Best Elliptical Machines Under $500 of 2021
“Under $500” is our cheapest category for elliptical machines. Shop carefully in this price class; you can’t take much for granted! The top-scoring models from our reviews are charted below.
Compared with the choices $999 and up, ellipticals under $500 are smaller and less durable. The taller and stronger the user, the bigger the chance of frustrations. For example, being lightweight these fitness machines might wobble during workouts. And having shorter stride paths than standard ellipticals, they could produce motion that feels more like steep stepping than smooth gliding.
As you can see here, some of the best values under $500 aren’t traditional elliptical trainers. One is a hybrid fitness machine that lets you sit or stand to cross-train; it works as an elliptical and a recumbent exercise bike. Another is a portable device for pedaling without upper-body exercise. Our chart has links to full product reviews. For comparison we recommend seeing our chart of best ellipticals under $1000 too.
Top 4 Best Rated Elliptical Machines Under $500
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT
Stamina InMotion E1000
Rating: 82 %
Rating: 82 %
Rating: 80 %
Rating: 61.3 %
|Resistance||16 Levels||16 levels||0||Adjustable|
|Stride Length||15 inches||15 inches||N/A||Very Short|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
Elliptical Machines Under $500 Buying Guide
Ellipticals under $500 provide the means to exercise without the financial strain of the higher priced models. The obvious advantage to investing in a “budget elliptical” is you’re saving a ton of cash and getting the same basic method toward living and enjoying a healthier lifestyle. The major disadvantage, however, is that you are sacrificing quality and dependability.
Because ellipticals under $500 are so affordable you will not get the same features that ellipticals in the $1,000 to $1,500 price range guarantee. Additionally, the quality of parts and production is likely not as strong making the under $500 models more prone to break down and require costly repairs.
However, that is not to say that you can find a few competitive models in the under $500 price range. How do you know a steal when you see one? Ellipticals under $500 traditionally have similar features yet some of our highest rated ellipticals under $500 (above) have particular traits that make them viable options.
Ellipticals Under $500 — Performance
Ellipticals under $500 lack the resistance system, levels of resistance and stride length that higher priced models offer. Period. However, if your primary user(s) of the elliptical are shorter, smaller individuals you do not necessary need a 20 inch stride length. Therefore, selecting the most important features on the under $500 models varies depending on personal preference.
Resistance System: Manufactures generally produce the same resistance system regardless of the price of the model. Consequently, the resistance system on ellipticals under $500 does not make a huge difference as long as it’s a good system in the first place.
Levels of Resistance: The most obvious difference between ellipticals under $500 and the higher priced markets usually derives from the levels of resistance. Some of the best ellipticals may have 20 levels of resistance (or more) while ellipticals under $500 average between 8-10. The disparity in levels of resistance is substantial, obviously, yet impacts users differently.
Stride Length: The stride length is important, especially for longer limbed users. Unfortunately, the 13-16 inch stride length of several ellipticals under $500 is not even close to satisfactory for some consumers. Again, it comes down to personal preference, just make sure the stride length is satisfactory for your needs.
Ellipticals Under $500 — Most Important Features
In our personal opinion, the most important features on ellipticals under $500 relate to durability of the trainer. Considering that production of the elliptical probably suffered makes the quality of parts and other materials questionable. Also, because the warranty of the under $500 products are usually poor make the durability of the elliptical vital. Unless, of course, you enjoy buying a new elliptical every couple of years.
Durability is usually measured in three ways:
- Reputation of manufacture
- Max User Weight
- Quality of Warranty
If the manufacture has a solid reputation your confidence for the trainer should correlate. Along with the company’s reputation, you can learn about their confidence in the elliptical by the quality of the warranty. For example, if the manufacture is only willing to offer 90 days on parts they’re not demonstrating a lot of confidence in their production, are they?
In addition to the warranty and reputation, always note the max user weight. Manufactures are notorious for bumping up the max user weight which makes the number seen on the specs traditionally a little high. Unfortunately, ellipticals under $500 usually suffer in terms of max user weight, but try to at least get something with 250 lbs. or better.