Elliptical machines are a great addition to any home gym. But they do require a bit of space.
If you’re after a good low-impact cardio workout but have limited space, a compact elliptical may just be the answer.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the best compact elliptical machines on the market.
Here is a list of ten of the best options, complete with brief reviews that highlight their features. Check it out and choose the one that’s right for you.
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
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- Easy To Move
- Full Of Features
- The Stride Length Is A Little Short
This is by far my favorite among the choices in this guide. It is a feature-rich elliptical machine that gives you the opportunity to engage both your upper and lower body.
As an entry-level elliptical, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical creates smooth workouts without impacting or damaging your joints. This ensures your safety remains the top priority.
If you like to keep track of heart rate and pulse to guide your workout, you will definitely appreciate the hand pulse monitoring system that comes with this elliptical.
The system monitors heart rate without interrupting your workout. It takes heart rate readings from the built-in pulse sensors in the handgrips.
The system can also measure and display time, distance, speed, and pulse. Finally, it tracks how many calories you burn.
The resistance is ideal for those who like to challenge themselves on a regular basis. There are a total of 8 levels of resistance that can maximize your fitness goals.
This compact machine features an ergonomic design to ensure you get complete stability while working out, along with the anti-slip foot platform. Plus, there are transport wheels for easy moving when you are done with your intense workout.
Finally, the SF-ER905 has a user weight capacity of 220lbs, and it comes partially assembled for convenience.
- 20 Resistance Levels
- Bluetooth Data Export
- Built-In Sound System
- Multi-Speed Cooling Fan
- Has A Manual Incline Instead Of An Automatic One
This is a feature-heavy compact elliptical machine by Schwinn. Even though it is an entry-level machine, it packs a decent punch in terms of performance and accessories.
For starters, the machine comes with built-in workout programs. It features the Explore The World app, which lets you travel the globe as you work out. You can track your stats and map your workout.
If you’re a beginner, this feature might come in handy. There are a total of 9 profiles to choose from, two fitness tests (beginner and advanced), eight heart rate controls, and much more.
Other than the basics, the Schwinn elliptical machine also comes with additional accessories that make working out much more entertaining.
Do you prefer exercising to a beat? You are going to love the fact that the machine has a mobile holder, USB charging port, and its own sound system.
There is even a three-speed fan in the console as well as a bottle holder to ensure that you have all the essentials within your reach.
Finally, this elliptical has a user weight capacity of 300lbs. There are also transport wheels on the front so it can be easily moved after you finish your workout routine.
- Decent Build For Its Price
- Adjustable Resistance
- Easy To Assemble
- Console Included
- The Pedaling Motion Feels Like Walking Downhill Instead Of On A Plane Surface.
Do you want to own an elliptical trainer but you’re on a tight budget? Then there is nothing better than Body Rider Body Flex. Even at such a low price, you still get a lot with this product.
It doesn’t have a lot of features, especially when compared to the best ellipticals. Yet it’s an effective exercise machine that provides a great workout for good cardio benefits.
The dual-action handlebars engage your arms while you’re working your legs.
There’s an included video workout, all you need is your TV. Plus, the Body Flex has a workout tracker so you can keep on top of all your stats.
The machine itself is pretty light and can be assembled quite easily. Most of the parts come pre-installed anyway.
Even though its affordability is the main reason for its appeal, it is the construction of the machine that makes up for its charm. The handlebars have rubber foam for better grip while the whole frame is made of corrosion-free steel.
Finally, there are wheels for easy transport. The user weight capacity is 250lbs.
All in all, you won’t be disappointed if you opt for this compact yet useful machine.
- Provides A Total Body Workout
- 24 Resistance Levels
- Easy-To-Read Controls
- Special HIIT Workouts
- Doesn’t Have A ‘Standard’ Elliptical Path
This is not your typical elliptical trainer, in that it doesn’t quite have an elliptical motion.
Instead, you get a 10-inch by 5-inch elliptical path, which is more vertical and feels like climbing a set of stairs, like a stair stepper machine. However, it does burn calories quickly. Part of the reason is it provides a full-body workout.
It engages the muscles of your entire body, making it ideal for HIIT (high intensity interval training). HIIT is very popular because it burns calories faster and can keep them burning even after the workout.
There are a lot of hi-tech features that make up this compact elliptical trainer. With its console and iFit coach, you will always be in control of your workout.
One of the benefits of iFit is you can stream a personal trainer. That option gives you customized guided training. The iFit membership is a one-month trial, after that, it’s an extra cost option.
There is a tablet holder and two-speed fans to keep you cool during your intense training. Also, there is a water bottle holder and oversized foot pedals.
It also features SMR or silent magnetic resistance. That means you can work out any time of the day or night. You’ll never have to worry about disturbing anyone.
Speaking of resistance, you can get 24 resistance levels which are more than enough for all your training requirements. The sensors keep track of your heart rate and provide detailed graphs of your progress.
Finally, it has a user weight capacity of 350lbs.
- Great Value For The Money
- Allows Dual Workout
- Low Impact
- Can Be A Challenge To Assemble
The Exerpeutic Magnetic Elliptical is a well-constructed, value-conscious compact trainer.
The best thing about this trainer is that it has all the essential components you would expect from an elliptical machine. Yet this is a no-frills piece of exercise equipment.
If you are looking to exercise different muscle groups, this trainer is ideal. It provides a zero-impact workout that is easy on the ankles, knees, and hips. It is also very easy to use even for a beginner.
The trainer has 8 different levels of resistance that can complement any fitness level. The Exerpeutic provides smooth, even operation.
There is an LCD that shows you work out data to keep track of while the pulse pads monitor your heart rate. The optional Bluetooth Smart Cloud Fitness app works with both android and iPhone. Plus, the integrated tablet holder holds your phone or tablet.
Finally, the maximum weight capacity is 300lbs.
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- Easy To Switch Resistance Levels
- Stable And Quiet
- Easy To Use
- Non-Slip Foot Pedals
- Can Be Difficult To Assemble
- No Mention In The Description Of User Weight Capacity
Ncient is a somewhat obscure company, but its products are up there with some of the best in the industry.
For example, here’s an elliptical that’s compact and easy to use. It comes equipped with all the features you need in an elliptical.
There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance that you can adjust with the turn of a tension knob. You can adjust it whenever you want to change the intensity of your workout. It has 13-inch non-slip pedals that are big enough to ensure stability and comfort.
The flywheel and V-belt drive are balanced to precision to provide smooth and quiet operation. For those who are looking for quiet fitness equipment, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Furthermore, its LCD digital monitor allows you to keep track of time, speed, distance, and calories burned in addition to pulse rate. The scanning mode allows you to repeat the functions in order to keep up with the calculations.
Plus, the long handles can be used to work your upper body, so you burn calories faster.
Finally, there are wheels so you can move your elliptical anywhere.
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- Tubular Steel Construction
- 8 Resistance Settings
- Lightweight And Portable
- Smooth Workout – Quiet Operation
The first thing about this elliptical machine is the build quality. If you appreciate well-built home gym equipment, then you will not be disappointed.
It is built with tubular steel for strength. There is a precision-balanced flywheel that provides smooth and reliable operation. Like most compact ellipticals, it has 8 different levels of resistance that provide you with varying levels of challenge.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you can easily create your workout regimen without any hassle. The great thing is, you don’t have to keep doing the same workout. You can mix it up a little.
One downside is that the machine is lightweight, so it’s prone to swaying. However, its wide base keeps it from tipping over. Also, the fact that it is lightweight makes it portable.
There’s an LCD so you can keep track of the speed, distance, time, and calories burned. The dual handles allow you to work your upper body while monitoring your heart rate.
Finally, there are wheels in front so you can move the Aceshin Elliptical with ease. If there’s a downside, the maximum user weight capacity for this unit is not listed in the description.
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- Easy, 15-Min Assembly
- 22 Levels Of Resistance
- Easy Storage And Portability
- Can Be Uncomfortable For Taller People
Of all the elliptical trainers in this guide, the NordicTrack Space Saver SE7i is the easiest one to assemble. You can assemble this machine within 15 minutes and be ready to train.
There are 22 levels of resistance that easily satisfy everyone’s needs regardless of how long they’ve been training. The oversized cushioned pedals provide full comfort and safety while providing natural stride length. Further, the SE7i features adjustable stride length. You can also train at an incline.
The flywheel is heavy enough to provide stability, so the machine won’t sway when in use.
The 5-inch display shows the progress in terms of rpm, speed, time, distance, and calories. Plus, it charts out your workout regimen. Plus, there’s an Auto Breeze fan to keep you cool while you work those core muscles.
On top of all this, users get a 30-day iFit membership.
This elliptical boasts of the smallest storage footprints in this guide. Part of the reason is that, unlike most ellipticals, the SE7i folds, and has wheels for easy storage. That means you need less space to store it than you do to use it.
Finally, the SE7i has a user weight capacity of 325lbs.
NordicTrack is one of the top elliptical brands, and with these features, it’s easy to see why.
- Heavy Duty Steel Frame Construction
- 20 Incline Levels – 20 Levels Of Resistance
- Whisper Quiet Operation
- 375lb Weight Capacity
- Not For Value-Conscious Users
The Sole E35 Elliptical is a commercial gym-level machine that has quite a few features not found on other ellipticals.
First, it has 20 levels of incline, and 20 levels of resistance. It also has a 25lb flywheel that provides smooth motion and whisper-quiet operation. Plus, this machine helps you achieve your fitness goals with no added joint strain.
One of the features is Bluetooth audio speakers and a large 7.5-inch display. There is also a USB charging port for your devices.
The Sole Fitness app provides 6 standard workout programs and 2 custom programs for great workouts. Also, you can adjust the angle of the hi-tech console.
The E35 is made of steel for a sturdy, durable frame. The pedals are oversized and designed by physical therapists. They are adjustable for fitness enthusiasts of any size.
Finally, the E35 has a weight capacity of 375lbs. You may find this requires a lot of floor space. But it has wheels in front and a grab handle in the back, so it can be moved as needed.
- Use In Small Spaces – It’s A Under Desk Elliptical
- Easy To Assemble And Store
- Multi-Function Monitor
- Adjustable Tension
- The Wheels Get Squeaky Over Time
This is one of the most compact elliptical trainers in this guide. Small elliptical trainers like the Stamina InMotion E1000 are popular with users that exercise in small spaces. The E1000 is a desk elliptical.
It is easily one of the most portable products on the market today. Yet it manages to pack a good number of features in it. It is also quiet and unintrusive.
It gives you the option of using it both sitting down and standing up. It allows you to pedal both forward and backward, engaging different muscles.
This machine can be placed under the desk. It is especially effective for gamers and office workers who have a sedentary life. The exercises promote leg movement and even improve circulation without distracting you.
This elliptical trainer is equipped with a multi-function monitor that can display in real time, exercise time, total strides, calories, and other such elements. The adjustable tension allows you to customize your workout as you see fit.
Like most exercise equipment, there are a few considerations that need to be kept in mind when choosing compact elliptical machines. Let’s review them you can make the best decision.
Stride length is measured by placing both pedals at their longest distance and measuring the space between the tip of the front pedal and the back of the rear pedal.
The ideal length should be around 18 inches to 20 inches for average users. This allows you to get the most out of the exercise.
It’s important to remember that compact elliptical machines will have a shorter stride length than standard elliptical machines.
You may also want to remember that some elliptical machines have narrow foot spacing.
Different elliptical trainers have different levels of resistance. Most have at least 8 levels. Some, like the NordicTrack Space Saver SE7i, go even higher. In the case of the SE7i, it has 22 levels.
When using your elliptical trainer, begin at the lowest resistance setting and gradually work your way to the higher settings.
The best compact ellipticals, such as the SE7i, have an adjustable incline for even more workout intensity.
The best elliptical machines come equipped with the latest high-tech features. Such as cloud connectivity, exercise program libraries, Bluetooth audio speakers, wireless connectivity, a tablet holder, etc. A good example of a feature-rich elliptical is the Sole E35 Elliptical.
However, these options will drive up the price.
Also, as nice as these options are, try not to be swayed by them. It’s more important to focus on what you really need.
Still, if you feel you need these features, by all means, try them. Ultimately, the best elliptical machine is the one that fits your fitness goals the most. If that includes lots of hi-tech, that’s fine.
This will dictate the life of the machine.
Most of the compact ellipticals in this guide are made of tubular steel and have very sturdy construction.
An example of superior construction is, again, the Sole E35 Elliptical. The frame is steel and warrantied for life.
The overall weight of the machine you’re considering is also a good reference. This tells a lot about the integrity of any piece of fitness equipment, not just ellipticals. It will also dictate how well it can hold up when put to regular use.
The best ellipticals are sturdy and will feel solid.
Last, but not least, are the safety features.
These machines can be dangerous for children, especially when we consider the number of moving parts that can pose a problem.
Ensure that you employ all the safety features that come with the machine to keep your little ones from accessing it. When not in use, move it out of the way for safe storage.
Like any home machine, you will want to be sure you have the space for your elliptical. Make sure you measure your intended exercise space. You need enough length, as some of these machines can be a little long.
An elliptical machine provides the following benefits:
- Fat Loss – Like any cardio equipment, you will lose fat using an elliptical. Make sure you’re eating to drop fat and maintain a high level of activity for best results.
- Exercises The Entire Body – Most elliptical machines have long handles that exercise your upper body while the motion of the machine itself exercises your lower body. This not only burns more calories, but it also strengthens and tones all the muscles in your body.
- Easy To Use -Just get on, grab the handles and go. What could be easier?
Yes, they are. As noted, ease of use and the fact you can target part of, or all, the muscles in your body make an elliptical machine worth it. Add on the fact that some of them incline, and then fold and wheel away when you’re done, and an elliptical is hard to beat.
After going through this guide, you have enough information to choose the best compact elliptical for your home gym.
Our pick for the best elliptical machine overall is the Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer. It engages both your upper and lower body with its various resistance levels. Equipped with multiple high-tech features, the Sunny elliptical machine ensures smoother and safer workouts.
The second-best option is the Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine which is high in performance and comes with lots of accessories. It has solid construction and comes equipped with built-in training guides.
You know what your goals are. Using our guide, you have the knowledge to choose the best elliptical for you.