Best Budget Ellipticals Review In 2021 [Complete Review Guide]

Last edited: December 4, 2020
by Reda Elmardi

As a collegiate athlete who has trained in several small to world-class gyms, I’ve been able to test out different types of Budget Ellipticals on the market. 

However, out of the eight Budget Ellipticals that we got to test and research, we recommend 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer because of all the innovative features it had, all for an affordable price.

The machine can climb to a vertical height of over 9 inches and stride a horizontal length of 7 inches, providing you the versatility and variety for each workout. 

With 8 different levels of magnetic resistance, you can switch up the intensity or reduce the challenge based on your comfort level.It also has transportation wheels that are on the machine allowing you to easily store and move the machine. 

With pulse-sensing heart rate, performance monitors, and a heavy duty frame, Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine provides you with everything you need for a great cardio workout on your elliptical.

The Top Budget Ellipticals Reviewed

 Product's nameDimensionTotal Weight CapacityMore Info
ProForm Hybrid TrainerBest High Weight Capacity
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
70.5 x 24.5 x 60.5 inches350 lbsSee on Amazon
SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Exercise Machine Heavy Duty Cross Crank...Best Compact
SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Exercise Machine Heavy Duty Cross Crank Driven and Programmable...
61 x 24 x 47 inches265 lbsSee on Amazon
Body Rider Elliptical Trainer and Exercise Bike with Seat and Easy Computer...Best Smooth Pedaling
Body Rider Elliptical Trainer and Exercise Bike with Seat and Easy Computer / Dual Trainer 2 in 1...
48 x 28.5 x 59.5 inches250 lbsSee on Amazon
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer with 8...Best Innovative
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer with 8 Level Resistance and Digital...
28 x 17 x 57 inches220 lbsSee on Amazon
Doufit Elliptical Machine for Home Use, Eliptical Exercise Machine for...Best Simple
Doufit Elliptical Machine for Home Use, Eliptical Exercise Machine for Indoor Fitness Gym Workout,...
50 x 20.5 x 62 inches250 lbsSee on Amazon
Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic EllipticalBest Bluetooth
Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
54 x 23 x 63 inches300 bsSee on Amazon
Stamina in Motion Compact Strider ProBest Affordable
Stamina in Motion Compact Strider Pro
24.75 x 17.00 x 11.50 inches250 lbsSee on Amazon
Cubii JR1 Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine for Home Workout, Mini...Best Portable
Cubii JR1 Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine for Home Workout, Mini Elliptical, Desk Bike Pedal...
23.15 x 17.56 x 10 inches250 lbsSee on Amazon

Find the Best Budget Ellipticals for You

ProForm Hybrid Trainer
Best High Weight Capacity

1- ProForm Hybrid Trainer

Proform is the leader of in-home fitness as they have focused on creating beautifully engineered products that are affordable, accessible, and installed with the latest fitness technology.

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is a mix between an elliptical trainer and a recumbent bike allowing you to perform low impact workouts in a tight space. It is equipped with 16 different training programs that range from distance to calorie focused goals.

ProForm also provides you with an additional app called iFit that creates an immersion experience as you ride your elliptical. Allowing you to take a virtual journey across the world with your favorite personal trainer. They even have an option for you to connect to Google maps for a custom track.

The subscription for iFit is $99 for a year but you can register up to 4 people. You can access through your smartphone or tablet PC. There is also a 3” x 4” LCD monitor that shows all the essential details for your workout including calorie, distance, time, speed, and watts.

With a weight limit of 350 pounds, the ProForm Hybrid Trainer is able to withstand heavier people than other competitors. If you have a bit more weight on the body, we recommend trying out the ProForm Hybrid Trainer.

Pros

  • Has a weight capacity of 350 lbs
  • Two in One Bike - Recumbent Bike and Upright Elliptical
  • Quiet
  • Smartphone compatible
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • Transportation wheels for easy storage and movement
  • iFit compatibility

Cons

  • May make some squeaky noises after a few months
  • A very light flywheel
  • Small stride length
SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Exercise Machine Heavy Duty Cross Crank...
Best Compact

2- SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Exercise Machine Heavy Duty Cross Crank...

Snode Fitness Focuses on being the health driving force in the fitness industry. Dedicated to designing and manufacturing health, strength, and fitness products so people can live a more active and healthier lifestyle.

Made out of thick steel tubing, the overall frame is durable and rust resistant. It comes with 8 different tension resistance levels allowing you to change the intensity of your workout. Made with a weight flywheel that is precisely balanced to ensure a smooth and soundless movement.

It has adjustable stabilizers on the reat and a crank system that increases the stability of the machine. It is easy to install and does not need maintenance or lubrication to run smoothly. 

Only weighing 77 pounds and at a 47” x 24”, the SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer is a great compact budget elliptical to have in your house.

Pros

  • Rust resistance frame
  • Large, durable, non-slip pedals
  • Easy to assemble
  • Transportation wheels for easy storage and movement
  • 8 levels of resistance

Cons

  • The tablet holder will hide the display if you put a tablet in
  • Calorie reading sometimes is not accurate
Body Rider Elliptical Trainer and Exercise Bike with Seat and Easy Computer...
Best Smooth Pedaling

3- Body Rider Elliptical Trainer and Exercise Bike with Seat and Easy Computer...

Body Flex Sports is the creator of the Body Rider Elliptical Trainer. They have been helping individuals deliver leading health solutions and helping individuals get results for over 25 years. They pride themselves through their highly detailed and meticulous quality control ensuring that every product you get will be high quality and durable.

The Body Rider builds up on this by being also compact and affordable. The machine has two elliptical arms and foot pedals that can be used as an upright elliptical or an exercise bike.

It uses fan blades for it’s motor offering a smooth and quiet ride with a very low impact on your needs. The seat can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally ensuring you’re comfortable as your workout. 

The electronic console allows tracking of your workouts to be easy, as it displays the distance, calories burned, time, and speed. With an built-in transport wheel, it makes it easy to store and move around.

If you’re looking for a smooth pedalling elliptical trainer for an affordable price, we recommend looking at Body Flex Sports’s Body Rider Elliptical Trainer and Exercise Bike with Seat and Easy Computer.

Pros

  • Easy and simple to assemble
  • 2 in 1 cardio trainer
  • Space saving

Cons

  • The resistance or tension may not be as strong as other competitors
  • The bike may be unsteady when the handlebars are in use
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer with 8...
Best Innovative

4- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer with 8...

Sunny Health and Fitness are the premier distributor and importer for high-quality fitness and health products. As they source directly through their manufacturers, their pricing is more competitive, providing you an affordable way to get healthy.

Sunny Health and Fitness’s Elliptical machine is one of the standard compact elliptical trainers that you’d expect. It provides you all the basic features and the durability that you want from prolonged use. 

The machine can climb to a vertical height of over 9 inches and stride a horizontal length of 7 inches, providing you the versatility and variety for each workout. With 8 different levels of magnetic resistance, you can switch up the intensity or reduce the challenge based on your comfort level.

It also has transportation wheels that are on the machine allowing you to easily store and move the machine. With pulse-sensing heart rate, performance monitors, and a heavy duty frame, Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine provides you with everything you need for a great cardio workout on your elliptical.

Pros

  • Weight capacity of 260lbs
  • Compact and Transportable with front based wheels
  • Assembling the elliptical is easy
  • Console has goal setting features, date, temperature, heart rate, and a tablet holder

Cons

  • The console is not backlit which may be difficult to see at night
  • Handle bars are at a fixed height
  • No bottle holder
  • No online connectivity
  • Small stride length
Doufit Elliptical Machine for Home Use, Eliptical Exercise Machine for...
Best Simple

5- Doufit Elliptical Machine for Home Use, Eliptical Exercise Machine for...

DouFIT specializes in providing the best fitness equipment for your family. Focusing on customers first, they make sure you get the best quality products and service guaranteed. This is seen through their rigorous testing and creating superior products that answers to their user’s satisfaction.

The DouFIT Elliptical Machine is made with a steel frame that can hold up to 220lbs. With eight adjustable magnetic resistance levels, it allows you to control the intensity of your workout. With non-slip material large pedals attached, you can pedal as hard as you can without worrying about your feet flying off.

With the additional handlebars that simultaneously move when the pedals are moving, you get an additional upper body workout.  

DuoFIT Elliptical Machine is a budget friendly and space friendly machine which is perfect for those people who want a solid elliptical without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Comes with a heartbeat and pulse sensor
  • Dual action handlebar for an additional arm workout
  • Large textured pedals

Cons

  • It is squeaky at times
Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
Best Bluetooth

6- Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical

Exerpeutic is a manufacturer of ellipticals, treadmills, and a line of other indoor bike options. By combining the latest technology with durable, innovative training models, Exerpeutic provides you the tools to get an effective bike and cycling workout at home.

The Exerpeutic is one of the more innovative budget ellipticals on the market. Although a bit more expensive than the rest of the competitors, it provides you with all the features you’d expect with a $500+ elliptical. 

With bluetooth compatibility and mobile tracking, you’re able to see your progress on your phone. Made with a solid steel frame, it has great stability and durability that removes the natural jerky movements that you may see in cheaper models.

It has 12 workout programs, 7 training workout modes, and a large LCD display that shows your heart rate, distance, speed, time, and calories burned. With in built transportation wheels, you can store and move the elliptical anywhere around the house.

If you’re looking for a high performing elliptical with all the features you’d expect from an expensive elliptical, we recommend you have a look at Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical.

Pros

  • Compact and Durable
  • Transportation wheels for easy storage and movement
  • LCD Monitor is big and easy to read
  • Mobile and Bluetooth compatible

Cons

  • Difficult to assembly due to hard to read instructions
  • Short elliptical stride length
Stamina in Motion Compact Strider Pro
Best Affordable

7- Stamina in Motion Compact Strider Pro

Stamina Products has been creating innovative, affordable equipment for over 30 years. Focused on outperforming the conditions to provide effective communication, consistency, superior service, and equipment to help build a healthier, stronger you.

The Stamina InMotion is a great low impact elliptical that reduces stress on the joints, builds endurance, and strengthens your lower body. It has a minimalistic compact design that makes it easy to transport and store.

The fitness monitor display tracks the progress of your workout such as distance, workout time, calories burned, stride count, and with an additional parameter scanner.

The Stamina InMotion Compact Strider Pro is one of the more affordable ellipticals on the market and does everything you need for a good cardio workout.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Inbuilt pedometer tracks and record the number of steps you have walked, the miles you have walked, and how many calories have been burned
  • Compact to be used anywhere and placed anywhere

Cons

  • No solid handle, just a grip on the bar
  • It has a very short stride
Cubii JR1 Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine for Home Workout, Mini...
Best Portable

8- Cubii JR1 Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine for Home Workout, Mini...

Cubii focuses on changing how the world thinks about fitness. By making exercising accessible to all physical abilities, lifestyle, and ages. No matter your situation, Cubii provide their customer ways to get fit and healthy, one stride at a time.

The Cubii Jr Mini Elliptical is the most compact elliptical on the market in terms of size. As it’s a mini elliptical, it allows you to work out, no matter your situation. Whether you’re playing games, working at a desk, or watching TV, you can get a quick workout in.

There is a small display monitor in the center of the machine that shows you the distance traveled, steps or strides, duration, and calories burned. This is also included with eight different resistance levels, providing you complete control over the intensity of your workout.

With their whisper-quiet technology and patented ergonomic angles, you can workout anywhere without worrying about the noise or injury.

If you’re looking for the best compact elliptical for use that you can take anywhere, we recommend you trying out the Cubii Jr Mini Elliptical.

Pros

  • Compact and Small making it very easy to pack and store
  • Versatile as you sit or stand while using it
  • Can display the essential stats and information for your workout

Cons

  • Limited on the features due to the focus being compact and small

Budget Elliptical Buying Guide

What Is An Elliptical?

What Is An Elliptical?
What Is An Elliptical?

An elliptical trainer is an exercise machine that has pedals. This allows the user to move in an elliptical pattern, minimizing the strain on the knee joints. 

Budget Ellipticals tend to have less features such as bluetooth compatibility and phone capability, and less durability, smooth, and stride length. 

However, they are still a great addition to your workout as it strengthens your lungs, heart, and muscles while boosting your stamina, burning calories, and your overall balance.

The Benefits Of Using an Elliptical?

Burns Body Fat

As the elliptical burns a lot of calories, the longer and more intensive you use the elliptical, the more you maximize the fat burning process. You can add in interval training such as 1 minute of high-intensity movement and 30 seconds of recovery to increase your heart rate while working on your endurance.

Staying Fit After Injury

If you have an injury or can’t workout, using an elliptical can be a great way to maintain your fitness. As it is a low impact exercise, it puts less stress on your joints. These machines are perfect for strengthening your muscles and joints as you do rehab.

Targeting Specific Muscles

The elliptical can target different muscles such as glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves just by changing the resistance and incline of the foot pedals.

By adjusting the foot level, your quads take most of the load. By increasing the incline, you will feel it more on your hamstring and lower back.

Boosts Stamina

When performing aerobic exercises, your lungs and hearts work hard to provide your muscles the blood and oxygen it needs to perform. The elliptical machine simulates this, resulting in your body building more stamina and endurance. 

Depending on the intensity and speed, you can perform high-intensity interval training that provides fat burning results or steady cardio workouts for muscle toning.

Burns A Lot Of Calories

Using an elliptical machine can help you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Depending on your weight and the intensity, you can burn around 270 to 400 calories within 30 minutes. As you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.

Less Stress and Strain On Joints

When you’re running or performing any other high impact cardio exercises, your ankles, hips, kness, and other joints can take a beating. For ellipticals, your feet never leave the pedal, offering a low impact alternative for cardio workouts, resulting in reduced stress on your joints and body.

What To Look For When Purchasing A Budget Elliptical

What To Look For When Purchasing A Budget Elliptical
What To Look For When Purchasing A Budget Elliptical

Stride Length

Stride length refers to the distance between the very front of the front pedal to the very back of the rear pedal. 

Most standard budget ellipticals have a stride length of around 16” to 18” which is perfect for most individuals. 

Resistance

Resistance changes the difficulty of the workout. With cheaper and lower end machines using friction or air resistance, however it is very loud. More expensive budget machines use magnetic resistance which provides a quieter and smoother resistance.

Most compact ellipticals will have a dial or a button to change the resistance level of the machine.

Control Module

The control module provides the controls of all the features that it has. Nearly all ellipticals have them and can be seen with something as simple as a switch dial that changes the resistances.

The more features the elliptical has, the more controls you will get to use. This includes LED screens that provide you feedback and statistics of your workout. From calories burned, heart rate data, speed, distance walked, and overall time of workout.

Weight Limit

Most budget elliptical machines have a maximum weight limit between 250 lbs to 375 lbs. Make sure you match the weight limit, or your machine will break down faster.

Flywheel Design

The location of the flywheel determines the posture when you’re using the elliptical. There are three basic flywheel designs:

Front Drive Flywheel

Front drive ellipticals are when the wheel ahead of the pedals. These usually encourage a pushing motion which makes you lean forward, making you hunch your back. They are usually a bit more noisier but they are cheaper.

Rear Drive Flywheel

Rear drive ellipticals are when the wheel is behind the pedals. These ellipticals are usually longer than others, but they promote a more upright posture. Since the flywheel is behind you, you need to pull it to make it turn. 

Center Drive Flywheel

Center drive ellipticals are designed similar to a treadmill track but with pedals. They are usually more compact and smaller than the other flywheel options.

FAQs for Budget Ellipticals

What is The Average Cost Of An Elliptical Machine

There is a large variation in price for elliptical trainers. From budget ellipticals that range from $150 to $500 to commercial gym elliptical machines that cost $5000.
If you’re looking for an elliptical that is sturdy, durable, and has all the latest features, we recommend something around $1000. 
However, the budget ellipticals will provide the same level of cardio workout that you’re looking for.

What Body Parts Does An Elliptical Machine Work On?

Elliptical workouts strengthen your whole body. They are similar to cardio exercises such as running, walking and biking. The biggest difference is the amount of stress it has on your body and the muscles that are targeted.
When you are running or walking, your lower body is mostly working. With elliptical, they work both the upper and lower body. Targeting the glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings.
When your thighs are moving backwards you will feel your glutes and hamstrings being used. When you move forward, the quads are being worked. 
The calves contract to stabilize the lower leg. While your core muscles keep your body aligned and blanched.

What Does The Resistance System or Resistance Level Mean?

Resistance is the difficulty that can be added to the workout. As you’re fighting against a stronger force, your body has to work more and challenge itself to perform the same motion.

There are two main different resistances that ellipticals use.

Magnetic Resistance

Magnetic Resistance gives you more precision for resistance. As it’s the strength of the magnets inside of the elliptical that is controlling them.

The benefit is that the elliptical is more silent and provides you more control.

Air or Fan Wheel Resistance

Fan resistance provides a smoother ride and often doesn’t need electricity at all. Normally these are manually adjusted and have less precision.

How Do You Use An Elliptical?

Before you work out, always begin with a warm up. For an elliptical, you may do a few minutes on a slow paced walking and work up the intensity as you feel warm.

When you first use the elliptical you may find that you’re uncomfortable and may feel unbalanced. However, the more you do it, you will find yourself naturally having a good cardio workout.

Here are steps to get started:

  1. Begin stepping onto the elliptical and face the console. Nothing will happen until you begin pedalling.
  2. Next, turn on the model or start pedalling to turn it on. This is done by pushing the pedal with a forward motion with your feet. If there are handles, push and pull the handles at an even pace.
  3. You can increase or decrease the pedal resistance as you workout. Usually there are up and down arrows that show the current resistance.
  4. As you near the end of your workout, do not just stop. Make sure you gradually slow down and let momentum slowly slow you down.

Conclusion

When choosing a Budget Elliptical, there are many factors to consider. The room size and height, your fitness level, and overall space.

However, out of the eight Budget Ellipticals that we got to test and research, we recommend 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer because of all the innovative features it had, all for an affordable price.

The machine can climb to a vertical height of over 9 inches and stride a horizontal length of 7 inches, providing you the versatility and variety for each workout. 

With 8 different levels of magnetic resistance, you can switch up the intensity or reduce the challenge based on your comfort level.It also has transportation wheels that are on the machine allowing you to easily store and move the machine. 

With pulse-sensing heart rate, performance monitors, and a heavy duty frame, Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine provides you with everything you need for a great cardio workout on your elliptical.

If you’re looking for a basic standard Elliptical trainer that has all the functionality, we recommend SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Made out of thick steel tubing, the overall frame is durable and rust resistant. It comes with 8 different tension resistance levels allowing you to change the intensity of your workout. Made with a weight flywheel that is precisely balanced to ensure a smooth and soundless movement.

It has adjustable stabilizers on the reat and a crank system that increases the stability of the machine. It is easy to install and does not need maintenance or lubrication to run smoothly. 

Only weighing 77 pounds and at a 47” x 24”, the SNODE Magnetic Elliptical Trainer is a great compact budget elliptical to have in your house.

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About the Author

Reda Elmardi is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.

About Reda Elmardi

Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.

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