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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

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

Bowflex M6

Diamondback 1280ef Elliptical

Diamondback 1280ef


NordicTrack Commercial 9.9

Bowflex BXE216

Bowflex BXE216

NordicTrack C 9.5


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: 92.5 %
Rating: 92.2 %
Rating: 92 %
Rating: 91.6 %

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

161622 Levels25 Levels22 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).

15"Adjustable (17” or 22”)17.5" - 18.5"22"18" - 20"

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

5 preprogrammed plus JRNY-enabled12iFit Streaming1132

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

n/aN/A25 lbs35 lbs30 lbs

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


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

See Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best PriceSee 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:

  1. Weight
  2. Size (length by width)
  3. 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.

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More Compact Ellipticals

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

6 NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

Rating: 90.8%
Price: $1,699 - 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 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 »

8 Octane Fitness XT-One

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 »

9 ZR7 Zero Runner

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 »

10 Bowflex BXE116

Bowflex BXE116

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

The Bowflex Results BXE116 is a powerful elliptical machine with a long stride. An especially results-oriented series of cross trainers, the BXE116 supports smooth exercise with cushioned pedals and a 25-level resistance system, and it has Bluetooth for fitness data management. Read Review »

11 Pro HIIT H14

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

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

The ProForm Pro HIIT H14 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: $7,845 - Best Price: $5798

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: $1,299 - 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 »

15 ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 Trainer

ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 Trainer

Rating: 88.5%
Price: $1,403 - Best Price: $1403

The ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 is a high-quality trainer that supports low-impact, high-intensity workouts. Its 7" touchscreen features iFit connectivity for interactive workouts. Read Review »

16 The ProForm SMART Pro 12.9

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 »

17 Nautilus Elliptical E618

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 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 »

19 Matrix A50 Ascent

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 »

20 Octane Fitness Q37

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 »


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 »

22 Matrix E50 Elliptical

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 »

24 ProForm Smart Strider 895 CSE

ProForm Smart Strider 895 CSE

Rating: 85.8%
Price: $1,999 - Best Price:

The compact Smart Strider 895 CSE is an nice and advanced elliptical trainer with lots of extra gadgets and the ability to fold away. Read Review »

25 ProForm Smart Strider 695 CSE

ProForm Smart Strider 695 CSE

Rating: 84.4%
Price: $1,299 - Best Price:

The compact Smart Strider 695 CSE is a great simple folding away elliptical machine for users looking for a basic and accessible workout option they can store away in the corner or a large closet. Read Review »