10 Best Ellipticals Under $1,000 in 2020 (Review)
Most people who are serious about keeping up their health and fitness like to do their running and training in the great outdoors where fresh air and variable terrain keep things exciting and engaging. Unfortunately, the weather and climate don’t always cooperate.
Winter storms, slippery ice, or a deluge of rain can stop even the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts in their tracks—that’s when an elliptical comes in handy. Ellipticals fit nicely in the room of your choice, and because they’re quiet, you can use them any time of the day or night.
There’s no reason you need to let the weather slow down your fitness progress. Let’s have a look at the best ellipticals under $1000 in 2020. We’ll help you find the perfect option to stay fit year-round.
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The Best Ellipticals Under $1,000
1. Teeter FreeStep Elliptical
The Teeter FreeStep Elliptical, with its recumbent design, is one of the more unique options on the market, providing a full-body workout without causing joint stress like other standard ellipticals. You can adjust the seat to accommodate your height and weight and engage in a low-impact workout that still burns just as many calories.
This machine’s versatility permits you to isolate just your upper body, meaning this model has more range and use than standard ellipticals that require you to work out your legs and arms simultaneously—if they even offer an arm-based workout at all.
The frame is strong and durable, but not flexible. You may have trouble finding space for it unless you already have a designated area for it, as this elliptical doesn’t fold down for storage.
The Teeter FreeStep is also a little more expensive than others of its type, and it lacks a heart rate monitor, but its smooth ride and recumbent position make up for the added expense. It comes with an onboard water bottle storage for convenience, too.
2. Schwinn Series Elliptical Machine
If you’re looking for an elliptical that is more traditional but works well with fitness apps, the Schwinn Series Elliptical Machine may fit the bill nicely.
It’s loaded with exciting features like Bluetooth; this allows you to sync it with either a native Schwinn fitness app or third-party apps to help you track your progress. It also features onboard speakers connecting you directly to your favorite workout music as well as a charging port and an adjustable fan.
If the additional features don’t thrill you as much as the workout possibilities, the Schwinn Elliptical provides a motorized incline and 25 resistance levels, offering a wide variety of workout programs to help you isolate and work on specific systems.
The straightforward LCD stores up to four independent profiles, so it’s perfect for you, your spouse, and any active kids you have. There is even an option called RunSocial that allows you to run with other users all over the world.
3. Nautilus E614
If your budget doesn’t include the highest end elliptical machines, then you can still get a great workout with the excellent features of the affordable Nautilus E614.
Compared to the other, more expensive units we’ve reviewed, there isn’t much reduction in performance. You still get 20 levels of resistance with 22 individual exercise programs, so there’s plenty of variety to burn calories despite the low price.
The Nautilus E614 features large footpads, a 20-inch smooth glide path, and a dual-track monitor. The monitor gives you an additional display to keep track of your routine, even if you put a book or iPad over the main screen.
It includes a media tray to charge your phone as well as a separate computer to download your workout information. Connect your tablet or MP3 device to take advantage of the onboard speakers.
The Nautilus’ incline, unfortunately, requires manual adjustment, which can break the flow of a workout routine.
4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3862
One of the most affordable ellipticals to add to your home gym is the Sunny Health & Fitness machine; this offers a durable but compact frame that stores easily.
This home elliptical offers seven different workout modes with 24 presets operating on magnetic resistance rather than the standard air resistance. It has a stride length of 16 inches, but no incline setting option.
It’s an economical workhorse offering an integrated tablet holder and pulse monitors in the grips, but not much else. Fewer features help keep the cost low while assisting users to maintain their individualized weight loss programs.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3862 has a weight limit of 330 pounds, so take care and ensure you maintain it properly. If you’re looking for a quality elliptical without any distracting gadgets attached, then this is an excellent addition to any home due to its space-saving storage and light design.
5. Goelliptical V-200T
Another elliptical machine that dispenses with many of the technological frills fashionable in high-end models is the Goelliptical V-200T. This machine manages a proper balance of features while still staying affordable for those on a tight budget.
Like many of its competitors, this unit includes a USB charging port as well as storage for your tablet so you can watch videos or stream music. The 5-inch LCD contains ten different workout programs to help with heart rate, weight loss, or to burn fat.
The V-200T has an 17-inch stride, which might not be ideal for tall users, and provides 16 resistance levels, but there is no incline option to adjust. The oversized footpads have zero distance between them, making them easy for beginners and intermediate exercise enthusiasts.
The unit is more cumbersome than many of its competitors, however, and requires a lot of skill to set up. You may need help if you’re planning on doing it yourself.
6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3865
We have already reviewed one terrific and inexpensive elliptical from Sunny, but the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3865 is a much more robust professional upgrade for the dedicated fitness enthusiast.
Boasting a 44-pound flywheel to keep your workout smooth and quiet, the SF-E3865 also has a full 20-inch stride, which is perfect for most users. It has a beautiful backlit LCD screen, offering seven separate workout modes and twelve pre-loaded programs. These programs provide a lot of variation in routines and allows you to focus on specific things, like heart-rate control or high-intensity workouts.
This model doesn’t have nearly as many media features as some of the other ellipticals we’ve reviewed, but it does come with a built-in tablet holder for reading or watching streaming programs. There are pulse monitors in the non-slip handles, which help you keep track of your heart rate, and non-slip foot pedals to help keep your rhythm without risking slips and injury.
7. ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical
If your total body workout includes High-Intensity Interval training, then the ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical machine may be what you need, particularly if you want an entertaining routine that also offers heart rate monitoring.
The ProForm Cardio comes packed with plenty of extra features placing it among the best-rated ellipticals around that operates as a cross-trainer. With iPod-compatibility and a tablet holder, you’ll enjoy the best media options, like books and music, while you work out.
It includes a heart rate monitor in the grips as well as a backlit display to help you keep track of your favorite exercise routine, of which there are many to choose. You can choose a preset workout from 32 options with 24 different resistance levels while integrating a more cyclical stepping machine with a traditional elliptical.
With all the features included, the ProForm Cardio costs more than many of its other competitors and may be challenging to store, even though it comes with transport wheels. However, if you’re involved in HIIT workouts, few other ellipticals work better.
8. NordicTrack Elite 10.9
Another excellent economical elliptical is the NordicTrack Elite 10.9, which combines many of the best features of some of the more expensive models while still keeping the price low and available for the budget-conscious fitness enthusiast.
This is one of the few ellipticals we reviewed that allows for an adjustable stride, which goes from 17 to 19 inches, making it useful for multiple users. The NordicTrack also comes with a manually adjustable incline that goes from 0 to 20 inches for a tougher workout.
Unfortunately, you need to get off and adjust it by hand, which means stopping your routine. Other features include an integrated tablet holder for watching your favorite shows or online workout programs, a water bottle holder, and a built-in music port. The machine is also iFit compatible.
This elliptical is also larger than many of its competitors without many options for storage, so you may need to plan adequate space for it in your home gym.
9. Sole E25
Technically, the Sole E25 barely squeaks under the $1,000 line, but gives you a ton of excellent features for the price along with one of the best elliptical platforms on the market today. It is also well worth the price tag, as you’ll see when you look further.
Sole includes Bluetooth audio, an integrated charging port for phones and tablets, touch heart-rate monitors, and multiple handle positions to provide variety during your workout and while using its unique cross-training features.
One of the more exciting features is the Sole’s unique pedal design that helps reduce joint stress. The Sole E25 also has 20 levels of incline and a 20-inch stride, which is ideal for average-sized adults.
The 20-pound flywheel keeps things nice and quiet as you work, and provides a smooth gliding rhythm, while its ten workout modes keep you burning off the calories and improving your cardio health.
10. ProForm 895 Cse Elliptical
The ProForm 895 Cse Elliptical offers a lot of integration for its price, providing excellent features for fitness enthusiasts and combining the benefits of a standard elliptical with running and cross-training.
This beast of a unit offers 24 different levels of resistance, keeping your workout routine from getting too comfortable or stale. If the resistance isn’t enough, then there are also 10 levels of motorized incline to consider, which you select quickly with the press of a button on the LCD.
The ProForm provides a pulse monitor, like many of its competitors, only this time it’s an integrated Bluetooth connectivity system including a smart chest strap.
The flywheel weighs in at 18 pounds, keeping the rhythm smooth and stable with quiet operation, and a 28-inch stride, ideal for those between 5’ 3” and 5’ 7” feet tall.
3 Key Features to Look for When Buying a Higher Price Range Elliptical
Level of Resistance
Resistance is the measure of how much effort you need to put in to move the elliptical, and it often determines the level of difficulty involved.
People who work out regularly usually need increased resistance to progress or improve in their exercise. Ideally, you want to look for elliptical machines that have a wide variety of resistance settings to give you the most options for optimizing your routine.
The best elliptical resistance options are ones enabling you to change resistance rapidly from the display. Many of the best home ellipticals under $1000 have entire programs that alter resistance automatically as you work out, allowing you to go from relaxed to high impact, and then back again as you cool down.
Some ellipticals have only a 14-inch stride length, which isn’t enough for the average stride of most people. Ideally, you want a longer stride to get the most benefit from an elliptical and reduce strain on the joints and muscles. The pace should be similar to a normal walking rhythm (or about 20 inches).
Some of the high-end elliptical machines offer variable stride lengths to suit people of different height better. These variable strides are ideal if multiple family members regularly use the equipment.
Most ellipticals use some form of magnetic resistance, which involves using a powerful magnet to increase or decrease resistance to the flywheel as the magnet moves in relation to it.
Some use electromagnetic resistance, which generates resistance as a current passes through the electromagnet. Electromagnetic resistance ellipticals tend to have more variability in settings, but they’re also more expensive.
Are There Any Added Features That I Can Expect from an Elliptical Under $1,000?
High-end elliptical machines have a wide variety of features that make them more than mere exercise equipment. In many cases, the additional features augment the entertainment value and can even turn your exercise routine into a social network where you compete against others globally.
In this section, we’ll look at a few of the hallmarks of the top elliptical machines under $1000 that make your equipment into a calorie-burning entertainment system.
Bluetooth has become extremely popular in the last 20 years, connecting our homes and devices in ways that we never thought possible before. These days even elliptical machines offer Bluetooth connectivity to help run MP3 music and connect to various fitness apps directly.
Bluetooth takes all the wires out of connecting your device to the equipment and often enables you to track your steps and workout in ways that weren’t possible before.
Working out is supposed to be hard work. It’s conventional wisdom that if you’re not sweating, you’re doing it wrong—but sweating doesn’t mean you need to overheat yourself or be uncomfortable just because you want to lose weight and burn a few unwanted calories.
Many Elliptical machines now come equipped with cooling fans that help you regulate your temperature even on the warmest days when working out seems more of a chore than usual.
Training App Compatibility and Social Networking
Along with Bluetooth connectivity, workout apps are becoming extremely popular as devices like the Fitbit become more and more prevalent. Several elliptical manufacturers even offer proprietary apps that work in tandem with their equipment to help users keep track of their fitness routine.
Some provide full-compatibility with other third-party devices and apps so you can track your work out on multiple platforms.
Social networking allows users all over the world to keep track of their friends, providing support for work out regimens and motivation in a friendly spirit of competition. These days, some high-end ellipticals provide social networking apps in their display so you can see how well your friends are doing with their goals and allow them to keep you on pace.
Device Storage and Recharging
Many people use their workout time to listen to good music, catch up on the latest television episodes of their favorite shows, or read books. It’s almost essential for elliptical machines to have a place to store these devices safely so they don’t interfere with the workout. And if you can charge your devices at the same time, then that’s even better.
Is it Necessary to Spend $1,000 on a Home Elliptical?
Spending a small fortune on a piece of exercise equipment isn’t something most people consider lightly, so you might be wondering if you need to pay a lot to get a good elliptical. Of course, you don’t.
While some of the best ellipticals under $1000 have tons of built-in features to make your workout more enjoyable and comfortable, ellipticals around $500 usually can offer a comparable—albeit less feature-packed—experience.
You may even find ellipticals under $300 that will meet your needs, though there are very few cheap ellipticals for under $200 worth your time.
The fact is, the closer you approach that $1,000 mark, the more features your elliptical is likely to have, and the reverse is also true. If you want a model fully-loaded with pre-programmed routines, multiple levels of resistance, USB recharging, and all the other things that make ellipticals more than a piece of exercise equipment, then you must pay more for it.
It is possible, however, to get one for less if you pare down your expectations a bit.
Will an Elliptical Machine for Around $1,000 be Durable Enough for HIIT Workouts?
High-Intensity Interval training involves intense, hard activity and brief cool down periods designed to stress the body and create intense periods of muscle-building and fat burning. This kind of workout creates a frenetic amount of energy in a very short time, which might make some enthusiasts concerned about the safety and stability of their expensive equipment.
Most of the time, high-cost ellipticals take the shock and ferocity of these workouts pretty well. Still, it might result in putting a little extra care and attention into regular maintenance to ensure things continue working correctly.
Some manufacturers even design their ellipticals with HIIT in mind. If you’re concerned about your machine’s resilience, then make sure to read the reviews for it before you make a purchase and contact the manufacturer customer service with any questions you may have.