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 Elliptical Trainer)
Simpfree Elliptical Machine Trainer Magnetic Smooth Quiet Driven, Top...
62 Reviews
Simpfree Elliptical Machine Trainer Magnetic Smooth Quiet Driven, Top...
  • VARIOUS CHALLENGES: 8 levels of magnetic resistance adjustments can provide the user with a more challenging...
  • STURDY CONSTRUCTION: Tubular steel construction and a wide base provide secure stability and lasting...
  • SMOOTH AND QUIET DRIVEN: The precision balanced flywheel and V- belt drive provide a smooth and quiet...

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

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.


#2. Elliptical Trainer SF-E905 (With Meter Function)

Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer by Sunny Health & Fitness -...
628 Reviews
Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer by Sunny Health & Fitness -...
  • Micro-tension controller
  • Hand pulse monitoring system allows you to control your heartbeat
  • Meter function: Scan, Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Total Distance, Pulse

Enjoy all of the functions of a full-size elliptical machine with this easy to manage compact elliptical trainer. Measuring a total of 28 inches long, 17 inches wide and 57 inches high, this machine could easily be tucked away in a closet. Despite its small size, the small elliptical machine packs in a natural 11-inch stride that feels just like walking. This model also features small portability wheels so that you can easily store the machine without straining your muscles. Although this is one of the small elliptical machines, it can handle a user weight of up to 220 lbs.

As far as your workout, you can adjust resistance simply by turning a knob. In addition, this compact elliptical machine features a pulse monitor. Simply use the hand grips to check your heart rate as you workout. In addition, the unit includes a digital monitor screen. On the monitor, you can check your heart rate, distance, speed, calories burned and time.


  • Compact elliptical machine that can be moved easily using the wheels.
  • Full elliptical effect with both steps and arm bars for upper body resistance.
  • Features 8 levels of resistance.
  • Includes digital monitor.
  • Heart monitor included.

Bottom Line

As far as compact elliptical machines go, this option is full-functioning and includes all of the basic features. Given its relatively low cost, it offers great features with the heart-rate monitor, screen and resistance levels. Customers are also pleased with the product, giving a vote of confidence to potential clients. Overall, it’s a great, standard, compact elliptical for a steal of a price.



#3. Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical (Get Fit While You Sit)

Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical, Bluetooth Enabled, Sync with Fitbit...
422 Reviews
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical, Bluetooth Enabled, Sync with Fitbit...
  • Cubii is the leading compact ergonomic elliptical to work out while you sit at home and office.
  • Bluetooth enabled with the Cubii app to track your progress and sync to FitBit and Apple HealthKit
  • Low impact on joints with 8 levels of resistance to increase your activity over time.

This bluetooth enabled elliptical is a popular device thanks to its smooth, quiet functioning and solid construction. Customers consistently rave about the quality of the product and the great fitness results they are able to achieve by using the Cubii Pro on a regular basis. From weight loss to meeting their goals in steps, Cubii Pro users are able to make progress towards achieving their fitness goals.


  • Very compact portable elliptical you can use under your desk
  • Can be used in combination with the Cubii app that comes with the purchase
  • Can sync information to Fitbit
  • 8 levels of resistance to power your workout
  • Quiet as a whisper so that you can use it even in an office setting

Bottom Line

Cubii offers a quality product that pleases customers thanks to its solid construction and great workout potential. It’s compact and easy to use while working. The machine’s nearly silent hum is quiet enough for using in the office. Although it’s a bit pricier than other models, the Cubii Pro offers quality and features such as Bluetooth capability currently unmatched by other models.



#4. Cubii Jr. Desk Elliptical (Designed to be Whisper Quiet)

Cubii Jr: Desk Elliptical w/Built in Display Monitor, Easy Assembly,...
235 Reviews
Cubii Jr: Desk Elliptical w/Built in Display Monitor, Easy Assembly,...
  • WHISPER QUIET - Designed specifically to be whisper quiet, discretely workout at the office or home without...
  • DURABLE AND STURDY - We built Cubii to last and that means using better parts, better construction, and more...
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT- Patented ergonomic angles provide a smooth elliptical exercise that is low impact on...

From the makers of the popular Cubii Pro comes the Cubii Jr. For those who don’t care for the Bluetooth capabilities of the original Cubii, but still want a solid, high-quality under desk elliptical, the Cubii Jr. fits the bill. Featuring 8 resistance levels that allow you to burn up to 150 calories per hour, Cubii Jr. keeps you working towards your fitness goals, even while you’re sitting!


  • Compact, portable elliptical that can slide right under your desk
  • 8 levels of resistance so that you can adjust your workouts
  • So quiet that it can be used in an office setting

Bottom Line

If you love the idea of Cubii, but don’t need the extra bells and whistles such as bluetooth connectivity, Cubii Jr. is the perfect solution. At a more comfortable price point than the Cubii Pro, the Cubii Jr. offers great quality and excellent smooth, quiet performance.



#5. In-Motion Compact Strider by Stamina (Great for Gamers)

Stamina InMotion Compact Strider with Cords
556 Reviews
Stamina InMotion Compact Strider with Cords
  • Adjustable tension to control workout intensity level; Use while seated or while standing; The foot pedals can...
  • Convenient handle for easy portablility; Electronic fitness monitor displays number of strides per minute,...
  • Medium resistance tubes with padded, adjustable handles

This Stamina product differs in that it adds in an upper body element in the form of resistance cords. This unique, but very compact elliptical design offers the best of both worlds. You can count on the upper and lower body workout but avoid the large metal equipment. The Strider can be used in standing or sitting position with or without the cords. It offers adjustable resistance, a convenient handle for transport and a digital screen.


  • Very compact portable elliptical
  • Includes resistance cords for an upper body and lower body workout
  • Digital screen shows strides per minute, total strides, time and calories
  • Comes with a workout DVD
  • Adjustable resistance knob
  • Can go forwards or backward

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an extremely compact, portable elliptical machine, this is a great choice. You wont’ miss out on your upper body workout thanks to the resistance cords. However, you can also choose to use it at a desk and keep active while working or reading. The low price and decent quality make this compact elliptical a great value product.



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.