This laboratory study investigates the damage evolution of sandstone specimens under two types of cyclic loading conditions through monitoring and analyzing the variations of elastic moduli and ultrasonic velocities. We adopted the rigidity degradation method for evaluating the damage accumulation through the rock dynamic ultrasonic velocity measurements. Compared to the ultrasonic test, the method of rigidity degradation shows deficiencies in the detection of damage development. The cyclic loading within the elastic limit led to a stiffening trend for the loading process but a softening trend for unloading process. The method of rigidity degradation was unable to describe the damage accumulation in this situation, while P-wave velocity clearly reflected the damage development. Moreover, a simplified model is established for interpreting the behaviors of the modulus variations and ultrasonic velocity. The cyclic loading within elastic limit enhances the anisotropy of rock, which causes a denser packing pattern in the direction of axial stress. The persistent damage accumulation under the cycling with an increasing upper limit is the consequence of the tensile failure in the microstructure of sandstone.