You're in work, you kinda have to be, there's a desk, then there's you, so why not get the most out of your time?
That is, besides actually getting your job done.
And that's where the best under desk elliptical comes in.
But before we'll check which one you should get, we'll do a quick rundown of all the things you should look for in one.
So, let's start.
best under desk elliptical - quick overview
1. Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical - Bluetooth Enabled
2. Cubii Jr: Under Desk Elliptical
3. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer - E1000
4. Stamina In-Motion Compact Strider With Cords
5. FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical - 3040
What To Look For In The Best Under Desk Elliptical?
If you intend to use your unit mainly under your desk, then first of all, and I hope that it goes without saying, you should look at the footprint of the machine.
The standard measurements of products in this category range between 26-28" in length, 18-21" in width, and 10" to 12" in height.
What you should look for is an under desk elliptical that won't only fit under your desk, but also leaves you with room to stretch your legs.
Finally, and most important part in the measurements factor, there should be a 2 to 3" of space between your knee to the bottom of your desk when the pedal is at its highest position.
But mini ellipticals, unlike mini under desk bikes, have an elliptical motion, not circular one.
Meaning, the motion (i.e the stride) is more back and forth, not up and down.
So unless your desk has a really low bottom, you won't be suffering from aching knee's any time in the near future.
Since most of our sitting takes place at our workplace, we'll have to look for an under desk elliptical that is quiet enough to use in a workspace.
One that won't make you twitch every-time a metal squeak is being sent off to the world because of your shenanigans.
Exercising in work! How dare you?
Alright so all kidding aside, you should look for a mini elliptical that has a smooth motion. Even if you don't intend to use it in your cubical.
Thankfully, since there's isn't a lot of pressure being forced down on the pedals and parts, noise levels are quite low.
Especially when compared to an upright bike, or a full sized elliptical machine.
That is, if all goes well and you don't "fall" on a defected unit.
portability & sturdiness
While there's a little chance you'll take your under desk elliptical on a vacation trip to the Bahamas, we'll want to find one that is somewhat lightweight.
But we'll also want it to be sturdy and just a bit bulky.
So you don't push yourself back if you're sitting on a chair that has wheels.
If you're planning on using it just in your office/home, then the weight shouldn't be that much of a factor.
However, you should keep an eye on the build quality and overall sturdiness.
If you're planning on moving this thing back and forth between your work to home, my advice to you would be to avoid machines that are over 25 lbs.
And though it may still seem like a heavy load, most of them also have a carrying handle that will make carrying a little bit easier.
Luckily, assembling an under desk elliptical is not as half as difficult as assembling a regular elliptical machine.
And as you would see for yourself, the ellipticals we feature here range between an assembly difficulty level of "A baby can put it together" to a "My 95 yo grandma can do it".
But all kidding aside, assembling a mini elliptical is not that complicated, yes, even if you've never assembled any type of fitness equipment in your life.
No matter what cardio equipment you use, you should always keep track of your workout stats.
Having a display that will show you important workout metrics can help you keep going, and keep your motivation level up.
The best under desk elliptical will have to have a display that will show you:
- How Many Calories You've Burned
- How Much Time Your Exercising
- Distance Traveled
When you working out "blind", i.e without knowing the numeric value of your workout, you're leaving a lot of motivation on the table.
Some of the displays will show you all the metrics I mentioned above, and some only a few.
However, the main metrics you should look for are the time, calories burned, distance, and stride.
Finally, since the natural place of this equipment is under desk, it will be somewhat hard for you to actually read the display.
So, make sure the digits are large enough, and even look for an elliptical that has a display you can place on your desktop.
OK, so this one is not a must to have, but, it will help you spice things up.
And, it might even help you keep a high motivation level for a longer period of time.
Basically what it means is that the elliptical can pair with a phone app, (either iOS or Android, hopefully both) so that you can sync and keep track of your workout stats and progress over time.
This will help you to get a clear insight of your progress.
Do you workout enough?
Did you reach your weight loss goal?
Did you reach any other goals you've set for yourself?
You get my point.
Some of today's under desk elliptical even have a social app that will let share your stats and progress and compete with friend's and family that also have the app.
So though it's not a most to have thing, it sure is nice and can really keep you "hooked" on exercising longer than you expected.
And that's really what it's all about. Isn't it?
First, I hope you don't really want to get all sweaty and sticky in the middle of the workday, or do you?!
When it comes to exercising at work, you want to be just in the right level of workout that will actually impact your body and fitness, but at the same time, won't make you smell like you didn't shower in like a week.
The majority of under desk ellipticals have around 8 adjustable resistance levels.
And some of them can actually make you work up a sweat.
So one thing you can do is, take a break every 10-15 minutes.
Whenever you feel a sweat might be breaking off, take a break, breath, and then continue.
When it comes to mini ellipticals, The name of the game is duration and stamina.
So instead of trying to get your heart to its fat burning zone, try and aim to cross 10 miles a day, or even more.
Do as much as you can, but don't overdo it.
5 Best Under Desk Ellipticals - roundup
Based on the factors listed above, we went ahead and did our own little research to really try and find the best under desk elliptical.
It wasn't easy, but having a set of requirements made the whole process less difficult than what it could've been.
After reviewing a lot, and I mean a lot, (exactly 35 models to be precise) we've come to the conclusion that these are the best mini ellipticals:
1. Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical Bluetooth Enabled
Cubii is probably the most well-known brand in the desk ellipticals category.
And the Pro Under Desk Elliptical is their best seller.
First of all, the assembly process is really easy, only 4 bolts and you're ready to go.
Secondly, it's rather quiet, and there's a chance your co-workers won't even notice you're exercising.
Furthermore, it's a sturdy and well built elliptical and looks like it will last for years.
It's got a low profile and measurements that make it suitable for most desks height.
The Pro is 23" long, 17" wide and 10" high.
It's got 8 magnetic adjustable resistance levels that will put you to work, and which you can adjust with a simple knob turn.
But the main feature of this under desk elliptical is its Bluetooth connectivity.
This Elliptical syncs with Cubii's own app for iOS and Android phones, but also with the Fitbit app.
With the app, you can set goals you want to achieve, keep track of your progress over time, and compete with other users of the app.
In addition to helping you keep track of your progress, this might also help boost your motivation.
Furthermore, this battery-powered elliptical can hold around 90 days with normal use before you'll have to recharge it.
And you can track your battery level with the Cubii app.
The main downside of this elliptical is its price, and it's actually the most expensive unit on our list.
2. Cubii Jr: under Desk Elliptical
The Cubii Jr under desk elliptical is the more affordable version of the Cubii Pro.
The main difference between the two is the lack of Bluetooth ability in the Jr.
Other than that, the Jr. like the Pro is a well-built machine and designed for optimal under desk use.
It's got quite the compact dimension which almost guarantee it will fit in most desks. The Jr. is 23" long, 17" wide and 10" high.
It's got the same 8 levels magnetic resistance, which you can adjust with a simple knob turn.
if you work in a really quiet environment, there's a chance your co-workers will notice a slight noise that might come up occasionally.
However, I can't say that this is a loud machine that will drive your co-workers crazy.
So unless you work in a library, you shouldn't have any troubles in that field.
The assembly process, like with the pro, is very much easy, only 4 bolts and you're done.
The display will keep count of calories burned, time elapsed, RPM, stride, and distance.
However, reading the display is not easy, especially when it's under your desk since it is quite small.
Too bad Cubii didn't include an extension cord to a smaller display you can place on your desktop.
But other than that, this under desk elliptical can get the job done.
3. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer - E1000
The Stamina In-Motion elliptical trainer could be a great choice if you're not looking to spend too much.
The good news is that despite its affordable price tag, the InMotion has enough features to offer.
First being providing you the ability to use it sitting or standing up.
So its not "use only under your desk elliptical".
The ability to also use it standing up can provide additional fitness dimension, and allow you to also work on your balance.
Furthermore, it also means you can use the InMotion with a standing desk.
And this little thing can take up a max weight of 250 lbs.
Close to a regular elliptical machine.
The InMotion has almost the same measurements as the Cubii, expect for being a bit taller, 11.4" compared to 10".
However, it weighs less, 24 lbs Vs the 27 lbs of the Cubii.
A minor downside would be the fact that the InMotion doesn't rate it's resistance levels with numbers.
So you can't really tell at what level you're at, you just have to "feel it".
However, it is capable of providing a sufficient resistance power.
As for noise, the InMotion is rather quiet, and the motion is smooth. But you will have to lubricate it from time to time.
The LCD display will allow you to see your workout metrics like calories you burned, time elapsed, strides and total stride number.
Wish it showed distance and RPM too.
Other than that, this is great option for the price.
4. Stamina In-Motion Compact Strider with cords
Like the E1000 model from Stamina, this one will also allow you to use it under desk and while standing.
However, the main advantage this version has over the E1000, is that it comes with tension cords.
It wont be like working out on a regular elliptical, but you will be able to work your arms while you use this machine.
This low profile bulky little fella is slightly bigger than the E1000.
Measuring at 24" long, 18" wide and 12" high.
Still, it's in the range of acceptable footprint to make it suitable for most office desks.
And despite being a little bit bigger than its brother, they both weigh the same 24 lbs.
All the rest is pretty much the same as the E1000, expect for the carrying handle that this model has.
Which makes the portability issue a lot easier.
However, it's sad to see that Stamina hasn't included distance and RPM tracking with this model as well.
The display will only show stride, total stride, calories you burned, and time elapsed.
Furthermore, the resistance level is again, not number rated, so you just have to "feel" the resistance every time you turn the knob.
But on the other hand, you can pedal backwards on this under desk elliptical to put the emphasis on your quadriceps.
5. FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical - 3040
The FitDesk under desk elliptical 3040 would be a good option to consider if you're on a budget.
This sturdy under desk elliptical has 8 magnetic resistance levels.
And the cool thing about the levels is the way you change them.
Instead of a knob there's a handle that you can move up or down with your foot.
It's quite nice and basically means you don't have to reach under your desk every-time you want to change the resistance.
Another cool feature is the display.
Besides being able to show you important workout metrics, you can also place it on your desktop.
And you would be able to do so with the help of the extension cord supplied.
This basically eliminates the need for you to look down every time you want to check how many calories you burned, and might actually keep you motivated and going.
On the downside, The FitDesk 3040 is the largest under desk elliptical on our list. It's 29" long, and 19" wide.
However, it's also the shortest height wise, only 9".
On one hand, its measurements make him bulky and heavy to move around, but they also what make him steady and stable.
Furthermore, it's height almost guarantees that you won't bump your knees on the bottom of your desk.
So it's really a question of will this fit under your desk, footprint wise, and if you're planning on carrying it back and forth from your home to your office.
So What Is The Best Under Desk Elliptical?
The best under desk elliptical will have to be the Cubii Pro.
For starters, It has the smallest footprint, low profile and compact design which will make him fit most work desks.
It's compact design and the carrying handle makes it easier to carry, so you can, if you really want to take with you to work and back.
Furthermore, it's extremely easy to assemble, literally just 4 bolts and that's it, you're ready to go.
It's also a quiet under desk elliptical that has a smooth and steady range of motion, so no angry co-workers here.
In addition, its 8 resistance levels will most likely make you work up a sweat if you'll just keep going and not take short brakes.
Finally, it's Bluetooth ability will might help keep your motivation level up for a long time.
And it will do so by enabling you sync and track your progress, set goals, compete with friends and family and share your achievements online.
Overall it is a sturdy and well designed under desk elliptical that can help boost your endurance, lose weight, improve blood circulation and even strengthen your muscles.
Check it out here.