The 7 Best Compact Ellipticals – [2020 Reviews]

Working out from home is one of the most convenient and reliable ways to maintain a fitness routine.

With gym equipment right in front of you, you’ll be able to fit daily exercise into your schedule regardless of weather or travel constraints.

But what do you do when you lack space for bulky fitness equipment?

A compact elliptical is the perfect solution! These small but mighty machines pack in all the features of traditional models, at half the size.

No one should have to sacrifice their health for space – so we’ve tested and reviewed the top compact ellipticals on the market to help you find the most ideal options.

Our detailed comparison and buyers guide will help bring you one step closer to your fitness goals.

Best Compact Ellipticals

 Schwinn Compact EllipticalCubii Pro Under Desk Ellipticalduduta Mini Elliptical
editorschoice
Dimensions:70 x 28 x 63 Inches23 x 17.5 x 10 InchesN/A
Resistance:16 Levels8 Levels8 Levels
Programs:13NoneNone
Display:LCDMobile PairingElectric Monitor

For more of my workout gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workouts guide links: Under Desk Treadmills, Folding Rowing Machines, Workout Leggings.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Compact Ellipticals For 2020

  1. Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical 
  2. CUBII Pro Under Desk Elliptical 
  3. duduta Mini Elliptical Training Machine
  4. Sunny Health & Fitness Climber Elliptical 
  5. DeskCycle Elliptical Machine
  6. Aceshin Compact Elliptical 
  7. CUBII JR1 Seated Elliptical  

Our reviews of the top rated compact ellipticals with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right one for you.


Compact Elliptical Reviews

The Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical delivers a low-impact, full body workout at a size and price-point that just can’t be beat.

Though this model is small, it is mighty! Its sturdy steel frame can handle up to 300 pounds at one time (one of the highest weight capacities on our list!) and offers an 18 inch stride.

With 16 levels of resistance, this machine will allow you to challenge yourself, even as you progress in strength and endurance.

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The Schwinn 411 features a streamlined LCD console that displays important workout metrics like time, speed, distance and calories burned.

The moving handlebars even feature contact grip heart rate sensors, so you’ll be able to closely monitor your performance levels.

Simply place your phone or tablet on the spacious media rack to liven up your workout with your favorite songs and movies.

With so many thoughtful features, this is one of the best mini ellipticals available on Amazon today.

 

Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Dimensions: 70.1 x 28.1 x 63.1 Inches
  • Resistance: 16 Levels
  • Programs: 13
  • Display: LCD

The CUBII Pro Under Desk Elliptical is one of the top contenders on the market – and for good reason!

As the premiere bluetooth-enabled elliptical on Amazon, this model can sync workout metrics with any iPhone, Android, or Fitbit, so you can track progress and set goals for yourself.

Simply download the CUBII iOS or Android app to see calories burned, strides, miles, minutes, and RPM for every single workout session displayed on your mobile device.

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In terms of physical composition, the CUBII is designed with ultra-smooth gears and noise reduction technology for a smooth and quiet workout. 

With its miniature proportions, you’ll be able to slide this easily under any desk or table for a low-impact, seated workout that saves space and reduces clutter.

This is the best small elliptical for users of any fitness level or age.

 

Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Dimensions: 23.15 x 17.56 x 10 Inches
  • Resistance: 8 Levels
  • Programs: None
  • Display: Mobile Pairing

The duduta Mini Elliptical Training Machine is yet another high-end miniature elliptical that can fit right under your desk.

Wireless and lightweight, it is ultra-portable as it doesn’t require an outlet to function. Simply install two AAA batteries and it will work anywhere.

A key feature of this model is the integrated resistance bands it comes with. Attached on the rear bar of the machine, these elastic bands allow for a simultaneous arm workout!

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Though small, the duduta is exceptionally strong, with a 260 pound weight capacity. It also features 8 levels of adjustable resistance, so users of all fitness levels can challenge themselves accordingly.

Track your progress easily with the built-in HD electric monitor that monitors time spent and calories burned.

Unlike many competing models, this compact elliptical uses U-groove rollers to ensure that noise levels are under 20 decibels.

That means you’ll be able to use it at night, in the office, or while watching TV without disturbing anyone.

With a lifetime warranty among purchase, there’s no wonder these have been flying off the shelves. The duduta is by far the best portable elliptical on our list.

 

duduta Mini Elliptical Training Machine at a Glance:

  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Resistance: 8 Levels
  • Programs: None
  • Display: Electric Monitor

 

Next up, we have the Sunny Health & Fitness Climber Elliptical.

This versatile machine combines the best of stepping and striding in one intense movement, for an unforgettable workout.

Perfect for shared spaces, it has a smooth belt-drive mechanism that ensures minimal noise during each session. The heavy-duty steel frame can support up to 260 pounds at once.

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With 8 levels of magnetic resistance, you’ll be able to increase or lower the intensity depending on your comfort level.

Track your body’s performance with the LCD monitor, which features time spent, RPM, speed, distance, and calories. Pulse-sensing grips on the handlebars allow you to check your heart rate.

The high tech monitor even comes with calendar, clock and thermometer functions!

With transportation wheels for easy movement and storage, this is a convenient and reliable machine that will provide you with an unbeatable workout for its size and price.

This is one of the best compact elliptical machines we’ve seen yet.

 

Sunny Health & Fitness Climber Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Dimensions: 44 x 25 x 64 Inches
  • Resistance: 8 Levels
  • Programs: None
  • Display: LCD Monitor

The Desk Cycle Elliptical Machine will help you burn calories, increase your energy levels, and improve your overall mood – all from under a desk!

With bidirectional pedaling, extra-wide pedals, and a magnetic flywheel, this machine offers a smooth, efficient and virtually noise-free workout session every time.

The sleek LCD monitor displays RPM, time and calories clearly, eliminating the guesswork from your fitness routine.

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Better yet, you’ll be able to share your workout metrics with your FitBit, so you can track your weekly and monthly progress with visuals and graphs.

Choose between 8 calibrated resistance settings to challenge yourself depending on your fitness levels.

This is one of the best space saving ellipticals on Amazon!

 

Desk Cycle Elliptical Machine at a Glance:

  • Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 10 Inches
  • Resistance: 8 Levels
  • Programs: None
  • Display: LCD Monitor

The Aceshin Compact Elliptical was designed with strength, durability and safety as top priorities.

With tubular steel construction and a wide base, this machine remains firm and secure regardless of how intense your workout gets.

Capable of handling up to 330 pounds, it has the highest weight capacity on this list!

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The Aceshin features 8 levels of magnetic resistance adjustments, which allow you to vary the intensity and challenge of each session. 

A precision balanced flywheel and V-belt drive also guarantee a smooth and quiet operation, so you can work out anywhere without disturbing those near you.

With high tech LCD monitoring technology, you’ll be able to track standard session metrics like distance, calories burned, time, speed, and heart-rate.

Use the convenient ‘scan’ feature for touch-free display and flip-through.

This is by far one of the best small elliptical machines we could find.

 

Aceshin Compact Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Dimensions: 40.9 x 18.9 x 63 Inches
  • Resistance: 8 Levels
  • Programs: None
  • Display: LCD Monitor

 

Finishing off our list strong, we have CUBII’s JR1 Seated Elliptical.

This ergonomic mini elliptical lets you work out from the comfort of your home and office, featuring all the bells & whistles of a standard model at half the size.

With 8 resistance levels to switch between and a built-in LCD display, you’ll be able to challenge your body and track all the necessary metrics for each workout session.

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Clocking in at around 25 pounds, the CUBII JR is also exceptionally portable, and can be easily transported between home, office and car.

Bring this along on a road trip or vacation so you don’t have to miss a single day of your fitness routine!

Though lightweight, it’s surprisingly strong, capable of supporting up to 260 pounds at once. No wonder its one of Amazon’s top contenders!

 

CUBII JR1 Seated Elliptical at a Glance:

  • Dimensions: 23 x 17.5 x 10 Inches
  • Resistance: 8 Levels
  • Programs: None
  • Display: Mobile Pairing

Compact Elliptical Comparison Table

Elliptical DimensionsResistanceProgramsDisplayRating
Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical70" x 28" x 63"16 Levels13LCD4.1 / 5.0
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical23" x 17" x 10"8 Levels NoneMobile Pairing4.5 / 5.0
duduta Mini Elliptical Training MachineN/A8 LevelsNoneElectric Monitor 5.0 / 5.0
Sunny Health & Fitness Climber Elliptical44" x 25" x 64"8 LevelsNoneLCD Monitor4.0 / 5.0
Desk Cycle Elliptical Machine23" x 18" x 10"8 LevelsNoneLCD Monitor 4.6 / 5.0
Aceshin Compact Elliptical
41" x 19" x 63"8 LevelsNoneLCD Monitor4.8 / 5.0
CUBII JR1 Seated Elliptical23" x 17.5" x 10"8 LevelsNoneMobile Pairing4.7 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Compact Elliptical – Buying Guide

best mini elliptical
The CUBII JR1 Mini Elliptical vs. The DeskCycle Mini Elliptical

Now that you’ve seen the best portable ellipticals Amazon has to offer, it’s time to decide which one is right for your unique lifestyle and personal fitness goals.

Because choosing just one out of so many great options can be tricky, we’ve written up this comprehensive buying guide. It will walk you through key aspects of the selection process.

After considering different elliptical types, defining main features, and going over maintenance tips, you should have no doubts about the perfect choice for you.

Know Your Fitness Goals

Before starting any new fitness routine, be sure to speak with a medical professional about what your body can handle. Your health & safety comes first!

Moreover, you should have a good idea of what exactly you’re trying to accomplish by investing in a compact elliptical.

Make sure you plan to use it consistently and that it is a functional and sensible addition to your home gym.

Commercial gyms often have a surplus of high-end fitness equipment options, so unless convenience and consistence are your priorities, it may make more sense to get a gym membership (especially if you’re struggling with saving space).

Keep these things in mind before deciding to invest in a compact elliptical. Only purchase if you are sure that you’ll use it consistently and maintain it regularly.

Elliptical Types

There are a huge variety of elliptical trainers on the market – and each kind offers distinctly different benefits.

If you’re looking for a compact option, you’re probably choosing between standing and under-desk models.

These are the go-to’s for people who lack space but want to invest in home fitness equipment, as represented on our list.

Let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages of both kinds.

Standing Compact Ellipticals

A compact elliptical is characterized by its smaller size, rather than any other difference in product composition.

In order to save space, however, most standing compact ellipticals have the flywheel or main drive system located in the front or center, versus in the rear like traditional models.

In central-drive models, individual drive systems are placed on either side of the users feet.

This leads to a more compact design overall, and also subtly changes the user experience throughout the workout.

Because a user’s weight is truly centered, many find central-drive ellipticals easier on the lower back and joints, as they mirror the motion of walking without the artificial up-right feeling created by a rear-drive.

Front-drive models also make great compact ellipticals, as the design simply lends to a smaller footprint.

The main advantage to a standing compact elliptical is that it still has handlebars, which encourage you to work your arms, thus engaging more muscles.

These provide a full-body, yet low-impact workout.

This is in contrast to under-desk options, which only engage your lower body.

Therefore, a standing compact model is a better option for those looking to save space and time, but still work a full-body workout into their daily routine.

Under-Desk Compact Ellipticals

Under-desk compact ellipticals are probably the best option for those prioritizing portability and convenience in addition to saving space.

Because they are small enough to slide under a desk, they tend to be significantly lighter (below 35 pounds) and thus incredibly easy to take with you anywhere.

You’ll be able to take your under-desk elliptical on road trips, vacations, or between home and the office. The possibilities are endless!

Because they can obviously only be used while seated, they provide a comprehensive yet zero-impact workout, which is great for those who struggle with exercising upright.

If you find yourself on the go and pressed for time to squeeze in a workout, this is the perfect solution – you’ll easily be able to multitask during use.

However, these often don’t have the same programs, resistance levels and bells and whistles of the standing models. They also won’t engage your arms because they lack handlebars.

Fortunately, smart under-desk ellipticals are now emerging onto the market, built with WiFi and bluetooth-pairing capabilities.

These can connect to your phone’s fitness apps to display complex metrics and workout recommendations.

As these models continue to develop and progress, we should start seeing more high-end, high-tech under-desk ellipticals.

Features

The main features to consider when choosing an elliptical are resistance levels, workout programs, displays & monitors, as well as safety features.

Just because compact ellipticals are small doesn’t mean they lack the features necessary for a good workout.

Most options on our list come with at least 8 varying resistance levels and some form of an LCD / electric monitor, which displays metrics and workout statistics.

Having a decent monitor is a must, because you need some sort of reference to time and plan your workouts.

Fortunately, you’ll be able to track time, speed, distance, calories burned and heart rate with all of the models on our recommendation list.

Now, where compact ellipticals often lack is in programs.

While traditional elliptical models often come with pre-programmed workout routines and resistance/terrain challenges, compact options sometimes don’t have the technological capacity for that.

Finally, keep in mind the safety features of each model. While easy to overlook, these often make a huge difference in quality of the machine and resulting quality of your workout.

Look for textured, treaded or no-slip pedals for firm and secure foot positioning. Many models also come with integrated heart-rate sensors located on the arm handles.

Some even have emergency shut-off or automatic brake options, which are great if you live with small children or pets, and worry about accidents.

Maintenance

Taking good care of your elliptical is the only true way to guarantee a return on investment.

Ideally, you should service your elliptical every 6 months, so don’t forget to schedule appointments with a professional so you can fix malfunctions before they impede performance.

DIY maintenance involves regularly lubricating your machine. You can hire someone for this, or simply purchase an elliptical lubricant online.

Oiling your elliptical periodically will keep all the parts running smoothly and eliminate annoying squeaking or clanking noises.

Check out the video below to get a more in-depth understanding of preventative maintenance for your elliptical.

Elliptical Preventative Maintenance

FAQs About Compact Ellipticals

Q: Do compact ellipticals work the same way as standard ellipticals?

A: The only difference between a compact elliptical and a standard elliptical is its size and the number of programs built into it (things that vary between standard models anyway).

In terms of functioning, they work exactly the same.

Q: Should your feet stay flat on an elliptical?

A: Yes, your feet should stay completely flat on an elliptical – it is this flat footed placement that makes elliptical workouts low impact.

Because you aren’t picking your foot up and placing it back down, there’s no unnecessary pressure or strain on your knees and joints.

Q: Why do my feet go numb on the elliptical?

A:  Users often complain of numb feet on the elliptical precisely because of the flat foot placement it requires.

The numbness is caused by constant pressure on the balls of your feet and your toes.

To help combat numb feet, try pedaling backwards. This moves pressure to the heel of your foot, which should wake it up a bit and get the feeling flowing back into it.

Q: What is better, elliptical or stepper?

A: This really just depends on your fitness goals and what you’re trying to achieve.

Steppers offer a more isolated workout, as the work is confined to your lower body. However, ellipticals feature arm handles and a full range of motion, thus engaging your entire body.

Think about whether you’re trying to tone up everywhere, or just build strength in the legs and glutei. That will help you decide between the two options.

Tips For Choosing A Compact Elliptical

#1: Know your fitness goals

Be sure that a compact elliptical is the right home fitness machine for you.

If you’re low on space, but want a convenient and consistent low-impact workout option, this is probably a great way to go.

However, if you’re more interested in high-intensity, high-impact workouts, a compact elliptical may not be ideal for your needs.

#2: Do your research!

Make sure you’re informed about the differences between standing compact ellipticals and under-desk compact ellipticals.

As discussed in our buyers guide, there are pros and cons to each model that should be considered before making a decision.

If you value portability, under-desk is the way to go. If you want to engage more muscles at once, a standing model is the way to go because of the arm handles.

#3: Maintenance is key

Taking care of your elliptical is the only sure-fire way to guarantee that you get a good return on your investment.

Make sure you’re taking the proper steps to maintain your machine.

Summary

Now that you know how to choose a good compact elliptical, its finally time to come to a final decision about which you’ll be taking home.

Know that whatever product you end up going for, you’ll be investing in one of the best options available today.

Thanks for reading & happy shopping!

Notice:

BestWomensWorkouts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. BestWomensWorkouts earns fees from products sold through qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

Monisha Pillai

Lover of traveling, shopping, and all things nature. When I’m not writing about the latest outdoor gear, you can find me lying out on the beach, trying new foods, or planning my next trip to Asia.

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