A Complete Guide To Treadmills

A Complete Guide To Treadmills

For those looking to start their own home gym or just add a bit of variety to it, you can’t go wrong with a treadmill. Whether you’re looking to use the best treadmills for running, something to lose weight, or just the best compact treadmills, there are thousands of options available to suit your needs.

However, with such a flooded market in the health and fitness world, looking through the different specifications and features can be enough to turn you off. Whether you want something electric, portable, compact, affordable, or just standard are all things you need to consider, all the while ensuring you’re purchasing a quality product.

With one good treadmill in your home gym, you’ll have access to a range of workouts and exercises that go far beyond your standard cardio. We’ve scoured the internet and found our top five picks for the best treadmill, and what each of these unique models can offer you. Whether you have a small or large budget, there’s sure to be something here to satisfy your desires.

Each of these treadmills offers something special to the user, and all of them come from varying price ranges to suit every budget. Although these machines can easily go into the multiples of thousands, for the sake of affordability for the average user, we’ve found the top rated treadmills for under $1,000.

So, what are the best treadmills? We first need to understand the possible different features of these machines and which type suits each user.

Best Features Of Treadmills

When you’re on the hunt for any type of home health and fitness equipment, you might notice that there’s a lot of strange terminology and specifications that can be confusing.

When searching for the best treadmills for home, though, there are just a few areas you have to consider. As everyone will have their own needs in regards to workout gear, you should know what your options are before you go ahead and purchase.

  • Power source – there are two main types of treadmill when discussing their power source. Firstly, an electric treadmill uses a power supply to run things such as the belt and running deck, as well as any digital display. Non-electric treadmills use a rolling belt to move and sometimes have an internal battery to display their screens or have none at all.
  • Monitor – many people prefer to use a monitor with their treadmill, and the best treadmill for running usually shows this so you can keep an eye on your stats. These display information such as calories burned, distance traveled, speed, and time.
  • Handles – whether or not your treadmill has handles is a personal decision, as some people feel more secure when holding onto a treadmill’s handles. Look for this feature if you feel a little unstable on your feet or are using your treadmill to learn how to run, and would prefer the peace of mind that you have a backup there.
Handles On Treadmill
  • Cushioning – the cushioning in a treadmill refers to the running deck, and depending on personal injury or physical preference, you may rather something with more of less cushioning.
  • Incline settings – the incline of a treadmill will determine how hard it is to use, so it’s a fairly important feature for most people. With a change in incline setting, you can make a workout harder or easier with the push of a button, and they’re ideal for weight loss exercises.
  • Running deck – the running deck refers to the actual platform which you walk on, and there are a few variations such as material, size, incline, grip, and more. Some might prefer to have a larger space to work out on, whereas others are happy with a compact width and length.
Treadmill Running Deck
  • Storage and portability – for a home gym, in particular, the ability to transport and store your equipment is crucial. Most home treadmills have rolling wheels and a folding mechanism that allows you to move it out of sight when not in use.
  • User weight capacity – each treadmill will specify how much weight it can handle, so ensure you choose one without your weight range. Anything over 200lbs is usual, but there are some which can handle even the 500lbs mark however usually in a professional setting.
  • Motor – the strength of your treadmill’s motor will depend on how much speed it can handle, and how smoothly it will allow you to run or walk. One HP is fairly standard for cheaper models but look for over 2HP if you’re spending a little extra.

Depending on your home gym setup, how much space and storage you currently have, and what personal physical requirements you have for a machine, each product is going to suit you differently.

However, you should always look for a quality machine with a length warranty period, and solid online reviews. These few things will tell you just how reliable your new treadmill is, and when buying treadmills online it pays to have all of the information you can.

Best Treadmill Under $500

Although you might think of the treadmill as a fairly basic piece of gym equipment, especially in relation to rowing machines or an elliptical, they can actually be among some of the most costly. This is usually because they’re a lot harder to manufacture and keeping it running smoothly can be more difficult than riding a simple exercise bike.

Read our article about difference between treadmills and ellipticals.

However, there are still many quality treadmills available for under $500 and these can often contend with the higher range models for their smoothness and durability. While you might be looking for cheap treadmills under 100 or so, that low price is usually going to leave you dissatisfied with the level of quality you receive.

Confidence Power Trac Pro

Confidence Power Trac Running
  • Four preset speeds from 1.86mph to 6.2mph
  • LED display with distance, speed, calories burned and time
  • Adjustable manual incline with three settings
  • 1HP/735w motor
  • 12 built-in fitness programs

Representing the best of the budget friendly treadmills, the Confidence Power Trac Pro Treadmill is a compact and efficient machine. This trainer is ideal for people looking for a light walking or jogging device that they can use without taking up too much room, and it won’t break the bank either. If you’re searching for the best treadmill for the money, this one is a great entry level product.

This treadmill isn’t the same strength that you’d find in a professional gym, but it’s perfect for people who want to spend an hour or so a day getting their heart pumping by walking or jogging lightly. The adjustable manual incline allows you to try three different settings if you feel you need a challenge, too.

Weight limit is 250 lbs, but be careful if you are between 200'250 lbs.

Although the weight limit on this states 250lbs, there have been some reports from users that this isn’t accurate. Most people found that 220lbs was a more reliable figure to go by before it starts to affect the smoothness of the running deck. If you’re a larger user and looking for something to accommodate you safely and comfortably, this might not be the best choice.

For the low price, you’ll be hard pressed finding another gym machine of this quality to fit nicely away in your home. As long as you aren’t planning on training for a marathon on it, there’s no reason why the Confidence Power Trac Pro Treadmill won’t serve you well for many years in your home gym.

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Exerpeutic TF900 Electric Treadmill

Walking Treadmill
  • Designed for fitness walking up to 4MPH
  • 1.5HP motor and ground level walking surface
  • Side rails for stability
  • LCD display for time, calories burned, distance, and speed
  • 350lbs maximum user weight for all body types
  • Foldable and portable with built-in wheels

As one of the most trusted names in the health and fitness industry, it’s no surprise that the Exerpeutic TF900 Electric Treadmill has made the cut for top rated treadmills. Of all the treadmills for sale, this one represents fantastic value for money with a perfect mid-range machine on offer. The TF900 was designed mainly for fitness walking with speeds up to 4MPH, so don’t expect to do any hard training on it.

The best feature of the Exerpeutic Treadmill is its phenomenal weight capacity, which far exceeds all others in this price range. With the ability to hold up to 350lbs of weight, it suits all types of bodies and all fitness levels, so there’s no discrimination in who can enjoy the benefits of using this handy device.

Up to 350 lbs

The only real disadvantage with this treadmill is that it has no option for incline, automatic or manual. So while you’ll be able to walk comfortably and jog lightly, there’s no way to step up the intensity and get a better workout in your legs. You’ll still be able to work out with it, but if you’re interested in the versatility an incline machine can bring you might want to choose another treadmill.

Overall, the Exerpeutic TF900 Electric Treadmill is exception value for money considering it comes in well under $500. With the only downfall being the lack of incline, everything else about this machine shows how durable, reliable, and smooth it is to operate. If you’re looking for a good, standard treadmill to add to your home gym, this makes an excellent choice.

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Sunny Health And Fitness Electric Treadmill

Sunny Health Treadmill
  • 9 built-in user programs and three incline levels
  • User weight capacity of 220lbs
  • Handrail for stability with start, stop, speed buttons
  • Easy to fold away for storage
  • 2.2HP peak motor for high speeds
  • 16 x 49” running surface

The Sunny Health and Fitness Electric Treadmill is an affordable way to get a few different workouts from the one device. With nine built-in training programs, you can try something new each day to help you reach your ultimate fitness goals. This compact machine can fold away easily when not in use, so even if you don’t have much room in your house you’ll have no problems accessing it each day.

There are three incline levels on this machine, but you’ll need to adjust them manually to be able to use them. This can interfere slightly if you were hoping to do interval training on your treadmill, but it’s a fairly standard feature with the cheaper models. The handrail provides some added stability, so it’s especially great for users who might not feel as steady on their feet.

Sunny Health Folded Treadmill

Some users have commented that running deck might need to be a little wider, however, this is a fairly compact treadmill and a standard sized deck. If you’re looking for something with more space you should be prepared to spend a few extra dollars. However, this is adequate for most users provided you don’t intend on doing any hard running training on it.

With a 2.2HP peak motor, this is one of the more powerful systems found in the budget-friendly range of treadmills. However, it is suited to a more petite user due to its compact size and weight capacity, so if you’re looking for something that can handle a little more of a beating you might need to consider other options.

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Best Treadmill Over $500

Investing in a quality treadmill is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make for your home gym, and when you shop for something reliable and long lasting then you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth. Finding the best treadmills under 1000 isn’t as hard as you might think, as many treadmills for sale actually fall well below this amount.

These machines are just as reliable as the cheaper types, however usually come with a few more bells and whistles, and offer a flatter platform for the user. If you’re willing to spend a little extra on your purchase, your body will certainly thank you for it later thanks for the extra cushioning and smooth running deck.

Nordic Track T 6.5 S Treadmill

Stamina Body Trac Glider
  • Incline adjustment up to 10%
  • 20 built-in workouts designed by personal trainer
  • 2.6CHP drive system for extreme performance and speeds
  • Sound system installed on the center console
  • Sound system installed on the center console
  • 20 x 55” tread belt

On the more expensive side of the scale comes the Nordic Track T6.5 S Treadmill, packed full of enough features to keep even the most unmotivated user engaged. This device has been made with user-friendly bells and whistles that can keep you on track with your fitness goals and make exercise something to enjoy.

Nordic Track treadmills are renowned for being high quality and user-friendly, and this model is no exception. While it might not have the power and torque behind it that the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmills do, for a home gym machine it’s more than sufficient.

Features of NordicTrack Treadmill

The 2.6CHP drive system can give you extreme speeds and performance that you won’t find elsewhere, and it’s extremely smooth to operate.

The best feature of the Nordic Track T 6.5 S Treadmill is the running deck, as it’s a great size to suit all body types and comes equipped with the FlexSelection cushioning option. This means you’re able to adjust the cushion level to meet your needs, so it’s great for people with illness or injury who need to take it easy.

This trainer is packed full of extras that can take the burden from exercising, such as a sound system for you to plug in your media device and a 5” backlit display that shows all of the important stats you need when working out. These little features make all the difference if you’re looking for a treadmill that can give you more than just a running surface.

Overall, the Nordic Track T 6.5 S Treadmill might be pricier than the affordable options, but it’s not without its extra benefits. If you like more from your workout gear and are happy to pay extra to have the bells and whistles, this is the choice for you.

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Nautilus T614 Treadmill

Nautilus T614 Treadmill
  • Speeds of 12MPH with a 2.75 CHP motor
  • Fully adjustable gas shock resistance for different fitness levels
  • 300lbs max user weight
  • Charging USB port and blue backlit LCD monitor
  • 22 training programs built in and 2 user profiles
  • ​Unique SoftDrop folding system and 2.5” crowned rollers

For a treadmill that can act as a personal trainer and exercise equipment all in one, it has to be the Nautilus T614 Treadmill. Priced on the more expensive end of the scale, this device would be a great investment for either a home gym or a commercial setting. Not only is it packed full of features, but it’s been built to withstand a solid workout and hold a wider range of users.

The Nautilus T614 has a maximum weight capacity of 300lbs, so it’s far more accommodating than other best rated treadmills under 1000. With a dual track multi LCD display console, you can personalize your workout so that it helps you achieve your specific weight loss and fitness goals. Best of all, there are two user profiles so the machine can be shared with another person in your home.

Display of Nautilus Treadmill

The size of the Nautilus is seriously impressive, with a 20 x 55” belt and a 2.75CHP motor. This makes it far bigger than the comparable products so you can feel more comfortable running on it and have enough room to train harder. One downside to all of these functions, though, is that it can be quite difficult to set up so you may need to hire professional help to get the job done.

This treadmill is far more expensive than the others, so it depends on what you’re willing to spend on a machine for your gym. If you’re into training hard and progressing with your running skills, it might be best to outlay the extra money to give yourself the capabilities of this machine.

Overall, the Nautilus T614 is a powerful machine with the strength and stability to make any user happy and comfortable whether they choose to run, walk, or jog.

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The Verdict

As the health and fitness market continues to boom, and more and more people invest their money wisely into purchasing products for their own home gym, treadmills continue to be one of the most popular places to spend. These devices are simple to use and versatile, so many people are drawn to how user-friendly they are.

If you’re wondering where can I buy a treadmills that suits my price range, the best place is source one online. Amazon treadmills are often the best value as there are huge discounts available, and you can also benefit from add-ons such as free shipping and assembly services.

For the best budget treadmill, the clear choice is the Exerpeutic TF900 Electric Treadmill. Although there was no incline option on this, everything else about it was exceptional value for money. It has all of the right features to make any home gym complete, so long as you can get creative about how to create the extra challenge that incline gives.

Our Top Pick:

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill​

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NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

Our Rating

If you’re happy to spend a little more, the Nordic Track T 6.5 S Treadmill is our top pick for treadmills over $500. This machine will motivate you like no other and allow you to create personalized and specific fitness and weight loss goals. If you’ve struggled in the past to stay engaged with your workouts, it’s worth it here to spend more money and have the treadmill work with you.

Although new pieces of home gym equipment come out every day, nothing will ever compare to the simplicity and popularity of an electric treadmill. It’s an exercise that everyone can master, and provides a low impact approach to running outside on the hard pavement and in unfavorable weather. If you’re going to choose just one machine for your home gym, the treadmill should certainly be it.

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