4 Best Elliptical Trainers For In An Apartment

Looking for an elliptical trainer that is good for use in an apartment? Here are some of the best options and why.

Elliptical trainers for an apartment should be compact and smooth as to not take up too much space and bother the neighbors. The Bowflex Max, Schwinn 411 and NordicTrack SE7i are great compact yet high quality ellipticals for an apartment. If space is not a problem, a normal elliptical is great too.

Read more about these options below as well as what makes an elliptical trainer good for an apartment below. 

Best Elliptical Trainers For An Apartment

1. Bowflex Max Series

Compact, light and packs a punch. That’s how you can describe the BowFlex Max series. These machines are described as an elliptical trainer but the movement pattern is a little different. The strides are more vertical than horizontal. This makes it a bit like a cross between an elliptical and a Stairmaster.

The rest of the machine is quite similar though. There are arm levers for the upper body just like a normal elliptical trainer. That means it provides a smooth, full body workout that easy on the joints and is great a gettin up your heart rate and burning calories. The only difference is that you bend your knees a bit more than on a normal elliptical. For most people that’s not a problem but for people with bad knees, an elliptical with more horizontal steps will be better. 

Suggested: Is 30 minutes on an elliptical enough to see results?

This means it targets the glutes and hamstrings a bit more than a ‘normal’ elliptical trainer which is not necessarily a drawback. 

On the flip side, you get a machine with a very small footprint. There are a few different models in the Max Series but they all have a footprint of about 4’ long and 2-2,5’ wide. That’s about 2,5’ to 3’ shorter than the other models on this list. For small apartments that makes this Bowflex Max a good choice. 

The Max M3 has a very simple control panel and no display and connectivity. The higher end models like the M8 have a nicer control panel, better connectivity for workout apps and heart rate monitors. The higher end models also have more resistance levels and look a bit nicer. 

2. Schwinn 411

If the Bowflex max is not for you and want a traditional elliptical trainer but still need something compact and easy to store away, this Schwinn elliptical might be the one for you. It has a more horizontal movement pattern than the Max while having only about a foot longer footprint. 

Suggested: How big are elliptical trainers?

It’s a quite affordable elliptical trainer as well. You can see money was saved in the control panel and performance display which look like an 80’s Casio watch but it works perfectly fine. 

The limited size means the stride length is only about 18” which will work (just) for people up to about 6’ tall. If you’re taller than 6’, this stride length is too short. But since the average height in the USA is about 5’9 for men, most people should be OK. 

There are 16 magnetic resistance levels which are adjustable by a simple button which means everyone can easily find the right setting. 

3. NordicTrack SE7i

This elliptical has a rear flywheel for extra smooth action. It has a 18” stride length and 22 levels of quiet, magnetic resistance. On the surface a pretty normal elliptical trainer. However, this one has a trick up it’s sleeve. 

This elliptical can be folded up and stored horizontally against the wall. That means you only need a lot of space while using it but after use, you can store it while taking up very little floor space. 

It also has a 10” HD touchscreen which can be used for interactive workouts and workout tracking. There is a separate button for every resistance setting which makes it very easy to change resistance which makes this elliptical very good for HIIT workouts. 

All in all, a great elliptical that’s smooth, challenging while also having modern features and a small footprint while stored. 

4.   Sole E95S

Not worried about size and just want a very good elliptical trainer that can handle pretty much everything you throw at it? The Sole E95S is a great choice. Most of the ellipticals above have fixed 18” stride lengths. Longer stride lengths need a lot of space so the machines have to be larger. The Sole E95S has an adjustable stride length of 18” to 24” which makes it suitable for very tall people. The user weight limit is 400 lbs. which means that if you shop in the big & tall section, this is the elliptical for you. 

This is not a compact elliptical trainer but if you are above 6’ tall, you’re going to need a big elliptical one way or another. So why not go for one that’s high quality and has tons of features as well? 

What Makes An Elliptical Good For An Apartment

Is an elliptical trainer for an apartment any different than for any other location? 

You can use pretty much every elliptical in an apartment. However, some have characteristics that make them a bit more suitable. 

  • Size and storage: Apartments are usually smaller than houses and you probably don’t have a whole separate room for gym equipment. So having an elliptical that is a bit more compact is a plus. Also, if an elliptical is easy to fold up/move around, that’s a big plus.
  • Noise: In an apartment, there are many more people around you and noise can be a problem. A machine that’s quiet and smooth will be less likely to annoy your neighbors. 

Suggested: Are there any drawbacks to an elliptical?

Tip: Always use a thick rubber mat under an elliptical or other cardio machine. A rubber mat has several benefits: 

  • Easy to clean dust and sweat
  • Prevents floor from damage
  • Reduces vibrations and noise
  • Prevents the elliptical from rocking and moving around

Find out more about equipment mats in this article.

Is Weight a Problem For Ellipticals In an Apartment?

You might be wondering if you have to look at the weight of an elliptical trainer since it won’t be on the ground floor. Is there a chance that the weight is a problem for the floor. 

Unless you get the heaviest elliptical trainer and you are a very heavy person (300 lbs.+), you don’t have to worry about it. 

Suggested: Can you put an elliptical trainer upstairs?

It’s generally accepted that in most buildings, you can put a 60 gallon on a second or higher floor without even thinking about it, which weighs about 500 lbs. (226 kg). And in many buildings, more than that is fine if placed properly near supporting walls or hoists. An aquarium concentrates all the weight in one place. An elliptical trainer tends to be much longer than an aquarium so the weight is spread out more. 

That means that at least 500 lbs. but up likely to 800 lbs. is no problem in up to code buildings. That is the total weight of the machine plus your body weight. The heaviest machine on the list above is the Sole E95S at 265 lbs. So unless you weigh more than 300 lbs., you don’t even have to think about it. 

And since the weight limit of most elliptical trainers is 300 lbs., it’s not something you should worry about. The Sole E95 has a weight limit of 400 lbs. so if you test the limits of that elliptical and are a little worried, placing the elliptical near a wall or hoists can make you feel a bit safer. 

Adding a thick rubber mat under the elliptical also helps spread out the weight over a larger area as well as having other benefits. 


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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