No more excuses! Do you want to improve your fitness and are you looking for joint-friendly sports equipment for your own four walls? Then an elliptical trainer is well advised. In contrast to the classic cross trainer, the movement is elliptical and not round. In this way, you save bones and joints.
Whether you are a beginner or a sports enthusiast, an elliptical offers the right program for every fitness level, thanks to a large selection of resistances. You can also read directly how successful your training session was and find out the calorie consumption, pulse and distance.
Like all fitness equipment for home use, choosing an elliptical under $500 is not easy because of so many poor quality models offer on the market that can make your purchase junk.
Best Ellipticals Under $200
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3919 Premium Elliptical
- SNODE E20 Heavy-Duty Elliptical
- Body Champ BRT7989 3-in-1 Elliptical
- Body Power BST800 2-in-1 Elliptical Trainer
- ANCHEER APP Control Elliptical
- BestLucky UPGRADED Ergonomic Elliptical
- FUNMILY EM530 Elliptical
1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3919 Premium Elliptical
Why Choose Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3919:
- Multifunctional performance monitor
- Adjustable magnetic tension
- Full motion handlebars
- Versatile step stride
- Transportation wheel
The elliptical machine of Sunny Health & Fitness should contribute to effective endurance training. The training device not only enables extensive endurance training to increase basic endurance but also intensive interval training. You can adjust the resistance to 8 different levels to match your training goal.
The training computer has a total of 5 display modes. The user receives direct feedback on his performance via the built-in training monitor. Among other things, it shows the calories consumed and the distance covered. There is also a combination evaluation, a time display and a heart rate monitor.
The padded handles can be adjusted four times in height. The legs and arms are used simultaneously when exercising with the device. For the pedal system, the manufacturer relies on a flywheel weighing 14 lbs. A mechanical braking system is also installed.
The stride length of the trainer is around 10 inches. The maximum bodyweight of the person exercising should be 260 lbs. The room temperature reading is a great bonus for the display. The Black-red device is delivered including installation and operating instructions.
This device is not collapsible. However, the elliptical trainer has transportation wheels so that you can roll from room to room in your home for easy storage.
2. SNODE E20 Heavy-Duty Cross Crank Driven Elliptical
Why Choose SNODE E20:
- Variable tension control system
- Built-in effective heavy flywheel
- Stable and comfortable handlebars
- Comfortable big non-slip pedals
- Digital LCD multi-functional display
SNODEE20 is a new design magnetic resistant elliptical from SNODE. It has 8 levels of magnetic resistance which provide a variety of exercise intensities to make your fitness training more effective and efficient. SNODE also offers one-year quality warranty for this model.
It built with precision-balanced flywheel which ensures smooth and quiet operation. The monitoring display provides you real-time data, also indicates distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan and pulse. You don’t need to plug into the power, just stand in the equipment and then start your workout.
The stride length of this elliptical 13.78 in. It also has large Non-slip Pedals which assure your safety while exercising. With 265lbs of weight capacity, the heavy-duty construction increase durability and stability. It could be a good fitness helper for your whole family workout.
The transportation wheels allow you to move the machine from one place to another with ease or store it away out of sight. It doesn’t take up too much space and I personally like that when you glide, the rear end never surpasses the back cross bar, so you can pretty much put the back right up against a wall.
The resistance is strong and smooth – ideal for challenging activity. The cross trainer measures 61 x 24 x 47 inches. It provides smooth flowing workout for your upper and lower body without impact.
3. Body Champ BRT7989 3-in-1 Elliptical Trainer
Why Choose Body Champ BRT7989:
- 21 Training Programs with Media Shelf
- Hassle-free Transitions without unmounting
- Three Sets of Integrated Handlebars
- Heart Rate Monitor with Adjustable Resistance and Motor
- Transport wheels for easy relocation and storage
Body Champ BRT7989 is a 3-in-1 elliptical (upright stationary, and recumbent exercise and sprint road bike cycling) a truly best features exercise machine because no other fitness equipment offers on the market. It also features 2 additional upper-body stance options for a better workout. However, there is no way to make the pedals go up and down as a stepper.
The innovative design allows you to effortless transitions without the need to dismount or adjust. The handlebars can be set in 3 different ways. You can choose from: pro cycle, dual-action, and wraparound. It will give you all the information about and tell how many calories you burn.
The smooth magnetic-encased flywheel provides ultra-quiet motion so you can work out early in the morning or late at night when all family members sleeping. You can easily adjust the magnetic resistance to customize your workout to your needs. The instructions are also easy to follow.
The seat is adjustable and can be moved forwards or backwards. This means that the model can also be used as a training bike in your own four walls. The transport wheel also makes this home gym equipment easy to transport and store when not in use. It will take the highest two hours to assemble.
The bike portion is fine, the seat and pedals are easy to adjust. However, for the elliptical portion, motion is limited and a bit narrow. But overall, the motion is smooth.
4. Body Power BST800 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer
Why Choose Body Power BST800:
- Built-in Exclusive Curve-Crank Technology
- Combines 2 exercise machine movements
- 8-level of quiet resistance control
- The compact design fits almost any space
- Simple and straightforward LCD computer
Body Power BST800 gives you a smooth workout experience in your home. It combined with the easy strides of an elliptical, and, the power generated from an upright stepper. With a smooth operation and efficient motion, you will get the most out of your cardio equipment under $400.
The ergonomic crank allows you to safely adjust the resistance (eight-level) while you running. It was designed for a weight capacity of 250 lbs. The tablet/device holder is wonderful. It can be fairly easily moved, tight spaces get tricky due to the height.
This space-saving design elliptical combines the benefits of a vertical climber, an elliptical trainer, and an exercise stepper. The synchronized handlebars and stepper movement provide a total-body workout in a short period of time. You can also paddle forward and backward.
With a compact design, the Body Power BST800 is the perfect home workout device for anyone who wants to exercise in their home, apartment, or fitness room.
There are wheels on the front side, you can move the machine forward easily. However, it is not exactly ‘hardwood floor friendly’ – as you try to move and tilt the machine on its wheels, it makes permanent indentations on the hardwood floor. The stride length is a bit short for long-leg people.
5. ANCHEER Smooth Driven APP Elliptical for Home Use
Why Choose ANCHEER Elliptical:
- Ergonomic & adjustable resistance
- Dual power motion & quiet driven
- Upgraded APP connection system
- Multi-function digital monitor
- Large cushioned footplates
If you are looking for a 5th generation elliptical under $500 ANCHEER will be the first option for you. Because this model features APP control that can be connected choose one of your like scenes to be more fun when work. The large features of an LCD screen provide all the information such as calories burned, time, speed, and distance.
Pulse pads on the additional stationary handlebars give heart rate monitoring, which allows you to control your heartbeat, recording your fitness statistics more easily. It is quiet and smooth especially, since the precision balanced flywheel and V- belt drive provides a smooth operation.
The stride is 15-inch Large which is enough. With a compact ergonomic design, it has 10 levels of magnetic resistance adjustments. The built-in friction-free linkage system and the tubular steel construction also ensure long-lasting durability. And the wide base ensures robust stability.
The dual power motion will be worked your upper and lower body simultaneously, which helps you to isolate legs or arms for added intensity. The anti-slip foot pedals are wrapped with texture plastic which increases friction to ensure your safety during exercise.
The monitor is too low so you feel like you are looking straight down if you are tall over 6 feet like and like to watch or iPad or phone while you workout.
6. Bestlucky UPGRADED Elliptical Trainer for Home Use
Why Choose Bestlucky UPGRADED Model:
- Built-in effective inertia-enhanced flywheel
- Easy to read large window LCD computer displays
- Extended Leg Stabilizers and transport wheel
- Design for high safety and convenience
If you are looking for a cheap but powerful elliptical, this model is for you! The Bestlucky is well known for their high-quality sports equipment and actually, they offer a robust and durable elliptical bike. With its 24 integrated programs, you can train according to your goals without risk.
Bestlucky High-Intensity Cardio Elliptical Trainer built with dual action forward and backward pedaling system provides a full-body workout and 13-inch stride length suitable for different height people. This unit also doesn’t take up much room because of its slim and lightweight design.
Easy to assemble, around 2 hours for assembly and installation before you can fully enjoy your new fitness machine! You can personalize your workout by entering your weight, gender, height, etc. for a suitable activity that suits you. The strong frame can support a maximum of 330 lbs.
It has 8 levels of the magnetic tension control system which is average but enough for a simple to challenging workout. You can use a convenient tension knob to adjust exercise intensity easily. You can also increase or decrease resistance with a simple turn so the workout will be always challenging and effective.
The Inertia-enhanced flywheel provides a more natural ride and the transportation wheels keep the elliptical cross trainer portable. The slip-resistant pedals ensure stability and the stabilizers maintain balance during exercise. It’s robust, quiet smooth, and comfortable to use.
7. FUNMILY EM530 Elliptical & Cross Trainer for Home Gym
- Built-in tablet/phone holder
- Free Mobile APP function for training
- Solid steel frame and chip-resistant paint
- Fixed center handle post with built-in pulse sensors
- Transportation wheels and floor stabilizers
FUNMILY always famous for their innovative design, by R&D. With a very interesting price point, this elliptical bike is ideal for casual or regular use. Very quiet, it is not bulky and will quickly find its place for smooth fitness. You can place your tablet or a book in front of the on-board computer to keep yourself busy or to conduct online training.
The FUNMILY EM530 features an 18lbs belt-driven magnetic flywheel and high gear ratio that delivers a natural feeling of both forward and reverse motion. It has 10 levels of magnetic resistance, allowing you to exercise more muscles and provides you challenging yet smooth workout.
It has an advanced LCD display to provide real-time workout information. The built-in heart rate sensor is connected to the monitor to read your pulse, burnt calories, time, speed, ODO, and distance. The multifunctional display is also App-compatible so you can share your fitness data with your friends.
Like Bestlucky elliptical, the anti-slip foot pedals are wrapped by textured plastic which increases friction and ensures safety during exercise. The ergonomically-engineered 15-inch stride fits most of the user heights. It is made of a sturdy steel frame with a capacity weight of up to 390 lbs.
The convenient transport wheels are appreciable for use or storage, you don’t need heavy muscle for lifting. The 4 rubber adjustable floor rests also suitable for both carpets and hard floors.
The cheapest, easy-to-use elliptical is a good choice for less than $500, but if you’re looking for more options or want a high-performance fitness equipment for heavy-duty use, you’ll need to buy a spin bike. If you are interested in spin bike, you can read our unbiased reviews of Best Spin Bikes under $500.
Now that you’ve gotten to take a look at what features each elliptical on this list has to offer, let’s discuss what exactly these features mean. Once you have a better understanding of what each feature involves, it will make choosing the right elliptical for you much easier.
The flywheel and the braking system are decisive for effective training. The mass of the flywheel determines the maximum resistance and ensures smooth movement, which is especially important for ambitious endurance sports. For most of the devices in every elliptical test, the resistance can be set in several stages.
When buying, pay attention to the setting options for the elliptical trainer with adjustable stride length. The longer the stride, the softer the movements and the better the training effect. This feature is especially important for tall people with long legs.
Many people want to lose weight with an elliptical, so heavyweights in particular should pay attention to the maximum bodyweight for the device. Heavy people need an elliptical trainer that can withstand them over the long term. Adjustable ellipticals also adapt to weight, size and training intensity.
In some ellipticals offer up to a maximum of 220lbs – for many users this is clearly not enough. Especially tall people with long legs should also pay attention to the maximum stride length.
Hardly any fitness station today can do without a computer. An on-board computer on the elliptical provides you with information and enables sophisticated training programs of your choice. With the selection of different training programs, you can tailor your training perfectly to your goal.
While the mechanical function guarantees the actual training effect, the training computer of the elliptical trainer provides you with a lot of useful information and also allows you to set certain training programs to optimize your training.
However, these training programs also have a motivational effect that you should not underestimate. Endurance training can be very monotonous and then has a demotivating effect. An on-board computer, which shows your progress on a color display and makes the resistance varied, helps enormously in maintaining the training.
The same applies to an elliptical with a calorie consumption display. But always keep an eye on your pulse. You noticed that Good elliptical trainers on our list come with a chest strap or a hand sensor for heart rate measurement.
A magnetic brake or an induction brake guarantees smooth and even movements and absorbs the momentum so that the resistance is maintained.
However, the elliptical also needs a good braking system so that your applied force does not affect you in the same way during the downward movement. As a rule, magnetic brake systems are more powerful and gentler than brake belts and have established themselves in almost all models.
Elliptical trainers are endurance sports equipment, but individual training programs make monotonous training easier and motivate through intermediate goals and interval training.
Heart rate monitor
Keeping an eye on the heart rate is particularly important for seniors, people in rehab measures and during pregnancy, and it usually works with a chest strap or hand sensor.
If you have little space at home, you should also think about space-saving with the elliptical. Models with transport castors can simply be pushed into any corner when the training is finished. In addition, some ellipticals can be folded up, making them even easier to stow away. Find compact elliptical at Intersport.
Questions and answers about ellipticals
Which muscle groups are being trained with elliptical?
An elliptical is primarily a piece of sports equipment for endurance and therefore primarily uses the leg muscles, especially the thighs (hamstrings, leg extensors), but also the calves and buttocks (glutes). With an elliptical, the additional arm movements also strengthen the core of the body and include the arms. In this respect, an elliptical trainer can also be understood as a whole-body training device.
What is the difference between cross trainer and elliptical?
The difference between a conventional cross trainer and an elliptical is hardly noticeable at first glance. Namely, it lies only in the changed motion control. While the movement on a cross trainer is more circular, on an elliptical it is elliptical, i.e. more oval.
This enables softer movements with sweeping steps and has been proven to be gentle on the joints. This makes an elliptical trainer the first choice for everyone who wants to protect their joints and still want to train effectively.
Why I invest in an elliptical instead of other gym equipment?
Compared to other endurance sports equipment, a cross trainer is much more effective and, above all, safer to use. The guided movements prevent the user from moving incorrectly or making fundamental mistakes in the operation, as is possible with free training on the ergometer or the treadmill. This is why ellipticals are so popular in rehab sports and also with seniors.
At the same time, even seasoned fitness athletes swear by the efficiency of the best ellipticals, precisely because training on such a machine is so extremely effective.
How much flywheel mass should the elliptical have?
When looking for the best elliptical, many manufacturers advertise a high flywheel mass, but how high does it actually have to be? The flywheel mass should be tailored to your body weight – for beginners up to 10lbs flywheel mass is suitable, whereas professionals need an elliptical with up to 25lbs flywheel mass.
What is the best stride length on the elliptical for me?
The following applies to the stride length: The stride length should suit your height. The average stride length is 46 cm, for tall people even up to 52 cm. Neither an extended nor a shortened stride length on the elliptical is ergonomic. Take a look at the manufacturer’s information or measure your stride length with a centimeter ruler.
Ellipticals Under $500 – Conclusion
In our elliptical comparison, we have evaluated numerous tests to make your purchase decision easier. Interestingly, the ellipticals from Marcy as well as models from MaxKare, or elliptical trainers from EFITMENT did not make it into our top rankings because we have tried to provide the best model under $500. Although these brands are among the top manufacturers in the home trainer and fitness equipment category.