If you’re looking to get in shape and get healthy, you’ll be probably looking to purchase some of the best fitness equipment for home use. Every home gym should have at least one piece of cardio fitness equipment. For most people, the logical choice is a top-rated treadmill. Compared to running outdoors, you’re a lot safer staying indoors on the cushioned track of a good treadmill, where you can avoid the hard concrete and vehicle traffic.
Treadmills offer a huge range of different features which significantly impact the price. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to make huge sacrifices when shopping on a budget. The most important part of owning a treadmill is getting a good workout, and there are many treadmills out there that adequately meet this essential expectation and more without breaking the bank.
- Features to Consider in Cheap Treadmills
- Best Cheap Treadmills 2020 (Under $500)
- Best Cheap Treadmills 2020 (Under $300)
- Guide to Buying the Best Treadmills
- Bottom Line
Features to Consider in Cheap Treadmills
The task of finding the perfect treadmill to suit ones need is a real challenge. Most people assume that finding a treadmill is an easy task. This is however far from the truth. To make this task easier for you, here are some of the features you should take into consideration while buying a treadmill.
Running Surface Area
This is the first most important thing to consider, especially if you are a tall person with a long-running stride. You should look for a treadmill having a commodious deck length, at least 50-inches long and 20-inches wide.
While investing a huge amount on the treadmill, you should look for at least some of the high-end features to be present. Some of these features include health metrics display, heart rate monitoring, shock absorption, iPod/MP3 compatible sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, WiFi, USB ports among others. All these features undoubtedly enhance the workout experience in one way or the other.
You should consider the manufacturer’s history as the first thing before considering to buy a treadmill. While analyzing the treadmill’s manufacturer’s details, you must look at how long the company has been producing treadmills and what good things people have to say about their products.
You should also consider looking at a treadmill’s trade-in value. At some point in life, there may arise a situation where you need to dispose of the treadmill by selling it. You might be moving out of your current location and don’t feel the need to take the treadmill along. Or maybe, you simply want a newer and better model with the latest features. Whichever the case, the old treadmill will need to be sold/replaced.
Therefore, when you are buying a treadmill, it needs to have a high trade-in value so that at the time of replacement it can be sold by the owner for a decent amount. A high trade-in value also indicates two extremely important things about a treadmill. It tells a buyer that the particular treadmill in question is highly sought after by many people and that it holds its value for a long time.
You should finally consider the durability of the machine when purchasing your treadmill. You should analyze how long the moving parts of the treadmill last before being a victim of wear and tear. These parts will need replacement and if the parts of a treadmill need to be frequently replaced, then it’s not worth buying. This is mostly due to the extra costs you will incur doing this. The cost of replacement must be added to the price of the treadmill to get a clear idea of how much money is going to be spent.
Folding or Not
To decrease the required footprint when stored, there are treadmills that practically fold. To help with the folding and unfolding, simple hydraulic or pneumatic pistons are used. Even further, to help with the storage, all these treadmills come with transport wheels, which help the user move around the treadmill, as required. However, it’s always recommended to place the unit on a permanent location and use it whenever one has spare time.
Features that Support Your Fitness Goals
Budget treadmills are obviously not going to include plush features like web-enabled touch screens and HD digital displays, but you want to make sure it covers the basics that you do need. Here are some of the common features that most of the best cheap treadmills have.
- Built-in workout programs will be an important feature for you if you are a beginner or have very specific goals. For instance, if you want to use the treadmill for weight loss or for speed training.
- A heart rate monitor may be important if you want to keep a close eye on your fitness progression or must comply with a doctor’s recommendation.
- An incline is an important feature if you’re training for a race or a hike.
- There are also some non-fitness related features to consider, such as the length of warranty and whether or not the machine requires assembly.
Best Cheap Treadmills 2020 (Under $500)
If you’re looking to save up on space, the Goplus treadmill features a space saver feature. This allows you to fold your machine up after use for more convenient transportation, cleaning, and storage. It also features built-in transportation wheels for easy relocation. The Goplus has an easy folding mechanism and a soft drop system to help you fold and unfold your treadmill safely with ease.
This treadmill can simulate the slope of a hill with easy to change 3 levels incline. You can burn more calories, tone more muscle, and build greater endurance for that upcoming hike. The three different levels of incline will increase the intensity of your workouts.
The Goplus features a safety key and an easy to reach emergency stop switch on the handrail. This safety guaranteed design ensures that you can stop the treadmill easily in emergency situations. Besides, it offers user-friendly control keys right at your fingertips. Using these built-in handrail keys, you can start, stop, and adjust your speed. There’s a cushioning design on both sides of the treadmill that helps in reducing noise and decreasing vibration to your floor. This can provide you the best and quiet workout experience.
The treadmill has a 2.25 horsepower motor, so it’s capable of giving you quite a workout. The motor runs at speeds from 0.5 mph all the way up to 7.5 mph. The motor delivers enough power for interval, speed, or endurance training. The weight capacity on this treadmill has been rated as 220 pounds.
LCD Display and Mobile Phone Holder
The Goplus features a large Blue-Ray LCD monitor that tracks your hand pulse, speed, distance, calories, and has different modes. This means you can record your progress daily. There are 12 easy-to-use exercise programs that are safe and effective for improving your cardiovascular fitness, boost your health, and burn fat. You can also put your mobile phone or iPad on the holder and enjoy video or talk with your friend when you work on this treadmill.
The Goplus Foldable Treadmill is quite excellent for its price. It features an advanced LCD screen that displays an abundance of information and a mobile phone holder so you can watch movies or listen to music with ease. However, it has a maximum weight of just 220 pounds and it’s unclear what warranty is provided.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill features a 2.20 peak horsepower drive system that provides speeds of 0.5 – 9 mph. This motor drives this treadmill’s belt, which is suited to walking and light jogging rather than running. This makes it the ideal workout machine for walkers and those new to exercise. Walkers and joggers will be perfectly happy with this treadmill’s operation and extremely happy with the price. It has been designed for a maximum user weight of 220 pounds with 48.8-inches long by 15.75-inches wide running surface.
The SF –T4400 treadmill is a great space-saving pick. It folds up and down easily with a soft drop mechanism. If you are short on space in your home gym or garage, this is the ideal treadmill for you. Besides, for those looking to move around with their treadmills, the Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill has transport wheels to help you move it around. This easy folding mechanism and soft drop system assure you of a safe, hassle-free unfolding every time.
This treadmill features very convenient handrail control keys. These keys are user-friendly and easy to manually set your speed ranging from 0 – 9 mph. These keys are right at your fingertips and will enable you to start, stop, and adjust your speed conveniently.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill features an easy-to-read LCD display console. The console is large, bright, and easy to read. While working out, you can see the time, distance, calories, and pulse using this LCD display. There are also 9 different programs to choose from.
The SF – T4400 features a non-electric treadmill with 3 different incline levels you can choose from. These incline levels are 0%, 2%, and 4.37%. You can simulate normal jogging and hiking by changing the percentage of incline on this treadmill. It’s a nice touch that there’s an incline option even if using it’s more inconvenient.
This treadmill features 9 built-in workout programs, handrail controls, and a phone/tablet holder for convenience. It also has 3 different incline positions you can personalize to change the level of intensity of your workout. However, this treadmill needs regular maintenance and you will need to lubricate the treadmill regularly. It’s the ideal treadmill for people looking for light exercises.
The Exerpeutic TF1000 is an electric walking treadmill with a 1.5-horsepower high-torque motor. The motor can run at a speed of up to 4 miles per hour, which isn’t suitable for anything other than light jogging. This speed is adjustable in 0.1 miles per hour increments.
Foldable and Transportable
The TF1000 is one of those treadmills that won’t take up much of your space since it folds up easily. If you are short on space, you can either choose to place this treadmill in a permanent location or fold it up and store it. The transportation wheels can be used to move this treadmill to different locations.
If you’re training for a race or a hike then having a treadmill with an incline is the best for you. You can simulate the slope of a hill with the 2 manual position incline of the TF1000. The frame of this treadmill has been reinforced to accommodate a high weight capacity capability. It can support up to 400 pounds of user weight, which makes it an excellent choice if you’re overweight and trying to get healthier.
The size of the treadmill determines the space it will take up in your gym or room and if it will be transportable. The Exerpeutic has a treadmill belt that has been widened to a fitness club size of 20-inches for safety and security. The treadmill belt size is 40-inches long by 20-inches wide. Besides, it features extra-long safety handles which measure 18-inches long. This is more than twice the length of the handles.
This treadmill features an LCD display console that displays elapsed time, distance walked, calories burnt, speed and pulse monitoring. Besides, it features heart pulse pads on the handles that allow you to target your heart rate while speed control buttons provide you with the convenience of adjusting your speed. The speed adjusts in increments of 0.1 mph up to a maximum of 4 mph.
The TF1000 is an excellent fitness electric treadmill with an onboard computer that tracks vital statistics and folds down for easy storage. The transportation wheels also make it easy to transport. It has an excellent warranty, with five years on the frame and motor, and one year for parts. However, the motor here isn’t strong enough to appeal to runners, but if you’re trying to get in shape, this is one of the best treadmills on the market for the price.
The HTM0779-01 has a top-quality 2.25-horsepower drive motor for running the 18-inch by 50-inch workout area. You’ll find weight loss, mountain and hill climb, cardio and endurance challenges with this treadmill’s 7 workout programs. The suggested weight limit of the Merit 725T is 250 pounds, which is quite excessive meaning it’s best suited for users under 200 pounds. This motor also produces a speed range of 0 to 10 mph.
The Merit 725T features a 2-window LED display to better inform the user of progress, heart rate, and calories burnt. It also displays resistance levels, speed, time, and distance. Only through heart rate monitoring can one really keep track of what kind of workout they are getting. Together with the constant monitoring and graphics display, you should have no problem maintaining your workout routine and tracking your progress. There are also 7 preset workout programs that come with this treadmill. There’s a pulse motor built-in to the handgrips and quick speed/incline keys.
You can easily prepare for hikes with this treadmill because it features an incline. The motorized incline system can adjust between 0 percent for normal jogging exercises to 10 percent for steep hiking and marathon exercises. There’s an Aerosoft cushioning system below the belt that isolates your feet and legs from shock.
The Merit 725T folds up neatly for easy storage when not in use. This space-saving design is ideal for those who are short on space in their small homes, offices, or apartments.
The Merit 725T treadmill features 2-LED display so that you can continue monitoring your workout routine and keep track of your progress. It has 7 workout programs to diversify ways of getting you into shape. Despite being rated for a weight capacity of 250 pounds, this treadmill is unstable for heavier individuals and is ideal for people under 200 pounds.
Frame and Deck
Although it can be considered a light-capacity treadmill, the Xterra Fitness TR150 has a pretty durable frame, made of steel tubing. The only ABS parts in its construction are the side rail covers, the motor cover, and the console dashboard. The machine is designed to support users up to 250 pounds. All the steel parts within the frame feature a corrosion-resistant paint finish.
The unit features a folding design. The deck can be folded up, and with the deck folded up, its footprint remains approximately 29-inches depth by 28.75-inches wide. The fully assembled unit is fairly heavy. It weighs approximately 108 pounds. However, the front base is equipped with a set of transport wheels. So, relocating the treadmill, once you have finished your workout, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Incline & Step-up Height
This treadmill features a manual incline system meaning you cannot adjust the incline of the deck during your workout. The unit’s deck incline is made available by the adjustable rear stabilizers. They can be easily locked into the desired position via a pop pin. There are three incline increments of approximately 0.5, 1, and 2 degrees of incline. Depending on the incline setting selected, the deck step-up height may vary.
This treadmill has been equipped with a 2.25 hp motor. Although it’s not a powerful motor, it can still withstand prolonged jogging or running sessions, even at full speed. It’s also equipped with a small flywheel that stabilizes the rotation motion, rendering the movement of the belt much smoother.
Although it doesn’t have Bluetooth, and it’s not compatible with any online fitness apps, this treadmill has quite a few features to keep you motivated. It has an LCD display with pretty large, easy-to-read digits that tracks time, distance, speed, calories, and pulse. The console features stop/start buttons for you to pause your workout if needed.
This is a treadmill for walking and jogging, equipped with a 2.25 hp motor that offers a speed range of 0.5-10mph. It has a manual incline system with 3 positions. The frame is foldable and pretty durable for a light-capacity machine, being able to hold users up to 250 pounds. It’s an excellent machine for light to medium cardio workouts and stamina development.
Best Cheap Treadmills 2020 (Under $300)
Powerful and Quiet Motor
The JK1603E features a 500-Watt motor powering the treadmill’s belt drive. While this power isn’t necessarily an optimal power rating, it’s still quite enough to give you a good workout. The motor fitted on this treadmill is strong and provides smooth, long distance running and dynamic interval training. Besides, the motor is impressively quiet and sturdy enough to hold long-distance running sessions.
The Merax features a multi-functional display that allows users to track their workout progress. It displays the person’s progress in speed, distance, heart rate, and calories burnt. It also features a Hand Pulse Sensor. All you have to do is grip the handlebar and the sensor will pick up your pulse. This helps keep track of your heart rate continuously. Heart rate data can be really useful while following a correct and effective exercise routine.
It also features 3 built-in workout programs that alternate between high intensity and low-intensity recovery periods. These are extremely important to improve your aerobic capacity and burn calories after your workout.
This treadmill has a stylish contemporary design that features a space-saving folding design. It also has a reliable and sturdy frame for easy storage. You no longer have to worry about this treadmill taking up a lot of space in your living room or garage with this design. It weighs 70 pounds, which means you can easily move it once it’s folded.
This motor has 3 incline positions to help you with your workout. You can simulate the slope of a hill with this feature and get ready for that weekend hike you’ve been looking forward to. Although the incline control included in this machine is manual, you still get to add some intensity to your workout.
The Merax JK1603E brings all the features you would want in an affordable unit including some which are anything but common. It features a contemporary space-saving folding design for easier storage of the treadmill. It also features 3 different incline positions and comes with 3 built-in workout programs to help improve your aerobic capacity and burn calories.
Space Saving Design
The G 5.9 Treadmill features a space-saving design since you can easily fold it up. If you are limited on space in your gym or house, this is one of the most ideal treadmills for you. However, it doesn’t have any wheels for transportation meaning it may be difficult moving it from one point to another. The treadmill is rated for up to 275 pounds but doesn’t feature a full-length runway.
You can reduce stress on your joints and increase workout comfort with the Weslo Cadence treadmill. The unique treadmill deck has been designed with a layer of cushioning for maximum stride impact absorption.
6 Personal Trainer Workout
The G 5.9 has a much more sophisticated computer program that includes six preset workouts to help you focus and refine your exercise. You can burn fat, lose weight, and stay motivated with these personal trainer workouts. These programs take the guesswork out of your workout by automatically adjusting the speed and incline of the treadmill for increased intensity. It also features a 2 position manual incline that enables you to enjoy a more intense workout session. The incline is easy to change and will increase the intensity of your workout.
LCD Display and Heart Rate Monitor
This treadmill features an LCD display that keeps track of your distance, calories, time and speed and a pulse sensor that makes it easy to get a reading on your pulse for more careful cardio rating. This blue-tinted LCD with priority display allows you to monitor your progress throughout your workout. You can also get an accurate heart rate reading by simply placing your thumb on the Easy Pulse sensor that is built right into the console.
The Weslo Cadence treadmill allows you to get more results in less time since it features 6 personal trainer workouts, a 2 position manual incline and Comfort Cell Cushioning. This makes it the perfect tool for losing weight or increasing performance. It offers a lot more customization with the LCD display and Easy Pulse sensor. It comes with a one-year warranty on the motor and 90 days for parts and labor. However, this may not be the best pick if you’re serious about fitness. If you’re looking for something to help you get in shape, then this is a good and inexpensive choice.
This treadmill machine features a control console with 2 water bottle holders and a media shelf for tablets, books, remotes, and phones. This allows you to keep hydrated while exercising for an upcoming marathon, or keep chatting with your friends when you place your phone on the mobile holder.
The digital display on the Best Choice Products Treadmill machine allows the user to keep track of the distance, speed, time, and calories burnt. The handles, on the other hand, have to speed settings, start/stop buttons, and heart rate sensors. This helps keep track of your heart rate continuously. Heart rate data can be really useful while following a correct and effective exercise routine. You can easily choose a workout program with 3 different combinations of speed and time. These are extremely important to improve your aerobic capacity and burn calories after your workout.
This treadmill has a space-saving design enables the treadmill to be folded. It also has a reliable and sturdy frame for easy storage. You no longer have to worry about this treadmill taking up a lot of space in your living room or garage with this design. It’s lightweight, weighing only 59.5 pounds meaning you can move it easily. The treadmill measures 22.8-inches long by 24.8-inches wide by 47-inches height when folded, taking up the least space. The weight capacity on this treadmill has been rated as 250 pounds.
This treadmill has an 800-Watt electric motor that delivers power to the treading belt. This provides you with enough speed necessary for running. You can conveniently switch between preset speeds of 0.5, 2.0, 4.0, up to 7.5 or adjust this via the -/+ push buttons for more options.
This treadmill offers two very important things. The first one has to be its rigid frame. It has been built rock solid and offers plenty of stability. The motor is the second most important aspect of this treadmill. The 800-Watt motor puts you at the bottom edge of a power band necessary for running. Anything less than that and you’ll be limited to light jogging at best. It also comes with several programmed modes that help you spice things up. This is a well-rounded machine that’s guaranteed to get your money’s worth of cardio at home.
Multi-Function LED Display
This treadmill doesn’t feature a lot of customization options. However, it has a multi-function LED display that is capable of showing you your speed, distance, time, calories. It also allows you to scan between all these and keep track of your workout progress.
The small size of this treadmill combined with the fact that it’s foldable makes it ideal for small spaces. You can put it in your office, apartment, or even a home that just doesn’t have a lot of extra space. In addition to its folding design, it features wheels that make it easy to store and roll away. The wheels also make it easy to transport this treadmill to different locations. You can easily take it with you back home at the weekends and take it with you to the office during busy weekdays. This feature allows you to run easily in the comfort of your own home.
This versatile treadmill can be converted into a walking treadmill desk. There are not parts included to do this but most treadmill users have done this just for inspiration. This treadmill can run continuously for up to 30 minutes. It’s suitable for users up to 250 pounds. Because it’s not very costly, this treadmill is a popular choice for people who want to make a homemade treadmill desk.
Size and Power
This treadmill features a 600W motor that powers the treadmill as you work out. The treadmill runway size is 39.5-inches by 14-inches. The treadmill weighs a total of 49 pounds making it quite light to move around.
The Confidence Power Plus Motorized Treadmill doesn’t have a lot of customization options in comparison to other treadmills reviewed here. One of the downsides is that you cannot set it at an incline and it doesn’t seem to be covered by any kind of warranty. However, this is an ideal treadmill for people new to running and those looking to shed a few extra pounds. It features a folding design and wheels that make it easy to store and roll away.
The Phoenix 98510 doesn’t feature a motor to power it. Instead, this manual treadmill has a heavy-duty weighted flywheel that offers smooth and quiet operation, and a 41-inches long by 13-inches wide belt. This means that you have to do all the work by yourself. It uses a manual belt that reacts to your movement. The faster you walk (or run), the faster the belt spins to keep up with you.
You control the speed of the belt and will achieve the most efficient walking/jogging result you wanted. The fact that it doesn’t have a motor means that it’s small and light and won’t take much of your space. However, being a manual means that it can get hard on your knees and hips since you spend more energy moving the weighted flywheel.
Most manual treadmills feature inclines to help users gain momentum and the Phoenix isn’t an exception. Although the standard setup is a slight incline on this treadmill, it’s possible to set it up to walk more or less flat, which eases the workout. The incline on this treadmill intensifies the workout and allows you to prepare for hikes by simulating the slope of a hill. The maximum user weight for this treadmill has been rated as 250 pounds.
This small treadmill can fold and lock in an upright position for storage. Users with small homes or apartments will love the spring-loaded pull pin, which lets you fold up the treadmill, lock it in place, and store it in a closet or a garage. This treadmill measures 50-inches long by 46.5-inches wide by 21.1-inches thick and comes with a water bottle to keep water for hydrating while working out. It also weighs just 45 pounds and comes with a one-year warranty on the frame and a 90-day warranty on parts.
Single Button Electronics Display
Manual treadmills mostly lack the nifty features that electronic or motorized treadmills have such as LCD displays and pulse monitors. However, the Phoenix 98510 isn’t completely low tech. It offers a single button electronics display that tracks your speed, distance, time, and calories. This onboard display is powered by two AA batteries.
This treadmill is perfect for individuals with little room in their homes or those hard-pressed budget wise. The Phoenix saves you money by forgoing the expensive motor instead uses old-fashioned manpower to move the running belt. It features a standard slight incline, which can be set up to be more flat easing the workout. The Phoenix 98510 is an affordable, back-to-basics piece of equipment that offers a less sophisticated form of workout.
Guide to Buying the Best Treadmills
Treadmills are one of the most popular types of exercise equipment because they are one of the easiest to use. They provide significant health benefits without requiring a major investment or intense cardio.
They don’t take up too much space in your home, and they’re easy to use while performing other activities. Treadmills have a tremendous amount of diversity, so it can be difficult to know what treadmill you should buy.
Therefore, before you make the plunge, there are some things you should consider. How big is your treadmill going to be? Where are you going to put it? What kind of advanced features do you want? Here are some of the factors you should consider before buying a treadmill.
There are treadmills that can be set at an incline, either fixed or variable. These intensify the workout and also allow you to prepare for hikes by simulating the slope of a hill or mountain. However, this is typically available in more expensive treadmills.
Most treadmills have different speed settings on their motor. This allows them to provide a customized workout based on cardio or calories. You want a treadmill that has a decent motor. This should be preferably 2.0-3.0 horsepower.
It isn’t enough to decide whether you have the room for a treadmill. You should also consider how large you want it to be. Standard treadmills are seven feet long whereas some are shorter and others longer. Shorter treadmills don’t take up as much room but also require a lot more work so that you don’t lose your balance.
There are cheap treadmills with some costing as little as $100. On the other hand, expensive modes may cost up to three grand. This will depend on how much use you expect to get out of your treadmill. You definitely don’t want to spend over $1000 on something you’ll only use one a week.
Before you get down to the basics of a budget, you need to know how much room you have available in your house and how large of a treadmill you want. You should try to find a space that can accommodate your treadmill. That could be your living room, bedroom, or the garage.
Types of Treadmills
There are two different types of treadmills, manual treadmills, and motorized treadmills. The key difference is in the motor meaning a manual treadmill doesn’t have one.
Instead of being powered by a motor, the belt on the manual treadmill is turned by your movement. This means that manual treadmills can only go as fast as you do.
Since there’s no motor attached, manual treadmills also tend to be smaller and lighter. That means they take up less space and can be moved from room to room a little easier. Besides, most fold up for convenient storage. Finally, manual treadmills tend to be much less expensive than motorized versions.
On the downside, moving the belt manually can be hard on your hips and knees. Additionally, to help users gain momentum, manual treadmills are usually set at an incline, which means you’re constantly moving up-hill.
Finally, manual treadmills rarely have all the nifty features of motorized versions. It’s therefore important that you understand that your manual treadmill experience won’t be the same as on those fancy machines at the gym.
On the other hand, the motorized treadmills are mostly less-portable but more popular as compared to the manual treadmills.
Motorized treadmills are usually large and heavy machines made to emulate the experience of exercising on a variety of terrains and at a range of speeds. They let the user adjust the speed and incline automatically with just a push of a button during the workout session.
Motorized treadmills are best for training (especially sprinting), or use for extended periods, as well as for those who appreciate some high-tech features. Nowadays people mostly prefer to buy motorized treadmills over the manual treadmill.
Treadmills are a fantastic investment for anyone looking to get into (or keep up) their fitness levels. You can work out anytime you like, no matter the weather or traffic conditions outside, and even sneak in a few extra miles throughout the day. No matter which treadmill model you choose, your heart will thank you.