Find the right treadmill for you using our detailed reviews and guides. The sheer amount of models and brands currently on the market can make finding good value for money difficult. We aim to help you with this with the use of buying guides, frequently asked questions and much more.
Consumers who already have a set budget level will understand that some models are only for light use, while others will work great in daily use. We aim to separate the top rated models from the average.
Comparison table showing the best treadmills of 2017
Analysis, consumer reports, and ratings
|Weslo Cadence G 5.9||67 x 30 x 10"||275 lbs||Yes||10 mph||Yes||$|
|Nautilus T616||77 x 35 x 57"||300 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$|
|Horizon Fitness Adventure 3||71 x 34 x 54"||300 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$|
|Horizon Fitness Elite T7||77 x 36 x 60"||350 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$$|
|Schwinn 830||72 x 35 x 57"||300 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$|
|ProForm Power 1495||81 x 36 x 58"||350 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$$|
|Nautilus T614||72 x 35 x 57"||300 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$|
|Reebok ZigTech 710||75 x 34 x 65"||325 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$|
|LifeSpan TR 1200i||70 x 33 x 54"||300 lbs||Yes||11 mph||Yes||$$|
|Sole F85||83 x 37 x 58"||400 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$$|
|Weslo Cadence R 5.2||67 x 30 x 10"||250 lbs||Yes||10 mph||Yes||$|
|Horizon Fitness Elite T9||77 x 36 x 60"||350 lbs||Yes||12 mph||Yes||$$$|
|Weslo Crosswalk 5.2t||68 x 30"||250 lbs||Yes||10 mph||Yes||$$|
Treadmill buyer’s guide and recommendations
Understand the various parts and features with our buying guide.
You may of noticed that manufacturer’s advertise their motors in CHP, also known as continuous horse power. The amount of horsepower generated varies from model to model.
In some cases you will see motors between 1.0 and 1.25 CHP. This is at the lower end in terms of quality and you can’t really expect too much from them performance wise. They will handle light use, such as walking, but will not be a great match for day to day running and heavier users. You don’t see many of this level in today’s market, because the technology has moved on as well as the hype.
Then you have the mid tier options between 1.5 and 2.0 CHP. These are what we believe to be the minimum rating you should aim for. This power will be good enough for most walkers and very light jogging. They are not however, suitable for running and heavy use.
For running enthusiasts, you are going to need something equal to or above 2.25 CHP. These can handle your average weight users at normal running speeds and the higher you go, the better the performance.
Always keep in mind that the larger the motors CHP, the larger the electricity requirements.
Types of treadmill. Folding vs Non folding
There is a common misconception that folding treadmills are less durable than their flat counterparts. This may of been the case in the past, but designs, materials and technology have come a long way in recent years. For home users with limited space, their is no real reason not to use a folding model.
They are also a lot more convenient for those of you who need their fitness equipment to be more mobile. For example, if you were to move, you would normally need to take a flat option apart. While on the other hand, when the decking is folded, you can normally fit it in most storage spaces quite easily.
Most are fitted with soft drop or hydraulic technology, which takes care with a lot of the lifting for you and takes you out of harms way when unfolding the decking area.
Running surface and tread belt
Getting enough space for your stride length and body size is extremely important. Most tread belts have a width between 15 and 22 inches. The length you will require depends on how you will be using it.
If you are planning on using it for light walking? The 15-17 inches width should be fine in most cases. However, if you are looking for something to run on, you will want enough space to train on, and stretch out your strides, without feeling enclosed. For this we recommend 18 inches width and upwards.
Length of belts should also be taken into consideration as some models are just not designed for tall people with a longer stride length. In most cases they measure between 40 to 65 inches in length. The 40 inch being better suited to walking and light use, and 65 inch for running. If you are tall, we advise you aim for at least 57 inches.
Comfort should be one of your main priorities, and cushioning does a great job in keeping runners comfortable for longer by minimizing the impact on your joints and muscles. When you look at running on concrete, and you compare it with cushioned strides, the impact over the same distance will be reduced significantly.
User weight capacity
Almost all treadmills come with a weight capacity recommendation from manufacturers. These should be followed. The amount of weight treadmills take vary between 200 and 400 lbs.
The speeds of tread belts vary depending on price tier. Those designed for home gym use generally go at speeds anywhere between zero and twelve miles per hour. Plenty of mid to lower tier treadmills cap out at ten miles per hour which in most cases should be fine. Then you have your upper tier models that more often than not cap out at twelve miles per hour, which is better suited for more advanced runners.
The wide majority of treadmills will be equipped with a console that has workout applications built into the system. Each of the apps will focus on different training areas such as interval, heart rate and laps.
We have seen models with as low as 8 and as high as 50 built in. So the amount of variety you get is dependent on the quality of the treadmill. The top level program enable you to share your workouts with friends across social media platforms as well as giving you the ability to go for a virtual run on trails and parks.
A lot of modern designs allow you to tilt the running surface upwards to create a hill effect to increase the challenge. This can be changed from flat either manually or motorized. Which of the above is model and brand dependent.
In most cases, you will be able to set this at a gradient of anywhere between zero and fifteen percent.
Console and tracking workout data
The features included within a console will vary. In most cases, especially the higher priced options, you will be able to track everything from the distance covered through to the amount of time you took to run a specific distance. The best consoles will also come equipped with large back lit computer displays, that displays this data in a clear and concise manner.
A good console will also have relatively simple navigation that is easy to control. Look for things like up and down arrows for changing of resistance, as well as quick start and emergency stop buttons. You will want something that’s clearly labelled just for convenience.
Handles or rails are found on most treadmills. These can come in many shapes or forms. Some will be small at the front so you can steady yourself, whilst others will extend further down the side. In any case however, these are designed with safety in mind and shouldn’t impair your ability to run.
You will want to keep an eye on the amount of space offered by the foot rails that are next to the tread belt. The wider these are, the easier it is to hop on and off without putting yourself in harms way.
Common treadmill problems to look out for
Console errors are one of the most common problems runners will come across. Sometimes it will not display data, other times the screen just won’t switch on. Whatever it is, most of the time it’s an easy fix with a wire being loose, or even problem with the batteries and plug socket. In the rare occasion that it’s an issue with the treadmill itself, you will find most manufacturers warranty policy covers this.
Another common theme you may find in negative reviews around the web, will be related to the tread belt slipping, or being too loose or tight. Generally this will require a bit of manual work to re-align the belt, or tighten it.
What’s the best treadmill under $1000?
Nautilus T614 – A excellent design with a 2.75 CHP motor, and a soft drop folding system. Convenience, performance, and value are all rolled into one. It appears that after researching online stores around the web, consumers are feeling the same way too with a good amount of positive feedback found across the board.
Boasts a solid and sturdy frame, backed up with smart cushioning effects that give your feet a softer, bouncy feeling as you hit the tread belt. The impact is reduced significantly when this happens, leading to less chance of picking up a injury.
What’s the best treadmill for home use?
There are plenty to choose from, which is what makes it so difficult. If you have a budget in mind, we have broken it down into different price points to make things easier.
Lower budget : The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 – An affordable, feature rich treadmill that brings a great balance of training options and value for money to the table. It may not be the most heavy duty option out there, but there is certainly many ways in which it can help you reach your training goals.
It will hold users of up to 275 lbs which will be suitable for the majority of running enthusiasts, and to top it all off, it saves a lot of space. Great news for those of you with limitations in that area.
An excellent choice if your not looking to spend a fortune on your fitness equipment. You can read more about it’s design and specifications below.
Higher budget : The LifeSpan TR 1200i – The TR 1200i is one of our highly rated treadmills. It’s well designed, built to last and offers the functionality you would expect in a commercial gym model.
A 300 lbs weight capacity, a fairly large tread belt, and lots of choice in choosing how to work out in terms of intensity, thanks to the many different incline levels, speeds, and exercise programs. Despite all this, it’s still reasonably priced in the mid tier range at most stores.
Certainly one worth considering when you factor into how much your getting for the price. Check out the link below to read more about it’s specs, functionality, and capabilities.
Other products reviewed
This is the epitome of a compact cardio trainer. Folds down very effectively and is designed from the ground up to save users space at home. It will easily slide under a bed, or into a cupboard when not used.
What it lacks in training functionality, it makes up for in design. But there is still a good amount of specs included, such as the three speed settings or the incline options. Both will help you push yourself, and burn off extra weight.
It’s also worth considering because it won’t necessarily require you to break the bank to get your hand on.
Those of you familiar with the treadmill industry, or people who have been shopping for workout equipment in the past may be familiar with the NordicTrack brand.
They are responsible for bringing out some of the more popular models in the market. This particular model shows the early signs that it could follow in its predecessors footsteps with a great range of options to train with including incline, and some smart console technology.
On top of that, you have a folding design that saves space. Read our review above to find out more.
Those of you wanting a long lasting machine to overhaul your old cardio training collection may want to look into what this model can offer you.
If you’ve got a high budget, there are plenty of plus points including many different, professionally designed exercise apps, incline, and a very good motor.
Additionally, comfort and convenience comes into the design with a cooling workout fan at the front and its ability to fold up when not in use.
Yet another option from a solid brand with history and a good reputation in the treadmill industry.
In our review, we dive straight into the main features and look at ways it could be beneficial for those looking to conduct their cardio training from home.
We also explore various other features such as what the console can do, and the differing workout programs included to keep things fresh and challenging. Read more above.
Best treadmill brands
Their is a number of great brand names on the market. We highlight some of the top rated ones below.
ProForm – A well known brand that has been a leader in the exercise equipment industry for over thirty years now. They are arguable one of the most reliable brands out their, and they manufacturer a excellent range of treadmills including the ProForm Power 1495 and the ProForm ZT8. Others include:
Nautilus – They have been around for over forty years now. And are now one of the leading fitness companies in the US, if not the world. Their brands include Schwinn, Bowflex, and Universal, which are all recognizable brands in their own right. One of their more recent treadmills is the Nautilus T616 which highlights their innovative ideas with regards to user comfort and usability. Others include:
LifeSpan Fitness – Well known for convenience and comfort in their designs, they have been around since 2001. They have separate focuses in their designs, some are for working out at the office, in the form of treadmill desks, and then you have your commercial and home gym ranges. Either way, they are a solid company that often produce quality products.
Schwinn – Schwinn’s story goes as far back as 1895 when Ignaz Schwinn and partner Adolph Arnold founded the company in Chicago. Probably best known for their bike designs, but they have also produced some solid treadmills over the years, one of the more recent ones being the Schwinn 830. Which is gaining popularity among consumers, with many buyers holding it in high regard.
Sole Fitness – Anyone who has taken time or familiar with researching into buying a treadmill will probably know all about Sole. They have been around for decades and their gym equipment has a fantastic reputation. Normally they can be found in the mid to higher price range, and one of their more recent models is the Sole F85 which offers a powerful 4.0 CHP motor, along with plenty of other terrific exercise functions.
Reebok – A highly recognizable and respected brand, not just in the world of fitness accessories and clothing, but also treadmills and cardio equipment. The Reebok Zigtech 710 is one of our highest rated options that fall under the medium budget category.