Best Elliptical Under $500 ~ Buying Guide for 2018

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If you are familiar with the gym, then you know that elliptical machines are very popular amongst gym goers. They are perfect if you are looking for a non-intensive form of cardio that imitates regular running without applying too much pressure on your joints like traditional treadmills do. Elliptical machines are a good option for people suffering from the lower body, hip or knee problems and they make for a fun workout if you want to work out from the comfort of your home. Over the years, the design of elliptical machines has evolved and health experts have continued to praise manufacturers for working hard to create final products that are safe and efficient for consumers.

With this increase in models on the market, it has gotten a bit more confusing for consumers to select the best elliptical machine for their workouts. Models come in different shapes, sizes and capability and range from simple machines to bigger, more powerful machines designed to deliver high-intensity workouts. In addition to that, safety has become a primary focus for many manufacturers which has led to further advancements in the design of elliptical machines. Overall, it is important to think your decision if you are looking to buy an elliptical machine and to do as much research as possible. A few questions you need to ask yourself include just how much money you are willing to spend on the machine. Do you want a big model or something simple and smaller? How intense are your workouts going to be and will that affect the size of your machine? How much space do you have in your home for an elliptical machine? What type of machine are you looking to purchase? When you have honestly answered these questions, you can go ahead and start shopping for the elliptical that best suits your needs.

A reliable, quality elliptical will help you avoid sustaining any unnecessary injury when you are working out.

 Features to look for in a quality elliptical

With so many different brands and types of elliptical machines to choose from, it’s important not to rush your decision to ensure that you don’t waste money or time on a machine that will compromise your safety. This applies to any workout equipment in general and when you are shopping for your elliptical, safety has to be a top priority in addition to quality, comfort, and efficiency. In general, if the elliptical you are interested in buying falls short on the following features, it is best not to waste your money on it:

Safety features

Fitness experts always encourage people to warm up first before they start exercising and to cool down after their workouts to avoid getting sick, injuring their bodies or collapsing. As such, a good elliptical machine should have a feature that allows for both cool down and warm-up periods. In addition to this, the machine’s handrails should be sturdy enough to provide enough balance for you while you are working out regardless of your intensity levels. The console on the elliptical must be clear and simple to understand and read so that you can keep tabs on the intensity of your workout and slow down if necessary. For customers with children or curious pets, a pin lock on the elliptical is a must have a feature to ensure that your pedals don’t move and that the machine is completely shut down until you decide to use it again.

Good warranty and service agreements

Exercising machines are somewhat like cars in that they might require servicing or complete repair at some point. When you buy a machine such as an elliptical, the last thing you want is to replace the machine altogether within a short space of time. As such, it is important for the product you buy to have a reasonable warranty say, 2 to four years. It’s also a good idea to ensure the manufacturer or seller of the elliptical has trained experts who can service the machine if it ever becomes faulty.

 Good stride length

The average elliptical has a stride length of about 14 inches, which is not ideal for people who are above average in height. Ideally, it is best to get a machine that allows you to adjust the stride length but in the event that you can’t find one, a stride length of over 20 inches should be adequate for taller people.

Quality motion

Jerky pedals are not only inconvenient but they pose a serious threat to your physical well-being. You need to make sure that the elliptical you choose moves smoothly and does not make unnecessary noise when you are working out. In addition to that, none of the accessories on the machine should be getting in your way when you are exercising.

 Comfort

Normally, elliptical machines without handles are not as comfortable as those designed with handles. If comfort is a priority for you, then getting an elliptical with sturdy handles is a must.

Quiet movement

It’s not uncommon for workout machines to sound like trains while they are being used. If you are someone who enjoys working out when everyone else is asleep, then you need to invest in a quiet machine that won’t wake people up while you are exercising.

Adjustability

Individual workouts differ and some people might want to increase intensity levels as their workout progresses. The average elliptical will allow for you to adjust resistance and incline, ranging from easy low settings to harder and more advanced higher settings. If you are looking for more than a simple workout, then you need to ensure that the machine you buy offers adjustability. Some machines allow you to make manual adjustments while others automatically adjust themselves as your workout progresses.

Guru Review Club’s Top 4: Best elliptical under $300

Whether you are a professional fitness enthusiast looking to upgrade from your current elliptical or you are a newbie looking to break into the world of the healthy living, we understand that you might require some guidance to pick out the best possible model for you. Much like all of the other products we have reviewed, our experts have spent adequate time doing research on various models to decide which deserves to be called the best elliptical under 500. The following are just a few that we believe to be the cream of the crop and worth taking a look at:

1. Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer

Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer

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If you are new to elliptical machines, then the Nautilus E614 is a great choice.  Getting to understand this machine is very simple because it is well-designed with features that make working out as hassle-free as possible for you. It comes with a goal tracking feature to help you set your own personal goals for your workouts. You can choose from 22 different exercise programs that include, 2 custom programs, 1 quick start, 2 fitness tests and 9 profile programs. If you enjoy adjustability then this machine is the right choice because it comes with 20 different resistance levels that allow you to exercise at varying positions of intensity.  The elliptical’s LCD displays help you to keep track of your workouts and intensity levels.

The Nautilus Elliptical trainer takes modern workouts to a whole new level with its media shelf and an input port for connecting your MP3 devices. Take advantage of the machine’s speaker system and jam out to your favorite motivational tunes while you are burning calories. It is also equipped with a cooling fan that you can adjust to keep you comfortable and to prevent your body from overheating while you are working out. For people unsure about how to get started, the elliptical comes with a handy manual that explains all of its features and the purpose each one serves.

Features we love

  • Advanced goal tracking to help you set your personal goals for your workouts.
  • 22 different exercise programs to choose from.
  • Adjustable resistance.
  • LCD displays for keeping track of workouts and intensity levels.
  • Media shelf and an input port for connecting MP3 devices.
  • Speaker system for listening to music.
  • Efficient cooling fan.
  • Handy manual to explain features and to help users get started.


10Total Score
Summary: Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer

Safe, smooth and well-featured, the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer is the perfect starter machine for people looking to start working out from the comfort of their home. It is fairly easy to understand and comes with a helpful manual that acts as a guide to better understand all of its features.

Customer Reviews
10
Adjustability
10
Features
10
Safety
10
PROS
  • It is very simple to assemble the machine.
  • The elliptical feels sturdy.
  • Comes with a cooling fan to keep your body from overheating during the workout.
  • It is fully adjustable and comes with multiple resistance levels for varied intensity.
  • Has a cool media and speaker system setup for listening to music while you are working out.
CONS
  • It is not the best choice for advanced trainees looking for robust, hard workouts.


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2. Efitment Magnetic Elliptical Machine

EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer w/LCD Monitor and Pulse Rate Grips - E006

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For people looking for a safe, full body workout, the Efitment elliptical machine is a good investment. Equipped with a stride length of 13 inches, this machine offers smooth workouts for your lower and upper body and is designed to relieve pressure from your joints. It is a great choice if you are a runner who wants to avoid stressing out their knees during their workout and when you couple that with added upper body exercise, you can work out your entire body on just one machine. It contains a flywheel that is driven by a belt to make sure that the machine doesn’t make noise while you are working out and has additional wheels for transporting the elliptical around your home and storing it away efficiently.

This machine comes with an LCD monitor which displays the number of calories you are burning, distance, speed, time, pulse rate as well as the other important vitals. It is also designed with a slot for placing your tablet or smartphone during your workout and includes built-in sensors that monitor your pulse and ensure that your heart rate is not reaching dangerously high levels, which is beneficial if you have heart problems and do not want to risk over-exerting yourself. The Efitment elliptical machine can accommodate weights of up to 220 pounds and has 8 adjustable resistance levels so that you can exercise according to your own personal fitness levels. It is safe to use and comes with foot plates that are non-slip and oversized to ensure that users of different sizes can exercise safely without losing their grip especially during intense workouts.

Features we love

  • Lower and upper body exercises feature for a complete body workout.
  • Flywheel for noise-free
  • Additional wheels in the front for safe transportation and storage.
  • LCD monitors that display a wide range of important information such as time and number of calories burned.
  • Slot for placing tablets and smartphones during your workout.
  • Built-in sensors for measuring pulse.
  • Weight capacity of over 200 pounds.
  • 8 adjustable resistance levels.
  • Foot plates that are non-slip and oversized to ensure that people of different sizes can work out safely.


9.9Total Score
Summary: Efitment Magnetic Elliptical Machine

Sturdy, safe and mobile, the Efitment elliptical machine offers a complete body workout from the comfort of your home. It is easy to store and can be moved around your house efficiently thanks to its wheels.

Customer Reviews
9.9
Adjustability
9.9
Features
9.9
Safety
9.9
PROS
  • Comes with flywheels that ensure that it doesn’t make noise while you are working out.
  • Mobile and easy to store away.
  • Has a weight capacity of over 200 pounds.
  • Comes with foot plates that are oversized and designed to provide safe workouts without any fear of slipping.
  • Comes with a wide range of features that measure vitals such as time, heart rate and the number of calories you are burning during your workout.
  • Overall, very simple to set up.
CONS
  • It only has a stride length of 13 inches and so it probably is not the best option for taller people.


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3. Exerpeutic Gold Elliptical Bike

Exerpeutic GOLD Elliptical and Exercise Bike Dual Trainer

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Yet another great option if you are looking to work both your lower and upper body, the Exerpeutic Gold Elliptical Bike can accommodate weights of as much as 250 pounds. It is designed with a natural motion to ensure that your ankles and joints are not stressed out while you are working out. This makes it a great option for runners looking for a machine that imitates their original workout but eliminates the unnecessary physical strain. If you are tired of running on the elliptical, you can always adjust the seat to create a bike. The seat is extra-large in size and is designed to accommodate users of different statures. The double workout functionality of the machine is also complimented by the addition of arms that offer a good workout for your upper body.

The Exerpeutic elliptical is adjustable and can be used for both challenging and easy workouts by adjusting the dial tension. It is equipped with an LCD display that is easy to understand and that shows important information such as the number of calories you are burning, distance and time. For safety buffs, the machine comes with large pedals that are designed with ribbed dots to ensure that you don’t slip when you are working out. This is coupled with leg stabilizers that you can adjust to stop yourself from tipping over when you are working out as well as mobile wheels for relocating and storing the machine efficiently. Other features added include batteries for the machine and all of its accessories, a manual to help with assembling and a 1-year warranty for quality guarantee.

Features we love

  • 250-pound weight capacity.
  • The natural motion which relieves ankle and joint pressure.
  • The adjustable seat which converts the elliptical into a bike and which is large enough to accommodate people of different statures.
  • Sturdy arms for upper body exercise.
  • Adjustable dial tension for easy and difficult workout levels.
  • LCD display for monitoring time, calories, and other vital information.
  • Large pedals designed with ribbed dots for safe workouts.
  • Leg stabilizers for enhanced workout safety.
  • 1-year warranty for guaranteed quality.
  • Handy manual for assembling the machine.


9.9Total Score
Summary: Exerpeutic Gold Elliptical Bike

This machine is a good choice for people looking to work their lower and upper body. It includes a spacious seat that you can adjust to form a bike when you are tired of exercising on the conventional elliptical. The machine is also safe to use and well-featured to ensure that you can monitor your progress while you are working out.

Customer Reviews
9.8
Adjustability
9.8
Features
10
Safety
10
PROS
  • It comes with a 1-year warranty that guarantees its quality.
  • It has an LCD display monitor that is simple for beginners to read and keep tabs of important information such as time and calories they are burning.
  • Comes with extended safety features that ensure that you won’t slip or tip over during your exercise.
  • It doubles as both an elliptical and a bike when you are tired of running.
  • Has natural motion features which relieve your ankles and joints of unnecessary pressure when you are working out.
CONS
  • It has quite the short stride which is not ideal for tall people.
  • The machine is quite noisy.


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4. Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine

Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer 2 in 1 Exercise Bike Cardio Fitness Home Gym Equipment

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Whether you are looking to burn calories, improve your general health or build toned muscles, the Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine has got you covered. It’s the perfect machine for intense cardio workouts that are low in impact and that work several muscles in your legs, glutes, abs, and arms. The machine is efficiently designed to save space with a 21-inch arm extension and a stride length of just 11 inches. It has a sturdy steel frame and a base wide enough to ensure durability and stability.

To ensure safe workouts, the machine has incredibly large foot pedals and soft, sturdy grip rails that allow users to stride or pedal sturdily and without fear of falling.  The tension knob on the elliptical can be adjusted to increase or decrease intensity levels when you are working out while the handles and seat can be adjusted to suit your individual frame and ensure that you are comfortable during your workout. All of this is topped off with an LCD display system that monitors your workouts and helps you keep tabs on the number of calories you are burning, time, speed and much more. Batteries for the LCD displays are included with the machine.

Features we love

  • Dual workout functionality for high intensity and low impact workouts that don’t stress out your joints.
  • Space conscious design.
  • Sturdy steel frame and widened base for enhanced durability and stability.
  • Large pedals and sturdy grip rail for guaranteed safety.
  • Tension knob that can be adjusted to increase and decrease intensity levels during your workout.
  • Adjustable seat that accommodates individual frames.
  • LCD display system to monitor your workout.


9.7Total Score
Summary: Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine

Sturdy, safe and efficient, this machine delivers quality workouts for your entire body and can be adjusted to suit your frame and personal fitness levels. It is space conscious and convenient when it comes to storage and set up.

Customer Reviews
9.7
Sound quality
9.7
Connectivity
9.7
Design
9.7
PROS
  • LCD display system to help you monitor your workouts.
  • Has a design that makes it easy to store.
  • It is equipped to deliver high-intensity workouts that have a low impact on your joints.
  • Includes large pedals for safe exercise.
  • Can be adjusted to accommodate different fitness levels and body frames.
CONS
  • Despite being adjustable, the seat is not very comfortable and feels quite hard.
  • The machine is a bit shaky and feels a tad unstable when you are in motion.


 

10 Total Score
Editor’s Choice

Safe, smooth and well-featured, the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer is the perfect starter machine for people looking to start working out from the comfort of their home. It is fairly easy to understand and comes with a helpful manual that acts as a guide to better understand all of its features.

Adjustability
10
Features
10
Safety
10
PROS
  • It is very simple to assemble the machine.;
  • The elliptical feels sturdy.;
  • Comes with a cooling fan to keep your body from overheating during the workout.;
  • It is fully adjustable and comes with multiple resistance levels for varied intensity.;
  • Has a cool media and speaker system setup for listening to music while you are working out.
CONS
  • It is not the best choice for advanced trainees looking for robust, hard workouts.
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Paul Davis

Paul Davis is the resident expert on Home & Tools for the Guru Review Club. Paul has over 15 years experience working for major retailers including The Home Depot and Wal-Mart. Paul has a passion for great products and always looking for the next best gadget for your home.

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