Working out from home is one of the best ways to stay in shape while saving time and money. However, exercising in the comfort of your apartment has the potential to create some noise-related issues.
In apartment buildings, noise travels easily, and it’s easy to disturb your neighbors without meaning to.
An exercise machine such as an elliptical may be one of the most effective cardio staples for home use, but if your machine is too loud, you’re likely to be on receiving end of some noise complaints.
So if you live in an apartment and want to invest in your very own elliptical machine for home use, it’s important to prioritize models with low noise levels.
This way, you can be respectful of your neighbors and enjoy your workouts without fear of disturbing anyone.
We have 5 super-quiet elliptical machines to show you today, all of which are suitable for apartment use. Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ subsections for additional tips on quiet elliptical purchase and use.
Our Top 5 Best Quiet Ellipticals for Apartment Use
OUR TOP PICK
All of the elliptical machines we have to share with you today are quiet enough for apartment use as well as high-quality enough to provide an intense, rewarding workout.
However, if you’re only in the market for the very best of the best, our recommendation would have to be the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine.
One of the biggest causes of unnecessary noise from an elliptical machine is the resultant drag noise caused by the friction of upping the resistance settings.
Obviously, this is far from ideal; you should be able to push yourself during your workouts without having to contend with annoying squeaking or grinding sounds.
The Schwinn 470 elliptical minimizes the issue of resistance drag noise by using an electromagnetically-powered flywheel mechanism.
The flywheel only weighs roughly 20 lbs and is designed for smooth operation, so there’s no clunking at higher resistance levels.
This elliptical machine features 29 different fitness programs to choose from, as well as 25 levels of resistance, so you can count on the Schwinn 470 to deliver a versatile workout, no matter how intense or light you want to make your session.
The Schwinn 470 comes with all the features you’d expect from an upper mid-range elliptical machine. A built-in fan is included with the machine, speakers, an MP3 port, and a USB port for charging your phone or other devices.
The unit is controllable via the LCD user interface, which is intuitive to work with and will suit any user, regardless of technological experience.
One of the most exciting things about the Schwinn 470 is that it supports Bluetooth connectivity as well as syncing with various apps, including the Schwinn Trainer App and My Fitness Pal.
This allows you to track your progress in your fitness journey without the need for any complex calculations or note-taking.
Considering that all of this retails at a reasonable, mid-range price for an elliptical, this machine delivers excellent value for money.
However, some buyers have reported that the tracking for calories burned, current speed, and heart rate is not always accurate, so this may present some obstacles if you want to track your progress as closely as possible.
- Flywheel mechanism - Minimal drag noise
- 29 fitness programs - Versatile and flexible
- 25 resistance settings - Suitable for workouts of all intensity levels
- Bluetooth and app connectivity - Sync and track your fitness
- Mid-range price - Relatively affordable
- Some reports of incorrect tracking - Calorie, speed, and heart rate monitors may need resetting
The Ancheer Elliptical Machine is almost as impressive as the Schwinn model in terms of quality and quiet operation, so it snags our runner-up spot.
This elliptical is a perfect choice if you want an exercise machine that you can easily maneuver around your apartment without irritating your neighbors.
Ancheer’s elliptical machine is built to be lightweight, compact, and easily portable. It only weighs 78 lbs, which may sound like a lot, but feels like nothing thanks to the built-in transport wheels.
In terms of noise levels, this elliptical can barely be heard even at the highest resistance settings.
This is because the magnetic resistance mechanism increases the resistance without applying any friction to the internal components of the machine, so there’s no drag noise to worry about.
Speaking of resistance settings, there are 8 resistance levels that you can select via the adjustable dial to achieve the perfect level of difficulty for your workout.
This applies to both the upper body and the lower body since the Ancheer elliptical has dual-action handles to work out the arms as well as the legs.
The LCD tracking display allows you to monitor your heart rate as you work out, in addition to your estimated calories burned, how fast you are moving, and how long you have been working out.
There admittedly aren’t very many settings built into this elliptical, but considering the budget-friendliness of its price tag, we still think it’s an excellent choice.
- Dual-action handlebars - Upper and lower body workout
- Magnetic resistance mechanism - Quiet even at higher settings
- 178 lbs with transport wheels - Portable build
- 8 resistance levels - Adjustable intensity
- LCD tracking - Easily monitor heart rate, calorie burn, time, and speed
- Not many settings - Not the most advanced model
One of the primary reasons why fitness enthusiasts often opt for home workouts over the gym is the cost difference. If this is the case for you, it makes sense to prioritize the most budget-friendly products in order to save the most money.
With that being said, you still want to make sure that you’re getting good value for your money.
One elliptical machine that combines affordability with high-quality while also boasting very quiet operation is the Body Rider Body Flex Sports Elliptical.
The Body Rider Body Flex Sports Elliptical uses a chain-powered fan resistance mechanism that operates smoothly and almost silently.
Any slight noises from the fan certainly won’t be significant enough to be heard through walls and floors, so there’s nothing to be concerned about on this front.
Like our previous pick, the Body Rider elliptical provides a full-body workout through the use of dual-action handlebars that get your arms and legs working in tandem. The intensity of the workout can be adjusted via the ergonomic dial.
Instead of working according to incremental, numerical resistance levels, the resistance of the Body Rider elliptical can be adjusted smoothly from one end of the spectrum to the other, making it easier than ever to tailor your workout perfectly to your needs.
The smart LCD tracking function and display allow you to monitor all the important statistics pertaining to your workout, including your heart rate, speed, and estimated calorie burn.
As an added bonus, the purchase of this elliptical will get you access to a free workout video to help you get into the swing of using your new machine.
This makes the Body Rider Body Flex Sports Elliptical the perfect choice for beginners.
The build of this elliptical is lightweight and compact, measuring just 25 x 9 x 36 inches and weighing 58 lbs when assembled.
With the help of the included transport wheels, moving this elliptical around your apartment for spatial efficiency is an almost effortless task.
The only downside to the elliptical being so lightweight is that there is a chance it might shift while in use. To prevent this from happening, we recommend positioning a mat underneath the elliptical during your workouts.
- Fan resistance mechanism - Smooth and almost silent
- Dual-action handles - Full-body workout
- Smart LCD tracking - Monitor your progress
- 36 x 9 x 25 inches/58 lbs - Lightweight and compact
- Includes video workout - Ideal for beginners
- May shift during use - Use of a mat may be required
While we have a lot of faith in our budget-friendly pick, the risk with buying a budget elliptical is that the capacity for noise-reduction is unlikely to be as advanced as with premium products.
If your apartment walls are especially thin, or you have a neighbor who is known to bang on the ceiling with a broom handle every time you so much as sneeze, you may want to err on the side of caution and opt for a premium elliptical.
Our recommendation in this category is the Nautilus 1616 Elliptical.
Like our best overall pick, the Nautilus E616 operates using an electromagnetic flywheel mechanism to control the resistance.
This type of resistance system generates minimal noise, so this elliptical is definitely suited to apartment use.
While some users have reported incidences of pedals squeaking using operation, this type of issue can usually be fixed through lubrication.
The Nautilus Elliptical E616 is Bluetooth-compatible, so you can sync up your workout to various fitness apps to monitor your fitness from wherever you are.
29 individual workout programs are built into this elliptical machine, including 12 basic programs, 4 custom programs, and a quick-start option. You can also adjust the incline of the elliptical up to 10 degrees.
Thanks to the built-in fan, which has 3 speeds, you can keep your body temperature feeling comfortable throughout your workout.
The USB port, built-in speakers, and tablet holding compartment make using this machine even more fun and convenient.
Settings and monitoring data are accessible via the dual LCD screens for a clear and intuitive tracking experience.
- Flywheel resistance mechanism - Minimal noise production
- Bluetooth connectivity - Sync to fitness apps
- 29 programs - Various workout options
- Built-in fan - Adjustable and cooling
- Dual LCD screens - Intuitive interface and monitoring
- Some reports of pedal squeaking - May require lubrication
Another Nautilus elliptical worth checking out if you’re looking for a combination of quality and noise-reduction is the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer.
Complete with 22 individual workout programs and 20 levels of resistance to choose from, this elliptical will provide you with a full-on, sweat-breaking workout if that’s what you’re looking for, but it can also deliver gentle exercise when needed.
The Nautilus E614 is suited to all fitness levels and abilities.
Something we particularly appreciate about the Nautilus E614 is that it features cushioned pedals to eliminate any potential foot pain, enhancing your workout even further.
Thanks to the dual LCD displays, you can track your heart rate, times, speeds, and other important statistics with ease. Plus, the goal tracking function allows you to input your fitness goals and compare them with the data from your workouts.
Like the Nautilus E616, the resistance mechanism is powered by an electromagnetic flywheel, so the machine is definitely quiet enough for use in an apartment setting.
What could present a problem when bringing this elliptical into an apartment, however, is its size.
The Nautilus E614 weighs over 160 lbs and measures 72.5 x 63.2 x 26.7 inches.
This is pretty large and definitely not lightweight enough to move around easily, so if you do decide to go with this machine, make sure that you have a large enough area that you can designate to the unit.
- 22 workout programs - Versatile workout experience
- 20 resistance levels - Suited to all abilities
- Cushioned pedals - Comfortable and ergonomic
- Dual LCD displays - Intuitive monitoring function
- Goal tracking function - Input your personal goals
- 26.7 x 63.2 x 72.5 inches/167.3 lbs - Not the most portable or space-efficient
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Quiet Elliptical for Apartment Use
Now that we’ve shown you our top 5 best quiet ellipticals for apartment use, we’re hoping that you’re feeling more confident about bringing a new elliptical machine into your apartment.
However, in addition to noise levels, there are several features and functions you should think about before confirming your purchase.
If you’d like to find out which features to prioritize when choosing a quiet elliptical for your apartment, keep reading! We have plenty of tips to offer, and there are more to come in our FAQ section below!
Size and Weight
Of course, when buying an elliptical for apartment use, one of the first things you will need to ascertain is whether your ideal unit will fit comfortably into your living space.
Reputable manufacturers should provide dimensions for their products, so the product information can usually be relied upon to clarify these measurements.
An item weight is usually provided alongside the dimensions.
Make sure to check the dimensions of all sides of the machine so that you aren’t caught off guard by the elliptical being wider or taller than you anticipated.
The reason weight is relevant to apartment compatibility is that finding a permanent, spacious area to set up your elliptical can be trickier than in a larger home environment.
Therefore, it’s wise to choose an elliptical that is lightweight enough to be moved around easily, even if just to push it up against the wall once you’ve finished using it for maximum spatial efficiency.
Bear in mind that even if an elliptical machine is on the heavier side, the inclusion of transport wheels with the machine can mitigate the portability issue.
Please always remember to check the maximum weight capacity of an elliptical before buying!
This is very important because using an elliptical that is not designed to carry your weight can cause damage to the machine, voiding your warranty at best and posing a health and safety risk at worst.
Most of the time, you should be able to find a maximum load capacity somewhere in a product’s informational guidelines.
If this is not the case, for whatever reason, your next best bet is to check through customer testimonials and reviews through the retail platform. Another buyer may have had experiences of their own that indicate what the weight limit might be.
Now we come to the most important feature to the subject of your search, which is the noise level produced by the machine.
The best way to judge whether an elliptical machine will be quiet enough for apartment use is to verify which kind of resistance mechanism it uses.
This is because one of the most common causes of excessive noise from elliptical machines is friction from the resistance system.
Therefore, a quiet elliptical will typically be one that doesn’t use any or much friction to generate resistance.
Your best bet in terms of quiet resistance is either an electromagnetic flywheel or a purely magnetic resistance system. Neither of these systems makes use of friction to create resistance, so drag noise isn’t something you’ll have to deal with.
Fan ellipticals are also relatively quiet, although you may notice a light background hum when your machine is in use. This shouldn’t be loud enough to disturb any neighbors, though.
Another area from which noise can emanate when using an elliptical machine is the pedals. After a certain amount of wear and tear, it’s not uncommon for pedals to start squeaking.
This can be annoying, and in severe cases, the noise may become loud enough to constitute a disturbance.
If the pedals of your elliptical start squeaking, the best course of action is to check all the bolts and hardware to make sure nothing is loose.
Once you’ve done this, quick treatment with some form of automotive or home-improvement lubricant should minimize the noise.
Settings and Functions
In addition to making sure that your elliptical is the right size and quiet enough for use in your apartment, as well as strong enough to support your weight, you’ll need to ensure that the built-in settings and functions are compatible with your workout needs.
The first thing you should check is that the resistance is adjustable. An elliptical without an adjustable resistance function will probably not provide you with the workout you’re looking for.
Some elliptical machines will have a rotary dial without any specific levels of resistance marked on it. This allows you to select exactly the difficulty you need without being constrained by incremental resistance levels.
Alternatively, if you prefer to work with specific levels in terms of resistance (after all, it helps to be able to find your ideal level easily every time), it’s a good idea to check the number of resistance levels built into the machine.
Some machines have up to 25 levels while others have under 10. The more levels you have access to, the more flexible your workouts will be.
If you find that simply increasing the resistance on your elliptical doesn’t challenge you enough at your current fitness level, we recommend choosing an elliptical machine that allows for incline adjustment.
This will up the intensity of your workout in a different way, challenging additional muscle groups.
It’s also worth checking whether your elliptical machine comes with any specific workout programs.
Higher-end elliptical machines can come with dozens of fitness programs to spice up your workouts, so if this is something you’re interested in, definitely verify this beforehand.
Many mid-range to high-end ellipticals come with connectivity functions, such as Bluetooth and app connectivity.
This allows you to sync your data with fitness tracking apps like My Fitness Pal, and if your elliptical comes with built-in speakers, it will also allow you to play your favorite motivational music while you get your sweat on.
Features like tablet holders, USB charging ports, and built-in fans are also highly sought after to maximize the convenience and comfort of the elliptical experience.
Finally, if you’re serious about your fitness journey, you’ll probably want to keep track of your data in some way.
LCD monitoring interfaces are common amongst ellipticals because they help users to track their heart rate, calories burned, time spent working out, and average speeds.
Some more expensive elliptical models may also offer you the ability to input your personal fitness goals into the machine as a starting point.
Don’t worry, though - you can always do this through a fitness app instead if you prefer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ellipticals generally quiet?
Compared to some other exercise machines you might find in the gym, the elliptical is actually relatively quiet on average. However, that doesn’t mean that ellipticals can’t make a fair amount of noise if they are poorly constructed or being used incorrectly.
While ellipticals aren’t typically the noisest of exercise machines, it’s not guaranteed that every elliptical machine will be quiet enough for apartment use.
That’s why it’s important to prioritize quiet-functioning motors and mechanisms as well as high-quality construction when choosing an elliptical machine for your apartment.
Why is my elliptical making noise?
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to choose a quiet machine, you may find your elliptical making more noise than it should.
There are several potential reasons why this could be, so before continuing to use your elliptical despite the noise or giving up on the machine entirely, it’s important to consider the potential causes of unexpected noise levels so that you can mitigate the problem as much as possible.
It’s common for an elliptical machine to start making noise if its components are no longer properly lubricated. The mechanics involved in elliptical construction involve a lot of nuts and bolts, which can easily begin to grind and squeak without proper lubrication.
Luckily, this one is an easy fix. Just check all the bolts to make sure none of them are coming loose (which could be responsible for the noise), and then apply a general-purpose lubricant to the joints.
It’s also possible that some of the bearings and bushings in the elliptical’s construction could have become worn down, causing them to grind as they move.
If the problem doesn’t seem to be with the nuts and bolts, check the bushings and bearings, too. If any of them look worn, a fitness machine repair service should be able to take care of the problem for you.
You could also try using anti-vibration pads for washing machines to reduce vibration noise.
Is an elliptical workout effective?
Yes, an elliptical workout makes for a highly effective cardio session, and if you crank the resistance up high enough, you’ll definitely see strengthening improvements in your legs (and, potentially, arms).
Elliptical workouts are also a low-impact form of exercise, which means that your joints won’t be put under too much strain during your sessions.
In addition to working your muscles, cardiovascular system, and lungs, an elliptical machine may help you to improve your balance because of the nature of the exercise.
Is it safe to put an elliptical upstairs?
Some upstairs apartment owners worry that putting a heavy elliptical machine upstairs may be dangerous.
However, we’re pleased to reassure you that keeping your elliptical on a higher floor should not be dangerous in any way, provided that your apartment building is structurally sound.
Most ellipticals don’t weigh more than 200 lbs, with the average elliptical machine weighing somewhere between 100 and 150 lbs.
If putting an elliptical machine upstairs were dangerous, many of us would also be nervously tiptoeing around our top floors for fear of falling through the ceiling.
In other words, don’t worry about having an elliptical in your upper-floor apartment: it’s completely safe.
Should I put a mat underneath my elliptical?
You don’t necessarily need to put a mat underneath your elliptical machine, but doing so can be beneficial in several ways.
First and foremost, positioning a mat under your elliptical machine will help to protect your floor, whether it’s a hard floor type or carpet.
Having a heavy machine like an elliptical sat on the same spot on your floor is likely to cause some marking over a period of months or years, so if this is something you would rather avoid, investing in an elliptical mat is likely to be your best option.
Mats are known to help prevent ellipticals from shifting around during use, so if you’ve set your heart on a super-lightweight and portable elliptical machine, it might be worth investing in a mat as well.
Depending on the thickness and material of the mat that you choose, an elliptical mat may also help to dampen noise.
This is especially true if your apartment is above another apartment since the mat may help to absorb noises coming through your floor (your neighbor’s ceiling), minimizing noise disturbances.