7 Best Affordable Ellipticals – Reviews Of Budget Machines

It's no wonder that ellipticals have become one of the most popular cardio machines for both home gyms and commercial fitness facilities.

Spending 30 minutes on an elliptical is a great way to improve heart health, lose weight, and increase endurance.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ve selected and reviewed the best affordable elliptical machines on the market.

These are some of the most reliable, yet value for money pieces of cardio equipment you can purchase.

So if you're ready to add a budget elliptical to your home gym, let's do it!

How We Found The Best & Cheapest Ellipticals

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46

Products Considered

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125

Hours of Research

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108

Reviews Examined

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7

Experts Interviewed

Before writing this review, I assumed that adding an elliptical to my home gym would cost at least $1000, even $2000.

I quickly discovered that it's possible to find an elliptical for under $200 from respected fitness brands.

Not only was I shocked to discover this, I was even more surprised to find that these machines are just as capable of delivering a great cardio workout.

When starting my research, I quickly realized that there are so many brands on the market and it would be a challenge to figure out which would make the cut as the top products.

To help narrow down the list, myself and the team at Garage Gym Pro started by creating a list of all the ellipticals we could find on the market.

From cheap and nasty brands to the top of the range, we covered it all and then started to review each and read what others had to say.

That long list was trickled down to 15 and these were models were already in our home gyms or purchased and tested.

We then used and discussed these products with personal trainers we know and from these products we came up with our final list of 7.

We believe these are the best value budget ellipticals you can have in your garage gym.


7 Best Affordable Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Now that we are familiar with the benefits and what to look for before purchasing the machine, let’s dive into our list of the best affordable ellipticals.

Keep reading on or check out our YouTube video below that reviews the top 3 budget models!

1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3862

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

9.5

Value For Money

10.0

Ease Of Use

9.5

Ease Of Assembly

9.0

Materials & Durability

9.5


Overall Rating

9.5

Product Specifications

Dimensions 

63”L x 21”W x 66”H

Flywheel Type

Front-Drive

Preset 

Workouts

24

Resistance Levels

16

Max User Weight 

265 lbs

Machine Weight

125.7 lbs

Up To 10% Off Your Order  - Use Coupon Code = SAVE10

*Only at Brands Website

I don’t think that the Sunny Health & Fitness brand needs a special introduction.

They have been on the market for over a decade now, and they're well-known for their treadmills, bikes, and most importantly, elliptical trainers. 

The elliptical SF-E3862 is one of the best that you can find in terms of quality to price ratio. It's not the cheapest model I'll cover here, but it’s definitely a good value for your money option.

The first reason I say that is while many other ellipticals at this price point have only 8 tension levels, this one uses electro-magnetic resistance with 16 tension levels. 

I personally love the elliptical's console. It holds a large backlit display that tracks your progress, and it even tells you your target heart rate based on the workout intensity.

It also includes 7 different workout modes, 24 exercise presets, and a BMI calculator. 

In terms of other features, this elliptical comes with transportation wheels, a device (tablet, cellphone) holder, and bottle holder.

It can support up to 265 pounds, which is slightly above average for budget ellipticals.

Because the machine is 63" x 21" x 66", it's definitely not the most compact, so I suggest confirming that you have enough space before you buy. 

Want To See More From This Brand? Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Reviews

Pros

  • Sturdy and heavy construction
  • Quiet operation
  • 16 tension levels
  • 24 preset workouts
  • Displays target heart rate
  • Manual mode - so no electricity required

Cons

  • Not easy to put together
  • Takes a lot of space – not easily storable

2. Doufit EM-01

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

8.5

Value For Money

9.5

Ease Of Use

9.0

Ease Of Assembly

9.0

Materials & Durability

9.0


Overall Rating

9.0

Product Specifications

Dimensions 

50”L x 20.5”W x 62”H 

Flywheel Type 

Rear-Drive 

Preset 

Workouts 

None 

Resistance Levels 

8 

Max User Weight 

250 lbs 

Machine Weight 

94.4 lbs 

The elliptical machine manufactured by Doufit deserves a spot on this list mainly because of the combination of functionality and affordability.

The machine comes in an attractive modern design with white and black coloring, and the frame is made of heavy-duty steel, thus making it stable and sturdy.

The pedals (pads) are large enough to accommodate any feet (so that they don't go numb!), and I really like that they are textured with anti-slip material.

The elliptical arms are a bit odd if you ask me; they point straight up into the air and don't have the usual curved design of other elliptical arms.

However, this doesn't affect the machine's arm movement, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. 

As with most ellipticals on this list, the Doufit uses magnetic resistance with 8 different tension levels. It comes with a simple LCD monitor and is equipped with transportation wheels for convenient portability.

There are pulse sensors located on the stationary handles for tracking heart rate, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's very accurate (this isn't always the norm for cheaper machines). 

The dimensions are 50 x 20.5 x 62 inches and the maximum supported weight is 250 pounds.

If you struggle with stability, you've got the option to get the same elliptical with a seat attachment - an excellent choice for seniors on a budget. 

My main complaint is that the monitor tracks distance in kilometers, not miles, and there's no way to change it.

Also, if you're a tall individual, let's say over 6'3", the stride might be too short for you. I personally didn't find it short at all, but I'm average when it comes to height.

Pros

  • Very quiet operation
  • Sturdy handles
  • Easy to use LCD
  • Affordable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Unique white and black design
  • Option for seat attachment

Cons

  • Distance is set in kilometers and cannot be changed to miles
  • It’s a compact machine, so stride is quite short (not recommended for 6’3”+)

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3607

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

9.0

Value For Money

9.0

Ease Of Use

8.5

Ease Of Assembly

9.5

Materials & Durability

9.0


Overall Rating

9.0

Product Specifications

Dimensions 

39”L x 23.5”W x 63”H 

Flywheel Type 

Rear-Drive 

Preset 

Workouts 

None 

Resistance Levels 

8 

Max User Weight 

220 lbs 

Machine Weight 

71.5 lbs 

Up To 10% Off Your Order  - Use Coupon Code = SAVE10

*Only at Brands Website

Third on the list of best affordable ellipticals (and second from the Sunny Health & Fitness brand) is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3607.

This model has a lot of similarities to the SF-3862 previously reviewed, but it’s the cheaper option, and therefore a better choice for anyone on a budget.  

Even with its affordable price tag, the SF-E3607 elliptical has a lot to offer, like smooth magnetic resistance and a rear-driven flywheel system that’s easy on the knees and ankles. 

The best feature, though, is the fact that this model costs less than $300, so there’s no need to break the bank.  

In addition to magnetic resistance, this Sunny Health elliptical is designed with 8 adjustable tension levels to cater to different fitness levels.

The LCD is basic, but it displays all you need to know for each workout, including time, distance, calories, odometer, and pulse - that’s right, the E3607 allows for heart rate monitoring. 

I have just two complaints about this elliptical. The first is the short stride length of just 12 inches; this isn’t ideal for tall individuals or anyone with a naturally long stride, so keep that in mind before purchasing.

On the flip side, the short stride allows for a compact footprint, and at only 39 inches long, this is one of the smallest ellipticals on this list. 

Secondly, the weight limit is rather low at just 220 pounds, so in addition to not being ideal for tall people, it’s also not ideal for large users.

If you’re short and lightweight, though, the E3607 is a great choice for sticking to a budget. 

Pros

  • Smooth magnetic resistance
  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact footprint
  • Quite easy to assemble
  • Quiet, even at the highest resistance setting

Cons

  • The water bottle holder seems cheap
  • Basic LCD screen

4. Body Champ 3-in-1 Trio

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

10.0

Value For Money

9.5

Ease Of Use

8.5

Ease Of Assembly

8.0

Materials & Durability

9.0


Overall Rating

9.0

Product Specifications

Dimensions 

60”L x 28”W x 64”H 

Flywheel Type 

Rear-Drive 

Preset 

Workouts 

21 

Resistance Levels 

8 

Max User Weight 

250 lbs 

Machine Weight 

110 lbs 

The list of the best affordable elliptical machines continues with a trainer manufactured by Body Champ. This machine is different from all the rest thanks to its 3-in-1 design.

That means it can be used as an elliptical trainer, recumbent bike, and upright bike. The great thing about this fella is that the transition is smooth without requiring you to dismount or readjust anything. 

There are 3 handle bars to choose from: U-shaped with a heart rate monitor, dual action (for elliptical training), and wraparound for riding in the recumbent style.

Even though it's not the cheapest elliptical out there, the Body Champ 3-in-1 comes with a bigger-than-average LCD display and 21 programs preset into the console, so the value for money is definitely there. 

It is a magnetic-resistance machine with good adjustability and a quality motor drive. The maximum support weight is 250 pounds, which is about average.

My only critique is that the many users have reported having to retighten the knobs every now and then, but I'd imagine this depends on how often you're using the machine. 

Pros

  • Usable as elliptical, recumbent bike and upright bike
  • Quiet operation
  • Large display
  • Clear assembly instructions
  • Great customer support by Body Champ
  • 21 preset programs

Cons

  • You might have to tighten the knobs from time to time
  • Comes in one color combination (red and black)

5. Schwinn 411

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

9.5

Value For Money

9.0

Ease Of Use

8.5

Ease Of Assembly

8.5

Materials & Durability

9.5


Overall Rating

9.0

Product Specifications

Dimensions 

53.8”L x 24”W x 62.5”H 

Flywheel Type 

Front-Drive 

Preset 

Workouts 

13 

Resistance Levels 

16 

Max User Weight 

300 lbs 

Machine Weight 

100 lbs 

Schwinn is another fitness brand that requires no introduction, and the Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine is a top choice if you want a compact trainer that doesn’t break the bank.

Like all Schwinn ellipticals, the 411 model is designed with the user in mind, so not only is it comfortable, but it’s also fun to use.  

A big reason for that is the elliptical’s ability to pair with Schwinn’s Explore the World app, which is an online platform for streaming global routes and workouts from around the world. [1]

Because the elliptical itself only has a small LCD, you will need your own tablet or smartphone to access the app, and you’ll have to pay for the monthly subscription after a free trial period.  

Aside from Explore the World, the 411 offers a few more features that give it a rightful place on this list, such as 16 levels of variable resistance.

While most budget ellipticals only offer 8 levels of tension, this one has double that, so you’ll have more chances to challenge yourself if you opt for this machine.  

Like most budget options, the console is basic, but you’ll be able to track everything you need to monitor your progress, like distance, speed, calories, time, and heart rate.

The best feature is probably the fact that the 411 can hold up to 400 pounds of user weight, making it the ultimate choice for larger individuals who require higher weight limitations. 

Wanting More? Read Our Full Review Of Schwinn 411

Pros

  • 13 preset programs available
  • Strong, sturdy frame
  • High weight support of 300 lbs
  • Ergonomic handles with hand pulse monitors
  • Quiet flywheel

Cons

  • Not very portable
  • More expensive than other machines on this list

6. Fitness Reality E5500XL

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

9.0