The 8 Best Treadmills of 2021

Run towards wellness with these top picks

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Best Treadmills

Verywell

Our Top Picks
You'll receive shock absorption with every step, while its wide running belt offers plenty of space for a variety of workouts.
Affordable and light, it reaches up to 8 miles an hour and an incline of 12%, and is plenty long for both runners and walkers.
The deck is easily folded and put away when not in use and integrates with the iFit workout programming platform for guidance.
Ideal for those short on space, it features a foldable handlebar that complements both a treadmill desk setup and running routine.
A top pick for walkers, the long belt ensures comfortable and smooth walks with its horsepower motor and 15 levels of incline.
Advanced runners will appreciate the LED display screen that syncs with workout apps and adjustable speed and incline for variety.
Upgrade your workday, without taking up too much space, with this quiet pick that has a maximum speed of 2 miles per hour.
Made to mimic the feel of running outdoors while minimizing the impact on your joints, it's complete with three training modes.

If you decide to build a home gym, buying a treadmill is a great place to start. With a treadmill nearby, there’s no need to deal with commuting to the gym or waiting for equipment.

Using a treadmill may help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve your heart health. Because treadmills come with different features and price points, consider your fitness needs before investing in a unit. 

"Look for a treadmill that truly mimics the mechanics of running and one that allows you to control your speed and incline instead of it controlling you,” Jim Karas, Founder of Intelligent Fitness and Wellness says. He advises looking for a unit that requires minimal upkeep.

Here are the best treadmills on the market.

Best Overall: NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill

Pros
  • High maximum speed

  • Provides excellent shock absorption

  • Has a great variety of workouts

  • Generous incline range

Cons
  • Requires iFit subscription to set up

Few do treadmills better than NordicTrack, especially when it comes to the Commercial 1750 design. The 60- by 22-inch running belt gives you plenty of room for every kind of workout, and the SMART-Response motor keeps it moving smoothly and consistently. Proprietary Runners Flex cushioning gives you the ideal amount of support and shock absorption with every step, and you can run up to 12 miles per hour, climb 15% inclines, and even coast on 3% downgrades, depending on what your workout entails.

It has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, and OneTouch controls make it very user-friendly. Plus, users rave about the variety of workouts provided by the iFit platform, saying that the programming has invigorated their somewhat stale routine and made them look forward to their workouts.

Dimensions: 78.8 x 39.2 x 63 inches | Folding: Yes | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Maximum Speed: 12 miles per hour | Incline Range: -3 to 15%

Best Budget: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 Smart Treadmill

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 Smart Treadmill with Auto Incline
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Generous incline range

  • Folds up for easy storage

  • Bluetooth compatible

Cons
  • Lower maximum speed than other options

Who says you can’t find a solid treadmill at an affordable price? This pick from Sunny Health & Fitness is one of the more lightweight options on the list, but its 2.2-horsepower motor will get you up to 8 miles an hour and hold steady for workout after workout. It can reach an incline of 12%, and while slightly narrow for smaller spaces, it is plenty long for both runners and power walkers to use comfortably.

It can support a maximum capacity of 240 pounds, and it folds up and rolls away for easy storage when not in use. What’s more, its Bluetooth connectivity allows you to sync your smart devices for effective workout tracking and blast your favorite workout tunes straight from the treadmill’s built-in speakers.

Dimensions: 64.5 x 28 x 50.5 inches | Folding: Yes | Weight Capacity: 240 pounds | Maximum Speed: 8 miles per hour | Incline range: 0 to 12%

Best Folding: Pro-Form Pro 2000 Treadmill

Pro-Form SMART Pro 2000 Treadmill
Pros
  • Folds up for easy storage

  • Generous incline range

  • High maximum speed

Cons
  • Laborious assembly

If you’re set on finding a top-notch folding treadmill, you can’t do better than Pro-Form. The deck is easy to fold and stow away, thanks to the EasyLift Assist feature that uses the built-in, powerful shock absorption system to supplement your manual effort. Meanwhile, the treadmill is built to last with a 3.25-continuous horsepower motor and ReBound Pro belt cushioning. It can reach a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour, a maximum incline of 12%, and a decline of 3%.

The belt size is perfect for any user, and the treadmill itself can safely support up to 300 pounds. Similar to the NordicTrack option, Pro-Form also integrates with the iFit workout programming platform, and you enjoy a complimentary one-year membership with the purchase of this treadmill.

Dimensions: 84 x 25 x 38 inches | Folding: Yes | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Maximum Speed: 12 miles per hour | Incline range: -3 to 1 5%

Best for Small Spaces: Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
Pros
  • Provides excellent shock absorption

  • Small footprint

  • Bluetooth compatible

Cons
  • Doesn't have incline options

If space is a serious struggle for you and your home gym setup, consider this 2-in-1 folding treadmill option from Goplus. When the handlebar panel is in the folded position, you can walk on the treadmill up to 2.5 miles per hour, making it an excellent portion of a treadmill desk setup. Then, when the handlebar panel is up, you can run on the treadmill up to 7.5 miles an hour. Meanwhile, the 2.25-horsepower ensures that the shock-absorbing belt runs smoothly and very quietly, as to not disrupt any neighbors or others sharing your space with you.

The belt is on the smaller side, but that’s to be expected from a compact model intended for limited spaces. Bluetooth connectivity also makes it easy to enjoy your music or watch your favorite show while you walk. 

Dimensions: 49 x 27 x 42 inches | Folding: Yes | Weight Capacity: 265 pounds | Maximum Speed: 7.5 miles per hour | Incline range: N/A

Best for Walkers: Sole F63 Treadmill

SOLE F63 Treadmill
Pros
  • High maximum speed

  • Generous incline range

  • Bluetooth compatible

  • Has a water bottle holder

Cons
  • Laborious assembly

This high-quality folding treadmill is a top pick for walkers for several reasons. First, the 60-inch-long belt ensures that you can walk comfortably and safely, no matter the length of your stride. Meanwhile, the quiet 3-continuous horsepower motor keeps your walk smooth underfoot as you climb up to 15 levels of incline. (It can also reach 12 miles per hour easily for when you feel like running).

The powder-coated steel frame holds steady throughout all movement, and the treadmill’s Cushion Flex Whisper deck minimizes joint pain by reducing excessive joint impact. The 6.5-inch LCD screen displays all the statistics you need to see, plus six preset workout programs to keep your walking routine interesting.

Finally, it features an integrated tablet holder, Bluetooth audio speakers, a USB charging port, and a water bottle holder.

Dimensions: 75 x 33 x 58 inches | Folding: Yes | Weight Capacity: 325 pounds | Maximum Speed: 12 miles per hour | Incline Range: 0 to 15%

Best for Advanced Runners: Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT Studio Treadmill

Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT Studio Treadmill
Pros
  • Easy to read LED screen

  • High maximum speed

  • Generous incline range

Cons
  • Laborious assembly

For folks who aren’t new to the running game, there is the Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT Studio Treadmill. It keeps your indoor running routine interesting with its built-in 9.3-inch LED display screen—it’s super easy to read, and the tablet tray just above it makes it easy to sync with your favorite workout apps and get going.

The quick-access controls feel intuitive as you adjust both speed and incline, and the impressive 4-continuous horsepower motor makes it ultra-responsive to these changes. Its speed tops out at 12 miles per hour and the incline peaks at 15%.

The running deck is 60 inches long and 22 inches wide, giving taller and heavier runners plenty of room for a more comfortable stride. Its rugged frame is built for performance and durability, resulting in a truly great run. 

Dimensions: 76 x 37 x 64 inches | Folding: Yes | Weight Capacity: 375 pounds | Maximum Speed: 12 miles per hour | Incline Range: O to 15%

Best for Under Desk: InMovement Unsit Treadmill Desk

InMovement Unsit Treadmill Desk
Pros
  • Durable

  • Generous weight capacity

  • Quiet operation

  • Bluetooth compatible

Cons
  • Laborious assembly

This under-desk treadmill makes it easy to keep your body moving while you work. At 30 inches, the walking surface is super wide, allowing you to reach across your entire desk safely, and just 40 inches long to avoid taking up excess space in the middle of your office. With a maximum speed of 2 miles per hour, your stride will stay short enough to fit on the belt safely and comfortably.

The treadmill is made with heavy-duty, commercial-grade materials, guaranteeing both stability and durability over time, and it has an impressive maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds. It’s also super quiet, so it won’t disrupt your train of thought, work calls, or nearby coworkers.

What’s more, its automatic shutoff feature adds an important layer of safety, and its accompanying Bluetooth-syncing app enables you to track your steps, distance, calories, and more.

Dimensions: 39 x 58 inches | Folding: N/A | Weight Capacity: 400 pounds | Maximum Speed: 2 miles per hour | Incline Range: N/A

Best Natural Feel: Woodway 4Front Commercial Treadmill

Woodway 4Front Commercial Treadmill
Pros
  • Has multiple training modes

  • Generous incline range

  • High maximum speed

Cons
  • Expensive

Prefer to run on a treadmill that gives you an outdoor feel? Consider this pick from Woodway. The 4Front was artfully designed to mimic the feel of running outdoors all while minimizing the impact on your joints as you move. It comes equipped with three different training modes: traditional, dynamic, and resistance.

The 68-inch-long and 22-inch-wide running belt is made of numerous individual shock-absorbing slats, and the powerful motor supports a maximum speed of 12.5 miles per hour, a maximum incline of 15%—these numbers are for the base model and can be customized.

The treadmill is rated for a lifetime of 150,000 miles and requires less maintenance and electricity, reducing overall operating costs associated with it.

Dimensions: 72 x 35 x 64 inches | Folding: N/A | Weight Capacity: N/A | Maximum Speed: 12.5 miles per hour | Incline Range: 0 to 15%

Final Verdict

If we had to pick a single treadmill for our home gyms, we would go with the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill (view at Amazon). Its high-quality construction, versatility, and workout programming integration make it well worth the mid-range price tag. But if we had to pick a machine at a more affordable price, we would feel good about purchasing the Sole F63 Treadmill (view at Sole Treadmills) as well. While the design is much more basic than most others on this list, Sole Fitness truly masters the basics when it comes to quality and durability.

What to Look for in a Treadmill

Motor

The power of the drive motor directly and significantly impacts the quality of the treadmill and how your workouts feel. If you plan on using your treadmill often, a model featuring 2.5 to 3.0 continuous horsepower (CHP) should work fine. 

“Continuous Duty Horsepower (CHP) is a rating given to treadmill motors that rates how much power a motor can put out continuously,” says Kelvin Gary, CPT, and owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City. He explains that you want your motor to hold up at high intensities for long periods of time.

Belt Size

Different treadmill workout styles require different belt lengths. For comfortable running, the belt needs to be at least 48 inches long and 18 inches wide, and walkers need an even longer belt to accompany a wider stride. What’s more, if you’re over 6 feet tall, it’s best to add about 6 inches to your ideal belt length to accommodate the longer stride that results from having longer legs.

Stability

The frame of your treadmill should stay put as you walk, jog, and run—meaning it shouldn’t shake or wobble. The belt shouldn’t slide with every stride, but rather provide you with effective shock absorption to lighten the impact on your joints. Gary recommends finding a treadmill with a good suspension system, as it correlates directly with stability.

Speed and Incline

If you’re planning on using your treadmill for running, you want an option that reaches a top speed of at least 10 miles per hour. Meanwhile, the incline should be able to reach at least 10 percent to mimic challenging hikes and provide variability for your workouts. “You want to have the ability to run, walk, and engage in interval training,” says Gary, recommending that you find a treadmill that features full speed and incline, and decline adjustability.

FAQs

How long should you run on a treadmill?

Your time on the treadmill really depends on your experience level along with your health and running goals. “If you’re brand-new to running, you’ll want to start with short intervals of running and walking on the treadmill,” says Christine Luff, a running coach, and certified personal trainer. “Begin with about 10 minutes of alternating between one minute running at a low intensity and one minute of walking.”

Once you’ve established a base, you can gradually increase your time. “Increase duration by no more than 10 percent from week to week, until 20 to 30 minutes of consistent exercise can be performed comfortably,” says ACE-certified personal trainer Nicole Thompson.

If you’re running for health goals, such as weight loss, you may want to run for 20 to 30 minutes at least two to three times a week. As you become more fit and comfortable with the treadmill, you can increase your workouts to 30 to 60 minutes, three to five times a week.

Experienced runners and those training for distance races such as a half-marathon or marathon may want to do long runs on the treadmill, especially if there’s inclement weather. They may find themselves running for a couple of hours on a treadmill.

Which is better: a treadmill or an elliptical?

Both the elliptical and treadmill are excellent options for cardio exercise, but one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Whether you choose to do a workout on a treadmill or an elliptical depends on a few factors, including fitness experience, comfort level, goals, and injury history. “The elliptical has less impact than the treadmill, so it may be a more suitable and safer option for those who are injury-prone, recovering from an injury, or have hip, knee, or ankle conditions,” says Thompson.

However, you’ll most likely burn more calories and get a more intense workout on the treadmill. “The treadmill mirrors the natural movement of running, therefore that may be the better option for race or certain sports training,” she says.

How do you clean a treadmill belt?

Accumulated dirt and dust on the treadmill belt surface can cause friction and lead to future maintenance issues. Cleaning your treadmill belt every week or so can improve your treadmill’s performance and also extend its life. Although a wet cloth is usually adequate to clean a belt, you may want to get a treadmill cleaning kit, which comes with a lubricant that should be applied at least a couple of times a year.

To clean your treadmill belt, first, unplug it. Next, wipe down the belt with a slightly dampened cloth and rotate the belt by hand so that you reach the entire tread surface. To clean the underside of the belt, get a clean, dry towel and slide it under the belt from one side to the other. While holding both sides of the towel, slowly move it from the top to the bottom of the treadmill belt. Rotate the belt manually 180 degrees and again slide the towel from the top to the bottom of the belt.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a former personal trainer, seasoned health writer, and avid exerciser, Alena Hall understands how important it is to pick the right home gym equipment for you. She is always exploring the latest and greatest wellness tools, machines, and gadgets, but more importantly, Alena carefully considers the quality and various features that make these fitness products worthwhile investments. 

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