Best Compact Elliptical Machines 2020

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Ellipticals are excellent at providing an effective cardio workout while also being low-impact. However, these machines can be quite large. Luckily, compact elliptical machines offer many of the same benefits but take up much less space. 

We reviewed many different machines to help you choose only the best. Out of all those we looked at, the Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine clearly rose to the top as the best one available. Its ability to sync with various apps and super compact design stole the show. 

We also liked the Cubii Pro Seated Under-Desk Elliptical due to its very compact design, and you can place it almost anywhere. It is suitable for homes or offices with a smaller footprint. You can also set it under your desk, and it’s best for people who are always on the go. 

Table of Contents

Things we like:

  • Very compact and durable
  • Offers a powerful 20-inch stride
  • Dual Track LCD displays
  • Compatible with RunSocial and Schwinn Trainer App
  • 29 workout programs
  • 25 resistance levels

Things we don’t like:

  • Fan isn’t very powerful

Specifications 

  • Resistance: 25 levels
  • Stride Length: 20-inches
  • Dimensions: 42.5 in. L x 25 in. W x 17 in. H
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Warranty: Frame: 10 years| Mechanical: 2 years| Electronics: 1 year| Labor: 90 days

The Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine is a suitable choice for those who don’t have room for a full-sized elliptical, but still want to stand up while working out. This machine is built very similarly to your usual elliptical, except that it is far shorter than most options.

You should purchase this option if you’re just looking for a smaller version of an elliptical. There are a few different versions of this elliptical available, though we reviewed the 470 specifically. This elliptical is best for at-home gyms since it still does take up quite a bit of room. 

One of the best features this elliptical has is its ability to sync with various apps. It can connect with the RunSocial app, which allows you to run through 19 different locations and 27 different routes with friends. 

If you have a workout partner or just want to break up the relative sameness of your workout routine, this is a great option. It is also compatible with other apps, so if there is a particular app in mind you want to use, be sure to check those apps’ compatibility specifically. 

Overall, this machine is extremely small. However, it still offers the usual 20-inch path stride you’ll find in more massive ellipticals. It also has 25 different levels of resistance, allowing you to change the difficulty to match your fitness level and is equipped with 29 pre-program workouts to choose from if you are on the go. This machine is a good option for those who are new to the fitness world because of this feature. 

The console keeps up with various measurements, including the time, speed, distance, calories you’ve burned, and your heart rate. There are two sets of handlebars: one movable set and one stationary set. The fixed handlebars had a grip heart rate monitor, which is shown on the digital display screen. With all these features and a lower price point compared to other fancier brands, Schwinn 470 Elliptical became the best pick of Fitboot. 

Things we like:

  • Designed to be used underneath a desk
  • Whisper-quiet operation
  • Bluetooth capabilities

Things we don’t like:

  • No anti-slide feature
  • Difficulties connecting to FitBit Apps

Specifications

  • Resistance: 8 levels
  • Stride Length: Not specified
  • Dimensions: 23.15 in. L x 17.56 in. W x 9.77 in. H
  • Weight Capacity: N/A since its used while sitting
  • Warranty: Frame: 1 year | Mechanical & Electronics: 1 year

If you’re looking for something super small and compact, this under-desk elliptical by Cubii is the one to get. It is designed to be used while sitting down on the couch or at a desk. This extremely compact elliptical only comes with the pedals, so you can easily slide it under the bed or place it underneath your desk. The pedals are tilted, making them comfortable to push while in a seated position. It comes in two colors: black and white, though the white color option has quite a bit of black on it as well. 

This elliptical trainer is Bluetooth compatible and can sync with several different devices and apps. It can connect to your iPhone and Android to display how many steps you’ve taken, the distance you’ve traveled, and the number of calories you’ve burned. You can also connect it to your Fitbit and Android Health Kit to keep track of your exercise on those devices. 

Because it is designed to be used underneath a desk, this machine is very quiet. It won’t disturb your colleagues or make you turn up the TV.  Those who visit your office will be able to hear it, but it isn’t intrusive. It only produces a small humming sound, similar to a small fan. However, although Cubii is known for being a super compact elliptical trainer, Fitboot finds it quite heavy for its size. Other than that we find it very useful for people who work in offices but still want to do some light workouts. 

Things we like:

  • Durable and Maintenance-free
  • Targets upper and lower muscles
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Large weight capacity

Things we don’t like:

  • Some users report fan malfunction

Specifications

  • Resistance: 8
  • Stride Length: 11 inches
  • Dimensions: 41 in. L x 26 in. W x 59.9 in. H
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Warranty: Frame: Lifetime| Mechanical & Electronics: 5 years | Labor: 2 years

 

One of the best things about ellipticals is that they provide a full-body workout,  allowing you to work for many different muscle groups at once. However, this is not always the case with compact elliptical machines, as they are sometimes missing the handle portion of the machine. If getting a full-body workout is particularly important to you, consider getting this compact elliptical trainer. 

This elliptical is quite small and short. But, it does come with moveable handles, allowing you to exercise your arms as well as your legs. It also comes with features like an LCD monitor that keeps track of your speed, distance, time, the calories burned you’ve burned, and pulse rate when you use the built-in heart rate monitor.  

If you’re looking to ensure you get an appropriate cardiovascular workout, this pulse rate monitor is extremely useful. It is built into the stationary handlebars, though you do not have to have your hands on it constantly to reap the benefits. Just putting your hands on the stationary unit a few times during your workout can help maximize your workout. 

This elliptical also comes with a belt-driven flywheel, making it very quiet and smooth. You do not have to perform regular maintenance on the ellipticals flywheel, and it is very long-lasting due to the design. The elliptical also comes with transportation wheels, which allows you to move the elliptical around for storage. This machine is quite helpful for those with small, enclosed spaces that can’t dedicate a space for a workout machine. 

This compact elliptical also comes with non-slip foot pedals. For safety purposes, this feature is beneficial. The last thing you want is to slip during one of your workouts. It also uses powerful resistance, ensuring that it is maintenance-free. Plus, the resistance also ensures that switching between levels is smooth and easy. It also makes the machine quieter, since there isn’t anything touching the flywheel. 

Things we like:

  • Syncs with the Max Trainer app
  • Large weight capacity
  • Dual, backlit LCD display

Things we don’t like:

  • Some reports of knocking sounds while in use
  • May not be suitable for taller people

Specifications

  • Resistance: 8
  • Stride Length: 11 inches
  • Dimensions: 41 in. L x 26 in. W x 59.9 in. H
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Warranty: Frame: Lifetime| Mechanical & Electronics: 5 years | Labor: 2 years

One of the best things about ellipticals is that they provide a full-body workout, allowing you to work for many different muscle groups at once. However, this is not always the case with compact elliptical machines, as they are sometimes missing the handle portion of the machine. If getting a full-body workout is particularly important to you, consider getting this compact elliptical trainer. 

This elliptical is quite small and short. But, it does come with movable handles, allowing you to exercise your arms as well as your legs. It also comes with features like an LCD monitor that keeps track of your speed, distance, time, the calories burned you’ve burned, and pulse rate when you use the built-in heart rate monitor.  

If you’re looking to ensure you get an appropriate cardiovascular workout, this pulse rate monitor is extremely useful. It is built into the stationary handlebars, though you do not have to have your hands on it constantly to reap the benefits. Just putting your hands on the stationary unit a few times during your workout can help maximize your workout. 

This elliptical also comes with a belt-driven flywheel, making it very quiet and smooth. You do not have to perform regular maintenance on the ellipticals flywheel, and it is very long-lasting due to the design. The elliptical also comes with transportation wheels, which allows you to move the elliptical around for storage. This machine is quite helpful for those with small, enclosed spaces that can’t dedicate a space for a workout machine. 

This compact elliptical also comes with non-slip foot pedals. For safety purposes, this feature is beneficial. The last thing you want is to slip during one of your workouts. It also uses powerful resistance, ensuring that it is maintenance-free. Plus, the resistance also ensures that switching between levels is smooth and easy. It also makes the machine quieter, since there isn’t anything touching the flywheel. 

Things we like:

  • Powerful magnetic resistance
  • Large foot platforms
  • Display LCD with pulse sensor

Things we don’t like:

  • Not as durable as some other options

Specifications:

  • Resistance: 8 levels
  • Stride Length: 11 inches
  • Dimensions: 37.8 L x 26.6 W x 60 H
  • Weight Capacity: 220 pounds
  • Warranty: Frame: Lifetime| Mechanical & Electronics: 5 years | Labor: 2 years

Compared to the other elliptical machines we looked at, this one is far less expensive. Despite its lower price tag, it is still a suitable choice for most customers. One of the best features is that it comes with 8 levels of magnetic resistance. Since it uses magnets and not a resistance pad, switching between levels is more fluid, and the whole machine is a lot quieter while in use. 

There is a digital monitor screen that keeps track of how long you’ve been working out, the speed you’re going, how far you’ve run, and how many calories you’ve burned. There is also a built-in pulse monitor, allowing you to keep track of your heart rate while you’re working out. 

The handlebars and foot pads are designed to be anti-slip. There are two sets of handlebars: a set that moves and one that doesn’t. The fixed set is where the built-in pulse monitor is located. Not to mention that this machine is not only best for those on a strict budget but it’s one of the best compact ellipticals in terms of functionality and durability.

To prevent the elliptical machine from being unstable while you’re using it, it comes with built-in stabilizers. These stabilizers also help even out the movement and keep the machine from making too much noise. The whole elliptical machine is set on transportation wheels, so you can move it around your living space as you need to. If you don’t have a suitable space to put your elliptical machine, these wheels allow you to wheel it in and out of storage quite easily. 

Our Verdict

Out of all the compact ellipticals we reviewed, the Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine was by far the best on the market. It is very compact and designed to work in smaller spaces. Despite this, it also has a great stride length. Plus, it also is compatible with many different apps and electronic devices. Value wise, it’s price point is not as expensive as other fancier brand but you still reap the same benefits of those machines with higher price tag. This elliptical is also made to last given its 10 years warranty, so you don’t have to worry about repair and after-sales. 

Buyer’s Guide

 

Elliptical vs. Stepper: Which is better? 

It depends on which one you enjoy more. Overall, both are going to provide similar benefits. However, to lose weight or tone your muscles, you have to use whichever machine you choose. Because of this, it is always a better option to select a machine that you’re going to enjoy using. You need to identify your fitness goals, what type of exercise it involves and what your target areas are. Keeping these factors in mind will greatly help you identify which type of Elliptical Machine or Stepper to choose from.  Both Ellipticals and Steppers are good for cardio exercise, although some elliptical machines are designed for a more active workout, while some steppers are designed for light workouts. Ellipticals differ in size compared to steppers, so check your floor space before you purchase either one. Elliptical machines also come with more features than with steppers, some ellipticals tend to weigh heavier than steppers so always consider the use, features, weight, height, and space where you’re planning to place the machine.

How to choose the perfect elliptical trainer?

First, you need to know how much room you have to work with. If you have a permanent space for your compact elliptical, great, if not, you’ll need one that has transport wheels so you can store it away easily when you need to. Secondly, be sure you read through our reviews to learn about all the best machines on the market. There are quite a few options for you to choose from, depending on what you’re looking for. 

Compact Elliptical Machine Features to Consider

  • Stride length – One of the most important features to consider is a machine’s stride length. The stride length is how far your feet move when you use the machine. A small stride length can hurt your knees and provide an ineffective workout. After all, taking very little steps isn’t going to do much. Typically, the larger the steps, the more room an elliptical takes up. However, this is not always the case. Some compact machines have a unique design that allows them to provide a full stride length while also taking up little floor space. We have many of these options in our review section. 
  • Pedals – You should also consider how high a machine’s step is. For shorter people, having a very high step just isn’t going to work. You are going to have a tough time following the foot pedals and may end up injuring yourself. Very tall people might also have problems with some other machines if their steps aren’t high enough. Generally speaking, all the machines we reviewed are great for people of average height. However, be sure to read each review carefully to be certain.
  • Resistance levels – A vital feature of an elliptical is its resistance levels—the resistance of elliptical control how difficult it is. Most ellipticals have many different levels of resistance, allowing you to increase it as your endurance improves. The more resistance levels a machine has, the smaller the jump is between each level. Magnetic resistance is also better in general than resistance created with pads. This sort of resistance is smoother and doesn’t wear out. 
  • Incline or Decline level- Some ellipticals have an adjustable incline level, which makes it suitable for people of more heights. When the incline is adjustable, you can fix the machine to fit your height better, which provides a more effective workout and can prevent some injuries. Not all ellipticals have this feature, though, especially the compact variety. So, if you’re on the short or tall end of the spectrum, be sure the machine you choose features an adjustable incline. 
  • Computer Display – Most ellipticals come with a computer display. This computer keeps up with your speed, the distance you’ve traveled, the amount of time you’ve been working out, and a few other factors. Some computers are compatible with BlueTooth and can connect to apps on your phone, allowing you to keep track of your workout remotely. The exact things each computer keeps up with depends on the machine.
  • Warranty and Guarantee – Take a look at the company’s warranty and guarantee as well. Most companies offer some sort of guarantee on their product, allowing you to get your money back if the machine shows up damaged or breaks within a limited period. If you’re unhappy with the device you purchase, you can often return them under these guarantees as well. Warranties are similar, but sometimes only apply to specific parts. It might cover the machine’s computer, for instance, but not the pedals. Be sure to read over any implied warranty carefully. Some companies claim to offer a guarantee, but in reality, it only covers a minimal number of parts. 
  • Other Key Features – Many compact ellipticals are compatible with certain apps or electronic devices, like FitBits, for example. Others come with essential features like transportation wheels, which can help you store the whole machine away when you aren’t using it. Built-in pulse monitors and moveable handlebars are vital as well, though they are not always included on every compact elliptical. 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are the benefits of using a compact elliptical machine?

A compact elliptical machine takes up little space, while still allowing you the ability to get a full-body workout. Many of these machines also connect to apps, allowing you to track your workout easily and even follow online training videos. Of course, the exact benefits depend on the elliptical machine you choose. We recommend reading our reviews carefully and choosing which model best fits your situation and needs. 

Total body workout – Unlike some fancy exercise machines that only target specific parts of the body, an elliptical trainer can enhance your upper and lower body parts giving you a full body workout.

Weight loss journey – An elliptical can speed your weight loss, depending on the resistance level, a 30 minute workout in an elliptical can burn atleast 300-400 calories. If you want to perform exercises at the comfort of your home then consider buying an elliptical trainer, not only it can keep you fit but also it speeds up weight loss.

Affordable – Most of the ellipticals being sold in the market aren’t that expensive compared to other fancier exercise machines. You can always choose a mid-range or cheaper elliptical depending on your budget but reaping the same benefits as compared to the more expensive workout machines.

Scroll to Top