The 4 Best Treadmills of 2020

Walk (or run) your way to better health with these machines

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Our Top Picks
"With one touch, adjust the speed and incline as you build endurance or intensify or slow down your workout."
Best for Small Spaces:
Cadence G 5.9 at Amazon
"Comes with the bells and whistles you’d find on a larger treadmill."
"Won’t disturb the rest of the house during your early morning runs."
"Can withstand constant use."

Due to increased demand for online shopping, items in this article may be out of stock. Updates to this article will be made frequently with products we recommend.

Treadmills, undoubtedly an investment piece, are an ideal fitness option for when you don’t want to brave the elements outside or you’d like to multitask while staying active indoors. To prevent your walking or running routine from becoming stagnant, you can even add other fitness accessories you have at home into the mix, from resistance bands to weights. You’ll want to find a treadmill that suits your speed preferences and budget, and can fit comfortably in your space. These options will make you think twice about getting that gym membership and are sure to upgrade your home workout routine.

Best Overall: Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill

Horizon Fitness promises a quick and easy setup in less than 30 minutes, so you can hit the ground running. Alternate between walking, jogging, and running with this pick, and give yourself a challenge by adjusting the incline to simulate outdoor slopes. And with built-in Bluetooth audio speakers, this option allows you to blast your favorite tunes to keep you motivated throughout your routine.

Good news for those who don't have spaces designated for exercise, when it's not in use, the frame can be folded upwards for space-saving storage.

Best for Small Spaces: Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill Series

What We Like
  • Smaller footprint

  • Folds for easy storage

  • Heart rate sensor

What We Don't Like
  • Can be noisy

  • Tough to assemble alone

Let’s be honest: You barely have room to store your sneakers, let alone a treadmill. That’s why the Welso Cadence G 5.9 is a smart option for tight spaces. A slimmer profile (the base is 29 inches wide and 64.5 inches long) means that you won’t need to move your coffee table to the other room each time you work out. Even better, it folds up for storage, and one reviewer notes that it’s easy to transport through doors while collapsed.

But even though it’s small, it still comes with many of the bells and whistles you’d find on a larger treadmill. A heart rate sensor is built into the console and the LCD screen tracks speed, time, distance, and calories. In terms of negatives, some reviewers report it can be noisy and that assembly is tough to do on your own—for an easier time, grab a friend to help.

Most Quiet: Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill

What We Like
  • Very quiet

  • Solid build

  • USB charging capability

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier

  • Bluetooth only works with Bowflex app

If you need a treadmill that won’t disturb the rest of the house when you’re doing your early morning runs, check out this super quiet Bowflex BXT116 treadmill. Create your own customized workouts that you can save for future runs and use the Bowflex Results app to sync and track your progress. It’s rugged, sturdy, and can handle sprinting at top speeds, without waking your napping baby in the next room.

Users love this treadmill’s convenient media rack, built-in speakers, fan, and USB charging capability, but wish that its Bluetooth functionality worked beyond just the Bowflex app.

Best for Advanced Runners: Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill

What We Like
  • Smooth while in use

  • Heart rate monitor

  • Nice LCD display

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

  • Slow to accelerate

If you spend a lot of time on your treadmill, you want a durable machine with plenty of cool features to keep you motivated. Enter the Sole F80 treadmill, a moderately-priced machine that can withstand constant use and help you reach your running goals.

Experienced runners will appreciate the heart rate monitoring, oversized 9-inch LCD display to review workouts and progress, and the extra-wide 22 x 60-inch treadbelt. The Bluetooth capability lets you track your running stats and goals using fitness apps on your smart device. Users love the cushioned suspension system that allows for a smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride. One drawback, however, was that some reviewers said it was slow to accelerate.


What types of treadmills are available to buy?

Treadmills are either motorized or non-motorized (manual). Motorized treadmills, which are much more common, are powered by an electrical motor and offer you the ability to adjust your speed and incline. Manual treadmills let you do all the work by moving the belt with your own momentum. Flat-deck manual treadmills tend to be the most inexpensive, but there are also curved-deck manual treadmills, which are high-end and often used by sports teams, health clubs, and elite trainers.

How much does a treadmill cost?

Entry-level treadmills are priced at around $500 but may not be as durable as higher-end models. Mid-range treadmills can set you back anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000. High-end, feature-rich models can be more expensive than $5,000.

What's the best time to buy a treadmill?

The month of January is a great time to purchase a treadmill, as many retailers offer deals to appease customers with fitness-related New Years' resolutions. More generally, the holiday season tends to be full of sales, too.

The Ultimate Treadmill Buying Guide

Put yourself through your paces with a treadmill. No matter what the weather is outside, this piece of exercise equipment allows you to power walk or do sprints within the comfort of your home.

Treadmills operate by turning a wide belt across a long platform where you walk or run. Most treadmills are powered by an electric motor, though a few of the most basic models are manual, meaning that you’ll be moving the belt with your own momentum. (An exception to this is an emerging high-end category of curved deck manual treadmills, prized for their ability to up your heart rate and increase the intensity of your workout.)

No matter which type of treadmill you’re considering, you’ll find sturdy handrails and a command center at the top of the machine to help you maintain your balance and stay on top of your workout. Most models let you track basic info like distance and elapsed time, while others include heart rate monitoring, METS, and sophisticated workout programs.

When shopping for a treadmill, decide what style will suit your needs, how much you want to spend, and which features are most essential. If you like variety in your workouts, opt for a machine with plenty of built-in programs. Or, if you’re into statistics, look for a tech-integrated machine that will track your energy output and exertion during your workout.

Price-wise, the most basic treadmills start at about $500 but may not offer years of trouble-free use. On the other hand, mid-range treadmills cost anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000, while more sophisticated models push past $5,000.

Key Considerations


The majority of treadmills on the market are motorized, but not all motors are created equal. The biggest difference is in continuous horsepower—often referred to as CHP.

You should look for a motor with at least 1.5 CHP at a minimum. However, avid runners—or households where multiple people will be using the treadmill—should look for more CHP. Generally speaking, the greater the CHP, the more robust the machine will be when used on a frequent basis or for heavy workouts. A treadmill with a greater CHP is also more likely to have a higher weight capacity, which is something to also consider.

Getty Images / skynesher

On the other end of the spectrum are manual treadmills, or machines without a motor. With these models, you supply the momentum needed to get the belt going, and the speed at which the belt travels is controlled by your pace. The lack of a motor means simpler machine maintenance—plus, it can also be positioned anywhere in your space, as you don't need to worry about easy access to an electrical outlet.

Belt Size

Treadmills are not one-size-fits-all. The width and length of the belt are important factors to pay attention to when shopping for a machine. You’ll want to pick the right size belt for the type of activity you plan to use your treadmill for, as well as your body type.

Generally, a treadmill with a belt width of about 20 inches is considered sufficient for most users. There are also slimmer belts (around 17 inches) and wider belts (22 inches or more), which some people may find easier to use. You could probably make a narrower belt work for running, but it increases the likelihood of striking the side of the deck or slipping off the belt.

The standard deck length (the surface available for your stride) is usually 55 inches long. However, if you plan to run on your treadmill, you’ll want to look for a longer deck with a belt that is at least 60 inches long. Taller individuals (usually over 6 feet in height) may need to extend the length of the deck to 63 inches or so to make sure it accommodates their stride.

It’s important to note that there's a difference between the length and width of the treadmill itself and the belt size (or running area) of the treadmill. Make sure that you’re looking at the dimensions for the belt itself to find a treadmill that's suitable for your activities.

Workout Programs

Keep your treadmill workouts engaging and with built-in workout programs. Most machines have basic computerized controls, but not all models include workouts that will change you in terms of distance, elevation, and more.

If you want the next best thing to a running coach, opt for a treadmill with these types of features. Scroll through the available workouts, and if you’re really into variation, look for a machine that can be connected wirelessly to your phone or tablet to download new programs.


Some people move at a faster pace than others, and so do some treadmills. Different models have different top speeds, so pay attention to the highest speed setting on any motorized treadmill you’re considering.

If you’re just starting out, it might seem like reaching a machine’s top speed is a distant dream, but it pays to think long-term and find a machine that will meet your needs as your athletic abilities increase.

 Getty Images / kundoy

When shopping for a treadmill, you may find that many models for home use have a top speed of about 10 miles per hour. This should be plenty fast for the average walker and jogger. There are models available that stretch this number to 12 miles per hour, which avid runners may find useful, but that's about the top speed for at-home treadmills.

Incline and Decline

Add variety to your workout by simulating hilly terrain with a treadmill that has incline adjustment. Some treadmills also feature a decline adjustment, but that's less common.

The most important factor related to incline or decline settings in a treadmill is whether the machine can automatically adjust the pitch or if you’ll need to adjust it manually. Some entry-level machines (or manual models without the ability to adjust automatically) will require you to set the incline before you begin your workout or you’ll have to pause every time you want to change the setting.

Size and Storage

Before you start treadmill shopping, know how much space you'll have to use and store the machine. Treadmills have a large footprint, so make sure that you measure the intended spot you want to place it.

To save space when their treadmill is not in use, some people opt for a folding model. These machines have handlebars that collapse to allow it to fit under a bed or in other low-clearance spaces. However, realize that the deck size of the machine is still important and get the details on the folded measurements—it may still be too tall to fit in that low-profile storage spot you had in mind. Some more full-featured treadmills have a power-folding option—just push a button, and the machine folds itself!


Nearly all treadmills have some type of basic cushioning in place—typically a combination of springs and rubber shock absorbers. However, the amount of cushion and the way it's distributed along the deck of the treadmill is where you can really feel the difference. Higher-end treadmills tend to offer a more sophisticated cushion system, and some even offer adjustable cushioning.

Do your joints a favor and look for a treadmill with sufficient deck cushion for your needs. Each time you strike the belt, you’ll minimize the impact on your ankles, knees, and more, while still finding enough support to push off for the next stride.

Product Types


The vast majority of consumer treadmills on the market are motorized machines. These treadmills offer variable speeds, often have adjustable incline or decline, and typically have a command center that displays workout information and may or may not include exercise programs. They’re generally easy to use and offer versatility in your workouts.

It’s important to wear a safety belt on these machines, which will automatically disengage the treadmill if you stumble or slip off the machine while exercising. For this reason, some people find motorized treadmills to be more dangerous or intimidating than non-motorized versions, but using basic safety precautions and a properly-sized treadmill can reduce these dangers.

 Getty Images / Science Photo Library

One of the main drawbacks of motorized treadmills is the wear and tear that these machines incur on their motors. However, regular maintenance can help to prolong their lifespans. While yearly motor maintenance isn’t necessarily mandated by most manufacturers, proper care (and preventative home maintenance) has helped some users enjoy years of trouble-free workouts.

You can find a motorized treadmill that is entry-level, mid-level, or splurge-worthy, depending on your budget. These treadmills typically start just under $1,000 but can climb to $10,000 or more for elite equipment. A typical mid-range motorized treadmill will generally cost $1,500 to $3,000.


If you’re looking to do all the work yourself, a manual treadmill might be your machine of choice. A flat or curved deck with an attached belt is ready for you to hop on board and start moving. As you do, your momentum will begin to turn the belt, providing you with endless miles of a smooth surface for running or walking exercises. The faster you move your feet, the faster the belt will go.

The biggest benefit of a manual treadmill is that when you stop, it stops. This eliminates some of the concerns that people have with treadmill-related injuries. Just remember to use caution and a properly-sized treadmill. It’s easy to slip off a treadmill that's too narrow or short for your stride.

Manual treadmills also have fewer parts to worry about malfunctioning—without a motor, they’re relatively maintenance-free. Many models are still equipped with at least a basic computer display (with distance, elapsed time, and more).

While most manual treadmills are a budget-saving option, curved deck treadmills are the exception. These more sophisticated manual machines are designed with advanced geometry and components to provide a higher-intensity workout—and they come with a high-intensity price tag, too.

Most manual treadmills cost anywhere from $100 to $800, though you should be wary of the stability and build quality of models that hover around the $100 price point. A curved deck treadmill is in a different ballpark. These professional-grade machines are often used by sports teams, elite trainers, and high-end health clubs and cost $5,000 or more.

Incline Trainer

Often found under the product category of treadmills, incline trainers are a more specific type of machine designed to challenge you at a more significant degree of incline or decline.

While many treadmills have an incline or even a decline function, incline trainers are created specifically for this purpose. They typically have a greater range of angles and can accommodate an incline up to 40 percent on some models.

You can use an incline trainer in the same way as a conventional treadmill, but that would defeat the purpose of spending more for the specialized mechanisms that allow this machine to elevate to higher angles.

Incline trainers are usually comparable in price to mid-ranged treadmills; you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $3,500 or more.



A ubiquitous name in the home gym equipment world, there are a variety of NordicTrack treadmill models to choose from that address the fitness needs of anyone from casual home users to commercial-grade settings. While they’re not the most budget-friendly treadmills on the market, they won’t break the bank either and the top-end commercial model available direct to consumers tops out at about $3,000. NordicTrack also offers iFit memberships that download directly your machine and provide on-demand virtual coaching.


One of the major brands behind the new curved deck manual treadmills, SpeedFit manufactures the SpeedBoard XL and recently introduced the SpeedBoard Lite. These manual machines carry a hefty price tag, but at $5,000, they’re a more affordable alternative to some other brands of curved deck treadmills on the market.

Getty Images / Sumetee Theesungnern EyeEm


This company emphasizes commercial-grade treadmills designed for a consumer audience. Several models have a heavy-duty steel frame with a lifetime warranty. For the quality of machines produced and the warranties available, Sole machines are priced competitively; entry-level models start at about $1,000 and the most sophisticated model tops out at $3,000.


If you have a more limited budget but are looking for a quality treadmill, Horizon machines consistently earn praise for their affordable options. Starting around $600, the most basic models won’t offer a lot of frills or features and are more limited on deck cushioning, but they're durable enough for the average home user. Horizon’s most robust model of treadmill tops out around $2,000.


Offering both commercial and consumer-grade treadmills, True manufactures some of the most advanced cushioning systems available in treadmills today and an orthopedic belt designed to reduce joint stress. The brand is also known for its sturdy, all-steel frames. Take note of models with the Soft Select feature to customize the cushion to match your needs. All this extra cushioning pads the price tag, too—most of True’s treadmills are priced between $3,000 and $4,500, though more budget-friendly models are available.


With a major presence as a fitness club equipment supplier, many gym-goers recognize the Precor name. The company sells both consumer and commercial-grade treadmills, though the starting price point is just north of $2,000 for the brand’s entry-level Energy series. With a Precor treadmill, you can expect sturdy construction and durable components designed with moderate to heavy use in mind.


When buying a treadmill, protect the investment you’re making by choosing a model with a solid warranty plan. There are five primary areas covered by treadmill warranties.


The stability offered by the frame is essential to the treadmill’s functions, but fortunately, it isn’t a part that fails frequently. For this reason, it's not uncommon to see lifetime warranties on frames from major treadmill manufacturers.


As the source of power for electric treadmills, the motor is a vital component. It also has many moving parts and is subject to a lot of strain and friction. Look for a long-lasting motor warranty to make sure your treadmill has a long, useful life. Motor warranties of 10 years or more are common, but some brands offer lifetime coverage. On the flip side, carefully evaluate a warranty of five years or less. A shorter motor warranty may be an indicator that it isn’t designed for heavy use or is not considered to be very durable.


While not specifically addressed in all warranty policies, the treadmill deck is subject to a lot of wear and tear as you pound out the miles. Some manufacturers offer lifetime cushion warranty, while others group the deck in under the general parts warranty period.


Covering just about everything else on your treadmill is the warranty for parts. This time period can vary but is generally relatively short—anywhere from one to three years is standard. A few warranties extend the parts warranty for up to five years.


Usually, warranty coverage for the cost of labor matches or is slightly less than the parts warranty. Expect for labor costs to only be covered for a period of one to three years.

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