The 5 Best Ellipticals Under $500

Written By: Jeremy N

Many runners are supplementing their training with elliptical machine workouts.

There are some obvious reasons, such as the convenience of a home workout during inclement weather or busy days. Other reasons to train with an elliptical are less obvious.

Aside from convenience, there are proven results that elliptical machines can bring to your running career.

The 5 Best Ellipticals Under $500

1. Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E3607

2. ASUNA 4300

3. Universal E40

4. Cubil Under Desk Elliptical

5. Exerpeutic 2000XL

Our Top Pick
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical
9.7
  • Magnetic resistance: turn the resistance knob on this manual elliptical to cycle through 8 levels of magnetic intensity. Each level makes it more challenging to perform strides on the elliptical. Durable steel construction
  • Pulse grips: measure the intensity of your exercise by checking your heart RATE in real time by grabbing on to the Pulse grips.
  • Performance display: Track your workout information in real time with the battery-powered performance display. Monitor your time, distance, speed, and calories burned on one convenient display.
  • Stride length: take advantage of the 18-inch stride length on this home Use elliptical. As engage with the belt-drive mechanism, The sturdy oversized footplates will glide along the sturdy Track.
  • Transportation wheels: This indoor elliptical is not bound to one room after setup. Use the front-loaded transportation wheels to move this machine across several home surfaces.
Best Under-Desk Elliptical
Cubii Under Desk Elliptical Bundle
9.5
  • WORK FROM HOME FITNESS - Now you can exercise while you work from home - right at your desk! Burn calories, lose weight, and feel great with Cubii elliptical machines for home use
  • LOW IMPACT, ULTRA SMOOTH ELIPTICAL EXERCISE MACHINE - Move a little more each day to reach your wellness goals! Use this under-desk elliptical, burn calories, improve mobility, and increase strength
  • BUILT-IN LCD DISPLAY FITNESS TRACKER - The digital monitor allows you to keep up with your progress by tracking calories burned, strides pedaled, distance traveled, and more! Use the Cubii mobile app to manually enter stats for even more features!
  • LEG EXERCISER - Make this Cubii elliptical the perfect fitness gift for a parent or grandparent.This compact elliptical machine is approachable for all ages to use. A great pedal exerciser for seniors, those rehabilitating, or those looking to burn extra calories
Best Compact Elliptical
EXERPEUTIC 2000XL Elliptical Trainer
9.1
  • Elliptical dimensions – 23" W x 54" L x 63" H | Item weight – 74.5 lbs. | Weight Capacity – 300 lbs. | Ceiling height clearance – Consider the height of the tallest potential user, and add 21 inches minimum
  • 8 Level magnetic tension resistance adjustments can provide the user with a more challenging workout
  • An easy-to-read 3.4" large window LCD display that indicates distance, calories burned, time, speed, pulse and scan
  • Bluetooth Smart Cloud Fitness with free MyCloudFitness app available on Android and iOS to track your workouts via your mobile devices. 3 Workout goal settings via MyCloudFitness App: time, distance, and calories burned

A majority of ellipticals have various resistance levels so you can incorporate speed drills or strength training to increase your cardio capacity.

These machines are low-impact and can sometimes help you recover from major soreness or minor injuries.

There are a variety of affordable, highly rated elliptical machines for less than $500.

Each machine has their own unique amenities to cater to the different needs of every runner. This article provides details on 5 best rated elliptical machines for under $500.


5 Best Ellipticals Under $500

There are a variety of affordable elliptical machines for less than $500. Each machine has its own unique amenities to cater to different runners needs. This article provides details on 5 best elliptical machines for under $500.

1. Sunny Health and Fitness SFE3607

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3607 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Sunny Health and Fitness are one of the top distributors of high-quality exercise equipment. Their SFE3607 Elliptical trainer is no exception.

You can expect a full body workout with this trainer.

The elliptical motion addresses the hamstrings and quads, while the hand bar targets the arms. The standing position helps keep the core engaged. 

Although this machine has only a 3 star average review, it’s low price point makes up for the lack of bells and whistles that other machines offer.

Our Top Pick
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
9.7/10Our Score
  • Magnetic resistance: turn the resistance knob on this manual elliptical to cycle through 8 levels of magnetic intensity. Each level makes it more challenging to perform strides on the elliptical. Durable steel construction
  • Pulse grips: measure the intensity of your exercise by checking your heart RATE in real time by grabbing on to the Pulse grips.
    Performance display: Track your workout information in real time with the battery-powered performance display. Monitor your time, distance, speed, and calories burned on one convenient display.
  • Stride length: take advantage of the 18-inch stride length on this home Use elliptical. As engage with the belt-drive mechanism, The sturdy oversized footplates will glide along the sturdy Track.
  • Transportation wheels: This indoor elliptical is not bound to one room after setup. Use the front-loaded transportation wheels to move this machine across several home surfaces.

Here are other benefits of the trainer:

  • 15 adjustable resistance levels to keep the body challenged
  • Stride length up to 18 inches. Typical ellipticals around the same price have strides up to 14 inches
  • Accurate pulse grips to track heart rate
  • Digital display monitor tracks progress and show distance, speed, calories burned, heart rate, time, and resistance level
  • Transport wheel makes moving the machine around effortless. There is no need for heavy lifting
  • The oversized textured footplates accommodate all foot sizes. At the same time, ensuring safety and a firm grip
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3607 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

2. ASUNA 4300 Elliptical Trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness Asuna 4300 Elliptical Trainer, Gray

The Asuna 4300 Elliptical trainer is made for commercial or home gyms, so you’re getting the best of both worlds with this trainer.

This trainer makes working out at home easy, convenient, and fun. Aside from one silly review, the rest of the reviews are five stars. 

People love their Asuna 4300 Elliptical trainers because it features:

  • 5 programmable modes: beginner, advanced, sporty, cardio, and watt.
  • Electronic tension control to select resistance level
  • Ergonomically designed heart rate sensors: Sensors make it a breeze to track heart rate in order to maintain motivation
  • Electromagnetic LCD screen helps track progress by displaying time, calories, speed, distance, and watts
Sunny Health & Fitness Asuna 4300 Elliptical Trainer, Gray

3. Universal E40 Elliptical

Universal E40 Elliptical

The Universal E40 Elliptical trainer has nearly a 4 star average rating, with close to 100 reviews.

This is because it runs smoothly and quietly due to the perimeter-weight, high-inertia flywheel. 

It has 8 resistance levels to keep any fitness level engaged. Progress can be monitored through the informative LCD console, which displays distance, time, calories burned, pulse, speed, resistance level, and course profile.

The E40 Elliptical is battery operated and contains 7 different workout programs.

These workout programs help decrease the chances of plateaued results. 

Other amenities include heart rate sensors, 17-inch stride length, leveling feet for uneven surfaces, compact footprint, and water bottle holder.

Universal E40 Elliptical

4. Cubil Under Desk Elliptical 

Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical, Bluetooth Enabled, Sync w/Fitbit and HealthKit, Adjustable Resistance, Easy Assembly (Chrome)

The Cubii Under Desk Elliptical is the solution to the sedentary lifestyle that commonly plagues the working class.

The mission of Cubii is to incorporate movement into your life and negate excuses for lack of time for exercise.

Cubbi understands that people's lives are busy, so they have created an effective trainer that can be used while sitting at a desk.

The under-the-desk elliptical is not just for 9-5 workers.

It's also meant for children who have a hard time sitting still and individuals recovering from surgery or injury.

This Cubii Under Desk Elliptical is highly rated; with over 350 reviews averaging nearly five stars, you’re sure to fall in love.

Best Under-Desk Elliptical
Cubii Under Desk Elliptical Bundle
9.5/10Our Score
  • WORK FROM HOME FITNESS - Now you can exercise while you work from home - right at your desk! Burn calories, lose weight, and feel great with Cubii elliptical machines for home use
  • LOW IMPACT, ULTRA SMOOTH ELIPTICAL EXERCISE MACHINE - Move a little more each day to reach your wellness goals! Use this under-desk elliptical, burn calories, improve mobility, and increase strength
  • BUILT-IN LCD DISPLAY FITNESS TRACKER - The digital monitor allows you to keep up with your progress by tracking calories burned, strides pedaled, distance traveled, and more! Use the Cubii mobile app to manually enter stats for even more features!
  • LEG EXERCISER - Make this Cubii elliptical the perfect fitness gift for a parent or grandparent.This compact elliptical machine is approachable for all ages to use. A great pedal exerciser for seniors, those rehabilitating, or those looking to burn extra calories

Here are the features of the Cubii: 

  • Built to fit under a desk
  • The ergonomics help support posture, leg movements, and range of motion without bumping knees
  • Varied intensity levels with 8 levels of resistance
  • Mobile app to connect to in order to set goals and track progress
  • Wheel stoppers for wheeled chairs.
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical, Bluetooth Enabled, Sync w/Fitbit and HealthKit, Adjustable Resistance, Easy Assembly (Chrome)

5. Exerpeutic 2000XL

The 2000XL elliptical by Their is one of the most popular choices currently for good reason. You can get your hands on this machine, built by a reputable company, starting around $300- and it's Bluetooth enabled!

EXERPEUTIC 2000XL Bluetooth Smart Cloud Fitness High Capacity Elliptical Trainer with Goal Setting and Free App

The eight levels of magnetic resistance makes the Exerpeutic 2000 more ideal for beginners or people only looking for light to medium cardio exercise, which isn't great, but not a deal breaker.

You can use the Bluetooth feature to access the FREE MyClouditness app that works with both android and iOS. The freebie application gives you three workout goal settings including time limits, distance traveled goals, and calories you'd like to burn in your session.

Best Compact Elliptical
EXERPEUTIC 2000XL Elliptical Trainer
9.1/10Our Score
  • Elliptical dimensions – 23" W x 54" L x 63" H | Item weight – 74.5 lbs. | Weight Capacity – 300 lbs. | Ceiling height clearance – Consider the height of the tallest potential user, and add 21 inches minimum
  • 8 Level magnetic tension resistance adjustments can provide the user with a more challenging workout
  • An easy-to-read 3.4" large window LCD display that indicates distance, calories burned, time, speed, pulse and scana
  • Bluetooth Smart Cloud Fitness with free MyCloudFitness app available on Android and iOS to track your workouts via your mobile devices.
  • 3 Workout goal settings via MyCloudFitness App: time, distance, and calories burned

A cheaper alternative machine functions great as a full-body warmup for weight trainers. So far, we have seen that it is durable with a smooth and silent magnetic resistance system; however, because it is in the lowest price bracket, the stride length is again short at 12 inches.

If you're short, a 12-inch stride length shouldn't be too big of an issue, but if you're above average height, I wouldn't recommend this elliptical because it's meant for shorter people or those looking for a very light cardio workout.

However, many users have given the Exerpeutic 2000XL 4 out of 5 stars and said that it's a reliable machine for the price. Plus, the company has excellent customer service

EXERPEUTIC 2000XL Bluetooth Smart Cloud Fitness High Capacity Elliptical Trainer with Goal Setting and Free App


How We Picked And Tested The Best Ellipticals Under $500

When we tested the machines that ultimately made it into this roundup, we asked ourselves these critical questions:

  • Price: How much does the elliptical cost, and how does it compare value-wise to other products?
  • Adjustability: Does this machine have a wide range of motion? Can it be adjusted to fit your needs?
  • Durability: Does the elliptical have stabilizers to keep it in place while you're working out? Does it feel like a high-quality product, or does it feel cheap? Do the parts shake while you're using it?
  • Space & Footprint: What are the dimensions of this elliptical machine? Would it be a good option for someone who doesn't have a lot of space? Is it compact and lightweight?
  • Stride length: The stride length is a key factor in choosing an elliptical. This one happens to be adjustable, making it ideal for people of different heights. It also stacks up well against the competition when it comes to features and specs.
  • Display: Does the elliptical come with an LCD screen?
  • Portability: Can the machine be relocated without any struggle? Can it flat compacted? Are there caster wheels that come with the purchase?

  • Flywheel: What is the flywheel weight on the elliptical?
  • Extra Stuff: Does the device have a cup holder, device holder, or pulse reader? Does it also come with Bluetooth connectivity and heart rate monitoring features?
  • Usability: Is this elliptical machine appropriate for people of all fitness levels? Would this be a good choice for someone who wants to use it at home?
  • Warranty: Is a warranty offerend and if so, how long is the warranty? 
  • Preset programs: If the machine has any pre-set workout programs, how many does it have?
  • Resistance: How many adjustable resistance levels does the machine have?

Things to Consider for the Best Elliptical Under 500 Dollars

Weight Capacity

Weight capacity is an more important factor for some people than others, and luckily there are a variety of ellipticals on the market to suite everyone's needs. If you know that you need a higher weight capacity ahead of time, it'll be easier to find the perfect elliptical for your workout routine.

Your Workout Space

Checking the dimensions of an elliptical before purchasing it is crucial, especially if you don't have much space. I recommend measuring your desired location ahead of time to ensure that the machine will fit.

Another factor to take into account is ceiling height; this becomes increasingly important if you're planning on using the machine in a basement. You should check the elliptical's maximum pedal height and compare it to your own height-the combined height of both will be the maximum height of the chosen elliptical.

Most ellipticals are 4-7 feet long, but you'll need to leave space for the pedals when they're in use.

The pedals of some rear-drive ellipticals can extend a foot out behind the mainframe, so make sure to allow 20 inches on each side of the machine.

Features

Some elliptical features, such as water bottle and tablet holders, may be more useful than others. Keep in mind that the more features you want, the higher price tag you'll need to pay.

Some ellipticals are designed to have customizable features so you can target specific muscles groups and improve your workout. For example, adjustable stride length or pedal, incline, and seat settings offer a variety of workout options on some models.

Workout programs and heart rate monitoring are two features that, while not essential to your cardio fitness, I feel are worth spending a few extra dollars on. Workouts programs are excellent for setting new challenges and keeping your interest, especially for long cardio workout sessions.

Heart rate monitoring is extremely useful for those of you who wish to exercise in their target heart rate zones.

Durability

If an elliptical isn't well-made, you'll know it. Poorly-made ellipticals are constantly developing new problems, which will make working out a total pain and completely derail your fitness goals.

When choosing an elliptical, cross-check that the frame is made of metal with only some plastic parts (preferably durable PVC or ABS) for external impact.

Also important: take the time to read reviews of each individual product you’re considering before making your final decision—this way, you'll have first-hand experience from users about how it performs and how long lasting it actually is.

Portability

Choose an elliptical that has transport wheels, can fold, or is lightweight if you plan on moving it often. Even with many features, a cheaply made one will cause problems that interfere with your fitness goals and motivation.

Pricing

This is a review of ellipticals under $500, which means you are either budget conscience or you are just getting into having a fitness equipment. Both are fine by me!

The cost of an elliptical is most likely one of the primary reasons that will impact your decision to buy it. Of course, you'll want an elliptical machine that's within your price range,  but keep in mind that generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Therefore, it's important to tailor your needs and expectations accordingly.

You can find some great ellipticals for under $500. You won't get the same performance or build quality as you would with an elliptical that costs $2,000+, but there are stillsome decent options within the $200-$300 range.

Warranty and Return Policy

With more expensive ellipticals, we usually see a frame warranty of 10 years. However, this decreases when the machine is less expensive; most ellipticals under $500 have a 1-3 year frame warranty.

It's crucial to buy an elliptical from a reputable brand that has great customer service,  because even though the machine may come with a warranty, it's not much use if the company is unresponsive. Also, keep in mind that warranties generally don't cover wearable parts like brakes and seat cushions.

Did you know that some brands, like NordicTrack and ProForm, will void your warranty if you keep your cardio machine in your garage? To avoid being caught off guard by something small later on, take a look at the conditions of your warranty now.

Elliptical Buying Tips

There are many design types of ellipticals, but they can usually be put into three categories based on where the flywheel or drive system is placed. The drive system is what makes the elliptical move and its placement affects stride length, how smoothly the elliptical moves, and noise level.

Front drive ellipticals –When searching for an elliptical machine, you will find that front-drive models are mostly in the budget to mid-level price range.

These have a large wheelhousing at the front of the machine; while using one of these ellipticals,you will be leaning slightly forward--just like on a stairclimber. Despite their basic design, front-drive machines are durable but might be noisier than center drive machines.

Center drive ellipticals – Ellipticals with center drives are a relatively new design, but they are becoming increasingly popular. Center drive ellipticals are designed to be similar to treadmills, except the pedals are where the track would usually be. This allows for a gentle workout.

Center drive ellipticals typically have shorter stride lengths than other elliptical designs, so they may not be suitable for everyone. However, their compact size makes them ideal for people who exercise in small spaces like apartments.

Rear Drive Ellipticals – Rear-drive ellipticals have a smaller wheel housing located behind the pedals, allowing for a more extended design. Many manufacturers claim that rear-drive machines provide users with a smoother and more comfortable pedal motion. Additionally, the pedals can be placed on an incline track to add intensity or variety to workouts. Because of their many benefits, rear drive systems are usually reserved for high-end ellipticals. Some models even boast some of the widest stride lengths available on any type of elliptical trainer.

Hybrid Ellipticals – Hybrid ellipticals offer you the benefits of an elliptical and an exercise bike in one machine. To switch between modes, all you have to do is arrange the seat and pedals. Most hybrid machines are found in the budget range, making them a popular choice for people looking to save space without sacrificing their health.

Other Key Components To Look Out For

Stride Length – The stride length is the distance from the toe of front pedal to the heel of rear pedal when both pedals are at their widest point. This measurement is crucial as it affects how comfortable your strides will be. The key to engage your muscles without harming your joints and tendons is having an elliptical with a stride length that fits you comfortably.

If you're planning on using your elliptical for intense workouts, being able to run smoothly should be a top priority; if the machine's stride length is too short, that won't be possible.

  • If you plan on running slowly, you can get away with a shorter stride length
  • If you are a tall user measuring 6 feet or taller, you will need to utilize a machine with at least 20″ stride length for running or walking faster paces.

Resistance Systems & Flywheel

Another important feature to consider when buying an elliptical is the resistance system. There are two types of resistance systems: air and magnetic. which one is better?

In my opinion, magnetic resistance is better for home use because it creates less noise than air resistance, which uses a fan to generate force.

If you prefer a more silent ride while working out and don't like to be constantly bothered by noise, then magnetic resistance is definitely the best way to go.

Additionally, another great perk of choosing this type of machine is that its strength in resistance doesn't fluctuate unless you change it yourself.

With air resistance, you can only walk or run at a fast pace; however, with constant resistance, you have the choice to leisurely pedal on a high resistance level.

When searching for the best elliptical under 500, remember to focus on key aspects such as flywheel weight and resistance type. Usually, machines with a heavier flywheel (>15lbs) tend to provide a smoother motion. Additionally, those with magnetic resistance create less noise than other types of ellipticals.

Console and Smart Features

The console on your elliptical is key because it provides immediate feedback about your workout.

Most ellipticals come with consoles that show information such as your pulse rate, heartbeat, distance covered, speed, and calories burned displayed on an LCD screen. 

Some consoles also come equipped with preset workout programs to guide you through your routine. For entertainment while working out, some feature Bluetooth or internet connectivity so you can listen to music or find an exercise video on YouTube

Benefits of Ellipticals

Trying to decide if picking up an inexpensive elliptical machine is the right move for you? Here are some benefits of having an elliptical under 500 dollars.

1.Improve your stamina and cardio health by incorporating aerobic exercise into your routine. This type of activity requires more work from your heart and lungs, making them stronger over time. Ellipticals provide an excellent way to get an aerobic workout because they target both the upper and lower body muscles, as well as the heart and lungs. With regular use, you will see a marked improvement in your endurance levels.

2. Low Impact – Elliptical trainers provide a low-impact cardio workout by moving your feet in an elliptical pattern. Your feet never leave the pedals, which is why it's often compared to walking on air. In contrast, every time you take a step while walking or running on a treadmill, there is significant impact on your body.

3. Burn Those Calories –If you want to lose weight, it's important that you burn more calories than you consume. Ellipticals are a great way to help with this because they canburn anywhere from 230-350 in 30 minutes, depending on your weight. If you're looking for an even bigger calorie burn, try increasing the intensity of your workout.

4. With the dual-action feature, you can target your upper and lower body simultaneously. This is especially beneficial if you want to focus on toning your quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest, back Triceps and biceps all at once.

5. An elliptical provides a weight-bearing exercise, which helps to slow down osteoporosis.

6. If you want to improve your balance, in addition to weight-bearing exercises, try standing up straight on an elliptical and letting go of the fixed handlebars. By doing so, not only will you target your core muscles but also work on improving your sense of balance.

Best Ellipticals Under $500 FAQs

What Is The Best Elliptical For Under $500?

My top pick for the best elliptical under $500 is the ergonomic Sunny Health and Fitness SFE3607.

Budget ellipticals Cheaper ellipticals that typically cost $400 or less usually have 8 levels of resistance, which is enough to provide a challenging workout for people doing medium-paced cardio.

However, that's not to say you won't be able to burn any calories on a cheaper machine; it all depends on your fitness level and desired intensity. In general, though, an elliptical with eight resistance levels is usually best suited for beginners, seniors citizens looking for gentler workouts, or anyone just starting out.

When you spend $400 or more, we see 16-24 resistance levels; meaning, the higher price range will offer a greater challenge. The machines in this tier are also of much higher quality and can last for years before needing an upgrade.

Obviously, ellipticals that cost $1k+ come with even more resistance levels and heavier flywheels - great if your budget allows but sometimes it's too much machine for a home gym.

Can You Lose Weight Using An Elliptical?

Not only does using an elliptical help get rid of that stubborn belly fat, but research suggests that it actually burns more calories than an exercise bike in the same amount of time. And if you want to burn even more calories, try getting one with an incline—workouts on an incline can actually burn twice as many calories because they target larger posterior muscles, which require more energy and therefore have a higher caloric output.

What Company Makes The Best Ellipticals?

If you're looking for low-cost ellipticals, Sunny Health & Fitness offers the most options in this price range. However, Schwinn also makes a couple of excellent low-cost ellipticals like the 411 and A40. If money isn't an issue, Sole Fitness should be your go-to company. They make impressive heavy-duty machines with large flywheels and stride lengths comparable to commercial ellipticals

Is 30 Minutes Of Elliptical A Day Enough?

According to the CDC, Americans should aim for 150-300 minutes of "moderate-intensity" exercise each week. If you elliptical for 30 minutes every day except Sunday, you'll reach this goal.

Is An Elliptical Good For Losing Weight?

An elliptical machine can be an effective weight-loss tool, but it is important to speak with your doctor or a licensed dietician first. This way you can make sure the plan you're making is best tailored for you as every individual's body reacts differently.

What Is The Best Low-Impact Exercise Machine?

If you're interested in a low-impact workout, don't forget that there are other options available to you besides a cross trainer. For example, recumbent bikes and regular exercise bikes can both provide excellent low-impact workouts.

Best Elliptical Under 500 dollars Final Verdict

By now, you should hopefully know which is the best elliptical under 500 dollars for you. Whether you’re just starting to get into fitness, or want to replace an old elliptical machine, or need a reliable portable one to lose some weight – any one of the five listed above should be sufficient for your needs. 

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Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Me.

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Jeremy. 

I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods

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