An elliptical can be a great investment for those who want a low-impact workout anytime in the comfort of home. But with most models costing way more than most of us would like to shell out, some might find that buying an elliptical is less than practical.
For those budget-minded buyers out there, I did a little research. I went to see what the market has to offer for people who want an inexpensive elliptical, and I found a number of choices that offer just the right performance for 300 bucks or less. Wondering which ones are right on the money? Find out here.
The 8 Best Inexpensive Elliptical Machines
|Marcy Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Cardio Workout Machine||
EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer E006
Compact, complete, and efficient, the EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer E006 has to be the best budget elliptical in my books. The machine features 8 levels of magnetic resistance, a simple digital display for workout monitoring, a pulse rate monitor, non-slip footpads, and convenient transport wheels for easy storage. It’s light and straightforward, and offers much better durability compared to most other budget ellipticals available.
What most buyers really appreciate about the E006 is the fact that it’s a major space-saver. The entire machine is only 4 feet long, weighing only 75 pounds. So moving it around in your space is easy and effortless. This, plus the fact that it does what an elliptical should, makes it a really smart pick if you want a quality machine that won’t weigh too hard on your budget.
- Compact design makes it easy to move the machine around for storage
- 8 levels of magnetic resistance at arm’s reach lets you readily adjust intensity for a custom workout
- Simple digital display allows you to monitor your workout at a glance
- Pulse rate monitor is accurate and reliable
- Non-slip footpads keep you from having to adjust your footing to reduce discomfort and possible strain
- Durable build despite its budget friendly price
- Easily accessible controls make adjusting your workout quick and immediate
- May generate some squeaking noises after some time of use
Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider
If you really don’t have a lot of space to spare, or if you want to burn a few calories even while seated, then the Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider might be a good choice. The ultra-compact design can easily slide under a table, and works well to give you that extra dose of exercise even when you’re busy at your desk.
The design features adjustable tension controls to bump up or tone down intensity, a small display monitor to give you a better idea of your workout, and sturdy textured pads that effectively keep your feet in place. What I particularly appreciate about the E1000 though is that it also allows reverse motion which you don’t usually see in a desk elliptical. This can help workout other parts of your lower limbs without having to recalibrate the machine all together.
- Ultra-compact and portable design lets you work out anytime, anywhere
- Can be used either sitting or standing
- Adjustable tension easily switches up intensity to match your capabilities
- Reverse motion lets you target other parts of your lower extremities
- Small digital monitor tells you your pace, number of steps, and even your calories burned to give a precise summary of your work out
- Quiet operation lets you use the machine at work without disturbing anyone else
- The footplates can loosen after a while – nothing a wrench can’t handle though.
JFit Under Desk and Stand Up Mini Elliptical
The JFit Under Desk and Stand Up Mini Elliptical is another compact elliptical design that can accommodate both sitting and standing postures. Much like the InMotion E1000, this elliptical can fit easily under a desk or table. But one of the distinctions is that the JFit’s incline can be adjusted so as to make the sitting position a little more comfortable. By titling the footplates either forwards or backwards, you can reduce the amount of flexion at the ankles.
Another feature that I want to mention is the carrying handle built into the machine. Being that it is advertised as a compact and portable machine, the addition of a handle seemed to me like a practical and useful addition especially if you want to bring the elliptical to work.
- Compact design can easily fit under any desk or table
- Lightweight build makes it easy to carry around
- Adjustable tension lets you achieve the right intensity for your preferences
- Adaptable incline reduces stress on the ankles for a more effective workout
- Series 1050 Monitor records your distance, steps, time, speed, and calories used
- Easy carry handle lets you carry your elliptical around with ease
- Tends to generate a squeaking noise especially when used in the standing position
GoPlus 2 in 1 Elliptical Fan Bike Dual Cross Trainer
This elliptical-slash-exercise bike is one of the most versatile on the list. Offering users the ability to complete two different exercise styles with one machine, the GoPlus 2 in 1 Dual Cross Trainer is ideal if you want to regularly shake up your low-intensity cardio. The machine features a simple LCD display for work out monitoring, heart rate sensors on the grips, adjustable resistance, and a sturdy metal frame that’s guaranteed to last for years without damage.
All things considered, the GoPlus 2 in 1 is just a straightforward machine that gets the job done. The no-frills design makes it easy to start and finish a work out, letting you enjoy the benefits of cardio quickly, simply, and easily.
- 2 in 1 design lets you use the machine either as an elliptical or as an exercise bike
- Ultra durable frame is reliable, safe, and sturdy
- Small LCD monitor is simple and straightforward, giving you the most essential details of your workout in a glance
- Accurate heart rate monitoring
- Adjustable seat height and position to give you a comfortable ride
- Easy intensity adjustment knob lets you bump up the challenge with a flick of the wrist
- Can’t sustain weights beyond 220 pounds, which is kind of low for this type of machine
- Assembly can be tedious
Exerpeutic GOLD Elliptical and Exercise Bike Dual Trainer
The Exerpeutic GOLD Elliptical and Exercise Bike Dual Trainer is yet another versatile work out machine. The design incorporates the benefits of a bike and an elliptical into one machine – an ideal function for those who want to mix up their cardio, or those who want to save up on their space at home.
The GOLD Elliptical and Exercise Bike comes fitted with an LCD monitor that indicates distance, speed, and calories burnt. The pedals can move in reverse motion to help you target other muscle groups in the legs and abdomen. Dual action arms on the other hand, let you engage the upper body for a full body work out. Finally, the machine comes with two easy transport wheels that make it possible to move the elliptical around. This makes it a good pick if you don’t want it hanging around in your space while not in use.
- 2 in 1 design lets you mix up your cardio routine with just one machine
- Transport wheels allow easy storage when machine isn’t in use
- Reverse motion engages other muscle groups
- Dual action arms let you achieve a full body work out
- LCD monitor tracks your distance, time, and speed
- Seat is adjustable in four different planes to give you a comfortable ride
- Easy to assemble
- Loud operation can cause a bit of a disturbance to others in your space
- Some parts may wiggle around and seem flimsy
While this machine is a best elliptical under $300 choice, Exerpeutic makes a slightly more expensive model that’s at the top of our Best Elliptical Under $500 list.
Marcy Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Cardio Workout Machine
What I love about the Marcy Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Cardio Workout Machine is that it has a very small footprint despite being a full-sized machine. So if you don’t want a desk elliptical but don’t want a bulky piece of equipment in your space either, the Marcy Elliptical is the perfect middle ground to suit your preference.
Much like other ellipticals, this one comes with a small yet intuitive LCD monitor, 8 different levels of resistance, moveable arms for a full body work out, large foot plates, and easy transport wheels for effortless storage.
- Super small footprint lets you enjoy a full-size elliptical without losing too much space in your home
- LCD monitor provides information on speed, time, distance, and calories burnt
- Large footplates for comfortable and stable footing
- 8 preset levels of resistance to meet your specific level of strength
- Transport wheels for easy storage
- Simple and straightforward assembly instructions
- Screen quality isn’t the best, so it may be difficult to see in some lighting conditions
- Squeaks after some time of use
- Some screws may loosen during use, be sure to keep an eye out.
Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Trainer with Hand Pulse Monitoring
Since these are all budget models, you shouldn’t really expect the longest lifespan out of them. But the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Trainer with Hand Pulse Monitoring makes it a little easier to shell out the cash with its long term warranty. Unlike other picks on my list, this particular machine boasts a 3 year warranty on the frame, which is much longer compared to other choices that limit their warranty to just 1 year.
Other than that, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E905 comes with all the same standard features that you would expect from an elliptical in its price range. These include an LCD monitor, adjustable tension, transport wheels, large anti-slip footplates, a smooth magnetic resistance mechanism, and a heart rate monitor.
- Long warranty lets you get repairs on the frame within 3 years of purchase
- Adjustable resistance lets you set the intensity to meet your standards
- LCD monitor provides information on heart rate, distance, speed, time, and calories burnt
- Easy transport wheels help you store the machine with little effort
- Textured anti-slip footplates allow stable footing
- Compact design
- Weight capacity only until 220 pounds
- May be uncomfortable to use for people over 5’5”
- Stride length is only around one foot
Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer 2 in 1 Exercise Bike
My last pick for budget conscious buyers is the Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer 2 in 1 Exercise Bike. This run-of-the-mill design features all the same functions and parts that other 2 in 1 bike ellipticals have. Personally, I really didn’t find that there was anything that truly set it apart from other choices.
Perhaps the only thing I can say about the Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer 2 in 1 Exercise Bike is that it works as intended. Assembly is easy, the machine itself isn’t too bulky, and the design just does the job if you’re a beginner. Quality wise, it’s not too shabby either. Sure, it’s not the best. But considering the price, it’s not such a bad deal anyway.
- Simple assembly
- 2 in 1 design integrates a bike with an elliptical
- LCD monitoring gives input on heart rate, distance, calories burnt, speed, and time
- Resistance is adjustable to meet your physical capacity
- Engages the whole body
- Not the most durable machine on the market
- May generate some noise during use
- Some plastic parts may feel flimsy and unsafe