Best Compact Ellipticals of 2020

Compact Ellipticals Buying Guide

Recent trends reveal how consumer products are becoming more and more compact; think of the size of mobile phones and laptops now compared to just a few years ago. The same can be said for the exercise world, where fitness companies are responding to the consumer demand for compact yet versatile machines.

Compact ellipticals offer several distinct advantages. They are generally lighter, smaller, and fall into the foldable or non-foldable categories. This means they’re easy to transport, require less floor space, and may fold to save even more room when not in use.

Compact Ellipticals — Pros vs. Cons

So what are the pros and cons of compact ellipticals? Learning what these are will help you make a more informed decision of which one is going to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.


  • Very lightweight: Compact ellipticals can be moved from room to room with ease. Whether you want to simply move the elliptical from in front of the TV to the side of the room or you want to move it to a totally different room for storage, these machines are quite easy to move or transport. To make the job easier, they typically come with wheels on the legs so you can just pick up one end and roll.
  • Possibly foldable: To help make your home gym even more space friendly, you could always narrow down your search to foldable ellipticals. This would allow you to do free weights in the same space your elliptical rests, offering a complete workout in one room.
  • Affordability: On a budget? You’ll generally see these coming in at a lower price point than full sized ellipticals to accommodate this.
  • Smaller footprint: Short on space? With their shorter measurements in both width and length, compact ellipticals are ideal for those who don’t have room to spare.


  • Features: Because of the lower price point and the fact these ellipticals aren’t as large, they typically don’t carry as many features as full-sized ellipticals. If you want a full scale experience, you will need a full scale machine.
  • Durability: Due to their small size, compact ellipticals may not be as durable as full sized ellipticals. The materials used to make them are typically not as great as what’s used to make heavier duty machines at a higher price point.
  • Stability: You may find that these ellipticals feel a bit unsteady when you begin exercising at very high intensity levels, or if you are a heavier user to start with. This is because of the difference in their frame.

So, consider your own situation. Are you looking for a compact elliptical that will help you minimize your space requirements? Or are you looking for a full scale elliptical that will ensure you have plenty of room to progress with your workouts and that you are always having the best user experience possible?

This will help you determine whether a compact elliptical is right for you. These machines have come a long way since their original days when they were regarded as inferior to the commercial elliptical models, so don’t think you’re getting a junky machine when you take this route. That said, it’s important to remember that they won’t give you quite the same experience as a machine you may have tried at the local gym before.

Compact Elliptical Features

There are three main features that compact ellipticals typically provide that you’ll want to know about, including:

  1. Weight
  2. Size (length by width)
  3. Folding vs. Non-Folding

Keep these features in mind when shopping for a compact elliptical to help you compare models; this way you’ll get a machine that fits your workout needs.

The weight is the most important feature here to consider as this dictates how ‘compact’ the elliptical really is. Beyond that, the size is another very important consideration. Since the primary purpose of these is typically to put them in small spaces, you’ll want to have this as a clear point of comparison.

Best Elliptical Trainers for Small Spaces

There are few exercise machines more effective for home use than elliptical trainers. The only downside? The size. Not everyone has the space for a full sized elliptical in their home. Thankfully, plenty of ellipticals are designed with spatial constraints in mind.

Below are our favorite ellipticals on the market designed for small spaces, as well as some expert advice for anyone looking to bring a high quality but compact elliptical into their home. With these tips, you’re sure to find the right compact elliptical for you, to squeeze into your home gym space and busy schedule!

Initial Considerations

Looking to get fit at home but don’t have much room to spare? These days you can find plenty of affordable compact ellipticals on the market designed to fit any space. Even if space is your main concern, you should still consider other factors when shopping for a new machine.

Not all ellipticals are created equal, especially those designed to save space. It’s important to consider how comfortable you’ll feel on that elliptical, how durable the machine is likely to be, and how enjoyable it will make your sessions. These are all key factors to staying motivated.

Some of the key things to consider here include the weight capacity, warranty, and flywheel weight. These components can tell you a lot about any machine. They will help you determine whether the machine is cheap and disposable or is instead a stellar buy that will keep you satisfied in the long term. You’ll also want to consider how sturdy the machine feels and how much noise it makes during workouts.

So, what are the key things to consider when shopping for a new elliptical machine? Here’s a handy guide.


If you want to minimize the noise coming from your elliptical, you’ll want to look at the weight of the flywheel. The more the flywheel weighs, the smoother the glide is likely to be and the quieter the entire machine will run. If you’re sharing a small apartment with others, seek out a heavy flywheel.


To determine the durability of any elliptical, look at the user weight capacity. The heavier the weight capacity, the more durable the machine. This said, don’t forget that there’s a trade off between this and the size of the machine. Usually, the heavier the weight capacity, the bigger the elliptical, so be sure to weigh up your priorities to find the balance that’s right for you.


Generally speaking, stability comes down to weight capacity as well. The more weight the machine can hold, the more stable it’s likely to be. Obviously if you’re an especially light user, you’ll have more leeway. Always keep weight capacity in mind, especially if your machine will be used by multiple people who vary in size.


Finally, never forget to check the warranty when considering a compact elliptical. A long warranty is essential because it will help keep your total spending costs lower and give you the peace of mind of knowing if your machine breaks, you’ll easily be able to have it repaired. If an elliptical comes with a particularly short warranty, you can assume that it’s not a machine that’s built to last.

Best Brands

As with any product, there are a few compact elliptical brands that stand out above the rest.


Horizon Fitness Elliptical Trainers are known to gear their products towards customers who have smaller spaces to work with. With an average deck length of about 70 inches long by 25 inches wide, these ellipticals are still large enough to ensure comfort during use, but not so large that they dominate a room.

Anyone who has purchased a Horizon machine always notes that they have great durability and are relatively quiet during use, making them a perfect match for small spaces like shared apartments or condos.

On top of that, many Horizon models are foldable, so they can be easily stored when not in use. With transport wheels on the legs, you can move these ellipticals completely out of sight or around your home with ease.


The NordicTrack SpaceSaver elliptical series, which includes the SE9i and the SE7i, is also worth considering. These machines come with a built-in Vertical Spacesaver Design which enables them to fold for storage. Even during use they are compact, making them ideal for small living spaces.

The only downfall of the NordicTrack SpaceSaver machines is that their flywheels are rather light, so they aren’t the quietest of machines. Thankfully, what’s lost in silence is made up for with a 325-pounds weight capacity, so at least you won’t have issues with stability or durability.

Sole Fitness

Finally, the last brand worth considering is Sole Fitness. Sole is well known for their E series elliptical trainers. They are incredibly quiet and quite compact, fitting into even the tightest of spaces. Flywheel weight varies between 20 and 30 pounds depending on the machine. They operate on a magnetic resistance system, this contributing to their overall durability. Perhaps the highlight of these machines is that they come with a minimum 20” stride length, which is rare in any sort of compact elliptical.

Best Type

Front drive elliptical trainers are usually the most compact elliptical machines by design, as opposed to rear or center drive trainers. Front drive trainers are also the most popular because they typically require the least maintenance, come with a low price point, and are easier to transport. Average dimensions vary by brand of course, but front drive trainers are built for residential use (whereas rear drive models are typically used in commercial gyms), so they are naturally much lighter and a better fit for home gym spaces.

For more options, check out this list of the top compact elliptical machines.

Elliptical Reviews for 2020 – Best Elliptical Machines with Comparisons

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

To jump to the best ellipticals by price or our top picks, click here:

Best Elliptical Machines by Price

Top Elliptical Picks

Elliptical Machines at Home?

Elliptical machines like the SOLE Fitness E35 and the Exerpeutic 5000 are among the best low-impact, high-intensity pieces of exercise equipment you can buy. And the latest generation of ellipticals like the Nautilus E614 are incorporating the most cutting-edge technology like ultra-ergonomic support and downloadable fitness tracking data.

People are increasingly looking to elliptical workouts as a safe way to get fantastic cardio exercise, to help lose excess weight, and to tone up the entire body overall. At the gym, these machines are usually filled up around peak hours, so a lot of people are making the leap and purchasing one for the home. With our in-depth elliptical reviews, we hope to guide you to finding the right machine that fits your lifestyle. In order to hit your ideal fitness level, the goal is to get you exercising consistently. It isn’t always going to be easy, but buying the right elliptical machine is a big step in that direction.

Best Elliptical Machines by Price

Elliptical machines range in price from around $100 to well over $1000. As you can imagine, you will be getting a different quality elliptical at those extremes and everywhere in between. To help guide you, we’ve listed our favorites from what we feel are the best elliptical machines by price below. Click the links below for more on these top ellipticals:

PRICE RANGE: $50-$200:

Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical with Pulse – (check on Amazon) – $189 – 1,137 Reviews

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic SF-905 Elliptical Trainer – (check on Amazon) – $129 – 1,045 Reviews

Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer -(check on Amazon) – $115 – 410 Reviews

Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer with Seat – (check on Amazon) – $157 – 868 Reviews

Body Champ Cardio Dual Trainer by Body Flex – (check on Amazon) – $159 – 555 Reviews

PRICE RANGE: $200-$700:

ProForm Hybrid Trainer – (check on Amazon) – $289 – 362 Reviews

Nautilus E614 Elliptical – (check on Amazon) – $587 – 292 Reviews

PRICE RANGE: $700-$1200:

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Elliptical Trainer – (check on – $943 – 20 Reviews

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine – (check Amazon) – $899 – 907 Reviews

PRICE RANGE: $1200-$2000:

NordicTrack C 12.9 Elliptical Machine – (check – $1,349

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine – $1,399 – 227 Reviews

PRICE RANGE: $2000 and up:

Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine – $2,495

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i – $2,199

Our Top Elliptical Machine Picks

Because the prices and features on elliptical machines range so greatly, we’ll offer our top picks from a few price ranges. You can click the buttons for more in depth elliptical reviews.

#1. SOLE E35 Elliptical

The SOLE E35 Elliptical sits at the higher-end of the elliptical market and for good reason. What sets this trainer apart is an attention to detail that can make or break your consistently working out and achieving your desired fitness goals. SOLE Fitness has gone the distance to make sure this elliptical provides a safe, ergonomically-engineered, stride as well as every feature you could want. Designed in collaboration with leading physical therapists, SOLE Fitness’ engineers added a 2 degree inward adjustability to the foot pedals which helps reduce undue stress on your joints. And the 20″ to 22″ stride will ensure users of all heights will get a satisfying and comfortable workout.

The SOLE E35 features a quiet drive system that is centered around a 29-pound flywheel and high gear ratio that delivers a natural, smooth feeling stride in both forward and reverse motion. The power incline system features a ramp angle that goes from zero to 30 degrees, one of the widest ranges available. This means that you can isolate muscle groups with varied challenge positions and resistance levels. This elliptical machine boasts a lifetime warranty on the frame and five-year warranty on parts and electronics.

The array of other features include pulse grips and chest strap heart rate monitoring, LCD console with 7.5-inch monitor, a built-in fan, a water bottle holder, and a built-in sound system. This is a gym quality elliptical that almost no other trainer on the market can compete with except maybe on price. , or click the button below:

Read Full SOLE E35 Review

#2. Nautilus E614 Elliptical

With great reviews and a trustworthy brand behind it, the Nautilus E614 Elliptical is one of the newer trainers on the market. Drawing on everything they know about ellipticals, Nautilus has put together almost all of the best features that you would want in an machine. And, somehow, it still comes with an affordable price tag.

What we feel sets the Nautilus E614 Elliptical apart are the features that help you really enjoy your workout. It comes with the innovative DualTrack LCD Display monitor that lets you rest your iPad or book on the support tray (over the large monitor) while still being able to track your progress on the second lower display. With 30 levels of eddy current resistance and a whopping 22 workout programs including manual routines you’ll never run out of variations. In-console speakers have MP3 inputs. A 3-speed fan, adjustable incline, we could go on. , or click the button below:

Read Full Nautilus E614 Elliptical Review

#3. Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical

The Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical is a solid and quiet elliptical trainer that offers excellent value while delivering a solid workout. Exerpeutic knows how to create “natural elliptical” motion, and the Aero Air Elliptical it shows with no bumping or jerking, just a smooth ride. It’s resistance is smooth and easily adjustable.

The Aero Air’s computer features a large, easy-to-read LCD monitor that provides data on time, distance, caloric burn, and speed, just about all you need to track your workout progress. This elliptical is one of the lowest priced on the market but doesn’t skimp on quality. We go into the details in our full review ( or the button below):

Read Full Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical Review

Elliptical Machine Features to Consider

An elliptical is an excellent piece of equipment to invest in, but before you buy, you want to make sure you are aware of all the features that make up a great machine. We’ll cover all the key bases below to get you on track:


As with any piece of equipment, stability is crucial. During a workout you want to be able to concentrate on your session with the machine being almost an afterthought. In fact, the best machines are the ones that seem to disappear because of their stability and ability to fit to you, not the other way around. On average, a heavier elliptical will be more stable. However, with the higher-end elliptical machines, better design trumps weight and can provide ample stability.

Tension Resistance Levels and Types of Resistance

With more resistance levels, you are able to increase the challenge of your workout more incrementally. Lower increments of resistance levels means you’re forced to make a jump in the workout challenge that you might not be ready for. As far as types of resistance, there are two main styles:

1. Fan Wheel Resistance

Fan wheels can provide a smooth ride and tend to be employed on lower-cost ellipticals.

2. Magnetic Resistance

Magnetic resistance can provide the quietest, most consistent, and most natural feeling workout.

Elliptical Computers

Not all ellipticals come with a computer, but if they do or you want one, here’s what to look for:

1. Display

The display should easy to read. Backlighting is a plus.

2. Data Provided

The best elliptical computers will give you a range of data including distance, stride speed, time of session, and heart rate if you have the necessary adapter or if it’s included. Some elliptical trainers feature the ability to upload your data to external devices or websites for tracking progress.

Pre-programmed Workouts

If the elliptical includes a computer, which most do, they will ideally include programs that give you workout options geared toward weight loss, intervals, cardio, etc.

Incline Adjustment

The ability to change the degree of your incline is at the core of working out on an elliptical. Easy-to-use power incline controls are preferable to manual incline adjustment. The best elliptical trainers have the ability to greatly vary positions for a diverse and challenging workout.

Stride Length

Elliptical stride length varies from machine to machine and matters more for some people than others. A 15″ length may be fine for some users. And if you’re tall, a longer stride length is a good feature and common on a lot of machines. A 20” stride length allows the natural stride almost anyone would have while walking quickly.

Adjustable Foot Pedals

Adjustable articulating/pivoting foot pedals are helpful for replicating a natural stride motion and avoiding injury. Additionally, large pedal surface space allows for users of any foot size to comfortably fit their feet in the pedal. Sole Fitness has addressed this and features a two-degree inward slope on their ellipticals that they claim reduces stress on your knees and ankles.


As on indoor exercise cycles and Spin bikes, the flywheel helps create a fluid and natural momentum that keeps your elliptical workout from being jerky and jarring. It helps mimic actual motion. Dual Direction Flywheels – Dual direction is a nice feature that allows for switching your rotation for a workout of the opposite muscles.

Hybrid Trainers

Machines like the ProForm Hybrid Trainer combine elliptical machines with recumbent bikes or exercise bikes. With this type of dual trainer, you’re getting a two-for-one (or even three-in-one) piece of equipment. These trainers feature a seat that is more upright like an exercise bike or reclined like a recumbent bike. This style of elliptical can be a good option, but be sure to do your research to ensure the quality is there.

Other Considerations:

  • Transportation Wheels
  • Ease of Assembly
  • Fans
  • Power supply (external or batteries required)
  • Step-on height
  • Water bottle holder
  • Speakers with inputs
  • Tablet/book holder
  • USB Port for Charging and Data Transfer
  • Warranties

Benefits of Ellipticals and How They Work

Elliptical machines mimic a motion and muscle use that is similar but not identical to cross-country skiing. That’s where the comparison ends, however, as modern ellipticals are high-tech powerhouses of exercise equipment. You’re going to be getting an incredible cardio workout as well as hitting most of your major muscle groups.

The incline of your machine dictates which muscle groups you will be engaging the most. Higher incline and stride length targets your hamstrings and glutes, while lower incline focuses on giving your quads and calves a great workout. While your legs are pumping away, the long upright handles engage your upper body muscles including pecs, arms, shoulders and back. Also, the upright pole grips give you something to hold onto while you’re swinging your legs front to back. This offers key stability since a good workout is going to be challenging your leg muscles and you may feel a bit of a wobble from muscle fatigue after a 20 minute workout.

Full Body Workout

It’s important to note that ellipticals provide an excellent full-body workout. When using an elliptical machine, you’re working your legs, back, glutes, abs, arms – just about every major muscle group. And with the best ellipticals, you can tailor the workout to your desired challenge level by increasing the resistance, adjusting the incline, and moving your arms and legs faster or slower. With on-board computers that supply all the data you could ever want, you’re going to be able to track your progress. This is very motivating whether you’re slimming down, toning up, or just getting your heart rate up and looking to sweat out some calories.

Other Elliptical Machine Considerations

Home Elliptical Workout

The best elliptical machines generally include just about everything you’ll need to have a challenging yet comfortable workout at home. Normal running shoes will be fine for striding on the foot pads. Also, while working out at home, a nice benefit is that you can place the elliptical in front of your TV to be able to watch workout DVDs, workouts on Youtube (see below) or enjoy your shows and movies while losing the extra pounds.

Elliptical Maintenance

Since there are a lot of moving parts some machines will need some maintenance such as lubrication from time to time. Squeaky parts and uncooperative resistance levels should be fixable with a quick call to the manufacturer. And the best ellipticals have solid warranties incase anything goes wrong.

Wipe it Down to Keep it Up

This goes along with the previous suggestion, but it’s worth mentioning that after a sweat-inducing workout, you want to wipe down the elliptical. Sweat can corrode the elliptical machine’s parts and reduce its lifespan. A quick wipe with a towel to get the moisture should do it. Then from time to time, wiping with a damp cloth will keep your elliptical looking great.

Workout Clothes

It’s important to wear appropriate clothes when working out on an elliptical. Baggy clothing can get caught in the machines moving parts, so wear tighter-fitting clothes if possible. And always wear rubber-bottom, close-toe sneakers or running shoes while exercising.

Final Word on Elliptical Trainers

The most important things to consider when looking at elliptical machines for the home, is if you are going to get a comfortable, stable, low-impact, and challenging workout. Thanks for reading our elliptical reviews and best of luck finding the elliptical machine that works best for you.

Note: We keep this overview and our reviews updated with the latest information, so be sure to keep this site bookmarked and check back in periodically for the latest on the best ellipticals.

The Top 5 Compact Elliptical Machines (Small But Mighty)

Are you ready to purchase a piece of home gym equipment that will finally get you into shape? If you’re like most people, you don’t have an entire large room to dedicate to a home gym. Many people love ellipticals but don’t think they can purchase one because they are notoriously gigantic.

Don’t resign yourself to a gym membership that you won’t use just because you don’t have much space. Not all ellipticals are mammoths. Today’s compact elliptical machines offer you the great benefits and features of the machine you love without taking up too much space.

Due to their popularity, small elliptical machines are now easy to find on the market. But, which one should you choose? What features should they include? Why should you even choose an elliptical in the first place? We’ll cover all of this and more in this complete guide to compact elliptical machines.

What Is An Elliptical Machine?

An elliptical is an exercise machine that allows you to get in a cardio or weight loss workout. When using an elliptical machine, you walk in a circular motion. Most machines allow you to go either forwards or backward, allowing you to target different sets of muscles. In addition, most elliptical machines also include an upper body component. Your arms move back and forth, also supporting the motion of your legs. This means that when using an elliptical machine, you get a full-body workout.

There are many benefits to using an elliptical exercise machine. This type of machine, like recumbent exercise bikes, allows you to workout without pounding your joints. With an elliptical, you get low-impact exercise along with all of the weight loss, heart and muscle benefits. A compact elliptical machine is ideal for those who have joint problems and for any person interested in home fitness.

The downside of most elliptical machines is that they are quite large. However, the home fitness industry has developed a number of high-quality compact elliptical machines that won’t overtake an entire room. These small elliptical machines offer the perfect compromise. You can still get in a great workout without dedicating a whole room to your home gym. There are even portable elliptical machines and folding elliptical machines that you can hide in your closet or take to work!

If you’re ready to kick your home workouts into high gear with a piece of awesome piece of equipment, consider one of the following compact elliptical machines. Most will allow you to get in a full-body workout without requiring you to compromise by sacrificing loads of space. Here are our top picks for compact elliptical machines:

The Top 5 Compact Elliptical Machines

Are you ready to buy a compact elliptical machine? There are lots of choices out there. From options that can fit under your desk, to small elliptical machines and fold up elliptical options, it can be tough to make a choice. Get a sense of what each of these popular options has to offer by reading through our product reviews:

#1. Simpfree Elliptical Machine Trainer (Top Seller)34 Reviews Simpfree Elliptical Machine Trainer Magnetic Smooth Quiet Driven, Top…

  • 【Various Magnetic Resistance & Sturdy Construction】8 levels of magnetic resistance adjustments can provide…
  • 【Advanced Digital Monitor & Pulse Rate Grips】Start planning and recording your fitness statistics by using…
  • 【Smooth & Quiet Driven & Total Body Workout】The precision balanced flywheel and V- belt drive provide a…

from $279.00 Buy on Amazon

If you have your heart set on the complete elliptical experience that includes movement of the upper and lower body, this Simpfree model is a great choice. With great reviews that give you confidence in the purchase, the Simpfree elliptical trainer will help you achieve your fitness goals.


  • Full, but compact machine for a complete elliptical experience
  • Functions quietly
  • 8 levels of resistance for variation in your workout
  • Heart rate grips to keep track of your pulse
  • LCD display allows you to track your progress

Who Makes It

The company, Simpfree sells a few different types of exercise equipment exclusively through Amazon. The company consistently achieves positive reviews so that you can purchase with confidence.

Bottom Line

While it lacks some of the bells and whistles of other elliptical machines, the price point and quality of this trainer make it a solid purchase. The elliptical offers the basic resistance levels, heart rate tracking and LCD display that make working out and achieving your goals easy. If you’re in the market for a full, but simple and compact elliptical machine, the Simpfree is a great choice.

Buy Now at Amazon

Featured Product

Get Fit While You Sit: Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical

Want to work out while you’re sitting, watching TV or even while you’re working at your desk in the office? The Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical is an amazing option for burning calories while you’re comfortably seated, completing your everyday tasks.

Making exercise a natural part of your daily life is essential to achieve weight loss and other benefits from working out. The Cubii removes barriers to exercising by offering a quietly running, well-built machine that slides right under your desk or table.

Loved by users, this elliptical connects to your FitBit or Apple HealthKit to help you keep track of your progress and offers 8 levels of resistance as you build your strength.

Buy Now at Amazon

#2. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical: Easy, Small and Quiet

3,506 Reviews Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider

  • PORTABLE, QUIET AND EFFICIENT CARDIO: This mini strider is compact and lightweight, making it easy to use and…
  • ADJUSTABLE TENSION WITH MONITOR: Vary the intensity of your workout by turning the adjustable dial while you…
  • MULTIPLE MOVEMENT OPTIONS: Depending on your needs and abilities, the In Motion E1000 Compact Strider can be…

from $89.99 Buy on Amazon

Stamina’s In-Motion Elliptical is a great compact little strider you can tuck under your desk or put in your living room so that you can exercise while sitting. Impressively small, sturdy and effective, you can get great use out of this machine.


  • Adjustable resistance
  • Can be used while sitting or standing
  • Pedal forward or backward
  • Features small display monitor to track progress which includes: exercise time, calories burned, strides per minute, and total strides
  • Small footprint: 11.38 inches tall, 17 inches wide, 24.5 inches long
  • Weight capacity of 250 pounds

What We Liked:

  • Compact so it can slide in a closet or under your desk
  • It’s very quiet
  • Helps you lose weight while sitting, working or watching TV

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No handle for moving, so it’s difficult to move from place to place
  • Not the best range of motion on the pedals

Buy Now at Amazon

#3. Schwinn 411 Elliptical Machine (Long Stride, Small Footprint)

Sale 775 Reviews Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine

  • Sync with the mixed reality app RunSocial and race through 19 locations with 27 routes Alongside friends while…
  • Compact design but still offers the 18 inches Stride of large elliptical
  • 16 levels of resistance allow you to dial the challenge up or down

$637.78 – $238.78 from $399.00 Buy on Amazon

All of the features of a full size elliptical without the footprint is what the Schwinn 411 has to offer. From the large screen that allows you to use a mixed reality app to the 18 inch stride, impressive 16 levels of resistance and choice of two handlebars, the Schwinn packs in value. With this excellent compact elliptical, you can get a full body workout. The best part? With the app and tray for your tablet or phone, you’ll never be bored while working out.


  • Full elliptical experience with a compact footprint
  • 18 inch stride length
  • Compatible with RunSocial
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • Contact and telemetry heart rate
  • 13 exercise programs
  • LCD screen that helps you track your progress

The Bottom Line

The Schwinn 411 is a great choice in a compact elliptical for those who want a full functioning machine at a fraction of the size. Loved by customers, the Schwinn is the perfect piece of exercise equipment to add to your home for easy cardio that gives you a full body workout. Choose this elliptical for great workouts that offer a comfortable stride and plenty of resistance levels.

Buy Now at Amazon

#4. Bowflex Max Trainer M5 – Quick and Intense Workouts

17 Reviews Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Florida State University

  • Save time with the Breakthrough 14-minute max internal workout
  • Blue backlit display with Tachometer showing target & burn-rate zones
  • Bluetooth allows you to sync to the free max Trainer app

$1,599.00 Buy on Amazon

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Elliptical is an upright machine that can give you an intense workout within 15 minutes since it contains special programming to maximize calorie burn. For those consumers who have both minimal space and minimal time to work out, consider the spunky and fun Bowflex M5 Elliptical.

One thing to consider with the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is that it is one of the pricier products on the list.


  • Includes a 14-minute high intensity workout to get in and get on with your day
  • Contains a total of 9 exercise programs to grow and change with your fitness abilities
  • Includes a FREE training app with purchase
  • Comes in several colors and patterns: Florida State University colors, Michigan State University colors, black


On most ellipticals, pre-programed fitness programs are set to at least 30 minutes. If you want a high intensity workout in under 15 minutes, the Bowflex M5 Elliptical should be on the top of your list.


Expert installation is available and recommended for this product. Here are some installation details about this product:

  • Dimensions: 46in x 25in x 63in
  • Total product weight is 173 lbs
  • Total assembly time: 4 hours
  • May contain parts that may be difficult for some consumers to assemble on their own
  • Expert assembly may be an extra cost associated with this machine


  • If you are a Florida State University or Michigan State University super fan, you will enjoy the university-centric color options
  • Can give you a high intensity, pre-programmed workout in under 15 minutes
  • Contains several programs and levels to continue a challenging calorie burn, even when you become more fit


  • Comes in the school colors of only certain universities
  • The price of this product may be out of reach for some consumers
  • May not be able to be assembled without expert assistance

While the fun colors and high intensity workout in under 15 minutes may appeal to many consumers, budget may play a big role in the decision to purchase this product. It is important to consider the pricing and features offered on all of these compact elliptical machines before deciding which is the best purchase for you.

Buy Now at Amazon

#5. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine – The Bells and Whistles Included

290 Reviews Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

  • Dual track two LCD window system allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks
  • Schwinn Connect goal tracking and data export keep you up to date on reaching your fitness goals, Product…
  • 29 programs, 4 user settings and goal tracking are all there to keep you motivated and challenged

$999.99 Buy on Amazon

The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine can really amplify your workouts by making them more fun. For exercisers who need to work out with music and Bluetooth capabilities all while charging their electronics, the Schwinn Elliptical should be their first choice. Aside from the bells and whistles, consumers who purchase this machine will have a wide range of programs and resistance levels for various fitness needs that may change over time.

If you are not interested in having all the bells and whistles on your elliptical machine, then don’t pay for it! Make sure to always analyze which fitness equipment features you will actually use. Don’t pay for features that are not important to you.


  • Contains a total of 29 exercise programs to grow and change with your fitness abilities
  • Includes 25 resistance levels for multiple exercisers, various workouts, and to accommodate your increase in fitness abilities
  • Glides with a 20-inch stride length
  • Connects with the Schwinn fitness app


The Schwinn 470 Elliptical contains the most programs and the most resistance levels compared to the other machines on the list. Included in the programs are 4 custom programs to suit your specific needs. This machine also can perform fitness tests so that you can measure your progress over time.


Expert installation is available and recommended for this product, especially since it is a heavy machine. Here are some installation details about this product:

  • Dimensions: 50in x 21.5in x 33.5in
  • Total product weight is 207 lbs
  • Total assembly time: 4 hours
  • Expert assembly may require additional fees
  • May need to install several apps and media mechanisms on this product


  • Includes high tech Bluetooth connectivity, MP3 player attachment, speakers, and charging stations for the tech-savvy and tech-connected exerciser
  • Contains the highest number of programs to customize the workout to your needs (highest number of programs does not equate to highest price)
  • Long 20-inch stride length increases the intensity and range of motion during the workout


  • Some people may like the various programs included, however, not everyone will appreciate all the techy features on this product
  • Pricing listed above may only reflect a temporary price for this product (this product was advertised as having a price reduction during the time this article was written.

However, it is important to think about what motivates you to workout. If you need your music blasting and ability to connect with your electronic devices while working out, the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine allows you to do that. If you do not need all the bells and whistles, still consider the wide range of exercise features that this machine has to offer.

Buy Now at Amazon

The Pros and Cons of Small Elliptical Machines

So, now you know about some of the most popular compact elliptical machines. However, every buyer should also know the pros and cons of going this route. What will you gain by choosing a smaller elliptical? What will you sacrifice? Obviously, purchasing a smaller version has both benefits and consequences. Here’s what you need to know:


  • The most obvious benefit? You save space. If you don’t want an exercise machine to overtake your living room, bedroom or designated gym area, choose a compact machine and solve this problem. Many of these units can even be stored in a closet so you don’t even have to look at it when not in use.

  • You’ll also be more likely to exercise with equipment right in your home. If getting yourself in gear is your goal, a compact elliptical machine will help you get there.
  • These machines are often mobile and include little wheels for easy moving.
  • Compact elliptical machines are often quite cheap.


  • It’s not like what you get at the gym. Obviously, the smaller footprint of the machine means there’s less space to work with. Usually, this means a much smaller stride than what you’d find on a full-sized machine. While this may not be all bad, it will certainly take some adjusting.
  • The frame may not be as stable as a larger machine.
  • Fewer features are included on these compact machines.

How to Shop for the Best Compact Elliptical Machine

Are you ready to choose your compact elliptical? After perusing reviews, you still need to reflect on how to make your final choice. You’ll need to weigh your options based on your needs, budget, preferences and how much space you have at home.

The bigger the budget you have, the better quality elliptical you can get. If you’re looking for an experience that most mimics the larger machines in the gym, choose a compact elliptical that still offers great features like the Nautilus model. Models on par with the Nautilus give you many advantages such as automatic workout programs, stability and heart rate monitoring. As far as a great workout, models in this range will give you the best outcomes.

However, if it’s essential that you have a portable elliptical that you can shove in a closet, you might consider some of the foldable elliptical models or even the tiny models that don’t include the upper body portion. Many people also rave over the small elliptical machines that can be used under your desk. This is a highly personal choice. If you’d rather workout while sitting, these models offer a great option. But, you’ll miss out on the upper body workout.

Ultimately, the choice of which compact elliptical to buy is a very personal choice.

The Bottom Line: Which Compact Elliptical Should You Buy?

After going through the reviews and prioritizing your goals, you’ll know what kind of elliptical to get. With the many options available on the market, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Buying home exercise equipment is a great investment in your health and will help you reach your fitness goals. The elliptical is a great choice because it’s low-impact on your joints and can offer a full-body workout.

Do you already own a compact elliptical machine? Do you love it or hate it? Tell us all about your experience with compact ellipticals in the comments below.

5 Surprisingly Compact Ellipticals for Small Spaces – More Place for Workout in Your Life

Main benefits of an elliptical trainer

Presently, there are lots of exercise equipment on the market that can help you burn those extra pounds at home. While you have the freedom to choose anyone you want, it is wise you go for an elliptical machine especially if you want to lose weight quickly without going to the gym. Below are some amazing benefits you are going to enjoy when you buy an elliptical machine.

Total body workout

Unlike most fitness equipment on the market that are designed to target one or two body parts, the elliptical machine gives you the freedom to work on your entire body at the same time.

Weight loss

An elliptical machine can help speed up your journey. In fact, some studies that were conducted not too long ago show that one can burn 400+ calories in around thirty minutes in an elliptical machine. However, if you want to be fit one elliptical probably will not be enough. Try to look through other exercisers, which would help you not only to lose weight but gain muscles.

Very easy to use

Setting up and using an elliptical trainer is very easy. Even more, it takes very little space, and some models can be used at home or at the office.

Customize your workout

With an elliptical trainer, you can customize your workout to your taste and preferences. This means that you can make your workout super intense or mild at the touch of a button.

Price tag

You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a super expensive elliptical machine to lose weight. You can reach your fitness goal and build your dream body with affordable models like the Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical or the Schwinn 411.

Buying the cheapest elliptical machine you can find is really a smart move. Granted, you may save a few bucks, but the machine may not be able to help you lose weight effectively. This may likely be because it is built with low-quality materials. Don’t sacrifice quality to save a few dollars.

So, if you are on a tight budget, you can choose to go for high quality, but affordable models like the Stamina InmotionCompact Strider Pro.

Exercise tips – elliptical machine workouts

You aren’t going to lose much weight if you do the same workout every day. The obvious reason for this is that our bodies are designed to adapt. So when you do a particular exercise regularly, your body will get used to it. In time, your muscles won’t have to work as hard as they did before, and you will burn fewer calories.

To lose weight effectively, you have to be flexible in your approach to weight loss. This means doing different exercise with different level of intensity. There are a lot of exercises to lose weight, but if are more into running there is a list of inexpensive treadmills specially for you.

Below are some workouts you can easily do with an elliptical machine.

  • Core workout

All you got to do to work your core with an elliptical machine is to leave the handles. Not using the handles while you workout engages your core muscles as you work twice as hard to stay balanced.

  • Total body workout

With a top-notch elliptical machine like the ProForm Cardio HIIT or the Schwinn 411, you will be able to target every part of your body.

  • Quick workout

This workout is only 22 minutes long and a great option when you don’t have time for a full workout.

  • Booty workout

You can target your hamstrings and glutes with relative ease by playing with the incline on the elliptical.

Features to consider while buying the best compact elliptical

As you probably know, all the elliptical machines on the market aren’t going to suit your needs or help you reach your fitness goals. To choose a good one that will suit you, there are some important features you must consider, below are some of them.

Size and folding

Unlike treadmills that take a lot of space, elliptical machines are designed to take less space. Even more, they can be folded and stored in very small areas when not in use. In fact, you can use elliptical machine models similar to the Fitness Reality Air Walker under your bed.

If you own an elliptical machine or haven’t used it before, you might assume that it is difficult to fold and store. Well, the truth is that it is not. The reason for this is that electronics or hydraulics will do all the work for you. So, very little physical strength is required.

Workouts customization

Most top-notch elliptical machines on the market like the ProForm Cardio HIIT or the Schwinn 411 support classic and interactive workout. You see, interactive workout utilizes technologies like street view and Google maps to take you around part of the world while you are working out on your elliptical machine.

Also, some elliptical machines come with built- in apps you can sync with a lot of mobile fitness apps. Examples of apps and entertainment apps that can sync with elliptical machines are Hulu, My Fitness Pal and many more.

Keep in mind that not all elliptical trainers can support interactive workout or can sync with mobile apps. Only top-models like the ProForm Cardio HIIT or the Schwinn 411 have this feature.

Stride and incline

Do you know that narrow foot spacing is part of a good, natural and healthy stride? You can easily identify this when walking in across a room or in an open area. Your feet shouldn’t be separated by more than two inches when they move past each other.

The best elliptical machines have very little or no gap between pedals. Also, they have adjustable strides (18 to 22 inches) that can serve as treadmills and stair climbers.


Adjustable stride can help you burn more calories and for muscle toning, but an incline can help you do all these and many more. Many high-quality elliptical machines like the ProForm Cardio HIIT or the Schwinn 411 have very powerful inclines.


You aren’t going to lose those extra pounds as fast as you would love to if you spend 30 to 50 minutes on an elliptical machine that offers little or no resistance. To lose weight quickly, you have to exert yourself and make your workout more challenging. Below are the two main types of resistance.

Magnetic resistance

Magnetic resistance offers a consistent and natural feeling during a workout.

Fan wheel resistance

Fan wheel resistance offers a very smooth ride and is usually employed in fairly expensive or low-cost elliptical machine.

A good elliptical machine like the Schwinn 411 will provide enough resistance to facilitate smooth motion. And remember, the smoother the exercise, the longer a person can exercise. Also, smooth resistance helps mitigate the risk of an injury.

Weight capability

Regardless of the model of elliptical machines you want to buy, it is important that you check its weight capacity. Top notch elliptical trainers like the Schwinn 411 have a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs weight capacity. The best elliptical machine on the market has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds max user weight. Elliptical machines with higher maximum weight are usually very durable and sturdy.


Exercise equipment is generally becoming more and more connected to the cloud to provide access to a vast library of exercise programs, social network and track workout. Most elliptical machines like the ProForm Cardio HIIT, Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical or the Schwinn 411 can sync with mobile apps and have a built-in browser and wireless conductivity.

While an elliptical machine doesn’t have a lot of fancy features or a wide LCD screen to help you lose weight, having one with these features will make your workout more fun and keep things interesting. These features can also help you accurately track or record your workout.


Whether you are looking to buying an inexpensive elliptical machine like the Stamina InmotionCompact or fairly expensive model like the Schwinn 411, safety should always be your number one priority.

If you have kids, don’t allow them to play with or close to the machine because they can easily get trapped or pinched in its moving parts. Another way to ensure safety is by employing safety features like- Software lockout and pedal arm safety pin.

Software lockout

This is a straightforward software feature that is designed to disable the display and keypad, thus making the machine less attractive to little kids.

Pedal Arm Safety Pin

This is a mechanical device that is designed to increase pedaling resistance or prevent the machine from been pedaled.


This is something you must never overlook when opting for any fitness equipment. Fairly expensive elliptical machines have two to five years warranty on certain parts. Lifetime coverage, on the other hand, includes labor costs and frame usually for the first 2 years.

If you’re looking for an intense workout machine that won’t impact your body and its joints, why not get an compact elliptical trainer?

Last Updated: December 10, 2016 -Steve

Also known as an elliptical trainer (or cross-trainer), this machine is best described as a ‘cross between running on a treadmill and, well, doing the moonwalk.’

This exercise machine is best characterized by its over-sized pedals and moving handlebars, which are what helps the machine provide its characteristic full body resistance while you continue pedaling in place.

In other words, an elliptical machine is pretty much the best choice for people looking for an all around low impact machine that won’t be too stressful on their body or environment. They’re best for people who want to avoid the repeated ‘pounding’ that’s often associated with running on a treadmill—pounding that can get rather uncomfortable for a lot of people.

Thanks to elliptical machines, you don’t have to experience that pounding anymore.

You don’t even have to worry about getting a treadmill or another type of home cardio workout machine since, well, the elliptical can do that for you.

Different Types Types Of Elliptical Machines

All right, so I’m convinced. Can you tell me about the types of elliptical machines I’ll encounter while I search retail and online stores? What should I look for in an elliptical machine?

Well, to start, there are three types of elliptical machines.

The first two types we’re talking about are both known as rear-drive and front-drive elliptical machines (ref.). On an interesting note about the two, there isn’t a definitively ‘superior’ version between the two machines. Though, some people who have experienced both types have said that front-drive elliptical trainers do give them more of a forward lean that rear-drive ellipticals, who are known to keep people standing more upright.

  • Rear-drive elliptical, in fact, are the elliptical machines that you’ll likely encounter in commercial settings like a gym.
  • Front-drive ellipticals are the most common machines seen in the home exercise equipment market.

But, both types are seen in both markets, so you don’t have to feel like you have to track down certain equipment, just to have one or the other.

As for the third type, that belongs to what’s known as the compact elliptical machine. These compact versions of elliptical machines use a center-drive – the third type of drive – that more or less changes much of the structure of the machine.

What it does is places individual drive systems to either side of a person’s feet.

As a result, it makes the much smaller in size, though they often have ‘twice as many parts‘ to manage.

Despite that, a compact elliptical machine is probably the best choice of elliptical machine for people who don’t have the space for a standard sized one. Of course, the most important part about looking for compact elliptical machines in the first place is finding one that, well, feels great to use.

So, if you can take the time to test it out, test it out!

Are Compact Elliptical Trainers Effective?

The compact elliptical machine, huh? Is the compact elliptical machine/cross-trainer just as effective as full sized elliptical machines?

That’s a good question.

The main benefit that the compact elliptical machine provides is, well, its space-saving capabilities.

These workout machines simply provide the workout quality that people expect, while allowing them to not have to dedicate an entire room to the machine itself.

Though, when people hear about a compact elliptical machine, they probably immediately wonder if the build quality is like their full sized counterparts.

After all, it’s compact, right?

And, the manufacturers probably had to sacrifice some aspects about the full size elliptical machine to make the compact version work in the first place.

To get it out of the way, yes, there are quite a few compact elliptical machines on the market that don’t have remarkable build quality. And, that’s a concern of a lot of people who might want to get a compact elliptical machine. Some less than models are known to sacrifice build just to accommodate saving space within a home or apartment, something that often makes these models fail to work a lot of the time.

There’s a common trend that connects these less than perfect compact elliptical machines together: the price.

When you’re shopping for a compact elliptical trainer, keep an eye on the price.

You’ll likely have to pay higher prices for a compact elliptical machine that won’t break down or fail after a few weeks.

Knowing that is probably one of the most important aspects of shopping for a compact elliptical machine, since, well, you want a compact elliptical trainer that lasts, right?

Popular Models & Features

All right, so what else should I know about the compact elliptical machine? Can you tell me about key features in some of the most popular models in retail and online stores today?

Sure! So, when you’re shopping around for a compact elliptical machine, the price does matter.

So, do reviews, but you need to take a closer look at the price first.

Many compact elliptical machines cost as little as $900 to as much as $3,000, so the price range is pretty wide.

The reviews will then tell you if that price it worth it.

It’s mainly because, as we mentioned before, the reviews often indicate whether the compact elliptical trainer actually works as advertised. Reviews are pretty reassuring, when you think about it like that.

So, always take the time to read the reviews, if you can.

Now that you’ve probably read some reviews, let’s take a moment to review some of the features you should look for in a compact elliptical trainer.

Many compact elliptical machines do work in much of same way as a standard elliptical machine does, to the point that it’s pretty much the same feature set. Quite a few compact elliptical machines do, however, change up some aspects of a standard elliptical machine.

Some compact elliptical machines incorporate wireless features, such as wireless heart rate monitoring or web connectivity via Wi-Fi.

There are some models that may even let you stream music while engaging in a workout!

As nice as those features are, the most important things you should look for in a compact elliptical machine are, features that make that machine durable and suitable enough to use within the confines of your smaller home.

I recently reviewed one of the top selling elliptical trainers (this year), find out more here: The SOLE E35, a good value compact elliptical trainer.

Last Updated on November 29, 2019

There are a huge number of elliptical machines on the market today available in a wide variety of price groupings. It can be difficult to identify the correct machine for you. Here, we are looking at mini elliptical machines or portable ellipticals. There are other machines erroneously called “compact” or “small”. These are often like the versions you see in a gym but manufactured slightly smaller to give a reduced footprint to better suit a home or apartment. The models we are talking about here are the 30 lb models you can carry anyplace, anywhere.

Our Top Picks

Here is a list of our top picks. Visit the link to get the latest prices. Read below for more details on each choice and see our top pick at the bottom of the page.

Best All-Round Choice: Stamina InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer

Best Under Desk Option: Cubii Under Desk Elliptical

Good Value All-Rounder: J Fit Under Desk & Stand Up Elliptical

Good Value Under Desk Option: Fitdesk Under Desk Elliptical

Mini Elliptical Reviews

Stamina In-motion Elliptical

This is the granddaddy of the mini elliptical market having been the market innovator years ago. All other models are copies or attempts on improvement to the design. The stamina model is well built and is very popular with a huge number of positive reviews.

The Stamina Inmotion elliptical trainer can be used standing, sitting or under a desk. To use under a desk you need seven inches between knee and desk with your feet flat on the ground to allow for the footplate movement. If the stamina has a weak spot it is that when used in the standing position there are no handlebars – OK if your balance is good or if you are next to a desk but problematic if you are in front of the TV with no handholds.

Tracking and electronics are basic. Tension on the footplates is manually adjustable rather than push-button electronic and tracking is limited to calories, time, distance and strides – no blue-tooth connectivity here – but nothing that is likely to break or go wrong anytime soon.

In terms of price the stamina is at the affordable starter end of the market – a normal elliptical might cost from $700 – $1500, the stamina will be around the $100 mark.

It comes in three classy colors options, weighs in at 3lbs and does not require a power outlet. The stamina in-motion elliptical is extensively, positively reviewed and represents good build quality with good value for money.

>>Check The Latest Price Here<<

Cubii Under Desk Elliptical

The Cubii is specifically designed for use whilst sitting at a desk. Angled footplates make using this elliptical impossible whilst standing and unnatural in some seated positions, however, behind a desk it comes into its own.

Beautifully designed with a modern sleek look, this will appeal to any young at heart operator who wants to use the equipment at work without embarrassment, it is almost good looking enough to be a conversation starter in its own right.

Fitted with hi-tech monitoring technology, this machine will appeal to the mobile generation. You get blue-tooth connectivity, a mobile app from the manufacturer (ios/android) and it syncs with Fitbit and jawbone. If tracking is important to you then this is the machine for you.

The cubii under desk elliptical comes with 8 preset tension levels to suit all levels of fitness. It is available in either black or chrome color scheme and weighs in at 27lbs. It can be transported with ease and with super-quiet operation can be used within the office environment without distracting. With preset tension and hi-tech equipment, you do need mains power nearby.

Compared to the Stamina this model is a relatively high cost but still cheaper than a standard home elliptical. If looks, tracking and under-desk use if is your priority this is likely to be the machine for you.

>>Check The Latest Price Here<<

J fit Under Desk And Stand Up Elliptical

The J fit is directly comparable to the Stamina. It can be used standing or seated and unlike the stamina has footplates that are adjustable to three positions. However, the J fit has a 12-inch footplate movement so your desk needs plenty of room underneath to use the J fit comfortably ( the stamina needs 7 inches). As with the stamina, the jfit provides no handlebars for standing operation.

The J fit under desk elliptical is not going to blow you away with technology. No blue-tooth here – simple monitoring of time, strides, calories and speed only. Tension is manually adjustable so no mains power required.

Available in one color, sturdy design, well built and positively reviewed by users.

Not as established as the stamina model but well-received the jfit fits into the same price bracket as the stamina. Slightly more complex to set up out of the box. Assembly tools included.

>>Check The Latest Price Here<<

Fitdesk Under Desk Elliptical

The fitdesk is the natural competition for the Cubii. Designed primarily for use under a desk with nonadjustable footplate’s a pedal rise of eight inches is comparable to stamina but angled footplates should prove more comfortable whilst seated.

Unlike the Cubii, the Fitdesk under desk elliptical is not packed with hi-tech monitoring facilities but will give you the basics of time, speed, calories, and distance.

It does offer some unique touches though. The chassis has a built-in foot roller for massage and the eight magnetic tension settings can be controlled by a foot lever – both well thought out additional features for users.

Weighing in at a standard 30 lbs the Fitdesk is as portable as other models on the market and like the Cubii is mains operated.

Available in one color option, the Fitdesk is not as established as the Stamina but has been around longer than the Cubii and the J fit

Coming in at a medium price bracket the Fitdesk is less expensive than the Cubii but generally slightly more expensive than the stamina (probably due to the mains powered functions).

As with all the machines reviewed noise is not an issue allowing for use in a busy office or whilst you are on the phone.

>>Check The Latest Price Here<<

What Are Mini Ellipticals Good For?

Clearly these are not machines you would use to train for a marathon on! What they are good for is introducing some gentle activity into your day.

If you are desk-bound at work all day these under-desk ellipticals are going to be great for burning a few extra calories and as a result, aiding weight loss. Additionally, the extra movement is going to be good for your circulation and reduce the risks of developing high blood pressure and the like.

If you have been doing very little exercise of late then even some gentle exercise with these machines is going to help improve your stamina and overall fitness levels.

Maybe you want to do some activity at home? You can expect to improve your stamina levels if you have not exercised regularly and these machines offer an easy and convenient way to increase your exercise levels.

Considering toning or muscle building? These machines are not suitable. You need resistance machines or equipment for muscle building. What they will do is improve neglected muscle tone by putting some exercise through underutilized muscles and via fat loss will improve general body tone.

Types of Mini Elliptical

Within this small group of ellipticals, there are roughly speaking three sub-groups based on the intended activity. There are those which can be used whilst stood up, under desk elliptical machines for use whilst seated and those that are adjustable for use under a desk/seated or stood. Often when you have such a choice the “jack of all trades” version is not as effective in any mode as purpose-built models so understanding how you intend to use the model is critical.

What To Consider When Buying

As I have intimated, identifying how you use the machine will be critical to making a good choice. If you intend to carry out most exercises stood – maybe whilst working at a standing desk or just in front of the TV – consider your balance. For the sake of portability none of the widely available models come with handlebars, if you are not the most agile of persons is this going to be a problem? Are you going to be at a standing desk or near a surface you can ease your balance on if you have a wobble?

If you intend to use the machine seated are you going to be sitting behind a desk, in front of the TV or on a straight back chair? Some of the dual-use models do not have adjustable footplate’s so are OK for standing or sitting from a straight back chair but maybe not so suitable with a desk. Other models will have adjustable footplates for a variety of sitting positions.

Do you intend to use the model primarily behind a desk? Knowing the height of your desk and the length of your leg and pedal height will be critical here. Basically you need to measure your lower leg, add on the elliptical stride height and allow a bit of room for the desk. Place your feet on the ground while seated, measure from the ground to the top of the knee for leg length, check the manufacturer specifications for the elliptical stride height and add an inch or two to avoid clashing you knees with the underside of the desk – then measure the desk to see if it all fits.

What about noise – if you are going to use these machines in front of the TV with your family or under a desk in an office you don’t want a distracting noisy machine whirring in the background.

Are monitors important to you? Do you really need mobile app integration and tracking or are you just looking to add some movement into your lifestyle?

Which Do We Think Is The Best Mini Elliptical?

It is a tough call based on how you intend to use the machine and your budget. All the machines have high levels of user satisfaction, build quality and positive reviews from buyers. From this perspective, they are all good buys if you buy for the right reasons.

If you are going for an under-desk model and like technology then the Cubii is a fabulous choice. If technology is not important and budget is important the Fitdesk is a great choice.

For me, I would like the flexibility of an all-rounder that can be used under a desk or in other positions. This reduces my choice to a Stamina In-motion Elliptical or the JFit. On the basis of being the initial sector innovator and years of positive reviews from happy customers and with little difference between the two in cost I would opt for an recommend the Stamina Inmotion E1000.

Related Best Lists & Buyers Guides

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