A treadmill is a great investment, for runners of all levels. It’s a good way for seasoned runners to get in some extra training when the weather is bad or they can’t sleep, and for beginners to become comfortable with the motions and feelings of running.
Treadmills are big machines, though. Runners who share living space, or live in an apartment or small house might need to consider size alongside performance and features. The best treadmills for those who have limited space are folding treadmills. Simply unfold yours when you want to work out, and fold it back up to store away in a corner.
Our first choice is the Lifespan TR2000e Electric Folding Treadmill. It uses eFold technology for an easy electric fold, and also features a Smart Stop safety sensor that stops the platform in mid-air if it senses movement below. With a 300lb weight capacity and a 20” x 56” surface, it should be more than enough for most runners.
Here’s our top ten for you to scroll through so you can choose the one that suits you best.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
ProForm Performance 300i
XTERRA Fitness TRX3500
1. Lifespan TR2000e Electric Folding Treadmill
The Lifespan TR2000e is our top choice if you’re looking to add a folding treadmill to your home gym setup. It has a 300lb user weight capacity and a running surface of 20” x 56”, so no matter where you are on your fitness journey, this is a good treadmill to invest in.
A 6” backlit LED screen shows off the exercise program you’re doing at the time, your step count, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. You should be aware that the calorie counter may be inaccurate, as there’s no way for you to input your custom height and weight (weight is a critical stat in estimating calories burned).
There are 5 Quickset speed and 5 Quickset incline buttons that allow you to choose a setting with just one push.
There’s a bevy of other useful features, like an auxiliary input jack and speakers for music, Bluetooth capability, a USB charging port (which unfortunately doesn’t work with iPad 1, 2 or 3), and a convenient tablet or phone holder.
In terms of folding features, the Lifespan uses eFold electric folding technology to make it as simple as a push of a button. A very useful function they also have is Smart Stop sensor technology. If the treadmill is unfolding and senses movement beneath it, it will stop the treadmill deck mid-air to avoid potential accidents.
This is extremely useful if you have kids or pets, as you can be assured of their safety no matter whether the treadmill is folded or unfolded.
- 20” x 56” running surface
- Folds with a push of a button
- Smart Stop safety sensor for safe unfolding
- 300lb user weight
- No fan
- Doesn’t have the ability to input custom metrics for accuracy when working out calories burned
2. Horizon 7.0 AT Treadmill
The Horizon 7.0 AT treadmill comes a close second behind our top choice. It’s a high-end treadmill that has some nifty features that set it apart from others.
A 60” deck offers plenty of running space, so you can hit your full stride no matter your height. 3-zone cushioning under the deck makes the run experience as easy on your joints as possible.
Unlike other treadmills, instead of adjusting your speed and incline with buttons, this machine features QuickDial controls, which are located on the handlebars right in front of you. This is a useful feature to keep your hands free as much as possible, but you need to be careful not to accidentally bump them and drastically increase the speed of the deck without expecting it.
You’ll have access to a free workout app, but if you’re already using an app, this treadmill syncs with many third-party apps to bring you the best possible experience.
The Rapid Sync motor means your speed and incline changes will happen 33% faster than usual, and the one-step hydraulic folding is easy for anybody to do.
- Easy and quick speed and incline rollers
- Syncs with third-party apps
- Hydraulic folding
- 60″ 3-zone cushioned deck
- It’s possible to bump the speed roller and accidentally increase your speed
Best High-End Treadmill
3. NordicTrack 6.5 S Treadmill
If you want something a little more high-end than the first two, look no further than the NordicTrack 6.5 S. It’s an impressive-looking machine that has some really nice features that runners will appreciate.
The deck is 20″ x 55″, so it should fit most runners quite comfortably. Underneath is adjustable FlexSelect cushioning, so you can get the right feel for your own feet.
One of the best features of this treadmill is the large touchscreen on which you can access a multitude of studio workouts. When you choose to do one of these workouts, your treadmill speed and incline will adjust automatically as though you’re running out in the real world.
It will also show insights about your heart rate and intensity, but the one downside is that you can’t enter your weight manually to customize settings for you.
You have the option to get a free year’s membership with iFit, although if you choose not to, the treadmill will still work well. But be aware that you won’t have access to the large database of studio workouts if you choose to leave the iFit membership behind.
- Adjustable FlexSelect cushioning
- 10-degree digital incline
- One-Touch controls
- 1-year iFit membership included
- Can’t enter your weight for customized settings
Top Treadmill with Pre-installed Workouts
4. Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill
With 11 pre-installed workouts, you’ll always have something to do on the Bowflex BXT216. If you want to go it alone, you can always adjust your speed and incline manually. The incline reaches 15%, which is a little higher than most.
You’ll also have access to 3 free courses to run in the Explore the World app. If you don’t mind spending money for a monthly subscription to the Bowflex JRNY app, you can customize your settings and let the app adjust your workouts according to your metrics. You’ll also be able to stream the latest awesome workout music.
It folds swiftly using a gas shock folding system that also makes use of a slow descent technology so it won’t be falling on anybody’s head. Another nice thing is that the maximum user weight is 400lb, which is more than most. You can use the Bowflex comfortably no matter what shape you’re in.
- Gas shock folding system with slow descent
- 3 free Explore the World courses included
- 11 built-in workout programs
- Maximum user weight of 400lb, more than many others
- Many of the best features require a subscription to Bowflex JRNY
- Not as durable as others
Best Treadmill Warranty
5. XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Treadmill
When buying a treadmill, it can be tempting to look at all the cool features and forget to check the warranty. This treadmill has a lot of cool features but it also has a great warranty to keep your peace of mind as the time goes.
You’ll get a lifetime warranty on the frame and the motor, which are the two most expensive parts. Other parts have a 2-year warranty, and in-home labor has a 1-year warranty. That’s fairly impressive and should see you through quite well.
In terms of performance, the treadmill features 30 preset programs and 2 custom programs. You can crank it up to a 12% incline, which is a little higher than average.
Although it’s very heavy, the Lift Assist and Safe Drop will help users of any size fold and unfold it with ease, and the wheels underneath make it easier to roll into a corner.
- 30 preset programs, 2 custom programs
- 12% incline
- Lift Assist and Safe Drop technology
- Lifetime frame and motor warranty, 2 years parts, 1 year in-home labor
- Fan and speakers don’t work very effectively
Top Value Treadmill
6. ProForm Performance 300i
Some runners don’t want all the bells and whistles. If that’s you, this is a minimalist folding treadmill that you can run on, fold up and store away.
That doesn’t mean it’s bad quality though. The deck features ProShox cushioning, which makes it easy on your joints. The quick speed and incline controls are easy to access while you’re moving.
The running surface is 16” x 50”, and inclines up to 10%. The only downside we can find is that the maximum speed is 10mph, which may not be fast enough if you enjoy training with sprints or if you have a longer stride length.
If you have an iFit membership, you’ll be able to sync up. However, you can still make great use of the treadmill if you don’t.
- ProShox cushioning absorbs shock well
- Quick speed and incline controls
- iFit compatible
- Minimalist design
- Speed only goes up to 10mph, which may not be fast enough for some
Best Quiet Treadmill
7. ANCHEER 3.25HP Folding Treadmill
If you’re an insomniac and like to run in the middle of the night, or just live with others and don’t want to disturb anyone, this is our choice for the quietest folding treadmill.
Not only does it fold easily with hydraulics and have a soft-drop system for safety, but it has an ultra-quiet motor. The running surface is also multi-layered, which serves the dual purpose of cushioning joints and making your footfall even more silent.
12 automatic workout programs with an incline of up to 15% means you can get a great workout in at any time.
- Features a 0 – 15% incline
- Non-slip, double-layer running belt
- Hydraulic folding and soft-drop unfolding system
- 3.25HP low-noise motor
- Pulse measurement can be quite inaccurate
8. Schwinn 810 Treadmill
The Schwinn 810 has a large, blue backlit display screen that shows metrics such as calories burned, time, distance, speed, and which program you’re currently using.
The console features large, easy-to-see and easy-to-use buttons in a logical, intuitive pattern around the screen.
Apart from its helpful display, the treadmill has an incline of up to 10%, and reaches a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour.
It folds up very easily and utilizes a soft-drop system to prevent accidents from happening and floors from getting damaged.
Another really great thing about this particular treadmill is that you have the ability to set up 2 unique user profiles. This is a really nice feature if you have two runners in the house and each one has their own preferences.
- Informative blue backlit LCD display screen
- SoftTrak deck cushioning
- Can set up 2 separate user profiles
- Easy lift and fold, plus soft drop descent
- Connecting to apps can be tricky
Top Walking Treadmill
9. Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
If you only plan on using your treadmill for walking, the Goplus 2-in-1 would be a good choice. It has a stylish design that you can use in two different ways depending on the intensity of your walk.
Raise the frame to create a more stable running treadmill, or lower it to create an under-desk walking treadmill. A 5-layered running surface allows you to have a good grip even with work shoes on.
There is no console on this treadmill, but you’ll still be able to track time, distance, speed, and calories on the small screen. The remote can be used to adjust the speed as you’re walking without having to bend down.
When you’re in running mode, you can place your phone on top of the bar. There’s a small Bluetooth speaker built-in.
It’s very easy to simply slide the Goplus under a bed or couch, out of the way. The only thing that could potentially be an issue is that the maximum speed is 7.4 miles per hour, which may be too slow for some to run at.
- Easy to fold and slide under a bed
- 5-layered non-slip running belt
- Can be used for light running and walking
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Running mode only goes to 7.4mph, which may not be enough for some
Most Unique Color
10. Sunny Health and Fitness SpaceFlex Running Treadmill
If you like something eye-catching, this pink treadmill is both a great exercise machine and a fashion statement.
The console is minimalistic, with 6 separate small LCD screens that display calories burned, time, heart rate, distance, speed and incline. This is nice as you can see all your statistics in one go without having to figure out which is which.
It folds up impressively flat, which makes it very easy to put out of the way. The wheels underneath it mean you won’t have any trouble moving it around the house.
With 12 different incline levels and 8 pre-designed programs to choose from, you’ll never be bored on this stylish treadmill.
- 6 small LED screens for keeping track of stats
- Folds almost flat for easy storage
- 12 incline levels
- 8 preset workouts to choose from
- Speed only goes up to 8 miles per hour
- Supports up to 220lb, which is less than most
What is a folding treadmill?
Traditional treadmills are bulky and take up a lot of space. Folding treadmills have the ability for the deck to raise up and lock in an upright, almost vertical position. This means they takes up far less space when they’re not in use.
Wheels on the bottom make them very easy to move into a corner or closet when you’re done with your workout, saving you plenty of space in the room.
How hard is it to fold up a treadmill?
The folding difficulty really depends on the treadmill. Some, like our top choice, are all electronic, and in these cases it’s incredibly easy. A simple push of a button will have the treadmill folded up in almost no time, with little to no effort from you.
Others use hydraulic technology, which is also fairly easy and requires minimal effort from the user. Most modern treadmills will use one of these two ways. In rare cases, a treadmill may be manually folded. These need a bit more effort, and in some cases, depending how heavy it is, it may need more than one person to lift it.
The key is to do your research on the treadmills you like and make sure you know exactly how they fold. Hydraulic is always fairly easy and may come with a slightly friendlier price-tag than an electric one.
What are the advantages of a fold up treadmill?
The biggest advantage of a folding treadmill is obviously that it saves space. Apart from that, it’s usually quite a bit easier to transport if you do need to move it, whether that’s from one room to another or into a new house.
It’s also easier to clean around them, or simply move them out of the way when you need to. If you’re having guests, fold it up and store it away. If you need to extra space for yoga, fold and move it to one side.
What are the disadvantages of a fold up treadmill?
There aren’t many disadvantages, but a noticeable one is that a folding treadmill is a little less stable than a non-collapsible one. While you’re running on it you may not really notice, but when it’s folded the stability is definitely less.
Of course, you’re not trying to run on it while it’s folded, but moving it around or having kids hang on it or move it around could result in something getting damaged.
Another disadvantage is that they tend to cost a fair bit more than a non-collapsible treadmill.