Best Compact Ellipticals of 2021
Choosing a compact elliptical means you can allow more room for your other gym equipment, or simply 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 2021.
Most of the compact machines shown here have non-folding frames, but 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, when no 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
NordicTrack Commercial 9.9
NordicTrack C 9.5
Rating: 94.5 %
Rating: 92.5 %
Rating: 92.2 %
Rating: 92 %
Rating: 91.6 %
|Resistance||16||16||22 Levels||25 Levels||22 Levels|
|Stride Length||15"||Adjustable (17” or 22”)||17.5" - 18.5"||22"||18" - 20"|
|Programs||5 preprogrammed plus JRNY-enabled||12||iFit Streaming||11||32|
|Flywheel||n/a||N/A||25 lbs||35 lbs||30 lbs|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
Compact Ellipticals Buying Guide
Recent trends reveal how consumer products are becoming more and more compact. Consider the size of mobile phones and laptops now compared to just a few years ago. The same can be said for the exercise world, where fitness companies are responding to the consumer demand for compact yet versatile machines.
Compact ellipticals offer several distinct advantages. They are generally lighter, smaller, and fall into the foldable or non-foldable categories. This means they’re easy to transport, require less floor space, and may fold to save even more room when not in use.
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.
- Very lightweight: Compact ellipticals can be moved from room to room with ease. Whether you want to simply move the elliptical from in front of the TV to the side of the room or you want to move it to a totally different room for storage, these machines are quite easy to move or transport. To make the job easier, they typically come with wheels on the legs so you can just pick up one end and roll.
- Possibly foldable: To help make your home gym even more space friendly, you could always narrow down your search to foldable ellipticals. This would allow you to do free weights in the same space your elliptical rests, offering a complete workout in one room.
- Affordability: On a budget? You’ll generally see these coming in at a lower price point than full sized ellipticals to accommodate this.
- Smaller footprint: Short on space? With their shorter measurements in both width and length, compact ellipticals are ideal for those who don’t have room to spare.
- Features: Because of the lower price point and the fact these ellipticals aren’t as large, they typically don’t carry as many features as full-sized ellipticals. If you want a full scale experience, you will need a full scale machine.
- Durability: Due to their small size, compact ellipticals may not be as durable as full sized ellipticals. The materials used to make them are typically not as great as what’s used to make heavier duty machines at a higher price point.
- Stability: 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. This is because of the difference in their frame.
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 regarded as inferior to the commercial elliptical models, so don’t think you’re getting a junky machine when you take this route. That said, it’s important to remember 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, including:
- Size (length by width)
- Folding vs. Non-Folding
Keep these features in mind when shopping for a compact elliptical to help you compare models; this way you’ll get a machine that fits your workout needs.
The weight is the most important feature here to consider as this dictates how ‘compact’ the 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are compact ellipticals good for losing weight?
Absolutely. Ellipticals, irrespective of the machine size, provide a solid total body workout which strengthens while burning calories.
- What is a good stride length on a compact elliptical?
A lot depends on your own height. For people between 5’9 and 6′ a stride length of 18-20″ is optimal.
- How much does a compact elliptical weigh?
Somewhere between 100 and 150 pounds, with 130 being average.
- How long will a compact elliptical last?
A lot of any machine’s life expectancy hinges on care and maintenance. That said, we figure 7 years minimum with 10 very doable.
- Are compact ellipticals noisier than normal ellipticals?
They really should not be, but given their size they may need more frequent care, which includes tightening of the parts.
More Compact Ellipticals
The following did not make the Top 5 Compact Ellipticals, but are still worth a look: