Perhaps you do not have enough budget to afford a gym membership every month, or you don’t have enough time to head to the gym. However, neither should be an excuse not to be able to do your workout regimen.
Getting yourself a good elliptical machine is a significant investment that can fit into an any-sized home and allows you to squeeze in a workout to any schedule.
Now, you might be worried that such machines can cost thousands of dollars. Well, the good news is, the market also offers a handful of the best ellipticals under 500 that won’t hurt your wallet that much.
Top 12 Best Ellipticals Under $500 Reviewed
1. ProForm 150i Elliptical Review
The ProForm 150i is one of the best-rated ellipticals under 500 and has various features to love in a small package. It features a 17-inch stride length along with a front-drive motor that offers the ideal combination of resistance and smooth action. The padded handles help in providing stability as well as offering a way to work out both your upper body and legs.
It comes with 12 different resistance levels for the best workout. It can hold at least 250 pounds of weight, and its LCD shows an EKG heart rate monitor so you can control and monitor your exercise.
The machine is also iPod compatible, so you can easily enjoy your music while you work out. It also has transport wheels for easy moving from room to room, along with adjustable leveling feet. You also get a water bottle holder to keep you hydrated while you work out. Its 5-year warranty is what sets it apart from other elliptical machines in this price range.
2. Body Max Body Rider 2-In-1 Elliptical Trainer and Exercise Bike
The Body Rider Elliptical Machine with Seat is a unique piece of fitness equipment, combines two machines in one and greatly expands your workout session. This dual machine allows you to use it as a regular elliptical machine or as an exercise bike with its attached adjustable seat.
It is designed to give you a low and gentle impact but an effective cardio workout for your lower and upper body. It features a high-momentum fan blade flywheel system for a fluid and smooth system. You get to easily adjust the resistance level with a simple turn on the knob. The electronic console helps in tracking your speed, time, distance, and calories you burned.
It features a weight capacity of 250 pounds and includes a transportation wheel for you to easily move it from one place to another. Height can also be adjusted horizontally and vertically as per requirement.
3. Schwinn 430 Elliptical Review
The Schwinn brand is known for excellent construction and quality and puts together the 430 Elliptical that brings you a comfortable and smooth workout experience that helps in increasing your muscle and cardio strength while you shed unwanted pounds.
It features a 20 inches long stride with Precision Path foot motion tech, stimulating a natural running motion. Its high speed and high inertia drive system also offer a quick and easy startup along with quieter and smoother workouts. The large cushioned footplates also contribute to low-impact and comfortable workouts. For hand placement flexibility, the machine features ergonomically placed fixed and moving handlebars.
In addition, it features 20 levels of computer-controlled resistance for a broad range of workout intensity options. Its sleek and streamlined console and Goal Track capability allow you to set your goals by tracking the distance, time, and calories you burned with your previous workouts.
4. Cubii Jr. Desk Elliptical Review – Best Portable Elliptical
The Cubii is the leading compact and transportable elliptical, especially designed for you to work out while you sit at the office or at home. One of its most significant features is that it is super quiet. The Cubii Jr. Desk Elliptical is the best solution for you to discreetly get your workout whenever you can, without worrying about disturbing others, especially at work.
The machine also boasts sturdiness and durability. And although it does not have any handlebars for an upper body workout, this machine is built to last with its quality parts, materials, and construction. It can even accommodate at least 250 pounds of weight. Designed for comfort, this elliptical trainer comes with a 12-inch stride length as well as patented ergonomic angles for smooth and comfortable elliptical exercise.
Even though it is small, the Cubii Jr. has at least 8 various resistance levels and features a display monitor that monitors and tracks real-time, RPM, calories burned, distance, and strides. For your convenience, it can be easily assembled in less than 5 minutes out of its box. Lastly, Cubii offers a 1-year limited warranty for their desk elliptical.
5. Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
If you are on the heavier side and need a budget but heavy-duty elliptical, then the Exerpeutic 1000XL will be a good bet. It features a whopping 300-pound weight capacity with eight levels of magnetic tension resistance to provide a more challenging, “zero impact” workout without any stress on joints, ankles, and hips.
It features Dual Action Workout Arms that provide an upper body workout to tone up the upper body muscles. Meanwhile, the larger pedal with a ribbed design helps in preventing any slipping during a workout. Its flywheel is also dual-directional for backward and frontwards workout capability.
Also, the V-belt drive and precision balanced flywheel help provide quiet and smooth operation. Meanwhile, the large LCD indicates speed, time, distance, calories burned, scan, and pulse for monitoring heart rate. The built-in transportation wheels allow for easy room relocation as needed.
6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Elliptical Machine Glider
Sunny Health & Fitness and over 15 years of experience in providing customers achieve their own unique fitness goals. And with this elliptical trainer offering, you should be able to up your aerobic workout giving you all the benefits of running, walking, stretching, skiing, cross-country, and aerobic dancing without having damaging movements or jarring impacts on your body.
The SF-E902 Air Walk Trainer features a 30-inch of stride length that allows you to properly your legs backward and forward with stability and ease. Also, it features non-slip footpads that help you in maintaining safety and balance. The oversized footplates also accommodate all sizes while ensuring a firm grip even during the most vigorous workouts.
The elliptic has a weight capacity of only 220 pounds, but its heavy-duty steel frame is built to accommodate the strongest and toughest users. Tracking your progress is also easy with the Digital Monitor Screen, showing the time and distance to keep you focused on your goals.
7. ANCHEER Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer
The ANCHEER Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer has an accurately balanced flywheel with a V-belt drive that helps ensures even, smooth, and super quiet operation. It features 8-level magnetic resistance from super easy to a more difficult workout. You can choose the difficulty level with just a single twist on the tension now.
The heavy-duty body frame is quite sturdy and durable and can accommodate at least 250 pounds of weight. It features a non-slip design of the footsteps to ensure comfort and stability. Also, the long movable handlebars along with the footsteps offer a no-impact full-body workout.
It also boasts an easy-to-read LCD monitor that displays time, distance, heart rate, calories burned, scan, and speed. It also helps in keeping a record of fitness stats as well as planning your workouts. A small media tray works as a tablet holder while the built-in transportation wheels allow you to move the machine easily.
8. Gazelle Edge Elliptical
Gazelle Edge Elliptical is one of the best options for beginners. It is a high-performance exercise machine that can help maintain and increase your cardio workout in the comfort of your own home. It boasts a fluid motion performance so you can go from a warm-up walk to a sweaty run in no time.
And while you run, you can fiddle with the easy-to-use 5-function workout computer. The Gazelle Edge not only allows you to choose the workout program, but it also tracks time, distance, speed, and more.
You also get a patented, dual-action split suspension, so you have a complete range of freedom and motion that you get to experience outdoors. In addition, it features padded, foam handlebars as well as an extra-wide, non-slip foot platform. In addition, it has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds.
9. Exerpeutic 1301 Aero Air Elliptical Review
A cheap elliptical from the reputable brand Exerpeutic, this smart-looking, and nicely constructed elliptical allows for a full-body workout in the comforts of your own home. It features various levels of resistance and even has an easy-to-read wide display that provides all the necessary information about your workouts.
It offers excellent and natural motion for a full-body workout. Also, it features a super soft handle grip that provides a nice workout on your upper body as well as a large paddle that accommodates various shoe sizes. It features built-in wheels, so you can easily transfer the elliptical anywhere you want. Lastly, it comes with only a 1-year warranty.
10. Body Max Champ 2–in-1 Elliptical and Exercise Bike
The patented 2-in-1 Cardio Dual Trainer from Body Max is an Exercise Bike and Elliptical Trainer in one. The machine features elliptical motion design technology as well as an advanced magnetic resistance system to provide you with a smooth and quiet operation without any impact on your knees or joints.
It boasts a programmable LCD console that has various preset workout programs, user-customizable programs, and even heart rate-driven programs. The seat can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically for optimal comfort.
The machine also features 2 sets of ergonomic handlebars, a set of bidirectional foot pedal riding platforms as well as a foam-padded seat cushion that provides only the comfiest experience. It also has hassle-free adjustments to switch from mode to mode and even includes a workout DVD to guide you through your workout.
11. Fitness Reality Air Walker X1 Elliptical
The Fitness Reality Air Walker X1 can provide you with a great cardiovascular workout while reducing any impact on your leg joints, ankles, and knees. It features dual-action arms which also provide an upper-body workout at the same time. Its extra-long 36 inches stride offers a range of motion that allows you to stretch those legs and work your hamstrings to increase flexibility.
Not only that, but this elliptical trainer also features a 180-degree range of motion leg exercises which can be done in various directions, unlike other models. You can do backward, forward, and even side-to-side leg stretched for an improved workout. Meanwhile, the LCD computer provides readouts of time, distance, step count, calories burned, and pulse for every workout.
In addition, the oversized foot pads can accommodate various people and are ribbed and textured to prevent slippage. The machine even has an adjustable floor stabilizer for a more secure and stable workout session. It has a 225-weight capacity and can be folded in half for easy storage as well as built-in transport wheels for easy relocation.
12. Stamina InMotion Compact Strider
Unlike other ellipticals, the stamina InMotion Strider Pro is a space-saving and simple solution for an effective cardio workout in the comfort of your own home. The elliptical machine features eight levels of magnetic resistance which you can adjust with the dial tension so you can take your workout to the next level.
It features padded handlebars to provide support and can also be detached with the quick-release switch. Meanwhile, the large, textured footplates ensure that you will never slip for a stable and injury-free workout. The one-touch monitor shows you every necessary data, such as total distance, calories burned, and workout time.
Another great thing about this compact elliptical is that you can use it in 3 ways— you can use it standing with the handles for support, remove the handles and do a balanced upright workout or use it while seated on your desk. Also, you will never get bored with this machine, since you can switch up your exercise with the reverse-motion pedals so you can work for a different muscle group.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is the minimum height to start using an elliptical?
A: You need to make sure that the stride length is suitable for your height. Also, if it has upper body levers, you need to ensure that you can reach it.
In terms of machines, an 8-foot ceiling is enough height for a 6-foot-tall user.
Q: Are there any medical restrictions on using ellipticals?
A: Yes, there is. Depending on the medical issues you may have— conditions or injuries— you will have to ask your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you to use an elliptical.
And although an elliptical is suitable for people with injuries since it is a low-impact machine, it can be still quite troublesome for several medical ailments.
Q: Do ellipticals work well on carpets or do they require a wooden platform?
A: You will have to be aware of the overall weight of the machine. If the machine does not have rubber gripper pads on its base, it is important to invest in a mat to help safeguard the flooring. Mats can also help in making the machine more secure and stable.
Q: Are ellipticals good for seniors?
Ellipticals may be ideal for seniors who want to sidestep harsh impacts while staying active. Ellipticals that are ergonomic and sturdy are particularly beneficial for seniors since their aging bodies are more prone to injuries.
Q: Is an elliptical similar to a treadmill?
A: Both machines are excellent for home cardio training. However, they come with various pros and cons. However, an elliptical machine is much easier on your joints and has a much smaller footprint than a treadmill. Ellipticals also allow you to exercise both your legs and upper body at the same time.
Q: Can you get injured with an elliptical machine?
A: Some training experts will warn you about elliptical machines that do not provide a natural stride like cycling, walking, or jogging. Such ellipticals restrict your mechanical motion and thus making you at risk of injuries.
However, the higher risk of injury associated with ellipticals results from the abusive or wrong use of the machine. Also, you need to make sure that you only use it for at least 30 – 60 minutes every day to avoid injuries caused by overwork.
Q: How much space is perfect for an elliptical?
A: This depends on the type as well as the brand of the machine. However, most ellipticals require around 6 feet long and 3 feet wide space. That and more should be excellent for a better workout experience and the freedom to move around as you please.
Q: Are ellipticals really good workout machines?
A: Yes. Ellipticals offer the benefit of a low-impact exercise while also training both your lower and upper body. They are particularly appealing to aging people since they can be forgiving to the aging joints while providing an excellent aerobic workout as well as helping you burn unwanted calories for weight loss.
Important Factors To Consider
Although you’re going for an affordable one, buying an elliptical machine is still a major purchase and should not be taken lightly. There are various considerations that you need to think about before making the purchase.
The first thing that you need to consider is the size of the elliptical machine. If you can’t fit it in your home, then how will you be able to use it?
Normally, you will be looking at elliptical machines that are at least 4 – 6 feet in length and 4 – 5 feet in height. We recommend that you measure out the space where you will place the machine and compare it with the measurement of the machine.
Elliptical machines come in 3 different designs with each having its pros and cons:
- REAR DRIVE ELLIPTICALS: A small wheel is housed just after the pedals for this design and is typically longer than other designs.
- CENTER DRIVE ELLIPTICALS: These are usually called treadmills but with pedals instead of tracks. Its design is highly compact and gentle, making it a great choice for a home workout.
- FRONT DRIVE ELLIPTICALS: The most basic design, such a model has a wheel housed at the front. However, it does bring annoying noise and vibrations when used during the workout.
A natural stride is crucial for a comfortable and low-risk workout. Most people have natural strides of at least 18 – 22 inches with the standard for elliptical machines in health clubs being 20 inches.
Unfortunately, stride length is usually shorter on ellipticals under 500. Some models even have shorter strides of 13 inches or less, which you should avoid. Compromising on the stride length may cause knee and joint pain and other discomforts, defeating the very purpose of using an elliptical machine in the first place.
Another important factor if you are looking to make the most out of your workout, resistance is how hard the machine will fight you when you work out. When choosing an elliptical, it is highly recommended that you get one with an eddy current brake system or has a variable magnetic resistance.
Some elliptical machines feature fixed inclines, while some allow you to adjust them. Adjustable inclines are not necessary. However, if you wish to use an elliptical to prepare for hiking, then you will want one that can be adjusted. An adjustable incline ramp can also help increase the difficulty of your workout.
Heavier and Better Flywheels
Flywheels can make or break an elliptical. Cheaper models are typically fitted with lighter flywheels; however, weight is not necessarily all there is to it in terms of flywheels. A heavier unit is going to offer more resistance for you to work with, so you have more challenging workouts.
However, the construction of the flywheel and how balanced it is can also play a crucial role in your overall experience.
Elliptical machines at health clubs usually have user weight limits of 300 – 400 pounds. It is always better to go for a higher maximum weight to be safe, especially if you are on the heavier side.
Having a close call with the machine’s weight limit can lead to balance issues, vibrations, and breakdowns when working out.
Foot Paddle Size
Comfort is quite essential when working out. Oversized pedals can help in avoiding numbing your feet and toes. Furthermore, it must have a non-slip material that can attach to the shoes very tightly.
You also need to get adjustable pedals to help accommodate all members of your family. Also, you can get angle-adjustable pedals to adapt to the cycle of your stride, making you more comfortable while you work out.
Ellipticals under 500 usually use older display techs. The screen may be small while some are not backlit and are quite difficult to read.
So, make sure that that you know a little about the display before buying the machine so that you will not be overwhelmed by all of it.
Last but not least, you need to consider the warranty that covers the machine. Warranty is the best indicator of quality. Make sure that you consider the parts coverage with most ellipticals under 500. You can expect at least a 6-month parts warranty.
You can buy just about any workout machine for exercise. However, an elliptical machine will give you the most benefits for your indoor workout compared to any other piece of equipment.
Ellipticals are the perfect machine for a full-body workout without putting any pressure on body joints and preventing impact injuries. Sure, there are high-end, premium machines available for thousands of dollars, but you can invest in the best elliptical under 500 and still get the most out of your workout routine.
So keep on being active and lead long lives!