One of the best things about running is that you don’t need to stockpile equipment in order to do it. All you really need is a pair of shoes and somewhere to run.
But a treadmill is one of those bits of equipment that a runner can get a huge benefit from. There are options for every kind of runner and every kind of budget, from luxury machines to those under $1000.
Today, we’ll be looking at the best compact treadmills. Our personal spaces are often cramped, so having a treadmill you can fit into and move around small spaces easily is a common priority. If you live in an apartment and are likely to be moving a treadmill around by yourself, then these are the types you should be looking at.
Coming in at number one is the Horizon T101. It features a super quiet motor, a 55-inch deck, and unique 3-zone cushioning to protect your joints as much as possible.
Although we like that one best, we’ve covered nine more great options so you can find the best one for you!
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Horizon T101 Treadmill
Xterra TR200 Treadmill
Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
1. Horizon T101 Treadmill
The Horizon T101 is our top choice. It’s got everything you need to just set it up and get running!
It’s compact enough to fit in most places, but still sports a 55-inch running belt that should be more than adequate for most runners at full stride. You won’t feel cramped on this treadmill!
The belt also makes each step easy on the joints with 3-zone deck cushioning – that means you always have a soft landing.
The 2.5 HP motor is also super quiet, so if you want to take a quick run in the middle of the night, the machine noise shouldn’t wake anyone.
There are 30 onboard programs to choose from, or you can simply set your own speed, distance, or time. There’s a 10-degree incline too, to add a bit of challenge to your runs.
The only thing that may be difficult for some is moving this treadmill around. It weighs 160+ pounds, so some may find it hard to move around their apartment, even though it folds up easily.
It gets a big thumbs-up for having a lifetime warranty on both the frame and the motor!
- 3-zone deck cushioning
- Continuous-duty 2.5 HP motor
- Lifetime warranty on frame and motor
- 30 built-in programs
- The treadmill is compact, but quite heavy at 165 pounds. Might not be easy for a single person to move
2. Lifespan TR2000e Electric Folding Treadmill
The Lifespan TR2000e is our runner-up option. It’s a great choice too, with 17 built-in preset programs you can access quickly and easily.
If you want to shake things up and do your own custom workout, you can custom set parameters, including up to 15 levels of incline. There are also 2 customizable programs and 2 heart rate programs.
The 56-inch running deck is more than enough space for most runners, and has 8 under-belt shock absorbers to keep your joints as safe as possible.
It packs a ton of other features into a space-saving design, including different programs for weight management, sports training, and healthy living.
Connect your phone via Bluetooth to listen to your music through the speakers, and place your phone or tablet on the handy media holder. Depending on the size of your device, this could obstruct the screen.
The other downside is that the treadmill doesn’t have a fan, but this can be worked around fairly easily.
- 21 onboard programs
- eFold technology for safe and space-saving design
- Features impact-absorbing compression shocks
- 15 incline levels
- This treadmill doesn’t have a fan
- Placing something on the media holder could obstruct the screen
3. Xterra TR200 Treadmill
The Xterra TR200 is very well-priced, and offers some nice features for its price bracket. If budget is a concern for you, this treadmill would be our recommendation.
There’s nothing fancy about this machine. You get 12 preset programs on the treadmill, but if you wish to use an incline function, you need to get off the treadmill and adjust it manually.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean you can’t transition smoothly between flat and incline in the same run.
Hand-grip pulse sensors keep track of your heart rate, and the 16” x 50” shock-absorbing deck takes some strain off your feet.
It’s also easy to fold and store away somewhere when it’s not in use.
- Affordable but still feature-packed
- Foldable and easy to store
- Shock-absorbing deck
- Hand-grip pulse sensors
- The incline needs to be manually changed
- Taller runners may find the deck a bit too short to run at their full stride
4. Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
If you work at a desk a lot and find yourself wishing you got more exercise, an under-desk treadmill could be the solution! It’s extremely compact, designed to slide right under a desk so you can get some extra steps in.
The deck is short, at 40 inches. But this treadmill is designed for walking or light jogging, so it’s not likely that you’re going to get your full running stride in. The deck should be adequate for most.
You can fold the handlebar flat to use it under your desk or slide it away under a sofa when not in use.
If you want to do a bit of a jog, simply lift the handlebar and you’ll have a space to place your device while you play your music or video through the surprisingly powerful Bluetooth speaker.
- 2-in-1 jogging and walking treadmill
- Remote controlled
- Easy to fold and store
- 40-inch long deck
- If you don’t have a standing desk or adjustable height desk, you may need to purchase a new desk too
Smallest Foldable Treadmill
5. Kingsmith WalkingPad A1 Foldable Under-Desk Walking Treadmill
If space is really an issue, then this is the treadmill for you. With a height of only 2.2 inches, you can slide it under a sofa or bed easily, making it one of the best options for those who really need something they can pack away and pull out when they need it.
As an extra bonus, you can fold it in half completely so it’s not too long either when trying to find a spot to keep it.
It comes ready out of the box, and works off a remote control. The speed ranges from 0.31 to 3.72 miles per hour, so you won’t be able to do anything intense on it. But it’s super for adding extra steps to your day if you happen to be stuck behind a desk.
- Extremely space-saving
- No assembly or installation necessary
- Foldable and very easy to store
- Remote controlled
- Not suitable for running – walking or very light jogging only
Best Manual Compact Treadmill
6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M
This is a real minimalist treadmill with a thin, lightweight frame and a really small profile when folded. It’s a manual treadmill, which means there’s no need to connect it to a power source – you are the power source!
It’s perfect for someone living alone who needs to move it around and store it away on their own.
If you want to do some light jogging or fast walking, this would be great. The surface is non-slip, so you’ll be as safe as possible.
The incline is fixed, which gives you something to push against as you jog. You won’t be able to change it, though, which makes it a little less versatile than others.
- Easy to move, weighing just 48 pounds
- Non-slip running surface
- Digital monitor tracks statistics
- Folds up nice and compact
- Incline is not adjustable
Easiest To Move
7. MaxKare 1.5HP Foldable Treadmill
Small spaces can seem even smaller when a treadmill takes up half of them! That’s why it’s important for your treadmill to be easy to move if you’re looking for a compact one. This one wins first prize for the easiest to move.
Apart from being movable, it features 12 built-in programs, a quiet motor, three manual incline levels, and an anti-shock belt system.
When it comes to storing it, the treadmill folds easily. The unusual tilt-and-roll design means it’s not too difficult for anyone of any size or strength to move. Once it’s folded, simply tilt it towards you and push it to take it anywhere you want to store it.
- Easy for almost anyone to move
- Tilt-and-roll design
- 12 built-in programs
- Silent operation
- Manual incline means you need to get off the treadmill to adjust it
Highest Weight Capacity
8. Exerpeutic TF1000
Sometimes smaller treadmills can feel a little flimsy. This one is built to hold up to 400 pounds, so it’s a bit sturdier than many of these compact offerings. It’s even sturdier than some full-featured models.
The running belt is wider than average, at 20 inches, but also shorter than average, at 40 inches. That’s not a bad thing, though – it just means you can’t run on this treadmill, but it’s designed for walking as it is.
The extra-length safety handles are an added bonus, and it’s easy to fold when you need to. It also comes with a 1-year frame and 5-year motor warranty.
- 400-pound weight capacity
- Extra-long safety handles
- Extra width (20”)
- Suitable for walking, not for running
Best with Body Fat Measurement
9. Reebok i-Run 3
If you’re serious about tracking weight loss, a treadmill with a built-in body fat tester could be a useful tool to help you on your journey!
Aside from being helpful for keeping track of progress, you’ll be able to choose from 18 different presets depending on what mood you’re in.
Your feet will be well-padded and enjoy reduced impact with each landing, thanks to the 8-piece elastomer cushioning.
It folds down really nice and compact. It does lose a point for not being Bluetooth enabled, but that’s something that doesn’t really affect the performance of the treadmill anyway.
- 8-piece elastomer belt cushioning
- Maximum speed of 8 miles per hour
- 18 programs included
- Super compact when folded
- Not Bluetooth enabled
Top Treadmill with Tablet Holder
10. REDLIRO 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
If you like to watch videos or stream workout sessions while you run on the treadmill, it’s important that your treadmill has a decent device holder. Often, these compact treadmills don’t have the most stable tablet holder, but this one gets the thumbs-up from us.
This treadmill can double up as a normal walking treadmill or an under-desk treadmill. With a top speed of 4 miles per hour, it’s definitely not suited for running.
The 5-layered running belt absorbs shock and prevents slipping, so you’ll be sturdy when on the belt.
One of the great things about this machine is that the tablet holder is nowhere near the display, so you’ll be able to eyeball both when you need to.
- Motorized folding
- 5-layer running belt
- Tablet holder doesn’t interfere with display
- Under-desk or normal treadmill capabilities
- Not suitable for running
Wondering if a compact treadmill is worth the buy? Read on to find out some answers to questions you may be asking that could help you make your decision!
What is a Compact Treadmill?
A compact treadmill is just as its name suggests – a treadmill that is space-saving! They’re usually more lightweight than regular treadmills, and can often be transported fairly easily.
Compact treadmills are ideal for a single person to move around and use on their own. They’re also perfect for apartments with not much space, as their small size won’t take up half your living room.
What Features Are Useful in a Compact Treadmill?
Due to their compact nature, these treadmills may not have quite as many features as full-sized ones. But some things you’ll benefit from are:
If you like to freestyle on the treadmill, then you may prefer to set your own speed and incline and adjust them as you go.
But it’s really nice to have the option to just choose a program, hit start, and run without having to change anything during your workout.
A variety of programs is great, as you can choose something chilled out, or a more intense HIIT workout if you’re feeling up for a challenge.
If you’ve only ever run on a flat surface, you’re missing out! Running on an incline targets muscles differently than just jogging on the flats. It gives your cardio a kick, as you’ll have to push harder to run up the hill.
You won’t need to use the incline function on every run if you don’t want to. But it’s nice to have the option.
If you live alone and have nice neighbors (or deaf neighbors), you may be able to play your music at full blast while you run. Most times, though, you’re going to need to be a little more considerate.
Your treadmill speakers aren’t going to be the strongest out there, but they direct the sound right at you. Being able to connect your phone to the treadmill via Bluetooth is helpful so you can stream your music, or even follow along to a treadmill workout online.
This is also great if you have a workout app that can integrate with your treadmill.
Is It Worth It to Buy a Treadmill?
In our opinion, yes! Although one of the great things about running is the fact that you hardly need any equipment to do it, the benefits of having a treadmill are many.
You’ll have many more options for exercise that you wouldn’t normally have access to. You can run when you want (insomniacs or night-shift workers would benefit greatly), when the weather is bad outdoors, when time is short, or when you simply don’t feel like leaving the house just to get a workout in.
How Do I Choose a Treadmill?
Be mindful of your space and your goals when trying to choose the right treadmill for you. Here are some tips to make sure you get a treadmill that meets your needs:
Decide Where You’ll Use the Treadmill
The area where you’re going to place your treadmill will determine what size machine would be best for you. If you have plenty of space, you don’t necessarily have to worry about going for a compact version, unless you may be moving it around the house on your own.
If you’re short on space, a compact treadmill is a good choice. A foldable treadmill may be an even better option, if you want to be able to hide it away.
Set Your Goals
If you just want to run 5 miles a day, you probably don’t need a fancy treadmill. But if you want the ability to incline, connect your phone, or track your stats, you need to make sure the treadmill you choose has those capabilities.
Figure Out Your Budget
If your dream treadmill has all the bells and whistles but your budget only covers something basic, you’ll need to make a compromise.
If you need to keep road running for a while until you’ve saved up enough to buy a treadmill with the features you need, then so be it.
Do Your Homework
Once you’ve figured out what treadmills would work for you, do your research. Read reviews, check out what other people have to say, and put some thought into it before actually buying.
The best advert for a product is what others have to say about it!
Take A Test Run
If you can, find the treadmill you like in a store, and take a test run on it. Consider how the belt feels moving under your feet, the sturdiness of the machine, how responsive the buttons are, and how smoothly it moves from one incline to another.