girl exercising on the best elliptical for small spaces

This is our review of the Best Elliptical for Small Spaces in .

Most of us have limited space at home. But this doesn’t mean we can’t get a good workout. Compact ellipticals for small spaces are a great way to get a full-body workout with a low impact on the joints.  

We have done extensive research and closely evaluated over 20 of the most popular models available. And we confidently recommend the Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical as the best small space elliptical.   

However, there might be a good alternative if you have a specific need. That’s why we recommend you take a look at all the top 6 machines mentioned below: 

Best Compact Elliptical – Overall  Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical
Best Compact Elliptical – Runner-up Horizon Fitness EX-59 
Best Compact Elliptical – High tech Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I 
Best Compact Elliptical – Smallest Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-E905 
Best Compact Elliptical – Budget Doufit EM-01 Elliptical Machine 
Best Compact Elliptical – Foldable Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-E902 

While you might be concerned mainly about the elliptical size, that’s not the only thing you should consider.  Our buying guide can help you quickly understand all the key things you should keep in mind while selecting a small elliptical for apartments that suits your needs. 

6 Best Ellipticals for Small Spaces Reviewed

All the compact ellipticals listed below are great options to get a full-body workout even when you have limited space. This article will help you understand the differences between them, so you can find the one that’s right for you. However, always consult a physician if you have any medical conditions. 

Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical – Best compact elliptical (overall)  

Product Dimensions: 53.8” L x 24” W x 62.5” H 

Product Weight: 100lbs (45.4kgs) 

Foldable: No 

Transport wheels: Yes 

Resistance: 16 levels  

Incline: No 

Maximum User Weight Capacity: 300lbs (136kgs) 

Heart rate monitoring: Tracking with the handle grip sensor 


  • Frame – 10 years 
  • Parts – 2 years 
  • Electronics – 1 year 
  • Labor – 90 days 

The Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical is one of the best compact ellipticals on the market, offering most features at a reasonable price.  

The machine has a small footprint with an attractive design. The frame is sturdy and provides good stability during the workout.  

It has 2 sets of handlebars (moving and fixed), oversized pedals, and an 18” stride. These make sure that you are comfortable during the workouts. 

The Schwinn 411 offers multiple workout programs and connects with the Explore the world app. This ensures that your workouts don’t get monotonous, and you keep progressing towards your fitness goals.  

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Sync with Explore the world app No incline
Small machine footprint 

Summary of customer reviews: 

Customers find the Schwinn elliptical easy to assemble, sleek and sturdy. It is silent and has a smooth and good range of motion. However, a few think that the low resistance is quite challenging and that not all tracking units are accurate.  

Horizon Fitness EX-59 – Best Compact Elliptical (Runner-up) 

Product Dimensions: 74” L x 25” W x 64.5” H

Product Weight: 145lbs (65kgs)

Foldable: No 

Transport wheels: No

Resistance: 10 levels  

Incline: No 

Maximum User Weight Capacity: 300lbs (136kgs) 

Heart rate monitoring: Tracking with the handle grip sensor 


  • Frame – Lifetime 
  • Parts, brakes, labor – 1 year 

The Horizon Fitness EX-59 is a powerful contender to the Schwinn 411. In the compact ellipticals category, it loses to the overall winner by a few points only.  

It has one of the best ergonomic designs, which mimics the natural human stride. This reduces the stress on the hips and back while exercising. Additionally, the multi-position handgrips, the oversized pedals, and the 18” stride length make the workout super comfortable.  

This Horizon elliptical has the lowest step-up height (10.75”) in the market, so it is ideal for rooms with a low ceiling. It also comes with Bluetooth speakers and a USB charging port.  

It is quick and easy to set up and offers a full refund within 30 days if you aren’t satisfied with the machine. A refund policy always makes us believe in the product slightly more.  

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider 
Low step-up height No incline 
USB charging port Slightly larger footprint compared to others 
30-day refund policy No transport wheels 
Bluetooth speaks 

Summary of customer reviews: 

Most of the customers find the machine well-built and sturdy. The company also provides good customer service. However, a few find the resistance too hard and the heart rate monitoring not accurate.  

Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I – Best Compact Elliptical (High tech) 

Product Dimensions: 80” L x 32” W x 67” H

Product Weight: 215lbs (97.5kgs) 

Foldable: Yes

Transport wheels: Yes 

Resistance: 22 levels  

Incline: 10% incline, power-adjustable

Maximum User Weight Capacity: 325lbs (147kgs) 

Heart rate monitoring: Tracking with the handle grip sensor 


  • Frame – 10 years 
  • Parts – 2 years 
  • Labor – 1 year 

The Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I is one of the most high-tech ellipticals for small spaces. It is straightforward to assemble and is foldable, thus saving space when not in use.  

The heavy flywheel (18lbs) gives a silky-smooth pedal motion, and the incline ensures you have an effective workout.  

The adjustable 18″ stride length allows customization as per user height. Additionally, the cushioned oversized pedals and the dual handlebars make the workout comfortable with zero impact on the joints. 

It has 24 built-in workouts to get you started. Powered by Google Maps and iFit, it gives you access to loads of on-demand workouts. You can also download your workout stats to optimize every training session.  

It is Bluetooth-enabled and comes with a cooling fan to help you stay comfortable and avoid dehydration.   

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider 
Power adjustable incline Expensive 
Adjustable stride length Slightly larger footprint compared to others
iFit connectivity Heavy
Cooling fan 
22 resistance levels

Summary of customer reviews: 

This Nordictrack elliptical is very easy to assemble, and the customers enjoy the smooth, quality workout this machine provides. However, it does look slightly bulky and may need 2 people to move it. Also, you need to set up the iFit account to use the machine, which requires updating your credit card details.  

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 – Best Compact Elliptical (Smallest) 

Product Dimensions: 28” L x 17” W x 57” H  

Product Weight: 60.8lbs (27.6kgs)

Foldable: No 

Transport wheels: Yes 

Resistance: 8 levels  

Incline: No 

Maximum User Weight Capacity: 220lbs (99.7kgs) 

Heart rate monitoring: Tracking with the handle grip sensor 


  • Frame – 3 years 
  • Parts – 180 days 

The Sunny – SF-E905 has one of the smallest footprints when comparing compact ellipticals. It is an excellent option if your biggest concern is space.  

It has non-slip foot pedals and multi-grip handlebars so you can have a comfortable workout. And a digital display monitor showing all the essential tracking metrics like time, speed, distance calories, and pulse.  

The stride length is 11″, which is considered slightly small and can be a point of concern for tall individuals.  

Its lightweight also makes it easy to move around the house if required.  

It doesn’t come with too many bells and whistles but gives you a power-packed workout, making it great value for your money.  

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider 
Small footprint Short stride length
Value for money Limited weight capacity 
Easy to move

Summary of customer reviews: 

Users see this machine as good value for their money, easy to use, and silent. Many tall customers have stated that they are comfortable with the short stride length. There are a few mentions about the resistance not being too different at different levels. Also, assembling the machine can be complicated, but YouTube videos come in handy here.  

Doufit EM-01 Elliptical – Best Compact Elliptical (Budget) 

Product Dimensions: 50” L x 20.5” W x 62” H 

Product Weight: 62.8lbs (28.5kgs)

Foldable: No 

Transport wheels: Yes 

Resistance: 8 levels  

Incline: No 

Maximum User Weight Capacity: 264lbs (120kgs)

Heart rate monitoring: Tracking with the handle grip sensor 

Warranty: Details not mentioned on the website 

The Doufit EM-01 Elliptical is a good value for money small elliptical machine.  

The oversized pedals and the dual handlebars give you an effective workout. The magnetic resistance with 8 levels is suitable for an entry-level elliptical. And the digital display monitor shows all the essential tracking metrics like time, speed, distance calories, and pulse.  

The stride length is 12″, which is considered slightly small and can be a point of concern for tall individuals.  

Its lightweight also makes it easy to move around the house if required.  

Warranty on any workout equipment is crucial. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get this information for the Doufit EM-01 and so we strongly recommend checking this before you purchase this elliptical.  

This is a no-frill machine but ensures that you get a good workout at a reasonable price.  

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider 
Value for money Stride length
Easy to move Warranty

Summary of customer reviews: 

Most customers mention that the machine looks good, and the company provides good customer service. Although the assembly can be confusing, resistance isn’t too heavy, and not all the tracking metrics are accurate.  

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E902 – Best Compact Elliptical (Foldable) 

Product Dimensions: 25” L x 19” W x 57” H 

Product Weight: 35lbs (15.8kgs)

Foldable: Yes (folded dimension: 15” L x 19” W x 61.5” H)

Transport wheels: No

Resistance: No 

Incline: No 

Maximum User Weight Capacity: 220lbs (99.7kgs)

Heart rate monitoring: No


  • Frame – 1 year 
  • Parts – 180 days 

The Sunny SF-E902 is also known as the air walker/air glider. The motion is similar to walking, running, or skiing.  

It doesn’t have a flywheel and thus no adjustable resistance but has a maximum stride length of 30”.  

The most significant advantage of this machine is that it can be folded and put away into the closet or any tight space.  

It is the most basic form of elliptical out there, and you should consider it only if you are looking to get moving.  

Why do we love it What you need to consider 
Easy to store No resistance   
Easy to move 
Low price 

Summary of customer reviews: 

This equipment is seen as value for money but is only reasonable to get you moving and doesn’t give an extensive workout. It is super compact, easy to fold, and saves a ton of space. However, a few customers find the foot pedal slightly small and experience stability issues.

How to choose a space saving elliptical? 

There are a few key points to keep in mind while choosing the best elliptical for small spaces. Consider the below features to ensure you get exactly what you need.  

Size and weight of the machine  

When looking for a space-saving elliptical, checking the size of the machine is the first step. Next, make sure that the equipment fits well in the space you have. Finally, remember to keep a little buffer on each side to have a smooth entry and exit.  

Additionally, if you plan to move the elliptical around your house, take the weight into account. Also, check if it has transport wheels so moving it around isn’t too tricky. Looking for more mobile equipment options? Check out these top picks: the best foldable elliptical, the best under-bed treadmill, or the best under-desk treadmills can also be a good option.

Step-up height 

The step-up height is critical if the room has a low ceiling. Make sure that your height and the elevation you get from the elliptical is at least a couple of inches lesser than the room’s height. This way, you can maintain a good posture while working out and not hit your head to the ceiling.  
If you are considering a machine that offers incline, consider that height as well.   

Stride length 

The stride length for an average adult is about 20”, so the range of 18-22” is comfortable for most people. However, many budget small ellipticals in the market have a stride length as low as 11”. This makes the pedal motion linear (like a stepper) instead of circular and can be a point of concern for tall individuals.  
A linear motion is also fine but not advised for people with knee joint pain.  

User weight capacity 

Small ellipticals offer a lesser user weight capacity compared to the full-sized models. The standard range is between 220lbs to 375lbs. Consider the weight of the heaviest person in the house to ensure that everyone can use the elliptical.  

Resistance and incline

Make sure you have a good range of resistance on the elliptical. This will help keep your workouts challenging as your progress along your fitness journey.  

There are 2 types of resistance you can pick from – magnetic or friction. The magnetic resistance equipment is generally silent but also more expensive. The friction resistance is slightly louder but is more affordable.  
Having an incline will also help you progress in your fitness journey.  

Build quality

You can generally judge the build quality from the weight of the equipment. When the frame is solid and made from heavy-duty material, it will be heavier. Although this makes the elliptical more stable at times, moving it from one room to another or folding it can be difficult.  

Compact ellipticals can sometimes feel slightly unstable when used at high intensity. This often doesn’t have much to do with the build quality. Instead, it is due to the small footprint of the machine.  


Having a good warranty can be lifesaving with all the wear and tear that fitness equipments go through. Generally, expensive machines offer a better warranty, but this may vary.  
The warranty usually is on the frame, parts, and electronics.  

Other features

With the varying price range, you can get an elliptical that is very basic with no frills or something that offers many fancy features. Here are some of the additional features you can pick basis your needs: 

  • Foldable or non-foldable – can come in handy if you need to save space 
  • Interactive workouts – makes the workouts entertaining 
  • App connectivity/integration – can connect with your smartwatch/phone to give comprehensive data 
  • Safety – software lockout and pedal arm safety pin can ensure that the children at home are safe 
  • Speakers 
  • Cooling fan 
  • Smartphone / tablet / bottle holder 
  • Heart rate monitor 
  • Display console 

Lastly, we advise everyone buying a compact elliptical to try the equipment if possible. Yes, you will most probably find the best deal online. But taking a trail at your local fitness store will allow you to feel the machine and understand if the ergonomics suit your body.  

Our Verdict

The best compact elliptical for you is the one that fits well into your home and can offer an effective workout.  

With a small machine footprint, reasonable price, great warranty, and a wide variety of workout options, we believe the Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical is the clear winner.  

Equipped with dual handlebars, 18″ stride, and 16 resistance levels, it can offer an effective workout to most members of your family. 

Disclaimer: The information mentioned in the article above is for educational and informational purposes only. It shouldn’t be considered as health or medical advice. Please consult a doctor or a qualified health professional if you have any medical/health conditions or questions.

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