7 Best Elliptical Under 1000 USD – Expert Reviews 2024

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There are many options available for elliptical machines and there are many brands with a variety of features. It’s hard to know where to start when buying ellipticals and how to know what to look for to make the best possible decision. Here are 5 important things to consider when shopping for an elliptical machine.

However, dropping a large quantity on an elliptical for use at home isn’t something we do every day, so you’ll want to make sure that the model you buy is right for you.

Whether you want something compact and streamlined, or something packed with modern features, there is an elliptical for everyone.

We’ll give you a breakdown of what makes an elliptical good. Keep these factors in mind when shopping for an elliptical online!


Most mid-range ellipticals will come in a fairly standard design with a pair of large pedals and two pairs of handles, all attached to a steering wheel.

Regardless of the elliptical you choose, the quality and weight of the flywheel will largely determine the performance of the elliptical. There is a considerable difference between a steering wheel found on these mid-range models and those found on inexpensive ellipticals.

The good news is that spending up to a thousand dollars will give you a significant improvement over the more basic steering wheel systems you’ll find in lower price ranges.

However, the weights will change dramatically between models in this range, from 16 pounds to 44 pounds. Keep in mind that the heavier the steering wheel, the smoother the performance tends to be.

However, the biggest variation you’ll have between designs in this mid-range market is the size of the unit. You can find both full-size units that compare to commercial-grade ellipticals, as well as compact models.

Compact ellipticals have the advantage of taking up less space, so you can store them in your study or bedroom quite comfortably. They are ideal for smaller houses and apartments where space is at a premium.

Naturally, due to the smaller size of the compact models, some compromises have to be made. For example, strides will be smaller, consoles can be more aerodynamic, and things can feel a bit narrower.

If you have room for a full size elliptical, here is what we suggest. However, if you don’t, or don’t plan to use the machine every day, then a more compact model with transport wheels may be the best option.

Another design point worth mentioning is that some ellipticals feature a seating and therefore a more reclined nature. Models like the Teeter FreeStep are a good example of this.

The benefit here is that the machine takes stress off your body, turning a low-impact workout into a zero-impact workout. Workouts can be easier, even though you keep pushing yourself and burning so many calories. This can encourage you to try even harder.

These seated ellipticals won’t appeal to everyone. If you’re used to the smooth gliding action of an elliptical, you may not appreciate the push/walk action of these reclining designs.

Our advice? Try one if possible. Your local gym or sporting goods store may have a selection. After you’ve experienced the action, you can decide if this design or a more traditional elliptical is best for you.

Stride Length

Stride length on an elliptical trainer is the maximum length you can walk and is measured between the tip of the toe on one foot and the heel of the other foot at the apex of the ellipse.

The ideal stride length is approximately 20 inches. Shorter stride lengths tend to make the stride more vertical and become a staggered movement.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a stepping motion is a bit harder on the knees, so keep that in mind if you suffer from mobility issues.

Weight Limit

If you have a heavy set, check the weight limit of the machine. The maximum user weight limit for the elliptical machines on this list ranges from 250 to 375.

Naturally, the higher weight limit correlates to a higher quality machine, so it is good to check, even if you don’t need a high weight limit due to your weight.

Resistance and Incline

Resistance and incline add a challenge to your workout and, simply put, make it harder to walk to burn more fat and build more muscle.

Most machines over $ 300 have some form of resistance, usually the magnetic resistance provided by strong magnets and the flywheel.

I would not recommend an elliptical without resistance except in very special cases, such as someone who uses the elliptical for physical therapy.

An incline feature is not always found on cheaper elliptical trainers. Sometimes inexpensive elliptical trainers have a manually adjustable incline, which is a hassle because you have to step off the machine to adjust the incline.

Heart Rate Monitor

You now find heart rate monitors on more and more machines and they are an easy way to measure your working heart rate while you exercise. This is very useful if you are trying to reach a certain target heart rate.

For the average person, you will want to exercise 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. You will need to check with your doctor to check what your target heart rate should be, but this is a good guide.

To find your target heart rate, simply subtract your age from 220 and multiply it by 0.6 to get the low limit and by 0.8 to get the high limit.

You’ll want to be somewhere in between these two numbers to improve your cardiovascular health and fitness.

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