Elliptical Machine Trainers Gym

The 5 Best Compact Elliptical Machines for 2023

Elliptical machines are a low-impact alternative to treadmills for cardio workouts at home, but they often have a large footprint. So, if space is at a premium, which is the best compact elliptical for you?

In addition to being easier on your joints, using an elliptical still gives you the health benefits of a high-impact workout.

Multiple studies have shown that people who use one can achieve a higher heart rate than using a treadmill and better leg muscle activation. And, ellipticals provide a killer upper body workout.

Having said that, finding the smallest elliptical machine can be problematic because manufacturers sacrifice quality for cost. We’ve done some investigation and ask you to follow our guide on the 5 best compact elliptical machines for 2021.

What to do before buying compact elliptical machines?

So you’ve decided to get a small elliptical to realize your fitness goals. Here’s what you should think about before pulling out your wallet.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, when buying any home fitness equipment, pick a spot in your home and measure it. This includes the ceiling height. That way you’ll know how big of a machine your space can hold and how much headroom you need.

Consider your needs and try to make a fitness schedule so that you’ll actually use the machine. Because once you’ve bought it, you’ve already made that commitment.

Lastly, determine your budget. This will also depend on how much use you’ll get out of your equipment.

Choosing compact elliptical machines

Knowing how to choose the right elliptical machine is the key to your enjoyment and motivation to use your equipment. We’ve broken down the components to help you choose the best compact elliptical.

Dimensions: Use those handy measurements of your space and compare the footprint and ceiling height of the elliptical machine. Some compact ellipticals fold away, which makes it more convenient.

Weight: Small machines will often be lighter so that you can move it around. Ensure that it’s light enough for you to handle.

Weight Capacity: Lighter machines are usually made with poorer quality materials so check to see that the machine can support your weight.

Features: Check the stride length, resistance, incline and other controls and see if they’re adjustable to accommodate all individuals.

Warranty: Any fitness equipment you invest in should come with a reasonable warranty. The more you spend, the longer the coverage should be. Make sure to read the specifics of the agreement.

Bowflex Max Trainer M6 Compact Elliptical

The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 Compact Elliptical

Review Rating: 4.5 Star Review Rating
Even though the Bowflex M6 doesn’t fold up, the footprint is less than half that of your traditional treadmill. It has 16 levels of resistance to challenge yourself.

The M6 is compatible with the Bowflex app where you can access workouts and programs that are customized for you. But, it’s a little on the pricey side.

  • Dimensions: 46″L x 26″W x 64.2″H
  • Ceiling height: User height + 15″
  • Weight: 148 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 year frame and parts, 90 days labour

Features: No adjustable stride length, no incline. 16 levels of adjustable resistance, magnetic media rack, USB port, heart rate monitor, bluetooth connectivity, transport wheels

Diamondback 1280ef Elliptical

The Diamondback 1280ef is one of the top compact elliptical machines

Review Rating: 4.5 Star Review Rating
The Diamondback 1280ef elliptical also doesn’t fold but offers a space-saving, lightweight design. Plus, it has an adjustable stride length so that any athlete can feel comfortable. With preset programs and 16 levels of resistance, this is a high quality, compact elliptical machine.

  • Dimensions: 50″L x 36″W x 66″H
  • Ceiling Height: user height + 11″
  • Weight: 187 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 year frame and brakes, 3 year parts and electrical components, 1 year labour and 90 day wear and tear

Features: Adjustable stride length, 16 levels of magnetic resistance, 12 preset programs, digital touchscreen display, wireless heart rate receiver, device holder, usb port, transport wheels

Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical

The Schwinn 411 Elliptical Machine

Review Rating: 4.5 Star Review Rating
Again, the Schwinn 411 Elliptical has a compact design without folding. It features a long stride length but it’s not adjustable and 16 levels of resistance like the others. You can use it with the Explore the World app which automatically adjusts your elliptical while virtually travelling the globe. The Schwinn 411 offers value at an affordable price.

  • Dimensions: 53.8″L x 24″W x 62.5″H
  • Ceiling height: user height + 21″
  • Weight: 100 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Warranty: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year electronics, 90 day labor

Features: 18″ stride length, no incline, 16 levels of resistance, wireless heart rate tracking, media device tray, manual programming and 13 preset programs, bluetooth connectivity, transport wheels

Sunny Health & Fitness Air Walk Elliptical SF-E902

The Sunny SF-E902 Elliptical Machine

Review Rating: 4.5 Star Review Rating
The Sunny Health & Fitness Air Walk is our budget-friendly pick. It’s super lightweight and has very basic features. It’s also the only one on our list that folds away.

With one level of resistance, this is a great beginner elliptical for home use.

  • Dimensions: 25″L x 19″W x 57″H
  • Ceiling height: N/A
  • Folded Dimensions: 15″L x 19″W x 61.5″H
  • Weight: 35 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year frame, 180 days other parts and components

Features: No adjustable resistance, stride length or incline.
Adjustable abdominal pad, LCD digital monitor, transport wheels

NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 Elliptical

Review Rating: 4.5 Star Review Rating
The NordicTrack 9.9 Elliptical is our favorite compact elliptical on the list. It has all the features of the other ones and more. Not only does it have an adjustable stride length, but it features 22 resistance levels and an adjustable incline.

The NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 Elliptical

You can pump your music while using the iFit interactive training and access workouts from all over the world. You get the most value out of this model at a reasonable price.

  • Dimensions: 68.25″L x 28.75″W x 68.5″H
  • Ceiling height: N/A
  • Weight: 244 lbs in box
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Warranty: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor

Features: Adjustable stride length, incline and 22 resistance levels, 7″ smart HD touchscreen, 1 year iFit membership included, autobreeze workout fan, bluetooth connectivity, 2 2″ digitally amplified speakers, usb port, transport wheels

Whichever compact elliptical you settle on, make certain to verify all the necessary dimensions. The best compact elliptical machines feature the adjustable stride lengths, resistance levels and incline. Every exercise machine should be made to fit you, not the other way around.