The 6 Best Ellipticals for Low Ceilings of 2024 (Expert Tested)

The best ellipticals offer total-body workouts that strengthen your legs, arms, and heart while putting less impact on your joints than running on a treadmill. (1) However, some of these machines are simply too big to accommodate those sweating in small spaces or rooms with low ceilings. By keeping their profiles at roughly 65 inches or lower in height, the best ellipticals for low ceilings can help those with 7- and 8-foot ceilings keep their noggins from crashing through the drywall. (2)

Our team of fitness pros worked out on over 20 ellipticals to find the most comfy, durable, and low-profile machines for those with low ceilings. If you’re ready to bring one of these machines home, it’s good to know what features you’re interested in and which ellipticals can provide what you’re looking for. How tall are your ceilings? How much tech do you want in your machine? How much floor space do you have available? Our team of testers kept these questions in mind while selecting the best ellipticals for low ceilings. Here are our top picks.

The 6 Best Ellipticals for Low Ceilings 2024

Best Elliptical for Low Ceilings Overall: Horizon EX-59

Best Elliptical for Low Ceilings for Streaming: BowFlex Max Trainer M8

Best Compact Elliptical for Low Ceilings: Niceday Elliptical Machine CT11

Best Budget Elliptical for Low Ceilings: Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912

Most Sturdy Elliptical for Low Ceilings: Schwinn 430

Best Folding Elliptical for Low Ceilings: Gazelle Sprinter 

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite and the ellipticals we listed to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations. 

How We Tested and Chose the Best Ellipticals for Low Ceilings

Our roster here at BarBend is stacked with competitive athletes, certified personal trainers, and fitness fanatics. Our job is to discover the best exercise equipment out there, and we’ve tried and tested over 100 of the best cardio machines — including more than 20 ellipticals — in an effort to give you our honest opinion on the top equipment in the marketplace. Our testing methodology uses a multi-point scale from 1 (bad) to 5 (fantastic) in areas like durability, workout experience, and tech capabilities. The following are some areas we focused on when testing and choosing our favorite picks.

Defining Low Ceilings: According to the American National Standards Institute, finished areas must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet. (2) And the 2022 California Building Code ups this limit to 7 feet 6 inches. (3) However, according to the National Building Code, while some ceiling heights of 9 and 10 feet are becoming more common, 8 feet is the average. (4) We looked for the shortest ellipticals possible — however, the taller the user, the less headroom you’ll have available.

Height Recommendations: Some brands offer a recommendation for how much clearance you’ll need in relation to both your height and your ceiling height. Generally, though, we opted for machines with heights of 65 inches or less to give users as much clearance as possible.

Portability: If you have low ceilings, you may also be lacking in storage space. As such, we sought to include ellipticals with transport wheels to aid with relocation. We also wanted to include a few manual ellipticals (since they don’t need to be plugged in, they can be placed anywhere) and models with lightweight builds (our lightest pick weighs just 40 pounds).

User Weight Capacity: We made sure to only include ellipticals with weight capacities of 300 pounds or above. A 300-pound user weight capacity is in the industry standard.

Durability: Similar to many of the best exercise bikes and treadmills, an elliptical’s user weight capacity speaks to its durability. Additionally, we made sure to note our workout experience on each machine, highlighting any shake or wobble we felt while putting each machine through the wringer. We also kept our eyes peeled for alloy steel and aluminum builds, and warranties that would protect your investment over the years.

Best Elliptical for Low Ceilings Overall: Horizon EX-59

Horizon EX-59

Horizon EX-59

This Horizon Fitness elliptical can be a great starter machine for budding home gym enthusiasts thanks to its approachable price tag, intuitive controls, and comfortable handlebar setup. The stride length is also accommodating at 18 inches, which can be great for athletes of most sizes.

Shop Horizon Fitness


Price: $999

Step Height: 10.75”

Height: 64.5” H

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Resistance Levels: 10

Product Dimensions: 64.5” H x 74” L x 25” W

Product Weight: 145lbs


This elliptical is just 64.5 inches tall with a 10.75-inch step-up height, making it accessible even in rooms with 7-foot ceilings.

The below-average 145-pound weight and built-in transport wheels make moving this elliptical machine around fairly easy.

A media shelf and Bluetooth speakers allow you to watch content from your own device as you sweat.


The 14.3-pound flywheel is smaller than the 16- to 20-pound flywheels we like to see on machines around this price range.

There isn’t Bluetooth connectivity to pair this elliptical with apps like Peloton, Strava, or iFIT.

The Horizon EX-59 is our choice for the best elliptical for low ceilings due to its reasonable price tag, 10 levels of resistance, and 10.75-inch step-up height, which is short enough to ensure that most athletes can safely use this 64.5-inch tall machine in rooms with ceilings as low as 7 feet. This nifty elliptical scored a 4 out of 5 for conveniences, value, adjustability, and portability.

Our tester working out atop the Horizon EX-59 elliptical

This machine weighs 145 pounds and takes up 11.2 square feet of floor space. Our tester, a certified personal trainer, gave the EX-59 a 4 out of 5 for footprint and portability. “It feels smaller and more lightweight than the average elliptical,” they said, “And the built-in wheels and handle on the back of it makes moving it around easy enough for just one person.”

[Related: Best Ellipticals for Seniors]

This compact machine has 10 levels of magnetic resistance and offers conveniences in the form of three water bottle holders, a set of pulse heart rate sensors, and an LCD display with basic training metrics. 

Plus the Bluetooth speakers and media shelf make it easy for users to stream content from their own devices. “My music played clearly through the speakers,” our tester noted, giving tech capabilities a 3 out of 5. “Its Bluetooth connectivity, though, only works with the speakers — I wasn’t able to sync it with apps like Strava or Peloton.”

Horizon EX-59 elliptical handlebars

While durability scored only a 3 out of 5, our tester felt torn. “The elliptical didn’t shake or shift when I was working out. In fact, it felt super steady,” they said. “However, the flywheel is only 14.3 pounds, which is smaller than the 16- to 20-pound flywheels I’ve seen on other ellipticals at this price point.” A heavier flywheel can provide a smoother and quieter ride.

At the end of the day, this is a budget-friendly elliptical, meant for those with limited space and looking for low-priced equipment. 

[Related: Best Commercial Ellipticals]

Best Elliptical for Low Ceilings for Streaming: BowFlex Max Trainer M8

BowFlex Max Trainer M8

BowFlex Max Trainer M8

The hybrid elliptical has more of a vertical stair stepper footpath, built for those looking to bring some high-intensity interval training into their routine. With 20 levels of resistance, heart rate handlebar sensors, and a burn rate monitor, most users will find the training intensity and feedback to fuel their gym session.

Shop Amazon


Price: $1,649.99

Step Height: Unlisted

Height: 65.2” H

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Resistance Levels: 20

Product Dimensions: 65.2” H x 30.79” L x 47.83” W

Product Weight:  141lbs


A media shelf and USB charging port support users streaming content and programming from their mobile devices.

This elliptical is compatible with the JRNY app, which includes classes and stat-tracking capabilities.

It takes up just 10.23 square feet of floor space — the average elliptical we’ve tested measures between 11 and 13 square feet.


You’ll need to stream content from your own device. 

Athletes looking for a more traditional elliptical may be disappointed by this machine’s hybrid elliptical and stepper design.

This machine is best used for short HIIT workouts, so users looking for steady-state cardio may want to look elsewhere.

You won’t find a built-in touchscreen on the BowFlex Max Trainer M8, but this HIIT workout machine is designed to connect with mobile devices so you can stream content during your sweat session. It’s also compatible with the JRNY app, which provides access to virtual cardio classes and stat-tracking capabilities. 

Our tester working out atop the Bowflex Max Trainer M6

To determine if this BowFlex machine can fit in your low-ceilinged abode, add 20.7 inches to your height. If the solution is less than your ceiling height, you should be good. For example, users up to 6 feet 2 inches will need a ceiling height of 8 feet in order to use the Max Trainer M8. 

As for streaming, two magnetic media shelves allow you plenty of space to prop up your phone or tablet during workouts. Also, users get a 2-month free trial to JRNY, an app which you can sync with the machine via your mobile device. 

This app gives you access to a variety of trainer-led classes, scenic rides via Explore the World, workout tracking, and adaptive fitness capabilities that can make recommendations based on your fitness level. JRNY will cost $11.99 a month or $99 a year for a mobile-only subscription. There’s also a free version, which will give you limited access to JRNY’s classes. This dynamic programming scored a 4.8 out of 5.

While we haven’t gotten our hands on the M8 just yet, we have tested the M6, which is similar aside from having fewer storage options and resistance levels. Both models feature a hybrid stepper and elliptical motion, with a more vertical foot path as compared to a standard elliptical’s horizontal stride.

Bowflex Max Trainer M6 center console

Our tester, a certified personal trainer, loved the quick workout on the M6 machine, “I got an intense burn in a really short amount of time,” they noted giving workout experience a 4 out of 5. “This machine is meant for HIIT workouts, and many of the built-in workouts are shorter than 15 minutes long.” 

This machine also made our list of the best compact exercise equipment due to its vertical 65.2-inch build, which results in a smaller-than-average footprint of 10.23 square feet. Footprint and portability scored 4.5 out of 5. 

Best Compact Elliptical for Low Ceilings: Niceday Elliptical Machine CT11

Niceday Elliptical Machine

Niceday Elliptical Machine

This quiet elliptical from Niceday has a 16-pound flywheel, 16 resistance levels, and comes 90 percent assembled. Plus, it doesn’t require external power, so you don’t have to worry about where to plug it in. 

Shop Amazon


Price: $799.99

Step Height: 16”

Height: 62” H

Weight Capacity: 400lbs

Resistance Levels: 16

Product Dimensions: 62” H x 48” L x 25” W

Product Weight:106lbs


This elliptical measures just 8.33 square feet of floor space, making it one of the smallest traditional ellipticals we’ve tested. 

You don’t have to plug this elliptical in, so you can work out wherever you want.

Our tester says this elliptical is whisper-quiet while in use.


The stride length is only 15.5 inches, which may be too short for athletes over 6 feet.

It doesn’t have any Bluetooth connectivity.

The Niceday Elliptical Machine CT11 is a budget machine designed for users with limited space and low ceilings. While the 400-pound user weight capacity would make you think the CT11 is huge, its footprint of 8.33 square feet is one of the smallest we’ve seen. Footprint, portability, setup, and delivery scored a 4 out of 5.

“The compact nature of this machine and light 106-pound build makes rolling it around on its transport wheels fairly easy,” noted tester and BarBend editorial member Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1. Users may also appreciate that this elliptical doesn’t need to be plugged into a power source to work. “You’re not limited to where you have an outlet, so you can move it and use it wherever you want,” Meier added, scoring its footprint and portability a 4 out of 5.

There are 16 levels of resistance, and Meier appreciated the intensity at the highest level. “Each time I adjusted the resistance, I’d hear a little click and could feel the difficulty increase. Level 16 definitely gave my legs a decent workout,” she noted, scoring its customizations a 3.5 out of 5. Aside from that click, Meier reported that this machine was “whisper-quiet” while in use. 

The compact build has some downsides, such as its limited 15.5-inch stride length. Meier, who is 5 feet 4 inches, felt comfortable with this length, but we tend to recommend a stride length of up to 20 inches for taller athletes desiring an ergonomic running motion. 

While we think this machine is one of the best rear-drive ellipticals we’ve tested, some users may be disappointed by its lack of Bluetooth connectivity or other tech capabilities. “This machine is fairly basic,” said Meier, rating her overall workout experience a 3.5 out of 5, “but it’s quiet, and sometimes that’s all you need.” 

Best Budget Elliptical for Low Ceilings: Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912

Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912

Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912

The elliptical from Sunny Health & Fitness provides 16 levels of programmable magnetic resistance, a 15.5-inch stride length, wide and textured foot plates, and heart rate pulse sensors on the fixed set of handlebars.

Shop Sunny Health & Fitness


Price: $699.99

Step Height: 15.2”

Height: 64.5” H

Weight Capacity: 330lbs

Resistance Levels: 16

Product Dimensions: 64.5” H x 55” L x 23” W

Product Weight: 104.8lbs


This $699.99 elliptical often goes on sale for closer to $500.

The 330-pound user weight capacity is 30 pounds more than the standard elliptical.

There are 24 built-in programs.


Tech is limited and you won’t find any speakers or Bluetooth connectivity here.

Per our tester, assembly of this machine was difficult and the instructions weren’t clear.

The 15.5 inch stride length may be too short for users over 6 feet.

Often, the best cardio machines for weight loss can force athletes to dip into their savings — “Sorry sweetie, we used your college fund for our new cardio baby” — but the Sunny Health & Fitness SF E3912 is a steal at $699.99 — roughly $300 to $800 less than average mid-range elliptical — and is often on sale for closer to $500. 

Our tester riding the Sunny Health and Fitness Elliptical SF E3912.

The durability of this machine is surprising considering its price. It has a 330-pound user weight capacity, which is 30 pounds higher than the industry standard. “The workout felt super smooth, even when I took the resistance all the way up to level 16 and pedaled forwards and back,” said BarBend editorial member Kate Meier NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1. “There wasn’t a ton of shake or wobble as you might expect from lower-priced equipment.” Durability scored a 5 out of 5.

“This machine hits a home run when it comes to the basics, but there isn’t much in the way of fancy tech or extras,” she added. “There’s an LCD display with workout data, 24 built-in workout programs, and heart rate monitor pulse sensors on the handlebars. What it lacks is a set of speakers and Bluetooth capabilities.” Tech capabilities, dynamic programming, and conveniences scored a 4 out of 5.

While Meier, who stands 5 feet 4 inches, fits comfortably on this elliptical, its 15.5-inch stride length may not be suitable for athletes over 6 feet tall. And while the pedals are oversized, Meier noted how they’re not cushioned for a comfortable ride. Adjustability and ergonomics scored a 3.5 out of 5.

LCD Screen on the Sunny Health and Fitness SF E3912

The biggest pain point Meier encountered was assembly, which scored a 3.8 out of 5. “It took me about an hour and a half to put it together by myself,” she noted. “The instructions were confusing and getting the pedals on took a couple of tries and a lot of patience.” 

[Related: Best Budget Home Equipment]

Most Sturdy Elliptical for Low Ceilings: Schwinn 430

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

This affordable elliptical features 26 resistance levels and six levels of incline. A whopping 22 preset workout programs can add some structure to your training. The 20-inch stride length is on par with more expensive machines.

Shop Schwinn


Price: $999

Step Height: 26” (full incline); 20” (no incline)

Height: 63.2” H

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Resistance Levels: 20

Product Dimensions: 63.2” H x 70.1” L x 29.2” W

Product Weight: 168.7lbs


This budget-friendly elliptical supports users up to 300 pounds.

The 20-inch stride length is what we look for in high-end ellipticals, allowing users of varying heights access to a more natural running feel.

There are six levels of manually-adjustable incline for added challenge. 


Users over 5 feet 10 inches and with ceilings 8 feet and under may not have enough headspace with this machine, per Schwinn.

At 13.73 square feet, it’s one of the larger ellipticals we’ve tested. 

There’s no Bluetooth connectivity on this elliptical.

The Schwinn 430 is our choice for the most sturdy elliptical for low ceilings due to its alloy steel frame and user weight capacity of 300 pounds. We also like its incline capabilities and spacious 20-inch stride length. 

At 13.73 square feet, this elliptical is one of the larger ones we’ve tested, taking up roughly 1 to 3 square feet more than the average elliptical.  Users report that its size contributes to its stability. “[This is a] good, sturdy machine, love [the] different level programs it offers,” reads one customer review. “…The unit has beautiful welds, nice finish, first-rate hardware,” notes another. However, those with limited space may need to take this footprint into consideration. 

The 20-inch stride length is on par with higher-end machines, and accommodating for taller riders around 6 feet tall, plus the 6 levels of manually adjustable incline have landed this machine on our best ellipticals with incline list. However, per Schwinn, users over 5 feet 10 inches may struggle to use this machine in rooms with 8-foot ceilings due to its 20- to 26-inch step height.

Though it lacks Bluetooth capabilities, it does offer heart rate contact grips, 20 levels of computer-controlled resistance, an MP3 input to play music through built-in speakers, and an LCD screen with 22 preset exercise programs. It also has a media shelf if you want to prop up your smartphone or tablet to stream classes or entertainment during workouts. 

Since a common complaint about this elliptical is the squeaking noise of the rollers on the rails, we’d recommend applying lubrication to the rails to lessen friction, which may help resolve those noise issues. 

[Related: The 4 Best Lubricants for Ellipticals]

Best Folding Elliptical for Low Ceilings: Gazelle Sprinter

REP Fitness Double Black Diamond Power Bar

REP Fitness Double Black Diamond Power Bar

Built for heavy squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, this bar is super stiff for stability with an extra millimeter of thickness to prevent any wobble during high-percentage lifts. Plus, aggressive center knurling prevents the bar from slipping down during low-bar squats. 

Shop REP Fitness


Price: $374.99

Step Height: Unlisted

Height: 53.75” H (unfolded); 8.5” H (folded) 

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Resistance Levels: 10 manual levels

Product Dimensions: 53.75” H x 43” L x 28” W; (folded) 8.5” H x 66” L x 28” W

Product Weight: 40lbs


This elliptical folds up when not in use, shrinking down from 53.75 inches to just 8.5 inches tall.

A device holder allows you to watch content or programming from your own phone or tablet.

Grip pulse sensors can help track your heart rate.


While there are 10 levels of hydraulic resistance, adjustments must be made off of the elliptical.

There have been some complaints about this machine clicking and squeaking.

Some customers have noted that while this elliptical folds almost flat, the curved handles arc up and can make storage under furniture difficult.

Like me after I do laundry, most elliptical machines don’t fold. We scoured the internet, asked our experts, searched high and low, and found a few options with folding capabilities. One of our favorites is the Gazelle Sprinter. This machine folds up almost totally flat and can shrink down from 53.75 inches to 8.5 inches. However, storing it under low-seated furniture has been a struggle for some customers, as the handles arc upwards on one end of the folded machine.

[Related: Best Folding Ellipticals]

This is a basic elliptical for beginners or those looking for low-intensity exercise to stay active. There are 10 levels of adjustable hydraulic resistance, though, so it can also accommodate those looking for a little bit of a challenge. We do, however, wish that resistance adjustments could be made mid-workout. Instead, users must get off of the elliptical, pull out the hydraulic pins, and choose a new level of tension on the pair of hydraulics.

Still, many customer reviews shout out these resistance adjustments, as older models did not have this ability. “I had owned one without the hydraulic before and, wow, what a difference!” reads one review. “I am so glad I spent the extra money knowing it would be a better workout, which is easy on my knees.”

This machine is non-motorized, which means you can use it wherever your heart desires. Many customer reviews liked having it set up in front of their TVs, however, some noted the presence of squeaks and clicks. “Periodically, it squeaked or clicked or made some other rhythmic noise… not loud, but annoying enough when watching TV,” reads one review. 

Benefits of Ellipticals for Low Ceilings

“For those who need low-impact exercise options, ellipticals sit near the top of the list,” says BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC. “These cardio machines provide a full-body workout without putting undue stress on the joints.” As such, the benefits of cardio are within your grasp. Here are some other benefits of our picks. 

Our tester moving the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 into position for a workout

Lower Heights: While ellipticals typically require a decent amount of height, since the moving and stationary handles need to be aligned with your upper body, the ellipticals on our list feature builds between 53.75 inches and 65.2 inches. Some ellipticals can measure up to 70 or 75 tall.

Weight-Bearing Exercise: “Compared to other forms of low-impact cardio, like cycling and rowing, ellipticals keep the user in the upright position,” notes Capritto. This upright positioning makes elliptical training a weight-bearing exercise, meaning your bones and muscles must fight against gravity to keep you vertical, helping to increase bone density. (5

Low-Impact: Ellipticals are well-regarded for helping to improve cardiovascular health and aid with weight management without causing undue stress on knees and joints. (6) Since you’re not lifting your feet up and off of the foot pedals, there’s less downward gravitational force.

Portable: The lower profiles of these machines are easier to move than many traditional ellipticals, and all of the options on our lsit come with built-in transport wheels for easier movement. Additionally, there are a few options on our list that don’t need to be plugged into power sources, so users can choose to get their cardio workout in from wherever they fancy: the backyard, the balcony, the gazebo, etc.

Save Space: While the average elliptical takes up around 11 to 13 square feet of floor space, our list includes options that take up as little as 8.33 square feet.

Total-Body Workout: You may be curious about what muscles an elliptical works, and here’s the tea: they help target a little bit of everything. Your chest, shoulders, back, and arms are involved in the push and pull needed when working with moving handles. Your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps help to push and pull the moving pedals with every step. What’s more, your core engages, keeping you stable while your appendages work.

How Much Do Ellipticals for Low Ceilings Cost?

Ellipticals can range from a few hundred dollars up to $2,000 for models with HD touchscreens and app integration. To provide options for different budgets, our list includes models that range from $374.99 up to $1,649.99. 

The pricier options include features like Bluetooth and a larger range of training capabilities that can cater to those in search of a HIIT workout. The lower-priced models have smaller footprints, fewer levels of resistance, and are more suited for low-intensity training.

Perusing this list, the BowFlex Max Trainer M8’s price tag may pop out at you. At $1,649.99, it’s between $650 and $1,275 more than our other picks. This jump in price is due to the hybrid, space-saving nature of the M8, as well as its smart app compatibility with JRNY, which can track your workouts, assess your capabilities, and make customized recommendations based on your ability. You’ll also get in-depth analytics so you can see the effects of all your hard work.

The Gazelle Sprinter is the lowest-priced model, coming in at $374.99. This machine is more like a glider as compared to an elliptical, and is best suited for beginners or those looking to add some more movement into their day. This is a bare-bones machine, however there are 10 levels of hydraulic resistance that can be manually adjusted.

What to Consider Before Buying an Elliptical for Low Ceilings

According to BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, Ellipticals, even the simpler, budget-friendly models, are machines with many components, so potential buyers should be aware of what’s considered standard, better, and best when it comes to elliptical specifications.” As such, it’s important to consider the following factors when bringing an elliptical into your home.

Ceiling Height and Your Height

If your dwellings feature a Hobbit-like low ceiling, there may be ellipticals on the market that can fit your space so you can do cardio workouts from home. However, you’ll need to measure your ceiling height and your own height to figure out which machine may work best for you.

The base of most elliptical machines puts the user between 6 and 18 inches off of the ground, and it’s generally recommended that users have at least (if not more) than 8-foot high ceilings. (7) However, your height is just as important to this equation, since your noggin is what will essentially be the piston that’s shooting up towards the ceiling. 

Some brands offer clearance recommendations. For example, BowFlex recommends users add 20.7 inches to your height, noting that if that number is below your ceiling height, you’re good to go. We’ve found that these clearance recommendations usually fit users who are under 6 feet tall with 8-foot ceilings. Unfortunately, if you’ve been blessed with NBA basketball height and low ceilings, you may want to consider an elliptical alternative.

Is an Elliptical Right For You?

While we love the low-impact training capabilities of ellipticals, they may not be right for you, your space, or your goals. However, fear not! If low-impact training is what you’re after, consider a stationary bike or a rowing machine. 

Exercise bikes tend to stand at just 45 to 55-inches tall, and since you’ll mostly be in a seated position, you won’t have to think twice about the height of your ceiling. Even when out of the saddle, your hips will be hinged and you’ll be bent over the handlebars. 

The best rowing machines take things even lower — with profiles often between 20 and 40 inches tall. With these machines, you’re seated close to the floor and moving in a horizontal pattern, making them great options for those with ceilings lower than 8 feet. 


Not only do you have the tough task of finding an elliptical that fits in your space, but you’ll also need to find a machine that fits your budget. “You’ll pay a lot of money to get top-tier features on an elliptical, just like you will for any other big piece of cardio equipment. While there are plenty of budget-friendly ellipticals available, they won’t check all of the boxes for a lot of people,” notes Capritto. “Additionally, higher-end models are generally very heavy and can be unsafe for one person to move on their own. White glove delivery and assembly, which costs extra, might be required.”

[Related: HIIT Vs. LISS — Which Type of Cardio Is Better?]

Final Word

Ellipticals are a useful tool for those looking to reap the benefits of cardio — from strengthened hearts, lowered blood pressure, and increased moods — while protecting their joints and knees from high-impact workloads. (1) For those living in tight quarters with ceilings that appear to be closing in on you, there are ellipticals on the market that can fit your space with lower profiles ranging from 53.75 to 64 inches tall. 

When thinking about which elliptical is right for you, be sure to measure both your ceiling height and your own height to help prevent bonking. You’ll also want to take note of the kind of training you’re after — budget models can be great, but they’re unlikely to provide the kind of challenge that athletes crave. Make a list of your must-haves, then use this round-up as a guide to help you narrow down your search. 


How much do ellipticals for low ceilings cost?

Ellipticals can cost as little as a few hundred bucks or as much as $2,000. Our list provides budget-friendly, mid-range, and high-end options, with more costly equipment providing users with a wider range of resistance and access to more tech capabilities, like integrated apps, Bluetooth connectivity, and heart rate monitors.

What is the best elliptical for low ceilings?

The $999 Horizon EX-59 is our choice for the best elliptical for low ceilings due to its 10.75-inch step height and 64.5-inch total height, which should provide ample room for the average user in a tight space. It also has a built-in media shelf and Bluetooth speakers so you can stream programming from your own device.

How much head room is needed for an elliptical?

While every elliptical is different, you’ll generally want at least an 8-foot ceiling to keep you from hitting your ceiling. However, those with ceilings as low as 7 feet aren’t totally out of luck. Many ellipticals put users between 6 to 18 inches off of the ground, so you’ll need to add this height to your own height and make sure the total is less than your ceiling height. (7)


Prosser, L. A., Stanley, C. J., Norman, T. L., Park, H. S., & Damiano, D. L. (2011). Comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking and overground walking. Electromyographic patterns. Gait & posture, 33(2), 244–250.

ANSI FAQ. (n.d.). Retrieved from

1208.2Minimum ceiling heights. (2023) Retrieved from

Rybczynski, W. (n.d.) Ceiling Heights in Homes and Offices. Wharton University of Pennsylvania Real Estate Center.

Briley, J. (2004) Bone Health: A Weight-Bearing Argument. The Washington Post.,kitchens%2C%20but%20also%20in%20bedrooms.

Markotić, V., Pokrajčić, V., Babić, M., Radančević, D., Grle, M., Miljko, M., Kosović, V., Jurić, I., & Karlović Vidaković, M. (2020). The Positive Effects of Running on Mental Health. Psychiatria Danubina, 32(Suppl 2), 233–235.

McManis, S. (2011) Things to consider when setting up a home gym. The Seattle Times.,18%20inches%20off%20the%20ground.)

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