So you want to get a treadmill, but overwhelmed by all the choices? Here we round up the best 4 treadmills for home use, no matter your budget. We’ve looked at price, size, motor and features, and of course, they can all fold away for easy storage.
Best Budget Treadmill (Under $200)
If you’re looking for a treadmill under $200, we recommend manual treadmills, or used electric treadmills. Electric treadmills in this price range suffer from poor quality motors and construction.
Budget electric treadmills can only operate at a fast walking speed, not a running speed, and manual treadmills are more suited for both walking and jogging It makes sense to buy a more robust manual treadmill than a flimsy electric one.
The Phoenix 95810 is a great little unit that is sturdily built, and is easily folded down to be stored under your bed or in a closet or garage. As it is a manual treadmill, you need to provide your own force to propel the belt, but you soon get used to it. Simply start moving on the belt, holding on to the support handles, and the heavy-duty flywheel will respond allowing you to walk or jog at any speed you want.
As it is a budget, manual treadmill, you don’t get all the bells and whistles you would with an electric treadmill, however you do you get a AA battery powered display, that tracks your speed, time and distance, as well as calories burned. It also has a drinks holder, and a drink container is included. It really is a ‘quick-release’ type folding mechanism, so you can quickly erect and dismantle the treadmill and store it easily.
Phoenix have done a good job with the 95810, and it is one of the most smooth and quiet operating manual treadmills you can buy. Just make sure you lubricate and adjust the belt when you get it.
[usrlist “Build Quality:3” “Features:1” “Value:3″ avg=”true”]
- Walking surface: 41″ x 13″
- Dimensions: 46.5″ x 21.1″ x 50″ (open); 21.7″ x 21.1″ x 50.2″ (folded)
- Maximum user weight: 250lbs
- Weight: 45lbs
Most people will want an electric treadmill, but the Phoenix is a great little manual treadmill under $200 for those who don’t want to break the bank.
Best Entry-Level Treadmill ($200-$500)
Most entry-level electric treadmills are extremely limited; no incline settings, slow speeds, questionable build quality, non-folding… the Confidence GTR Power Pro shines though as a little gem among the rough. The GTR Power Pro can be neatly folded up and stored away, and is a very light 62lbs, making it easy to move around.
The 1.5hp motor can go 7.5mph, which is fast enough for most people unless you really want to push yourself, however, the belt length is only 43.5 inches, so taller users may have to be careful of their stride. It does not have shock absorbers or the heavy-duty frame of the high end treadmills, so it’s more of a walking treadmill than for running. The incline can be set to 3 different levels, although this is manually adjusted, so you will have to dismount the treadmill to adjust.
The display has the usual distance, speed and calories, and also has a pulse rate monitor. The controls are on the arm handles for speed and start/stop. The readouts are in kms rather than miles though, but it’s not to hard to convert in your head. This should be a selectable feature, and is the only thing not improved from their previous version.
Confidence have made a great treadmill here for the price. It does have a few bad sides, but if you’re after an inexpensive treadmill that you can store away easily, and only plan to use it for walking or light jogging, you can’t go wrong.
[usrlist “Build Quality:3.5” “Features:3” “Value:4″ avg=”true”]
- Motor: 1.5hp
- Walking surface: 43.5″ x 15.75″
- Dimensions: 52″ x 25.2″ x 52″ (open); 54″ x 25.5″ x 23″ (folded)
- Maximum user weight: 250lbs
- Weight: 62lbs
- Max Speed: 7.5mph
- Incline: 3 levels (manual)
The GTR Power Pro has a relatively small motor and slow speeds compared to the higher-end treadmills, but for those who only want to have an infrequent brisk walk, it’s perfect. The GTR Power Pro is the best treadmill for walking, and the best treadmill under $500.
Best Intermediate Treadmill ($500-$1000)
Treadmills in the $500-$1000 range is where you start getting the best bang for your buck. Treadmills of lower cost can be a little bit ‘cheap’. The LifeSpan TR1200i is at the higher end of the spectrum, but is a brilliant treadmill for the price.
Unlike cheaper models, the TR1200i has all the features you need, including the build quality and speed to run, instead of just fast walking. This is due to the deck suspension system, which can support up to 300lbs. This model is also a folding treadmill, allowing you to easily store and move your treadmill.
The belt has a large 20″ by 56″ area, allowing taller people to use it without having to take smaller strides. The belt is powered by a 2.5hp motor, meaning it can handle tough workouts. The controls are mounted on the handlebars, which allow you to control the speed and incline in easy reach. Unlike less expensive models, the incline can be adjusted while the machine is running, which lets you simulate running up and down hills.
The multicolored LCD console tracks your time, calories and distance, steps and heart rate, and offers 17 preset workout programs. The MyZone Constant program is a novel feature, that automatically changes the speed and incline of the treadmill to keep your heart-rate constant. This is great for those who don’t want to put too much strain on their heart. It also features speakers to allow you to plug in your iPod and listen to your music while you work out.
A LifeSpan Fitness Club membership is included with the purchase, and you can automaticllay upload your workout data, from the treadmill, to the online tracker. This online health management program lets you track and manage your exercise programs, and manage your goals.
[usrlist “Build Quality:4” “Features:4.5” “Value:4.5″ avg=”true”]
- Motor: 2.5hp
- Walking surface: 56″ x 20″
- Dimensions: 74″ x 33″ x 54″ (open); 39″ x 33″ x 36″ (folded)
- Maximum user weight: 300lbs
- Weight: 198bs
- Max Speed: 11mph
- Incline: 15 levels
The TR1200i is a fantasic treadmill. It has a good size motor, a multitude of features and can handle a fair amount of use. It is good for those who will use it often, to walk or jog.
If you are serious about training on a treadmill at home, you want to buy yourself a decent bit of kit. If you cheap out on a machine that you will be putting through its paces, you might find it can’t stand up to your strenuous activities.
The LifeSpan TR4000i is an absolute beast of a home treadmill. Sure you can pay more, but the TR4000i will cope with just about any stress you give it. The 3.25 horsepower motor can deliver a nice, smooth motion, even when you’re giving it an absolute hammering, and the 20×60″ running surface gives you more space to stride without the fear of falling off.
Of course, with it being a home treadmill, it easily folds into a small size and can be moved around. The TR4000i features a bigger, meaner digital control panel than its little brother the TR1200i, which has the same features, such as the heartrate control program and the ability to upload your runs to the internet. A maximum speed of 12MPH allows you to sprint through 15 different incline levels, and can take a weight of up to 350lbs.
The TR4000i is a serious bit of training equipment, but for the price, you can’t beat it. The rugged build quality, the excellent control panel and the incredible motor make this hard to beat, and competes with treadmills twice the price.
[usrlist “Build Quality:5” “Features:5” “Value:5″ avg=”true”]
- Motor: 3.25hp
- Walking surface: 60″ x 20″
- Dimensions: 74″ x 33″ x 54″ (open); 42″ x 33″ x 36″ (folded)
- Maximum user weight: 350lbs
- Weight: 235bs
- Max Speed: 12mph
- Incline: 15 levels
If you are going to frequently use your treadmill, and want to run as well as jog and walk, the TR4000i is the best you can buy. The motor and frame are powerful and built to last, but can still easily be folded and stored if needed.