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Best Elliptical Trainer Machine For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Elliptical Trainer Machine at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
Horizon Fitness EX-57Horizon Fitness EX-59-02Schwinn 430Nautilus E514Schwinn 470
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Product Rating
Average Price
Cheap ($500)
Cheap ($628)
Cheap ($637)
Cheap ($676)
Cheap ($799)
Frugal5 Score
Additional Info
Product Weight
163 lbs
110 lbs
227 lbs
165 lbs
230 lbs
Features Needed
Adjustable Resistance
- 8 Levels
- 16 Levels
- 20 Levels
- 16 Levels
- 25 Levels
Comfortable Stride For Your Height
- 18"
- 18"
- 20"
- 18"
- 20"
Easy-To-Read Display
Footprint That Fits Your Space
- 55"L x 29"W
- 68"L x 22"W
- 62"L x 26"W
- 70"L x 26"W
Heart Rate Monitor
Stationary And Moving Handlebars
Transport Wheels
- Lifetime on frame; 20 years on brake; 1 year on parts and labor
- Lifetime on frame; 20 years on brake; 1 year on parts and labor
- 10 years on frame; 2 year mechanical; 1 year electronic; 90 days labor
- 10-year warranty on frame; 2 years on parts; 1 year on electronics
- 10 years on frame; 2 years mechanical and electronic; 90 days parts and labor
Water Bottle Holder
Weight Rating That Fits Your Body
- 275 Lbs
- 275 Lbs
- 300 Lbs
- 300 Lbs
- 300 Lbs
Workout Programs
- 9 Programs
- 10 Programs
- 22 Programs
- 15 Programs
- 29 Programs
Features Not Needed
Adjustable Stride
Built-In Fan
Built-In Speakers
MP3 Player Dock
Self Powered
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

Elliptical machines can provide an excellent cardio or conditioning workout that is safe and low impact.  This is a great option for folks who want to get a great workout but who can’t or don’t want to endure the pounding that is often associated with running on the pavement.  An elliptical helps to deliver a full body conditioning workout by keeping both your arms and legs in motion throughout the duration of your workout.

What to Look For

Monitors – most elliptical machines have a host of different features available through the display.  The most important ones to look for include heart rate monitor, time, calories burned.  Don’t overspend on a monitor that has a multitude of features that you don’t see yourself using though, as long as you've got the basics mentioned above covered you should be able to reap that maximum benefit from your elliptical.

Adjustability and Versatility – you want a machine that has several different levels of resistance to choose from.  This will allow multiple users in your home to benefit from the machine and help to ensure that you get the best possible workout right out of the box and that you’ll continue to benefit from your elliptical for years to come.   

It's nice to have a machine that has extras, but going too overboard on additional features on an elliptical can really drive up the price.  Things like a built in fan, a docking station for your electronics and a full color monitor might seem like things that would be great to have but they really add to the total cost of the machine and don't do much to improve the quality of your workout.


When shopping for an elliptical, space is a primary consideration.  In all likelihood this isn't a machine that you are going to be “putting away” somewhere after you use it – so you've got to make sure that you've got the room in your home or apartment to accommodate the machine you choose. Most of the elliptical machines on our list have footprints that are between 60 to 80” long and 26 to 30” wide – make sure that you measure your space to ensure that you’ll have enough room to accommodate the equipment.

Weight and Stride

Elliptical machines come in a few different shapes and sizes, with strides ranging from 16” up to 20”.  An 18” stride will be comfortable for most average height people but those who are above the six foot mark might want to look at a machine that has a 20” stride to ensure the most comfortable workout possible.  You also need to take a look at the user weight limit on the machines that you are considering, while using your elliptical regularly will likely result in weight loss you’ve got to make sure that the machine that you invest in will support you now.

You can expect to pay somewhere between $500 and $800 for a versatile and durable elliptical trainer.  The tops brands in this price range are Schwinn and Horizon.  While Nautilus machines usually tend to come in a bit more expensive, we did find one that fits this price range and that is an excellent deal.

A number of elliptical machines on the market today have handlebars that move freely or that can be locked in place.  One of the major benefits of an elliptical is that, unlike an exercise bike or stepper, it can provide a full body workout.  This feature doesn’t necessarily add to the cost of a machine, but it certainly isn’t a feature that you need to go out of your way to look for.  You don’t want to potentially pay more for a feature on a new machine that will actually make your workout less effective.

Features You Need
Adjustable Resistance, Comfortable Stride For Your Height, Easy-To-Read Display, Footprint That Fits Your Space, Heart Rate Monitor, Stationary And Moving Handlebars, Transport Wheels, Warranty, Water Bottle Holder, Weight Rating That Fits Your Body, Workout Programs
Features You Don't Need
Adjustable Stride, Built-In Fan, Built-In Speakers, Incline, MP3 Player Dock, Self Powered
What You Should Pay
Between $500.00 - $799.00
Top Of The Line Price
Over $5,000.00