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Best Treadmill for At-Home Cardio

Shopping for a treadmill can be a slow process given the variety of machines a vailable through different manufacturers with a range of features at different price points. Depending on what you want out of your machine and workout, you may be able to get by with an inexpensive manual treadmill. Conversely, you may require need a top of the line, machine equipped with the latest high tech features. Knowing the differences between the various available treadmills is really an asset when making such a big, and possibly expensive, decision. Fortunately, we’ve drafted a helpful treadmill buyer’s guide below which lays out all the essentials you need to know.

For more information on what to look at in selecting the best treadmill in 2021, We have listed below the best treadmill available for you to help you decide what product is best to buy.

Comparing the Best Treadmills for 2021

LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill - Best Treadmill Overall

Sole always delivers quality and the F85’s 400 pound weight capacity demonstrates this frame is solid. The 2-Ply, 22 inch by  60 inch belt offers plenty of room to run and the deck folds up when not in use to save space. The belt is run by a four continuous horsepower motor letting it run up to 12 MPH and a rack and pinion gear design allowing you to adjust between .5 and 15 percent elevation. Even at its highest levels, the belt on the F85 is super quiet and its Cushion Flex technology protects your joints from harsh impact.

Sole really knows how to make their consoles stand out and the brightly lit nine inch screen on the F85 is one of their best. The easy-to-read screen displays your key metrics and also has a scrolling message board that helps you through your workouts and treadmill set up. On either side of the screen are single push buttons letting you jump to the speed and incline that suits you while below the screen are buttons allowing you to control the rest of your settings, including eight preset workouts and two custom programs.

The F85 will make you feel like it belongs in a gym with a host of extra features including fans, speakers, water bottle holders, heart rate monitors, and a safety lanyard or emergency purposes. At around $3,000, it’s a fair price to pay for a treadmill offering so many features combined with steadfast reliability.

SOLE F63 Treadmill - Runner Up

Sole Fitness creates treadmills for all budgets and while the F60 is a budget model Sole’s integrity and quality still shine in this product. The F60’s belt has cushion flex technology reducing the impact of running on the joints while keeping the machine quite. It is fitted with a 2.75 continuous horsepower motor which keeps steady speed without faults and when you are not using the F60, the belt conveniently folds up for space saving and storage. This machine can hit 10 MPH and up to 12 percent incline, excellent for a budget model.

The steel frame is coated with an epoxy making it durable and scuff resistant, important in the home setting. The buttons are large and perfectly placed making it easy to control your incline, speed, and choose one of the 10 preset programs that come on this device without having to break your stride. Other notable features for this model include a 3 speed fan, water bottle holders, separate heart rate handles, a speaker, and an emergency stop button. The console is perfect with the minor issue being that the screen is a little on the smaller side.

NordicTrack T Series Treadmill - Most Quiet

NordicTrack is a name well known in the fitness community for years of experience delivering some of the most innovative products on the market. The C600 Elite body is solid and the 20 inch by 50 inch belt offers plenty of room for walking or running. The DurX 2.6 continuous horsepower motor offers a smooth and consistent belt rotation up to 10 MPH while the FlexSelect cushioning protects the joints and the belt from the impact caused by running. The belt can be elevated all the way up to a 10 percent incline and when it isn’t being used it bends in the opposite way to fold up for a smaller footprint.

The console on this machine is a thing of beauty with a perfectly sized backlit screen displaying multiple statistics at the same time. The incline and speed are easy to increase or decrease with the single push of a button and it is nearly as simple to choose from one of the 20 preset workouts. Other notable features with this machine include iFit compatibility, iPod ready sound system, dual water bottle holders, and a separate heart rate monitor handle.

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Cory Everson Jamz Fitness Manual Treadmill - Consider

When you take everything into consideration, it’s hard not to see the Cory Everson treadmill as the best because of all of its features. The console on this machine is navigated in a push button manner but the screen is much larger offering key metrics like heart rate info which you won’t find with any other manual treadmill.

The Cory Everson Manual treadmill comes with a water bottle, water bottle holder, and bands which are unprecedented for a unit offered way under $200. The only thing this treadmill doesn’t have is multiple levels of resistance which is made up for by the 3 levels of incline and it also folds up small for easy transportation and storage.

Life Fitness 95T Elevation Series w/ Discover SE Console Treadmill - Best Gym-Quality Treadmill

Life Fitness is a staple in gyms all over the country which should be enough to tell you that these treadmills are serious business. They are built like tanks from durable metal and plastic, feature epoxy coating and comes in 4 different color options; a nice touch for the gym environment. The 22-inch by  60-inch belt runs smoothly because of the lubricant infused belt with an advanced tracking system and Lifespring shock absorbers help protect the joints from the impact of running.

The four horsepower motor allows you to hit speeds of up to 14 MPH and the belt can be raised up to 15 percent incline. The console on this machine makes every other console look like child’s play. It can, of course give you all of your statistics but the amount of exercise programs is basically infinite. The internet-ready console provides the option to find your own workout while allowing you the option to check Facebook, watch YouTube videos and much more. If you  want a more direct approach to preset workouts, this console is leaps and bounds above others with landscape programs moving at the pace of the runner. Of course with all of these functions you also get a reading rack, cup holder, and iPod compatibility.

Precor 885 with P80 Console Treadmill - Best Gym-Quality Treadmill

Precor is well known for offering luxury level treadmills but their TRM 885 takes the cake because of its durability and gym specific features. Just by looking at the treadmill there’s a solid body combined with impressive deck technology supporting users up to 400 pounds.

The belt itself is multi-ply and comes pre-lubricated giving it a longer life. If the belt ever does begin to wear down, it’s simple to replace and the deck can be flipped over, not something you’ll find in just any treadmill. Additionally, the belt features foot plant technology to match the users stride to reduce joint stress. The Ground Effect Impact Control System also absorbs the shock of high impact movements protecting both the runner and the machine.

Users can control the speed of the belt up to 16 MPH provided by the four horsepower motor and move the belt anywhere from a 3 percent decline all the way up to a 15 percent incline. The screen on this machine is a 15 inch touch screen, larger than a tablet and just as easy to use. The oversized window shows you all of your necessary statistics (along with ones you didn’t even know that you wanted) in both U.S. Standard and Metric in 9 different languages.

You can choose from 28 workout options ranging from fat burning to strength training using the simple to navigate software on the touch screen. It also boasts a large red stop button and a magnetic stop clip for fall safety and notable extras like iPod docking, USB port, and headphone jack.

Epic A42T Treadmill

Epic A42T Treadmill - Best Treadmill Overall

The Epic A42 has a sturdy, solid steel frame with a sleek powder-coated finish and a curved console casing which make this treadmill look futuristic. The 2-Ply belt measures 20 inches by 60 inches and is run by a 4.2 continuous horsepower motor. The A42 has a maximum speed of 12 MPH and can adjust to a 15 percent incline or a decline of 3 percent. The belt also folds up for easy storage to add space to your gym when you are not using the treadmill.

Energy Returning Cushioning protects the joints from impact and also has rear motion sensors that will alert you of movement behind the treadmill and even shut the treadmill off if necessary protecting family and pets. The A42 has a 10 inch, full-color touchscreen offering full web connectivity to surf the internet while you run and Google street views for real time running views. Buttons on either side of the screen allow you to quickly jump to your favorite speed and incline while the buttons underneath the screen allow you to navigate through the 45 preset workout apps along with iFit.

This treadmill comes equipped with fans, speakers, heart rate monitors, and water bottle holders. It also has a unique console feature allowing you to adjust the perfect height and angle for each individual user. At around $3,000 this machine offers the best value for your money.

Precor TRM 445 Treadmill

Precor TRM 445 Treadmill - Best Treadmill Overall

Precor is well known for their luxury treadmills, but with great luxury comes great quality which is apparent in the machines solid frame. The multi-ply belt is thick, durable, and when combined with the dry lubricated and reversible deck, this treadmill will last a lifetime. The deck is a spacious 56 by 22 inches and a Ground Effects Impact Control System combined with Footplant Technology offer superior joint protection.

A three continuous horsepower motor lets you run at speeds up to 12 miles per hour and a second thrust motor generates up to 1000 pounds of thrust in order to fluctuate between a two percent decline and 15 percent incline. The seven inch Acrylic LCD console screen is absolutely beautiful to look at and easy to read. Backlit touch buttons make for easy navigation of the 23 preset workouts while unique and convenient lever-style buttons allow easy change in the belt speed and incline mid-stride.

The console displays 27 workout metrics and it’s even capable of tracking your workout and the workouts of up to three other users. Other notable features of this device include a tablet holder/port, oversized cup holders, and hand and chest strap heart rate monitors. At around $6,000 this isn’t exactly an impulse buy, but definitely a treadmill that will serve your entire family for a long time.

NordicTrack X9i Incline Electronic Treadmill

NordicTrack X9i Incline Electronic Treadmill - Best Treadmill Overall

The Nordic Track X9i has a solid steel frame that is built to last, and it has to be when you see just what this machine can do. The belt is a fairly standard 22 inches by 60 inches with Reflex cushioning protecting the joints from major impact. The X9i can reach speeds of 12 MPH with its reliable three continuous horsepower motor and the incline on this device is unlike any home treadmill that you will find. This treadmill offers an incline of 40 percent and a decline of six percent which not only opens up your workout options, it also helps to burn more calories.

The console of this machine is loaded with a 10 inch, web-enabled touch screen and buttons galore. On either side of the screen you’ll find quick set buttons allowing you to quickly jump to your favorite speed and incline. Below the screen you’ll find buttons to start/stop the machine as well as controlling the endless iFit enabled workouts. The screen displays all of your key metrics in an easy-to-read manner, along with an Android powered web browser so you can surf the web during a workout to keep your mind entertained while your body works.

If the web browser wasn’t enough, this machine also comes with an iPod port and tablet holder as well as dual fans, great speakers, dual cup holders, as well as handle and chest strap heart rate monitors. With the options that come standard on this machine, the price tag of around $3,000 is almost a steal.

TRUE PS100 Commercial Treadmill - Best Treadmill Overall

At first glance the PS100 looks like your average treadmill, but its commercial-grade materials and precision construction make it all the more impressive. The 2-Ply, 22 inch by 60 inch belt offers ample running room and is powered by a three continuous horsepower motor allowing for smooth running up to 12 MPH. A separate thrust motor allows you to elevate the belt up to 15 percent and both speed and incline can be easily adjusted with the touch of a button underneath the console screen.

At seven inches the screen could be a little bigger and the console itself is pretty simple but your key metrics are quickly and easily read during your workout. Buttons on either side of the screen allow you to quickly select one of the nine preset programs on this device. The PS100 comes with features you’d expect on a device in this class like wireless heart rate monitor compatibility, a safety lanyard, water bottle holders and other item holders.

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Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill - Best Stand Mixer Overall

Horizon fitness is not always known for the quality of their products but their line of budget friendly treadmills is the exception to the rule and the T202 is the best of their offerings. It provides a large movement space at 20 inches x 55 inches and a solid frame with a belt which folds to save space when not in use. The belt is run by a 2.5 continuous horsepower motor for smooth and consistent speeds and offers 3-zone variable cushioning for the perfect shock protection for each individual’s joints.

Like other top tier treadmills the T202 offers an incline up to 12 percent and speed up to 12 miles per hour (MPH) and as low as 0.5 MPH with easy push button selection. The console is impressive in every way imaginable with a large brightly lit screen and simple push button navigation; you can easily read all key information and choose from an impressive number of 30 preset programs. This treadmill also comes with a fan, magazine rack, water bottle holder, mp3 jack, heart rate monitor, and workout tracking software.

Buyer's Guide

The Best Treadmills Buying GuideSo you've chosen to invest in a treadmill. That's good news! Treadmills are a pretty popular piece of fitness equipment because they are pretty simple to use and adaptable – whether you want to use them just to stay in shape, train for a marathon, or even to jog when the weather is rainy or windy. However, buying a treadmill is never an easy decision, and it requires a lot of extensive research before you go ahead and buy it.

By don't worry because we've got years of experience in the fitness world and have used our expertise to collect all the information necessary to put up a buying guide to assist you on picking the right one for you. Read on!

What Should You Consider Before Buying a Treadmill?

Space

Maybe one of the most important things is to see whether you have enough space in the home for your new sports equipment. Most of the treadmills, on average, are 77 inches long by 35 inches wide. The folding treadmill will be at least half its size when stored.

So we suggest you stick with the folding treadmills if you live in apartments or small spaces. But even though the foldable treadmill takes less space, you'll need to empty enough space once you start running for access and safety.

Belt Size

Another important factor you need to put into consideration in order for the matching to function smooth and not rough is the belt size. The belt size of the treadmill should be at least 48 inches long and 18 inches wide.

But if you are over 6 feet in height, then the belt size should ideally be around 54 inches for comfortable running or walking.

Weight

When we talk about the max weight, we don't mean the weight of the treadmill. This is about the maximum weight the running belt can handle. Most of the folding treadmills have a maximum user weight of 120kg (18.89 St), and the commercial treadmills range from 150kg (23.62 St) to 160kg.

Horse Power

The next important thing to think about is the motor and the level of horsepower. The more horsepower (HP), the longer the treadmill will last.

To make it simple, look for an engine with at least 1.5 continuous-duty horsepower (CHP). If you plan on running on the treadmill frequently or more people will use it, then the ideal option is to get a treadmill that has from 2.5 to 3.0 CHP (this gives you up to 10mph speed or higher)

So, for example, if you're a family of 3 runners, then you will need something more powerful so that the treadmill will keep up all the pressure.

What Is The Price Range of a Treadmill?

The treadmills' prices can range from as low as $500 and up to $2000 and maybe even more. If you want a treadmill that will last a couple of years without any problems, you'll likely spend at least $1,000, although spending between $1,500 and $2,000 will give you more stability and more reliable motors, and more workout features. If you have more than two users in your home, then we suggest you look at models costing at least $1,500.

There are some models that fall under $500, but keep in mind those may not last as long, have a short warranty, and have low stability.

What Are The Most Vital Features Of A Treadmill?

Stability

The stability feature is important to keep the treadmill safe and stable while running. It should not rattle or shake while you are on it because it can potentially harm you.

Programs

Some treadmill consoles have preset workouts with specific speeds, distances, and inclines. So you might find a range of programs that come in pretty helpful to achieve your fitness plan.

Heart Rate

Another important feature while running is heart rate control. This allows you to track the intensity of your exercise. Usually, you will need to put your hands on the handgrip and visually display your heart rate.

Water bottle holder

While running, you won't be able to hold the water for the whole period, so you will need to put it somewhere. Even though most people overlook this feature, the console water bottle holder is a great feature to have. It also helps remind you to stay hydrated while you work up and sweat.

Safety Key

This is maybe the most crucial safety feature that you should focus on getting. The safety key attaches to your clothes, and if you accidentally slip or need to stop, pull the key, and the treadmill will instantly come to a stop.

How we tested treadmills?

We know just how crucial exercise is to a healthy life. To help you get the best home exercise equipment, we have researched a variety of brands. Then all of the best treadmills went through a series of extensive tests to see how well they compared across these four categories: Performance, features, quality, brand, and value.

Conclusion

You've made it to the end of our extensive treadmill buying guide! We hope this guide has helped you learn how to purchase a treadmill to suit your workout needs.

It's important first to determine your overall needs and preferences, then go ahead and pick a home treadmill that offers the best mixture of components, features, and warranties that fits your fitness budget.

Treadmill FAQ

Q: What is the best treadmill for a small space?
A: Folding treadmills are the most ideal for smaller spaces, as they often have the smallest occupying area and can be folded for easy transportation and storage.

Q: How long should you run on a treadmill?
A: You can run on a treadmill as long as you want; there isn't any fixed time. But if you're just starting, keep the running durations low, between 25 to 30 minutes. So, in one week, you can use the treadmill for 2.5 to 5 hours.

Q: What is a treadmill lubricant for?
A: Treadmill lubricant is sold separately, and it is used to stop friction against the belt and the board. It's the medicine your treadmill needs every 6-8 weeks or after 50 hours of running. Research showed that 80% of breakdown issues are due to the low amount of lubricating.

Q: Are Treadmills noisy?
A: Good quality treadmills should have a very quiet motor. But be sure to give a good listen while it's running in the store and decide if the noise is going to be an issue to you and everyone around you.

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