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March 25, 2023

Get Fit Without Breaking the Bank: The Best Elliptical Under $500

Written by Julien Raby

Elliptical machines are always a wise investment, whether you’re trying to kick-start a fitness lifestyle with lighter exercises, or you’re looking for a fresh addition to your home gym. Not only are elliptical trainers excellent for cardio and a full-body workout, but they can also be your ally for building muscle mass and working on your fitness endurance.

However, buying your first elliptical is not always easy, as not every model can meet particular fitness goals. So, before deciding to invest in an elliptical it’s crucial to consider some factors: 

  • The differences between elliptical machines
  • Your fitness level and goals
  • Your budget

Sounds overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. We’ve made the ultimate guide on how to pick the best elliptical under $500. We’ve also included a few reviews by BoxLife’s fitness experts, to make the choice easier for you. Let’s get started.

In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks

Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Series Smart Elliptical Trainer with Exclusive SunnyFit® App Enhanced Bluetooth Connectivity - SF-E322002Sunny Health & Fitness Legacy Stepping Elliptical Machine, Total Body Cross Trainer with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Belt Drive, Low Impact Exercise Equipment, Optional Bluetooth with Exclusive SunnyFit AppCubii Under Desk Elliptical Bundle, JR1 and Non-Slip Mat, Bike Pedal Exerciser with LCD Fitness Tracker Screen, Adjustable Resistance, Work from Home Fitness, Aqua[BODY POWER] - 2nd Gen, PATENTED 3 in 1 Exercise Machine, Elliptical with Seat Back Cushion, Upright Cycling, and Reclined Bike Modes - Digital Computer Targets Different Body Parts, BRT5118Body Rider Elliptical Machine and Stationary Bike with Seat and Easy Computer, Dual Trainer 2-in-1 Cardio Exercise Machine, Home Gym, Workout Equipment BRD2000, Black & grey, One Size
Product's nameOur Top Pick
Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Series Smart Elliptical...
The Best Elliptical for Beginners
Sunny Health & Fitness Legacy Stepping Elliptical Machine,...
The Most Compact Elliptical
Cubii Under Desk Elliptical Bundle, JR1 and Non-Slip Mat,...
The Most Versatile Elliptical
[BODY POWER] - 2nd Gen, PATENTED 3 in 1 Exercise Machine,...
The Best Value for Money
Body Rider Elliptical Machine and Stationary Bike with Seat...
Final ThoughtThe Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer might be a good choice for people who want an affordable elliptical with smart features.The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 elliptical trainer is mostly intended for low-impact workouts. Hence, it’s an excellent choice for lighter workouts and beginners.The Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical is perfect for office workers and people with a sedentary lifestyle.Since it’s a versatile machine, Body Power’s 2nd Generation 3 in 1 machine is a nice option for a lot of user groups.As a 2 in 1 combo, the Body Rider elliptical machine and the stationary bike can cater to people with different needs and preferences.
Resistance Levels8.08.08.08.08.0
Machine Weight69.5 lbs60 lbs25 lbs95 lbs66 lbs
Maximum User Weight220 lbs220 lbs250 lbs300 lbs250 lbs
Stride Length13"11"18"13"18"
Price$$$$$
Learn moreSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at Amazon

Why You Should Trust BoxLife’s Experts?

The content of BoxLife is based on the expertise of fitness and wellness professionals. Our team consists of physical therapists, professional athletes, certified instructors, nutritionists, and other health professionals who use their expertise and knowledge to bring out the best options objectively. Our audience’s satisfaction is our top priority, so you can rest assured that we’ve put hours of evaluation into every elliptical machine we recommend on our page.

Who Is This Guide for?

Elliptical trainers can be great workout machines for a multitude of purposes. They’re excellent for an intense and low-impact workout, cardio and endurance training, as well as building muscle mass. This is why they’re widely used in both professional gyms and home workouts.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical
Based on our testing, this is the best budget Elliptical for beginners. For less than 475$, it has most essential features that you've come to expect. It's compact and sturdy, frankly it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 3 years warranty.

If you prefer doing your workouts from the comfort of your home rather than using the equipment in professional gyms, keep reading. Our best ellipticals under $500 guide might come in handy to:

  • People with cardiovascular diseases who are trying to improve blood circulation and maintain cardiovascular health.
  • People who are trying to burn more calories and lose weight with cardio and aerobic exercises.
  • Professional athletes who are working on muscle, shape, and fitness level maintenance.
  • Fitness enthusiasts who are trying to incorporate a new cardio, aerobic, or muscle maintenance exercise routine.
  • Professional instructors and coaches who work with the aforementioned groups and need to recommend an appropriate elliptical trainer to their clients.
  • Anyone who is looking for a quality elliptical machine under $500 for a variety of fitness purposes.
A woman using the best elliptical under $500 at home

How We Picked the Best Products?

Regardless of the purpose, a good elliptical should provide a comfortable workout, and should be ergonomic, stable, and built to last. When choosing, it’s important to pay attention to the elliptical trainer’s essential features, such as:

  • The resistance type.
  • The stride length.
  • The user’s weight and height.
  • The unit’s weight.
  • The price.

The resistance type determines the internal braking of the machine, and, by that, the level of “challenges” the user will encounter. Factors like the stride length, the unit’s weight, as well as the users’ weight and height, should be considered to provide an ergonomic, smooth, and comfortable workout.

Each of these factors contributes to the user’s experience and should be thoroughly evaluated. Besides them, it’s also important to pay attention to the user’s specific fitness goals, needs, and preferences.

How We Compared Each Product

As mentioned before, considering the elliptical features along with the user’s needs is the key to choosing the best option.

For instance, people who’re striving for weight loss might not have the best experience with an elliptical that doesn’t support their weight. On the other hand, for those who’re looking for cardio workouts, our experts recommend a model with more levels of resistance, so they can adjust it to their special needs.

During our research, we had several people with different fitness goals try out a variety of elliptical trainers, so that we could bring out the best options for you. Below, you can read our reviews and find the best elliptical under $500 for yourself.

The Best Elliptical Machines under $500

Ellipticals are excellent pieces of equipment. Besides helping you burn calories, they are also great for maintaining your fitness endurance and building muscle mass.

However, the market nowadays is packed with a plethora of different models, and not all of them are the same. This is why it’s very important to evaluate different options, take a thorough look at their features, and make the best choice for yourself.

Sunny Health & Fitness Essential Series Cross Trainer – Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

Sunny Health & Fitness Essential Series Cross Trainer

The Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer might be a good choice for people who want an affordable elliptical with smart features.

Whether you’re looking for a universal machine for weight loss and building muscles, or you want to pick the most affordable option with the best qualities, look no further than the Sunny Health & Fitness Essential Series Cross Trainer. 

This elliptical features 8 resistance levels which you can adjust to your needs and has a digital monitor where you can track your progress. To add more to the experience, this elliptical also comes with Bluetooth connectivity and a convenient app.

Pros

  • Offers a full-body workout to target your arms, legs, and core muscles.
  • The digital monitor tracks time, speed, distance, and calories burned.
  • Bluetooth connection and an app for better tracking.
  • Transportation wheels for moving and storing it conveniently.
  • Advanced options for an affordable price.

Cons

  • Short stride length that is not suitable for taller people.
  • Limited weight capacity of 220 lbs only.
  • The levels of resistance may not be enough of a challenge for more advanced users.
  • The app and the Bluetooth connection might not always work well.

Key Specs

Resistance Levels8
Dimensions44-inch total length, 24-inch width, and 60-inch height
Total weight of the unit69.5 lbs
Maximum weight of the user220 lbs
Stride length13”
ConsoleShows time, speed, distance, calories burned, and pulse rate
PortabilityTransportation wheels for easy movement
Price$299

Who It’s Best For?

The Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer might be a good choice for people who want an affordable elliptical with smart features. The features are also suitable for low-impact gentle workouts, whether it’s for cardio or targeting the entire body’s muscles.

However, if you’re looking for something more advanced that will challenge your muscles, this elliptical might not be the best option for you.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical – The Best Elliptical for Beginners

The Best Elliptical For Beginners

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 elliptical trainer is mostly intended for low-impact workouts. Hence, it’s an excellent choice for lighter workouts and beginners.

Featuring a very compact design, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 elliptical trainer is perfect for low-impact and lighter workout sessions. It features a digital monitor where users can track the speed, time, distance, and calories burned. Users can also adjust the magnetic resistance in 8 levels, according to their specific needs and preferences. The anti-slip footpads are also great for making the workouts more comfortable and smoother.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Very quiet.
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance levels.
  • Anti-slip foot pads.
  • A simple monitor.

Cons

  • Doesn’t feature any workout programs.
  • The short stride length is not appropriate for tall users.

Key Specs

Resistance Levels8
Dimensions28″ x 17″ x 57″ (L x W x H)
Total weight of the unit60 lbs
Maximum weight of the user220 lbs
Stride length11”
ConsoleDigital monitor displays time, speed, distance, calories burned, and scan
PortabilityTransportation wheels for easy movement
Price$219

Who It’s Best For?

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 elliptical trainer is mostly intended for low-impact workouts. Hence, it’s an excellent choice for lighter workouts and beginners. Also, due to the magnetic resistance levels and the comfortable footpads, this elliptical might be a nice option for people who have joint pain and want to put less stress on their bodies while being active.

Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical – The Most Compact Elliptical

The Most Compact Elliptical

Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical

The Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical is perfect for office workers and people with a sedentary lifestyle.

The Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical is a compact and effective exercise machine that allows you to work out while you sit at your desk or watch TV. This elliptical is designed to fit comfortably under your desk, so you can pedal away without disturbing your work or your colleagues. It provides a low-impact workout that helps you burn calories, improve your cardiovascular health, and tone your leg muscles.

The Cubii JR1 features eight levels of resistance, allowing you to adjust the intensity of your workout to suit your fitness level and preferences. It also has Bluetooth, which means you can connect it to the Cubii app and track your progress, set goals, and compete with friends.

Overall, the Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical is a well-designed and effective piece of exercise equipment that can help you stay active and healthy even if you have a sedentary lifestyle. It is easy to use, quiet, and compact, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to get a workout without leaving their desk.

Pros

  • Very compact and lightweight design.
  • Fits every under-desk space.
  • Doesn’t produce loud sounds.

Cons

  • Not suitable for full-body workouts.
  • The LCD screen is too small.

Key Specs:

Resistance Levels8
Dimensions23 x 17.5 x 10 inches
Total weight of the unit25 lbs
Maximum weight of the user250 lbs
Stride length18”
ConsoleNone
PortabilityBuilt-in handle
Price$249

Who It’s Best For?

The Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical is perfect for office workers and people with a sedentary lifestyle. Not only is it great for activating your body and burning some extra calories while sitting, but it’s also great for people who want to improve blood circulation, reduce back and neck pain, and improve their overall health and wellness.

The BODY POWER 2nd Generation 3-in-1 Machine BRT5118 – The Most Versatile Elliptical

The Most Versatile Elliptical

The BODY POWER 2nd Generation 3-in-1 Machine BRT5118

Since it’s a versatile machine, Body Power’s 2nd Generation 3 in 1 machine is a nice option for a lot of user groups.

The BODY POWER 2nd Generation 3-in-1 Machine BRT5118 is a versatile and compact exercise machine that combines a vertical climber, exercise bike, and resistance training all in one unit. This machine is designed to provide a full-body workout that targets multiple muscle groups, including the legs, arms, abs, and back.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical
Based on our testing, this is the best budget Elliptical for beginners. For less than 475$, it has most essential features that you've come to expect. It's compact and sturdy, frankly it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 3 years warranty.

The BRT5118 features adjustable resistance levels for the climber and bike modes, allowing you to customize your workout to your fitness level and goals. The machine also includes resistance bands for upper body strength training exercises, providing a complete workout for your entire body.

This 3-in-1 machine is made with high-quality steel and can support up to 250 pounds. It is also easy to adjust, with a quick-release knob that allows you to switch between modes in seconds. Additionally, the machine’s compact size makes it perfect for home gyms with limited space.

Overall, the BODY POWER 2nd Generation 3-in-1 Machine BRT5118 is a great option for anyone looking for a complete workout in a single machine. It is well-built, versatile, and offers a range of workout options to help you achieve your fitness goals. It features adjustable sets of handlebars and an advanced LCD display screen where you can track your progress.

Thanks to the versatility it offers, you can have the convenience of 3 workout machines, and, with that, save money and floor space. The Body Power’s Patented 3 in 1 trainer, can be easily turned into an elliptical, stationary bike, or recumbent bike.

Pros

  • An elliptical trainer, stationary bike, and recumbent bike in a single machine.
  • An LCD display screen to track speed, exercise time, distance, and burned calories during a session.
  • Transportation wheels for convenient moving and storing.

Cons

  • The resistance levels may not be challenging enough for some more advanced exercisers.
  • The machine is not as durable as the other options within the price range.

Key Specs

Resistance Levels8
Dimensions38 x 28 x 85 inches
Total weight of the unit95 lbs
Maximum weight of the user300 lbs
Stride length13”
ConsoleLCD monitor that displays time, speed, distance, and calories burned
PortabilityCompact and space-saving design
Price$398

Who It’s Best For?

Since it’s a versatile machine, Body Power’s 2nd Generation 3 in 1 machine is a nice option for a lot of user groups. For example, it is the ideal choice for people who are tight on space, as well as those who are looking for an affordable option for a variety of workout types.

On the other hand, since many users have reported that the resistance levels aren’t as challenging, our experts recommend this machine to people who’re seeking low-impact workouts. It also makes for a great aerobic workout and cardio machine for beginners.

Body Rider Elliptical Machine and Stationary Bike BRD2000 – The Best Value for Money

The Best Value for Money

Body Rider Elliptical Machine and Stationary Bike BRD2000

As a 2 in 1 combo, the Body Rider elliptical machine and the stationary bike can cater to people with different needs and preferences.

The Body Rider Elliptical Machine and Stationary Bike BRD2000 is a versatile and affordable fitness machine that allows users to switch between an elliptical trainer and a stationary bike. It is a compact, space-saving design that is ideal for home use.

The machine features a sturdy steel frame that can support users up to 250 pounds. The seat and handlebars are adjustable to accommodate users of different heights, and the pedals are equipped with straps to keep feet secure during use.

The elliptical trainer function provides a low-impact, full-body workout that targets the legs, arms, and core. The stationary bike function offers a cardio workout that focuses primarily on the legs. The machine comes with an easy-to-read digital display that tracks time, speed, distance, and calories burned. The tension knob allows users to adjust the resistance level to customize their workout intensity.

Overall, the Body Rider Elliptical Machine and Stationary Bike BRD2000 is a great value for its price point. It is easy to assemble, easy to use and provides an effective workout for users of all fitness levels.

Pros

  • Versatile 2 in 1 design that combines an elliptical and stationary bike.
  • Padded seat and handlebars.
  • Simple computer display that shows time, speed, distance, and calories burned.
  • Practical and compact.
  • Better features than other ellipticals in the price range.

Cons

  • The seat might not be as comfortable for longer workout sessions.
  • The resistance levels may not be as challenging for more advanced users.
  • The machine may “wobble” around during more intense workouts.

Key Specs

Resistance Levels8
Dimensions36.6 in (length) x 20.1 in (width) x 57.5 in (height)
Total weight of the unit66 lbs
Maximum weight of the user250 lbs
Stride length18”
ConsoleDigital display tracks time, speed, distance, and calories burned
PortabilityTransportation wheels
Price$157

Who It’s Best For?

As a 2 in 1 combo, the Body Rider elliptical machine and the stationary bike can cater to people with different needs and preferences. It’s a great machine if you get easily bored of routine workouts – you can switch between an elliptical and a stationary bike within minutes. That being said, the machine is also great for saving space in small homes or apartments.

As it features a wide range of resistance levels, the Body Rider dual trainer is also great for beginners and people who want to improve their cardiovascular health or overall well-being. However, the resistance levels may not be suitable for more advanced users who want more challenging workouts. 

What to Consider When Buying an Elliptical?

Elliptical machines are a popular choice for cardiovascular workouts that offer low-impact exercise for the whole body. They provide a smooth and natural motion that simulates walking, running, and stair-climbing, without the high-impact stress on the joints that can lead to injury. However, with so many different models on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Here are some factors to consider when buying an elliptical machine.

Type of Elliptical Machine

There are three main types of elliptical machines: front-drive, rear-drive, and center-drive. Front-drive ellipticals tend to be the most affordable and have a compact design, while rear-drive ellipticals tend to be longer and offer a more natural stride. Center-drive ellipticals are the newest type and are designed to provide a more balanced and stable workout experience.

Stride Length

The stride length is the distance between the pedals as you move through your range of motion. A longer stride length is typically better for taller users, as it can provide a more natural and comfortable motion. A shorter stride length may be more suitable for users with shorter legs or those who prefer a less intense workout.

Resistance Levels

Resistance levels determine the difficulty of your workout and can range from manual to electronically controlled. Most ellipticals have adjustable resistance levels, allowing users to increase or decrease the intensity of their workout. Look for machines with multiple resistance levels to provide a variety of workout options.

Console Features

The console is the control panel that displays information such as time, distance, speed, and calories burned. Look for consoles with easy-to-read displays and user-friendly controls. Some consoles also offer preset workout programs, heart rate monitors, and connectivity options such as Bluetooth or WiFi.

the screen of the best elliptical under $500

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity is the maximum amount of weight the elliptical machine can safely support. Make sure to choose a machine with a weight capacity that can accommodate your body weight and any additional weight you may be carrying.

Noise Level

Elliptical machines can produce varying levels of noise during use, so consider the noise level of the machine if you plan to use it in a shared space or at home during quiet hours. Front-drive machines may be noisier than rear-drive or center-drive machines, so keep this in mind when making your selection.

Price and Warranty

Elliptical machines can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Consider your budget and the features you need when deciding how much to spend. It’s also important to choose a machine with a warranty that covers parts and labor for a reasonable amount of time.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Choose an elliptical machine that provides a comfortable and ergonomic workout experience. Look for machines with adjustable pedals, handlebars, and seats to accommodate your body type and preferences. Comfortable and supportive foot pedals, grips, and seating can help to reduce fatigue and discomfort during your workout.

Size and Space

Consider the size and space of the machine in your home or gym. Elliptical machines can be large and heavy, so make sure you have enough space to accommodate the machine and can move it around easily if necessary.

Brand and Reviews

Research different brands and read customer reviews to get an idea of the quality and reliability of the elliptical machines you are considering. Look for brands that have a good reputation for customer service and quality construction.

In conclusion, choosing the right elliptical machine requires considering several factors. By assessing your needs, budget, and space constraints, you can find the perfect machine to help you achieve your fitness goals. Take the time to research and compare different models before making your purchase to ensure you get the best value for your money.

A man using the best elliptical under $500 at the gym

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best rated elliptical trainer for home use?

There are many highly-rated elliptical trainers available for home use, but the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, fitness goals, and budget. However, here are three elliptical trainers that are generally considered to be among the best for home use:

– Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine – This elliptical machine is highly rated for its durability, smooth motion, and adjustable features.

– Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine – The Schwinn 470 is known for its user-friendly console, which includes 29 preset workout programs and Bluetooth connectivity for tracking your fitness data.

– NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical – This elliptical machine is designed for users who want a high-end workout experience at home.

Be sure to do your research and compare different models before making a purchase to ensure that you choose the right one for you.

How much should I pay for an elliptical?

The cost of an elliptical machine can vary widely depending on its features, quality, and brand. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a basic machine to several thousand dollars for a high-end model.

– Entry-level ellipticals usually cost between $200 and $500.
– Mid-range ellipticals typically cost between $500 and $1,500.
– High-end ellipticals cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 or more.

When deciding how much to pay for an elliptical machine, consider your budget, fitness goals, and the features you need.

Are ellipticals worth the money?

Elliptical machines can be worth the money if they are used regularly and provide a good workout experience. Ellipticals are popular for their low-impact design, which makes them a good choice for people with joint pain or other injuries.However, the value of an elliptical machine will depend on how often it is used and how much you are willing to spend.

If you only use it occasionally or it becomes a clothes hanger in your home, then it may not be worth the investment. On the other hand, if you are committed to using it regularly and it helps you achieve your fitness goals, then it can be a worthwhile investment.

About Julien Raby

My name is Julien Raby and I’m one of the owner of BoxLife. Here’s my background on LinkedIn if you want more info. I’ve been active pretty much my whole life and I discovered Crossfit about 7 years ago. I want to help you improve your Crossfit performances by giving tips on specific movements, workouts and equipment. You have a question? Get in touch!