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The elliptical machine is one of the most popular cardio machines in any gym, so why shouldn't you use one in your own home?
But alas, finding a good elliptical can be hard.
And finding the best elliptical under 1000 $ can be even harder.
Good thing we went ahead and did all the hard work for ya.
We did an in depth research and eventually we've managed to choose 5 sturdy elliptical machines that are packed with features, able to provide you an intense workout and without going over the budget.
So let's start.
best elliptical under 1000$ - quick overview
should you even use an elliptical machine?
There are several benefits for using elliptical trainers, so let's do a quick rundown of them.
1. It's easy on the joints
First of all, and probably the most important benefit, is the fact that it provides a workout that is easy on the joints.
This is great because, if you're avoiding cardio activities because of joint/back pain, or worse, you're recovering from injury, an elliptical trainer can offer you that much needed cardio session's you need.
So you'll be able to get/keep in shape, while reducing the impact on your joints and muscles, even when you're recovering.
This is something a treadmill or a spin bike can't offer you.
Furthermore, the way the elliptical is designed meant to simulate the natural motion of your ankles, knees, hips and joints when walking or jogging.
So you're basically getting an exercise that simulates running, but without the impact.
2. it works both your lower and upper body
There aren't many, sorry, there are no other cardio machines that can offer you a lower and upper body workout at the same time.
It's literally like having "two in one" fitness machine.
In fact, an elliptical works your upper body muscles like the chest, back, triceps, and biceps in addition to your lower muscles like the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
3. You burn more calories
According to the Harvard Medical School calorie burning chart, you will burn around 2.16 calories for every pound of body weight when using an elliptical for 30 minutes at a general pace.
That's more than the 1.92 calories per pound you will burn if you we're jogging at a pace of 5 mph for 30 minutes.
To burn the same 2.16 calories per pound with jogging, you will have to run at a pace of 5.2 mph for 30 minutes.
Now I don't know if you've ever jogged at a pace of 5.2 mph for half an hour, but it's quite a workout. Especially for beginners.
And if you suffer from joint or back pain, I guess it will be pretty hard, to impossible for you to complete the jog.
But with elliptical machines on the other hand, you can burn more calories in the same time, without hurting yourself.
What to expect from an elliptical under 1,000?
We asked ourselves what is essential for elliptical trainers to have to not only provide you with an vigorous workout, but also to keep you motivated over time.
And there are actually couple of answers to this question.
As for workout intensity, we're talking about the number of workout programs, number of resistance levels, and the ability to change incline level.
Preset programs will ensure that even if you're a beginner, you'll be able to choose from X number of workouts, so that you won't have to rack your brain trying to come up with effective workouts.
The number of resistance levels will ensure you have plenty of room for progress on the elliptical, but also that you will get an intense workout right from the get go.
On top of that, there's the option to adjust the incline degree, which will make your workout even harder.
As for keeping you motivated, well features like Bluetooth connectivity will help you sync and track your stats with various fitness apps.
Which is essential, because I know from my own experience how motivating it is being able to track progress over time.
A media rack will come in handy if it's impossible for you to put the elliptical in front of a TV.
Because let's face it, working out on an elliptical can get quite boring.
Speakers, fan, adjustable console, user profiles, bottle holder, sure all are nice addition's, but won't effect the result of your workout and progress.
As for stride length, all the elliptical trainers we feature here have a 20" stride.
Yes, it would have been nice to have an elliptical with an adjustable stride between 18" to 22".
But, at this price range it's impossible to find one that actually has that ability.
So, knowing that a 20" stride will be enough for most users, we decided to only have 20" stride ellipticals on our list.
best elliptical under 1000$ - roundup
I tell you, it wasn't easy to coming up with this list.
After a lot (a lot) of researching, we eliminated ellipticals one by one to come up with the list you're about to see.
The 5 elliptical machines you're about to see represent different price levels, but the order they are listed in is not necessarily price based.
However, their price is not the only reason they're featured here.
In our research process we've managed to find ellipticals that not only answer the basic needs you'll expect your elliptical to have, but also provide added value, all while keeping it to under 1,000.
Not an easy task I gotta admit, especially at this price range.
So without any further ado, here's our roundup of the best elliptical under 1000$.
1. Horizon Fitness EX-69-2 Elliptical Trainer
The Horizon Fitness EX-69 is the cheapest elliptical machine on our list.
But, it can stand up quite nicely to the big and more expensive ellipticals.
And while this machine doesn't have the same bells and whistles like the other ellipticals on this list, you'll still be able to get a heck of a workout.
The EX-69 has a 14 lbs flywheel, which should be enough for the average home user.
The flywheel is paired with a 20 levels magnetic brake resistance, which should provide a hard workout, while keeping noise to a minimum.
In addition, a magnetic based resistance system doesn't require as half, if at all, the maintenance a felt pad bike system would.
But, It's only got 10 workout programs, so if you already know a few exercise patterns, you would be fine with it.
But, if you're a complete beginner, I think you'd be better off with an elliptical that has at least 20 presets, like the Nautilus E614 down below.
However, it does have a manual incline that will help make your exercises harder.
Its dimensions are rather standard for an elliptical machine.
The footprint of this machine is 75" X 24". Not the most compact measurements, but hey, it's an elliptical.
Finally, and on a good note actually, it is a well built and well engineered home elliptical machine that can accommodate users up to 300 lbs.
Even though it doesn't have half the features other elliptical on this list have, it is a straight up elliptical under 1,000$ that will get the job done.
It does however have built in speakers, and an AUX input so that you could listen to the songs that get you going.
You'll also find a bottle holder and a fan that actually produce a nice wind during your workout.
And it's also got a goal tracking ability, so you could set a goal to your workout and try to achieve it.
Which is a great way to keep yourself motivated over time.
It's also got quick resistance change buttons, which is handy when you're doing HIIT workouts, and you have to jump over few resistance levels at once.
The heart rate sensors are located on the handlebars, not on the elliptical arms.
So, in order to get a reading you'll have to hold on to the sensors for at-least 30 seconds.
Not the most optimal way to get a reading, but something you see in a lot of ellipticals.
2. Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
The E614 from Nautilus comes with a goal track capability.
This might be quite helpful for you, since you'll be able to set different goals for yourself in every workout to spice things up.
A goal can be a desired distance you want to achieve, duration of your workout, or calories you want to burn.
It is important to have a few presets, and this elliptical has 22.
2 of them you can set as you please, and the rest will help you diversify your workouts.
They also come in handy in case you don't exactly know how to exercise in order to get the max out of your workout.
As for the resistance, it's got 20 levels of magnetic resistance brake system.
It's not the highest number of levels we've seen, but it can still make you work up a sweat.
The flywheel weighs around 17 lbs, and it's a perimeter weighted flywheel.
Which means it will be easier for you to get the first "spin" going and to build inertia.
As for sturdiness and quality, well, Nautilus is a well known brand in the cardio equipment market.
And while this isn't a commercial grade elliptical, you can expect a certain level of quality since the E614 is quite sturdy.
As for "gadgetry", well this isn't the most features packed elliptical machine on our list.
But that's mainly because it's the second most cheap one on our list.
However, it does come with a dual track display and a media rack.
Which means you can watch whatever you want on your tablet while still being able to track important workout stats.
And you can hook your tablet/phone to the USB so it won't run out of battery.
You'll also find 3 speed fan, built in console speakers, and an AUX input that will allow you to play your favorite tunes.
On the downside, it doesn't have Bluetooth ability, so you won't be able to sync your stats to a fitness tracking app.
And the heart rate sensors are located on the handlebars.
Which means that to get a pulse reading you'll have release your grip from the elliptical arms and hold on to the sensors for at least 30 seconds.
That's 30 seconds you're not working your arms, and every time you'll want to check your pulse you'll have to do so.
Not the best option in my opinion.
3. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
The Schwinn 470 we're reviewing here is the new version of the 470, and considering its abilities, it's quite an upgrade from the old 470.
But first of all, it's got a reasonable footprint of 50" X 21". More than decent considering other ellipticals dimensions.
And like the Schwinn 430, it can also support up to 300 lbs of user weight.
Overall this elliptical machine is very sturdy, and you won't experience any wobbling during your workout.
The 470 offers 29 programs, 7 more than what the 430 offers.
And it's got 25 magnetic resistance levels. Eddy current brake system to be precise.
And it puts them to use with its 17 lbs perimeter weighted flywheel.
A perimeter flywheel simply means that all the weight of the flywheel is distributed on the edge, or on the "outside" of the flywheel.
This helps the flywheel to build "aggressive" inertia and to provide a smoother and more consistent ride.
However, it does produce the same 20" stride as the 430, so that's quite a bummer.
Not that 20" won't do for most users, just because the 470 supposed to be a complete upgrade of the 430.
It does however feature something the 430 doesn't have, and that's motorized incline.
Which is great because you're able to change incline level as you exercise and you don't have to stop and get off the machine to do so.
The Schwinn 470 also got Bluetooth connectivity, which will allow you to sync your workout stats with different fitness apps.
But, it also allow you to use the RunSocial App.
Which is basically a social virtual running app that simulates running in different real locations around the globe.
Nice touch to keep you entertained while you workout.
In addition, the Schwinn 470 also got adjustable console with back-light.
So, if you're like me and you watch your favorite TV show as you workout in a dark room, a back-light display is actually handy.
But if you can't place your elliptical in front of your TV, you can put your phone or tablet on the media rack.
And because there are two displays, you'll still be able to check your workout stats even with your tablet/phone blocking the display.
You'll also find a 3 speed fan, a USB input, and built in console speakers.
Don't expect a cool wind from the fan, but it is nice to get some sort of wind when you're sweating as heck.
4. Nautilus E618 Elliptical
The Nautilus E618 is really pushing the line when it comes to the 1000$ price mark.
However, it does back-up it's price with plenty of features and abilities.
First of all, it's got a 22" stride length. More than enough. Next, it can take on users up to 350 lbs.
Which kinda gives you an idea on how sturdy and well built this elliptical machine really is.
Its 30 lbs flywheel is paired with 25 levels of drive based resistance, and it's also got 0-10 degree motorized incline.
In turn, it means that you get a lot of room to progress on this elliptical trainer.
The motorized incline is nice, because you don't have to stop your exercise if you want to change the incline level like in the Schwinn 430 Elliptical.
As for the flywheel, like in the E614 it's a perimeter weighted flywheel, only heavier, 30 vs. 17 lbs.
In addition, it also got 29 presets that will help you diversify your workouts from time to time.
The elliptical arms are ergonomically designed, and they also feature built in buttons that allow you to change the resistance and incline level.
It's a nice touch, since it makes it easier and faster for you to change the intensity of your workout, all while not releasing your grip from the elliptical arms.
This elliptical Machine is packed with features.
First of all, it's got a Bluetooth connectivity that will allow you to sync and track your stats to various fitness apps.
But the Bluetooth is also being used to pair this machine with the RunSocial app.
And it's also got an adjustable console with the usual dual track display, but with back-light.
The console also feature a media rack, so you can place your tablet and watch Netflix while you workout, if that's your thing.
And you'll also find the standard 3 speed fan, USB port, and built-in speakers.
However, the pulse reading is not very accurate.
And when you workout, you'll want to get an accurate reading of your pulse.
In addition, the sensors are located on the handlebars, so you'll have to hold on to them for 30 seconds to get a reading.
Thankfully, Nautilus included a chest strap that pairs with this elliptical, so you'll be able to get a more accurate pulse reading.
And you don't have to stop working your arms to get it.
5. Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine
The 430 we're reviewing here is the old version.
The new version of the 430 has a Bluetooth ability, and it's actually even cheaper.
However, it seems that new version of this model suffer from factory issues that prevent it from becoming a decent replacement of the old one.
If you still want to check it out, click here.
The old Schwinn 430 was, and actually still is a heck of an elliptical trainer.
First of all, it is a massive elliptical, weighing 180 lbs, it can support a max user weight of 300 lbs.
Not a commercial grade, but more than enough for the home user.
It's got 20 level's of resistance, that are paired with a perimeter weighted flywheel.
A perimeter flywheel is a flywheel that helps jump start your exercise, but also it's in charge of providing constant and smooth "ride".
In this case it weighs 14 lbs. Not the heaviest of flywheels out there, but again, for the average home user, it might be enough.
The Schwinn 430 also got 22 programs that will solve the issue of "how should I exercise on this elliptical" for you.
2 of them you can set as you want. So if you know what you're doing, they'll come in handy.
All the rest
This home elliptical machine comes with the standard Schwinn console that features the dual track display.
However, this is the old design of the console, and personally, I prefer the new one way more.
Any way, it also has a media rack, so you can put your phone or tablet and even a magazine to keep yourself entertained while your workout.
Finally, you'll also find the 3 speed fan, built in speakers, and a USB port to charge your device while your use it on the machine.
On the downside, this model doesn't have Bluetooth ability, so you'll not be able to track your progress over time.
In the older models you could've download your stats to a DOK and upload them to Schwinn's website.
But, because schwinnconnect.com has been discontinued, this isn't an possible anymore.
Major downside if you'll ask me, since I believe tracking and keeping an eye on your progress is a huge motivation booster.
So what is the best elliptical under 1000$?
The clear winner is the Nautilus E614.
It has the best price to value ration, and when diving deep into the machine you realize it provide you with everything you need from an elliptical.
Let's do a quick recap.
The E614 got 22 presets, more than enough to keep you hooked and to make you want to try different programs.
It's also got a magnetic based resistance system, with 20 levels for you to choose from.
It's got a reasonable weighted flywheel, and it's also got a perimeter weighted flywheel.
20" stride, sturdy and solid build, quite and smooth workout, with little of maintenance required by you.
The bottom line is, this is the best elliptical under 1000.
It's got everything you need to get an extreme workout, and it's a machine that can serve you as you progress.