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The 5 Best Folding Elliptical Machines To Train In Compact Spaces

Elliptical trainers give you a full-body workout. They target both your upper and lower body. This is why they are so popular. Even with their popularity, there are some limitations. Size is one of the biggest factors when it comes to owning an elliptical machine.

Not everyone has a large workout space in their homes. Even if you do, large workout equipment can be an eyesore to your décor. How can you solve this problem?

Folding ellipticals are an excellent way to maintain the functionality of a large elliptical, but also having the convenience for easy storage.

If you would like the best of both worlds, this article will give you a roundup of the best foldable elliptical trainers. The article reviews the pros and cons of each trainer and provides you with a purchasing guide. Let us help you make the right decision on your foldable elliptical search.

1. ProForm Smart Strider 895 CSE


  • Transporting this machine is easy. You can simply fold the elliptical and store it or transport it throughout your space.
  • Enhanced stride length. The 18-inch stride length is great for more intense workouts and taller people.
  • The flywheel has a smooth and consistent motion for an effortless workout.
  • A great feature to be able to keep track of your heart rate.


  • Customers reported some quality-control issues with the machine
  • Depending on your size, there may be slight movement when using the elliptical


  • 18-inch stride
  • 24 resistance levels
  • Touch screen display
  • Space saver design

The ProForm Smart Strider has an 18-inch stride length and soft grips to protect your hands while working out. The pedals are oversized and adjustable to fit your needs.

If you are looking for versatility, this machine has 24 resistance levels. The flywheel is strong (18 pounds) and it is inertia enhanced making for a smooth workout.

Stay connected while working out with the integrated tablet holder. There is also a nicely placed water bottle holder on this trainer.

The touch screen display is in full color and it features 32 workout apps. You can keep track of your EKG heart rate and it also comes with wireless chest straps.

If you don’t have much room, no problem. The Space Saver design makes this elliptical great for both apartments and small spaces. This machine has a solid steel construction. It is easy to assemble and has a 325 weight capacity.

The built-in sound system is a great touch for your workout. This elliptical has adjustable leveling feet to fit the needs of both tall and short users. Buy it here

2. NordicTrack Space saver SE7i Elliptical Trainer


  • Affordable price. Excellent quality for the price
  • The elliptical offers good stride length
  • Great incline range
  • The frame is built sturdy
  • Heavy flywheel for smooth operation
  • Free access to great workouts


  • After continued use, the flywheel may begin to make noise
  • IFit technology can be difficult to learn how to use


  • 24 preset workouts
  • 18-pound flywheel
  • 18-inch stride length
  • Soft grip handles
  • iFit Coach
  • Power adjustable incline

This elliptical trainer is built to last. It is expertly engineered with an innovative design. After you partake in an intense workout, it is easy to store the machine. It has a vertical space-saver design that allows a more compact fit for small spaces.

Pro training is possible with this machine without a physical trainer. There are 24 preset workouts available to you. You can expect your workout to go smoothly with the 18-pound flywheel. The flywheel has an 18-inch stride length.

The soft grips on the machine relieve pressure from your hands while working out. The features on this machine provide you with a low-impact workout.

Intensify your workout with the 0-10 degree power adjustable incline. The magnetic resistance can strengthen both your lower and upper body.

iFit Coach allows you to experience interactive personal training at home. Monito your heart rate with the EKG grip pulse. The iFit coach gives you access to over 16,000 on-demand workouts. The adjustable oversized pedals make it more comfortable to workout.

The top features include the Fit Coach readiness, power-adjustable incline, and the space-saver design. An added feature is the lifetime frame warranty for this elliptical. It also has a 2-year parts warranty. Buy it here

3. Horizon Fitness Evolve 3


  • Built-in speakers can provide great entertainment during your workout
  • The hydraulic features make for an easily foldable design
  • Many workout variations available
  • Long stride lengths
  • Durable and sturdy


  • There is no incline capability
  • Customers reported that it may be difficult to learn how to put the machine in energy saver mode


  • Easy to assemble
  • Ergonomic design for comfort
  • A variety of workouts to choose from
  • 18-pound flywheel
  • 20 resistance levels
  • No incline

If you are looking for a foldable elliptical that is easy to put together, this is your option. The Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 has an easy three-step assembly.

Storage is made simple with this model. It has a patented hydraulic folding system that makes the storage process effortless.

The comfort of your workout is enhanced with the ergonomic design and longer stride length. There is an innovative cardio compass that displays visual workout feedback.

Variety is plentiful with this elliptical. There are 32 exercise programs. You can choose from manual, calorie, distance, step, interval, and other intense workouts.

Overall, the machine is compact and small. You can expect a large smooth stride even though it is a compact foldable elliptical. The 18-pound flywheel provides a quiet ride.

Resistance levels with the Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 can be adjusted up to 20 levels. Although there is no incline on this particular machine, the increased resistance still gives you an intense workout. Buy it here

4. Gazelle Freestyle


  • The extreme range of motion
  • The machine is sturdy and durable
  • Easy storage process
  • Operates smoothly and quietly
  • Workouts included


  • Unlike other machines on this list, the LCD screen is small and does not track heart rate and other health data


  • Made of sturdy steel
  • Wide foot platforms (skid-proof)
  • A fitness tracker with immediate feedback
  • Amazing range of motion
  • Dual-action split suspension

Are you looking for an elliptical that is durable and comfortable? The Gazelle Freestyle is made of sturdy steel. The foot platforms are wide and skid-proof. The high-density foam around the handlebars offers extreme comfort.

To keep track of your workout, there is a fitness computer that provides immediate feedback. While you’re working out you can manage your time, speed, distance, and calories burned. It is important to note that the calories are an estimate.

Durability is not a question with this machine. It can support up to 300 pounds. Surprisingly a machine that is so sturdy can fold flat for easy storage.

If you are a beginner, this machine allows you to smoothly transfer from a moderate walk to a fast run. Interruptions and sudden stops are minimized with the expert design of this freestyle machine.

Tighten and tone your major muscle groups with the Gazelle Freestyle. You get 10 exercises in one workout. There is a dual-action split suspension that gives an amazing range of motion. You can expect freedom of movement with low-impact workouts.

One of the key features is that storage is a breeze. The machine folds quickly for efficient storage. Buy it here

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902


  • Affordable
  • Of the other machines on the list, this one folds up the smallest
  • Large stride
  • Health tracking with LCD monitor
  • Sturdy and durable frame


  • Weight capacity is only 220 pounds
  • Lack of resistance for a more intense workout


  • Air walker trainer
  • Non-slip pedals
  • 220 weight capacity
  • 30-inch stride
  • Space-saving design
  • LCD monitor – time, count, total distance, and calories

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 is an air walk trainer. This machine has non-slip pedals that are great for fast intense workouts. It is also beneficial for a slow walk motion. You can expect to work out with a continuous motion with no interruption.

Some machines in this class can hold more weight, this machine can only support 220 pounds. It may not be able to support a wide range of weights, but it is still sturdy and durable.

What sets this machine apart from others is that the stride length is a little longer. This machine has a 30-inch stride length. You can expect to receive a total body workout. The SF-E902 targets muscles in your arms and legs.

An amazing feature is that the machine can be easily folded. You can fold it to ½ the length, which makes it simple to store.

The LCD monitor allows you to keep track of your time, distance, count, and calories while working out.

You can increase body support while working out by using the adjustable abdominal pad. This pad ensures proper placement. While using this machine you are increasing cardiorespiratory fitness. Buy it here

Buying Guide For Foldable Elliptical Trainers

Stride Length

The span between the front pedal and the rear pedal is the stride. This is a significant measurement.

You don’t want to overextend with a large range. This is not common with most ellipticals. Stride lengths of 18 inches to 20 inches are common. Going by height, if you are 6 feet or taller you may want to consider a stride length above 20 inches. This will give you a safer more comfortable workout.

Design & Construction

When shopping for a folding elliptical it is important to keep the original goal in mind of finding a machine that is high quality and able to fold to save space.

Consider the different types of folding actions. Keep in mind that you will not find a machine that can be folded into a tiny shape, but you can find one that fits your storage needs.

When buying, take into account the space you have and the maximum size machine you can buy to comfortably and safely work out. Use the exact measurements of your space.

Consider stability and durability when purchasing an elliptical. The material frame is important. You want it to be able to support your weight with little to no shaking while working out. Stick to reputable brands to ensure the quality of design.


The resistance of an elliptical determines the intensity of your workout. Consider an elliptical with good and adjustable resistance options for an effective workout. Look for ellipticals that have near 20-25 levels of resistance.

Flexibility in resistance allows you to cater to your workouts. Low resistance can resemble a slow walk, higher resistance works out your core and can resemble a full run. When buying an elliptical decide on how important intensity is to your workout. Choose a machine that allows you to reach that intensity.


Incline features also add intensity to your workout. If you want to challenge your muscles, consider an elliptical with incline features. By changing the gradient, you shorten your stride and therefore begin to work out other core muscles. It may be difficult to find a foldable incline elliptical.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does an elliptical burn stomach fat?

Most elliptical devices allow you to perform a low-impact workout. You can work out your arms and core. Elliptical machines have a tremendous impact on your core muscles. Therefore, it can help you burn a lot of calories and could result in loss of stomach fat.

How much space do you need for an elliptical

If you plan on purchasing an elliptical from the list above, you will need minimal space for storage. A good rule to follow is that you will need a space that is 4 feet by 8 feet for most traditional ellipticals. This may vary slightly with foldable ellipticals.

Which muscles can you train with an elliptical

An elliptical can work out both your lower and upper body. You can target the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. You can also focus on the anterior tibialis. The gliding process of the machine makes your glutes and hamstrings work out more. The forward movement of your legs works out your quadriceps.

Does an elliptical fold?

Some ellipticals fold and others that don’t. Most of the larger ellipticals do not have the folding capability. There is a small, limited class of ellipticals that can fold. It is also important to remember that foldable ellipticals may not have all of the extremely high-quality features that large (non-foldable) ellipticals have.

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