Looking For a Compact Elliptical? There are Small, Portable Options

ProForm Endurance 520E Compact EllipticalWe get asked to recommend a compact elliptical all the time. And let’s face it, most of us have very limited space in our basements, garages or other areas that we want to put our exercise machines in.

Fortunately, there are options when it comes to small and portable elliptical machines. You just have to know where to look.

By their very nature, most elliptical trainers take up a lot of room. Whether they are front-drive or rear-drive, they tend to be very long (we’ve seen up to 83″) and up to 3 feet wide. Not to mention the height, which can make it even harder to make a decision if you have a low ceiling to contend with.

The large footprint is typically not an issue for a gym, many with the capability of housing dozens of these machines (in addition to all of their other cardio equipment, free weights, machines and everything else). But for the home user, footprint is always a big concern.

We took a look at all of the top brands, as well as some of the second tier brands, to see what we could come up with as far as compact elliptical machines are concerned. We found some great ones, some OK ones and some that were not so great.

The good news is you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice quality to get an elliptical that meets your space requirements. So let’s take a look.

The Best Compact Elliptical Machines on the Market

If you’re looking for a gym-quality space saving elliptical, definitely start your search at Matrix Fitness. They offer the compact E30 and E50 models, both of which are very space-friendly, unlike most commercial-grade cardio trainers out there.

If you’re in the market for something a little more affordable, take a look at NordicTrack, a company that offers one of the widest selections of ellipticals to choose from. They have the new Space Saver series, the SE7i and the SE9i, both of which can be folded and stored between workouts. Either one is a portable elliptical, as they can be wheeled into the closet.

NordicTrack ACT Commercial 10They also offer three mid-drive models that rate very well, the ACT Commercial, Commercial 7 and Commercial 10 elliptical machines.

These are only 54 inches long, 31.5 inches wide and 64 inches high. So not only are they significantly shorter in length and width, they are not as high as most machines, so if you have low ceilings, these are the perfect compact elliptical choices for you.

Sole Fitness is another popular brand, and they offer some ellipticals that are comparatively small. The entry level Sole E25 is 71″ long, 24″ wide and 64″ high. They also have the new SC200 Stepper Hybrid which is only 56″ long, 18″ wide and 60″ high.

Another option if you’re looking for a small elliptical is Proform, under the ICON Fitness umbrella like NordicTrack. Their Endurance 520E is 67″ long, 25″ wide and 66.6″ high.

The 720E has an equal footprint with a few more inches in height. The Proform Pro Series is also a good space saving option at only 65″ in length and 25″ in width, although at almost 80″ high it won’t work with a low ceiling.

The Smart Strider and Hybrid Trainer series are also relatively small as far as how much space they will take up.

Yowza offers the Jupiter Pilot, which is only 54″ long…another good compact elliptical. (Note Yowza recently went out of business.

If you have a little more to spend on a compact elliptical one of the better options out there are TRUE ellipticals. They are mid-drive machines just like the NordicTrack ACT machines, so they don’t take up much room at all. You can check out the less expensive M30 and M50 models.

Compact Ellipticals – Bottom Line

So that basically sums up your top choices as far as compact ellipticals are concerned. Take a look at Matrix, NordicTrack, ProForm and Sole for a space saving elliptical footprint, foldability and portability. For the most compact take a look at TRUE, but those tend to be a little pricier than the others.

If you definitely need a folding elliptical, you can read more about those types.

In general, a machine with a mid-drive build, i.e. when the mechanism that powers the machine is right in the middle as opposed to in the front or in the back, will have a much smaller footprint, but there are front and rear-drive ellipticals that are compact as well.

We’ll be adding new compact elliptical choices as we discover them. Remember that many of the cheaper ones are very compact as well, but you’re sacrificing all of the other benefits of a better machine.

So if you can afford to spend a little bit more, go with one of the better brands and just choose one of their smaller footprint elliptical machines.