6 Best Elliptical For Small Spaces: Reviewed & Compared

A lot of people think you can’t have a home gym unless you have a ton of space. Those people are wrong. It’s more than possible to create a complete home gym setup even if you live in a small home or apartment - you just have to be smart about the kind of equipment you use.

That’s why in this post, we’re going to be sharing and reviewing the best elliptical for small spaces. All the space-saving ellipticals on this list are super compact and will do pretty much the same job as a full-size model while taking up a fraction of the floor space.

Preview

Product Name

Stride Length

Weight of Unit

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

Check Price

Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine

Schwinn Compact 411

18”

101.41 Lbs.

70.1 x 28.1 x 63.1 Inches

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk...

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902

30 inches

N/A

15 x 19 x 61. 5 Inches

Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical...

Cubii Pro

N/A

32 Lbs.

23.15 x 17.56 x 10 Inches

Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic...

Exerpeutic 1000XL

76 lbs

300 Lbs.

23 W x 54 L x 76 Inches

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical...

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3804

13.5 Inches

81.42 Lbs.

43L x 24W x 62.5H Inches

Stamina Inmotion Elliptical

Stamina Inmotion

N/A

29.45 Lbs.

20.1 x 12.8 x 12.4 Inches

Who Can Benefit from a Space-Saving Elliptical?

A space-saving elliptical is a must-have if you:

  • Only Have Space For A Small Gym 
    Space-saving ellipticals are built to use as little space as possible so that you can fit more equipment in a smaller space.
  • Plan on moving it from room to room 
    Space-saving ellipticals are lightweight and portable, so it’s easier to move them from A to B if you don’t want a permanent setup.
  • Prefer to work out in private 
    Many people find the idea of working out in a public gym intimidating, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting in shape. Buying your own space-saving elliptical machine gives you an easy way to work out your whole body, build muscle and burn calories from the privacy of your own home.
  • Want to protect your joints 
    Elliptical trainers are low-impact machines that reduce the strain on your legs. If you’re recovering from injury or suffer from joint pain such as knee pain, they’re a much safer form of cardio than jogging.

And don’t worry, space-saving ellipticals provide more-or-less the same quality of workout as standard-size counterparts; they’re just designed to be more compact and easier to store in small spaces.

These days, smaller types of ellipticals still offer excellent performance. The only real tradeoff is the max user weight is lower than standard size models.


Choosing an Elliptical for Small Spaces

Type vs Individual Needs

There are several different types of space-saving elliptical machines out there. The right one for you will depend on what you’re looking for.

For example, if you don’t have a permanent setup and want to store your elliptical out of sight when not in use, you’ll probably want to opt for a folding model rather than an upright model. If you want something that’ll fit in the office, an under-desk elliptical might be a better choice. We’ve covered each of the different types of space-saving ellipticals in more detail further below.

You’ll also want to think about whether you want a front, rear, or center-drive elliptical trainer. Center-drive configurations are usually the most compact and will take up the least floor space but also typically require more clearance space as the pedal arms extend further.

Elliptical Size vs Room Space

Make sure you measure your available space before you buy an elliptical and choose one that’ll fit. It’s important to not just look at the dimensions, but the total footprint of the elliptical. Elliptical pedals usually extend beyond the body of the elliptical itself, so the actual space required is greater than the total length/width of the elliptical.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to choose an elliptical that’ll fit in your available space with at least 15” of clearance from all sides.

Build Quality

While size and space might be your number one priority, it’s still important to look at other factors too, like the build quality. Some space-saving ellipticals will be more durable than others. Look for an elliptical with a sturdy frame built with durable materials. It’s also worth looking at the existing customer reviews to see what other users are saying about the build quality.

Safety Features

As with any gym equipment, safety is paramount, so it’s important to make sure you choose an elliptical with good safety features. This is especially important if you’re elderly or have pre-existing conditions that put you at greater risk of injury.

Safer ellipticals will have strong frames to aid with stability and minimize wobble. You can look at the weight capacity to get an idea of how stable it is. Typically, the greater the weight capacity, the more stability it’ll offer.

Other safety features to consider are automatic warm-up and cool-down programs, handrails for extra balance, and pin locks.

Performance Features

  • Resistance 
    Most ellipticals offer variable resistance levels to choose from. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a machine that provides incremental increases in resistance. The lowest setting should be comfortable for you, and it should become challenging as you move towards the highest setting.
  • Stride length 
    The stride length refers to the range of motion the elliptical pedals move with each 'stride.' If the stride is too short, it'll negatively impact your workout and limit your range of motion, so it feels more like a stepper than a true elliptical. Your ideal stride length will depend on your hip index number and desired pace, but as a general rule, the taller you are, the greater stride length you’ll need. Most space-saving ellipticals fall somewhere between 13” and 22” stride lengths.
  • Incline 
    If you plan on incline training, look for a machine that offers an adjustable incline setting.
  • Flywheels (& noise levels)
    The flywheels determine how smooth and quietly your machine will run. The heavier the flywheel, the quieter the operation.

Extra Elliptical Features

  • Heart rate monitor 
    Some ellipticals come with heart rate monitors that enable them to automatically adjust the resistance level based on your target heart rate to optimize your workout. They can increase the intensity automatically if your heart rate drops below the target or decrease it if it’s too high.
  • Console display 
    Some ellipticals come with an interactive console display that lets you control the settings and interact with the machine. The more advanced models have touchscreen displays where you can do all kinds of things, from changing your workout program to browsing the internet.
  • Wireless/Bluetooth connectivity 
    Some machines come with in-built wireless or Bluetooth connectivity, so you can hook it up to an app on your mobile in order to track your exercise performance, play music, change the workout program, and more from your mobile device.
  • Fitness trackers 
    The best ellipticals have built-in fitness trackers that monitor your performance and keep a record of it, so you can see how you improve over time.
  • Warranty 
    Don’t forget to look at the warranty cover. A longer warranty implies greater durability and will give you peace of mind knowing that you can get your machine repaired if it breaks down.

Price

And of course, you also need to think about the price. We’ve tried to include only the elliptical machines that offer the best value for money in this list.

Expect to pay anywhere from under $100 to $500 for a good quality elliptical but you even find value for money space-saving ellipticals at the $300 mark. More expensive models will be more durable, customizable, and offer better performance than cheaper models.


6 Best Elliptical Machine for Small Spaces Reviewed

1. Schwinn Compact 411

Our top pick for small spaces

Type

Stationary

Stride Length

18 Inches

Weight Of Unit

101.41 Lbs.

Weight Capacity

300 Lbs.

Dimensions (L x W x H)

70.1 x 28.1 x 63.1 Inches

Display

5.5” LCD Display and Media Rack

The Schwinn 411 is an excellent option if you're looking for a compact elliptical with a decent stride length. Despite only being small in size, the Schwinn 411 has a stride length of 18", making it one of the best ellipticals for small spaces.

This machine has 16 different resistance settings to choose from, meaning you can easily vary your workouts and increase the resistance as your fitness levels improve.

The Schwinn 411 has a streamlined console that displays time, speed, calories, heart rate, and distance. It also has a media rack that holds tablets and phones so that you can watch workout videos or tv shows while working out.

"Ordered this as a gift to my family. We have been lazy, and not hitting the gym as much as we should. The assembly was pretty easy, and all parts light. We have all had one workout on it, and love it.”

- Review on Schwinn website

The Schwinn 411 features moving and fixed handlebars so that you can choose your preferred style of workout. Both sets of handlebars have heart rate sensors too.

What's great about purchasing a Schwinn elliptical machine is that you can also access the 'Around the World' app, which allows you to immerse yourself in different locations around the globe as you work out. The app has some free courses to try, but you can also purchase an additional subscription.

All in all, it's a durable and compact elliptical machine which is why it's our top pick for small spaces.

Pros

  • Long stride length
  • Built-in heart rate sensors
  • 16 resistance settingsf

Cons

  • No warranty

2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902

Best cheap elliptical

Type

Air Glider

Stride Length

30 Inches

Weight Of Unit

N/A

Weight Capacity

220 Lbs.

Dimensions (L x W x H)

15 x 19 x 61. 5 Inches

Display

Yes

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Glider is a great option for someone who is looking to save as much space as possible. The glider has a relatively simplistic design, but it folds away easily when not in use, making it perfect for smaller spaces.

The elliptical has an impressive stride length for a small machine at around 30". It also has a convenient abdominal cushion that will support your muscles while working out. In addition to this, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Glider has ergonomic handlebars and easy-grip pedals.

“It was easy to set up. And very simple to use.” 

- Review on SunnyHealthandFitness.com

If you're on a budget, this elliptical offers real value for money and is by far the best cheap elliptical trainer for small spaces. Although the elliptical doesn't include any fancy features like heart monitoring or high-end tablets, it does have a small monitor that can help you to track your workouts properly.

It displays many important statistics, including the length of your workout, total distance, and calories burned. The only real downside to this machine is that it doesn't have any functions to change the resistance of your workouts.

If you're looking for a low-cost option that can help you to stay on top of your cardio workouts, this is it.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Easy to store
  • Abdominal cushion included

Cons

  • No heart rate sensors
  • Small and simplistic display console
  • No resistance settings

3. Cubii Pro

small under desk Model

Type

Under Desk

Stride Length

N/A

Weight Of Unit

32 Lbs.

Weight Capacity

N/A

Dimensions (L x W x H)

23.15 x 17.56 x 10 Inches

Display

No

The Cubii Pro is the perfect choice for people that have really limited space. Whether you want to burn some extra calories while you binge Netflix shows or stay active around the office, this is the compact elliptical for the job.

The Cubii Pro is one of the best small under desk elliptical machines as it is whisper quiet which means you won't distract the people around you if you plan on using the machine at work.

“Love it! Love I can sit and use this it’s so easy and actually does the exercise without much effort”

- Review on HighstreetTV.com

In addition to this, it is lightweight, so you can easily move it around your home and workout in different locations. One of the great features of the Cubii Pro is that it has Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can use the app to track all your workouts and sync the information with your FitBit or Apple data. The app also includes access to Cubii workouts and the Cubii Community.

The tiny machine also has 8 different resistance levels, so you can even scale up the intensity as your fitness improves.

The Cubii Pro is for anyone who wants to make the most of their time and get fit while they sit. It fits easily under any desk and is a great addition to any office setup.

Pros

  • Fits into any space
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 8 resistance levels

Cons

  • Limited workout options due to size

4. Exerpeutic 1000XL

quietest elliptical

Type

Stationary

Stride Length

13 Inches

Weight Of Unit

76 Lbs.

Weight Capacity

300 Lbs.

Dimensions (L x W x H)

23 W x 54 L x 76 Inches

Display

Large LCD display

We think this heavy-duty elliptical from Exerpeutic is the best quiet elliptical for small apartments. It’s absolutely whisper-quiet thanks to the superb, precision-balanced, dual-direction flywheel and V belt drive, so you can watch TV or listen to music while you workout without any annoying mechanical noise interference. If noise levels are a big concern, this might be the elliptical you’re looking for.

It has one of the most heavy-duty constructions we’ve seen in this price range and an impressive 300lbs weight capacity, making it a great choice for big and tall users. It’s a little on the heavier side and doesn’t fold away, but you can still move it around from room to room easily enough thanks to the transportation wheels on the front. Just lift it up from the back and push it along.

It’s pretty compact, too, and the pedals don't seem to extend too far out beyond the body of the machine, so you don't need to give it too much clearance. That being said, the pedals get pretty high off the ground, so make sure you leave at least 21 inches of clearance from the ceiling.

It comes with a heart rate monitor, magnetic tension knob with 8 adjustable levels, large LCD monitor that displays distance, calories burned, speed, time, pulse and scan, and more.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Whisper quiet
  • Excellent performance
  • Lots of adjustability
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Assembly takes a while
  • Quite noisy

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3804

Trusted Brand

Type

Stationary

Stride Length

13.5 Inches

Weight Of Unit

81.42 Lbs.

Weight Capacity

285 Lbs.

Dimensions (L x W x H)

43L x 24W x 62.5H

Display

Yes (& Device Holder)

Moving on to the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3804, another one of the best home ellipticals for small spaces. It features 8 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance, transportation wheels, a performance monitor, a heavy-duty steel frame, and full-motion arm exercisers.

The arm extensions utilize a full range of motion to engage more muscle groups and stabilizer muscles in your pecs, traps, biceps, and pecs.

Considering the price range, this is impressively high-tech. The performance monitor provides a ton of data and displays everything from your RPM to your heart rate, temperature, and more.

And speaking of heart rate, this also comes with an advanced pulse sensor that monitors your heart rate while you workout. You can also take advantage of the built-in sixty-second recovery heart rate test to monitor your recovery time and check your heart health.

Not only that, but the SF-E3803’s heart rate monitor even doubles up as a body fat percentage tracker, so you can monitor your body composition to track changes in your lean body mass and body fat over time.

Pros

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Small and compact
  • Full range arm exercisers
  • Body fat tracker
  • Heavy-duty build

Cons

  • Quite noisy

6. Stamina Inmotion

Popular space-saving model

Type

Under desk

Stride Length

N/A

Weight Of Unit

29.45 Lbs.

Weight Capacity

N/A

Dimensions (L x W x H)

20.1 x 12.8 x 12.4 Inches

Display

Small Monitor

Last but not least, we have the Stamina Inmotion 55-1602, another super popular space-saving model by a leading exercise equipment brand.

This is another under desk model or 'mini strider.' It’s really tiny and designed to slot neatly under your desk so that you can work out while you’re gaming, working at the office, watching TV, or anything else.

It’s a passive, low-attention way to keep moving and burn calories throughout your day even while you're sitting down, so it's great for busy professionals who don’t have a lot of spare time to exercise.

It’s very robust and durable, with a sturdy steel frame and strong, textured foot pedals. You can use it standing, sitting down, or put it in ‘reverse mode’ to activate different muscle groups and change things up. It’s also very adjustable; you can turn the tension knob to increase or decrease the resistance and tailor the workout to your goals.

And despite being so small, it still includes a monitor (albeit a tiny one). The small multifunction monitor displays all the key stats to help you monitor things like your stride count, calories burned, and exercise time.

Pros

  • A passive way to exercise
  • Super small and compact
  • Durable
  • Adjustable and versatile

Cons

  • Doesn’t work your arm muscles
  • Short stride length

Common Types of Ellipticals Fit for Small Rooms

Stand Up/Stationary

Stationary ellipticals are freestanding, upright machines. They’re not foldable, making them less portable and better for permanent setups, but they can be even more compact as they usually house their drives at the center or front. There are lots of very small stationary ellipticals out there that are great for small spaces.

Folding

Folding ellipticals can be folded up for easy storage, so they take up no space when not in use. That being said, they’re usually rear-drive, so they're typically a little bulkier than stationary ellipticals when in use.

Under Desk

Under desk ellipticals are a little different in that they don’t have any arm pieces. They’re basically just foot pedals that allow you to move your legs in an elliptical motion while you’re sitting at your desk.

This is a great way to burn some extra calories while working at the home office, and they take up barely any space, but they only workout your legs and don’t offer the same kind of quality workout as complete ellipticals with arms.

Air Walker/Glider

Air walkers are a variation of ellipticals that use a different range of motion. Instead of moving your legs in an elliptical fashion, you keep them straight and move them back and forth in a less-natural arc motion. They tend to be less expensive than elliptical machines, as well as smaller and more lightweight.


Elliptical Vs Treadmills: Which Is Better For Smaller Spaces?

Elliptical trainers and treadmills are two of the most popular home gym machines for aerobic exercises. Both are great for burning calories and simulate a natural jogging/walking motion. The question is: which is best for small spaces?

While it depends on the specific model you choose, most ellipticals tend to be narrower and occupy less total space than treadmills because they don't need a running belt. According to Consumer Reports, treadmills require around 15 to 20 sq ft on average, while Ellipticals tend to be around 8 to 12 inches narrower, which means they’re probably the better choice for smaller spaces.

That being said, it ultimately depends on your fitness goals and individual needs. Ellipticals are great for low-impact workouts and put less pressure on your joints than running on a treadmill. They also work out your arms.

On the other hand, many fitness enthusiasts find the motion of running on treadmills more 'natural.' Plus, jogging on treadmills allows you to burn a little more calories and build up more leg strength and speed.


Tips for Setting Up Ellipticals in Small Spaces

  • Measure Your Available Space 
    Before you start assembling your elliptical, measure your available space, so you’re absolutely sure you’ll have enough room. Grab a measuring tape and take measurements of the length and width of floor space available, as well as the height from floor to ceiling.
  • Follow The 8 By 4 Rule 
    Ideally, you should place the elliptical somewhere with at least 8 ft long and 4 ft width of floor space. If your machine is very compact, you might be able to get away with a little less than that.
  • Leave A Buffer Zone 
    Make sure you leave around 15” of clearance between each side of the treadmill and the walls.
  • Don’t Forget About The Headroom 
    If possible, place your elliptical somewhere with high enough ceilings that you have at least 4-6 inches of headroom when you’re using it.
  • Organize The Parts First 
    Before you begin assembly, check you have all the parts you need and organize them to know where each piece is when you need it.
  • Clean regularly 
    To keep your machine in tip-top condition, make sure you clean it regularly following your manufacturer’s guidelines. You might want to wipe it down with a lint cloth after each use.
  • Keep it out of the reach of children 
    Ellipticals can be dangerous if misused. Store it somewhere out of reach of children and lock it when not in use.
  • Always follow correct posture when using your elliptical 
    For safety, pay attention to your posture when using your machine. Maintain an upright posture and keep a firm grip on the handgrips without putting your wrists in an awkward position.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much space does an elliptical take up?

The size of ellipticals varies from machine to machine, but a typical elliptical would be somewhere around 70” long by 30” wide, give or take. You’ll also need to leave adequate clearance space for the pedals, so all in all, you'll probably need around 100" length and 50" width of floor space.

How much clearance do I need for a small elliptical machine?

We’d recommend leaving at least 15” of clearance space on all sides of the elliptical, but the exact amount of clearance you’ll need will depend on the model of elliptical you’re using and how far the pedals extend out when in use.

Are smaller ellipticals worth investing in?

Yes, if your goal is to lose weight or tone up your arms and legs. Mini ellipticals are just as effective as full-sized models for burning calories and provide enough resistance to give your leg and arm muscles a good workout. More expensive brands offer more features and functionality if you want spend more cash.

Which muscles are targeted by these small elliptical machines?

It depends on the machine. Small elliptical machines with movable arms will work all the muscles in your arms (biceps, triceps, forearm muscles, etc.) and legs (quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves). 

Those without movable arms mainly target the leg muscles. Ellipticals can also activate your core muscles and give your abs and, to a lesser extent, your back and chest a workout.

How long do ellipticals last on average?

It depends on how often you use it, but elliptical machines last 10-20 years on average.

Where is the best place to buy small-sized elliptical machines?

You can get some fantastic deals on small-sized elliptical machines on Amazon. It’s also worth checking the websites of the most popular elliptical brands.


Conclusion

So, let’s recap: what is the best space-saving elliptical? In our opinion, it has to be the Schwinn Compact 411. It’s a fantastic, compact little machine that offers excellent performance and durability.

We hope you found this guide to the best ellipticals for small spaces useful. Good luck!