IMPORTANT!The price of ellipticals listed below can change at any moment due to manufacturer pricing policy or due to different other reasons. The ellipticals listed as budget options (under 500 or under 1000 USD) have been reviewed at their prices in the time of publishing this guide.
Review: The ProForm 150i elliptical is one of the best budget elliptical machines you can get. It is well built, from a manufacturer with a solid reputation. It is quiet to operate and straightforward to assemble.
The machine is heavy-duty, not cheap and flimsy like others in this price range and you will not regret buying this elliptical trainer.
Well built, high quality from a trusted manufacturer.
Smooth quiet operation.
17 inch stride – 250 lb weight limit.
Built-in heart rate monitor.
iFit feature seems required, but it’s not. Hold the blue iFit button for 30 seconds to activate the console.
Smooth, quiet and well built. One of the best affordable ellipticals out there.
This ProForm elliptical trainer is great if you are on a budget, but if the price is not a limiting factor for you, check out this list of the best elliptical trainers available today.
Review: This is the machine to get if you want a high-quality compact elliptical at a great price. The console is basic, but it gets the job done, and for the money, it’s worth it.
It has electromagnetic resistance so you always stay challenged, and it runs smooth and quiet so you don’t disturb others in the house as you work out.
330 lb weight limit.
16 levels of Electromagnetic resistance.
Heart rate monitor built-in.
No incline setting.
Smaller machine, compared to other home gym Ellipticals – 14 inch stride length.
This simple Sunny trainer is one of the best elliptical machines under 500, good quality, ample resistance, small footprint, and a great price.
This Sunny Health and Fitness magnetic elliptical trainer is sure to quickly help you burn fat and calories and help you lose weight. I also have a list here of the best cardio machines to lose weight, if shedding unwanted pounds is your goal this year.
Review: This AFG elliptical trainer is a great choice for big and tall riders. The stride fits taller people, the weight limit of 350 is pretty high, and the handles bars sit up high, making it ideal to tall folks.
It is also good for people with knee problems. The glide path is flatter and has lower resistance than other ellipticals.
Low impact flat or level elliptical path.
Max user weight of 350.
Built-in heart rate monitor and push-button control on the handle.
Built in speakers are not high quality.
Unit takes at least 2 hours to assemble.
A solid, low impact, flat path elliptical trainer for big, tall and heavy riders.
Review: This entry-level elliptical trainer is one of the lowest-priced elliptical trainers you can get. It has a quiet operation, magnetic resistance, is easy to put together and has a high user weight limit of 300, which is pretty good, considering the price.
This bike gets my vote for the best cheap elliptical available today.
Can be used frontwards and in reverse.
300 lb max user weight.
Space saving – compact footprint.
13 inch stride length.
No workout programs on the console.
This elliptical trainer is a steal at this price, it has everything bikes twice the price have and is good quality.
This Excerpeutic elliptical trainer is a space saver, and great for a small home or garage gym. Take a look at these other space-saving home workout machines to outfit your compact home gym.
Review: The Tunturi elliptical trainer has a classy, has a sleek look and a quality build you will appreciate. They paid attention to details by including a tablet holder, an app, Bluetooth connectivity, an adjustable tilt monitor, super smooth gliders, and large transport wheels to move the machine if you need to.
Adjustable monitor and built in heart rate sensor in the handles.
Great for tall and heavy riders.
70 lb flywheel with 8 available resistance levels.
19 inch stride length with 300 lb max user weight.
Console is basic, nothing fancy.
The most beautiful, finely crafted elliptical trainer you can get for under $1000.
Review: The V-450X is a great elliptical trainer for under $500. The maker include a lot of little details that add up to a solid machine.
The pedals are adjustable, the stride is 18 inches long, the swing arms are height adjustable and it has niceties like a phone charger, tablet, and water bottle holder, in handle heart rate monitor and backlit LCD screen.
It’s the whole package at a great price!
18 inch stride with 300 lb max user weight.
20 kg flywheel with 24 levels of magnetic resistance available.
Adjustable pedals and adjustable height swing arms.
Built-in heart rate monitor.
Adjusting for a longer stride makes the angle upwards a little odd.
Best elliptical under 500 for big guys! Adjustable foot placement, adjustable swing arm, high max user weight and lots of extras.
Review: The Kettler elliptical has a few features that make it stand out from the rest. First, it has a 10 inch Q factor keeps your legs closer together reducing strain on knees and hip joints. Second, it has a program that adjusts the settings based on your heart rate so you are always “In the Zone”.
5 lb rear-drive flywheel.
15 inch stride length and 285 lb max user weight.
Floor levelers and transport casters are small details that make a difference.
Adjustable footplates allow you to vary the elliptical path.
Speed and distance are displayed in kilometers.
Well-designed elliptical trainer with ideal Q factor that’s easy on the joints.
Review: This Body Champ trainer is three machines in one. It can be used as an elliptical trainer, recumbent bike and an upright bike.
This trainer is a great value that allows you 3 different forms of cardio exercise that each train the arm and leg muscles in a different way for a well-rounded full-body workout.
Handle integrated heart rate monitor.
Good for those with limited mobility because you can sit while you exercise.
12 inch stride length with 250 lb max user weight.
Takes a long time to assemble.
A great value, three pieces of workout equipment in one.
This Body Champ Trio makes a fun addition to your home gym, because it incorporated a bike and elliptical in one.
If you have ever thought of adding an energetic fat-blasting spinning bike to your lineup, take a look at this list of best spinning bikes.
Buying Guide to Budget-friendly, Affordable, Cheap Elliptical Trainers
What factors you should keep in mind before buying:
The stride length on an elliptical trainer is the maximum length you can stride and is measured between the tip of your toe on one foot and the heel of your other foot at the apex of the ellipse.
An ideal stride length is about 20 inches. Shorter stride lengths tend to make the stride more vertical and turn into a step-like motion. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but a step motion is a little harder on the knees, so be aware of that if you suffer mobility issues.
It is challenging to find a stride length of 20 inches on an elliptical under 500 dollars, but the Nautilus Elliptical Trainer comes close. It is a little more than 500 dollars and has a 20-inch stride length.
If you are heavy set, check the weight limit of the machine. The max user weight limit of the elliptical machines in this list varies from about 250 to 375.
Naturally, the higher weight limit correlates with a higher quality machine, so it’s good to check, even if you don’t need a high weight limit due to your weight.
Resistance and Incline
Resistance and incline add challenge to your workout, and in layman’s terms, make it harder to stride so you burn more fat and build more muscle.
Most machines over $300 dollars have some form of resistance, usually magnetic resistance provided by strong magnets and the flywheel.
I would not recommend an elliptical without resistance except in very special cases such as someone using the elliptical trainer for physical therapy.
An Incline feature is not always found on cheaper elliptical trainers. Sometimes the budget-priced elliptical trainers have a manually adjustable incline, which is a hassle because you must get off the machine to adjust the incline.
Space and Height Limitations
If you have a small space or low ceilings, keep that in mind as you make your decision.
Are There any Good Foldable or Portable Elliptical Trainers?
I did not find ANY folding elliptical trainers, but there are a few really compact elliptical machines. Keep in mind a compact elliptical machine will have a shorter stride and feel more like a stepper.
The Q factor is actually a term used for bikes, but it applies to elliptical trainers. The Q stands for “Quack” because if a bike has a wide Q factor, the rider’s feet are far apart as they ride which some say makes them walk like a duck.
The Q factor is the distance between the two cranks of a bike, or as applied to an elliptical trainer, it is how far your legs or feet are from each other as you ride.
A wide Q factor not only has you walking like a duck, but it is hard on your knees and hips.
What is the Average Cost of an Elliptical Machine?
There is a HUGE variation of price in elliptical trainers. Prices range from around 150 on the really low end, to 5000 for commercial gym quality machines.
If you want something decent that is built to last has high quality and all the features you want, you can get a really good elliptical machine for around $1000.
What is the Best Cheap Elliptical?
The best cheap elliptical that I can in good conscience recommend is the ProForm 150i Elliptical. It is well under $500 and performs like a much more expensive machine.
It is made by a manufacturer with a good reputation in fitness equipment, has a 17 inch stride, a solid build, is stable to ride and is really, really affordable.
Is it Possible to Buy a Good Elliptical Machine under $500 or $1000?
There are elliptical trainers under $500 dollars that have a reasonably long stride and other hot features like a phone charger, adjustable height arms and adjustable pedals like the V-450X Elliptical Exercise Cross Trainer.
Are There Any Elliptical Trainers I Can Use at Work or Under a Desk?
If you need a really compact elliptical trainer or one you can use under a desk or in front of the TV, the Cubii Jr. – Seated Under-Desk Elliptical is a top-rated under-desk elliptical trainer that is very quiet, low impact, and offers added resistance.
If you like the idea of getting some exercise in at work, take a look at this list of the best under desk bikes and see if one catches your eye.
That wraps up our 2021 list of best ellipticals under $1000 reviewed.
Now you know you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a great elliptical machine.
I hope you found the best elliptical for you!
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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!