With less pressure on your joints, a quality elliptical can make exercise easier on the body but they will still have you working up a sweat. Even though they offer great all over cardio, the best elliptical machines aren’t always the most expensive. The market is full of quality products with all the features of the most expensive brands at a fraction of the price.
If you are looking to add to your at-home gym then consider our list of the best ellipticals under 500. Each product has a deserved reputation and allows you to work those arms and legs from the comfort of your home without breaking the bank. With something for every budget, here is our list of the markets finest.
- Editor’s Choice
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer (Amazon) – Review
- Best Long Stride
Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer with Air Resistance System (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable
Doufit Elliptical Machine for Home Use (Amazon) – Review
- Best Weight Capacity
Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical with Bluetooth App Tracking Option (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
ProForm 150I Elliptical (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer
With 12 levels of resistance and a reasonable price tag, this is the best elliptical machine under 500. The microcontroller ensures it is easy to switch between the settings and its digital monitor shows you all your progress, displaying distance, time, calories, speed, pulse, and more. The footbars and handlebars are grippy and to ensure you get smooth motion, there are onboard stabilizers.
Although not everyone has a lot of room for their exercise equipment, this elliptical machine is compact and can be stored easily because it only weighs 60 lbs. With a stride length of 11 inches and an appealing price, this is great value which explains why it is one of the most popular elliptical machines under 500. It does have a maximum weight capacity of 220 lbs but it gives many people the chance to try low impact cardio in their home.
- Great value
- 220 lbs maximum capacity
- 12 levels of resistance
- Grippy handlebars
- Digital monitor displays lots of useful information
Best Long Stride: Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine
Some people might find it hard to believe that this high-quality elliptical machine is under 500 because of the sturdy build and there is even more to like. There are 7 preset programs which include one fast start to get you going and there is a weighted flywheel that keeps the machine quiet as you workout, even when you up the intensity. You also get 8 levels of resistance so when you feel like you are ready, you can make it more challenging.
A lot of people like the LCD console because it is big and bulky and makes it easy to get a quick update on your progress. This is where you can look at the time, speed, RPM, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and more. The 17.5-inch stride length is bigger than most and the frame comes with a 3-year warranty and has a maximum weight capacity of 275 lbs.
- Large LCD screen
- 7 preset workouts
- 8 resistance levels
- 17.5-inch stride
Best Value: Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer with Air Resistance System
Because it is so reasonably priced, this is difficult to ignore so it is no surprise it has made it onto our list of the best elliptical machines under 500. The chain driven fan whirrs quietly for a smooth workout and the dual-action handlebars have a good amount of grip so you can tone and exercise the upper and lower body.
The LCD screen is simple but gives you enough useful information to help you keep track of your progress and you can change the level of resistance easily thanks to the control knob. The wheels at the bottom make it easy to move from place to place, this is made even easier as it weighs just 58 lbs.
- Quiet operation
- Good value
- Changeable resistance
- Easily portable
Best Affordable: Doufit Elliptical Machine for Home Use
You can buy this elliptical trainer with or without a seat to add to the comfort and depending on your level of fitness, it just might be what helps to get you into shape. It helps to tone arms, hips, and legs and because of the 8 resistance levels, it is great for cardiovascular training. The pulse sensor combines with the easy to view display to tell you your heart rate, calories burned, time, distance, and more.
It feels secure even when you’re upping the intensity and this is because of the heavy-duty steel frame. The pedals have a grippy texture to keep you safe meaning anyone up to 264 lbs can enjoy the benefits that come with using a quality elliptical machine.
- Can be purchased with a seat
- Heavy-duty steel frame
- Grippy pedals
- Maximum capacity of 264 lbs
Best Weight Capacity: Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical with Bluetooth App Tracking Option
With a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs, this is one of the best ellipticals under 500 for anyone who needs that bit of added strength. It also has a Bluetooth App tracking so you can use it with the MyCloudFitness app to make training more fun and help you keep track of your progress. It has a sturdy steel frame and a natural movement that means it doesn’t move around and keeps the user secure.
There are 8 levels of tension resistance to help you make the most of your time on the machine and it also boasts a 3.4 inch LCD screen to give you a clear look at your statistics. You can check your heart rate via the hand pulse pads and there is even a smartphone holder so you can listen to your motivational tunes in comfort. With quiet and smooth operation and you can even set 3 workout goals to give yourself a challenge.
- Bluetooth app tracking
- Sturdy steel frame keeps it secure
- 8 resistance levels
- Large LCD screen
Best Value: ProForm 150I Elliptical
This product gives you the ability to use both arms and legs or hold onto the handlebars and give your legs a workout. The 17-inch stride length ensures you can work up a real sweat and it is more generous than a lot of the competition. There are also 12 resistance levels so you can gradually work your way through the challenging motions. We like that ProForm has tried to keep you comfortable throughout with an iPod compatible audio system and a water bottle holder.
It features a heart rate monitor and has a 250 lb weight capacity and one of the larger LCD display screens to make it easy to keep up with your progress.
- 17-inch stride
- 12 resistance levels
- Water bottle holder
- Large LCD screen
Even if you want to save a little money you can still find a lot of quality in the market for an elliptical machine for under 500. You should still expect the same features and comfort as those that are more expensive and can get into shape, toning your arms and legs whilst saving a lot of money.
This is only if you know what to expect from a decent product. To make this purchase easier, we have created a buyer’s guide so you can find the right product for your needs.
You might start with a low setting but with regular use, it won’t be long until you start to increase the resistance. This means you need to have enough scope to make sure the elliptical under 500 that you choose is not too limited. Most tend to give you at least 7 resistance settings which can be plenty enough for most people.
If the stride is limited, so is the amount of cardio you can do. The bigger the stride, the harder you will have to work and although this is just one setting out of a handful that can make you sweat, it helps you to get the most out of the elliptical machine.
Heavy Duty Frame
Most tend to be made from steel which helps to keep the machine sturdy, even when you are exerting yourself to the max. Because of the back and forth motion, some elliptical machines can move around and shake. This doesn’t inspire confidence so along with rubber feet to keep the device stable, find with that is made from quality materials.
The last thing your partner wants when they’re trying to watch their favorite show in the evening is for you to shake the room and create a cacophony of noise as you do your thing on the elliptical machine. There are plenty of products that are known for being quiet so consider your environment before you make a purchase.
A lot of the time an elliptical machine will be quieter than feet stomping on a treadmill but you might be surprised if you buy from the wrong brand.
Large LCD Screen
Although this isn’t the most important feature, it is good to be able to move between the settings with ease and take clear readings to track your progress. The best ellipticals under 500 tend to have a good-sized screen so you can keep up to date with your distance, calories burned, time, RPM, and other statistics.
Although this is rare with elliptical machines, especially the more budget-friendly options, you can find it with some. After the resistance, an incline is a useful tool for making your workout that bit harder so you work up a sweat and get fit.
Some products have a manual incline option where you have to get off the machine to amend it yourself whilst others can be changed at the click of a button but these tend to come at a price.
Not every elliptical for under 500 is going to offer this but you can find products that do. It means you can connect the machine directly to an app on your phone which tracks your statistics so you can record them and keep them for next time.
The little extras can go a long way towards how much enjoyment you get out of your elliptical machine. The best products tend to have a drinks holder, a space to put your phone and some even have built-in speakers.
The machine itself should be light enough for you to move from room to room. Most products tend to have rollers underneath so you can move them easily but this is going to be more comfortable when the device doesn’t weigh a tonne.
This depends on the type of training you are doing. You will find a lot of people in the gym hop on the elliptical machine for 5 to 10 minutes as a warm-up for strength training. If you are looking to lose weight or use it for fitness then anything between 20 minutes to an hour can be a good amount of time to shed some pounds.
Remember to have a rest day every few days as most experts advise having at least one day off in seven.
Compared to a lot of alternatives such as a treadmill, an elliptical machine is one of the better exercises for anyone with bad knees. The low impact of the movement means it is not as hard on joints because you are on a fixed motion.
They can be good when you are recovering from an injury as they help to strengthen some of the sensitive muscles and areas around the ankles and knees.
In a word, yes! Elliptical machines can help to tone arms muscles as well as the shoulders, back muscles, and even chest. These are just some of the benefits for the upper body which is why it is such a popular piece of exercise equipment.
Although you can spend pretty much whatever you want on most pieces of exercise equipment, an elliptical doesn;lt have to cost a lot. You can get a reputable brand and a durable product for around $300. Those on a budget will find that a basic elliptical doesn’t cost much more than $100 so you can enjoy the benefits of being able to use these low impact exercise machines from the comfort of your home.