5 Best Compact Elliptical Trainers: Perfect for Small Spaces & Apartments

Compact and folding elliptical machines are relatively new concepts in the exercise industry. It could be that the need to save on space has only just emerged, but that is a topic for another day.

The first indoor exercise machines were invented in the late 1700s. These were huge machines that filled whole rooms, and moving them from place to place was a nightmare.

The first elliptical, called the EFX 544, was produced by Precor, in 1995. It instantly became a hit in gyms, but even then, the demand for compact machines had not caught on.

However, in the last decade or so, the market for home fitness equipment has grown exponentially. Due to the limited space available, customers demand new designs that allow better portability and storage.

Bowflex Max Trainer M7
Value for Money
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905...
Body Champ 3-in-1 Exercise Machine,...
EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical...
Weight Capacity
300 lbs
220 lb
250 lbs
220 lbs
Stride Length
-
11 inches
12 inches
11 inches
Prime
-
-
Bowflex Max Trainer M7
Weight Capacity
300 lbs
Stride Length
-
Prime
-
Value for Money
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905...
Weight Capacity
220 lb
Stride Length
11 inches
Prime
Body Champ 3-in-1 Exercise Machine,...
Weight Capacity
250 lbs
Stride Length
12 inches
Prime
EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical...
Weight Capacity
220 lbs
Stride Length
11 inches
Prime
-

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Compact Ellipticals for Small Spaces

There are many models or compact or otherwise foldable ellipticals in the market. If you’re shopping around for one, you have to do your due diligence and find out as much as you can about them.

While there is a lot of information available online, the best way to get reliable information is from users. We collected feedback from people who currently own compact and folding elliptical machines and used it to rank the best ones available.

This is a reliable guide that will be of invaluable help to you as you look for the best buy.

#1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Compact Elliptical

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Compact Elliptical

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Sunny Health & Fitness is a well-known name in the fitness industry. Its SF-E905 is the best compact elliptical for small spaces on our list.

At 39 x 17 inches of footprint (when operational), this compact elliptical just needs 4.6 square feet of space to fit in when you are working out! In the resting position, the length of this compact elliptical trainer is 28 inches. So its space footprint during storage is a mere 3.3 square feet.

Just to put that into context, a modest 10 feet by 10 feet bedroom measures 100 square feet. You should be able to fit in this machine in most apartments and condos.

In terms of height, the handles are 57 inches. The step height is 14 inches. So do remember to add that to your height when measuring out the ceiling clearance.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Compact Elliptical

As for the workout features, this elliptical trainer has a compact screen that measures the pulse, time, speed, distance and calories. It also has a pulse monitor.

You can vary the intensity of your workout with 8 resistance levels. You have both, full motion handle bars and hand rests to rest your upper body if needed.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Compact Elliptical

Features and Benefits

  • Extremely compact
  • Very well priced
  • 8 resistance levels for different workout intensity levels
  • Max weight capacity of 220 pounds
  • Digital monitor to display the vital statistics

Verdict

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Compact Elliptical is a strictly practical, no-frills machine. It will give you all the cardio you need, but you will have to find a way to motivate and entertain yourself while at it.

However, for the price, it is a great option, especially if you’re just starting your exercise journey.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905...
  • RESISTANCE: Easily adjust the intensity of your workout with the twist of the precise micro-controller equipped with 8 levels of magnetic resistance.
  • DIGITAL MONITOR WITH PULSE: Follow along with your workout progress on the digital monitor that displays your time, speed, distance, calories, and pulse.
  • ANTI-SLIP HANDLEBARS AND FOOT PADS: Complete a safe and stable workout thanks to the anti-slip handlebars and footpads.
  • STABILIZER: Achieve smooth and even movement by leveling your elliptical bike with the onboard stabilizers.
  • COMPACT: This compact machine is ideal for people looking to achieve an incredible workout, but don’t have much space to work with.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#2. Body Champ Three-in-One Trio Trainer (BRT 6300)

Body Champ Three-in-One Trio Trainer (BRT 6300)

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Just like the name suggests, this is not just an ordinary elliptical. The Body Champ Trio Trainer was created by Body Champ to give three functionalities in the same machine. These include an elliptical, a recumbent bike, and an upright bike.

The most attractive thing about it is that it manages to solve your space issues in two ways. The main one is that the three functions mean you don’t have to buy any of the other two machines. Secondly, it is incredibly compact with a footprint of just 53″L x 28″W x 61″H compared to a full-size treadmill such as the Sole E35 that measures 58″L x 27″W x 83″H.

It features a 20 lb (9 kg) that serves all three functions. The drive is the usual V-belt found in most industrial applications.

Body Champ Three-in-One Trio Trainer (BRT 6300)

The Pedals of the Trio Runner are a little different. They are more like two sets of pedals integrated into one, with a large flat part for the elliptical function and another smaller one for the spinning.

Unfortunately, this dual function leaves them without cushioning. You can wear exercise shoes instead. The biking part also lacks a strap, so that is also another inconvenience you might have to deal with.

This machine makes use of a magnetic resistance system with 16 levels. These can be used for all three functions, and adjustments can be made easily using the numbered quick-select buttons or the Up/Down ones on the console.

Due to its design, the Body Champ Trio Runner does not feature an incline system.

Body Champ Three-in-One Trio Trainer (BRT 6300)

The console is also quite basic. It has a matrix display without backlights. However, it is wide and multi-paneled, which means that it can display all the data you need on the same screen without the need to press a lot of buttons.

Also, no speaker or fan is available, and there is no holder available for your media devices.

  • The most obvious advantage is the 3-in-1 functionality, which enables you to get all your cardio needs from one machine.
  • Compact design is perfect for small rooms.
  • Magnetic resistance for smooth and silent operation.
  • Sturdy build to ensure long service life.
  • Very affordable, gives you great value for money.
  • No incline option is available.
  • Bland display, which even lacks backlighting for use in dark rooms.
  • No speakers, tablet holder, or other forms of entertainment is available.

Verdict

Body Champ trio is a strictly practical, no-frills machine. It will give you all the cardio you need, but you will have to find a way to motivate and entertain yourself while at it.

However, for the price, it is a great option, especially if you’re just starting your exercise journey.

Sale
Body Champ 3-in-1 Exercise Machine,...
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL DESIGN: With a patented 3-in-1 design, this Trio Trainer can function as an elliptical trainer, upright stationary cycle, and recumbent bike. Save space and get all the cardio exercises you love with this multi-function exercise machine
  • PLUS TWO: In addition to its patented 3-in-1 design, this home trainer features 2 additional upper-body stance options. It comes with 3 different sets of integrated handlebars to choose from: pro cycle, dual action, and wraparound
  • HASSLE-FREE TRANSITIONS: The innovative design of this Trio Trainer allows for effortless transitions without the need to dismount or adjust equipment. Easily adjust the magnetic resistance to customize your workout to your needs
  • FLUIDITY FLYWHEEL SYSTEM: The smooth magnetic-encased flywheel system provides an ultra-quiet motion so you can work out early in the morning or late at night
  • PERFECT FOR HOME GYM: Because it provides so many workout possibilities, it is perfect for your home gym setup. The transport wheel makes this machine easy to transport and store when not in use

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#3. Bowflex Max Trainer M7

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

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The Bowflex Max Trainer is an exciting new design first introduced in late 2016. When you first look at it, you will see that it looks very different. That is because the drive system is vertical instead of horizontal, as is the case with most other ellipticals.

The vertical design effectively cuts the size of the machine by almost half, making it an excellent option for small rooms. It also means that you do not have to sacrifice too much for size, because it is still an elliptical with full specs.

First of all, this elliptical is supported by a tubular steel frame held together by precision welding. It makes the whole machine durable and sturdy even under intense use and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

The other important feature is the resistance system. It combines air and magnetic resistance to give an overall experience that is tuned to your needs. That happens because air resistance improves with speed, which means that resistance automatically depending on how fast you pedal.

However, there are also buttons on the console for manual resistance adjustment.

The other important feature is that this machine is, by design, more like a stepper. The pedals move in a distinctively vertical (10″) and horizontal (10.1″) fashion. However, the pedals articulate with the movement so that it is more oblique. Overall, it resembles the motion of climbing stairs.

An advantage of this design is that there are virtually no height limitations to those who can use the machine.

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

As for the console, it features a very eccentric design that resembles a tachometer. It has a radial dial and a narrow display below it. Between them, the two displays show all the information you need. This information includes includes pulse, cadence, resistance, speed, time, and calories burned.

  • More compact than most other ellipticals, occupies only 49″L x 30.5″W x 65.5″H
  • Innovative air and magnetic resistance system.
  • Articulating pedals to reduce joint impact.
  • Stylish design.
  • Very sturdy build.
  • It lacks an HD display for entertainment, as well as a tablet holder.
  • It lacks a sound system for entertainment.
  • If you’re after a true elliptical, the step-like motion of the M7 might put you off.

Verdict

The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is an innovatively designed elliptical that will give you the full workout experience without taking much of your space.

However, it lacks much of the media features you might want, such as a USB, Bluetooth, and music. If you do not mind that, this machine is worth the money and will give you the workout of your life.

Bowflex Max Trainer M7
  • 11 workout programs and 20 levels of computer controlled resistance available
  • Syncs with Free Max Trainer app to set, monitor, and track goals while streaming video content from professional trainers that will instruct, motivate and help you be more successful with Max (Available for Apple iOS and Android devices)
  • M7 performance targeted programming learns and adapts to each user’s fitness level over time to set new targets
  • Oversized, high contrast, dual backlit LCD/LED display for easy use
  • Feeling good and want to extend your workout? Add a little more time to your workout with the press of a button through the Add Time feature

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#4. Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Exerpeutic 5000

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This compact elliptical from Exerpeutic is the definition of performance and affordability. It is fairly priced and includes some features you’d find in higher priced peers.

First, and most importantly for your needs, in this case, is that it is a very compact machine. It measures 54″L x 23″W x 76″H, which is impressive for such a good elliptical. Its floor footprint is 8.6 square feet.

The other advantage is the 13″ stride length. Given that it is a rear-drive type elliptical, that is a very good figure. Most people, regardless of their height, can use it comfortably.

Exerpeutic 5000

This compact elliptical uses a dual-drive system, with two belts and two flywheels. For this reason, it operates very smoothly and silently and is guaranteed to last for a very long time. It also requires very little maintenance to keep in good working condition.

Even with its compact size, this elliptical still packs a punch with its resistance. It makes use of an eddy current magnetic resistance system with 24 levels. It is the most advanced there is and allows for effortless control with just the touch of a button.

A console is available with this machine that has an elementary display. That is because it is not backlit, is barely 5″ in size, and is only there to display your exercise data such as time, cadence or RPM, calories burned, resistance level, distance covered, among others. It does come with a tablet holder but lacks speakers for music.

Exerpeutic 5000

Features and Benefits

  • Affordable, giving you great value for money.
  • Well built, durable, and strong.
  • Compact and easy to move with the wheels provided.
  • 24 level magnetic resistance system.
  • Tablet holder available.

Verdict

The Exerpeutic is an elliptical machine designed to give quality exercise without taking up too much space. If you are not put off by the lack of fancy features, then go for it by all means.

Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty...
  • Your purchase includes One Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Elliptical, 1302 model | Without Bluetooth
  • Elliptical dimensions – 23" W x 54" L x 76" H | Item weight – 76 lbs. | Weight Capacity – 300 lbs. | Stride length – 13” | Ceiling height clearance – Consider the height of the tallest potential user, and add 21 inches minimum
  • 8 Level magnetic tension resistance adjustments can provide the user with a more challenging workout
  • An easy to read large window LCD display that indicates distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan and target zone heart rate monitoring
  • The precision balanced flywheel and V- belt drive provide a smooth and quiet operation. It will not interfere with watching TV or listening to music

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#5. EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

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Another great option for a compact elliptical trainer for small spaces is the EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Trainer. Measuring only 41″L x 26″W x 59.5″H, this elliptical trainer’s foot print is a meager 7.4 square feet.

The small size does have an effect on the stride length because it has only 11″. Such a short stride length makes it inappropriate for tall users who might feel that it is too constrained.

The machine features 8 levels of magnetic resistance with a manual adjustment. What happens is that there is a knob connected through a tension wire to the magnetic pads. Turning the knob moves them closer or farther away from the flywheel, thus varying the resistance.

EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

The console is not very advanced, which is expected for this price range. It features an unlit LCD on which you can see your exercise information such as mileage, time, calories burned, RPM, among others.

It does come with a phone holder. Advertised as a tablet holder, it really is a large phone holder, not wide enough to fit in a full 10-inch tablet.

For pulse monitoring, there are sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars. The console is not telemetrically enabled to sync with chest straps. Neither does it offer media options like speakers or a device holder.

EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Features and Benefits

  • Solid construction, which if used within the weight limit, will likely last a lifetime.
  • Very smooth and quiet operation.
  • Very affordable, presumably due to the lack of fancy features.
  • 8 level magnetic resistance.

Verdict

The Body-Solid Best Fitness would give you the idea that it is a small machine for small individuals, but that is very wrong. Even medium height and slightly taller ones can use it comfortably with a few minutes of getting used to.

With its solid construction and efficient performance, it is set to last you for many years. However, if you need entertainment, you will have to bring your own.

EFITMENT Magnetic Elliptical...
  • COMPACT - A small footprint design makes this a space saver and ideal for small rooms, apartments, or anywhere where a tight space is required
  • TOTAL BODY WORKOUT - Provides a no impact, smooth flowing workout for your upper and lower body. Perfect for a user who wants all the benefits from running, but is safer on the knees and incorporates more upper body movement for a total body workout
  • DIGITAL DISPLAY MONITOR - The LCD monitor displays time, speed, distance, calories burned, pulse rate and scan
  • QUIET AND MOBILE - A belt driven flywheel ensures a quiet, smooth and maintenance free workout and the E006 incorporates transportation wheels for easy mobility to move and store away your equipment out of sight
  • PULSE RATE MONIOTORING - The hand pulse sensors built into the stationary bars helps to monitor and maintain a steady target heart rate, useful for those who want ultimate cardiovascular endurance, respitory endurance and fat burning

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Compact Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide

Buying a compact ellipticals is a tricky business. It is the same with small city cars and other small machines, namely, that something has to give. However, you do not have to sacrifice too much for the sake of space.

Here is what you need to look for to get the best compact ellipticals for your money, other than the apparent space requirements.
Stride Length

Some manufacturers tend to scrimp on the stride length because of the design limitations. Typically, a stride length of 18″ to 22″ would be advisable. For compacts, 14″ and 16″ could be good, but not for very tall people. Bear in mind, however, that the path design also matters. You can have a short stride length but a very comfortable experience.

Quality Standards: It matters how well an elliptical is built and assembled since it directly influences performance and durability. Only go for the best, preferably those with positive user reviews.

Resistance and Incline: Some manufacturers tend to limit the resistance and incline in an attempt to save on space and cost. If you want a machine on which you can truly challenge yourself, make sure it has some reasonable levels of resistance and incline. Even manual ones are better than none.

Extras: Once you have a working elliptical, it also matters how well it motivates you to work out. For that reason, any other feature that the manufacturer throws in is a big plus. Bluetooth speakers, tablet holder, or telemetry will all be a significant advantage to you.

Conclusion

There was a time when exercise machines and equipment belonged strictly in gyms; size did not matter then. Nowadays, however, you want convenience more than anything else, and that is why getting a good machine that will fit the small confines of your home is essential.

It is possible to have an elliptical machine small enough to fit your home and budget, and good enough to give you the workout you need. When you find the compact elliptical you want, go for it and fulfill the next step on your fitness journey.

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