Best Home Use Treadmills of 2018
Home workouts play a big role in keeping Americans healthy. When bad weather and busy schedules would derail fitness plans, convenience keeps people on track! Gallup polls show that exercise is much likelier to become a habit when you can accomplish it at home... and treadmills have been the #1 home fitness machine choice for decades.
Some home use treadmills are identical to health club models but carry residential warranties. Others are adapted for home use with folding frames, smaller motors and other changes to respect shoppers’ floorspace and fitness funds.
Whether cheap or high-end, the best home use treadmills deliver their money’s worth in workouts. Your mission as a shopper is to choose the best blend of physical performance, electronic features and durability for your budget. See the comparison chart below for the best home use treadmills across the price spectrum. Click any model for our in-depth review.
Top 5 Best Rated Home Use Treadmills
|Motor||3.6 CHP||3.5 CHP||4.25 CHP||3.5 CHP||4.25 CHP|
|Speed||0 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12 mph||0 - 12 mph||0 - 12 mph||0 - 12 mph|
|Incline||-3 - 15%||0 - 15%||-3 - 15%||-3 - 15%||-6 - 40%|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
Home Use Treadmills Buying Guide
Below we explain differences between home treadmills, commercial treadmills and light commercial treadmills. Then we share general tips for home treadmill shopping.
Comparing Home Use Treadmills and Commercial Treadmills
As a home treadmill shopper you can choose from three treadmill classes: residential, light commercial and full commercial. Shopping for a health club or similar setting, you can choose from just two categories: light commercial and full commercial.
Commercial treadmills are especially durable. They are generally sold to buyers stocking high-traffic fitness settings like membership gyms, college rec centers and hotel workout rooms. Full commercial treadmills are under warranty to run for up to six hours/day. Typically they support training at any intensity, hold at least 400 pounds, and require minimal maintenance. Light commercial treadmills are similar but only under warranty to serve up to three hours/day.
Choosing a commercial treadmill, you’re almost guaranteed to be satisfied by the quality — but for most individual shoppers, these machines are too high-priced at around $3000 to $10,000. They tend to be pretty large too, not necessarily practical for the typical residential setting.
Home treadmills, compared with commercial treadmills, start at much lower prices and have a wider range of quality. While the most elite units are priced just as high and perform just as well, they’re still “home treadmills” because they carry residential warranties. Some home treadmills can easily serve homes with several exercise enthusiasts. Others are lighter duty and have short lifespans, even if used for just an hour a day.
The best home treadmill values are generally found in the $1500 to $2000 price range. Generally the cardio trainers in this price class or higher can be expected to operate quietly and be easy to maintain. Unlike many cheaper home treadmills, they don’t require frequent bolt tightening and track waxing to perform their best.
As for size, home use treadmills are generally smaller than commercial treadmills and have lighter user weight capacities. Some have foldable frames to help you make the most of your living space, but they can be just as sturdy as non-folding treadmills. The cheapest units can hold about 200 pounds maximum. The best units can hold 350 pounds or more.
Finally, as mentioned above, sometimes fitness equipment companies sell virtually the same treadmill model to commercial customers and residential customers. In these cases the residential buyers tend to get much longer warranties. Also, the treadmills for home use might have different programming. For example, treadmills built especially for clubs sometimes have “manager mode” and special wiring for facilities’ centralized entertainment systems.
- Higher prices overall
- Highest quality parts
- Built to endure for years, even with heavy use
- Low maintenance
- Larger footprints
- Lower prices overall
- Wide range of quality
- If low quality, may be high-maintenance
- Warranties may be more generous
- Require less room; may be foldable
- Next, here are some tips about home treadmill prices for 2017.
Home Use Treadmill Prices
For most shoppers the best treadmill values of 2017 are found in the $1500-to-$2000 price range. The choices start at less than $500, but these ultra-cheap treadmills tend to be disappointments. Customers review them as noisy, too small for serious exercise, and prone to breaking down after not too many workouts. With a mid-range budget though, you can choose from plenty of reliable models for walking or running. Along with a quiet belt motor and power incline, you can get good program variety and console amenities such as a built-in touchscreen, cooling fan and iPod-compatible speakers. Finally, at the high end of the price spectrum, luxury treadmills can be powerful enough for marathon training and are especially well-equipped to keep anyone motivated. Compared with cheaper treadmills, their advantages range from maintenance-free belts to high-end console electronics such as TVs with wireless radio. Some of these machines are nearly identical to fitness club treadmills but carry longer warranties because lighter use is expected.
When considering a residential treadmill, remember to check these essential factors:
- Size of the treadmill (to fit your home)
- Size of the training surface (to fit your body)
- Horsepower (at least 3.0 CHP for frequent jogging)
- Weight capacity (at least 50 pounds heavier than your body)
- Warranty (should be competitive for the price class)
Each of these factors influences the machine’s price. This is good news if you only want a treadmill for walking; you can pay less by choosing a treadmill with a shorter track and smaller motor. On the other hand, it means that the best treadmills for runners cost more. They have longer tracks and higher horsepower.
The following features aren’t critical to all treadmill shoppers, but they make a big difference to your workout experience:
- Heart rate monitor (wireless is most accurate)
- Bluetooth connection (sends workout stats to your mobile app)
- Cooling fan and water bottle holder
- Power incline (15% is average)
- Extra-thick belt (quiet, longer-lasting, low maintenance)
- High quality training programs
- Multiple user profiles
- Touchscreen with full color display
- Built-in web browser
- Built-in MP3 speakers
- Shelf for tablet computer
Treadmills for 2017 are very well-equipped with extras; the list above is just the beginning. The extras can make a big difference to your motivation and follow-through. But of course, keep your priorities straight when faced with a flashy treadmill. If you need to minimize costs, it might make sense to choose a treadmill with simpler electronics but better cushioning and power. If you bring your own entertainment or park the treadmill in front of a TV, then you might not miss the little luxuries.
For more tips about finding the best treadmill for your money, see our charts of “Five Best Treadmills” organized by price.