We all know that a treadmill is a great way to get a good workout. Whether you’re looking for a treadmill that will allow you to run when the weather’s bad, or you’re looking to improve your form and speed, a treadmill can meet all your needs.
At the same time, if you’re on a budget, you want to find a decent treadmill that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. You want a quality product for an excellent price. The good news is that those treadmills do exist, and we’ve compiled a short list of them to suit a variety of budgets.
No matter whether you want to walk, jog, or run on a treadmill, we’ve done the work for you and figured out the best ones at affordable prices. You just need to decide which one is best for you!
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT
NordicTrack T 6.5 S
ProForm Performance 300i
1. Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT
With some budget treadmills, you’ll have to give up entertainment options, but not with the Horizon Fitness 7.0. The Advanced Bluetooth allows you to connect multiple devices in order to stream media through the speakers, meaning that you don’t have to turn up the volume on your phone in order to listen to music. You can do it through the treadmill!
Plus, the treadmill includes a free app that allows you to control your workout and push that data to your fitness apps. And you don’t have to worry about charging your phone beforehand, as there is a device holder and a rapid-charge USB port.
This treadmill has a 3.0 CHP motor and a 60-inch, three-zone cushioned deck, meaning that you can use this treadmill for running, as it can keep up with you and provide comfortable footfalls. Its frame is built for performance and durability, and the motor and frame are backed by a lifetime warranty.
Finally, it is easy to store between workouts, with one-step hydraulic folding, meaning that you can keep it anywhere in the house without it taking up too much room. If you’re looking for a treadmill that has some advanced features, is powerful enough for running, and is easy to store, the Horizon Fitness 7.0 might be a great option for you.
- Great for walking or running
- Good incline and speed range for a budget treadmill
- Larger deck size
- Fairly simple assemble
- App is confusing
2. NordicTrack T 6.5 S
The NordicTrack T 6.5 S has some pretty unique features, featuring the iFit program (free for the first month, then $15/month) that allows you to do workouts customized specifically to you. If it’s too cold to run outside, you can still run that route inside, as iFit will automatically adjust your incline to match the natural terrain when you run a custom Google Maps route.
Even if you decide not to use iFit, the 5-inch backlit display will still allow you to monitor your progress, showing your speed, time, distance, heart rate, and calories burned. Plus, there are 20 built-in workouts designed by a certified personal trainer so that you can reach whatever fitness goal you have. If you use iFit, the program will use these stats to create workouts just for you.
The NordicTrack treadmill has everything you would expect: a 20″ x 55″ tread belt, a 0-10% incline, and a 2.6 CHP motor, meaning that you can get a great workout whether you plan to walk or run. Plus, it comes with a guaranteed lifetime frame warranty, a 25-year motor warranty, and a one-year parts and labor warranty.
Finally, you can select your comfort level with the FlexSelect cushioning. If you want a cushioned deck to reduce the impact on your joints, you can make the adjustment with the simple turn of a knob. Let’s say that you want the experience of a firm deck so that it feels like running on the road. Just turn the knob again.
- Well-made and sturdy
- Everything you need, unless you’re a sub-6:00/mile runner
- Easy to change incline and speed while in motion
- Great value—worth way more than the asking price
- Can be squeaky
- Somewhat complicated to assemble
Best for Heavy Runners
3. ProForm Performance 300i
If you’re slightly shorter, the ProForm Performance 300i might be a great treadmill for you. It has a 16″ x 50″ tread belt, which is ideal for walking or someone with a shorter stride. This means that you can easily move this treadmill around your house and through doorways without disassembling it.
At the same time, though, you’ll get a quality treadmill. You have speed options of 0-10 mph and 0-10 incline options, which means that you can give your legs a little extra burn with the powered, automatic incline adjustability. Plus, the 2.0 CHP motor has high-grade components that will stay quiet when you walk or run.
If you’re looking for a treadmill that is compact, has some bells and whistles like a heart rate monitor, and doesn’t need to be used for intense running, the ProForm treadmill is an excellent option. It’s great for walking and light running, and it even has ProShox cushioning that will reduce the impact on your joints, for a more comfortable workout and faster recovery.
- Runs very quiet
- Can fit through a 2’8” doorway without having to disassemble it
- Perfect for walking and especially great for smaller individuals
- Great quality for an amazing price
- Not as great at higher speeds
- No backlit LCD
Top Incline Treadmill
4. XTERRA Fitness TRX3500
You can have it all with the XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 treadmill, from a high-torque 3.0 HP motor covered by a lifetime warranty, to a large, 6.5″ blue backlit LCD display that is easy to read. If you’re deciding between a sturdy budget treadmill or one with lots of bells and whistles, the TRX3500 is both.
Some advanced features include 30 pre-set programs, as well the option for 2 custom programs. You also have console direct-access speed and incline buttons, which means that you can make changes quickly during your workout, plus audio speakers and a fan to keep you cool.
The deck features cushioning technology, an oversized 20″ x 60″ running surface, and 12 levels of incline, meaning that you’ll be comfortable and give yourself a great workout at the same time. And it has a higher maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds.
When you’re ready to store the TRX3500 away, you can fold it up with the Lift Assist frame design. This also includes a safe guard that slowly lowers the deck for added safety. Finally, it comes with lifetime frame and motor, 5-year deck, 2-year parts, and 1-year labor warranties so that you never have to worry about the motor breaking down or the frame coming apart.
- Assembly is pretty easy
- Fairly quiet when running on it
- Many programs to choose from
- Great price for an incredible treadmill
- Too much focus on the bells and whistles rather than on the treadmill itself
- Fan only has one speed
Top Treadmill for the Money
5. XTERRA Fitness TR150
While you’re not going to find a lot of bells and whistles on the XTERRA Fitness TR150, it does exactly what a treadmill needs to do—provide a large walking/running surface—at a very affordable price.
You’ll still get to see your speed, incline, time, distance, calories, and pulse on the easy-to-read 5-inch LCD display. Plus, it comes with 12 preset programs if you want to add some variety to your workouts.
The speed range is 0-10mph, so it can suit whatever fitness need that you have, and the belt provides a large, 16″ x 50″ surface so that you have ample room to move. Finally, while it doesn’t have a plethora of incline levels, you still have 3 manual incline settings if you want to adjust the pitch for some variety in your workouts.
- Easy to assemble
- Quiet to use—can watch TV while running
- Nice belt size—not too small like other budget models
- Very good starter treadmill
- Some people had difficulties running on this treadmill – too compact
Best for Small Spaces
6. ProForm City L6
True to its name, the ProForm City is an ideal treadmill for city apartments and other homes where space is at a premium.
The deck has a small footprint, so it won’t take up much room. And when you are done running or walking, it folds down for easy storage under a bed or tucked away somewhere else. The strong motor works well for running, walking, or a mix of both. And you can change speeds instantly with a button push.
The console has a built-in tablet holder. You can stream shows, read a book, or use the iFit app for running, studio classes, or other cross-training workouts.
- Small size folds for under bed storage
- Simple speed controls
- Powerful motor
- Deck may not be wide enough for some people
Best for Taller Runners
7. ProForm Power 995i
The ProForm Power 995i treadmill is designed for runners and individuals who are a little taller. With a 20″ x 60″ commercial tread belt, this treadmill is extra long. Plus, the 3.0 CHP Mach Z Commercial Plus Motor allows you to work out at your choice of pace, whether you want interval, speed, or endurance training.
You’ll also be able to track your pace, time, distance, and calories burned on the 7-inch backlit display that is iFit enabled. Plus, you can play music through the two 2” speakers, or use the Coolaire workout fans to stay cool as you walk or run. Finally, you have 30 built-in workout options—20 calorie burning workouts and 10 workout routes powered by Google Maps.
Plus, you can quickly change the incline, which means that you won’t have to interrupt your stride to either increase or decrease the incline. And this—and all the other features—are backed by lifetime frame and motor, 3 year parts, and 1 year labor warranties.
- Incline changes quickly
- Great impact absorption
- Very sturdy and durable, even for taller men
- Smooth motion and variety of programs
- It is very large and long
- Some people experienced the treadmill dying after a year of use
Top Treadmill for Walking
8. Goplus 2.25HP Electric Folding Treadmill
A good treadmill for walking should have a sturdy deck, be durable, but doesn’t necessarily need a powerful motor that would end up raising the price.
The Goplus treadmill checks off those boxes. It has a 2.25 HP motor, which is perfect for walking. It has enough power to adjust speed for intervals and raise or lower the incline, but it’s still fairly quiet.
It’s a well-constructed treadmill and quite durable. When you aren’t using the treadmill, it folds down for storage. It also comes with 12 built-in programs and a safety key to stop the treadmill if you fall off.
- Large LCD display
- Foldable design
- Adjustable incline and speed settings
- Motor may not be strong enough for running
How Much Should I Spend on a Budget Treadmill?
You can get a good budget treadmill fin the $600 – $1,000 range. Don’t be afraid of a small price tag necessarily, as there are a lot of reasonably priced entry-level treadmills. You’re not going to get a lot of fancy features, but you can be satisfied with what you get if you choose a good brand and model.
If you’re willing to forego bells and whistles, you’ll likely be able to find an entry-level treadmill on the low end of the price range. In recent years, some brands have started including real entertainment or advanced fitness tools that you’d expect on more expensive treadmills.
Remember, though, that a budget treadmill isn’t really designed for multiple users, or workouts longer than an hour a day. In reality, budget treadmills are best for those who want to walk or jog, as opposed to even intermediate-level running.
Do Treadmills Under $1,000 Have Good Warranties?
Yes, treadmills under $1,000 can have a good warranty. A 25-year warranty for a treadmill motor is a good warranty, and you can find a warranty like this on a budget treadmill. Some treadmills under $1,000 even offer lifetime warranties for the frame and motor.
Make sure that you have a parts warranty of 3 years or more, and a labor warranty of at least a year. If you’re nervous about the warranty offered on a treadmill that you’re interested in, you can always opt for an extended warranty, since you want to make sure that you get as much use as possible from your purchase.
Drawbacks to a Budget Treadmill
While you can get a really great budget treadmill, you want to make sure that you’re not going too cheap, as you may have issues with the size of the deck or the quality of the motor.
Similarly, you have to be willing to part with higher speeds. A more powerful treadmill will be able to reach 12 mph and a 15% incline, while you’re probably looking at 10 mph and a 10% incline for a budget treadmill.
If you decide to save some money by assembling the treadmill yourself, you might not actually save money, as some warranties require professional assembly. The good news is that you can hire professionals from Amazon for assembly, and it is very reasonably priced. And don’t forget that you might have to hire someone to move the treadmill to where you want it in the house.
Finally, remember that a budget treadmill is going to skimp the most on bells and whistles. It is not going to be high-tech. However, you may be able to find a fitness app or reasonably priced fitness tracker that will provide you with some higher-tech features such as a heart-rate monitor.
Features to Consider
When you’re looking to purchase a budget treadmill, you should especially keep three categories in mind: deck length, noise, and display. You want to make sure that you’re getting a treadmill that is large enough for you, that is not too noisy, and that has the display and features you desire.
You should look for at least a 54″ belt on the treadmill if you want to use the treadmill for running and interval training. If you’re taller and plan to use the treadmill for running, you might need a longer deck. You also probably want a belt that is at least 18 inches wide to allow for side-to-side movement, which is especially important if you plan to use the treadmill for running.
LiveStrong recommends a treadmill of at least 50 inches long by 16 inches wide if you plan to use the treadmill for walking and a treadmill of at least 55 inches long by 20 inches wide if you want to use it for jogging or running.
Don’t forget about your weight and size. If you are less than 180 pounds and plan to just use the treadmill to walk, you can opt for a lighter machine. Finally, keep in mind that the average size of a treadmill is 64 inches long and 28 inches wide, although there are significantly smaller and significantly larger models.
Because budget treadmills tend to use plastic rather than metal gears for the power incline, you can experience noisy operation in addition to the gears wearing down quickly. If you’re looking for a quiet walk or run inside, that might not be a possibility with a budget treadmill.
Additionally, you will have to maintain your entry-level treadmill more than a more expensive treadmill. Since the belts on budget treadmills are made from cheaper materials, the belts need to be lubricated every few months to run smoothly or it might be pretty loud.
With a budget treadmill, you’re going to have a limited display. It’s likely only going to feature basic information, and you probably won’t have entertainment or advanced fitness tools—although some models do. Take into consideration how important the bells and whistles are to you before deciding on a budget treadmill.
You may also have to deal with unreliable electronics, such as a display screen that flickers. The console and display screen can cost hundreds of dollars to replace, and normally the console isn’t under the warranty for these models.