The 6 Best Folding Ellipticals That Store Quickly
With folding ellipticals, you can save lots of space in your home and quickly store it when not in use. So, it makes perfect sense to buy a foldable elliptical machines if you live in smaller apartments or don’t have too much space.
Exercise is a really important part of our daily lives. It raises the blood levels, burns calories, and generally keeps us in shape. There are a variety of different ways to go about getting this exercise on a consistent basis. With the onset of COVID-19 and the shutdown of public gyms, home exercise has become more important than ever. Ellipticals are one of the machines that have shot up in popularity and are excellent for home exercise. The problem with these excellent machines is that they have a tendency to take up a lot of space. People with smaller apartments and homes or those who have a full household with the family might find that these exercise machines are just too impractical to actually get. So enters the folding elliptical.
The fold away elliptical machines give the benefits of the regular ellipticals like resistance settings that allow for the user to customize their workout by changing both their speed and the actual resistance of the machine. But they also come with the ability to fold up and decrease in size when not in use, allowing those with smaller living spaces to get the benefits of the elliptical workouts. The elliptical machines that fold up can really come in use for those who have suffered injuries in the past but still want to get some regular cardio workouts into their day.
However, the choice of which space saving foldable elliptical to pick can still be a tough one. Fortunately, we have sorted through the various fold up cross trainer machines on the market for you. Using a list of factors that we will go over at the end of the article, we have picked out the best folding ellipticals available on the market. With all of that out of the way, let’s get into the list!
Best Space Saving Ellipticals Compared
|NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i Fold up Elliptical
|2-Year Parts, 1-Year Labor
|30 Built-in programs
|Bluetooth, folding, media shelf, & bottle holder
|ProForm Smart Strider 895 CSE Folding Elliptical
|2-Year Parts, 1-Year Labor
|24 Built-in programs
|Bluetooth, folding, media shelf, & bottle holder
|Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Foldable Elliptical Trainer
|3-Year Parts, 1-Year Labor
|32 Built-in programs
|Bluetooth, folding, media shelf, & bottle holder
|ProForm Smart Strider 495 CSE Fold Away Elliptical
|1-Year Parts, 1-Year Labor
|18 Built-in programs
|Bluetooth, folding, media shelf, & bottle holder
|Gazelle Freestyle Folding Elliptical Cross Trainer
|No Built-in programs
|Easy one-step flat folding, & bottle holder
|Sunny Health Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Elliptical
|Up to 30"
|No Built-in programs
|Easy one-step folding & cheap
Quick Look at Best Collapsible Ellipticals in 2023:
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i Fold up Elliptical
Up first we have the NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i Elliptical. This is the best of NordicTrack’s SpaceSaver series and our pick for the best on the market. The technology on this folding elliptical is honestly astonishing. It comes with a 7 inch smart touchscreen that will serve as your own personal trainer. That is because the SE9i comes with a 1-year iFit membership and access to thousands of workout videos, trainers, live challenges and more. The SE9i is a smart elliptical.
It offers a connection with Google maps in order to simulate the geography on whatever course you decide to take, as well as allowing trainers during live workouts to change your own resistance settings. The computer records and stores the statistics that can help you keep track of just how well you are doing. The 24 resistance settings that come with the elliptical allow you to choose whatever level of workout you are feeling like that day and change that setting at your whim. The 18 lb flywheel is both smooth and quiet, making even the most intense workouts a pleasant experience. Of course, these are all just the reasons about why it is a good elliptical. Good ellipticals alone don’t make it onto this list of top rated folding ellipticals.
They also have to store well. Unsurprisingly, the NordicTrack SE9i fold up elliptical does this as well as it does anything else. The entire front section folds right over and onto the rear, basically halving the space that the machine takes up. Of course, it is important to mention the price. The SpaceSaver SE9i is quite an expensive elliptical at $1,800. This is due to its intense use of technology, solid design and generous warranty. A great amount of features, but you have to pay for those features.
The SE9i folding elliptical machine has a max user weight 325 lbs (147 kg). Its dimensions are 80 inches (203 cm) long, 32 inches (81 cm) wide and 77 inches (195 cm) tall. There are no specific dimensions listed for when the elliptical is folded. The stride length is not adjustable. It does have a 10% digital incline control. It has wireless compatibility with the iFit Bluetooth® Smart Chest Strap that is included, as well as a heart pulse monitor in the handles of the machine. There is a 10-year warranty on the frame, 2-year warranty on the parts and 1-year warranty on the labour.
The SE9i is what you want if you want a technologically advanced elliptical that can also fold in on itself. It comes with a very good warranty and enough fitness programs to keep you busy for quite some time. Although, the price might be a holdup for some people. Also, the fact that many of the programs are also locked behind the paid iFit program (once the free year is up) is very annoying.
- Foldable frame to maximize your living space.
- 24 Electromagnetic resistance levels for varying challenges.
- 7-inch HD touchscreen display for workouts and web browsing.
- Includes a very good warranty compared to competitors.
- 30 Workout apps to workout more efficiently.
- Compatible with iFit for unlimited workouts (1-year free included).
- Power/motorized adjustable incline of up to 10 degrees.
- Adjustable pedals for good ergonomics and comfortable exercise.
- Long footprint when unfolded (but of course takes less when folded).
- To save workouts and access the iFit library, you need subscription.
- For taller user, the stride length of 18″ is less than ideal.
ProForm Smart Strider 895 CSE Folding Elliptical
Coming in second on our list of the best folding ellipticals for the home is the ProForm Smart Strider 895 CSE. It is an excellent option for those who are just beginning to get into the world of ellipticals or those who have an intermediate experience with the machines. Like the SpaceSaver, this folding elliptical trainer has a 7 inch smart touchscreen that allows users to access both iFit programs and has an Android web browser.
This second function is particularly useful for those who don’t want to pay for the iFit membership once their 1-year free period is up. Additionally the 895 CSE has iPod-compatible speakers and an integrated shelf for easy view of your own tablet computer. It also has some other neat little utilities like a personal cooling fan, a drink holder, cushioned pedals and cushioned hand grips for the moving arm bars. All of these help contribute to a more comfortable workout. The 895 CSE is pre-loaded with 24 different personal training workouts that emphasize weight loss/maintenance and performance.
The programs automatically control and adjust both the 24 resistance levels and the 10% incline that the elliptical has. Similar to the SE9i, the 895 CSE folds the front section back onto the rear, significantly decreasing the space that the machine takes up. The full price is of questionable value. At a cost of $2000, there are other ellipticals that might be better for the value. However, if one can be found at a discounted or lower price, then this would be an excellent purchase.
The 895 CSE folding cross trainer has a max user weight of 325 lbs (147 kg). Its dimensions are 80 inches (203 cm) long, 32 inches (81 cm) wide and 65 inches (165 cm) tall. There are no specific dimensions listed for when the elliptical is folded. It has an 18 inch stride that is not adjustable. The incline adjustment is 10% and adjustable electronically. It comes with a chest strap and heart rate can also be measured by gripping the sensors on the handlebars. It is a smart elliptical. There is a 10-year warranty on the frame, 2-year warranty on the parts and 1-year warranty on the labour.
The touch screen ability to access the internet is absolutely a pro and the free year of iFit is nice, but for those that don’t want to continue it, that gives them an alternative. The elliptical itself also does its job very well and has a host of nice little accessories to keep comfortable while exercising. However, the full price is a bit questionable in terms of the value for money, especially considering the non-adjustable 18″ stride length.
- 1-Year free iFit to simulate outdoor training and access unlimited workouts.
- Tablet and water bottle holder plus workout fan and iPod-compatible sound system.
- 7" Touch screen display with web browser for an engaging elliptical workout.
- Foldable frame with transport wheels and handles for easy storage.
- Rear drive design promotes your balance and a natural walking gait.
- 24 Preset exercise programs designed by certified personal trainers.
- Commercial-gauge steel frame with 325-pound user weight capacity.
- Good warranty package with lifetime on frame, three years on parts and labor.
- 10 Percent max power incline to help target different leg muscle groups.
- 24 Silent electromagnetic resistance levels for a tailored challenge.
- Expensive, considering the relatively light drive and only 10-degree incline.
- Foldable but has a large footprint when in unfolded (rear-drive needs additional space).
- 18" Stride is ideal for shorter users but not comfortable for taller individuals.
Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Foldable Elliptical Trainer
Up next we have the Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Elliptical. Coming down from the mystical land of super advanced computers and screens that send you all around the world, the Evolve 3 makes the assembly process simple, the storage easy and the workout comfortable. Just about anyone can be up and moving in minutes thanks to the simple, three-step assembly. The ViaFit program that comes with the elliptical allows you to keep track of the various statistics and data that can elevate your exercise to a new level of efficiency. That exercise will certainly have some options with the Evolve 3.
It comes with 32 programs, that include: manual, 6 calorie, 10 distance, 10 step, 3 interval and 2 performance. But that isn’t all. Despite the relatively simple layout of the Evolve 3’s computer, it comes with Horizon Fitness’ Passport™ program. This allows you to connect to a TV at home and look at countries all across the world while you exercise. Why work out staring at a blank TV or the news when you could be looking out over the mountains in Bavaria or the outback of Australia.
With everything about this folding elliptical cross trainer designed to be easy and simple in the assembly process, the folding process is just as easy. All of this for a price of $1,200 (at the time of writing) is an absolute steal. The only real negatives come when one looks at the Folding elliptical machine reviews and customer service. With Horizon Fitness being based in Taiwan, it can be a bit troublesome to call when/if the machine breaks down. Reports have shown service calls are often needed within the first year.
The Evolve 3 fold-away elliptical has a max user weight of 300 lbs (136 kg) and weighs 175 lbs (79 kg). Its dimensions are 69 inches (175 cm) long, 28 inches (71 cm) wide and 69 inches (175 cm) tall when fully assembled. When folded its dimensions are 41 inches (104 cm) long, 28 inches (71 cm) wide and 69 inches (175 cm) tall. It has a 20-inch nonadjustable stride length. It has no incline adjustments. It can connect to wireless heart rate monitors. It has a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3-year warranty on the parts and 1-year warranty on the labour.
The Evolve 3 is for those who don’t want too many fancy features and just want an easy set up. It provides just that, along with a comfortable workout, reasonable price and solid warranty. Overall, it’s one of the best buy folding ellipticals for the price. Although, this fold away cross trainer is more designed for a single user rather than multiple or families who want to track their own data on the machine. It is a little less durable than some other ellipticals out there.
- Lightweight, compact, and one-step folding for quick storage.
- Free workout tracking capability through ViaFit© technology.
- Workout feedback including watt and RPM through Cardio Compass.
- 20" Longer stride to provide a comfortable workout for most users.
- Simple design and assembly helping you save $100 on assembly task.
- Reasonable price range, considering it's quality and stride.
- Warranty is better than average fold away ellipticals on the market.
- Not as sturdy as Nordictrack and Proform folding cross trainers.
- There is no incline adjustment so you can engage different muscle groups.
- Company is headquartered in Taiwan so it may not be as easy to get support.
- Limited custom features (workouts and profiles) compared to other options on top.
ProForm Smart Strider 495 CSE Fold Away Elliptical
Another Smart Strider enters the ring from ProForm. The 495 CSE is a very good elliptical for those who are just beginning to start their elliptical journey. It comes with 18 different workout programs preloaded on the elliptical console. If you like those preset workouts that iFit coaching gives to you, the 495 CSE also comes with the ability to load up those provided that you have an iFit membership. This membership also comes with the quite fun ability to use Google maps to track and change the incline depending on the environment you choose to run through.
The ProForm Smart Strider 495 CSE console has a standard data window for time, distance, calories and pulse. Pulse and heart beat are measured through sensors on the handlebars. It comes with a bunch of neat little accessories like a water bottle holder, iPod-compatible speakers and wheels in order to make transportation that much easier. With a 13 lb flywheel, this fold up cross trainer is most certainly light. The only issue is that this means that there isn’t a huge level of natural resistance.
For those looking to really get their high-level cardio grind on, this probably would not be a good place to look for it. While foldable, it still is pretty sizable, so it might not be the best elliptical for those with extremely small living areas. It is cheaper than some other foldable elliptical machines, although it will still set you back about $1000 if bought at retail price. It has been listed lower before, so one might want to look for the cheaper price of ~$600 instead.
The 495 CSE foldable cross trainer has a max user weight of 275 lbs (125 kg). Its dimensions are 65 inches (165 cm) long, 32 inches (81 cm) wide and 80 inches (203 cm) tall. It has a stride length of 18 inches (45.7 cm) and is not adjustable. There is no incline adjustment. The only heart rate monitor is the hand sensors. The warranty that the Smart Strider 495 CSE comes with is quite poor, with a lifetime warranty on the frame, and only a 1-year warranty on the parts and labour.
On a good day, this is a much cheaper elliptical than many others on this list. It also has a solid amount of programs and attachments in order to make it a good choice for those looking to begin elliptical training. However, it has a shorter warranty than many others on this list, which is a concern if it breaks. The low level of resistance from the light flywheel also offers a limited amount of results at a higher level.
- Foldable, it saves space and can be stored in the closet or behind a curtain.
- Good price and bidirectional, one of the most affordable folding elliptical to buy.
- It has two media trays, one for the tablet and one for another device (MP3/iPod).
- 18 Workout programs to kick off an enjoyable and engaging elliptical workout exercise.
- iFit compatible and Bluetooth connectivity to access libraries of thousands of workout.
- 3-Steps easy assembly and 1-step folding to set it up in no time without extra cost.
- Two transport wheels, an easy-lift handle, and adjustable feet for more stable workouts.
- 18-Inch fixed stride so the motion is going to be less natural/comfortable for taller users.
- There is no incline ramp at all therefore you are stuck to one exercise/elliptical (not climbing).
- Basic non-back-lit LED display (not bad but also not as great as some other models list above).
- Big footprint when in use due to the rear-drive system and it has a lightweight flywheel.
- Pedals are not cushioned, average resistance force, and there is only 1-year warranty on parts.
Gazelle Freestyle Folding Elliptical Cross Trainer
The Gazelle Freestyle by Tony Little is a rather minimalist elliptical compared to many of the other options on this list. With little more than a bunch of steel frames and a couple of platforms to put your feet, this machine really does look different than the standard elliptical. It offers a solid 10 exercises, however 8 of these come on DVDs that come with the machine. It displays the basic tracking features on its console like speed, distance, time and calories burned. It can also track your heart rate with a thumb pulse monitor.
In terms of the compactness of this folding cross trainer, it might just top the list. It can fold into an almost totally flat design, which can end up saving an absolute ton of space. Because of the minimal design, the Gazelle Freestyle does have to be quite heavy in order to accommodate its 300 lb weight limit. That heavy weight works well to ensure a very stable workout for the user. Again, this design makes for a very simple assembly and a durable machine. It won’t fall apart on you or break easily because it is essentially just a series of beams locked to each other.
Of course, one of the most notable parts of this folding elliptical trainer is the price. For right around $200, you have got one of the cheapest machines on the market. For those who are just looking to grab a piece of home exercise equipment without dropping an absolute fortune on it, this might just be on that list as well. Admittedly, it isn’t perfect. The resistance level on this machine is pretty pathetic. With only one resistance level, it is going to be extremely difficult to get a high-intensity workout done. The only way to control the intensity is the incline and how fast you move your arms and legs. This might be a big setback for anyone looking to really get intense workouts done. However, it must be said that overall the Gazelle Freestyle is a solid elliptical for the price.
The Gazelle Freestyle has a max user weight of 300 lbs (136 kg) and weighs 52 lbs (23.6 kg). Its dimensions are 44 inches (112 cm) long, 33.5 inches (85 cm) wide and 53.5 inches (136 cm) tall. There is no incline adjustment. There are heart rate sensors in the handles, but their accuracy is questionable. It has a 12-month warranty.
A very sturdy and stable design. It most certainly is one of the most foldable and compact ellipticals out there. The price is also fantastic for those looking for cheaper elliptical machines. However, the resistance levels are non-existent. This means that the more intense workouts are almost impossible to pull off. For those looking to get those, it is basically impossible on this elliptical.
- Unlimited stride so everyone in the family can get a comfortable exercise.
- Provides workout and also simulates running with no impact on the knees.
- Good quality build, simple design, and easy to use and maintain.
- Collapsible to save space and good value for money folding elliptical.
- 2 Workout DVDs are included in the purchase to increase the efficiency.
- Extremely affordable elliptical with 300 pounds of user weight capacity.
- No levels of resistance so can't provide an overly intense elliptical workout.
- Tracking console is quite basic without preset workout, Bluetooth, etc.
- Calorie count and heart rate monitor are cheap and almost always inaccurate.
- Reports claim machine needs to be lubricate periodically to avoid loud squeak.
- No incline adjustment so you can't do hill climbing or stepping workouts.
Sunny Health Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Elliptical
Rounding out our list of folding elliptical reviews is the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk collapsible elliptical. If you thought the Gazelle Freestyle was minimalist, this elliptical might be abstract in comparison. Coming mostly pre-assembled, the SF-E902 only needs the arms, display console, and the abdominal support pads attached. It has an LCD monitor that displays the time, count, total distance and calories.
With non-slip pedals and a weight limit of 220 lbs, this elliptical is certainly a solid choice for those who are looking to start working out and don’t want to stress their joints too much. Because of the movable arms, you will also get a solid arm workout on the SF-E902 as well. Of course, this elliptical wouldn’t be here if it weren’t foldable and compact. Well, the already tiny dimensions can fold into an even smaller space.
It is light enough to pick up and put in a corner before answering the door. The SF-E905 is also decently adaptable to people of different heights. Unfortunately, this elliptical does not have an adjustable stride length or incline adjustment. It also has no preset workout programs and has a very low resistance level. Good for those looking to simply get some exercise in, but not for those trying to get some intense workouts in.
The SF-E902 folding elliptical trainer has a max user weight of 220 lbs (100 kg) and weighs 3 lbs (15.9 kg). Its dimensions when fully assembled are 25 inches (63.5 cm) long, 19 inches (48 cm) wide and 57 inches (145 cm) tall. When folded it is 15 inches (38 cm) long, 19 inches (48 cm) wide and 61.5 inches (156 cm) tall. It has a 30 inch (76 cm) stride length that is not adjustable. It’s incline is not adjustable. There are no heart monitor capabilities with this elliptical. It has a 3-year warranty on the frame and 180-day warranty on the other parts.
The SF-E902 is an extremely cheap elliptical. It is light enough and foldable to the point where it can basically be put in any home or apartment out there. The assembly process is also extremely easy. However, the actual workouts on the SF-E905 aren’t much to write home about. They are rather easy and it is hard to actually try to get more intense workouts done. Also, the fixed incline and resistance are definite negatives. If this design is something you want, I suggest the Gazelle. It’s more durable and overall better than the SF-E902.
- Low-impact, great for beginners and casual workouts.
- Simple to use, small footprint and lightweight.
- Quick and easy to assemble and kick off the workout.
- Doesn’t require frequent maintenance and makes little noise.
- 0 To 30 inches stride length can accommodate most users.
- Little to no resistance so you can't do high-intensity workout.
- Fit user will find little value unless used instead of walking.
- No shelf or bottle holder to stay hydrated or keep phones close.
- Not really suitable for tall or heavy people (over 220lbs).
- Monitor display is extremely basic and without the backlit.
- There is no incline system which means no stepping/hill climbing workout.
Buyer’s Guide When Choosing a Folding Cross Trainer
That wraps up our list. Now we’re going to look at some of the factors that we took into consideration when building an elliptical machine. Keep these in mind with your own hunt for a foldable elliptical.
The price. Obviously we have both expensive and cheap ellipticals on this list. Depending on what your budget is and what you want in a foldable elliptical, that can make all the difference.
The technology. Some of these machines come with extremely advanced consoles and features, while others simply don’t. They can be nice features, but not always necessary for a good workout. The smart ellipticals generally tend to have higher degrees of technology available compared to those that aren’t. These include access to iFit, preprogrammed workout programs, and electronically adjustable inclines during the workout.
The space. Because you are looking for a foldable elliptical, it is important to see how much space they take up. For those with smaller living areas, this can be the difference maker. Especially some of the larger machines that, while they fold, don’t really become all that much smaller.
The warranty. Considering how expensive some of these machines are, you will want guaranteed replacements if they break. A quality warranty usually comes with a quality piece of equipment.
The resistance capabilities. Some of these ellipticals just aren’t made for aspiring athletes or those trying to really get in shape. Generally you will want to look and see how many resistance levels (if it has more than one) an elliptical will have and how high the resistance can actually go. This can make a key difference on how satisfied you are with your purchase.
FAQs About Foldable Elliptical Trainers
Q: How do I fold up my elliptical?
A: That generally depends on the build and model of the ellipticals. It varies. There should be instructions that come with the machine that tells you exactly how to fold the piece of equipment. Of course, some are easier to fold than others, but most foldable ellipticals generally are pretty easy to fold.
Q: How do I store my elliptical?
A: That’s generally up to you. Many of the larger foldable ellipticals can be stored vertically in closets or other corner spaces. Of course, the lighter styles of ellipticals like the SF-E905 and Gazelle Freestyle are able to be stored just about anywhere. Their extreme foldability and lightweight nature makes them the ideal candidates for this purpose.
Q: How do I know if my foldable elliptical is smart?
A: Smart folding ellipticals are those like the SpaceSaver SE9i and Smart Strider 895 CSE. They have advanced technological features like Bluetooth and Internet connections, automatically adjusting stride lengths and incline adjustments, have entertainment features, and usually have connections to fitness programs like iFit.
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i, ProForm Smart Strider 895 CSE, Horizon Fitness Evolve 3, ProForm Smart Strider 495 CSE, Gazelle Freestyle, and Sunny Health Fitness SF-E902 are the best folding elliptical machines I tried and reviewed in this article. Personally, if I was going to buy a foldable elliptical to save space and yet get a zero-impact workout, it would be the Gazelle (number 5 in the list). It’s compact, easy to store, and offers two workouts (running and elliptical) with zero impact and little maintenance. And if I wanted an elliptical with resistance but still compact, I would buy one of the compact ellipticals such as ProForm HIIT Pro. I probably wouldn’t buy any other folding elliptical machines because, despite their collapsible design, they still take plenty of space, and yet they are not the most durable ellipticals out there. And it’s because good elliptical brands like Precor haven’t’ stepped up to make foldable cross-trainers. With that out of the way, remember to use this guide when searching for your own foldable elliptical trainer and try to match the various factors to what you are looking for in an elliptical. Here is my average ratings of folding elliptical machines.