2021 Best Small Ellipticals For Cross-Training

TL;DR: Here are the five best small and compact ellipticals in 2021:

Ellipticals or cross-trainers are not only among the more popular cardio exercise machines, but they are also among the most effective.

If you’re planning to get an elliptical home, one thing that might bother you is that it’s too big and takes too much space.

I went looking for the best compact ellipticals so that you don’t have to! Here in this article, I have selected ellipticals based on their stride length, cost, build quality, and, most importantly, their size and portability.

One of these cross-trainers will be perfect for you and you will be on your way to getting that kick-ass cardio workout in the comfort of your home! So let’s explore!

Quick Comparison: Best Small Ellipticals

Product Best Features
Body-Solid E300 Elliptical Trainer Center Drive technology, 7 preset workout programs, Dual LED screens
Octane Fitness Q35x Elliptical Machine 8 preset workout programs, Unique Workout Boosters, Heart rate monitoring
Schwinn 411 Elliptical Machine Transportation wheels, 13 workout programs, Bluetooth connectivity
EFITMENT E005 Elliptical Machine 8 levels of magnetic resistance, Belt-driven flywheel, Media shelf
Body Rider BR1958 Elliptical Trainer Dual-action handlebars, Fan blade wheel, Resistance click dial

Detailed Reviews: Best Small Ellipticals

Best Allround Small Elliptical: Body-Solid E300 Elliptical Trainer

Body-Solid E300 Elliptical Trainer

Featured Highlights:

  • Stride Length: 21”
  • Resistance: 20 levels
  • Center Drive technology
  • 7 preset workout programs
  • Dual LED screens

What makes it special?

The Body-Solid E300 offers a rare blend of space efficiency and stability. A combination of a natural stride, quality manufacturing, and superior programming, give you a rigorous, low-impact full-body workout.

Pros Cons
  • Compact design
  • Stride length of 21”
  • 20 adjustable resistance levels
  • Expensive

Best reasons to buy:

Reason #1: Natural stride

The E300 features Body-Solid’s patented Centre Drive technology. This allows for a smooth and natural motion (and a 21” stride length), even on something so compact.

Reason #2: Compact and sturdy

The E300 takes up just 50” x 31” of floor space, and is perfect for places with smaller ceilings because of the 8” step-up height. The low center of gravity combined with a balanced frame prevents rocking.

Reason #3: Comprehensive package

The E300 has a dual-action upper and lower body with premium handgrips. There are 20 levels of resistance, seven preset workout programs, and dual-LED screens for accurate workout feedback.

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Best Performing Small Elliptical: Octane Fitness Q35x Elliptical Machine

Octane Fitness Q35x Elliptical Machine

Featured Highlights:

  • Stride Length: 20.5”
  • Resistance: 20 levels
  • 8 preset workout programs
  • Unique Workout Boosters
  • Heart rate monitoring

What makes it special?

The Q35x from Octane Fitness has a 26″ x 65” footprint and low step-up height (4, making it ideal for apartments or basements with low ceilings. The roomy 20.5” stride length and close pedal spacing put the Q35x at par with most gym-grade cross-trainers.

Pros Cons
  • Great performance
  • Small step-up height (4”)
  • 20.5” stride length
  • 20 resistance levels
  • 3 signature Workout Boosters
  • Very basic console

Best reasons to buy:

Reason #1: Versatile machine

The Octane Fitness Q35x provides 20 levels of resistance, 8 preset workout programs, and 3 signature Workout Boosters, including the ‘GluteKicker’ and ‘Arm Blaster’ modes.

Reason #2: Cross Circuit program

The Octane Fitness Q35x has a built-in Cross Circuit program that combines strength and cardio all on one machine.

Reason #3: Award-winning elliptical 

This award-winning elliptical has the smoothest motion and gives you high-end performance without compromising the features and quality.

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Best Designed Small Elliptical: Schwinn 411 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn 411 Elliptical Machine

Featured Highlights:

  • Stride Length: 18”
  • Resistance: 16 levels
  • Transportation wheels
  • 13 workout programs
  • Bluetooth connectivity

What makes it special?

The 411 from Schwinn is unique because it gives you the benefits of larger ellipticals at a fraction of the size. Featuring an 18″ stride, contact and wireless heart rate, and a streamlined console, the 411 makes getting a full-body workout more convenient than ever.

Pros Cons
  • Elegant and compact build
  • Bluetooth heart rate monitoring
  • Good workout variation
  • A bit squeaky

Best reasons to buy:

Reason #1: Mixed-Reality Training

You can sync the 411 with RunSocial app via Bluetooth and speed through 19 locations with 27 routes alongside friends while tracking pace and distance.

Reason #2: Streamlined Console

The streamlined console of the 411 displays time, distance, calories, speed, and heart rate, allowing you to monitor these vital statistics during your workout.

Reason #3: Relatively inexpensive

The 411 is a fraction of the price of higher-end models on our list, but has a minimal footprint, low step-up height, and high performance.

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Best Compact Small Elliptical: EFITMENT E005 Elliptical Machine

EFITMENT E005 Elliptical Machine

Featured Highlights:

  • Stride Length: 11”
  • Resistance: 8 levels
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Belt-driven flywheel
  • Media shelf and built-in wheels

What makes it special?

The EFITMENT E005 elliptical trainer provides a no impact, smooth flowing workout for your upper and lower body. It gives you all the benefits from running, but is safer on the knees and incorporates more upper body movement for a total body workout.

Pros Cons
  • Small full-sized unit
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Lightweight design
  • Transportation wheels
  • Not suitable for tall people

Best reasons to buy:

Reason #1: Quiet and mobile

The E005 has a belt-driven flywheel that ensures a quiet, smooth and maintenance-free workout and has transportation wheels for easy mobility.

Reason #2: 8 levels of magnetic resistance

This cross-trainer has 8 levels of magnetic resistance aimed to help you meet your fitness goals, set difficulty levels and progress further.

Reason #2: Safe and sturdy

The oversized textured non-slip footplates will accommodate all sizes while maintaining grip to ensure safe footing. The E005 has a maximum user weight of 220 lbs.

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Best Budget Small Elliptical: Body Rider BR1958 Elliptical Trainer

Body Rider BR1958 Elliptical Trainer

Featured Highlights:

  • Stride Length: 12”
  • Resistance: Adjustable
  • Dual-action handlebars
  • Fan blade wheel
  • Resistance click dial
  • Transportation wheels

What makes it special?

The BR1958 from Body Rider is my choice for the best budget elliptical that is compact at the same time. This is an entry-level elliptical with a rear-drive unit featuring a wheel with fan blades to provide adjustable tension resistance, selected by a small dial.

Pros Cons
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Smooth operation
  • Easy to assemble and move
  • Stride length is short

Best reasons to buy:

Reason #1: Dual-action mode

The handlebars of the Body Rider BR1958 Elliptical Trainer can be placed in dual action mode for a total body workout.

Reason #2: LCD screen

Even though the BR1958 is a budget elliptical, it has an LCD screen offering a few workout stats to keep you informed and motivated.

Reason #3: High momentum fan blades

The BR1958 has high momentum fan blades for a fluid workout and a user-friendly tension level-click knob with adjustable resistance.

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Summing Up: Best Small Ellipticals For Cross-Training

While there are a few options like treadmills, rowing machines and spin bikes for cardio workouts, the elliptical is my favorite as I find it to be effective and fun! I have chosen the Body-Solid E300 for myself, based on it’s excellent Center Drive technology, 7 preset workout programs, and the Dual LED screens.

What is your pick for the best compact elliptical? What cross-trainer do you plan to buy and what features do you think are a must-have? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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