Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 01, 2021
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An Elliptical is an effective exercise machine you can use to do cardiovascular and weight loss workout at the comfort of your home or office. With a good elliptical machine, you won’t have to go to the gym or spend a fortune on heavy duty fitness equipment. Unlike other fitness equipment that is solely designed to target a particular body part, ellipticals can be used to work on every part of the body. So if you are looking to lose weight quicker, then you should buy any of the best compact elliptical machines on the market.
Finding a good compact elliptical machine is by no means a walk in the park. To help you out, we considered some important features like the resistance levels, size, warranty information, stride length and many more to help you make an informed decision.
To ensure that this guide is comprehensive, we spent the last couple of weeks trying out different elliptical machines, we when through hundreds of reviews and did deep and extensive research to narrow down our top picks. This guide starts with a comparison table that contains the rating of each product. The next section is an in-depth review of each product and finally, a comprehensive buying guide that contains the intricate information you need to buy an elliptical machine that will suit you.
The Schwinn 411 is an ultra-cool, compact, and sturdy elliptical machine with a lot of amazing features that are going to leave your jaws on the floor. It’s super sleek and space friendly design are what set it apart from others out there. Since it isn’t as large as most elliptical machines on the market, you can be sure that it will fit into your workout space.
Another notable thing about the Schwinn 411 is that it has different workout programs like heart rate that is specific and manual, high-intensity interval training challenges and many more that will help you lose weight quickly and keep things interesting.
The Bluetooth and heart rate tracking feature of the Schwinn 411 is certainly going to impress you. With it, you will be able to accurately track your heart rate and your workout at the touch of a button. This amazing feature isn’t found on most models similar to it.
Interestingly, the Schwinn 411 comes with 16 levels of resistance you can choose from. So, you can make your workout intense, average, or easy without stressing yourself out. With this feature, you are definitely going to smash your fitness goal in no time.
Needless to say, the Schwinn 411 is an impressive machine with a lot of cool features, but it has a few issues. First, it doesn’t have a 3-speed fan. Second, it isn’t suitable for tall people. Lastly, it is doesn’t have an inclined capability.
So, if you are looking for a compact and durable elliptical trainer for your home gym, the Schwinn 411 will be good for you.
The Cubii is a portable and durable under-desk elliptical machine that you can use at home or at the office with relative ease. It stands out as discreet, small and portable while also offering a sleek and agronomic design that allows for an intense or low-intensity workout, while, reading, playing video games or working.
Since it fits under the desk comfortably, it isn’t going to draw much attention to itself or become the center of attraction.
Using the Cubii Pro is relatively easy. And this is because it requires minimal leg movement. This means that you won’t bump against the desk while you are using it.
Unlike other under-desk elliptical on the market that are super noisy, the Cubii Pro make a very low hum that is very similar to white noise. So, you can use it at your workplace without feeling distracted.
With the impressive adjustable resistance feature of the Cubii Pro, it will give you the freedom to increase or lower the intensity of your workout at the touch of a button.
The Cubii Pro ships come with a chair wheel stopper that is definitely going to come in handy for those using a wheeled chair in their office or workplace.
Granted, the Cubii Pro is an excellent under-desk elliptical machine, but it has a few downsides. Some customers complained that they didn’t get any response from the customer support team. Also, it comes with a couple of design flaws.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 is a durable, lightweight, and super effective elliptical machine that is perfect for cardiovascular workouts. One remarkable thing about it is that it doesn’t affect the leg joints, knees and ankles. So, after working out with it, you aren’t going to experience joint or leg pain.
Unlike other elliptical machines that are designed to only work on the lower body, the elleptical can work on the upper and lower body at the same time.
Moving the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 around and storing it is relatively easy because it is lightweight and can be moved around easily. Whether you have a large or a small workout area in your home, you will be able to use the unit, as it is portable and can be used in small areas. Also, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 can be folded and stored in a small area when not in use.
With this unit you will be able to work on your hamstrings, stretch your leg muscles and ultimately increase your overall flexibility.
While the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 is an excellent elliptical machine with a handful of impressive features, it has a couple of issues. Some users complained that the heart rate monitor embedded in the machine doesn’t work properly. Also, the machine offers very little resistance.
So, if are looking for a portable, easy to assemble and efficient elliptical machine, then the model will be an excellent option for you.
If you lead a busy lifestyle, then you certainly need a machine that will help you to remain healthy despite your lifestyle. Well, that is what you get from this mode. If you don’t have enough time during the day for working out, you can use this machine at work or wherever else you are to the best effect.
From the design, it is clear that this is designed to give you the best workout routine without plenty of stress. It is compact and lightweight. Overall, it is an evidently well-made product, It will give the fitness that you need when at work.
The compact design means you can store in easily when not in use and can even put in under your desk and workout as you continue with working. However, it doesn’t come with pre-defined workout programs. While it doesn’t have this, what it certainly has is a compact monitor that tracks stuff like your calories, time spent exercising, strides, and more.
It is designed for people that weigh 150 -175 pounds.
Considering all the features above, it is easy to conclude that this would be an expensive option, however, that isn’t the case. It is a budget option and the best budget option on this list.
However, due to the cost, it is still clear that this needs some work.
The ProForm Cardio HIIT is an excellent addition to a home gym because it is effective, sturdy, and can exercise the whole body.
The ProForm Cardio HIIT has a dimension of 66″ L x 29.25″ W x 39″ H. Since it doesn’t take much space, you can be sure that it is going to fit into your home gym perfectly.
Unlike other elliptical machines on the market with very little or no resistance, the ProForm Cardio HIIT has twenty-four resistance setting. This top-notch elliptical machine is also going to give you the freedom to control the intensity of your workout at the touch of a button.
With the ProForm Cardio HIIT, you will be able to keep track of your progress. The machine has an impressive 7-inch display screen that shows stats for time, distance, speed, and calories burned.
Working out the ProForm Cardio HIIT is going to make you feel like you are walking on clouds while burning calories. The generously cushioned and oversized pedals of this rugged elliptical machine are going to make you feel super comfortable while working out.
Interestingly, the ProForm Cardio HIIT can be connected to MP3 players, speakers, and smart phones. Also, it has a special water bottle and tablet holder.
No doubt, the ProForm Cardio HIIT is an impressive elliptical machine with mind-blowing features, but it has a few downsides. For starters, it is super expensive. Also, it is difficult to assemble. Of course, these issues take nothing from the performance of this excellent machine.
So if you are looking for an excellent HIIT machine to take your workout to the next level, the ProForm Cardio HIIT will be good for you.
Choosing the best elliptical machine on the market is likely going to be a challenge especially if you haven’t bought one before as buying any exercise equipment, require a lot of factors to consider and tips that you must keep in mind. Below is a comprehensive buying guide that contains the intricate knowledge you need to buy an elliptical machine that will suit your needs.
Main benefits of an elliptical trainer
Presently, there are lots of exercise equipment on the market that can help you burn those extra pounds at home. While you have the freedom to choose anyone you want, it is wise you go for an elliptical machine especially if you want to lose weight quickly without going to the gym. Below are some amazing benefits you are going to enjoy when you buy an elliptical machine.
Total body workout
Unlike most fitness equipment on the market that are designed to target one or two body parts, the elliptical machine gives you the freedom to work on your entire body at the same time.
An elliptical machine can help speed up your journey. In fact, some studies that were conducted not too long ago show that one can burn 400+ calories in around thirty minutes in an elliptical machine. However, if you want to be fit one elliptical probably will not be enough. Try to look through other exercisers, which would help you not only to lose weight but gain muscles.
Very easy to use
Setting up and using an elliptical trainer is very easy. Even more, it takes very little space, and some models can be used at home or at the office.
Customize your workout
With an elliptical trainer, you can customize your workout to your taste and preferences. This means that you can make your workout super intense or mild at the touch of a button.
You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a super expensive elliptical machine to lose weight. You can reach your fitness goal and build your dream body with affordable models like the Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical or the Schwinn 411.
Buying the cheapest elliptical machine you can find is really a smart move. Granted, you may save a few bucks, but the machine may not be able to help you lose weight effectively. This may likely be because it is built with low-quality materials. Don’t sacrifice quality to save a few dollars.
So, if you are on a tight budget, you can choose to go for high quality, but affordable models like the Stamina InMotion E1000.
Exercise tips – elliptical machine workouts
You aren’t going to lose much weight if you do the same workout every day. The obvious reason for this is that our bodies are designed to adapt. So when you do a particular exercise regularly, your body will get used to it. In time, your muscles won’t have to work as hard as they did before, and you will burn fewer calories.
To lose weight effectively, you have to be flexible in your approach to weight loss. This means doing different exercise with different level of intensity. There are a lot of exercises to lose weight, but if are more into running there is a list of inexpensive treadmills specially for you.
Below are some workouts you can easily do with an elliptical machine.
All you got to do to work your core with an elliptical machine is to leave the handles. Not using the handles while you workout engages your core muscles as you work twice as hard to stay balanced.
Total body workout
With a top-notch elliptical machine like the ProForm Cardio HIIT or the Schwinn 411, you will be able to target every part of your body.
This workout is only 22 minutes long and a great option when you don’t have time for a full workout.
You can target your hamstrings and glutes with relative ease by playing with the incline on the elliptical.
Features to consider while buying the best compact elliptical
As you probably know, all the elliptical machines on the market aren’t going to suit your needs or help you reach your fitness goals. To choose a good one that will suit you, there are some important features you must consider, below are some of them.
Size and folding
Unlike treadmills that take a lot of space, elliptical machines are designed to take less space. Even more, they can be folded and stored in very small areas when not in use. In fact, you can use elliptical machine models similar to the Sunny Health & Fitness under your bed.
If you own an elliptical machine or haven’t used it before, you might assume that it is difficult to fold and store. Well, the truth is that it is not. The reason for this is that electronics or hydraulics will do all the work for you. So, very little physical strength is required.
Most top-notch elliptical machines on the market like the ProForm Cardio HIIT or the Schwinn 411 support classic and interactive workout. You see, interactive workout utilizes technologies like street view and Google maps to take you around part of the world while you are working out on your elliptical machine.
Also, some elliptical machines come with built- in apps you can sync with a lot of mobile fitness apps. Examples of apps and entertainment apps that can sync with elliptical machines are Hulu, My Fitness Pal and many more.
Keep in mind that not all elliptical trainers can support interactive workout or can sync with mobile apps. Only top-models like the ProForm Cardio HIIT or the Schwinn 411 have this feature.
Stride and incline
Do you know that narrow foot spacing is part of a good, natural and healthy stride? You can easily identify this when walking in across a room or in an open area. Your feet shouldn’t be separated by more than two inches when they move past each other.
The best elliptical machines have very little or no gap between pedals. Also, they have adjustable strides (18 to 22 inches) that can serve as treadmills and stair climbers.
Adjustable stride can help you burn more calories and for muscle toning, but an incline can help you do all these and many more. Many high-quality elliptical machines like the ProForm Cardio HIIT or the Schwinn 411 have very powerful inclines.
You aren’t going to lose those extra pounds as fast as you would love to if you spend 30 to 50 minutes on an elliptical machine that offers little or no resistance. To lose weight quickly, you have to exert yourself and make your workout more challenging. Below are the two main types of resistance.
Magnetic resistance offers a consistent and natural feeling during a workout.
Fan wheel resistance
Fan wheel resistance offers a very smooth ride and is usually employed in fairly expensive or low-cost elliptical machine.
A good elliptical machine like the Schwinn 411 will provide enough resistance to facilitate smooth motion. And remember, the smoother the exercise, the longer a person can exercise. Also, smooth resistance helps mitigate the risk of an injury.
Regardless of the model of elliptical machines you want to buy, it is important that you check its weight capacity. Top notch elliptical trainers like the Schwinn 411 have a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs weight capacity. The best elliptical machine on the market has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds max user weight. Elliptical machines with higher maximum weight are usually very durable and sturdy.
Exercise equipment is generally becoming more and more connected to the cloud to provide access to a vast library of exercise programs, social network and track workout. Most elliptical machines like the ProForm Cardio HIIT, Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical or the Schwinn 411 can sync with mobile apps and have a built-in browser and wireless conductivity.
While an elliptical machine doesn’t have a lot of fancy features or a wide LCD screen to help you lose weight, having one with these features will make your workout more fun and keep things interesting. These features can also help you accurately track or record your workout.
Whether you are looking to buying an inexpensive elliptical machine like the Stamina InMotion E1000 or fairly expensive model like the Schwinn 411, safety should always be your number one priority.
If you have kids, don’t allow them to play with or close to the machine because they can easily get trapped or pinched in its moving parts. Another way to ensure safety is by employing safety features like- Software lockout and pedal arm safety pin.
This is a straightforward software feature that is designed to disable the display and keypad, thus making the machine less attractive to little kids.
Pedal Arm Safety Pin
This is a mechanical device that is designed to increase pedaling resistance or prevent the machine from been pedaled.
This is something you must never overlook when opting for any fitness equipment. Fairly expensive elliptical machines have two to five years warranty on certain parts. Lifetime coverage, on the other hand, includes labor costs and frame usually for the first 2 years.
Since it is somewhat expensive, it is wise you first consult a doctor before making a purchase. Your doctor will help you determine if the machine will be able to help you reach your fitness goal or not.
While we were pleased with the five compact elliptical machines reviewed in our guide, here are our 3 picks.
The Schwinn 411 took our number one spot because it is sturdy, easy to assemble and use and has a lot of impressive features. Even more, it has different workout programs and 16 levels of resistance. So, if you are looking for a high-performance elliptical machine, the Schwinn 411 will be perfect for you.
Our second best elliptical machine is the Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical, its sleek design and impressive features is what makes it stand out from others other there.
Our third best pick, the Stamina InMotion E1000 is a budget-friendly, efficient, lightweight, and warranty protected elliptical machine with a handful of features that will make your weight loss journey fun.
We hope this guide helps you narrow down the best compact elliptical machine that will suit your needs.