Popular in professional and in-home gyms, elliptical machines allow you to get a low-impact, full-body, aerobic workout.
When you use an elliptical, you’re essentially mimicking the natural movements of running or jogging.
It may surprise you to find out, though, that for less than a thousand bucks, you can get a quality elliptical for your home gym. (1)
The elliptical is one of our favorite machines for its incredible versatility. Depending on the intensity of your workout, ellipticals help you blast calories and improve your stamina.
If you’re looking for something a bit less intense, they can also be used for physical and occupational therapies to help patients improve after injuries. (2)
Keep reading this review of the five best ellipticals under $1,000 to find the right elliptical for you and your budget.
5 Best Elliptical Under 1000
At under $1000, Sole Fitness’s E25 is one of the best deals for professional gyms, and in-home gyms alike.
The E25 has a premium-quality steel frame that’s rated for users up to 350 pounds and backed by Sole Fitness’s lifetime warranty.
One of the many unique features of the E25 is its foot pedal design that helps to reduce the joint strain in your knees, hips, and ankles.
- Sole E25 Elliptical uses four rear wheels to eliminate any swaying during your workout and provide secure stabilization
- A team of physical therapists specifically designed the E25’s foot pedals to lower the impact on your joints
- Enhanced drive system keeps your machine quiet as a whisper during your workout
- Like the Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE, the E25 has a fixed stride length of 20 inches, so the pedals can’t be adjusted to accommodate user preference
- Integrated USB charging port, device holder, and speaker system
- 16 resistance levels and
- Includes cooling fan and a water bottle holder
- High gear ratio and 20-pound flywheel
- 6.25-inch blue backlit LCD screen
- Nine standard preloaded programs and one user-defined, customizable workout program
- Displays calories, distance, pulse readout, time, and resistance levels
The C 9.5 Elliptical from NordicTrack is competitively priced and marketed explicitly for in-home gyms.
This front-drive elliptical comes outfitted with a full 7″ HD touchscreen display equipped with iFit Coach workouts and Bluetooth capability.
With 32 pre-programmed workout programs, EKG grip pulse monitors, automated incline, and a built-in sound system, the NordicTrack is the best choice for anyone looking to keep up with the latest tech. (3)
- Monitors, tracks, and records your workout sessions safely so you can keep track of your progress with minimal effort
- Stride length is adjustable from 18″ to 20″ to comfortably mimic your natural gait
- Speaker system is compatible with most Android and Apple devices, including iPods and mp3 players
- NordicTrack has already released newer versions in the C 9.5 Elliptical series and stopped manufacturing on the older models, so chances are you’ll have to buy it used
- Stationary handlebars and front-drive construction
- 25-pound enhanced flywheel
- Comes standard with a lifetime frame warranty, a 3-year parts warranty, and a 1-year labor warranty
- 0 to 20-degree adjustable power ramp for incline
- Accommodates users up to 350 lbs
- 24 levels of silent magnetic resistance
When it comes to brand recognition and reputation, it doesn’t get bigger or better than Bowflex; and the Max Trainer M3 is a prime example of why.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 comes with two workout programs pre-installed into the elliptical and a target-zone indicator to keep you on track throughout your session.
The LCD display and easy to understand controls make the Max Trainer M3 the best choice for anyone looking for a professional quality workout machine and training program, without paying for the extra frills.
- 2’1″ by 3’10” footprint makes the Max Trainer M3 compact enough to fit in virtually any in-home gym
- The burn-Rate indicator allows you to clearly see how many calories you’re burning in real-time
- Ergonomic handgrip lets you switch between 8 levels of magnetic resistance quickly with a turn of your hand
- Bowflex is no longer manufacturing the Max Trainer M3, so you’ll have to do some searching to find a decently priced used machine
- Bowflex does offer newer, more advanced models with better tech features
- Reddot Design Award Winner for 2015
- Heart rate Monitor uses included chest strap for accurate readings
- The 1-year standard warranty from Bowflex
- Maximum user weight of 300 lbs
- Includes a water bottle holder and a shelf for your cell phone or tablet
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The best of both worlds, Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE Elliptical combines everything we love about the Max Trainer M3, with all of the best tech features of the Nordic Track C 9.5.
The 7.0 AE charges your phone while it’s connected and has a device holder for easy access to your workout playlist.
Also, it’s Six Star Certified frame allows you to elevate your workout with 20 levels of resistance and power incline.
- The assembly process for the 7.0 AE Elliptical is simple and can be done by one person in a few hours
- Rapid-charge USB port and device holder allow you to interact with your cell phone or tablet without worrying about your battery dying half-way through your workout
- The Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE also comes with access to the Horizon Fitness app to monitor your progress and share your data across your other favorite fitness apps
- 20-inch stride length is preset, so you can’t adjust it to suit you like with some of the other ellipticals in our review
- 23-pound heavy-duty flywheel provides smooth movements
- Advanced Bluetooth system and its integrated speaker system are compatible with virtually all Bluetooth capable devices
- Power incline system and 20 levels of resistance
- Low step-on height, optimal handlebar spacing
- Maximum user weight of 325 lbs
ProForm’s Endurance 520 E is one of our favorites, coming in at number one as the overall best elliptical for less than $1000.
More than just an elliptical, the Endurance 520 E comes with access to iFit and its full library of studio workouts, virtual workout locations, and trainer knowledge.
- Adjustable oversized levelers keep your Endurance 520 E stable, even on unlevel surfaces
- It comes standard with dual inset 2-inch speakers that work with both the included auxiliary port and Bluetooth enabled devices
- Proform’s Endurance 520 E has an adjustable incline capable of up to 20 degrees to simulate multiple types of terrain and target specific muscle groups
- The Endurance 520 E from Proform comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and is under full warranty for the frame, parts, and labor
- 300-pound weight capacity
- 5″ Backlit LCD display screen
- 10-year frame warranty, 1-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty
- Effective Inertia Enhanced Flywheel weighs 15 pounds
- EKG Grip Pulse Sensor monitors heart rate
- Interactive training sessions and workouts from iFit with personal trainers and customization
- Allows you to track your fitness and share your progress across fitness apps
- 18 levels of patented SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
- Zero friction movements provide a smooth ride that stays silent throughout your workout
- Front-mounted wheels for easy transport
Elliptical Buying Guide: What To Look For?
Now that you know the 5 best elliptical under $1000 keep reading for our quick guide to help you choose which machine best suits you and your needs.
Design and Durability
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most important aspect of your new elliptical purchase is your machine’s durability and design.
Your elliptical is more than just an investment in your health, it’s an investment of your time and money.
For that reason, you should always make sure that your elliptical is made with high-quality materials that can last a long time, despite repeated use.
You can test out the ergonomics of different ellipticals at your local gym or fitness equipment provider to find which machine will work best for you.
Your stride length is the distance you travel in the space of two steps, whereas your step length is the amount of distance traveled in a single step.
When choosing an elliptical, check to make sure the machine you’re looking at has a stride length close to your own natural stride.
If you’re unsure of your stride, you can use these formulas to find out with relative accuracy:
- Females: 0/413 x (your height in inches)
- Males: 0.415 x (your height in inches)
Resistance and Incline
Resistance is the amount of opposition exerted against a flow (in the case of ellipticals, your movement).
The incline of an elliptical refers to the slope or ascent of the machine relative to the ground.
To find out which elliptical is the best fit for you, consider what you plan on using your elliptical for when comparing resistance and incline capabilities.
If you’re looking for a machine that will continually challenge you to up your workout, go for an elliptical with a wide range of resistance and incline options.
If you plan to use your elliptical sparingly or as a small portion of your regular workout, then you may want to consider one with fewer add-ons to save money.
The control module of your elliptical is the interface that you’ll interact with to monitor your progress and heart rate, modify your incline, adjust your resistance, and more, depending on the machine.
Finding a control module that you can understand and read with ease is key to choosing the right elliptical for you.
Think about it this way: if you can’t figure out how to use the control module to get the most out of your machine, then it’s probably not going to be a good fit for your in-home gym.
When it comes to additional features on your elliptical, it’s all about personal preference. Ask yourself what features are most important to you and make a list for yourself.
When you’re shopping for your elliptical, take your list with you and focus on finding the equipment that best meets your specifications.
For example, do you want an elliptical that can connect to your mobile device?
Is it more critical for you to have an elliptical with built-in fans, or one that allows you to sync up your data across fitness apps?
Perhaps you want an elliptical that does all of the above.
Either way, you can use your list of desired additional features to help you compare and contrast ellipticals to find the right one for you.
The Bottom Line
Elliptical machines are a sure-fire way to boost your cardio workout from the comfort of your in-home gym, without breaking the bank.
For less than $1000, you can get a professional-grade elliptical made with premium materials you can trust, and loaded with additional features.
After extensive review, our number one pick for ellipticals under $1000 is the ProForm Endurance 520 E.
The Endurance 520 E from ProForm comes with a plethora of special features, from Bluetooth capability to iFit connectivity and dual built-in cooling fans.
It’s simple and easy to use interface makes the Endurance E 250 a clear crowd stand-out, that’s accessible even to the most technologically challenged.
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