Top 10 Budget Elliptical
There are literally hundreds of elliptical machines on the market today. Choosing the right one can be a little tricky, especially if you don’t know much about these machines.
We looked at every elliptical machine under $400 and compiled a list of the top 10. These budget ellipticals have been ranked based on their value for money, features, and user satisfaction.
If you’re stuck for time, our favorite elliptical is the Schwinn A40 – it’s an excellent all-rounder at a fantastic price. The key features you’ll get with budget ellipticals are:
The Schwinn A40 was priced at more than $600, making it too expensive for our list of budget ellipticals. However, you can now pick one up for under $400!
The A40 is a very popular machine that has seen several changes over its lifetime. Its long stride, large console, pre-set programs, and excellent build quality have made it the number one choice for home users.
It has a shorter stride compared to its main rival, the Exerpeutic 5000, at 17.5 inches vs. 18 inches. While the A40 doesn’t have any smart features, it does come with some cool additions, such as a fan, speakers, and a water bottle holder.
There isn’t a massive difference in terms of pricing and features between our top 3 picks. Still, the Schwinn A40 is our favorite budget elliptical. For more information on the A40, take a look at our full review. ⇉ read full review
ProForm 150i Smart Elliptical
Proform 150i smart elliptical allows you to take your workout to the next level. The machine has a 17-inch stride length plus a front-drive motor. With the combination, you are sure of a smooth-action alternating with resistance.
With the padded handles, you will be able to get stability in a manner that will help you to thoroughly work out your upper body as much as toning your legs.
In terms of monitoring real-time progress via the street view setting, the device has a built-in LCD screen that is compatible with google maps and iFit apps. The unit has 13 workouts already programmed into the system, thereby offering you a variety of exercises; for a longer period of use, the unit has a long-lasting steel frame that is not only durable but can also withstand different levels of workouts.
With a reliable front-drive design, you should worry no more about controllable hiccups during the workout. And for a thorough upper-body workout, the handles will help you streamline them into desired levels. Do you want to have a sip while working out? This unit has a water bottle holder that will help you keep hydrated through the exercise period. ⇉ read full review
Exerpeutic GOLD 2000XLST Elliptical
The Exerpeutic GOLD 2000XLST is one of the newest elliptical in the market, and based on our review, it’s going to be very popular this year. Even though Excerpeutic market it as a budget friendly smart elliptical, the App it supports does not add much value compared to a fitness band. The app is basically an extended version of the console.
I love all its none-smart features. This one is the updated version of the budget friendly Exerpeutic 1000XL. Being twice as heavy as the 1000XL, using this elliptical is very fulfilling with natural elliptical motion. The display is even larger than that of the Excerpeutic 5000. ⇉ read full review
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
For the last few years, this is one of the most popular elliptical trainers under $400. We only had to rank it lower because of its short stride length. The stride length is not that bad, its 15″ [which is not suitable for people over 5 feet 10 inch.] It also has some basic smart features (with free iFit trial).
ProForm is continuously improving its hybrid elliptical model. The newest model is no longer a clunky machine with made up-spec; its a well tested trainer that works well as a recumbent trainer and elliptical machine. If you are not fit for prolonged exercise, you can start with the recumbent feature, and then move toward the elliptical.
With dual action arms, you will have no stress on the joints, hips, and ankles. In addition, your upper-body work out shall be at its best. That is why it is called a “zero impact” workout unit. The machine has a resistance tension of up to level 8 magnetic resistance. And a weight capacity of 300 Ibs.The natural elliptical motion of 1000 XL clears all bouncy movements produced by other competing elliptical. The large LCD display indicates calories burned, speed, the distance, time, as it scans the target zone heart rate.
With a dual direction flywheel, you can easily workout frontwards and backward. Also, it has a 13″ stride length and a target zone monitor. The machine provides a smooth and quiet workout experience. This is made possible by the balance created from the flywheel and V-belt drive. Therefore, you can even watch TV live while listening to music without any interruption. So, the unit comes with a large pedal with a ribbed design that prevents foil slippage during the workout. ⇉ read full review
Cubii Jr. / Pro
The Cubii is a new under-desk, smart elliptical that can be synced with popular fitness tracking apps. It makes your workout routines more personalized and interactive. A perfect fitness device if you are interested in losing some calories while working at your office desk.
Though this is the most expensive under-desk elliptical, Cubii Pro is worth it for users who do not have time/accessability to use a full size elliptical. This trainer has the best mobile app out of any smart ellipticals (through the connection with other fitness app is not good). ⇉ read full review
Body Rider 3 in 1 Trio Elliptical Trainer
This 3-in-1 elliptical offer everything the Proform Hybrid offers, but is for smaller households with its compact footprint. According to the manufacturer’s site, the stride is listed to be 21 inch. But if feels more like 14-inch.
Only get this machine, if you want a multi-machine trainer for your home and not sold too much to just an elliptical. ⇉ read full review
MaxKare Magnetic Elliptical
XTERRA FS 3.0 Elliptical Trainer
This was the most feature-packed, budget elliptical in 2016. As a few better trainers were introduced over the last few years, it lost a bit of ranking but, with a heavy (22 lbs) flywheel, 20 resistance level, large (5.5 inches) display and good build quality, the FS 3.0 is still ranked among the top elliptical in this price group.
We had to push its ranking down mainly because of its 16-inch stride length as it’s not suitable for tall users. Plus, a lot of customer complaints about its resistance being too difficult. ⇉ read full review
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical SF-E3804
Sunny Health & Fitness is a well-known value for money brand. With the SF-E3804, Sunny health made sure that you get the best bang for your buck.
This is a very compact, basic elliptical any bells and whistles. Compared to other Sunny health ellipticals, this has better-built quality, pre-set programs, and bigger screens. If you are taller than 5’8” we suggest you look into any elliptical mentioned above.
Fitness Reality E5500XL Elliptical Trainer
It gives you all the workout programs that you need for a smoother track of your results. The low-impact 18″ stride, 24 level resistance as well as smart target control computer will offer you the exercise challenge that you wish. It also comes with heart pulse sensors — which target your heart rate. So, this E5500 is designed to be extra compact that you need to explore.
With 18 Inch Stride Length this machine supports extended user weight capacity of up to 270 lbs. That provides a comfortable and a set of work out without the strain on the ankles or the knees.
Fitness Reality E5500XL Elliptical Trainer creates 24 levels of smooth Magnetic Tension resistance. So, with 21 Computer pre-set Workout Programs, and the 3 goal workout settings, time, distance, and calories burned are enhanced. This elliptical machine comes with Backlit LCD Computer displays for time, distance, RPM, speed, calories burned, pulse, Watts and odometer. Then, the recovery feature provides an evaluation of the heart rate after a workout.
Also, it is designed with larger stride pedals that prevent possible slippage of the foot when exercising. And the lowest part of the pedals is 6 inches above the ground. That provides a safe capability. The distance between two pedals is 6 inches only minimizing the strain on your inner thighs. ⇉ read full review
How Much Should You Spend on the Elliptical?
Each price range has something different to offer. There is a basic rule of thumb:
Less than $150: these are the most basic Chinese machines. Almost all of these ellipticals are chain driven, makes a bit of sound and are not designed to last very long. The only good trainer in this range is Stamina InMotion.
Less than $500: this is the sweet spot for home elliptical. You can get well built magnetic elliptical. Because of the magnetic drive system, there is no significant difference between the noise from these trainers and the more expensive ones. You will not get any wireless heart rate monitor, long strides, incline, and advanced programs.
Less than $1,000: as the price increases, more features for the machine increases. These brands of machines are advancing but not fully. So, You will get some fantastic features added in this price range of the elliptical and even more designs. Features like manual incline, longer stride length, wireless heart rate monitors.
The $1,000 to $2,000 machines: With this budget, you can get premium brands of ellipticals: like Sole, Norditrac, Bowflex.Most of these trainers have an automatic incline, adjustable strides, and wireless heart rate monitor. Of course, the build quality will be as good as they get.
Over $2,000 machines: Here lies the top ranking, high-class, best-rated ellipticals with classy features. Everything at this level is of the premium price range.
Elliptical Trainer: All the Frequently Asked Questions
There are various questions that both beginners and experienced users of elliptical machines ask during a workout.
A. Is HIIT good for your health?
HIIT introduces essential activities that accelerate your metabolic process to avoid challenges that come with eating heavy calories.
And since elliptical trainers offer average intensity cardio training, they will help in burning more fat at the end. Combining the two while doing HIIT 2 or 3 times every week will have a significant effect on your health.
B. Is an elliptical similar to a treadmill?
A. Both of them are excellent home cardio training machines with pros and cons. But, an elliptical is easier on the joints and takes up less room compared to the treadmill. It also lets you exercise both your upper body and legs at the same time.
C. How much room is perfect for an elliptical machine?
That depends on the type and perhaps brand of the machine, but most ellipticals require at least six feet long as well as three feet wide. That and more will be excellent for your experience and the freedom to move around.
D. Can you Get Injured with the elliptical machine?
Some training experts will caution you about the elliptical trainers not providing a natural stride as that of walking, cycling or even jogging. This means that you’re restricting your mechanical motion, and so, you’re at the risk of injury.
But, the high risk of injury is usually a result of wrong or abusive use of the elliptical. Also, with 30 to 60 minutes every day, you’ll be just fine.
Elliptical Vs Treadmill
Getting an elliptical is a significant investment. The investment sum is not just the amount you paid for the trainer. As ellipticals are not very compact or foldable (except for some special ones), you also invest with floor space.
If this is your first elliptical purchase, I would suggest not to invest more than $400, and look into any of our top picks. This price range is perfect for the fitness enthusiast to burn more calories at home. Ensure you spend less for the best. Keep your goals ahead and go for all that it takes to maintain the safest workout for your experience.
Do you have an elliptical? Or thinking of getting one? Share your opinion or ask questions in the comment box below. Hope I could help you with your elliptical search.