The 10 Best Treadmills

Updated October 17, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Treadmills
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
With so many jobs being sedentary these days, and with sitting down all day now considered more harmful than smoking, it's essential to try and squeeze in some walking, jogging or running whenever possible. These treadmills come in compact options that will let you get all the exercise you want in front of the TV, or even while you work, with stand-up desk options. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best treadmill on Amazon.

10. Exerpeutic TF1000

An intuitive interface makes the Exerpeutic TF1000 easy to program and to use, so almost anybody can get the customized workout they need without hassle. The treadmill supports users weighing up to 400 pounds, despite its small size, and it has extra long safety handles.
  • speed controls on the handles
  • 5-year motor and frame warranty
  • made for walking not running
Brand Exerpeutic
Model 1020
Weight 145.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Confidence GTR Power Pro

The Confidence GTR Power Pro has been specifically designed for home use, with a slim design that fits in areas most other models won't. It also folds down nearly flat enough to fit under many beds, but it is only suitable for light jogging, with a top speed of 7.5 MPH.
  • arrives mostly assembled
  • bottom wheels for easy relocating
  • incline must be adjusted manually
Brand Confidence
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. ProForm Performance 400i

The ProForm Performance 400i is backed by a lifetime warranty and features the ProShox cushioning system. Its maximum speed of 10 MPH is good enough for the average runner, though serious athletes who run at higher speeds may want to look elsewhere.
  • integrated ekg pulse sensor
  • doesn't draw a lot of power
  • only supports users up to 250 lbs
Brand ProForm
Model PFTL59515
Weight 200 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. NordicTrack T 6.5 S

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S comes in at a surprisingly low price considering its high-quality. It allows you to adjust your incline by up to 10% to increase your workout intensity, and features a 55-inch belt to accommodate those with long strides.
  • mp3 or phone audio connection port
  • stable hand rails
  • compatible with ifit
Brand NordicTrack
Model NTL17915
Weight 198 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. LifeSpan TR1200-DT7

The LifeSpan TR1200-DT7 features a large 38-inch desk area that lets you get your work done while working on your waistline at the same time. Not only will a walking desk allow you to burn calories throughout the day, but they are also shown to help decrease stress levels.
  • smart cable management system
  • adjustable desk height
  • max speed is just 4 mph
Brand LifeSpan Fitness
Model TR1200-DT7
Weight 242 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Schwinn MY16 830

The Schwinn MY16 830 features a media shelf to hold your tablet or smartphone while you run for easy viewing. It comes with 22 exercise programs, and it has the ability to upload exercise data to MyFitnessPal, making it easier to track your progress over time.
  • high quality speakers
  • allows for four user profiles
  • usb charging port
Brand Schwinn
Model 100518
Weight 223 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

4. Weslo Cadence G 5.9

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 is suitable for those who are on a tight budget and have limited space. It can fold up to fit into a corner when not in use, offers decent shock absorption, and rolls smoothly. Unfortunately, the track is a little thin for some runners.
  • two-position manual incline
  • six personal trainer workouts
  • assembles in about thirty minutes
Brand Weslo
Model WLTL29609
Weight 119 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. LifeSpan TR 1200i

The LifeSpan TR 1200i has biomechanically correct deck suspension on its spacious 20" x 56" running surface, allowing you to run longer with less chance of pain in your knees. It comes preprogrammed with 21 easy-to-use exercise programs.
  • can save exercise data to usb drive
  • accurately records step count
  • auto pauses the belt if you step off
Brand LifeSpan Fitness
Model TR 1200i
Weight 223.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Horizon Fitness T101-04

The Horizon Fitness T101-04 has a relatively sleek design, making it easier to place within a home, and is packed with 30 program options and a manual workout mode. It also features pulse grip heart rate monitoring and Sonic Surround speakers.
  • relatively quiet when in operation
  • motor adjusts speed immediately
  • hydraulic-assisted folding mechanism
Brand Horizon Fitness
Model HTM0944-01
Weight 192 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. 3G Cardio Pro Runner

The 3G Cardio Pro Runner perfectly balances the need for high-end features with a space-saving design. Unlike many other folding treadmills, it allows users to run at speeds of up to 12 MPH, and has an Ortho Flex Shock suspension system to lessen the impact on the joints.
  • one touch elevation adjustments
  • well laid out display panel
  • built-in dual-speed fan
Brand 3G Cardio
Model Pro Runner
Weight 216 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

More To A Treadmill Than Meets The Eye

At first glance, it doesn't look like a treadmill is that complicated of a machine. All you really see of it is the console, some posts, and a belt that wraps around a flat surface.

To put the complex construction of any given treadmill into perspective for you, we've provided this almost needlessly elaborate schematic of all the treadmill's parts.

This is, honestly, the other end of the spectrum, and it makes a treadmill out to be more intricate than it is at its core.

The heart of the treadmill is near the center of the image, where you see the main motor component which turns an internal belt, whose motion translates to the movement of large rollers. Those rollers move the big belt on which you run.

It's a pretty simple transition of energy from one element to the next, but the stronger the motor and the sturdier the rollers, the better the treadmill.

Judge Tread: Evaluating Your Perfect Mill

When I was in my teens, I would start almost every year with a resolution to get in shape. Too much refined sugar and simple carbohydrates kept me in a perpetual state of chubbiness, and those holiday months of hibernation, hot chocolate, and home-baked cookies didn't help.

So, every January, I'd roll the old treadmill out of the closet and set it up, hop on, and begin the long, tedious, suffering path toward fitness. By my junior year, with a little more commitment and a better eating plan, I finally got in the shape I desired.

The treadmill we had was perfect because it stored nicely enough that we never felt the need to get rid of it to save space. That allowed me to keep trying year after year until the habit stuck.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you're going to be the prefect runner, or that you're going to get the best results out of your treadmill within a certain amount of time.

A lot of your success here is going to depend on you, but if you get the right machine, not only will your chances of success go up, the likelihood that the treadmill will last as long as you need to establish good habits becomes greater, as well.

That decision comes down to your current level of fitness, your goals for yourself, and your space. If you can fit a big machine in your house or apartment, and you need that great top speed and steep incline just to break a sweat, then go for it.

If, however, you're really just looking to raise your heart rate a few times a week, maybe just to get a good, brisk walk in during the months of the year when it's too cold to go walking outside, a smaller, simpler machine might be perfect for you.

Oh, and don't forget to mention to your doctor any drastic changes in your eating or exercise habits. He or she might want to help you ease into it. After all, there's nothing worse than having to suspend your journey toward wellness to recover from an injury.

It's Always Been A Punishment

If you've ever heard anyone describe their workout as 'punishing,' it turns out they were making a specific historical reference, though they might not have known it.

Back in the early 1800s, a miller's son devised a form of effective punishment for idle prisoners. Based on the principal of the water wheel, the original treadmills were long, step-based wheel systems on which prisoners would be forced to climb.

Their climbing motion turned the heavy stones that ground grain in the mill. Hence the term 'treadmill.'

It was more than 150 years later that the first consumer treadmill hit the market in response to growing evidence of the need for exercise among Americans.

More recently, we've seen the incorporation of Bluetooth connectivity, built in speaker systems, and advanced statistic tracking, among other technological developments.

When the weather's nice, I still think nothing beats a good run outdoors, but when the weather's cold or rainy, and as the sun and the air get more dangerous to our health, having one of these high-tech treadmills in the home is necessary.

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Last updated on October 17, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away 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 hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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