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The Best Budget Treadmills for Your Home Workout

the legs of a woman in pink tennis shoes walking on a treadmill
Viktoria Gavrilina/Shutterstock

When you can’t spare the time to go to the gym or can’t get outside because of inclement weather, having your own treadmill at the ready in your home means you can still have a great workout on those tough days and keep that fitness streak going!

But, the cost of some treadmills can run really high. Do you really need to make that kind of investment to make your fitness, health, and well-being a priority?

Fortunately, there are many treadmills on the market that are perfect for at-home exercise and don’t require you to spend a massive amount of cash. Here are some we recommend.

What Home Users Need in a Treadmill

These are basic specifications to consider when choosing your equipment:

  • Motor: Is a manual or motorized treadmill right for your home workout? A manual treadmill is powered by your effort—the more muscle you put into it to move the belt, the faster you go, so you burn more calories, and it doesn’t require electricity. A motorized treadmill will have more features and workout options, but it will also be bulkier and more expensive. If a motorized treadmill is your choice, look for a motor with at least 1.5 continuous horsepower (CHP)—one with over 2 CHP will be a better choice. The CHP you need will also increase with the weight of the treadmill’s users.
  • Belt: A treadmill belt should be at least 13 inches wide and 40 inches long to fit the average stride. If you are over 6 feet tall, you’ll need a longer belt. Smaller belt sizes work great for walkers, and larger belt sizes are best for runners.
  • Incline: Do you want both incline and/or decline options to simulate both uphill and downhill running or walking? Whether or not you need these features depends on your training goals. For speeds slower than 8 miles per hour, an incline adjustment may not be as useful. Manual treadmills with incline options will require you to get off them and adjust by hand. Electronic incline adjustments are easier and usually more accurate but add to the cost of your treadmill.
  • Usage: A home treadmill doesn’t have to be as heavy-duty as a gym treadmill that has to stand up to frequent use every day, but you should still consider how many people will use it and how often. Weight capacity is a good indicator of durability.
  • Space: Be sure to measure your space before you buy your treadmill to make sure you have room for it. A folding treadmill will take up less space, but you still need to be sure you have a place to put it that works, especially if you live in an apartment or a small home.
  • Control Panel and Extras: With a treadmill at home, you may need fewer entertainment options on it, but it should have basics like places to put your water bottle and tablet, and the readouts for things like speed and time should be accessible and easy to read.

Top Choice: XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill

The XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill combines quality and performance with the flexibility of a machine that can be easily folded up and stored away.  It has a quiet 2.25-CHP motor, a walking/running surface that’s 16 inches by 50 inches, three manual incline settings, and a 5-inch LCD display that shows you 12 pre-set programs, as well as speed, incline, time, distance, calories, and pulse. The weight capacity is 250 pounds.

The unfolded dimensions are 63.4 inches by 28.75 inches by 51.4 inches, and the folded dimensions are 28.5 inches by 28.75 inches by 61 inches. This treadmill weighs 108 pounds.

Top Choice

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill

This treadmill combines quality and performance with the flexibility of a machine that can be easily folded up.

Best for Incline Training: Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill

 

The Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Treadmill’s quick button auto incline makes it great for runners who want the uphill climb in their workout routine. It comes equipped with a 2.2-CHP motor, a walking/running deck that’s 16.5 inches wide and 49.5 inches long, and 12 auto electronic incline settings that are activated by the touch of a button. The digital monitor shows you 12 pre-set programs, speed, time, distance, calorie, incline, pulse, and countdown. This model includes integrated speakers, a microphone, and Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity that let you listen to music or answer calls while you work out.

The maximum weight for treadmill users is 240 pounds. The unfolded dimensions are 64.5 inches by 28 inches by 50.5 inches. This treadmill weighs 121 pounds.

Best for Incline Training

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 Smart Treadmill with Auto Incline, Speakers, Bluetooth, LCD and Pulse Monitor, Phone Function, 240 LB Max Weight , grey

This treadmill's quick button auto incline makes it great for runners who want the uphill climb in their workout routine.

Best Portable: Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill

If you like to work out at home and at your desk in the office, this Goplus treadmill with two modes is the choice for you. Its 2.25-CHP motor helps you walk or run steadily, and it has a five-layer non-slip belt to absorb shock and cushion your joints. The high-fidelity 3D speaker can play audio through a Bluetooth connection, and the armrest is equipped with a phone or tablet bracket for watching videos and listening to music when using the treadmill. It also runs at a volume lower than 60 decibels, so it won’t disrupt you or the people around you.

The maximum weight capacity is 265 pounds. The unfolded dimensions are 49 inches by 27 inches by 42 inches, and the folded dimensions are 52 inches by 27 inches by 5 inches. The treadmill weighs only 50 pounds and comes with built-in wheels for super-easy transport.

Best for Budget: ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill

The ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill is a great way to burn extra calories and a cost-effective way to achieve a healthy lifestyle. No motor means no electricity and no maintenance! Tested for up to 230 pounds of user weight on a belt that’s 43 inches by 13.25 inches, this treadmill’s incline adjustments are quick and easy with two incline levels of 6 and 10 degrees. An LCD console features elapsed time, distance walked, calories burned, and speed.

The ProGeear 190 has wheels to help you move it from place to place and folds up easily for storage—the folded dimensions are 21 inches by 23 inches by 51 inches. This lightweight treadmill weighs only 49 pounds.

Best for Budget
Lisa Walenceus Lisa Walenceus
Lisa Walenceus has 20 years of research and writing experience as an educator, news reporter, and freelancer. She writes to learn and digs deep to find how things work. Read Full Bio »
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