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As one of the 39 million Americans who live in apartments, I speak from experience when I say that finding the best workout equipment for apartments is not an easy task. You have to consider dimensions, noise, and if you’ll be able to easily move the equipment when the time comes, and if you’re a renter who may not be able to use certain home gym equipment (especially if it involves drilling into the wall).
Luckily, the team at Garage Gym Reviews has done all the heavy lifting (hehe) when it comes to investigating the top concerns apartment dwellers have about fitness equipment. We’ve narrowed it down to the top nine pieces of workout gear you need to check out to get your best sweat yet, no matter the size of your apartment.
Both Fitness Experts and Current or Former Apartment Residents
Garage Gym Reviews performance editor Anthony O’Reilly is a native New Yorker who at one time had to design a home gym in a 300-square-foot apartment while living with another person (and a cat). He’s not the only GGR member who’s lived in apartments, as many of the other certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, CrossFit coaches, and weightlifting coaches on our team have had to, at one point or the other, find ways to get their sweat on in an apartment.
9 Fitness Must-Haves for Your Apartment
- Best Exercise Equipment for Small Apartments: NÜOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best Resistance Bands for Apartments: Fringe Sport Latex-Free Strength Bands
- Best Exercise Equipment for Upstairs Apartments: X3 Bar
- Best Cardio Exercise Equipment for Apartments: Niceday Elliptical Machine
- Best Low-Impact Exercise Equipment for Apartments: LEIKE Exercise Bike
- Best Smart Fitness Equipment for Apartments: Tempo Move
- Best Pull-Up Bar for Apartments: Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar
- Best Weight Vest for Apartments: Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite Weight Vest
- Best Quiet Flooring for Apartments: Amazon Basics Foam Interlocking Exercise Gym Floor Mat Tiles
Best Exercise Equipment for Small Apartments: NÜOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells
Good for: People who need adjustable dumbbells that can easily be stored
Best Exercise Equipment for Small Apartments
- All-in-one adjustable dumbbell
- Weight ranges from 5 to 80 lbs
- Easy to use
- Feels like a standard dumbbell
Pros & Cons
- Feels like a regular dumbbell in hand
- Easy quick-change adjustments
- Knurled handle
- Comes with a stand
- Can be tricky to get in the stand
- Unsure of structural integrity
If I could only have one piece of fitness equipment in my apartment, I’d definitely choose a set of NÜOBELL adjustable dumbbells. These adjustable dumbbells are some of the best on the market, with a bunch of weight options to quickly switch between. I find these to be especially useful for people who want a variety of weights for different exercises but simply don’t have the space for 16 different pairs of dumbbells. You can use as little as 5 pounds or as much as 80 pounds per dumbbell.
NÜOBELLs are our favorite adjustable dumbbells because they feel just like a fixed dumbbell, unlike the mostly plastic pieces of equipment you get on many other models. You also get some pretty decent knurling on the handle, which is a rarity among adjustable dumbbells.
The 80-pound max isn’t ideal if you’re a heavy lifter, but for the vast majority of home gym owners, these dumbbells are more than enough. As with any adjustable dumbbell, there are some plastic parts that can break if you drop these things, but you’re not going to drop these and disturb your downstairs neighbors now are you? Are you?! OK, good.
The adjustment mechanism is also one of the quickest—you simply load the dumbbells into the cradle and twist the handle until your desired weight is picked. There is a fair amount of plastic on the ends, so we don’t recommend dropping them too often or you might break them.
Read our full NUOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells review.
|Weight per hand
|Starts at $595 for a pair
|17″ L x 7.5″ W x 7.5″ H
|5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 lbs
Best Resistance Bands for Apartments: Fringe Sport Latex-Free Strength Bands
Good for: Individuals who want versatile resistance bands
Best Resistance Bands for Apartments
- No latex
- Made from medical-grade rubber
- 6 different resistance levels
- Purchased individually or in sets
Pros & Cons
- Made from latex-free, medical-grade rubber
- Six resistance levels for fine-tuning workouts
- Available to purchase a single bands or in various sets
- One year warranty and free shipping
- Fringe’s website offers movement recommendations for each band
- Expensive, but could be worth it if they are used frequently
- No carrying case provided
Resistance bands are one of the most space-saving options for workout equipment on the market and Fringe Sport Latex-Free Strength Bands offer a ton of resistance without taking up a ton of space. You can even use two or more bands at once to create custom resistance, which is ideal for both advanced athletes and beginners.
The Fringe Sport Latex-Free Strength Bands range from 20 pounds of resistance all the way up to 175 pounds of resistance. This means you can use these bands for anything from shoulder rehabilitation to strength-building squats.
Plus, these bands are made from biomedical-grade synthetic rubber rather than latex making them ideal for anyone with latex allergies. We find that bands manufactured without latex which is pretty uncommon (even in best resistance bands on the market) so when Kate, GGR expert tester and director of content, said these were similar to Rogue Monster bands, we knew these were the best overall option for folks working out at home.
The best part about resistance bands is the fact that you can store them anywhere in your apartment. Under your bed or in a sock drawer, these bands can roll up and fit anywhere.
|Resistance bands included
|$192 (complete set of 6)
|Biomedical-grade synthetic rubber
|6 bands in a full set (bands can be purchased separately)
Best Exercise Equipment for Upstairs Apartments: X3 Bar
Good for: Individuals who like the feeling of an actual barbell but don’t have the size for one
Best Exercise Equipment for Upstairs Apartments
- Up to 300 lbs of force
- Upgrade to up to 600 lbs
- Free workout program included
- No assembly necessary
Pros & Cons
- Can create up to 300 pounds of force (up to 600 if you get the Elite Band, sold separately)
- Free 12-week workout program with high-quality workout and nutrition advice
- Bar has great knurling
- No assembly necessary
- Bands are dipped in layered latex, making them thick and durable
- Platform’s embedded rollers don’t allow bands to roll during lift, but that's nitpicky
- Quite pricey at around $550 (financing available)
- Only 1-year warranty for the bands
- Some complaints of the bands wearing down after only a few weeks
The X3 Bar can give you a full-body workout with up to 300 pounds of resistance without being the noisy neighbor who sounds like they’re bowling at 5 a.m. (don’t ever be that person). It uses bands instead of weight plates to create resistance, so there’s no slamming involved.
Created by the so-called “Tony Stark of the Fitness Industry,” this bar may not turn you into Iron Man but it can help you lift some heavy iron, man. Well, technically you’re lifting high-quality latex bands attached to a bar, but you get the point. The bands along with the bar allow users to generate up to 300 pounds of force (up to 600 if you get the separately sold Elite Band) without needing loud bumper plates. It also eliminates the need for you to stomp during your workouts, keeping the noise to a minimum.
The X3 Bar allows you to do just about every strength training move you can think of, so it really is an all-in-one gym (cardio not included). What’s more, it takes up less space than a yoga mat, so it won’t crowd your apartment either. While it does a lot, the $550 price tag may be expensive for some people, though there are financing options available.
Take a gander at our full X3 Bar review.
|Between 300-600 lbs
|17-19 lbs (depending on the band used)
|4 included with purchase; 1 sold separately
Best Cardio Exercise Equipment for Apartments: Niceday Elliptical Machine
Good for: Quiet cardio while watching television or listening to music
Best Cardio Exercise Equipment for Apartments
- Designed with 90% pre-assembled pieces makes installation simple
- 16-lb flywheel offers 16 levels of smooth resistance with a high gear ratio
- Extra-thick steel frame is exceptionally sturdy and able to hold weights up to 400 pounds
- Fits individuals 4’9” inches to 6’2”
- Minimal noise emission measuring only 20dB
Pros & Cons
- Simple assembly
- 16 levels of resistance
- No electrical source required
- High user weight capacity
- Short stride of 15.5 inches
- Circular stride versus oval may feel awkward
- Basic display reportedly breaks easily
Garage Gym Reviews Head of Content Kate Meier tested the Niceday elliptical (alongside myself) and was shocked at just how quiet it was. Some of you know just how thin apartment walls are, which is why we recommend this elliptical for anyone who’s trying to respect their neighbors. For an elliptical priced under $600, the Niceday also impresses with a 400-pound user weight capacity, well above the industry standard.
Even with the high user weight capacity, this machine has a smaller-than-average footprint, which makes it an ideal choice for apartment dwellers. Plus, the elliptical can be tipped onto the included transport wheels, so you can easily move it from place to place.
The Niceday Elliptical Machine is also low-impact, which is both friendly for your joints and won’t cause any annoying thumping that your neighbors will complain about.
I also like that you don’t have to worry about finding a compatible outlet for this elliptical because it runs on battery power. Tight on space and want to stick this bad boy in your walk-in closet for a makeshift gym? No problem! Since the Niceday doesn’t need to be plugged in to use, you don’t need to stress about finding an extension cord.
There isn’t much to dislike about the Niceday elliptical, but the stride length is one of the few things I’m not crazy about. At just 15.5 inches, the stride length is at least 3.5 inches shorter than I’d typically like to see on an elliptical. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get your sweat on, but you may feel like you’re using more of a step machine if you’re closer to 6 feet tall.
Read our in-depth Niceday Elliptical Machine review.
Best Low-Impact Exercise Equipment for Apartments: LEIKE Exercise Bike
Good for: An easy way to get cardio in without putting too much pressure on your joints
Best Low-Impact Exercise Equipment for Apartments
- Easily foldable
- Recumbent option
- Comfortable seat
- Media holder
- Basic LCD screen
Pros & Cons
- Super easy to fold, can fit behind a couch with ease
- Upright and recumbent options
- Comfortable enough to use for an hour plus
- Slightly shaky if you pedal really hard
- Have had to retighten screws occasionally (every few months)
- Minimal tech and convenience features
Micro apartment owners unite! Garage Gym Reviews Performance Editor Anthony O’Reilly previously lived in a 300-square-foot apartment in New York City and owned this LEIKE Exercise Bike. Anthony loves this for apartments because it’s compact, foldable, quiet, and generates enough resistance to challenge even seasoned-cardio athletes.
Anthony said this bike essentially got him through quarantine because he’d sit on it while he worked or watched television.
“The LEIKE bike provided a way for me to get some low-impact cardio in during a time when I wasn’t comfortable running outdoors,” he explains. “Plus, I never received a single complaint from neighbors about my bike being too loud.”
Anthony is a tall man and was still comfortable using this exercise bike. This is likely due to the adjustable seat, which is able to accommodate people of different heights.
Plus, the LEIKE bike is able to be folded and transported really easily. It weighs under 40 pounds and folds in a flash for convenient storage. With such a slim and compact design, it isn’t a huge surprise that the LEIKE only has a weight capacity of 220 pounds (below the industry standard of 300 pounds).
You’ll also need to be cognizant of how hard you’re pedaling. Although I like to feel like I’m racing in the Tour de France as much as anyone, you’ll need to be aware that the LEIKE bike may shake as you pedal harder coupled with higher resistance.
|46” L x 16” W x 9” H
Best Smart Fitness Equipment for Apartments: Tempo Move
Good for: Technology lovers who don’t have the space for other smart fitness equipment
Best Smart Fitness Equipment for Apartments
- Affordable version of Tempo Studio
- Monthly subscription
- Enjoy access to thousands of HIIT, yoga, and strength classes
- Some weights are included
Pros & Cons
- Highly affordable
- AI-powered for form correction
- Comes with some weights
- Access to countless classes
- Requires iPhone XR or later
- Doesn't come with all the weights Tempo Studio does
- Requires a TV
The Tempo Move has recently made waves on TikTok for its aesthetically pleasing storage cabinet and interactive programming. The Move is the less expensive (and smaller) version of the original Tempo, but is the ideal size for apartment living.
Whether you’re into HIIT or want to nail strength training, Tempo has excellent on-demand classes for you to enjoy at $39 per month. For under $500, your Move comes with a variety of lighter weight plates, which can be added onto the adjustable dumbbell bar. You even get cute collars that come with the Move, which I love.
(Pssst: Get the best Tempo discount codes.)
On the downside, you can only utilize the Tempo Move if you have an iPhone (and a television, but most people have one of those). If you have an Android, the Move isn’t yet compatible with your phone. It is also worth noting that this may not be for you if you’re not interested in paying a monthly subscription fee for your programming, and would rather do your own thing.
Want to learn more? Read our full Tempo Move review.
|A recent iPhone and a television
|22” H x 13.5” W x 13.5” D
Best Pull-Up Bar for Apartments: Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull-Up Bar
Good for: People who don’t want to mount a pull-up bar onto their apartment wall
Best Pull-Up Bar for Apartments
- Less than $40
- Multi-grip options with comfy foam grips
- Amazon Prime shipping
- Easy mounting
Pros & Cons
- Costs less than $40
- Multiple grip options
- Easy to mount
- Eligible for free Amazon Prime delivery
- Comfy foam grips
- Might smudge door frame
- Foam grips aren't very durable
I’m someone who always ended up at Lowes the night before moving out of an apartment because I needed to fill the holes I put in walls with screws and nails. Eliminate this problem (at least when it comes to pull-up bars) by purchasing the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull-Up Bar! This inexpensive bar clocks in at under $40 and can hold up to 300 pounds. Plus, you don’t have to secure it to a stud(s) before using it.
The Perfect Fitness Pull-Up Bar is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can have in your apartment. You’ll be able to do pull-ups with various hand grips, dips, and even take it off the door to use it for push-ups.
Some customer reviews mention that the directions to assemble this pull-up bar aren’t the best, but I don’t think that is a huge issue. There were also complaints about the foam grips versus something more sturdy, but I think this is a pretty standard feature for the price.
|23.3” L x 7.8” W x 4.5” H
|Under 10 lbs
Best Weight Vest for Apartments: Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite Weight Vest
Good for: Runners and bodyweight workout enthusiasts looking to kick it up a notch
Best Weight Vest for Apartments
- Patented design specifically for women
- Durable yet breathable Cordura fabric
- Adjustable up to 10 lbs
Pros & Cons
- Patented design for women
- Breathable construction
- Fitted design doesn’t jostle around during training
- Only goes up to 10 pounds
- Zipper closure is prone to damage over time
- Uses plastic-encased steel shot, not plates
Want to up the ante on your bodyweight workouts in your apartment? The Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite Weight Vest can help you take your movements to the next level with ease. The Cordura fabric that makes up the bulk of this vest is extremely durable, and the side laces help customize the fit for each person.
If you’re looking for a really heavy plate-loaded vest, this isn’t the best option for you. However, I’m running on the assumption that most apartment residents don’t have a barbell, rack, and plates, which would render a plate-loaded vest useless.
Although you can get a heavier result with a plate-loaded vest, I actually prefer the Hyperwear vest because it hugs your body and allows for more mobility. This is an excellent feature for those who want to be able to take this vest outside for a walk or run.
You can choose between 10-,15-, or 20-pound vests at checkout. Plus, you can actually purchase additional weights (sold separately), which look like little 2-inch bars that go inside the vest.
It is worth noting that this vest is an investment––starting at $230, it isn’t super cheap (if you want something more affordable, check out the Condor Sentry Vest). However, I think it is worth the money and can be a versatile piece of equipment in your workout arsenal.
Take a look at our full Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite Weight Vest review.
|10,15, or 20 lbs
|Small to X-Large
Best Quiet Flooring for Apartments: Amazon Basics Foam Interlocking Exercise Gym Floor Mat Tiles
Good for: People on a budget who need a way to make their workouts quieter
Best Quiet Flooring for Apartments
- Use EVA foam
- Easy to install
Pros & Cons
- Just a little over a dollar a square foot
- Interlocking flooring tiles are easy to connect and install
- Ideal for placing under heavy exercise equipment
- Highly portable and easy to move
- Not as durable as rubber
- Porous and not as easy to clean
- Not as slip-resistant as rubber flooring
- Will wear down quickly
Need a way to deafen the sounds of you pedaling away on your exercise bike or striding on your elliptical? Consider purchasing the Amazon Basics Foam Interlocking Exercise Gym Floor Mat Tiles for your apartment! This $25 cushioned mat comes in six squares that can be “locked” together like a giant puzzle.
I like that this option from Amazon is way cheaper than most of the other home gym flooring options we’ve tested and reviewed. Plus, it can easily be disassembled and stored when you aren’t actively using it. Life hack: You can also use this in place of a yoga mat on hardwood floors for a little extra back cushioning.
Since these are made with foam, cleaning any extra dirt or debris off of them is a breeze. Just grab regular soap and water and scrub with a dishcloth for best results.
If you’re looking for interlocking mats that will withstand high-intensity activities that involve jumping, these aren’t your best pick. Since they are a more budget-friendly option, they do tend to become “unlocked’ with repeated movement. But since you’re in an apartment, you probably shouldn’t be doing crazy jumping jacks above your neighbors anyway, but that is just my two cents.
|Under $25 per 6 squares
|24 square feet
Other Products We Researched
There are tons of different directions to go when choosing fitness equipment for an apartment, and too many additional options to even mention. If you’re still not finding what you’re looking for on this roundup, check out some of our others that might be helpful:
- Best Compact Exercise Equipment
- Best Folding Exercise Bike
- Best Compact Elliptical
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best Adjustable Kettlebells
- Smart Home Gyms
How We Picked and Tested
We asked ourselves these critical questions when deciding if a piece of equipment was going to make this list:
- Footprint: What are the dimensions of the piece of equipment? How large is the footprint? Would this fit comfortably in a little space or apartment? How much floor space does it require? Will it fit in a normal apartment living room?
- Portability: Can this piece of equipment be moved easily? Will it require additional hands or assistance? Are there any transport wheels or features that make moving it easier? Will it be easy to take to another location or apartment?
- Stowability: Can this piece of equipment be folded or compacted in any way? Can it be easily stowed under a bed, in a closet, or in a bin?
- Noise level: How loud is the machine or piece of equipment? Will it disturb neighbors?
- Price: How expensive is the piece of equipment? How does this compare to the prices of similar pieces of equipment?
- Technology: Does the piece of equipment have any technology extras like interactive programming? Does the equipment have Bluetooth?
- Versatility: What types of workouts can these pieces of equipment be used for? Will they support an upper body, lower body, or full body workout? Will it help build muscle or provide a cardio workout?
- Durability: Does the piece of equipment seem like it will stand the test of time? How durable does it seem compared to similar pieces of equipment we’ve tried in the past?
- Accessibility: Is it accessible to most people? Is the piece of equipment simple to use and get started with? Will most people be able to figure it out?
- Materials: What type of material is the piece of equipment made of?
Benefits of Workout Equipment for Apartments
Trying to figure out if purchasing fitness equipment for your apartment is worth it? Check out some of the top benefits from certified personal trainer and GGR writer Anthony O’Reilly.
“As someone who’s lived in apartments most of his life, I know how difficult it can be to find home gym equipment that not only works for your fitness goals but also fits in your living space,” Anthony explains.“That said, I think there’s a few reasons why it’s worth the time and effort.”
Just like with any other type of home gym, the biggest benefit of fitness equipment for your apartment is that you save time commuting to and from a gym.
You can bring this equipment with you wherever you move, whether that’s another apartment or a house. You can also sell the equipment you have to make a quick buck.
Forces You to Adapt
Having to workout in an apartment can teach you how to adjust your workout habits, and you may find yourself picking up new techniques or habits you may not have otherwise discovered.
You’re already paying rent, so why bother with a high-cost gym membership on top of that? Fitness equipment will save you money in the long run.
Buying Guide: What to Look for in Workout Equipment for Apartments
When trying to decide what equipment to include in your mini home gym, here are some of the most important factors to consider:
Obviously, your main goal is to workout. You’re not trying to piss off every neighbor in your building with loud thumping or excessive noise. Picking equipment that isn’t inherently loud will make you seem like a kind and considerate neighbor.
Remember the old adage your mom probably drilled into your head as a kid? “Treat others the way you’d want to be treated” continues to hold weight today, especially when considering shared spaces.
Unless you live in a massive penthouse, you’re probably tight on space. Finding equipment that isn’t the largest option on the market is always a smart idea. Take a look at the piece of equipment’s footprint you’re interested in and measure your space ahead of time. You’ll save yourself a lot of angst and irritation if you know your new workout gear will actually fit in your apartment.
Maybe you stay in your apartments for years at a time, but I never did. Making sure you can move the equipment when it is time to jet off to a new place is key.
I’d also recommend considering if your apartment has an elevator or just a bunch of stairs. You may have a way easier time moving a treadmill down the hall and into an elevator versus those who only have staircases.
Deciding where to spend your money when it comes to fitness equipment is a very personal decision. If you’re more into the smart, technology-esque programming, investing your money in something like the MIRROR or a Tempo Move may be your best bet. Others who enjoy the more traditional aspects of slinging weights may spend more of their budget on adjustable dumbbells.
I suggest budgeting out ahead of time how much you’re looking to spend, and using the majority of your money on the thing(s) you’ll be excited to use most.
Workout Equipment for Apartments FAQs
How can I exercise when I live in an apartment?
You can definitely exercise when living in an apartment! Utilizing small, quiet, and portable pieces of equipment is a prudent investment when you have limited space. Take louder activities like burpees or high knees outside to keep the peace inside your building and work on perfecting your overhead shoulder press or push-ups in the meantime.
Where do you store exercise equipment when you live in an apartment?
Storing exercise equipment in your apartment can definitely be a challenge. I recommend finding equipment that is portable or can be folded in some way. Some foldable treadmills are thin enough to be slid underneath a bed, or against a wall in a closet. Other options like the PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells are square-shaped, and can actually sit flat on top of existing storage tubs or bins.
How can I exercise quietly in my apartment?
Refraining from high-impact exercises like jumping rope or box jumps is a good start. I also suggest purchasing rubber floor mats to put under the area you plan to exercise. This is a great way to damper any additional loud noises that happen while you’re exercising. Low-impact cardio machines like exercise bikes and ellipticals can also be an option for quiet exercise in an apartment.
What cardio equipment will give me the best home workout?
I always think it is most important to do cardio that you actually enjoy doing. If you hate using the rowing machine, it doesn’t matter if it will help you burn ten more calories than a treadmill––you shouldn’t spend your money on it. All cardio machines will help you get your heart rate up, which isn’t that the real goal?
If we’re talking about the best cardio machine that will actually fit in your home, picking up a folding stationary bike may be a safe bet. You’ll be able to store this exercise machine against a wall or in a closet when you aren’t using it.
Are TRX bands or sliders a good option for an apartment?
Although I actually love TRX bands, they aren’t a prudent choice for people in apartments. You have to anchor the bands using a stud in your wall, which I wouldn’t personally be comfortable doing in an apartment. Although they do work a variety of muscle groups, you may be better off with a set of resistance bands if you want to save your wall.
As far as sliders go, they may be a good choice if you have flooring that is slippery enough to use them on. I suggest going the DIY route (like I did during the height of the pandemic) and use two paper plates as cheap sliders on carpet. You’re welcome.
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