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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Budget Ellipticals Under 200 Dollars

The best elliptical under 200 dollars should still be made with quality.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Budget Ellipticals Under 200 Dollars

The best elliptical under 200 dollars should still be made with quality.

by PITeam

by PITeam

The elliptical combines convenience, safety, and a beneficial workout in one piece of equipment. Close your eyes, and imagine the views while you walk, jog, run, or even hike from the safety and convenience of your home.

An elliptical can cost from under $200 to over $3,000. You needn't go for higher-end models for the sake of it unless you're considering commercial ventures. An elliptical under $200 can be a good investment and perform as well as a more expensive model. 

Benefits of Elliptical Workouts

Three main benefits can come from regular elliptical workouts. In terms of your home or gym, they are compact, thus space-saving. Suited for a gym or even the corner of your living room, an elliptical can also be used to hang your laundry in emergencies.

In terms of your body, it's a low impact workout that you can get from the best cheap elliptical machine you can buy. Not only will your legs get toned, but an upper-body work out is possible, even with a cheap elliptical machine.

If you are wondering whether they are effective, a study into ellipticals and energy expenditure noted that they are used more often alongside TV watching or gaming, but less so during office meetings. Despite when they are used, energy expenditure has been recorded and results measured.

Ellipticals work. As stated, you needn't buy the most expensive model available when less costly options can offer the same work out and results.


Buyers Guide for Cheap but Quality Elliptical Trainers

To make your elliptical shopping as simple as possible, I've put together this buyer's guide for you.

Size

Consider the dimensions, length, height, and space in your home. Not only that, but consider your size too. Whether you are a taller person with longer strides or a shorter person with shorter strides, you can find an elliptical that will fit.

Generally speaking, the more economical the elliptical, the shorter its strides, so if you are a tall person, you must make sure its size matches your strides before you buy it.

User Weight Limitations

The smaller the equipment, the lighter the requirements will be. Always check the maximum weight capacity the machine can handle before you buy it. Most ellipticals have 250 pounds as their maximum weight, but 220 pounds is the maximum on some. Amazon's reviews section is littered with comments from people who felt too big for their purchase.

Performance

Depending on how much you invest in your elliptical, you will be offered resistance at the turn of a knob while you walk, jog, or hike. Resistance in this sense is when you feel something pushing back against you, requiring more strength to push against it.

When it comes to stride length, the more economical the elliptical, the less the stride length may be. Most budget machines can give you over 12 inches, but the minimum you must look for is 10 inches of stride length on the best cheap elliptical for home use that your money can buy.

Durability

If you live under multiple feet of snow every winter and work long days in the summer, you will need to use it more often than not.

Most budget ellipticals are as durable as the more expensive models. When assembling your elliptical, it's vital to follow the instructions and tighten the bolts for the elliptical to withstand the hardest workout.

When you look after it properly, it will be a long-lasting fixture in your home. Some people think that cheaper ellipticals are of more inferior quality, but that is not the case. Budget models are just as durable.

Safety

Provided you have bought the right-sized equipment for your body size; you do not need to be concerned about safety. If a child were to climb on it, you'd have to watch them carefully, as they are not fitted for little legs.

Though some are smaller than others, most are sturdy, even for frailer people, or those with a heavier frame. Ensure that you have followed all instructions on the box.

Noise Levels

Some ellipticals come with fans to offer cooling. This could make your gym equipment noisier than the swishing sound that it can cause. On the whole, not all ellipticals are as loud as people believe, which makes them an ideal addition to your living space if you don't have a home gym already installed.

Extra Features

You might be surprised that even budget ellipticals come with extra features, such as fitness trackers, to track your progress and monitor your heart rate, amongst others. You could even have programs suggested on your console display to motivate you.

Warranty

It's vital to check that it comes with a warranty, especially if the best budget elliptical is what you are after. Only the best will ensure warranties come with it. Most of the best cheap ellipticals come with warranties for up to one year, while some cover parts until 90 days only.


7 Best Cheap Ellipticals Under $200 Reviewed

1. EFITMENT Air Walker/Glider 

Our Top Pick

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

35 x 22 x 54.5 inches

Elliptical Stride Length

24 inches

# of Resistance Levels

No resistance - just use body weight

Weight Capacity (Max User Weight)

220 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

N/a

Warranty

1 year

The EFITMENT Air Walker Glider is number one on the list of best budget elliptical machines.

There are many reasons to choose this elliptical. It has non-slip pads for extra safety, the handlebars are configurable, and portable wheels. This might sound standard, but it has features that are usually only seen on much more expensive models.

It offers side movement, called side sway, as well as the usual front-back movement that ellipticals usually have. This side sway is independent too, meaning you can side sway one foot at a time.

The EFITMENT Air Walker has the longest stride length of all the budget machines reviewed, which is what makes it a very popular option.

User Rebecca R is very happy with her purchase. She says, “This is a nice machine for the money. It’s pretty compact even fully setup. My monitor came defective but the company replaced immediately. Was very happy with customer service.”

Though the tallest users of the EFITMENT Air Walker Glider Elliptical Machine have felt it's on the smaller side, not everyone has had the same feeling over it. For most people, because of its stride length, it is very comfortable to use.

Pros

  • Offers Side Sway
  • 24 inch range stride
  • Dual Action for lower and upper workout

Cons

  • Not a simple forward/backward model
  • Might be too big for a petite user

2. ANCHEER Under Desk 

Best Cheap Under Desk Elliptical

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

18 x 14 x 10 Inches

Elliptical Stride Length

Pedal size 14 x 6

# of Resistance Levels

5 speed levels

Weight Capacity (Max User Weight)

Use while sitting

No. Of Workout Programs

3

Warranty

1 Year

If putting together gadgets, machines, or other equipment makes you want to take a nap, then the Ancheer Desk Electric Elliptical Machine Trainer might be the best cheap elliptical for you. It is much smaller than the other ellipticals and does indeed fit under a desk.

Keep in mind that the pedal size is 14 x 6 inches, so if you're taller with wider feet, this might be uncomfortable for you. Unlike the model above, this one can only go forward or backward, but you do have textured foot pads for comfort.

Though most ellipticals reviewed here are compact for the easiest storage, what sets this model apart is that it is for feet only, with no handlebars.

It's standard practice for ellipticals to have a display monitor, and though this is a small model, it does have one. You can select your speed, check calories, distance, and time, among other features.

Amazon customer Ashish was so impressed with their purchase that they included a full video review and stated, “Overall its a good buy and i will suggest you go for it.”

Pros

  • Remote easy to use
  • Plug in or use manually         
  • Textured massage pedals

Cons

  • No handlebars
  • No seat

3. Goplus 2 In 1 Trainer

Best Budget 2 in 1 Elliptical & Bike

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

36 x 27 x 64 Inches

Elliptical Stride Length

n/a

# of Resistance Levels

Adjustable tension levels

Weight Capacity (Max User Weight)

250 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

n/a

Warranty

-

Though not small, the Goplus offers a sturdy frame giving the full benefits of an elliptical. This is because this one is also a bike. You have central handlebars, as well as movable ones allowing you a whole body workout.

For those who want to maximize variety in their exercise plan, the Goplus is a good option. As stated, it isn't the most compact, but if it's to offer all its functions, it needs a durable frame. That said, it's not an eye-sore.

Sometimes, with even the best cheap elliptical machines, you find they shake or wobble a bit, but not with the Goplus 2 in 1. 15 minutes in, after building up some momentum, you feel supported as you glide or ride. Not all cheap ellipticals can offer this kind of structure.

Pros

  • Elliptical and bike
  • Adjustable seat height

Cons

  • Not too compact

4. Stamina In-Motion

Very Popular Model

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

24 x 17 x 11.4 Inches

Elliptical Stride Length

n/a

# of Resistance Levels

n/a

Weight Capacity (Max User Weight)

250 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

n/a

Warranty

1 year frame, 90 days parts

One of the most popular models, the Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer is well-designed and easy to carry around.

Having no handlebars, and sleek in its design, you could transport it anywhere you go, and probably in your hand-luggage. A benefit of having a portable piece is that would fit under your desk, in front of your sofa, or even at the table, though eating while exercising is not advised.

The Stamina in-motion is not only portable, but it's lightweight too. When in use, you won't slip because it has pedals designed to be non-slip.

The company has said that this elliptical is "great for gamers." They go on to say it is a "low attention exercise" that helps against circulation problems while in a seated position for a long time.

Susan B reviewed the product in depth after buying. See what she had to say here.

Pros

  • Ultra portable 
  • No Handlebars

Cons

  • No handlebars

5. Body Rider

Cheap Dual Trainer

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

36 x 28.5 x 57.5 Inches

Elliptical Stride Length

13 inches

# of Resistance Levels

n/a

Weight Capacity (Max User Weight)

250 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

n/a

Warranty

1 year limited

What makes this model unique is that it has an adjustable seat. This might not sound so sophisticated, but most ellipticals have fixed seats if they have seats at all. It's because it is a cross-trainer; its functions give you the benefit of a mini-gym at home. You can be comfortable while you work out on the Body Rider.

Like most machines of this type, it is designed to be low-impact, so anyone with back or hip troubles could use it without risking further damage, or feeling pain while exercising. It comes with its own prescribed work out plan. It's claimed only 20 minutes a day, and 3 to 4 times a week is all that is needed for it to be effective at weight loss and toning.

On its display, you will find LCD console which will track your time, as well as the distance, calories burned, and even your speed.

Pros

  • Movable Handlebars

Cons

  • Not as compact as other models

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF E905

Magnetic Resistance

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

28 x 17 x 57 Inches

Elliptical Stride Length

13

# of Resistance Levels

8

Weight Capacity (Max User Weight)

220 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

n/a

Warranty

1 year frame, 90 day parts

When you want a low-impact workout but with resistance, the magnetic resistance levels of the Sunny Health & Fitness machine offers exactly that. The tension knob allows you to adjust tension lower or higher depending on how much of a challenge your body needs on that day.

Having 8 resistance levels to choose from, you can start easily and gradually work your way to an intense resistance, while giving your upper body a workout in the process.

Most Ellipticals with a $200 price tag or less usually have a stride length of 10 inches, so the extra inches that Sunny Health gives you is important for those with longer legs. That said, their pamphlet says the "unit is ideal for small and tight spaces."

One Amazon customer confirms this, saying, “I bought this for my 72 year old mother and she LOVES it! She wanted something like the treadmill she has out in the garage, but she needed it to fit out of the way in her living room and yet allow her to watch TV as she exercised... it fits perfectly in that VERY SMALL space she and she's enjoying it!”

On the handlebars, you have a hand pulse detector that provides the data for the heart reader. On the digital monitor, you can easily see your distance, speed, and time, as well as calories burnt.

Pros

  • Transportation wheels  
  • Synchronous movable handlebars           

Cons

  • Not as portable as other models
  • No reverse stride

7. Plasma Fit 

Easy to Assemble

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

59 x 22 x 35 Inches

Elliptical Stride Length

n/a

# of Resistance Levels

Magnetic and adjustable

Weight Capacity (Max User Weight)

250 lbs

No. Of Workout Programs

n/a

Warranty

1 year frame, 90 days parts

The Plasma Fit is a cross-trainer and is the best elliptical under 200 for one that is easy to assemble. It is also a space-saving device because it is so compact.

What you get for this investment is a whole-body workout where your upper body, as well as your core, and your lower body will get the attention they need. Your arms will get a 21-inch stretch, while your feet get 11 inches in their stride.

Some ellipticals are noisier than others, but this one is known for being quiet. A cross trainer with a wide base, you feel sturdy and secure. Ensure the bolts are all tightened when assembling it and you won't have any shaking.

The Plasma fit elliptical is favored for its comfortable seat, which is 10.25 inches long and 10.5 inches wide. When seated comfortably, you can have an arm extension that reaches 21 inches and a foot stride of 11 inches.

On Amazon, elliptical user Ginger says, “I promised myself I would get serious about my health and workout regularly. I had been doing an exercise program designed for seniors every other day for two weeks; and was becoming bored. ( I am a 69 year old woman.) I knew I needed help to remain consistent and saw an ad for a well known exercise machine on TV. But as I researched I knew the Elliptical Machine 2 in1 Exercise Bike would be perfect for me.”

Pros

  • Dual action machine  
  • Compact

Cons

  • Ensure proper assembly
  • Some reports of breakage

Price Range of Elliptical Machines

If you think $200 is a lot to spend on an elliptical, keep in mind that high-end models sell for more than ten times this amount. $3,000 is the investment you'd be making. At that price, your machine will have the most sophisticated display and constructed with premium materials.

There is nothing wrong with a steel frame and an LCD display that machines under $200 offer. Not only are they affordable as it is when on sale, but you can also find yourself a bargain that will be paying health benefits for years to come.

Some people argue that you must have the most expensive exercise equipment to get the full benefit of the exercise. This is not true of the elliptical. You can find more economical machines that provide high-quality experiences because of how simple the concept of it is.

The one factor that makes ellipticals on the higher end, a better investment for some people is stride length. If you are a very tall individual, your stride length is likely to be longer than the average. Even the best cheap elliptical machines tend to have shorter strides than their more expensive counterparts.

If stride length is not your main concern, then cheaper models could give you just as good a workout.


Treadmills vs. Elliptical Trainers for Fitness

Treadmills and Elliptical trainers have different functions but can give you similar results. Both improve your cardiovascular system. They are relatively compact, thus perfect for the home. Where they differ, however, is that the elliptical offers a lower impact work out.

The effects of long-term high-impact exercise can cause damage to the joints, the knees, especially. The younger you are, the less you might feel these effects, but the general rule of thumb is that the older you get, the lower the impact you want on your knees.

Research into ellipticals has shown that they are suitable for people who have degenerative diseases but must continue to exercise as part of their treatment. Resistance can be decreased to provide even gentler exercise for those who need it. One study that looked at the use of ellipticals by those with MS found that regular elliptical exercise increased the quality of life and improved fatigue.

Treadmills are popular and will remain that way, but when treadmill users have joint issues, they need to switch to something that is low impact. It's been said that from 40 years old, an elliptical is a wiser investment than a treadmill.


Care, Maintenance & Cleaning

Though mostly made of steel, there are sensors embedded in the gripping of ellipticals, and displays that are averse to water, so be careful not to use too much water when wiping it down.

The first thing to do would be to read and follow the instructions that come with the model you chose. Even though only you may be using it, dirt and grime can make homes of crevices, especially if near open windows.

The general rule is to treat your piece of equipment as though it were a gym standard. Wipe your elliptical down with a cloth after each use, and regularly clean with sanitizing solutions recommended by the manufacturer.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any health restrictions for using an elliptical?

The Elliptical is more beneficial for those with hip or knee problems than other machines. The reason for this is that it provides a low impact workout, so if your doctor has permitted you to do exercise if you do have an illness or disability, this could be the machine for you.

Is it safe for pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone with health issues, etc.?

Yes, it is. The elliptical is a sturdy piece of equipment, and simple to climb on and off, so anyone concerned about a fall needn't worry, just take the usual care.

Are ellipticals safe to use every day?

Yes, they are. Some ellipticals come with exercise plans, which usually state three work out a week, but it is up to the individual to decide on how much exercise they want and need.

How do I measure and determine my stride length?

5'3 and under usually prefer 16"; 5'7 and over usually prefer 18" and above.

Are budget ellipticals worth investing in?

If you need a compact piece for fairly regular usage, yes. If you're the height of a basketball player, you would need to check stride length before you buy. On the whole, budget ellipticals can offer you exactly what more expensive models can.

Can I buy these online even though they are large?

Yes, you can. They arrive in boxes requiring self-assembly.


Conclusion

The results of regular elliptical exercise speak for themselves. What makes this particular piece of gym equipment so popular is the results factor combined with the enjoyment factor.

Provided you choose the right machine for your body, you will see the benefits after regular usage. If you believe that only expensive machines can give you a good work out, when it comes to ellipticals, you can get good value for your money.

Some people think they have to invest much more when buying a piece of gym equipment, but this is not the case with ellipticals under the $200 mark. You will see the benefits for yourself if you use it regularly.


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