Finding the best under desk elliptical for you has never been easier

Mini elliptical Buying Guide


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mini ellipticals buying guide

Mini Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide

The mini apartment elliptical, also known as a mini elliptical or under desk elliptical, is a fitness device that is part of the stationary elliptical’s family. It is therefore an indoor bike. In contrast to the elliptical trainer or the classic exercise bike, the mini bike is less present in the gym. It is mainly intended for domestic use. It thus makes it possible to benefit from the benefits of the bicycle without leaving the house.

As its name suggests, it has reduced dimensions. 

Not very bulky, it will find its place perfectly in small homes. Thanks to its portable profile, the mini-bike can also be carried to work and everywhere you go so you can be physically active at all times.

Just like a regular elliptical trainer, this type of portable fitness equipment can be used to build upper body strength. 

To do this, the crank set will be placed on a table or work surface and the arms and hands will provide the necessary effort for pedaling. It is therefore a complete piece of sports equipment to be used simply at home. Consult our mini bike guide to learn more about the stationary mini bike and its advantages.

Mini Elliptical guide

Why choose a mini apartment or office elliptical?

Elliptical trainers act on the main muscles of the body: legs, stomach, thighs and arms. They not only refine the silhouette in these parts of the body, but also firm and tone the muscles in these areas. Choosing a mini bike for your home or office is above all a time saver, but also an excellent device for your abdominal muscles. But this small sports device hides many advantages, which we will show you.

The drive from your office to the gym could waste an hour of your time in traffic jams. By having a mini exercise pedal under your table, you will be able to combine work and sports activities. If the weather is bad, it won’t stop you from training. Whether it’s raining or snowing, you have your mini bike at home, so you can train without having to leave the house. What’s more, since it’s a miniature model, it doesn’t take up any space. 

These mini bikes fit easily in a corner of your studio or in a closet of your office. You can have it handy whenever you need it. By exercising only your legs on a mini elliptical desktop device, you’ll have your hands completely free.

So you can combine your workout with a moment of relaxation. As this is a sports machine, you have a customizable training panel at your disposal. You can set your small fitness machine at your own pace and according to your needs or select a program that meets your criteria. So even shiest people won’t have to face the looks of others. You’re at home, comfortable, relaxed, a real luxury! 

The risk of accidents with a mini apartment or office elliptical is also considerably reduced. You remain comfortably seated, there is no need to balance, there is no risk of falling. And you don’t even have to worry about getting a scratch. Of course, this will not replace a good workout, but you will have understood that the objective of this camera is not there. It is important to understand that this device will be useful to you especially if you do not have time to practice a physical activity. Of course, it can be used as a complement to a sports session as for recovery or warm-up.

⬇ The Best Mini Elliptical Trainers ⬇

1. Cubii Pro Mini Elliptical

cubii pro mini ellliptical






✔️ Mini elliptical trainer for office and home use
✔️ Very quiet sports apparatus
✔️ 8 Resistance levels
✔️ Connectivity: Bluetooth connected to a mobile application
✔️ Progress, history, statistics, calories burned
✔️ Ability to connect to your Fitbit device
✔️ Compact, ergonomic and easy to store



Cubii (or the Cubii Pro) are both exceptional mini elliptical trainers, thanks to their patented technology they are among the most popular home bikes among the general public. They have been specially designed for a seated position so that you can work while doing your physical activity. 


With a sleek and modern design, this home device is fully connected (Bluetooth). This makes it the only connected mini elliptical trainer on the market, a feature that comes at a price of under $300. A price justified both by its functionality and its quality of design. If you are looking for a reliable, easy to use, efficient, versatile and quality device, then the Cubii is the device for you at home!

2. DeskCycle Under Desk

DeskCycle Under Desk Cycle,Pedal Exerciser




✔️ Quick Setup

✔️ Simple Power Settings

✔️ 8 Resistance levels
✔️ Easy to Read Display
✔️ Works with low desks, as low as 27 inches (68.58 cm)



With magnetic resistance, the DeskCycle from MagneTrainer is one of the quietest of all the models in our section dedicated to tests and reviews. It can be used both at home and in the office, without having to disturb your friends and family. Its height is only 9.4 inches (23.88 cm), making it easier to use. You can install it on the floor or place it on a table to work on your upper and lower limbs. 


Its field of resistance is relatively larger than that of some models. Note that this resistance is adjustable on 8 levels. This gives you the possibility to adjust it according to your fitness level and the goals you wish to achieve. Magnetic braking offers smoother movements.


You can attach your feet, but you may have to keep pulling on them if you have a swivel chair.


You will need to find a good position for yourself and lock your chair in place using wheel locks if your chair has them.



The display can be placed on your desk to monitor your progress. While it will show you roughly how many calories have been burned, elliptical machines like this one are not always accurate as many factors determine how many calories have been burned such as your weight/height and strength.



DeskCycle has understood this and has an online calorie calculator where you can put your weight/height and the details of your workout to give you a better idea.

3. Jfit Mini Stepper & Elliptical




✔️ Under desk and Stand Up Elliptical

✔️ Super Quiet
✔️ Track time, speed, distance and calories
✔️ Compatible with wheeled office chairs
✔️ Max user weight of 250 lbs in stand up mode



The elliptical version of the Jfit is also ideal for standing, and it is certainly strong enough for that. The pedals are adjustable to make it comfortable to stand or sit on. The magnetic wheels on the machine are large.



These same wheels may cause a little squeaking from time to time, but there is oil supplied with the machine to help stop this.



There is a handle on the top for easy transport, even though it is a bit bulky and can be difficult, so Jfit has also put wheels on the front to help move around easily. There is a standard dial to adjust the resistance and a small digital display for your stats.



The location of this is a little awkward when you are sitting, but it’s better when you stand up as it rotates.If you used it to stand up, it would be difficult to read while working standing. This well-built model is very easy to use, stays in place and makes the heart vibrate.



The Jfit Under Desk Elliptical tries to have the best of both a standing and sitting elliptical. If you want one that allows you to do both, then this is a good model, but if you are looking for something just under the desk, there are other models that are more appropriate and cheaper.

4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418




✔️ Magnetic mini stationary bike with handle for easy portability

✔️ 8 levels of tension
✔️ Easy to read LCD
✔️ Safety pedal straps, pedals work well with both feet and hands

✔️ Max user weight of 220 lbs 



Sunny Health and Fitness sneaks into the list with its magnetic mini apartment bike. It’s a fun design in steel gray. Like the other machines, there is a dial on the front where you can change the voltage from levels 1 to 8 which gives moderate to intense resistance. There is a good sized LED display that gives you all your basic cycling training statistics.



This machine measures 21.7L x 18.11W x 14H inches, and some users have said that their knees always touch the top of the desk on a standard-sized desk, so if you use a chair outdoors, that’s fine. This mini exercise bike offers an impressive workout under your desk!


As far as the desk is concerned, it should be a high desk, or you shouldn’t be on the tall side as users have said you’re going to hit the top with your knees. People love it for the training it gives… but not at work!



5. FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical

fitdesk under desk elliptical




✔️ Magnetic mini stationary bike with handle for easy portability

✔️ 8 levels of tension
✔️ Easy to read LCD
✔️ Safety pedal straps, pedals work well with both feet and hands

✔️ Max user weight of 220 lbs 




FitDesk is a brand that lives up to its name, designing products that help you stay as active as possible at your desk, so you know you have something that takes into account all aspects of office’ll see that with their elliptical sub-desk as well. The elliptical FitDesk Under Desk design is suitable for 63 cm desks.


That’s thanks to their pedals that are no longer than 8 inches (20.32 cm).


This is the lowest pedal rotation height available on the market. No bruised knees here.there are eight different levels of resistance, and it allows hands-free tension adjustment (you can adjust the tension levels with a gear lever).


The desktop mounted counter will give you all your statistics of your workout, including calories, burned, time, speed and distance for easy access.


There is also a built-in locking wheel for these swivel chairs.


Transport is easy with the handle and chair wheel. It weighs 33 pounds (14.97 kg) 15 kgs with its steel frame, which can be heavy for some. A large handle and an integrated wheel make it easy to carry.


It measures 34W x 20D x 12H inches, which seems quite large considering the pedal is no more than 20 cm.


The FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical is an ideal choice. It shows you everything you want to know about your progress for the day with no extra frills or even the need to bend over to adjust anything.



Tips for buying mini stationary ellipticals

Buying a mini elliptical is not an easy task. As you can see on our test page, there are many different models available on the market. Some models are suitable for an intensive cardio training session, while others are only designed for gentle use as part of rehabilitation, progressive fitness or low-intensity physical activity at home. Several criteria should also be taken into consideration when choosing your home elliptical.

What to look for when buying a mini elliptical

Pedal comfort and safety

The noise level

Levels of resistance

The Size

Built Quality

The LCD screen

Adjustable speed

The brand


Pedal comfort and safety​

Being able to comfortably place your feet on the pedals is essential for this gymnastics equipment. If your foot continues to slip or if you don’t feel comfortable placing your feet on the pedals, it means that in the long run you will use it less and less, so pay attention to the width of the pedals and the adjustable straps that equip them.

The noise level

All sports equipment must emit a noise. Fortunately, some are less noisy than others. If you plan to exercise your legs while working, make sure you have a quiet mini bike. Your co-workers, or even your boss, could be seriously bothered by the noise from your machine. However, for personal use and alone, if the noise doesn’t bother you, fine. It is possible to try out the mini bikes before you buy them. Of course, if you wish to order it on the internet, check on the manufacturer’s sheet or on the opinions of internet users if the product is not too noisy. This way, you will be fixed on the noise that the device of your choice will emit during its use.


Some mini-elliptical models require the installation of a carpet to reduce noise. At the same time, some are quiet enough to be used even in a crowded office. Keep in mind that the noise it produces must be kept to a minimum, so you can concentrate on your work without being constantly distracted.

cubii under desk

Levels of resistance

You will burn more calories and lose weight faster if the mechanism offers high levels of resistance. This will mainly depend on the weight of the flywheel. Look for a product that offers different levels of adjustable resistance. Also remember that resistance usually fades over time, so invest in a bike that will last longer. A model equipped with a magnetic, electromagnetic or motorized braking system more resistant, silent and comfortable than mechanical resistances.

The size

Since it is a mini apartment elliptical, the size is already small, that’s for sure. But even so, we can still distinguish a variety of small sizes available. So, start by determining where you are going to put the device. Once you know where to place it, you can be fixed in relation to the size of mini home bike you will need. Remember that the heavier the device, the more stable it is. This will make you more comfortable when you use it. Don’t forget to take into account the circumference of the rotation axis, some bikes have a rather particular axis, i.e. it pedals in a different way (flat rotation rather than cylindrical rotation).

mini ellitpicals - low impact exercises

Built Quality

A high price displayed does not necessarily mean that it is a quality product. It depends on your eyes, on the impression you get when you see the product. Know what type of material the device is made of, is it a durable component or will it tarnish after a few weeks. Generally, a top brand mini elliptical trainer is always a good quality product, but the price may be higher. As far as the finish is concerned, don’t be afraid to touch the product and take a look at each part. It is important to make sure that the product is well finished. 


This includes the quality of manufacturing, design and assembly of the product, but also the choice of materials (axles, pedals, computer). Buying a mini exercise elliptical on the internet is not simple because we do not have the device in front of us, so it is important to look at customer reviews and comparisons to choose the best mini bike.

The LCD Screen

Although more expensive, a bike with a built-in monitor can tell you how long you’ve been pedaling, how many calories you’ve burned, how far you’ve ridden and how many strides you’ve made per minute. It will certainly be easier to keep track of your exercise program if you can see the results and improvements. Rarely does a mini-bike display your heart rate. This is due to the fact that this fitness equipment does not have handlebars or grips to place the tactile pulse sensors.

Adjustable Speed

Adjustable gears are always a good addition, as they allow you to decide how hard you want to pedal and change your pace. Gears can also more easily replace a cardio workout, as they allow you to sweat or simply keep up the pace while you work out.

The Brand

It is preferable to choose major brands specializing in the production and marketing of sports equipment. Their professionalism and expertise allow you to be reassured in relation to other brands. Identify the brands most used by professionals or quality sports centres. Avoid unbranded or low-cost equipment at all costs. Even if they are inexpensive, they are not necessarily guaranteed and their quality may leave something to be desired. There is no certification on their lifespan and efficiency. If you want to invest, invest in real sports equipment.


Many ellipticals tend to start to squeak when you adjust the resistance levels. A quality elliptical should not stutter, whether you just bought it or have had it for a year. A stuttering pedal movement also means that, unfortunately, the equipment was not designed to last. You should also be aware that smooth pedaling greatly increases pedaling comfort and reduces the risk of injury and high joint stress.

Another Set of Features to look for when looking to buy a mini elliptical

If you want a quality under desk elliptical don't overlook these requirements.


A warranty is a promise that the product you have purchased is of quality. This applies to the mini bike, but also to all home bikes in general. A one-year warranty assures you that the manufacturer has confidence in its products and is ready to replace them or give you a refund if you are not 100% satisfied with your elliptical. Especially if you don’t know much about this type of indoor bike, choose a model with a warranty.

The straps

Mini home ellipticals can also be equipped with Velcro straps to prevent your feet from slipping while you pedal. Although they are not essential, they are an interesting additional feature for any bike. The strap simply wraps around your foot and can be removed in a second, if you need to stand up, without having to bend over and free your foot.


To choose the right size for your needs, take into account the available space you have for storing the unit. You can’t leave it under your desk and expose it to dust all year round. Store the mini elliptical trainer in your closet on the weekend or in the evening before going home. If you have a spacious storage cupboard, you can choose the model you want. Otherwise, consider both size and weight before you buy. These units come in a compact size, making them less bulky. This could help you save space. They are not foldable like large elliptical trainers.

Finally, before buying take these features into account:

🏅Choosing between different models
🏅 Combining legs and arms?
🏅 Your objective

Choosing between different models

In general, there are three different models of mini office ellipticals. The choice is based on the expected results. If you want to work mainly on your lower body, a simple mini stepper will do the job. You use your feet on the steps and do the exercises and that’s it. If you’re worried about not being able to hold your balance or simply being in an unstable position, there are models with adjustable handlebars. This will give you support during your movements and reduce your fears. Finally, to work both upper and lower body, equip yourself with the versatile mini stepper. Thanks to its side elastics, this model will allow you to exercise both your legs and your thighs as well as your arms, shoulders, etc.

Combining legs and arms

These are the versatile types of mini elliptical trainers. These models have side elastics to exercise your hands and arms. Depending on the model, you can sit in a chair and exercise all your limbs at once. It is also possible to exercise in a standing position. Some models are versatile, but you have to choose between exercising the lower or upper part. If you want to tone your arms, you should place the device on a stable table. To exercise your legs, you place it on the floor. So you have a wide choice of versatile mini elliptical trainers to suit your needs. But don’t worry, even if you buy a standard mini elliptical, you can use it for your legs as well as your arms. Just put your hands where your feet usually go. That’s why choosing the right size is important because in arm mode the bike will have to be placed on a high surface like a coffee table or a desk.

Your objective

The last criteria is your objectives. It’s important to know why you want to choose a mini bike rather than a classic apartment bike. Lack of time, lack of storage space or a need for motivation to gradually get back into sport are excellent reasons. Toning up your arms or legs are too! But if you want to acquire a sports machine that will make you sweat and exhaust you, then we advise you to go for standard apartment bikes.


Most frequent questions and answers about mini ellipticals

As we have already discussed several times on this site, certain exercises such as cardio training on a spinning bike are ideal for weight loss. What about a mini exercise bike? Can you use this fitness equipment to accumulate calories burned and lose weight effectively? The answer is “YES”, but only if you follow a clear training program.


The best intensive workout you can hope for will burn about 500 calories at a time. This means that a mini bike could burn about 500 calories in 10 to 12 hours.


This may not seem like the best solution, but keep in mind that a mini bike is not a substitute for going to the gym or dieting to lose weight. Think of these lost calories as an extra cost.


Also, some foot salespeople have a computer that can calculate the number of calories you’ve burned, as long as you add your age and weight. You can also increase your pace or slow it down when you’re tired.


In addition, a mini cycle can help you maintain your weight. If a cupcake contains about 150 calories, you know that if you want to stay in shape, you’ll have to pedal for about 3 hours to get rid of those calories.

Even if it is not necessarily obvious, there are nowadays two types of mini bikes: electric and mechanical. The difference is in the axis of rotation, the mechanics is a standard crank set as you would find on a normal bike. It has the advantage of being simple to maintain, clean, and a percentage of breakage practically null. 


It has the advantage of being quite quiet because no variation assists you are alone with your device. Unlike the electric one, it will not be guided by the electronics which offers you a greater resistance than its companion.

The advantage of using a mini elliptical trainer is that it is possible to perform various workouts depending on your body’s needs and the expected result. First of all, you can use the device for a basic warm-up. 


This refers to performing regular movements for less than 3 minutes. For muscle strengthening, the exercises are more intense. Increase the resistance of the machine and adapt to its rhythm. This can be quite difficult, but that’s exactly the point. Keep the movements constant and breathe well. The mini office bike can also build your endurance and, at the same time, your cardio. It’s pretty much the same training as strength training. 


The difference is that you try to do it as normally as possible by lowering the load but increasing the time of your session. Tip: Talking at the same time will double your endurance. Finally, cardio is also one of the types of training that can be done with mini elliptical trainers. However, it’s best to have a multi-purpose mini elliptical trainer because you’ll need to work your chest muscles. Exercise by leaning forward while breathing heavily through your mouth. Use intensive arm movements and pedal in sprint mode with your feet. In medical practice, some patients use this type of device to restore joint function.

This type of ellipticals is primarily beneficial to health. First muscle strengthened: the heart. By training regularly with a mini elliptical trainer or other device of the same category, you will have a well-regulated heart rate. The lower the heart rate, the more stable the blood pressure is also. And the device can help you achieve all of this. 


Over time, you will feel less and less out of breath. As a result, your risk of cardiovascular disease decreases more and more. Since you can use the mini stationary bike to build up your endurance, it automatically becomes a cardio sport as well. In the same way, regular sessions of mini elliptical trainers are beneficial for the lungs. You will learn to control your breath better. Some doctors even recommend this type of sport for people with lung disease or asthma. Finally, the mini elliptical trainer will make you feel happier. When you pedal, your body secretes endorphins and serotonin, the two winning hormones for your well-being. This helps considerably in the fight against stress and depression.


They are equally beneficial to your body. Do you want to lose extra pounds or kilos? They will help you. Since this is physical exercise, it also refers to the loss of calories. Namely, the more time you spend on it with high intensity, the more calories you burn. The mini elliptical trainer also helps you to tone your body muscles. All of your lower limb muscles are exercised and if you use the multi-purpose version, your upper limb and stomach muscles are also exercised. In all, you strengthen your buttocks, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abs, back muscles, biceps and triceps. The result? Toned arms and legs and improved well-being! If you have joint problems, the mini elliptical trainer is the right sport for you. With no risk of shock, it is totally suitable for rehabilitation after an ankle or knee sprain.

As the name suggests, the mini apartment elliptical trainer is primarily used at home. You can have a gym at home or just put it in your living room, whichever suits you best.


But also, it is possible to train with it at your office. You can give it a place in a corner or just put it under your table and practice at any time during the day. In fact, because it’s so easy to carry, you can use it anywhere you want. The most important thing is to have a stable and flat floor to avoid possible accidents. You have total free will.


Despite their small size, some models are fully foldable, an advantage if you want to transport your bike from home to your office or to a completely different location.

Basically, folding elliptical trainers were the most popular. The little wonder in mini version changes the deal. The major difference lies in the size. Since the elliptical is foldable, it can be easily stored. However, the mini format requires much less space. You’ll find it harder to fit the foldable format in your car than the mini. 


During your workouts, you’ll need to unfold the first one. Thus, it is necessary to have space to be able to enjoy it properly. In contrast to this, the mini motorized elliptical trainer can be placed anywhere you want, it is very discreet. Even the small space between the furniture in your living room will suffice. 


For both devices, the muscles of the lower limbs are the ones that work the most. However, with a versatile mini elliptical trainer, you can exercise your arm muscles more than with a simple folding elliptical trainer. 


For the latter, the biceps and triceps don’t do much work, they are only used to lean on the handlebars. In the case of a simple mini elliptical trainer, they hardly work at all. In both cases, the abdominal muscles are exercised moderately. In fact, the mini elliptical trainer is basically made up of pedals only. Side elastics are only available for the multi-purpose format. 


The foldable elliptical trainer looks like a standard home bike without the seat and can be compressed when stored. It is equipped with pedals, one or two removable handlebars. All the usual features. On the price side, the difference is noticeable. You can buy a standard mini elliptical trainer from $50. Low cost ellipticals are available at a lower price, but are not recommended. To get a foldable elliptical trainer, you should spend at least $200. This price can be as high as $2000  for the most sophisticated ellipticals.

Yes, both are ellipticals, but their features and benefits are different and so are the results. The mini apartment bike is there for people who don’t have too much time to do a good workout, it is a great alternative but it is not designed to lose weight even though this device will help you. It is more basically designed to maintain your figure, while improving your cardio and stimulating your body. 


As you can see, if you are looking for an intensive sports machine, this tool will not be your priority. Home bikes (foldable or not) are much more sophisticated equipment, which integrate a multitude of functionalities. Their price also justifies this, as they are much more expensive and will allow you to get a sports session worthy of the name. Think carefully about where you stand and what you want to achieve before considering one or the other. Of course, they are complementary, you can if your budget allows you to acquire both solutions.

The difference is sometimes overlooked since both machines are used for approximately the same exercises. Both are used to work mainly the muscles of the lower body. However, the movements performed with a mini stepper are equivalent to those performed while walking. Exercising on a mini stepper is therefore equivalent to fast walking sessions. 


A mini elliptical trainer, on the other hand, reproduces the movements when riding a bike. It uses about 80% of the body’s muscles in a multi-purpose format. In addition to the calves, quadriceps, pins and buttocks, the biceps and triceps are also toned. For advanced exercises, a mini elliptical trainer is used. However, it should be pointed out that both are gentle on the joints with minimal risk of accidents.

Mini elliptical trainers are very effective in strengthening muscles and restoring the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to good condition. Even if the results are only observed after 3 to 4 weeks, they are really felt. The buyers have approved the product at this level. As far as weight loss is concerned, the results are slower. Indeed, the fact that only the lower part of the body moves complicates the situation a little. For better results, it is necessary to purchase a mini elliptical trainer or add other sports sessions to your exercise routine.

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