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Can You Have an Elliptical in an Apartment?

You want an elliptical to workout from home but you live in an upstairs apartment with wooden old floors that sometimes creak. You are worried that if you bought an elliptical it would be too loud for your neighbors or it won’t fit. These are legitimate concerns most people have.

Therefore; that leads us to the question of, Can You Have an Elliptical in an Apartment?

It’s perfectly fine to have an elliptical in an apartment as long as it’s on a flat surface with a rubber mat underneath it to dampen some of the small shiftings sounds it might make, and you have enough space. While some models can be wide, tall, and long, others are more compact to suit apartments. Ensure you measure the space you have before buying an elliptical. That way, you know which elliptical size fits properly in your apartment.

Besides, an elliptical features several components that operate in different directions. It incorporates handlebars, footpads that move forward and backward, and a large body that holds the belt. You cannot have it too close to a wall, considering the foot and hand movements you will be making. It also has add-ons such as stabilizers, a tablet holder, a console, and a water bottle holder.

The fitness market offers collapsible ellipticals, which are great for apartments. You can fold your piece and store it neatly after use. Therefore, you can push aside that table in your living room, have space for the machine, and work out comfortably. When you are done, fold it into a smaller size, push it aside, and return the table to its usual position.

If this is too much work, you can also buy a compact elliptical. It is designed to take up less space but offers the same great features as the larger versions. Nevertheless, it has a shorter width and stride length, which can affect stability and be inconvenient for tall users. However, it is possible to find an elliptical with the right dimensions for comfortable workouts at all times.

That being said, we are going to discuss more on ellipticals, including where to put them in the apartment, whether they are safe on the second floor and their noise level.

Where to Put an Elliptical in the Apartment?

An elliptical should be on a flat surface floor where the floor doesn’t creak and also next to an electrical outlet to plug in the machine. If you have a spare room in your apartment, you should transform that into a workout space. But if you don’t then your bedroom would be the next best option for an elliptical.

  • Floor Space: Find a spot with a floor space of 8 feet long by 4 feet width for your elliptical. Ensure there are 20 inches of space on each side of the machine for easy and safe mounting and dismounting. You should also have 20 inches of space at the back or front for your safety when working out, as the pedals might extend past the equipment’s length.
  • Headroom: The other aspect to keep in mind here is the headroom, which should be 4-6 feet inches, so you do not hit your head on the ceiling as you exercise. The headroom is the space between the top of your head and the ceiling. 10, 8, and 9 feet ceilings offer sufficient vertical space to install an elliptical.

If you live in an apartment with a ceiling less than 8 feet high, you need to take accurate measurements. Add your height to the elliptical’s step-on height. If you come up with a figure less than the ceiling height by 4-6inches, you can set up the machine. That way, your head does not touch the ceiling when you are standing on the equipment or exercising.

Note that, the step-on height refers to how far off the ground an elliptical place you at its highest point during use.

Elliptical In Upstairs Apartment

Is It Safe to Put Elliptical on the Second Floor?

It is safe to put an elliptical on the second floor because apartments are built under strict industry standards. Therefore, they can accommodate an elliptical on the second floor with no problem at all. Ellipticals weigh between 150 and 250lbs. Add your weight, and you have a figure that the second floor can easily withstand.

Experts say that a floor in residential property can carry 40-50lbs per square foot. Take, for example, a 10 by 10 feet room. It provides a 100 square feet space. Therefore, doing math using 40lbs, it can hold 4000lbs of weight. That is a huge capacity for you to match. Combine your weight, the elliptical’s, and that of other things in your second-floor apartment, and confirm that the room can carry the total load (and it will). That is what is called a live load’. It refers to the weight of people, furniture, and other things that the floor needs to hold. Check the Local Building Codes in your area to know the particular weight allowed on the upper floors.

However, if you are doubtful about the structural integrity of your second-floor apartment or need additional assurance, you can always consult a professional who understands buildings structures such as a structural engineer. He or she will help you verify that your second-floor apartment can comfortably carry your weight, the elliptical, other items in your space, and the pounding movements as you work out.

With all that in mind, an elliptical will not break your floor. The odds are low, and you can always ask a professional for clarification. However, if you are still worried about having it in a second-floor apartment, you can always go for a downstairs apartment. If you cannot find a vacant one yet you like the place, speak with the management on whether it is alright to have elliptical and other workout tools on a second-floor apartment. We have already said it is okay, but there is no harm in confirming. You get to exercise without worrying about the floor caving in (and it will not).

Remember to use a rubber mat under your elliptical. It protects the flooring from damage and distributes the weight. That way, the equipment, and users do not apply pressure on one spot of the floor. You can also purchase a lightweight model to reduce your worry about having an elliptical in the upstairs apartment.

To summarize whether it is safe to have an elliptical on the second floor, it is simple. Calculate the live load for the floor and check the local building codes on the load capacity. Besides, you can consult a structural engineer or architect for more assurance on installing the machine on the second floor. For your neighbors downstairs, dampen any noise the equipment makes, so you do not disturb others. We are about to discuss how to do this.

Ellipticals In An Apartment Noise

So, are ellipticals loud in an apartment?

An elliptical is not loud in an apartment compared to treadmills, but you can dampen some of the small shifting sounds by putting a mat under it. The mat will also dampen any weird vibrating an elliptical might have. However, the quietness level depends on the model you buy.

Magnetic Vs Fan-Based Ellipticals

Note that fan-based ellipticals are not as quiet as magnetic. Therefore, make sure you go for quieter models that operate smoothly without being a nuisance to people around you.

The fitness market offers two types of ellipticals magnetic and fan-based. If you need a quieter option, choose the magnetic type. Its resistance increases by boosting the strengths of the magnets that resist the turning of the flywheel. On the other hand, an air resistance elliptical has a rotating fan that pushes against the air pressure in the flywheel casing. The faster your speed, the more the air pressure, so the machine makes more noise.


An elliptical is low-impact cardio equipment that relieves pressure off your legs. It is quieter than a treadmill, so you will not distract other people next room or disturb neighbors. Your feet do not get off the footpads, which means there is no impact noise. Nonetheless, an elliptical can have squeaking noise from the belt and cause floor vibration. Lubricate the moving parts and use a mat under it to help dampen the vibration, so you do not disturb your neighbors and other people in your household. It is tough to withstand 30 minutes or more of thumping noise. Besides, ensure the equipment is lying flat on the floor to prevent wobbling and more noise.

However, heavy ellipticals are likely to cause more noise for people on the floor beneath your apartment. It would be prudent to purchase a lightweight model below 100lbs. Therefore, to maintain a silent environment, buy a light, magnetic, sturdy elliptical, and remember to place a mat under it.


You can have an elliptical in an apartment and work out for your overall wellness. Set it up in your bedroom and get to burn calories with less pressure on your legs. If you live in a second-floor apartment, you can have the machine there and enjoy the benefits it offers your body. However, magnetic ellipticals are quieter than fan-based models, so you do not disturb your neighbors. Remember to have a rubber mat under your machine and oil the moving parts to dampen the squeaking and vibrations.

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