Woman using an elliptical machine at home

Setting up a home gym may prove too pricey, but you can definitely find a quality elliptical for under $1,000. Regular use of an elliptical can help you improve your overall health by strengthening your lung and heart function, as well as improving your endurance and balance. The fact that you’ll burn calories doing it doesn’t hurt, either.

Our expert carefully considered the most important components of an at-home elliptical to select the best ellipticals under $1,000. Their top pick, the BowFlex M3 Max Trainer Series, stood out due to its robust design, target zone optimizer, and high reviews.

Best Overall

Bowflex Max Trainer Series

For the best elliptical under $1,000, look no further than the Bowflex Max Trainer Series.

If you’re looking to get more out of your elliptical than just maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you should look up the specific incline, duration, and speed you should operate your elliptical at for optimal weight loss. Check out this post for more tips on how to get the most out of your elliptical workout.

Our Expert’s Top 5 Ellipticals Under $1,000

Here are the top picks from our expert. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Editor’s Picks Brand Rating Weight Capacity Levels of Resistance Type of resistance
Best Overall Bowflex Max Trainer Series 4.6 300 lbs 8 Motorized
Best for Budget Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer 4.0 220 lbs 8 Magnetic
Best Smart SCHWINN 470 Elliptical Machine 4.2 300 lbs 25 Motorized
Best with Preset Workouts Sunny Health & Fitness Electric Eliptical Trainer Elliptical Machine 4.2 300 lbs 16 Magnetic
Best Portable Nautilus Elliptical Series 4.1 350 lbs 25 Motorized

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers


Who Should Buy an Elliptical Under $1,000

  • Cardio is your jam – If your favorite type of workout is cardio, then you may appreciate the control you have over your cardio workout on an elliptical.
  • Odd workout times – For those of us who can’t get the time to get to the gym during typical hours of operation, having a solid alternative like a reliable and inexpensive elliptical can be the best thing for your health.
  • Most comfortable at home – When you struggle to get yourself to the gym, or you simply prefer not to, it can be hard to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even if you prefer to be at home, an inexpensive, quality elliptical can help you do both.

Who Should Not Buy an Elliptical Under $1,000

  • Gym members – While you may be less likely to use a gym membership, if you’ve already paid for it, it may be best to just get out and use it. (But if you can cancel that membership and think you’d use a home gym more often, this is worth considering.)
  • Strength building over cardio – If you’re looking to bulk up, then the elliptical may not be the best bet for your home gym. However, you may want to bear in mind that incorporating variety may be the best way to optimize your fitness.

Research Tips

Ellipticals under $1,000 will need to have a few features to make them work for your family. Here’s what to consider when selecting an elliptical:

  1. Presets are convenient – Having a collection of preset workouts on your elliptical is a convenience you won’t want to ignore – but bear in mind that they’re not necessary. You can save a bit by skipping the presets, but they may prove too crucial to the inexperienced elliptical user.
  2. Size and portability – You won’t be able to fold up most ellipticals, and as such, you’ll need to plan ahead for it. Having one that isn’t huge may be the best bet, but even with that in mind, finding one that will easily roll in and out of the center of a room can also be a big selling point.
  3. Smooth motions are crucial – You may not be able to test this out before buying online, but you should at least check out the reviews. The smoother the machine moves, the less strain to your joints, and the better, more effective the workout.
  4. Quiet operators – If you’re planning on watching your show or listening to music while you work out, then you won’t want the machine you’re using to overpower the sounds you’re actually trying to hear. These will often coincide with smooth movements, so you should be able to find the information fairly easily.
  5. Adjustable resistance and incline – It may seem like a long way away, but eventually, you’ll hit a fitness level where you’ll need more resistance or a steeper incline to get the same kind of cardio. Finding an elliptical that allows for that is all part of planning for your fitness success.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $500-$1000

A quality elliptical machine will vary greatly in price depending on features, capacity, and overall quality. If you’re looking at an elliptical that uses a manual operation, with a lower weight capacity, then you may pay as little as a few hundred dollars. If you want a smart elliptical with all the bell and whistle features, you could easily pay ten times that. The bulk of the ellipticals you’ll find readily available for home use, though will fall somewhere in the range of $500 to $1,000.

The Best Elliptical Under $1,000: Full Reviews

Best Overall

Bowflex Max Trainer Series

For the best elliptical under $1,000, look no further than the Bowflex Max Trainer Series.

The Bowflex Max Trainer Series is the prime pick for the athlete looking to push him or herself at home. It also happens to excel at turning beginners into athletes, but where it really shines is the way it’s engineered to make the most out of your workouts; both building muscle and burning calories. It has a unique burn rate display that allows you to target the exact speed and intensity you should achieve to burn the most calories.

The backlit display allows to you easily make out your workout details and the 8 resistance levels, along with the 2 programmed workouts will let you progress your workout as your fitness levels do. This means you’ll be better able to achieve the fitness goals you have and then some.

  • Nonslip, flexible footpads for less strain
  • Resistance adjustments on handle
  • Interval training in as little as 14 minutes
  • No Bluetooth connection
  • Difficult assembly
Best Budget Buy

Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer

If you’re looking to get a good workout, without breaking your budget, then try the Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer.

The  Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer has a compact design that will allow you to keep it in more places, and that means you’ll likely use it more often. The non-slip foot pedals will allow you to push yourself on the workout without tripping and the floor stabilizers will keep the machine from wobbling, even if you push your hardest.

The transportation wheels make it easy to move, should you want to store it out of the way, and the 8 adjustable resistance levels will make sure you’re getting the kind of intensity you want in your workout. Pulse sensors are incorporated into the handles so you’ll be able to monitor your heart rate and the digital display will allow you to keep track of your workout’s progress.

  • Displays time, speed, distance, calories, and heart rate
  • Magnetic resistance for smooth movements
  • 8 adjustment levels
  • 220 lb weight capacity
  • Occasional heart rate discrepancies
Best Smart

SCHWINN 470 Elliptical Machine

If you want your treadmill to sync to your Bluetooth devices, then don’t miss the SCHWINN 470 Elliptical Machine.

With your purchase of the SCHWINN 470 Elliptical Machine, you’ll also gain access to the immersive training potential of the “Explore the World” app that will walk you through your workouts and guide you to achieving your fitness goals. The Bluetooth connection will also allow your machine to sync with your phone so you can monitor your progress every step of the way.

With a built-in bottle holder, media rack, and speakers, this elliptical will have plenty to keep you from focusing on the exhaustion as you work out, or simply to keep you from getting bored. You’ll see your progress displayed on the backlit LCD screen that lets you easily control your customized workout each and every time.

  • 29 preset programs
  • 25 resistance levels
  • Store up to 12 profiles
  • Loud operation
  • Difficult assembly
Best with Preset Workouts

Sunny Health & Fitness Electric Elliptical Trainer Elliptical Machine

If you’re interested in a preset workout to guide you through your fitness goals, take a look at the Sunny Health & Fitness Electric Elliptical Trainer Elliptical Machine.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Electric Elliptical Trainer Elliptical Machine features a computerized resistance, which means that you’ll easily be able to cycle through each level without any lagging, with just one push of a button. The glide wheels will give you a smooth operation and should they ever begin to stick some lube will allow you to maintain that smooth ride for even longer.

There are an impressive 24 presets on this elliptical, which means you’ll be able to start this method as a beginner and continue to use it well after you’ve reached your fitness goals in order to maintain your health – and possibly even continue to push far beyond what you thought you were capable!

  • 24 preset workouts
  • Detailed performance monitor
  • Transport wheels
  • Listed 300 lb max capacity is inflated
  • Inconsistent pulse monitor
Best Portable

Nautilus Elliptical Series

If you want your treadmill to easily roll out of the way, then try the Nautilus Elliptical Series.

Nautilus Elliptical Series features a pair of easily used transport wheels that allows you to grab the display from the front, tilt upwards and roll your elliptical out of the way without straining yourself. The padded handlebars are ergonomically designed to allow you to work out more comfortably, and that means one less excuse to keep you from a fitter life.

The interactive display will sync to the “Explore the World” app in order to give you a more immersive experience with your workout and the 29 preset workouts will let you adjust your exercise based on your fitness levels and goals.

  • Bluetooth connection for app monitoring
  • Smooth, motorized incline adjustments
  • 25 resistance levels
  • No included instructions on preset programs
  • Potential calorie and distance discrepancies

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an elliptical better than walking?

Variety is the spice of life, and the truth is the same is true of your workout. However, if you’re concerned about a particular body part, then you may prefer one over the other. Specifically, the knees will experience significantly less strain on the elliptical, due to the constant contact your feet have on the pedals. No impact is felt with each step, and therefore, is easier on the knees. 1

Can I use the elliptical every day?

While it may not hurt you to use the same machine, the same way every day, you could potentially overuse muscles if you strain them regularly. However, it’s generally recommended to use some form of aerobic exercise at least 3-5 times a week, and ideally 6-7 times. 2 Just make sure you aren’t working through an injury or strain.

Why do my feet go numb on the elliptical?

Constant pressure on a specific part of your body will cause the blood flow to decrease. In this instance, the balls of your feet have prolonged pressure while you use the elliptical and that can lead to a tingling or numb feeling in your feet, particularly your toes.3 If you’re looking to avoid it, then you may want to try for a better fitting shoe – usually a bigger size than what you have. You could also alternate pedaling backward for a couple of minutes until the sensation goes away. Watch where your weight goes with each step – move heel to toe rather than putting all the pressure on the balls of your feet. If nothing seems to be working, perhaps decreasing the time spent on the elliptical is your best bet.

How long should you stay on the elliptical?

In the same vein as the question above, it’s a good indicator that you’ve spent too much time on the elliptical if your feet have gone numb and you can’t shake it. You definitely don’t want to work through the numbness, but when should you expect it to happen? If you’re just warming up for another workout, then try for roughly ten minutes. If you’re looking for a cardio workout, then you’ll want to spend somewhere between 15 and 60 minutes.4

Article Sources

Healing Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Damiano DL, Norman T, Stanley CJ, Park HS. Comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking and overground walking. Gait Posture. 2011;34(2):260-264. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.05.010
  2. Lavie CJ. Making exercise and fitness a high priority. Ochsner J. 2007;7(4):154-157.
  3. Mansfield CJ, Bleacher J, Tadak P, Briggs MS. Differential examination, diagnosis and management for tingling in toes: fellow’s case problem. J Man Manip Ther. 2017;25(5):294-299. doi:10.1080/10669817.2016.1260675 
  4. Stieg, Cory. How To Make The Most Of Your Elliptical Workout. Refinery29.com. Published Feb 25, 2019. Accessed Apr 12, 2021.