Elliptical Trainer

The 10 Best Elliptical Machines for Those on a Budget | 2023 Buying Guide

Achieving your fitness objectives and improving your cardiovascular health doesn’t have to mean adding the most expensive machines to your home gym collection.

Let’s discuss the best budget elliptical machines to help you with your calorie (and even funding) deficit!

The 10 Best Budget Elliptical Machines

These are the 10 most affordable elliptical machines that can deliver an efficient workout without sweat-inducing price tags:

1) Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Cross Trainer – Best Overall

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905


  • Dimensions: 28″ L x 17″ W x 57″ H
  • Stride Length: 18 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs.


  • Has a set of fixed handlebars for low-intensity workouts
  • Easy to assemble
  • Resistance comes from a magnetic tension cable
  • Compact and comes with transport wheels


  • May feel cramped for users with a bigger build
  • Tends to be noisy

There are reasons why this cardio machine is the most popular of the affordable ellipticals.

It has over 9,000 5-star ratings, with reviews highlighting its easy assembly and durability. The ease of its assembly does not compromise its stability, thanks to its floor stabilizers!

At its price point, it offers an 8-level tension controller you can use to adjust the intensity of your workout.

It can also accommodate a wide variety of users, from beginners to more seasoned trainers.

The product offers additional safety through its hand pulse monitoring system and large anti-slip foot pedals. It also has a digital monitor display for your time, speed, distance, calories burned, and pulse.

2) ProForm Hybrid Trainer – Best Value for Money

ProForm Hybrid Trainer


  • Dimensions: 60.5″ H x 24.5″ W x 70.5″ L
  • Stride Length: 15 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.


  • Can also be used as a recumbent bike
  • Has an additional pair of fixed handlebars
  • Includes an onboard sound system
  • Offers iFit Coach integration


  • Short stride length
  • Tends to be wobbly

Among the best budget elliptical machines that I’ve tried, the one that offers the best value is the hybrid trainer from ProForm.

With this product, you don’t have to choose between an exercise bike and an elliptical. It’s easy to switch between its stationary bicycle function and elliptical function while enjoying a great workout.

It is one of the best-selling budget ellipticals for a reason! It comes with a 30-day free trial of iFit Coach.

This integration includes 8 recumbent bicycle workout programs and 8 elliptical workout programs to help you progress your fitness.

On top of this, all these features are packed in a 117-pound lightweight piece of fitness equipment.

3) Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Trainer – Most Affordable Option ($100)

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902


  • Dimensions: 15” L x 19” W x 61.5” H
  • Stride Length: 30 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs.


  • Above-average stride length
  • Comes with a digital monitor for real-time tracking
  • Comes with a warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Made with a lightweight, heavy-duty steel frame


  • Does not provide adjustable resistance
  • May not be optimal for seasoned trainers

Another of the best budget elliptical machines from the Sunny Health & Fitness brand is their Air Walk Trainer.

At such an affordable price (only around $100), you get a piece of folding exercise equipment that delivers a total-body cardio workout.

Its long stride offers a twist to the midsection when doing exercises. Because of this, it can engage both the upper and lower body. A user’s upright posture can even work their endurance and stability.

This 99-pound budget elliptical has a space-saving design. It can fold to half its fully-assembled size for easy storage.

The product is a basic elliptical trainer that is self-powered. It doesn’t need electric power to get it up and running.

It makes use of the user’s body weight to power it up instead of the usual flywheel mechanism of other elliptical trainers.

4) Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer – Most Compact Elliptical

Stamina In-Motion Elliptical


  • Dimensions: 5” L x 17” W x 11.4” H
  • Stride Length: 20 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.


  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Can be used while seated, standing, or in reverse motion
  • Noiseless motor
  • Light and very compact


  • May deliver short and choppy strides
  • Not recommended for users with balance issues

If you want to work out with limited floor area, this 24-pound mini elliptical is the one for you. In essence, it is an elliptical without elliptical arms. What you get is the lower part of the elliptical.

It has a remarkably small footprint. This cardio machine will only occupy less than two square feet. Its light weight makes it readily transportable.

You can easily use this product even while working or watching television.

Despite its compact size, it still comes with a digital fitness monitor that tracks your total workout time, calories burned, and total strides.

You can also adjust the intensity of your workout with its tension knob!

The product’s textured pedals make up for the absence of its handlebars. They are also built larger for added stability.

When you use it standing, it can also deliver a great workout for your core muscles. When you use it seated, you can simulate a recumbent bike workout.

Aside from this, its design makes it useful rehabilitation equipment for those recovering from surgery.

5) Doufit EM-01 – Best Functionality

Doufit EM-01


  • Dimensions: 50″ L x 20.5″ W x 62″ H
  • Stride Length: 12 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.


  • Comes with an LCD monitor
  • Offers Adjustable resistance
  • Includes batteries for the display
  • Provides a fairly accurate heart monitor


  • Tends to be squeaky
  • Assembly may be challenging

This could be the one for you if you’re trying to find that sweet spot between affordability and functionality.

This cardio machine was designed with modernity in mind. It has white and black coloring with an accent of yellow. It is structured using heavy-duty steel, which makes it true to its user-weight capacity.

It can also accommodate many users with its large pedals made with anti-slip material. Aside from this, it is equipped with magnetic resistance with 8 tension intensities.

In terms of added features, this product also delivers. It has an LCD monitor paired with its pulse sensors for heart rate tracking. It also has transport wheels to ease the product’s portability.

6) Funmily Electric Elliptical Exercise Machine – Best for Intensity

Funmily Electric Elliptical


  • Dimensions: 40” L x 20” W x 63” H
  • Stride Length: 15 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 390 lbs.


  • Has two pairs of handlebars
  • Built-in device holder
  • Has a small footprint
  • Stable and durable


  • Weighs more than other elliptical trainers
  • Can be jerky at times

I recommend this product to more seasoned trainers looking for higher intensity in their workouts.

This budget elliptical has a high-gear ratio and double resistance levels. It is easy to progress and level up your workouts with this product.

It comes with an 8-level magnetic resistance that can meet the varying fitness needs of your family.

Intensity should not compromise safety and comfort. Of course, I had to test the product’s stability, too. It has a maximum weight limit of 350 lbs. On top of this, safety is assured by its large pedals.

This elliptical training equipment also features an advanced LCD monitor. It showcases real-time tracking of your time, speed, distance, calories burned, and pulse.

This heavy-duty monster has a noiseless operation that ensures a quiet workout even if you run it for hours.

You’re sure to enjoy yourself without disrupting other members of your household!

7) Gazelle Edge Elliptical Step Machine – Best Folding Elliptical for Beginners

Gazelle Edge Elliptical


  • Dimensions: 44″ L x 33.5″ W x 53.5″ H
  • Stride Length: Adjustable
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.


  • Easy to assemble
  • Perfect for low-impact exercises
  • Foldable and easy to store
  • Compact and features a small footprint


  • Does not have adjustable resistance levels
  • Offers less stability

Most users looking for budget ellipticals tend to be beginners. For that, the Gazelle Edge may be the perfect fit!

This exercise machine does not have adjustable resistance. From this machine, what you’ll get is a less intense workout that won’t put much pressure on your bones and joints.

This elliptical will give you a great start if you want a slow yet steady fitness journey.

It is a foldable hybrid trainer that can be easily stored. Buying this won’t require you to have a designated home gym to accommodate it.

However, you shouldn’t underestimate what this elliptical can do. It still features elliptical arms that allow it to give you an upper and lower body workout.

This inexpensive elliptical already looks easy to assemble, yet it is still supplemented by an instructional DVD. It also includes exercise ideas that can allow you to make the most out of your elliptical trainer.

To top it all off, it has an easy-to-use monitor that tracks the important statistics that you need. Beginners are sure to stay motivated with this budget elliptical machine!

8) Ancheer Elliptical Machine – Best Warranty

Ancheer Elliptical


  • Dimensions: 9” L x 18.9” W x 63” H
  • Stride Length: 13 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 330 lbs


  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty and free replacement parts
  • Has a high user-weight capacity
  • With adjustable resistance levels


  • May be delivered with missing parts
  • Tends to be squeaky

Customer service and aftersales matter to me. This is what made me look into the Ancheer Elliptical Machine.

In contrast to the usual 6 months to 1-year warranty of other brands, Ancheer offers a 3-year quality warranty. They also provide free replacement parts for their products.

When it comes to features and functionality, the product has 8 levels of magnetic resistance adjustments. It can accommodate different user levels, from beginners to advanced trainers.

Both groups of trainers can enjoy a workout for the upper and lower body. It features dual-power motion, too. Furthermore, the range of intensity levels that it features is supported by its durable tubular steel structure.

The product showcases a precision balanced flywheel and a V-belt drive that results in a smooth and quiet operation.

It offers a low-impact workout in which you are sure to burn calories without having to worry about any resulting injury.

9) Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Elliptical Trainer – Best for Arm Movements

SF-E3912 Elliptical


  • Dimensions: ‎50.4″ L x 25.75″ W x 12.25″ H
  • Stride Length: 15.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 330 lbs.


  • Easy to assemble despite its components
  • Offers 16 resistance levels
  • Comes with 24 preset workout programs
  • Has full-motion arm exercisers


  • May have faulty electronics
  • More expensive than other elliptical machines

Elliptical trainers deliver a cardio workout that doesn’t just focus on the glutes, thighs, and hamstrings.

The SF-E3912 Elliptical Trainer has full-motion arm exercisers that engage muscles in the upper body. It has 16 magnetic resistance levels supported by its internal flywheel and belt-drive mechanism.

You are sure to power through and progress with this piece of equipment without having to strain your joints too much.

If you’re the type to easily get bored with a certain workout, you don’t have to worry much with this machine.

It comes with 24 unique workout modes that can target your fitness goal. I usually set mine to body fat, but you can also set it to manual mode, pre-program, watt, heart rate, or your user program.

The workout program is displayed on the performance monitor with backlit display tracks. It also displays your speed, time, distance, calories burned, RPM, watt generations, and magnetic resistance level.

Its other additional features include a built-in device holder and a water bottle holder. You can keep your go-to media devices close by if you want entertainment while you do your workout.

10) Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine – Best Features

Schwinn 411 Compact


  • Dimensions: 8″ L x 24″ W x 62.5″ H
  • Stride Length: 18 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.


  • High quality and durability
  • Compact design can fit small spaces and low headroom
  • Features a smooth and quiet operation
  • Features Explore The World app compatibility


  • Heavy and not portable
  • Priced higher than the other budget ellipticals

In terms of overall features, the Schwinn 411 tops the best budget elliptical machines. It is a luxury elliptical, but if you get it ON SALE as I did, it’s a steal!

Imagine having an elliptical trainer with a small footprint but delivering most of the features of a full-size elliptical. That’s what you’ll get with the Schwinn 411.

It has 16 resistance levels that can cater to the exercise intensities of beginners up to advanced trainers.

Its built-in LCD monitor stands out from the rest on this list. Aside from displaying the usual speed, time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate, it can also integrate fitness apps like Strava, UA Record, and MapMyRun.

My personal favorites are Explore the World and Run Social apps that connect my phone to the machine using Bluetooth. They make my workouts more fun as I get to explore scenic global routes on screen.

All these advanced highlights are supported by the safety features of the product as well. The Schwinn 411 has balanced stabilizers and padded handlebars.

It also has pulse sensors on its moving and fixed handlebars to monitor your heart rate throughout the workout.

What Is Considered a Budget Elliptical Machine?

For elliptical machines to be considered budget ellipticals, I peg their maximum price to be $500.

On the other hand, budget ellipticals can’t be TOO cheap either. If the price of an elliptical cross-trainer is less than $100, it tends to have a lower weight capacity.

On top of this, its structure and design may not last long.

As such, it might not be practical to buy an inexpensive elliptical that is priced too low.

What Are the Benefits of a Budget Elliptical Machine?

Budget Elliptical Machine

You may be looking at buying cardio machines. Compared to exercise bikes and treadmills, here are your reasons to buy a budget elliptical over any other piece of fitness equipment:

1) Adjustable Resistance Levels

A budget piece of cardio equipment does not have to mean cutting on the important features.

Most budget elliptical machines still feature adjustable resistance levels that allow you to customize your workout intensity according to your fitness level and needs.

This feature also ensures progression so that you improve on your fitness journey through every exercise you do.

2) Full Body Workout

Most buyers purchase exercise equipment to lose weight. Budget elliptical machines can deliver that and more.

They provide a full-body workout, unlike other equipment focusing on only a few muscle groups.

3) Lose Belly Fat

The belly is often a problem area for many people who work out.

Coupled with good eating habits, an affordable elliptical machine can help users reduce belly fat and shed a pound or more off their weight.

4) Low-Impact on Joints

Many cardio equipment can cause arthralgia or joint pain in the long term. The great thing about elliptical machines is that your feet are connected to the pedals most of the time.

Because of this, your joints, bone, and ligaments feel low to zero pressure during workouts.

This is why many physical therapy patients and senior citizens turn to ellipticals to help them recover faster and stay active.

5) Cardio Workout

Budget elliptical trainers deliver a great cardio workout that helps get your heart rate pumping. In effect, this leads to better stamina and overall cardiovascular health.

A cardio workout has been shown to decrease diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also improves vital health markers like insulin resistance and resting heart rate.

6) No Gym Membership Required

Elliptical training comes with easy usability. You won’t need a gym membership or a personal trainer to lose weight and achieve your fitness goals.

You can do all these in the comfort of your home. This allows you to multitask and spare yourself from the time it takes to go to the gym.

7) Increased Savings

Having your cardio equipment at home increases your savings as you don’t have to spend on gym memberships and personal training.

You can do workouts on your own or opt for fitness subscriptions, which do not cost as much as any gym membership.

Purchasing your exercise machine may cost more upfront, but you get to save more in the long term, especially if your machine offers high quality and durability.

What to Look for in a Budget Elliptical Machine

Budget Elliptical Machine

There are many types of fitness equipment available on the market. Each type comes with many brand options and product specifications.

The best overall elliptical for me might not be the best one for you.

To help you choose from the wide array of options that you have, I advise you to consider the following factors:

Workout Experience

The best budget elliptical for you is the one that suits your fitness level and comfort. Beginners and more seasoned trainers have different needs.

Beginners start with lower-intensity workouts. As such, their budget elliptical should have more comfort than extra resistance levels.

On the other hand, seasoned trainers have higher-intensity workouts. They will require more stable and durable elliptical machines.


Our budget constraints tend to differ. What I consider a budget elliptical may either be on a lower or higher scale for you.

To filter out your choices, it’s best to compute your ideal price range for an elliptical first.

Once you have your top choices in mind, you can watch out for discount codes and special promos to get the best deal.

For better budget management, some sellers may offer financing options, such as installment payments.


Significant to an elliptical trainer is its elliptical arms. Most products have a moving set of handlebars to deliver an upper-body workout.

Some elliptical products have another set that is fixed. The fixed set resembles a bicycle handlebar in which you can maintain stability or rest your upper body.

Aside from the sets of handlebars that your elliptical can have, the handlebars themselves can also have resistance buttons and pulse sensors.

If you value convenience in your workout, you can look into these design features when you make your purchase.

Size and Floor Space

You don’t have to have a home gym to accommodate an elliptical machine in your apartment. If you’re limited with floor space, look into the dimensions of the elliptical machine you’re eyeing.

Manufacturers understand that every inch of space counts. Because of this, folding elliptical machines are also available on the market. This type of elliptical machine can easily be stored when it’s not in use!


If you live in a building with no elevator or with one that’s too small, a stair climb may be a concern to transport your new elliptical machine.

Product weight and transport wheels are also specifications you have to look into.

If your ceiling is a bit low, pay attention to the height of your potential elliptical machine as well.


Your elliptical machine’s frame construction plays a crucial role in the sturdiness and durability of your machine.

Regardless if you’re a beginner or an advanced trainer, you should get value for what you’re paying for.

It is best to ensure that your elliptical machine is built with high-quality materials. Look into structures made of alloy steel or high-grade aluminum.

Stride Length

Another vital product spec you should look into is the stride length. It suggests the range of motion that your elliptical machine can offer.

Users of average height can have a comfortable workout with a product stride length of 17 to 21 inches. Shorter users can look into products with lower stride lengths.

User Weight Capacity

Elliptical machines do not offer the same maximum user weight capacity. If you’re going to have many users for one elliptical machine in your household, take the highest user weight.

Ensure that the elliptical machine you’re eyeing can withstand more than that user’s weight. This should keep your workouts safe and secure.


Buying a budget elliptical is still a long-term investment. You should also consider the aftersales offer of the product you’re purchasing.

It is common for fitness machines to have a longer frame warranty compared to their parts warranty.

This isn’t something you should worry about. However, a brand may offer a longer warranty compared to another. You may want to prioritize these brands more.


Most elliptical machines offer adjustability in terms of speed and incline level, among many others.

This allows you to vary the intensity of your workouts. Generally, having 8 to 16 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance is acceptable.

Beginners can opt for elliptical machines with fewer resistance levels. Advanced trainers can opt for elliptical machines with more resistance levels.

Assembly Process

The elliptical machine you’re eyeing should ideally arrive as is at your home or gym. However, it won’t be delivered that way.

Its size and weight require it to be delivered as disassembled components first.

It is best to get an elliptical machine with an easy assembly process. Improper assembly can cause your elliptical machine to be wobbly, squeaky, or unsafe.

Elliptical machines that are easy to assemble properly ensure stable and secure workouts regardless of who’s assembling the product.

Additional Features

Aside from the essential features of elliptical machines, some products may offer more comfort or stability.

If you’re critical about your heart rate when exercising, you might look for one with a heart rate monitor sensor.

If you need entertainment during your workouts, you might opt for one with a computer monitor with a liquid-crystal display (LCD).

Additional features include a water bottle holder, a device holder, built-in speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Product and Customer Reviews

The best way to know about a product’s reliability is through the product and customer reviews. No one else can objectively evaluate a product other than its first-hand users.

Fortunately, many sellers and websites are available to publish this kind of feedback openly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Muscle Groups Does an Elliptical Machine Activate?

An elliptical machine activates most of the skeletal muscle groups. It delivers a total body workout, which includes an upper body workout, a core workout, and of course, a lower body workout.

The pushing and pulling motion of its moving handlebars engages the upper body muscles. Holding a proper posture to balance on an elliptical machine engages the core muscles.

Ultimately, the leg muscles do most of the work. As the thighs move backward, the glute and hamstring muscles are engaged. Changing the resistance levels can target these muscles differently, too.

What’s a Good Price for a Budget Elliptical Machine?

You can get good affordable elliptical machines under $500 (even as low as $100). I know it’s quite a wide range but let me explain.

Lower-priced and affordable elliptical machines can have high quality even with fewer resistance levels and features. These budget ellipticals are best for beginners.

Ellipticals that are priced higher have more features in addition to their high quality. These ellipticals are fit for advanced trainers.

Elliptical machines that go beyond the $500 price point can either be considered luxury, full-size, or both. They are more advanced and comprehensive.

Should I Be Doing 30 Minutes of Ellipticals a Day?

This would depend on the intensity of your workout and physical fitness goals.

The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity workout a week.

If your aerobic exercise is on higher-intensity levels, the recommended time lowers. You should instead get 75 to 150 minutes a week only.

Are Ellipticals Worth the Price?

Yes, they are. They give you a total body workout in addition to great cardio exercise.

However, before you decide to purchase an elliptical machine, you should consider your preferred form of cardio exercise.

If you’re more into indoor biking and treadmill running, you might not reap the full benefits of an elliptical machine.

My Top Picks for the Best Budget Ellipticals

Each elliptical trainer is remarkable because of their varying features. However, among the elliptical trainers I’ve tested, these 3 stood out for me:

Most Affordable Option – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902


  • Dimensions: 15” L x 19” W x 61.5” H
  • Stride Length: 30 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs.

This elliptical has the lowest price tag on my list. It is a basic elliptical machine that you power as you go. It doesn’t have adjustable resistance levels but can still deliver full-body exercise.

I used this elliptical when I was still starting my fitness journey. Based on my experience, I can say that this is a great starting point for beginners!

This elliptical helped me get the feel while creating a sustainable fitness habit.

Quality isn’t an issue when it comes to this product. Its structure is made with lightweight yet heavy-duty steel. On top of this, it comes with a warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Best Value for Money – ProForm Hybrid Trainer

ProForm Hybrid Trainer


  • Dimensions: 60.5″ H x 24.5″ W x 70.5″ L
  • Stride Length: 15 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.

The Proform Hybrid Trainer offers the most value for me, and it’s obvious why with its name.

With only one exercise machine, you can enjoy not only elliptical training but also recumbent bicycle workouts.

This product also offers so much more. You’re sure to never run out of exercises using this machine! On top of the 16 workout programs it comes with, it also comes with a 30-day free trial of the iFit Coach program.

If you’re quite serious about your commitment to fitness, you might want to invest in this hybrid trainer.

Best Overall – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Cross Trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905


  • Dimensions: 28″ L x 17″ W x 57″ H
  • Stride Length: 18 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs.

What I love about this elliptical cross trainer is that it has everything you need in an elliptical machine without the extra features that jack up its price.

It has 8 adjustable magnetic resistance levels that cater to beginners and advanced trainers. It comes with 2 sets of handlebars, one moving and one fixed, for you to transition from high-intensity to low-intensity workouts.

It also has a digital monitor display that tracks the important statistics you need. This includes your distance, time, speed, pulse, and calories burned.

This one is for you if you’re looking for a no-frills elliptical machine!


The best elliptical machine for you is the one that suits your personal fitness needs.

If you’re just starting your fitness journey, I don’t recommend using advanced features yet. Being too hard on yourself could only discourage you from sustaining your workouts in the long run.

Choosing an elliptical machine is a long-term investment for your physical fitness. It would be best if you got comfortable workouts from it.This will ensure you make the most of your elliptical machine throughout your fitness journey!