Finding an elliptical machine for your home is often quite complicated, but more so if you live in a small apartment or have only a small space designated for fitness equipment. But have no fear, we are here to help. In this article, we will explore some of the best ellipticals for small spaces.
What Makes for a Good Elliptical Machine?
Considering the fact that this article is titled “best elliptical for small spaces”, how big or small the machine is will of course be foremost in our thoughts.
But there is little point in focusing solely on size. You also want a cross trainer that is durable, good value for money, easily transportable, and ideally one that is fairly quiet when in use. So, in our ranking table (see below) we will take a look at the following criteria:
- Size – Obviously, this will be our first issue. How much space does this machine take up? Will it fit in small spaces? Can you use it in a crowded apartment?
- Durability – If you are basing your purchase on size, you need to also pay attention to durability. Small machines may also be poorly constructed and may have stability issues. Because of this, we will score each machine based on how durable and stable it is. Will it perform well when used at a high intensity? Will it last you a long time or fall apart within a week?
- Value – Value for money is not just about finding an inexpensive elliptical machine. It is finding one that provides a good product for a reasonable price. An expensive model that lasts you 15 years of constant use is going to be better value than an inexpensive model that only lasts for 3 weeks before becoming damaged and needing to be replaced.
- Transportable – Can you move your elliptical machine easily? In small spaces this can be very important, as the machine may need to be tidied away when not in use. While not necessarily a deal breaker for many people, transportability can be crucial for others. That’s why we’ve included it in our list of criteria.
- Noise – Chances are, that if you have a small apartment, or a lack of space, then how much noise your elliptical machine makes is also going to be a concern.
Now that you know what our list of criteria is, and why we are using each one, let’s take a look at our comparison table of the four best elliptical for small spaces. Each criterion will be marked out of five, and the total will be marked out of 25.
|Best Elliptical for Small Spaces||Size||Durability||Value||Transport||Noise||Total|
|SCHWINN 411 Compact Elliptical Machine||5||5||4||3||4||21/25|
|Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Trainer||4||4||5||4||4||21/25|
|POMT Compact Elliptical Machine||5||3||5||4||4||21/25|
|Bowflex M8 Elliptical Machine||4||5||4||4||5||22/25|
We’ve written many review articles on cardio machines, but rarely has one been so close, with three models scoring 21/25 and the fourth scoring 22. This gives you an idea of how good these four models are. But not all of them score highly for the same reasons.
The POMT compact elliptical machine scores very highly for value but is not quite as durable as the others. While the Bowflex M8 elliptical machine scores well for durability and noise but represents a much more substantial investment.
Now that you have seen how we have scored each machine, let’s take a closer look at each in turn, and help you to decide which elliptical is the right fit for your small space.
Best Elliptical for Small Spaces #1: SCHWINN 411 Compact Elliptical Machine
What’s great about the SCHWINN 411 compact elliptical machine is that though it is small it still provides an 18 inch stride, which is comparable to larger gym-based elliptical machines. It’s a best of both worlds situation.
Considering its compact frame, the 411 elliptical offers a lot of benefits. There are 16 resistance levels, a wonderful console which is simple to use, well designed, and provides all the information about your workout that you will need. Despite its size, the SCHWINN 411 still has a media rack, allowing you to place your iPad, tablet, or smartphone onto it. Helping you stay entertained during your workout session.
This elliptical machine has Bluetooth connectivity. It also offers a decent heart rate monitor, helping you to train better and making it easier to stay in the fat burning zone. The machine is very quiet compared to the majority of elliptical machines. But to ensure it stays that way you’ll want to keep your 411 well lubricated over time.
The only low score on this machine is the 3/5 for transportation. While the SCHWINN 411 does have wheels, it is an incredibly dense machine, making it hard to move very far. That density helps to increase durability and stability though, so it is a bit of a trade-off.
Overall, this is a superb machine, coming in at the higher end of the market, but providing years of use, a wonderful design, and ideal for small spaces.
Best Elliptical for Small Spaces #2: Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Trainer
The Body Power 2-in-1 trainer is a really well designed and aesthetically pleasing elliptical. It reminds us of the type of machine you would see in a gym studio. Lightweight, durable, and perfect for small spaces. It has that spin bike style that is becoming increasingly popular in gyms and at home.
This machine is actually a combination of an elliptical machine and a stepper, meaning that you get two distinctly different forms of cardio from it. You can also use it to mix up one session. This multifunctionality makes up for the slightly smaller stride length that more compact ellipticals often suffer from.
If you are very tall, then using the machine more as a stepper will probably be a better idea. But people of average height or short stature should be happy with the stride length.
The Body Power 2-in-1 elliptical trainer uses curve crank technology to provide a very quiet and durable elliptical machine. The technology is designed to eliminate so-called dead zones, where tension vanishes mid-stride. This is an issue with some of the lower priced elliptical machines out there and removing this issue can really improve your workout.
This is an excellent elliptical for small spaces, and it is superb value for money, definitely worth considering if you are looking for a mid-range elliptical for your home gym.
Best Elliptical for Small Spaces #3: POMT Compact Elliptical Machine
The POMT Compact elliptical machine is the lowest priced model on this list. It is also the smallest in size, with a length of just 38.5 inches, a width of 20.5 inches, and a height of just 61.5 inches. This explains its perfect score of 5/5. We’ve scored it low for durability, but that is just in comparison with the other high quality models on this list.
The elliptical has a max user weight capacity of 270lbs. This is better than average (around 220lbs) and is an excellent indication of how durable an elliptical is. The elliptical comes with all the features you would expect from a good quality product.
A large and clearly laid out LCD monitor will help you to track your workouts and get all the information you require to succeed. A very simple to use magnetic resistance control will help you to easily shift the intensity quickly while you exercise. The arms are well constructed and contain heart rate monitor panels on the inner arms. This is great for checking your pulse and for staying within the fat burning zone.
The cross trainer is nice and quiet and is also easy to transport around the house. Perfect if you plan on exercising in front of the television (or whatever) and then want to store it out of the way. This is a great product, and excellent value for money.
Best Elliptical for Small Spaces #4: Bowflex M8 Elliptical Machine
The final elliptical machine on our list is the Bowflex M8 elliptical machine. You may have heard about Bowflex before, possibly due to their famous Bowflex adjustable dumbbells? Well, their cardio equipment may not be as famous, but it is (in our opinion) just as impressive.
The M8 elliptical machine is another hybrid that combines elliptical movement with a stepper machine. The central console is a thing of beauty, with simple to use resistance buttons, an excellent control panel, and even a magnetic media rack for your tablet.
This machine is gym worthy but takes up only a fraction of the size of traditional elliptical machines. It is perfect for use in small spaces or crowded rooms. It’s wonderful design, whisper quiet noise, and durability help it to the number one spot on our list. If you have the budget for it, then this is the perfect elliptical machine for you.