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12 Best Ellipticals Under $500 for 2021 [For All Types Users]

An excellent tool to help you get a cardio workout – ellipticals are easier on your knees, joints, and offer smooth workout sessions. However, if you are looking to add one to your gym – there will be several factors that need to be taken into consideration. If you leap into a decision with any prior knowledge about these “complex” machines – a wrong purchase may leave you feeling gutted.

We understand the dilemma you may face here and do not want you to go through any extensive research here. There are quite many products available in the market – with each model offering features, designs that manufacturers have added to “attract” potential users like you. We have compiled a list of a few of the finest ellipticals under $500 in this article, which is ideal if you are on a tighter budget.

We can infer that elliptical machines are perfect for home use, especially if you are looking to use this machine daily. After long hours spent on several elliptical machines available in the market – we have presented the top 12 best ellipticals that costs under $500 in this article. After putting them up against each other, we concluded that “Cubii Jr1 Under Desk Elliptical” can deliver the best value for money, and thus has been selected as our “Overall best choice

Cubii Jr1 Under Desk Elliptical

Noiseless operation under your desk | Overall Best Choice

With a design that is comfortable from the word go – assembly, usage, and operation – Cubii Jr1 Under Desk Elliptical is a great mini elliptical option. The excellent ergonomics of this machine does not put your lower back or your body joints under any additional pressure. With a built-in monitor that puts up performance metrics like distance covered, RPM, number of steps taken, calories lost in an hour, etc – you can get an impression of your fitness instantly. A great feature of this mini-elliptical is its noiseless operation. If you are looking to engage in low-impact workouts even at the convenience of your office room – you will be able to so! It is the combination of all these great features that makes it an ideal elliptical option, and our overall best choice.

  • Ergonomic design
  • Whisper-quiet operation
  • Low-impact exercise
  • Different levels of magnetic resistance
  • Built-in display monitor


A quick view of our list of some of the top ellipticals for you under $500:

Elliptical Weight (lbs.)Our Ratings
Cubii Jr1294
Bestlucky Elliptical Trainer7990
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E38722490
MaxKare Elliptical Bike72.786
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E390825.485
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E9026682
Doufit Elliptical Machine EM-016680
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912104.878
Body Power BST8008878
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E90560.7878
EXERPEUTIC Magnetic Elliptical7676

12 Best Elliptical you can buy today under $500

Elliptical PreviewDimension
(l x b x h)
(lbs. )
Resistance system /
Resistance Levels
Stride Length
Weight capacity
Product score
Cubii Jr1 Under Desk EllipticalCubii JR1 Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine for Home Workout, Mini Elliptical, Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser, Whisper Quiet, Under Desk Pedal Exerciser w/Adjustable Resistance & LCD Display - Aqua23.15” x 17.56” x 10” 2Magnetic / 8N/A25094
Bestlucky Elliptical TrainerBestlucky Elliptical Machine Elliptical Training Machines Magnetic Smooth Quiet Driven Elliptical Exercise Machine for Home Use40.9” x 18.9” x 63 “79Magnetron Car / 81333090
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872Sunny Health & Fitness Fully Assembled Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical – SF-E3872, Grey24” x 19” x 11” 24Magnetic / 8733090
MaxKare Elliptical BikeMaxKare Elliptical Machine for Home Use Magnetic Elliptical Exercise Machine Trainer Portable Elliptical with Flywheel Resistance Heavy Duty Extra-Large Pedal & LCD Monitor Quiet Smooth40.9” x 18.9” x 63 “72.7Magnetic / 814.7286.6.86
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908Sunny Health & Fitness Portable Stand Up Elliptical - SF-E3908, Gray25. 2” x 18” x 10. 6” 25.4Magnetic / 8722085
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Trainer Elliptical Machine Glider w/ LCD Monitor, 220 LB Max Weight and 45 Inch Stride, Black/Gray28” x 17” x 57” 66Default3022082
Doufit Elliptical Machine EM-01Doufit Elliptical Machine for Home Use, Eliptical Exercise Machine for Indoor Fitness Gym Workout, Adjustable Magnetic Elliptical Cross Trainer with LCD Monitor and Pulse Sensors (Basic)50” x 20.5 x 62. 66Magnetic / 81425080
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine w/Device Holder, Programmable Monitor and Heart Rate Monitoring, 330 LB Max Weight - SF-E3912, Silver55” x 23” x 64.5” 104.8Magnetic/ Motorized / 1615.533078
Body Power BST800Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer with Curve-Crank Technology42” x 24” x 62” 88Manual magnetic / 87 - 1025078
ProForm Hybrid TrainerProForm Hybrid Trainer37” x 20” x 60” 117Magnetic / 1615350 / 6”78
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer with 8 Level Resistance and Digital Monitor28” x 17” x 57” 60.78Magnetic / 811220 / 6”78
EXERPEUTIC Magnetic EllipticalExerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical54” x 23” x 63” 76Magnetic / 81333076

1. Cubii Jr1: Noiseless operation under your desk | Overall Best Choice

Cubii Jr1 Under Desk Elliptical

  • Resistance System: Adjustable magnetic responsive
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Handles: Built-in
  • Max User Weight: 250 lbs.
  • Stride Length: N/A
  • Heart rate monitor: N/A
  • Dimension / Weight: 23.15 x 17.56 x 10 inches / 2 lbs
  • Console: Built-in monitor

Features & Considerations
  • Ergonomic design: At 23″ x 17.5″ x 10″ and weighing only 25 pounds – this is a lightweight and compact exercise bike for both your office and home. You can work it out easily using the gliding movement.
  • Ease of use: Handles to carry the bike are built-in, in the middle of the two pedals found on the machine’s front side.
  • Noise level: The design offers the whisper-quiet operation, even if you are pedaling hard. You can easily multi-task due to the added discretion.
  • Low-impact: The patented angles will not put any stress on your back, hips, knees, or your ankle. Therefore, you will be engaging in a low-impact exercise. Ideal for rehabilitation at home, you can also do cardio to help your blood circulate better. Extremely helpful if someone has joint pain and other issues with mobility.
  • Display monitor: An easy-to-read built-in display monitor is built-in on the machine’s front, which will also keep track of your workout. calories burned, workout time, RPM, distance, and the number of strides – these are all monitored and recorded on the LCD.
  • Resistance: Magnetic responsive resistance can be adjusted between 8 different levels. You can turn the intensity up or down as your wish. The tension knob that can be found on the front can be used to do so.
  • Use: You will be needing a clearance of 2-3 inches, above the knees to use this machine.

Some Weaknesses
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Not ideal to be used while standing up.
  • You will need to get the rubber grip mat.

The Cubii JR1 Under Desk Elliptical has a design that is ergonomic and has been built with top-quality materials that have made this machine long-lasting. With only 8 resistance levels, this machine is perfect for low-impact exercises. You can glide away smoothly using your legs on the lowest resistance levels, which is perfect if you are looking for an activity device that is “passive”. The low profile design means you can use it under very low height desks.

It comes with a display monitor that is inbuilt and tracks the calories burnt, your strides, distance, and RPM in real-time. When you are pedaling hard, you will see that the machine is very stable and planted, thanks to the stable base. Although it is not delivered fully-assembled, you will only need to use 4 screws to set it up. It is perfect for people who want to enjoy an exercise machine that is effective even if they are seated exercise and are on a budget.

Cubii JR1 under desk elliptical

Cubii Jr1 Under Desk Elliptical

Cubii Jr1 Under Desk Elliptical

2. Bestlucky: Elliptical Trainer for home use

Bestlucky Elliptical Trainer

  • Resistance System: Magnetron Car
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Drive System: V-belt
  • Flywheel weight: 12 lb
  • Pedals: Big non-slip
  • Max User Weight: 330 lbs.
  • Stride Length: 13”
  • Heart rate monitor: Pulse rate grips.
  • Dimension / Weight: 40.9 x 18.9 x 63 inch/ 79 lbs
  • Console: Advanced Digital Monitor

Features & Considerations
  • Design: At 79 lbs, the machine has a footprint of 41” x 18.9” x 63”. This solid steel build allows it to have a high weight capacity.
  • Magnetic resistance: The magnetic resistance is adjustable by 8 levels using a dial. As you increase or decrease the difficulty of the workout – you will be able to burn more / less body fat respectively.
  • Stride Length: With a 13” stride length, you will be able to achieve a full-body workout.
  • Pedal: A pedal span of 14.2” is coupled with bi-directional pedal abilities on this machine.
  • Monitor: The machine has been equipped with an advanced monitor that has an LCD. This tracks and displays performance metrics that will keep you on your feet.
  • Heart rate: This is relayed via the pulse sensors present on the stationary handles here. This is helpful as you can adjust workout intensity to ensure you are in the heart rate zone that you have aimed for. There is a “Recovery” option present here that can evaluate variations of your heart rate after a session.
  • Safety: In addition to the anti-slip pedals, you can also see that the legs of the machine have been fitted with stabilizers to help overall balance and stability during pedaling.

Some Weaknesses
  • 13” stride length is somewhat small, and it cannot be adjusted on this trainer.

Made using steel tubes of the highest quality, the Bestlucky Elliptical Trainer is a durable machine that can accommodate up to 330lbs. By adjusting the 8 levels of magnetic resistance, you will be able to enjoy the high intensity and low-intensity workout sessions.
You will find that the driving system is a V-belt, that works in perfect coherence with the flywheel so that your workout session is noiseless, smooth, and can be carried out almost everywhere. The compact design allows storage after use, while a vigorous workout is also possible here. The pedals have anti-slip characteristics that will prevent slippage, keeping you perfectly safe. Overall, this is a very well-built machine and incorporates many high-end features for any fitness level.

Bestlucky elliptical trainer

Bestlucky Elliptical Trainer

Bestlucky Elliptical Trainer

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872: 3-in-1 Elliptical cross trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872

  • Resistance System: Magnetic resistance
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Flywheel weight: 3 lb
  • Pedals: Large with a textured base
  • Handles: Central transportation handle
  • Max User Weight: 330 lbs.
  • Stride Length: 7”
  • Dimension / Weight: 24” x 19” x 11” / 24 lbs
  • Console: LCD Monitor

Features & Considerations
  • Stability: Two-wheel stoppers will keep your machine stable and stop your chair from falling over while you are pedaling.
  • 8 Resistance Levels: SF-E3872 is an elliptical machine that is highly capable and is offering up to eight levels of resistance that will control the intensity of your workout.
  • Portability: Weighing a mere 24 pounds, this elliptical can be packed up easily if you want to move it.
  • Compact design: You can fit this elliptical into any small space, thanks to its modest design and dimensions.
  • Drive System: On this bike, you will have a seamless, smooth pedaling experience – thanks to the drive system that uses magnetic resistance. The operation is noiseless as none of the moving parts touch each other during full range motion.
  • Pedals: They are wide enough to adjust to any foot size and have a textured base for safety, especially if you are pedaling hard.
  • LCD Monitor: A monitor is centrally located at the front of the frame, which can easily track your exercise progress.

Some Weaknesses
  • The flywheel on this model is quite light. Weighing 3 pounds, it is certainly not ideal for serious athletes.

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872 will allow you to work out while performing your daily tasks, thanks to its low and discreet profile. To make sure you can take advantage of the full benefits offered by the machine, all the natural body movements – walking, cycling, or climbing stairs – are replicated on this machine.

The magnetic resistance couples with the quiet belt-driven so that you can use this machine even at your office. A simple twist of the tension knob will let you change between the 8 magnetic resistance levels. The LCD monitor will track your performance metrics, such as time including time, calories burned, speed, and distance. Assembly can be completed using 4 screws delivered with this elliptical. Overall, this is a perfect workout machine if you are looking for lightweight workouts.

Sunny health & fitness SF-E3872

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872

4. MaxKare: Perfect for home use

MaxKare Elliptical Bike

  • Resistance System: Magnetic resistance
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Flywheel weight: 11 lb (Bi-directional)
  • Pedals: Extra large & anti-slip
  • Handles: Dual
  • Max User Weight: 286.6. lbs
  • Stride Length: 14.7”
  • Heart rate monitor: Built-in plate on the internal handle
  • Dimension / Weight: 40.9*18.9*63 inches / 72.7 lbs
  • Console: LCD Monitor

Features & Considerations
  • Dual Handles: To ensure that your upper body has a good workout, you can get started with these dual-action handlebars. Handles on the inner side can track your heart while the outer handles are to be used to work your arms out.
  • Sleeve: The plastic sleeve can be adjusted at an angle on the floor for stability.
  • Pedal: The 15.7 “ x 5.9” inch pedals used here are made using plastic, with a textured surface.
  • Portable: Using the front wheels, you will be able to move this machine anywhere.
  • Magnetic Resistance: Using the 8 levels of resistance system, you will be able to alter the intensity of your workout.
  • Noiseless operation: You will be able to enjoy a smooth, quiet workout session on this elliptical bike thanks to the 11 lb flywheel and belt driving system.
  • Monitor heart rate: The internal handles on this elliptical bike will relay your heart rate to the LCD monitor here.
  • Compatibility: A stride length of 14.7” means users of all heights will be able to use this bike.

Some Weaknesses
  • For tall users, stride length may seem small.
  • Assembly of the elliptical may take up considerable time.

The lightweight design of the MaxKare Elliptical Bike front-wheel driven heavy-duty elliptical for home use – with an 11 lb mounted flywheel; that will allow you to work out without creating a racket! You will feel stable on the large anti-slip foot pedals. The elliptical machine is bi-directional to cater to your every need.
8 magnetic resistance levels can be adjusted using a knob to vary the tension. You can find it below the main console. There are eight levels of magnetic resistance on offer, selectable via the tension dial below the main console. These levels will allow you to engage in 4 types of training – Cardiopulmonary, body shaping, building firm-abs, and training for competitive races. Even though the screen uses a liquid crystal display, it is very basic; yet, you will still be able to monitor data like speed, heart rate, distance traveled, and your time on this machine. The heart rate is passed on from the pulse grip monitor that has been integrated on the handlebars. For your convenience, you can find a water bottle holder and media shelf here too.

MaxKare elliptical bike

MaxKare Elliptical Bike

MaxKare Elliptical Bike

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908: Portable Elliptical that can be used while standing up

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908

  • Resistance System: Magnetic resistance
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Flywheel weight: Not Available (Bi-directional)
  • Pedals: Non-Slip
  • Handles: Carry Handle
  • Max User Weight: 220 lb.
  • Stride Length: 7”
  • Heart rate monitor: n/a
  • Dimension / Weight: 25. 2L in x 18W in x 10. 6H in / 25.4 lbs
  • Console: Digital Monitor

Features & Considerations
  • Dimensions: The overall size of this machine is 25. 2”x 18”x 10.6”. x 10. 6”. Therefore, storage after use has become relatively easy.
  • Pedal: You will find a non-slip design on these pedals so that the user’s feet are perfectly balanced and safe.
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance are found on this bike, which can be adjusted to vary the intensity of your workout.
  • Display: The console uses large digits that will allow you to keep track of your performance metrics and pulse rate.
  • Versatile operation: You will be able to work out in a standing recumbent position – which is a great feature offered here.
  • Stability: With a weight of 220 lbs, it will be difficult to topple the machine over.
  • Bi-directional Flywheel: You will be able to pedal in both forward and backward directions, which will work to strengthen your lower body.

Some Weaknesses
  • Assembly may take up a lot of time.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908 does not need to be assembled – you can get started from the word go. You will not fall off the pedals here, which uses a textured surface. At only 25 lb, you can conveniently move the machine via the center handlebars on the front.

Magnetic resistance can be varied via a resistance dial, from the easiest to the highest level of 8. The driving system uses a belt mechanism so that you can enjoy a noiseless session. Additionally, you will find that pedal movement has become much smoother. Pulse sensors are built into the handlebars, and this information is relayed to the digital monitor on this bike. A stride length of 7” means that you will be challenging yourself on the workout sessions. Whether you are sitting or standing while using this machine – your cardiovascular health is bound to improve.

Sunny health & fitness SF-E3908

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902: Budget choice

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902

  • Resistance System: None
  • Resistance Levels: Default
  • Drive System: None
  • Flywheel weight: None
  • Pedals: Non-Slip
  • Handles: Full arm motion
  • Max User Weight: 220 lb.
  • Stride Length: 30”
  • Heart rate monitor: n/a
  • Dimension / Weight: 28.0 Inches (L) x 17.0 Inches (W) x 57.0 Inches (H) / 66 lbs
  • Console: LCD Display

Features & Considerations
  • Full body workout: This machine will target the muscles in your arms and your legs. Also, as you work out in an upright position – your abdominal muscles are worked too.
  • Effective and comfortable: Thanks to the absence of resistance that is usually built-in, pedal movement is easier and comfortable.
  • Foldable: This a great convenience as a lot of space can be saved when you fold this bike to half its size.
  • Adjustable abdominal pad: This will press against your abdomen to enforce stability when you are walking in an upright position.
  • Grippy pedals: On this bike, we find that the pedals are textured in their wide-body to offer a good grip.
  • Aerobic Training: 20 minutes of regular workout on this elliptical will allow you to retain a “fit” body weight.
  • 30” stride length: This long stride length will target your calf muscles, your thighs, and your glutes. The workout is more engaging in this machine

Some Weaknesses
  • Little to no resistance.
  • People who are already-fit will find little value
  • Not really suitable for tall or heavy people (over 200 lbs)

Irrespective of the simple design – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 is an efficient elliptical machine and provides excellent value. An exciting feature of this bike is that it can be folded to almost half its size. Therefore, even if you are cramping for space – you will still be able to use this bike. An abdominal pad is also found on the front side, which can be adjusted vertically to ensure its position is optimum.

If you are looking to reap the benefits of an elliptical, but do not necessarily need any fancy feature – this is your bike. The pedal has a non-slip design and is oversized to make you feel secured. As you stride on this trainer, you may feel a slight twist in your midsection that is a good indicator of a full-body workout. However, this also means you will be needing additional clearance on the front side, for your knees.

Sunny health & fitness SF-E902

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902

7. Doufit EM-01: Elliptical machine for Home use; Multifunctional; Perfect for low-ceiling homes or apartments

Doufit Elliptical Machine EM-01

  • Resistance System: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Drive System: None
  • Flywheel weight: 13.2 lb( bi-directional )
  • Pedals: Textured & Large
  • Handles: Dual
  • Max User Weight: 250 lb.
  • Stride Length: 14”
  • Heart rate monitor: Pulse Handlebar
  • Dimension / Weight: 50 x 20.5 x 62 inches. / 66 lbs
  • Console: Monochrome display

Features & Considerations
  • Low impact workout: Using the adjustable resistance here, you can achieve both upper and lower body efficient workouts at your convenience.
  • Monitor: Though small, the monitor just about serves the purpose. All data related to your workout will be displayed during your workout session.
  • Silent operation: The flywheel on this elliptical is very smooth and does not make any noise during pedaling.
  • Solid structure: At 66 lbs, even as you build up pedaling intensity, you will not feel any sudden jerks or wobbling from the machine.
  • 8 level resistance: Thanks to this variable resistance, you will be able to enjoy workout sessions of varying intensities, no matter your fitness goal.
  • Heart rate monitor: The handlebars are fitted with pulse sensors that keep track of your heart rate regularly. This is helpful as you can know when you may have to adjust the intensity of your workout.

Some Weaknesses
  • The Assembly of this machine may not be as straightforward as others.
  • Does not have the power incline feature.
  • The stride length is relatively shorter.

Despite the basic design, the Doufit Elliptical EM-01 can allow users below 250 lbs to have access to a very reliable machine. Here, they have access to the pedal strides offering a low-impact workout – that will not put your knees or your other body joints under any additional stress. Even though the stride length is only 13.5” – you will be able to enjoy an effective session ( unless you are over 6 feet).

Thanks to the built-in steel frame – it is ideal for heavy-duty use and offers a greater level of safety. This is further facilitated by the anti-slip pedals with a textured surface. Even though it is not foldable, it has been fit with convenient wheels that allow portability and storage. With a smaller footprint than many other elliptical models, you can use this even if you are cramping for space.

Doufit elliptical EM-01

Doufit Elliptical Machine EM-01

Doufit Elliptical Machine EM-01

8. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912: Elliptical Trainer w/ Programmable performance monitor

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912

  • Resistance System: Magnetic / Motorized
  • Resistance Levels: 16
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Flywheel weight: 13.2 lbs
  • Pedals: Non-Slip
  • Handles: Full motion
  • Max User Weight: 330 lb.
  • Stride Length: 15.5”
  • Heart rate monitor: Pulse sensors on handlebar
  • Dimension / Weight: 55” x 23” x 64.5” / 104.8 lbs
  • Console: Performance monitor( with 24 workout modes)

Features & Considerations
  • Smooth Pedaling Motion: The 13.2 lb flywheel has a structure that is perimeter-weighted. This means that it offers better stability to the machine and enhances inertia.
  • Design: The structure uses steel bars to be attached to the pedals in this elliptical trainer that is rear-driven. This allows the machine to support user weight up to 330 lbs.
  • Compact, stable design: Fitted with rubber stabilizers that can be adjusted at the trainer’s rear base, we see that the machine has a relatively small footprint of 55 x 23.5 x 64.5 inches, and weighs almost 105 lbs.
  • Dual-action handlebars: The set of mobile handlebars move in coherence with the pedals and have multi-grips. On the other hand, we find a set of fixed handles too, that aid to monitor heart rate via pulse sensors on them.
  • 15.5” stride: If you consider your height to be short, average, or medium – you can easily reap the full benefits of this trainer.
  • Motorized resistance: This machine uses an AC power source, and resistance is adjusted automatically by the pre-set programs loaded in the console. The resistance level can go up to 16 here. However, when the machine has its power source removed – the last resistance setting is retained in the elliptical.
  • 24 workout programs: We have put down the details of the programs below- P1 # Manual Programs; P2 – P13 # Preset programs; P14 # Watt Control; P15 # Calculate Body Fat; P16 # Target HR; P17 – P20 # Preset HR; P21 – P24 # User-specific

Some Weaknesses
  • The pedal height cannot be adjusted and does not have any cushioning.
  • Not really suitable for tall or heavy people (over 200 lbs)

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E3912 is one of the best elliptical trainers under $500, thanks to its dedicated performance and combination of features. The resistance system of this machine is magnetic-motorized, where if you are looking to make adjustments to the resistance – which is possible when the elliptical is plugged into a power source. As you select a workout program on the performance monitor – the resistance is adjusted automatically, in addition to the adjusted pedal resistance.

Fitted with wheels, you will be able to move the SF-E3912 with ease. The pedals have large platforms and use ABS to make their structure durable. Additionally, to add extra stability to your feet – the surface has a textured lining. With a 33 lb weight capacity, we can find a tablet and water bottle holder here as well.

Sunny health and fitness SF-E3912

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912

9. Body Power BST800: 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer w/ Curve-Crank Technology

Body Power BST800

  • Resistance System: Manual magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Flywheel weight: 30-40 lbs (bi-directional)
  • Pedals: 2 sets
  • Handles: Dual Action
  • Max User Weight: 250 lb.
  • Stride Length: 7″- 10″
  • Heart rate monitor: Pulse sensors on handlebar
  • Dimension / Weight: 42: x 24” x 62” / 88 lbs
  • Console: LCD

Features & Considerations
  • Curve-Crank Technology: This is a patented technology used by the manufacturer to ensure low pressure on the joints by preventing any dead zone for the pedals that might have otherwise interrupted its smooth operation.
  • Construction: To ensure that the machine is sturdy, steel bars have been used here. They are resistant to corrosion.
  • Resistance: You can use the crank here to vary the intensity levels of your workout.
  • 2-in-1 trainer: The trainer will allow you to exercise in a stepping motion and also pedal in an “oval” path, where you can make use of the mobile handlebars.
  • Console: We find a 3.5” display that will put up data like time elapsed, total distance traveled (in miles), speed (in mph), calories burned, RPM, and pulse. Speed and distance are shown in mph and miles. However, there are no preset programs here.
  • Accessory holder: There is an integrated holder for your tablet/smartphone that can help you exercise longer
  • Pedals: The pedals are built-in, with a textured surface and embodies a design that is open-backed, but at an angle.

Some Weaknesses
  • There is no holder for your water bottle.
  • The console does not have a backlight, which will obstruct visibility.

The Body Power BST800 is a 60 lb, 2-in-1 elliptical trainer that has a footprint of 42 x 24 x 62 inches. This heavy-duty machine uses a frame made from steel so that it can support user weight up to 250 lb. The structure also incorporates properties that make it durable, like resistance to corrosion and scratch-proof paint job.

Thanks to the patented curved crank design, you will be able to carry out both cardio and resistance-based workouts. There will be no “dead-zones” in the path followed by the pedal as forces are applied at 90 degrees to each other in the crank. The fixed handles can be used while you are exercising with your upper body in a stepping motion, while as you opt for the elliptical motion, you can use the mobile handles. Metallic sensors on the fixed handles monitor your pulse ratings. There are also 8 magnetic resistance levels to vary the difficulty of your sessions from amateur to advanced, using a dial found just underneath the LCD.

Body power BST800

Body Power BST800

Body Power BST800

10. ProForm: Hybrid elliptical trainer w/ dual speakers & Bluetooth

ProForm Hybrid Trainer

  • Resistance System: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 16
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Flywheel weight: 13 lbs
  • Pedals: Oversized
  • Handles: 2 sets, with soft grips
  • Max User Weight: 350 lbs.
  • Stride Length: 15″
  • Heart rate monitor: EKG grip
  • Dimension / Weight: 37 x 20 x 60. inches / 117 lbs
  • Console: Large LCD monitor ( 16 programs )

Features & Considerations
  • 2 machines in 1: You will be able to enjoy a comfortable, low-impact cardio workout on this versatile trainer.
  • Elliptical use: This is an exercise option intended for a low-impact workout. You will be engaging in cardio exercises that target your shoulders, back, and your arms.
  • Recumbent use: You can take up a more reclined position, where pedals with cushions and a seat helping lumbar support you to make the best of the dual functionality.
  • Large LCD window: This will track data like your speed, time, distance, and calories burned so that you can have an idea about the stats of your training. You can adjust the angle of the console to accommodate a wide array of user heights.
  • Resistance system: You will be able to adjust the intensity of your workout noiselessly and with ease, through 16 levels.
  • Seat: The adjustable, oversized seat is cushioned and is perfect for users below 6”. This adds extra comfort during recumbent position use.
  • Pedals: To enhance traction, you will be able to adjust these oversized pedals to a wide array of positions.
  • iFit: This is a fitness app that has a wide range of features – including interactive training sessions, pre-set programs, and compatible Bluetooth technology,

Some Weaknesses
  • It has a 15” stride length for its elliptical motion, which may be short.
  • Flywheel weight is relatively on the lighter side.

The step-through design of the ProForm Hybrid Trainer is helpful if you have disabilities. You will be able to get on/off the pedals with relative ease on the steel, sturdy frame. At 117 lb, the rubberized stabilizers will allow you to support up to 350 lbs. For both the recumbent and elliptical workout position – you will be able to change the position of the console as well. On the frame, you can find a convenient water bottle holder.
You can begin with the easiest of workouts and will build up to more intense sessions as you turn the resistance up. Even if you are 6”, the 15” stride length will help you to use this trainer. The adjustable, padded seat further facilitates this. The gripped handlebars are fixed directly to the seat frame and cannot be adjusted. They also feature EKG grip pulses on them. Another great feature is the presence of the 2” dual speakers. On the other hand, the mobile arms come with longer grips that will allow you to find the correct position for your hand, no matter your size.

ProForm hybrid trainer

ProForm Hybrid Trainer

ProForm Hybrid Trainer

11. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905: Ideal for cardio & low impact training

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905

  • Resistance System: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Flywheel weight: Not Available
  • Pedals: Oversized and anti-slip
  • Handlebars: Dual, anti-slip, and gripped
  • Max User Weight: 220 lbs.
  • Stride Length: 11″
  • Heart rate monitor: Hand pulse
  • Dimension / Weight: 28″ x 17″ x 57″ / 60.78 lb
  • Console: Digital Monitor with SCAN mode

Features & Considerations
  • Advanced Display: The Advanced LCD here allows you to track your fitness using displaying “easy-to-read” stats, including your pulse.
  • Console: It has a SCAN mode that aids to keep track of your overall progress.
  • Dual handlebars: A pair of handlebars that can be moved have been added to the stationary handlebars here. The former can be used to get a decent workout for your upper body while the fixed handles have pulse sensors on them and can be used during workouts targeted to your lower body.
  • Compact design: With a footprint of 28L x 17W x 57H, the SF-905 is ideal for use and storage even if your apartment or home does not have any extra space to offer.
  • Resistance: Using the 8 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance here, even at high resistance – you will be able to both walk and run slowly on this elliptical trainer.
  • Large Pedals: This trainer is equipped with large platforms that can fit a wide range of feet sizes.
  • Pulse Monitoring: You will be able to keep an eye on your pulse on the LCD. This is helpful as you can adjust the trainer to the perfect intensity that will help you deliver the best results.

Some Weaknesses
  • The resistance settings may not be ideal for seasoned runners who are looking for stronger resistance.
  • If you are above 5 feet 10 inches, you may face some difficulty when you try to run or walk faster on this trainer.

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 is ideal for users who are cramping in space. With a footprint that is ideal for small spaces – 28” x 17” x 57” – this is a very effective low impact trainer that allows elliptical motion. You can find floor stabilizers attached to their legs that can be adjusted until the machine is flat on the ground. The pedals used here have an anti-slip design that adds to the safety level of this machine.

The 11” stride length on this compact elliptical trainer is perfect for users below 6 feet and low impact workouts that will not put your knees under any additional stress. 8 levels of magnetic resistance are noiseless throughout and is an incentive for users as you will be able to enjoy a workout for your full body silently. The SF-E905 is a perfect elliptical trainer that comes with 2 sets of handlebars so that even if you are an entry-level user, you will be able to get a full-body workout session.

Sunny health & fitness SF-E905

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905

12. EXERPEUTIC: Magnetic Elliptical intended for heavy-duty use; Optional Bluetooth version

EXERPEUTIC Magnetic Elliptical

  • Resistance System: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Drive System: V-belt drive
  • Flywheel weight: Balanced( bi-directional )
  • Pedals: Large, ribbed
  • Handlebars: Dual Action
  • Max User Weight: 300 lb.
  • Stride Length: 13”
  • Heart rate monitor: Pulse pads on the additional stationary handlebars
  • Dimension / Weight: 54” x 23” x 63”; 76 lbs.
  • Console: Large LCD Display

Features & Considerations
  • Optional Bluetooth: EXERPEUTIC Magnetic Elliptical has two versions – the 1000XL & 2000XL.The features on both versions are the same, but the Bluetooth technology is available on the 2000XL version.
  • Bluetooth tracking: This is the only additional feature available on the 2000XL version of the Exerpeutic Magnetic Elliptical. An app called MyCloudFitness can be found on IOS & Android devices, where you will be able to keep track of the results of your workout sessions.
  • Weight Capacity: The heavy-duty build of this trainer allows it to accommodate users up to 300 lb in weight.
  • Dual Workout: Thanks to the workout system that allows you to exercise both the upper and lower regions of your body – you can enjoy the low impact workout sessions on this bike.
  • Magnetic Resistance: There are enough options for you in this machine for entry-level users to the most expert user. As you opt amongst the 8 levels here, the intensity of the workouts is praiseworthy.
  • Stride Length: If you are below 6” and looking for a machine that will allow you to carry out cardio workouts of light and medium intensity – the 13” stride length is optimum.
  • Console: The large LCD will put up data like distance, number of calories burned, the time elapsed, etc. You can also see your heart rate here.
  • Non-slip Pedals: The pedals are quite large and come with a surface that has ribbed textures. This will prevent you from slipping and help you avoid other injuries.

Some Weaknesses
  • 13” stride length may not be enough for tall users to obtain the best benefits from this machine.
  • It may be difficult to assemble the machine on your own.

Heavier ellipticals are better as the additional weight adds more stability to the machine and is a good indication of the type of materials that may have been used in its construction. The frame has been constructed using steel tubing that is ideal for heavy-duty – with a weight of 76 lbs, the EXERPEUTIC Magnetic Elliptical is quite impressive for both the 1000XL & 2000XL versions.

The natural movement of an elliptical trainer that is observed here ensures that the system is not prone to any shock/vibrations from the surroundings. The LCD puts out workout data, as well as your pulse rate from the pulse pads. The flywheel allows bi-directional pedaling on pedals that have a ribbed texture. Additionally, 8 levels that are present can suit the fitness level of a wide variety of users. If you have joint issues, yet want to exercise your whole body For those in need of a zero-impact workout due to joint-related issues – this machine can be a great means to avoid further injury without injuring yourself anymore. This elliptical trainer can provide excellent value to help you meet your goals.

EXERPEUTIC magnetic elliptical EXERPEUTIC magnetic elliptical

EXERPEUTIC Magnetic Elliptical

EXERPEUTIC Magnetic Elliptical

Buying Guide: Elliptical under $500

Types of Elliptical cross trainers

We have explored different types of cross trainers below:

  • Front-drive cross trainer – With the flywheel placed at the front of the machine, you can find that the roller tracks have been placed at the rear end. You will observe that the path of motion of pedals is more vertically aligned. Machine incline can also be adjusted to replicate climbing the stairs. They usually have a lower profile, therefore ideal for users who have limited mobility.
  • Rear-drive cross trainer- For this elliptical machine, we find that the flywheel has been placed at the rear end of the machine. This design allows such ellipticals to exhibit perfect balance and adds versatility to workout regimes. With the center of gravity concentrated towards the center of the elliptical – stride length will increase. You can therefore engage in a workout that feels more natural, with no additional stress or pressure.
  • Center – drive cross trainer – On these machines, you will find that the flywheel has been placed on any of the two-pedal sides. They offer movement that is more vertically aligned. You will need to stay upright while you use these ellipticals, as they have a smaller footprint than the other types. They usually do not put much stress on the joints in your hips and knees, and favor moving vertically thanks to the proximity of the pedals.

Front-drive,rear-drive,center-drive cross trainer

Other types

  • Standard elliptical trainers- They concentrate on cardio workouts, where the flywheel is placed in the three positions mentioned above. This is determinant to the workout intensity, with low-impact workouts being more common. They do not exert any additional stress on your knees and your joints too. Any risk of your ankles being sprained or splints to your shin is minimized greatly.
  • Cross trainer Elliptical- They bear an uncanny resemblance to stationary bikes. You can enjoy workouts in both upright and recumbent seated positions. As you take up a seated position identical to stationary bikes – the strain in the lower region of your body is minimized. However, after a closer look – you can see that this machine actually offers a thorough full-body workout. This is thanks to the handlebars that allow engagement of the muscles in your back, shoulder, arms – while building up a stronger core.
  • Elliptical glider- Their design is simple, and comes with a smaller footprint to offer the lowest impact workouts on ellipticals. The flywheel is missing, and the pedals follow a swinging motion path instead of a circular motion. The pedals and your feet are always in contact – minimizing any stress put on your joints in your ankle, your knees, and your hips. Overall, they are ideal if you are cramping for space.

Standard elliptical trainers,Elliptical gliderCross trainer elliptical

1. Stride Length

If you want to enjoy a low-impact and comfortable workout session on an elliptical trainer – your natural stride must be replicated here. The ellipticals that we have mentioned in this article are somewhat short, as typical stride length in adults ranges from 18 “ to 22”. Shorter stride lengths can be the reason for knee discomfort – something which is certainly not desirable. The purpose of its use is also a key factor when selecting the stride length. If you are walking, a shorter stride length can serve the purpose while a longer stride length is a must for running. To find out the perfect stride length for you, it is best if you opt for the trial and error method. Try out a variety of elliptical machines and opt for one where you feel your strides feel more natural.

Stride length is connected to the overall footprint of an elliptical machine. Elliptical trainers that are comparatively small tend to have a stride length on the shorter side, and vice versa. It is recommended to avoid smaller bikes as they tend to have a short stride length. We have included a typical guideline for user height( in inches) compatible with stride lengths below:

  • height – up to 5’ 2” – 16” stride length
  • height 5’ 2” to 5’ 6” – stride length range from 16” – 18”
  • height 5’6” to 5’ 9” – stride length 18 ” to 20 ”
  • height above 5’ 9” – stride length greater than 20 ”

Stride length

2. Resistance types

  • Air Resistance – It follows a quite simple mechanism. As you pedals – you will also be rotating a fan here. The air acts against the fan blades to provide “resistance”. Faster pedaling will create more resistance here. The system is typically very loud.
  • Magnetic Resistance – High-end elliptical trainers that are using magnetic resistance have an electromagnet placed near the flywheel. When you are pressing a button to increase or decrease the resistance here – more or less current is directed to the magnets respectively. On lower-end models, you will make mechanical adjustments to place a magnet closer or further away from the flywheel for tuning resistance up or down.

3. Resistance levels

Usually, elliptical machines under $500 are equipped with resistance levels in the range of 8 to 10. Some models offer even 16 settings. A wider array of resistance settings will present the user with more challenges, which is appreciated.

4. Maximum user weight

How much an elliptical machine weighs and how much weight it can support – these are very closely related. Lightweight models can support lower weight and vice versa. If you are weighing close to the limit of an elliptical trainer – it is ideal to go for one that has a greater maximum weight capacity. This will prevent any damage to the machine that would have otherwise resulted.

5. Flywheel weight

The weight of the flywheel being used in your machine is one of the key factors. This will essentially define how resistant the wheel of your elliptical machine is when there is a quick burst of acceleration or speed change. Heavier flywheels will present more resistance when you suddenly pedal harder and you will not achieve the “maximum” speed here. The motion of the pedals seems more natural, more comfortable, and realistic.

6. Driving System

  • Chain Drive – We find a chain attachment between the pedals and wheels on your elliptical machine.
  • Belt Drive – We will find a drive belt connecting the flywheel and pedal. There are grooves present on the belt to increase power transfer efficiency. Any slippage is also prevented by the grooves.

7. Motion handles & safety handles

Stationary arms are common on all ellipticals to help with your balance as you are engaging in workouts for your lower body. Many machines are fitted with moving arms as well. They are usually adjustable and engage more body muscles during full-body sessions. Your muscles can become toned, allow you to burn more calories, and take up higher intensity cardio workouts. The best ellipticals have gripped handles that are soft to touch and have structure molded to easy usage by your hands. Similarly- the best mobile handles are multi gripped so that an array of muscles are targeted. How far they are from each other will determine the smoothness of their operation for training intended for your upper region.

8. Incline settings

If your elliptical machine has an incline setting – you will experience greater benefits of your workout sessions are enhanced. As you adjust your incline – you can engage the hamstrings, glutes in your body. Your heart rate will also go up, as your workout will become harder and a greater proportion of body weight is supporting your legs.

Inclines that can be adjusted automatically will require you to put in more effort. This also helps to build up and tone your muscles. As you adjust the inclines angles slightly – a greater array of muscles are engaged.

9. Programs

Programs on your elliptical machine can replicate any particular type of workout and focus on particular muscles in your body. If an elliptical machine has more programs – you will be able to make use of the additional exercise sets for an extended period. To draw up a conclusion – more programs on an elliptical machine are always welcome.

10. Performance Tracking

If your elliptical machine has been fitted with features that can allow you an insight into your workout regime – this is quite beneficial as you can adjust your workout intensities to reach your goal

11. Console

A good console is quite helpful on elliptical machines and is usually found in the midst of the handlebars. Typically, these consoles use an LCD monitor and put up data like time elapsed, distance traveled, calories burnt hourly, etc. For your budget options, these options are available. On the other hand – built-in speakers, apps, wireless connections via Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth are amongst the latest features.

12. Q-Factor

This is the distance to and from either pedal here. Our natural steps are not apart from each other by more than 2”. Your foot’s motion is directed to your body’s center so that the fluidity of your natural movement is not compromised. The stress on your lower back and your hips are minimized too. Elliptical models have tightly-packed pedals to replicate this movement.

13. Heart-Rate monitor

You should be able to monitor your heart rate on the elliptical machines. Using this feature, you can ensure that your pulse is maintained as per your fitness goal and identify improvements in the long term. Higher-end models use receivers to wirelessly transfer heart rates on the consoles. If you go for trainers below $500 – contract grips are used as sensors.

14. Floor Matting

You should use mats under your machine to ensure that it is more stable on the ground. Your floor will not be scratched and prevent any damage.

F. A. Q.s

Q1. Can I use an elliptical every day?

Ans.: To get rid of any extra weight, working out on elliptical machines can be a fruitful strategy. However, you should also incorporate resistance training in your workout regimes and take a day off from your elliptical machine from time to time. If you undertake both strength training and intensive workouts of your elliptical machine every day – you may “overtrain” yourself. Taking a day off will allow your damaged muscles to heal and also boost your overall health.

Q2. Does elliptical help with belly fat?

Ans.: As elliptical machines can engage both your upper and lower body together – you can get rid of your belly fat – but this is only possible if you bring about certain changes to your exercise sessions. First of all, you should include sessions of high-intensity training to target any visceral fat. You can try to add a little variety to your workout sessions by changing how you engage in cardio sessions and try to “mix-and-match” cycling and running sessions too. You should try to include the handles as much as possible here, as involving your upper body can get rid of that belly fat too. Last of all, as you will adjust the incline or resistance on your elliptical to make it more challenging for you – each stride will require you to put in more effort. This will help you in the long run.

Q3. Are 30 minutes on the elliptical enough?

Ans.: Since an elliptical trainer is a great form of cardio, if you spend at least 30 minutes on your elliptical machine per day – you should be able to achieve the benefits to your health that you are aiming for. 30 minutes can help you get rid of 150 to 400 calories – but this is largely dependent on the intensity of that workout and also its type.

Q4. Can you buy a good elliptical for $500?

Ans.: There are quite many elliptical machines available in the market that deliver the best combination of features and value at or below $500. However, if you are planning to use the machine for years to come and frequently in the short run as well – it is only fair that you should be settling for the high-end models. Additionally, if you are being a bit more precise and want a quality frame, long-lasting build, and perfect combination of features – you may have to invest a little bit more.

Q5. Is elliptical good for your knees?

Ans.: Since ellipticals offer cross-training and low impact exercises – they are good for your knees. Since you are not having to “hit” the ground – there are considerably less stress on your back, hip, and knees. The low impact workouts boost the flow of blood to the cartilage of your knees and allow the muscles here to gain strength. This is particularly helpful if your knees are arthritic, as your knee joints are kept healthier.

Q.6: Elliptical vs. Treadmill?

Ans.: We have used a comparison table below to identify how an elliptical machine is different from a treadmill.

Difficulty of useLowHigh
Ability to boost muscle strengthMediumLow
Stress exerted on body jointsLowHigh
Ability to burn fatHighHigh
Versatility of workoutsHighMedium
Muscles being engagedQuadriceps, Calves, Hamstrings, Anterior tibialis, & GlutesQuadriceps and hamstrings (on either legs)
Ability to track workoutsYesYes
PurposeIdeal for knees issues and injury in the lower bodyPerfect for training and rehabilitation purposes
Monotonous levelLowMedium

Elliptical vs. Treadmill


You can see that all of the elliptical machines that have been listed in this article are well below $500. Even though they do not have the same stride length, level or type of resistance, flywheel weights, or preset programs in their console – all of them are affordable models that have not compromised with quality. The best way to go about selecting one machine from our list would be to put down what you are looking for in your elliptical machine and try to identify which of these 12 best ellipticals under $500 can serve the purpose. We know that this can “add” extra stress to your decision-making process. However, we hope that your article can guide you with “just the right amount of information” that will help you decide here. Try to be determined as you begin your fitness journey, set up goals that you believe you can achieve, and work hard to achieve them. We hope to catch you soon!

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Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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