best in class

The 5 Very Best Under-Desk Ellipticals

Including ones you can use at standing desks, too.

Photo: Marcus McDonald
Photo: Marcus McDonald

If you’re not commuting to work anymore, you may be feeling more sedentary — but even before the pandemic, you might have felt like you were sitting too much. One easy way to get in a little more movement during the day is an under-desk elliptical. Whether you use one while you work in your office or watch TV on the couch, pedaling in place is a good way to get in daily cardio and some extra steps (and if you get the right model, you can even use it while working at a standing desk).

But not all under-desk ellipticals are created equal. The right one for you depends on your age, exercise needs, desk height, and storage space. To help you find the best under-desk elliptical, we looked at the machines our readers have bought since 2019. The one that was purchased the most by readers was named the best overall. The machine that had the lowest price and most purchases over the past three years was named the best less-expensive option. The rest of the under-desk ellipticals below were bought at least 1,000 times by our readers since 2019.

Best overall | Best less expensive | Best quiet | Best no-assembly | Best with chair holder

Best overall under-desk elliptical

Stamina Elliptical

24.5 x 17 x 12 | 24 pounds | $$ 

This under-desk elliptical is our most purchased among readers — by a long shot. Over 9,300 of our readers own the Stamina elliptical, and it’s well liked among Amazon reviewers, too, with nearly 8,000 five-star ratings. The elliptical is about as long and wide as others on this list, but it’s slightly less high, which is something reviewers appreciate, saying it lets them move freely without hitting their knees on their desks. While it’s not the lightest on this list (the less-expensive folding option below is the lightest by a mile), at 24 pounds, it’s still fairly compact and easy to move. It has an adjustable tension knob and digital monitor to track your activity, and unlike most under-desk ellipticals on this list, this one can be used standing, too. Several reviewers say they regularly use it while working at their standing desk. And for those who want personalized workouts, this is the only machine on this list that includes a no-subscription smart fitness app, which offers custom workouts.

Best (less expensive) under-desk elliptical

19.5 x 14 x 9.5 | 5.8 pounds | $

For those who want something small, light, and easy to put away at the end of the day, this folding under-desk cycle is the simplest and cheapest option. Folded up, it’s only 13 inches long and 6 inches high, and at 5.8 pounds, it’s incredibly lightweight, so you can easily move it to room. It’s our second-most-bought elliptical, with nearly 5,000 purchased since 2019. While it’s minimal in style, it still offers plenty of function. Non-slip foot pads keep it from sliding around while you use it, and foot straps on the pedals offer more stability. And like all the others, it has an adjustable tension knob and electronic display to track your activity. On Amazon, the elliptical has close to 8,000 ratings, over half of which are five-star. It’s nothing fancy, but for less than $50, it’s a nice, simple machine for anyone who wants to maintain their mobility and movement.

Best quiet under-desk elliptical

24 x 20.1 x 10.2 | 23 pounds | $$$

If noise is a concern for you, this under-desk elliptical is most praised by Amazon reviewers for its lack of noise. Our readers like the machine, too: They’ve purchased the DeskCycle over 2,500 times since 2019, making it our third-most-purchased under-desk elliptical. What makes it so silent is the magnetic resistance, which makes for a smoother pedal motion. It’s a user-friendly bike, with an adjustable pedal height that lets you customize it to your desk height and eight levels of resistance (up to 39 pounds) so you can pedal based on your strength and fitness goals. And the large-font LCD display is removable, so you can place it on a table for easier reading.

Best no-assembly under-desk elliptical

24 x 19 x 11 | 25 pounds | $$

When Sunny Health says this under-desk elliptical is ready to use out of the box, it means it. Over 6,000 Amazon reviewers have given the machine five stars, and many confirm it really is that easy — just open the box, put the elliptical under your desk, and start pedaling. That may be why this is our fourth-most-purchased under-desk elliptical, with 2,841 bought since 2019. Although it looks a little dated and clunky, it has all the same features as other ellipticals on this list, including a digital monitor, eight levels of resistance, non-slip pedals, and a relatively compact size.

Best under-desk elliptical with chair holder

23.3 x 16.8 x 12.9 | 32.3 pounds | $$

A common complaint about under-desk ellipticals is that they sometimes slide around, depending what surface you place them on. That issue is solved here, since this elliptical can attach to your desk chair to help prevent any sliding. The front handle doubles as a hook for the wheel of your office chair, keeping everything in place so only your legs are moving. Another bonus: The machine has adjustable pedals for sitting and standing so your feet are economically correct now matter how you choose to use the elliptical. With 1,115 purchases since 2019, this is our seventh-most-sold machine. And while it’s the heaviest on this list, it has large front rollers for easier moving.

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The 5 Very Best Under-Desk Ellipticals