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Like a lot of you, the SPY team has spent a lot more time working from home over the past few years. And even though lockdowns are now long behind us, hybrid and remote work isn’t going away. And that’s why we love the best under-desk elliptical machines and exercise bikes. They offer an easy way to burn calories while staring at our computer screens.
Ellipticals are some of the most popular machines at any given gym, and it’s easy to see why. The best elliptical machines offer a low-impact but complete workout, and they’re one of the few gym machines that can’t easily be replaced by something else. If you don’t have a treadmill, you can go for a run. No exercise bike? Ride a regular bike. Ellipticals, on the other hand, offer a unique workout that doesn’t quite compare to anything else.
They’re also a great way to work out. For those with joint problems or anyone looking for a low-impact alternative to running, ellipticals can offer that. And, full-size elliptical machines allow you to work out both your upper and lower body muscles, providing a more thorough workout than leg-centric stationary bikes.
Whether you’re tired of competing for machines, you don’t have time to go to the gym or you just want a way to workout at home, then it’s worth considering buying an elliptical machine. We especially love under-desk elliptical machines thanks to the lower cost and convenience factor. As the name suggests, they’re designed to allow you to work out your legs while you sit at a desk. If you want a low-key way to burn off some calories from that big lunch while fighting the mid-day slump, then these are the best under-desk ellipticals to get in 2022.
1. DeskCycle 2 Under-Desk Pedal Exerciser
The DeskCycle 2 Under-Desk Pedal Exerciser is a great fit for people who prefer spin bikes to elliptical machines, and it’s also a very affordable option. This device stands just 10 inches tall, so it will slip easily under your desk. Designed to operate quietly while you log into Zoom meetings, it also comes with an LCD screen to track your exercise throughout the day. Finally, this exercise machine uses magnetic resistance for smoother motion. For all these reasons, it’s our new pick for the best under-desk elliptical of 2022.
$50 OFF COUPON
2. Cubii Pro – Seated Under-Desk Elliptical
Cubii’s elliptical is available in a sleek “Noir” color or classic “Chrome.” It’s designed to be very quiet, so it won’t distract your co-workers if you’re using it at the office. A dial on the front of the elliptical allows you to switch between eight different resistance levels. The feature that really sets this device apart from the best under-desk ellipticals? Bluetooth compatibility. You can pair it with your favorite fitness app or FitBit to track your progress. Previously, we chose this product as our “Best Overall” under-desk exerciser, but the price tag is a bit too high.
3. Sunny Health Under-Desk Elliptical
This elliptical machine from Sunny Health & Fitness has a dial with adjustable resistance levels, so you can increase or decrease the intensity of the workout as needed. A digital monitor on the screen allows you to track time, speed, calories and distance, so you can easily work toward a set goal. Plus, a handle on the top makes it easy to carry.
4. Stamina InMotion Compact Strider
GOOD FOR LARGE FEET
This compact elliptical machine has a convenient carry handle. The pedals are designed to be large enough to suit people with larger feet. The dial allows you to adjust the resistance level, and the digital LCD display allows you to track distance, workout time, calories burned and number of strides taken. It’s also one of the more affordable options on the market.
5. DeskCycle Ellipse
The DeskCycle is designed to run quietly so you can use it at work. The pedals are extra long and wide, making this machine easy to use for taller people and those with big feet. There are eight different resistance levels. The free app from the brand allows you to log your activity and easily view it, although the elliptical doesn’t automatically transmit that data. One of the best features is that the tracker is detachable, and has a long cord. That means you can place it on your desk, so you don’t have to constantly look under your desk to track progress.
6. ATIVAFIT Under-Desk Elliptical Bike
CAN USE WHILE STANDING
Unlike many under-desk ellipticals, you can safely use this unit while standing (although you may need to stabilize yourself on something). The rotating dial allows you to customize the resistance level, and the large pedals have a tread pattern to keep your feet from slipping. The LCD display allows you to track helpful metrics like speed and distance.
7. Cubii Go
BEST PORTABLE OPTION
For a portable under-desk elliptical that is perfect for taking into the office and back home at the end of the day, there’s the Cubii Go. Weighing just over 19 pounds, the Cubii Go has a retractable handle and built-in wheels that add to its ease of portability. Users can track their progress using the illuminated LCD display directly on the Cubii Go or by checking the app, which can be synced with FitBit and the Apple Health Kit. Eight levels of resistance help to ensure users get a great workout every time and the monitor can be cleared after each use, allowing multiple people to use the elliptical and track their progress. Arriving fully assembled, users can start exercising immediately.
8. Under-Desk Bike Elliptical Machine with Built-in Display Monitor
CAN USE MANUALLY
If you’re looking for an affordable under-desk elliptical that still packs in all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, try the Under-Desk Bike Elliptical Machine with Built-in Display Monitor. A built-in display monitor has a light-up LED screen that keeps users up to date on their current workout progress, including speed, calories burned, and distance. Users can choose from five levels of resistance and opt for forwards or backward pedaling. Quiet and easy to assemble, the elliptical can be plugged in or used manually.
9. LifePro Under-Desk Elliptical
EIGHT TENSION LEVELS
Affordable, reliable and durable, the LifePro Under-Desk Elliptical provides users with a quality workout that doesn’t require them to stand. The under-desk elliptical has a magnetic resistance that includes eight levels of adjustable tension. The non-slip rubber bottom helps to keep the LifePro in place while users build endurance and muscle. Stabilizers are also included to keep the user’s legs in place and the LifePro comes with an optional tether strap for fixing the device to a chair.
10. ANCHEER Under-Desk Elliptical Machine
COMES WITH REMOTE
For an under-desk elliptical machine that works with and without a power source, there’s Ancheer’s versatile model. The elliptical can be plugged into a wall outlet or used manually, making it easy to take your workout to any spot in the home, office, and beyond. The Auto mode allows for three levels, while the unit’s Manual setting has five levels of difficulty. Anti-slip foot pedals help to keep feet in place while the quiet unit works to improve circulation and muscle tone. At 20 pounds, the Ancheer is one of the lighter models on our list and comes with a touchscreen and remote control for added convenience.
11. Bionic Body Magnetic Tension Under-Desk Elliptical
DOUBLES AS STEPPER
Sit or stand for a great workout with the Bionic Body Magnetic Tension Under-Desk Elliptical. The multi-use workout buddy can be used as an elliptical machine in the seated position, or users can stand and use the Bionic as a stepper. The heavyweight, 37-pound machine stays in place whether users are seated or standing and comes with resistance bands for an added exercise element. A large LCD screen displays the number of strides, time elapsed and calories burned. A built-in handle for easy transport and a tension rod all help to make this an excellent at-home or at-work exercise companion.
How We Chose the Best Under-Desk Elliptical Machines
Over the past few years, the SPY team has tested hundreds of exercise machines and home gyms. From premium smart exercise machines like Peloton to high-end fitness mirrors like Tempo and affordable massage guns, we’ve tested a lot of products in search of the best home gym equipment. While we haven’t tested all of the products featured in this shopping guide, we are very familiar with the top home fitness brands. When selecting the top under-desk elliptical machines, we considered the following criteria:
- Size and dimensions
- Price and overall value
- Resistance type
- User ratings and reviews
- Brand reputation
- Bluetooth capabilities
Noise is also an important consideration when choosing the best under-desk elliptical. If you are using them at the office, you’ll want to prioritize a machine that isn’t too loud, so as to not distract your cubicle neighbor (or worse, the person next to you in an open-floor office). For remote workers, a quiet elliptical can avoid interruptions in Zoom meetings, which are already awkward enough.
Under-desk ellipticals are pretty similar to under-desk cycling machines, but there are a few benefits that an elliptical has over a bike. For one, under-desk elliptical machines are a great option for taller people. If you find yourself bumping your knee when you so much as try to cross your legs, then you’re unlikely to have the clearance needed to use a bike. The back and forth motion of the elliptical means you don’t have to move your knees up and down as much. And since ellipticals have longer pedals, they may be more comfortable for those with bigger feet. Plus, ellipticals can work different muscles than a bike can.
Under-desk elliptical machines save space, so you can use them at home or even at the office. It’s a great way to stay fit, or at least to keep moving, especially considering how much of our time is spent stationary. Unlike full elliptical machines, most under-desk machines don’t provide an opportunity to work out your arms. So, while they’re no replacement for a full-size machine, they’re a great way to work out anywhere you might not otherwise be able to.
For all these reasons, we recommend picking out an under-desk elliptical featured above.