Exercise is an important thing that we have to integrate into our daily lives, and going to the gym may not always be convenient. That's why buying fitness equipment is the second-best choice.
You might worry about expenses, and that’s why one of the best options is an affordable elliptical machine. Think about watching TV or listening to your favorite podcast while you're working out, it's hitting two birds with one stone!
If you’re big on the idea, here are the best ellipticals under $500.
- 1 Ellipticals Under $500 – Comparison Table
- 1.1 The 7 Best Ellipticals Under $500
- 1.1.1 1. Exerpeutic 1318 5000 Magnetic Elliptical
- 1.1.2 2. Schwinn A40
- 1.1.3 3. Sunny SF-E3912 Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
- 1.1.4 4. Cubii Pro - Seated Under-Desk Elliptical
- 1.1.5 5. Schwinn 411 Elliptical Machine
- 1.1.6 6. Stamina InMotion E1000
- 1.1.7 7. PROGEAR 9900 HIIT Bluetooth Smart Elliptical Trainer
- 1.2 How to Pick an Elliptical Machine Under $500?
- 1.3 How Far Will $500 Go?
- 1.4 Why Use an Elliptical Machine?
- 1.5 Must-Have Accessories for Elliptical Machines
- 1.6 How Does an Elliptical Compare to a Treadmill?
- 1.7 Final Thoughts
- 1.1 The 7 Best Ellipticals Under $500
Ellipticals Under $500 – Comparison Table
Stamina InMotion E1000
The 7 Best Ellipticals Under $500
Without any further ado, here are the best elliptical machines under $500 that you can get today.
1. Exerpeutic 1318 5000 Magnetic Elliptical
Looking for an affordable machine that provides you with comfort and ability to perform your elliptical workout with ease? The Exerpeutic 1318 5000 magnetic elliptical trainer is your answer.
It measures 64 x 55 x 25 inches and weighs only 84 pounds. So despite not having wheels for transportation, it’s still fairly portable.
The Exerpeutic 1318 5000 has a stride of 18 inches, which makes it suitable for users of heights ranging from 5 feet to 6.3 feet.
The space between the pedals is about 6 inches, which is a reasonable distance so you won't strain your thighs. Also, the lowest point for the pedals is 6 inches from the ground, which provides safe off/on capability.
On the other hand, the highest point reaches 15 inches, so make sure the ceiling will be high enough.
An eddy current resistance system is featured, which requires an adapter. The system is made up of magnetic brake and servo motor. Both are connected to the console, where you can choose the level of resistance out of 24 levels available.
The magnetic brake allows for smoother pedaling motion, which is almost silent by reducing the friction between resistance elements.
The first 5 levels of the 24 levels of resistance are suitable for recovery training, with minimum drag and impact. On the other hand, the last 5 levels provide higher resistance for more intense workouts.
The Exerpeutic 1318 5000 console is a mid-range console with an LCD display divided into multiple subsections showing reading all at once.
The readings showed are speed, time, RPM, watts, calories burned, distance, and pulse rate, which is measured through the integrated pulse sensors found on the handlebars.
- Sturdy build
- Ample stride length
- 24 resistance levels with 12 workout programs
- Has four individual user settings
- Amazing value for the money
- Equipped with Mobile App tracking
- Heart rate monitoring can be a little inaccurate
- Warranty isn’t long enough
- Hard to move around due to lack of wheels
With one of the longest stride lengths on an entry-level elliptical, the Exerpeutic 1318 5000 is one of the best options. It has various resistance levels that suit all sorts of training and comes at an affordable price.
2. Schwinn A40
If you are looking for an affordable elliptical trainer that is comfortable and effective at the same time, then Schwinn A40 elliptical trainer is worth taking a look at.
It occupies a space of 64 x 59 x 23 inches and weighs 90.4 pounds. The Schwinn A40 is not the smallest elliptical machine out there.
But its weight is lighter than a smaller model like the Schwinn 411, which makes it easier to move to a corner of your room after your workout to free some space up.
The Schwinn A40 has a 17.5-inch stride –which isn't the longest, so taller people would probably feel a bit uncomfortable at higher paces.
Schwinn A40 drive mechanism is belt-driven, with a heavy-duty V-belt connecting the flywheel to the machine’s pulley.
The flywheel is perimeter-weighted, giving you the ability to include all major muscle groups such as thighs, abdomen, arms, and glutes in a smooth movement enabled by the flywheel.
The console of the Schwinn A40 is a 5 x 3-inch LCD display featuring 6 profile programs by 3 settings.
Each setting contains 2 programs, which are mountains: pikes peak and pyramids, fun rides: rolling hills and ride in the park, and challenges: cross-training and uphill finish.
The console also shows the distance you have covered, your speed, how many calories you have burnt, RPM, time, and heart rate through contact heart rate sensors found on the handlebars.
- Wide array of programs
- Customizable workouts
- Easy Bluetooth connectivity
- Very affordable price
- Heavy flywheel with eight levels of resistance
- Handlebars are equipped with built-in pulse sensors
- Console navigation is time-consuming
- Not very durable
- No backlight for the LCD screen
The Schwinn Elliptical Machine A40 is one of the best choices you can go for when shopping for an elliptical under $500. Not only is it highly affordable, but it also has an ample stride length, variable resistance levels, and a smooth operation. It's a real bang for your buck.
3. Sunny SF-E3912 Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
The Sunny SF-E3912 is an excellent elliptical machine for beginners.
It comes with 16 levels of magnetic resistance tension, which makes its operation versatile, smooth, and quiet.
Moreover, it’s equipped with 24 different workout programs that range from warm-ups to manual setups. This makes it suitable for many users of different needs.
The Sunny SF-E3912 has pulse grips on the handlebars that automatically detect and log your heart rate.
It would have been ideal if the stride length was a little longer than 14 inches. But this number is good enough for walkers, shorter users, or seniors.
However, it’s not very compact, so if you don’t have a lot of space, it may not be the most suitable for you.
The pedals of the Sunny SF-E3912 come with textures that make them anti-slip and to add security to your workout.
You can view your stats including time, scan, speed, calories, distance, total distance, and pulse from the compact LCD monitor.
And if you should ever want to move it, the Sunny SF-E3912 is equipped with wheels that make it portable.
It also has a tablet holder that allows you to keep your phone around for tips, motivation, or playing some workout music.
- Magnetic resistance
- Comes with 24 pre-installed workout programs
- Equipped with floor stabilizers and transportation wheels
- Very high weight capacity
- 14-inch stride is rather short
- A little overpriced for its features
Although the Sunny SF-E3912 is a bit overpriced for the specs it has to offer, it's still a reliable elliptical. It's especially useful for those looking for higher capacities as it can accommodate up to 330 pounds.
4. Cubii Pro - Seated Under-Desk Elliptical
If you want to integrate working out into your daily routine without spending much effort, the Cubii Pro will suit you quite well.
With a 23 x 17.5 x 9.7-inch footprint, the Cubii Pro doesn’t occupy much space but is equipped with powerful features such as a small fan wheel and strong pedals that allow you to simulate a full-size machine at your desk.
Unlike larger machines, however, the Cubii Pro functions with the user seated. This is a disadvantage as it reduces the range of motion that you’re capable of while using the elliptical.
However, not all versatility is lost. You still have eight levels of resistance to choose from to make your workouts more fun, challenging, and diverse.
While it's not as effective as a full-sized machine, the Cubii Pro does a specific job, and it does it well. And that is to enable you to work out in the most compact and subtle way possible.
I think one of the best features of the Cubii Pro is its Bluetooth connectivity.
It didn't make sense to add an LCD screen on a piece of equipment where it would never be seen. So instead, your stats are sent to you on the Bluetooth-connected app.
- Most compact
- Has eight different resistance levels
- Equipped with a smooth fan-wheel operation
- Enables you to track workouts with a Bluetooth-connected app
- Good value for the price
- Hard to train standing up
- Not as beneficial as full-size elliptical machines
This under-desk model is a lot like the Stamina InMotion E1000 but is a little more advanced. If you’re looking for the best under-desk home elliptical under 500 bucks, you’ll find none better than the Cubii Pro.
5. Schwinn 411 Elliptical Machine
Enjoy a better workout and health by getting the new compact Schwinn 411 elliptical machine, one of the latest additions by the company for its elliptical machine line.
When assembled, the Schwinn 411 has a 62.5 x 53.8 x 24 footprint and weighs 110 pounds, which makes it compact and perfect for limited spaces. But yet, it also features all benefits found in larger ellipticals.
It can’t be folded, but the transport wheels to the front base bar allow you to move it easily to a new location or store it at a corner in the room where you work out, so it doesn't take much space when not in use.
As any front-drive machine, the Schwinn 411 has its flywheel placed in front of the pedals. Its 18-inch stride length gives you plenty of space to break a sweat.
For the ultimate versatility, the Schwinn 411 has two sets of handlebars, mobile and fixed ones. With grips made of rubber to prevent your hands from slipping, the front ones also come with integrated pulse sensors to monitor your heart rate, which is shown on the console.
On the other hand, the mobile handlebars are attached to the console mast and pedals, so they can move with you while you are pedaling and can only move with the pedals. It has forward and upward grips that connect at the top.
The Schwinn 411 offers a streamlined console that is 5.5 inches LCD display that is divided into multiple sections where you can monitor the time, speed, calories burned, your pulse, RPM, and distance.
The console presents you with 16 resistance levels so you can adjust your rhythm and increase the intensity of your workout as you please.
The most exciting feature is probably the RunSocial App, which allows you to connect your smartphone and roam 19 locations around the world with 27 different routes so you can enjoy the scenery while staying in the comfort of your home.
Syncs Workouts and Run Different Routes with RunSocial
Handlebars can be toggled from being fixed to moving
Built-in media shelf
EKG hand grip with heart rate sensors
Console is not back-lit
Has no incline
For an elliptical machine of its price level, the Schwinn Elliptical Machine 411 combines an ample stride length, versatility, compactness, and capacity.
6. Stamina InMotion E1000
If you're looking for an elliptical for home use, but you're on a tight budget, this elliptical is definitely for you.
While it’s true that it isn’t as versatile as other options, but it’s a great start. It also comes at a very affordable price, allowing you to switch to something more advanced and expensive when you’ve gotten used to the intensity of it.
The most remarkable feature about the Stamina InMotion E1000 is how compact and lightweight it is. It even has no handlebars –it’s simply a set of pedals.
That’s why it only occupies a space of around 24.5 x 17 x 12.5, so it’s perfect for tiny apartments and studios. It also weighs around 25 pounds, so it can be moved from one place to another with no hassle.
I wouldn’t recommend this one if you have problems with balance. Although you can use it to workout sitting down, it wouldn’t be as fun or effective.
It's the ideal choice for someone too busy at the office all day to get any proper exercise. They can simply tuck it under the desk and integrate some activity into their daily routine.
Moreover, it can be used as you sit in front of the TV or while you finish some writing.
And while it has no handlebars, it does come with large, anti-slip pedals that stabilize your feet on them to make it safer to use while standing up.
Although the LCD screen is a necessary addition, it's a little hard to read from a standing position.
Moreover, you can adjust the resistance levels of the Stamina InMotion E1000 to fit your desired workout intensity.
And although it’s very compact, it can still carry a maximum weight of 240 pounds.
- Extremely compact design
- Very lightweight and portable
- So quiet you can even use it to workout at the office
- Easy to assemble
- Two-way pedaling engages different sets of muscles
- Most affordable choice
- Isn’t equipped with any workout programs
- Some people face issues balancing on it
- Very short stride
The Stamina InMotion E1000 is an excellent option for anyone who's looking for a compact elliptical under the $500 mark. You can use this one practically anywhere. But for compactness and affordability, you'll be giving up versatility and power.
7. PROGEAR 9900 HIIT Bluetooth Smart Elliptical Trainer
Increase the quality of your home workout to match the intensity and quality of gym workouts by getting the PROGEAR 9900 HIIT Bluetooth Smart Elliptical Trainer.
The PROGEAR 9900 is made with a heavy-duty steel frame that makes it very durable.
Its stepping path is 8 inches vertical, and its elliptical path is 9 inches horizontal, which allows for a more organic elliptical stepping motion.
PROGEAR 9900 is perfect for a high-intensity interval workout. It can support users of height ranges between 5 feet and 6.4 feet and weights up to 220 pounds –which isn't the most inclusive.
One of the PROGEAR 9900 features is the smart resistance knob, which is the only one available on the elliptical market.
It allows more accurate tracking of watts based on the tension levels by connecting to the console that incorporates an 8-level magnetic tension control system.
The PROGEAR 9900 handlebars are multi-grip with anti-slip dipped foam, which enables the user to perform multiple workout grips.
On the stationary handlebars, there are also hand pulse sensors that monitor your heart rate, which can be viewed on the 3.5-inch large window LCD display.
The LCD screen displays some of your real-time workout information like distance, RPM, speed, calories burned, time, tensions levels moderated by the smart resistance knob, watts, pulse, and odometer.
Equipped with Bluetooth smart cloud fitness, the PROGEAR 9900 comes with the free “My Cloud” fitness app that is compatible with iOS and Android. This allows you to use your mobile devices to track your workouts and keep track of your progress easily.
Moreover, the floor stabilizers can be adjusted to prevent the elliptical from rocking or tipping.
The PROGEAR 9900 is also equipped with large ribbed pedals preventing your feet from slipping, allowing you to be engaged without any interruptions throughout your entire workout.
- Burns more calories with the fixed incline
- Has a small footprint
- Equipped with transportation wheels
- Clear LCD screen
- Eight levels of magnetic resistance to make it easy to adjust
- Low capacity
- Rather pricey
- Incline can trouble beginners
The PROGEAR 9900 isn’t the most powerful or effective choice on the list, but it’s a good choice for someone who’s looking for the most compact full-size elliptical.
How to Pick an Elliptical Machine Under $500?
Before you buy your elliptical, think about the intensity and frequency of exercise you want out of it.
If you’re in for some intense workouts, go for longer strides. 20-inches and above means that you’re going to get high-intensity workouts compared to machines with shorter strides.
The weight of the flywheel is an essential aspect as it will determine how consistent and smooth your workout will be.
A heavier flywheel helps smoothen your workouts since it imposes more control over your movement on the machine.
Number of Programs and Resistance Levels
When you’re shopping for an elliptical, make sure you get one with variable intensity levels so you can adjust them according to your needs.
This is especially helpful for making progress as your muscles get used to lower resistance levels.
Although this one isn't necessary, being equipped with performance tracking can help you get insight into your progress. It's also an excellent method to encourage you to increase the intensity of your workouts and reach your fitness goals.
Ellipticals come in variable configurations to accommodate your exact needs.
Each setup has its own pros and cons, but how they weigh depends on your use and the space you have available.
Front-drive ones have their flywheel at the front, are more powerful yet compact. However, their stride lengths are usually on the shorter side.
Rear-drive ellipticals, on the other hand, keep their flywheel at the back. They have the longest stride lengths.
Finally, there are under-desk ellipticals that are the most compact. They're designed to make it like you're running on a tiny track.
How Far Will $500 Go?
An elliptical that costs $500 or less is an entry-level one. This means that it won’t be as advanced or as durable as mid-level or high-end machines.
However, it’s still pretty good for someone who casually works out to stay fit and in shape.
If you’re training to join competitions or to do some serious bulking, you should go for a more advanced option.
Why Use an Elliptical Machine?
An elliptical machine is a great alternative to going to the gym. It provides you with a full-body workout that is easy on the joints and produces low impact.
It also allows you to work out in reverse and engage different sets of muscles.
So not only do you burn a lot of calories but also strengthen your whole body.
Must-Have Accessories for Elliptical Machines
There are a couple of things that will make your experience on an elliptical machine more enjoyable and fruitful, these include:
Buying an anti-slip mat will provide safety as well as prevent scuffing on the floor so that your house doesn’t get damaged.
You should wear clothes that aren’t too tight to prevent your fluid movement or too loose that may put you in danger of them getting caught up somewhere in the machine.
Moreover, make sure that you’re wearing good shoes that keep you stable on the pedals of the machine.
Cleaning Products and Lubricant
To keep your machine working at its optimum level, you must provide it with proper elliptical maintenance.
From the instruction manual, find the kind and frequency you need to provide your machine with.
Moreover, keeping the elliptical lubricated will prevent any squeaking or noise over time.
If your machine collects dust, it may clog up the mechanisms or smoothness of motion.
Furthermore, being exposed to moisture, sun, or various elements may also harm its mechanisms.
That’s why covering your elliptical when not in use is the best way to protect it and keep it running as new.
How Does an Elliptical Compare to a Treadmill?
In terms of calorie-burning, either piece of equipment can burn a lot depending on the intensity of your work out.
But if you’re looking for a low-impact, full-body workout that even suits those recovering from injuries, then go for an elliptical.
However, if you want to strengthen your bones and focus on lower-body workouts, go for a treadmill instead.
Each one of these best ellipticals under $500 has a special thing about it, and sometimes some of them combine a set of practical and useful features.
Take the Exerpeutic 1318 5000 Magnetic Elliptical, for example. It comes at a very affordable price level, yet provides the user with ample stride, sufficient weight capacity, and various resistance levels to suit all workout intensities.
The Schwinn Elliptical Machine A40 is a lot similar to the Exerpeutic but suits someone who's looking for higher weight capacity and lower resistance levels.
If you’re looking for something more subtle, however, I’d recommend the Cubii Pro - Seated Under-Desk Elliptical. This one can be fit under a desk at work or home office, allowing you to exercise and finish work at the same time.
If you’re looking for a full-size elliptical that is compact enough for smaller apartments, opt for the Schwinn Elliptical Machine 411. This one also has a long 18-inch stride length and super high weight capacity.