Best Treadmills Reviews 2018 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 2018.
Top 10 Best Treadmills
|Frame: 3 years
Parts: 90 days
0% - 15%
0% - 12%
|9||Frame: 1 year
Parts: 90 days
|Frame: 5 years
Parts: 90 days
Labor: 90 days
|AFG Sport 5.5AT||L:71"|
0% - 10%.
Parts: 1 year
Labor: 1 year
|NordicTrack T 6.5 S||L:67.5"|
0% - 10%
Motor: 25 years
Parts: 1 year
Labor: 1 year
|26||Motor: 15 years
Frame: 15 years
Mechanical: 5 years
Electronics: 5 years
Labor: 2 years
|3G Cardio 80i||L:74"|
Parts: 5 years
Labor: 1 year
|3G Cardio Pro||L:74"|
0% - 15%
Parts: 5 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 a motorized incline, which in general have a motor between 2.5 and 3 CHP, with a more solid deck and overall construction.
- between $1,000 and $2,000 – light commercial treadmills, or models with a construction and range of features close to light commercial;
- over $2,000 – heavy-duty running machines, with a powerful motor, a larger running surface, and a weight capacity over 300 lbs.
Price: Under $500
Most Efitment products currently available on the market are relatively new, dating from the first part of 2017. The Efitment T012 treadmill fits this description, but so far it has gathered an impressive amount of positive reviews from users. It currently stands at almost a clean rating of 5 stars.
The Efitment T012 is a light capacity treadmill, made for walking and jogging. It has a weight capacity of 220 lbs and offers a running surface of approx. 47″L x 16″W. It’s equipped with a 2.2 HP motor which delivers speeds up to 9.0 MPH. Despite the fact that it’s a light treadmill priced under $400 it also has a motorized incline system with 15 ramp levels… Read Full Review.
If you’re looking for a basic, affordable treadmill which is also pretty sturdy, the Sunny SF-T4400 model is definitely one to put on your list. Although it’s an older Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill model, it’s still available at the moment and so far it has gathered a massive number of positive reviews. However, if you’re looking for a newer model, you can also see the Sunny SF-T7603.
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 approx. 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.
There are actually several Goplus treadmills with a 2.5HP motor, but there are several differences between them and not all benefit from a positive user feedback. So, to avoid any confusion, we’re addressing here the SP35367 model.
As the title suggests, this running machine is equipped with a 2.5 HP motor which can deliver speeds up to 11 MP. It’s not a large item of fitness equipment, with an overall length of approx. 60″, plus, it has a folding frame. Its belt offers a running surface of 50″L x 18″W. It doesn’t have an extremely advanced console, but it definitely offers much more than a basic one. It has a 5″ LCD display. It tracks distance, heart rate, calories, and time, also indicating the current incline and speed levels… Read Full Review.
Price: $500 – $1,000
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. The ProForm Performance 300i is one of the models released in 2016 and still stands as one of the best machines in this price range. It’s also one of the most affordable ProForm treadmills, currently priced a little above the $500 mark.
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 onboard workouts… 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 NordicTrack T 6.5 S is also an older treadmill model. It has been on the market for more than two years, but it’s still available and it continues to benefit from 4 to 5-star reviews from users. It’s a heavy-duty machine for home use with a weight capacity of 300 lbs. It’s equipped with a 2.6 CHP motor which offers running speeds up to 10 MPH. Its tread belt offers a 55″L x 20″W running surface which means that the machine can accommodate users up to 6’0″ – 6’2″ with no problem, for all types of workouts.
The machine’s console integrates several amenities, such as a media holder, a sound system, and two accessory holders. It has a 5″ LCD and backlit display with large digits, easy to read. It makes available 20 preset programs and is also iFit capable… Read Full Review.
Price: Over $1,000
At the beginning of 2017 Nautilus has released several new fitness machines for 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.
Although the 3G Cardio 80i is not advertised or sold as a light commercial or commercial fitness machine (and only comes with a home user warranty) it definitely has most of the “ingredients” of a light commercial model. To begin with, it has a very solid deck which can withstand users up to 325 lbs. It offers a running surface of 58″L x 18.5″W and is equipped with a 3.0 CHP motor, which can deliver a running speed up to 11 MPH. Evidently, it has a motorized incline system which offers a ramp up to 15%.
The machine’s console is a mid-range one. It doesn’t have any online capabilities but does have 8 workout applications, including Warm-Up, Fat Burn, Heart Exercise, Summit Climb, Long Distance Run, Rolling Hills, Speed Interval, Speed Burst. These will adjust incline and speed automatically, depending on the current segment of each one of them. There are also two user profie settings, which give you the possibility to create and save two distinctive custom workouts… Read Full Review.
3G Cardio offers several well-built treadmills, fitness machines which so far have received a lot of positive feedback. Therefore, our second selection for this price interval is another model under this brand name. 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.
Price: Over $2,000
The Endurance T10HRC is a treadmill featuring a commercial construction and a weight capacity of 350 lbs. Its frame is made of high tensile strength steel, 2″ x 3″ and 2″ x 4″, with a rock-solid running platform capable of withstanding high and continuous stress. It is equipped with a powerful 3.0 continuous horsepower duty motor, designed to exceed the performance of treadmills rated for home-use only. It’s protected by Pulse Width Modulation technology (P.W.M), and air-cooled, in order to maintain its performance during the longest running workouts. It also has an automatic incline system, providing a ramp up to 15%.
The machine’s console is not one of the most up to date; in other words, it doesn’t have online connectivity, nor it is compatible with any online fitness apps. But on the other hand, it’s a highly-functional unit with 25-workout database to keep you motivated… Read Full Review.
The Endurance T100 is a slightly lighter version of the T10HRC. Although it has a similar, 3.0 CHP motor, its deck is only rated for a user weight capacity of 330 lbs. But on the other hand, its running surface is 22″ wide, while for the T10 is only 20″. Needless to say, this unit also has an automatic incline, offering a 15% maximum incline, with multiple adjustment levels.
The T100 Endurance treadmill features a LED-based console. It has 14 pre-set workouts, 12 of them having a direct access key on the control panel. These programs include Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Calorie, Interval, Strength, 5K Run, 10K Run, Custom, Fitness Test, Manual, and Heart Rate. The Custom program allows you to create your own program. However, just as the T10HRC model, it doesn’t have any online capabilities… Read Full Review.
The Elite Runner is the heaviest treadmill from 3G Cardio. It has an impressive weight capacity of 400 lbs and is equipped with a 4.0 CHP motor, being definitely a heavy-duty machine, designed for commercial club use. It’s equipped with a motorized incline system, offering an incline range of 0% – 15% and a speed range of 0.5 – 12 MPH.
The console unit of the 3G Cardio Elite Runner only has 8 preset workout programs on board, including Manual, Course, Goal, Fit Test, Fat Burn, Aerobic, Cus, om and Body Index. Some of them have multiple settings though. For example, there are 8 Courses under the Course tab, 2 programs under the Fit Test and 2 Custom program profiles… 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. This was one of the best treadmills in 2017 and continues to be one in 2018. It’s a pretty complete unit in terms of specs and features. It has a solid construction and a tough motor.
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.