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6 Best Compact Home Gyms in 2024: Tested and Reviewed

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William Barton Writer & Photographer   Updated: 
Best Compact Home Gyms Model Athlete Using Tempo Move in Living Room with Dog in Picture

There are a ton of home gyms out there, but only a few are worth investing in. I’ve tried several of the most popular brands, and while there were some winners, there were some definite losers, too.

I’m sharing the best compact home gyms on the market today so you can stay fit right in your living room.

Top Picks Overview

Getting a good home workout isn’t easy, but more home gym systems have been popping up to make the process a lot more fun and effective. 

I’ve tried several of the most popular home gyms, and only a handful are worth the investment. 

I’m going to break down the best compact home gyms so you can get fit right at home in your living room. Your dog can watch, too. 

My Recommendations

Best Overall: Tempo Move

model using Tempo Move 1

In 2021, I picked up the Tempo Studio (here’s my review), which is this fitness brand’s original home-gym solution. 

It was an amazing experience, but when I decided to move from my apartment to a house, I didn’t have space for it anymore. But I loved the workouts and the app so much, I wanted a smaller, more compact solution. 

Tempo Move with iphone 1

That’s where the Tempo Move comes in. You get the same 1-1 personal trainer feel from the AI-powered form feedback, plus the automatic progressive overload from workout to workout (either it suggests more weight or more reps). Plus, it’s the only option with true weights, which I definitely prefer.

Tempo customizes every stage of working out using your body’s data and prioritizes progress to help you see results.

You input your goals into the app, and if you want, you can also do a body scan that’ll establish a baseline for your progress. 

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One thing I liked was that Tempo has a daily Readiness score that’s created based on your individualized health data, including your sleep quality, heart rate, and the workouts you did yesterday. 

Basically, there are a ton of potential workouts based on what you need that day, which I thought was really impressive.

Plus, the Move is really good looking and you can barely even tell it’s there. It really looks more like a cabinet from Crate & Barrel than a home gym. So for that reason, it gets approval from my wife, which is 2x approval from me.

What I Like

  • The Tempo Move is the best looking piece of workout equipment I’ve ever seen.
  • My wife loves the Tempo Fit more than I do and I easily added her profile to my plan and she gets the same level of personalization without any added cost.
  • With the Tempo Move Pro, you can get 150 pounds of weight on the bar, which is heavy enough to do a lot of different lifts and max out.

What I Don’t Like

  • You need to have an iPhone in order to use the fitness app.

What Other Reviewers Say

One of the major ones mentioned connectivity issues, I really didn’t experience any of that. Both the Tempo Studio and Move have always worked perfectly for me.

The Verdict

If you want a home gym that doesn’t just look “acceptable,” but actually looks good, you’ll love the Tempo Move

The best part is that you can actually get some real strength training in. It’s not just a machine that helps you with cardio. The weights put real resistance on your muscles so you can actually gain muscle while you lose fat. 

Best Overall
Tempo Move

The Tempo Move (I got the Pro version) is a really easy way to instantly have a home gym. Plus, it’s the best looking piece of workout equipment I’ve ever seen. You’re paying a bit extra for convenience and aesthetics, so as long as you’re OK with that, you won't regret the investment.

Check Price Read Our Review

Most Discreet: lululemon MIRROR

Mirror by lululemon

lululemon added the MIRROR to their business in 2020, and I was shocked when I tried it—it literally just looks like a regular mirror. 

My wife really enjoyed the MIRROR because of its focus on cardio, mobility, and stretching. Personally, I like the strength training aspect, so while I like the MIRROR, the lack of weights was a downside. 

However, if you want a “gym-partner” to do a HIIT class with and keep you on track, then MIRROR is a fantastic option, and it’ll add to the decor of your home. 

What I Like

  • The aesthetic is awesome, and when it’s off, it looks just like a mirror—if you didn’t know, you’d never be able to tell it’s a workout machine.
  • The connected features are really cool, like doing live classes and connecting with friends.
  • You get biometric data so you can always make sure you’re getting your heart rate up for a good workout.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s pretty limited to bodyweight workouts, HIIT, cardio, and mobility. No strength training.

What Other Reviewers Say

As with most internet-enabled home gyms with streaming workouts, you’re going to be best served if you can keep your router near your equipment. So keep that in mind if your ideal workout spot is far from where you’re keeping your internet router now. 

Other than that, folks love how clean the design is for MIRROR and how much it blends in. 

The Verdict

The design is pretty incredible for the MIRROR—it looks just like a fancy mirror in the room, but the screen still comes through clearly when you turn it on. 

You can kickbox, do yoga, meditation, HIIT, and many other types of exercise. 

The biggest downside in my opinion is that there’s not a great weight-lifting option. You can get a bundle with some dumbbells, but it’s not nearly as comprehensive as the Tempo Move. 

But if you’re mainly looking to get a quick 30 minute cardio session in the spare bedroom before your next Zoom meeting, The MIRROR is a great way to go. 

Most Discreet
MIRROR by lululemon

Mirror is an excellent home fitness studio if you don’t have time to travel back and forth to the gym but still want to prioritize your health and fitness.

Check Price Read Our Review

Best for Bodyweight Only: TRX Home2 System

Man outdoors using TRX

You’ve probably seen a TRX system around—they’re those black straps with yellow bands on them (although they now come in other colors). And you can do a surprising amount with them. 

The TRX Home2 is the full TRX band system that you can throw onto any door in your house to get a full workout.  

Model doing abs on TRX

What TRX has that no other home gym system has on this list is that it’s so easy to pack up and keep out of sight. 

The one downside to TRX is that there aren’t a ton of leg workout options available, but there’s lots of upper body you can get into.

What I Like

  • You can do a ton of different upper body workouts with these simple bands.
  • They pack up easily—this is the most “hideable” home workout system I know of that’s actually good.
  • This scales up well if you’re a beginner or an old seasoned pro in the gym.

What I Don’t Like

  • You can’t do many leg exercises with TRX. You can shred your upper body and core, but legs are a different story.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers for the Home2 are impressed with how sturdy the straps feel for something that just anchors to any ol’ door in your home. 

There’s an app you can get as well that will walk you through exercises on TRX, but it costs extra and there are so many resources out there you can access for free—that’s just a pointer from others who’ve already got the TRX Home2.

The Verdict

If you want something that’s no trouble to pack up and put away, the TRX Home2 is your best bet. 

You can absolutely shred your upper body and core, but you’ll have a tougher time getting a really solid strength training day for your legs. 

However, the price is right and the equipment is simple, so the TRX is hard to beat.

Best for Bodyweight Only
TRX® Home2 System

If you want something that’s no trouble to pack up and put away, the TRX Home2 is your best bet. You can absolutely shred your upper body and core, but you’ll have a tougher time getting a really solid strength training day for your legs. However, the price is right and the equipment is simple, so the TRX is hard to beat.

Check Price Read Our Review

Most Simple Weight System: Tonal

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Tonal is a really interesting piece of equipment—it’s basically a bar that operates on two arms, and it’ll automatically add resistance sort of how a recumbent bike would. 

This keeps the whole system compact while still offering true weight-lifting level resistance. 

Plus they say Lebron uses it, so if you basically want to be the best athlete of all time, you might consider it. 

What I Like

  • Just about any workout you can do with a barbell, you can do with Tonal.
  • You can easily do leg-focused weight lifting, which is rare among home gyms.
  • The screen is large and gives you lots of data while you complete your workout, so it has that “personal trainer” effect.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s vastly more expensive than all the other home gym options, plus the monthly subscription is also more expensive.

What Other Reviewers Say

Serena Williams, Lebron James, Steph Curry—the GOATiest of GOATS—all endorse Tonal

For those willing to stomach the steep price, reviews all seem very positive.

The Verdict

The Tonal is an incredible piece of equipment—any barbell based exercise you can get in the gym, you can get with Tonal. 

Plus, you get the added benefits of that “personal trainer” like experience, with customized workouts, built in progressive overload, and biometric feedback as you pump that iron. 

However, it’s much more expensive than the competition. Not only is the monthly subscription $50, but the price of the actual equipment is equivalent to being a member of a $100/month gym for almost 4 years. 

Now that’s not actually too bad of a price for a gym and personal trainer. But some other options like the Tempo Move get you the same level of sophistication for a lot less.

Most Simple Weight System
Tonal Home Gym

While it's much more expensive than the competition, the Tonal is an incredible piece of equipment. Any barbell based exercise you can get in the gym, you can get with Tonal. Plus, you get the added benefits of that “personal trainer” like experience, with customized workouts, built in progressive overload, and biometric feedback as you pump that iron.

Check Price

Best for Traditional Lifts: Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym

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I miss Bowflex commercials. And while I don’t see them on the TV as often, Bowflex is still at it. 

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym is an awesome piece of equipment. It’s both massive and ugly, so I don’t recommend plopping this in the middle of your living room. It’s more like a traditional piece of gym equipment. 

Being more traditional, you can get classic exercises like lat pulldowns and quad extensions, which you can’t get with other home gyms I have on this list. 

Plus, it’s got all sorts of add-ons you can attach later to get even more isolated exercises. 

What I Like

  • This is most like a traditional piece of gym equipment, and I like the range of exercises you can get with this.
  • You get a ton of accessories for a great price.
  • You can even pump your abs on this thing.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s huge and ugly.

What Other Reviewers Say

This has nearly 2,000 reviews with a 4.6-star average, and when you compare that with the fancy-pants home gym systems, that’s pretty incredible. 

Bowflex is the people’s home gym, and they’ve been crushing abs since the early ‘00s. 

Lots of people said it was difficult to set up, but loved it once they had it going.

The Verdict

If you’ve got a dedicated room where you can add a bulky, ugly piece of equipment, then the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym might be the pick for you.

You don’t need to do a monthly subscription here—just a one time fee for a versatile and reliable piece of equipment that will help you with tons of different lifts that most home-gym owners aren’t capable of. 

Get the Bowflex, hide it in your garage, eat a pound of chicken, drink raw eggs, and get on with your life.

Best for Traditional Lifts
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

If you’ve got a dedicated room where you can add a bulky, ugly piece of equipment, then the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym might be the pick for you. You don’t need to do a monthly subscription here---just a one time fee for a versatile and reliable piece of equipment that will help you with tons of different lifts that most home-gym owners aren’t capable of.

Check Price

Best on a Budget: BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0

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I wish I invented this thing. It’s a really simple contraption, and you can actually get a decent workout with it. 

You’ll need to supplement with your own cardio if you get the BodyBoss, but ultimately, this will help you put some resistance on your legs and upper body, which is otherwise really difficult to do without a special piece of equipment. 

It’s basically a board with a few reinforced steel loops. You attached an included heavy resistance band, and with that, you’re able to do squats, presses, and more. 

If you’re already game to go for a run around the block and do some pushups, but you want something for your legs, too, then the BodyBoss Home Gym is a great way to supplement that workout for under a bill. 

What I Like

  • You can actually do squats with resistance, which is something most home gyms haven’t really figured out.
  • It’s very budget friendly, especially when considering some of the other options.
  • It comes with a ton of accessories to help you hit all the exercises you’d want.

What I Don’t Like

  • Progressive overload is limited to just doing more reps—you can’t really up the weight easily.

The Verdict

If you’re willing to throw in cardio and maybe some pushups, then you can get a complete workout with the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0. I wouldn’t say it replaces the gym at all, but you can get real resistance on your legs, which is a bit of a sore spot for most home gym options. 

Ultimately, it’s a nifty tool in your arsenal and you can get a great workout for a fantastic price.

Best on a Budget
BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0

If you’re willing to throw in cardio and maybe some pushups, then you can get a complete workout with the BodyBoss Home Gym. I wouldn’t say it replaces the gym at all, but you can get real resistance on your legs, which is a bit of a sore spot for most home gym options. 

Check Price

3 Key Things to Consider Before Investing in a Compact Home Gym

1. Where Will it Live?

Where are you going to put your home gym? If the only place you have available for your home gym is the living room, then I recommend getting one of the more aesthetically pleasing home gym options like the Tempo Move. 

Tempo Move with barbell
Our top home gym pick—the ultra-compact Tempo Move

Because if it’s in the living room, you’re going to be looking at it a lot. Something like the Tempo Move blends in well and actually adds to the room’s decor. 

Something like the Bowflex would drive even the most relaxed person crazy after a few months. 

2. The Leg Workout

Getting sufficient resistance on your legs with a home gym is a struggle with most pieces of equipment. And I wouldn’t skip leg day. 

model using Tempo Move squatting

Most of the options on this list have a solid leg-day routine, but some (like the TRX) really lack in the legs department. 

3. Monthly Subscription Fees

The tech-driven home gyms typically have a “personal trainer” built into the system, but they also require a monthly membership to access that. 

So you can go old-school like the Bowflex and use a warm glass of raw eggs as your personal trainer, a la Rocky style. 

Or you get AI powered form feedback and automated progressive overload guidance while tracking your biometrics for monthly cost. 

Both are good. But just know which kind of person you are before investing. 

Home Gyms Have Never Been This Good

Home gyms used to be doing pushups and then punching a wooden post. 

But now we’ve got serious options. 

My personal favorite is the Tempo Move because you get the benefit of real weights. I love me some strength training, so the ability to use real weights, combined with the biometric feedback and automated training schedules is really helpful and motivates me. 

My Top Pick
Tempo Move

The Tempo Move (I got the Pro version) is a really easy way to instantly have a home gym. Plus, it’s the best looking piece of workout equipment I’ve ever seen. You’re paying a bit extra for convenience and aesthetics, so as long as you’re OK with that, you won't regret the investment.

Check Price Read Our Review

But there are some other simpler options out there like the Bowflex or the TRX bands which while not quite as sophisticated, can still get the job done. 

Ultimately, the important thing is that you get out there (or, actually, stay in) and keep improving every day. 

Let’s hit these weights.

FAQs

What is the best home gym for a small space?

I like the Tempo Move for a full-weight home gym in a small space.

Can a home gym replace your need for a gym membership?

Yes, there are some home gyms like the Tempo Move that replace the gym and can even replace the experience of a personal trainer. 

What is the best workout for a small apartment?

My favorite home gym for a small apartment is the Tempo Move.