Building a home gym? Well, then in your search for fitness equipment, you must have come across many strange options. Some of the machines seem expensive, while others can add more burden to your exercise routine instead of helping you get lean.
If you would rather have simple gym equipment that can help you shed those extra pounds, you might want to get a treadmill. Compared to alternatives, treadmills are less complex to use. Just get on the machine & select your desired speed and incline. The motor will start moving the belt under your feet and you can burn those calories on a treadmill, without going out or hitting the gym. Treadmills offer several different features that may help you gain the kinds of health benefits you are looking for. In a nutshell, every burgeoning home gym needs a treadmill.
Whether you are looking to buy a basic home treadmill or top-of-the-line equipment, we have a look at best treadmills on the market (focusing on those models intended for home use):
- The Best Home Treadmills – Comparison
- 1. XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill – Our Top Choice
- 2. SereneLife Smart Digital Folding Exercise Machine SLFTRD18
- 3. ProForm PFTL60916 505 CST – Best Budget Home Treadmill
- 4. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill
- Minor Issues
- 5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill
- What Makes a Good Home Treadmill?
The Best Home Treadmills – Comparison
1. XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill – Our Top Choice
XTERRA is known for their products’ look, feel, and quality. The treadmills from this brand are a great option for people who want to get an attractive and durable machine that’ll last a long time. The XTERRA Fitness TR150 is a high quality folding treadmill designed for home use. It has a bright, 5-inch LCD speed that monitors your speed, distance, time, heart rate and calorie burn, allowing you to track your progress effectively.
The innovative folding deck design of the XTERRA Fitness TR150 should save you a lot of space at home. To fold this treadmill, all you have to do is push the deck upwards and pull the knob. This will lock the machine in an upright position, so you can easily move it out of the way. To unfold the machine again, push the knob.
When running at high speed on a treadmill, you must be careful and land your foot softly for a low impact. Otherwise, your joints might start hurting after an intense session. Fortunately, the XTERRA TR150 has deck cushioning technology, providing multiple points of cushioning for better impact absorption. This treadmill also comes with twelve preset workout programs, and three options for incline levels.
The XTERRA Fitness TR150 sports a powerful 2.25 HP motor that allows it to achieve a speed of up to 10mph, which should be enough for the majority of people. This treadmill is our top choice because it boasts impressive 12 prebuilt workouts, cushioning technology and great speed, all at a good price. There isn’t any other home treadmill that offers this much at this price range.
So if you want a durable, well made treadmill with plenty of features at a reasonable price, in our opinion you should consider adding this one to your shortlist
Be careful when folding the treadmill for storage or transport – it’s easy for the treadmill to unfold as it’s not very securely fastened – if you’re not careful you could potentially injure yourself.
The frame of the XTERRA Fitness TR150 is backed by a lifetime warranty, while the motor comes with a one year warranty. However, the period of in-home labor, parts and deck warranty is only 90 days.
- Build quality
- Low-impact running surface
- Good range of speed and incline settings
We Don’t Like
- Warranty isn’t as good as some treadmills
- Manual incline adjustment, incline range not great
- Can unfold while moving, which could cause injury
2. SereneLife Smart Digital Folding Exercise Machine SLFTRD18
The SereneLife Smart Digital Folding Exercise Machine comes with a decent 1HP motor that can deliver a maximum speed of 6 mph. It comes with a smart LCD display with touch button control. One of the best features of the SLFTRD18 is that you can connect it to your smartphone or tablet (both Android and iOS) via Bluetooth. For that, you’ll have to download the iFit app. This app is connected to the HealthKit and gathers and saves your exercise data. You can access the stored data and track your progress or share it with your friends on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
The machine doesn’t come assembled right out of the box, but fortunately assembling this treadmill is quite easy and shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. The SereneLife SLFTRD18 boasts preset workout programs, allowing you to choose a setting that you’re most comfortable with. You can also take your training session up a notch by increasing the speed. In case you are getting exhausted and feel as if you’re about to fall, you could just push the red emergency button that will quickly shut down the machine.
This treadmill features a detachable book holder and tablet that you can use during your cardio to stay entertained and run longer. The machine’s exercise belt is 39.3” x 13.4” which should be good enough for most people.
Safety-wise, this treadmill (similar to most rivals) has two handlebars you can hold on to while exercising.
The SLFTRD18 is compact in size and you can easily fold it, to store it out of the way when not in use. It is good for running, jogging, and working in the comfort of your living room and offers great value for money.
The 1HP motor isn’t quite as powerful as some rival treadmills. The maximum speed you can get from this one is 6 mph, which may not be enough for some people.
Another minor niggle: the running deck of the SereneLife SLFTRD18 is relatively small.
- Can connect to iFit app and HealthKit
- Range of speed and incline settings
- Compact size makes it suitable for apartments
We Don’t Like
- 1HP motor a bit underpowered for runners
- Relatively smaller running deck
- Only uphill incline available
3. ProForm PFTL60916 505 CST – Best Budget Home Treadmill
If you don’t want to shell out well over $1000 on a treadmill, then the 505 CST from ProForm is worth considering. This inexpensive treadmill incorporates a SpaceSaver design and its folding mechanism lets you fold it for easy storage. It has many of the features and most of the performance of treadmills costing over twice as much.
Housing a powerful 2.5 CHP motor, the ProForm 505 can allow you to run at a maximum speed of 10 mph without any noise or vibrations. The motor isn’t just powerful, but is also quiet and runs very smoothly.
The maximum incline of this treadmill can be set to 10 percent which will give you a unique experience of trekking. The treadmill belt measures 20” x 55” which gives you ample area to run at high speeds. The ProForm 505 CST can also monitor heart rate with EKG Grip Pulse Sensor.
When it comes to training programs, this treadmill features 18 built-in workouts, designed by personal trainers, that you can use to improve your exercise regimen. If this isn’t enough, you can access millions of workouts, thanks to the iFit compatibility of the ProForm 505 CST.
The machine also features cushioning throughout the deck to minimize shock impact. So you’ll have a softer landing, and your joints might not hurt so much after intense running workouts.
This treadmill comes with a tablet holder, to increase your entertainment options while training, or for you to run your chosen fitness app. You can also connect your smart device & play music through the two included speakers.
Although the ProForm 505 CST doesn’t boast fancy features and may not have all the bells and whistles found in high-end treadmills, however, we think it’s the best treadmill you can buy in this price range.
- iFit compatible
- 18 prebuilt workout programs
- Included tablet holder
We Don’t like
- Slow customer service
- Difficult assembly
- Relatively heavy
4. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill
The NordicTrack T 7.5 S Treadmill is an upgraded version of the NordicTrack C990 with new features and improved specs. Like other NordicTrack machines, this model is noticeably higher quality than some budget exercise equipment.
The frame of this machine is light enough to allow for easy handling and sturdy enough for being used by larger people every day. The T 7.5 S Treadmill is powered by a 3HP motor which is perfect for joggers, runners, and walkers. The maximum speed that you get from this treadmill is 12 mph, which is pretty impressive.
The running area of this treadmill is 60” x 20”, which should be ample for most people. One of the most impressive features of the T 7.5 S is the FlexSelect Cushioning that allows adjusting your cushioning deck as per your preference. You can soften the mat to lighten the impact or make it hard for a more real world-like experience. The treadmill also boasts a 7” full-color, HD touchscreen display which even responds quickly to sweaty hands.
When you first set this machine up, it seems as if you must subscribe to iFit for it to work. However, it is possible to decline the iFit subscription – just hold down the iFit button on the console for 30 seconds, then you can use your treadmill without the subscription.
NordicTrack back this model with a lifetime frame warranty, plus 25 years for the motor. The remaining parts & labor are covered for 1 year.
- NordicTrack quality
- Adjustable FlexSelect Cushioning
- Lifetime warranty on frame and motor
We Don’t Like
- Relatively expensive
- Complicated assembly
- iFit can crash occasionally
5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill
The Sunny SF-T4400 is generally sold as an entry-level treadmill, but it offers plenty of advantages that aren’t usually found in cheap models. This machine doesn’t have the features of the treadmills we have discussed above, but its powerful 2.2 HP motor can reach a maximum speed of 9 mph. Moreover, it can incline to up to 12 degrees, but you’ll have to adjust manually.
The 49” x 16” running deck is certainly a lot smaller compared to other high-end models, but it won’t make a major difference if you are just doing light running or jogging. The SF-T4400 comes with nine pre-loaded workouts, and a functional LCD display for tracking time, speed, and calories burned.
This isn’t the treadmill for serious runners, however it might be an option worth considering if you just want to do a light workout in the comfort of your home.
- One of the less expensive treadmills
- Maximum speed of 9 mph
- Incline can be adjusted to up to 12 degrees
We Don’t Like
- Running deck is smaller than some treadmills
- Can hold only up to 220lbs
- Doesn’t include fancy features found in top treadmills
What Makes a Good Home Treadmill?
Since there are many domestic treadmills on the market, it is easy to become confused, and potentially make the wrong choice. To ensure you buy the best treadmill for your needs, here’s a guide to what makes a good home treadmill:
Running Surface Area
One of the most important factors to consider when buying treadmills is the running surface area. A good treadmill has a large deck area (more than 55” x 20”). The ideal size is 60” x 22”. If you’re extra tall, or have a particularly long stride, you may even need to look for a deck longer than 60 inches. With a large running deck, you would be able to engage in high-intensity workouts on your treadmill.
The more powerful the treadmill’s motor is, the longer the machine will last and the better it’ll perform. Good treadmills have a powerful motor. You should look for a treadmill with at least 1.5 HP. Anything less than that isn’t really good enough.
Advanced features such as large touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, enhanced running programs, heart rate monitoring and calorie burn display are important, as they will enhance your experience of working out on a treadmill. The ability to adjust speed, incline and decline from the console is a nice-to-have feature too. The best treadmills have most, if not all of these attributes.
Some of the less expensive treadmills with adjustable incline might only have two or three incline settings, and at the budget end of the market, you may have to adjust the incline manually. More sophisticated treadmills allow you to adjust the incline from the console, and generally have a wider range of settings.
It’s also worth looking for a treadmill that offers decline as well as incline settings – if you want to mix your workouts up, some periods of decline (downhill running) will make your sessions more like running outdoors.
Top-of-the-line home treadmills come with a hefty price tag. Since you are making a big investment, you want to be certain that it will last a long time. An ideal treadmill is covered with a great warranty, giving you the confidence to purchase it without any worries. Ideally, you should look for a warranty of at least two years on frame, motor, and parts.
If you have children, put your machine in a separate room that can be locked. When the treadmill is in use, watch for pets or children walking into the belt. When you aren’t on the treadmill, be sure that the belt isn’t moving. Never leave it unattended.
Holding onto the handrails for balance is okay when you are figuring out how to run on the treadmill, but let go as you feel comfortable. If you must hold onto the rails, it means that you have set the speed too high. Over-reliance on the machine’s handrails can overstrain your shoulders and elbows.
You should wipe the treadmill down after every session. This is extremely important because moisture can build up and lead to rusting of metal parts and can also harbor fungal growth. Also, pay attention to your machine with each use. If something is scraping or rubbing, discontinue use until you’re able to determine the problem.
Check the nuts and bolts of the frame every month to ensure they aren’t getting loose. With regular use, it’s common for them to become loose due to vibrations. Also, lubricate your treadmill once a year to ensure that it stays good for many years.