The 5 Best Elliptical Trainers Under $1000

best elliptical under 1000

What’s the Best Elliptical under $1000?

With so many options for cardio out there how do you decide what’s best?

You may start with a treadmill but they can be quite big and take up a lot of room. There is also the issue if you have any joint and knee pain. The constant pounding on the treadmill can continue to aggravate any issues.

A stationary bike may be good but it might not provide you with the full-body workout you’re looking for. It can be a good calorie burner but since you’re sitting you’re not being as active as possible.

A rowing machine is an option, but it’s hard to find very good ones and they take up quite a lot of room. This also may not be an ideal choice if you have any back issues. If you prefer a running type motion, you’re not going to have a lot of options with a rower.

Therefore, the elliptical machine continues to be a top choice. They provide a total full-body workout as every muscle in your body is being active.

If you have any knee or joints pain, an elliptical helps to eliminate that as there is no pounding of the joints on a hard surface that you get with running outside or on a treadmill. The other advantage is that an elliptical is stationary and does not take up a lot of room. They can fit into almost any sized room which makes them very convenient.

At a Glance: 5 Best Rated Elliptical Trainers in 2022

So now that you know what to look for in an elliptical machine which ones are the best of the best? Here’s a rundown and review of the top 5 elliptical machines under $1000.

ModelResistanceStride LengthRatings
Nautilus E616
(Editor's Choice)
25 levels20 inches4.4
Schwinn 470
(Best Overall)
25 levels20 inches4.5
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912
(Best in Budget)
16 levels15.5 inches4.3
Exerpeutic 6000 QF24 levels18 inches4.2
Ancheer Elliptical Machine10 levels18 inches4.2

1. Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer – (Editor’s Choice)

Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer

With Nautilus you get one of the best brands ever devoted to fitness and exercise and it shows in the E616. New to the market the Nautilus E616 greatly combines technology and modern design.

Technology wise, this elliptical machine comes with a DualTrack™ console that displays workout data on two backlit screens that are easily viewed in low lighting. In addition, this machine has 29 programs, including 12 workout profiles, such as rolling hills, mountain climbs and other challenges.

It has a very smooth motion and 20″ large foot pads so any sized user will be able to exercise on it. It also has 25 different resistance settings so you can have a wide range of workout intensity options.

The motorized incline on this elliptical machine is a great feature, with that you can adjust the incline and intensity without stopping your workout. However, despite having this great feature, the one downside to the E616 Elliptical is the incline only goes to 11°. You’ll gain some intensity from this, but it could have been better.

Nautilus made the E616 very strong and durable, weighs around 173.3 pounds. Due to it’s durability this machine can handle a person weighing up to 350lbs easily. The frame is durable but still comes with an amazing 10-year warranty which you won’t find on many branded products.

Also it comes with some nice added features such as a water bottle holder, a fan etc. but also comes with a “media tray” where you can keep and charge your phone. The media tray also includes a computer you can download your exercise data off of to track your progress. It’s like a giant Fitbit but for your whole workout.

Along with all the media functions and technology the E616 has in console speakers with an MP3 input and USB charging. That you can get all this for under $1000 is remarkable and puts it at the top of the list.

Key features

  • Resistance: 25 levels
  • Stride Path: 20 inches
  • Incline: 11° motorized
  • Weight capacity: up to 350lbs

2. Schwinn Fitness 470 Elliptical Machine – (Best Overall)

schwinn 470 elliptical machine

They’ve been known for bicycles for decades but Schwinn has a great entry into the elliptical market. This 470 is a great value and stands out for being very smooth and very quiet to use.

Even though they make bicycles, we know Schwinn for quality and you can tell that with this elliptical machine. This is extremely compact and will be good if you have a small space. It also only weighs 164 pounds.

Feature wise it is packed and has a 3-speed fan and water bottle holder. Program wise it has 29 different ones that include fitness tests, heart rate controls, and 12 different workout profiles.

It has 25 different resistance settings and has quick keys to change the intensity on the fly so you can always adjust your workout to how you are feeling. Those same quick keys can let you adjust the 10-degree motorized incline on the fly as well so you don’t have to stop and get off to change it. All the controls are at your fingertips.

For its computer, it has a DualTrack LCD window system and which can track time, distance, and calories burned and that data can be transferred to MyFitnessPal. You can also track revolutions per minute, speed, pulse, heart rate zone indicator, and intensity.

The Schwinn 470 is a great compact elliptical machine with a lot of technology in it. We would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking after a top-of-the-line elliptical machine below $1000.

Key features:

  • Resistance: 25 levels
  • Stride Path: 20 inches
  • Incline: 10° motorized
  • Weight capacity: up to 300lbs

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer – (Best Budget)

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine

The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer is a low-cost alternative to other ellipticals you might find on the market. But how does it measure up? Can it help you achieve your fitness goals, or is it best avoided? Let’s take a closer look and find out!

The Sunny SF-E3912 Elliptical Trainer has 16-levels of magnetic resistance that you can adjust. This allows you to challenge your muscles further as your fitness increases or if the current workout becomes too easy. Add to this—the whopping 24 workout options and you’ll never get bored on this machine.

Technology wise, The SF-E3912 features a static hand pulse monitor that allows you to monitor your heart rate as you exercise. The built-in computer provides basic features like scan, time, speed, distance, calories, and total distance to help you monitor and meet your workout goals.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer has a low-impact design. This means it’s easy on the joints and will reduce the risk of injury as you workout. You don’t need any special shoes to use this machine thanks to non-slip foot pedals, and you should be able to burn around 250 calories an hour when using it at maximum intensity.

It can support up to 330lb pounds, which will make it suitable for most users and even if you’re overweight. Most of the parts used on this elliptical are high quality and built to last. You’ll find they’re very similar in design and build quality compared to many ellipticals that cost $1000 or more.

If you’re worried about keeping fit when traveling, you’ll love this machine. It’s not only very light (68 pounds) but also folds down, allowing you to store it when you’re not using it efficiently.

One drawback we didn’t like was that the elliptical trainer was a bit noisy. If you plan to use this in a home gym, this might be a problem. However, for a budget option, you have to compromise on something.

Key features

  • Resistance: 16 levels
  • Stride Path: 15.5 inches
  • Incline: N/A
  • Weight capacity: 330lbs

4. Exerpeutic 6000 QF Magnetic Elliptical Machine

Exerpeutic 6000 QF Elliptical Machine

You may not know Exerpeutic but you should as they have a great entry for the best elliptical machines under $500. This will be your best bet if you want a small and space saving cardio machine as it’s only 25 inches wide, 55 inches long, 65 inches tall and weighs just 64 pounds. It can take user weight upto 270 lbs – which is great, if you’re a heavy person.

It’s perfect for an apartment or a small workout room. It might not have as many technical features but this one is all about convenience and simplicity.

Feature wise it has an 18-inch elliptical stride and dual action handlebars so you can change up your workout. It has a water bottle holder and 24 magnetic tension levels to customize the resistance for your workout.

It also has a “double transmission” which means you can go either forward or backward. This is a nice feature to add variation into your workouts. Going backward on an elliptical is a great way to get more hamstring engagement while exercising.

On the technology side, it has Bluetooth app tracking so you can connect your mobile device and track your workouts. The Exerpeutic 6000 also has a programmable computer with 24 different workout programs you can follow on a 6.5” x 10” LCD display. It will show you stats such as time, distance, and calories burned.

The Exerpeutic 600 is heavier than the Schwinn 470 at 95 pounds but has smaller dimensions of 23-inch height, 16-inch width, and 46-inch length making it the perfect space saver elliptical machine.

Key features

  • Resistance: 24 levels
  • Stride Path: 18 inches
  • Incline: N/A
  • Weight capacity: 270lbs

5. Ancheer Elliptical Machine Trainer

Ancheer Elliptical Machine

This elliptical will provide a very smooth, and very quiet, exercise experience. The precision balanced flywheel and V-belt drive give the Ancheer it’s smooth quiet ride. It uses magnetic resistance and provides 8-levels of magnetic resistance that will help meet your workout needs

It has a 18-inch stride length that provides a very smooth flow for your workouts while providing a full-body workout. The smooth experience that the Ancheer provides is what makes it so gentle on the joints by having no impact. The 15″ foot pads are non-slip making for secure footing during your workout.

It has an LCD display window that will show you your time, speed, distance, and calories to track your workout progress. You can also track your heart rate with the built in pulse pads you will find in the handles making heart rate monitoring easy. This is a nice compact elliptical machine and comes with a rolling wheel to make it easier to move and store.

It has a weight capacity of 390lbs and size wise is quite compact – due to it’s triangle design this machine doesn’t take much space. If you’re looking for a simple elliptical machine, that is built well and will still get you results, the Ancheer Elliptical Machine Trainer is a great choice.

Key features

  • Resistance: 10 levels
  • Stride Path: 18 inches
  • Incline: N/A
  • Weight capacity: 390lbs

What to Look for when Buying an Elliptical Machine

There are many options out there for elliptical machines and there are many brands with a variety of features. It’s hard to know where to start when shopping for ellipticals and how do you know what to look for to make the best decision possible? Here are 6 important things that you should consider when buying an elliptical machine.

1. What’s your Budget

This will be the number one factor on most people’s lists. With any good cardio machine, you get what you pay for and you need to decide how much money you can set aside to buy one. If you will be using it 2-3 times a week, you might not need to spend as much compared to one that several people will be using multiple times per day. It’s worth investing in a decent elliptical if you think of the money you’ll save from a gym membership each month.

2. The Elliptical Style

Not all ellipticals are created equal and there will be a few things to consider. The main issue here deals with the type of drive that it uses. There is a front drive, center drive, and rear drive and here are the details on each one:

Front Drive- This may make the workouts feel more intense with a Stairmaster feel to them. With a front drive elliptical, you will tend to lean more forward than with the other varieties. A big advantage with front drive is they are easier to get on and off as there is less to step over. This may be important if you have mobility issues.

Center Drive– These type of ellipticals are the newer ones so they haven’t been used and tested for as long. With center drive, it means that the flywheel, or drive system, is on either side of the machine as opposed to the front or back.

Rear Drive- When using a rear drive elliptical you can get more of a feeling of walking or jogging. During the workout, you find yourself more centered on the machine compared to the front drive ones. A rear drive may be good if you have balance issues and want less intensity but still get a good workout.

3. Heart Rate Monitor

You’re finding heart rate monitors on more and more machines now and they are a simple way of taking your working heart rate while exercising. This is very handy if you are trying to hit a certain target heart rate.

For the average person, you want to be working out between 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. You’ll want to consult with your doctor to double check what your target heart rate should be but this is a good guide.

To find your target heart rate just subtract your age from 220 and multiply it by 0.6 to get the low end and by 0.8 to get the high end. You’ll want to be somewhere in between these two numbers to improve your cardiovascular health and fitness.

4. Adjustable Incline

This is a great feature as this will help increase the intensity of the workout. You’ve probably been on a treadmill where you can increase the incline and it creates more resistance requiring a higher work level. With an elliptical, you get the same effect as it will seem like you are running or jogging up a hill to make for a better calorie burning workout.

5. Adjustable Resistance

This is another feature to help give you a more intense workout. With adjustable resistance, you can increase the resistance which will require more effort to exercise. This will make for better cardiovascular engagement and more calorie burning. Adjustable resistance is a good feature so you can always improve and enhance your workouts.

If you were to do the same workout at the same intensity for weeks and months your body will get used to it and this can lead to fitness plateaus. By increasing the resistance you can continue to make the exercise challenging and your body will respond with increased fitness, weight loss, and overall health.

6. Quiet Operation

Some cardio machines are so noisy that it’s hard to find a good time to workout. If you’re only able to workout later in the day, the machine may be so noisy that it can disturb other people. The quiet operation will make it like no one knows you’re there. You will be able to exercise first thing in the morning disturbing no one’s sleep or late at night and not keep anyone awake.

The Final Words

It’s a great time to be a fitness consumer as there are so many new models and makes of various cardiovascular equipment. In choosing an elliptical machine under $1000 for home use, it’s really hard to know where to start with all the different options. These are 5 great entries that are top machines that will no doubt provide you with a great workout.

However, we found that the Nautilus E616 comes out as the top choice as it has everything, and more, that you’d be hoping for in an elliptical machine. The others are still great but the E616 provides the best build quality, performance and amazing technology all rolled into one machine.

There is nothing you can’t do on the E616 and it makes for an easy choice as the best elliptical for under 1000 bucks. It’s astonishing value for everything you get in it and is like having a gym quality elliptical machine right in your own home.