Best Small Elliptical-Guide & Reviews

The best small elliptical trainers are ideal workout machines as their low impact, easy on joints, and challenge both lower and upper body for that intensive calorie burn. Unlike treadmills, small ellipticals trainer use specially designed pedals and a special drive mechanism that creates a circular motion similar to jogging or walking, but here the user’s feet remain firmly on the pedal and their joints also have support all the time.Another benefit of using elliptical trainers is due to their efficacy to work out upper body parts simultaneously along with the lower body, which helps in improving muscle tone and ensuring optimal calorie burn.

Our Top Elliptical Machine Picks

Stamina in-motion elliptical trainer

Best small elliptical

It offers affordable way to work out at home. This elliptical trainer is also popular in the gym. It is lightweight and compact to use in office or at home.


  • Low impact design protects knees, back, ankles and hips
  • Lightweight, compact elliptical trainer for office or home
    • Electronic monitor tracks exercise time, strides and calories
  • Sturdy steel construction, and comes with non-slip pedals.


  • Stride length is too short.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3609 Premium Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3609 Premium Magnetic Elliptical

Sunny Health &Fitness SF-3609 gives a look and feel of an elliptical trainer with magnetic resistance that can work on different muscles of upper/lower body simultaneously. It is equipped with double action arms and sturdy pedals that allow varying levels of challenge. You can easily change resistance levels from 1-8 during your workout without having to get on this trainer.

The LCD computer displays speed, distance, time, calories, pulse rate through pulse readers on handles in the middle for variable tracking and odometer. The machine weights 71.7 pounds and can have user weight of 265 pounds. Ideal for both taller and shorter adults, it can be moved around with ease.

With SF-E3609 you will be burning fat and calories, working on your quads, hamstrings, arms-biceps, buttocks core abdominals and different body muscles at the same time and it’s great to adjust to varying levels of resistance.

You won’t get extra bells and whistles which you may not use. It needs some assembly but is very easy to put up together once you follow its clearly worded instructions carefully. The company is based in LA, California and has more than 10 years of history in the fitness industry as reputable distributors of top products directly from good manufacturers in East so they can offer you lowest prices and highest quality. A company also boasts of great customer support.


  • Hand pulse monitoring system for variable heartbeat monitoring
  • Dual action workout arms offer a complete upper body workout
    • Large pedal construction with special ridge design for secure footing
    • Higher maximum user weight-265 lbs
    • Target buttocks, arms, hamstrings, quadriceps. Level tension controller offers a varied workout
  • Console displays calories burnt, time, speed, odometer, and distance.


  • Machine is bit wobbly

Palm Springs 2 in 1 Elliptical Cross Trainer & Exercise Bike

Palm Springs 2 in 1 Elliptical Cross Trainer & Exercise Bike

The Palm Springs 2-in-1 elliptical cross trainer and exercise bike comes with an adjustable set so you can easily exercise while sitting or standing, and offers 12” forward and reverse strides, adding variety to your workouts.
This model is equipped with an adjustable resistance dial and a full-function onboard computer that monitors speed, time, calories burned and distance, so you can easily keep track of your overall performance and can change an intensity of workouts. The package comes with vital tools for assembly and instruction manual is also included. The unit weights 65 pounds and can easily accommodate up to 250 pounds.

Feedback on Amazon is positive and reviewers love this units robustness, and easy assembly. It is also affordable. Users believe that it is compact and also operates smoothly. The adjustable handlebars make it suitable for users of all heights.


  • Four functions onboard computer (speed, time, calories, distance), batteries included, strides both reverses.
    • The unit includes an adjustable set to ensure a variety of workouts. Use standing or sitting
    • Instruction manuals and other necessary tools included I the package. Full factory warranty.
  • Burns five times more calories than walking. Dimensions (34”x24”x60”), stride length-13”. It comes with adjustable resistance and resistance dial.


  • The friction belt on bike is not sturdy
  • The friction can sometimes tighten up during usage

Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine

If you’re not feeling challenged with your workout routine, it’s time to up the ante and chooses a product that’s designed to push you up your limits. The new Schwinn A-40 elliptical is an entry level elliptical rower that’s easy-to-use and comes with a long-term warranty (2 years on frame and 6 months on parts).

It features perimeter-weighted high-inertia flywheel, and it runs quietly and smoothly, with eight levels of eddy current resistance to keep you on your toes.

This battery operated trainer comes with 7 workout programs and can keep things challenging at all times. It has a 17.5 inches stride length and footplates that make striding as natural as can be. It is great for mid-point users and works fine for advanced users.
The machine offers good stability and comes packed with some awesome features that help you monitor progress easily. It’s easy to read console allows you to track workout progress based on distance, time, speed, pulse, resistance level and calories. Its console also includes a water bottle holder, reading rack, and an integrated two-speed fan to keep you fully engaged and comfortable at all times.

You can use its 6 different buttons to change resistance and currently displayed stats. Navigation is easy via intuitive grid display that has touch controls. The unit gets its power from two AAA sized batteries.

Workout Programs

There are 6 built in programs in Schwinn A40, plus a quick start or manual option. It also has a built-in 8 levels of resistance which is provided by its electro-magnets. After 5 minutes of no use, the Schwinn A40 will enter sleep mode.


  • 7 workouts programs will keep you challenged
    • Easy-to-read large LCD window can track your time, speed, calories, distance and more
    • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Speakers, grip heart rate monitor


  • It makes some clanking noise during workouts


How to choose the best small elliptical?

Budget and Goals

The first consideration before buying an elliptical exercise machine is your budget. You should also research on its features (basic, standard and elite models) so that you have a clear idea on their price. For instance, if you want to buy a compact elliptical trainer for daily use, consider basic trainers. For all those with advanced fitness goals, you can go significantly higher on the price front.

Space and Design

Depending upon the design and brand, many elliptical trainers are much more compact and also come with the special foldable design. Some of them may have neither. This all depends on where the flywheel or drive system is located: either at the back, in the front or on the sides. The newest model, come with center drive design, with the flywheel on both sides of the machine. Understanding your exact space requirements will also help you select the overall build and design of small elliptical trainer. Most elite trainers on the market and those with higher user weight capabilities are generally heavier and sturdy machines and can be difficult to maneuver.

Features to Consider

* Stability-As with any machine, stability is important. Best machines are one that has an ability to fit you, and not the other way around. A heavier elliptical will be more stable.

* Resistance level-Higher resistance level can help increase the challenge of your workout more incrementally. There are two main styles of resistance:

  • Magnetic resistance-Available in high-end machines, and offer quietest, more consistent and natural feeling workout.
  • Fan wheel resistance-Available in many low cost elliptical.

* Console-Not all machines come with a computer, but if they do, you need to look for:

  • Display-It should be backlit and easy to read
  • Data provided

The best elliptical computers provide you a range of data including, stride speed, distance, heart rate, and time of session if you have the necessary adaptor. Sometimes you’re allowed to upload data to external devices or website for tracking progress.

If you need advanced entertainment options, such as Android or apple connectivity, built-in speakers, internet connectivity, you need to consider higher end trainers. Most consoles these days feature LCD screen, some of these are backlit while others are not. Another vital factor to consider on console is the number of heart rate monitoring mechanism and workout programs. Usually, there are 5-30 workout programs depending upon the price and many hi-end trainers also offer wireless monitoring systems that also link to pre-set workout programs.

* Incline Adjustment-It’s ability to adjust the degree of incline as it is the core of working out on an elliptical. Lower end models may have manual include adjustments and bigger machines have easy-to-use power incline controls.

* Stride Length-This length varies from machine to machine. If you’re tall, a longer stride length is a nice feature and common on many machines. Adjustable pivoting pedals are quite helpful for replicating natural stride motion and avoiding injury.

* Flywheel- A flywheel helps create a natural and fluid momentum that keeps your elliptical workouts from being jarring and jerky. It actually helps mimic actual motion.

* Brake and resistance mechanism and flywheel-The weight of the brake/flywheel and resistance system are vital factors that you need to consider before buying small elliptical trainer as they help control durability, feel of the trainer and how loud machine is during the operation. Prefer machines with sophisticated eddy current braking systems that use a magnet to create resistance. However, electromagnetic systems are more common.

* Customizable options-Theys best if a large number of people use just one machine in the house. Possible options include adjustable incline, adjustable pivoting pedals, and adjustable stride.

* Warranty-Longer warranties mean complete peace of mind. Many machines come with one year warranty while higher end elliptical trainers come with 3-5 years warranty.


All in all, the small elliptical trainers discussed above offer the best value for money and you can easily choose one according to your needs and budget. I would recommend any one of these four machines if you want bang for your buck. The best place to buy them is Amazon, as you get discounted shipping and easy returns policy with lots of free offers from time to time!

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