Welcome to our list for the best ellipticals under $500. Until April 2020, $500 was the sweet spot in the “home-elliptical market.” Everything you would want in an elliptical was available in this budget. Because of the COVID situation, there was almost zero supply from China. It’s challenging to obtain any of the ellipticals listed below.
- Magnetic Resistance
- Silent machines
- Compact Footprint
- Manual Incline
- Small Stride
- Basic HRM
- Basic Programs
Note: Prices of elliptical trainers (same as other imported exercise equipment) have increased sharply. In this strange time, we see an influx of Chinese brands, such as ncient, Aceshin, and ANCHEER. We request you to stay away from these three brands. Here are our top picks:
|Schwinn 411||300 lbs||54L x 24W x 62.5H||16||18″|
|Exerputic 6000 QF||270 lbs||55L x 25W x 64H||24||18″|
|Schwinn A40||275 lbs||59L x 23W x 63.5H||8||17.5″|
|ProForm 250i||250 lbs||60L x 25.5W x 69H||12||17″|
|Best Fitness Crosstrainer (BFCT1)||225 lbs||45L x 26W x 66H||8||16″|
If you enjoy using the elliptical or feel like it will be an excellent addition to your workout routine, there are many great machines on the market that you can add to your home for added convenience. This way, you won’t have to go to the gym if there isn’t enough time and you can multitask. Here is an elaborate list of best elliptical under $500 that’s perfect for your home:
|Fly-Wheel||~ 13.5 lbs|
|Dimension||53.8L x 24W x 62.5H|
|Display||5.5″ High Contrast LCD|
|HR Monitor||Contact & Telemetry Enabled|
The 411 is the newest model of elliptical in our list, and its a big hit. Within just a couple of months, the Schwinn 411 took the place of crowd favorite A40
This model is a well-crafted elliptical that checks all boxes for an under $500 machine. It is designed for small space (saves 30% space compared to its alternatives). It has a comfortable stride length, well suited for anyone between the height of 5’5″ to 6’2″. Schwinn is a century-old US brand (was founded in Chicago in 1895), you can buy from them with certainty.
Exerputic 6000 QF
|Fly-Wheel||2 flywheel and 2 belt design system|
|Resistance||24 (magnetic resistance)|
|Dimension||55″L x 25″W x 64″H|
Exerputic re-branded their old 1318 series and named it 6000 QF. The core frame is exactly as the old model, but they have also added MyCloudFitness support and increased some ergonomics.
Compared to other models in this list, the 6000 QF has a wider display where you can comfortably place your phone or iPad. Exerputic introduced double transmission for this model for better stride experience. With this “double transmission”, you will get 2 separate flywheels attached via two belts.
|Resistance||8 (magnetic resistance)|
|Dimension||59” L x 23” W x 64” H|
The Schwinn A40 Elliptical is a fan-favorite and known for combining value and quality (under $500). Because of its popularity, Schwinn refreshes the A40 model every 3-4 years. This model was last refreshed in 2016 and do not have any smart features like the above mentioned Exerpeutic 5000. Featurewise, the A40 has 17.5″ Stride with a heavy flywheel. It only has seven programs and eight resistance levels, but this is more than enough for home usage.
If you are looking for a compact, silent elliptical to ensure worth-while cardio workout at you home, this is the elliptical for you. ⇉ read full review
Sunny Circuit Zone
|Dimension||63L x 21W x 66H|
The Sunny Circuit Zone (SF-E3862) is a relatively new model by sunny health, and it has quickly become a crowd favorite. Sunny health is widely known for its cheap under $200 products, so when they released an elliptical with a list price over $500, we were skeptical. But this machine has stable built quality. It’s incredibly silent and does not take a lot of floor space.
It comes with a lot of (24) built-in programs and has a comfortable stride.
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
|Fly-Wheel||Dual direction Economy|
|Dimension||70.5L x 24.5W x 60.5H|
ProForm Hybrid Elliptical is one of the most popular recumbent elliptical trainers available. For the last few years, its price was always under $400. But because of the current COVID-19 situation, its price has increased a bit. That is why we are adding this model in our “Under 500 Elliptical” list.
This model is an excellent investment and provides great value for your money (even with the increased price).
⇉ read full review
Fitness Reality 2366 X-Class
|Dimension||67L x 24.5W x 68.5H|
The Fitness Reality 2366 X-Class is the best elliptical for almost any type of home gym. This is also very friendly for new users (who are new in elliptical training). It is one of the cheaper ones on the list but still high in quality. The design of this machine is unique with its red and silver highlights against a black frame.
There are many features in place to perfect the performance of this machine, including a flywheel that is heavier than the average to make the device smoother, many program options, and different levels of tension resistance to give you diversity in your workouts. ⇉ read full review
Best Fitness Crosstrainer (BFCT1)
|Dimension||45L x 26W x 66H|
This is a very basic elliptical that is built to last. The BFCT1 is the most compact (only 45″L x 26″W x 66″H) elliptical in this list. This elliptical will get the job done, year after year (as this machine is out in the market for the last ten years).
The BFCT1 comes with 8 levels of magnetic resistance, 12″ stride and 225 lbs of capacity. ⇉ read full review
Checklist to get the best elliptical under $500
Now that you have an idea of what ellipticals can offer, you will need to choose the model that will best suit you and your needs. Knowing what to look for in an elliptical will make it easier to make a decision, as you can solely pay attention to the features that you care about. Here are some of the critical things to look for in your elliptical.
Before making a purchase, it is essential that you determine how much exercise you want out of your elliptical. Some stride lengths are longer than others, so the longer they are, the more motion you are going to get. 20 inches and above mean that the elliptical is capable of higher intensity workouts than those that are shorter.
Another feature that you will want to look into is if the machine comes with a fitness tracker. Although not entirely a necessity, a performance tracker can help you keep up with your progress and encourage you to reach your fitness goals.
The flywheel weight is essential, as this will determine how smooth and consistent your workout will be. The heavier the weight, the smoother it will be since the movement will be more controlled.
Number of Programs and Resistance Levels
When buying an elliptical, you will want to make sure that there are options and intensity levels that you can adjust to give your workouts diversity. Plus, the more you workout, the more your muscles will get used to what you are doing, so be sure that the machine can make up for this.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best elliptical machine for home use?
It depends based on your home and the budget that you have for a cardio machine. Every single home elliptical must have the following: (1) Magnetic Drive system, (2) Correct stride for your height (here is a guide), (3) silent mechanism so that you do not disturb your neighbors, (4) strong build, because you do not want to replace your elliptical machine every 3-4 years. Based on these attributes, you cannot go wrong with the following elliptical machines: Schwinn 411, Schwinn A40, Exerpeutic Elliptical, ProForm Hybrid Trainer. You can have a look at our elliptical reviews to find the perfect elliptical trainer for your home.
Do ellipticals help lose belly fat?
Yes. You can lose 2 centimeters from your abdominal area (belly fat) within six weeks. You can achieve this without any diet change and with only regular 30-minute elliptical sessions (you can even use built-in workout programs in your machine). According to this Duke University Medical Center’s research, Aerobic exercise is better at burning belly fat than resistance training.
Please note: one of the worst types of fat is visceral fat. These are the fat that is in our abdominal area that wraps our organs. These are the most difficult type of fat to get rid of. If you want to escalate your belly fat reduction with diet change, we suggest you have a look at this amazing article from The Johns Hopkins University.
We also suggest mixing: light weight lifting, 20 -60 second Plank, basic situps, crunches to get even faster results.
What are the top 10 ellipticals?
Here are the top 10 elliptical according to the summer of 2020 (without any specific price range).
Sole fitness E35, Schwinn 430, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 , Schwinn 411, Schwinn A40, Exerpeutic Elliptical, ProForm Hybrid Trainer, Nautilus e616, NordicTrack c 9 5.
Which elliptical is better front or rear-drive?
Rear-drive elliptical trainers that have longer stride length (over 16″) are better as they provide a more balanced and centered user experience. Most users will not find much difference between front-drive and rear-drive elliptical when the stride length is short (because the core gets balanced due to the compact size).
Rear-drive elliptical that has longer stride is usually has a more expensive price tag than the front-drive alternatives.