So you’ve finally decided to invest in a treadmill for that home gym you’ve been dreaming of. There’s just one problem – you don’t really know where to begin in your search for the perfect treadmill.
Whether you’ve always been an avid gym goer or someone who is just beginning to find the joys in working out, a treadmill is a great workout machine to have at home. Convenient, versatile, and easy to use, a treadmill can be used by people of all ages and fitness levels. But with so many treadmills on the market, what sets good treadmills apart from the great?
Instead of having to spend countless hours trying to figure out the best treadmills on the market, we’ve taken out all of the guesswork for you in this article by looking at the best treadmills.
Table of Contents
What to look for in a treadmill
- What is your budget?
- How often do I plan on working out with my treadmill?
- What kind of features are must-haves, and which features are nice to have?
Now that we’ve got you thinking, what are some important things to consider when choosing a treadmill? The physical makeup of a treadmill can determine several things, such as comfort, durability, and ergonomics. Here are some components of a treadmill that are good to have an understanding of:
- Motor: A treadmill’s motor is what powers the track, and is measured in terms of continuous horse power (CHP). Look for treadmills with a continuous duty motor, which has more horsepower and performs at a steady rate, allowing it to run smoothly. As a standard, here are some motor power recommendations based on how you’ll be using the treadmill:
- Walking: 2.0 CHP or higher
- Jogging: 2.5 CHP or higher
- Running: 3.0 CHP or higher
- Track size: How you’re going to use the treadmill should be considered when figuring out what size you need. According to consumerreports.org, an optimal length for walkers is 50 inches, while 60 inches and more is optimal for those who will use the treadmill primarily for running.
- Treadbelt: A treadbelt is the direct area on the treadmill where you will be exercising on. Several things need to be considered when looking at treadbelts:
- Thickness: A 2-ply or 4-ply treadbelt is more durable than a single layer treadbelt, and tend to be quieter.
- Lubrication: Treadmill belts need to be lubricated to ensure optimal performance. Some treadmills require owners to do this on their own, while some brands have treadbelts which come infused with silicone or another lubricant, ensuring easy maintenance.
- Cushioning: Treadmills with good cushioning can reduce impact on your joints by 15 to 40 percent. Some treadmills have differential cushioning, which allows the treadmill deck to provide the right support based off of whether you are pushing off or landing on the track.
Fitness is important, but safety is key! According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 24,400 treadmill-related injuries sent people to the emergency room in 2014, and you definitely don’t want to become another statistic. Making sure that your dream machine has functionalities such as an emergency stop button, handles, or a safety clip you can attach to your clothing in case you fall off, ensures that you can workout without worrying about injuries.
Most exercise machines allow the user to monitor several elements of their workout, such as heart rate, calories burned, and running speed (such as miles per hour). Some cheaper models don’t include monitors to track several of these elements of your workout, so considering whether you really need these displays is important in choosing a product you’ll love.
Working out the same way every day can get a little boring. Some aspects that help mix up your workouts and burn more calories include:
- Speed: Treadmills users usually need treadmills that can support top speeds of up to 10 mph. This speed is usually adequate for most users, but those training for more intense runs can get machines that go for even higher speeds.
- Incline: A machine that allows you to change the incline simulates walking or running on hills, which adds variety and intensity to your workouts, allowing you to burn more calories. Typically, treadmill tracks can be inclined by 10-20%, and some even have small decline capabilities to mimic walking or running downhill.
- Built-in Programs: Many treadmills on the market today come with workout programs which automatically adjusts the speed and incline levels throughout your workout to simulate running in different kinds of terrain, allowing you to continuously change up your workouts for better results.
Depending on the make and price of the model, some treadmills can come with some pretty neat features, such as a screen for watching TV and surfing the Internet, or a dock to charge your phone. These features aren’t necessary mandatory for an optimal workout, but it does help keep you busy during those 30-minute treadmill runs!
Picking the Right Treadmill
Now that we’ve covered some of the features you should look for in your new treadmill, we’ll cover an important factor: price.
Treadmills in the market today cost an average of $1500 and can cost up to $4000 or more. For the purpose of this article, we’ll group treadmills into low (between $500- $1000), medium (up to $2000), and premium ($2000 to $4000) price points to showcase some of the best treadmills you can get at these prices.
Below, we list some of the best treadmills you can find of Amazon.com based on the different price ranges mentioned above:
Best treadmills between $500 – $1000
LifeSpan TR 1200i Treadmill (2015 Model)
The LifeSpan TR 1200i is a medium duty treadmill suitable for most treadmill users. Features include a 20” by 56” deck, a 2.5 continuous horsepower (CHP) motor which allows speeds of up to 11 mph, and a 15% incline capability. This machine supports users up to 300 pounds, and has 21 built-in workout programs as well as a backlit LCD screen that tracks your time, calories burned, distance, heart rate, speed, incline, and steps taken. Several cool features include built-in speakers, and the ability to store your workout progress to a USB device.
With a lifetime frame and motor warranty, and a three-year parts and one year labour warranty, this machine is a great pick!
NordicTrack C990 (2015 Model)
The NordicTrack C990 is another more affordable model. Armed with a 3.0 CHP motor allowing you to run at speeds of up to 12 mph, a 20” by 60” deck, and a 15% incline capability, this machine’s 32 built-in workout programs are sure to be a hit. With wireless heart rate monitoring, iFit compatibility, tablet holder, 7” LED screen and FlexSelect™ Cushioning which allows you to adjust the amount of impact on your joints, this machine offers variety for your workouts at an affordable price.
This machine also folds up for easy storage fand comes with a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame, a three year warranty on parts, and one year of free service.
Best treadmills under $2000
Sole F85 Treadmill
The Sole F85 has a high weight capacity (400 pounds), a quiet 4.0 CHP motor and a wide track (60” by 22”) that is sure to make your workouts feel incredibly smooth. Dubbed the “Best Folding Treadmill on the Planet” by Sole, the F85 has a two-ply track design with CushionFlex technology which has been proven to reduce joint impact by up to 40%. Its 9” LCD screen allows users to see workout data, and the machine also comes equipped with built-in speakers that can play music from your iPod or MP3 player. Some extra features on the F85 include a wireless heart rate monitor with 99.9% accuracy, a built-in fan, and incline and speed controls that are built in to the armrests.
This foldable treadmill also boasts a lifetime warranty on the frame, motor and deck, as well as a five year warranty on parts and two years of labour.
ProForm PRO 2000
The ProForm PRO 2000 is a space-saving treadmill that has a 60” by 22” track powered by a 3.5 CHP motor. Featuring 24 built-in workouts and speeds of up to 12 mph, this model also not only has a 15% incline like many other treadmill models, but also features a 3% decline capability. Some other features on this machine include iFit compatibility, a 7” backlit LCD with RaceTrack™ display, and Google Maps compatibility that allows the treadmill to adjust the incline and decline to recreate trails from around the world.
This treadmill can also be folded vertically and has a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, as well as a five year warranty on parts and two years of labour.
Best treadmills over $2000
Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill
The Elite T9 treadmill is an optimal treadmill for those who are more serious about their training. Featuring a 60”by 20” track with 15% incline powered by a 2.75 CHP motor and infused with wax for maintenance-free use, the T9 also has top speeds of 12 mph. Most impressively, its variable response cushioning has three different levels of cushioning on the treadmill to ensure the utmost comfort when running on the track. Aside from a full-colour 10” touchscreen that displays time, distance, incline, speed, heart rate and pace, some great extra features include a reading rack, two cup holders, speakers, a fan to keep you cool during your workout, 44 built-in workout programs to suit your needs, and an automatic energy-saver mode that kicks into gear if you forget to turn off your treadmill.
The T9 also folds up easily for storage and comes with a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame, a five year warranty on parts, and two years of service.
NordicTrack Commercial 2450
The NordicTrack Commercial 2450 comes with a colourful 10” touchscreen, interactive Google Maps workouts, a tablet holder, and an Internet browser. If these cool extra features don’t entice you, its pre-loaded 40 workout programs, wireless heart rate monitoring, and iFit compatibility should do the trick. In terms of mechanics, the 2450 treadmill track measures 60” by 22”, declines by up to 3% and inclines by up to 15%, has a 4.0 CHP motor that reaches top speeds of 12 mph, and has Runner’s Flex cushioning which can reduce the shock of exercise by up to 30% when activated.
If the above wasn’t enough, this folding treadmill has a lifetime guarantee on the motor and frame, five years warranty on parts and electronics, two years of service, and even a 30-day money-back guarantee.