Best 18-Inch Stride Elliptical Machines – Read Before You Buy

When you buy through links on this site, I may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

The elliptical is a low-impact cardio machine that allows you to train both the upper and lower body, giving you the possibility of doing cardio workouts and getting in shape quickly without damaging your joints and shaping the entire body.

However, unlike a treadmill, it is not easy to find an elliptical that fits your height because all elliptical machines have different stride lengths, i. e., the length between the pedals. One of the most used stride lengths in an elliptical is between 16 to 18 inches since it is a short-medium length, ideal for people with short legs or people who have an average-low height.

However, if you are a short person, you will want to know about the stride length that the machine offers before making your purchase. This detail is essential if you want your training to be safe, effective, and comfortable. If you are between 5′ – 6′ tall, an 18-inch stride elliptical will suit you best.

In this article, I will put at your disposal the best elliptical machines with a stride length of 18 inches below:

See the overview, pros & cons below.

How to Choose the Right Stride Length?

Stride length on an elliptical machine is the distance between one pedal and another when the legs are open.

To know the measurement of the length of your stride you must take into account the length of your leg. Knowing this measure will help you train more comfortably since the movement will be more natural and fluid. You have to have in mind that although an elliptical’s stride is wide, it does not mean that it is better.

If the elliptical’s stride length is much greater than your stride, you will not get the most out of that distance and may injure yourself as you will try to achieve a stride that is not suitable for your leg length.

In case you don’t know your correct stride length, then don’t panic because here we already did the work of rearranging the precise guidelines you need to choose the correct stride length when buying an elliptical:

  • 14 – 16 inch stride: If you’re under 5’, this elliptical stride length range suits you best
  • 16 – 18 inch stride: suitable for people between 5’ and 5’ 5’’
  • 20-inch stride elliptical: 20’’ stride length is considered the standard stride length of an elliptical. This length is ideal for users of average or normal height (5’ 5’’ – 6’).
  • 20’’ and up stride length: If you are a tall person and measure above 6’. An elliptical with a stride length of 22 inches is usually more than sufficient.
  • Adjustable stride length elliptical: It is ideal for those who want to achieve rigorous cardio and weight-bearing workout with zero impact on their joints.

Do you still have doubts about the length of your stride? You can fix it by visiting your neighborhood gym or that friend of yours who has an elliptical at home to test the machines for yourself and evaluate the experience.

You should feel comfortable when using the elliptical machine since height is only one of the many factors to take into account when choosing the right stride for you.

Your HeightIdeal Elliptical Stride Length
Under 5’14"-16"
6’ and up20"-22"

Further Reading: 

Top 6 Best 18-Inch Stride Elliptical Machines

#1. ProForm Smart Strider 495 Elliptical

ProForm 495 Cse Smart Strider 495 Cse Elliptical

The Proform Smart Strider 495 elliptical machine is undoubtedly one of the most revolutionary models of this brand.

This space-saving elliptical can be easily folded thanks to the Spacesaver system makes it ideal for any home environment since as soon as you finish training, you can store the device quickly and easily.

On the other hand, in addition to being an ergonomic model whose folding system does not affect the rigidity of the base, it has wheels for its movement.

A total of 18 programs with different levels of intensity adjustment ensure very positive workouts. When it comes to its stride, it has 18 inches and makes it adaptable to any user.

Also, its exceptionally dimensioned footprint pedals (77.5″ length x 30″ width x 80″ height) allow a more natural performance

the Proform 495 CSE elliptical has the option of using a fixed arm position so you can focus on lower bodywork or rest your upper body.

On this handlebar, you will also find the EKG CardioGrip system that will allow you to control your heart rate. Another possibility is to use a chest pulse band since this model also has Bluetooth technology.


  • 18 levels of silent magnetic resistance SMR.
  • It’s almost assembled right out of the box. Just some settings that will be needing your expertise.
  • Includes the EKG CardioGrip system to measure heart rate.
  • It has a backlit LCD screen.
  • If you have the iFit fitness tracking app, then make the most out of it now by connecting it with the elliptical.
  • If there are any space issues, then it’s the perfect time to say sayonara because it has folding technology that doesn’t take much time and is reliable.


  • You will have to take the subscription to the iFit fitness app to unlock more features.
  • It is a heavy machine and hard to move when assembled.

#2. NordicTrack SE9i Spacesaver Elliptical

NordicTrack Spacesaver SE9i Elliptical Trainers
This is another option if you are looking for a budget-friendly elliptical machine with a stride length of 18 inches.

The NordicTrack SE 9i is one of the most compact models with good quality and functionality for those who want to take care of their health from their home comfort.

It will help you achieve all your fitness goals with great quality and safety. It offers the best relation between quality and price.

It also offers an ergonomic position between your body and its rear wheel for the ideal trunk and leg alignment for comfortable workouts.

This power incline elliptical is designed with 24 levels of digital resistance. In this way, the user has the freedom to modify his training to achieve his goals and burn the maximum calories desired.

On the other hand, it offers the ability to create 5 different user profiles for the whole family to train.

Don’t forget to use the 7” HD Interactive Touchscreen Display to configure and choose one of the 30 training levels offered by the iFit application for diverse, faster, smarter workouts.

Choose between the Weight Loss, Performance, and Wellness goals and let yourself be guided throughout your training.

And to make your workouts more challenging, this elliptical incorporates an adjustable Power Ramp that allows you to incline it, which will allow you to work a greater number of muscles.


  • It has been designed for space-saving reasons. It has folding technology that will help you significantly after your workout.
  • If you feel very sweaty, then the fan inside the machine will cool down your temperature pretty quickly.
  • Low step-up height, suitable for low ceiling room.
  • It has a 7-inch touchscreen for making your experience even more immersive.
  • Congratulations if you bought it because you will be getting a lifetime warranty with this elliptical.
  • You won’t be needing much help during the assembly as it’s almost completed right out of the box.
  • More than 25 workout apps are there in this elliptical.


  • As it has been declared as a state-of-the-art piece by Nordictrack, it also comes at a little heavy price, but it surely will deliver you a club-like experience.
  • It also supports the iFit fitness tracking app, but if you don’t have the subscription, it might not be very helpful.

#3. Exerpeutic 1318 18-Inch Elliptical

Exerpeutic 1318 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer with Double Transmission Drive

This elliptical is not only for people with short legs, but it is also ideal for those who have little space and have a limited budget.

The functions of this short stride elliptical may be considered a bit basic, but it is a machine worth considering due to its natural stride motion, always caring for your joints because of its low workout impact.

As for its training programs, the Exerpeutic 1318 offers 12 workout levels where you can program it thanks to its LCD screen console since, in turn, you can verify the time, heart rate, distance, etc., essential data when training from home.

In addition to choosing a training program, this elliptical offers 24 magnetic resistance levels that you can comfortably adjust from the same console.

Do you need more? It is built in excellent quality and is a favorite of many athletes as it is a lightweight machine and offers a maximum user weight of 270 lbs.

As for its assembly, it is straightforward. You will receive a manual with step-by-step instructions so that you can assemble it in 2 or 3 hours, do not worry, you will also receive the necessary tools to complete this task.


  • It’s very affordable. It becomes a surprise as you are looking at a machine with nice specifications.
  • If your home has tight spaces, then don’t fret. It has a small footprint.
  • There are 12 workout programs in total.
  • A great LCD monitor to guide through various factors like RPM, heart rate, distance, etc.
  • You can create a maximum of 4 profiles. Hence, everyone can maintain their stats.
  • If you want different resistance settings, then you might be amazed as it has 24 such settings.
  • The pedals are appreciative of better stability.
  • It’s portable as it has wheels on it.


  • Noice and instability could become a problem.
  • The material is not that strong.
  • Offers basic options.

#4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3890 Cardio Elliptical Trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness Programmable Cardio Elliptical Trainer - SF-E3890,

This model also falls under the category of 18 inches of stride length for people with short height. However, it is also a model that is at a fairly affordable price if we evaluate its functions and quality.

Regarding its quality, its frame is made of steel with a paint finish that prevents corrosion. You will receive it almost completely assembled but be careful that it can be heavy to move it, although its front wheels will facilitate the work. This weight helps provide stability when training.

The SF-E3890 is built with mobile and fixed handlebars. The fixed handlebars have built-in sensors that measure the heart rate, and the mobile handlebars move with your legs.

Regarding the resistance, this elliptical machine offers a motorized magnetic resistance system; that is, it must be connected to an outlet for the console to work. You can adjust the resistance, which includes 16 levels with which you can burn many calories.

Likewise, the console offers 12 training programs, and you can control time, heart rate, etc.

Its magnetic resistance levels will allow a relatively wide range for your routine, so you can progress as you see the results. The support area for the feet (pedals) has an anti-slip system, so it is not prone to falls or accidents.


  • There is a performance monitor to track your fitness by tracking the distance, RPM, heart rate, calories, speed, resistance levels, etc.
  • This machine surely knows how to use the length and space for its advantage effectively.
  • Suppose you have your fitness tracking app on your device. Then, consider connecting it to the elliptical for better use. The device holder is there for you when you need it.
  • If you want to be noted about your heart rate and intensity measures, then the pulse sensors will keep you notified every often.
  • There is an accessories tray for your small things to keep in like keys, cards, lip balm, cash, etc.
  • There are wheels in the elliptical to make it more portable.
  • The non-slip pedals will make sure that a firm grip is maintained throughout the session.


  • If you are going to use it after months, you might face problems.
  • There might be squeaky noises when you work out on the elliptical
  • It can start shaking after a while if used roughly a bit.

#5. GOELLIPTICAL V-450X 18” Stride Programmable Elliptical

GOELLIPTICAL V-450X Standard Stride 18” Programmable Elliptical Exercise Cross Trainer

If you are looking for a complete cardiovascular workout to strengthen muscles and improve your health, you have found it, since with this elliptical machine, in addition to cardio exercise, you can also work for the main muscle groups.

You can control your training with the multi-function console compatible with the MP3 and iPod music system using your smartphone’s USB port.

This 7” multifunction console has unlimited workout programs, random programs with unlimited variations and 24 different resistance levels, and additional programs such as time, speed, calories, etc.

Also, thanks to its fixed handlebar that includes a Heart Rate Monitoring (EKG-Contact), you will be able to see the results on the same monitor as well.

On the other hand, the V-450X offers a stride length of 18”, where you can adjust and change the pedals up to 8 different positions. The handlebar also offers the possibility of changing up to 3 positions for better comfort.

This elliptical machine also offers other features such as front wheels for easy transport, a bottle, and a smartphone holder.

And a data that stands out compared to the other elliptical machines that we have mentioned here is that it supports a user weight of up to 300 lbs.

Excellent product that meets everything advertised and works perfectly. You will receive it practically assembled. You will only have to assemble some parts, but thanks to its instruction manual, which includes graphic diagrams, you will quickly complete this task.


  • You can adjust its arms in three different positions and its foot pedals in 8 different positions.
  • A 7 inches LCD screen displays every necessary aspect like speed, calories, distance, heart rate, etc.
  • You will have an experience just like in a fluid with the help of its Silent Magnetic Resistance.
  • You will have the choice to pick from 24 different programs, including beginners, intermediate, advanced, etc.


  • The instructions manual wasn’t properly designed.
  • You can get squeaky noises when if not greased properly.

#6. Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer

This elliptical machine is at a reasonable price, of course, we always keep its quality in mind, and the Horizon Fitness EX-59 meets this requirement, which is also one of the most chosen ellipticals due to the length of stride that is of 18”, a measurement that many short people need.

On the other hand, you can exercise very well with its 10 training programs. Work all the muscles of your body, and if you have a goal to lose weight, you can do it too.

It comes with an incline of 10%, personal cooling fans, training using an interactive video, a 45” LCD monitor that offers data such as distance, calories, time, and much more.

As for the resistance levels, you will find 10, which is ideal for beginner and mid-level users.

This elliptical stands out for having a design known as SixStar, which helps the body maintain an upright position and does not lean, providing maximum comfort to the user.

And if you want to be distracted while you train, the machine is compatible with iPods, which means you can listen to music.


  • Great warranty with easy replacements.
  • Armbars with decent mobility.
  • 10 workouts to choose from
  • Water bottle holder, tablet holder.
  • Affordable price and noticing features.
  • Weight capacity of 275 pounds.
  • Compatible with iPods.
  • Ergonomic pedal spacing.


  • If your goal is extra burn, then there is no inclination.
  • You will be facing space and storage issues.
  • Some reviewers say that the heart monitor isn’t reliable. It gives inaccurate information.

#7. Schwinn 411

Are you a person with short legs looking for an elliptical machine to exercise at home? So the Schwinn 411 is a good choice because its stride length is 18 inches. In addition, the machine is at a very economical price knowing that we are facing one of the leading brands in training machines.

On the other hand, the Schwinn 411 is built with very optimal dimensions for reduced spaces, although it is not a folding model since it only measures 54” long and 24” wide. Also, it is important to mention that those who want to lose weight can do it without problems since its frame is made of resistant steel tubes that support users up to 300 pounds.

The machine’s frame is very well reinforced with a paint finish that prevents erosion, and not even perspiration will damage its parts.

Also, if you want to move the machine from one room to another, you can do so because it only weighs 100 pounds and has front wheels that will facilitate mobility. Once in its ideal place, its front and rear stabilizers will provide the necessary protection for your training.

Check on Amazon

#8. Nordictrack SE7i

The Nordictrack SE7 also offers 18-inch strides, and the best part is that it is at an excellent price. This machine has a slope in which the stride can be adjusted to better work the muscles.

Also, with 24 preset programs, you will have the training quality of a gym. A Certified Personal Trainer has carried out the programs, so speed, time, and distance are programmed.

Get diverse, faster, smarter workouts with iFit Live. Your training sessions are downloaded via Wi-Fi to your console daily. iFit Live offers you exercises performed with Google Maps, with automatic speed and incline control, and with vocal coaching so that you can train as you wish in the comfort of your home.

To burn more calories, tone your body or increase your muscle mass, adjust the resistance of your elliptical, you can choose between 22 levels.

The machine has a SYSTEM SPACE SAVER folding system; it has a simple and fast opening device. This folding system is ideal for those looking for a machine that is easy to store.

Check on Amazon

#9. Schwinn A40

The Schwinn A40 model stands out for its excellent features, offering high performance at an affordable price. This machine has a magnetic resistance that can be regulated with an intensity wheel to add more or less hardness to the exercise.

It has eight resistance levels, and it has seven preset workout programs, including a Quick Start, that offer workout versatility. In addition, when used, it is very smooth and silent.

The large LCD screen has recorded all the possible information during workouts: speed, elapsed time, distance, calories consumed, and heart rate.

Precisely the sensors to measure the heart rate are located on the grips. An interesting detail of this model is that it has fixed and mobile handlebars so that the person who is training can place their hands where it suits them best.

Check on Amazon

How to Choose the Best 18-Inch Stride Elliptical Machine?

To buy the best 18-inch stride elliptical machine, some considerations should be taken into account to find the machine that best suits you and your pocket.


Choosing a machine for its high price believing that it is the best is just a myth. The best elliptical machine is not always the most expensive as many inexpensive machines are of excellent quality. The best thing you can do is define your spending limit by setting a budget and then evaluating what you are looking for in an elliptical.

You must evaluate the quality of each model, the brands, and the functions and features that they offer at the lowest possible price. If you are looking for offers, you can bear in mind that prices tend to drop on some festive dates.

Evaluate the Design

You will find different designs of elliptical machines. For example, some models can be folded and thus save space. If you do not have much space, a machine with this design can be a good option.

However, you should pay attention to the machine’s overall size once it is running and compare your available space. Other brands offer models with wheels so that it is much easier at the time of their transfer.

Resistance and Flywheel

Evaluating these three elements is also very important since they are an essential part of the operation and quality of the machine.

Regarding the resistance, the best option is to choose a machine that works with magnetic resistance since it uses a system of magnets, resulting in a smoother and quieter braking operation.

The flow brake frameworks with magnets for better resistance give rise to control the difficulty level when exercising with the touch of a button on the handlebar.

When you increase the resistance, the tension on the flywheel increases, making it more difficult to push the pedals. This leads to a more challenging workout by helping to build leg muscles.

Some elliptical machines use more friction on the flywheel to increase elliptical resistance in the machine. In contrast, others use magnetic forces, and as we mentioned before, this last one is the best option.

Pay attention to the weight of the flywheel. Generally, a standard machine tends to present a flywheel weighing 15 pounds.


Many people like to do different types of workouts. Therefore, if you are one of them, you can see whether the machine includes a console.

Some models include consoles with personalized training, which, in turn, allows the results to be saved by creating one or more user profiles in case more than one person uses the machine at home.

Changing the workouts is excellent so that you do not get bored, and not only the workouts included in the console should be considered.

Some models offer the ability to change the slope and choose machines with mobile rotary pedals and/or mobile strides.

Check the Warranty

When buying an elliptical machine for the home, many people do not consider the warranty, which is a mistake. The warranty is as important as any other detail mentioned above.

It is important that before making your purchase, you know the guarantee of the machine since depending on the model, it will have a different guarantee.

Many brands offer sales of elliptical machines online and specify the same warranty time on the sale page. However, if it does not appear, you can contact customer service to request this information, you will see that you will receive immediate help.

What Is the Best Stride Length for an Elliptical?

We know that all brands offer different elliptical machines with different stride lengths so that users of different heights can have different options.

However, there may be machines that are not precise in their strides and cause discomfort when training. However, the best stride length for an elliptical is 20 inches.

This measure is the one that best suits all users since it is a medium length so that people of different heights can use it without hurting themselves. Users between 5′ 3” to 6′ will train in an elliptical with a stride of 20 inches. This is the right length in case different people of different heights decide to train at home.

Is the 18-inch Stride Elliptical Good for Tall People or Short People?

Definitely, yes. If your height is around 5’ 3”, then an elliptical machine between 16 and 18 inches stride length is excellent for you. It is an ideal length for users with short legs or even if you are recently starting training with this machine at home.

The Verdict: Which Is the Best Elliptical Machine with 18-Inch Stride?

In the end, I conclude that fitness should be a person’s priority, and considering today’s world, if you want to compete with others, you must have it.

All of the six considered are decent in their arena, but in my view, you should go with the Nordictrack SE9i. It might be a bit expensive, but for what it’s worth, you won’t regret it.

The elliptical will give you a club-like experience in your home. And if you want any other, then consider going for Horizon Fitness EX-59 elliptical trainer.

Even if something wrong happens with the parts, Horizon will happily replace them without any troubles.

Although their weights are one problem, they also offer many features that will balance it out.

With both of them, you can connect your iFit fitness app and continue your daily streak. Furthermore, they have built-in workout apps that will guide you through the procedure, like, for instance, beginners, intermediate, advanced, and many more.

Both elliptical machines are considered the best among the six in terms of features, experience, parts, etc.

Read Also:

Pin It on Pinterest