7 Best Ellipticals Under $500: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

Ellipticals have long been a home workout favorite for many. Convenient, compact, and in some cases incredibly affordable, an elliptical allows you to squeeze in an intense cardio workout from the comfort of your own home.

If you thought buying an elliptical for under $500 was impossible, we're here to prove you wrong!

Elliptical Machines Under $500 Compared

Preview

Product Name

Dimensions (L x W x H)

Stride Length

Weight Capacity

Check Price

Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine

70.1 x 28.1 x 63.1 inches

18 inches

300 lbs.

Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic...

54 x 23 x 63 inches

13 inches

300 lbs.

EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer...

50 x 23.5 x 62 inches

13 inches

220 lbs.

Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical...

23.15 x 17.56 x 10 inches

17.6 Inches

250 lbs.

No products found.

40.9 x 18.9 x 63 inches

13 inches

265 lbs.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical...

55 x 23.5 x 64.5 inches

15.5 inches

330 lbs.

Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer...

42 x 24 x 62 inches

13 inches

250 lbs.

What To Expect From An Affordable Elliptical

For less than $500, you can expect to be able to pick up an entry model elliptical, perfect for light use 2-3 times per week.

For that reason, these affordable ellipticals are perfect for those new to home fitness, those recovering from an injury and using it for rehabilitation, or older users.

If you plan on using your elliptical frequently or plan on sharing it with others in your household, it probably makes sense to invest a little more up-front to get a model that will last a bit longer. Nevertheless, a budget elliptical is a great way to kickstart your fitness journey.

Here are some of the things you can expect in this price range:

  • A reliable machine built for light/infrequent use
  • Various intensity/resistance levels
  • Basic onboard computer
  • A small range of predefined exercise programs built-in to the machine

One trade-off you can expect to make is on the warranty. Cheaper models will often offer shorter warranties than more expensive models.


How To Find A Quality Elliptical Under $500

Type of Ellipticals
  • Regular Ellipticals
    These are the typical elliptical most of us will recognize, featuring two foot pedals with non-moving handlebars.
  • Hybrid/Cross-Trainer Ellipticals
    Ideal if you want an all-body workout. Cross-trainer ellipticals have moving handlebars, enabling you to exercise your arms and legs in tandem. Some even double up as exercise bikes.
  • 3-in-1 Machines 
    Also known as trio-trainers, can be used as a regular elliptical, upright bike, and a regular bike. This versatility allows you to save space in your home, as it effectively does the job of 3 separate pieces of equipment.
  • Other Devices
    Workout technology is continually evolving, and new ways of working out are always hitting the market. Some recent improvements to ellipticals include complete "under desk" solutions, which are ideal for working out in the office.
Elliptical Size vs. Space at Home

How much space you have in your home will dictate the type of elliptical you can purchase. For a regular machine, you should allow for 8 feet height by 4 feet width.

Don't forget to factor in an extra 6 inches for headroom to accommodate your head's movement when in use. If you're short on space, some models can even foldaway, allowing you to store between usage.
Performance Features
  • Resistance
    This is almost like an ellipticals braking system. It effectively 'resists' the work your legs are doing to create a more effective workout. The higher the resistance, the harder your legs will need to work to move the pedals.
  • Stride length
    Refers to the distance between the two foot pedals when they are at their furthest apart. Too short or too long, and you may find the elliptical uncomfortable to use. Some ellipticals have fixed stride lengths, while others are adjustable to suit the user.
  • Incline
    Usually a feature of more expensive models, some ellipticals allow you to adjust the machine's incline level. Your muscles will be required to work harder with a steeper slope, offering a more strenuous workout.
  • Flywheel
    The flywheel is simply the moving part of the elliptical to which the pedals are attached.
  • Pedal size
    Most ellipticals come with generous pedal sizes to accommodate most users
  • Height 
    The average recliner height comes in at around 8 feet in height, which is essential to factor in when deciding where you will place the elliptical. Don't forget to add some headroom!
  • Noise levels
    Thinking of putting your elliptical in your home? You'll want to make sure it's as noiseless as possible in order not to disturb. Most models these days are designed to be as quiet as possible, but as a model ages, the moving parts will begin to wear, leading to extra noise.
  • User Weight Limits
    Generally speaking, ellipticals are pretty durable and can accommodate most users. Most ellipticals can accommodate up to 300lbs, with some heavy-duty models supporting 375 lbs or more.
  • Durability
    Ellipticals are designed to be durable as they need to withstand some pretty intense cardio sessions. With proper care and maintenance (discussed at the end of this article), you can ensure your elliptical stands the test of time.
Safety Features

It goes without saying that before you ever step foot on your elliptical, you should ensure it is stable by placing it on a flat surface where it will not move around. If you have no other option than to put your elliptical on a carpeted area, there are some simple tips you can follow to ensure your elliptical remains stable when in use.

Clearing an area around your elliptical is also a smart move to prevent any accidents that may occur when you are working out.
Extra Features
  • Heart Rate Monitor
    Keep an eye on your heart rate throughout your workout to ensure you are in the fat-burning zone.
  • Console Displays/Control Modules
    Great for keeping an eye on session length, recording workouts, and monitoring calories burned.
  • Workout Programs 
    A hassle-free way to follow a routine, usually of a defined distance or duration with a built-in warm-up/cool down.
  • Fitness trackers 
    Some of the more expensive models will even connect to your fitness tracker to share details of your workout.
Warranty

As we already mentioned, entry-level models tend to offer shorter warranties, simply because they are not designed to be used for decades. Still, with proper care and maintenance, this shouldn't be an issue.

Most ellipticals will come with a one year warranty as standard, usually only covering any manufacturing defects. Check the specifics before you buy for peace of mind.


7 Best Elliptical Machines Under $500 Reviewed

1. Schwinn 411

Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine
  • Access the Explore the World app and...
  • Compact design but still offers the 18"...
  • 16 levels of resistance allow you to dial the...
  • Streamlined console displays time, speed,...

Best Elliptical Under $500

Dimensions (L x W x H)

70.1 x 28.1 x 63.1 inches

Stride Length

18 inches

# of Resistance Levels

16

Weight Capacity

300 lbs.

Weight of Unit

100 lbs.

Key Feature

Inertia enhanced flywheel

If you're looking for an elliptical that does it all, except breaking the bank, you can't go wrong with this beautiful elliptical from Schwinn.

The first thing to understand is that this is a compact machine. This makes it the perfect choice if you're short on space at home. Despite this, it doesn't cut any corners when it comes to the features it offers.

One of the things that makes this a real game-changer is the Explore the World app, which allows you to fully immerse yourself in real-life locations, helping to keep you motivated on your workout. While the app does come with some free courses to pick from, some of the better options are reserved for the app's paid version.

The Schwinn comes with 16 different resistance levels to allow you to completely customize your routine, handlebar heart rate sensors, and a water bottle holder to offer a comfortable workout.

One of the downsides is the lack of backlight in the console, making viewing the detail difficult in direct sunlight; it also lacks an incline for adding intensity.

Drawbacks aside, the Schwinn is an impressive elliptical at such an affordable price point - definitely one you wouldn't want to pass up.

Pros

  • Compact design - great for small workout spaces
  • Sync workouts and run different routes with the explore the world app
  • Moving and fixed handlebars

Cons

  • Non-backlit console
  • Lack of incline

2. Exerpeutic 1000XL

Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic...
  • Your purchase includes One Exerpeutic Heavy...
  • Elliptical dimensions – 23" W x 54" L x 76"...
  • 8 Level magnetic tension resistance...
  • An easy to read large window LCD display that...

Runner Up

Dimensions (L x W x H)

54 x 23 x 63 inches

Stride Length

13 inches

# of Resistance Levels

8

Weight Capacity

300 lbs.

Weight of Unit

76 lbs.

Key Feature

Easy to Read Large LCD Display

Runner up in our list of affordable ellipticals is the 1000XL from Exerpeutic, and trust us when we say it was close!

The Exerpeutic is a stylish looking machine in a silver finish and would look great in any home gym or garage. It comes with an easy-to-read display to keep track of your workout and is compact enough to fit into tight spaces. The LCD display can help you to keep track of distance, calories burned, and time.

At just 76lbs, it's also considerably lighter than the Schwinn, so it's ideal if you live in an apartment with no lift or anticipate moving the elliptical regularly. The built-in transport wheels make maneuvering light work.

It unfortunately missed out on our top spot due to the stride length of just 13 inches, which some taller individuals may find a little uncomfortable to use. It also only offers eight resistance levels (compared to Schwinn's 16). Still, it comes in a little cheaper, which would make it an ideal choice if you're on a strict budget.

We did find assembly a little tricky, so it's worth clearing an afternoon to make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to put everything together.

We see this model as an ideal choice for a small home/apartment owner looking for a simple, no-frills machine for infrequent use.

Pros

  • The moving handlebars deliver a full-body workout
  • Large and easy to read LCD display
  • Simple design and doesn't take up too much space

Cons

  • Stride length of 13" - could be uncomfortable for taller users.
  • Tricky assembly

3. EFITMENT E006

On Sale Today
EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer...
  • COMPACT - A small footprint design makes this...
  • TOTAL BODY WORKOUT - Provides a no impact,...
  • DIGITAL DISPLAY MONITOR - The LCD monitor...
  • QUIET AND MOBILE - A belt driven flywheel...

Best Compact Elliptical Under $500

Dimensions (L x W x H)

50 x 23.5 x 62 inches

Stride Length

13 inches

# of Resistance Levels

8

Weight Capacity

220 lbs.

Weight of Unit

80.5 lbs.

Key Feature

Magnetic Resistance

Next up is this very affordable machine from EFITMENT, perfect for compact spaces (and users!)

The EFITMENT comes with a small footprint, meaning it won't take up much room at all. This compactness does come with trade-offs, as it can only comfortably support users up to 220lbs. If you're on the heavier side, you would be better off looking at some of the other models on the list.

The EFITMENT boasts of a total body workout thanks to its moving handlebars and footpads, with eight resistance levels and built-in pulse monitoring built directly into the handlebars. It's also one of the quieter models we tested, making it perfect for those who live with family or housemates.

As with most other models, the EFITMENT comes with an intuitive LED display that delivers vital feedback details to the user in real-time, helping you increase your workout's effectiveness. Unfortunately, the LED doesn't come with a backlight, which can reduce visibility.

If we had one criticism, it would be that the EFITMENT isn't one of the more aesthetically pleasing models we looked at, but for the price, we are prepared to look past that.

Pros

  • Fixed and mobile handlebars
  • Easy-to-use console unit
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • No LED backlight on the console
  • Not suitable for tall users

4. Cubii Pro

Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical...
  • DESK EXERCISE COMPACT ELLIPTICAL - Designed...
  • SET & TRACK FITNESS GOALS - The Cubii mobile...
  • PORTABLE ELLIPTICAL - Workout while you work...
  • MINI EXERCISE BIKE - Move a little more and...

Best Under Desk Elliptical Under $500

Dimensions (L x W x H)

23.15 x 17.56 x 10 inches

Stride Length

17.6 Inches

# of Resistance Levels

Eight

Weight Capacity

250 lbs.

Weight of Unit

27.5 lbs.

Key Feature

Portable under desk elliptical

If you're always on the lookout for ways to become more productive, we are pretty sure you are going to love the Cubii Pro. This elliptical is pretty unique. Instead of the full unit of handlebars and a flywheel, this compact machine is designed to fit your desk neatly.

Why would you want one for under your desk, you may ask? Well, aside from the apparent storage benefits, having an elliptical under your desk means you can get in some exercise while working or studying, helping to multi-task and maximize your waking hours.

One of the most significant benefits of the Cubii Pro is that it syncs with your fitness devices, including Apple Watch and Fitbit, helping you easily track your workouts. Cubii Pro owners can also join live workouts on Facebook exclusive to the Cubii community and catch up on recorded sessions at your convenience.

The size of the Cubii also means it's incredibly portable. At such an accessible price point, there's no reason why you can't pick one up for home and the office.

Now given the angle you'll be using the Cubii at, you're going to need to invest in a high-quality anti-slip mat to ensure the machine doesn't slide all over the floor, but these can be picked up relatively inexpensively.

Our one criticism is that you don't get the benefit of working out your arms simultaneously with a lack of handlebars.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Solidly and sturdily built
  • Connects with the Fitbit app and Apple Health
  • Access to live workouts via Facebook

Cons

  • App can be a little temperamental
  • Some assembly required

5. Elifine Magnetic Elliptical

No products found.

Best Rated Elliptical Under $500 

Dimensions (L x W x H)

40.9 x 18.9 x 63 inches

Stride Length

13 inches

# of Resistance Levels

8

Weight Capacity

265 lbs.

Weight of Unit

78.9 lbs.

Key Feature

Heavy-duty & large non-slip pedal

Fans of the Elifine adore the magnetic elliptical for its sturdy build, stylish appearance, and accessible price point. For these reasons (and many more), the Elifine is one of the best rated elliptical machines available on Amazon today.

To put it simply, the Elifine does precisely what you expect an elliptical to do. It enables you to achieve a low impact workout from the comfort of your own home, and with such a small footprint, it requires very little space.

It comes with eight levels to support various levels of resistance, which can be cycled between from the comfort of your handlebar. It's also incredibly quiet, ideal for a busy home where you only get the opportunity to exercise in the late evening or early morning.

While the machine doesn't come with an incline, you can still achieve a fantastic workout session by cranking the intensity up. It would have been nice if Elifine had added a shelf for a tablet or phone to enable you to watch a show or listen to your music while working out. But this is a very small price to pay for what is otherwise an excellent at-home workout machine.

Pros

  • Space-saving and lightweight
  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Almost silent operation

Cons

  • Lack of storage shelf to hold your device
  • No incline

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912

On Sale Today
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical...
  • DEVICE HOLDER: Keep your favorite media...
  • RESISTANCE: Challenge yourself with the...
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: Take advantage of the 330 lb...
  • PERFORMANCE MONITOR: Use the onboard, backlit...

Best Home Elliptical Under $500

Dimensions (L x W x H)

55 x 23.5 x 64.5 inches

Stride Length

15.5 inches

# of Resistance Levels

16

Weight Capacity

330 lbs.

Weight of Unit

104.8 lbs.

Key Feature

Bluetooth tracking

You only have to look at the Sunny Health & Fitness device to understand why it made it onto our list. The SF-E3912 is one of the most well built and durable machines we tested.

Big and bulky, this machine is guaranteed to put up with whatever you can throw at it. It can also accommodate heavier users, as this machine comes with a weight capacity of up to 330 lbs. That being said, its size does have a disadvantage in that you will need a bit more room in your home to accommodate it.

This machine boasts an impressive 16 levels of resistance, as well as an incredible performance monitor to help track your workouts. Better still, the SF-E3912 comes with a device storage shelf, bottle holders, and pulse sensor. In other words, Sunny Health & Fitness has thought of everything to make your workout much more comfortable.

The machine also comes with 24 different workout modes, each targeted towards a specific fitness goal such as losing weight or increasing stamina.

While it's not the cheapest on the list, it packs an incredible performance level for such a low price and would make a worthy addition to any home gym.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction – can support users up to 330 lbs.
  • 24 workout modes
  • Transport wheels on the front base

Cons

  • Limited stride length
  • Big and bulky
  • Expensive

7. Body Power 2-in-1

Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer...
  • CURVE-CRANK TECHNOLOGY: The curved crank...
  • RESISTANCE TRAINING MACHINE: The ergonomic...
  • 2-IN-1 HIIT TRAINER: An oval path with...
  • PERSONAL FITNESS MACHINE: With a compact...

Best 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Under $500

Dimensions (L x W x H)

42 x 24 x 62 inches

Stride Length

13 inches

# of Resistance Levels

8

Weight Capacity

250 lbs.

Weight of Unit

88.2 lbs.

Key Feature

Combines 2 exercise machines in 1

The Body Power 2-in-1 is perfect for those who want the versatility of two exercise machines in one compact device.

One of Body Power's most significant selling points is the curve crank technology, which, as the name suggests, is a curve in the crank of the elliptical helping to deliver a dead-zone-free rotation as you step. This effectively removes any impact on your joints, which could lead to injury. But it doesn't stop there. As well as its ergonomic design, it's also space-saving with a small footprint.

You'll have no trouble maneuvering this machine around thanks to its built-in wheels. Still, it may be worth investing in a heavy-duty mat or flooring to ensure its stability, as some users complain that it can rock a little when in use.

With eight levels of resistance and an easy to use LCD monitor, you can strive towards smashing your fitness goals for less than the cost of a few months gym membership.

Pros

  • Transport wheels for easy movement
  • Compact design
  • Foam covered handlebars for added comfort.
  • Built-in media shelf

Cons

  • No water bottle holder
  • Some users report it can be a little unstable.

How To Use Elliptical Machines To Lose Weight

Are Ellipticals Good For Losing Belly Fat?

Ellipticals are great for losing weight due to their high-calorie burn rate. By using your elliptical for interval training, you can maximize the body's ability to burn fat in a much shorter period than you may think.

Is 30 Minutes On The Elliptical Enough?

This depends on your goals. If your goal is to lose weight, then the most important thing you need to understand is that you need to be in a calorie deficit.

To put it simply, a calorie deficit is when your body is burning more calories than you are consuming. Various online calculators can help you calculate your calorie deficit. Still, you'll also need to spend some time tracking your food intake to ensure you are eating less than you are using.

The good news is, a 30-minute workout on an elliptical can burn around 335 calories. Based on your calculations, you should determine whether 30 minutes is sufficient or whether you may need to spend a little longer working out.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What accessories do I need for my at home elliptical machine?
  1. 1
    Heavy-duty workout mat - Mats are great for improving stability, decreasing the noise from your machine, and protecting your flooring from damage (and sweat).
  2. 2
    Workout clothes - It goes without saying that specific workout clothes are necessary, even when working out at home. Although you may be tempted to chuck on an old t-shirt, clothes designed for workouts will help your skin breathe and keep it cool. There are also important psychological impacts of wearing workout clothes.
  3. 3
    Cleaning products - Don't forget to clean up after yourself! While typical household cleaning products will do the trick, there are some specific products designed for home workout equipment that do a better job.
How much weight can I lose on an elliptical in a month?

While results may not be evident immediately, consistency is key. Most people find that with regular exercise consisting of 30 minutes to an hour each day, they can lose 1 to 2 pounds in a week.

How do I calculate the calories burned?

Calculating exactly how many calories you have burned during a particular activity is pretty tricky. For that reason, if you're motivated to lose weight or improve your fitness, a fitness tracker is an excellent investment, as it takes much of the hard work out of the equation.

If you're keen to understand the numbers behind the calculation, check out this detailed article.

What are the most popular and recommended elliptical brands?

Some of the most popular brands on the market today are Schwinn, Cubii, Exerpeutic, EFITMENT, Stamina-in-motion, and ElliptiGO.

Are ellipticals safe to use every day?

While there are no safety concerns from using your machine daily, it's unwise to do so. It's important to let your body rest between exercises for at least one day every week.

Overtraining can cause long-term health concerns, but it can leave you exhausted and less likely to be consistent with your routine in the short term.

How does an elliptical compare to a treadmill?

Physically speaking, treadmills consist of a moving belt, while with an elliptical, your feet move around in a circle.

Ellipticals are generally favored by those who may have joint problems, particularly in the knees, as they are low impact and much easier on the joints.

What maintenance is required to keep these machines in good condition?
  • Keep it lubricated 
    A lubricating solution can keep your machine functioning correctly, as well as keeping it squeak-free. While it may be tempting to use typical household lubricants, they can often be detrimental to exercise equipment, so always use the manufacturer suggested solution, or at least one specifically designed for exercise equipment.
  • Keep it clean 
    Avoid using harsh chemicals as they can also cause damage. Instead, stick to specific cleaning supplies designed for workout equipment.
Where can I find the top elliptical machines under 500 dollars?

When it comes to affordable ellipticals, you can't go wrong with Amazon. Not only do they have a vast range of machines, but they offer fast (and often free) delivery, excellent customer services, and in some cases, you can pay someone to assemble your new machine for you.


Conclusion

Whether you're looking to lose weight, maintain your current fitness levels, or rehabilitate after an injury or surgery, an elliptical is a great, low-impact way to get in a workout.

Unlike treadmills, which can cause impact injuries, ellipticals are a great alternative that still allows you to fit in high-intensity exercise.