According to consumer reports, two-thirds of Americans who exercise do so at home. If you are reading this Guide, chances are you are thinking of joining them and are looking for the best treadmill for home.
If you are, then you have already made a good choice by opting for a treadmill. According to the International Fitness Association, treadmill workouts provide all the benefits of cardio training while at the same time being a much more low impact that walking, jogging or running outside.
Your next decision is probably preceded by something along the lines of "What is the best treadmill?". You would be right, again. Purchasing the right treadmill can be a significant factor in achieving your fitness and health goals.
To make the decision-to-purchase process a little more manageable, we have created this buying guide to help you make an informed decision so that you can buy the best treadmill for home. One that enables you to achieve your fitness goals and provide top-tier value.
So, keep reading to find our list of the best treadmills for home use, aspects that determine the best treadmill for you and what to look for when purchasing a treadmill.
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Top Rated Treadmills Over $500
Best Treadmill Under $500
NordicTrack is a well-known brand in the fitness world that's known for producing high-quality gym equipment.
Despite the fact that the T 65S is NordicTrack's lowest priced model, it doesn't skimp on features. This is why we ranked this treadmill as our top recommended choice as one of the best-rated treadmills.
The NordicTrack T 6.5S allows for a digitally adjustable incline; up to 10%. That in and of itself could be enough to give it top marks. Being able to adjust the incline digitally means that you do not have to interrupt your workout to increase or decrease the incline manually.
This treadmill includes 20 built-in workouts ensuring that there is a workout in there for you. If that was not enough variety for you, the T 6.5S also comes with Google Maps powered running routes.
You can run anywhere (London, the Grand Canyon, Boston) on the treadmill since it will even automatically adjust the incline to match your chosen route.
Listen to your own favorite motivational tunes, thanks to the iPod audio port and built-in speakers. Get your heart rate up while rocking to your favorite tunes without the fear of wires tangling you up.
NordicTrack included its FlexSelect cushioning system in this model. This patented system can be switched on or off with a push of a button so you can choose between a cushioned or hard running surface whenever you like.
Another feature we like about the NordicTrack T 6.5S is the display. Everything is easily adjusted with a single push of a button. No toggling between menus to get to the stats or adjustments you need.
Trust us, when you are in the middle of your workout, the last thing you want is to interrupt your focus to wrangle a computer.
Also important to mention is the running surface or belt, which is quite long despite the fact that this treadmill is has a space saving design and is easy to fold thanks to the assisted folding.
Measuring 20” by 55”, the running surface is long enough to accommodate walking, jogging or running workouts. Add to that the maximum user weight of 300 lbs., and this treadmill will certainly accommodate most users and most workouts.
Other features include Cardio grip to measure heart rate and two water bottle holders, one on either side.
Warranty: NordicTrack offers an impressive 25-year warranty on the motor and a 1-year warranty on parts and labor.
The Pro Runner by 3G Cardio is a professional-grade treadmill specially designed for home use. Coming in at around $2000 it is the most pricey treadmill on our list, but with good reason.
This treadmill holds up exceptionally well for serious runners who will be using their treadmill to do their workouts. The extended running surface is a 58" long running belt that accommodates long strides, and the 3.0 horsepower motor will certainly keep up.
The Pro Runner also has a digitally adjustable motorized incline, which can go up to 15%. Match that with a speed range that tops at 12 mph, and you have a serious running machine for heavy-duty workouts.
This treadmill also offers an impressive range of built-in programs; counting eight ready-made programs, the ability to add two custom programs, one fat burning program, one aerobic program and one manual program.
The display on the Pro Runner is impressive. It is broken down into three areas that include a heart rate tracker (with the cardio grips or option wireless heart rate belt), a distance tracker, and a workout matrix screen for displaying speed, calories burnt, etc.
Thanks to the easily accessible up/down buttons, you can regulate speed and incline in a heartbeat. If you prefer quicker adjustments with higher intervals, you can use the feature keys on the console to quickly select incline or speed in 2-point intervals.
The Ortho Flex Shock Suspension System, which includes a sturdy, breathable orthopedic belt, makes for a smooth run that is both comfortable and easy on the joints.
Other features include a built-in cooling fan and two water bottle holders, one on each side.
Warranty: The 3G Cardio Pro Runner comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, a 5-year warranty on parts, and a 1-year warranty on labor.
Coming in under $200 this is the cheapest treadmill on our list, but thanks to the features, it is one of the best treadmills for the money. It is the perfect entry-level treadmill for people looking to start walking or jogging workouts at home.
Since the Merax Electric Treadmill has quite a short running surface, measuring only 44” in length and can only a reach a top speed of 6.2 mph, this treadmill qualifies as the best treadmill for walking.
Thanks to the three levels of incline that the Merax JK1603E offers, you can get increasingly more intense but safe workouts. The cushioned deck ensures your joints are well protected and you can have a comfortable workout.
The easy to use but multi-functional LCD display screen allows you to keep track of your progress by showing all the essentials like speed, distance, time, Calories burned, and heart rate.
Amazingly, this treadmill even comes with two pre-set interval training programs, a low-intensity, and a high-intensity workout. Additionally, you can add a custom training program. The console indicates heart rate training zones based on age so that you can create your own custom workout.
Probably the most appealing feature of the Merax JK1603E Folding Electric Motorized Treadmill is its space-saving size. Once folded, it measures only about 25" by 51", which means that this treadmill could be stored under your bed.
Thanks to the convenient wheels on the bottom (when folded), you could also just as quickly roll it down the hall.
While the size might make you wonder if this treadmill is flimsy, you should rest assured that it is not. Weighing in at 70 pounds it is sturdy enough to accommodate users of up to 220 lbs.
Warranty: Merax offers a 1-year warranty on the frame and motor for the JK1603E Folding Electric
The Weslo Cadence Treadmill is only slightly more costly than the Merax (usually about $300) and offers a lot of extra for the difference.
Different from other treadmills on our list, the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 measures your heart rate by your thumb. Just press your thumb to the reading plate in the center of the console and voilà, see your heart rate pop up on display.
Thanks to the longer belt and higher-powered motor, the Weslo Cadence can accommodate brisker walking and faster jogging than the Merax, as evidenced by the higher top speed of 10 mph.
The simple blue-colored Blue LCD display on the center console will help keep track of workouts by showing speed, time, heart rate, distance, and calories burned.
The interphase is straightforward and allows for easy adjusting of speed and changing between the six built-in workout programs.
The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 comes with a two-position manual incline that is quite steep. Boasting a top speed of 10 mph, this treadmill offers plenty to help you get an excellent workout at home.
Speaking of home, this treadmill has a small footprint, making it very alluring for people looking for the best residential treadmill.
The Weslo is also foldable; the running base folds up, allowing you to save even more floor-space. Thanks to the assisted fold, there should not be any problem lifting the base up or any chance of accidentally dropping it.
While the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 does not come with any whistles and bells (no bottle holders!), it is a good entry-level treadmill for doing cardio workouts at home.
Warranty: The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill comes with a 1-year warranty on the motor and a 90-day warranty on the part and labor.
Finally, we have our alternative choice for the best treadmill, Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill has a maximum speed of 9 mph, which you can get to with easy 0.1 mph increments that you can adjust with the handy handrail controls.
You can also choose to go for one of the three pre-set speeds: 2 mph, four mph or 6 mph that are set with the large corresponding buttons on the center console.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill has one of the shortest running surfaces on our list, 48.82 inches. As such, it is probably a stretch to call it a running surface, since running requires a person to take long strides.
However, at this price, we still recommend it for smaller people who are first starting out and are looking for a walking or jogging machine.
This treadmill comes with nine built-in workout programs, and it also allows the user to test and measure their BMI (Body Mass Index). The large easy-to-read LCD Display on the center console allows the user to keep track of distance, speed, time, calories burnt and heart rate.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill has a mechanical incline feature. The incline can be manually set to three different incline settings, namely a 0% incline, a 2% incline, and a 4.37% incline.
While you can obviously use the center control to adjust your speed, the Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill comes with handy handrail controls. The large buttons on the handrail allow you to control or adjust the speed and also start or stop your workout.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 features one of the smallest folded sizes of our list. Once folded this treadmill will only take up 34.5″ x 27" of space and the easy drop feature means that unfolding the treadmill will go smoothly.
Warranty: The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-4400 comes with a 3-year warranty on the frame and a 90-day warranty on parts.
A treadmill is a gym machine whose purpose is to aid you to reach your fitness and health goals, but if it's not the right tool for the job it will hinder more than it will help. Purchasing the correct treadmill for yourself is a big step towards reaching those health goals.
Ultimately, the wrong treadmill can demotivate you and make it even harder to reach your goals.
A treadmill can easily be the most expensive purchase you make for your DIY fitness goals tool belt. Prices can range from thousands to hundreds. Whatever the price, you need to make sure that the investment you make on your treadmill is a wise one.
You need to make sure that the features complement and enhance your workout and are not just hype whistles and bells that you will never use.
In essence, the treadmill you choose to buy has to fit your training style, so ask yourself do you intend to walk, jog or run on your treadmill? Will built-in training programs aid you or are you confident enough to make your own programs? Which metrics are you most interested in measuring? Where will the treadmill stand (living room, office, spare room)?
You need to ask and answer these questions for every person who is going to use the treadmill. Remember, the better the treadmill meets your needs, the better of a tool it will be.
The size of the running surface or belt needs to fit the purpose for which you choose to buy the treadmill in the first place.
Width - Basically, the narrower the belt, the less room there is for missteps or swerving. If you are new to these types of exercises or if you have any balance issues, you need to opt for wider belts. Typically running surface belts should be around 20" to allow for comfortable use.
Length - The length of the running surface is very important since it will determine the type of workout you can do. As a general rule of thumb, you can follow these guidelines:
In either case, a lot depends on the height of the user, so make sure to test this.
The most basic feature of any treadmill should be the ability to adjust speed and incline. Whether that is with buttons or dials, in increments or intervals, manual or digital, your treadmill needs to have speed adjustment possibilities. Without that, your workouts will quickly fall flat.
The next thing that you need to be able to adjust is the incline. The more incline, the more you're applying pressure to your body to achieve a more effective exercise session. Having incline adjustment options means you can get more workout out of your treadmill.
While low-end treadmills have manually adjusted inclines that might not go as high, most treadmills intended for home use have a 10-15% incline.
When possible, try to purchase a treadmill with a motorized incline, so you do not have to stop midway your workout to adjust the incline manually.
While not all treadmills for home use are foldable, all the treadmills on our list are. We believe the best treadmills for home use should be easily storable and portable.
Many treadmill owners either do not have a separate room dedicated to working out or prefer not to have the treadmill on display at all times.
Being able to stow away or move a treadmill is also an important safety feature, especially in households that include children. According to Consumer Reports, treadmills can hurt children in a variety of ways, but the most common ones are:
It is essential that you can store the treadmill when not in use and move it so you can keep an eye on the children when you are using it.
The maximum user weight capacity of treadmills ranges from 200 to 400 pounds, though you are not likely to see the higher range capacity in foldable treadmills.
In either case, you are advised to carefully consider the maximum weight allowed and chose a treadmill that can handle 50 pounds more than your own body weight. That will help keep the motor from straining and thus perform better over a longer time.
Precor, an industry leader in state-of-the-art fitness equipment, has found that "under buying" is a common mistake. To avoid this error, make sure that the treadmill is fully capable of serving all the people who are going to be making use of it.
Many treadmills offer a variety of workout programs to keep you motivated, and this is where the importance of the display comes in.
On a basic level, the display needs to be able to show you your progress so you can stay motivated. It does this by showing speed, calories burned, distance covered, heart rate and time.
More advanced treadmills offer additional information on displays. Treadmills with internet connectivity can even show you video.
It is hard to say what “the best display” is, as this is mostly down to your preferences and budget. In either case, the display needs to be easy to read and use, for you. It needs to be intuitive to the user, you.
Gregory Florez, who is the founder and CEO of First Fitness, Inc, probably gave the best display choosing advice when he said to ask yourself if the layout makes sense. You need to be able to intuitively use and read the display. That can mean different things to different people, so make sure you ask yourself this when testing out treadmills.
Treadmills are a must-have workout tool to add to your in-home gym. With time, you can burn calories, manage your weight, strengthen muscles and enhance your cardiovascular system.
To ensure that you buy the best treadmill for you, make sure to follow our guidelines. Do some research, read a few treadmill reviews, like this one, but always let your training style and needs dictate the outcome.
We recommend the NordicTrack T6.5 S, which can count on its quality pedigree and outstanding list of features to rate as our best treadmill for home use, while still being relatively low-priced.
If you are looking for the best treadmill for running, try the 3G Cardio Pro Runner. If on the other hand, you are more of a walker, than the Merax comes in as very low priced but offering everything you need for a good walking workout.