Best Treadmill Reviews Guide

Best Treadmill Reviews and Comparisons — Top Picks for Home Gyms

Whether you’re looking for a way to complement your outdoor running or simply looking for an effective way to improve your fitness at home, a treadmill makes an excellent choice.

But with so many different types being produced by a wide range of fitness companies, how do you find the best treadmill for your budget?

As with any form of exercise equipment, it’s important to do your research into the pros and cons of each treadmill. This helps to build up a clear idea of which models include the features you’re looking for at an affordable price.

You also have to consider how frequently you’re likely to use the machine. A less expensive model may seem like a good idea, but if you’re including running in your workouts on a regular basis, you might want to invest in a machine with higher quality parts and a longer warranty.

But with entry-level machines costing a little more than $300, and top-end commercial treadmills costing in excess of $12000, knowing where to start your research isn’t easy.

That’s why we put together this guide on all aspects of the best home treadmills to help you find the best device for your budget. This includes everything from the incline gradient and belt speed right through to the safety features and performance tracking.

Whether you’re down to the final details in your Precor vs NordicTrack treadmill consideration or you’re looking for a compact treadmill, we’ve reviewed the best below.

We’ll start off by looking at the top treadmills and then delve into the benefits of running at home and the top treadmill design features.

Best Treadmills for Home Use at a Glance

Having tested some of the best-rated treadmills, here’s a short list of the best ones we’ve reviewed in-depth.

ImageProductRatingPrice
NordicTrack Commercial Series Treadmills

NordicTrack Commercial Series Treadmills

  • 30-Day iFIT Family Membership Included
  • 22” HD Interactive Touchscreen Display 
  • -3 to 15% Digital Quick Incline control; 0-12 MPH Digital QuickSpeed control
  • Innovative SpaceSaver design
  • 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty
10
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Trueform Runner

Trueform Runner

  • Curved
  • Manual treadmill
  • 400-pound weight limit
  • Low impact on knees
  • High resistance
10
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Echelon Fitness Stride Auto-Fold Treadmill

Echelon Fitness Stride Auto-Fold Treadmill

  • SMART Treadmill
  • Dimensions: 69.3 x 31 x 49.2 inches 
  • Max user capacity: 300 pounds 
  • Speed range: 0.5 to 12 mph 
  • Incline range: 0 to 10%
9.8
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Horizon Fitness T202

Horizon Fitness T202

  • Quiet motor
  • Foldable
  • Automated incline up to 12%
  • 325-pound weight limit
  • Surround Sound speakers for listening to workout music
9.8
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Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT

Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT

  • 60"x20" running deck
  • Automated incline up to 15%
  • 12mph max. speed
  • 3-zone variable cushioning against deck impact
  • Tablet rack to place devices
9.8
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Bowflex Treadmill 10

Bowflex Treadmill 10

  • Great for tall & heavy users
  • Dimensions: 78 x 37.6 x 62.8 inches
  • Max user capacity: 350 pounds
  • Speed: up to 12 mph
  • Incline: -5 to 15%
9.5
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ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill

ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill

  • Affordable
  • Walking treadmill
  • Inclines
  • LCD screen
  • Easy assembly
9.5
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Weslo Cadence G 5.9i Cadence Folding Treadmill

Weslo Cadence G 5.9i Cadence Folding Treadmill

  • Affordable
  • Foldable
  • Free 30-day iFit membership
  • Inclines
  • Bluetooth-enabled smart console for tracking data
9
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Best Treadmills by Price Range

As mentioned previously, we weren’t biased towards any specific price range while conducting these home treadmill reviews. This ensures everyone can get a good treadmill regardless of their budget.

Best treadmill overall - Trueform Runner
  • Curved
  • Manual treadmill
  • 400-pound weight limit
  • Low impact on knees
  • High resistance

If you’re unrestricted by budget, we can confidently endorse the Trueform Runner as the best treadmill on the market. Due to its massive price tag, we recommend getting this if you’re a committed runner who’ll use the machine almost daily.

The machine is a bit unconventional as it’s a curved treadmill. As a result, it moves purely off of your own movement rather than relying on electrical power. This is beneficial as this study found that you experience higher oxygen consumption and heart rates on manual treadmills, burning more calories.

While the relatively flatter curve is appreciated, we weren’t fans of the 54”x17” running deck as it meant taller users would be limited. Nonetheless, this treadmill performs perfectly for running thanks to its high resistance and we felt a relatively low impact on our knees.

With a listed weight limit of 400 pounds and a bulky 360-pound build, we have no doubt about this machine’s durability. Another thing we liked about the treadmill is that it forced us to become better runners by focusing on our form to avoid losing balance.

During testing, we found it to be more suited for runners but walkers can have fun too. If walking is your preferred exercise, opt for its sister treadmill, the Trueform Trainer. It has a lower resistance that is perfect for home strolls but can also challenge runners.

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Best treadmill under $400 – ProGear 190 Manual Walking Treadmill
  • Affordable
  • Walking treadmill
  • Inclines
  • LCD screen
  • Easy assembly

While you won’t find heavy-duty treadmills at this price range, there are still a number of great options. Of those options, the ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill is our preferred pick for the best budget treadmill.

For best use, we found this home gym equipment to be worth a purchase for fitness walking. Sure, you can run on it but the manufacturer (and us too) don’t recommend that. While trying to run, we found the handle’s stability to be rather questionable as the machine was clearly a little wobbly.

When not running, though, this budget treadmill is a delight to use. Not only was the walking great exercise, but we could also turn up the intensity thanks to its ability to incline—that’s impressive for this price range. You can incline the machine to six and ten degrees, increasing the number of calories burnt. Just be sure to hold on tight to the handles—at times we felt frightened of falling off.

Compared to other machines, this device comes with a simple LCD screen that shows workout data like speed, calories, time, and more. While some people may not be fans, we can see how it’d be a welcome step away from home treadmills that feature complex buttons that you likely won’t even use.

Weighing just 49 pounds, it has a relatively low maximum user weight capacity of 230 pounds which means larger-bodied individuals aren’t meant for the device. We did appreciate how its lightweight build helped save storage space, though, as it’s a folding treadmill that can be wheeled wherever. We also suspect that’s why assembly was so easy, taking just over an hour to complete.

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Best treadmill under $600 – Weslo Cadence G 5.9i Folding Treadmill
  • Affordable
  • Foldable
  • Free 30-day iFit membership
  • Inclines
  • Bluetooth-enabled smart console for tracking data

Although this price range has a lot more to offer than the treadmills under $400,

in terms of fitness tech and the latest workout programs and performance tracking, you still might feel a little restricted.

Regardless, you’ll still have a solid treadmill on your hands with the Weslo Cadence G 5.9i. Compared to its predecessor, the Weslo Cadence G 5.9, this new iteration comes fitted with an iFit Bluetooth Smart enabled console.

Using that console, we could track data for our treadmill workouts and note any improvements or declines. The free 30-day iFit membership was a nice addition, allowing us to stream iFit workouts led by professionals for the trial period.

We felt a little deceived, though, as you need to activate this service with payment details before you can even start using the treadmill. As a result, we recommend setting a reminder to cancel before the trial period ends. Luckily, even if you don’t continue paying for the membership, you’ll still have six pre-loaded workout options available to you.

We liked the max speed of 10mph for running, but we felt disappointed by the 50”x16” running deck as we couldn’t make longer strides. Like the ProGear 190, we enjoyed using the two levels of incline to mix up the intensity of our workouts. This would have been even better if it was automated.

It’s not in the running for the best compact treadmill by any means, but it is a folding treadmill that can save space when stored.

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Best treadmill under $1000 – Horizon Fitness T202
  • Quiet motor
  • Foldable
  • Automated incline up to 12%
  • 325-pound weight limit
  • Surround Sound speakers for listening to workout music

The Horizon T202 is an entry-level treadmill from Horizon Fitness, so you know we had high expectations. Despite that, it blew us away and pipped other treadmills in the competitive under $1000 price range, especially considering it has a weight capacity of 325 pounds.

This relatively affordable treadmill has a 2.75 CHP motor which presented us with welcome challenges for intensity. While it has the same motor as the Horizon T203, it’s a little quieter compared to its predecessor.

However, we could drown out even that small amount of noise by blasting music through either the Surround Sound speakers or headphones supported by the audio jack.

While testing, we discovered that the otherwise solidly built treadmill has a single-ply tread belt which isn’t that durable. However, price dictates that, and you’d have to spend hundreds more for better belts. Despite that, we thoroughly enjoyed our time on this machine as it features an automated maximum incline of up to 12%.

It’s also technologically more advanced compared to the Horizon T101. We had an LED screen measuring key metrics, a dual grip heart monitoring system, and an app that let us track daily performance to see how we were improving. Once we were done using it, we simply folded it and could bring in a different type of exercise equipment.

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Best treadmill under $1500 – Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT
  • 60"x20" running deck
  • Automated incline up to 15%
  • 12mph max. speed
  • 3-zone variable cushioning against deck impact
  • Tablet rack to place devices

For home treadmills under $1500, you won’t go wrong with the Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT. This is a sophisticated machine equipped with the latest technology and is one of, if not the best treadmill for runners. Prior to using it, we were impressed by the 60”x20” running deck, and it proved impressive as we could make long strides comfortably.

Compared to the T202, this Horizon treadmill has an automated maximum incline of 15% and a max speed of 12mph. It gave us one of the most challenging workouts of most treadmills that we tested, including HIIT exercises. This is helped in part by the 3.0 CHP motor, which was surprisingly quiet.

Despite such an advanced design, a beginner treadmill owner won’t struggle with the machine. Thanks to the free fitness app, you’ll easily be able to jog your way from novice to expert in a short amount of time. We can tell our knees will continue serving us well with this treadmill as it features three-zone variable cushioning against deck impact.

Coming with an alphanumeric LED and 7” LCD screen, we were able to track our performance across metrics like calories and fat burnt, the distance ran, and also see our heart rates.

 As we’d already been using third-party apps, we were happy we could connect to these with Bluetooth connectivity. It’s compatible with the likes of Zwift, Peloton, STUDIO, and other apps that feature trainer-led workouts.

We would’ve preferred if the LCD screen was a touchscreen for easy use. Integration of third-party apps also has room for improvement as we had to manually adjust speed and incline when connected to these apps.

While running can be a bit of a drag, Horizon ensured we weren’t bored during sessions. This device has a tablet rack where we could place our devices while tuned into our favorite streaming platforms. If that’s not your vibe, then turn on some workout tunes and listen via the built-in speakers.

During this treadmill review, we found this treadmill to be on the bulkier side—which is to be expected considering it can hold up to 325 pounds. Despite its massive size, you can also fold it and store it away easily.

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Best treadmill over $1500 – NordicTrack Commercial Series Treadmills
  • 30-Day iFIT Family Membership Included
  • 22” HD Interactive Touchscreen Display streams on-demand iFIT workouts
  • -3 to 15% Digital Quick Incline control; 0-12 MPH Digital QuickSpeed control
  • Innovative SpaceSaver design with EasyLift Assist 
  • Protected with a 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty

When we were making our decision for the best treadmills at each price range, Sole Fitness definitely featured on our shortlist, specifically with their F63 and F85 treadmills. But although they’ve proven themselves as bestsellers and continue to be highly rated on every fitness equipment review site, we just couldn’t make them the winners.

The one we could make a winner for everyone, including expert runners, is the NordicTrack 2950. It is one of a few treadmills that we’ve given a full 5-star rating, and for good reason.

This device has a blend of everything that makes for an elite treadmill. It features an iFit-enabled console and a free 30-day iFit family membership trial that allowed us to add up to five users. With this, we could join workout classes that made it feel like we had our own personal trainer. They could even automatically adjust our machines to whichever speed and incline or decline they felt optimal.

On-demand classes and an iFit workout aside, this NordicTrack treadmill is incredible for running. A large 22”x60” running deck equipped was large enough for long and quick strides, and we’re certain taller people will enjoy this.

The deck is also equipped with Runners Flex cushioning that shielded our knees from the impact of running. We were happy with this as one study has found that a higher percentage of competitive runners suffered from knee-related issues when compared to non-runners.

The speed and incline range of 12mph and 15%, respectively, meant we could tackle runs of varying intensities. If you’re in a household with users of vastly different heights, you’re sure to enjoy the CustomFit™ power-adjustable uprights ready to adjust the console height.

That’s not even including the personalized workouts you can download straight to your user profile, thanks to having an iFit-enabled console. With this, we built up an accurate workout history and track improvements in your fitness level. While the best 22” display makes this the best treadmill with a screen, we do wish we could stream more than iFit content.

Unfortunately, the assembly of this device isn’t as easy when compared to other machines. It’s a heavy treadmill and required two of us to put it together in give-or-take three hours. Despite this, it has a maximum user capacity of 300 pounds, and we believe it should’ve been made to handle more.

With a two-ply tread belt, we have no concerns over the durability of the best NordicTrack treadmill. While most treadmills do have fans, rarely do they possess three. This machine has two fans that our faces cool and another one that was aimed at the body.

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More treadmills by price range

For even more variety, here are some more of our picks for other top-rated treadmills by price.

PRICE RANGE: $0-$200

  • Confidence Power Plus Treadmill – 900+ reviews

PRICE RANGE: $200-$400

PRICE RANGE: $400-$1000

PRICE RANGE: $1000-$1500

PRICE RANGE: $1500+

Benefits of Owning a Treadmill

treadmill image for benefits (lady running on a treadmill)

Whether it’s to supplement your current workout routine, or simply to save the inconvenience of traveling to a commercial gym each time you want to train, a treadmill can be an excellent addition to your own home gym.

  • Burn calories: With a large enough running area they act as an effective way to burn extra calories, tone lower body muscles, and allow you to recreate your natural outdoor running stride.
  • Improved performance: A study found that treadmill workouts led to increased walking and running speeds.
  • Easy to use: Treadmills are much easier to use than some types of fitness equipment, with intuitive display consoles, entertainment options, and in many cases a variety of preset training programs to help you plan your next workout.
  • Third-party apps: Many of the top-rated models even allow you to sync your workout information to a fitness app or online software so that you can monitor everything you need to reach your fitness goals, from your daily nutritional plan to the number of calories burned each workout.

How to Find a Treadmill Online

Due to the space that’s needed to stock a large number of treadmills, many retailers now choose to sell exclusively online, either through their own website or an online marketplace such as eBay.

This helps to reduce staff and rent costs, which can then be passed onto you in the form of lower-priced fitness equipment.

Price comparison websites have also been a huge help in allowing you to find the cheapest deal quickly, although in most cases this still tends to be Amazon.

But with many treadmills costing thousands of dollars to buy new, it can be difficult to make such a commitment without having stepped foot on the running deck.

If you’re able to find a high-quality review online, then this will usually act as an excellent source of information for the features and functions. While our reviews are thorough, you won’t be able to choose the best treadmill for yourself online.

That’s why (where possible) we recommend doing a search for any local gyms in your area that carry equipment similar to the treadmill you’re looking to buy. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the exact model, but if you can find another design in the range from the same company then you should get a good general idea of the build quality and running experience.

With such a wide range of treadmills now available, you’ll tend to find only the top-end treadmills in commercial gyms, by the likes of Sole Fitness, Precor, Lifespan, or ProForm.

But don’t worry if you’re a little more limited on your budget. There are plenty of other options.

How to Find a Treadmill In-Person

treadmills and cardio equipment in gym

If you don’t want to risk buying a product that may not even be the best treadmill for you, Google Maps is your friend. With it, you can find a long list of local sports shops. This is usually a good place to start looking, as they will generally stock treadmills from across a much wider price range.

If you do choose the in-store route, then make sure you have a comprehensive checklist of questions to ask when you get there. This will not only help you learn more about the specific model you’re interested in but may also reveal specific fitness goals that would be better served by a different machine. For example, if you’re after HIIT workouts, an elliptical trainer would be more ideal.

In either case, test as many of the treadmills as you can at the store. Even if you’re not there to buy, you will walk away much more knowledgeable about what to look for, and feel much more confident about buying online if you find a model that fits your requirements.

A few basic questions to bear in mind before you start to shop online or in-person are:

  • How long would you like the machine to last for? – Is this just a trial to see how you stick with a routine, or are you a seasoned runner?
  • Who will be likely to use it? – If other members of the family will want to use the treadmill, it might make sense to find a machine that offers programmable user profiles and custom workout programs
  • What sort of goals do you hope to achieve by owning a treadmill? – Are you simply looking to walk or jog a few extra miles each week, or do you need a treadmill to help you maintain your running times during the winter?
  • Will this particular model help you achieve those goals? – If your goal is weight loss, look for a treadmill that allows you to enter your age and weight so that the calculation of ‘calories burned’ is more accurate etc.
  • What’s covered by the warranty? – This can really be a part of point number 1. Some treadmills offer comprehensive coverage on everything from the motor to the console. Others cover the equipment for just 90 days, but in either case, most companies will only validate coverage for the original buyer. e.g. Used treadmills won’t be covered by warranty
  • How easy is it to find replacement wear items? – If the running deck isn’t reversible, the treadbelt can wear out much faster. Try searching online marketplaces for replacement parts, to get an idea of the availability and estimate any ongoing maintenance costs

Best Home Treadmill Features: Must-Haves vs Nice-To-Haves

treadmills in a home gym for treadmill reviews

Considering all the features that are available on many modern treadmills, it’s easy to pay for features you may never even use.

It used to be that a treadmill was purely designed to provide a platform on which to run indoors. But now, mainly through additional entertainment options built into display consoles, you can do everything from send an email to read an eBook or even watch a movie.

With so many features now available, it’s important to write down two clear lists. One should have the absolute fundamental design features that the treadmill has to have in order to help you fulfil specific fitness goals, while the other should be optional extras that might provide a more enjoyable workout.

While enjoyable workouts are certainly important, it’s best to find out exactly which treadmills are within your budget before you start considering e-Readers and tablet shelves.

Must-haves can include:

  • Suitably sized running area
  • High enough weight capacity for anyone likely to use the machine
  • Powerful enough motor to maintain belt speeds at higher inclines
  • Variety of speed settings
  • Incline running deck options (either manual or power incline, depending on your budget)
  • Safety features (at least a safety key, and preferably a handrail)
  • Folding design (if space is limited)
  • Basic feedback on your workout e.g. Speed, time, distance, heart rate

Nice-to-haves can include:

  • Shock absorption system inside the running deck
  • Internet browsing facility
  • E-Book reader
  • Storage shelf for watching movies or TV on your tablet
  • Virtual running routes displayed on a larger screen attached to the console
  • Firmware installed that updates your treadmill with new workout programs
  • Speakers
  • Cooling fan
  • Password protected display console operation
  • Backlit display screen
  • Storage shelves/water bottle holders
  • MP3 connectivity

One area that tends to crossover between each category is the type of workout programs. With variety being considered such a crucial part of a successful and consistent fitness routine, they should really be classed as a ‘Must Have’.

That being said, some of the bestselling treadmills (specifically the ‘manual’ style designs) have no workout programs at all. Likewise, some companies offer a significantly larger collection of programs, which may require additional monthly membership fees. These would be considered more of a ‘Nice To Have’.

Design Features

These are the common design features to keep an eye for when looking for the best home treadmill for running and walking.

Running deck

People running on treadmills

Next to its actual dimensions, the most important measurements to check are the length and width of the running area.

Running area length generally varies between 43 inches and 62 inches. Similar to the stride length on an elliptical trainer, you need to find a machine that has enough length to let you match your natural running stride, without worrying about your foot slipping off the back of the belt.

If you’re only looking to walk or jog on the machine, then this won’t be much of an issue. But if you want to build up to a full sprint or faster run, then you need to think about matching the running area to your height.

As a rough guide, tread belts that are closer to 62 inches in length are best suited towards tall users of 6ft+. Belts with a length closer to 45 inches will be better suited to anyone around 5 ft tall.

Running area width isn’t as important as running area length, due to the fact that it won’t have a direct impact on your running stride. However, the width of the running area is usually proportional to the length, with some of the most popular running area dimensions being; 60″ (L) x 22″ (W), 55″ (L) x 20″ (W), and 50″ (L) x 18″ (W).

Key question: Do you intend to use the machine for walking, jogging, running, or all 3?

Another of the features that’s built into many modern treadmills is an impact-reducing cushioning system inside the running deck.

If you’re not able to trial this for yourself, depending on the popularity of that particular model, you can always try posing your questions to an existing owner. This is a service that Amazon offers directly through their site at no additional cost, together with their customer reviews and ratings.

Treadbelt

Although they seem like fairly universal features, tread belts are actually quite model specific, particularly when it comes to their maintenance.

There are generally 2 main types of tread belts: 2-ply and 4-ply.

The majority of home treadmill belts are actually designed with a polyurethane top layer and nylon polyester under layer (2-ply).

Display console

Regardless of how many workout programs your chosen treadmill has to offer, if the button layout on the console and choice of functions isn’t easy to use, it can become frustrating and time-consuming to alter the various settings.

‘Quick select’ buttons tend to be most popular amongst mid and top-level treadmills, and allow you to quickly switch between larger speed and incline increments than the standard up and down arrows (or plus and minus buttons, depending on the machine).

Close up of treadmill console

Some consoles will also let you create several user profiles, where you can enter some basic personal information that will help to increase the accuracy of certain feedback. This includes the number of calories burned per workout and your current heart rate level.

User profiles (also known as User IDs) will usually enable you to store custom workouts which you’ve designed yourself. This can be particularly useful if you want some extra variety in addition to the preset programs, or if more than one person will be using the machine. e.g. Families, light commercial use

Another important feature of display consoles is the design of the LCD screens. It’s one thing to display important workout stats during your run, but if you can’t see the numbers due to low light conditions or glare on the screen then this won’t be much use.

This is why having backlit screens is such a major benefit, although it’s rare to find them on lower-priced machines that only offer a single button function.

After covering some of the more fundamental design features of display consoles, depending on your budget, it can also be useful to compare treadmills according to the level of built-in entertainment options.

These will generally be things that improve the quality and enjoyment you get from your workouts, and can include cooling fans, speakers, MP3 and smartphone connectivity, virtual running tracks, and a storage shelf for your tablet.

As you start to move up towards the mid-range machines, you’ll start seeing these features on more models from a range of different fitness companies.

Based on customer reviews, the cooling fans tend to be fairly low-powered, and shouldn’t be considered the sole reason to choose one treadmill over another.

Ease of assembly

With the exception of some of the lower-priced designs and certain elliptical trainers, treadmills are one of the heaviest pieces of cardio equipment you can buy for your home gym.

Although this may not make much of a difference once the machine is set up (particularly if you won’t need to fold it away between workouts), it can be an important point to consider before buying.

That’s not to say that this should put you off choosing a particular type of treadmill, but it might be worthwhile to find out if there’s any additional charges for the shipping, and whether the company you’re buying from can recommend a home assembly service.

Some of the biggest online retailers will have contracts in place (Amazon will often suggest the Treadmill Doctor service) to ensure someone is available to help you get your new treadmill assembled quickly and correctly, without you having to worry about moving a running deck that can weigh in excess of 60 kg.

If you intend to assemble the machine without any additional help, then how quickly the treadmill can be assembled will be based purely on the quality of assembly instructions.

If you’re unable to find a user manual for the treadmill on the company’s own website, there are now plenty of online resources that can supply you with a user manual free of charge.

This then gives time to find out what to expect from the setup, as well as letting you know a bit more about the different functions and workout programs.

Transport and folding

Unfortunately one of the main drawbacks of choosing a home gym setup over a conventional commercial gym is the lack of space. Whereas commercial gyms are often the size of aircraft hangars, your home workouts may be confined more to a spare room or garage.

That’s why to make the best use of space, many treadmill companies have developed product ranges that allow you to fold the running deck to a vertical (or high incline) position.

However, not all treadmills offer this feature, including the manual treadmills, many of the lower-priced models, and the entire range from Precor.

With the running deck folded away, you may also want to be able to move the machine to a place that’s a bit more out of the way, or even a different room altogether.

This is where it’s important to make sure you have transport wheels attached to the front to make it easier to roll the treadmill to wherever you need it to be.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that not all folding treadmills are alike. While some require you to lift the weight of the running deck unassisted (can weigh in excess of 40 kg), there are others that offer a ‘soft drop’ assisted pneumatic piston system, which slowly lowers the deck to the floor before you start your workout.

As well as the transport wheels, one last feature we wanted to mention about the base of the running deck is the addition of base levelers.

Although these aren’t added to every machine, they can certainly come in useful if you need to compensate for any slightly uneven ground that the treadmill has to rest on.

Motorised Treadmill vs. Manual Treadmill vs. Treadmill Desk

Treadmill comparison graphic

Before you start taking a look at features, price ranges, and different fitness companies, the first thing you’ll need to decide is what type of treadmill you will actually get the most use out of.

There are generally 3 main categories of treadmill designed for home use:

  • 1. Motorized treadmills – The most common type of design, produced by companies such as ProForm and Sole Fitness
  • 2. Manual treadmills – Some of the lowest-priced, but best selling models are ‘Manual’, meaning they are powered by your own walking motion rather than a motor
  • 3. Treadmill desks – A recent addition to the range of treadmills available, these essentially feature a compact treadmill deck positioned under a simple work desk. These can be a great option for anyone that spends long hours in front of a computer working from home.

In terms of price, motorized treadmills tend to have the widest range, and can cost anything from $150 up to over $12,000. Next you have the treadmill desks which tend to have a price limit of closer to $5000, and finally the ‘manual’ treadmills, which can usually be found for closer to $150.

Treadmill Terminology

  • Belt – Wraps around the rollers of the running deck.
  • Console – The controls and screens that form the panel at the front of the treadmill.
  • Display – The screen built into the display console. Usually LCD and can be backlit for enhanced visibility of feedback.
  • Frame – The aluminum or steel structure used to hold the majority of the treadmill together.
  • Heart monitor – Used to measure your heart rate, usually through heart rate hand sensors, then transit the reading back to the display.
  • Incline – The angle that the running deck can adjust to. Angles can be both incline and decline, and classed as either ‘power’ or ‘manual’.
    Manual simply means you lift the running deck into an incline setting, whereas ‘power’ incline automatically adjusts the angle at the touch of a button.
  • Manual – A treadmill you operate by pushing the conveyor belt with your feet. Some manual treadmills contain magnets to make it move more smoothly
  • Motorized – A treadmill that uses an electric motor (usually varies between 1.5 and 4.5 CHP) to power the movement of the belt.
  • CHP – Continuous Horse Power. The power scale to which treadmill motors are graded, usually by the company that manufactures them.
  • Programmes – Usually split into several different categories (heart rate controlled, hill climb, interval, etc.), these affect the type of workout you follow, varying the incline and belt speed automatically.
  • Surface – The top side of the running belt. The running surface is usually what determines whether or not you can run on a treadmill, as the length can restrict your natural running stride if too short. (e.g. 6ft+ tall users would require a surface at least 55 inches in length.

Best Treadmill Brands Reviewed by USA Home Gym

If you’re visiting a review site like ours, you have to be able to compare treadmills from a wide range of brands. However, you also want to find out about the history of these brands to make an informed buying decision.

By not showing a preference towards any single fitness equipment company, we’re able to create impartial reviews that judge each treadmill by its own merits, taking into account the physical and technological features and comparing these with similar treadmills from other companies.

We haven’t tested every treadmill on the market. Instead, we review only those which provide unique and useful features, are highly rated bestsellers already or are new product lines that have the potential to take the treadmill industry in an exciting new direction.

However, although we won’t necessarily write in-depth treadmill reviews of every bad treadmill that’s out there, we will highlight any specific models or brands that have a negative track record and that should be avoided.

A quick search of our site will reveal a wide range of treadmills that we’ve reviewed, from companies including Precor, Horizon Fitness, Yowza Fitness, NordicTrack, ProForm, Sole Fitness, and Schwinn.

There’s no bias towards a specific price range either, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a high-quality treadmill to suit every budget.

Precor treadmill reviews
Yowza Fitness Tradmill Reviews
Sole Fitness Treadmill reviews
NordicTrack treadmill
Schwinn
Bowflex
Nautilus treadmill reviews
Proform
Vision Fitness treadmill reviews
Horizon reviews

Best Treadmill for Home Use in Closing

There it is, a comprehensive list of the best treadmills reviews looking at many brands. We hope that this guide will be able to help you choose the treadmill of your dreams.

Whether you’re a dedicated runner or you’re just looking for a treadmill made for brisk walks, you should be able to find one above.

Now, order your own device and run or walk your way to your fitness goals—the choice is all yours.