10 Best Treadmills Reviewed & Compared
The treadmill can be particularly beneficial for those just starting out on their fitness journey. Running outdoors can be daunting, with all the equipment you need to buy and the difficulty involved in finding a route you enjoy. But a treadmill is a simple one-off cost and you can control how tough, or easy, the course is. Whether you want to walk a few metres or simulate a gruelling trail run, you can do it on a treadmill, setting your own speed and incline level.
Once you’ve got the treadmill set up you can get to work on building a training plan, increasing your goal by a few minutes, metres or gradient points each week. To help you along the way you can set up a video screen for films and music, or just position your tablet within your eye line. Whether you fancy unwinding after work with a good book, catching up with the latest Netflix series or following your favourite sports team, you can do it on a treadmill without reducing the quality of your workout (or running into someone because you’re not watching where you’re going).
We’re not saying running outside is bad, of course. Quite the opposite; we love running outdoors, discovering brand-new routes and tracking them with our GPS watches, and we dedicate our working lives to bring outdoor enthusiasts the best-quality products. But we also appreciate the many benefits a treadmill can provide, and we’ve come up with our top 10 list with this in mind.
- Pro Form 500
- 0.5-to-12 MPH speed range
- LifeSpan TR 1200i
- 2.5-Horsepower Folding Treadmill
- Golds Gym Trainer
- Web-enabled touchscreen
Here’s our treadmill hall of fame, based on rigorous research and interviews with dedicated enthusiasts.
10 Best Treadmills
1. ProForm 500 CST
One of the greatest features of the ProForm 500 CST is that you can access the iFit program, which unlocks countless virtual personal trainer programs from celebrities such as Jillian Michaels. It's also got heart rate monitors in the grips and it can be folded away, so you can stash it in your wardrobe or even under your bed to save space.
This model goes up to a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour, so it's not as fast as some, but you can move through the gears very quickly.
This model offers some serious value for money. While it isn't as cheap as some of its market rivals, nor is it eye-wateringly expensive. Given its quality and durability, you'll get plenty of bang for your buck.
- Affordable price
- Loads of different workouts
- Folds for compact storage
- Self assembly
- Some say it's a bit noisy
- Weight limit of 300 lbs
2. LifeSpan TR 1200i
This model is a folding treadmill that can support runners up to 300 pounds. Its multicolored LCD display tracks the basic stats runners want to keep track of, including calories, distance, and speed.
This model’s top speed is 11 miles per hour, with a 15% incline. This is less than other more expensive models, but slightly better than other models in this price range.
This model offers a tremendous amount of value for a fairly low price. This is why this treadmill earned several best awards from leading fitness websites.
- Stable construction
- Folding, compact design
- USB drive isn’t included
- Older model
3. Gold's Gym Trainer 720
Everything is designed to be quicky and easy here. You can change the speed, and incline, without having too scroll through a load of options and you'll notice the change pretty much instantaneously. The belt is wide and stable, and there's a fan (although most users say it's not great).
You can get up to a maximum speed of 10mph, which isn't as good as some rivals, but the speed changes very quickly.
Gold's equipment is generally affordable and this treadmill is no exception. A reliable product at a good price - what more can you ask for?
4. NordicTrack T 6.5 S
With 20 different workout programs, the T 6.5 S offers something for everyone, from a novice runner to a hardcore athlete. The belt is also roomy and instills confidence.
This model has a top speed of 10 miles per hour and you can change your pace at intervals of 0.5 miles, which isn't as precise as some other items on this list but it's not bad either.
Very cheap considering the quality it provides, and the motor warranty offers added value.
- Many features for the price
- Web-enabled touchscreen
- Quiet tread belt
- Complicated self-assembly
- May require assistance from customer support to get software working for those that are less tech-savvy
5. Horizon Elite T7
As mentioned, the fact that you can upload your workouts to Strava and other fitness networks is a real boost. The belt feels steady and comfortable, and the Variable Response Cushioning System adapts to you, providing just the right amount of support.
The Horizon Fitness Elite T7 Treadmill has a top speed of 12 miles per hour, which is at the top end of the range.
This model is an affordable treadmill capable of high speeds and offers some of the features found in higher-spec models. While cheaper treadmills do exist, they lack the features of this one. Plus, as a popular model, there are a number of ways to get a preowned item.
- Affordable treadmill
- Lightweight and compact design
- Easy to maintain
- Limited workout programs
6. Life Fitness Club Series
Unlike a shared treadmill at the gym, the Life Fitness Series Treadmill has quick start reminders for preferred settings so users don’t have to manually adjust their settings every time. The treadmill charges Apple and Android devices and it offers a wireless heart rate monitoring system. You'll struggle to find a more high-spec treadmill anywhere.
The Life Fitness Club Series Treadmill’s top speed is 14 miles per hour, which is 2 to 4 miles more than comparable models. This makes it great for runners who prioritize speed over distance. The patented shock absorption system reduces stress on joints, so even if you hit the top speed, it won't do any undue physical damage.
The Life Fitness Club Series Treadmill is one of the most expensive treadmills on this list. It offers the same great features as commercial grade gym treadmills and has one of the top speeds. If you're a very serious runner and you're prepared to pay for quality, this could be the machine for you.
- 14 miles per hour max running speeds
- Shock absorption system
- Memory which stores you preferred speeds
- Wireless heart rate monitoring
- Large size
7. ProForm Power 995i
The 995i comes equipped with ProShox Cushioning to relieve tension while running as well as reducing the impact on your joints and maximizing shock absorption. It also features a wide, 2-ply tread belt that can support up to 350 pounds and is wide enough for all users. The dual-grip heart rate monitor will allow you to keep track of your heart rate during runs without having to worry about any additional straps or cords, and its easy-to-use display will keep you up to date with your stats throughout the entirety of your run. Lastly, the 995i is compatable with iFit Live as well as Google Maps and a cooling fan.
This model reaches speed of up to 12 mph thanks to a 3.0 CHP motor. it also comes with a maximum incline of 15%, offering great variety to your workouts.
The Price of this treadmill is pretty standard and well below all of the high quality features it has to offer - so it is well-worth the cost!
- ProShux Cushioning to relieve tension and reduce impact on joints
- Great shock absorption
- 2 ply tread belt that supports up to 350 pounds
- Dual grip heart rate monitor
- Easy to use display monitor
- iFit Live and Google maps compatibility
- Difficult to assemble
- Many users do not like the cooling fan
8. 3G Cardio Pro Runner
b. Since 3G focuses on providing equipment comparable to what you would The The Cardio Pro doesn't offer as much variety in its workouts as other items on our list, but there's still more than enough options for the majority of people. An Ortho Flex Shock Suspension system provides runners with optimal shock absorption during their indoor runs, and a fan keeps you cool during your runs.
The Cardio Pro Runner treadmill can reach a speed of 12 mph as ell as an incline/decline system that reaches +15.
The 3G Cardio Pro Runner treadmill definitely has a steeper price than other treadmills on this list. However the treadmill is well worth the investment due to the high end, gym-quality features it possesses and its compact design, ideal for those whose space is limited. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.
9. Goplus 800W Folding Treadmill
The Goplus 800W is made of high-quality steel so it's sturdy and secure, and it's also lightweight and foldable - and it comes with wheels so you can move it around the house, depending on your mood. There are 12 programs to choose from as well as three easy-to-use exercise options, so there's plenty of choice if you want to mix up your workouts.
This is probably the biggest drawback. The Goplus 800W has a top speed of only 6.5 miles per hour, so it might not be suitable for faster runners.
The Goplus 800W is extremely cheap, so it's a great option if you're just starting your fitness journey and want a light, accessible training device in the comfort of your own home.
- Lightweight and foldable
- Wheels for moving around
- Steel frame
- Plenty of different program options
- Low cost
- Low max speed
10. Weslo Cadence R 5.2
The Weslo Cadence R 5.2 features a 2-position adjustable incline that provides an alternative to running on a flat surface. The large LCD display is a simple but effective way to track calories burned, as well as speed and distance. It has a weight capacity of 250 pounds, which isn't as much as some other items on this list.
The 2.5 HP Impulse Max Motor is quiet, though there are more expensive models that feature quieter motors. The treadmill’s top speed is 10 miles per hour.
The Weslo Cadence R 5.2 is one of the most affordable models on this list. It is fairly limited compared to the features found in more expensive models. For runners looking for a reliable machine to run indoors, this treadmill offers undeniable value.
- Folds for storage
- 6 built-in programs
- Manual incline
- Small running track
Buying a treadmill is an investment in the love of running and health. While some treadmills are less expensive, they do not always come with the same set of features. In general, more expensive treadmills offer more features than cheaper models do. Depending on how a runner plans to use the treadmill and their budget, each of these models might be the right fit. Before purchasing any treadmill, runners should research their favorite model extensively and see if any local stores or gyms have one. If possible, trying out the treadmill in advance is a great way to gauge comfort and fit.
The Criteria Used For Selecting The Best Treadmills
The Smart Investment Of Your Own Treadmill
While we are outdoor enthusiasts ourselves and love getting out there to run with Mother Nature, there is nothing like having a treadmill in the comfort of your own home. The freedom of being able to go running for as long as you’d like no matter the weather outside or time of day. If you’ve experienced waiting for a treadmill at your local gym, or the January and February New Year’s Resolution rush that makes it a challenge to even park your car, then we’re sure that you’ve been thinking about getting a treadmill for a while now. We have researched through thousands of user feedback and reviews to bring you the very best of the best on the market right now. We know that this will be a big investment, so we looked at all the differences between the options in an effort to give our readers as much information possible to make their decision. Let’s take a look at some of the treadmills that made our list, and what you can expect from them.
Real Ratings, Not Hype
We at Runnerclick have no brand affiliations or partnerships; our loyalty lies with our readers and we are committed to providing trustworthy advice that is based on real-world reviews and recommendations. When it comes to treadmills, there is a strong marketing push that takes the form of celebrity trainer endorsements, late night infomercials, and health club branding. We completely ignored the hype when compiling our list, and instead listened to what actual users had to say about features, value, convenience, and performance about their machines, after they’ve put them through their paces. This ensures that you are selecting from a list of machines that runners recommend, not corporate sponsors.
We made sure to include treadmills that will fit into every budget. When you are looking for your new treadmill, the last thing that you want is a list of the most expensive models on the market. With a large number of products on the market and the lowering prices of technology, there really isn’t any need to overpay to get a solid treadmill that will give you all of the features that you are look for. In addition, working with an internet retail giant like Amazon, gives us the confidence of being able to provide the best prices anywhere, sometimes as much as thirty percent under retail.
Features, Features, And More Features
In the treadmill world, this is typically what sets most models apart from each other. Once you get past the width of the running belt and price, you’re essentially going to be choosing among the features of the machine. As cutting edge features like web-enabled touch-screens and sophisticated shock absorption systems get included into the machine, the price rises. So our goal was to list these features in detail and allow you to decide which ones are important to you. By not selecting features that you don’t necessarily need, you get more value from the selection that you make.
Durability And Dependability
Going through countless user feedback and by reaching out to reliable sources, we checked and double-checked for the machine’s durability. Any treadmill that demonstrated consistent mechanical or technical issues was simply cut from our list. We heard plenty of horror stories of machines malfunctioning, belts coming loose, and power cutting off mid-run. This is a symptom of market saturation; there are simply too many untrustworthy manufacturers running fly by night operations to sell sub-par treadmills. Nothing feels worse than spending a considerable amount of money for a huge machine that breaks down within months of operation. No matter which machine from our list you choose, they are all the most dependable and durable models on the market today.
Other Important Things to Consider When Searching For The Best Treadmill
Those were some of the core factors that we looked at when compiling our list. While we are sure that you have already narrowed down your selection to a couple of choices, here are some additional points that you should read. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice, to help you make a great pick that you will be happy with.
Select The Perfect Footprint For You
Keep in mind where you plan to place the treadmill in your home or office. Considering the dimensions is crucial when making your selection because there are several different sizes to choose from. If you are limited in space, there are machines that fold and are easier to move for quick storage. Machines with smaller footprints will also give you additional space for aerobic exercises or weights, so be sure to take all of these factors into consideration when making your pick.
Consider The Running Belt Size
If the only treadmills that you have ever run on are found in gyms, remember that personal treadmills usually feature smaller belts, which means a tighter running surface. There are full-size options on our buying guide that feature the same belt size, so there will be no issues if belt size is a very important factor for you. Just remember that the more compact and foldable models have a running belt that is slightly smaller than those found on their bulkier counterparts. This trade off is an important consideration to make and be aware of when you are making your selection.
Manual Incline Verses Automatic Incline
While there are some seasoned runners that never alter the incline on their treadmills, there are others that incorporate different inclines throughout their routine. Consider this when choosing your treadmill; it’s a crucial factor. Even if you don’t use the incline now, once you start to build more endurance and strength, you may want to begin to challenge yourself by alternating inclines mid-run. The benefits of having a manual incline are that it makes the machine much more affordable, as the manufacturer doesn’t have to include an additional motor and equipment to automatically raise or lower the incline.
Get The Features That You Need
If you have the luxury of shopping for your next treadmill with an unlimited budget, by all means, select the models with all the bells and whistles from our list. They are well worth it as you get an incredible amount of metrics and data for motivation and record keeping. However, even with an unlimited budget, if you don’t plan on using all that data and features, consider a more pared down model. There is no need to overcomplicate your workouts or pay for features that you don’t really need. Likewise, if you are a data-driven athlete that keeps meticulous records and rely on all the information available to reach top-tier goals, then you should get the most features available. The amount of technology found on today’s treadmills is absolutely incredible.
We know that choosing a treadmill can be a complicated process; we hope that understanding our process took most of the guesswork out of the decision for you. Making a wise investment is an excellent way to stay healthy on your own terms. Before you add a shiny new machine to your cart, read through some of the most commonly asked questions about treadmills, which we have collected for you below.
Q: I’m really more of an outdoor runner; is there really a need to get a treadmill?
A: Absolutely. In fact, most of the data that we went through seems to indicate that users that consider themselves to be “outdoor runners” use the treadmill more than others. This is because there are times when outdoor runners say to themselves: “it’s too cold” or “it’s raining” and they just don’t go out for a run. When there’s a treadmill in the house, they say “I’ll use the treadmill today” instead. We’ve all been there. A treadmill is the best way to ensure that you don’t miss a day. For motivation there’s always this quote: There are only 52 weeks in a year, how many miles can you fit into those weeks?
Q: What considerations need to be made when choosing a tread climber?
A: Tread climbers are relatively new to the scene when compared to traditional treadmills, however, they are great at burning calories and getting you into tip top shape. You will be sweating up a storm! They are also a time saver, as they do everything faster in terms of burning calories. However, they have low speeds so they will not replace running. Think of it as a different exercise. It’s still healthy and will build endurance, but it’s not running.
Q: I’m training for a marathon; do I need a treadmill that has built-in software?
A: Not really. There are plenty of guides that you can follow that will place you on a great path to being successful for your marathon. While it’s a nice to have a built-in software package that will give you information for training purposes, you can do it yourself. Additionally, by recording your own stats “old school” style, you can go for outdoor runs and still have the new data that will not be logged into your treadmill.
Q: Shouldn’t I get the same treadmill that my local gym uses?
A: It’s a common misconception that big and bulky gym treadmills are the only way to go. This is because we have been conditioned to link quality with the large size of the treadmill. This isn’t necessarily true. If you do not have the room or the tons of money for a gym-sized treadmill, you can still get a high performing, quality model that has a much smaller footprint. User feedback has very high on all the models on our list; so don’t be worried about selecting a model that isn’t the same size as the machines at your gym.
Q: I feel like my new treadmill is running at a different speed to reality, I know how long it takes me to run a mile but the treadmill says differently, is that possible?
A: You need to ensure you have set the calibrations correctly on the treadmill for time and distance. As this treadmill is new please check the instructions manual for calibrating it and follow the step by step instructions. You can also time yourself as you know how long it will take you to run a kilometer ( mile) and compare what you know to the stats being put out by your new treadmill, and adjust the calibrations till these match your expectations.
Q: Once I have set the calibration for my treadmill is that it? Can I leave it forever at that setting?
A: It depends. If you move your treadmill, you should re-set the calibrations or if you have changed the settings to match a type of running difference which you were using for training after doing that you will also need to re-set it.
Q: Do I need to regularly lubricate the belt on my new treadmill?
A: Yes this is very important. The level of friction between the deck and the belt must be constant if it’s not kept lubricated the result will impact negatively on the drive motor and the electronics within the control board. Different treadmills have slightly different suggestions for how often the belt should be lubricated, check the instruction manuals which came with yours.
Q: How often do I need to change the treadmill belt?
A: Treadmill belts are very durable and can last for a long time, generally you just need to keep an eye on it, look for signs of wear and tear, fraying or looseness due to stretch. Trust your own judgment, if you sense it needs changing, go ahead and change it as this will ensure no accidents happen as a result of it malfunctioning or breaking.
Q: I have purchased a new treadmill, its sturdy and I have set it up in the basement on a solid concrete floor, do I need to use the mat which came with it and if yes why?
A: The mats are important because of no matter which type of surface you set up your treadmill on, the mats will reduce vibrations between your machine and the surface. As you are using a concrete floor it’s a very good idea to use the mat to keep down the effects of vibrations.
Q: How often should I lubricate my treadmill belt? so far I have had about 250 hours of use from it and the belt is fine.
A: To ensure durability and longevity of performance for your belt it would be best to think along the lines of ‘prevention of problems’ therefore it would be good maintenance practice to lubricate the belt after every one hundred hours of use.
Q: I bought a second-hand treadmill and it seems to work fine but somebody told me I need to regularly use a lubricant on the belt, is it okay for me to buy any type of cheap lubricant for use?
A: Be very selective and specific about your choice of belt lubricant. Choose a quality silicone based lubricant and your second-hand treadmill will continue to perform well.
Q: I was told by a friend that I need to regularly center the belt on my new treadmill, what is he talking about?
A: Each time you take a run on your treadmill you must check that the belt is properly tensioned and centered. Find the tension bolts and access holes, look at the rear of the machine to locate them, when you got your treadmill it came with a wrench key device so you can adjust the belt for the right level of tension. Ensure the belt is adjusted to stay correctly centered and has enough tension so that it will not slip.
Here Are Some Sources We Used While Conducting Our Research
We don’t just make up all of this information ourselves. We research and consult a variety of authorities in running and other industries. Check out our sources below: