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Best Compact Elliptical Machines Review

There’s no denying that ellipticals are one of the most sought-after low-impact workout fitness equipment in the fitness world. A major benefit of an effective exercise machine like the elliptical is that they guarantee full-body workouts with little or no stress to joints and the back.

A major drawback to the earliest elliptical build and design was that they were large and hard to relocate. They were ideal for use in commercial gyms but struggled to fit into most home gyms. For these elliptical gym equipment manufacturers, it became a race against time to develop a design that fits into small apartment spaces. 

Compact fitness trainers became the solution for home ellipticals use. These smaller-sized elliptical trainers came in different sizes and had distinguishing features. With a growing market for compact fitness elliptical exercise equipment, brands offered models that either seemed to lack competitive features or were expensive to buy.

Best Compact Ellipticals

The article brings to light some of the best compact ellipticals on the market. It also provides a guide to help fitness enthusiasts know the necessary features a good company elliptical should possess.

How to choose The Best Compact Elliptical

When buying the best compact ellipticals, it’s best to have features in mind for easy referencing. There are a lot of options and alternatives available in the market. Since most compact fitness machine purchases are majorly for home gym use, making a sound purchase is crucial. In no particular order of importance, here are some features to consider when buying compact elliptical trainers.

Size & Folding

When buying compact fitness trainers, the first thing to tick off the list should be the size. For whatever reasons, for needing a compact/mini elliptical, settling for a larger machine defeats the purpose. Compact fitness elliptical sizes come in space-saving, full-body workout options to under-desk option sizes. 

Under-desk ellipticals are perfect when the workout is focused on the lower body, or there’s a need to multitask at home or workspace. Many top brands offer several size options on their compact models.

Some elliptical designs have an added folding feature. This is ideal when fitness trainers intend to store the elliptical after use. The folding feature takes the space-saving elliptical to a whole new level. When users think of easy and convenient storage, ellipticals with folding features are the best bet.

Workouts Customization & Electronics

One thing that makes workouts fun and interesting is setting fitness goals and trying to achieve them. As a result, a significant number of these small elliptical trainers come with preset workout programs to help guide users. It also allows users to create personalized workout routines.

Elliptical consoles also come in different sizes and unique features. An LCD screen with a backlit feature would allow trainers to work out even under poor lighting conditions. The number of data tracked and shown differs by brand and model. Depending on what is needed, fitness trainers are always better off with consoles that monitor a higher number of data and display them simultaneously.

Stride Length

An elliptical trainer mimics the natural walking, running, and stair climbing movements. Humans have a varied stride distance that largely depends on height and weight. Elliptical manufacturers offer products with different stride lengths to ensure users can get a near-natural movement feel on the machine.

A 20″ stride length can accommodate users with average to tall heights. It is the recommended length when buying an elliptical without an adjustable stride length. Depending on the workout routine, users can always opt for lower stride lengths of about 11 inches or go as high as 22 inches. 

There are also mini ellipticals that come with adjustable stride lengths. However, they are a better option but often come at a higher price. Whatever the case, the chosen elliptical stride should offer the maximum amount of comfort.

Resistance Adjustment

Trainers have to push against the machines’ set resistance to effectively get the best workout from ellipticals. The higher the resistance level or tension on the elliptical, the more force and energy the user would need to exert to overcome it. Different elliptical models offer different ways to adjust these resistance levels.

Most have a knob that is adjusted to a predefined level. Ellipticals are rated by the highest number of resistance levels they can attain. For instance, an elliptical with 16 resistance levels can only be adjusted to a maximum level of 16.

The minimum number of resistance on these compact and portable ellipticals starts at 8. Resistance levels can get as high as 32 but are often not readily available in many compact designs.

Step-up Height

This refers to the safest ceiling height in which an elliptical can be used. Unless a fitness trainer works out on a recumbent elliptical or under-desk elliptical, they have to stand to push the pedals and work the movable handlebars. Therefore, it’s recommended to have a safe stand-up height in the space where the small elliptical machine will be used. 

Ellipticals are known to have a step-up height between 12-14″, but it’s always safe to push it as high as 18″. The rule of thumb is to always consider ceiling height and safety when buying any elliptical for small space.

Weight Capacity

All compact elliptical trainers come with a maximum weight recommendation. This is done to ensure users do not abuse the weight-carrying capacity of the machine. When buying a compact elliptical, check if the max user weight falls within the acceptable range.

Compact ellipticals offer weight capacities below 250 pounds. However, there are some that have a weight capacity recommendation of over 350 pounds.

List Of The Top 3 Best Compact Ellipticals

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905
  • Material: Steel
  • Belt drive magnetic resistance
  • 8 Levels of resistance
  • Hand pulse monitor
  • Transportation wheels
  • Multifunctional digital monitor
  • Textured non-slip foot pedals
  • Floor Stabilizer
  • Item Dimensions:  ‎28 x 17 x 57 inches
  • Item Weight: ‎‎60.8 Pounds
Cubii JR1
Cubii JR1
  • Model Name: JR1 Aqua
  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • 8 resistance level ups
  • Whisper-Quiet mini elliptical
  •  Tracking display for calories burned, strides pedaled and distance traveled
  • Portable under desk elliptical
  • Maximum weight: 250 Pounds 
  • Item dimensions: 23.15 x 17.56 x 10 inches
  • Item weight: ‎12.5Kg
Body Rider BRD2000
Body Rider BRD2000
  • Two-in-one fitness machine
  • Material: Metal
  • Vertically and horizontally adjustable seat
  • Adjustable resistance
  • Electronic console screen
  • Built-in transport wheels
  • High-speed fan blades
  • Item Dimensions: 48 x 28.5 x 59.5 inches
  • Item Weight: ‎66 Pounds

10 Best Compact Ellipticals For Small Space

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 - Best Space Saving Elliptical
  • Hand pulse sensor
  • 8 levels of silent magnetic resistance
  • Solid transport wheels
  • 11" stride length
  • Digital monitor
  • Movable and fixed handlebars

Sunny Health & Fitness is one among the leading brands in elliptical machines. The SF-E905 model is yet another excellent masterpiece from the brand. As a fitness trainer looking for a compact elliptical design but not wanting to break the bank, the SF-E905 may just be the perfect fit. 

As a rear-drive elliptical, it comes with an 8-level resistance for users to get their chosen workout intensity. In addition, it comes with large, anti-slip pedals to protect users during lower body exercises and deliver an 11″ stride length. It also has movable and stationary handlebars for a corresponding upper body grips workout.

Sunny SF-E905 Elliptical Summary

The Sunny SF-E905 offers basic features for an affordable small elliptical machine for home. This makes it a great fit for space-saving apartments or workout areas. It weighs 60.8 pounds and has a maximum user capacity of 220 pounds. In addition, it comes with dimensions of 28x17x57 inches (LxWxH).

  • 8 adjustable magnetic resistance grades
  • Floor stabilizers for stability
  • Digital LCD monitor
  • Hand pulse sensor
  • Full-body drill workout experience with its movable handlebars
  • 3-year structural frame warranty and 180 days warranty on parts and components
  • Stride distance is short for tall trainers
Cubii JR1 - Best Portable Elliptical
  • Large non-slip pedals
  • Digital LCD monitor
  • Compact under desk design
  • Exclusive live workout classes
  • Easy assembly with tools
  • Whisper-quiet drive system

The JR1 is an under-desk elliptical design by Cubii. It offers fitness trainers an easy, low-impact workout experience whenever and wherever possible. The JR1 is an excellent choice for lower body exercises while sitting. It allows users to work out and also multitask on other things while seated. It is designed to cater to trainers of all ages and lifestyles.

It comes with a whisper-quiet drive system and 8 resistance grades. This portable elliptical comes with a digital monitor between the pedals to track workout progress. 

Cubii JR1 Elliptical Summary

A busy schedule is a major excuse many fitness enthusiasts give for not being able to take their fitness routine seriously. The Cubii JR1 provides a lasting solution with its compact, under-desk design. It can be used at home and work, offering a whisper-quiet workout experience.

It also comes almost fully assembled and would only require pedal attachment. As a compact fitness machine, it comes with a total weight of 12.5 kg and a maximum weight recommendation of 250 pounds.

  • 95% assembled fitness trainer
  • Easy adjustment of 8 resistance levels
  • Responsive customer care. 
  • Oversized non-slip pedals
  • Live workout classes with fitness experts
  • Portable
  • Needs subscription for Cubii Studio+ live workout classes
  • Squeaky noises after a period of use.
Body Rider BRD2000 - Best Compact Elliptical Trainer
  • Adjustable seat
  • 2-in-1 exercise machine
  • Smooth transition between workout modes
  • Digital console
  • Built-in transportation wheels

In delivering on its mandate to fitness enthusiasts, the BRD2000 from Body Rider is a unique, compact 2-in-1 exercise machine. It comes with a seat that allows users to transition between an exercise bike and an elliptical trainer. This provides full-body cardio workouts to users whenever they are on the machine.

The machine’s drive system is powered by a high momentum fan blade whose 8 resistance grades are controlled and adjusted easily by a knob. The seat has an adjustable option to accommodate 7 different user heights. The seat can be adjusted horizontally and vertically.

Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Summary

The Body Rider BRD2000 brings a lot more fun for low-impact loving fitness trainers with its 2-in-1 machine feature. Users can get the workout experience of working on an elliptical and an exercise bike at the price of one! To ensure it caters to a wider range of user heights, the seat can be adjusted horizontally and vertically for up to 7 distinct user heights.

It also has an electronic console that tracks workout data. Unfortunately, for a product with so much potential, Body Rider only offers a 1-year warranty on the BRD2000. It also has extra features like a water bottle holder.

  • 2-in-1 options for workout
  • Digital LCD console
  • Horizontal and vertically adjustable seat
  • Built-in transportation wheels
  • Adjustable knob for 8 resistance grades
  • Only 1-year warranty
  • No preset workout exercise program
Bowflex M3 Max - Small Elliptical Machine For Home Use
  • 8 grades of resistance
  • 2 user profiles
  • Interactive backlit display
  • 2 preset workout and fitness programs
  • Chest strap
  • Motion handlebars

A striking difference between the Bowflex M3 Max trainer and other compact ellipticals in its price range is its unique upright design. Its accompanying motion handlebars offer users a total body workout.

It comes with oversized non-slip pedals to give maximum comfort and protection to the ankles and legs. It allows for up to two user profile tracking. Its interactive backlit display comes with 2 pre-installed workout programs.

It does not have a hand sensor but comes with an added chest strap to track heart rate and pulse. This portable elliptical has built-in transportation wheels that allow for easy and quick relocation and storage.

Bowflex M3 Max Elliptical Summary

The Bowflex M3 Max trainer comes with an aesthetically appealing, unique, compact design. It has large pedals with a non-slip feature. Fitness trainers can choose between 8 grades of resistance and 2 workout preset programs. Its burn rate display screen monitors users’ calorie burn per minute to keep them motivated. It comes in dimensions of 46.5 x 22.5 x 26.5 inches (LxWxH).

  • Interactive backlit display
  • Burn rate display for burned calories
  • 2 preset fitness programs 
  • 8 resistance grades
  • Compact design and transport wheels
  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
  • This model does not have an app experience feature
SCHWINN Fitness 411 - Best Small Space Elliptical
  • 13 pre-installed fitness programs
  • Explore the World app
  • 16 grades of resistance
  • 18" elliptical stride
  • Streamlined console with 5.5" High Contrast LCD screen
  • Media rack

Schwinn designed the 411 for trainers looking for the best small space elliptical options. It comes with an above-average feature. It features an 18″ stride length for taller trainers with 16 adjustable resistance. In addition, heart rate and pulse are easily monitored with its contact grip sensors.

The Schwinn 411 goes extra on features by including a water bottle holder and a built-in media rack. Its streamlined console comes with a 5.5″ LCD screen and the travel the globe app to take users on a journey around the world from the comfort of the machine.

SCHWINN 411 Elliptical Summary

Schwinn 411 has a great compact design offering excellent low-impact cardio workout exercises. Users enjoy its fairly large 5.5″ LCD screen where workout data are monitored. The Explore the World app takes users on a travel experience around the world. The product comes with a total weight of 100 pounds and can support a maximum weight recommendation of 300 pounds.

  • The 5.5" High Contrast LCD 
  • 16 adjustable grades of resistance
  • Explore the World app 
  • 13 preset programs
  • No incline options
  • Display screen is not backlit
DeskCycle - Best Mobile Elliptical
  • Bi-directional stride motion
  • 8 resistance settings
  • 2.2" LCD screen
  • Extension cord and stand for the monitor
  • Ergonomic and lightweight design

The DeskCycle Ellipse comes as an easy assembly and easy-to-use under-desk elliptical. This elliptical takes away all the stress of working with cumbersome trainers. Its simple power settings are easy to access and work with, irrespective of the trainer’s fitness level.

It delivers a whisper-quiet drive system during workouts. The flywheel allows up to 8 resistance grades with easy adjustments on a centrally located knob. The LCD screen is located between the pedals and gives real-time workout data. It has extra-long foot pedals to provide comfort to users with bigger feet.

DeskCycle Elliptical Summary

The DeskCycle Ellipse under-desk is a compact fitness trainer designed as a space-saving option for home and office users. It allows workouts during working hours or when seated on a couch. Its 8 resistance grades come with an easy-to-adjust knob located for easy reach during workouts. It has dimensions of 23 x 18 x 10 inches (LxWxH).

  • 8 magnetic resistance grades
  • The compact and ergonomic design
  • Centrally located 2.2" LCD screen
  • Super quiet drive system
  • Comes almost fully assembled
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Noise after prolonged use
Body Power BST800 - Best Lightweight Elliptical
  • Curve-crank technology
  • LCD tracking monitor
  • 8 levels of resistance
  • 2-in-1 exercise machine
  • Front portable wheels
  • Compact and portable.

The BST800 StepTrac by Body Power is a 2-in-1 workout machine that combines the exercise of a flywheel spin bike and an elliptical. Coupled with the ergonomic smooth motion handlebars, the BST800 StepTrac promises both lower and upper body workout experiences.

It comes with 8 resistance grades with an easy adjustment knob. It also features an easy-to-interpret LCD monitor. For easy relocation and movement, it comes with solid front-rolling wheels.

Body Power BST800 Elliptical Summary

The Body Power BST800 StepTrac comes with the perfect compact design to fit into any small spaced apartment or workplace. This trainer functions as two exercise machines by providing users with the option to work on it as an elliptical or a stepper machine. It comes with an open-back pedal that allows easy placement and removal of the feet before and after a workout. It has a maximum user weight capacity of 250 pounds.

  • An elliptical and a stepper machine
  • Compact space-saving design
  • 8 adjustable resistance grades
  • Curve-crank technology
  • 1-year warranty
  • No workout preset programs
Marcy NS-40501E - Best Mini Elliptical
  • LCD screen
  • 8 adjustable resistance grades
  • Oversized foot pedals
  • Ergonomic handlebars and pedals
  • Solid, handy portable wheels

Marcy NS-40501E may be a compact fitness elliptical, but it comes with two oversized pedals to comfort the user’s feet. Its LCD screen is battery-powered and tracks workout data. The ergonomic fixed and movable handlebars guarantee a full-body workout. It comes with 8 adjustable resistance levels.

Marcy NS-40501E Elliptical Summary

Marcy NS-40501E is an affordable mini elliptical trainer that comes with 8 levels of resistance. It is a simple elliptical with an LCD screen to monitor workout data. It comes with a total weight of 77 pounds and a recommended maximum user weight of 300 pounds.

  • LCD monitor screen
  • Ergonomic handlebars and pedals
  • 8 levels of resistance
  • Portable wheels
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • No workout preset programs
Exerputic 6000 QF - Low Profile Elliptical Machine
  • Bluetooth Smart technology
  • 24 magnetic resistance levels
  • 24 preset workout programs
  • Double transmission flywheel
  • High visibility backlit LCD screen

The Exerputic 6000 QF Elliptical trainer offers smooth, natural stride motion powered by a double transmission flywheel. It comes with a high visibility backlit LCD screen and comes with 24 preset drill programs. 

It also features Bluetooth Smart technology with an accompanying MyCloudFitness app. The app is readily available for download on Android and iOS to help users track workout performance. It also has 24 levels of magnetic resistance.

Exerputic 6000 QF Elliptical Summary

The Exerputic 6000 QF is a compact, space-saving elliptical at an affordable price. It comes with great features for that price and promises a great cardio workout experience. It offers high-intensity interval training workouts with 24 levels of resistance. It also features Bluetooth Smart Technology. It weighs 84 pounds and has a user weight capacity of 270 pounds. A major drawback of the Exerputic 6000 QF is that it comes with only a 1-year limited warranty.

  • Bluetooth Smart technology
  • High visibility backlit LCD screen
  • 24 preset fitness programs
  • 24 magnetic resistance grades
  • Compact space-saving design
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Poor durability of the frame and product
XTERRA Fitness FS2.5 - Small Footprint Elliptical
  • 24 programs
  • 24 levels of resistance
  • 22-pound flywheel
  • Hand grip pulse sensor
  • Dual color backlit LCD screen
  • 14" elliptical stride

The XTERRA Fitness FS2.5 is a compact, low-impact elliptical with amazing 24 levels of resistance. With its features, it competes favorably with most small elliptical machines in the same price range. It is powered by a 22 pounds flywheel that provides fluid motion during workouts.

XTERRA Fitness FS2.5 Elliptical Summary

The XTERRA Fitness FS2.5 looks to be a great elliptical for the price and features it offers. It seems to be one of the affordable ellipticals but offers close features to other premium models.

It boasts of a 22-pound flywheel that powers this rear-drive elliptical. However, the product comes with a smaller stride length and may not suit tall fitness trainers.

  • Fluid motion drive system
  • 22-pound flywheel
  • Hand grip pulse sensor
  • Dual color backlit LCD screen
  • Fixed and movable handlebars
  • Stride length is short for taller users
  • 5 years frame warranty


1. What is the small elliptical machine for home use?

The Bowflex M3 Max trainer has an above-average feature and compact design and seems to have the best customer experience reviews.

2. Are compact ellipticals as effective as regular ones?

Depending on the workout intensity and features desired, some compact ellipticals compete favorably well with other regular ellipticals.

3. What brand of elliptical is the best?

Among the best compact ellipticals discussed, Bowflex stands out from the other ellipticals. They offer a range of elliptical products to fit customers’ budgets.


Large-sized ellipticals paved the way for newer, compact ellipticals. As the demand for ellipticals for home gym use rose, elliptical brands began manufacturing designs with amazing space-saving features. However, some compact models have some of their features removed to keep them budget-friendly.

To help you make better decisions when buying compact ellipticals, this article examined the top ten best compact elliptical machines.

Matthew Fletcher

Matthew Fletcher

Matthew is a fully qualified fitness trainer specializing in weight management and strength training. He is a certified trainer with more than 15 years of training experience. He uses his technical know-how's with his passion for fitness to provide thoughtful curation of objective exercise equipment reviews. His insightful reviews will help you find the best fitness product for the price.

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