The Best Mini Elliptical Machines


If you have a desk job, you can easily find yourself sitting for at least 8 hours of your day. To keep active you’ve probably seen the posters, ads, and websites telling you to join a gym, but not all of us have the time or capacity for that.

Fortunately, a solution has arrived in the form of mini ellipticals. Compact, portable, and low-impact, mini ellipticals can help you power through a workout whilst you work, game, or even watch TV.

Brilliant for adding movement to an inactive lifestyle, the mini elliptical could be the exercise equipment you’ve been looking for.

Why a Mini Elliptical?

The best mini elliptical can provide great, low-impact cardiovascular exercise, getting your heart and lungs pumping so you can burn lots of calories in a short space of time.

The Mini Elliptical is ideal for:

  • Individuals who are stuck at a desk for long periods of the day and want to stay active.
  • Elderly or less able individuals who want to maintain muscular and cardio strength.
  • Gamers who spend a lot of time sitting and watching a screen.
  • Sedentary individuals who find it hard to get out or move about, perhaps because of illness.

List of The Top 10 Mini Elliptical Machines

To help you pick the best mini elliptical we have compiled a list of the top 10 picks for mini ellipticals on the market.

1. DeskCycle Ellipse Under Desk Elliptical Machine

Best Mini Elliptical MaxKare Under Desk Elliptical Machine

Dimensions: 23” x 18” x 10”

Weight: 30.2 lbs

Max User Weight: 500 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Sitting only

The Ferrari of the mini elliptical world, the stylish DeskCycle Elliptical comes with an array of features and ride comfort that makes it our top pick. Its smooth and quiet magnetic resistance system delivers ultra-efficient pedaling motion whilst keeping your neighbors and household happy.

With 8 resistance settings the DeskCycle will provide a calorie-burning workout for a variety of fitness levels. The extra-long pedals allow for varying foot positions as well as bi-directional pedaling options so you can vary which leg muscles you’re toning.

A one-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee are nice additions from manufacturers 3D Innovations too.

Of course, such high quality comes with a high price to match. So, is the DeskCycle worth the price? 



Pedaling on the DeskCycle is super-smooth and enjoyable thanks to the magnetic resistance system. Commonly found on high-end spin bikes, magnetic resistance systems transition smoothly and are highly accurate helping you get the most out of your workout as you look to burn extra calories.

It has 8 different resistance levels too, helping you push to the limit during your workout. If you still want to switch up your workouts, stick the DeskCycle into reverse and hit those quads.

The only disappointment is that you can’t stand on the machine, limiting the intensity of your workout on the mini elliptical. 


The magnetic resistance keeps the DeskCycle supremely quiet as you walk away those calories. The DeskCycle is ideal for shared offices as it won’t disturb your co-workers with an annoying hum. It’s perfect for home use too, allowing you to watch TV or focus on reading whilst your mini elliptical burns calories.


Sized perfectly to fit under your desk at work, and easily stored away in the corner of the room or under the stairs after use. The clever stride pattern on this mini elliptical means that even on small desks you won’t be whacking your knees up against the underside of the desk. The oversized pedals help here as you can place your feet in different positions to fit under a tighter desk.

It is quite heavy. At 30lbs it’s one of the heavier mini ellipticals on the market. This can make moving the mini elliptical around quite difficult for sedentary or elderly users.

With great weight comes great stability though. The DeskCycle is one of the most stable and comfortable mini ellipticals you can buy, easily sustaining your workout no matter how much power you put into pedaling.


The 6 function LCD screen is optimally placed for easy reading, providing you with all the metrics you need to track your progress and achieve your workout goals. You can get real-time results for speed, time, distance, and calories burned as you work. A scan option tells the monitor to cycle through the metrics for you.

The backlit display is easy to read and simple to use. It’s one of the better monitors out there.


It will certainly stand out in a room of mini ellipticals. With the DeskCycle, you will be winning the hypothetical mini elliptical fashion shows thanks to streamlined looks, an attractive color scheme, and a nice finish.

The large pedals are effective for allowing your stride pattern to fit into the tightest of spaces, whilst the non-slip technology lets you focus on just pedaling as hard as you can without the worry your feet will slip.

Why Should You Buy The DeskCycle Elliptical

  • 8 different resistance levels.
  • 6 function LCD screen with a scan option.
  • Supremely quiet.
  • Can take up to 500 lbs of weight capacity.

2. ANCHEER Under Desk Electric Mini Elliptical Machine

ANCHEER Under Desk Electric Mini Elliptical Machine

Dimensions: 18″ x 14″ x 10″

Weight: 14 lbs

Max User Weight: 350 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Sitting only

Quiet, compact, and with a remote control to easily flick between different modes, you couldn’t ask for a better mini elliptical for the office. 

The ANCHEER Under Desk Mini Elliptical has 2 modes and 5 different resistance levels. With a convenient remote for simple activation and a clear display monitor providing all the metrics you could ask for, this mini elliptical makes workouts in the office easier than ever.


With a motorized and non-motorized mode you can choose the intensity and difficulty of your workout. 

Feeling a bit tired? Let the mini elliptical machine do the hard work with the motorized mode. Fancy burning those extra calories? Take on the mini elliptical by using the non-motorized mode.

Whichever mode you choose, you can be sure to burn calories and reach your fitness goals. 

With this mini elliptical comes 5 different speed levels. If you’re feeling fit you can challenge yourself with the high-speed level 5. For beginners or those who are looking for a softer workout, try out the lower levels and work your way up.


Quiet as a mouse. The ANCHEER will purr its way through your workout whatever speed you go at. Your co-workers might not even know it’s there! 

If you’re using it at home then this discreet mini elliptical machine will allow you to watch TV or listen to music without blaring it at full volume. 

This silent and smooth under desk elliptical will allow you to stay focussed and remove distractions whilst you work.


The ANCHEER can easily fit under your desk, with plenty of room for your knees too. You can tuck it away under your desk and use the remote to control it so you don’t even need to bend down to turn it on.

This under-desk elliptical has a  portable design that allows you to pick the ANCHEER up and take it anywhere. A little handle in the middle makes picking this mini elliptical up stress-free and its low weight means you can move it around with ease without hurting yourself.


The enhanced LCD is one of the best features on the ANCHEER. Not only does it look awesome, it has a load of useful metrics to help you track your progress. 

The monitor will record and display your speed, calories burned, distance, scan, and time. The LED lighting on this under-desk elliptical makes it clear and easy to read. You can also use the remote to quickly scroll through the metrics.


The ANCHEER looks mysteriously similar to the Fast88 Mini Elliptical, possibly being built in the same factory. Not that this is a bad look. It has a sleek, streamlined design and comes in two colorways: black/red or grey/black which adds a modern look to this compact elliptical.

The LCD complements the colors nicely and the enlarged non-slip pedals provide a comfortable ride without worries.

Why Should You Buy The ANCHEER Electric Mini Elliptical

  • The mini elliptical has 2 modes: Motorised and Non-Motorised.
  • 5 different resistance levels.
  • Light weight and has a handle for convenient portability.
  • Quiet as a mouse.
  • Can operate the machine with a remote.

3. Stamina 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical

Stamina 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical

Dimensions: 20.1″ x 12.8″ x 12.4″

Weight: 29.45 lbs

Max User Weight: 250 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Both

The versatile and feature-loaded Stamina certainly provides bang for your buck. Sit, stand, pedal forwards, pedal backward. Whatever you need, the Stamina can provide.

With adjustable tension and sturdy steel construction, this is a great compact elliptical. Aside from being quite loud and a pitiful monitor, the Stamina has very few negatives considering the low price.

Overall, the Stamina is the best budget option out there.


Unlike some other mini ellipticals, the Stamina uses a dial to adjust the resistance. This gives you more control over the intensity of your workout, much like on a spin bike. Whatever your fitness level, you should be able to find a suitable resistance.

One big plus this compact elliptical has is that it allows you to stand or sit whilst using it. This gives you the option to burn extra calories on those days you fancy a more intense workout.


It’s a tad loud. Probably not suitable if you plan to use it in a shared office, though not intrusive enough to prevent you from using it whilst watching TV at home.

Some customers report an odd squeaking noise which is rather annoying, particularly noticeable when going forwards. The guess is that this is from the wheels on the metal plate at the front of the mini elliptical machine. Another theory is that it’s the flywheel, so spray some lubricant on it every so often.


It’s a great size to fit under your desk or store out of the way when not in use, although as I discuss below the lack of a handle is quite frustrating in terms of its portability. 

The mini elliptical does weigh a fair bit, 29lbs to be exact. So be careful if you plan to move it around regularly.


The monitor on this mini elliptical is a slight letdown. It’s very small and looks like it was added as an afterthought. Despite these shortcomings, it does track your progress with useful metrics including strides per minute, total strides, time, and calories.

The lack of a backlight combined with its size makes it difficult to see in certain lighting conditions. Unless you have 20/20 vision, you may have to crane your neck a few times to check your stats.


The Stamina looks the part and comes in a wide variety of color schemes. A large plate at the toes helps with stability although does make a slight squeak as the wheels run across it. 

Textured pedals help your feet stay in place whilst the sturdy steel construction keeps the machine steady if you step up the pedaling speed.

The only gripe I have here is that the machine lacks any obvious handle or grips to move it around. Being so small should be a benefit but you may find moving it into position a bit difficult because of this.

Why Should You Buy The Stamina 55-1602 Elliptical

  • Uses a dial to adjust the resistance (much like on a spin bike)
  • Allows you to stand or sit whilst using it.
  • Sturdy Steel Construction
  • Is the best value for money.

4. Fast88 Electric Desk Elliptical Machine Trainer

Fast88 Electric Desk Elliptical Machine Trainer

Dimensions: 17.7” x 14.6” x 19.8”

Weight: 17 lbs

Max User Weight: 390 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Sitting Only

Fast88 has appeared on the mini elliptical market with a bang as they unleashed their electric trainer. With great portability, reverse pedaling, and even a remote to turn the machine on and off, working out at home or work couldn’t be easier with the Fast88 Electric Desk Elliptical.

It’s optimized for seated use so whatever your size you can use the Fast88 to burn calories and build muscle as you work towards your fitness goals. 

It has 5 resistance levels, LED lighting on the display, and is wonderfully quiet to suit all needs.


A great feature of the Fast88 is that it can be used as a motorized or non-motorized trainer. As you begin your weight-loss journey the motorized option helps you get the pedals moving and build up your fitness levels.

AS you get fitter, you can work your way up the 5 resistance levels burning more and more calories with every workout. If you fancy putting the focus on a different muscle group, you can reverse the pedals to target quad development.


Even on the motorized setting, the most noise you’ll get from this mini elliptical is a slight whirr as you pedal away the calories. There are no annoying clunks or grinds, the machine is designed to be super-quiet so you can work out without disturbing your co-workers or household.


The Fast88 is small enough to fit underneath the smallest of desks without your knees repeatedly tapping the underside of the desk. Its clever design uses depth rather than driving your knees upwards.

It’s portable too. At just 17.6lbs you will have little problem moving the Fast88 around the room or storing it away after use.


The LCD fitness monitor displays a wide range of useful metrics helping you to keep track of your workout and fitness goals. Metrics include a number of strides per minute, the total number of strides, exercise time, and calories burned.

The monitor is big enough and clear enough to see without having to strain your eyes. The backlight means it’s visible whatever the lighting conditions.


The Fast88 is made entirely from plastic which helps keep it lightweight and portable. Its slick design and modern color scheme help this mini elliptical look the part. 

The pedals have nodules that keep your foot gripped to them, whilst a gap in the body of the machine is a great holding spot for your remote control.

Why Should You Buy The Fast88 Electric Mini Elliptical

  • The mini elliptical has 2 modes: Motorised and Non-Motorised.
  • 5 resistance levels.
  • Uses depth rather than driving your knees upwards.
  • Weighs only 17.6lbs.

5. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Under-Desk/Standing Elliptical Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Under-Desk/Standing Elliptical Machine

Dimensions: 23” x18” x10”

Weight: 25 lbs

Max User Weight: 220 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Both

A strong and reasonably priced effort from Sunny Health & Fitness, fully deserving of its place in the top 5 of our best mini elliptical list. It features exceptional magnetic resistance paired with a durable belt-drive system for the ultimate smoothness and stability.

8 different resistance levels let you increase the intensity of your workout to build more muscular endurance and boost cardio health. The useful handle and excellent monitor are other useful features of this compact elliptical machine.


Magnetic resistance and a belt drive make the ride incredibly smooth on this mini elliptical. The resistance is accurate and transitions so smoothly. There is next to no maintenance required thanks to the durability of the drive. The smooth ride is further enhanced by integrated wheels which move with the stride length.

The tension knob on this compact elliptical lets you control the 8 levels of resistance as you look to ease or increase the intensity of your workout. It’s even bi-directional with both forward and backward pedaling available. With such variety, your workouts will never get boring on the mini elliptical.


Whilst magnetic resistance is usually whisper quiet, a lot of customers report a frustrating squeaking sound, particularly at high tensions. A bit of WD40 on the flywheel every so often should sort this problem. After which the mini elliptical will perform as quietly as expected.

When not squeaking the mini elliptical will allow you to stay focused and keep your colleagues happy by not being loud and distracting.


Small enough to fit under your desk, and just light enough to move around easily. This Sunny Health mini elliptical also has a convenient handle too which makes moving it around convenient. 

If you’re looking to use it under a desk consider if the 7-inch stride length will accommodate your leg space under the desk.


The digital monitor on this compact elliptical is centrally located for ease of use and maximum visibility. You can use it to track your time, speed, calories, and distance. If you don’t like the idea of scrolling through these metrics as you work out then you can set the digital monitor on the scan function which will do the scrolling for you.

The monitor is quite small so it can be a bit of a strain to see. This is particularly noticeable in certain lighting conditions as the monitor lacks a backlight.


Compared to its competitors the Sunny looks very simple. With quite a clunky look and a somewhat boring, white finish, there are better-looking models out there. 

Useful aesthetic features this mini elliptical has are the grooved pedals for safe footing whilst you workout and the handlebar for easy transportation pre-and post-workout.

Why Should You Buy The Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Elliptical

  • 8 different resistance levels.
  • Magnetic resistance and a belt drive.
  • Monitor has a scan function to flip through the metrics for you.
  • 7-inch stride length.

6. Stamina Inmotion Compact Strider with Cords

Stamina Inmotion Compact Strider With Cords

Dimensions: 24” x 18” x 12”

Weight: 24 lbs

Max User Weight: 250 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Both

This is the second Stamina mini elliptical model to make our top 10, demonstrating the quality of machines the manufacturer is bringing out. This mini-elliptical even comes with resistance bands that can give your upper body a workout. A full-body machine you can fit in your car boot!

With a workout DVD included to help you pick the right workouts to tone your arms or chest, the Stamina mini elliptical is the ideal mini elliptical to suit the whole family’s fitness needs. You can use it standing or sitting, and even reverse pedal. Is there anything it can’t do?


With steel construction, this compact elliptical machine is sturdy enough although there can be a bit of a wobble as you reach higher speeds. For the toughest workouts, you can stand and turn the resistance dial right up and maybe even get the resistance bands involved too.

The resistance bands are Stamina’s unique selling point, offering users the opportunity to tone their upper body and lower body at once. The resistance bands only come at one setting which Stamina describes as “medium”. For weaker users, this is too high, whilst the fitter users will have little use for them as well. A nice but fairly pointless addition.


Like the other Stamina mini elliptical we reviewed, a strange squeak can develop over time. A quick dab of lubricant on the flywheel can resolve this problem for a short while. Thus possibly requiring more maintenance. Other than the occasional squeak, it is remarkably quiet. It provides next to no distraction if you’re an avid gamer and won’t enrage your colleagues if you plan to use it at work.


Considering how much this mini elliptical can do it is extraordinarily slim. It’s also very lightweight making moving the Stamina around easy. At just 24lbs though you can end up wobbling a bit as you pick up the pace.

A bit more sturdiness wouldn’t go amiss here however compared to the previous mini ellipticals in this price range, this one is the most portable. 


This product is a tad small and about as basic as you’d expect from mini ellipticals around this price point. Unfortunately, the display monitor has no backlight which makes it difficult to see the metrics in the dark. Furthermore, it does have all the metrics you need including strides per minute, total strides, time, calories burned, and a scan option to view all these one-by-one as you workout.


The slim, streamlined design is very appealing. Combined with a nice color scheme the Stamina mini elliptical does look the part. There are also nifty little hooks on the side to which you can attach or detach the resistance bands plus the handle is a popular addition amongst customers because of the convenience of portability.

Why Should You Buy The Stamina Inmotion Mini Elliptical?

  • Comes with resistance bands and work-out DVD.
  • Magnetic resistance and a belt drive.
  • Uses a resistance dial.
  • You can sit and stand while using the elliptical.

7. Leasbar Under Desk Elliptical Exercise Machine

Leasbar Under Desk Elliptical Exercise Machine

Dimensions: 24.8” x 17.3” x 11.1”

Weight: 30 lbs

Max User Weight: 220 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Both

Sturdy yet compact, the ultra-quiet Leasbar mini elliptical offers excellent quality for mini elliptical buyers who may be on a budget. A couple of minor setbacks such as the tiny monitor and not-so-quick assembly sent it down the list, however overall the Leasbar mini elliptical is a good purchase for all levels of fitness.

The belt drive offers excellent durability whilst the build and platform on the front provide stability on those fast sprints. Fancy going backward? That’s no problem either on the Leasbar mini elliptical as it has a reverse pedal option to hit different muscle groups.


The belt drive offers a smooth, durable, and relatively quiet ride. You can glide through your workout on the Leasbar whatever speed you choose to pedal.

I’m a big fan of using the dial to choose resistance levels, and the Leasbar offers the stepless system helping everyone get a fantastic workout, no matter what their fitness level. If you want to change which muscle groups your workout focuses on the reverse pedal option is available.

The machine can be used standing but stability can be an issue and Leasbar recommend you hold on to something stable as you work.


The belt drive is very quiet but there are quieter models out there. You’d be hard-pushed to find much quieter at the same price though which is a big plus for this mini elliptical. 

The quiet design of this machine is enough that you can watch TV, study, or complete that report without any distracting noise.


Compact and portable, the Leasbar can fit neatly under your desk or be placed anywhere whilst you sit and read. The handle increases portability so you can move it about if you want a change of scenery or just need to store the machine post-workout.

At 30lbs it is heavy so weaker users may want to find a permanent spot for it.


The monitor is both basic and small but worst of all it’s upside down. The monitor can be switched so it’s the right way but then doesn’t quite fit into the slits properly. Irritating if you have OCD.

The monitor does provide the basic metrics as you workout including calories burned, strides, and distance. The metrics do tend to keep ticking on after you finish which can impact your post-session review.

There’s still less info than seen on other competitors and it feels basic and like a last-minute attachment to this machine. 


Solid and sturdy come to mind when looking at this machine. The red/black color scheme works (of course this is opinion) but it’s far from the best looking mini elliptical out there.

The pedals are grooved for minimal foot movement whilst you work out. The handlebar is fantastic for picking up and moving the machine around. To be honest, I don’t understand why every mini elliptical isn’t equipped with a handlebar.

Why Should You Buy The Stamina Inmotion Mini Elliptical?

  • It has a belt drive that allows you to pedal faster.
  • The monitor is detachable.
  • Relatively silent with a slight whirr.

8. JFIT Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical/Stepper

JFIT Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical/Stepper

Dimensions: 27” x 20” x 11”

Weight: 32.3 lbs

Max User Weight: 260 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Both

The highly versatile JFIT mini elliptical is amongst the most popular under desk ellipticals you can buy. The adjustable angle is a big draw for many users looking to isolate different muscle groups in their legs.

It’s small yet sturdy, has a handle to help transport it anywhere, and a magnetic tension dial to adjust the resistance to a level that suits you. JFIT is so keen to satisfy customers they actually provide oil for when the flywheel starts to produce that dreaded squeak.


The drive and magnetic resistance are extremely smooth and durable. It can flick between resistance levels effortlessly. The larger flywheel not only keeps the JFIT quiet but also reduces wear and tear so the machine is super-durable.

The big selling point of the JFIT is the adjustable angle of the pedals which can target different muscle groups or simply up the intensity of your workout. The JFIT allows you to sit or stand with easy conversion between the two.

Disappointingly, the actual range of tilt is quite low, limiting the benefits that can be gained from this.


It’s nice and quiet thanks to the magnetic resistance system. If it does start to squeak, slap on some of the oil provided by JFIT and keep on rolling. As mentioned above, the larger flywheel does allow for a quieter ride so you can take it into the office without worrying about angering your boss.


The reason the JFIT is so far down the list is that it isn’t ideal for under desk workouts. You definitely can’t maximize the varying angles under a desk, the machine is too bulky and the stride length too long.

It’s heavy too, which whilst it keeps the machine, creates a problem when trying to move it around, particularly from under your desk.


Standard, overly basic monitor as found on so many ellipticals. Whilst it does provide all the necessary metrics including time, distance, speed, and calories burned, it’s far from “premium”.

I was relieved to see that it does have a backlight. A fancy addition is that it adjusts to your position whether you’re sitting or standing so you can squint a bit less.

The monitor’s not a selling point for the JFIT, but not a deal-breaker either.


A decent-looking machine that is designed to look compact yet sturdy. It comes in a variety of colorways including “Pewter” (no, I don’t know what that is either). Grooves on the pedals provide that extra grip for when you step on the gas and the handle is fantastic for moving the machine around.

Why Should You Buy The JFIT Mini Elliptical?

  • Adjustable angle of the pedals.
  • Drive and magnetic resistance which is durable.
  • Allows you to sit or stand.

9. ATIVAFIT Under Desk Elliptical Bike

ATIVAFIT Under Desk Elliptical Bike

Dimensions: 23” x20” x11”

Weight: 27 lbs

Max User Weight: 220 lbs

Sitting/Standing/Both: Both

Last but far from least in our top 10 mini ellipticals is ATIVAFITs latest effort. With a tiny monitor, slightly oversized, and a price that doesn’t reflect the quality you get the ATIVAFIT sits at the bottom of our list.

There does appear to be a lot of durability issues with the machine and the customer service is not great either.

Despite these shortcomings, it does offer users sitting and standing positions as well as forward and reverse pedaling to hit those different muscle groups.


Another model with a resistance dial that offers multiple resistance levels to suit all fitness needs. Alongside this, you get forward and reverse pedaling, whilst this mini elliptical can easily stand up to the fastest pedaling.

Unfortunately, after a lot of use, the resistance appears to fade, suggesting low durability. ATIVAFITs customer service hasn’t got glowing reports either so this is a black mark on their review.


The ATIVAFIT is quiet although you’ll need to have that lubricant on standby for when the flywheel starts squeaking. 

It’s good for office use if you can fit it under your desk and will rarely distract you if you want to read games or study.


For an under-desk elliptical, the ATIVAFIT is too big. It doesn’t quite fit under smaller desks but is lightweight and features a handle which makes it easier to move from room to room with the machine.


The 5-function monitor provides all the metrics you need to keep track of your workout including time, count, distance, calories, and total count. Just make sure you bring your magnifying glass because it’s extremely small.


With modern looks and two color options, the ATIVAFIT certainly looks the part. The handle improves portability and the tube across the back keeps the machine stable. 

The plate provided at the front doesn’t quite fit properly which can impact stability though and bits are known to come loose according to customer reviews.

Why Should You Buy The ATIVAFIT Mini Elliptical?

  • 5-function monitor.
  • Has a resistance dial.
  • You can sit and stand.

Mini Ellipticals vs Mini Steppers

Because of their similar looks and motions, people do associate the two together. Yet, there are a couple of key differences that separate the two.

Mini steppers and mini ellipticals are both smaller, more portable versions of widespread gym equipment. Both enable you to replicate the outcomes of a walk, step, march, or jog from the comfort of your home or desk.

But what are the key differences between the two?

The Mini Stepper


The vertical up and down movement of the stepper means there is a slight impact on the knee. Repeated impact without recovery can cause long-term knee pain, particularly in individuals more prone to joint injuries.

Cardio Benefits

Engaging your thighs and glutes on these compact machines means both offer calorie-burning cardio workouts. Using a portable stepper requires the correct technique which if not mastered can limit the benefits you can gain from your workout.

Muscles Worked

Both machines work the lower legs, although the specific muscle groups targeted differ. Portable step machines will focus more on toning your calves, glutes, quads, hip flexors, and core muscles.

The Mini Elliptical


The elliptical on the other hand is non-impact. The pedals move in a more cyclical motion meaning there is no extra stress on the knees or ankles. The mini elliptical may be preferred by users worried about aggravating joint pain problems or beginners who may want to take it easy on the joints as they start on their fitness journey.

Cardio Benefits

Engaging your thighs and glutes on these compact machines means both offer calorie-burning cardio workouts. An elliptical is easier to use therefore may be the better option if you’re looking for fat-blasting, cardio results.

Muscles Worked

Both machines work the lower legs, although the specific muscle groups targeted differ. Under-desk ellipticals will hit your hamstrings and glutes hardest, and if you stand you can get a bit of engagement on the abdominal muscles too.

Summary of the difference between the Mini Stepper and Mini Elliptical

Mini StepperMini Elliptical
Vertical up and down movementMore cyclical motion
Using a portable stepper requires the correct techniqueAn elliptical is easier to use
Step machines will focus more on toning your calves, glutes, quads, hip flexors, and core muscles.Will hit your hamstrings and glutes hardest, and if you stand you can get a bit of engagement on the abdominal muscles too.
Has more impact on the jointsHas very low or non-impact on the joints.

The different Movements of Gym Equipment

Health Benefits from Using the Mini Elliptical

There are plenty of benefits to using a mini elliptical. From their cardiovascular improvement to their mood-boosting effects, the small investment in a mini-elliptical could be a game-changer for your health. 

If you spend a large part of your day sitting, whether it’s in an office or just because you love gaming or reading, the mini elliptical can support you in achieving the following health benefits.

Cardio Benefits

Pedaling on a mini elliptical for at least 20-minutes can increase your heart and breathing rates. Improving your heart function can lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease.

What’s more, your body will thank you for becoming more efficient at transporting good nutrients and oxygen through your cardiovascular system.

Weight Loss

Just a 30-minute session on your mini elliptical can burn a alot of calories, helping you get ever closer to your weight loss goals. 

Having the elliptical at home or work gives you easy access to it so you can use it more frequently. The more activity you do, the more calories you burn, thus the more weight you lose. Using your mini elliptical 3-5 times a week is a good target to maximize weight loss.

Mental Boost

Exercise with your mini elliptical can do more than provide physical benefits. Regular elliptical exercise can release mood-boosting hormones and chemicals in your brain. You’ll feel energetic, relaxed, and happier after post-workout.

The weight loss improvements you make can boost your self-confidence too. This can boost your productivity at work, increase your quality of life, and help build your social support network.

Low-Impact workout

Mini ellipticals offer a great, low-impact alternative to keeping fit. You’re feet never leave the pedals so there’s no chance of any harmful impact.

This is ideal for elderly individuals or those prone to joint pain or injuries. Compact ellipticals won’t stress or harm your joints.

Keeping Focus on your Elliptical

If things start to get boring on your elliptical, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep focus and stay motivated.

  • Do a HIIT workout: ramp up the resistance at regular intervals and turn your bland cardio session into an exhilarating High Intensity Interval Training session.
  • Go backward: Mix things up and pedal backward to hit those quads more.
  • Stand or sit: If your elliptical allows it, try standing for a more intense workout and to burn more calories.
  • Watch a video: Watch and follow along with a work-out DVD or even a live stream from a proffesional trainer. This will boost your motivation and possibly provides a more effecient work-out.
  • Exercise with a friend: Studies have shown that people who work-out with a friend are more likely to complete their weight-loss journey and maintain their weight-loss.

Mini Elliptical Buyers Guide

It may not be the most expensive investment you’ll ever make, but that doesn’t mean you want to waste money on a naff elliptical.

With this in mind, there are several key features to consider when looking for the best mini elliptical.

Size and Weight

Goes without saying really. If you’re looking for an elliptical to fit under your desk, then check that it actually does fit under your desk. Don’t forget you need to be able to comfortably cycle without whacking your knees against the underside of your desk too.

The heavier the elliptical, the more stable it is. Whilst stability improves the comfort of the mini elliptical, it can be more difficult to move around.

Resistance Type & Levels

As you get fitter and stronger, you’ll want to be able to adjust the resistance of your elliptical to match your newfound fitness levels.

An under-desk elliptical with higher levels of resistance will support burning more calories and losing weight faster.

Look for a model that offers adjustable resistance as this will help keep your workouts interesting and engaging. Models equipped with magnetic resistance may be preferable as they are quieter, more resilient, and the resistance is less likely to fade over time. 


A built-in monitor or connectivity to fitness apps is a helpful addition to any mini elliptical. Metrics can tell you how long you’ve been pedaling for, how many calories you’ve burned, and strides per minute.

Keeping track of your info helps you know where you are in relation to your fitness goals and what improvements you’ve made over time.


Unfortunately, like most fitness machines, ellipticals can make a noise. Whilst most have a fairly unintrusive whirr, some can make a bit of an annoying sound. If you’re using your mini elliptical at work, a loud machine can be a recipe for angry co-workers and upset bosses.

The noise could frustrate you too, distracting you from whatever task you are doing whilst you blast those calories. Product and customer reviews are a good way to gauge whether your mini elliptical is too noisy.

Weight Capacity

Your machine needs to be able to handle your body weight, particularly if you are buying one for standing. Check manufacturers’ specs to find the max user weight so that you can be sure your mini elliptical is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Mini Elliptical good for your health?

The idea behind mini ellipticals is that they are exercise machines that can fit under your desk and boost your health. They help burn calories, tone legs, and boost mental health.

Can you lose weight on a Mini Elliptical?

The mini elliptical is great for burning calories whilst sat at the desk. On average people burn around 150 calories per hour, so combined with a good diet and an active lifestyle you can lose weight.

Doe’s a Mini Elliptical make a noise?

Unfortunately, like most fitness machines, ellipticals can make a noise. Whilst most have a fairly unintrusive whirr. The best way to gauge wheather a mini elliptical is too noisy, is to look at customer and product reviews.

Leave a Comment