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 ellipticals on the market.
You can leverage on the research I did and check out the following list of ten of the best options, complete with brief reviews that highlight their features.
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Quick Answers – 10 Best Compact Ellipticals in 2021
- Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer (Best Overall)
- Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine (Runner-Up)
- Body Rider Elliptical Machine (Best Budget)
- ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer (Hi-Tech Trainer)
- Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical Trainer (Best Value for Money)
- Ncient Elliptical Machine Trainer (Most Convenient Usage)
- Aceshin Elliptical Machine Trainer (Great Portability)
- NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i Elliptical Trainers (Easiest Assembly)
- Cubii Jr. Seated Under-Desk Elliptical (Best Storage)
- Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider (Best Portability)
Reviews – 10 Best Compact Ellipticals
1. Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer (Best Overall)
- Easy to move
- Full of features
- Has a short stride length
This is by far my favorite of the lot. It is a feature-rich compact elliptical that gives you the opportunity to engage both your upper and lower body.
As an entry-level elliptical trainer, it creates smooth workouts without impacting or damaging large joints, thereby ensuring that your safety remains the utmost priority.
If you’re someone who likes to keep track of heart-rate and pulse to guide the workout, then you will definitely appreciate the hand pulse monitoring system that comes with it.
The system monitors heart rate without interrupting your workout as it takes heart-rate readings from your hand grips. The system can also measure and display time, distance, speed, calories, and pulse.
The magnetic resistance built into the machine 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 and keep you on your toes.
The ergonomic design ensures that you get complete stability while working out, along with the anti-slip foot platform.
2. Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine (Runner-Up)
- 20 resistance levels
- Bluetooth data export
- Built-in sound system
- Multi-speed cooling fan
- Has a manual incline instead of an automatic one
Next up on our list 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 training guides.
So, if you’re a beginner, this 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.
Safe to say, if you want to customize your workout down to the last exercise, you have all the power in the world to do so with this elliptical machine.
Other than the basics, Schwinn elliptical machine also comes with additional accessories that make working out much more entertaining.
If you are like me and 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.
3. Body Rider Elliptical Machine (Best Budget)
- 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.
If you want to own a compact elliptical machine but don’t want to spend too muchs, then there is nothing better than Body Rider compact elliptical. Even at such a low price, you can still get a lot with this product.
It doesn’t have a lot of features, but it still supplies the required training setting for a light cardio workout.
Additionally, if you want to quantify your training, there is a basic console that comes with it as well.
The machine itself is pretty light and can be assembled quite easily by only one person. 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 machines that makes up for its charm. The handlebars have rubber foam for better grip while the whole frame is made of corrosion-free steel.
All in all, you won’t be disappointed if you opt for this compact yet useful machine.
4. ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer (Hi-Tech Trainer)
- Faster calories burnout with vertical elliptical path
- 24 resistance levels
- Very stable
- Easy-to-read controls
- Special HIIT workouts
- Doesn’t have a ‘standard’ elliptical path
This is not your typical compact 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. However, it does burn a lot of calories and allows you to get a full body workout quickly.
As it engages both upper and lower body muscles, it is the ideal training machine for high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is very popular nowadays 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 and even get customized guided trainings.
There is an iPod dock and two-speed fans to keep you cool during intense training. You can download the new trainers to get high-impact HIIT workouts.
In total, 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.
5. Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical Trainer (Best Value for Money)
- Great value for money
- Very stable
- Allows dual workout
- Low impact system
- Can be a challenge to assemble
Exerpeutic is a well-constructed compact elliptical trainer provided at a reasonable price.
The best thing about this trainer is that it has all the essential components that one would expect from an elliptical trainer without any of the gimmicks that tend to shoot up the price.
If you are looking to tone, tighten, or strengthen your muscles, this trainer will be ideal for you. It is safe to use as it has 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 magnetic resistance that can complement any fitness level that you happen to be on. There is no bouncy movement as it has a natural elliptical motion, so you don’t have to worry about making uncanny motions.
There is an LCD display that shows you workout data to keep track of while the pulse pads monitor your heart rate.
6. Ncient Elliptical Machine Trainer (Most Convenient Usage)
- Easy to switch between resistance levels
- Very stable and quiet
- Super easy to use
- Non-slip Pedal
- The machine can be difficult to assemble
Ncient is an obscure company but its products are up there with some of the best in the industry.
Here we have a compact elliptical trainer that is super easy to use. It comes equipped with all the features you need in an elliptical trainer. t
There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance that you can adjust with a tension knob whenever you want to change the intensity of your workout. It has a 13-inch non-slip pedal that is big enough to ensure stability and comfort.
The flywheel and V-belt drive are balanced to precision to provide a smooth and quiet operation. For those who are looking for a quiet workout machine, it can’t get 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.
7. Aceshin Elliptical Machine Trainer (Great Portability)
- Tubular steel construction
- 8 resistance settings
- Lightweight and ease for portability
- Smooth workout without much noise
- Can sway while use
The first thing that caught my eye was this compact elliptical machine’s build quality. If you appreciate a well-crafted machine, then this machine will not disappoint.
It is built with tubular steel and has a precision balanced wheel that provides for smooth and reliable operation. Like most elliptical trainers, it has eight 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.
One downside is that the machine is rather lightweight, so it’s prone to swaying. However, its wide base keeps it from tipping over. And being lightweight, makes it portable.
There’s an LCD display so you can keep track of the speed, distance, time, and calories burned. The dual handle allows you to work your upper body while monitoring your heart rate.
8. NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i Elliptical Trainers (Easiest Assembly)
- Easy, 15-min assembly
- 22 levels of resistance
- Easy storage and portability
- Can be uncomfortable for taller people
This elliptical trainer boasts the smallest storage footprint.
If you don’t want to spend hours trying to assemble a machine, then this machine might be the one for you. You can assemble this machine within 15 minutes and be ready to go.
There are about 22 levels of resistance that can easily satisfy everyone’s needs regardless of how long they’ve been training. The oversized cushion pedals provide full comfort and safety while providing natural stride ergonomics.
The wheel is heavy enough to provide stability so the machine won’t sway.
The display shows the progress in terms of rpm, speed, time, distance, and calories burned and charts out your workout regimen.
9. Cubii Jr. Seated Under-Desk Elliptical (Best Storage)
- Easy assembly
- Easy storage and portability
- 8 resistance levels
- Whisper quiet
- Can feel plastic like
If all the other options feel a bit over the top, then this product may be a good consideration.
It is an elliptical that you can use while sitting at your desk. It doesn’t come with any heavy accessories, but it’s the best space-saving machine on this list.
It is also whisper-quiet, so you can work out without disturbing others around you. You don’t need to worry about hitting the desk either since it has a low profile and a smooth motion that has minimal impact on the joints.
There is a small built-in display monitor that helps you track the workouts, record calories burned, time, distance, and strides.
Even with such a small unit, you can get 8 different resistance levels which is quite remarkable.
10. Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider (Best Portability)
- Highly portable
- Easy to assemble and store
- Multi-function monitor
- Adjustable tension
- The wheels get squeaky over time
This is another ultra-compact elliptical trainer.
It is easily one of the most portable products in the market today and yet 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 burned, and other such elements. The adjustable tension allows you to customize your workout as you see fit.
Buyer’s Guide – How to choose the best compact elliptical?
There are a few elements that need to be kept in mind when heading out to get a compact elliptical. Let me illustrate a few of them so you can make better decisions.
Regardless of whether you’re going to get a product online or from a store nearby, it is always advisable to try the product out first. Small problems such as faults in ergonomics are best discovered by actually trying out the machine.
Different elliptical have different levels of resistance.
Ensure that you start at the lowest setting and gradually make your way to higher settings. Every subsequent level will lead to a significant though incremental change.
Some of them have adjustable inclines so it is good to check if the product that you’re looking to get comes with automated or manual adjustability.
Who doesn’t like machines equipped with the latest high-tech features such as cloud connectivity, exercise program libraries, Bluetooth, wireless connectivity, etc?
However, these do tend to drive the price up.
Also, try not to be swayed by all these features and focus on what you really need.
More often than not you’ll find that you don’t need most of these features to get through a workout. But if you desperately require them, then by all means go ahead.
This is going to be one of the most important elements as it will dictate the life of the machine.
Most of the compact ellipticals are made of tubular steel and have very sturdy construction. You also need to look at other properties such as corrosion resistance and rot susceptibility of the material used.
The overall weight of the machine is a good reference as it tells a lot about the integrity of its construction. It will also dictate how well it is able to hold up when put to rough or regular usage.
Light, compact machines are cheaper, minimize space restraints and inconveniences.
Heavier, robust machines tend to hold up much better when you need them to and are much more comfortable to use as well, even though they may be a bit on the pricier side.
Last, but not the least, are the safety features that must be considered when getting the compact elliptical.
Such 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 the little ones from accessing the machine.
Hopefully, after going through this review, you have enough information to choose the best compact elliptical for your home gym.
Our pick for the best compact elliptical machine overall is the Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer. It engages both your upper and lower body with its several 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 that is high in performance and comes with lots of accessories. It has a robust build and is equipped with built-in training guides.
I strongly recommend you try the elliptical machine before making a purchase since the feel of the machine can be a deciding factor and will help you narrow down your choices.