What To Expect From Budget Elliptical Machines

Budget elliptical machines are typically those under $500, and they tend to be very basic in nature without the features that you find on more expensive models. Still, they can be perfectly acceptable for those who are looking for a basic workout machine that will help them lose weight and have more energy.


Here is what you can expect from a low budget elliptical trainer:

1. Built for Light Usage – In order to keep prices down, manufacturers have to keep their own costs to a minimum. One way to achieve this is by using lesser grade materials than they would on their more expensive offerings. What does this mean? The machines will not be as durable, not as able to withstand heavy usage or able to last as long.

For casual users, this is not a real problem. For those looking to use the elliptical a bit more, or for taller or heavier users, you might experience problems. Things might break. You might notice very loud noises or squeaking and rattling during usage. That is why you’ll typically find very short warranties on these machines…they tend to break down and manufacturers know it. So only buy a very cheap elliptical if you don’t have the budget for a more expensive, better-buit one.

2. Low on Features – Features cost money, just like quality parts. So don’t expect to find too many features like incline/decline, wide resistance ranges, oversized pedals or app integration on sub $500 model ellipticals. Most machines in this range will come with the basics…a few workout programs, a few levels of resistance, basic heart rate monitor and simple readout showing calories, distance and time.

Thankfully elliptical trainers are getting better each year, and many low cost machines have features that they didn’t have just 5 years ago. So you may be able to start finding something decent right around $500 or so. Still, you’re better off in the $500-$1000 range if you can get there.


3. Short warranties – As we mentioned above, cheaper machines typically come with poor warranties. These machines tend to break down over time and the manufacturers don’t want to get stuck repairing them. So you might see a few years frame and perhaps 1 year parts and labor. If you do buy one of these ellipticals under $500 it’s a good idea to opt for an extended warranty just to cover yourself for another few years. Just make sure the warranty company is reputable and the company itself will be around for the foreseeable future so that the necessary replacement parts are available.

Don’t let this discourage you from buying a budget elliptical. If money is tight, there are decent options out there from a variety of manufacturers. Schwinn makes some decent machines. Exerpeutic and Stamina are very cheap options but customer reviews are mostly favorable.

You can get a decent workout in, burn calories and lose weight. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. You may have to replace the elliptical in a few years, but so what? If you only spent $300 to begin with, does it really matter?

The bottom line is we recommend buying as much elliptical as you can afford, but you don’t need to break the bank. If under $500 is all you have to spend on your new elliptical trainer, there are plenty of decent options to choose from…and the selection keeps getting better and better as the competition heats up!