Very often we find reasons why we shouldn’t exercise. Very busy to go to the gym to exercise or bad weather keeping you from stepping out? Whatever the reason may be, you can now stay in shape right in the comfort of your own home.
The treadmill is a fantastic, versatile exercise option for the indoors and is best for walking, jogging or running. In fact, it is one of the largest selling and most popular exercise options.
Buying a treadmill to get slim need not really eat into your savings. You have many inexpensive, affordable options of treadmills available and you can get a good one loaded with a decent set of features for under $1000. However, there are plenty of choices too that can cause plenty of confusion as to which treadmill is right for you.
In this guide, we have evaluated some of the factors that you must consider before selecting a treadmill for your home and we have also reviewed the best products for you that can help you make your purchase decision a wise one.
|Treadmill Name||Motor||Belt Size||Speed||Incline||Max. Weight|
|LifeSpan TR 1200i|
|2.5 HP||56"L x 20"W||0.5-11 MPH||15 levels||300 LBS|
|Sole Fitness F63||3.0 HP||60"L x 20"W||0-12 MPH||15 levels||325 LBS|
|Horizon Fitness T101-04|
(Best for Beginners)
|2.25 HP||55"L x 20"W||0.5-10 MPH||10 levels||300 LBS|
|3G Cardio Lite Runner||2.5 HP||51.5"L x 18.5"W||0-12 MPH||15 levels||275 LBS|
|NordicTrack C 990||3.0 HP||60"L x 20"W||0-12 MPH||15 levels||300 LBS|
|ProForm 505 CST|
|2.5 HP||55"L x 20"W||0-10 MPH||10 levels||325 LBS|
|ProForm Power 995i Exercise|
(Best For Runners)
|3.0 HP||60"L x 20"W||0-12 MPH||15 levels||350 LBS|
|Nautilus T614||2.75 CHP||55"L x 20"W||0-12 MPH||10 levels||300 LBS|
Best For Heavy/Tall Runners
|3.0 HP||60"L x 20"W||0-12 MPH||15 levels||300 LBS|
|Weslo Cadence R 5.2|
|2.5 HP||50"L x 16"W||0-10 MPH||2 levels|
This is an extremely well-built, durable yet affordable home treadmill. It is packed with workout options, is equipped with speakers where you can play your mp3 music and can also save your exercise data that you can track online very easily.
It has a sturdy motor that ensures a steady workout at any speed you desire. The treadmill is foldable and adjustable, offering 22 programmed workouts and 15 incline levels that you can adjust according to your exercise requirements. It also has a high-quality, durable two-ply belt that operates on wide rollers and is supported by a cushioned deck and shock absorbers.
The treadmill is mp3 compatible, equipped with a book rack and also allows you to use a chest strap monitor. The LifeSpan TR1200i comes along with a membership to the Lifespan Club that allows you not only to increase your exercising options but also lets you track your performance from one workout to another.
Features of the LifeSpan TR1200i Treadmill
This is a basic folding type of treadmill and probably is the simplest model in the Sole product line-up. The Sole Fitness F63 is a high-quality treadmill that has been recently upgraded with enhanced features. It has a powder-coated sturdy steel frame that is quite stable, even at the treadmill’s top speed of 12 mph. It has large track rollers, a durable motor that is cooled by strong flywheels and advanced cushioning for comfortable walking, jogging or running.
This foldable treadmill has an above average 2-ply track and can incline up to 15%, thereby increasing the challenge of the workout. It has the workout speed and incline controls conveniently located on the handlebar as well as the console. The Sole Fitness F63 has a Cushion Flex Deck that makes exercising easier on the joints by reducing the impact by around 35-40% when compared to running on the pavement.
It is equipped with pulse monitors that are compatible with wireless chest straps. There are 10 workout programs for weight loss, cardio training and muscle toning and you can set up the workouts very easily via the scrolling message center.
You can track the progress of your workout on the 6.5-inch LCD screen. You can use the Sole Fitness mobile app to track your workout wirelessly and also for social sharing. The app is compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices and you can also view your workout progress in real time on your mobile device. The Sole Fitness app can also be integrated with your MyFitnessPal, Fitbit or other training apps.
Features of the Sole Fitness F63
Horizon Fitness T101-04 is a low-cost, entry-level model and at this price is one of the best selling treadmills. It is compact, comes with an excellent motor, can be folded and easily stored or transported.
It has 9 built-in programs and you can select from calorie goal, distance and time programs, and from manual, weight loss and interval workouts. The track inclines up to 10%, which increases the intensity of the workout. It has a dual grip monitoring system that monitors your pulse.
The treadmill can support a weight of around 300 pounds. It has an aesthetic console that is extremely user-friendly. It has soft LED lighting, 3 data windows and also a cooling fan. The treadmill includes a speaker system which is mp3 compatible.
Features of Horizon Fitness T101-04
This is a new product that is low priced under $1.000 and is a durable basic model. It is very compact and can fit through the door frame of your home very easily and when not in use, it can be folded and stored behind your door. However, it is especially long lasting and sturdy at the given price.
One great feature of the 3G Cardio Lite Runner is its electronic incline: you have deck elevations between 0-15% and there are 4 one-touch buttons to control the speed and incline on the console. The treadmill has a maximum speed of 12 mph which is suitable for walking and running. The 3G Cardio Lite Runner has 10 inbuilt programs, a hand-held monitor to check the heart rate and the treadmill supports up to 275 pounds.
Features of 3G Cardio Lite Runner
The NordicTrack C 990 has a variety of 32 workout applications and you can work on weight loss, speed and endurance goals with customized programs according to your fitness level. You can choose between the manual mode or preset workout mode and you also have 12 speeds and 15 incline levels to choose from. The treadmill is great for some basic muscle toning and cardio training.
The track has adjustable cushioning that allows you to select the kind of track you want, from a comfortable track with more deflection of a shock to road simulation.
The NordicTrack C 990 is equipped with a wireless heart rate monitoring system; however, you must buy the Bluetooth-enabled chest strap separately. This can be easily integrated with iFit also. It has a 7-inch LED panel that is backlit and can be read at any angle. Nordic’s digital RaceTrack helps you to track your progress.
The model is equipped with an Intermix Acoustics sound system with 3-inch speakers and also has an iPod compatible port that allows you to stream mp3 music.
Features of NordicTrack C 990
The ProForm 505 CST is an entry-level, budget-friendly machine (under $600) that has been designed keeping convenience and durability in mind. The SpaceSaver design and EasyLift folding structure make this treadmill easy to fold and store when not in use.
Equipped with ProShox cushioning, the treadmill offers its users superior comfort, protecting the joints when walking or running. It offers motorized incline of around 10% and speeds ranging from 0-10 mph. The non-flex rollers help the belt to run smoother by decreasing tension.
The treadmill is equipped with a very basic console shelf that has a reading rack, water bottle holder and audio functionality. There is a 6-inch backlit console with 3 displays showing time, speed and distance.
The ProForm 505 CST includes 18 inbuilt programs and some programs make automatic adjustments to the incline and speed to achieve desired results. You can use the two-hand grip KG Heart Rate sensors to monitor your heart rate.
Features of ProForm 505 CST
This treadmill is essentially designed for runners. The model is equipped with ProShox cushioning that makes it easy on the joints, especially when running. It has 30 inbuilt workout apps that adjust the incline, speed and resistance automatically.
The model is equipped with a wireless heart rate monitor and is iFit ready. The incline can be tilted up to 15%. The ProForm Power 995i is suitable for any activity – walking, speed training, jogging, endurance running or interval training. When not in use, the treadmill can be folded vertically and stored easily.
Features of the ProForm Power 995i Exercise
This is the entry-level treadmill model suitable for residential use. The Nautilus T614 has a 4-hex cell StrikeZone Cushioning System and has a speed range of 0-12 mph. The treadmill has an LCD display console that is blue backlit, a 3-speed fan, an mp3 port and a USB media charging port.
The model has 22 inbuilt workout programs (3 quick goal, 1 manual, 3 weight control, 5 training, 5 heart and 3 interval programs) including 2 customizable workout programs. You can monitor your heart rate by using the handlebar contact grips or wirelessly with their chest strap (wireless chest strap not included).
The Nautilus T614 has a SoftDrop folding design that makes it convenient to store when not in use. It is lightweight and compact and is equipped with wheels for easy transportation.
Features of Nautilus T614
The Schwinn 870 is a top-of-the-line model that is suitable for running, strength, cardio and stamina training. It has 26 inbuilt workout programs and a DualTrack display with 2 high-resolution easy-to-read blue backlit consoles. The Softrak cushioning system protects your joints when running for long periods of time.
You can keep track of your fitness activity via the Schwinn Connect or MyFitnessPal app. The model is equipped with a USB charging port, in-console speakers, adjustable fan and an mp3 port. The treadmill also has one-touch speed, incline adjustment buttons and also a hand grip heart rate monitoring system. There is also a safety key and when pulled out it will turn the treadmill off.
Features of Schwinn 870
This is a very low-budget folding kind of a treadmill that is ideal for beginners for cardio workouts. In fact, it is one of the cheapest models available in the market at a price under $300. Although it is inexpensive, it can become quite costly in terms of maintenance in the long run.
The model has an adjustable ramp that can be tilted manually up to 15%. It has 6 inbuilt training programs using various speed and incline settings and you can track your progress on the LCD console.
The Weslo Cadence R 5.2 is designed for walking and not running. It is a compact, lightweight machine and can be easily moved and is good for use in small areas. It is very easy to assemble and install.
Features of Weslo Cadence R 5.2
The most important aspect that you must consider when choosing your treadmill are your fitness objectives. Are you looking to improve your general fitness levels and health? Do you want to enhance your athletic performance? Or are you looking for rehabilitation?
Determining your specific fitness goals and your use can help you decide on which model to purchase.
A very important factor you must consider is the budget of your treadmill. A higher investment can get you a sturdier machine, larger running surface, steeper incline, more speed and longer warranties on the parts. However, if your fitness goals do not require a hi-tech model, then you can go in for a less expensive, affordable treadmill.
However, there are some disadvantages of going in for very cheap or low-end machines:
If you live in a home that is small in size, then compact or folding treadmills are great as they can be folded up and stowed away when not in use. Wherever you put these machines, they will not occupy too much of space. Folding treadmills may be a bit more expensive but the increased price is offset by the convenience these models offer.
Some things that you must keep in mind when deciding on the right treadmill for your exercising needs are:
Check the amount of space you have available in your home to keep and operate your treadmill. Measure the floor space available and also the storage space where you plan to keep the machine after use (in case of a foldable model). The running space or the belt size of the treadmill can affect the footprint of the treadmill.
It is recommended that you look for a belt of 55” length and 22” width for running, 50” length and 20” width for walking and if you are over 6 feet tall, then look for a 60” belt. Home treadmills are generally 7 feet (l) x 3 feet (w) or lesser, while a folding treadmill is usually half the length when folded and stored.
The motor of the treadmill powers the running track and the motor power is usually measured as HP or horsepower or CHP or continuous horsepower. CHP is the power provided by the motor continuously instead of just the power at its peak. Most of the home treadmills have CHPs between 2.25-4.25. The motor power is basically dependant on your body weight and kind of exercise performed.
If you weigh 200 pounds or less, choose a model that has 2.0 or more CHP for walking, 2.5 CHP or more for jogging and 3.0 CHP or more for running. If your weight is more than 200 pounds, then add an extra 0.5 CHP to the power. If the motor of your treadmill runs at almost its full capacity, it will wear out very quickly.
Today, most treadmills have workout programs that are preset to achieve various exercise goals like endurance training, weight loss training, interval training, etc. The preset programs control the speed, incline, decline etc. of the treadmill automatically.
Generally, treadmill user weight capacities are around 250-400 pounds. Choose a model that can handle at least around 50 pounds greater than the weight of your body. This will ensure that there is no excessive strain on the motor.
Many latest treadmills have hi-tech features such as USB ports, Wi-Fi internet connectivity, docks for iPods, mp3 music player compatibility, tablet holders, televisions, etc. It’s a great idea to choose a model with such features that can motivate you to exercise and you won’t realize how time flies while exercising.
Many treadmills also offer the option of working in tandem with many interactive workout technologies like iFit, Passport Virtual Active technology, etc.
Measuring your heart rate can help you to exercise more efficiently and wireless heart rate monitors provide the most accurate data. Many treadmills offer a heart rate control option as well and their workout programs are adjusted automatically in such a way that helps you remain in your desired heart rate zone.
Typically, warranties are offered by manufacturers on the parts, frame, motor and labor of the treadmill. Usually, most models offer a lifetime warranty on the frames and the motor. However, some manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty on motors that are more durable.
The warranty on parts usually covers mechanical and electronic parts of the treadmill. Very cheap models offer a 90-day warranty on the parts, while others offer a 1-year warranty. Hi-end, reliable machines offer 5-year warranties on the parts.
Most of the cheap treadmills do not offer any warranty on labor, others offer 1-2 years of labor warranty.
Before you finally buy a treadmill, it is a good idea to try it out for yourself and check out the following things:
A few other aspects that you must check out once you have narrowed down your choice of the treadmill are:
Buying the best treadmill that costs less than $1,000 can be a little tricky, as you have several models that you can choose from and there are many newer models being introduced each day. Each of the models reviewed in this article has their benefits as well as drawbacks and you must evaluate these factors before making your final purchase decision.
And once you have arrived at your decision on which treadmill to buy, you will be all set to take your first stride towards a fitter and healthier life.