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’re sure at least one of these best ellipticals under $1,000 will be the right one for you.
Best Ellipticals Under $1,000
- Best Elliptical Under $1,000 Overall: Sole E25
- Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Streaming: ProForm Carbon EL
- Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Home: Sole E20
- 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. The Sole E25 offers both, along with features that you’d expect to see on a machine that costs double the price.
Sole Fitness recently overhauled the E25 Elliptical to make it one of the top machines on the market. The electronic console features a vibrant 7.5-inch LCD display and built-in Bluetooth speakers to play music or stream workouts on demand. You can place your smart device in the integrated tablet holder and take advantage of the 90-day free trial of Studio™ ($19.99 per month after) for access to over 3,000 classes to help you reach your fitness goals.
The E25 is a high-quality, no-frills elliptical. It features a budget-friendly price tag, a 350-pound weight limit, and a 20-pound flywheel.
The heavy 20-pound flywheel is coupled with a high gear ratio for a smooth stride. This combo can provide a ton of resistance and allows for micro-adjustments, so the challenge is always just right. You can also move through 20 different incline levels to target different muscles. Sole’s new E25 works well for folks of most heights, thanks to a stride length of up to 20 inches. It has a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds, which is good news for larger athletes. This elliptical is at the top of the price range at around $1,099, though you can finance it for as little as about $54 per month, pending credit approval.
Who Should Buy the Sole E25
- Anyone who wants an elliptical with a wide range of resistance and incline levels. This has micro-adjusting resistance and 20 incline heights to choose from.
- Athletes who enjoy streaming fitness classes. The 90-day free trial of Studio™ comes with over 3,000 classes and is about half the price of other streaming services.
- If you want as much tech as you can have in your elliptical without paying thousands of dollars, this is a great option.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Sole E25
- If you’re shorter, you may not need the 20-inch stride length here and can opt for a smaller (and likely less expensive) build.
- Anyone who doesn’t need the latest and greatest in tech may want to look at more basic options on this list.
- Those who are looking for a more budget-friendly option. Sure, this is cheaper than comparable models, but it’s still at the high end for this list.
This elliptical offers many of the features we’d expect to see on ellipticals that cost hundreds more. Sole designed the E25 to provide a ton of value while still keeping the cost reasonable for the average person, and it shows.
Read our full review of the Sole E25 Elliptical.
Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Streaming
Virtual fitness classes have quickly become a home workout program staple. This elliptical is the best machine for streaming that you’ll find at a budget price. All you need to do is provide the streaming device, and the ProForm Carbon EL takes care of the rest.
ProForm Carbon EL
Streaming workouts can be a great way to kick up the intensity of your workouts, keep you entertained, and make you want to come back for more. ProForm Carbon EL makes excellent use of the streaming capabilities of iFit — one of the most popular workout streaming services — to provide a premium workout experience at an affordable price. The Carbon EL costs around $799, about half of what you might expect to pay for similar models, but it still provides features, like automatic trainer adjustments, thousands of workouts, and fitness tracking.
Once you purchase this elliptical, you’ll have everything you need for an awesome workout. You just need to bring two things — yourself and your tablet or smartphone. The ProForm Carbon EL keeps the price down by not having a large screen but still includes premium features like power adjusting resistance, incline, and stride length.
You can try iFit with an included 30-day free trial ($39.99 per month after) when you purchase the Carbon EL. Simply place your smart device on the integrated tablet holder and start striding along with the online programming. There are also off-elliptical workouts, including strength training, yoga, running, meditation, and more to spice up your training.
Plus, there are 18 levels of resistance on the heavy-duty flywheel so you can dial in the difficulty. Thanks to the silent magnetic resistance (as opposed to eddy current) you can work out whenever you want and not wake up the whole house. The one big drawback here is that the weight capacity is 275 pounds, which is lower than some other ellipticals.
Who Should Buy the ProForm Carbon EL
- Folks who like to stream fitness classes will appreciate that this machine has a solid tablet holder and can accommodate automatic adjustments from iFit trainers.
- 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 the ProForm Carbon EL
- If you don’t care to stream your workouts, you might want to check out other options. You can perform manual workouts on the Carbon EL, but it’s optimized for streaming.
- You can find ellipticals that offer more than 18 levels of resistance if that’s what you’re after.
- Larger athletes and striders may want a machine with a higher weight capacity.
The ProForm Carbon EL was designed to optimize your streaming experience with the ability to make automatic resistance adjustments from iFit trainers to the integrated tablet holder. It accomplishes this at a reasonable price, making it a great choice for folks who want to stream their workouts without paying through the nose.
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 10 built-in workout programs and a tablet holder for streaming workouts as well. The compact size and budget-friendly price of the Sole E20 are both just the icing on the cake.
Sole designed the E20 to fit the needs of people who want to reach their fitness goals on a budget. They also made it compact at 69 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 64 inches tall. The longer 18-inch stride length and the whisper-quiet drive system are impressive comfort and convenience features for such a cost-effective model. The flywheel is a bit smaller than some other options at 14.4 pounds, so the top-end resistance won’t be as high, but you can still have a great workout on the E20. Some other surprising features, like the heart rate monitor integration and pulse grips, are especially nice.
This elliptical packs in the premium features without the premium price tag. Select from 20 levels of resistance and three levels of manual incline for your workout. Pair the Sole Fitness E20 with a Studio membership, and you’re ready to start crushing it.
Key information like pace, heart rate, time elapsed, and resistance are displayed on a crisp 5.5-inch LCD display to keep you informed during the workout. As you might expect, both the incline and stride length are manually adjustable, which may become tiresome if you like to frequently switch those up, but the cost savings are reflected in the price of around $599. There’s even a tablet holder if you want to stream any of the over 3,000 workout classes with the 90-day free trial of Studio™ that’s included with your purchase. The price is then $19.99 per month after the trial period.
Who Should Buy the Sole E20
- If you want an elliptical for your home that won’t wake up the entire house, the whisper-quiet drive system is a great feature on the E20.
- Anyone who wants to reach both their fitness and financial goals will appreciate the budget-conscious price.
- People who may not have the largest space to dedicate to their elliptical. The compact dimensions allow the E20 to not take up a ton of unnecessary room.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Sole E20
- Athletes who want a high-tech touchscreen display will want to look elsewhere.
- If you aren’t looking for Bluetooth integration for your music or streaming, you may want to check out other options on this list.
- Anyone who wants power adjustments instead of manual will want to look elsewhere.
Working out at home can get monotonous at times. The E20’s tablet holder and a free 90-day trial of Studio™ allow you to keep things interesting both on and off the elliptical. The modest size is also nice, since you’ll have more options regarding where you place your workout area.
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 challenging 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 workspace 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 upgraded 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.
Ellipticals Under $1,000 Benefits
Ellipticals can cost thousands of dollars with all kinds of fancy features, like built-in speakers, touchscreens, and a wide range of resistance variability. Budget-conscious customers may want to look for other options that are more cost-effective. It’s nice to know you don’t have to spend more than you’d like to still reap the potential health benefits of cardio with an elliptical. (1)
Despite the price savings, many cheaper models still come with a slew of features. There are options on this list with adjustable incline and resistance, touchscreens, heart rate trackers, and more. You may, understandably, not receive the same level of fit and finish or top-tier versions of features but the cost-savings is worth it for many people.
You can easily pick up a high-quality elliptical that will last you for as long as a decade for somewhere between $500 and $900, though the prices on this list range from around $250 to $900.
The most prominent benefit of ellipticals over other types of cardio machines (such as a treadmill) is the low impact on the joints. Lower impact on joints can potentially reduce overuse injuries and may be helpful for those who already suffer from lower extremity injuries. (2) The more obvious benefits of ellipticals are aspects like potentially improved cardiovascular output and increased fat burning. (1)(3)
How We Decide the Best Ellipticals Under $1,000
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.
How Much Do Ellipticals Under $1,000 Cost?
The answer may seem obvious that they cost under $1,000, but there’s whole lot of variability between the numbers zero and 1,000, and as such, the prices of these budget-friendly ellipticals vary too. The inclusion of different features and creature comforts, like touchscreen displays and a wide range of resistance levels, can influence the price by hundreds of dollars.
|Best Elliptical Under $1,000 Overall||Sole E25||$1,099|
|Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Streaming||ProForm Carbon EL||$799|
|Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Home||Sole E20||$599|
|Best Stair Stepper Elliptical Under $1,000||Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Cardio Climber Stepping Elliptical Machine||$499|
|Best Space Saving Elliptical Under $1,000||Schwinn 411 Elliptical||$599|
|Best Recumbent Elliptical Under $1,000||XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper||$733|
|Best Desk Elliptical Under $1,000||Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine||$247.99|
As the price chart shows, the prices range widely from around $250 for a simple, under-desk elliptical to right up to $900 — which can be nearly $1,000 after factoring in shipping and taxes. Considering your space and budget can be a great way to narrow down which one is the best option for you.
What to Consider Before Buying an Elliptical Under $1,000
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.
How much are budget ellipticals, on average?
We consider budget ellipticals to be under $1,000, but the prices range quite a bit from as low as about $250 up to, well, $1,000. If we average the prices, they come out around $700 before taxes, shipping, and add-ons. Despite being a fraction of the price of other, more expensive options, these budget ellipticals can have many similar options — like touchscreens, wide resistance variety, streaming, and stat/heart rate trackers.
What is the best elliptical under $1,000?
That largely depends on your goals, budget, and space available. We’re huge fans of the Sole E25 and think it’s the best option for most people looking for a budget elliptical. It has many features that we’d expect to see in machines that can cost hundreds more. The heavy-duty flywheel, seemingly endless resistance adjustments, and 20 incline settings make it our top choice.
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.
- Egaña, M., & Donne, B. (2004). Physiological changes following a 12 week gym based stair-climbing, elliptical trainer and treadmill running program in females. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 44(2), 141–146.
- “Joint loading in the lower extremities during elliptical exercise.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 39, no. 9 (2007): 1651-1658.
- Bosch, A. N., Flanagan, K. C., Eken, M. M., Withers, A., Burger, J., & Lamberts, R. P. (2021). Physiological and Metabolic Responses to Exercise on Treadmill, Elliptical Trainer, and Stepper: Practical Implications for Training. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 31(2), 135–142. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2020-0155