5 Best Under Desk Elliptical Review

Your health is worrying you, but you’re becoming increasingly busy? Well, hitting the gym might be out of the question, but we’ve got you covered. What about an under-desk elliptical as a gym alternative?

An under-desk elliptical provides you with portable daily exercise to burn calories while you work at your desk, but there are quite a few overpriced products out there. We’ve brought you several high-quality models from popular brands such as FitDesk and Stamina InMotion to help you choose the best one!

Best-Selling Under Desk Ellipticals in July, 2019

Our Choice
FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical
Best Value
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer E1000
Premium
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical

5 Best Mini Elliptical Reviewed

Below you will find top 5 ellipticals tested by four criteria, pros and cons, and with our editor’s verdict at the end.

1. Stamina In-Motion – Affordable Option

The brand is committed to providing accessible fitness solutions to those who work at desks with tight schedules, and their elliptical trainer is proof enough.

Don’t think for a moment that its performance pales in front of other products, this under-desk elliptical is light, durable, and capable, and it won’t burn your wallet.

Click to See the Review

Convenience

Just about the only real issue of this under-desk elliptical is the portability. It weighs 24 lbs (10.8 kg), and it doesn’t have a “handle” design, which makes transportation a bit awkward. On the bright side, it has a small footprint, and the operation is fairly quiet.

The machine has a serviceable monitor that can display several stats while you exercise, such as the number of strides per minute, the total number of strides, exercise time, and calories burned. The monitor can show each stat individually, but you also have the option to set it to “scan” in which it will display all workout stats periodically.

Durability

The product requires assembly, but the steel construction is sturdy and dependable. The strides aren’t very long, so it can’t be compared to a real workout machine, but even then, this under-desk elliptical trainer works out nicely for casual and steady exercise.

Performance

The tension system allows you to tune the level of resistance via an adjustable dial to match your situation. If you spend around 8 to 12 hours on the computer, at a desk, you can set the resistance in “medium” and exercise striding at 5 to 8 miles per hour. Should you prefer to concentrate on your workout, you can increase it and pedal faster.

The angling of the strides can be shifted to workout while standing, in case you’re interested in a lite substitution of a full-fledged elliptical trainer.

Value

The product shines in this department. For under the $100 mark, you can get one, and this isn’t a deal we usually come across. It might lack a couple of essential elements, such as the handle design and lighter weight, but considering the cost, this product is more than appropriate.

PROS:
  • The most affordable of our list
  • Small footprint
CONS:
  • Somewhat heavy
  • Moving it around might be difficult

Our Verdict

If you’d like to spend as little as possible while getting the same fitness results, Stamina InMotion elliptical trainer might be your very best bet. Now, you should keep in mind that the product is somewhat heavy, weighing around 24 lbs (10.8 kg) and that transportation is a bit awkward due to the lack of a handle.


 2. FitDesk – Lightest Under-Desk Elliptical

The idea behind under-desk ellipticals is portable exercise, and FitDesk has developed several models to deliver fitness solutions to the working person.  Their under-desk elliptical is the lightest of the list, and it boasts a smooth, hands-free operation.

Good products are rarely cheap, and this one sits on the far end of our price scales. In our opinion, however, it’s worth the money.

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Convenience

Instead of the regular dial to adjust the tension, this model features a foot shifter that allows hands-free adjustment. It’s advertised for having a low pedal rotation, although that claim doesn’t factor the user’s height, so taller people should not take the max height of 25 inches at face value.

It lacks a handle, so transportation might still pose a hassle, despite the lighter weight.

The display of the unit is robust, and it features several settings to display your workout stats, such as calories burned, time, or miles traveled. If you don’t need the display, you can remove it, but you can also place it on your desk to easily track your stats.

Durability

The construction appears sturdy, and the rubber strides provide sufficient grip. The company claims it was built for long-duration use, but the wheel has been reported to become squeaky after some time. Keeping something to oil the machine would be wise if this is a problem for you.

Performance

The tension system has eight different resistances, and it employs a balanced, high-velocity flywheel to stabilize the motion of the pedals and keep the sound to a minimum. The trainer has a nifty function that allows you to “lock” the unit in place to prevent it from moving during use.

Value

FitDesk’s trainer might not have the stellar value of the InMotion. However, that is not to say it goes without merit. It’s not that pricey, and the added perks aren’t gimmicky.

All in all, it’s a reasonable investment, but one that you should ponder over. You either need it, or you don’t, and it’d be best if you avoided paying for things you won’t even notice.

PROS:
  • Light
  • Easy hands-free operation
CONS:
  • Pricey
  • The lowest setting might be hard for some people

Summary

It might come as a bit expensive for some, and its features might not make it drastically superior to other models. Still, the added functions, low weight, and comfortable operation turn this under-desk elliptical into a considerable option.


3. JFit – Best Under-Desk Elliptical for Portable Fitness

JFit’s under-desk elliptical might not be full-size, but it’s capable of delivering serious fitness results to the working person. It’s a bit pricey, but their mini elliptical machine is the most fitness-oriented of the list.

If you’re looking for something more oriented towards performance, and you don’t mind paying a bit more, this might be a good option for you.

Click to See the Review

Convenience

The compact design of the elliptic machine makes it relatively comfortable to carry around, but the unit weights around 27 lbs (12 kg) which is not very light. It does, however, have a handle, which means you can move it around with less force. The elliptical has a large rollerblade to prevent squeaking, though you can reduce it further with a lubricant.

You can change from under-desk to stand-up elliptical with few changes to the angle of the pedals. The trainer has an additional handle to provide more support and to lock it in place to prevent it from slipping.

A monitor is bundled with the trainer to keep a record of the time, distance, speed, and calories burn.

Durability

The construction is fairly dependable, and you can expect it to last a long time. The metal construction and pedals are reported to hold up even after several months of intensive usage, though the maximum capacity for standing mode is 250 lbs (113 kg).

Performance

The tension system is tuned through an adjustable dial. You can set it for an intensive workout over a short period of time, or spread it over a long period of casual work.

If you switch to the stand-up mode, you’ll require more energy, but it will give you an even more thorough exercise.

Value

It isn’t the cheapest product on our list, but it sure packs a lot of value nonetheless. JFit’s trainer is oriented to the people who want something over casual exercise, though the price tag begs for some prior consideration.

PROS:
  • Excellent performance
  • Compact design
CONS:
  • Somewhat heavy
  • Pedal rotation might be too much for some desks

Summary

The fitness performance alone is worth the investment, but you must be willing to put it to use in order to reap the benefits. All in all, we recommend this trainer to those who will train regularly, even outside their desk job.


4. iDeer – Low-profile Under-Desk Elliptical

iDeer’s under-desk elliptical is low-profile and portable, and it provides the same fitness results you’d expect from a mini elliptical that doubles as a standing stepper.

Not too pricey, nor the cheapest. It sits right between budget and performance while being the most portable of the list. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense casual under-desk elliptical, this might be it.

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Convenience

The footprint of this elliptical trainer is compact, and the handle lessens the force needed to carry it around. The rolling element was designed with a brake resistance mechanism, which in turn assures a much quieter operation compared to others.

The anti-slip pedals are large and textured to provide a secure grip. You can use it while sitting at your desk, or standing to exercise.

The built-in display keeps track of workout stats, such as elapsed time, distance traveled, calories burned, and total strides.

As a side note, the product is bundled with a lubricant, in case it starts squeaking.

Durability

The construction is fairly dependable, and you can expect it to last a long time. The metal construction and pedals are reported to hold up even after several months of intensive usage, though the maximum capacity for standing mode is 250 lbs (113 kg).

The body is plastic, but it seems dependable. The rolling element and the pedals themselves are made from sturdy steel, however. The materials could be better, but all in all, it seems reliable enough.

Performance

The base is wide to prevent the machine from rocking, and the low-profile design and operation ensure you won’t bang your desk with your knee while you exercise. The tension can be adjusted through a dial, allowing you to control the intensity of the workout.

You can pedal counter-clockwise to work a different set of muscles, and you can also work while standing up. The weight limit when standing up is 242 lbs (109.7 kg).

Value

iDeer’s under-desk elliptical sits in the sweet spot between cost and performance, so it packs a lot of value for an agreeable price. The price is accessible for most budgets, and it provides enough fitness for the working person.

PROS:
  • Accessible price
  • Portable and compact
CONS:
  • Somewhat simple
  • The monitor might be hard to read

Summary

There’s no way you can go wrong with this product, in our honest opinion. Whether you’re for casual exercise while you work or a fitness solution to your home gym, iDeer’s mini elliptical can suit you up. We’d suggest thinking what kind of performance you want out of your elliptical first, but this is an excellent product all the same.


5. Bionic Body – Best Under-Desk Elliptical for Training

Bionic Body isn’t playing games with their under-desk elliptical. They weren’t content with lower body workout, so they developed a workout station to train the upper body as well.

It might not be the best for casual exercise, but if you’re looking for a fit body, Bionic Body’s mini elliptical might be your safest bet.

Click to See the Review

Convenience

The footprint isn’t as small as it could be, but it serves as an all-in-one workout station. The machine has a handle to ease the transportation, but it weighs around 37 lbs (16.7 kg)  so carrying it might be a challenge on its own. It’s surprisingly quiet, and it doesn’t require lubricants to remain so.

The pedals are slip-resistant and flexible, and you can use the trainer standing or sitting. The unit is bundled with an LCD display to monitor workout stats such as strides per minute, total strides, elapsed time, and burned calories.

Durability

The materials used are sturdy, and the construction is reliable. The bundled resistance bands are heavy-duty, and the handles are covered in foam for extra comfort. The pedals are made from sturdy steel while the surface provides sufficient grip.

Performance

The standout additions of the mini elliptical are the resistance bands. It can help you work out your upper body, arms, and shoulders, all while you use the machine to work out your legs.

You can adjust the tension through a handy resistance lever. You can switch it into a lower setting to spread your work through a longer period, or turn it up a notch for an intensive, short workout.

Value

This product is, as you could expect, expensive. However, the fitness perks added are nothing to laugh at. The price tag might be prohibitive for some, but it isn’t something unreasonable.

If you’re looking to spend money on fitness, you might actually save some by purchasing this unit as your all-in-one workout station, so it can be a deal for some.

PROS:
  • You can train the upper body
  • Compact design
CONS:
  • Heavy
  • Footprint might be too large for some setups

Summary

The impressive fitness performance of this under-desk elliptical sets it apart from the rest. The price tag isn’t accessible, especially when we compare it to some of the products we reviewed, but if you’re looking to give your home gym/studio a kickstart, this might set it in the right course.


Buyer’s Guide

Purchasing a product you won’t use, or spending more than you need to, can be a real bummer. We’ve got you some useful tips to avoid disappointment.

  • Weigh your priorities realistically.

A fitness station might seem flashy, and you might picture yourself using it nonstop every day. The question is, will you really do it?

Those are expensive, and if you’re not using them regularly, you’re getting no value out of them. Think about what you will actually use so that you can avoid wasting your money.

  • Think about the space implications.

So, maybe the elliptical fits under your desk, but can you really use it while working on your desk? Those are two separate things. If it hardly fits under your desk, you won’t be able of pedaling.

  • Standing versus sitting.

You can’t work while standing (e.g. at a standing desk) unless you have a standup desk, and only if you can actually concentrate while going up and down. However, standing while pedaling is a better exercise, but one that you must actively perform.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is mini elliptical's maximum weight capacity?
This question gets asked a lot. In short, if you’re sitting, your weight doesn’t matter. User weight only matters if you use it standing. Different elliptical machines have different capacities, so check the specs!
Will I lose weight with an elliptical machine?
It depends. If you use it casually and sporadically, you shouldn’t expect to lose weight. If you use it actively and constantly, you can expect some sort of weight loss.

It depends on the overall fitness program and diet you have. At the very least, it’ll help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

Will mini elliptical fit my desk?
Take the space measurements with a grain of salt. While the footprint might be good enough to fit your desk, you must remember you’re going to pedal, which means your knees might hit your desk from below.

Enquire about the pedal rotation’s height, as that is the best measurement to determine whether it’ll truly fit your desk.

Do I need to use sports shoes to pedal mini elliptical?
Full-size textured pedals can be used barefooted, should you decide to do so. That is one of the advantages of full-size pedals versus small, strapped pedals.

How We Appraised Each Under Desk Elliptical

Click to Expand

Convenience

An elliptical machine must be easy to carry around. Otherwise, it wouldn’t serve its purpose.

While there isn’t any “ultra-lightweight” under-desk elliptical that you can easily sling over your shoulder and carry everywhere, some are considerably lighter and more maneuverable than others.

Assembly is often required, but it doesn’t have to be difficult,  and the inclusion of frontal handle design, like in some models, reduces the force needed.

For this reason, we’ve reviewed mini elliptical trainers that you can realistically fit and use under your desk.

Durability

If it breaks after a few uses or wears down too quickly, it’s no good. Elliptical machines must be sturdy.

Unless you buy a dirt-cheap elliptical trainer, it won’t literally break under your soles. However, some under-desk ellipticals aren’t as sturdy as others.

We wanted to make sure you’d get your hands (or rather, your feet) on a machine that would last quite some time, so we brought under-desk ellipticals built from durable materials. Assembly is important as some machines have low-quality bolts that come apart rather easily.

Performance

Different machines grant varying levels of mechanical performance. No matter what elliptical machine you’re using, it should have all the necessary functions to meet your demands.

The first and foremost performance element you should demand is adjustable tension. Not only this accommodates the machine to your capacity, but lets you set your workout: steady and long, or short and intense?

Some might be adjustable and lightweight, but if they make a lot of noise, or are otherwise unmovable by your own strength, they aren’t serving their purpose well.

Value

Higher price points often mean higher quality, but that isn’t always the case. Moreover, you don’t need to overspend to get an under-desk elliptical that satisfies your needs.

Overpricing is a common pitfall among novelty products. You don’t have to spend a lot of cash to get a reliable product. In fact, for the bare minimum of our list, you can get an excellent under-desk elliptical. No matter your choice, weigh what you need versus what you’re willing to spend.

The value is relative to the use you get out of something. A $10 tool you never use is technically less valuable than a $100 one you use every day.


Conclusion

Exercising while working can greatly improve your productivity, lower your stress, and net you a healthier body.

Under-desk ellipticals are excellent fitness solutions for those who are too busy to realistically attend a gym. The world is quickly evolving to provide solutions for the time-deprived professional who needs to get stuff done in the shortest time.

A forgotten benefit of these home/office gyms is the upkeep costs. They’re next to nonexistent, whereas a gym will constantly drain your money. Have you ever paid for a monthly membership that you wound up using about three times in the entire month?

The under-desk elliptical is just one of the many fitness solutions that can save you both time and money while providing almost the same results. It’s one of the best standing desk accessories money can get.

We hope you found something you liked on our list. If not, at least you have some pointers to purchase a solution for your problems.

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