Whether you’re training for a marathon, or just trying to get fitter, the best treadmills will let you run, jog, or power walk from your living room! It might be an expensive investment, but a good treadmill can help you fit your training around your life, and also save you money in the long run, if your main reason for heading to the gym is to clock miles on the tread.
When finding the best treadmill for you, it’s a good idea to think about the space you plan on using the treadmill, as some will be bigger than others and those that have a greater incline will require a good amount of space above the treadmill. It’s also worth thinking about the kind of running you plan on doing. If you’re a speedy runner, or you’re hoping to get fitter and faster, you’ll want to look at the top speed the treadmill will go, as not all of them will go as fast as the tread in the gym. Finally, safety is a big thing to think about when putting a treadmill in your home, especially if you have kids or pets to worry about.
While running on a treadmill doesn’t have quite the same sensation as pounding the pavement or trail, they’re a good training tool when the weather is bad, or when the gym is shut due to lockdown restrictions. (Here are closer looks at whether running on a treadmill is better than running outside an elliptical vs. treadmill comparison, and how to get a great workout on the stairmaster.)
What are the best treadmills?
Our list of the best treadmills is led by one of the most best-known brands in home gym equipment. Like other machines made by NordicTrack, the Commercial 1750 is sturdy, durable and reliable. It comes with a ton of great features, including a large touchscreen to stream iFit workouts (a one-year membership is included with purchase; monthly subscription is required after).
The Bowflex Treadmill 22 also ranks high on our list of best treadmills. The high-end machine is expensive but is a workhorse that will last you for years. And you can use the large HD touchscreen to stream Netflix and Disney Plus.
Finally, if you’re looking for classes to keep your treadmill workouts interesting, the Peloton Tread is a fantastic choice. The large touchscreen makes watching the live and on-demand classes a joy, and the treadmill itself is compact enough to fit into most homes and has two wheels on the arms of the treadmill to easily control the speed and incline.
If you’re looking to work and exercise at the same time, be sure to check out the best under-desk treadmills.
NordicTrack is a trusted brand that has produced reliable, steady treadmills for years. Among its lineup, the Commercial 1750 is the best option that combines great features, convenience and affordability.
For under $2,000, you get a treadmill with a decent-sized screen (10 inches, compared to 32 inches on the Peleton Tread), FlexSelect cushioning, an automated fan for cooling and a space-saving design that folds up. The Commercial 1750 comes with one year of iFit, which streams on-demand, interactive trainer led global and studio workouts.
One Amazon reviewer said, “I love the treadmill, quality is excellent, does everything I could want it to do.” Another raved, “I have been blown away by quality and functionality of the Commercial 1750. I absolutely love the iFit software that’s built into the beautiful touchscreen display. It’s allowed me to find a true passion for the fitness community.”
This is a beast of a treadmill — and the price tag reflects that. The Bowflex Treadmill 22 boasts a top-notch design and build, robust performance and many accompanying features. This high-end machine is as big and sturdy (or even more so) than what you’d see at your gym. The running surface is roomy and comfortable, while the huge 22-inch touchscreen makes viewing workouts a pleasure. Not only that, connect your streaming services through the JRNY app, and you can watch Netflix or Disney Plus while running.
Speaking of the JRNY app, it’s required, though the treadmill comes with a two-month free trial. JRNY doesn’t offer live studio sessions or community features like Peloton, but it does have plenty of on-demand and adaptive workouts.
Read more in our Bowflex Treadmill 22 review.
The Peloton Tread is back on sale after the mass recall of the Tread and Tread+ earlier this year, and Peloton says it’s safer than ever thanks to the new Tread Lock feature. It’s a super-popular treadmill for a reason – the side knobs allow you to easily increase speed and incline, without trying to reach and touch a screen as you move. The screen itself is a massive 23.8 inches, allowing you to follow on-demand or live classes and track your progress, although you can’t fully rotate the screen for your mat workouts like others on this list.
Where the Peloton really shines is in its workouts, with thousands of different running workouts to choose from. Whether you’re hardcore marathon training, or just want to sing your lungs out to The Greatest Showman soundtrack as you clock up the miles, you’ll find workouts to make treadmill running genuinely enjoyable on the app. The Peloton all-access membership will set you back an extra $39 a month, however, which on top of the cost of the treadmill itself, does make this one of the most expensive on the list. It’s also worth noting — the cost of the Peloton Tread recently went up, as shoppers will now have to pay $350 for the delivery and installation of the machine, bringing the total price to $2,845.
Read our full Peloton Tread review here.
The Echelon Stride sits between treadmill categories — it’s not cheap, nor high-end. In most categories, it’s just fine in terms of build, power and features. The Stride has fewer bells and whistles than more expensive treadmills; for instance, it doesn’t have an HD video screen. Yet, it also boasts an easy-to-use folding mechanism which makes storage a snap.
The Stride can be paired with a tablet running the Echelon app, which provides access to live and in-demand studio classes for a monthly fee. If you’re looking for a cheaper Peloton alternative, then the Stride plus the Echelon Fit app mostly fits the bill.
Read our full Echelon Stride review
If you’ve got the space for it in your home gym, this NordicTrack treadmill is an impressive piece of kit. It has an incline range of -3 to 15% to hit all your workout needs, and a top speed of 22km/h, which is around a four-minute mile pace, which should be speedy enough for most runners. It also folds away, so you can keep it out of reach of kids and pets when you’re not using it.
During testing, we loved the option to join classes and keep fit on the iFit compatible treadmill, although this does require you to have an iFit membership. The Commercial 2950 comes with a 30-day trial of iFit (normally $39), but you’ll need to renew that subscription every single month to take advantage of live classes, on-demand workouts, and other iFit extras. You can technically use the machine as a manual treadmill once this membership runs out, but that kind of defeats the purpose of the original investment.
On the run, taller testers still found the treadmill comfortable and were able to fully stride out, without feeling like they’d fall off. We were also able to easily adjust the angle of the screen to suit runners of different heights, but unlike the screens on the more expensive NordicTrack treadmills, it can’t be rotated for other classes.
All in all, this is a fantastic machine if you’ve got the space for it and want to use it for virtual classes. If classes aren’t your bag, there are probably cheaper options out there.
Read our full NordicTrack Commercial 2950 review here.
If you want a no-frills treadmill for a simple run or walk, then the Horizon T101 is the best bang for your buck. Since it costs less than $600, you don’t get a touchscreen or live studio classes. What you do get is a solid, sturdy machine with a powerful motor, shock-absorbing surface, cooling fan and Bluetooth speakers. The well-designed dashboard lets you change the speed and incline with the touch of a button. And Horizon T101 easily folds, thanks to a handy hydraulic-assisted lift.
Reviewers on Amazon raved about the Horizon T101’s quick assembly and whisper-level operation. One reviewer called it “the quietest treadmill I’ve ever encountered.” Others noted the treadmill’s value for the price, saying, “If you aren’t into the bells and whistles … and just want a basic treadmill, this is the one for you!”
Want a great workout and help the environment? The Assault Fitness AirRunner is a non-motorized, manual treadmill that uses no electricity — it’s powered entirely by you! As you step forward on the contoured, slatted belt, it moves backward, so you set the speed. The AirRunner was designed for high-intensity interval training, and the company claims its durable belt will last 150,000 miles. A simple LCD screen shows your time, speed, distance, pace, watts generated and estimated calories burned.
Amazon reviewers rave about the product: “Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s as good as you think it is. Yes, you should buy it.” Another reviewer praised the AirRunner for pushing them to work out more often, saying, “It’s magical – operating is simple and has caused me to run much, much more than I would have ever imagined – just so friendly and inviting!”
This tank of a treadmill is a splurge, there’s no doubt about it, but for road runners, it could be worth the investment. The Woodway 4 front delivers the most realistic road running feel of any machine in the market, thanks to its patented running surface and slatted belt design. Toggle between dynamic mode, which feels more like a non-motorized treadmill, and the resistance mode, which is great for HIIT activity. There are 10 preset programs, but you can also add customized workouts. You can choose among the four screen options, from a basic LED with the usual stats to the Prosmart Touchscreen, which can stream Netflix, Hulu or YouTube videos.
Reviews are uniformly glowing, even with the hefty price tag. The Runner’s World test editor said, “My steps were so quiet on the belt, and the transitions were smooth.” One trainer told The Strategist that it’s “the only treadmill I’d recommend.”
How to choose the best treadmill for you
When deciding on the best treadmill for you, you’ll want to weight a number of factors to consider. First, determine what kind of workout will you need — hard running, light jogging, walking, etc. If you are training for a marathon, you may want better shock absorption and a longer surface length. Meanwhile, walkers may find longer arms useful.
Also think about which treadmill features are most important to you, such as: horsepower; speed; and incline and decline; footprint and portability; and touchscreens. If you want a demanding run as if you’re on hilly terrain, then higher horsepower and higher incline settings are necessary. Also, if you’re a speedier runner, be sure to check the treadmills top speed to make sure it can keep up with you.
There’s also the subject of space – if you’re a city dweller with a small apartment, a folding treadmill could save a lot of space. Folding treadmills are also considered to be the slightly safer option if you’re living in a house with small children or animals.
Another important feature is the content that the treadmill offers, like pre-programmed exercises or live and on-demand studio classes.
The more features you want, the more expensive the treadmill. Everyone has a different price point, so you may have to trade off some bells and whistles if you’re on a budget.
What are the best treadmill workouts?
So you’re thinking of investing in a treadmill to up your training from home, but what are the best workouts to do to see results in your running? We’ve rounded up some of the best treadmill workouts for every type of runner here, including the best HIIT treadmill workouts, and treadmill workouts for beginners.
Of course, if you’re not a runner, or you’re looking for a lower-impact workout, treadmills can still be great. Walking at an incline of 2% or more has been found to burn more calories than walking on the flat, plus it engages different muscles in your legs. Looking for inspiration? We tried the viral TikTok 12-3-30 treadmill workout.
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