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If you’ve ever frequented a gym or fitness center, chances are you’re familiar with the elliptical machine, which is one of the most popular cardio options out there.
The elliptical trainer is an excellent tool to help strengthen your heart, your lungs, and various muscles while providing a solid workout.
The elliptical can help burn body fat, improve balance, and lessen the impact on your joints if you’re using it while recovering from an injury and taking a break from another activity, such as running (
But while an elliptical can be a go-to piece of gym equipment for rehabbing or preventing an injury, it can be a rather cumbersome item to keep at home, especially if you don’t have much space.
That’s where compact ellipticals come in. They usually have a front drive rather than a rear one to take up less space and have wheels so you can easily move and store them when you’re not using them.
Here are the 5 best compact ellipticals of 2022.
You’ll want to nail down exactly what you’re looking for, whether it’s a mix of interactive workouts to keep your routine interesting, a cross-training workout method to get you through a sports injury, or a simple go-to cardio machine just to ensure you get regular exercise.
An elliptical can be useful for home workouts, whether you prefer high intensity interval training or steady-state sessions.
There are a number of elliptical options on the market, so we’ve narrowed down our top five compact options based on the following criteria:
- Price. Because budgets can vary, we included machines at a variety of price points.
- Features and training options. For example, some models include varying levels of Bluetooth compatibility, while others offer more or less fitness tracking support. There’s something for everyone in this roundup.
- Overall size and weight capacity. The amount of space you have available and the weight capacity you need may vary, too, so we’ve included a range of options.
All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.
By narrowing down your preferences, you’ll be better able to choose from among the many options available to you.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is relatively affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.
Generally, prices range from $799–$1,699, though this may vary depending on where you shop.
- $ = under $1,000
- $$ = $1,000–$1,500
- $$$ = over $1,500
While this compact elliptical offers fewer features than many others on the market, it offers the most bang for your buck if you need a solid machine that just gets the job done when it comes to your workouts.
Its upper body exercise component offers a total-body workout, while its quiet drive system allows you to keep noise to a minimum.
Wireless chest strap and pulse monitors are available for you to monitor your heart rate.
Other built-in console features include a water bottle holder, a cooling fan, and speakers.
You can also opt for a 12-month payment plan with 0% APR if you purchase the machine on the Sole Fitness website.
Sole Fitness E25 at a glance
- 24 inches wide, 66 inches deep, 71 inches tall
- maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds
- 20 incline levels and 20-pound flywheel
- LCD backlit screen and integrated tablet holder
- lifetime warranty for the frame, 1-year for labor, and 3-year for parts
This compact elliptical is one of ProForm’s more affordable options. If you’re after more versatility in your workouts and fewer frills in terms of features, this could be your machine.
This trainer lets you stream global outdoor workouts with an iFit membership, and its live trainer control can match the machine’s resistance to the workout’s intensity, helping you build strength without getting bored by your workouts.
It also has transport wheels so you can roll it away if you’re dealing with limited storage or small spaces.
Other features include an EKG grip pulse heart rate sensor, an integrated tablet holder, a 15-pound effective inertia-enhanced flywheel, and an audio auxiliary port with speakers.
Your purchase also comes with an interest-free 18-month payment plan.
ProForm Carbon EL at a glance
- 25 inches wide, 68.5 inches deep, 67.75 inches tall
- maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds
- 18 levels of resistance with silent magnetic resistance
- 5-inch high contrast display screen
- iFit Bluetooth smart-enabled
- 10-year warranty for the frame and 1-year for labor
The main thing this elliptical has going for it is its tiny size, so if smaller is better for your space, this is likely the machine for you.
Otherwise, it has some drawbacks. It’s compatible only with the Bowflex JRNY app, which requires a paid membership (though the machine comes with a free 6-month trial), and the warranty periods are much shorter than other brands’.
It does have a heart rate monitor, a decent number of resistance levels, and a unique burn rate display to keep you motivated, in addition to basic features like a USB charging port and tablet holder.
Bowflex offers an interest-free 18-month payment plan.
Bowflex Max Trainer M6 at a glance
- 26 inches wide, 46 inches deep, 64.2 inches tall
- maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds
- 16 resistance levels
- unique burn rate display
- Bluetooth-enabled for heart rate
- 2-year warranty for the frame and parts and 90-day for labor
Highest weight capacity
If your main priority is finding a compact elliptical with a higher weight capacity, this may be the trainer for you.
In addition to accommodating up to 375 pounds, this lightweight machine offers 6 standard programmable workouts and 2 custom ones for people of all fitness levels.
It also offers pedals designed by physical therapists to boost comfort and minimize pain, in addition to pulse grips and a chest strap for heart rate monitoring.
This machine also comes with a 12-month payment plan with 0% APR.
Sole Fitness E55 at a glance
- 27 inches wide, 66 inches deep, 71 inches tall
- maximum weight capacity of 375 pounds
- 20 digital resistance levels and 20-pound flywheel
- LCD backlit screen and integrated tablet holder
- lifetime warranty for the frame, 2-year for labor, and 5-year for parts
Best for streaming classes
This trainer offers the versatility of thousands of streamable workouts, but one drawback is that it simply comes with a tablet holder rather than being equipped with its own screen.
The iFit classes include a wide range of options, from high energy studio sessions to breathtaking runs through picturesque locations across the globe, with trainers who can adjust your incline and resistance in real time.
The SpaceSaver design allows you to easily fold the machine for compact vertical storage when not in use.
If you purchase on NordicTrack’s site, there is a 12-month payment plan option with 0% APR.
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i at a glance
- 32 inches wide, 80 inches deep, 67 inches tall
- maximum weight capacity of 325 pounds
- 22 digital resistance levels
- integrated tablet holder
- iFit-enabled, with 1-year membership included
- 10-year warranty for the frame, 1-year for labor, and 2-year for parts
|Sole Fitness E25||ProForm Carbon EL||Bowflex Max Trainer M6||Sole Fitness E55||NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i|
|Dimensions||24 inches wide, 66 inches deep, 71 inches tall||25 inches wide, 68.5 inches deep, 67.75 inches tall||26 inches wide, 46 inches deep, 64.2 inches tall||27 inches wide, 66 inches deep, 71 inches tall||32 inches wide, 80 inches deep, 67 inches tall|
|Resistance adjustment||20 incline levels||18 levels of resistance with silent magnetic resistance||16 resistance levels||20 digital resistance levels||22 digital resistance levels|
|Max weight capacity||350 pounds||300 pounds||300 pounds||375 pounds||325 pounds|
|Screen||LCD backlit screen and integrated tablet holder||5-inch high contrast display||unique burn rate display||LCD backlit screen and integrated tablet holder||integrated tablet holder|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth-compatible||iFit Bluetooth smart-enabled||Bluetooth-enabled for heart rate; compatible with Bowflex JRNY app||Bluetooth-enabled||iFit-enabled, with 1-year membership included|
|Warranty||lifetime warranty for frame, 1-year for labor, 3-year for parts||10-year warranty for frame, 1-year for labor||2-year warranty for frame and parts, 90-day for labor||lifetime warranty for frame, 2-year for labor, 5-year for parts||10-year warranty for frame, 1-year for labor, 2-year for parts|
The prices above reflect the current manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) and may vary by retailer.
If you’ve decided an elliptical trainer is the best piece of equipment for your health and fitness needs, you clearly have several options to choose from.
A compact elliptical specifically can help you get a solid workout at home without taking up too much space. By knowing what exactly you want to look for in your equipment, you can choose the machine that’s right for you.