Ellipticals can offer both an upper and lower body cardio burn with less impact on your joints than what you may find with treadmills. But, oftentimes ellipticals can cost upwards of $3,000. And when you start searching for budget ellipticals, you may come across a few cheap, unstable machines that will likely not last long enough to make even a smaller amount of money worth your while. However, we did some digging to find budget options below $1,000 that still offer the durable builds you’ll find on the more expensive end of the market.
While these ellipticals under $1,000 may not offer the top line technology that the pricier ellipticals do, you’ll still find most of the features you’d expect from an elliptical at this price point. These machines all boast solid steel builds, high levels of resistance, and a full stride, so you won’t be compromising your workout to save a buck. Whether you’re looking for an elliptical to squeeze into a small corner of your house, one that you can put under your desk, or even a recumbent machine, we’ve found a high-quality, cost-effective pick for you.
Best Ellipticals Under $1,000
- Best Elliptical Under $1,000 Overall: ProForm Carbon EX
- Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Home: Schwinn 470 Elliptical
- Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Streaming: ProForm Endurance 520 E
- Best Stair Stepper Elliptical Under $1,000: Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Cardio Climber Stepping Elliptical Machine
- Best Space Saving Elliptical Under $1,000: Schwinn 411 Elliptical
- Best Recumbent Elliptical Under $1,000: XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper
- Best Desk Elliptical Under $1,000: Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
Best Elliptical Under $1,000 Overall
The top elliptical on the market should offer versatility and a durable build. This pick has streaming options, 20 resistance levels, and is made of solid steel.
ProForm Carbon EX
The ProForm Carbon EX boasts a 19-inch stride length and silent magnetic resistance to ensure your machine stays quiet during those early morning workouts. There are 20 resistance levels, as well as a six-inch, high-contrast display screen that allows you to track your stats. In addition, your purchase comes with a free month of iFit classes, which means you can follow along on your elliptical with an instructor using the tablet holder, or you can hop off and take a strength or yoga class on the floor, as well. It has a front drive design and is made of solid steel, which means it should last you for at least a decade, if not much longer.
This elliptical has a 19-inch stride length and 20 levels of silent magnetic resistance. There's also a high-contrast display screen that allows you to track your stats, and your purchase comes with a free month of iFit classes.
Who Should Buy the ProForm Carbon EX
- Anyone who wants an elliptical with 20 resistance levels will like this pick.
- Athletes who enjoy streaming fitness classes will appreciate that this elliptical comes with a free month of iFit.
- If you’re looking for a quiet elliptical with silent magnetic resistance, this pick is for you.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the ProForm Carbon EX
- If you’re shorter, you may not need the 19-inch stride length here, and can therefore opt for a smaller (and likely less expensive) build.
- Anyone who doesn’t want to stream fitness classes can find cheaper options that don’t come with a free month of iFit.
This elliptical offers a 19-inch stride, 20 resistance levels, a free month of iFit, and a durable steel build, making it a solid, versatile option for almost any user.
Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Home
If you want a machine for your house that can keep you hooked on your elliptical routine, this pick offers 29 built-in workout programs and a tablet holder for streaming.
Schwinn 470 Elliptical
The Schwinn 470 offers 29-built in workout programs — including 12 profiles, nine heart rate control options, four custom ones, two fitness tests, one recovery test, and one quick start — which is more than most ellipticals on the market. This can add some variety to your home workout routine, and this machine’s tablet holder provides the space for you to stream other fitness classes, or even watch your favorite shows while you stride. You can also use Schwinn’s Explore the World app to take fitness classes in different locations around the world, but you will have to pay the subscription fee. There are 25 levels of eddy current resistance, and a 20-inch stride to accommodate even taller users.
The Schwinn 470 offers 29-built in workout programs, and its tablet holder provides the space for you to stream other fitness classes, or even watch your favorite shows while you stride. There are 25 levels of eddy current resistance, and a 20-inch stride to accommodate even taller users.
Who Should Buy the Schwinn 470 Elliptical
- If you’re looking for an elliptical for your home that can keep you hooked, this machine offers 29 built-in programs and a tablet holder for streaming.
- Taller users who have a long stride will appreciate the 20-inch stride here.
- Anyone who wants a quiet machine with over 20 levels of resistance will like that this elliptical has 25 levels of eddy current resistance.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Schwinn 470 Elliptical
- Athletes who want a high-tech touchscreen display will want to look elsewhere.
- If you aren’t looking for over 20 levels of resistance, you can find cheaper options out there.
Working out at home can get monotonous at times. The Schwinn 470 Elliptical’s 29 built-in workout programs can encourage you to keep coming back to your garage gym for more.
Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Streaming
Virtual fitness classes have quickly become an at-home training staple. This elliptical offers the best machine for streaming at a budget price.
ProForm Endurance 520 E
What makes the ProForm Endurance 520 E great for streaming fitness classes is that its tablet holder is actually closer to eye level. With most ellipticals, you’ll likely have to look way down to stream your class on the console tablet holder, but with this model, the tablet holder is above the console. This also means it won’t be blocking any of your stats as you stride. To top that off, the ProForm Endurance 520 E comes with a free month of iFit to get you started. You’ll also find 18 levels of silent magnetic resistance, a 19-inch stride, and a solid steel build with front-mounted transport wheels.
This elliptical has a tablet holder that sits above your console, so it's closer to eye level. It also comes with a free month of iFit, and has 18 levels of silent magnetic resistance, a 19-inch stride, and a solid steel build with front-mounted transport wheels.
Who Should Buy the ProForm Endurance 520 E
- Folks who like to stream fitness classes will appreciate that this machine’s tablet holder is positioned above the console at eye level.
- Athletes who don’t have a streaming platform they’re already hooked on may find it convenient that this elliptical comes with a free month of iFit.
- Anyone who needs a quiet machine will like the silent magnetic resistance here.
Who Shouldn’t Buy theProForm Endurance 520 E
- If you don’t like the extra vertical space that this tablet holder takes up, you may want to look for a different option.
- You can find ellipticals that offer more than 18 levels of resistance if that’s what you’re after.
This elliptical is unique in that its tablet holder is positioned above the console and display screen that houses your stats, so not only will it not block your stats during your workout, but when streaming virtual classes, you won’t have to look as far down to follow along.
Best Stair Stepper Elliptical Under $1,000
While this machine won’t be the same as the large moving staircases you’ll find at most public gyms, it’s a great compact version of a stair stepper.
Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Cardio Climber Stepping Elliptical Machine
This elliptical is both a strider and a climber — it allows you to climb to a vertical height of nine inches and stride a horizontal distance of five inches. This machine is smaller than most ellipticals, taking up only 44 inches by 25 inches by 64 inches (many machines are both longer and wider). You can choose from eight levels of magnetic resistance, and you can track your heart rate on the grip monitors as you climb. Plus, there’s a tablet holder for streaming fitness classes and/or TV shows during your workout. While this machine still has a durable steel frame, its weight capacity is only 260 pounds, which may be a limitation for some users.
This machine is both a strider and a climber. You can climb to a vertical height of nine inches and stride a horizontal distance of five inches. You can choose from eight levels of magnetic resistance, and track your heart rate on the grip monitors.
Who Should Buy the Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Cardio Climber Stepping Elliptical Machine
- If you’re looking for an elliptical that doubles as a stair stepper, this machine is for you.
- Customers looking for a smaller build will appreciate that this stepper is smaller than others on the market.
- For folks who like streaming while they exercise, there’s a tablet holder on this machine to accommodate that.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Cardio Climber Stepping Elliptical Machine
- Users who need a weight capacity over 260 pounds may want to look elsewhere.
- Athletes who want more than eight levels of resistance can find that with other machines.
While this isn’t a classic stair machine, it’s a great stepping option. This machine combines the elliptical motion and the stepping motion into one for a solid cardio workout.
Best Space Saving Elliptical Under $1,000
Sometimes saving space can force you to compromise on the quality of your elliptical. However, this pick offers a great build at a fraction of the space most ellipticals consume.
Schwinn 411 Elliptical
The Schwinn 411 is just 53.8” x 24” x 62.5”, which is both narrower and shorter in length than most ellipticals on the market. Even at its smaller size, this machine still offers a full 18-inch stride and 16 resistance levels. It can accommodate users up to 300 pounds, and it has a tablet holder for those who like to stream classes. While the console isn’t the most high-tech on the market, it still boasts interval and challenge workout programs to keep you hooked on cardio. Plus, there are front wheels you can use to transport and store this compact machine when it’s not in use.
This elliptical is both narrower and shorter in length than most ellipticals on the market. Even at its smaller size, it still offers an 18-inch stride and 16 resistance levels. Plus, it can support up to 300 pounds, and has a tablet holder for streaming purposes.
Who Should Buy the Schwinn 411 Elliptical
- Apartment-dwellers who are looking to save space will like the smaller build here.
- Athletes who like to stream workout classes will appreciate that this machine has a tablet holder.
- If you need to move your equipment out of the way after you finish exercising, this machine’s front wheels will be an ideal asset.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Schwinn 411 Elliptical
- If you want more levels of resistance, you can find ellipticals that offer that on the market.
- Folks who need a machine that folds. While this elliptical is compact, it does not fold up for storage.
- If you’re very tall, an 18-inch stride may not be enough. While 18 inches is a full stride for most, users above 6’2” may want to opt for a machine that offers a 20-inch stride.
The Schwinn 411 offers 16 resistance levels and an 18-inch stride wrapped in a more compact build than you’ll find across most of the market. Plus, the front wheels allow you to move this machine out of the way when you’re not using it.
Best Recumbent Elliptical Under $1,000
For an even more low-impact workout, you can opt for a recumbent elliptical. This one has 24 levels of resistance and a supportive mesh back.
XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper
You don’t have to skimp on resistance just because this is a recumbent elliptical — even from a seated position, this elliptical offers 24 levels of resistance. That is actually more than some of the standing ellipticals on this list. The XTERRA RSX1500 has a 13-inch step range, and can support users up to 300 pounds. The mesh back seat offers both comfort and ventilation, and dual-action design ensures the moving arms won’t obstruct your leg movements. While most seated exercises are going to be less intense than standing ones, the upside of a recumbent elliptical is that it puts much less stress on your knees, ankles, and hips.
This recumbent elliptical offers 24 levels of resistance. It also has a 13-inch step range, and can support users up to 300 pounds. The mesh back seat offers both comfort and ventilation, and the dual-action design ensures the moving arms won’t obstruct your leg movements.
Who Should Buy the XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper
- Folks who are looking for a seated elliptical will like this recumbent design.
- For anyone who wants to hit high levels of resistance, there are 24 here.
- If you’re looking for a recumbent elliptical seat with ventilation, this machine’s seat is made of mesh, so your back can breathe as you sweat.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper
- If you want the most intense elliptical workout, a standing strider is going to be better for you.
- If you’re above 6’2”, you’ll want to look for a different elliptical, as this is the max height recommended for this machine.
A recumbent elliptical is great for those looking for a very low-impact cardio burn. This elliptical offers 24 levels of resistance and can accommodate users up to 6’2” tall.
Best Desk Elliptical Under $1,000
For those who are looking to get in a little exercise at their desk throughout the work day, you can pop this pick below your work space and pedal even as you take meetings.
Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
Since many of us are stuck at our desks for the majority of the day, having a way to sneak some movement in as we work can be a great asset. The Cubii Pro offers eight levels of resistance and is virtually silent, so even if you’re taking a call or seated close to a coworker, you won’t disrupt the flow. You can even sync your workouts through their app to track your stats. It’s plenty small enough to squeeze under most desks, measuring 22.83 inches x 17.22 inches x 9.84 inches. While this machine isn’t going to offer the full-body burn you get with a standing elliptical, it’s a great way to keep active when a full workout isn’t an option. Plus, this machine comes in two shades — Noir and Chrome.
The Cubii Pro offers eight levels of resistance and is silent enough not to disrupt your work flow. It’s plenty small enough to squeeze under most desks, measuring 22.83 inches x 17.22 inches x 9.84 inches, and you can sync your workouts to the Cubii app to track your stats.
Who Should Buy the Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
- Nine-to-fivers who want to stay active as they work will appreciate this compact desk machine.
- If you want to track your stats, this under-desk elliptical syncs to an app to allow you to do so.
- Those looking for a more high-tech version of a desk bike will like this epdraged desk elliptical.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
- Athletes who want a full-body burn will want to opt for a standing elliptical. While this machine is great for passive movement, it’s not going to offer the same intensity as the full-body machine.
- Anyone who wants a super basic desk elliptical or bike can find less high-tech versions out there.
Though this elliptical isn’t going to offer the same intense cardio as a standing elliptical, if you’re sitting at a desk all day, it won’t hurt to keep this machine below your feet to sneak in some movement while you work.
How We Decide the Best
When scrounging up these budget picks for you, we wanted to make sure we were still offering you durable and versatile machines that would last you for years to come. We looked at the build, stride length, resistance, and streaming potential to build out our list.
All of the picks on this list are going to offer high-quality builds, similar to what you would find at higher price points. Our top picks offer steel frames that have a 10-year warranty — this means the brands vet their products to last at least 10 years (and most should last much longer than that).
While many budget ellipticals can be flimsy and far less stable than those that cost near $3,000, all of the picks on our list are going to offer stability and a durable frame, so all you have to worry about is your cardio burn.
The average stride length you’ll find on ellipticals ranges from 15 to 20 inches. Shorter users may only need a stride length around 11 to 13 inches, while taller users above 6’2” may need the full 20 inches. All of the picks on this list offer stride lengths in the normal range, with most being on the longer side from 18 to 20 inches.
It is worth noting that some more expensive ellipticals can offer strides that are above 30 inches. However, at this price point, you’re not going to find that length. Moreover, most of the time it’s not necessary for a good workout.
Ellipticals under $1,000 may offer fewer levels of resistance than more expensive options, but they are still going to offer enough for you to have a solid workout. Some $3,000 ellipticals can offer closer to 30 levels of resistance, but anything above 15 is going to be decent push-back for most users. Most of the ellipticals on this list offer 16 to 24 levels of resistance, which is plenty to challenge recreational athletes.
While ellipticals at this price point typically are not going to offer fancy touchscreen displays, many of them still come with streaming options. Whether these options come in the form of a tablet holder or even a free month of iFit, you’ll find a variety of ways you can use these budget ellipticals in the same way you can use more high-tech ellipticals for virtual training. We’ve included options on this list with tablet holders and iFit compatibility for those who are interested in this technology.
What to Consider Before Buying
Ellipticals can offer a lower impact form of cardio exercise than treadmills. However, the level of impact isn’t the only thing you need to consider when deciding which elliptical is going to be right for you — here are our main tips.
Type of Elliptical
One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is what type of elliptical you want. There are standing, recumbent, stepper, and desk ellipticals on the market. The standing elliptical is likely going to be what you most often think of when you think of an elliptical machine, while the recumbent elliptical is a seated version of this. Some ellipticals also offer stair stepper capabilities combined with the stride movement, and others are small enough to fit under your desk for passive exercise. With all of these options available to you, your biggest decision will likely be which one will suit your fitness needs best.
Stride length is also an important factor to consider, especially for taller users. Anyone over 6’2” is going to want to opt for an elliptical with at least a 20-inch stride, while shorter users will likely only need a stride length of 15 inches or below. Most ellipticals on the market will be just fine for shorter users, but if you’re in that taller range, this is a spec you’ll want to pay close attention to.
Ellipticals are generally a fairly large piece of equipment. While some offer narrower or shorter builds, they’re typically not the type of machine you can shove in a corner (like a small exercise bike). However, there are some that fold, and others that have wheels for portability. Make sure you are measuring the space you have and considering the space-saving features of the elliptical before you make your purchase.
Most ellipticals can accommodate users up to at least 250 pounds, but many can accommodate users up to 300 or 350 pounds. In this budget range, the weight capacity can be lower than what you’ll find with more expensive ellipticals, so if you’re a heavier user, make sure you’re noting the weight capacity on the machines you’re considering.
Ellipticals can offer a full-body burn thanks to the simultaneous striding and arm movement. While you’ll find both standing and recumbent options, all ellipticals offer a more low-impact cardio workout than you’ll get on a treadmill. Plus, you can throw a desk elliptical under your workspace for some passive exercise throughout the day, which is something you just can’t do with a treadmill.
Before deciding which elliptical is going to be right for you, consider the type of machine you need to reach your personal fitness goals, how much space you have, and the weight capacity and stride lengths you’re wanting. After you’ve noted your necessities, allow this list to guide you to the best elliptical under $1,000 for you — and save you a few bucks in the process.
Can I still find a durable elliptical for under $1,000?
Yes, definitely. Most of the ellipticals on this list have a 10-year warranty, which means these brands trust their products will last at least a decade, if not longer. There are high-quality steel builds even at this price point.
Do budget ellipticals provide a full-body workout?
Thanks to the moving arms and the striders, most do. Other cardio machines may just work your lower or upper body, but ellipticals can work both at once. Just be aware that if you’re not using your arms, or if you opt for a desk elliptical, you’ll only be working your lower body.
Can you find high tech features on ellipticals under $1,000?
You won’t find as many as you will on more expensive ellipticals, but you can still find some. For example, many budget ellipticals still offer tablet holders, speakers, Bluetooth compatibility, and even streaming options.