Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Nordic Track T 6.5 S Treadmill at Amazon
"Lets you access Google Maps training routes."
Best Budget: Gold’s Gym Trainer 720 Treadmill at Walmart
"Makes it easy to track your workout stats."
Best for Walkers: Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill at Amazon
"Easy-to-read buttons make it great for beginners."
Best for Small Spaces: Welso Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill at Amazon
"Comes with the bells and whistles you’d find on a larger treadmill."
Most Quiet: Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill at Amazon
"Won’t disturb the rest of the house during your early morning runs."
Best for Advanced Runners: Sole F80 Treadmill at Amazon
"Can withstand constant use."
Best Splurge: ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill at Amazon
"Lets you access 38 built-in workouts."
Due to increased demand for online shopping, items in this article may be out of stock. Updates to this article will be made frequently with products we recommend.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Nordic Track T 6.5 S Treadmill
Multiple tread decks
Speakers not loud enough
Whether you have a designated exercise room or prefer to keep your treadmill in your bedroom, the Nordic Track T 6.5 S model is a great option, especially if you have a little more space to spread out. Its design is very sturdy to prevent it from shaking or sliding while you jog, and the FlexSelect option allows you to choose between a cushiony tread deck (great if you want to reduce the impact on your joints) and a firmer option that mimics running on the road. Plus, for good measure, it comes with a lifetime frame warranty, a 25-year motor warranty, and a one-year parts and labor warranty.
We also love that it’s iFit-compatible, which lets you access Google Maps training routes (such as a run by the Eiffel tower). A subscription for iFit is sold separately. Some online reviewers said that its speakers weren't quite loud enough.
Best Budget: Gold’s Gym Trainer 720 Treadmill
Great features for the price
Built to reduce impact on joints
Fan not powerful enough
Speakers too quiet
Many inexpensive treadmills are really best for walking and don’t offer the speed and space that runners need. However, this Gold’s Gym Trainer 720 treadmill is an affordable model with a tread belt that has ample space for running, plus some other cool features that runners will appreciate.
You can use 18 different, trainer-designed workout apps or create your own program by adjusting your speed and inclines with just the touch of a button. It’s also easy to track your workout stats—such as time, speed, distance, and calorie burn—on the multi-window LED display. The treadmill’s AirStride Cushioning, which is built into the tread deck, can help reduce the impact on your joints, no matter how many miles you’re logging.
Best for Walkers: Sunny Health & Fitness T7643 Heavy Duty Walking Treadmill
Ideal for walking
No pulse sensor
Yes, walking counts as exercise—especially if you pick up the pace enough to increase your heart rate. Docs recommend getting in 10,000 steps a day, and the Sunny Health & Fitness T7643 can help you hit that target. The treadmill’s speed ranges from 0.5 to 6 miles per hour (a 10-minute mile), so you won’t be able to use the machine for fast running, but you can jog on it if you’re feeling motivated.
Big, easy-to-read buttons and sturdy handrails make it a great choice for beginners or seniors, and owners say that it’s simple to store away between uses thanks to a hydraulic system that allows you to fold and unfold it safely. Some online reviewers wished it has a pulse sensor.
Best for Small Spaces: Welso Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
Folds for easy storage
Heart rate sensor
Can be noisy
Tough to assemble alone
Let’s be honest: You barely have room to store your sneakers, let alone a treadmill. That’s why the Welso Cadence G 5.9 is a smart option for tight spaces. A slimmer profile (the base is 29 inches wide and 64.5 inches long) means that you won’t need to move your coffee table to the other room each time you work out. Even better, it folds up for storage, and one reviewer notes that it’s easy to transport through doors while collapsed.
But even though it’s small, it still comes with many of the bells and whistles you’d find on a larger treadmill. A heart rate sensor is built into the console and the LCD screen tracks speed, time, distance, and calories. In terms of negatives, some reviewers report it can be noisy and that assembly is tough to do on your own—for an easier time, grab a friend to help.
Most Quiet: Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill
USB charging capability
Bluetooth only works with Bowflex app
If you need a treadmill that won’t disturb the rest of the house when you’re doing your early morning runs, check out this super quiet Bowflex BXT116 treadmill. Create your own customized workouts that you can save for future runs and use the Bowflex Results app to sync and track your progress. It’s rugged, sturdy, and can handle sprinting at top speeds, without waking your napping baby in the next room.
Users love this treadmill’s convenient media rack, built-in speakers, fan, and USB charging capability, but wish that its Bluetooth functionality worked beyond just the Bowflex app.
Best for Advanced Runners: Sole F80 Treadmill
Smooth while in use
Heart rate monitor
Nice LCD display
Slow to accelerate
If you spend a lot of time on your treadmill, you want a durable machine with plenty of cool features to keep you motivated. Enter the Sole F80 treadmill, a moderately-priced machine that can withstand constant use and help you reach your running goals.
Experienced runners will appreciate the heart rate monitoring, oversized 9-inch LCD display to review workouts and progress, and the extra-wide 22 x 60-inch treadbelt. The Bluetooth capability lets you track your running stats and goals using fitness apps on your smart device. Users love the cushioned suspension system that allows for a smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride. One drawback, however, was that some reviewers said it was slow to accelerate.
Best Splurge: ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill
Smooth, comfortable ride
Unlimited workout library
Difficult to assemble alone
If you want to run on a health club-quality treadmill in the convenience of your own home, you’ll love the smooth, quiet ride of this ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill. It has all the bells and whistles you might expect in a high-end machine, from ProShox shock-absorbing cushioning to decline training.
The impressive 10-inch, web-enabled, full-color touchscreen display lets you access 38 built-in workouts for a variety of training sessions, while the included iFit membership features an unlimited workout library and comprehensive fitness tracking. You can simulate runs all over the world using Google Maps functionality. Plus, it has a lifetime frame and motor warranty, a five-year parts warranty, and a two-year labor warranty. Overall, if you’re an avid runner who’s willing to spend top dollar for a high-performance, exceptional quality treadmill, this is the one for you—just make sure you grab a friend to help you with assembly, as some reviewers said it was difficult to put together alone.
What types of treadmills are available to buy?
Treadmills are either motorized or non-motorized (manual). Motorized treadmills, which are much more common, are powered by an electrical motor and offer you the ability to adjust your speed and incline. Manual treadmills let you do all the work by moving the belt with your own momentum. Flat-deck manual treadmills tend to be the most inexpensive, but there are also curved-deck manual treadmills, which are high-end and often used by sports teams, health clubs, and elite trainers.
How much does a treadmill cost?
Entry-level treadmills are priced at around $500 but may not be as durable as higher-end models. Mid-range treadmills can set you back anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000. High-end, feature-rich models can be more expensive than $5,000.
What's the best time to buy a treadmill?
The month of January is a great time to purchase a treadmill, as many retailers offer deals to appease customers with fitness-related New Years' resolutions. More generally, the holiday season tends to be full of sales, too.
The Ultimate Treadmill Buying Guide
Put yourself through your paces with a treadmill. No matter what the weather is outside, this piece of exercise equipment allows you to power walk or do sprints within the comfort of your home.
Treadmills operate by turning a wide belt across a long platform where you walk or run. Most treadmills are powered by an electric motor, though a few of the most basic models are manual, meaning that you’ll be moving the belt with your own momentum. (An exception to this is an emerging high-end category of curved deck manual treadmills, prized for their ability to up your heart rate and increase the intensity of your workout.)
No matter which type of treadmill you’re considering, you’ll find sturdy handrails and a command center at the top of the machine to help you maintain your balance and stay on top of your workout. Most models let you track basic info like distance and elapsed time, while others include heart rate monitoring, METS, and sophisticated workout programs.
When shopping for a treadmill, decide what style will suit your needs, how much you want to spend, and which features are most essential. If you like variety in your workouts, opt for a machine with plenty of built-in programs. Or, if you’re into statistics, look for a tech-integrated machine that will track your energy output and exertion during your workout.
Price-wise, the most basic treadmills start at about $500 but may not offer years of trouble-free use. On the other hand, mid-range treadmills cost anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000, while more sophisticated models push past $5,000.
The majority of treadmills on the market are motorized, but not all motors are created equal. The biggest difference is in continuous horsepower—often referred to as CHP.
You should look for a motor with at least 1.5 CHP at a minimum. However, avid runners—or households where multiple people will be using the treadmill—should look for more CHP. Generally speaking, the greater the CHP, the more robust the machine will be when used on a frequent basis or for heavy workouts. A treadmill with a greater CHP is also more likely to have a higher weight capacity, which is something to also consider.
On the other end of the spectrum are manual treadmills, or machines without a motor. With these models, you supply the momentum needed to get the belt going, and the speed at which the belt travels is controlled by your pace. The lack of a motor means simpler machine maintenance—plus, it can also be positioned anywhere in your space, as you don't need to worry about easy access to an electrical outlet.
Treadmills are not one-size-fits-all. The width and length of the belt are important factors to pay attention to when shopping for a machine. You’ll want to pick the right size belt for the type of activity you plan to use your treadmill for, as well as your body type.
Generally, a treadmill with a belt width of about 20 inches is considered sufficient for most users. There are also slimmer belts (around 17 inches) and wider belts (22 inches or more), which some people may find easier to use. You could probably make a narrower belt work for running, but it increases the likelihood of striking the side of the deck or slipping off the belt.
The standard deck length (the surface available for your stride) is usually 55 inches long. However, if you plan to run on your treadmill, you’ll want to look for a longer deck with a belt that is at least 60 inches long. Taller individuals (usually over 6 feet in height) may need to extend the length of the deck to 63 inches or so to make sure it accommodates their stride.
It’s important to note that there's a difference between the length and width of the treadmill itself and the belt size (or running area) of the treadmill. Make sure that you’re looking at the dimensions for the belt itself to find a treadmill that's suitable for your activities.
Keep your treadmill workouts engaging and with built-in workout programs. Most machines have basic computerized controls, but not all models include workouts that will change you in terms of distance, elevation, and more.
If you want the next best thing to a running coach, opt for a treadmill with these types of features. Scroll through the available workouts, and if you’re really into variation, look for a machine that can be connected wirelessly to your phone or tablet to download new programs.
Some people move at a faster pace than others, and so do some treadmills. Different models have different top speeds, so pay attention to the highest speed setting on any motorized treadmill you’re considering.
If you’re just starting out, it might seem like reaching a machine’s top speed is a distant dream, but it pays to think long-term and find a machine that will meet your needs as your athletic abilities increase.
When shopping for a treadmill, you may find that many models for home use have a top speed of about 10 miles per hour. This should be plenty fast for the average walker and jogger. There are models available that stretch this number to 12 miles per hour, which avid runners may find useful, but that's about the top speed for at-home treadmills.
Incline and Decline
Add variety to your workout by simulating hilly terrain with a treadmill that has incline adjustment. Some treadmills also feature a decline adjustment, but that's less common.
The most important factor related to incline or decline settings in a treadmill is whether the machine can automatically adjust the pitch or if you’ll need to adjust it manually. Some entry-level machines (or manual models without the ability to adjust automatically) will require you to set the incline before you begin your workout or you’ll have to pause every time you want to change the setting.
Size and Storage
Before you start treadmill shopping, know how much space you'll have to use and store the machine. Treadmills have a large footprint, so make sure that you measure the intended spot you want to place it.
To save space when their treadmill is not in use, some people opt for a folding model. These machines have handlebars that collapse to allow it to fit under a bed or in other low-clearance spaces. However, realize that the deck size of the machine is still important and get the details on the folded measurements—it may still be too tall to fit in that low-profile storage spot you had in mind. Some more full-featured treadmills have a power-folding option—just push a button, and the machine folds itself!
Nearly all treadmills have some type of basic cushioning in place—typically a combination of springs and rubber shock absorbers. However, the amount of cushion and the way it's distributed along the deck of the treadmill is where you can really feel the difference. Higher-end treadmills tend to offer a more sophisticated cushion system, and some even offer adjustable cushioning.
Do your joints a favor and look for a treadmill with sufficient deck cushion for your needs. Each time you strike the belt, you’ll minimize the impact on your ankles, knees, and more, while still finding enough support to push off for the next stride.
The vast majority of consumer treadmills on the market are motorized machines. These treadmills offer variable speeds, often have adjustable incline or decline, and typically have a command center that displays workout information and may or may not include exercise programs. They’re generally easy to use and offer versatility in your workouts.
It’s important to wear a safety belt on these machines, which will automatically disengage the treadmill if you stumble or slip off the machine while exercising. For this reason, some people find motorized treadmills to be more dangerous or intimidating than non-motorized versions, but using basic safety precautions and a properly-sized treadmill can reduce these dangers.
One of the main drawbacks of motorized treadmills is the wear and tear that these machines incur on their motors. However, regular maintenance can help to prolong their lifespans. While yearly motor maintenance isn’t necessarily mandated by most manufacturers, proper care (and preventative home maintenance) has helped some users enjoy years of trouble-free workouts.
You can find a motorized treadmill that is entry-level, mid-level, or splurge-worthy, depending on your budget. These treadmills typically start just under $1,000 but can climb to $10,000 or more for elite equipment. A typical mid-range motorized treadmill will generally cost $1,500 to $3,000.
If you’re looking to do all the work yourself, a manual treadmill might be your machine of choice. A flat or curved deck with an attached belt is ready for you to hop on board and start moving. As you do, your momentum will begin to turn the belt, providing you with endless miles of a smooth surface for running or walking exercises. The faster you move your feet, the faster the belt will go.
The biggest benefit of a manual treadmill is that when you stop, it stops. This eliminates some of the concerns that people have with treadmill-related injuries. Just remember to use caution and a properly-sized treadmill. It’s easy to slip off a treadmill that's too narrow or short for your stride.
Manual treadmills also have fewer parts to worry about malfunctioning—without a motor, they’re relatively maintenance-free. Many models are still equipped with at least a basic computer display (with distance, elapsed time, and more).
While most manual treadmills are a budget-saving option, curved deck treadmills are the exception. These more sophisticated manual machines are designed with advanced geometry and components to provide a higher-intensity workout—and they come with a high-intensity price tag, too.
Most manual treadmills cost anywhere from $100 to $800, though you should be wary of the stability and build quality of models that hover around the $100 price point. A curved deck treadmill is in a different ballpark. These professional-grade machines are often used by sports teams, elite trainers, and high-end health clubs and cost $5,000 or more.
Often found under the product category of treadmills, incline trainers are a more specific type of machine designed to challenge you at a more significant degree of incline or decline.
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