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Best Compact Treadmills of 2022(3)

Buying Guide

The only major drawback to owning a treadmill is that they are usually very large machines that take up quite a bit of floor space. There are many people who would love to own a treadmill, but they simply don’t have the extra space to accommodate it.

Compact treadmills are an ideal solution to this problem. As the name implies, compact treadmills are perfect for home owners who lack floor space or need a machine that is easily portable.

Designed with a lighter-than-average frame and transport wheels, compact treadmills are usually also foldable to ensure they take up even less space when not in use. However, there are downsides. Designers are forced to make sacrifices with some specs in order to produce light and foldable frames. Unfortunately, that means some compact treadmills simply aren’t strong or durable enough to support regular use. It’s important to research, compare, and consider all aspects of any compact treadmill before purchasing.

Compact Treadmills — Pros vs. Cons

If you’re thinking about buying a compact treadmill, it’s good to weigh up the pros and cons. Always make a comparative decision to ensure that a compact treadmill is the best fit for your needs. One big benefit of many compact treadmills is that they are typically more affordable. So if you are on a tight budget, consider leaning in this direction.

However, never let the price tag trump the functionality of any compact treadmill and your fitness goals. It’s important that your treadmill has the capabilities to support your goals and progression. Always factor in skill level when judging a machine and give yourself space to grow. If you’re a larger individual training for a marathon and plan to clock hours on the treadmill each week, you may find that a compact treadmill simply can’t provide the comfort level you’re looking for. While it’s great that compact treadmills in general take up little floor space and cost less, if they don’t get used or break down quickly, then the negatives start to weigh out the positives.


  • Lightweight and Mobile: These small treadmills are typically equipped with wheels at the bottom for easy transport. Moving them around between use is easy and generally doesn’t even require a second person.
  • Smaller Footprint: Compact treadmills are smaller in length and width than regular treadmills, easily fitting into smaller spaces for users who can’t sacrifice an entire room for their exercise machine.
  • Foldable: Most compact treadmills are also foldable, taking up even less space when they aren’t in use.
  • Affordable: In general, foldable treadmills are far more affordable than standard treadmills.


  • Fewer Features: With less space available, you won’t get as many bells and whistles on a compact model. For example, the screen console is generally quite a bit smaller and there usually isn’t room for fans or other similar add-ons.
  • Less Stable: Because these treadmills are compact, they also weigh less and likely won’t be as stable as their heavier counterparts. They will feel wobbly for heavy users or runners seeking high speeds.
  • Less Durable: Again, because of their smaller size and desire to be as compact as possible, the frames of compact treadmills typically aren’t as strong. So you may run into more issues with breakdown if you are using them regularly or doing high intensity exercise.

It’s important to consider exactly what you require from a treadmill to determine if a compact model will work for you. Not everyone is well suited to these treadmills, so despite their lower price and ease of home use, they aren’t always the best option. If you are lucky enough to have more space at home to store a piece of fitness equipment, you may be better off using one of the larger models and getting all those additional benefits they have to offer.

Do keep in mind that compact treadmills have come a long way in the last few years and aren’t always inferior to larger commercial models. There are now many impressive options available to consumers who want a smaller machine that still provides a great workout session.

In the end, it all depends on space. If space is a premium in your household, you’ll need a space-efficient treadmill. Just always be aware of what you give up to save that space.

51 young woman running on the proform 600i she is wearing a pink top and gray shorts

ProForm SMART Performance 600i

Rating: 84.3%
Price: $1,299 - Best Price: $799

The ProForm SMART Performance 600i is a low-priced treadmill with a 2.75 CHP motor, 18" x 55" tread belt, ProShox cushioning and goes up to 10 MPH. Read Review »


Schwinn 870

Rating: 84.2%
Price: $1,099 - Best Price: $1,099

The Schwinn 870 is among the best-equipped treadmills for its price. Read Review »


Schwinn 830

Rating: 82.7%
Price: $949 - Best Price: $949

The Schwinn 830 is a cardio trainer that’s data-rich and feels comfortable for walking and jogging Read Review »


LifeSpan Fitness TR5500i

Rating: 80.5%
Price: $1,899 - Best Price: $1899

The LifeSpan TR5500i Light Commercial Treadmill is a good buy for home gym at a solid price point at under $1,500. Read Review »


LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i

Rating: 79.3%
Price: $1,699 - Best Price: $1699

The brand new LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i offers key features exclusive to LifeSpan Fitness and is a great buy at just under $1500. Read Review »


LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i

Rating: 78.3%
Price: $1,999 - Best Price:

The LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i offers several features exclusive to LifeSpan Fitness including Intelli-Step and Intelli-Key. Read Review »


LifeSpan Fitness TR3000e

Rating: 78.3%
Price: $1,299 - Best Price:

The LifeSpan Fitness TR3000e is an affordable electronic folding treadmill. Read Review »


LifeSpan Fitness TR2000e

Rating: 78%
Price: $1,697 - Best Price: $1,499

The LifeSpan Fitness TR2000e is an affordable treadmill electronic folding treadmill. Read Review »

59 LifeSpan TR1200i treadmill

LifeSpan Fitness TR1200i

Rating: 77.5%
Price: $998 - Best Price: $699

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 Review »


Diamondback 510T

Rating: 77.5%
Price: $799 - Best Price: $799

Built for shoppers with small home workout spaces, the new Diamondback 510T Treadmill has a small deck and folds for storage under a bed. Read Review »

61 echelon stride

Echelon Stride

Rating: 75%
Price: $1,338.98 - Best Price: $1338.98

Read Review »


Merit Fitness 725T Plus

Rating: 73.5%
Price: $599.00 - Best Price: $495.00

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 Review »


Merit Fitness 715T

Rating: 64.5%
Price: $450.00 - Best Price: $390

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 Review »