Best Elliptical Under $500 | Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Exercising involves a complex explanation in science. Scientists are still trying to discover more benefits and positive effect that exercise could bring to the human body and mind. Healthcare staffs often encourage people of all ages to at least exercise thrice per week in order to stay healthy both physically and mentally.

However, not all people have the time to hit the gym or do outdoor sports which are mostly weather-dependent. Therefore, more and more people have chose to workout from their homes. Elliptical is one of the most beneficial equipment to go for. 

In this article we are going to review the best elliptical under $500, affordable and won't break your bank.

Editor's Pick

Proform 150i Elliptical

  • Great value for the money with premium quality
  • 12 pre-programmed workouts with 12 resistance levels
  • You can monitor your heart rate with this model
  • Only 90 days of warranty on parts and labor

Product Name

Specification

Rating

  • 12 pre-programmed workouts
  • 12 resistance levels
  • EKG heart rate monitor
  • iFit compatible
  • Price: $$$

4.8/5.0

  • Stride Length: 30-inch
  • Max weight capacity: 220-lbs
  • LCD Computer displays: time, count, total distance, and calories
  • Comes with abdominal pads
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs
  • Price: $

4.6/5.0

  • Stride Length: 11-inch
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Digital LCD display
  • Pulse rate monitoring
  • Max weight capacity: 220-lbs
  • Price: $$

4.2/5.0

  • 2 in 1: Elliptical + Bike
  • Deluxe programmeable LCD console
  • 12+ workout programs
  • 2-ways adjustable seat
  • Stroke length: 14-inch
  • Max weight capacity: 275-lbs
  • Price: $$$

4.5/5.0

  • Cardio recumbent bike workout + a total toning Elliptical Program
  • 16 workout apps
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • Price: $$$$$

4.7/5.0

  • Stride Length: 18-inch
  • 12 Workout Programs
  • 7 training modes
  • 24 level Magnetic Tension system
  • LCD computer display
  • Max weight capacity: 270-lbs
  • Price: $$$$

4.2/5.0

  • Stride Length: 17.5-inch
  • LCD display
  • 6 user profiles
  • 7 preset workout programs
  • 8 levels of resistance
  • Price: $$$$

4.6/5.0

  • Stride Length: 13-inch
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Digital monitor & pulse rate grips
  • Max weight capacity: 250-lbs

4.0/5.0

Best Elliptical under $500 Reviews

1. ProForm 150i

Best elliptical under $500

Proform 150i undeniably top our lists of the best elliptical under $500. You are going to like the front flywheel feature and the overall design.

For most of us, this is one of the best-looking models. It looks more expensive than it actually is and it is one of the most sophisticated as well.

The weight capacity is 250 pounds and the entire frame is covered by a 5 year warranty. The warranty for the rest is 90 days.

In a nutshell, the tested model is one of the best models for those who are interested in hard and demanding exercising every single day.

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2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902

The model in question is the most affordable of them all. It is a manual model so there is no need for electricity. Despite the fact it is operated by the force of a user, it is still a beneficial unit. We tested it and we liked the way it operates.

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3. EFITMENT E005

The E005 is a popular model that doesn’t stand out from the crowd. It is a simple and practical elliptical machine of the modern generation.

We liked the low stride travel which is 11 inches only. This makes it more practical than other models and more useful for those who have a limited free space.

Obviously, an LCD display is present and it offers usual information. Another fact we should add is the smoothness of the operations. It is perfect and very easy to use.

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4. Body Max BRM3671

As you are able to see, this particular model comes with the dual-system design. It can be used as an exercising bike and an elliptical machine. Switching between the machines is easy and simple. In addition, the adjustment is on the highest level possible, so you won’t have issues here.

Ergonomic handlebars are the next best thing about this unit. They allow for you to get the best comfort while exercising and to stay in a perfect position at all times. The unit isn’t much bigger compared to similar models thanks to the clever design. It will find a place in most homes perfectly.

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5. ProForm Hybrid Trainer

The ProForm model you are looking at is commonly known as one of the best hybrid models. Basically, you get two machines in one and both of them are designed for improving stamina, strength and overall health. It is one of the most popular models of this kind as well.

We should add that this machine is based on the latest technology and it offers the best advantages for those who don’t have space for two units in their home. It is reasonably practical considering the design and the features.

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6. Exerpeutic 5000

In this case scenario, we can see that the best elliptical trainers reviews come in bright light. This may be one of the best-looking models of this kind and the most sophisticated as well.

You can choose between 12 programs and 7 different modes. As you may already know, this makes the machine suitable for many users.

The weight load is the next best thing about this model. It is 270 pounds and it is higher than similar models have to offer. We want to recommend this model to the people who are overweight and looking for a way to lose weight.

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7. Schwinn A40

Schwinn A40 elliptical trainer does come with all essentials you are going to need. It is one of the most advanced models in this class and one of the best-selling at the moment.

We appreciate the overall design, which is modern and sophisticated. Then we can see that you get 7 different programs and a quick start feature.

8 levels of resistance will help you manage your stamina and stay in perfect condition. Of course, a few more levels would be even better. We must include the fact the tested model came with small wheels which make transportation easier.

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8. Magnetic Control Smooth Quiet Elliptical

First of all, it offers smooth operations, thanks to the perfect flywheel and the V-belt drive system. Besides the smoothness you are going to get the elliptical machine in question offers you heavy-duty pedals and a superior design.

It also comes with a great warranty and overall it is a great value for money. We also liked a compact design, so storing it won’t be a problem. But, there are two main features that caught our attention.

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Buyer's Guide for the Best Elliptical

If you are looking for the best elliptical with a budget then you are going to need the buyer’s guide. Here we have prepared all the main elements and factors to consider when looking for a new machine of this kind.

It is important and we highly recommend beginners to read the guide before they decide which model is the best for their applications.

Size

As you can assume, the size is the first factor to consider. It is important to know that an average elliptical machine is 6 feet long and 2.5 feet wide.

But, there are models of different sizes, obviously and they can range between 50 and 80 inches. All you have to know is that the elliptical must get 20 inches of free space in one side at least.

Make sure that the free space in your apartment is sufficient for accommodating a new elliptical.

Type

Not all elliptical machines are the same. As a matter of fact, there are 3 different types and each one comes with its own set of pros and cons.

The first type is known as the front flywheel. Obviously, the flywheel is located at the front. They are affordable and great machines for beginners, but they are not very smooth while using.

The second type is the central flywheel units. As the name suggests, the flywheel is located in the center of the machine. They are smoother and they are bigger. Keep in mind that you are going to need plenty of space when choosing a model of this type.

Rear-flywheel models are the longest of them all. They are the smoothest when operating and they share the similar design as the first type here. Obviously, you are going to need plenty of space to store them.  

Comfort

Because you are going to use your new elliptical every single day for a long period of time, you need the comfort. The main point here is that your wrists should stay in a natural position. All awkward positions are signs that the comfort is compromising and the overall result won’t be especially good.

Even the cheapest elliptical must have comfortable and long handlebars. This is essential if you are planning on using your machine frequently and for the best results.

Adjusting Intensity

All machines of this kind come with a flywheel and a resistance system which is used to simulate the movement and the resistance, therefore the name.

But, how many levels a machine has? Obviously, the more the merrier, and we can add that all professional models come with plenty of different levels.

Low-end machines will usually have 2-3 intensity settings. For average and professional users, this isn’t sufficient and it should be considered as a severe drawback. Models with 8-20 intensity settings are more desirable and more professional as well.

Advanced Features

Some ​high-end models will probably have some or all advanced features. The main one is Cloud compatibility. Basically, you will be able to store and monitor your data at any given moment using any internet-capable device. 

Browsers and internet capability are popular features as well. They allow for you to use the elliptical for browsing the internet and make the overall use even more appealing. We also like the Bluetooth connectivity. It allows for you to link the smartphone to the machine and listen to the music, use apps and etc.

Advanced features will make your machine more expensive, but more useful and more sophisticated as well. It is definitely something you need to take into account if you are a serious user.

Programs

Programs are not the same as the intensity setting. As a matter of fact, they are a completely different thing. In essence, a program will be used to target a specific group of muscles and to simulate a specific workout. As such, we can see random, manual, hill climb and etc. programs.

More programs allow you to target more muscles and to use an elliptical machine for a longer period of time, for more exercises. It is one of the most important factors and definitely something that makes a massive difference. All you have to remember is that more programs make a machine better.

Safety Features

An interesting fact is that this feature is rare. Usually, it comes in a form of being unable to activate an elliptical without a special procedure, which is used to prevent children use.

Not all models come with it and the system is usually different for each one. Anyway, if you have small children at home, you will need to consider this system.

Display

An elliptical machine without a display is far less useful and usually less appealing to the users! That’s why most modern models come with a display.

You will need at least 6 inches display to get simplicity and the ability to track your process. More sophisticated machines will come with 10 inches display, so they are a bit better alternative.

We would like to recommend you elliptical machines with the biggest and the most advanced displays. They are simply the best.

Heart Rate

Heart rate monitor is a usual feature and it can be seen on most elliptical machines available today. However, some models still don’t have it.

It is advised that you should monitor your heart rate while exercising therefore it is best if your elliptical machine comes with one. It will help you to achieve your goal faster by optimizing your workout sessions in order to achieve better results.

Noise

Noise is one of the important factor that you have to take into account as well. It can come in moderate levels which is a decent score or it can be significantly increased, especially if we compare it with more advanced units.

All you have to remember is that the less noise means better resistance system and better build quality.

You were able to see that some cheaper models make more noise when used. On the other hand, we have come across that expensive units are quieter and they offer smooth operations. Yes, the differences are still minimalistic, but this is an important factor you need to consider.

How to Use Elliptical Correctly

Final Verdict

Proform 150i

The Proform 150i however in our opinion is the best elliptical under $500 available on the market today. It is of high quality which offers best value of your money, comes with the latest technology and has one of the best resistance systems.

On top of that, we also liked the smoothness and the noise levels it makes. In a nutshell, it is a professional unit. If you need something else, you are free to take into consideration any of other 7 models. They are better than average and they are the most popular models as of today.

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