The best treadmills let you walk, jog or run at home, even if the weather outside is frightful or your area is continuing social distancing regulations. The best treadmills can provide a heart-pumping cardio workout right in your living room or garage. It's a convenient and handy way to stay fit.
While running on a treadmill doesn’t have the same feeling of pounding the pavement or trail, many people use home treadmills for their daily morning jog or even marathon training. Weather conditions have always affected outdoor running and walking routines. but getting one of the best treadmills ensures you never have to miss a workout.
There are a ton of options in the treadmills category, but one of our former top picks fell off our list. Earlier this year, the Peloton Tread and Tread+ was recalled by the company due to safety concerns. They are no longer on sale and refunds are being issued to current owners.
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). It not only tops this list, but is a winner in the 2021 Tom's Guide Awards for health and fitness tech.
The Bowflex Treadmill 22 also ranks high on our list of best treadmills. The high-end machine is expensive, but is a workhouse that will last you for years. And you can use the large HD touchscreen to stream Netflix and Disney Plus.
Our recent Echelon Stride review says the mid-tier treadmill can be used as a Peloton alternative, as long as you have a tablet and a subscription to the Echelon app.
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 — which is why it won best exercise bike in the 2021 Tom's Guide Awards for health and fitness tech.
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 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
The inexpensive XTerra Fitness TR150 is best suited for walkers or for light joggers since it has a shorter belt and a lower max speed than other treadmills on our list. The design makes it easy to fold and store away, which makes it perfect for anyone with a small space. The simple LCD console tracks calories, time and pulse, while preset keys allow for quick changes in speed.
While not a high-end treadmill, the TR150 is a great value, as Amazon reviewers note. “Both my wife and I use the treadmill daily and love it!! It is built solid, and the programs provide us with a different workout each time,” one wrote. Another lauded the small footprint of the machine: “It's not huge, so if you are looking for a space saver-this is it.”
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. If you’re a city dweller with a small apartment, a folding treadmill could save a lot of space. 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.
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