12 Best Compact Ellipticals for Small Spaces 2021

ApexBikes is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through the links on our site. Learn more.

Having been invented quite recently in the 1990s by Precor, the elliptical machine has since become a staple in gym equipment. They were praised as a great alternative to the treadmill. This is because it has a similar movement pattern but without the high impact on joints. Now they are also a common choice for users looking to build a home gym. However, one problem that many customers face is that ellipticals are pretty long and take up a lot of space. Not everyone has enough space at home for this incredible fitness equipment.

Therefore, we have decided to bring you the solution. We have gathered a list of some of the finest compact ellipticals that are ideal for small spaces. You don’t have to look through the countless products one by one. We have done the searching and testing for you. In this article, you will find detailed reviews of 12 such selections. Some purchasing advice and answers to a few FAQs have also been included for novice buyers.

Buying Guide: Compact ellipticals for small spaces

1. Configuration

  • Front-Drive Ellipticals: In this configuration, the flywheel is located in a large housing at the front of the machine. This type of elliptical is usually the most cost-effective.

Front-drive elliptical

Image: Front-drive elliptical

  • Rear-Drive Ellipticals: Rear-drive ellipticals have the flywheel located behind the user. These tend to be more expensive, but have a smoother and better motion path. They also have large lengths and take up the most space.

Rear-drive elliptical

Image: Rear-drive elliptical

  • Center-Drive Ellipticals: Out of the three, these have the most compact design. The flywheel can be situated to one side of the user, or there could be two smaller flywheels on either side. Center-drive ellipticals are a relatively new design.

Center-drive elliptical

Image: center-drive elliptical

2. Special Elliptical Types

Four other types of ellipticals are less common but worth mentioning. A mini elliptical is a small machine with no handles. They only take up around 3 square feet of floor space and have miniature flywheels. However, the pedals are still quite large. These are designed to be used under a desk while sitting and working or doing something else. They are a good way to get a little extra work in a sedentary lifestyle. Some can also be used standing up. Although, you won’t get much of a workout with these because of the small range of motion.

Mini elliptical

Image: Mini elliptical

On the other hand, some machines are sort of a hybrid of a stair stepper and an elliptical. This type combines the low impact of an elliptical and the calorie-burning of a stepper machine. If you are looking to get a high-intensity workout and shred fat, then this type is the one for you. Rather than a horizontal elliptical motion, the pedals follow a more vertical path.

Elliptical-stepper hybrid

Image: Elliptical-stepper hybrid

A fan elliptical looks just like a normal one but uses a large fan instead of a flywheel. These are similar to air bikes. The air resistance increases as you pedal faster. At high speeds tend to get noisy, but they also provide a good cardio workout.

Fan elliptical

Image: Fan elliptical

A fourth type is called a recumbent elliptical machine or a recumbent cross-trainer. Just like recumbent stationary bikes, these machines are good for those with back pain or who are recovering from injuries. They feature a large, comfortable seat and the pedals are out to the front.

Recumbent elliptical

Image: Recumbent elliptical

3. Handlebars

Almost every single elliptical today has moving handlebars. This is part of what makes ellipticals so popular. You can engage your upper and lower body simultaneously. Only very early models had stationary handlebars. We suggest that you look for ones that have two sets of handles; one moving and one fixed. This way if you want to rest your arms, you can simply grab onto the fixed handles and continue pedaling. There are also many handlebars with multiple grips that allow you to target different muscles in the upper body.

4. Space & Mobility

You need to consider how much space is available to you where you want to place the machine. Ellipticals typically take up more floor space than stationary bikes and sometimes even treadmills. Center-drive and front-drive ellipticals are more compact, while rear-drive ellipticals require a long length. Some are foldable which makes them easy to store. If you are planning to workout in one room and keep the elliptical in another room, then you probably want something that is lightweight and has transport wheels attached to the front base.

5. Ergonomics

Any elliptical machine should have a smooth and elliptical motion that feels close to natural movement. They are meant to simulate running without the high impact of a treadmill. Many have a slight ‘bounce’ to them as the heel comes off the pedals. Two other factors to consider are the stride length and the pedals’ width spacing. The optimum value for both depends on your height and hip-width. Taller people will feel more comfortable with a longer stride length, while the pedal spacing should place the feet directly below the shoulders. If possible, you should always try out an elliptical before buying to see if the movement feels right or not.

6. Progression & Variability

You need to be able to vary the difficulty of an exercise for continued progression. Otherwise, you will hit a plateau because the body gets used to doing the same workout over and over again. All ellipticals have multiple levels of resistance built into them for this purpose. This is usually controlled using a tension knob/dial or buttons on the console. As a reference, 50-75% of the maximum resistance should feel challenging for you. This leaves enough room for you to improve. Another way of increasing the difficulty is with an incline. The incline capability is more commonly found in pricier machines but is a useful feature to have.

7. Resistance Types

Barely any elliptical nowadays uses friction resistance systems. In this system, brake pads are used to provide friction with the flywheel. The three types that are used today are described below.

  • Manual Magnetic Resistance: This is found mostly in low-cost ellipticals. It uses a set of magnets or a magnetic U-shaped bracket. This is brought closer or further away from the flywheel using a dial, hence varying the resistance.
  • Motorized Magnetic Resistance: This system works almost exactly like a manual magnetic resistance system. The difference is that instead of a dial, buttons on the console are used for controlling. The magnet itself is moved by a motor. Mid-range ellipticals usually have this type of resistance.
  • Electromagnetic or Eddy Current Resistance: This is the most advanced type and is found typically in high-end ellipticals. An electromagnet is used in this system which lies very close to the flywheel. The electromagnet becomes stronger when more current is passed through it and vice versa. This system is more durable and offers better control.

8. Pedals

The pedals of an elliptical are always large and have a ribbed surface for friction. However, the way they are set up comes in two different forms. One is the track and roller system, where the pedals have wheels that move up and down a track/ramp. Some noise is generated in this type by the movement of the wheels. In the other kind, the pedals are suspended on arms connecting to the drive mechanism. This system is quieter, but it has a lower weight capacity.

9. Electronics and Programming

Tracking one’s workout is very important to people nowadays. It helps you judge your progress and stay motivated. Therefore, a console is typically included with ellipticals. At the very least, it should have a basic LCD screen that displays the time, distance, speed, and calories burned. To get data regarding heart rate, either there has to be integrated pulse sensors on the handlebars or the console must be compatible with a chest strap. Advanced consoles may have more than one screen with backlighting. They may have more readouts and buttons to control resistance/incline. Some even have Bluetooth connectivity to let you sync with fitness apps.

Elliptical console

Image: Elliptical console

Built-in workout programs are a very useful feature to have. You won’t have to come up with an exercise routine. All you have to do is choose and follow a program according to your goals. Many ellipticals also have a heart rate program. This lets you pick which heart rate you want to maintain and the machine will automatically keep adjusting the resistance.

10. Accessories

Some features that you will find on ellipticals are not a necessity. They are there as a luxury and to provide convenience. If you can, you should definitely try to get these included. The two most common accessories are a bottle holder, and a device holder to place a phone or tablet. With these, your workouts won’t be boring and you won’t have to get off the machine to stay hydrated. A nice addition to the console is a fan to keep you cool. You can also get ones that have a USB charging port, an audio jack, and built-in speakers.

11. Safety Features

Elliptical machines have a lot of moving parts and hence, multiple places for pinching and entrapment. It is therefore very important to keep children and pets away. You should also have at least 20 inches of free space around the machine for safety. There are a couple of safety features available. A pedal arm safety pin is inserted into a hole to prevent the elliptical from being pedaled. Another feature called a software lockout disables the console so that children cannot use them.

12. Price & Warranty

The budget is probably at the top of the factors that help you decide which equipment to buy. Prices can range from $200 to more than $3000. More expensive ellipticals have more features and will have better overall quality. However, if you are a beginner then you probably don’t need to go for gym-quality equipment. If the model that meets your needs is too expensive, then you could wait and try to save up. And if you decide to get a cheap one, ensure that the warranty is good enough. You should look for coverage of at least 3 to 7 years on parts and 1 year on labor. Typically, the frame has a lifetime warranty.

You can watch the following video to get a quick overview of how to buy ellipticals

Elliptical Machine Buying Guide | Consumer Reports

Our Top Pick(s)

To come up with this list of ellipticals, we have considered things like the build quality, effectiveness, functionality, price, and of course, size. No matter what your demands, you are bound to find a suitable option for our selection. After careful deliberation, we have decided that the Bowflex M3 Max Trainer offers the best performance out of all the products. Hence, we have named it theOverall best choice’.

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

Calorie burning & low impact elliptical-stepper hybrid | Overall Best Choice

The Bowflex M3 Max Trainer is an ingeniously designed indoor exercise machine. It is both low impact and calorie burning due to the elliptical and stepper combination. It has great looks, a high level of performance, and takes up only half the space of a normal elliptical. Nearly anyone can use it thanks to the 300 lbs weight capacity and the 8 levels of magnetic resistance. It has a digital console, a wireless chest strap, a bottle holder, and a device tray. You may not find any fancy high-tech features, but in terms of build quality and durability, it is unmatched. The price is well worth it since the returns you will get in the long-term easily overcomes that.

  • Type: Elliptical-stepper hybrid
  • Dimensions: 49” L × 26” W × 64.7” H
  • Product Weight: 143 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Handlebars: 1 set moving and 1 set fixed
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: N/A (Linear motion)
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Heart rate, time, calories, RPM, intervals
  • Power: AC power outlet
  • Pedals Setup: Track and roller

 

A quick view of our list of some of the top compact ellipticals for small spaces:

EllipticalWeight (lbs.)Our Ratings
Bowflex M3 Max14395
Cubii JR12594
Teeter FreeStep LT111092
Ancheer Elliptical78.988
HCI PhysioStep HXT16586
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908 Elliptical25.486
Schwinn 470 Elliptical16480
Efitment E005 Elliptical6378
Body Power BST800 Steptrac88.278
Exerpeutic 2000XL74.576
Body Rider BR18305876
ProForm18074

12 best compact ellipticals for small spaces you can buy today

EllipticalPreviewTypeDimensions
(L × W × H)
Product Weight
(lbs)
Weight Capacity
(lbs)
ResistanceScore
Bowflex M3 MaxBowflex Max Trainer M3Elliptical-stepper hybrid49” × 26” × 64.7”1433008 level magnetic resistance95
Cubii JR1Cubii JR1 Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine for Home Workout, Mini Elliptical, Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser, Whisper Quiet, Under Desk Pedal Exerciser w/Adjustable Resistance & LCD Display - AquaMini elliptical23” × 17.5” × 10”25N/A8 level magnetic resistance94
Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTeeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical (LT1)Recumbent elliptical54” × 38” × 52.5”1103008 level magnetic resistance92
Ancheer Elliptical MachineANCHEER Elliptical Machine, Quiet & Smooth, Magnetic Elliptical Cross Trainer Machine with LCD Monitor and Pulse Rate Grips, Best Exercise Machine Trainer for Home Gym Office WorkoutRear-drive elliptical40.9” × 18.9” × 63”78.92658 level magnetic resistance88
HCI PhysioStep HXTHCI Fitness Physio Step HXT Recumbent Compact Semi-Elliptical Cross Trainer, Grey/BlackRecumbent elliptical52” × 25” × 51”16533016 level eddy current/electromagnetic resistance86
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908 EllipticalSunny Health & Fitness Portable Stand Up Elliptical - SF-E3908Mini elliptical25.2” × 18” × 10.6”25.42208 level magnetic resistance86
Schwinn 470 EllipticalSchwinn Fitness 470 EllipticalFront-drive elliptical70.1” × 28.1” × 63.2”16430025 level eddy current/electromagnetic resistance80
Efitment E005 EllipticalEFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer w/LCD Monitor and Pulse Rate GripsRear-drive elliptical41” × 26” × 59.5”632208 level magnetic resistance78
Body Power BST800 Steptracbody power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer with Curve-Crank TechnologyElliptical-stepper hybrid42” × 24” × 62”88.22508 level magnetic resistance78
Exerpeutic 2000XL EllipticalEXERPEUTIC 2000XL Bluetooth Smart Cloud Fitness High Capacity Elliptical Trainer with Goal Setting and Free AppRear-drive elliptical54” × 23” × 63”74.53008 level magnetic resistance76
Body Rider BR1830 Fan Elliptical TrainerBody Rider Body Flex Sports Elliptical Exercise Machine, at-Home Exercise Equipment Black/Green/Silver ,One SizeFan elliptical35.6” × 20.1” × 57.7”58250Adjustable air resistance76
ProForm Cardio HIITProForm Cardio HIIT TrainerElliptical-stepper hybrid52” × 29.25” × 66.7”18035024 level magnetic resistance74

1. Bowflex M3 Max elliptical

Calorie burning & low impact elliptical-stepper hybrid | Overall Best Choice

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer
  • Type: Elliptical-stepper hybrid
  • Dimensions: 49” L × 26” W × 64.7” H
  • Product Weight: 143 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Handlebars: 1 set moving and 1 set fixed
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: N/A (Linear motion)
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Heart rate, time, calories, RPM, intervals
  • Power: AC power outlet
  • Pedals Setup: Track and roller

Features & Considerations
  • High-Calorie Burn: You get the low impact of an elliptical combined with the calorie-burning power of a stair stepper. The movable handlebars let you engage the upper body at the same time for higher calorie output.
  • Good Weight Capacity: The body of this machine has a solid build and can withstand up to 300 lbs of weight.
  • Digital Monitor: A console with an easy to read, grey backlit display shows heart rate, time, calories, RPM, and intervals for exercise tracking.
  • Wireless Chest Strap: Putting on the chest strap will let you wirelessly monitor your pulse on the console screen. This is also more accurate than grip pulse sensors.
  • Programming: Up to two user profiles can be set up in the console. So you and your partner/roommate can both track your own fitness separately. There are also two built-in workout programs.
  • Accessory Holders: There is both a water bottle holder and a device rack on which you can keep a tablet or phone, or you could put a book for reading as well.

Some Weaknesses
  • It is quite expensive and the warranty is only for a year.

The Bowflex M3 Max Trainer is a hybrid indoor exercise machine that combines an elliptical and a stair stepper. So you can burn calories fast while keeping it low impact. The handlebars bring your upper body into the fray for a great total body workout. The weight capacity is 300 lbs, so almost anyone can use it to get in shape. The pedals move diagonally up and down on a set of tracks and rollers. There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance that are controlled by one of the fixed handles. It looks similar to a motorbike’s throttle.

One of the best features is probably the well-placed LCD computer. It has 2 built-in programs and 2 user profiles to track data for 2 people. It also displays heart rate, time, calories, RPM, and intervals. The pulse is measured by a wireless chest strap, so you don’t need to put your hands on a sensor every time you want to check your heart rate. The M3 Max Trainer also features a bottle/cup holder and a tray on which you can keep a book, phone, or tablet. It does have a slightly steep price. But if you’re willing to use it for a long time then it is worth it.

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

2. Cubii JR1 elliptical

Under-desk, whisper-quiet mini elliptical

Cubii JR1
  • Type: Mini elliptical
  • Dimensions: 23” L × 17.5” W × 10” H
  • Product Weight: 25 lbs
  • Handlebars: None
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: 12.25 inches
  • Console: Small LCD monitor
  • Display Data: Strides, distance, RPM, time, and calories
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals Setup: Track and rollers

Features & Considerations
  • Exercise While Sitting: This elliptical is meant to be used while you are sitting and working, reading, or watching TV. The compact design means you can place it under your desk and pedal away.
  • Whisper Quiet: The patented drive system lets you pedal smoothly without making any noise. So you can bring this to work and not worry about disturbing others.
  • Portable: The size and weight are small enough that you can carry it around with you. A handle is included to make it easier to transport.
  • Ease of Use: Assembling the product is extremely easy and the exercise is low impact. Just place it on the floor and start pedaling.
  • Digital Monitor: A small digital console is included that displays quite a lot of information. It shows strides, distance, RPM, time, and calories.

Some Weaknesses
  • Cannot be used standing up.
  • Not suitable for weight loss by itself.

The Cubii JR1 is a top-class compact seated elliptical. If you have to sit all day for work or you want to get in some movement while watching TV, then this is the right machine for you. It weighs only 25 lbs and is small enough to be placed under your desk. Just make sure that there is enough room so that your knees do not bump against the table. The carrying handle lets you take it anywhere including your workplace. Don’t worry about making any noise over there thanks to the whisper-quiet patented design.

You can adjust the magnetic resistance with 8 levels using the dial adjustment. Unlike other seated ellipticals, this one also has multiple data readouts. The small LCD screen displays strides, distance, RPM, time, and calories. By no means can this elliptical be used for weight loss on its own. But it does provide a way to get some exercise in a sedentary lifestyle. Any exercise is better than no exercise. One downside is that you cannot use this standing up. It will most likely break if you do.

Cubii JR1

Cubii JR1

3. Teeter FreeStep LT1 elliptical

Seated elliptical for a zero impact versatile workout

Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer
  • Type: Recumbent elliptical
  • Dimensions: 54” L × 38” W × 52.5” H
  • Product Weight: 110 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Handlebars: Multi-grip adjustable moving handles
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: N/A (Linear motion)
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Time. distance, speed, calories
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals Setup: Suspended pedal arm

Features & Considerations
  • High Weight Capacity: This machine has a commercial-grade quality. The durability is high and the weight capacity is 300 lbs.
  • Comfortable and Adjustable Seat: The padded seat has a backrest and can be reclined to 3 different positions. The height of the seat is also adjustable and is ideal for preventing back pain.
  • Versatile Muscle Targeting: You can choose to target only the legs or only the upper body by using the side handlebars or the front bar respectively. The main handlebars can be repositioned to target different upper body muscles.
  • Digital Monitor: A simple battery-powered LCD console that displays time, distance, speed, and calories burned to allow for workout tracking.
  • Device and Bottle Holder: The digital console on the front comes with a stand where you can place a phone or a tablet. There is also a convenient bottle holder below the seat.
  • Silent Mechanism: The enclosed flywheel, belt drive, and suspended pedals ensure that there is almost no noise. It lets you watch TV and not annoy others.
  • Heavy-Duty Mat Available: There is the option to get an extra mat to put under the machine. This will protect the floor and also cause less noise.

Some Weaknesses
  • The maximum resistance is not too high and might be too easy for some people.

The Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer is a specially designed recumbent machine that is an excellent choice for zero impact workouts. The large foot pedals have more of a linear motion instead of an elliptical one. The comfortable seat with back support, 3 recline positions, and height adjustment keep your bodyweight off your joints and prevent low back pain. This makes this machine perfect for overweight people or those who have injuries. The adjustable handles allow for different hand positions to switch between targeting triceps, biceps, chest, and back.

You can isolate both the legs and arms by grabbing the sides of the seat or placing your feet on the front bar. The digital console not only shows time, distance, speed, and calories, but it also has a smart device stand to enable video streaming or listening to music while working out. A bottle holder and heavy-duty mat are also included. Almost no noise will be produced thanks to the drive system design. It is important to note that with this machine you cannot get a high-intensity workout and it is also a bit expensive.

Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer

Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer

4. Ancheer elliptical

Affordable & portable elliptical for home use

Ancheer Elliptical Machine
  • Type: Rear-drive elliptical
  • Dimensions: 40.9” L × 18.9” W × 63” H
  • Product Weight: 78.9 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 265 lbs
  • Handlebars: 1 set moving and 1 set fixed
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: 13 inches
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, pulse
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals Setup: Suspended pedal arms

Features & Considerations
  • Affordable: This rear-drive elliptical is one of the cheapest in the market. So anyone can buy it and add it to their home gym.
  • Silent Operation: The drive system uses a belt drive for the flywheel. The pedals are suspended on pedal arms instead of using a track and roller system. These two features combined make the machine almost completely silent.
  • Digital Monitor: The LCD console lets you keep track of your workout by displaying speed, time, distance, calories, and pulse.
  • Pulse Sensor: Other than the moving arms, there is a pair of fixed arms that have integrated pulse sensors that relay the heart rate to the console.
  • Portability: The frame is quite lightweight and there are transport wheels on the front. Hence, you can just tilt the machine and move it to another room easily.

Some Weaknesses
  • Resistance intensity is not too high.
  • Build quality is a bit lower than other similar ellipticals.

The Ancheer Elliptical Machine is a compact rear-drive elliptical designed for home use. It is also pretty low cost and affordable. There are no tracks and rollers for the pedals. Instead, they are suspended on pedal arms that eliminate almost all sound. The flywheel is driven by a belt which also helps in keeping the noise down. The resistance is magnetic and has 8 levels which can be controlled by a dial. However, the maximum resistance will probably prove to be not too challenging for advanced fitness levels. This is a good elliptical for beginners.

The steel frame can support 265 lbs, which is respectable considering the size. The machine itself is lightweight and can be moved easily using the front-mounted transport wheels. An LCD console is included with multiple data readouts such as speed, time, distance, calories, and heart rate. The heart is measured by the pulse sensors on the fixed handles. There are a few flaws such as the average build quality and short stride length, but overall this is a good low-cost option.

Ancheer Elliptical Machine

Ancheer Elliptical Machine

5. HCI PhysioStep HXT elliptical

Commercial grade recumbent elliptical w/ large seat

HCI PhysioStep HXT
  • Type: Recumbent elliptical
  • Dimensions: 52” L × 25” W × 51” H
  • Product Weight: 165 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
  • Handlebars: Adjustable moving handles
  • Resistance Type: 16 level eddy current/electromagnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: 20.5 inches
  • Console: Backlit LCD monitor
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, pulse, RPM, calories, watts, resistance level
  • Power: AC power outlet
  • Pedals Setup: Track and rollers

Features & Considerations
  • Commercial Grade Quality: The build quality of this machine is excellent. All the parts are durable and the frame can withstand up to 330 lbs of weight.
  • Comfortable and Adjustable Seat: The large reclined seat is comfortable and has back support. Its position can also be adjusted according to your height and preference.
  • Adjustable Handlebars: The moving handlebars are fully adjustable for the right length. They can also be rotated to vary the grip.
  • Backlit Display: The console features a blue backlit, high contrast display with multiple readouts. Track your workout with the speed, time, distance, pulse, RPM, calories, watts, and resistance level.
  • Pulse Sensors: There are handles on either side of the seat. The pulse sensors are integrated into these handles.
  • Electromagnetic Resistance: There are 16 levels of electromagnetic resistance that can be controlled using buttons on the console.
  • Built-in Programs: Based on your goals, you can choose from the 17 pre-set workout programs.

Some Weaknesses
  • The price may be too high for most people.
  • The range of motion of handlebars is pretty small, although this design is intentional.

The HCI PhysioStep HXT is a commercial grade recumbent cross trainer with semi-elliptical motion. This machine is sort of a mix between a recumbent bike and an elliptical. It has an adjustable cushioned seat with backrest and side handles. The fully adjustable moving arms at the front let you engage the upper body. The range of motion is small, but this is to prevent straining your shoulders in case you have any shoulder issues. The frame is sturdy and has a maximum user weight of 330 lbs. This elliptical is suitable for anyone, especially for seniors and people who are physically challenged.

The best part about the PhysioStep HXT is undoubtedly the console. It has an easy to read backlit display. It shows the speed, time, distance, pulse, RPM, calories, watts, and resistance level to help you track your workout. Heart rate data is supplied by contact sensors on the seat handles. The console also has buttons to let you switch between the 16 levels of electromagnetic resistance. To add to all of that, there are 17 built-in programs to choose from according to your requirements.

HCI PhysioStep HXT

HCI PhysioStep HXT

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908 elliptical

Durable seated/standing mini elliptical

Sale
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908 Elliptical
  • Type: Mini elliptical
  • Dimensions: 25.2” L × 18” W × 10.6” H
  • Product Weight: 25.4 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Handlebars: None
  • Resistance Type: 8 level magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: 7 inches
  • Console: Small LCD monitor
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals Setup: Track and rollers

Features & Considerations
  • Compact Design: The dimensions are very small. You can use it sitting down and even place it under a desk while working.
  • Versatile: It has a sturdy construction and can support up to 220 lbs. Therefore, you can also use it standing up and get better exercise.
  • Portable: There is a carry handle and the product weighs only 25.4 lbs. So you can easily take it anywhere with you.
  • Whisper Quiet: The mechanism makes almost zero noise, making it possible to use it at the office without inconveniencing anyone.
  • Digital Monitor: Despite the size, there is a simple LCD console that displays speed, time, distance, and calories burned.
  • No Assembly: When you purchase this elliptical, it will be delivered to you pre-assembled. You can just take it out of the box and start using it.

Some Weaknesses
  • Balancing on the elliptical can take some time to get used to.
  • Cannot be used for losing weight on its own.

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908 Elliptical is a compact seated/standing elliptical. This is a versatile elliptical since you can use it while seated or standing up. It has a user capacity of 220 lbs, while it itself weighs only 25.4 lbs. The length, width, and height are all pretty small and it also has a carry handle built-in. Moreover, there is virtually no sound produced while pedaling. All of this means that you can use it anywhere and anytime; while watching TV or even when you are working at the office.

There is also dial-adjustable magnetic resistance. A total of 8 levels are present. You can keep track of your workout using the digital monitor. It displays speed, time, distance, and calories burned. Using the SF-E3908 is a good way to add a little bit of exercise and break out of a sedentary lifestyle. Remember to be careful while balancing on the machine. It takes a bit of practice. The price is very low and it comes already assembled, making it totally worth it.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908 Elliptical

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3908 Elliptical

7. Schwinn 470 elliptical

High quality elliptical w/ multiple smart features

Sale
Schwinn 470 Elliptical
  • Type: Front-drive elliptical
  • Dimensions: 70.1” L × 28.1” W × 63.2” H
  • Product Weight: 164 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Handlebars: 1 set moving and 1 set fixed
  • Resistance Type: 25 level eddy current/electromagnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: 20 inches
  • Console: DualTrack backlit LCD monitor
  • Display Data: Time, RPM, distance, pulse, speed, calories, resistance level, etc.
  • Power: AC power outlet
  • Pedals Setup: Track and roller

Features & Considerations
  • High-Intensity Workout: This elliptical has high inertia high-speed flywheels. Along with the moving handlebars, you can really push yourself and get a calorie-burning workout.
  • Incline Capability: You can increase the difficulty by increasing the incline by up to 10 degrees. A motorized ramp is controlled using the console.
  • Backlit Display: The DualTrack LCD console has two blue backlit screens. It displays a whole lot of data, including time, RPM, distance, pulse, speed, calories, resistance level, and much more.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: The console has Bluetooth, letting you sync with the Schwinn Trainer App or other fitness apps. Tracking your fitness is not a problem with this elliptical.
  • Built-in Programs: You will find 29 workout programs already built into the console. Choose any of them according to your exercise targets.
  • Eddy Current Resistance: It features 25 levels of eddy current resistance. Varying the resistance is done by buttons on the console.
  • Explore the World App: This app lets you explore virtual routes in 19 different locations to make your workout more enjoyable. Socializing with other people on the app is also possible.
  • Other Accessories: A bunch of other features such as a cooling fan, speakers, device holder, charging port, and bottle holder adds a lot of convenience and pleasure to the workout.

Some Weaknesses
  • Assembling the product is a bit difficult.
  • Many reviews suggest that the moving parts are prone to breaking.

The Schwinn 470 Elliptical is arguably one of the best compact front-drive ellipticals available. What makes it so good is the myriad of features included. It has 25 levels of eddy current resistance, a 10° motorized incline ramp, a high inertia flywheel, and of course, moving handlebars. Therefore, you can really get a high-intensity workout to burn calories and lose weight. Most of its features are associated with the DualTrack LCD console. The dual backlit screens display all the necessary data and more to keep track of your workouts.

You can sync to the Schwinn Trainer app or other fitness apps thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. There is also an Explore the World App that lets you discover and journey through various locations around the world. Just place your tablet or phone on the device tray and enjoy it. Other luxury features include speakers, a 3-speed fan, a bottle holder, a USB charging port, and 29 workout programs. Choose from any of these programs according to your fitness goals. The resistance and incline are also controlled via the console.

Schwinn 470 Elliptical

Schwinn 470 Elliptical

8. Efitment E005 elliptical

Compact & portable elliptical for home use

Efitment E005 Elliptical
  • Type: Rear-drive elliptical
  • Dimensions: 41” L × 26” W × 59.5” H
  • Product Weight: 63 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Handlebars: 1 set moving and 1 set fixed
  • Resistance Type: 8 level magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: 11 inches
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, pulse
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals Setup: Suspense pedal arms

Features & Considerations
  • Affordable: This elliptical comes at a very low price. It is highly affordable and can be bought by anyone for use at home.
  • Portable: You can easily move the machine around your house using the front-mounted transport wheels. What makes it easier is the lightweight of the frame.
  • Silent Running: The pedals are not on tracks and rollers, instead they are suspended on the pedal arms. This makes the operation of this elliptical virtually silent.
  • Digital Monitor: The LCD monitor allows you to track your exercise by displaying speed, time, distance, heart rate, and calories burned.
  • Pulse Sensors: An extra set of fixed handlebars have integrated EKG pulse sensors to measure your heart rate.

Some Weaknesses
  • The stride length is quite short.
  • It has a low weight capacity.

The Efitment E005 Elliptical is a simple rear-drive elliptical machine that is perfect for the home gym. It has compact dimensions and weighs not too much. The built-in transportation wheels let you relocate it to another room after you are done using it. Another factor is that this elliptical does not cost much at all, hence it is affordable to most people. The pedals use a suspended system instead of a track and roller system. Therefore, there is no need to worry about making any noise.

There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance which are controlled using a large dial. The digital console has an LCD screen and displays the speed, time, distance, heart rate, and calories burned during your workout. Pulse sensors are attached to the fixed handles. It also has a device holder attached to the console. All in all, the E005 is a great option among compact low-cost ellipticals. However, it is not suitable for tall and/or overweight people because of the 220 lbs maximum capacity and the short stride length.

Efitment E005 Elliptical

Efitment E005 Elliptical

9. Body Power BST800 elliptical

2 in 1 HIIT trainer w/ curve crank technology

Sale
Body Power BST800 Steptrac
  • Type: Elliptical-stepper hybrid
  • Dimensions: 42” L × 24” W × 62” H
  • Product Weight: 88.2 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Handlebars: 1 set moving and 1 set fixed
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Calories, time, speed, distance
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals Setup: Track and rollers

Features & Considerations
  • Curve-Crank Technology: The patented curved crank applies tension in such a way that there are no dead-zones during the pedal cycle, resulting in smooth and efficient motion.
  • Affordable: The price is not too high at all. Almost anyone can afford to get this machine for their home gym.
  • High-Intensity Workout: This hybrid machine combines an elliptical and a stair stepper. Not to mention that there are also movable handlebars. Hence, you will get a low impact, calorie burning, total body workout.
  • Digital Monitor: A simple LCD console gives you information about calories, time, speed, and distance to help you keep track of your exercise.
  • Pulse Sensors: Integrated pulse sensors in the stationary handles detect your heart rate and send it to the console.
  • Portable: For mobility, a pair of transport wheels are included. The weight of the product is also low enough for easy movement.

Some Weaknesses
  • According to the reviews, you may face an issue with durability.

The Body Power BST800 Steptrac is an innovative exercise machine that combines the low impact of an elliptical and the calorie-burning power of a stair stepper. With this machine, you can experience a high-intensity total body workout. It features a patented curved crank technology. This distributes the forces in such a way that there are no dead-zones during pedaling. The motion is therefore smooth and more efficient. Another positive side is the low price of the machine.

This hybrid elliptical is compact, lightweight, and can support 250 lbs. There are stabilizers on the rear base and transport wheels on the front base for stability and portability respectively. The resistance has 8 levels of magnetic tension which is adjusted using a dial. To keep up with your workout progress, a digital console displays calories burned, time, speed, and distance. Your heart rate is detected by sensors on the fixed handles. As a bonus, you can place a phone/tablet on the media shelf of the console.

Body Power BST800 Steptrac

Body Power BST800 Steptrac

10. Exerpeutic 2000XL elliptical

Heavy duty compact elliptical for home use

Exerpeutic 2000XL Elliptical
  • Type: Rear-drive elliptical
  • Dimensions: 54” L × 23” W × 63” H
  • Product Weight: 74.5 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Handlebars: 1 set moving and 1 set fixed
  • Resistance Type: 8 level magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: 21 inches
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, pulse
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals Setup: Suspended pedal arms

Features & Considerations
  • High Weight Capacity: Despite being compact, the frame is quite sturdy and has a maximum user weight of 300 lbs.
  • Noise-free Mechanism: The pedals are suspended on pedal arms. Unlike a track and roller system, there is no contact between surfaces, and no sound is generated.
  • Digital Monitor: A console is included to keep an eye on your workout. The LCD screen displays speed, time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: The elliptical can be synced to the MyCloudFitness app using Bluetooth. You can track your workout on your mobile devices and also select from 3 different goal settings.
  • Pulse Sensors: A pair of stationary handles have pulse sensors built into them. You can check your heart rate by gripping the sensors.
  • Portable: The sturdy frame is compact and lightweight, weighing only 74.5 lbs. Front-mounted transport wheels make this elliptical highly portable.

Some Weaknesses
  • The assembly is difficult and time-consuming.
  • It may develop a noise after some time.

The Exerpeutic 2000XL Elliptical is a great elliptical to get for your home. It is compact and lightweight and has built-in transport wheels to let you easily move it from one room to another. The price is also pretty low considering the quality and features included. The digital console shows speed, time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate that allows you to track your workout. However, if you want you can switch to your phone or tablet to display all the data. Use Bluetooth to sync with the MyCloudFitness app and choose from 3 workout goal settings.

The steel frame is strong enough to support users of upto 300 lbs. This elliptical uses a rear-drive system with a V-belt and pedals suspended on arms. This makes the operation of this machine quiet and smooth, unlike a traditional track and roller system. There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance controlled using a large dial. There is also an option to get this machine without Bluetooth if you want to save some money.

Exerpeutic 2000XL Elliptical

Exerpeutic 2000XL Elliptical

11. Body Rider BR1830 elliptical

Affordable, lightweight, and portable fan elliptical

Body Rider BR1830 Fan Elliptical Trainer
  • Type: Fan elliptical
  • Dimensions: 35.6” L × 20.1” W × 57.7” H
  • Product Weight: 58 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Handlebars: Moving handles
  • Resistance Type: Adjustable air resistance
  • Stride Length: 12 inches
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Calories, speed, time, distance
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals Setup: Suspended pedal arms

Features & Considerations
  • Very Low Cost: Among all the full-sized ellipticals on this list, this one is the most affordable since it has the lowest price.
  • Portable: Two small transport wheels at the front base makes it easy to move around. To add to that, the entire product weighs only 58 lbs.
  • Small Size: This elliptical also has the smallest dimensions among all the full-sized ones in this list. You can place it just about in any room.
  • Digital Monitor: An LCD console displays calories burned, speed, time, and distance. This is useful for keeping track of your workout.
  • Continuous Resistance Adjustment: The mechanism uses a chain-driven fan that provides more air resistance as it spins faster. There is also a dial to adjust the tension of the fan’s rotation.

Some Weaknesses
  • The pedals have a slight downward slope which feels like you are moving downhill.
  • Because of the small size, it may wobble at high speeds.

The Body Rider BR1830 Fan Elliptical Trainer is a different type of elliptical. It uses a large fan-like an air bike instead of a flywheel. The chain-driven mechanism combined with the suspended pedals is decently smooth and silent. The faster you pedal, the faster the fan rotates, and the higher the air resistance. You can also control the tension of the fan’s spin using a dial. All this means that there are infinite levels of resistance adjustment. The steel frame is well built and has a maximum load capacity of 250 lbs.

This machine weighs the least and takes up the least amount of space out of all the products in this list, other than the two under desk ellipticals. Transport wheels are also included. Therefore, you can pretty much move and keep the BR1830 in any corner of any room. Moreover, the price is also one of the lowest available in the market. You can track your workout using the integrated digital console. The LCD screen gives readouts for calories burned, speed, time, and distance.

Body Rider BR1830 Fan Elliptical Trainer

Body Rider BR1830 Fan Elliptical Trainer

12. ProForm elliptical

Calorie burning & low impact elliptical-stepper hybrid

ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer
  • Type: Elliptical-stepper hybrid
  • Dimensions: 52” L × 29.25” W × 66.7” H
  • Product Weight: 180 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Handlebars: 1 set moving and 1 set fixed
  • Resistance Type: 24 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Stride Length: 10” vertical, 5” horizontal
  • Console: Backlit LCD monitor
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, pulse, resistance level
  • Power: AC power outlet
  • Pedals Setup: Suspended pedal arms

Features & Considerations
  • Sturdy Construction: The commercial-grade steel construction of the frame ensures that it lasts for a long time. The maximum load capacity is 350 lbs.
  • High-Intensity Workouts: The stair stepper and elliptical combination mean that you will get a calorie-burning full-body workout with low impact on the joints.
  • Backlit Display: A large console with a 7” backlit LCD is included. With this, you can control the resistance levels and also track your workout.
  • iFit Trial Membership: The iFit App can be connected to Bluetooth. The 30-day membership trial gives you access to the studio and global on-demand workouts with expert trainers for a personalized workout.
  • Pulse Sensors: EKG grip pulse sensors are integrated with the fixed handlebars that measure your heart rate and relay it to the console.
  • Built-in Programs: To keep yourself challenged and motivated, there are 32 workout programs in the console to choose from.
  • Silent Operation: The mechanism runs smooth and silent thanks to the magnetic resistance and the suspended pedals.
  • Accessories: For added luxury, there is a cooling fan, an audio auxiliary port and speakers, a device holder, and a water bottle holder.

Some Weaknesses
  • A monthly subscription needs to be purchased separately for full access to the iFit app.
  • Low-intensity workouts for absolute beginners are not possible.

The ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer is a commercial-grade elliptical-stepper hybrid. The frame is durable and can support up to 350 lbs. With this machine, you can really test yourself. The movable arms and the unique stride motion provides a total body workout with low impact. You are guaranteed to burn lots of calories and lose weight. The drive system runs silently and there are 24 levels of magnetic resistance for continued progress. This machine can cater to different fitness goals thanks to the 32 workout programs onboard the console.

Speaking of the console, it has a large backlit display. A membership trial for the iFit App is included which lets you access a whole bunch of other features. Simply use Bluetooth to connect with your mobile device. Unfortunately, after the free trial, a monthly subscription will need to be purchased. Other than that, you can use the console to adjust the resistance and keep an eye on the speed, time, distance, calories, and heart rate. The ProForm HIIT trainer also has many other features that will enhance your workout experience. There is a cooling fan, an audio auxiliary port and speakers, a device holder, and a water bottle holder for convenience.

ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer

ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer


Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1: How much space do you need for an elliptical?

Ans.: The length of a typical elliptical can range from 4 to 7 feet. They are on average, about 2.5 feet wide. Many of the ellipticals mentioned in this article have even smaller dimensions. When you are exercising, the pedals may extend beyond the machine’s length. So, keep enough space around all sides. You also need to account for headspace if you plan to put it in the basement. At the apex of the stride, you could be as much as 25 inches above the floor.

Q.2: Are compact ellipticals good?

Ans.: Many compact ellipticals do not have the decent build quality, or might have fewer features. But as long as they work as well as a normal elliptical and are suited to your requirements, compact ellipticals are a great choice for home use. They take up less space and are less of an eyesore. Keep in mind that a compact machine might not be stable enough if you are too tall or weigh a lot.

Q.3: Should I buy an elliptical or a treadmill?

Ans.: Both ellipticals and treadmills are great pieces of equipment for improving your cardiovascular health. Nevertheless, each has its advantages and disadvantages over the other. Ultimately, it depends on your needs and preferences. The following table illustrates their differences.

Treadmill
ProsCons
Higher intensity workouts, more calorie burning and faster weight lossHigh impact exercise and stressful for the joints
Better control and versatility with speed and inclineRisk of falling off the machine
Strengthens the leg muscles moreWorks only the lower body muscles
Elliptical
ProsCons
Low impact exercise, hence good for the joints in the long runThe motion can take some time to get used to
Possible to continue exercising while recovering from injuryThere is less overall strength and muscle development
Both upper and lower body are engaged thanks to moving handlebars
Direction of motion can be reversed to work different muscles

Q.4: Is 20 minutes a day on the elliptical enough?

Ans.: The biggest reason why most people don’t work out consistently is because of a lack of time. Effectively utilizing your time on the elliptical is crucial. At the right intensity, even 20 minutes a day can provide various long-term health benefits. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise should be practiced every week. Some resistance training should also be included. For those with little time, it should be enough to do at least 20 minutes a day, for 5 days a week. Out of those 5 days, you should exercise at least one day with high resistance for strength building. The rest should be for high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Q.5: Are ellipticals good for seniors?

Ans.: Yes, ellipticals are definitely an excellent choice for seniors looking to get some exercise. In fact, they are probably the best option. There is almost no impact and you can go at a comfortable pace. They are also good for working the entire body, improving balance, and controlling weight. Unlike other low impact exercises like swimming and rowing machines, ellipticals are relatively easy to use.

Conclusion

If you have read through the entire article carefully, you should now have a clear idea about how to make a final decision. We have put in a lot of time and effort to carefully select this list of compact elliptical machines. Therefore, we can pretty much guarantee that you won’t face any issues with reliability and usefulness. So go ahead, and pick one! Regardless of which one you choose, remember to be consistent and stick to your workout routine. Getting in shape isn’t easy, but the rewards are well worth it. Good luck on your fitness journey and thank you for reading the article.

My name is Dion Lewis. I’ve been cycling since my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions. In my college life, I took a part-time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally. Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or bike gear.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a Comment

      ApexBikes
      Logo