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Updated December 2022
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
NordicTrack T 6.5 S Series Treadmill
NordicTrack
T 8.5 S Series Treadmill
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Bottom Line

A feature-packed, high-end treadmill with a reasonable price tag.

Pros

Has a sturdy, commercial-grade build and motor. Features a high range of inclines from 0 to 12 percent. Folds up for simple storage. Has a 10-inch, WiFi-enabled display and numerous workout programs. Runs quietly.

Cons

Issues with the iFit platform crashing have been reported.

Best Bang for the Buck
XTERRA Fitness TR150
XTERRA
Fitness TR150
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Bargain Pick
Bottom Line

An economy buy that will get you almost everything you need for less than half the price of more premium models.

Pros

Delivers high-quality performance that rivals that of most of its higher-priced competitors. Extremely sturdy and durable. Easy to stow away after use. The 12 programs give users several options for variety. The bookrack and accessory holders are great for treadmill multitaskers.

Cons

Doesn't have the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive models on our list.

Sunny Health and Fitness Asuna Space Saving Treadmill
Sunny Health and Fitness
Asuna Space Saving Treadmill
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Most Portable
Bottom Line

Our fitness expert likes that this treadmill is durable and easy to store.

Pros

This treadmill is adorned with transportation wheels and a folding tool, perfect for those looking to store their unit out of sight. Floor stabilizers on the bottom ensure little movement. Integrated speakers with auxiliary port on media bar.

Cons

Only for smaller individuals, as its maximum capacity is 220 pounds.

SereneLife Smart Electric Folding Treadmill
SereneLife
Smart Electric Folding Treadmill
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Best for Experts
Bottom Line

A compact treadmill that's ideal for smaller rooms and apartments without sacrificing your fitness goals.

Pros

LCD screen with touch button controls help casual users customize their fitness journey. Electric plug-in design makes assembly a breeze. Connects with FitShow app to help keep the users motivated. Treadmill boasts impressive incline for a compact model.

Cons

Great for beginners, but doesn't go fast enough for more intense runners and fitness enthusiasts.

GoPlus Under Desk Treadmill
GoPlus
Under Desk Treadmill
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Portable Convenience
Bottom Line

The GoPlus Under Desk is about as compact as users can wish for with a flat design that stays close to the ground and fits under your desk or bed.

Pros

The heavy-duty running platform features a wide surface area for walks and light jogs. LED screen is simple and easy to guide. Wheels on the back make it easy to roll around the house. The shock-proof footpad reduces vibration.

Cons

Only withstands about 220 pounds, meaning larger runners may want to look elsewhere. Not for intense cardio.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
8
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for Best treadmills

If you’re concerned about your health and want to exercise regularly but don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, you may be considering a treadmill for at-home use.

When you own a treadmill, you can exercise whenever you wish. You can plant your treadmill directly in front of the TV or store it in the basement where your workouts won’t be disturbed. Today’s at-home treadmills offer a bounty of features and controls to make your workout fun and fulfilling.

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Are you thinking of putting your new treadmill in the basement? Check the ceiling height before you do so to make sure you’ll have enough headroom.

Pinpointing your goals

If you were to own a treadmill, what would you use it for? If you just want to get some extra walking in, you might be fine with a basic, less-expensive treadmill that gets your legs moving. If you’re interested in running on a treadmill, you’ll want a sturdy machine with a quality motor. And if you want a treadmill that allows you to train for a marathon, it’s a good idea to choose the highest-quality treadmill you can afford.

When shopping, it’s also important to consider the number of people who will use the treadmill. The more users there are, the tougher and more durable the treadmill should be. The reason: putting too much strain on a treadmill motor will cause it to break down sooner than it otherwise would.

Key considerations

Here are the most important product features to evaluate when you’re shopping for a treadmill.

Control panel & interface

Every treadmill has some sort of control panel. It’s up to you to decide which type of control panel suits you best. Some treadmills have built-in color screens that allow you to view your progress in real time. Other treadmills feature simple displays that give basic stats such as distance traveled and pace.

Decide what kinds of controls feel most natural to you, and make sure they are easy to press. Unresponsive buttons could spell trouble when you’re running fast and need to slow down.

Noise output

All treadmills produce some kind of sound. The sturdier the machine, the less rattling there will be. But regardless of which treadmill you buy, be prepared to accept some degree of noisiness from your treadmill. If noise output is one of your top concerns, it’s a good idea to physically test a treadmill so you can hear for yourself how loud it is.

Impact protection

Training on a treadmill puts less stress on your body than outdoor running. The surface is softer than pavement, and it’s more forgiving on the joints. If you’re concerned about protecting your joints from impact, test out a treadmill before you buy it. Most treadmills should provide plenty of shock absorption, but the best way to gauge this is by feel.

Simulating running outside
Expert Tip
To simulate running or walking outside, set the treadmill incline to 1% since it will provide a more accurate “outdoor” running or walking experience. If the goal is to compare indoor miles to outdoor miles, this setting is very effective.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Motor

For most at-home treadmill users, a 2.0 continuous-horsepower motor should suffice. Walkers don’t need to worry too much about the motor, but avid runners and those who intend to share the treadmill with multiple people should opt for the most powerful motor they can afford.

It’s also important to take note of the treadmill’s warranty. Make sure there is a warranty for the motor and that it lasts longer than a few years. Along with the electronics, the motor is often one of the first components to fail on a treadmill.

Size

How big or small should your treadmill be? There are compact treadmills available, but they’re not suitable for all people.

For example, taller runners may find that a compact treadmill limits their stride. The length of the belt should accommodate a walker or runner’s stride.

The width of the belt is important, too. You may be tempted to buy whatever treadmill would fit into your intended workout space, but it’s very important that you feel comfortable walking or running on your new equipment.

If space is an issue, there are also great folding treadmill options available. These types of treadmills are ideal for users with limited space.

Man running on treadmill
Expert Tip
Don’t underestimate the benefits of moving air to cool the body and simulate an outdoor workout. Fans will keep your core temperature at a manageable level and help you experience the best workout. After all, slowing down because the room’s temperature is too hot can prevent you from reaching your optimum exercise output.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Safety features

Your treadmill should come equipped with some kind of emergency stop function. If, for any reason, you need to stop immediately, a safety key can be pulled and the belt will come to an immediate halt.

We advise potential buyers to choose a treadmill with an emergency stop function and handrails for balance.

Furthermore, customers should make sure the belt of the treadmill is long enough and that they can reach the controls, even when running fast.

Person using treadmill to run indoors
For your safety
Make sure there’s an outlet in the area you intend to place your new treadmill. Many treadmills should not be used with extension cords.
STAFF
BestReviews

Incline capability

If you’re interested in serious training and have a goal in mind (such as a race or event), you’ll likely appreciate the ability to change the treadmill’s incline. Some treadmills even allow users to run or walk downhill.

If you’re looking for a treadmill for hill training, find out whether the incline of a potential purchase can be fine-tuned and what the maximum angle is.

Most treadmills are capable of producing at least a 5% incline. Serious athletes and users looking to lose weight may want a treadmill that can create an incline of up to 15%.

Selecting running program on treadmill
Expert Tip

If you stick to easy, mindless runs on the treadmill, you will likely get bored, which can lead to burnout. Many treadmills offer great programs and even customized settings that simulate running on a track or beautiful trails. Have a program in mind before you begin your treadmill workout.

BestReviews Fitness Expert

Additional treadmill features

We’ve discussed the main features you should look for in a treadmill, but what about all the extras? Here are a few add-ons you may wish to consider when shopping for a treadmill.

Water bottle holder

Most treadmills have a place to put your water bottle or sports drink. The size and placement of these holders will vary; we advise you to go with the option that makes the most sense for you.

Tablet holder

Having a spot to set your iPad for easy Netflix viewing can make a long run feel much shorter.

Built-in workout programs

Some treadmills come equipped with pre-loaded workout programs. Users can select training options such as “hill training” or “fat burn” to mix things up.

Treadmill prices

Budget

Budget treadmill options are available for as little as $400.

These cheaper treadmills often have less-powerful motors and are quite noisy, but they’re smaller in size, and some fold for storage. Inexpensive treadmills are best for exercisers who prefer walking over running.

Running on treadmill
Expert Tip
Don’t ever underestimate the benefits of walking and running backward on a treadmill. Studies have shown that walking or running backward burns more than 30% more calories than going forward. It also provides a different experience, improves balance and agility, and works different lower-body muscles than a forward motion.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Mid-range

In the range of $500 to $1,000, you should be able to find a good-quality treadmill with essential features and a decent motor.

Treadmills in this price range aren’t the type you’d typically see in a gym, but for most home exercisers, they are adequate.

Expensive

If you venture above and beyond the $1,000 mark, you’ll find gym-quality treadmills with extra bells and whistles.

These types of machines are appropriate for heavy training and/or households with multiple treadmill users.

Treadmill Tips

  • If you need to get off the treadmill at any point, stop the belt first, then step off.

  • Stay focused on what your body is doing, especially when running at high speeds. Don’t stare at your feet, and keep your eyes ahead. This makes it easier to maintain your balance.

  • If you have children, remove the safety key when the treadmill is not in use.

  • Use proper footwear when walking or running on a treadmill.

  • Make sure your treadmill is stationed on a stable surface; it shouldn’t wobble.

  • You might be tempted to ramp up your workout as soon as you install your new treadmill. However, to avoid injuries and burnout, it’s a good idea to increase your training load gradually.

  • Always check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

  • It's important to think about how you will fit on the treadmill based on your height, weight, and stride. If you're relatively tall, consider a larger treadmill.

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When running at higher speeds, be careful with your machine’s safety key. Removing it will bring you to a jarring stop.

FAQ

Q. Will I get a good workout running indoors on a treadmill?

A. Absolutely. While running indoors is certainly different from running or jogging outside, indoor treadmill training is still a great cardio workout.

Q. How fast should I run on a treadmill?

A. If you’re just starting out, run at a speed that feels comfortable. Use the “talk test” to ascertain your level of effort. Start at a speed that feels easy, and increase your effort gradually over time. Consider a run/walk program if you’re new to running.

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