The Best Budget Elliptical Machines 2021

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 magnetic elliptical trainer 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.

Here is a list of all Elliptical machines available out there under $400

ModelDrive SystemStrideCapacity (Lbs)SizeFly WheelProgramBrandResistance TypeResistane
Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
Rear Drive1827055″ x 25″ x 64″N/ADual direction Economy Flywheel12ExerpeuticMagnetic16
ANCHEER Elliptical Machine
Rear Drive13350 40.9 x 18.9 x 63N/A13.2 lbsN/AAncgeerMagnetic8
pooboo Elliptical Trainer
Rear Drive1239039.4L x 21.5W x 61.4HN/AUnder 8 lbsN/ApoobooMagnetic8
Cubii JR2 Seated Under Desk Elliptical
Mini8250‎22 x 13.6 x 10.9N/AN/AN/ACubiiMagnetic8
Xterra FS 2.5 Elliptical Trainer
Rear Drive1430045.3 x 25.7 x 14.6N/AHeavy Duty24XTERRAMagnetic16
Exerpeutic 2000XLST
Rear Drive1327553L x 25W x 63H N/ADual direction Economy Flywheel21ExerpeuticMagnetic16
ProForm 150i
Front Drive1725066.75L x 22.5W x 63HN/AInertia-Enhanced Flywheel12ProformMagnetic12
ProForm 7.0 RE Elliptical Trainer
Rear Drive1825061(L) x 24"(W) x 63"(H)N/AInertia-Enhanced Flywheel14ProFormMagnetic14
Stamina Magnetic 1773 Cross Trainer
1425055"L x 20"W x 60"HN/A8 lbsStaminaMagnetic8
Stamina Dual Action Elliptical
1325019.5-by-59-by-40.5 inches (W x H x D);N/ADual direction Economy FlywheelStaminaMagnetic8
Cubii JR1 Seated Under Desk Elliptical
Mini825023.15 x 17.56 x 10 N/AN/AN/ACubiiMagnetic8
FUNMILY Eliptical
Rear Drive18390N/A1821FunmilyMagnetic10
NICEDAY Elliptical Machine
Rear Drive15.540048 x 25 x 62N/A16 lbsN/ANICEDAYMagnetic16
ProGear 500 LS Elliptical with Heart Pulse Sensors
Front Drive1727537” x 22” x 61”N/A10ProGearChaindial
ProForm 6.0 ZE Elliptical
Rear Drive1425070″ x 24″ x 63″N/AInertia-Enhanced Flywheel8ProFormMagnetic10
Sunny Health & Fitness 2 in 1 Elliptical
Rear Drive12.524045L x 22.5W x 59H inN/AInertia-Enhanced FlywheelN/ASunny Health & Fitness Magnetic8
Marcy Elliptical Trainer
Rear Drive1230051 x 20.5 x 64 inchesN/ADual direction Economy FlywheelN/AMarcy Fitness8 (magnetic tension resistance)8
LifePro Under Desk Elliptical Machine
Mini8250‎21.2 x 18.8 x 10.6N/AN/AN/ALifeProMagnetic8
Body Rider Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
Rear Drive1225047.5 x 28 x 64.5N/AUnder 8 lbsN/ABody RiderMagneticDial
Body Champ BRM3671 (2 in 1 Dual Trainer)
Rear Drive1427539 x 24 x 60N/AUnder 8 lbs10Body ChampMagneticDial
FUNMILY E970 Elliptica
Rear Drive1539038 x 24 x 70N/A16 lbsN/AFunmilyMagnetic8
Body Champ BRT3858
Rear Drive1430062 x 55 x 25N/A14 lbs17Body ChampMagnetic16
Body Champ 3-in-1 Exercise Machine
Rear Drive1430060 x 28 x 64N/A14 lbs21Body ChampMagnetic16
ANCHEER APP Elliptical Machine
Rear Drive1539024 x 47 x 60N/A18 lbsQiber appANCHEERMagnetic10
Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical
Front Drive1522042 x 23 x 60.5N/AUnder 14 lbsN/ASunny Health & Fitness Magnetic8
Cubii Go Seated Under Desk Elliptical
Mini1225024.5 in x 17.5 in x 9 inN/AN/AN/ACubiiMagnetic8
Exerputic 6000 QF
Rear Drive1827046 x 16 x 64N/A22 lbs 24ExerpeuticMagnetic24

If you’re stuck for time, our favorite elliptical is the Exerputic 6000 QF – it’s an excellent all-rounder at a fantastic price.

The key features you’ll get with budget ellipticals are:

Positive
  • Adjustable Resistance (Magnetic)
  • Silent machines
  • Compact Footprint
Negatives
  • no incline settings
  • Short stride length
  • Basic heart rate monitoring
  • Very basic programs

Exerputic 6000 QF

Exerputic 6000 QF

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity270 lbs
Stride length18″
Fly-Wheel Dual direction Economy
Resistance24
Programs24
Dimension55L x 25W x 64H
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

The Exerputic 6000 is a relatively new machine. It’s one of the few elliptical in this list with an 18-inch stride (ideal for anyone with more than 5’7″ height). The maximum weight limit is slightly lower than its competitors. Exerputic sacrificed the user capacity to keep the price low for this unit. The built quality of this machine is commercial grade.

It feels like Exerputic took a very good look at Fitness Reality E5500XL and copied all of its features while making some improvements. We are putting the 6000 QF on top because of its long string and Bluetooth smart cloud fitness app: MyCloudFitness (unlike iFit, MyCloudFitness has a free plan).


Fitness Reality E5500XL

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity300 lbs
Stride length18″
Fly-Wheel Dual direction Economy
Resistance24 (magnetic resistance)
Programs21
Dimension57.5L x 24W x 66H
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

It gives you all the workout programs that you need for a smooth cardio workout. The low-impact 18″ stride, 24 level resistance, oversized pedals as well as smart target control computer will offer you the exercise challenge that you wish. This E5500 is designed to be extra compact that fits in any home.

With 18 Inch Stride Length, this machine supports a maximum user weight 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. With 21 Computer pre-set Workout Programs, and the 3 goal workout settings, it makes sure that you burn the maximum calories. It also comes with heart pulse sensors — which help you target your heart rate.

This elliptical machine comes with a Backlit LCD monitor 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. The lowest part of the pedals is 6 inches above the ground. The distance between the two pedals is 6 inches, only minimizing the strain on your inner thighs. ⇉ read full review



Sunny Health Fitness SF E320002

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity285 lbs
Stride length11.5″
Fly-Wheel 11 lbs
Resistance16
Programs24
Dimension49.4L x 23.4W x 63.4H
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

Sunny health fitness is known for its affordable elliptical machines. If you’re on a tight budget but still want a decent machine that’s going to do what you want, the SF-E320002 might just be the elliptical for you.

The main selling point of this elliptical is its compact yet sturdy form factor and heavy flywheel. It has a solid steel frame with a weight of 85 lbs. We liked that the device holder is on top of the LCD display.

You can easily place an iPad and see both displays at once. The main downside of this trainer is its stride length is relatively short. The display is quite basic (like most of the ellipticals in this list).

Take a look at this elliptical if you’re after a basic, no-frills, great value machine. Sunny Health fitness is a well-known brand in the inexpensive fitness equipment market.

Note: We would suggest against buying this trainer if you are more than 5’5″ in height.


XTERRA Fitness FS3.5

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity300 lbs
Stride length17″
Fly-Wheel 15 lbs
Resistance24
Programs22
Dimension57.1” x 20.5” x 63”
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

Everything about this elliptical is smooth (if it’s correctly assembled). In 2021, Xterra revamped the FS3.5 with a slight change in design and a reduced price. Even though this is slightly higher than the $400 range, we could not resist placing it in our list of best budget elliptical.

The front-drive design is quite different than any other elliptical in this list. This design enables smooth elliptical motion that previously was only available for premium ellipticals.

It also comes with a 15 LBS flywheel, making the workout even smoother with natural resistance. The 17″ stride and 300 LB capacity are perfect for most uses.


Proform Hybrid Trainer

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity350 lbs
Stride length15″
Fly-Wheel Dual direction Economy
Resistance16 (magnetic resistance)
ProgramsiFit
Dimension60.5H x 24.5W x 70.5L
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

Over the last few years, the ProForm Hybrid Trainer has been one of the best-selling budget ellipticals for home use. The only reason we haven’t put it in the top 3 is because of its short stride length (it’s just 15 inches). This isn’t an issue for most people, but if you’re taller than 5’10”, we’d suggest buying a machine with a longer stride length.

Some of the older ProForm models were a little clunky and awkward to use, but that’s not the case with this model. ProForm has made significant progress with this machine, offering a well-priced hybrid trainer that does everything you’ll ever want.

Of course, the main benefit of a hybrid trainer is that it can be used in multiple ways, giving you more freedom when it comes to exercise selection.

This hybrid trainer is transportable and adjustable, and it includes an onboard sound system and iFit Coach integration, making it excellent value for money. Take a peek at our more detailed review of the ProForm Hybrid Trainer here


Body Rider 3 in 1

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity250 lbs
Stride length13″
Fly-Wheel Dual direction Economy
Resistance8 (magnetic resistance)
ProgramsN/A
Dimension42L x 19W x 63H
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

The Body Rider 3-in-1 elliptical offers everything the ProForm Hybrid has, just in a smaller package. That makes it ideal for use in small homes! The stride length is 13 inches; with the addition of the seat, the elliptical can be uncomfortable for taller users.

If we ignore the short stride and low weight capacity, his machine offers a lot of variety at a solid price! If you’re unsure about buying a full-blown elliptical or perhaps want more variety, the 3-in-1 is an excellent choice. This is not a recumbent bike, rather a recumbent elliptical as the flywheel moves in an elliptical motion. For more information, take a look at our Body Rider 3-in-1 review here.


Capacity285 lbs
Stride length11″
Fly-Wheel 11 lbs
Resistance8
ProgramsN/A
Dimension41L x 19W x 63H
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

This is another relatively new elliptical machine, first hitting the market in July 2019. After a year on the market, this machine has proven to be very popular among users, perhaps because it ticks all the right boxes!

While it’s not the most feature-rich elliptical on the market, it does have all the basics you’d expect from a budget machine. It comes with adjustable resistance, pulse grip sensors, and an LCD monitor with a built-in iPad holder. Plus, it’s front flywheel operated!

Perfect for people who want a compact elliptical with a combination of good build quality and useful features. 


Cubii Pro / jr

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity300 lbs
Stride length15″
Fly-Wheel Dual direction Economy
Resistance8 (magnetic resistance)
ProgramsN/A
Dimension23.15 x 17.5 x 9.8
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorN/A

It’s time for something different, an elliptical without the elliptical arms! The Cubii desk elliptical comes in a Junior and Pro model, with minimal differences between the two (for example, Bluetooth connectivity and built-in display). This is a super-compact, under-desk smart elliptical that works with some of the world’s most popular fitness apps. There is no digital monitor attached with this desk elliptical machine; you have to depend on the Cubii App.

Its compact and discreet design makes it very portable and convenient to store, especially if you don’t have a lot of space at home. With this one, you will not get the feeling of working out on an elliptical with a precision balanced flywheel. But this mini elliptical certainly packs a punch considering how small it is. It’s perfect for people looking for a few extra calories burned while sitting in the office!

We found this trainer’s mobile app to one of the best out there in 2021. Click here to see our full review of this machine.


Marcy Elliptical

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity300 lbs
Stride length14″
Fly-Wheel Dual direction Economy
Resistance8 (magnetic resistance)
ProgramsN/A
Dimension49L x 24W x 64.2H
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

Marcy Pro NS-40501E is an entry-level magnetic elliptical machine with an under $250 price tag. If you need a compact elliptical without any power cables that will keep your cardio workout going without making much noise, you can get this one.

The built quality of this trainer is quite good, with a weight capacity of 300 lbs. This trainer requires 2 AA batteries, but it is only for the LCD display. There are no smart features or programs; it’s all up to you to keep on moving. ⇉ read full review


Doufit elliptical

See Best Price on Amazon

Capacity250 lbs
Stride length12″
Fly-Wheel Dual direction Economy
Resistance8 (magnetic resistance)
ProgramsN/A
Dimension50 L x 20.5 W x 61 H
DisplayLCD display
InclineN/A
HR MonitorContact

The Doufit is a very compact, basic elliptical without any bells and whistles. This elliptical gained a lot of popularity after it was released, mainly due to the unavailability of elliptical trainers (end of 2020).

You might need two people to assemble it, but it’s pretty easy to put together. The machine supports 250 lbs and has a stride length of 12 inches.

If you are taller than 5’5”, and have body weight of more than 220 lbs, or want to do really intense workout, we suggest looking into any elliptical mentioned above.


Elliptical cross trainer Vs Treadmill


How much should you spend on an elliptical machine?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. These factors include how much room you have in your house, the features you need, and where you intend to purchase your machine from.

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 maximum user weight capacity of these ellipticals is less than lbs 250. The only good trainer in this range is either from Sunny Health fitness or Stamina InMotion.

Less than $500: This price point is the sweet spot for home elliptical machines. For 500 bucks or less, you’ll get a good quality magnetic elliptical trainer. Magnetic elliptical trainers are both very durable and quiet to use compared to some of the more expensive machines. Just don’t expect all the bells and whistles, like inclines, advanced programs, and wireless functionality from these budget trainers.

Less than $1,000: As the price goes up, the number of features does too. While these costlier machines are more advanced, they’re still not the most comprehensive machines on the market. You’ll get all the basic features like long stride length, manual inclines, and wireless functionality. Still, they aren’t premium level just yet.

The $1,000 to $2,000 machines: This price bracket is home to the premium ellipticals sold by major brands like Bowflex, Norditrac, and Sole. Most of these machines have everything you’ll ever need, including adjustable strides, automatic incline, and wireless heart rate monitoring. And, as expected for this kind of money, the build quality is top-notch.

Over $2,000 machines: As you venture into this territory, you’ll find only the best of the best. Premium features, outstanding build quality, and excellent customer support. If you can afford these prices, you won’t be disappointed by any of the ellipticals.

Elliptical trainer frequently asked questions

There are a few common questions people have when it comes to elliptical machines. We’ve gone ahead and answered some of the most common questions below.

Q: Which is better, a treadmill or elliptical?

A: Both are great cardio machines, and aside from the obvious differences, ellipticals are easier on your joints. Treadmills tend to take up more space than ellipticals, and in some respects, ellipticals are safer.

Q: Can you lose weight using an elliptical?

A: Yes, elliptical machines are great for losing weight. By eating correctly and exercising regularly, you’ll burn calories, which results in weight loss.

Q: How long should a beginner workout on an elliptical?

A: This will vary from person to person, but a good rule of thumb for a beginner is 3 times per week for 30 minutes each session. As you get more advanced, you can increase the frequency and duration of your cardio workouts.

Q: Is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) good for your health?

A: HIIT can certainly improve cardiovascular health and maximize calories burned. However, it might not be suitable for everyone, as the short bursts of high-intensity exercise can be very strenuous on the body.

Q: What is the best inexpensive elliptical machine?

A:Right now the most reasonable priced elliptical trainer is Exerputic 6000 QF. Last year it used to be schwinn A40 and previously it was Sunny health fitness SF. Because of supply and new entries, the best budget elliptical always changes.

Q: What is the best elliptical machine for the money?

A:If you are a workout enthusiast and do not have any budget constraints, we have made a list for you, here

Q: Do ellipticals help lose belly fat?

A:It will be quite difficult if you want to lose belly fat with just a desk elliptical. You need to make a combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet. We have an exact article for this topic, here.

Q: Can I do elliptical every day?

A:You should not do any one type of elliptical every single day. Rest days are extremely important and actually helps toward your goal. Overall workout time, resistance levels, workout intensity is more important than how many times you get on an elliptical. Here is an article on “How Long Should You Be on the Elliptical?

Q: What Muscle groups does The Elliptical Target?

A:When you use an elliptical machine, you work out both your upper body muscles and lower body muscle. Primarily, the muscles throughout your legs get most of the benefit. When you are working out, as your thighs move backward you are working out your glutes and hamstrings. Then when your legs move forward in the gliding motion, your quadriceps are getting worked.

You can get an upper body workout when you use the movable handles on the machine. With the pushing and pulling of the handles, your triceps, biceps, and shoulders gain huge benefits as well.

You can get a great cardio workout on the elliptical with the perfect posture. This way, you will be able to strengthen your core muscles in the abdomen and back.

They are constantly contracting to help you keep your balance and stay upright. This way the core stays engaged and gains strength. Letting your hands-free will help work out the core even more.

Q: What’s better elliptical or exercise bike?

Even though both Ellipticals and exercise bikes are cardio equipment, they offer different benefits. With an upright bike, you mostly get a lower body workout, where elliptical training programs are for full body workout.

Q: When Should You Use the Elliptical?

An elliptical is the best workout equipment for those who need a break from high-impact exercises. Since it does not require you the effort to lift your feet off the ground, it isn’t as much a weight-bearing exercise as running. Your feet are stuck to the food holders so it is the best low-impact exercise that highly benefits those with overstrained and achy joints.

An elliptical is hardly the replacement for running outdoors or on a treadmil. But it can benefit a runner when they are injured or tired. Everyone needs to give their joints a little break. Incorporating an elliptical in your workout regime will allow your joints to achieve an active recovery.

On an elliptical, you will be able to move backward as well. This allows you to target the hamstrings and glutes. So you will be getting many benefits of a tough cardiovascular workout at a low impact experience. An elliptical can prove to be useful for a runner that wants to prevent injury or tone up their cardio session.

Q: What’s better elliptical or treadmill?

Treadmill and Elliptical- both machines have their strong points and have proven to be very effective equipment. Using either of them will help you achieve an amazing cardio workout and burn those extra calories.

Since both machines are extremely beneficial, the one that is better for you depends mostly upon your body and goals. You may consider an elliptical over a treadmill because:

  • If you are more prone to injury or have a history of injured joints an elliptical is a great choice. It doesn’t put much pressure on your bones and joints. So it will still let you get a good cardiovascular workout.
  • An elliptical has a lesser chance of causing an injury.
  • You will get both upper and lower body exercise.
  • Elliptical offers a more smooth and quiet workout.
  • You wish to get a no-impact cardiovascular exercise that doesn’t put much pressure on your body.

On the other hand, a Treadmill may be a better choice for you because:

  • A Treadmill will let you build greater leg strength.
  • It’s your primary goal to lose weight.
  • You don’t have any issues with your joints. You aren’t prone to getting injuries either.
  • You have a specific goal to train for a race.

The Pros and Cons of Elliptical Trainer

Both at the gym and as a home exercise machine, the elliptical is the most sought-after cardio machine. It combines the movements of an exercise bike, a stair stepper, and a cross-country ski machine.

The elliptical is simple and low-impact but gives almost the same benefits as running. Since it’s very gentle on the joints it’s the ideal workout for people with arthritis.

On an elliptical, you will find two-foot holders where you can put your feet on and move them in an oval or elliptical pattern. Your hands will be on the two-pole-like handles as you pump them back and forth.

You can move forward and backward as you achieve a full-body workout. You can adjust the resistance or the incline in some cases if you want your muscles to work harder.

The Pros of Elliptical

Challenging workout

Using an elliptical will let you achieve an efficient total-body workout. When you are using your hands and feet to push and pull the handles you are engaging your whole body in the workout.

Moreover, balancing the movements of the upper and lower body lets you engage your core. With just a single piece of equipment, you can get a full-body workout.

Variety

You can easily adjust the resistance according to your needs. You can either challenge yourself or have a relaxed workout. You can even move backward with the elliptical and engage your core better.

Cost-efficient

A good quality Elliptical does not cost as much as a good quality running machine. So it’s easier to afford an excellent elliptical with many functions at a lesser price.

No-impact workout

When you are working out on an elliptical, your feet are constantly connected to the pedals. So your joints, bone, and ligaments will feel no pressure or stress as you work out. This no-impact workout is a huge plus for those with joint problems or prior history of injury.

Great for recovery

Elliptical trainers may be a low-impact machine but it can help you achieve the benefits of a high-intensity workout. Even when you are recovering from an injury, you have the opportunity to continue your workout. This way you can maintain your fitness goals.

A natural movement

When you are working out on an elliptical trainer, your feet and hands are supported by the pedals of the device. The movement feels very similar to riding a bike as you are standing up. So the workout feels like a natural movement for your body.

The Cons of Elliptical

No-impact workout

This is considered a pro but is just as much as a con for those who don’t have any injury or joint problems. Since your feet are supported by the holders of the device you don’t feel any impact. This doesn’t help much in building muscle or bone strength.

Doesn’t engage the core as much

When you work out using an elliptical your hands are gripping on the handles. So there is not much core engagement as you would have when you let your hands swing naturally at the sides. However, you can skip on holding the handles with your hand for you to engage your core better.

Learning curve

For people who have not worked out on an elliptical before, getting used to the machine can take some time. It can feel a bit awkward and unnatural when you are just starting.

Feels repetitive

On an elliptical machine, you don’t get to do a great variety of workouts. So it’s the same and repetitive movements that can get boring after a while.

Numb and burning legs

Since your feet are constantly glued to the holder, they can get numb as you keep working out. So you have to remember to move your toes once in a while.

After the first few workouts on the machine, you may also feel a burning sensation in your legs. This happens as you use your quadriceps in a new way and will take a few sessions to get used to it.

Less muscle development

When you work out on an elliptical, the equipment does a lot of the work for you. Since your feet are always connected to the machine you can keep moving even when you are not putting much effort in. This doesn’t put your muscles through enough resistance. So they can’t develop all that much.

Wrapping it up

Elliptical machines can be a pretty significant investment. It’s not just a financial investment, it’s also an investment in your health and wellbeing. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right one for your needs. You’ll have to take into account your budget, requirements, and floor space before dropping money on one.

If this is the first time you’re buying an elliptical, we’d recommend spending no more than $400. For that price, you can pick up a model that has everything you’ll need from it as a beginner. Any of the ellipticals listed here will do what you need at an affordable price. Unless you’re a serious athlete or plan to use the machine multiple times per day, there’s no need to spend silly money on an elliptical machine.

We hope our list of the best affordable ellipticals in 2021 has helped you make a decision! If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Review of Elliptical Trainer
Logo