Compact ellipticals aim to provide the same resistance levels and workout programs as a full-size machine, but with a much more compact design.
They are not all created equally though, some of the very cheap models are inefficient and noisy, others may fall apart on the first use.
In this article, we’re looking at 5 of the best compact ellipticals designed to fill small spaces.
So whether you don’t have the room for a full-size machine, or you’re after something that stores down ingeniously after use, read on.
Our Top Ellipticals for Small Spaces (2021 Updated)
HIGHLIGHTS & BENEFITS
OUR #1 RATED
OUR #2 RATED
OUR #3 RATED
1. Bowflex Max Trainer M7 (Editor's Choice)
Let me start by saying that I realize that the Bowflex Max isn’t strictly an elliptical.
It’s more like the mad mix between a top-of-the-line elliptical and a ridiculous tech stepper machine.
The design is incredibly compact when compared to the stride length required by an elliptical and the calories burned during an intense training session are undeniable.
Some initial users are said to have burned 600 calories in just 30 minutes which would be amazing if true. 
A fair amount of customers complain that the model shipped improperly and broke or squeaks during use
2. SNODE Elliptical Machine Trainer
SNODE has released on the best ellipticals for small spaces by just making a full-size machine as feasibly little as possible.
It offers everything you’d expect from a full-sized elliptical but with the smallest footprint possible.
There is no gimmick or wizardry here, just brilliant sleek and slim design. This is a full-sized elliptical machine that happens to fit into smaller spaces.
3. Cubii Jr. Under-Desk Elliptical
Well, this is as small as it gets, even if you lived in the restroom of a train you’d be able to fit this super-compact elliptical trainer into your lower body workout routine.
To keep it feasible for small spaces and if you still want to work out your upper body, just punch with low weights in each hand while you enjoy one of the tiniest elliptical machines on the market while watching TV or at your desk at work.
4. ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
So with the ProForm elliptical trainers, you’re looking to save space in the smart storage rather than during use.
They take up as much room as a regular elliptical while working out, but when it comes to putting them away, they fold up into practically nothing. This means they’re perfect for a home gym in a room that also has other uses at different points in the day.
The Cardio HIIT, however, mirrors the Bowflex in becoming a stepper hybrid to save even more space.
5. Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Elliptical
If you’re looking to workout at home or work, this compact little machine will be your best friend. It has to be one of the best elliptical trainers for small spaces because it would fit anywhere.
You might not have quite the same level of workout customization and resistance you would with a full-size elliptical, but if you don’t have space, it’s the ideal fit and will keep track of your calorie burn during use.
What to look for when buying compact ellipticals
The first thing to consider when looking for the best compact elliptical for small spaces is the specific space constraints you have.
With a cleverly designed elliptical, you can still get the same performance without the size.
That could be like the Bowflex or ProForm by cutting the stride length, like other ProForm models by storing smaller, or in the under-desk models in small size and portability.
Be sure that you don’t cut corners in cost and size by choosing a model made from inferior materials. Just because it needs to be smaller shouldn’t mean it is any less durable. You need a machine that can stand up to the intensity of the workouts that you intend to use it for. Please read reviews and make sure to do your research.
Your machine needs to be stable, if it begins to shake when you get up to speed in your workout then it is not fit for purpose. With a smaller or more compact elliptical, it will be giving up some space in terms of stability, so the design and weight of the machine need to be able to stand up to that.
By lessening the stride length, you considerably diminish the amount of room that the machine takes up. The majority of the best compact ellipticals have a smaller stride length or change that for a stepping motion instead.
If you cut the stride length without accounting for the impact on the overall efficacy of the workout itself, you will be buying a machine that doesn’t work as it should.
A big piece of home gym equipment like this will always be a significant investment, and you need to be sure that it is going to work for your space and your fitness routine in the long term.
Make sure you cover yourself against breakages by choosing a product that has a decent warranty and coverage.
If you’re looking for the best elliptical for small spaces, then it’s likely that it’s going into close quarters. The noise they make both for you and your neighbors should be and is a concern.
Look for machines that operate with magnetic resistance levels as they will always run quieter.
How much room do you need for an elliptical machine?
The amount of room you need for a full-sized elliptical machine would typically be about 4 feet wide by 8 feet in length. You can get a much smaller machine, though, if you look at some of the compact elliptical designs.
What is the ceiling height of an elliptical?
On average, 8 feet of ceiling height should be enough for an elliptical machine. However, if you’re over 6 feet tall, you should carefully consider how much the device adds to your height and measure that against the room it will be in.
Can you burn belly fat by using an elliptical?
Yes, a good elliptical machine is ideal for burning belly fat. It’s a low impact high-intensity workout that is completely variable, depending on your specific ability level and intention. With a proper diet and regular use, it can help you to get in shape.
Can people with joint pain use a compact elliptical?
People with joint pain and little room at home should consider a compact elliptical. It’s a low impact workout that provides the same cardio-focused workout as running or jogging without the shock and impact on the joints. 
Are compact ellipticals hard to assemble?
Whether a compact elliptical is hard to assemble or not depends on the design. Many come pre-assembled and require little on the part of the user to get it into a functional state. Read the reviews of other users, and be sure to order a machine that you can manage on delivery.
Our #1 Elliptical for Small Spaces
When it comes to the best elliptical for small spaces, it has to be the Bowflex Max Trainer M7.
While it might not be elliptical in the strictest sense, it still serves up everything you would expect from a full-sized machine in terms of workout intensity, tracking, variable resistance, and durability.
It’s an expertly designed machine that will fit into spaces about half the size of a typical elliptical.
Bowflex Max Trainer M7
Best elliptical for small spaces