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Are you outfitting your home gym and worried about how much space everything takes? It’s a valid concern, especially if you live in an apartment or you can only dedicate a small space somewhere in the house for a piece of equipment. If you’re interested in getting an elliptical machine, the dimensions are an important part of your buying decision. We have therefore done the research for you to help you pick the best compact elliptical for home use so you won’t sacrifice anything only quality and performance.
When shopping for space saving elliptical machines, there are a few things you have to watch out for. Even compact ones should provide an ideal stride length for your height, otherwise you won’t feel like your workout is natural. If you want to lose weight, ensure the maximum resistance and resistance levels give you enough of a challenge to do so.
Center drive elliptical trainers are quite compact but ensure that the pedals are not too far apart that they create thigh strain. Some front and rear ellipticals may not be that small when in use, but some are folding elliptical machines that can be put away in a corner between uses. If you’re not fussed about getting an upper body workout with the elliptical, then consider a portable elliptical trainer without the arms. We’ll leave those out of this review and concentrate only the ones that come with moving arm bars.
For more guidance on how to choose an elliptical, we have a detailed guide for you. If even one of these machines are too big for your home or if you’re unsure that you can justify the cost, consider getting a much cheaper 2-in-1 elliptical and exercise bike. It’s not meant for very serious workouts, but if you’re OK with not having fancy features then these machines give you the variety of both types of machines in one.
You may also want to take a look at all the compact ellipticals Amazon has on offer.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Space Saving Elliptical Machines Under $1000
- 2 Best Compact Elliptical Machines Under $600
- 3 Best Folding Elliptical Machines
|Product||Rating (out of 5)||Size||Max. User Capacity||Price|
|Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine||4.2||70.1" X 28.2" X 63.2"||300 lbs||$$$|
|Nautilus E614 Elliptical||4||70" x 28" x 71"||300 lbs||$$$|
|Fitness Reality E5500XL Elliptical Trainer||4||57.5" x 24" x 66"||270 lbs||$$|
|Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer||4.5||56" x 23.7" x 64.5"||275 lbs||$$|
|Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer||3.8||35.6" x 20.1" x 57.7"||250 lbs||$|
|NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Elliptical||4.7||80" x 32" x 77"||325 lbs||$$$$|
Best Space Saving Elliptical Machines Under $1000
Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine
The Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine is versatile in its use with 13 feedback points on the 2 LCD display system, as well as the ability to connect your fitness data digitally. The data can then be exported to the Schwinn Connect website and is also compatible with MyFitnessPal. It can be reviewed for tracking purposes of fitness milestones like time, distance and calories. This elliptical machine is designed for all levels, as there are 22 programs and 20 levels of eddy current resistance provided by the weighted high speed and high inertia flywheel to meet the needs of the user. There are quick keys to take you rapidly between 10 levels of resistance.
Up to two users can save their settings on it. These are manually adjustable, and there is a manual ramp which allows for 6 different inclines while moving on a comfortable 20 inch stride. An additional comfort feature are the large padded footplates. Well placed moving and static handle bars keep your arms moving ergonomically or comfortably at rest. As an added bonus, there is a charging station for a USB port, quality sealed acoustic speakers, a 3 speed fan and a water bottle holder.
Fully assembled, the unit measures 70.1″ X 28.2″ X 63.2″ and can handle a maximum user weight of 300 lbs.
A common concern from those who have purchased this product state the machine can be a bit noisy, but they also note that the customer service folks at Schwinn are responsive to their needs and help to come up with solutions quickly. Many people agree that it is easy to assemble and easy to use with visible results in their daily lives.
Nautilus E614 Elliptical
This unit is similar to the Schwinn in terms of features and also uses an eddy current drive flywheel. The Nautilus E614 Elliptical has 2 LCD screens that detail 13 different components of the workout. Like other products on this list, there is a charging station for a USB port that can export content to Nautilus Connect or MyFitnessPal to track fitness progress. You get two user profiles for saving. There are 22 options for programs and 20 levels of resistance to meet the needs of every workout and it operates at a 20 inch stride length. There are also 6 manual adjustable positions available for the ramp. There is a contact grip heart rate monitor built in.
The articulating footplates also have cushioning for added comfort and the static and moving handlebars are well placed. You also get a fan and speakers. As an added bonus, you can purchase assembly assistance for an added fee.
This unit measures 70L x 28W x 71H when assembled and can handle up to 300 lbs. Transportation wheels on the front allow you to move it easily.
Something to consider when choosing this product is that it has extremely mixed reviews. It seems that people who have purchased this elliptical either love it or hate it. People who love the product point to the quality of it, comparing it to equipment that you would find at a professional gym. They also cite the ease of use and lack of room taken up by it. However, those who have had negative experiences say that the assembly assistance is not worth the extra cost and the product breaks down quickly. As one of the higher cost products reviewed, potential purchasers should be aware of the possible issues.
Best Compact Elliptical Machines Under $600
Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
The Fitness Reality E5500XL is middle of the road in regards to both price and size as compared to other products reviewed above. What it does dominate in is the versatility of levels and settings. There are 24 levels of resistance and 21 programs to choose from. The programs can also be set to different goals, whether for distance, time or calories burned. There is also a backlit LCD screen that features progress on several components of your workout. Its hand pulse sensors let you monitor your heart rate. There is a tablet/phone holder and water bottle holder.
This machine has a shorter stride of 18 inches so it is a good option for shorter people. There are automated settings to customize your workout. The pedals are only 6″ apart so there’s risk of thigh strain and their lowest point reaches just 6″ off the ground so you won’t feel like you’re ever too high.
This elliptical utilizes two flywheels and belts on either side of its center drive magnetic transmission to ensure a smooth ride while keeping the space occupied to a minimum. It measures 57.5″ L x 24″ W x 66″ H and can handle 270 lbs in weight capacity. You can install the included wheels for easy transportation. There is an option to have this assembled for an additional fee.
For the most part, the reviews of this product are positive and it is value for money. People credit easy assembly and a sturdy product as their reason for satisfaction. A few people have also had issues with pieces disassembling after just a few uses, but for the most part, this seems like an issue with the assembly process rather than the product itself.
Nautilus Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer
This product is on the medium to low end of the products reviewed, but also offers a more simple approach with its options, which may be considered an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your perspective. There are 8 levels of resistance to choose from, with 7 workout programs and a grip heart monitor and is built with a 17 inch stride. This straightforward approach could be beneficial to someone who doesn’t want a fussy product or something that is overly complicated, but if you’re someone who likes many options and who likes to track progress, this may be too simple.
It is quite compact, measuring 56L x 23.7W x 64.5H inches and can handle a user weight of 275 lbs. It has a perimeter-weighted, high-intertia flywheel
The Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer is another product with just a few negative reviews. Those who are satisfied with the product credit the ease of set up and use as their primary reasons. Others have cited issues with the screen not working with the 4 D batteries and the fact that an AC adapter is not included. However, since there’s no need for a cord and since the front legs are wheeled, moving it out of the way or to any spot in the house is very easy.
Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer
The Body Rider Fan Elliptical from Body Max is the lowest priced model on here and costs less than $200. It uses a chain driven fan resistance mechanism and has no electrical parts, so it is easy to maintain and use. Keep in mind that this is not a good choice for very heavy or big people because its user weight capacity is 250 lbs, its stride length is short, and the pedals are small.
Its dimensions are 35.6″ L x 20.1″ W x 57.7″ H and its steel frame is light. This is a very basic model and ideal for those looking for a no fuss machine just for a daily fitness routine. There are no program settings and the way you increase or decrease resistance is by a turn of a friction setting wheel. There is only one set of dual action arms that you can manually set to the stationary mode if you don’t want to work out your arms but just rest your hands on them. A simple digital display shows you time, distance, and the number of calories burned.
There are a few reviews that say that the pedals make you feel like you’re leaning forward a bit but you can get used to it after a while.
Best Folding Elliptical Machines
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Elliptical with One-Touch Controls and iFit Technology
The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i is the most expensive elliptical on this list but it’s the only advanced rear drive one as well. rear drive is known to be the most stable kind and most suitable for very intense workouts. Since most of these kinds are usually quite large, they wouldn’t be on this list. However, this model folds up vertically, so as long as you have the budget and the space to place it somewhere just for the workout, you should consider this model. It even assembles in three easy steps and is almost completely silent, making this our pick for best compact elliptical for home use.
The SE7i has a capacity of 325 lbs and measures 80 x 32 x 77 inches. It has 24 preset programs for workouts ranging from easy beginner level to hard and advanced. For extra levels of difficulty, you get a power incline ramp ranging from 0° to 20°. The oversized adjustable pedals are cushioned to make your workout easy on your joints and you can set your stride length up to 18 inches.
A pulse CardioGrip monitors your heart rate and you can control everything through one-touch controls. You get an LED display, fan, water bottle holder and iPod music port. If you’ve been itching to try out some iFit modules to make your training ever more interesting, then this machine is iFit compatible.
For something even smaller and meant for those who have desk jobs or are couch potatoes, try a portable elliptical. It doesn’t have an upper body station but you can use it under a desk while working or in front of the TV.