Contrary to popular belief, working out at home doesn’t require overly large or expensive fitness machines. You can get the same job done with mini ellipticals.
Much like their full-sized cousins, mini ellipticals fall within the category of low impact cardio fitness equipment. They’re also a popular member of the much larger category of mini-exercise equipment, along with mini exercise bikes, pedal exercisers, and mini steppers.
Today we’ll show you our top picks for the best mini elliptical on the market. As you can imagine, there is an abundance of models, which can make it hard to sift through. However, we’ve managed to find a number of models that fit all of our standards.
Speaking of which, after we go over our picks, we’ll go into the specifics of what makes a good mini elliptical.
Furthermore, we’ll show you how to figure out which elliptical to get, which features to look for and more. By the time you’re done, you should have all the necessary information to make an educated decision and find the perfect fit for your needs.
After all, the fitness machine you’re excited about is the one you’ll be coming back to on the daily.
Best Mini Elliptical At a Glance
Best Mini Elliptical Overall
The Cubii Jr. elliptical is a powerful ally to have if you’re looking for something to use while seated at work or at home. It offers a good combination of features that make it every bit as functional as more expensive models. Overall this is a great all-around performer.
Best Value Mini Elliptical
iDeer Life’s mini elliptical offers what is arguably the best bang for your buck. This model comes with a great set of features, a rock-solid core drive system, all packed in a durable chassis. It’s relatively compact, which only adds to its value. This is a great choice.
Best Budget Mini Elliptical
Stamina’s mini elliptical defines performance at a cheap price. It’s affordable compared to most of the competition, although it brings most of the same features. If you’re after a versatile machine that offers more than meets the eye, this might just be the mini elliptical for you.
The Best Mini Elliptical
|Cubii Jr. Seated Under-Desk Elliptical||
|iDeer Life Exercise Elliptical Stepper||
|Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer||
|Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical||
|FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical||
|Cubii Jr. Seated Under-Desk Elliptical|
|iDeer Life Exercise Elliptical Stepper|
|Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer|
|Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical|
|FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical|
At the very top of our list, we find a model of mini elliptical that’s designed to be used while sitting. Cubii Jr. offers a great way to stay moving while at work. It addresses one of the main issues the modern working class has: Being in a seated position for up to 8 hours every day.
With Cubii Jr. and similar designs, you can keep the legs moving and improve circulation while you work. This elliptical is among the more compact units that come with all the bells and whistles. In terms of weight and size, it is feasible for road trips.
The overall build quality is rock solid. The materials used make this elliptical feel rigid enough to survive sustained use over time. It also comes with a built-in display that enables you to track your progress in terms of calories burned, RPM, strides and more.
With 8 resistance levels and an extremely quiet mechanism, it’s perfect for office use.
- It brings the best bang for the buck value of all models on our list
- Comes with a great set of features
- Highly portable and lightweight enough for use on the go
- Flexible design rooted in good build quality
The Not So Good
- It’s not the smoothest elliptical out there, but it is quiet
Next up is an awesome mini elliptical from iDeer Life. This is a truly compact unit designed to give you the performance you need on the go. It’s light enough where you can bring it with you on a road trip.
At its core, this is a highly adjustable elliptical that can be used while sitting down or standing up.
The machine itself sits on a robust frame that offers plenty of support and actually feels rather solid. The pedals feature an anti-slip coating that makes it very hard to suddenly lose grip as you’re working out. IDEER Life included a digital display as well as a resistance knob liked to a challenging, yet silent brake resistance mechanism.
If you’re looking for a single compact elliptical to cover all of your needs, this is it.
- Compact model that easily fits under the desk
- Comes with a built-in monitor and 8 levels of adjustable resistance
- Made out of quality materials which ensure longevity and durability
- Fairly quiet mechanism suitable for office use
The Not So Good
- Can really only be used exclusively while sitting
Stamina is a veteran of the industry that is known for producing quality fitness equipment that meets the needs of budget-oriented buyers.
Their In-Motion elliptical brings that same company policy in a durable, fairly portable format. This is a no-nonsense elliptical that is fitted with only the essential features. That means adjustable resistance and a built-in monitor.
As it is usually the case with this brand, the reason why their products are so competitive is that they often make compromises. Fortunately for us, those compromises are in all the right places.
With In-Motion, one such compromise would be the base plate and wheels setup. This isn’t the most reliable way to build an elliptical, but it works fine. One of the traits of this model is its ability to be used while standing as well as sitting down. It is sufficiently quiet, although that wasn’t the main design goal.
At this price, it’s a bargain.
- Good bang for the buck value
- One of the most compact models in this category
- Comes with a built-in display and adjustable resistance control
- Flexible design for upright and reclined use
The Not So Good
- It uses the standard baseplate and wheels setup
No cardio fitness equipment list would be complete without at least one offering from Sunny Health & Fitness. Their SF-E3872 represents a typical no-nonsense performance that we’re used to seeing from this brand.
One of the core ideas Sunny utilizes is the implementation of standardized designs which reduce the cost. However, standardized designs, while not as exciting as fresh ones, offer proven performance.
That is why this model rocks a variation of base plate and wheels system that works great. Both the resistance control knob and the digital display are located right in the middle of the housing, in an easy to reach spot. Its compact size makes it another suitable model for road trips or vacations.
The overall build quality is great. Sunny has a thing for quality, which takes care of durability.
- A compact, no-nonsense design that offers proven performance
- Features intuitive controls and a perfectly legible digital display
- Comes with 8 levels of adjustable resistance
The Not So Good
- It is slightly more expensive than its main competitors
- Can only be used in a seated position
The last place on our list belongs to a FitDesk model that defines what a proper elliptical meant to be used while sitting should look like.
The interesting thing about this one is that FitDesk didn’t even attempt to make it overly compact. Sure, it’s a mini elliptical but the design simply doesn’t lend itself very well to traveling.
The fact that it was meant to be used in a seated position is something FitDesk took very seriously.
You can extrapolate this from the stride height. Your feet will only go up 8 inches and that means using this thing under a desk is exactly what the manufacturer had in mind. As far as features go, you’re looking at the usual.
There is a resistance selection knob as well as a display unit. However, the display on this model is detachable allowing you to move it someplace where you can have easy access to the information it offers.
- Features a low stride height making it a great choice for office use
- Built well using quality materials
- Detachable display unit for easier progress tracking
The Not So Good
- Not the cheapest model in this segment of the market
- Designed exclusively for seated use
Should You Get a Mini Elliptical?
Mini ellipticals are an awesome tool to stay active if you’re leading a sedentary life. In today’s day and age, an average person is spending way too much seated. Whether you work in the office or spend a lot of time in front of the computer, chances are that you’re not getting the exercise you need. One way to stay active is to get yourself a mini elliptical. As a matter of fact, under desk exercisers were built for that niche use.
Keeping the blood flowing and putting some load on your cardiovascular system is always a good thing. A sedentary lifestyle is responsible for a lot of health issues we’re suffering from today. So, to answer the question, you should definitely get yourself a mini elliptical if you’re sitting for long periods of time and you want to keep that circulation going.
Much like it’s the case with any other piece of fitness equipment, your results will be directly linked to your expectations. In other words, as long as you understand what mini ellipticals can and cannot do, you should be fine. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the features that make a good mini elliptical and how to choose one.
Choosing the Best Mini Elliptical For You
Choosing the right mini elliptical comes down your needs and how you intend to use it. From a distance, all of them look the same. However, knowing the difference between various models can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. In order to make things easier for you, we’ve put together a little list of things to consider.
Standing or Reclined Use
Before we get to anything else, the first thing you need to define is how you plan on using your mini elliptical. While most of these are designed to be used while seated, there are a few models that can be used while the person is standing.
On a similar note, if you’re after a good under the desk model, you might want to look at the stride height as some ellipticals go fairly high. If your desk is low or your chair reclines fairly far, stride height can be an issue.
Features are an important part of any modern fitness machine. Even though mini ellipticals are limited in this regard due to their design, you can still expect a certain set of features. The most important ones are the built-in display and resistance selection knob. Almost every model today will have both of these, but it is always a good idea to check.
Aside from those, things like carrying handles and similar creature comforts could go a long way depending on what you need.
Lastly, size is important. Mini ellipticals are inherently compact, but even then we can differentiate those that are suitable for traveling and those that work better as a static machine better left at home. If you travel often, something portable might be a better fit for you. At the end of the day, both portable and not so portable ellipticals will work just fine.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mini Ellipticals
Now that we know a little bit about mini ellipticals and what makes a decent one, let’s check out some of the most frequently asked questions people have regarding this type of fitness equipment.
Can you lose weight with a mini elliptical?
Mini ellipticals can help you lose weight. Spending half an hour to an hour using an elliptical will definitely burn a few calories. However, it is important to have realistic expectations and understand that exercising is just part of a much larger equation. Weight loss isn’t as simple as just doing cardio all day. In order to actually lose weight, you’ll also need to introduce a caloric deficit. In other words, you’ll have to introduce a proper diet along with cardio if you want to see results.
With all that said, using the mini elliptical is always better than not using one at all. These machines aren’t the optimal choice if your main goal is to lose weight. However, it is one of the most compact options on the market.
Mini elliptical vs Mini stepper – What’s the difference?
Mini ellipticals and mini steppers are often confused for one another even though these two devices are quite different. The main thing that separates them is the fact that mini ellipticals utilize an elliptical motion while steppers use vertical movement.
Former is much less damaging to your joints than the latter. With the fully vertical movement, your entire weight is stacked on top of your knees and ankles. At the end of the day, ellipticals work better for those who are looking for a low impact exercise that can be performed for longer. Mini steppers are one tier higher in terms of aggressiveness.
Well, there you have it: The Best Mini Elliptical
This guide was put together in an effort to give you an idea of what you can expect to see on the market. We did our best to single out the best models out there that bring the right kind of performance and features.
At the end of the day, any of these models will give you a proper workout. Some are more suitable for traveling while others represent ideal office solutions. As always, use the information presented above to find what works best for you.