern with having an elliptical in an apartment is the lack of space, especially since ellipticals generally have a large footprint.

What fitness level should use an elliptical?

Everyone, from beginners to high-intensity workout fanatics,can benefit from this low-impact workout. Provided you can safely mount and dismount an elliptical, this can be a great tool for an effective workout.

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