Whether you’re setting up a state-of-the-art home gym or just looking to invest in one machine for an at-home workout whenever you’re in the mood, treadmills are one of the hottest commodities on the exercise market. They’re something you can dedicate space to in the corner of your living room, or—if you’re lucky—dedicate an entire room to. Walking or jogging on a treadmill is an efficient way to stay fit, and having one inside your own home eliminates the need for a trip to the gym or miles spent outside in the elements (aka the excuses that keep you from getting your sweat on). No matter what your goals or the space you have to achieve them, the best treadmills for any routine can be found at the tips of your fingers.
The vast number of machines out there—from affordable picks to high-tech models—can be overwhelming, but below, you’ll find nine of the very best treadmills for home use that’ll save you a trip to the gym. There are also some top-rated models that didn’t make our category picks, but they’re still solid contenders worth a look, too. And if you’re looking for one other piece of home exercise to round out your workouts, consider adding one of the best workout mirrors to your workspace as well.
Best Treadmill Overall
A Highly Rated Option That Runners (And Walkers) Can’t Get Enough Of
Best Value Treadmill
An Entry Level Model That Works For Most People
Best Folding Treadmill
A Heavy Duty Machine That Doesn’t Take Up Much Floor Space
Best Smart Treadmill
An Intuitive Machine With Access To Live Or On-Demand Classes
Best Compact Treadmill
A Folding Option That Can Slide Right Under Your Bed
Best Treadmill For Big And Tall Users
An Advanced Model With A Beefy Deck And Impressive Features
Best Splurge Treadmill
A Commercial-Grade Treadmill That’s Built To Last
Best Treadmill With Guided Workouts
An Interactive Model That Brings The Personal Trainer To You
Best Treadmill For Immersive Guided Runs
A Treadmill That Makes You Feel Like You’re Running Outside
Best Treadmill For Walking
An Intuitive Machine With A Wide Belt
Other Highly Rated Treadmills You Can Buy Right Now
The following treadmills may not have made our list of the best treadmills for home, but they’re highly rated options that are a close second. If some of our favorites are out of stock and you don’t want to wait, you’ll be happy with any of these machines.
A Powerful Treadmill That Can Connect To Live Classes
Another Sturdy Option Suitable For Big And Tall Users
A Commercial-Grade Treadmill That’s Packed With Technology
What To Look For When Shopping For A Treadmill
There are countless treadmills to choose from—how do you know which is best for your workout and your home? For starters, it’s a mechanical system that will need to absorb a lot of physical punishment on a daily basis, so it needs to be sturdy and rugged. But there are a lot of other factors as well.
It’s best to start by considering your budget; generally speaking, the more money you can invest in a treadmill, the more durable it will likely be. For example, any treadmill that costs less than $1,000 is probably not going to last for more than a couple of seasons; the motor and belt simply won’t be resilient enough and if you live in an apartment, the machine likely won’t absorb a lot of sound for your downstairs neighbors. But starting around $1,500, many treadmills offer the same kind of reliability and features you’ll find in professional models at a gym, and the tread will do more than tone down the volume—like absorb some of the shock for your joints.
One critical specification to consider is the motor’s CHP—the continuous horsepower rating—which should be no less than 2.5 if you want to use it routinely for running. A treadmill that lists a lower CHP (or avoids referring to CHP entirely and only tells you its peak HP), is more likely to burn out prematurely. This might be OK for anyone looking for a treadmill they can just walk on, but runners should check this stat before proceeding.
The dimensions of your treadmill matter not only for the space you’re going to put it in, but also for what you plan on doing with it. When it comes to your movement on the machine, it’s important to keep in mind that walkers have a shorter gait and stride than runners, so while a treadmill with a belt about 50-inches long will work for walkers, runner will need at least 60-inches. In order to safely get on an off your fancy new piece of equipment, you’ll also want to give yourself about 6-feet of space behind the treadmill and 2 to 3 feet on either side to account for and sway while it’s in use.
Like anything else with this type of price tag (think: Kitchen appliances, your car or computer), the treadmill you buy should come with a warranty to back it up. After reviewing all of our recommendations and other manufacturers, it’s clear that you should be receiving three to seven years of coverage on parts and at least one year on labor, so, should you need it, you won’t have to pay for someone to fix your treadmill under a year after bringing it home. The frame and the motor should be covered for the lifetime of the machine.
Other Special Features
You’ll also want to consider factors like shock absorption, cushioning and overall noise level in addition to the actual running specs: How fast can it go, does it incline and can it decline as well? Also, make a note of the maximum weight rating—is it suitable for everyone in the house who might want to use it?
One of the hottest trends in home exercise gear these days is subscription-based workout classes, and many treadmills offer this feature as well. Some models come with large LCD displays that let you immerse yourself in online coaching sessions and workouts, but beware: That requires an ongoing monetary commitment each month.
Other special features are worth considering too. Larger displays are more immersive, but you might be able to save some money by getting a treadmill without a display and using your own tablet instead. Either way, some classes are live, while others only offer pre-recorded sessions. And the most immersive treadmills can be controlled remotely in real-time by the instructor. Otherwise, you’ll need to adjust speed and incline manually throughout the session in response to guidance from the instructor.
Frequently Asked Questions About Treadmills
How Long Do Treadmills Last?
A decent treadmill can last up to 10 years or so, depending on use; a marathon runner may wear theirs out more quickly, while a regular or occasional walker may be able to use theirs longer. Cheaper versions may need to be replaced after a few years but can be a great option for walkers or joggers with a limited budget or those looking for a smaller model. That said, if you plan on hardcore training, you’ll definitely want a durable machine with a strong motor.
Why Should You Not Buy A Treadmill?
Even the cheapest treadmills are a substantial investment, so if running or walking isn’t your preferred form of exercise, or using a treadmill tends to hurt your joints, you’ll probably end up wasting your money. The good news is, there are other exercise machines that offer excellent cardio workouts, like stationary bikes, ellipticals and rowing machines, which may fit your preferences better.
How Do I Choose Between A Folding And Regular Treadmill?
This all boils down to space. There are plenty of folding treadmills on the market that provide all of the power and special features as a standard treadmill, but if you don’t have the room to leave a regular treadmill out all of the time, a folding option might be best for you. If you’re really aching to have a machine in your home but can’t find the space for even a folding treadmill, you might find something that suits your need in a desk treadmill, which is simply the belt without a frame, meaning it can slide under a table or couch when you’re not walking on it.
What Are The Best Treadmill Brands?
Some of the most popular brands on the market are also the most durable, have the best warranties and come with the most interesting features. This includes machines made by Nautilus, Horizon Fitness, Bowflex, NordicTrack and ProForm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a treadmill that suits your needs outside of this list from other retailers, and even on Amazon. Reading reviews and checking off the features on our list is a great place to start. Many brands also offer a trial period where you can have the treadmill in your home to test out for yourself. Be sure to read the fine print here, however, as some stores might charge you to pick it up or to restock the item if you want to send it back.