Treadmill Expert’s Top Rated Treadmills
The treadmills listed below are our top picks in each category, but if none of the ones listed here appeal to you, you can see a full list of every treadmill we’ve reviewed here.
While manual treadmills are typically the cheapest ones available, they aren’t necessarily the best for absolute beginners. The lack of a motor means that manual treadmills must always be on an incline in order for the inertia of taking steps to move the belt. This means that they are difficult to run fast on, and typically provide more challenging workouts than automatic treadmills on flat settings.
Our top choice for manual treadmills, the Confidence Fitness Magnetic Treadmill is slightly more expensive than other manual treadmills we’ve reviewed, but has some extra features that make it worth paying extra. Most notable is its magnetic resistance setting which allows the resistance on the band to be changed allowing for different intensity levels.
The Confidence Fitness treadmill is extremely light and easy to transport, and as such as a somewhat low weight limit of 220 pounds. It also has a somewhat narrow belt width (14 inches), which some people may find too narrow to run fast on comfortably.
Another solid choice for a manual treadmill is the Weslo CardioStride 3.0. While cheaper than the Confidence Fitness, it lacks the magnetic resistance settings and has only one incline setting – so there is no way to adjust the intensity of your workouts.
The Weslo CardioStride is heavier and bulkier than the Confidence Fitness, and as such has a higher weight limit. (250 pounds.) One other advantage the Weslo has is a slightly wider belt, making jogging and running more comfortable. If the ability to vary the resistance provided by the belt is not important, and you’re looking for something as cheap as possible, the Weslo CardioStride is a solid choice.
The Stamina InMotion Manual Treadmill is comparable to the CardioStride, but is a little more expensive. Like the CardioStride, the InMotion has a weight limit of 250 pounds, and unlike the two treadmills mentioned above the InMotion has two incline settings – at 8 and 10 degrees. This means that workouts on the InMotion will be easier overall than on the other two, which makes this model more suited for absolute beginners looking to build up a base of cardiovascular fitness.
The biggest drawback to the Stamina InMotion is its extremely narrow belt width of just 12 inches. Many people will find this belt far too narrow to run on comfortably, and even jogging can be difficult.
The Stamina InMotion treadmill is a solid product and a good value, but most people will prefer the CardioStride, which has the added bonus of being cheaper.
Budget Automatic Treadmills
Automatic treadmills include a motor, and thus don’t rely on the inertia of one’s steps to move the belt. This allows them to lay flat, which makes for much easier workouts will be had on manual treadmills.
Despite the inclusion of a motor, automatic treadmills can be surprisingly affordable, and absolute beginners who have a couple hundred to spend would almost always be better off purchasing an automatic treadmill as they provide a much more comfortable experience. The following are our top picks for automatic treadmills that cost less than $500.
Our top choice for budget treadmills, the Sunny Health and Fitness treadmill is a sturdy and robust product, with many of the features that come standard in more high-end models such as an adjustable incline level, handrail speed controls, and a large digital console with preset workout routines and a tablet holder.
The Sunny is a bit bulkier and heavier than other budget treadmills, weighing in at 115 pounds, but is still compact enough to transport easily. It also folds up to save space when not in use. At 16 inches, the belt width is a bit wider than on the manual treadmills previously covered however the weight limit is a somewhat low 220 pounds.
While it is more expensive than some of the other budget treadmills, it is a quality product and well worth the extra money.
Another solid choice for a budget automatic treadmill is the Weslo Cadence G 5.9. The Weslo is much lighter than the Sunny, and only weighs 52 pounds. It has a small footprint and can easily fold up for storage, making it a good choice for those who don’t have much free space.
The Weslo also boasts a wider belt than the Sunny (18 inches) and can support more weight (275 pounds.) It does fall short on features, however. There are only two incline settings – flat and 6 degrees, so those looking to use a steep incline as a way to have a more challenging workout may want to look elsewhere.
One of the cheapest automatic treadmills on the market, the Best Choice 500W is a good treadmill for those who have price as a major constraint. While it is the cheapest, it has a very narrow belt of just 13 inches, which will make running at a full sprint difficult for many. In addition, it has no way to adjust the incline of the belt, so there is no way to use a steeper incline to get a more difficult workout. The Best Choice 500W Treadmill is a great product for its price point, but unless your budget is extremely low it may be worth spending a little extra to get a better treadmill.
Mid-Range Automatic Treadmills
With a price point between $500 and $1,000, these treadmills are a good choice for those who don’t need a commercial gym quality treadmill, but want a solid product that will hold up well to regular personal use.
Our top mid-range choice, the Gold’s Gym 720 Trainer has everything one needs in a personal treadmill while having a low enough price to be an excellent value. The 720 has a wide 20 inch belt and a high 300 pound weight limit, allowing nearly everyone to run on it comfortably.
Its shock absorption system reduces the impact using it will have on your joints, and it has a broad range of other features including adjustable incline up to 10 degrees, a cooling fan to keep the sweat off, and built in speakers to allow you to listen to music while running without needing headphones.
It also has a long 25 year warranty on the engine, and a 1 year warranty on parts. The Gold’s Gym 720 is an excellent value for your money, and is perfect for regular personal use.
The Nordic Track is another solid choice for a mid-range treadmill, with its main advantage over the Gold’s 720 being it’s higher top speed of 12 MPH. The Nordic Track is one of the only treadmills at its price point with this high top speed, and as it also has a 20 inch wide belt it is a great choice for the runner looking for a treadmill that can accommodate full on sprinting.
Like the Gold’s 720, the Nordic Track T 6.5 has all the features one would expect including a shock absorption system and built in speakers. It also has access to the optional iFit module, which in addition to reporting advanced statistics on your runs allows for customized workout routines including the ability to run preset routes through Google Maps.
The Nordic Track has a long warranty – lifetime on the frame and 25 years on the motor, and is a solid but somewhat expensive choice.
Comparable to the Gold’s Gym 720, the Horizon Fitness T101-04 is a sturdy automatic treadmill with a 20 inch wide belt and a 300 pound weight limit. It includes many of the same features as the Gold’s Gym 720 including a shock absorption system, cooling fan, and built-in speakers.
While the Horizon Fitness advertises an excellent warranty, many customers have complained about that the process of redeeming it can be frustrating. While the product itself is excellent, it is more expensive than the Gold’s 720 despite being a very similar product.
High-End Automatic Treadmills
With a price point often exceeding $1,000, these treadmills are the most expensive but are also the one’s closest to what you would find in commercial gyms, and these are best suited for heavy use. If you plan on running daily and want a sturdy, feature rich treadmill that will last for years it is probably worth investing in one of these high-end treadmills.
A high-end treadmill at a very reasonable price, the ProForm Pro 1000 is an excellent choice for regular personal use. It has a top speed of 12 MPH and a wide 10 inch belt, as well as a high 325 pound weight limit.
The ProForm Pro has every necessary feature including an advanced shock absorption system, a high-powered cooling fan, and like the Nordic Track also has optional iFit module integration. While it is very heavy and bulky, the ProForm can fold up to save space.
The ProForm Pro is sturdy, durable, and has an excellent warranty with a lifetime frame and motor warranty and a 3 year warranty on parts. We have found it to be an excellent product at a very reasonable price, and is a great choice for a higher-end unit.
The Lifespan TR3000i is a gym quality treadmill which has every feature one would expect in a high-end unit. It boasts a top speed of 12 MPH, 15 different incline settings with a maximum grade of 15 degrees, a 2.75 HP continuous duty motor, and a shock absorption system that reduces the impact on your joints.
The Lifespan TR3000i is well designed for running, with a wide 20 inch belt and a 350 pound weight limit it can be used by nearly everyone. Essential for any expensive treadmill, the Lifespan includes a lifetime frame and motor warranty, as well as a 5 year warranty on parts.
While expensive, the Lifespan TR3000i is a durable treadmill that is well worth the investment for those who will be using it frequently.