People absolutely love treadmills even if they aren’t as efficient as home gym machines.
Their simplicity makes exercising so easy yet effective if used correctly.
Sometimes people use it after an intense workout just to finish off some cardio but others use it as a basic calorie burner.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows just how effective treadmills can be.
Treadmills are one of the easiest and one of the most popular in-home fitness equipment you can use.
They provide great aerobic exercise for all fitness levels and give you the option to walk or jog indoors when the weather doesn’t permit it.
The most appealing aspect of the treadmill is the incline that simulates walking or jogging up a hill.
You can adjust the incline to a specific grade to give you some added difficulty to help burn off the excess calories.
So, you may be asking yourself, what are some of the best treadmills for home use?
To answer that, we’ve put together a short list of some top rated treadmills that have been found to be very reliable and well worth the money.
This feature packed treadmill is one of the best in its class. It comes pre-set with 38 work out apps accessible from a 7 -inch web-enabled colored touch screen. You also have the option to surf the web, monitor your performance, or connect to iFit . If you’ve ever heard of or used iFit, you know what a great feature it is to have, especially when you set the simulation with Google Maps. This feature is only found on Norditrack and Proform machines.
Some other great features worth mentioning are:
- Construction: Incredibly solid. Definitely equivalent to commercial grade.
- Tablet Holder: Located right above the console, the tablet holder makes it very convenient to do your work or watch videos with your tablet.
- Runners Flex adjustable cushioning: Turn this feature on to cushion the deck or turn it off to make it feel more like the road. Cool, huh?
- Tread Belt: 22″ x 60″ belt provide plenty of room without making you feel “confined” like some other compact treadmills.
- Console: The entire console/control is very responsive to the touch. Adjust everything you need to suit your preference at the touch of your finger tips.
- Incline/Decline: Work out different parts of your body with the 3% decline and a 15% incline.
- Wireless Chest Strap: The included wireless chest strap is used with iFit to monitor your readings and performance.
- Motor: The motor has 3.8 CHP to deliver a long, safe, dependable training sessions with a top speed of 12 mph.
- Footprint: 76″L x 38.5″W x 73″H
- Folding: Foldable design makes this a great space saving machine.
- Warranty: Lifetime Frame & Motor Warranty, 5-Year Parts & Electronics Warranty, 2-Year Labor Warranty
Considered as a “Best Buy” for the last few years, the Sole Fitness F80 is one of the best treadmill within its price range. A simple yet very durable treadmill, it comes with a powerful 3.5 CHP motor and reaches speeds up to 12 mph.
The console hasn’t gone through that much change. It has the 7.5 inch lcd that displays pace, speed, heart rate, and distance and it has the built in speakers where you can use your cell phone or any other handheld music device to plug in.
Some great features of this treadmill are:
- Whisper Deck: Reduces impact up to 40%.
- Tread Belt: The deck has 22″ x 60″ belt that provides the user with plenty of room.
- Construction: Very durable and equivalent to commercial grade.
- Console/Controls: This is a very simple console with a design that could use an upgrade but the simplistic design makes it easy to use. Controls are also found on the arm rests which makes it easy to adjust the settings.
- Motor: The treadmill comes with a powerful 3.5 CHP and lifetime warranty with a top speed reaching 12 mph.
- Incline: The Sole Fitness F80 provides a standard incline of 15%.
- Footprint: 83″L x 37″W x 58″H
- Folding: Rack and pinion system makes folding and releasing a cinch.
- Warranty: Lifetime frame, lifetime motor, lifetime deck, 5 years electronics, 2 years labor.
With 42 pre-set programs, the Horizon T7 is a major contender in its class.
It’s powered by a 2.75 CHP motor and provides the user with Passport compatibility.
The Passport is a device/player that allows the user to view footages of scenic backdrops on a television set or monitor. The treadmill responds to the footage by following the paths, hills, stairs, etc… giving a more interactive experience for the user.
- ViaFit: An app that gathers all of your fitness data and shares it with any fitness app or tracking device.
- Passport Compatible: Similar to the iFit, the Passport provides the runner a more interactive experience making it appear as if they are running outdoors. The Passport player is old separately.
- Variable Response Cushioning: This is their version of what you would commonly find in the treadmills in this class. The softest area in the front to absorb the impact and the hardest spot in the back to push off.
- Tread Belt: With a belt size of 20″ x 60″, the T7 utilizes what the manufacturer refers to as an Infinity belt or a maintenance free belt.
- Motor: With a top speed of 12 mph, the T7 is driven by the Johnson Drive System, which provides a quieter motor that runs cooler due to the lower RPMs.
- Console: The console is comprised of an 8.5″ LCD screen that displays the time, distance, incline, speed, calories burned, pulse and laps. There is also a reading rack, fan, cup holders, speakers, a USB port, phone/ipod jack, and head phone jack.
- Incline: The T7 provides a standard incline of 15%.
- Wireless Chest Strap: Horizon includes a wireless chest strap to monitor your heart rate.
- Footprint: 77″L x 36″W x 60″H
- Folding: The treadmill conveniently folds up for easy storage.
- Warranty: Lifetime frame and motor, 5 years parts, 1 year labor.
The Xterra Treadmills are built by Dyaco, the same manufacturers of Sole treadmills so it’s safe to say that Xterra Treadmills come with the same durability and dependability.
With 12 pre-set programs, the Fitness TR6.6 is mid-range treadmill that is heavy and durable with a price tag around $999.
With a high rating from other reviews, the TR6.6 comes highly recommended as a budget friendly treadmill.
- Tread belt: Spacious belt measuring 20″ x 60″.
- Incline: The TR6.6 reaches an incline of 15%.
- Console: You get a 7.5″ Backlit LCD, speakers, phone/ipod jack, and cup holders.
- Wireless Chest Strap: Includes a wireless chest strap to monitor your heart rate.
- Motor: A powerful 3.0 CHP motor drives this treadmill and provides a quiet performance with a top speed of 12 mph.
- Footprint: 9″L x 35″W x 57.1″H
- Warranty: Lifetime frame & motor, 5 years deck, 2 years parts, 1 year labor.
Another fantastic treadmill by Johnson Health, the Horizon Elite T9 comes with 10″ color touch screen console that tracks your work outs and progress and also displays what they call, Virtual Active, a high-definition footage of routes that is synced with your work out giving you a virtual experience. Despite having Virtual Active footage included, it still offers the ViaFit and Passport compatibility so you have plenty of options to improve your work out experience.
- Console: 10″ color touch screen display tracks everything from your work out progress including distance, speed, incline, calories, and heart rate. It also includes the Workout Tracking Calendar that logs your performance.
- Virtual Active: A cool virtual feature that provides a footage of landscapes around the world and syncs with the treadmill as you walk or run. Increase your speed and the video speeds up or feel the incline increase as hills start appearing in your video.
- ViaFit: Pair the app with this treadmill and let ViaFit log an share all of your work out progress. A
- Passport Compatible: Is the footage from Virtual Active not big enough? Use Passport to display the footage on a big screen TV and get the ultimate virtual experience.
- Incline: The incline range is 0-15%.
- Motor: The T9 is driven by the Johnson Drive System, a more efficient motor that runs cooler and quieter with a top speed of 12 mph.
- Variable Response Cushioning: Get the right amount of cushion you need to make your run comfortable.
- Tread belt: This treadmill also uses the Infinity belt with a measurement of 20″ x 60″. Don’t ever worry about maintenance.
- Footprint: 77″L x 36″W x 60″H
What to Look For
When you’re shopping for a treadmill, there are several important elements you need to look at:
- Motors-Many people don’t pay attention to the motor which surprises us. That is probably one of the single most important factors of a treadmill. Don’t end up buying one of those under powered treadmills, especially if you plan on using it extensively.
- Duty-You need to focus on “continuous duty” horsepower which should probably be no less than 2 hp. This simply means that the motor can maintain 2 horsepower during its use. They also have “peak duty” but they are only capable of briefly reaching a “peak” horsepower for a short period of time. Stick with continuous horsepower.
- Revolutions (RPM)-The RPM or revolutions per minute affect the torque which in turn helps the motor last longer. The lower the rpm, the greater the torque so you definitely want to find a treadmill motor with low rpm. Aiming 3000rpm or lower would be ideal.
- Space-Treadmills used to be in a fixed position but now they come in with a folding feature that comes in pretty handy. Definitely a space saver.
- Incline-Most treadmills have an incline of 10 to 15%. You can use it to make your walk or jog more vigorous in turn increasing your heart rate. Burn MORE calories!
- Digital Features (Console)-A lot of these newer treadmills come with some ridiculously convenient, modern features. Some have wi-fi capabilities, USB ports for your mp3 or phone to play music, and a monitor to watch TV or movies. If you’re going to get lazy and watch TV, might as well do it on a treadmill.
- Deck-The deck is the portion of the treadmill that the belt wraps around. It also absorbs a good percentage of the shock that occurs from every step which makes the jogging relatively easier than running outside. Look for decks that are at least 3/4 inch thick. The thicker the better and the longer it will last.
- Belt-Belts should be long and wide enough to accommodate you. If the belt is too small you’ll end up stepping on the machine. Also, take notice of the quality of the material. Make sure it is durable (obviously).
- Warranty-Last but not least, pay close attention to the warranty. Most come with a lifetime warranty on the frame and shock absorbers and you’ll find that most also come with a certain amount of years on the electrical and mechanical parts.
Why Should Anyone Use a Treadmill?
The advantages of treadmills are many with virtually little to no drawbacks from using one.
It’s probably the best cardio machine available as it is very simple to use and very effective, provided you’re consistent.
Here are some advantages:
- Treadmills are easy to use – Step on the deck and turn it on. As you get used to it, you can increase the speed and/or increase the elevation, or just set it to one of the pre-set programs to challenge yourself.
- Comforts and safety of being indoors – This is pretty self explanatory. Running outside is great, especially on clear, sunny days but it comes with its hazards: dumb drivers, stalkers (for you women), and other dangers. Running indoors is safer and comes with many benefits: bathroom, television, and shelter from bad weather … to name a few.
- Complete control of workouts – You have complete control of your workout from beginning to end. From the speed to incline, you decide on when and how you want to work out.
- Self-conscious – Work out from the privacy of your own home. Don’t worry about feeling the burning sensation of judgmental eyes peering down at you. Hell, run in your pajamas if you want … just make sure to wear running shoes.
What’s an Affordable Option?
Treadmills can get pretty pricey, especially if you’re looking for commercial quality.
You can still expect to get some excellent quality treadmills for under $500.
Here’s a short list of some of the best treadmills under $500:
or here’s another affordable option …
Heard of a Manual Treadmill?
For people who don’t want all of the fancy digital options or just prefer to walk or run at their own pace without having to adjust the speed …
There just happens to be an even more affordable option that some people aren’t aware of … a manual treadmill.
If your budget prevents you from affording the cheapest motorized treadmill, then a manual treadmill may be something to consider.
These are probably the best treadmill for the money. They’re effective, light, and the best part is that they’re very affordable.
Typically ranging around $100 to $200, manual treadmills are a simpler, easier alternative to the motorized version.
You don’t have to worry about the common motor malfunctions that come with motorized treadmills.
And the best part about it is that you control the momentum.
Just hop on the deck and start walking or running and when you’re done, just stop and the belt stops with you.
This minimizes the risk of deck related injuries. You know, the type of injuries the idiots on Youtube encounter when they hop on a running treadmill.
One thing to consider, however, is the overall quality.
Manual treadmills are lighter and smaller which may result in a somewhat weaker quality depending on the make and model.
Difficulties You May Encounter
One factor to consider is the treadmill incline. Remember that these are manual treadmills that are setup with an incline to make the movement easier.
When you step on it, brace yourself as you will be moving.
Some folks have tried a few times and have given up calling the treadmill design trash or faulty when all manual treadmills are designed the same way.
You have to get use to it. Practice makes perfect. And besides, it gives you a better work out with the incline.
If you tried and tried and simply can’t adapt to the incline, a simple solution is to add some blocks under the rear legs to elevate the rear and level off the treadmill. You get less of a workout but it makes it easier.
Read to Buy?
When you’re shopping for a manual treadmill, just pay close attention to the warranty and weight capacity when you’re shopping for one.
We’ve put together a short list of the most reputable models: