Reviews Ellipticals Gym Equipment

10 Best Budget Ellipticals in 2024

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An elliptical trainer is one of the most effective cardio machines. It serves multiple purposes, letting you check off daily calorie expenditure without stressing joints.

Although you may not hit the gym every day, skipping physical activity isn’t a viable option. Setting up your own fitness space provides an escape from such a scenario. And we’re here with the good news that you won’t have to break the bank for good-quality equipment. Today, we’ll review the best budget elliptical machines for home use.

Best Budget Ellipticals
  1. BODY RIDER Dual Trainer – Top Pick
  2. Body Power 2-in-1 StepTrac – Runner-Up
  3. SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Under Desk Elliptical – Best Portable
  4. TAPPIO Under Desk Elliptical Machine
  5. SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Essential Series Elliptical
  6. BODY POWER 3-in-1 Trio Trainer – Best Seated
  7. STAMINA InMotion Compact Strider – Best with Resistance Bands
  8. BODY CHAMP 3-in-1 Exercise Machine Plus Two
  9. SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Compact Stand-Up Elliptical
  10. EXERPEUTIC 2000XL Elliptical Trainer
ProductTotalAdjustabilityDurabilityMonitor FunctionalityPortabilityMultifunctionalityValue for Money
Body Rider59109.5109.51010
Body Power 2-in-158.59.510109.5109.5
Sunny Under-desk589101010910
Tappio56.5999.510910
Sunny Essentials56101010998
Body Power 3-in-155.5109108108.5
Stamina558.599109.59
Body Champ54.5108.598.5108.5
Sunny Stand Up53.598.58.59.58.59.5
Exerpeutic53.58.59.58999.5
TOP PICK

1. BODY RIDER Dual Trainer

BODY RIDER Dual Trainer
  • Type/Model: Cross-training Elliptical
  • Item Weight: 66 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Color Palette: Black/Gray
  • Product Dimensions: 48” x 28.5” x 59.5”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed
  • Workout Programs: None
  • Additional Features: Variable Resistance, Full-body Handlebars, Adjustable Seat

This elliptical is made by a company named Body Max. They sell a lot of fitness aids like recumbent bikes and inversion tables. But this dual trainer is doing exceptionally well at Amazon, Target, Sears, etc.

Body Rider Dual Trainer is an elliptical and stationary bike. Its foot pedals and moving handlebars help you simultaneously exercise your upper and lower body. Get your hands on the U-shaped fixed handle when not in the mood to strain your arms. You can also sit back on the cushioned seat for a peaceful bike session.

Performing BODY RIDER Dual Trainer
Photo by @shenan8

People of all fitness levels and age groups can hop on it. There are adjustment knobs to find the optimal handle height. The seat also moves up, down, and sideways. The biggest gripe with other cheap elliptical machines is they fail to accommodate over 6’ tall individuals.

You’ll see its console and high-momentum fan wheel mounted at the front. It has chain-driven resistance. Still, the glide remains smooth and seamless. Another crucial feature is multi-level tension. You can manually control the intensity of your workouts!

59 EXPERT SCORE

Body Rider Dual Trainer is an elliptical and stationary bike. Its foot pedals and moving handlebars help you simultaneously exercise your upper and lower body.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • The seat moves along the vertical and horizontal axis
  • Handlebar with three height options suits different user heights
  • Rollers under the base simplify transportation
  • The tension knob sits under the seat for quick accessibility

Could be better:

  • Chain-driven wheel is a little louder than the belt drive
RUNNER-UP

2. Body Power 2-in-1 StepTrac

Body Power 2-in-1 StepTrac
  • Type/Model: Cross-training Elliptical
  • Item (Package) Weight: 96 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Color Palette: Gray/Red
  • Product Dimensions: 24” x 42” x 62”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed
  • Workout Programs: YouTube Video
  • Additional Features: Variable Resistance, Media Shelf, Curve-Crank Technology

Body Flex is a frequent sight in garage and commercial gyms. It has various subsidiaries (including Body Power and Body Champ) with more than a dozen patents under its belt.

Like Body Rider is a bike combo, StepTrac is the fusion of an elliptical and stair stepper into one machine. The foot plates are pretty broad, angled, and open-back. The textured surface allows maximum traction. Thanks to a weighted flywheel, the operation is silent and stable. You can simulate walking or climbing while training your arms as well.

The manufacturer has introduced an all-new biomechanical design – dubbed curve-crank. It disperses the spinning motion in two directions. It creates an oval trajectory that is gentler on your knees. In short, it's a cross of linear motion you see in a climber and the circular path of a standard elliptical. The difficulty level and aerobic boost also lie at the median.

A straightforward LCD panel logs basic workout metrics. The mode button scans through all of them. You won't find preset regimens. But professional trainers have crafted a 12-minute workout video for you. There is ample space above the monitor. You can slot your mobile device.

58.5 EXPERT SCORE

Like Body Rider is a bike combo, StepTrac is the fusion of an elliptical and stair stepper into one machine. The foot plates are pretty broad, angled, and open-back.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Eight levels of quiet resistance system
  • Innovative joint-friendly stride technology
  • A trainer-led workout video can help you get started
  • A built-in media shelf for a tablet or magazine

Could be better:

  • Assembly might be time-consuming for inexperienced people
BEST PORTABLE

3. SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Under Desk Elliptical

SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Under Desk Elliptical
  • Type/Model: Under-desk Elliptical
  • Item Weight: 25 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 220 lbs
  • Color Palette: Black/White
  • Product Dimensions: 24” x 19” x 11”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed
  • Workout Programs: None
  • Additional Features: Variable Resistance, Smooth Glide Wheel, Carry Handle

Founded in 2002, Sunny has become a benchmark of success in the calisthenics and aerobics equipment industry over the years. You’ll see its strength training machines in most home gyms.

Most people can’t make enough space for large cross-training machines in their homes. This mini elliptical is an alternate option. It's fairly compact and lightweight. You can conveniently move it from your room to the lounge or slide it under your bed. It also has a carry handle at the top.

The under-desk design makes the best affordable elliptical. You don’t have to compromise on quality. It’s supposed to be used while sitting, engaging fewer muscles. However, it features a magnetic drive system. No parts contact the flywheel to create resistance. Smooth wheels roll on dedicated rails on both sides. Thus, the motion is whisper-quiet. Professionals don’t like annoying noises or rough drags while getting cardio during office hours or work-from-home gigs.

The resistance knob and display settings are centrally located. The company has covered it for two years. Moreover, you'll get an extra battery for the monitor. So, you'll be using it for years with little maintenance.

58 EXPERT SCORE

Most people can’t make enough space for large cross-training machines in their homes. This mini elliptical is an alternate option.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Small, lightweight, and portable
  • Additional battery pack for long-term use
  • Easy to relocate with a carry handle at the top
  • Fool-proof glide is dictated by smooth rolling wheel rails

Could be better:

  • It can't be used while standing

4. TAPPIO Under Desk Elliptical Machine

TAPPIO Under Desk Elliptical Machine
  • Type/Model: Under-desk Elliptical
  • Item Weight: 31 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 220 lbs
  • Color Palette: Black/Red
  • Product Dimensions: 17” x 25” x 11”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed
  • Workout Programs: None
  • Additional Features: Variable Resistance, Carry Handle, Bi-directional Motion

Tappio is an award-winning home decor brand. Recently, they have jumped into aerobic fitness, filling important gaps with their superior craftsmanship and research process.

This mini elliptical solves two common problems. First, you can use it while standing or sitting. Secondly, the motion is dual-way: forward and reverse. Switching for short spurts helps you strengthen all leg muscles. Going forward works up your glutes and hamstrings, while pedaling backward takes most of the stress to your quads and calves.

TAPPIO Under Desk Elliptical Machine
Photo by @blitzbidz

Compared to Sunny's offering, it has a few drawbacks. The dimensions are okay. But the product's weight has soared to 31 lbs. Carrying it might be difficult for seniors. LCD and handle sit at the same spot. The tension knob has moved farther. You'll have to reach out to it if seated on a couch. Also, the construction is a little off. We won't recommend using it standing if you're over 200 lbs. As there is no explicit warranty, getting a replacement or refund may be an issue beyond Amazon support.

It also makes squeaks over time. However, it’s a problem with most under-desk ellipticals. At least, Tappio packs lubricating oil to grease up wheels and minimize that noise.

56.5 EXPERT SCORE

This mini elliptical solves two common problems. First, you can use it while standing or sitting. Secondly, the motion is dual-way: forward and reverse. Switching for short spurts helps you strengthen all leg muscles.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Forward + Reverse dual-way motion
  • Vinyl surface to prevent floor scratches
  • It can be used while standing and sitting
  • A lubricating oil is included to reduce squeaks

Could be better:

  • Mediocre after-sales service and customer support

5. SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Essential Series Elliptical

SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Essential Series Elliptical
  • Type/Model: Interactive Elliptical
  • Item Weight: 60.8 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 220 lbs
  • Color Palette: Black/Gray
  • Product Dimensions: 39.4” x 26.4” x 59.8”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed, Pulse
  • Workout Programs: SunnyFit App
  • Additional Features: Full-body Handlebars, Smart Controls, Media Shelf

The Essentials Series budget friendly elliptical introduced cutting-edge features, like Bluetooth connectivity, on-demand live workout classes, and virtual resistance controls.

The E-Series is a no-frill modern machine. It doesn't have the interactive benefits of a NordicTrack. However, a brand-new SunnyFit library contains over 500 workout lessons. You can ask for special guidance too. The entire community competes and shares progress with each other. All goes free and forever! You only have to connect the device. It doesn't put forward complicated user settings, either.

Each workout has its own resistance and interval preset by the moderator. But you can always change it. This variant has eight resistance levels. Oversized foot plates could use a little padding. Handlebars are thankfully comfy and equipped with heart rate sensors. You can tally speed, rpm, pulse, level, calories, and total time and distance through a built-in display or app.

At a 40" x 60" footprint, it'll easily go with lower ceilings and tight spaces. But short size indicates a short stride. It only circulates for 11". This might feel a bit choppy at first if you're overly tall and have naturally long strides.

56 EXPERT SCORE

The E-Series is a no-frill modern machine. It doesn't have the interactive benefits of a NordicTrack. However, a brand-new SunnyFit library contains over 500 workout lessons.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Interactive controls and classes through SunnyFit App
  • EKG grip sensors and odometer
  • Simpler user settings than other Bluetooth-compatible models
  • Three years extended warranty on frame

Could be better:

  • 11-in long stride might feel short and unnatural
BEST SEATED

6. BODY POWER 3-in-1 Trio Trainer

Body-Power-2nd-Generation
  • Type/Model: Cross-training Elliptical
  • Item Weight: 90 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Color Palette: Red/Gray
  • Product Dimensions: 63” x 25” x 55”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed, Pulse
  • Workout Programs: None
  • Additional Features: Full-body Handlebars, Adjustable Seat, Variable Resistance

Body Power is among a handful of outlets selling trio-trainers. Leisa Hart gives her workout and meal plans with it. Staying in shape without splurging seems to be the perfect motto.

There are two ways of budget shopping. Either you choose an inexpensive elliptical out there or find a multifunctional one. This trio-trainer may feel like a huge upfront investment. But you'll save a lot of money and space in the long run. You step on the pedals, and it's your elliptical. Lean back and switch the handles for an upright or recumbent bike. You don't have to adjust or mount any hardware for this transition.

Performing BODY POWER 3-in-1 Trio Trainer
Photo by @leisahartfit

You’ll get three sets of handlebars for each style: swiveling dual-action, fixed U-shape, and side-seat wraparound handles. Its electronic console shows vital stats along with the pulse rating. The full-body bars can be detached if you're not exercising your arms.

Body Power uses a fluidity flywheel to optimize safety and efficiency. The brake pad prevents sudden mishaps and stores momentum. It makes your cycling sessions more fun and comparable to the standalone floor bikes. It reserves the extra momentum of elliptical training and releases it in short bursts during intervals.

55.5 EXPERT SCORE

This trio-trainer may feel like a huge upfront investment. But you'll save a lot of money and space in the long run. You step on the pedals, and it's your elliptical.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • No-hassle transition across movements
  • Cushioned back support for recumbent biking
  • Three sets of handlebars for each modality
  • Patented flywheel for low-impact elliptical and pro-grade bike training

Could be better:

  • Resistance levels may be not enough for professional athletes
BEST WITH RESISTANCE BANDS

7. STAMINA InMotion Compact Strider

STAMINA InMotion Compact Strider
  • Type/Model: Under-desk Elliptical
  • Item Weight: 24 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Color Palette: Black, Black/Green, Black/Silver
  • Product Dimensions: 24” x 18” x 12”
  • Display: Time, Calories, Steps/minute, Total Steps
  • Workout Programs: Muuv App
  • Additional Features: Resistance Bands, Carry Handle, Variable Resistance

Stamina Products started as a garage sale in Missouri thirty years ago. It's famous for AeroPilates Reformers, recommended by Denise Austin, Mia Finnegan, and Kathy Smith, among others.

Choosing between a mini and standard elliptical boils down to whether you need total-body fitness or a space-saving design. What if we could have both? The Stamina InMotion is a compact, lightweight strider with built-in elastic bands for an upper-body workout. The natural latex is of high quality, with attached d-rings and padded handles.

You can use it forward or reverse, sitting or standing. The 250 lbs load capacity is also above average for an under-desk elliptical. Also, many companies like Sunny Health & Fitness reserve smart controls for higher-end models. With Stamina, you get unlimited access to Muuv. It’s full of audio coaching lessons related to cardio, strength, and flexibility. It’s further connected to iHeart Radio for times when you’re looking to jazz up your regimen.

Its cordless sister elliptical doesn’t have a carrying handle. But you’ll get one here. However, its magnetic resistance is a little shoddy. At a certain level, the inner brush hardly presses against the wheel, making loud knocks constantly.

55 EXPERT SCORE

The Stamina InMotion is a compact, lightweight strider with built-in elastic bands for an upper-body workout. The natural latex is of high quality, with attached d-rings and padded handles.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Resistance bands allow upper-body exercises
  • Access to Muuv audio coaching lessons
  • Easy set-up; the app contains an assembly video too
  • Available in three color schemes

Could be better:

  • Prone to making loud squeaks at a high tension

8. BODY CHAMP 3-in-1 Exercise Machine Plus Two

BODY CHAMP 3-in-1 Exercise Machine Plus Two
  • Type/Model: Cross-training Elliptical
  • Item (Package) Weight: 108 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Color Palette: Black/Silver
  • Product Dimensions: 60” x 28” x 64”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed, Pulse
  • Workout Programs: 21 training programs
  • Additional Features: Media Shelf, Adjustable Seat, Variable Resistance

This best value elliptical and bike combo works under the same patent as Body Power 3-in-1 trainer. However, it has experimented extensively with the overall build and interactive settings.

The base uses less steel. But its extended width compensates for the lost stability. It has an improved magnetic-encased flywheel, as resistance hikes immediately affect your workouts. It had a stab at toppling competitors by incorporating an array of pre-programmed routines. However, there is no upgrade for the interface. Still a low cost elliptical, its regular price is double that of the Body Power trio trainer, nonetheless.

This model is featured as a three-in-one plus two. You get the signature elliptical, stationary, and recumbent bike positions. There are dedicated sets of handles for all modes. Additionally, you can use it as a seated or sprint road bike. Only the expensive floor cycles give this much versatility. Still, you don’t have to mount or remove any hardware for switching among exercises.

The stationary handles and the seat are fully adjustable. You can play with them unless you lock a comfortable sitting posture with display and tension settings in your arm reach. Also, the upper bike pedals can pivot 45 degrees.

54.5 EXPERT SCORE

The base uses less steel. But its extended width compensates for the lost stability. It has an improved magnetic-encased flywheel, as resistance hikes immediately affect your workouts.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • 21 preset workout routines, including interval trainings
  • Two extra exercise modes: sprint and seated road bike cycling
  • Extended 28” base for added stability
  • Adjustable pedal stroke for proper leg extension

Could be better:

  • Screws and bolts need to be tightened frequently

9. SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Compact Stand-Up Elliptical

SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Compact Stand-Up Elliptical
  • Type/Model: Under-desk Elliptical
  • Item Weight: 32.6 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 220 lbs
  • Color Palette: Gray
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5” x 33.5” x 51.75”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed
  • Workout Programs: None
  • Additional Features: Transport Wheels, Smooth Glide Wheels, Carry Handle

E-3988 was the first and the most successful attempt at creating a handled version of a mini elliptical, fusing the stability of standard and convenience of under-desk designs.

Sunny’s portable design is one of the best cheap ellipticals on the market. It had one impediment: the lack of vertical support. You can’t use that standing. Without good balance, you’ll tip over. This variant comes with a stationary handle – U-shaped, foam padded, and about 52” long. You can twist the knob for two-way adjustability. Now, you won't need to place a chair or resort to seated cardio only. You indeed target more muscles in your thighs and core with a stand-up elliptical.

Other features are identical. There are eight levels of resistance, easily controlled with a large dial. Smooth rolling glide rails make for a safe circular motion. The console is fitted in the center of your stance. You can keep an eye on all metrics. Press the scan function for automatic repetition, so you don't have to crouch mid-workout to review the target distance or calories.

Foot plates are angled and bumped from midway up, ergonomically fitting all shoe sizes. The texture is rigid, not rough. You can hop on bare feet and enjoy a tenacious grip.

53.5 EXPERT SCORE

Sunny’s portable design is one of the best cheap ellipticals on the market. It had one impediment: the lack of vertical support. You can’t use that standing. Without good balance, you’ll tip over.


Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • The adjustable handlebar provides a non-slip grip
  • The handle removes for efficient storage and under-desk use
  • Wheels better navigate a carpeted surface than rollers
  • Wheels better navigate a carpeted surface than rollers

Could be better:

  • The handle comes loose and needs tightening

10. EXERPEUTIC 2000XL Elliptical Trainer

EXERPEUTIC 2000XL Elliptical Trainer
  • Type/Model: Interactive Elliptical
  • Item Weight: 76 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 300 lbs
  • Color Palette: Gold/Brown
  • Product Dimensions: 54” x 23” x 76”
  • Display: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed, Pulse
  • Workout Programs: MyCloudFitness App
  • Additional Features: Full-body Handlebars, Smart Controls, Variable Resistance

Exerpeutic ellipticals are manufactured by Paradigm Health and Wellness. They share ranks with well-known brands like Fitness Reality, Ironman Fitness, ProGear, and several cloud-based fitness solutions.

The exerpeutic lineup of affordable elliptical machines consists of 1000 and 2000 XL models. The latter comes with Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair it with the MCF app on your Android or IOS device. Enjoy tailored programs, hike virtual scenic routes, and set different goals. However, heart rate monitoring requires a chest strap instead of pulse sensors in fixed handlebars. Furthermore, the media shelf is designed in a way that your device completely hides the display. You can’t follow a trainer-led class on your phone and track progress through the monitor at the same time.

This machine is extraordinary on two fronts. First, the weight capacity is 300 lbs – the highest on our list. It's due to the decent build. Secondly, the price range lingers in the medium-grade market, making it the best budget elliptical for big boys and serious users.

It will give you eight tension levels. The resistance is magnetic and remains super-quiet for a long time. More expensive exerpeutics, like 4000 and 5000, have electronic controls. Such a feature is obviously missing here.

53.5 EXPERT SCORE

The exerpeutic lineup of affordable elliptical machines consists of 1000 and 2000 XL models. The latter comes with Bluetooth connectivity.


Adjustability:0
StimMonitor Functionalityulation:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Multifunctionality:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • 300 lbs of heavyweight load capacity
  • 54” x 23” footprint of a full-sized elliptical is on a smaller side
  • Access to My Cloud Fitness App for workout tracking and reports
  • Comes with all the necessary set-up tools and instructions

Could be better:

  • Requires a separate chest belt for in-app heart rate monitoring

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Budget vs. Cheap Elliptical: What’s the Difference?

Mostly, we throw the words cheap and budget interchangeably. Both indicate a low and affordable price, but don't necessarily mean the same all the time. Following are a few differences between the two you should remember.

1. Construction

Budget elliptical machines are often the entry-level variants of famous brands, such as Sunny, Exerpeutic, Body Flex, ProForm, etc.

The Essentials Series Elliptical we reviewed is the early version of Sunny Health & Fitness Power Stride. The features change, but the build quality remains top-notch. Such is not the case with cheap trainers. They use less metal than plastic to reduce the cost, which also compromises the item's durability.

2. Ergonomics

Unlike a treadmill, elliptical motion isn't free-form. Meanwhile, you're constrained to the movement of the machine. Superior ergonomics here make sure you feel comfortable throughout.

We won’t get any inclines or electronic safety lockouts in budget models. But there will be a few considerations, such as the texture and size of foot plates, grip and adjustments of handlebars, and the configuration of the seat (if any). If your top decision factor is to go with the cheapest elliptical, you might miss these critical quality-of-life characteristics.

Training With Elliptical

3. Monitor Feedback

Unless you're ready to spend thousands, you'll get a bare-boned display. It'll simply read out the duration of your training, calories burned, and distance covered. Some might give you heart rate monitoring too.

The problem with unknown products flooding Amazon is the accuracy of that feedback. They don't take your weight, pace, and resistance into account. Rather, they rely on preset averages. For example, a 1-minute run will show you 10 calories and 0.1 miles. That's not so helpful!

4. Resistance

Variable resistance has become a standard in elliptical trainers. You’ll get a tension dial to manually switch the level. It’s essential to accommodate multiple users over a long time. A senior can tackle mobility issues and an athlete can grow aerobic capacity.

All budget and mid-range ellipticals have been upgraded to a magnetic system. They utilize brake force and magnetic caliper to control the resistance. This system is quiet. More importantly, it lets you run slow on high settings, which is impossible with air resistance. Some dirt-cheap models give you an outdated and loud system, sacrificing the purpose of elliptical training.

5. Value for Money

In budget shopping, we tend to maximize the value – maximum benefits at minimum cost. Still, the price might not be the lowest.

You'll be looking at the entire customer experience. Popular brands manage efficient shipping and delivery process. They may also allow expert assembly if you're not a hardcore DIYer. Then, there is a return policy and warranties.

What to Look For in a Budget Elliptical?

Once we have understood the salient features of a budget friendly elliptical, let’s discuss how to find one.

1. Adjustability

Adjustable frames cater to specific body shapes. You may have adjustable contact points, such as handlebars, stride, and the seat. Vertically movable parts adjust for different user heights. Similarly, horizontal adjustments in seats and fixed handles give you a perfect posture and ROM. You should also have the option of variable resistance. So you jump between cardio and strength training.

2. Monitor Functionality

Budget models rarely give preset workout routines, heart rate sensors, and monitor-based or in-app adjustments. But they are value-adding extras. Your focus should stay on the practicality of display. The screen should be large and preferably backlit. It must be located in the center if you’re using a mini elliptical. SCAN or MODE functions come in handy.

Ellipticals in Use

3. Portability

For home gym owners, budget and space constraints often go hand in hand. If you can’t allocate too much floor area, under-desk models are worth a look. Visit Sunny Health and Stamina stores for some best budget ellipticals. Size and dimensions are half the story. Little add-ons – like wheels, rollers, and pull handles – shot up the transportability of a gear.

4. Multifunctionality

Cross-training ellipticals are cardio favorites of at-home fitness geeks. You indirectly save a lot of money and space by bringing a multifunctional machine home. Body Rider and Body Flex Sports produce the best-selling 2/3-in-1 models on Amazon. You get a bike, stepper, or recumbent along with an elliptical.

5. Price/Quality

Having said that, a budget device doesn't lack quality. You'll still get high-quality materials. A metallic base with well-done coating and welds lasts a long time. If you have a recumbent, look for a comfy seat. High-density foam padding and tear-resistant faux leather covering should be your priority. Better yet, double stitching holds up pretty well in the long run.

Performing Training With Elliptical

How to Use Budget Ellipticals Right?

Knowing how to use an elliptical correctly will save you from injuries while maximizing the calorie burn. Read the accompanied instructions thoroughly. Call on a friend if assembly seems to be tricky.

  • Make sure the machine stands on a hard and even surface. Use a workout mat if your elliptical doesn’t have rigid stabilizers.
  • Initiate the movement by stepping on the lower plate. You can take support from handlebars. But avoid constantly leaning on them. Don't put all the pressure on your toes. Try the regular walk.
  • Move your arms and foot together – left leg stretched, right handle pulled, and vice versa. Use a chair or wall to get you up and down a compact under-desk elliptical.
  • Watch out for the slouching posture. Although a dominant lower-body exercise, elliptical can also engage your core. Keep your shoulders neutral, spine straight, and knees flexible.
  • Reduce distractions, such as TV or a book. Music can help you groove along the elliptical movement.
  • Turn up the resistance once you easily top out the current setting. Do a five-minute warm-up and cool-down with high-intensity intervals. Target at least 150 minutes of cardio training a week.

FAQ

Are Home Ellipticals Worth It?

Home ellipticals are never a bad idea. They help you tone and strengthen your legs, arms, and core muscles. Harvard Health estimates a 30-minute elliptical training burns 270-378 calories, depending on your body weight. It's amazing! Moreover, it's a low-impact machine suitable for seniors or injured people.

How much should I spend on an elliptical?

Home elliptical trainers range from $200 to upward of $2000. There are three classes: entry-level, medium-range, and high-end. The first one will give you the best budget elliptical with essential adjustments. Going up in the market will put you closer to commercial-grade quality.

Is the elliptical better than walking outside?

Elliptical is more efficient at torching calories. You also exert less stress on your joints, 35% less bodyweight force compared to walking, because your feet never actually leave the pedals. Then, there are practical benefits. No looking up at clouds and finding your umbrella.

Conclusion

Elliptical trainers are a significant piece of home gym equipment. You don't need to explode your budget, since many companies provide bang for your buck. We've shortlisted ten of them. Body Rider Dual Trainer appeared as the best budget elliptical.

Do you think our list lacks some deserving elliptical machines? You may have one at your home and find it really helpful. Let’s share your experience and goals in the comment section.

Also read:

References:

  1. 10 benefits of an elliptical machine // HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/elliptical-benefits#benefits
  2. Elliptical Forward vs. Reverse for Muscles // SportsRec: https://www.sportsrec.com/5136006/elliptical-forward-vs-reverse-for-muscles
  3. The Way You Make Me Feel: Psychological and cerebral responses to music during real-life physical activity // Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1469029217301425
  4. Adults ages 18 to 64 years // HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-much-exercise-should-you-be-getting#Adults-ages-18-to-64-years
  5. Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights // Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-for-people-of-three-different-weights
  6. Effect of Elliptical Training for Balance and Gait Training in Patients with Chronic Stroke-A Case Report // International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences: https://www.ijmrhs.com/medical-research/effect-of-elliptical-training-for-balance-and-gait-training-in-patients-with-chronic-strokea-case-report-72570.html
  7. Elliptical or Walking Which is Better? // Positive Choice: https://positivechoice.org/elliptical-or-walking-which-is-better/

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Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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3 Comments

  1. As someone who’s been looking for an inexpensive elliptical machine that’s both easy to use and effective, the Body Rider Dual Trainer has been an absolute opening for me.
    I love how it allows me to get a full-body workout while also having the option to sit down and cycle if I want to take it easy. What I appreciate most about this machine is its adjustable features, especially since I’m on the taller side.
    The seat can be moved in various directions, and the handlebars can be set at different heights. It’s great to have the ability to customize my workout to my needs. The console is straightforward and displays everything I need to track my progress, including time, distance, calories, and speed. I also love how I can manually adjust the resistance levels to make my workouts more challenging as I get stronger. The only small downside is that it doesn’t come with any pre-programmed workouts, but I don’t mind creating my routine. Overall, I would highly recommend this gear to anyone looking for an affordable, versatile, and efficient elliptical machine.

  2. Hi @Anna!

    Mini ellipticals can be a good option for people who want to stay active and improve their cardiovascular health but don’t have the time or space for a full-sized elliptical.

    They are compact and lightweight, making them easy to store and move around, and they provide a low-impact workout that can be easier on the joints than high-impact activities like running.

    However, it’s important to note that mini ellipticals may not provide as intense of a workout as their full-sized counterparts, and they may not be as durable or long-lasting.

    Overall, whether or not a mini elliptical is worth it will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

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