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Best Compact Ellipticals of 2018

Choosing a compact elliptical, you can allow room for other gym equipment or otherwise maximize your living space. Very cheap compact ellipticals are generally sketchy characters, but others can be trusted fitness buddies. The chart below shows five top-scoring models for 2018.

The compact machines shown here have non-folding frames. They conserve space 24/7 by housing their drives at the front or center. You can compare compact ellipticals with the most popular folding ellipticals, which are longer when in use but can be folded for storage. Folding ellipticals usually house their drives at the rear.

Good values on compact ellipticals can be found in most price points. The machines on our comparison chart range from mid-priced to high-end.

Top 5 Best Rated Compact Ellipticals

1 2 3 4 5
Model bowflex-max-trainer-m6-compact-size-16-resistance-levels-integrated-heart-rate-monitor

Bowflex M6

Bowflex BXE216

NordicTrack C 9.5

A.C.T. Commercial 10

SC200 Stepper


Our custom rating considers all of the elliptical's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

Rating: 94.5 %
Rating: 92 %
Rating: 91.6 %
Rating: 91.4 %
Rating: 91.1 %

Resistance is what determines calories burned per stride. The more levels, the more precisely you can control the difficulty.

16 Levels 25 Levels 24 Levels 24 Levels 20 Levels
Stride Length

Stride Length is important for comfort and smooth strides. A stride length of 18-21 inches is ideal for most heights (5'3 - 6'7).

n/a 22" 18" - 20" 18-22 inches n/a

Elliptical Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

n/a 11 32 35 Programs 10

The flywheel controls the smoothness and resistance of your workout. In general, the higher the better.

n/a 35 lbs 25 lbs 25 lbs n/a

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$1,699 $2,199 $1,299 $2,999 $1,499

After carefully evaluating each online retailer that offers this Elliptical, this is the website we recommend purchasing from.

See Best Price See Best Price See Best Price See Best Price See Best Price

Compact Ellipticals Buying Guide

If recent trends present any clues, consumer products are definitely becoming much more compact with the prime example being cell phones. Do you remember when cell phones first became available? They were ridiculously massive! Today, some cell phones fit comfortably inside the palm of your hand. As a result, the exercise world has begun to imitate what some companies are doing in the personal electronic market.

Compact ellipticals offer several distinct advantages. Compact ellipticals are lighter, smaller and may or may not fold. As a result, compact ellipticals are easy to transport, require less floor space and may fold to save even more room when not in use. Compact trainers obviously make a lot of sense for a consumer-driven society that is running out of space to put things.

Compact Ellipticals — Pros vs. Cons

So what are the pros and cons of compact ellipticals? Learning what these are will help you make a more informed decision of which one is going to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.


  • Are very lightweight and can be moved from room to room with ease.

Whether you want to simply move the elliptical from the center of the room in front of the TV to the side or you want to move it to a totally different room for storage, these compact ellipticals are quite easy to transport and move. To make the job easier, they typically come with wheels on the legs so you can just pick up one end and roll.

  • Have a smaller footprint

Have a small space? With their shorter measurements in both width and length, compact ellipticals are ideal for those who don’t have room to spare.

  • Often come with a foldable feature

To help make your home gym even more space friendly, these ellipticals typically also fold up. This allows you to do free weights if desired in the same space your elliptical rests so you can get a complete workout all in one very small room.

  • Are more affordable than full sized ellipticals

If you’re on a budget, you’ll generally see these coming in at a lower price point to accommodate.


  • Do not have as many features as the full sized ellipticals do

Because of the lower price point and the fact these ellipticals aren’t as large, they typically don’t carry as many features. If you want a full scale experience, you will need a full scale machine.

  • May not be as durable so may require repairs more often

Because of their small size, they are not usually as durable. The materials used to make these machines are typically not as great as what’s used to make heavier duty machines at a higher price point.

  • The machine may feel unstable if used by a heavier individual or at very high intensity levels

Also because of the difference in their frame, you may find that these ellipticals feel a bit unsteady when you begin exercising at very high intensity levels, or if you are a heavier user to start with.

So consider your own situation. Are you looking for a compact elliptical that will help you minimize your space requirements? Or are you looking for a full scale elliptical that will ensure you have plenty of room to progress with your workouts and that you are always having the best user experience possible?

This will help you determine whether a compact elliptical is right for you. These machines have come a long way since their original days when they were definitely regarded as inferior to the commercial elliptical models, so don’t think that you are getting a junky machine when you go this route. But do know that they won’t give you quite the same experience as a machine you may have tried at the local gym before.

Compact Elliptical Features

There are three main features that compact ellipticals typically provide that you’ll want to know about. These include:

  1. Their Weight
  2. Their size (length by width)
  3. Folding vs. Non-Folding

When shopping for your compact elliptical, keep these features in mind. Compare models based on these so that you can ensure you are getting one that will give you exactly what you need.

The weight is the most important feature here to consider as weight dictates how ‘compact’ that elliptical really is. Beyond that, the size is another very important consideration. Since the primary purpose of these is typically to put them in small spaces, you’ll want to have this as a clear point of comparison.

More Compact Ellipticals

The following did not make the Top 5 Compact Ellipticals, but are still worth a look:


Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner

Rating: 90.8%
Price: $4,299 - Best Price: $4,299

The Octane ZR8 Zero Runner is an ideal cardio trainer for runners who want to avoid injury and boost performance. If the ZR8 fits your budget, it could be your best choice for a zero impact home cardio trainer. Read Review »


NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

Rating: 90.8%
Price: $2,499 - Best Price: $1,299

The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i takes up the smallest footprint on the market when folded up for storage. The elliptical also features a web-enabled 7" display and 30 workout apps. Read Review »


Octane Fitness XT-One

Rating: 90.6%
Price: $8,500 - Best Price: $8,500

The Octane XT-One is an exceptional fitness machine. Like no other it supports striding, running and climbing along with advanced cross training. It can even be used as just an upper body trainer if side platforms are added. Read Review »


Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner

Rating: 90.3%
Price: $3,299 - Best Price: $3,299

The Octane Fitness ZeroRunner ZR7 is an impressive zero impact alternative. It has a good warranty, is Bluetooth compatible and if you buy online you get an iPad mini for FREE! Read Review »


Bowflex BXE116

Rating: 90.3%
Price: $1,999 - Best Price: $1499

The Bowflex BXE116 is a brand new elliptical machine for Bowflex in 2017 and the entry level one for the Results Series. Read Review »


ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro

Rating: 89.3%
Price: $2,699 - Best Price: $1,499

The ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro is a high quality trainer because it's gentle on the body, has many challenge levels and uses workout time efficiently. Read Review »


Precor AMT 835

Rating: 89%
Price: $9,395 - Best Price: $8,895

The Precor AMT 835 is a popular trainer among people of all ability levels. This center drive elliptical machine comes with 20 resistance levels, a large LED Display and an adaptive stride length up to 36 inches. Read Review »


NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i

Rating: 88.8%
Price: $1,499 - Best Price: $999

The Nordictrack SpaceSaver SE7i is an incredibly compact elliptical at a great price point and is so fast to setup, you'll be working out in no time. Read Review »


NordicTrack C 7.5

Rating: 88.5%
Price: $1,299 - Best Price: $799

The NordicTrack C 7.5 is a good entry-level elliptical machine that is quipped with the necessary workout features to give you a good workout. Read Review »


ProForm SMART Pro 12.9

Rating: 88.3%
Price: $1,999 - Best Price: $1,387

The ProForm SMART Pro 12.9 offers 26 digital resistance levels, a 32-pound flywheel and 35 workout apps to help you get the workout you are looking for. Read Review »


Nautilus E618

Rating: 88.1%
Price: 1299 - Best Price: $1129

The Nautilus E618 features a 22 inch stride length, multiple levels of resistance, built-in cooling fan and LCD display. Read Review »


Matrix A50 Ascent Trainer

Rating: 88%
Price: $3,199 - Best Price: $3,199

For dramatic incline and the elliptical industry’s smoothest resistance, experience the A50 Ascent Trainer. This exclusive total-body trainer features induction braking, 30 resistance levels and a choice of consoles. Read Review »


Matrix A30 Ascent Trainer

Rating: 88%
Price: $2,899 - Best Price: $2,899

A star at sculpting muscles and blasting calories, the A30 is a magnetic elliptical with extreme incline and a custom console. Its stride varies from 20 to 24 inches. Read Review »


Octane Fitness Q37

Rating: 87.8%
Price: $2,899 - Best Price: $2,899

The Octane Q37 is a winner for total body training at all ability levels. It stands out from other high-end ellipticals with moving arm bars partly because of its extra support for cross training. Read Review »


ProForm HIIT Trainer

Rating: 87.8%
Price: $2,143 - Best Price: $1499

The ProForm HIIT Trainer is a high quality trainer because it burns more calories than traditional exercise equipment and it is gentle on the body. This cardio trainer has 32 workout apps and multi-function handlebars to help get that full body workout. Read Review »


Octane Fitness Q35

Rating: 87.8%
Price: $2,199 - Best Price: $2,199

The Q35 is a streamlined Octane elliptical machine that offers lots of training possibilities and is easy on the joints. Read Review »


Matrix E50

Rating: 87.3%
Price: $2,599 - Best Price: $2,599

The compact E50 with induction brake is the most advanced fixed-stride elliptical from Matrix for home use. This compact trainer with custom console has a 20” stride and 30 levels of ultra-precise resistance. Read Review »


Octane Fitness Q47

Rating: 87.0%
Price: $4,599 - Best Price: $3,299

The Octane Q47 elliptical machine supports exceptional muscle toning with its adjustable stride. It is Equipped with cross training prompts and upper body resistance it’s more than a great elliptical -- it's a whole gym. Read Review »


NordicTrack A.C.T. Commercial

Rating: 87%
Price: $1,499 - Best Price: $1299

The Nordictrack A.C.T. Commercial Elliptical is a space saving elliptical machine that offers a healthy mix of features and workouts. Read Review »


ProForm Smart Strider 735

Rating: 86%
Price: $1,299 - Best Price: $799

The compact Smart Strider 735 Elliptical is a budget elliptical and offers a decent machine for a small space. Read Review »