Working with a small apartment, a busy schedule, and a gym membership you never get time to use? I know how it is. You have good intentions to go to the gym, but by the time you actually manage to find the time, you're exhausted or something else — more exciting (and less sweaty) — gets in the way.
Why not kick-start the new year with a different kind of routine? I say cancel that monthly subscription and start getting a sweat on in the comfort of your own home. Without having to drive anywhere or rely on public transport, there will be no excuse; plus, think of the money you'll save. For example, canceling a monthly $40 membership will mean you'll be $480 up next year, just something to think about.
Now if the next obstacle is that your apartment or home is too small to work out in, you are wrong my friend. Nowadays you can exercise pretty much anywhere because the latest gym equipment is designed to suit a ton of different spaces, inc. tiny ones. From exercise bikes to dumbells, things are now more adjustable than ever so that you will have zero issues working up a sweat in your bedroom, even if it doubles up as your living room, and kitchen...
From foldable options to handbag-friendly picks, all of the nine buys I've selected below are also super easy to store when not in use too, whether that's in a drawer or tucked away in your closet.
Note, the adrenaline rush will be big. You have been warned...
What are the best fitness buys for smaller spaces?
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Here's a quick low-down of my favorite small space fitness buys right now. Keep scrolling for full product info.
- Adjustable kettlebell: Polyfit Adjustable Kettlebell (opens in new tab) from Amazon
- Foldable treadmill: UREVO Folding Treadmill (opens in new tab) from Amazon
- Resistance bands: Fit Simplify Exercise Bands (opens in new tab) from Amazon
- Compact elliptical: Real Relax Mini Stair Stepper (opens in new tab) from Walmart
- Jump rope: Lululemon Adjustable Lenth Jump Rope (opens in new tab)
- For toning: Dumoyi Thigh Master (opens in new tab) from Amazon
- Adjustable dumbbell: Flybird Single Adjustable Dumbbell (opens in new tab) from Amazon
- Yoga mat: Yogi Bare PAWS Yoga Exercise Mat (opens in new tab) from Sweaty Betty
- Ab trainer: Stealth Abs + Plank Core Trainer (opens in new tab) from Amazon
9 small space home gym equipment buys we're obsessed with in 2023
A kettlebell for small spaces
Weight: 5, 8, 12lbs
+ 2 colors
+ Great grip
Why own three or four kettlebells when you need only one that's adjustable? This Polyfit kettlebell is brilliant in more ways than one and is adjustable in weight from 5 lbs to 12 lbs (at its heaviest). It has a PE outer layer to help you keep your grip as you dip, plus it comes with instructions for easy workouts that will make you sweat from your own home.
The best treadmill for small spaces
Size: L48" x W26" x H5.5"
+ Folds away
+ 12 modes
+ 3 colors
- Heavy at 22.5kg
This foldable treadmill is genius. Not only is it super easy to store — you can slide it underneath your sofa — but it's anything but basic. And for a super affordable price. Amazon reviewers love it, and it ought to keep you busy with 12 pre-set programs. It's also nice and quiet so it won't upset your neighbors, plus it's on wheels. Who said treadmills take up space?
+ Comes with storage bag
+ Also come in pink
You can go far with just a set of fitness bands, especially if space really won't allow for any more equipment. These five come as a set so that you can work your way from light to heavy, plus you get a bag for storage and some instructions to help you get started. You can train almost every muscle in your body using a resistance band, plus they are easy to take to and from the gym, on vacation. Don't just trust us: there are 100,000+ positive Amazon reviews...
For working your entire body
Size: L16.93" x W12.99" x H8.86"
+ Compact to store
+ Easy to use
+ Affordable price
- Holds up to 220lbs
Yes, you can still own an elliptical trainer even if you live in an apartment. This one is super compact and it can be stored underneath your bed, plus it really works your arms thanks to its attached resistance bands. It has a simple LCD display to tell you your stats, plus you can take the resistance bands off and use it underneath your desk to work your legs whilst your hands hover over your keyboard.
Our favorite jump rope to buy
Length: 96" - 104"
+ Grippy handles
+ Adjustable length
This is the ultimate piece of equipment that you can throw in your handbag or suitcase, and you can use it to work your entire core plus your arms and your legs. It's a do-it-all buy, essentially. With soft yet grippy handles, it's lightweight and made from steel at its core. It's adjustable in length to make sure it suits your height.
Size: W13.77" x D4.33"
+ Pink design
If you want to focus on tightening and toning, then grab your exercise mat and this lightweight thigh master and get down onto your bedroom floor. This small piece of kit has a handy screen so that you can see your stats as you sweat, plus it's pretty versatile. Use it in between your thighs, knees, or even arms, then fold it away and pop it in a drawer once done.
Our favorite dumbbell for small spaces
Weight: 5lb - 25lbs
Size: L4.6" x W7.9"
+ Easy to store
+ Sits on a stand
- High price
If lifting weights is your preferred way to work out, then this dumbbell is all you need. You've probably seen an adjustable dumbbell before, so this won't be anything new. But this one, in particular, is highly rated by reviewers and affordable in comparison to others. It can be adjusted in weight from 5lb to 25lb, and you only really need one if you're super short on space. It comes with a stand for it to sit on when not in use, plus it can be stored neatly underneath a bed or in a closet.
Our favorite yoga mat
Size: L71" x W26"
+ Biodegradable & recyclable
+ Great grip
+ Range of colors & sizes
+ Great for beginners
- High price
Our favorite yoga mat for home use, it can transform even the smallest of spaces into a yoga studio thanks to its body alignment guides that are super helpful when it comes to perfecting your poses and making sure you're in the center of your mat. Its quality, feel, and look are second to none. Not only is it crafted from 100% natural PU rubber, but it's perfect for beginners and long-term yogis alike. After testing this mat, we can attest to the extra-firm construction and superior grip, so no matter how much you sweat, you'll remain grounded!
For ab training
Size: L23.9" x W23.7" x H7"
+ Great entertainment
+ App compatible
- High price
With 360-degree maneuverability, this trainer is designed to target your core — and that it really does. If you're bored of doing sit-ups and need something to keep you entertained while you get in a quick 15-minute sweat, then this is definitely it. It works with the Stealth Fitness App and it essentially works your core as you plank and play video games. Innovative to say the least, it's much smaller than other ab-focused home gym equipment, and it can easily be stored away in a closet or underneath your couch.
Browse more home gym equipment
Still looking for the perfect piece of home gym equipment? These are the retailers we would recommend heading to first to secure your next fitness find:
- Amazon home gym equipment (opens in new tab)
- BestBuy home gym equipment (opens in new tab)
- DICK'S Sporting Goods home gym equipment (opens in new tab)
- Walmart home gym equipment (opens in new tab)
How did we choose these buys?
We strive to test everything we recommend at Real Homes, but sometimes it's just not possible. In this case, we've managed to get our hands on the yoga mat in this guide, but everything else has been recommended based on their online reviews.
Hi! I'm Annie, head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. I've been writing buying guides and reviewing products online since 2018 — think everything from air fryers to mattresses and exercise bikes. Why am I educated to talk about home gym equipment? I've reviewed a bunch of machines for a range of publications from Livingetc to Ideal Home, including elliptical trainers, exercise bikes, and smaller fitness buys. I reviewed these machines in my two-bedroom apartment in South East London that I share with my husband and my Pug.
In the case of this guide, there are a bunch of essential criteria that I considered before writing. Including everything from star rating to build and price, that is. Otherwise, I am working to get these buys tested so that I can eventually recommend them from my own experience.
5 things to consider when buying home gym equipment
1. What are your fitness goals?
The gym equipment you choose will be based primarily on the type of fitness goals you have. If you want to increase your stamina, cardio machines are the way to go, just as weights and resistance bands are the best option for those who want to slim up or bulk up. Decide what type of fitness goals you have and build your home gym around that.
2. Consider durability
Choose durable products when building your home gym. Everyone knows that most exercise routines require using the best at-home gym equipment fairly regularly; you'll want pieces that can withstand the test of time.
3. Don't forget portability
Whether you are hitting the road or want to go from indoors to outdoors, the best at-home gym equipment will be able to transport you anywhere, any time.
4. Think about the space you have at home
Sure, some home gym equipment can take up a lot of space, but there are plenty of items that are apartment and small home-friendly, like resistance bands and adjustable dumbbells.
If you live in an apartment, you may want to bear in mind the noise some gym equipment will make. Dropping weights on floors that aren't padded or running on your at-home treadmill at 6 a.m. could upset your downstairs neighbors.
5. Remember to protect your home and floor
If you have to use your gym equipment indoors, make sure that you protect your home and floor from the hazards of workout equipment. Purchase padding to place under your cardio machines and always use weights on a workout mat. If those weights fall, you don’t want them to crack your tile or put a dent in your hardwood floor.