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Cheap Elliptical Machines for Your Home: Under $700

Whether you're a beginner to home workouts, or a fitness expert who wants to up their cardio while not at the gym, it is possible to find an elliptical cross trainer without breaking your budget.

Maintaining a strict financial budget can be quite stressful, especially when it comes to purchasing equipment that is important for your health and wellbeing. Most people prefer to have personal workout equipment at home that they can easily use because it makes them feel more comfortable. 

For example, you don’t need to use a shared change room and shower like you do at a gym. You can guarantee that your equipment is kept sanitary, you can play your music has loud as you want, and you don’t have to deal with strangers. Because of all of these reasons, it’s normal and expected that you want to look for the best exercise equipment that represents value for money.

Because of this, ellipticals are an attractive option when you consider the two most important factors: Efficiency and Price.

What does it mean to be efficient in terms of price and energy?

First of all, they are efficient because ellipticals are highly effective cardio machines that protect your knees and back better than your standard treadmill. The cycling motion of an elliptical wheel is proven to be healthier for your body in the long run. Moreover, studies show that you feel like you are expending less energy on an elliptical than while running, so you can work out for longer with less perceived effort. 

Second of all, ellipticals can be purchased on a budget. Typically, a standard elliptical goes for $1000-$1500, but you can still get a good one for around $700 or less. You will probably have to sacrifice some features (e.g., you may have a lower number of preprogrammed workouts, but it's easily possible to get a reasonable stride length, weight capacity, automatic resistance, and decent warranty coverage).

Studies show that you feel like you are expending less energy on an elliptical than while running, so you can work out for longer with less perceived effort. 

Exercise is a long-term habit, and exercise machines should be a long-term investment

A lot of people make the mistake of going for the very cheapest exercise equipment because of the price, to later realize that the machine is unable to work for them effectively (too flimsy, breaks after heavy extended use, doesn’t come with the features they wanted) and it ends up being a total waste of their hard-earned money. It’s important to recognize that exercise is a habit built over the long term, and as such, exercise equipment should be a long-term investment. 

That being said, you don’t have to break the bank and spend thousands of dollars on a cardio machine. The purpose of this article is to give you an idea of the best ellipticals that are reasonably cheap if you are looking for efficient exercise equipment to purchase for your home.

1) Proform Hybrid Trainer Pro available for $627 on Amazon

Key features
  • Integrated tablet holder
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Integrated audio system
  • Adjustable incline

The Proform Hybrid Trainer Pro is an elliptical machine that is designed to help you to reach and maintain your desired fitness goals. With an array of features including the heart rate monitor that ensures that your heartbeat is correctly monitored while working out.  The importance of having good health and a sound mind cannot be overemphasized.

The Hybrid Trainer Pro is an excellent upgrade to the Proform Hybrid Trainer 2. This fantastic machine can significantly assist you in getting fit and staying healthy. It has an amazing program variety of 20 workouts designed by the well-known and world-class trainers, Chris & Heidi Powell.

If you are looking for equipment to maximize your fitness potential and you don’t want to waste your money, then you should consider going for the 17-inch Hybrid Trainer Pro. The elliptical machine is an upgrade to the original trainer, considering its efficiency; it’s actually a steal for less than $700. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The Proform Hybrid Pro comes with a weight limit of 350lbs which makes it usable by basically every shape and sized body. It is designed to offer you a smooth, steady ride that will be as comfortable as efficient. 

The Proform Hybrid Trainer Pro also comes with an integrated device holder that you can use to keep your device in front of you while working out. This is to ensure that you do not miss any important messages or calls that you need to attend to while working out. It has a similar footprint to the original Hybrid Trainer but comes with a bigger LCD that makes it easier for you to see how you are doing.     

Also, the machine supports an iPod connection, comes with preinstalled speakers and a Watt Power Meter that helps the user to know when to increase their pacing to meet the desired weight loss goals. Just like the Proform Hybrid Trainer 2, the Hybrid Trainer Pro comes with an EKG Grip Pulse feature that ensures that your heartbeat is normal while working out.

What's not so good about it?

The Proform Hybrid Trainer Pro is pretty good, but it has its drawbacks too. For example, most Proform machines at a higher price point include the availability of an iFit subscription (which gives you access to a bunch of customized workout plans online, advice from personal trainers, and more). Also, the 15-pound flywheel is not really impressive - flywheels that ensure a smooth and steady step are usually 20-25 lbs, or more. Moreover, the warranty plan is only for 90 days on parts and labor. Considering that when you purchase this fitness machine you’re probably planning to use it for years ahead of you, this is pretty abysmal. 

Pros:
  • Has up to 20 pre-programmed workout plans (as much as, or more than, ellipticals in a higher price range)
  • Integrated device holder for your phone, tablet, e-reader, etc. 
  • Easy to use controls and intuitive design
  • 20 adjustable resistance levels  
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame
  • Has a weight limit of 350lbs, which is excellent at this price point
Cons:
  • The warranty plan can be improved
  • iFit subscription is not included
  • The flywheel is pretty light and because of this, you may feel some shakiness in your steps when you are using it upright

2) Exerpeutic 5000 available for $422 on Amazon

Key features
  • Smartphone and tablet holder
  • Double transmission drive system
  • LCD computer with 4 profiles
  • Hand grip pulse sensors

The Exerpeutic 5000 is a multi-functional fitness machine with a fantastic ergonomic design and a very smooth and realistic 18” elliptical stride. The machine has 24 levels of resistance and 12 workout plans that have been programmed to provide you with everything that you need to stay fit and healthy.

However, the outstanding feature of the Exerpeutic 5000 is the pre-installed Bluetooth Mobile App Tracking feature that makes it possible for users to connect their mobile device to the machine. You can use this feature to monitor your workouts directly on your mobile device. Although the machine also comes with a display screen, the Bluetooth mobile feature is a perfect alternative. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

If you need an elliptical machine that has great ergonomics and a Bluetooth connection feature at a reasonable price, then the Exerpeutic 5000 is the best you can get. It also comes with a Gel pad support holder that you can use to hold your mobile device safely, a double transmission feature (backward and forward elliptical motion) and also a water bottle holder (to ensure that you stay hydrated). 

In addition to that, one of the important things that you need to consider when you are searching for an elliptical machine is whether you want a front or rear driven fitness machine. The Exerpeutic 5000 flywheel is located at the back, which makes it a rear driven machine. The advantage of a rear driven elliptical machine is that it makes you feel more comfortable with a gentle gliding motion support system. 

What's not so good about it?

Some users have complained that the machine takes a while to assemble. However, this is really a minor issue considering the fact that most fitness machines come with a lot of moving parts, so it’s basically a normal practice to spend some quality time putting it together. 

A bigger issue is the weight and height limitations of this device. The Exerpeutic 5000 can only hold up to a maximum of 270 lbs. For safety reasons, it is usually advised to only use a machine up to 20 lbs below the absolute maximum, since manufacturers tend to exaggerate the weight limits a little. Therefore a 250 lb person would be the biggest person to use this machine - and that’s not really a lot. 

The maximum stride length is also 18”, which is enough for most average-sized people. But if you’re 6’ (about 180cm) and above, look for something 20” and above. You may feel cramped or even injure yourself using this machine. 

Pros:
  • Has up to 12 pre-programmed workout plans
  • Double transmission flywheel belt drive that ensures smooth and quiet stride motion
  • Mobile App tracking with heart rate hand sensors
Cons:
  • Takes a while to assemble
  • Maximum weight limit: 250 - 270 lbs
  • Average, non-adjustable stride length will be insufficient for very tall people

3) AFG Sport 5.5 AE available for $800 on Amazon

Key features
  • 3 LED displays
  • Fitness fan
  • Audio system
  • 10 magnetic resistance levels

The AFG Sport 5.5 AE is an elliptical machine that is 57 inches high and 76 inches long - a nice little footprint for an apartment or small basement space. It has a 23-pound flywheel that ensures maximum stability and smoothness of motion. Unlike the Exerpeutic 5000, it has an adjustable stride length that makes it possible for users that are very tall or very short to be able to use it. A neat little feature is the handle at the back that aids in mobility when not in use - theoretically, you could tuck it into a corner when you’re done with it.

There is also the LED console that monitors your heart rate along with a wireless chest strap. This is an essential feature for strength and cross-training that ensures that you stride is not interrupted when trying to grip the stationary handlebars and check your heart rate. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The AFG Sport 5.9 AE has a mind-blowing 43 preset workouts and 12 levels of resistance that are available for you to create a fantastic variety of workout programs. Most ellipticals at a $1000+ budget have about 20, so this is really impressive. 

The elliptical machine is quite a versatile machine that is built to meet your personal fitness goals. If you are looking for a fitness machine for basic weight loss or for more serious training (like CrossFit training or muscle strengthening), the AFG Sport 5.9 AE is definitely a good one to consider. 

You can connect the console to various popular fitness apps, such as MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness, and it also comes with the AFG cloud-based fitness tracking program which makes it easier to monitor your progress and share your results.

Apart from the basic workout programs that include fat burning, cardio and interval workouts, the AFG Sport also has a manual program that makes the machine more flexible. This makes it possible for you to jump onto the elliptical and start using it without first selecting a preset or even switching on the console.

What's not so good about it?

The AFG Sport 5.9 AE is of the best ellipticals that can help you with all levels of fitness goals that you can wish for. However, the only minor disadvantage is that the machine does not come with an adjustable stride length (20-inch stride). This means that it will be a bit difficult for users that are very tall or very short to use the machine comfortably. 

Pros:
  • Has up to 43 workout presets 
  • 12 resistance levels
  • Comes with a wireless chest strap that ensures your momentum is not interrupted while monitoring your heart rate
  • Has a book and tablet holder
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame
Cons:
  • The stride length is not adjustable

4) Horizon Fitness EX 59

Key features
  • Overlapping pedal motion
  • 10 programming options
  • Sonic surround speakers
  • 3 LED displays

If you want a comfortable, cheap, no-fuss elliptical machine for beginners, EX-59 is a smart place to start. It also has the most decent warranty plan that you can get for just under $700, and a 4.5″ data screen that you can use to monitor your progress.

The Horizon EX-59 includes only 10 pre-programmed workout and 10 levels of resistance, which may not be enough for some people who are looking for variety in the workouts or who want to raise the challenge later on down the road. It has an 18″ stride (suitable for most adults) and a comfortable design overall. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The Horizon EX-59 is a standard Horizon elliptical that provides the best value to people who don’t want anything fancy. It comes with a two-year parts warranty which is quite decent and impressive considering the price.

It has six basic features that promote comfortable motion: It helps users to stay upright (instead of leaning forward), with a narrow pedal spacing and optimal handlebar spacing. This helps you to maintain a natural stride and aids with a smooth step and momentum.

It also has a heart monitor that has been built into the handlebars as grip sensors to make it more comfortable to use. Like all heart rate monitors, it won’t be 100% accurate, but it’s okay for a general estimate. 

What's not so good about it?

The biggest disadvantage is very obviously the lack of variety in the workout programs and resistance. If you plan on using your elliptical every day and increasing the difficulty as you get better and better, you probably want to be able to be able to challenge yourself and add variety to your workout routines. This elliptical is best suited for the kind of workout where you move for 20-30 minutes at the same pace in front of the TV, rather than the kind of workout where you are in training. That is, if you’re not a beginner, you will likely get bored of this machine very quickly. As we have seen from other models on this list, there are plenty of other options within this price range that can offer a better challenge. 

Pros:
  • Comfortable design
  • 18’ stride
Cons:
  • The heart rate monitor is very basic 
  • Only 10 preset workout programs
  • Only 10 resistance levels

5) Proform Smart Strider 495 CSE available for $599 on Amazon

Key features
  • iFit ready, 18 workout apps
  • 275lb weight capacity
  • Padded workout arms
  • Integrated speakers

The Proform Smart Strider 495 CSE is considered to be the cheapest Proform elliptical currently on the market. The main marketable feature of this device compared to others on this list is that it is foldable - you can store it in a closet or just keep it out of the way in one corner of your room. 

Although it does not have all the fancy features of the more expensive Proform Smart Strider 695, you can still be sure that you will be getting all the basic and necessary features, including 18 levels of resistance. This elliptical machine provides you with an affordable way to reach your fitness goals without stressing your joints. It comes with a simple console that is very easy for everyone to use. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

If you are searching for an elliptical that can help you to improve your workouts, the 18 resistance levels that the Proform Smart Strider 495 CSE provides are more than enough. In addition to that, the 18-inch stride is also fairly generous. You can also use the stationary hand grip pulse sensors to main your normal heart rate while working out. It uses a rear-drive wheel for the pedals, which may take some getting used to but ultimately will feel just as stable as a front-wheel.   

Like the SmartStrider 695, the 495 CSE also comes with an option to include iFit Coach (which connects your elliptical to the internet). The iFit Coach makes it possible for you to track your progress, give you customized workouts, and even access an online community. 

What's not so good about it?

Like other Proform devices, the iFit Coach can take you to a whole new level, but don't forget that it’s an online subscription-based service. This means that you will need to pay extra before you can use it. 

Because it’s on the cheap side, the 495 CSE only has a 13-lb flywheel and a weight capacity of 275 lbs. If you are planning on using this machine vigorously or if you are on the heavy side, you will likely experience some shaking and possibly even broken parts that will require maintenance during and after use. It’s pedals are also not cushioned, so make sure that you use proper supportive running shoes on this machine. 

Pros:
  • 18 Inch Stride
  • iFit Coach Ready (with paid subscription) 
  • 18 Resistance Levels
  • Tablet holder
Cons:
  • No incline features
  • Console is very basic
  • 275lb weight limit
  • 13lb flywheel

6) Xterra FS 3.0 available for $366 on Amazon

Key features
  • Integrated audio system
  • Blue backlit LCD display
  • Heart rate pulse grips
  • 16" stride length

Xterra is not particularly well-known as far as discount fitness companies go, but the FS 3.0 is definitely a solid machine. The Xterra FS 3.0 is one of the best affordable ellipticals that you can find anywhere in the world right now.  

It comes with a big 5.5" blue LCD that makes it very easy to read even in low light conditions. With up to 14 programs that you can select from (which includes Recovery mode, Body fat mode, and Watt mode), it’s not shabby in terms of adding variety to your workouts.

The Xterra FS 3.0 has a weight capacity of 275lb (not great) and comes with a flywheel of 22lbs. The heavy flywheel is particularly notable, as a 20lb+ flywheel is typically recommended for the smoothest and most comfortable stride. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

If you are on a tight budget and you need an affordable quality elliptical machine that will keep you comfortable during workouts, then this little elliptical is the machine for you. At less than $500, it’s one of the cheapest ellipticals that you will find that isn’t an air-walker or a step machine (ie. no resistance or electrical parts at all). 

The 14 workout programs and 20 levels of resistance are pretty average compared to other machines on this list (such as the Proform models), but the Xterra features a flywheel that is 10lbs heavier. This will not only keep you feeling steady as you pedal, but can also add a higher level of resistance as you grow stronger. 

What's not so good about it?

One of the major drawbacks of the Xterra FS 3.0 is that it only has a 16” stride. If you are over 175cm (or 5’ 7”), it is fairly unadvisable to work out on this for long periods of time. You will feel the workout in different parts of you body (feels more like climbing stairs than running) and can even strain your knees and back trying to keep the correct posture.

Pros:
  • Heavy Flywheel 
  • Big, backlit LCD Display
  • 22lb flywheel to keep everything smooth
Cons:
  • Stride is short and not adjustable
  • Weight capacity of only 275 lb

7) IronMan X Class 710 available for $499 on Amazon

Key features
  • 300lb weight capacity
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • MyFitQuest app to track your progress
  • 44lb flywheel

The IronMan X Class 710 is an incredibly advanced and well-made exercise machine that is designed to last. That most notable feature of the X Class 710 is its size and stability - it is designed mainly for use at the gym (the only commercial machine at this price range) and because of this, it is not small. The stride length is a full 20”, and it can hold up to 300lbs. 

For less than $700, you get 20 workout programs based on 3 workout goal options (calories, distance and time). 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

IronMan X Class 710 comes with a dashboard that has a lot of useful features. It has a device holder that you can place your smartphone while you are working out and an LCD. There is also a water bottle holder that has been strategically placed in a position that will make it easier for you to use without having to bend down to reach it. 

It comes with all of the basic necessities and then some - heart rate detectors on the movable handlebars, a front flywheel weighted at 20kg (so you can ensure a smooth ride with lots of challenge if you need it), and even connectivity to a free mobile app, if you’re interested in seeing your telemetric on your mobile device. It also comes with wheels so you can (theoretically) move it to the side of the room when you’re done with it. 

What's not so good about it?

Like mentioned previously, the stride length is a full 20”, which is great because it can accommodate even very tall users with ease. However, this stride length is not adjustable. If you are 5’4” and below you may find this elliptical a bit difficult to use. 

Other than that, this elliptical is not particularly lacking for anything. It would be nice to have some luxury features - a built-in fan, a touchscreen LCD, a USB charging port for your device - but honestly, at this price point, it’s very rare to find these features anyway.  

Pros:
  • 20 workout programs
  • 20-inch stride length and 20kb flywheel, for a smooth and comfortable stride
  • Solid device holder, water bottle holder, and built-in speakers for convenience
Cons:
  • Stride is not adjustable
  • No luxury features

8) Fitness Reality E5500XL available for $367 on Amazon

Key features
  • Double transmission system
  • 18" stride length
  • Hand pulse sensors
  • Dual action handbars

The E5500XL is an elliptical machine with an extremely low entry-level price point. It is highly customizable and has a lot of useful features that make it be an efficient fitness machine.

It has 24 resistance levels accompanied by 21 preprogrammed workouts that provide users with the ability to choose how strenuous their workouts should be.  It has a dual transmission system that helps you to maintain momentum while exercising and has a weight capacity of 270 lbs.  

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The best feature of the E5500XL is a goal system feature that covers distance, time or calories burnt. Goal setting and measuring your progress is an essential aspect of a quality elliptical machine, and you can trust the E5500XL to deliver it all.

It’s also one of the cheaper models on this list, which will save you a couple hundred bucks while you are first developing your fitness habits. If you are just making up your mind to start getting fit and you are looking for a quality and cheap fitness machine that you can efficiently use at home, then this is a pretty good option. 

What's not so good about it?

It would be nice to be able to use this machine for a long time, but with no incline features and a lot of similarities between the difficulty of the resistance levels, you may outgrow it when your fitness level improves. 

As well, it doesn’t come with any kind of connectivity, either to an online service or your mobile device. This means that you will have to keep track of your telemetrics manually or on a third party service, as the elliptical will no save your stats for you. 

Pros:
  • Good for beginners
  • 24 resistance levels
  • 21 preprogrammed workouts
  • Dual transmission that aids momentum
Cons:
  • No major increase in difficulty options to grow into 
  • No connectivity to Bluetooth or any fitness apps
  • 270 lb weight limit only

In conclusion...

To conclude, working out at home doesn't have to cost a fortune. But it's important to have realistic expectations of what you can get for less than $700. Keep in mind features that you need as well as features that are "nice to have", and you'll be able to find an elliptical that will help you meet your health and fitness goals.

The most important thing is to keep up the habit of working out regularly. even the most expensive cardio machine will be totally useless if it sits collecting dust in a corner. Good luck, and keep at it!