Are you looking to take the next step to get in shape? Buying a treadmill is a great way to get a cardio workout without having to leave the house. Gym prices add up fast, and the weather isn’t always nice enough for a run, but none of that matters when you build your own home gym.
What Makes a Good Treadmill?
Treadmills are a big investment, so you’ll want to make sure the one you buy will work for you. Here are some things to consider before you make your choice.
- Size: Like most exercise equipment, treadmills take up a lot of space. Plenty of treadmills can fold to combat this issue, and others are made to be smaller. If space is a concern for you, a more compact model is a better option. Tread width and length is also important to the workout; a wider tread gives you more room for a comfortable run.
- Exercise intensity: Different treadmills give varying levels of quality exercises. Most treadmills can move at many different speeds, usually ranging from 0-10 mph, and run at an incline for a tougher workout. Some can even decline to mimic the feeling of running downhill.
- Technology: Modern treadmills have tons of different features, and it’s hard to keep track of them all. iFit and Zwift compatible treadmills allow you to run alongside other people with real live trainers walking you through your exercise. Treadmills can also have heart rate monitors, workout profiles, speakers, and built-in fans.
- Comfort: Some cheaper treadmills are stiffer, which can make it uncomfortable to run on for long periods of time and can be harmful if you have weaker joints. So, you’ll want to make sure the treadmill you’re buying will be comfortable for you.
- Noise: Treadmills can get pretty loud, especially during intense workouts. If you’re trying to follow an online class or just watching Netflix while you run, you want to buy a quieter model.
The Best Choice for Most People: ProForm 505 CST
Whether you’re just looking for an easy way to get back into shape or building a home gym, a good treadmill is the foundation of a great workout. The ProForm 505-CST is everything you could ask for in a treadmill and more. It has a 20″ x 55″ belt with extra cushioning for less strain on your legs and joints. The treadmill goes from 0-10mph and can incline from 0-10 degrees.
The 5″ backlit LCD displays workout information and your heart rate from the machine’s grip pulse sensors, so you can keep track of your progress. The 505-CST has an aux port for its dual 2-inch speakers letting you play music while you run. The treadmill can connect to iFit via Bluetooth where you follow along with all of the online courses and activities it has to offer.
This machine is a great way to get back into shape with all the comforts of modern technologies, all for an affordable price; the ProFrom505-CST is the best treadmill for most people.
ProForm 505 CST Treadmill – 2016 model
The ProForm 505-CST is an incredible value. This treadmill has everything you could need for an amazing cardio workout and all for an affordable price.
The Runner-Up: NordicTrack T 6.5 S
It was hard to narrow it down to just one choice for best treadmill, so we had to include the runner-up. The NordicTrack T 6.5 S is a great piece of engineering that’s almost a perfect match to our top pick. It also has a 20″ x 55″ belt that can accelerate up to 10 mph and incline up to 10 degrees for a high octane workout.
You can measure your progress on its 5″ backlit display using its grip pulse monitors and listen to music on the built-in speakers. The T 6.5 S also connects to iFit using Bluetooth, so you can train with people all over the world. If our top pick just doesn’t seem right for you, give the NordicTrack T 6.5 S a look.
NordicTrack T Series Treadmill + 30-Day iFIT Membership
The NordicTrack T 6.5 S provides a high-octane workout for an affordable price. Coming in at a very close second, this treadmill is the perfect addition to your home gym.
The Best Budget Pick: XTERRA TR150
Treadmills are a large investment and can be very expensive. So, if you’re on a budget and still want to build a home gym, don’t worry: The XTERRA TR150 is an excellent treadmill that comes at an affordable price. Its 16″ x 50″ track can speed up to 10mph and has 3 manual incline settings you can adjust to make your workout more intense.
This machine is incredibly compact and folds up to occupy even less space when it’s not in use. The 5″ backlit LCD displays pulse information from its grip sensors, so you know how hard you’re pushing yourself. The XTERRA TR150 is the best budget treadmill for getting back into shape.
XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill
The XTERRA TR150 is an excellent treadmill that comes at an incredibly low price and provides everything you need for a great workout.
The Premium Pick: ProForm PRO 5000
If you’re looking for an advanced treadmill to really keep track and stay on top of your workout routine, the ProForm 5000 series is an excellent choice. This treadmill has everything. The 10″ HD touchscreen has built-in iFit capabilities, so you don’t need an external device to work out with a trainer. Just turn on your treadmill, and you’ll be led through scenic locations around the world.
The super-wide 22” x 60” belt allows for a more comfortable stride and extra elbow room making for a better experience. It can rev up to 12mph, incline to 15 degrees, and even decline -3 degrees, which allows the treadmill to mimic all sorts of real-world conditions during one of its 50 preset workouts.
Some of the extra features include tons of extra workout apps, Bluetooth speakers, and even a fan to keep you cool while you’re running. All of these little things create the perfect conditions to work out, making the ProForm 5000 our premium pick.
The Luxury Pick: Peloton Tread
If you’re looking for luxury, nothing’s better than a Peloton. The Peloton Tread is not your normal treadmill—it comes with a 32″ 1080p touchscreen that seamlessly integrates Peloton’s vast library of on-demand and live classes. These classes offer in-depth workout data and advanced performance tracking. Work out along with a class of people while a live instructor walks you through your run.
The Tread has a 67-inch rubber slat belt that provides a better, low-impact workout. The belt can speed up to 12.5 mph and incline up to 15 degrees. The HD monitor has an attached soundbar, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Tread even has a USB charging port and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. This thing is insane—if you need all the bells and whistles, the Peloton Tread will get you in shape in complete style.
The Best Smart Treadmill: Bowflex BXT116
If you want a treadmill that can keep track of your workouts and sync with a variety of different apps, the BowFlex BXT116 is the best option. Its 20″ x 60″ tread gives you a lot of space to work out, and it has a lot of support making it easier on your joints. The belt can reach 12mph and has a maximum incline of 15 degrees, which can deliver a very intense session.
The BXT116 is Zwift compatible, which allows you to run with a community in a variety of races based on real-world locations—all while tracking your progress and giving you an intense workout. The treadmill also syncs with the free RunSocial app, giving you even more options for locations and routes for you to keep exercising longer. The 7-inch screen displays workout information while you’re running, and it lets you customize and save workout preferences on the fly. With USB charging ports, built-in speakers, and a chest strap to measure your heart rate, the BowFlex BXT116 has all the features that it make a high-quality pick and the smartest treadmill on the market.
Bowflex Treadmill BXT116 (Discontinued)
The BowFlex BXT116 is the most connected treadmill on our list. It works with Zwift and RunSocial to provide a community to connect you with other people working to get in shape.