Best Affordable Elliptical Machines Review 2017

Updated on March 18th,2017

Having an elliptical trainer in your home enables you to get a great cardio workout without stepping out your back door. Many ellipticals, however, run into the thousands of dollars and are out of reach for most people. Of course, there are budget ellipticals on the market, but many of them are lacking in quality. In this article, we discover the top 10 cheap elliptical trainers that deliver premium quality along with their brilliant price.

A Quick Look at the Top 10

The best affordable elliptical trainer on the 2017 market is the Sunny SF-E3609, which provides you with a quality stride experience, a compact footprint and double handle monitors. We also loved the Schwinn 430, with it’s fluid stride motion, 12 levels of resistance and iFit Bluetooth capacity.

Our third favorite affordable elliptical is the Body Champ 2-in-1, which provides 17 resistance levels, low impact stride and also doubles as an exercycle.

To make it easier for you to compare the best budget cross trainers we’ve rated each on the basis of price and durability. We’ve then provided an overall rating out of 5 for each product. In the following section, we go in depth on each trainer.​

The Top 10 Up Close

Sunny SF-E3609

Sunny SF-E3609

The Sunny SF-E3609 provides you with a high functioning elliptical motion at a budget price. The magnetic engineering process provides you with a smooth, natural motion. There are 8 levels of adjustable resistance to provide you with a progressive intensity workout. The machine features large foot pedals and an eleven inch stride length. This provides you with a full range of motion that effectively works your glutes, thighs and hamstrings.

The Sunny SF-E3609 features a high quality monitor with an LCD readout of your speed, time, distance, calories, pulse and odometer. You also get hand pulse monitors that allow you to get ongoing heart rate information. The maximum weight on this unit is 265 pounds. Portability is enhanced with easy transport wheels.

PROS

  • Great Price
  • 8 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Hand pulse monitors

CONS

  • Max user weight limited to 265 pounds

Schwinn 430

Schwinn 430

The Schwinn 430 is a high tech elliptical that provides you with a whole range of training and monitoring options. The high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel provides you with a very smooth, jerk free and natural elliptical range of motion. You get a full 20 levels of resistance to allow you to gradually increase your training intensity as you get fitter. It also makes this machine ideal for all members of the family.

The Schwinn 430 delivers 22 workout programs, which include two user settings and goal tracking programs. This allows you to essentially have personal trainer guidance every day. The machine is paired with the Schwinn Connect app, which allows you to constantly monitor and analyze your goal progression.

PROS

  • 20 levels of resistance
  • 22 workout programs
  • Schwinn Connect compatibility

CONS

  • A little noisy

Body Champ 2-in-1 - Best Elliptical Under $300

Body Champ 2-in-1

The Body Champ 2-in-1 personal is both an elliptical trainer and an exercise bike. It’s patented elliptical motion design technology ensures that you get an ideal arc of movement with arm as well as leg mobility. The programmable magnetic resistance system allows you get a low impact workout that won’t harm your knees or lower back. With a 250 pound max user weight, this machine is sturdy and robust.

The Body Champ 2-in-1 cross trainer provides you with 17 pre-set workout programs that offer a full range of training types. You also get variable resistance settings and a full function LCD display to monitor your vital training statistics. It’s compact footprint and knee price makes it an ideal home gym investment.

PROS

  • 17 workout programs
  • Elliptical + cycle
  • Low impact

CONS

  • A little noisy

Gazelle Freestyle Step Machine

Gazelle Freestyle Step Machine

The Gazelle Freestyle step machine is a free motion strider that allows you to get a maximum range of motion. This provides an effective workout for all the muscles of the lower body, including the glutes. The motion is smooth with no jerkiness or sudden stops. The Gazelle feature a unique dual motion split suspension.

The Gazelle Freestyle step machine gives you a very low impact workout that protects your ankles and your knees. Your upper body also gets an effective workout through the movement of the arms. This unit comes with an onboard computer display to provide a readout of your vital training data. The unit is well constructed, being able to support a max weight of 300 pounds.

PROS

  • Very smooth motion
  • Dual motion split suspension
  • 300 pound max weight

CONS

  • Very heavy

Stamina In Motion

Stamina In Motion

The Stamina In Motion mini elliptical trainer is a foot trainer that can be placed under your desk, in front of the couch or under the dining room table. It is extremely compact, lightweight and portable, allowing you to train anywhere, anytime. It is also unobtrusive, making it great for use in the office. Non slip pedals prevent your feet from slipping off the pedals and the feet are designed to adhere to the floor.

The Stamina In Motion has a centrally located LCD monitor that provides tracking of your key workout data. This unit is ergonomically designed for the lowest impact possible. It has a strong, sturdy frame that will provide you with durability and functionality.

PROS

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Non slip pedals
  • Sturdy failure

CONS

  • Not for tall people

ProForm CardioHit Trainer

ProForm CardioHit Trainer

The ProForm CardioHitTrainer is a high tech elliptical with plenty of power to push you to a great workout. It provides you with a massive 32 workout programs, along with 24 levels of resistance. The 5-inch horizontal and 10-inch vertical elliptical strider path gives you a full range of motion to give you a great workout on your butt and thighs. The inertia enhanced flywheel provides you with a very natural, smooth movement range.

The ProForm CardioHit Trainer has large, oversized foot pedals to provide safety and comfort. You also get multi function padded handlebars and a Coola Ire workout fan, along with EKG grip pulse rate sensors. The max user weight of the unit is 350 pounds.

Your purchase is protected by a 5-year warranty.

PROS

  • 15-inch stride length
  • 350-pound max user weight
  • 16 levels of resistance

CONS

  • Difficult to assemble

Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper

Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper

The Sunny Health and Fitness Twist Stepper is an extremely compact, twister which provides you with an exceptional core workout. There are no upright arms on this unit. Instead it makes use of resistance bands that provide you with a twist action to work your thighs and buns, while also providing an effective workout for your core. It does all of this without placing any stress on your joints. It provides you with an adjustable level of resistance.

The Sunny Health and Fitness Twist Stepper is made from heavy duty steel and sturdy resistance band material to ensure longevity and durability. The footplates are large and is slip resistant, assuring the you always have a firm footing from which to work.

PROS

  • Unique twisting motion
  • No joint stress
  • Heavy duty steel construction

CONS

  • Short range of motion

ProForm Smart Strider 735 - Best Elliptical under $700

ProForm Smart Strider 735

The ProForm Smart Strider 735 has an easy step through frame that is both lightweight and compact. It has a 300 pound maximum user weight limit.You get 22 workout apps and 20 digital resistance levels. A smooth flywheel provides you with a natural, jerk free striding motion. The tech enhanced monitor is compatible with iFit, and Bluetooth Smart. The LCS display gives you a clear readout of your training data, including calories.

The ProForm 735 has EKG grip monitoring to provide you with a very accurate pulse calculation. You can also plug in your iPod to enable you to play your favorite music while you’re training. This is a compact, stylish unit that looks great and delivers a great cardio workout time after time.

PROS

  • 300 pound user weight
  • Tech enhanced monitor
  • iPod compatible

CONS

  • Noisy

Fitness Reality E-5500XL

Fitness Reality E-5500XL

The Fitness Reality E-5500XL operates on a double transmission system. That means that you get two flywheels and a two-belt design system to give you a smoother, momentum free ride. You also get 18 inches of range of motion. This trainer has been ergonomically designed to provide you with the very best body positioning possible. A sleek, slim-lined design gives a compact, attractive profile.

The Fitness Reality trainer gives you 24 levels of magnetic resistance, along with 21 pre-set workout programs. This gives you a lot of training options and makes this elliptical trainer ideal for all members of the family. The backlit LCD display provides readouts of all of your essential training data. You get a 12 month warranty with this trainer.

PROS

  • 24 magnetic resistance levels
  • 21 pre-set workouts
  • Double transmission system

CONS

  • Difficult to assemble

Universal E40

Universal E40

The Universal E40 heavy duty elliptical boasts a perimeter-weighted flywheel that provides a natural, fluid striding motion. The steel frame is very sturdy and compact. The handles are foam padded to provide comfort when gripping the handles. You get a 17 inch stride with the Universal E40. Only 7 workout programs are provided, but they give you a good range of ability levels. The LCD console gives you clear, large readout of your workout stats.

There are also 8 resistance levels on the E40. The weight capacity of this machine is 275 pounds. An eddy brake resistance system provides a very smooth stop / start to your workout. There is a 3 year warranty on the frame and mechanical parts, with 1 year on the electronics.

PROS

  • 8 resistance levels
  • Sturdy steel frame
  • 3 year frame and mechanics warranty

CONS

  • Only 17 inch stride

Conclusion

The best budget elliptical cross trainer is the Sunny SF-E3609, with its smooth, natural feeling stride movement, high spec monitor and double handles. The second best low priced elliptical is the Schwinn 430, which gives you a very smooth, gliding motion, iFit compatibility and 12 resistance levels.

Rounding out our top 3 low cost elliptical machines is the Body Champ 2-in-1, which doubles as an exercycle, while providing a very robust cross trainer with 17 levels of resistance.