woman working out on an elliptical

This is our review of the Best Elliptical Under $500 in . 

Whether you are a fitness enthusiast wanting to complement your gym routine with home workouts, or a home workout lover, an elliptical is an excellent addition to your routine. Home ellipticals are a popular way of getting into shape as they are easy on your joints and offer a low-impact, full-body workout.

The fitness market is flooded with different varieties of these trainers. They range from offering basic features to those that are loaded with high-tech elements like different training modes, heart rate monitoring, mobile app connectivity, etc. Their pricing varies depending on the features they come with. However, the key role an elliptical needs to play is meeting your fitness goals effectively, which can be done even if you are operating on a budget.

Based on our research and a closer look at budget ellipticals, we bring 7 such trainers that are worth investing in. Of these, we consider the Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical to be the best elliptical under 500.

It offers an 18″ stride that can comfortably accommodate users up to 6′ in height. With 24 resistance levels, 21 built-in workout programs, and a magnetic resistance system, you can experience a challenging workout. Also, despite its lightweight structure, it has a sturdy frame and quiet operation.

However, let’s also look at 5 other budget ellipticals under $500 that can be valuable additions to your home gym. Here’s a quick view of the 7 best for those in a hurry. 

Best Elliptical under $500 (Overall) Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical
Best Elliptical under $500 (Stepper) Body Power BST800 Steptrac Stepper
Best Elliptical under $500 (Connected) Sunny Essential series SF-E322002
Best Elliptical under $500 (High weight capacity)Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic 2000XL
Best Elliptical under $500 (Foldable)Gazelle Freestyle Folding Elliptical Trainer 
Best Elliptical under $500 (Under Desk)Niceday Under Desk Elliptical
Best Elliptical under $500 (Under Desk with arm workout) Stamina Inmotion with cords

We recommend you read through the entire article to understand which elliptical would suit you best. We have also covered the most frequently asked questions and the benefits of using elliptical trainers.

7 Best Elliptical Under $500 Reviewed

Our recommended ellipticals are capable of meeting your fitness goals. However, we advise you to consult your family physician, especially if you have any specific medical condition/s.

Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical – Best Elliptical under $500 (Overall)

Drive System: Rear drive

Resistance: 24 levels of Magnetic resistance

Foldable: No

Max User Weight Capacity: 270 lbs

Warranty: 1 year limited warranty

Most ellipticals priced below $500 usually offer just the basic features: serviceable pedals, average stride length, and a relatively slim design for easier storage. The Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical delivers this and much more for its price, making it our top recommended product.

While most budget ellipticals are front-drive (where the flywheel is in the front) to keep pricing low, the Fitness Reality Elliptical is rear-drive. This means a relatively quieter workout experience.

Secondly, despite being an elliptical trainer under 500, the stride length is an impressive 18”. This is exceptionally good because it means that your workout will be more comfortable and virtually put no strain on your joints. In fact, even users who are 6’ in height can work out comfortably on this elliptical.

With 24 levels of magnetic tension resistance and 21 pre-set workout programs, this trainer offers a variety of challenging levels to give you a full-body workout of a different intensity each time.

Another feature that is a steal for the price is heart rate monitoring through Hand Pulse Sensors. This is a premium feature that is usually offered in high-priced ellipticals.

This is a lightweight elliptical at just 93 lbs and takes up significantly less legroom. The presence of transportation wheels makes it portable and easy to handle.

Besides this, a bottle holder and tablet holder are other value-added features, making this one of the best budget ellipticals.

Why do we love it What you need to consider
Hand pulse heart rate monitoring Limited warranty
18” stride length, comfortable for tall users
Variety of workout programs for diverse training experience
Lightweight, compact & easily portable

Summary of Customer Reviews

Users love the various workout programs the Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical offers. Users of different heights can easily use the machine, and assembling it is also relatively simple. However, some users complained about the positioning of the bottle holder because it hit their knees occasionally, while others had a poor experience with customer support.

Body Power BST800 Steptrac Stepper – Best Elliptical Stepper under $500 

Drive System: Front drive

Resistance: 8 levels of Magnetic resistance

Foldable: No

Max User Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

Warranty: 1 year for the frame and 90 days on all parts

If you are looking for a budget-friendly machine that can offer both low-impact and high-intensity training, the Body Power BST800 Steptrac Stepper is the trainer of choice.

This hybrid trainer works as an elliptical and a stepper and combines the benefits of both. Since it is a stepper, the pedaling motion is slightly different from that of a standard elliptical and works harder on the lower body.

It has a heavy-weight flywheel, so your workouts will be quieter and smoother. The flywheel’s bi-directional nature allows front and reverse pedaling for a more impactful workout.

It has 8 levels of magnetic resistance that can be smoothly adjusted to calibrate the intensity of your workouts. Since it can be used for both, low-impact as well as high-intensity workouts, you can use this trainer to improve your stamina, burn more calories and build muscle strength.

The LCD monitor is easy to read and can track time, distance, speed, and calories burned.

This is a portable elliptical with transportation wheels at the front base. It is sleek in design and has a relatively small footprint, making it an ideal elliptical stepper for smaller homes.

Why do we love it What you need to consider
Stepper motions works better on the lower bodyNot easy to assemble
Easily portable with a smaller footprintLimited warranty

Summary of Customer Reviews

Most users are happy with the quality of the workout offered by the Body Power BST800 Steptrac Stepper. They love the compactness of the machine and its easy portability. However, some users found it challenging to assemble the elliptical, especially since the manual’s instructions are unclear.

Sunny Essential series SF-E322002 – Best Connected Elliptical under $500 

Drive System: Rear drive

Resistance: 8 levels of Magnetic resistance

Foldable: No

Max User Weight Capacity: 220 lbs

Warranty: 3 year structural frame, 180 days other parts and components

Users frequently get bored of working out at home. This could happen for 2 reasons; one, there is little variety in terms of workout, and two, there is no one around to motivate you. The Sunny Essential series SF-E322002 helps overcome both these factors through its feature of Bluetooth connectivity. 

By linking to the SunnyFit app, you can connect with a wider community of trainers, experts, and fitness enthusiasts right from your home. This helps to encourage a feeling of belonging to a fitness circle that motivates you to keep training.

Another fantastic feature of the SunnyFit app is that you can work out as if you are outdoors in a virtual way by using real location maps. This breaks the cycle of boredom and monotony and keeps you interested in the workouts.

A digital monitor displays your metrics as you train. You can also curate your workouts from easy to challenging via the 8 levels of magnetic resistance provided. Pulse sensor handlebars relay your heart rate in real-time on the monitor and the SunnyFit app.

Another feature we liked was that the stride is bi-directional. Front and reverse pedaling helps to challenge all the different lower body muscles and build muscle tone and strength. However, we do find the stride length of 11″ relatively short. A tall user may not find this elliptical to be the best choice for them.

The elliptical also provides a mobile phone or tablet holder to help you train as you connect to the workout programs on the SunnyFit app.

Why do we love it What you need to consider
Bluetooth connectivityShort stride
SunnyFit app for virtually touring the world Low user weight capacity
Bi-directional stride Not easy to assemble

Summary of Customer Reviews

Users are happy with the compactness of the Sunny Essential series SF-E322002. They also mentioned that the machine is quiet and gives a beautifully silent workout experience. However, a few users mentioned that the elliptical is not easy to assemble. Some also complained of a squeaky noise after a few months of use. 

Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic 2000XL – Best High Weight Capacity Elliptical under $500 

Drive System: Rear drive

Resistance: 8 levels of Magnetic resistance

Foldable: No

Max User Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

Warranty: 1 year limited

Most elliptical trainers that economize on budget usually economize on structural strength. Because of this, the maximum user weight capacity is usually on the lower side of 250 lbs. 

The Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic 2000XL is among the few trainers in its price bracket that has a whopping maximum user weight capacity of 300 lbs. This is thanks to the heavy-duty steel frame, which imparts excellent stability and sturdiness to the elliptical. 

Oversized pedals with a ribbed design add to stability by preventing slippage and provide the user with good balance while they work out.

The machine provides a virtually soundless workout because of its precision-balanced flywheel and V-belt drive design. That’s why this is a great option for people who prefer working out in the late evenings or well into the night.

8 levels of magnetic resistance and 3 workout goal settings provide you with the potential to experience different levels and challenges of workouts. The Exerpeutic is BlueTooth enabled and also includes a free MyCloudFitness App compatible with iOS and Android to track your workout metrics in real-time.

The elliptical is lightweight and can be easily moved thanks to the transportation wheels provided. 

Though this machine has an amazing maximum user weight capacity, the stride length is only 13”, making it difficult for tall users to train on it.

Why do we love it What you need to consider
High maximum user weight capacityShort stride
Quiet & virtually soundless workout experienceLimited warranty
Easy portability

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers are very happy with the sturdiness of the Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic 2000XL. And despite the heavy-duty frame, the machine is easy to move from one room to another. However, few users found assembling the elliptical challenging.

Gazelle Freestyle Folding Elliptical Trainer – Best Foldable Elliptical under $500 

Drive System: Not Applicable 

Resistance: Not Applicable 

Foldable: Yes

Maximum User Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

The Gazelle Foldable Elliptical Trainer is quite famous among users due to its hassle-free assembly and super compact size. It also weighs only 46 lbs and so is very easy to move around.

While the elliptical doesn’t offer high-tech functions, it targets all the major muscle groups, giving you a full-body, low-impact workout.

You can track metrics like time, distance, calories, and speed of your workout session. It also tracks heart rate using a built-in pulse monitor at the thumb. 

This elliptical also comes with two DVDs with various workout routines.

All these features make it one of the best inexpensive foldable elliptical walker on the market.

Why do we love it?What do you need to consider?
Easy to move and store  No resistance
Super compact

Summary of customer reviews

Most users love using the Gazelle Freestyle Folding Elliptical Trainer as it is a handy machine compared to other high-tech variants. Although it is easily movable and offers hassle-free storage, some users find it hard to assemble.

Niceday Under Desk Elliptical – Best Elliptical under $500 (Under Desk)

Drive System: Front drive

Resistance: 8 levels of Magnetic resistance

Foldable: No

Max User Weight Capacity: Not applicable

Warranty: 1 year limited

The Niceday Under Desk Elliptical is the answer for anyone who wants to multitask. This extremely compact trainer saves a lot of space horizontally and vertically, and is among the best under-desk ellipticals in the market today.

A lot of people are pressed for time. Between work and workout, workout tends to take a backseat. With this trainer, you can multitask/work while you work out. It has a super quiet operation because of its unique magnetron control system and will not interfere with meetings or conversations.

The machine is very lightweight (weighs under 20 lbs) and can easily move around. Strong suction pads help to keep the elliptical stable and prevent tipping and wobbling while working out.

The pedals are user-friendly, with a buckle over each to keep the foot steady while you exercise. The system is smooth, and you can both front- and reverse-pedal per your choice of intensity. It offers 8 magnetic resistance levels to give variation in your workouts. 

Since this is an extremely low-impact machine, it works very well for people undergoing physical rehabilitation and is an excellent choice for senior citizens as well.

Another great feature is its display, which lets you track your workout metrics. The display is removable, which is great because you don’t have to bend down or look down every time you want to read your stats.

The machine can be connected to your phone, and you can use apps like ZWIFT or Kinoapp to maintain records of your health indicators.

You can also give your upper body a good workout by placing this elliptical on a table and exercising your arms. The only downer with this machine is that you will not get a simultaneous full-body workout. This is also not suitable for someone looking for challenging workouts.

Why do we love it What you need to consider
Extremely compactCan’t get a full-body workout simultaneously
Quiet operation ideal for multitaskersNot suitable for hardcore fitness enthusiasts
Great for physical rehabilitation and senior citizens

Summary of Customer Reviews

Most users found the Niceday Under Desk Elliptical to be a very handy addition to their exercise schedule. They loved the compactness and quietness of the machine and are also happy with its connectivity features. 

Stamina Inmotion with cords – Best Elliptical under $500 (Under Desk with arm workout)

Drive System: Front drive

Resistance: Adjustable resistance

Foldable: No

Max User Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

Warranty: 1 year for frame, 90 days for parts

An under-desk elliptical is a fantastic way to stay in touch with fitness while working from home or in the office. However, many of those are designed to either target only the lower body muscles or can individually target the upper body when placed on a desk. They are not able to work as full-body cross-trainers. 

The Stamina Inmotion with cords elliptical is an exception. It is a compact machine that functions as an under-desk elliptical. But it can also give you a full body workout thanks to the resistance tubes specially designed for a core and upper body workout.

The machine is steady on its base so you can comfortably stand on it and exercise without losing balance. The pedals are textured to give added stability. You can also work the pedals in forward and reverse directions to target different muscle groups. You also, of course, have the option of working out on it while sitting.

The tension dial can be adjusted to up to 8 levels of resistance. This makes it easy to customize the intensity and challenge the level of your workout. 

The resistance tubes for the upper body have padded handles to promote better grip and pull. 

A multi-functional monitor displays your metrics with the facility of scanning through previous stats as well. Moreover, you also get free access to müüv, the audio coaching app through which you can listen to customized workout programs. 

Why do we love it What you need to consider
Resistance tubes for upper body workoutAdjusting resistance dial is a bit of a challenge
Access to the müüv app for coaching programsMakes some noise during use

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers are happy with the workout quality they experience with the Stamina Inmotion with cords. The machine is handy, compact, and easy to move. However, some users complained of a squeaking sound after a few weeks of use.

Benefits of Using An Elliptical

Using an elliptical is very beneficial for your health and has a lot of advantages. We have listed these below: 

Weight loss

Weight loss is one of the most significant benefits of buying an elliptical. A study[1] has shown that working out for 30 minutes on the elliptical can help burn 270 to 378 calories. The rate of weight loss can be increased as you increase the resistance levels of the trainer.

Full-body workout

An elliptical engages upper and lower body muscles, effectively giving you a full-body workout. Glutes, quads, hamstrings, chest, triceps, biceps, and core muscles can be toned and strengthened using the machine. 

Low impact on joints

Working out on the elliptical puts less stress on joints because your feet never leave the pedal. Per a study[2], training on an elliptical is less weight-bearing as compared to other cardio workouts like running, jogging, etc., because it offers a low-impact workout experience.     

Improve balance and mobility

An elliptical helps to boost balance and mobility since it engages all muscles, strengthens the leg and core, and increases the range of motion. 

Improve overall health

Besides burning calories, ellipticals also help to improve stamina, reduce blood pressure, and boost blood and oxygen circulation. Together, these accord better health and fitness.

Buying Guide: What to look for in the best budget elliptical?

Here are the key factors to consider while buying the best affordable elliptical under $500.  


The price is the foremost factor to consider before buying a budget elliptical. The price of an elliptical usually ranges anywhere between $150 to $5,000. Decide on how much you are willing to spend. However, it’s important to remember that the extra features of the elliptical will depend on your budget.

Build quality

The frame material and its quality are important considerations when purchasing an elliptical. An elliptical should have a robust, high-quality frame that can withstand heavy weight and is stable during workouts. A solidly built elliptical will have a longer life and reduce the chance of workout-related injuries.

Resistance and incline

An elliptical’s resistance and incline are crucial since they determine how you advance in your fitness journey. You should consider having an adjustable resistance and incline while buying an elliptical, as it adds intensity to your workout and makes it more challenging as you grow stronger.

User weight capacity

It is crucial to consider the maximum weight capacity of an elliptical before buying it. An elliptical with high weight capacity is generally more stable and prevents injuries. We recommend purchasing an elliptical whose maximum weight capacity is more than the heaviest person using it.


Over time, fitness equipment experiences wear and tear, so the value of a warranty cannot be underestimated. Therefore, it is preferable to ensure the elliptical you purchase has a long warranty covering the frame, body components, and labor.


A low-budget elliptical is an excellent way to stay in touch with fitness at home without burning a big hole in your pocket. As we mentioned, we found the Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical to be the best elliptical under $500 per our research.

With an 18″ stride, even users up to 6′ in height can work out on it comfortably. 24 resistance levels and 21 built-in workout programs offer you a diverse range of intensity and challenge. Also, it has a sturdy frame and quiet operation while simultaneously being lightweight and compact.


What is the best elliptical for under $500?

The Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical is the best elliptical trainer under 500 USD because it offers a lot of value for your money. In addition to a wide range of resistance levels and workout programs, it also tracks your heart rate. It also has an 18″ stride, making it ideal for tall users. Check out the detailed review on the top to help you decide. 
We have also reviewed the best long-stride ellipticals in the market if you are specifically looking for an elliptical for tall users. 

What is the best low-impact exercise machine?

An elliptical is one of the best low-impact exercise machines. It offers a full-body workout without putting undue stress or strain on the joints. Many ellipticals also help you burn more calories by adjusting resistance levels.
However, walking is also great for low-impact exercise. Check out our detailed reviews on the best apartment treadmills to get more information. 

Do home elliptical machines make a lot of noise?

This mainly depends on the quality of the flywheel. A heavy-duty, high-quality flywheel delivers a quiet workout experience. Also, if you have not assembled the elliptical accurately (nuts and bolts on the looser side), the elliptical may give out a squeaking noise.

Do elliptical machines need to be plugged into an outlet?

The majority of elliptical machines use human power to work. The back-and-forth movement of your feet powers the flywheel. Batteries are needed to power the display of the elliptical.

If I order an elliptical, will I need to assemble it?

An elliptical is usually not delivered pre-assembled simply because it could get damaged in transit. 
You can easily assemble the elliptical yourself using the instructions given in the elliptical manual. Alternatively, some brands/websites also offer professional assembly services at an added cost.

Can I pedal both forward and backward on an elliptical?

This depends on whether the flywheel of the elliptical has a bi-directional mechanism. If the flywheel works in both directions, you can pedal forward and backward.

I am very tall. What should I consider before purchasing an elliptical?

There are 2 significant aspects to consider if you are a tall user. One, the stride length should ideally be above 17″. This would help you work out comfortably on the elliptical without straining your knees.
Another feature you need to look out for is the step-up height. Step-up height is the highest distance the elliptical will put you in from the ground while using it. There should be a difference of at least 20 inches between the top of your head and the ceiling of the room in which you are working out.

If you live in a household with users of varying heights, you can consider investing in an elliptical with an adjustable stride

Are elliptical exercises as good as running?

The number of calories burned while using an elliptical and while running is almost the same. And while both help to improve stamina and cardiovascular strength, an elliptical is comparatively low-impact since it puts less strain on joints.

Should you use an elliptical every day?

Yes, an elliptical can be used daily since it can give you a full-body workout without putting too much stress on your joints.

Is an elliptical good for bad knees?

An elliptical puts less strain on your knees because it offers a low-impact workout where your feet are firmly placed on the pedals for the entire exercise duration. Hence, in most cases, an elliptical is good for bad knees.
We strongly urge you to consult your physician before you work out on any training machine for the health of your joints.

Disclaimer: The information mentioned in the article above is for educational and informational purposes only. It shouldn’t be considered health or medical advice. Please consult a doctor or a qualified health professional if you have any medical/health conditions questions

Similar Posts