Compact Treadmills Comparison
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||0.5 - 11 mph||0.5 - 4.0 mph||0.5 - 12 mph||0 - 10 mph||0 - 10 mph|
|Incline||15 Levels||N/A||15 Levels||0 - 10%||0 - 10%|
|Motor||2.5 CHP||N/A||2.75 CHP||2.25 CHP||2.5 CHP|
|Max. Weight||300 lbs||300 lbs||350 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs|
|Deck||20" x 56"||30" x 50"||20" x 56"||20" x 55"||20" 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 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
The Merit Fitness 715T is an entry-level treadmill with a smaller-than-average motor and undersized running surface. It's extremely affordable, but not suitable for all body types.
Read the full Merit Fitness 715T Review
The Horizon Evolve SG is quite possibly the most compact treadmill we have ever seen. It's a great buy for those who absolutely need something that does not take up a lot of space, and are not expecting a lot in terms of pre-defined workout programs.
Read the full Horizon Evolve SG Review