Office fitness is the new fitness. Are you ready to join the party? One popular piece of equipment for getting your calorie burn on while you plug at away at your desk is the under-desk elliptical trainer. But do under desk ellipticals work? The good news is they do, and I’m here to share the best under desk elliptical trainers on the market with you.
In this guide, I share:
- Top 10 Under the Desk Elliptical Trainers
- Under Desk Elliptical Reviews
- Do under desk ellipticals work? The Final Answer.
|#1) Cubii Pro||
|#2) Cubii Jr.||
|#3) Joroto Under Desk Elliptical & Mini Stepper||
|#4) DeskCycle Ellipse||
|#5) Fast88 Electric Desk Elliptical Machine||
|#6) Ancheer Under Desk Elliptical||
|#7) Sunny Health & Fitness (SF-E3872)||
|#8) ativafit Under Desk Elliptical Bike||
|#10) Goplus 2-in-1 Under Desk Elliptical Stepper||
Best Under Desk Elliptical Reviews
Now that you’ve checked out my Top 10, you may still be wondering if under-desk elliptical machines are actually helping people lose weight. The key point to consider is that this nifty piece of office exercise equipment burns calories, and the key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you eat each day.
In this section, I share my thoughts on each machine and the pros and cons of owning them according to users. Let’s start with the reliable Cubii Pro.
#1) Cubii Under Desk Elliptical
Cubii is the leader in the under-desk elliptical department because the company manufactures the most reliable elliptical machine on the market with the best app for tracking your fitness stats. If you’re serious about losing weight with an under-desk elliptical trainer, then the Cubii Pro should be at or near the top of your list.
With the app, you accurately track your fitness stats. Why is this is important? Without the ability to track calories, it’s a lot harder to lose weight along any fitness journey. Tracking your calories not only gives you a measure of how many calories you burned to compare against how many you consume, but it also motivates you to burn more calories as you progress. The app syncs with iPhone, Apple HealthKit, Android, and Fitbit devices.
As far as the actual machine, it’s built with premium materials for quiet, smooth operation. The ergonomic design allows you to engage in a low-impact, lower-body cardio workout without losing focus on your work.
#2) Cubii Jr.
Comparing the Cubii Jr. to the Cubii Pro can get confusing since both machines look the same. Essentially, they are the same with only a few major differences.
Cubii Pro vs Cubii Jr.
- The Cubii Pro costs significantly more than the Jr. model
- Cubii Jr. does not offer the phone app and Bluetooth connectivity to track your stats (this is a dealbreaker for a lot of people)
- The machines themselves both function the same and are the same size
- Cubii Jr. offers a built-in display to track real-time exercise stats including calories, RPM, strides, and distance
Is the Pro model better than the Cubii Jr? That’s debatable. The reason I like the Pro a lot more is the app to track stats and keep me motivated. Additionally, when I get serious about losing weight and exercising more, I know how important it is to track my daily calories.
The Jr. will show you your stats on the LCD, but it won’t store your exercise stats for you in the app. This means you’ll need to keep track of your daily stats separately. Another advantage of the Pro is the app allows you to compete with other Cubii Pro owners and against one another.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you’re looking for a machine that gets the job done and not interested in fitness tracking, the Jr. is the obvious choice since you get the same machine at a significantly lower cost.
#3) Joroto Under Desk Elliptical Stepper
The Joroto trainer is the best under-desk elliptical/mini stepper hybrid currently available. The advantage of this machine over the Cubii is versatility and resistance. The Joroto is made for both seated and standing workouts. The feature I like the most that Cubii skipped is the foot shifter knob that allows the user to make quick resistance adjustments without bending over.
You may have also noticed the dual-rail design with two wheels instead of one on each pedal. This upgrade makes for smoother movements and better stability during standing workouts. The greatest disadvantage of this machine is the lack of a phone app to track fitness stats. If it offered an app, I would probably rank it #1.
Lastly, if you thought the Cubii was heavy, the Joroto elliptical is even heavier at 35.3 lbs, making it not the best choice for seniors or people with mobility issues.
#4) DeskCycle Ellipse
The DeskCycle is the best Cubii alternative currently available. Like the Cubii Pro, the DeskCycle Ellipse offers a free phone app to track your workout stats. I’m a fan of the interface too, it’s nice to look at and shows calories, miles, minutes, and steps. Another cool feature is the option to switch between days, weeks, months, and all-time stats in the app.
The removable display is one feature you won’t find in the Cubii. Simply place the monitor on your desk to track your stats instead of having to glance down at the machine. You may also like the rounded DeskCycle pedal design more than the square Cubii design.
One disadvantage of the DeskCycle compared to the Joroto is it’s not made for standing workouts. However, it does weigh less than the Joroto machine at about 29 lbs (a bit heavier than the Cubii though).
#5 & 6) Fast88 & Ancheer Elliptical
Fast88 and Ancheer both manufacture a solid under-desk elliptical with the same design. Both machines are top-rated ellipticals, so what’s the biggest difference? The answer is the price. I recommend checking the price of both machines before you buy since they’re basically the same. You may save yourself a few bucks.
The machine itself appears to be a copy of the DeskCycle Ellipse with some minor tweaks. It’s worth noting that at the time of this writing, both the Fast88 and Ancheer machines cost significantly less than the DeskCyle Ellipse. The feature I like more in the Fast88 and Ancheer machines is the integrated carry handle. It’s easier to pick the machine up since the handle isn’t as low to the ground as the DeskCycle. The disadvantage is it’s impossible to hang the Fast88 and Ancheer models vertically while carrying them.
Lastly, the Fast88 and Ancheer machines do not offer an app to track exercise stats. Instead, the user tracks all stats from the LCD display located on the top of the machine.
#7) Sunny Health and Fitness Under Desk Elliptical
Sunny Health & Fitness is a manufacturer of mid-range home exercise equipment that’s more reliable than lesser-known brands such as Ancheer and Fast88. While I do prefer the design and functionality of the Ancheer and Fast88 models over the SF-E3872, the SF-E3872 is a more reliable product overall.
Sunny Health & Fitness did a good job of trimming a few pounds off its unit. The SF-E3872 weighs a few lbs less than the Cubii at 24 lbs. I also like the carry handle on the SF-E3872 more than the Cubii handle. A clear disadvantage is no phone app to track fitness stats with the SF-E3872. On the bright side, it costs a whole lot less than a Cubii, and it’s made by a reliable home gym equipment company.
The final consideration is no backward pedaling motion with the SF-E3872. Overall, it’s a quality unit for a low price with several missing options that you may or may not be able to live without.
#8) ativafit Under Desk Elliptical Bike
The activafit mini elliptical is perhaps the best budget under-desk elliptical on the market. The design is very similar to the Cubii. Major differences between the two machines are the carry handle design/location and the foot pedals. The activafit pedals have full-wrap support, and in my opinion, the carry handle is in a better position. I also think the activafit is more aesthetically appealing than the Cubii, and the price certainly is more appealing as well.
Like most of the cheaper under-desk ellipticals, the activafit model does not include a free app to track your fitness stats. What sells me the most on this machine are the pedals and the appearance. The pedals are clearly better than what’s offered in the Cubii models.
The FitDesk elliptical is another good Cubii alternative that comes with some useful features not offered by the Cubii. What I like the most is the foot shifter. Of all the ellipticals in my Top 10, the FitDesk offers the best foot shifter. I also like the desktop monitor that allows you to track your workout stats without peaking below your desk or having to bend over to read tiny numbers.
You may have noticed that the FitDesk base appears sturdier than several of the other units in my Top 10. The FitDesk has a lower pedal height than other machines, making it a top option for under-desk fitness enthusiasts. The drawback is the motion is shallower, which may restrict calories burned per minute compared to other compact ellipticals.
#10) Goplus Under Desk Elliptical Stepper
To round out my Top 10, I chose the Goplus 2-in-1 mini elliptical and stepper. As you can see in the photo above, the Goplus machine is built to use for both seated and standing workouts. The problem that I noticed reported the most by users is standing workouts are not very easy on any mini elliptical. Users often need to grab onto something to keep their balance.
As an under-desk elliptical, the Goplus machine is certainly one of the best currently available. The greatest disadvantage of this unit is the weight, coming in at a whopping 36 lbs. That’s about 10 lbs heavier than most of the other units in my Top 10. Remember to consider the weight of the Goplus and all the other units before you choose one for your office. The good news is there are integrated wheels in the Goplus to make it easy to move around without picking it up.
All in all, for the price, the Goplus compact elliptical delivers, and it’s one of the cheapest under-desk ellipticals currently available.
Do under desk ellipticals work? The Final Answer.
The answer is yes, under-desk ellipticals do work. The machines in my Top 10 all function properly and keep your legs moving while you’re seated at your desk.
Will an under-desk elliptical make you lose weight? The answer is up to you. An under-desk elliptical should not be a primary piece of home gym equipment for someone who is seriously trying to lose weight. However, it could be the difference between not burning enough calories and burning the extra calories you need to lose weight.
Cubii provides an entire page dedicated to Cubii owner video testimonials, including users who lost weight. Click Here to check out the Cubii video testimonial page.
Burning calories is essential to losing weight, and there’s no denying that under-desk ellipticals help people burn more calories than sitting alone. In the same breath, it’s important to keep in mind that calorie counters on non-commercial gym equipment are notoriously inaccurate. Relying on an under-desk elliptical machine to accurately track your daily calories burned is not the best idea.
According to Cubii, its machines are “NEAT™ Certified by the Mayo Clinic for active sitting.” Users who use the machine according to the instructions can burn up to 150 calories per hour. As I mentioned earlier, 150 calories may be all you need to slip into weight loss territory. The bottom line is your diet is more important than any workout on any under desk elliptical or workout machine.