Top 5 Best Ellipticals for Low Ceilings – Reviews & Buyer Guides

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While ellipticals make an excellent home gym choice, it is rather sad to accept that not all our homes are built to house an elliptical in our little spaces or rather low ceilings.

It becomes more challenging when you dedicate the basement for an elliptical as its ceiling is much lower, and an elliptical needs much height due to the range of movement involved while working out.

This will be worse if you are a tall person. You might need an elliptical machine with a 20-inch stride length if you are over 6′.

Does that mean small and low ceilings homes cannot make way for an elliptical? That is far away from the truth. We will show you how to determine if an elliptical fits well in your low ceilings room.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks of the best ellipticals for low ceilings:

You can also see the overview, pros & cons below. 

What to Look for Before Buying the Best Ellipticals for Low Ceilings?

You know some of the best ellipticals, but you worry about your choice as your building is a low ceiling one. So, how do you meet your short ceiling requirement without compromising on quality? You need to do a simple calculation.

#1. Measure Your Ceilings Height

The average height of the ceilings is 8 feet. But for those whose ceiling height is above 9 feet, it is good news as any elliptical would be good. But if it is below 9 feet, it’s wise to ensure that the chosen elliptical fits within the right range.

To do this, do some simple measurements.

#2. Find Out the Height of the Tallest User

You don’t want to hit the ceiling while exercising, so the first thing you need to know is the height of the tallest user of the machine.

#3. Know the Step-up Height of the Elliptical

Step-up height is a spec that you should pay most of your attention to.

What is the step-up height? Simply put, it’s the height between the foot pedals and the ground.

It would be listed by the manufactures but not in most cases. And it isn’t easy to find a precise step-up height, but you can also search for online reviews provided by a verified buyer to get a more reliable answer.

Most ellipticals have a step-up height (footplate at the lowest position) between 12 inches to 14 inches, which varies from brands.

But if you have no idea which to choose, then we could tell you that Horizon and Nordictrack have the lowest step-up height among the brands introduced in the market. But this also varies from the models.

#4. Do a Simple Calculation and Make Sure Your Room Has Enough Space

If you don’t want your head knock on the ceilings, you should make sure there is at least 6 inches of space between your head and the ceilings. So the elliptical will fit well in your room if the following inequality is satisfied.

Ceilings height – (Step-up height + Tallest user height + 6 inches ) >=0

If the elliptical machine is equipped with adjustable inclines, then you should add more clearance in the calculation.

Other Consideration

Stride Length

This is an integral factor while choosing a unit as it determines workout quality. An 18-inch stride length elliptical is for people of normal height, but if you are over 6 ft, it is recommended to go for a 20-22 inch length. Most high-quality machines offer a minimum stride length of 20 inches.

Your HeightIdeal Elliptical Stride Length
Under 5’14"-16"
6’ and up20"-22"

Read also: How to Find the Best Elliptical Stride Length?

Top 5 Best Elliptical Machines for Low Ceilings

Compared with other fitness equipment (treadmill, rowing machine, indoor exercise bike), ellipticals tend to require more ceiling room because of the arc of motion.

If you will buy an elliptical in a room with a lower-than-average ceiling, here are some best choices you can go for.

#1. Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Elliptical Trainer

Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Elliptical Trainer

Step-up Height: 10 extremely reasonable inches

Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 elliptical can be folded easily and stored away. It is one of the most compact ellipticals that requires minimal assembly with only a 3-step process, after which the user can quickly step on it and start working out.

This makes it a perfect pick for small spaces and low ceiling heights, as it requires only a 10-inch elevation at the peak of its stride.

This front-drive elliptical machine offers a decent stride length of 20 inches. The flywheel weighs around 18 lbs bearing a weight capacity of 300 pounds, making it an average contender in its category.


  • Easy to fold and store
  • Simple assembly
  • Apt for low-ceiling spaces with a step-on height of 10 inches
  • Long stride length and comfortable to use


  • No inclination possible
  • Warranty
  • Not a great money saver

#2. Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer

Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer (Discontinued)
Step-Up Height: 12 inches

Released by a renowned brand that has established its forte in exercise equipment, the E614 elliptical machine is ideal for those looking for a durable, comfortable, and fitness-oriented exercising experience.

This affordable elliptical machine offers 20 different resistance levels, six different incline positions, 22 different workout programs, and a 20-inch stride length enabling users to push themselves and achieve excellence in exercising.

It can bear up to 300 pounds of maximum weight and has large footpads with comfortable cushioning that adds no stress while pedaling.

The machine has in-built speakers that provide good sound quality, a charging unit for your electronic gadget, a water bottle holder, and a cooling fan.

The dual display LCD screen can help you with information such as time, distance, rpm, heart rate, and calories.


  • 10-year warranty on frame
  • Durable and stable with high-quality materials used
  • Intense workout options aiding any type of user to benefit
  • Dual display LCD screen


  • Difficult assembly
  • Can bear up to 300 pounds of weight only
  • Six inclination levels must be manually adjusted

#3. Fitness Reality X Class 710

Fitness Reality 2366 X-Class 710 Bluetooth Smart Technology Elliptical Trainer

Step-Up Height: 12-14 inches

There are two X class 710 ellipticals—a training bike and an elliptical with the number 2366 denoting the elliptical and the number 2252 denoting the bike.

The X class elliptical trainer is custom-made for home training purposes with a sturdy frame made of steel and an extra-heavy flywheel that stands out from other ellipticals in this category.

This low-profile elliptical comes with 24 different levels of magnetic resistance with no inclination options and a stride length of 20 inches.

This equipment’s console is well designed with a touch screen display that helps in choosing between 20 different preset workout programs.

And users (supports up to 4 user profiles) can customize any two workout programs as per their wish.

The screen displays information such as speed, calories burned, time, etc. The machine’s Bluetooth functionality must be appreciated as it is compatible with android, iOS, and many fitness apps.

You can also enhance your workout experience by listening to clear music coming from the unit’s built-in speakers.

The elliptical supports up to 300 pounds of user weight and has most of its parts pre-assembled, making it a friendly cardio machine to use.


  • Great levels of resistance
  • Heavy flywheels that ensure high-end performance
  • Excellent design, outstanding materials, and overall a great machine to workout
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • First-rate sound system
  • Warranty
  • Easy to assemble


  • Absence of inclination options
  • LCD needs good lighting to offer good visibility

#4. Sole E35 Elliptical Machine

SOLE Fitness E35 2020 Model Indoor Elliptical, Home and Gym

Step-up Height: The pedal or step-up height of the elliptical is 14 inches showing that it’s got the lowest possible measure among all ellipticals.

Having the privilege of being called a luxury elliptical machine with its high-quality frame and features, the Sole E35 elliptical machine is designed to deliver durability, comfort, and maximum exercising benefits. It is also a top-notch elliptical that offers an adjustable stride length from 20 inches to 22 inches.

With an ability to bear up to 375 pounds of weight, this high weight capacity machine is sturdy seated upon four rollers yet functions smoothly (flywheel is 25 lbs) and quietly.

The elliptical features a power incline up to 30 degrees, which increases your stride height, and if you wish to buy this, ensure that you have a minimum of 8 ft ceiling height.

As you sweat out to become fit/lose weight, the machine motivates you by showing your efforts in the form of a 7.5 inch LCD screen with various information such as calories burned, time, speed, and more.


  • Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year warranty on parts, and two years on labor
  • Sturdy, durable, made of high-grade materials and smooth functioning
  • Huge pedal size
  • Built-in speakers, cooling fan and water bottle holder
  • Ten different workout programs and two user profiles possible


  • Expensive
  • Incompatible with Bluetooth

#5. Bowflex M8

BowFlex Max Trainer M8

Step-Up Height: 12-14 inches

It’s compact but sturdy, and it’s suitable for low-ceiling spaces yet comes with excellent frame construction and design.

Bowflex M8 trainer is a stepper machine that offers you full-body workouts with the help of the calorie-burning power of the machine.

Those who suffer from extreme joint pain and knee injuries prefer to work out on a Bowflex M8 as this is the best alternative to treadmills and ellipticals and provides you a low-impact rigorous workout.

It facilitates easy movement of hands and legs without impacting the joints using minimal effort.

This HIIT machine comes with 20 different resistance levels, 11 different programs, and four user profiles, which makes it a top pick for any type of user.

It attracts buyers with its wireless heart rate monitoring option with a chest strap included and is Bluetooth compatible, which means that you can listen to music or sync with the Bowflex Fitness App provided and have a great workout experience.


  • Helps to burn more calories than what’s possible on a treadmill or elliptical
  • 20 resistance levels and 11 preset programs
  • Warranty
  • Sturdy and durable with stainless steel built
  • No impact on joints


  • Expensive
  • Noisy

Advantages of Working Out on an Elliptical in Your Home

It’s good that you have decided to buy an elliptical for your home.

Still, before purchasing a piece of equipment, it is better to reassure yourself that it’s the right decision, which is possible by understanding its advantages.

Minimal Impact: Health experts and physiotherapists prescribe working out on an elliptical even for those with knee injuries and older people. This equipment has minimal or zeroes impact on your knees and joints, unlike certain other cardio machines such as the treadmill.

Walking/running on a treadmill does lead to joint problems over time, but if you want a calorie-burning exercise format that doesn’t cause injury to your body, you better choose the elliptical.

Versatile for Full Body Workout: Some exercises machines are great for the upper body and some others for the lower body, but if you are looking for a total body workout using one equipment, then it’s none other than the elliptical.

The moving handlebars take care of your arms and shoulder muscles, the pedals ensure workout to your thighs, legs, hips, belly, and lower body, and the bi-directional pedaling option helps you focus on your preferred leg muscles.

These machines are versatile because it lets the user adjust speed and inclination depending on his/her training level.

Simple to Use: Working out on an elliptical is rather easy and simple as all you have to do is step onto it, press a few buttons, and start working out.

Though you might not get the same output as working out on a treadmill, it boosts your balance, coordination, and bone strength.

At the same time, you can simultaneously enjoy a movie on the television or even listen to music while working out.

It refreshes your mind and makes you feel that exercising is a simple chore.


The elliptical is an apt choice for a home gym, but it also requires sufficient space and ceiling height—at least look out for 6 inches of clearance between your head and the ceiling to avoid a concussion.

Your elliptical might fit into your small room, but if you don’t enjoy the exercising experience, then it’s not worth the time and effort.

If your room has a low ceiling height, choose a model that has low step-up height but doesn’t compromise on other features such as stride length, resistance levels, flywheel design, and sturdiness of the device.

Choose the shortest step-up length if your ceiling height is low and go for the highest-quality equipment and stride length if other factors match.

On the whole, buy an elliptical that satisfies your height specifications and your design requirements for a pleasurable exercising experience.

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