If you want the convenience of working out in your own home — particularly during winter months — or if your knees can't take the strain of pounding on pavement, a treadmill can be an excellent option to keep you moving and motivated year-round. We researched expert and user reviews to determine the best models for home use based on performance, durability, and, for the most part, modest price tags. All of our picks, even the cheapest, cover the basics, like tracking time elapsed and speed, and many offer more advanced features, such as heart-rate monitors (some more accurate than others), touchscreen controls, built-in fans and speakers, and copious storage spaces for accessories and water bottles. Users who like a little extra guidance and encouragement will appreciate that several of our recommendations are compatible with popular fitness services, like the subscription-based iFit, which offers users everything from guided interval training programs to nutrition coaching and virtual workouts in exotic locales via Google Maps. All of our choices also fold for easy storage when not in use.
When deciding on the best treadmill for your budget, the first thing you'll need to determine are your exercise needs. If you just want to get a few extra steps in each day and aren't interested in using a treadmill as a dedicated fitness machine, a very basic treadmill should be just be fine and can be found for less than $300. Those who are more serious about their walking workouts should be looking for models with a belt of at least 50 inches and a frame and motor that can handle a bit more wear and tear; these models usually sell for somewhere between $500 and $1,000. If you're looking for a sturdy treadmill for running or jogging, you'll want a model with a belt of at least 60 inches and a motor rated at 3 continuous horsepower (CHP) or higher. And if you really plan to rack up those running miles, expect to pay significantly more for a heavy-duty machine capable of keeping up with your routine over the long haul. We've found a commercial-grade model that's a comparative value.
Reliable sources for unbiased treadmill reviews include Consumer Reports, Wirecutter, Reviews.com and Runner's World, all of which publish regular roundups that include input from dedicated athletes as well as hands-on testing. Enthusiast sites like TreadmillReviews.net and Treadmills-Ratings-Reviews.com also provide helpful insight and are run by savvy fitness experts who combine testing and industry knowledge to rank and rate hundreds of treadmills. To round out our analysis of the best treadmills, we also evaluated thousands of owner reviews to see how these recommended picks fare over time. (Less expensive models all have their share of complaints regarding premature demises, but for the most part our picks fare pretty well on this count and come with relatively generous warranties.) Whatever model you settle on, experts say it's always a good idea when possible to try models out in a store before you buy in order to get a sense of how the feel suits your personal preferences.
*Prices and availability are subject to change.