Best Compact Treadmills of 2016
Are you searching for a compact treadmill? These models are a fantastic option when space is an issue, especially if you're planning to run regularly in an apartment, small condo, or small bonus room in your house. To save even more space, most of these treadmills fold up as well. The table below compares the 5 best compact treadmills available:
Update: There's a new option that takes up even less space, and is more effective. Learn more about it here.
|Full Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
|Speed||0 - 12 mph||0 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12 mph||.5 - 10 mph|
|Incline||-3 - 15%||-3 - 15%||0 - 15%||0 - 15%||0 - 12%|
|Motor||3.8 CHP||3.5 CHP||2.75 CHP||2.75 CHP||2.5 HP DC motor|
|Max. Weight||400 lbs||350 lbs||350 lbs||350 lbs||300 lbs|
|Deck||22" x 60"||22" x 60"||20" x 60"||20" x 60"||22" x 55"|
Compact Treadmills Buying Guide
The only major drawback to owning a treadmill is that it takes up a lot of space. I’ve talked to quite a few people who would love to buy a treadmill, but they just don’t have the extra space for it.
Compact treadmills are a great option to solve this. Built for those individuals in mind, compact treadmills (like the name implies) are perfect for home owners who lack a lot of space or need something that is easily portable.
Designed with a lighter-than-average frame and transport wheels, compact treadmills also fold to provide even more floor space when not in use. While they are ideal for their light weight and space needed to house the machine, compact treadmills are forced to make sacrifices with some specs.
Unfortunately, this can at times equate to a treadmill that is simply not strong and durable enough to support a lot of use.
Less Space, More Effective (New Option)
There’s a new alternative to these traditional models that takes up even less space, without sacrificing quality. In fact, it burns even more calories and works out your upper body and abs at the same time.
It’s called the Bowflex Max Trainer, and while the treadmills above are small, this thing has an even smaller footprint:
The Bowflex M5 (top-rated model) has a footprint of only 46″ long x 25″ wide!
Compare that to about 70-73″ long x 33-36″ wide for even the smallest treadmills, and you can use it in an even smaller space, while getting an even better workout.
Similar to their TreadClimber line, it seems like their goal is to build hybrid machines that break from conventional designs, and from the hundreds of users we’ve spoken with about it, it’s working really well, one reason their ratings are significantly higher than conventional designs. Definitely worth considering.
Compact Treadmills — Pros vs. Cons
The good thing about compact treadmills is that they are also usually very affordable and are a terrific selection for that very first treadmill. Compact treadmills will always remain a fantastic bargain just as long as they can support your fitness and exercise means. Remember, the whole point you invested in a treadmill is to improve your health, not to buy something that is unusable but will look good in storage because it takes up very little space.
- Lightweight, easy to transport if you move often
- Require less floor space in tightly condensed rooms
- Often fold to create extra room
- Regularly equipped with transport wheels for additional mobility
- Traditionally affordable
- Since the trainer is smaller, compact treadmills may sacrifice specs
- Stability of the frame may not be as consistent
- Arguably not as well produced
In the end, it all depends on availability. If space is a premium in your household, you need a space efficient treadmill. However, if you have the extra storage compact treadmills might not provide the most attractive option.
The stereotype inside the fitness world for years has been that compact treadmills (like other compact home gyms) are inferior to other treadmills that are not as concerned about saving space but performance. While true to an extent, compact treadmills have actually traveled miles in terms of quality production.
Thus, the final decision is up to you. Can you afford the extra space large commercial treadmills require? Or do you need something that is lightweight and portable? The compact options above have an lot to offer in a little space.
More Compact Treadmills
The following did not make the Top 5 Compact Treadmills, but are still worth a look:
The Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill is a powerful commercial grade treadmill with many features like 13 workout programs, a 12% power incline and a solid warranty.
Read the full Life Fitness F3 Folding Review
The Commercial 2950 takes all of the most popular NordicTrack features and puts them in one treadmill, then adds the ability to customize.
Read the full NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Review
The Adventure 3 is an excellent value walking treadmill designed for reliability. It has a 2.5 CHP motor, 30 workout programs and a 5.75" Yellow-Green LCD display.
Read the full Horizon Fitness Adventure 3 Review
The ProForm ZT8 is an entry-level walking treadmill that folds and is at a competitive price point.
Read the full ProForm ZT8 Review
The ProForm Performance 600i is a low-priced treadmill with a 2.75 CHP motor, 20" x 60" tread belt, ProShox cushioning and goes up to 12 MPH.
Read the full ProForm Performance 600i Review
The NordicTrack C 990 features iFit and iPod compatibility and also works with Bluetooth chest strap monitors to automatically adjust speed and/or incline to stay within your designated heart rate zone.
Read the full NordicTrack C 990 Review
The Adventure 5 is a quality starter running treadmill designed to give you a reliable workout. It has a 2.5 CHP motor, 35 workout programs and a 7.5" Blue LCD screen.
Read the full Horizon Fitness Adventure 5 Review
The ProForm Performance 600c is a low-priced treadmill with a 2.75 CHP motor, 20" x 60" running surface, a 6-inch backlit display and goes up to 12 MPH.
Read the full ProForm Performance 600c Review
The ProForm Performance 505 CST is a good entry-level walking treadmill for under $1,000 that features a 2.5 CHP Motor.
Read the full ProForm Performance 505 CST Review
The ProForm Premier 900 is an entry-level walking treadmill that folds and has a solid 3.0 CHP Mach Z Motor.
Read the full ProForm Premier 900 Review
The LifeSpan Fitness TR1200i is an affordable treadmill with iPod dock and USB data storage. The TR1200i treadmill also features heart rate programs and LCD display.
Read the full LifeSpan Fitness TR1200i Review
What if you combine the treadmill, stairclimber and elliptical into one compact, efficient trainer? Now you can thanks to the Bowflex TC100, the company's best-selling TreadClimber. Learn more about the incredible new piece of exercise equipment below...
Read the full Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 Review
The LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i offers several features exclusive to LifeSpan Fitness including Intelli-Step and Intelli-Key.
Read the full LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i Review
The NordicTrack C 700 has decent feature options given the price point. While we'd encourage spending another couple hundred dollars for the next step up, this is an ok treadmill for the price.
Read the full NordicTrack C 700 Review
The ProForm 520 ZN is an entry-level walking treadmill at a competitive price point.
Read the full ProForm 520 ZN Review
The ProForm Sport 7.5 is a beginners treadmill, redesigned for 2016.
Read the full ProForm Sport 7.5 Review
The ProForm Sport 7.0 is an entry-level treadmill for beginners and light use.
Read the full ProForm Sport 7.0 Review
The ProForm Performance 400 is an entry-level treadmill with the basic specs required for a number of workout opportunities. The treadmill provides ProShox Lite Cushioning which is intended to produce less stress on vital muscles and joints.
Read the full ProForm Performance 400 Review
The T101 is a quality budget treadmill designed mostly for walkers. While it's not the most stable or powerful machine the T101 does have some great features like mp3 input and built-in speakers.
Read the full Horizon Fitness T101 Review
The Merit 725T Plus is a dirt cheap treadmill that has noticeably cut some corners, yet still found a way to get people on a treadmill and exercising. The budget treadmill is ideal for smaller users searching for a light exercise experience.
Read the full Merit Fitness 725T Plus Review