Best Elliptical Under $500 In 2023 [Top 8 Machines + Buying Guide]
Exercising involves a complex explanation in science. Scientists are still trying to discover more benefits and positive effect that exercise could bring to the human body and mind. Healthcare staffs often encourage people of all ages to at least exercise thrice per week in order to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
However, not all people have the time to hit the gym or do outdoor sports which are mostly weather-dependent. Therefore, more and more people have chose to workout from their homes. Elliptical is one of the most beneficial equipment to go for.
In this article we are going to review the best elliptical under $500, affordable and won't break your bank. For those who wants to jump straight to our final verdict, here are our picks.
The 8 Best Ellipticals Under $500
We have summarized a comparison table below for your easy reference. However, it is important to note that the positions are in no particular order of importance.
ProForm 150i Elliptical
| 12 pre-programmed workouts|
12 resistance levels EKG heart rate monitor iFit compatible
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902
|Stride Length: 30-inch Max weight capacity: 220-lbs LCD Computer displays: time, count, total distance, and calories Comes with abdominal pads Weight: 12.4 lbs|| 4.6/5.0|
|Stride Length: 11-inch 8 levels of magnetic resistance Digital LCD display Pulse rate monitoring Max weight capacity: 220-lbs|| 4.2/5.0|
Body Max BRM3671
|2 in 1: Elliptical + Bike Deluxe programmeable LCD console 12+ workout programs 2-ways adjustable seat Stroke length: 14-inch Max weight capacity: 275-lbs|| 4.5/5.0|
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
|Cardio recumbent bike workout + a total toning Elliptical Program 16 workout apps 16 levels of resistance|| 4.7/5.0|
|Stride Length: 18-inch 12 Workout Programs 7 training modes 24 level Magnetic Tension system LCD computer display Max weight capacity: 270-lbs|| 4.2/5.0|
|Stride Length: 17.5-inch LCD display 6 user profiles 7 preset workout programs 8 levels of resistance|| 4.6/5.0|
Magnetic Control Smooth Quiet Elliptical
|Stride Length: 13-inch 8 levels of magnetic resistance Digital monitor & pulse rate grips Max weight capacity: 250-lbs|| 4.0/5.0|
Best Elliptical under $500 Reviews
1. ProForm 150i
Proform 150i undeniably top our lists of the best elliptical under $500. You are going to like the front flywheel feature and the overall design.
For most of us, this is one of the best-looking models. It looks more expensive than it actually is and it is one of the most sophisticated as well.
The weight capacity is 250 pounds and the entire frame is covered by a 5 year warranty. The warranty for the rest is 90 days.
In a nutshell, the tested model is one of the best elliptical machines out there for those interested in hard and demanding exercising every single day.
Thanks to this advantage, the elliptical is even more beneficial for all of you who are looking a high-end model.
The iFit compatibility means that you will enjoy the best programs developed by professionals. Now you can lose weight and make your body look better than ever before.
Inertia Enhanced Flywheel
The flywheel is one of the biggest advantages of this model. It is capable of meeting all your requirements and it can be one of the main advantages of the tested unit. In addition, it also makes the use simpler and more advanced at the same time
2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902
This elliptical trainer is the most affordable of them all. It is a manual model so there is no need for electricity. Despite the fact it is operated by the force of a user, it is still a beneficial unit. We tested it and we liked the way it operates.
The most important thing to remember is that you manage to get a full body workout with this one.
The maximum weight load is 220 pounds and the elliptical is massive enough for users of all heights and all ages. Operations are smooth and simple.
We should add that it is the lightest model on the market. Don’t forget that you also get a small LCD which will help you monitor the calories, distance and etc.
30-inches Stride Length
The just mentioned feature refers to the movement of the pedals. They have a stride length of 30 inches which must be mentioned. It means that all of you can use the machine and get the most of it.
Just because it is affordable doesn’t mean it is built with cheap materials. After all, it is specifically developed for all of us.
In order for an elliptical to be safe, users need non-slip pedals. They are obviously present in this particular unit, which is another advantage. Don’t forget that they are massive in size as well.
3. EFITMENT E005
The E005 is a popular model that doesn’t stand out from the crowd. It is a simple and practical elliptical machine of the modern generation.
We liked the low stride travel which is 11 inches only. This makes it more practical than other models and more useful for those who have a limited free space.
Obviously, an LCD display is present and it offers usual information. Another fact we should add is the smoothness of the operations. It is perfect and very easy to use.
Full Body Workout
With the E005 you are going to get a full body workout. The design of the machine is standard and paired with the latest research of the scientists.
What this means is that you get the ultimate exercising at any given moment and you will notice the first results within days. It is truly the best elliptical machines for home use.
This elliptical trainer is one of more appealing models when it comes to this factor. The elliptical is equipped with small wheels which allow for you to transport it easier than ever before.
As such, movement inside a home or a gym won’t be a problem. There is no need to lift heavy items.
4. Body Max BRM3671
As you are able to see, this elliptical trainer comes with the dual-system design. It can be used as an exercising bike and an elliptical machine. Switching between the machines is easy and simple. In addition, the adjustment is on the highest level possible, so you won’t have issues here.
Ergonomic handlebars are the next best thing about this unit. They allow for you to get the best comfort while exercising and to stay in a perfect position at all times. The unit isn’t much bigger compared to similar models thanks to the clever design. It will find a place in most homes perfectly.
The console is the biggest advantage this machine has to offer. It comes with a massive LCD display and 12 different program settings.
It also displays standard data such as calories, distance, resistance and etc. We should add that the console looks modern and it is a real pleasure using it.
Two-Way Seat Adjustments
Yes, the seat you can see comes with two ways to adjust it. It has been added to the equation in order to meet the requirements of us all and to provide even better comfort
5. ProForm Hybrid Elliptical Trainer
The ProForm model you are looking at is commonly known as one of the best hybrid trainer. Basically, you get two machines in one and both of them are designed for improving stamina, strength and overall health. It is one of the most popular models of this kind as well.
We should add that this proform hybrid trainer is based on the latest technology and it offers the best advantages for those who don’t have space for two units in their home. It is reasonably practical considering the design and the features.
16 Program Apps
This proform hybrid trainer offers you 16 apps to choose from at any given moment. This means that you will get the best ability to choose the one you need at that moment and can help you maximize your workout.
All the apps are specifically designed for this machine and optimized for advanced training.
With this hybrid trainer, you can attach the iPod or a media device and play music while exercising. According to a survey, this has a huge effect on the duration of workouts and the overall results
6. Exerpeutic 5000
This may be one of the best-looking models and the most sophisticated as well.
You can choose between 12 programs and 7 different modes, enhancing the elliptical machine suitable for many users.
The weight load is the next best thing about this model. It is 270 pounds and it is higher than similar models have to offer. We want to recommend this model to the people who are overweight and looking for a way to lose weight.
24 Level Magnetic Resistance System
The resistance system built-in into this elliptical is a masterpiece. First and foremost, it offers 24 different levels. Then it is one of the most durable systems of this kind. It is common on professional, high-end models you can see in high-end gyms.
3 Piece Cranking System
The cranking system is a great element in this model as well. It consists of 3 pieces and it makes it very resistant. The system is also appreciated for its smooth operations and even better durability.
7. Schwinn A40
Schwinn A40 elliptical trainer does come with all essentials you are going to need. It is one of the most advanced models in this class and one of the best-selling at the moment.
We appreciate the overall design, which is modern and sophisticated. Then we can see that you get 7 different programs and a quick start feature.
8 levels of resistance will help you manage your stamina and stay in perfect condition. Of course, a few more levels would be even better. We must include the fact the tested model came with small wheels which make transportation easier.
A display is an important element of the elliptical. In this case scenario, we are looking at one of the best units on the market. It is massive and it displays all the important information. The entire console is a masterpiece and relatively easy to use.
The handles with built-in sensors are the second advantage of the tested model. They are easy and comfortable to use and they come with the great level of softness and simplicity
8. Magnetic Control Smooth Quiet Elliptical
First of all, it offers smooth operations, thanks to the perfect flywheel and the V-belt drive system. Besides the smoothness you are going to get the elliptical trainer machine in question offers you heavy-duty pedals and a superior design.
This magnetic elliptical trainer also comes with a great warranty and overall it is a great value for money. We also liked a compact design, so storing it won’t be a problem. But, there are two main features that caught our attention.
Yes, this magnetic elliptical trainer offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance. It is an important factor to consider and definitely an advantage due to the fact you can adapt it for all fitness levels.
You can use it precisely as you like and there won’t be any complications. Magnetic resistance is also the best-known and the most durable resistance system present in elliptical machines.
The console comes with an LCD monitor that will present you all the important data at all times. You can see the calories burned, the pulse, the resistance level and so much. The pulse sensors are conveniently located inside the handles.
Buyer's Guide for the Best Elliptical
If you are looking for the best elliptical with a budget then you are going to need the buyer’s guide. Here we have prepared all the main elements and factors to consider when looking for a new machine of this kind.
It is important and we highly recommend beginners to read the guide before they decide which model is the best for their applications.
As you can assume, the size of the elliptical trainers are the first factor to consider. It is important to know that an average elliptical machine is 6 feet long and 2.5 feet wide.
But, there are models of different sizes, obviously and they can range between 50 and 80 inches. All you have to know is that the elliptical must get 20 inches of free space in one side at least.
Make sure that the free space in your apartment is sufficient for accommodating a new elliptical.
Not all elliptical trainers are the same. As a matter of fact, there are 3 different types and each one comes with its own set of pros and cons.
The first type is known as the front flywheel. Obviously, the flywheel is located at the front. They are affordable and great machines for beginners, but they are not very smooth while using.
The second type is the central flywheel units. As the name suggests, the flywheel is located in the center of the machine. They are smoother and they are bigger. Keep in mind that you are going to need plenty of space when choosing a model of this type.
Rear-flywheel models are the longest of them all. They are the smoothest when operating and they share the similar design as the first type here. Obviously, you are going to need plenty of space to store them.
Because you are going to use your new elliptical every single day for a long period of time, you need the comfort. The main point here is that your wrists should stay in a natural position. All awkward positions are signs that the comfort is compromising and the overall result won’t be especially good.
Even the cheapest elliptical must have comfortable and long handlebars. This is essential if you are planning on using your machine frequently and for the best results.
All elliptical trainers of this kind come with a flywheel and a resistance system which is used to simulate the movement and the resistance, therefore the name.
But, how many levels a machine has? Obviously, the more the merrier, and we can add that all professional models come with plenty of different levels.
Low-end machines will usually have 2-3 intensity settings. For average and professional users, this isn’t sufficient and it should be considered as a severe drawback. Models with 8-20 intensity settings are more desirable and more professional as well.
Some high-end models will probably have some or all advanced features. The main one is Cloud compatibility. Basically, you will be able to store and monitor your data at any given moment using any internet-capable device.
Browsers and internet capability are popular features as well. They allow for you to use the elliptical for browsing the internet and make the overall use even more appealing. We also like the Bluetooth connectivity. It allows for you to link the smartphone to the machine and listen to the music, use apps and etc.
Advanced features will make your machine more expensive, but more useful and more sophisticated as well. It is definitely something you need to take into account if you are a serious user.
Programs are not the same as the intensity setting. As a matter of fact, they are a completely different thing. In essence, a program will be used to target a specific group of muscles and to simulate a specific workout. As such, we can see random, manual, hill climb and etc. programs.
More programs allow you to target more muscles and to use an elliptical machine for a longer period of time, for more exercises. Check out this article on how to perform elliptical workouts efficiently. It is one of the most important factors and definitely something that makes a massive difference. All you have to remember is that more programs makes a machine better.
An interesting fact is that this feature is rare. Usually, it comes in a form of being unable to activate the elliptical trainers without a special procedure, which is used to prevent children from using.
Not all models come with it and the system is usually different for each one. Anyway, if you have small children at home, you will need to consider having this system.
An elliptical machine without a display is far less useful and usually less appealing to the users! That’s why most modern models come with a display.
You will need at least 6 inches display to get simplicity and the ability to track your process. More sophisticated machines will come with 10 inches display, so they are a bit better alternative.
We would like to recommend you elliptical machines with the biggest and the most advanced displays. They are simply the best.
Heart rate monitor is a usual feature and it can be seen on most elliptical trainers available today. However, some models still don’t have it.
It is advised that you should monitor your heart rate while exercising therefore it is best if your elliptical machine comes with one. It will help you to achieve your goal faster by optimizing your workout sessions in order to achieve better results.
Noise is one of the important factor that you have to take into account as well. It can come in moderate levels which is a decent score or it can be significantly increased, especially if we compare it with more advanced units.
All you have to remember is that the less noise means better resistance system and better build quality.
You were able to see that some cheaper models make more noise when used. On the other hand, we have come across that expensive units are quieter and they offer smooth operations. Yes, the differences are still minimalistic, but this is an important factor you need to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.Are elliptical machines good?
Elliptical machines are very good. They are primarily developed for burning fat and losing weight. You can burn up to 830 kcal per hour.
2.How Much Do elliptical machines cost?
An elliptical machine will cost between $1000 and $2000. A model from this price range will have all the features and be well-built.
3.Do ellipticals help lose belly fat?
Ellipticals can help you lose belly fat. After all, they are made to help you activate lower body parts including your belly.
4. Are elliptical machines good for bad knees?
Elliptical machines are good for bad knees. They require less stress on the knees than a treadmill or regular jogging.
5.What muscles do ellipticals work?
Ellipticals work by using your anterior tibialis, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. They generally affect lower body parts.
The Proform 150i however in our opinion is the best elliptical under $500 available on the market today. It is of high quality which offers best value of your money, comes with the latest technology and has one of the best resistance systems.
On top of that, we also liked the smoothness and the noise levels it makes. In a nutshell, it is a professional unit. If you need something else, you are free to take into consideration any of other 7 models. They are better than average and they are the most popular models as of today.
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