Best Elliptical Trainers for Small Spaces

There are few exercise machines more effective for home use than elliptical trainers. The only downside? The size. Not everyone has the space for a full sized elliptical in their home. Thankfully, plenty of ellipticals are designed with spatial constraints in mind.

Below are our favorite ellipticals on the market designed for small spaces, as well as some expert advice for anyone looking to bring a high quality but compact elliptical into their home. With these tips, you’re sure to find the right compact elliptical for you, to squeeze into your home gym space and busy schedule!

Initial Considerations

Looking to get fit at home but don’t have much room to spare? These days you can find plenty of affordable compact ellipticals on the market designed to fit any space. Even if space is your main concern, you should still consider other factors when shopping for a new machine.

Not all ellipticals are created equal, especially those designed to save space. It’s important to consider how comfortable you’ll feel on that elliptical, how durable the machine is likely to be, and how enjoyable it will make your sessions. These are all key factors to staying motivated.

Some of the key things to consider here include the weight capacity, warranty, and flywheel weight. These components can tell you a lot about any machine. They will help you determine whether the machine is cheap and disposable or is instead a stellar buy that will keep you satisfied in the long term. You’ll also want to consider how sturdy the machine feels and how much noise it makes during workouts.

So, what are the key things to consider when shopping for a new elliptical machine? 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 the flywheel weighs, the smoother the glide is likely to be and the quieter the entire machine will run. If you’re sharing a small apartment with others, seek out a heavy flywheel.

Durability

To determine the durability of any elliptical, look at the user weight capacity. The heavier the weight capacity, the more durable the machine. This said, don’t forget that there’s a trade off between this and the size of the machine. Usually, the heavier the weight capacity, the bigger the elliptical, so be sure to weigh up your priorities to find the balance that’s right for you.

Stability

Generally speaking, stability comes down to weight capacity as well. The more weight the machine can hold, the more stable it’s likely to be. Obviously if you’re an especially light user, you’ll have more leeway. 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 elliptical. 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 machine breaks, you’ll easily be able to have it repaired. If an elliptical comes with a particularly short warranty, you can assume that it’s not a machine that’s built to last.

Best Brands

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

Horizon

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 70 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 a Horizon machine always notes that they have great durability and are relatively quiet during use, making them a perfect match for small spaces like shared apartments or condos.

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

NordicTrack

The NordicTrack SpaceSaver elliptical series, which includes the SE9i and the SE7i, is also worth considering. These machines come with a built-in Vertical Spacesaver Design which enables them to fold for storage. Even during use they are compact, making them ideal for small living spaces.

The only downfall of the NordicTrack SpaceSaver machines is that their flywheels are rather light, so they aren’t the quietest of machines. Thankfully, what’s lost in silence is made up for with a 325-pounds weight capacity, so at least you won’t have issues with stability or durability. 

Sole Fitness

Finally, the last brand worth considering is Sole Fitness. Sole is well known for their E series elliptical trainers. They are incredibly quiet and quite compact, fitting into even the tightest of spaces. Flywheel weight varies between 20 and 30 pounds depending on the machine. They operate on a magnetic resistance system, this contributing to their overall durability. Perhaps the highlight of these machines is that they come with a minimum 20” stride length, which is rare in any sort of compact elliptical.

Best Type

Front drive elliptical trainers are usually the most compact elliptical machines by design, as opposed to rear or 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 models are typically used in commercial gyms), so they are naturally much lighter and a better fit for home gym spaces.

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