The 10 Best Budget Treadmills

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This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in February of 2017. Staying in shape is hard enough no matter what, but if you get the wrong equipment, you could be out a lot of money and lose your motivation to work out. These budget treadmills are sturdy and packed with features that should help keep you on the road to good health while saving you from expensive gym membership fees. And you get to choose what to watch on TV while you're on one. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Xterra Fitness TR150

2. Sunny SF-T7603

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515

Editor's Notes

August 01, 2020:

When it comes to treadmills, there are a few things that we feel are important. They obviously need to offer enough versatility to allow users to get a good workout, but they should also be durable enough to withstand regular use. It was with this latter thought in mind that we determined we had to remove the OppsDecor Under Desk from our list. While we definitely liked its versatility, there were simply too many reports of it failing in less than a year for various reasons. That, combined with the fact that the company doesn't seem to stand behind their product and work with buyers to replace the broken machines, meant that we were no longer comfortable recommending it. In its place we have the Goplus 2 in 1, which can also be operated with the handrails down for under-desk use. Plus, though it can easily be stored under a bed or in a closet, we did like that it comes in three colors, which can make it a bit less of an eyesore if you'll be leaving it set up at all times.

We also decided to eliminate the ProGear HCXL 4000 during this update. Its 4 MPH maximum speed was just a little too slow for the average user, and we already have the Exerpeutic TF2000, which also has a slow top speed but offers the added benefit of full-length handrails.

The MaxKare Running Machine is a new addition that we liked because of the 15 preset workout programs. And, if you are like us and find yourself staring at the timer constantly when on a treadmill, which we all know makes the passage of time feel like an eternity, you'll appreciate that the display can be rotated backwards and out of sight.

All of our other previous recommendations retained spots on the list for the same reasons they originally made it. The Xterra Fitness TR150 offers one of the highest top speeds for a budget-priced model, clocking in at 10 MPH, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 is packed with features that rival many premium treadmills, and the SereneLife SLFTRD20 integrates with a fitness app that can help keep you motivated, just to name a few.

September 11, 2019:

A good treadmill can make the running experience significantly more enjoyable through a variety of methods. One that tracks your workout metrics can help keep you motivated, especially if it shows how many calories you have burned or how far you have run. The addition of speakers can help you lose yourself in the moment and get into a nice step rhythm, and something that feels sturdy will give you the confidence you need to increase your speed. We took all of these factors into consideration when choosing the treadmills for this list, as well as cost too, of course.

One of the drawbacks with most budget treadmills is the speed. It is not uncommon for them to top out at just six miles per hour, which may not be enough for some fitter individuals. If you need something with a bit more speed, take a look at Xterra Fitness TR150, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515, Goplus 2.25HP, and Merax 1.5HP, which can reach speeds of 10, 8, 7.5, and 7.5 MPH, respectively.

For very heavy users, or those dealing with some instability issues, we have included the Exerpeutic TF2000 and ProGear HCXL 4000. Both of these have long handrails and can support at least 300 pounds.

If you work at home, are trying to burn a few extra calories throughout the day, and are tired of your desk elliptical, the OppsDecor Under Desk can help. You can use it without the side rails while you work, and then when you ready to do some faster jogging, pop them up and go to town. Plus, it is slim enough to store almost anywhere, so it will take up very little room when not in use.

While we would love to simply focus on all the benefits of a great treadmill, we would be remiss if we didn't also highlight how important it is to use them correctly and with a focus on safety. While they may seem like a relatively harmless piece of equipment, some studies show that as many as 30 percent of gym injuries are from treadmills. These can include abrasions, strains, broken bones, and more. Because of this, it is important that you always operate them with caution, wear proper footwear, and run at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Special Honors

Fitness Reality TR1000 Though we don't think it worthy of inclusion on the list because of the lack of features, if you are on an extremely tight budget and can't afford a powered model, then the manual TR1000 might serve you well enough for a little while until you can save up a bit more money. It has two incline levels, and twin cast-iron flywheels that provide a smooth and consistent walking experience.

4. Goplus 2 in 1

5. Goplus 2.25HP

6. SereneLife SLFTRD20

7. Exerpeutic TF2000

8. MaxKare Running Machine

9. Merax 1.5HP

10. FitnessReality TRE2500

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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