Best Treadmills Reviews 2017 and Comparison Chart
Treadmills are some of the most, if not the most, popular workout machines worldwide, and that’s because they provide a really effective and straightforward aerobic workout. But they come in a variety of models, sizes, and incorporate components of a higher or lesser quality. You’ll find motorized or “manual” treadmills, models with or without an incline, and with a more or less advanced console.
The thing is, choosing the treadmill that fits perfectly to your budget and to your home workout environment, may not be an easy task. In order to end up with the best treadmill for the price you’re willing to pay, may require quite some research. That’s exactly the main purpose of this page: to clarify some of the most important aspects regarding treadmills, point out a selection of the best treadmills on the market, and in the end, help you decide what’s the best treadmill that you can have.
Therefore, to begin with, here are some of the best treadmills for 2017.
Top 10 Best Treadmills
|Frame: 5 years
Parts: 90 days
Labor: 90 days
0% - 12%
|9||Frame: 1 year
Parts: 90 days
|Schwinn MY16 830||L:72.2"|
|22||Motor: 10 years
Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Electronics: 2 years
Labor: 1 year
0% - 12%
Parts: 2 years
Labor: 1 year
|Schwinn 830 (2013)||L:72.2"|
|22||Motor: 10 years
Frame: 10 years
Mechanical: 2 years
Electrical: 2 years
Labor: 1 year
|3G Cardio Pro||L:74"|
0% - 15%
Parts: 5 years
Labor: 1 year
0% - 15%
Electronics: 5 years
Labor: 2 years
|AFG Sport 5.5AT||L:71"|
0% - 10%.
Parts: 1 year
Labor: 1 year
|26||Motor: 15 years
Frame: 15 years
Mechanical: 5 years
Electronics: 5 years
Labor: 2 years
|LifeSpan TR 1200i||L:70.25"|
Parts: 3 years
Labor: 1 year
Now, the treadmills in the table above cover a range of prices beginning with less than $200, and up to $2,500. They’re all rated between 4 and 5 stars on most fitness websites, whether they’re basic models or more inclusive models. By the end of this page, we’ll also make a few recommendations by price interval. But up to that point, there still are several aspects of outlining regarding running machines, in order to make sure you get the complete idea of what you’re buying, and whether or not a treadmill is precisely the fitness machine that you need.
So, first of all, let’s see…
Why Should You Buy a Treadmill When You Can Run Outside?
Simply put, the treadmill is a device that allows you to run or walk while standing in the same place. Evidently, the main benefits here are the fact that you can run within the comfort of your home, while watching TV or your favorite online streams, or browsing the web. A running machine gives you the possibility to safely undertake your cardio training whenever the weather is not exactly favorable to run outside.
Most treadmills feature at least some sort of cushioning system built-in their decks. But even running on the most basic models still offers less impact on your articulations than running outside. Also, especially if your outside route does not involve pavement at all, there’s a higher chance to take a wrong step, or slip, which may result in an injury that can call for some time off your training. Most treadmills come with handrails that you can quickly hold on to in case you lose balance.
Since treadmills have distinctive speed settings, by selecting a specific speed you can force your run to a constant and consistent pace.
Like most fitness machines, treadmills are equipped with more or less advanced performance monitors. These units can help you track various values that concern your training, such as speed, distance traveled, calories burned, pace, time and pulse. Some of the most advanced models which also feature an incline system, give you the possibility to select from an array of programs which will automatically adjust speed and incline, in order to provide you with a more focused training. Plus, they can offer you the possibility to export your data online, or connect directly with the treadmill to a specific website for data transfer, in order to quantify your workout better, and continuously improve. Via features of this caliber, you can also compete online with other users, which can act as quite a motivation factor.
On the other hand, there are inconveniences that may come with a running machine, and those must not be left out. For example, a runner who doesn’t alternate running outside with treadmill running, only using the running machine for their training, may develop bad habits. One of them is the reflex of not stepping onto the motor case, which may have an impact on the overall runner’s technique. Electrical costs may be an issue, especially if you use a commercial grade, heavy-duty treadmill. Also, compared with other fitness machines, running on the treadmill is always louder; the cadence and the buzzing of the motor are always present. Therefore, if you live in an apartment complex, a treadmill may not be the best choice for a fitness machine, as it may disturb the neighbors.
Differences Between Commercial Grade and Home-Use Treadmills
To begin with, a treadmill made for use within the premises of a gym requires to have a more powerful motor, in order to supply higher running speeds. For example, the required speed of a professional, long-distance runner is 12 MPH, so it’s obvious that a superior running machine must be able to supply this. A gym-grade treadmill must have a solid deck, able to support users up to 400 lbs, or more. Motorized incline, with a slope up to at least 30° is another feat that most superior treadmills should offer. And finally, a multifunction console, with a wide array of apps is pretty much a must.
On the other hand, one of the main characteristics of treadmills made for home-use, is foldability. Most models in this category feature a foldable deck, which raises up to a certain degree, so that the unit can easily be stored. The construction, sturdiness and motor HP can vary though, in treadmills that are made for home-use. It goes without saying that some can only be used for walking, while others can support running at speeds of 10-12 MPH.
Treadmills for home use don’t always feature a wide array of functions on the console. In fact, there are models which cut back on these functions, but do maintain a solid deck and construction, focusing on providing a sturdy and stable training setting.
But regardless of treadmill, beginning at $2,000 just about any model, should feel amazing, solid, and offer an impressive array of features. But it’s important to know that there are models which give this sturdy feel and a decent selection of workout apps, and are priced even for less that $1,500.
Differences Between Walking Treadmills and Running Treadmills
Many people fail to realize that there are treadmills made only for walking, and treadmills that can safely support jogging and running. And due to this fact, they may make the mistake of choosing the wrong machine. It goes without saying that a model designed for walking, will fall apart quickly, if you run on it. There are several distinctions between walking treadmills and treadmills for running, so in this part of the post, we’ll put them all into view.
Treadmills that are made for walking usually feature a thinner deck. Most of them don’t offer an incline, the tread belt is typically narrow, with a lenght between 45″ and 52″, and a width between 14″ and 17″. Tread belts on these machines in most cases 1-ply, and decks don’t feature cushioning. But the most important aspect regarding these treadmills is their motor. They’re normally equipped with motors up to 2 HP, which cannot supply more than 6 MPH speeds, being only fit for a power walk or light jog at most. But even if the motor offers that speed, the deck and belt may not be fit for withstanding the cadence of a heavier person, and it may wear out quickly.
Treadmills for running offer a more solid build, featuring thicker decks with cushioning, a multi-ply running belt, with dimensions beginning at 60″L x 20″W. Evidently, a treadmill that can support running, will be equipped with a motor of minimum 2.5 CHP (continuous duty), able to offer speeds up to 12 MPH.
Our Best Recommendations by Price
Depending on price, treadmills can be categorized by three levels:
- under $500 – basic models, with motors up to 2.5 HP, with a more or less solid deck;
- between $500 and $1,000 – treadmills with a more or less inclusive array of features, with incline (motorized or manual), which in general have a motor between 2.5 and 3 CHP, with a more solid deck and overall construction.
- over $1,000 – treadmills that offer commercial quality, or they’re pretty close to the quality commercial quality.
Price: Under $500
If you’re looking for a basic, affordable treadmill which is also pretty sturdy, the Sunny SF-T4400 models is definitely one to put on your list. This particular treadmill is great for home use, due to many aspects. First of all, not only it has a rather small footprint, of 60″L x 27″W, its deck is also foldable, giving you the possibility to save space when you’re not using it. Of course, since it’s smaller, it also has a smaller running surface, with a tread belt of cca 49″L x 16″W, but even at these dimensions, it’s still a treadmill that can offer you the possibility of a light run.
It’s not a treadmill with the “tank-build”, like many of the models that you can find in gyms, or the models that cost over $2,000, however, this Sunny model is still decently built, with a 2.20 HP motor and a deck that can withstand users up to 220 lbs… Read Full Review.
Pretty similar to the Sunny SF-4400, the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 is also a basic treadmill model, and it actually costs quite a bit less than the Sunny model. It’s a model with a 2.25 HP motor, able to supply speeds up to 10 MPH, and also offers 6 training programs. It features a pretty solid construction, being able to support 250 lbs of user weight. It’s actually one of the most durable treadmills that you can find in this price range, even though it has a small running surface.
Since its belt is relatively small, dimensions being 50″L x 16″W, this isn’t exactly a treadmill for professional training. But can however, supply the training setting for your daily several miles run. Deck features cushioning, while the rear of the deck features two foldable feet which serve for adjusting incline… Read Full Review.
ProForm offers a wide array of treadmills, and most of them are well-built, sturdy, and with proper use and care, they can last for many years of use. One of the newest models released in 2016 is the ProForm Performance 300i. It’s one of the most affordable ProForm treadmills, currently priced under the mark of $400.
It’s not a super heavy-duty machine, but it has a deck solid enough to support users up to 300 lbs. Its deck has a folding mechanism and can fold up. It’s cushioned and also features a motorized incline which can provide a ramp of 10%. Even though it is a treadmill designed for walking, it’s equipped with a 2.0 CHP motor, which is able to provide speeds up to 10 MPH. Its console is Bluetooth and iFit enabled, impressive features for a treadmill in this price range. It has 16 on-board workouts… Read Full Review.
Price: $500 – $1,000
The Performance 600i is one of the newer treadmills released by ProForm at the beginning of 2016. Although it’s not a commercial grade treadmill, it does offer an extensive array of features and functions, including motorized incline, and Bluetooth / iFit connectivity. It’s actually similar to the ProForm 995i, but this model has a slightly smaller motor and weight capacity. So far, this particular fitness machine has gathered a consistent amount of positive reviews, thus it’s going to replace the 505 CST older model in our recommendation list.
This ProForm treadmill features a 60″L x 20″W running surface, which means it’s designed for running, not just jogging or walking. It’s equipped with a 2.75 CHP motor and features a decent weight capacity of 325 lbs. Its deck has an automatic incline mechanism providing a ramp up to 12%, also integrating a 3-cell cushioning system. It’s equipped with newer, iFit ready console, with 22 pre-set workout apps… Read Full Review.
Advanced Fitness Group (AFG) offers a consistent selection of fitness equipment. The AFG Sport 5.5AT is one of their newest treadmills. It’s a machine designed for home use, but nonetheless, it’s equipped with a 2.5 CHP motor, which can deliver speeds up to 10 MPH. This treadmill also has a motorized incline system, offering 10 levels of incline (0-10%).
Needless to say, this treadmill is built around a steel frame. Its deck and motor can support users up to 300 lbs, which is not bad for a machine in this range. Its deck is also foldable, providing better storage possibilities when it is not in use.
The AFG Sport 5.5AT features a mid-range console with a rather basic LED display, which indicates time, distance, calories, heart rate, speed, and incline. But despite this rudimentary display, it does have 4 workout applications, some of them featuring multiple difficulty levels. The workout applications are Manual Mode, Intervals, Weight Loss and Target Profiles… Read Full Review.
The Schwinn 830 is a treadmill released in 2013. However, at the end of 2016, Schwinn has revised and re-released this model as the Schwinn MY16 830. The new version is a lot similar to the older one. However, it features a different console, with a more user-friendly interface.
This Schwinn treadmill is a mid-range one, designed for home use. It features a very sturdy construction, similar to various commercial models, though. It’s a motorized fitness machine, with automatic incline, a 2.75 CHP motor, and 22 workout applications on the console. The deck has a 4-cell cushioning system, rendering it more forgiving for all workouts. Needless to say, due to this fact you can run longer, and benefit of a more consistent workout. It uses a 1-ply, 1.5 mm thick, heavy-duty belt. Its motion is powered by a set of 2.5″, crowned rollers, which supply an excellent contact with the belt, thus contributing to the smoothness of the run. The belt offers a running surface of 20″ width and 55″ in length… Read Full Review.
Price: Over $1,000
Even though it’s designed for home use, the 3G Cardio Pro treadmill still features gym quality construction, offering a medium range of features. It’s a heavy-duty fitness machine, with a weight capacity of 350 lbs. This means it has a very sturdy deck and a heavy overall construction (it weighs over 200 lbs), which makes it extremely stable.
This 3G cardio treadmill is equipped with a 3.0 CHP motor, powerful enough to support prolonged workouts at the highest speed settings, without overheating even if the user is close to the maximum specified weight capacity. It features a 58″L x 20.5″W running surface, and its deck integrates several shock absorption elements.
In terms of fitness features, its console integrates several pre-set workouts including 8 courses, 2 custom, 2 fit test, 1 fat burn, 1 aerobic, 1 body index, 1 manual… Read Full Review.
At the beginning of 2017 Nautilus has released several new fitness machines of the Performance series. One of the is the Nautilus T618. This is a commercial grade machine, offering quite an impressive array of features. To begin with, it has a greater weight capacity than the previous models, being able to support users up to 350 lbs. It’s also equipped with an industrial grade 3.5 CHP motor designed to withstand prolonged workouts without overheating or losing performance. It offers a speed range between 0.5 and 12 MPH, this actually being one of the aspects that make this machine cheaper than other commercial models. But still, a 12 MPH speed output is more than enough even for a professional runner.
This running machine is equipped with an automatic incline system, offering a maximum ramp of 15%. Its console makes available 26 workouts, 4 user profiles, also being Bluetooth enabled. Therefore, you can sync it with your laptop or smart device in order to use the Nautilus Trainer fitness app, and to directly transfer your workout summary to your online NautilusConnect or MyFitnessPal account… Read Full Review.
Even though it has been around for a while, the SOLE F85 remains one of the highest rated treadmills. It’s a tough machine, offering the construction that you would expect from a commercial grade model. It’s pretty wide and heavy, with a sturdy deck, made for a user capacity of 400 lbs. It’s equipped with a 4 CHP motor, design to function without overheating for prolonged runs, even if the machine is used at its maximum 12 MPH speed.
The running belt on this machine is a bit wider than standard, dimensions being 60″L x 22″W. It also has an impressive 4-layer construction, for enhanced durability.
The console of this runner doesn’t offer a wide array of programs, only 10. However, there are two custom user programs which you can play with, to create your own workout routine. Evidently, each program will adjust speed and incline. Evidently, incline is motorized and can add a 15° slope to the running deck, which will considerably intensify your training. The deck is foldable vertically… Read Full Review.
Final Pick: Best Treadmill For Home Use
For our final pick in the treadmill category, we’ve opted for the Nautilus T618 treadmill. That’s because it is one of the newest models for 2017 and so far has benefited from a large number of 5-star reviews. It is also referred to as Nautilus Performance treadmill as it’s part of the Performance series, along with the E618 elliptical and R618 recumbent bike.
Even though it’s not exactly an affordable machine as it costs more than $1,200, its construction, sturdiness, components and range of console features bring it very close to other models that cost more than $2,000. This being said, the machine offers an excellent price/value/quality ratio and it’s definitely one of the best for 2017.
As opposed to the older models, the Nautilus T614 and Nautilus T618, the new Nautilus Performance model offers a more powerful motor (3.5 CHP). It has a higher weight capacity being able to support users up to 350 lbs, it uses a 3-ply belt, and has a superior cushioning system built-in its deck. Needless to say, it is equipped with a motorized incline system, which offers a ramp between 0% and 15%, perfect for high-intensity interval workouts.
Its console offers 26 workout programs and 4 user profiles, allowing you to input personal data such as gender, height, weight and age so that it can track your calories burned with a higher accuracy. It’s also Bluetooth enabled… Read Full Review.
Treadmills come in various shapes and sizes, but most of the models share the same features. Prices also differ from one model to another, however not just every running machine offers a great price/quality ratio. This page aims to help you make the right choice, regarding your treadmill. All models presented here come for an excellent price/quality ratio, and cover quite an extensive range of prices, so that you should be able to find one that fits your needs and budget perfectly.