How to Choose Best Elliptical Machines under 500

Elliptical machines are stationary workout equipment that stimulates running, walking or stair climbing. They help in providing effective cardio workouts, improve aerobic capacity and in burning calories. The best elliptical machine under 500 should essentially be joint friendly so as to lower the risk of sustaining injuries.

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There are three main types of elliptical machines namely; traditional, elliptical cross-trainers and dual function or hybrid elliptical trainers. Traditional ones do not have movable arms/ handgrips while in a cross trainer you have movable hand grips which are mainly for the upper body workout. Lastly, a dual function trainer works as an exercise bike or an elliptical trainer and usually comes with an adjustable seat. Another classification, based on the location of the drive/ motor, groups elliptical trainers under three categories rear drive, front drive and the more modern center drive.

Elliptical machines are primarily driven by the user’s feet. The common usage of elliptical machines is where one assumes an upright standing position with a straight back and makes forward or reverse movements using the pedals and handrails.

Key Factors to Consider:

key factors to consider

Given the numerous benefits an elliptical machine provides, it is only right to be aware of the crucial factors to consider before buying it. These key elements are the most basic objects to expect in an effective elliptical machine irrespective of our fair price range the best elliptical under $200 to under 500.


Apart from being large and stationary, elliptical machines are not designed to be foldable. The front drive type of machine is usually more compact and easy to store, however the center drive one is even more compact than the front and rear drive types. It is advisable to take measurements of your home space, inclusive of ceiling height, to help you determine the suitable size for you.

Incline and Stride Length:

According to scientists, the greater the incline and/or stride length you set the more muscle activation you achieve. The incline ability helps you to focus on different sets of muscles and keep you motivated throughout the workout. Elliptical machines will tend to have a 20 degrees maximum incline.

The ideal stride length will fall in the range of 18-20 inches; if shorter than that the elliptical motions will be choppy or bouncy. Lastly, you should go for an elliptical machine that is adjustable with regards to the stride length and incline.


The resistance type heavily determines the overall feel, durability and noise levels of an elliptical machine and should therefore not be overlooked. You can get to choose between a manual braking system and an electromagnetic braking system.

Electromagnetic systems have the smoothest operation since there are not many moving parts while manual ones may require you to get off the machine so as to operate them. Therefore, the best elliptical trainer should have an eddy current brake system which creates resistance by use of magnets. Additionally, electromagnetic systems are easily adjustable and relatively easy to maintain.

Console Features:

Lowly priced elliptical machines will mostly spot consoles with basic functionally such as ability to check the time distance and speed. Higher-end machines will include other features such as built-in fans, internet connectivity and built-in speakers and so on. While some of the features maybe irrelevant it is good to look out for these particular ones; a calorie counter and a heart rate monitor. They will help in improving the quality of the workout as well as make sure you stay within your physical capabilities. Ultimately you want controls and features that are useful and simple to understand.

Other Key Considerations:

  • The warranty terms should be keenly looked into; it should preferably cover in-home labor and spare parts. 
  • The weight of the flywheel is also important i.e. the heavier the flywheel the smoother the strides will be.
  • A simple way to gauge the comfort and overall feel of the machine is try it out before purchasing.

The Best top three Elliptical Machines under $500:

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine:

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

The Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine Review is one of the highest rated trainers there is in the market right now. The build quality of this machine is simply amazing without compromising on the comfort levels. On the display panel this 430 elliptical has a dual track 2-window LCD display which will allow you to monitor over ten different feedbacks like heart rate, intensity, goal and achievement among others.

It features Schwinn Connect that helps you connect with MyFitnessPal in seconds. The Schwinn 430 also comes with 22 programs to help you explore various workout options. The warranty terms are as follows 10 years for frame, 1 year for electrical and 2 years for mechanical. This kind of warranty coverage clearly shows that the Schwinn 430 is a worthy contender on the best elliptical machines.

ProForm Hybrid Trainer:

My ProForm Hybrid Trainer

This affordable machine from Amazon allows you to conveniently switch between a bike and an elliptical mode. This trainer is especially perfect if you have a small home a space and you are looking to have a number of workout options. It features a dual handgrip with a heart rate monitor that is extremely essential in maintaining balance and it guides you to set suitable speeds. Its chair-like seat gives it an edge over other elliptical trainers.

This is because sitting while exercising focuses comfortably on the calves, gluts and hamstrings. The ProForm Hybrid also comes with 14 workout programs, adjustable pedals and 15 inch stride length. It has a 5-years warranty on frame and 3-months on labor and parts.

Body Champ BRM3671 Elliptical Dual Trainer:

Body Champ Trainer

The BRM3671 has dual functionality i.e. as a bike and an elliptical machine. This dual trainer stands atop other machines in this price category due to its remarkable features for instance its seat can be adjusted horizontally or vertically and it has a heart rate program to monitor the whole workout session. The LCD display panel details your progress, in terms of burnt calories and time taken, to help you attain your goals and stay motivated.

Final Verdict:

Elliptical machines conveniently bring the gym experience to your home. This is the more reason to purchase the best elliptical machine. A notable alternative to elliptical machines is a jump rope which can also deliver effective cardiovascular workout.

However, elliptical machines have been found to enhance cardiovascular health with very minimal impact. Therefore, if you are looking to carry out intensity interval training and get an optimal fat loss then elliptical is the way to go. The minimal impact on the joints also makes it perfect if suffer from arthritis, ligament tears or osteoporosis. Adherence all the above considerations will definitely land you to the best elliptical machines out there in the market.