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Product Review & Information

7 Best Ellipticals For Under $1000

Are you looking for a high-quality elliptical trainer for your workouts? We have reviewed and compared the top branded elliptical products under $1000.

by

Product Review & Information

7 Best Ellipticals For Under $1000

Are you looking for a high-quality elliptical trainer for your workouts? We have reviewed and compared the top branded elliptical products under $1000.

by PITeam

by PITeam

Are you thinking about ditching that gym membership for a home gym but don’t know where to start? Or are you just getting started on your fitness journey and feel overwhelmed by all the equipment options? If you’re looking at guides on which fitness machines are best for a great workout but won’t break the bank, then read this guide on the best elliptical machines under $1,000.

Benefits of Elliptical Workouts

Ellipticals are a great alternative to running on the treadmill if you have joint pain of any kind. Less impact on your joints means you’ll be able to push yourself to get the best cardio workout.

Unlike treadmills, ellipticals allow you to work the entire body by incorporating different settings or challenges to help you get the most out of your workout. In essence, you get a great cross-training workout that uses both your legs and arms, and you’ll feel the burn.

By getting a cross-training workout that puts less impact on your joints, you’ll be able to exert yourself for a longer period of time.


Choosing a High-Quality Elliptical Trainer

Size

Elliptical machines can be rather large and bulky, depending on which model you purchase. But before you make a final decision, you need to consider the size of the machine and the space you have in your home or fitness room.

The average elliptical measures 6 feet long by 2.5 feet wide. This varies depending on the model, so make sure that it will fit in your space. You'll want to make sure there is at least four to six inches of head clearance once you're on the pedals.

User Weight Limitations

Typically, the weight limitations of an elliptical fall between 250 and 400 pounds. Just make sure that you know the limitations since home elliptical machines tend to come with lower weight limits. This information can be found in a quick review of the product or in your manufacture pamphlet that comes with the machine.

Performance

A good elliptical is packed full of great performance features to help you get the most out of your workout. Perhaps the most common features that people look at are the stride length, smooth motion, adjustable incline, and adjustable resistance.

Stride length is an especially important feature to making sure that you can use the elliptical safely and adequately. A standard stride-length is 21 inches, but some ellipticals come with adjustable stride for households or gyms that have multiple users.

Durability

When you invest in a heavy piece of workout equipment, you expect it to be made well and last a long time. You want your machine to be durable and require little maintenance.

However, ellipticals are machines, and some parts may need to be lubricated or replaced over time. Still, if you want to get the most out of your elliptical, then invest in one that isn’t made from cheap plastics or used parts.

Safety

As with anything mechanical used regularly, you want to make sure that you understand all the safety features and how to use the elliptical properly. Look for an elliptical that has a cool-down and warm-up period to get your muscles ready for your workout.

You should also consider proper handrails that can help you get up and down off your elliptical. Most importantly, make sure you come to a complete stop before getting down off your elliptical after your workout.

Noise Levels

The noise of your elliptical machine might not matter so much to you if you own your home. However, if you’re living in an apartment and have people below you, this might be something that concerns you.

While ellipticals tend to be quieter than treadmills, you still want to make sure there’s not a lot of grinding or humming noise during use. If you’re elliptical comes with a TV or monitor for your home-training videos, make sure that it comes with a remote or volume buttons to adjust the noise.

Extra Features

All the fun add-ons of your elliptical can help better tailor your workout experience. There are many useful extras that you should consider, such as a heart rate monitor sensor. You can easily keep track of your target heart rate, and some machines even come with automatic adjustments to help you stay in your zone.

Some models also come with console displays and workout programs that you can stream and help you keep track of your fitness.

Warranty

Warranties on machines and fitness equipment can vary. You’ll want to read the owner’s manual or booklet to make sure you understand the warranty terms, what is and isn’t covered, and how to go about getting replacement parts or work done on your machine.


7 Best Ellipticals Under $1000 Reviewed

1. Schwinn 430

Best Elliptical Under $1,000 for Home Use

Dimensions (L x W x H)

70 x 28 x 71 In

Elliptical Stride Length

20 inches

No. of Resistance Levels

20

Weight Capacity

300 lbs.

No. Of Workout Programs

22

Warranty

Yes; Frame-10yrs, Mechanical-2yrs, Electronics-1yr

The Schwinn 430 sits at the top of our list of the best ellipticals under $1,000 and is great for entry-level users. It offers excellent workout features that help you monitor your workout and performance. The computer comes with 22 pre-programmed workouts that will keep your heart pumping and your body moving for the duration of your workout.

You’ll enjoy challenging yourself with six incline levels that go up to 10 inches that you can adjust manually before or during your workout. The heart rate monitoring grips on the handles will provide you with an accurate reading on the monitor during your entire workout.

When you’re done, the Schwinn 430 machine gives you the option to download the results of your workout, so that you can keep track of your progress from day-to-day.

Durable

One of the best features of a Schwinn machine is the quality. This elliptical is no exception to the Schwinn standards, and you’ll rest easy knowing you have a great machine that’s sturdy and mechanically sound.

Extra Features

The Schwinn 430 elliptical comes with a monitor and computer that makes your workout more enjoyable. The monitor display has an intensity meter, goal achievement, calorie tracker, course profile, resistance level reading, speed display, and pulse reader.

You can also rest your phone on the media shelf while it charges using the USB charging ports. Dylan has a perfect example of how he uses his media shelf.

“The best thing about it is that we can get up, grab an iPad, put on Netflix, and watch a TV show or (part of) a film while getting healthy…this really helps to pass the time,” Dylan says in his review.

User Weight Limitations

Don’t be fooled by the size of this machine. While it might look smaller than that elliptical you’re used to seeing at the gym, it can still hold up to 300 pounds. It also comes with large footplates that are cushioned to give you a low-impact workout.

Pros

  • Heart rate grips
  • 3-speed fan to keep you cool during your workout
  • Schwinn Dual Track two LCD windows

Cons

  • No option to hook up your own heart rate monitor

2. Teeter FreeStep

Best Rated Elliptical Under $1000

Dimensions (L x W x H)

54 x 38 x 52.5 in

Elliptical Stride Length

N/A

No. of Resistance Levels

Magnetic Resistance Design

Weight Capacity

300 lbs.

No. Of Workout Programs

n/a

Warranty

Yes. 1 year/90-day limited warranty

The Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical is the best home elliptical under $1,000 that is a two-in-one. It combines the seating comfort of a recumbent bike but gives your body the workout of a standard elliptical.

This machine is packed full of features that give you a zero-impact exercise right at home. Those who deal with back pain or hip pain still get a great workout without adding more strain to the process because this machine allows you to sit down while you exercise.

The unique striding motion is smooth and follows a linear path which prevents your knees from going over your toes. This motion helps to stabilize the hips and back as you increase your heart rate for a great cardio workout. It also incorporates the FreeStep dual power that utilizes a push-pull mechanism.

The push mimics a leg press, working your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings, while the pull mechanism in the handles isolates the biceps, triceps, chest and upper back muscles. You’ll be surprised how quickly you get an entire body workout while sitting down.

Noise

Some machines give off a significant amount of noise, keeping you from working out whenever you want. With the Teeter FreeStep machine, you’ll be able to exercise quietly indoors without disturbing the rest of the household. You can even enjoy a television show at normal volume levels while you exercise.

Extra Features

In addition to the mechanics of this machine, the Teeter also comes with an easily adjustable seat. You’ll enjoy a cushioned seat that reclines and adjust to fit your height so you can position your body for optimal posture, muscle engagement, and comfort.

Performance

Another benefit of the push-pull mechanism in this machine is the fact that you can target specific muscle groups by adding intensity or repositioning your grip. You can also monitor each exercise and collect data such as time, distance, speed, and calorie-burn.

Pros

  • Whisper quiet
  • Sit down elliptical
  • Cost-effective
  • Great for individuals with physical disabilities

Cons

  • Only 1-year warranty

3. Nautilus E616

Best Tech Elliptical Under $1000

Dimensions (L x W x H)

71.5 x 26.7 x 63.2 in

Elliptical Stride Length

20 inches

No. of Resistance Levels

25

Weight Capacity

300 lbs.

No. Of Workout Programs

29

Warranty

Yes; Frame-10yrs, Mechanical parts-3yrs, electronics-3yrs

The Nautilus E616 is manufactured by one of the best fitness equipment manufacturers around the world. This piece of equipment is sturdy and features a high-speed, high-inertia driving system that is powered by a weighted flywheel.

This elliptical has some of the best elliptical reviews on the internet, and we just had to include it on our list of the best ellipticals under $1,000.

You’ll enjoy a powerful workout with 29 programs to choose from and 12 workout profiles that are pre-loaded onto the computer. These programs will take you through 25 different levels of resistance that target your heart rate, recovery, and overall fitness.

The automatic adjustment in resistance and incline will keep you engaged and make sure that you increase the intensity of each workout without having to slow down to adjust.

According to one Amazon review, this machine is the perfect blend of a stair stepper and an elliptical. So, if that’s what you’re after, then this is probably the machine for you.

Size

The size of this machine is somewhat competitive, considering the features you get built-in. You'll still want to make sure that you have plenty of room around your elliptical for you to get the most out of your stride and workout. Make sure you have plenty of headspace as you bounce up and down on the pedals during your workout.

Performance

If you’re looking for a great elliptical that makes you feel like you’re on a run through the park, then this is the one for you.

You can easily sync this machine with the RunSocial App to enjoy 19 different locations and 27 routes that take you alongside people from all around the globe. You can also use the Bluetooth capabilities to download your workouts and track your performance on any smart device.

Safety

With a natural stride movement length of 20 inches, you’ll notice that you’re getting a great workout without putting extra strain on your knees and joints. You can safely monitor your heart rate during a workout on the LCD monitor screen. Then, use the recovery test program to see how quickly you can resume your resting heart rate.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sync with RunSocial App
  • 25 levels of resistance

Cons

  • The highest end of the $1,000

4. XTERRA Fitness FSS.4e

Top of the Range Elliptical Under $1,000

Dimensions (L x W x H)

69.9 x 22.4 x 62 in

Elliptical Stride Length

18 inches

No. of Resistance Levels

20

Weight Capacity

325 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

11

Warranty

Yes; Frame & Brakes-Lifetime, Parts-3yrs, Labor-1yr

“Smooth, natural feeling & affordable.” – Erica wrote in her review

Made with a heavy-duty steel frame, the XTERRA Fitness FSS.4e Elliptical Trainer is at the top of the range when it comes to price and performance. This machine packs a punch and will give you an excellent workout.

Take yourself through seven different pre-programmed workouts, two user-customizable programs, or two heart rate programs, depending on the day. You’ll put your body through 20 different levels of resistance that are powered by a magnetic resistance system for a friction-free, quiet, and smooth operation during each exercise.

There are two different handle portions to this machine: one that will measure your heart rate and the other (larger) ones for a more engaging full-body workout.

The audio jack lets you hook up your MP3 so you can jam out to your favorite workout playlists. You can also challenge yourself with this machine by peddling forward or backward to utilize different muscle groups.

Noise Levels

Since a magnetic flywheel system powers this machine, it’s virtually silent. It also has two front rolling wheels that allow you to pick it up and roll it around into various rooms throughout your home. You won’t have to worry about waking anyone, and you’ll get a great workout in, no matter who’s home or in which room you’re exercising.

Extra Features

The XTERRA Fitness FSS.4e comes with oversized foot pedals with a non-slip grip to give you a more comfortable workout. A two-inch Q-Factor is also worked in to provide you with a more biomechanically correct stride as you pedal through your workout.

You’ll enjoy a 6.5-inch LCD monitor that tracks your time, speed, heart rate, calories, level, and distance. The bonus of a swivel fan will keep you cool during your entire workout.

Durability

With this machine, you don’t have to worry about maintenance or quality. Manufactured with sealed commercial bearings and premium bushings, this heavy machine is well-made and is guaranteed to last for life. Both the frame and the brakes are covered under the lifetime warranty, should anything need replacing.

Pros

  • Large display
  • Quiet machine when operating

Cons

  • A limited number of programs      

5. Nautilus E614

Best Elliptical Under $1000 For Beginners

Dimensions (L x W x H)

71.5 x 26.7 x 63.2 in

Elliptical Stride Length

20 inches

No. of Resistance Levels

20

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

22

Warranty

Yes; Frame-10yrs, Parts-2yrs, Electronics-1yr

This is the second Nautilus on our list of the best ellipticals under $1,000 and for a good reason. The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer is durable and capable of holding up to 300 pounds. The 20-inch stride length is also great to have it you’re on the taller side, like Paul H.

“I’m 6’1, and the 20-inch stride length is just enough for me.”

You can easily adjust the incline levels and put them in six different positions for added resistance to your workout. The high-speed, high-inertia drive flywheel system is easy to start up and gives you a smooth glide as you pedal harder.

When you’re done with your workout, you can easily download your fitness data such as time, distance, level, revolutions per minute, heart rate, and calories burned. Use the Nautilus Connect and MyFitnessPal to access all of your saved workouts.

If you’re into watching a movie or a workout video while you’re on the elliptical, use the media shelf to hold a tablet or smartphone and hook it up to your MP3 speakers. Don’t forget to plug in the charging cable using the USB media charging port.

Size

This machine is by no means on the smaller side of the market, so you'll want to make sure that you give yourself plenty of space.

It's not foldable, so if you're going to store it someplace, make sure it's out of the way of dense foot-traffic areas and away from where the kids play. You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of headspace.

Noise

The only noise you can expect to hear from this machine is the swooshing sound of the rollers. Other than that, it's a rather quiet operation and allows you to get in a workout in the early mornings or late at night while everyone else is still asleep.

If you begin to hear noises that shouldn't be coming from your elliptical, adding some grease to the mechanics and gears should fix the problem.

Warranty

With the Nautilus E614, you’ll be getting a high-quality machine that is sure to last for several years. Nautilus puts a 10-year warranty on their frame, so you can rest assured that if anything breaks during that time, they will fix it or replace it. There is also a two-year warranty on the mechanical parts.

Pros

  • Easy-to-read computer monitor
  • 22 workout programs to choose from
  • Adjustable fan with three speeds

Cons

  • Manual adjustment of incline levels
  • LCD is not backlit

6. ProForm Endurance 520 E

Best Compact Elliptical Machine Under $1000

Dimensions (L x W x H)

67.1 x 25 x 66.6 In

Elliptical Stride Length

20 inches

No. of Resistance Levels

18

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

18

Warranty

Yes; Frame-Lifetime, Parts & Labor-1yr

The ProForm Endurance 520 E elliptical is a relatively compact machine that offers smooth operation as it takes you through 18 different workout applications. These programs are fully loaded and ready for you to go as soon as you step on the pedals.

Getting the most out of your workout means you’ll burn more calories, increase your endurance, and build strength, all with one exercise machine.

Five different adjustable incline positions give you 20 degrees of incline when maxed out. If you love to run or hike the outdoors, then you’ll love adjusting the incline to mimic different landscapes right in your living room or home gym.

Size

This machine is somewhat small and will easily fit into your home fitness studio or the corner of your bedroom. Make sure you have enough space to accommodate the stride length at its max 20 inches, and you should be good.

Performance

The ProForm Endurance 520 E is set up with a front-drive design to help you maximize your stride and get the most of your strength performance while you work out. You can also adjust the incline to fit the iFit Coach workout that you select and enjoy hiking through the mountains or running various trails around the world.

Safety

You can also take advantage of the adjustable tablet holder made with DeVice Grip Technology that allows you to snap your tablet or phone into place. This way, you don’t have to worry about dropping it or risk it falling off the machine during intense workouts.

Wide-foot pedals give you a variety of foot placements so you can get the most of your workout without compromising form.

Pros

  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
  • Backlit display
  • Oversized foot pads

Cons

  • No fan
  • iFit Module sold separately

7. NordicTrack E 7.5 Z

Best i-Fit Compatible Elliptical Under $1000

Dimensions (L x W x H)

67.1 x 25 X 11 In

Elliptical Stride Length

17-19 inches

No. of Resistance Levels

20

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

20

Warranty

Yes; Frame-Lifetime, Parts & Labor-1yr

“Love working out and watching tv at the same time.” – Sonia Diaz

NordicTrack is one of the most famous names in the fitness community when it comes to making great machines and products.  The NordicTrack E7.5z elliptical is one of those machines that's packed with features so you can optimize your workout time and use the most muscles in your body.

The 15-pound inertia flywheel is quiet, smooth, and gives you a natural performance stride. With more than 20 adjustable resistance levels, you can easily adjust this machine to isolate your glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

With dual-grip sensors in the handlebars, you can monitor your heart rate on the 5-inch backlit display. You’ll be able to watch the number of calories you burn, how far you’re going and fast you’re getting there.

With iFit capabilities, you can virtually navigate some of the world’s most beautiful running trails. The incline will adjust to make you feel like you are part of those landscapes and can make your workout more enjoyable.

Noise

Falling in line with most of the machines on our best ellipticals under $1,000, this machine is also rather quiet while you use it. Other than some heavy breathing on your part, you really shouldn’t have an issue with noise from the gears or the flywheel. If you have any problems, make sure you clean your machine and grease up the mechanics.

Durability

Made to last, the NordicTrack E7.5z is built to withstand even your most intense workout. The wide-leg frame will make sure the machine remains stable as you pedal harder up those hills and work through various inclines at different speeds.

Warranty

Should you need to fix anything or replace any parts, this elliptical comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a one-year warranty on the parts and labor involved. Make sure you hang onto your original receipt and warranty paperwork that comes with the machine.

Pros

  • Integrated tablet holder
  • Auxiliary music ports
  • Lifetime frame warranty

Cons

  • iFit Module sold separately
  • Shorter stride length

Price Range of Ellipticals

Like anything you buy, there is a wide price range of ellipticals on the market. Prices range from $200 to $5,000 depending on what you choose.

These listed here are just a few on the market under $1,000, but if you’re looking for something even cheaper there are models on the market less than that, but not all of them will come with the extra features. This is a classic case of getting what you pay for, so be careful if you choose to go with a cheap elliptical.  


Treadmill Vs. Ellipticals for Fitness

While there are a variety of workout machines, the treadmill and elliptical are probably the most popular ones to use at the gym or in your home gym.

Each of them has their list of benefits and will get you into your target heart rate zone, but the elliptical is the best machine for those looking for less impact on their knees and full-body workout. Ellipticals also tend to be a little safer and require less exertion, which means you’ll be able to sustain a constant speed for an extended period.


Recumbent Bikes Vs. Ellipticals for Fitness

A recumbent bike will give you a completely different exercise from an elliptical. However, the two are very similar in that they are both low-impact and put less stress on your joints and muscles. They’re also similar in that they usually come with a wide range of programmed workouts to choose from.

However, if you suffer from lower back or hip pain and injuries, but still want an elliptical experience, then look for a sit-down machine. The elliptical will still require you to use your lower back muscles but is a great way to build strength in them if that’s what you’re looking for.


Care, Maintenance & Cleaning - Elliptical Machines

The purpose of you using an elliptical is to get a great workout.  With a great workout comes sweat. If you want your new workout equipment to last a long time, you’ll want to wipe it down after each use. Sweat can fall off your body and get into the mechanisms and gears, which can cause corrosion.

Wiping it off with a dry towel will make sure this doesn’t happen. You can also wipe it off with a damp cloth from time to time to keep it looking nice. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners. If you have multiple users in the house, consider a mild sanitation solution to keep from spreading germs around the house.

You might also try lubricating the pedals and gears if you begin to notice that it's running a little rough. You can find any of the greasing lubricants you need from an automotive store, workout equipment dealer or on Amazon. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any health restrictions for using an elliptical?

Since you need to be able to use your legs on an elliptical, these machines are not meant for those with walking or physical disabilities that keep them in a wheelchair. There is also a limited amount of intensity involved with an elliptical, so if you are older in life or have past injuries, talk to your doctor about using an elliptical before you buy one.

Is it safe for pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone with health issues to use an elliptical?

Regularly scheduled exercises are a great way to build muscle, stay healthy, and keep active while dealing with a variety of health issues. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about a safe exercise and use of equipment.

If you can no longer run, then an elliptical might be the best solution. Same for the elderly who have trouble walking or those who suffer from hip and back pain.

Can you use an elliptical every day?

Yes. The elliptical is a great way to burn calories without worrying about the pain and damage to your knees and shins that come with running on a treadmill. If you use an elliptical for 30 minutes a day, seven days a week, it’s very likely that you could lose 2/3 of a pound weekly.

How do I measure and determine my stride length?

The best way to measure stride length before you buy is to go to a place where you know the exact distance (make sure you can take at least 20 steps), count your steps and then divide the distance (in feet), by the number of steps you took.

This will give you your stride length and help you get the best elliptical for your home gym. Generally, people under 5 feet 3 inches have a stride length of 16 to 18 inches, whereas individuals over 5 feet 7 inches tend to have at least a 20-inch stride on the elliptical.

Are expensive ellipticals worth investing in?

This depends on your workout needs and goals. Some people want an elliptical for a quick workout at home. Others want ones packed with features that will keep them motivated and push them to have a great workout.

If you like some of the bells and whistles of a particular machine, prepare yourself to pay a little more. If heart rate sensors and WIFI capabilities aren’t appealing, then stick with something cheaper.

Can I buy these online even though they are larger in size?

Yes. Amazon has a great selection of ellipticals to choose from and can be delivered right to your door. However, there will probably be some assembly required. If you want to try out an elliptical before you buy, head to the nearest retailer and test them out before you finalize your online purchase.


Conclusion

Regardless of where you are on your journey to be fitter, having the right equipment can make all the difference. Anyone of these exercise machines on our list of best ellipticals under $1,000 can be right for you. It just depends on the features that you’re looking for and the space you have to work with.

If you’re ready to work your entire body with one machine, then try adding the Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine to your gym!

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