Best Elliptical Trainers for Small Spaces

There are few exercise machines more effective for home use than elliptical trainers. The only downside is the size. Not everyone has the space for a full sized elliptical in their home. Thankfully, plenty of ellipticals are designed with size constraints in mind. These our top picks and tips for anyone seeking a high quality elliptical that can fold or squeeze itself into their lifestyle.

Initial Considerations

If you’re someone looking to get fit at home but don’t have much room to spare, there are still plenty of compact or foldable ellipticals to fit your space. However, there are also other factors worth consider beyond how much space that elliptical is going to take up.

Not all ellipticals are created equal, especially those designed to save space. It’s all important to consider how comfortable you’ll feel that elliptical, how well the machine will hold up  over time, and how enjoyable your sessions will be.

Some of the key things to consider here include the weight capacity, the warranty, and the flywheel weight. These components combined can tell you a lot about any machine and whether it’s cheap and disposable or one that will keep you satisfied over the long haul. You’ll also want to consider how sturdy the machine feels during use as well as how much noise it will make (some of these things can awaken sleeping pets, family, and neighbours. Worth considering if you value other beings).

What should you look out for in each of these categories? Here’s a handy guide.

Noise

If you want to minimize the noise coming from your elliptical, you’ll want to look at the weight of the flywheel. The more this flywheel weighs, the smoother that glide is going to be and the quieter the entire machine will run. If you are in a small apartment with people all around you, seek out a heavy flywheel.

Durability

To determining the durability of any elliptical, look at the weight capacity. The heavier the weight capacity, the more durable the machine. This said, don’t forget that that there is a trade off between this and size. The heavier the weight capacity, the bigger the elliptical. Find the balance that’s right for you.

Stability

Generally speaking, stability this comes down to weight capacity as well. The more weight that machine is able to tolerate, the more stable it will be. Obviously if you’re an especially light user, you’ll have more leeway. But always keep weight capacity in mind, especially if your machine will be used by multiple people who vary in size.

Warranty

Finally, never forget to check the warranty when considering a compact ellipticals. A long warranty is essential because it will help keep your total spending costs lower and give you the peace of mind of knowing if your elliptical breaks, you’ll be able to easily have it repaired. Also, if an elliptical comes with a particularly short warranty, there’s generally a good reason for that and you can assume you machine will break down over time.

Best Brands

As with any product, there are a few compact elliptical brands that really stand out above the rest.

Horizon Fitness Elliptical Trainers are known to gear their products towards customers who have smaller spaces to work with.  With an average deck length of about 60 inches long by 25 inches wide, these ellipticals are still large enough to ensure comfort during use but not so large that they dominate a room.

Anyone who has purchased Horizon always notes that they have great durability and are quite quiet during use, so they work in in smaller dwellings like apartments or condos.

On top of that, many of the Horizon models are foldable, so they can be easily store when not in use, reclaiming more of your space back. With transport wheels on the legs, you can move these completely out of sight or around your home with ease.

NordicTrack is another line of elliptical trainers worth considering thanks to their special SpaceSaver series. These machines come with a built-in Vertical Spacesaver Design, which enables them to fold for storage. They are also is very small even during use, making them ideal for small living spaces.

The only downfall SpaceSaver machines is that their flywheels are rather light, so they won’t be the quietest machines. Thankfully what’s lost in silence is made up for with  a 325 pouns weight capacity, so at least you won’t have issues with stability or durability. The best models consider from this line are the SE9i elliptical as well as the SE7i machine.

Finally, the last brand worth considering are the Sole Fitness ellipticals, which are well known for their E series elliptical trainers. They are incredibly quiet and quite compact, fitting into even the tightest of spaces. The flywheel on these machines weighs 34 pounds and operates on a magnetic resistance system, so the machines are quite durable. Perhaps the highlight of these machines is that they come with a 20-22 inch stride length, which is rare in any sort of compact elliptical.

Best Type

Front drive designed elliptical trainers are naturally the most compact design, as opposed to rear and center drive trainers. Front drive trainers are also the most popular because they typically require the least maintenance, come with a low price point, and are easier to transport. Average dimensions vary by brand of course, but front drive trainers are built for residential use (whereas rear drive are typically used in commercial gyms), so they are naturally much lighter and a better fit for in-home use.

For more options, check out this list of the top compact elliptical machines.