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||4.0 CHP AC Drive||3.5 CHP||4.25 CHP||3.5 CHP|
|Speed||0 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12 mph||0 - 12 mph||0 - 12 mph|
|Incline||-3 - 15%||0.5 - 15%||0 - 15%||-3 - 15%||-3 - 15%|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
Home Use Treadmills Buying Guide
If you are looking for the best treadmills, it’s important that you come to fully understand what to look for when comparing different models. You have to consider the main categories of treadmills as well: home treadmills, commercial treadmills and light commercial treadmills when making your decision. Because these are all machines in different classes, if you are comparing one with another, it can be like comparing apples with oranges.
Let’s take a closer look at this and then give you some guidelines to remember as you go about your home treadmill shopping.
Comparing Home Use Treadmills and Commercial Treadmills
First let’s consider the obvious comparison – a treadmill you would use at home versus one you would use at the gym. It shouldn’t take much to realize the main ways these machines can vary.
A gym treadmill needs to be able to with stand hours and hours of use each day. Very often, continual use at that. Gyms have users doing back to back workouts, sometimes going for as long as 60 minutes at a time.
Here are the key things to know about each.
Commercial treadmills: Commercial treadmills are make to be especially durable so they can withstand all those gym-goers. Just by standing on them you can see how solid they are and how the frame is not moving no matter what you do. You could run at a top speed and you’d still feel nice and secure on this treadmill.
These treadmills do come at a much higher price point however for this build design. They are typically sought out by commercial gym managers, college recreational centers, and hotel workout rooms. Because of their size and price tag, you rarely see these in the home treadmill setting.
Most of these commercial treadmills actually come with a warranty that permits they stay functioning with use up to 6 hours per day, so that runtime factor is built right into them.
Their weight limits are usually up to 400 pounds, allowing them to support even the heaviest user and require minimal maintenance because of their exceptionally durable build design.
If this is the treadmill you’re looking to purchase, you’ll generally be looking at spending between $3000 and $10,000, so as you can see, they don’t come cheap. This is why larger gyms are typically the sole clientele of these pieces of equipment.
Light Commercial Treadmills: Next to that you have light commercial treadmills. These treadmills are at the lower price point range ($2000-5000) and are not quite as durable as the commercial treadmills noted above.
They are still made to withstand multiple users per day with a good run time, but they just don’t have that very solid feel. They’ll be typically what you’ll find in smaller gyms, smaller hotels, and in condo gym settings.
These treadmills are good for companies that want something more budget friendly, but still need a step above the home treadmill option.
They’re also good for those who need a smaller design with their treadmill as these generally don’t take up as much room as the heavier commercial treadmills do.
Home treadmills: Finally we have home treadmills. These start at a much lower price point, which is great for home users looking to begin their fitness journey. While they can run higher in price if you want the top model, they definitely can fit the budgets of most people.
Because these are ‘home treadmills’, their warranty is going to reflect that. You won’t find these with six hours of runtime use, but rather, they are meant to be used for about 30-60 minutes a day, either by one or two users.
If you want to purchase one of the top models of home treadmills, you’d be looking to spend around the $1500-2000 price range, however you can get smaller compact treadmills for under $1000 if you are willing to sacrifice on quality slightly.
Usually treadmills in the higher price range run very quietly and are quite easy to maintain. They also have incline abilities and come with a full LCD panel and even sometimes some great connect ability options for fitness apps.
These treadmills are not ones to require bolt tightening and belt wax to continue running, so they are far less maintenance and your risk of requiring repairs is also quite lower.
Most people with cheaper end treadmills will just go out and buy a new treadmill when theirs breaks down as getting it fixed can be almost as pricy as just getting a new one.
Home treadmills are going to be much smaller overall than commercial treadmills, even at the highest model level. Their total user weight capacity won’t be as great either, so if you are an individual carrying a lot of weight, this may be a consideration to keep in mind. You’ll want to ensure that the home treadmill you purchase can support your body weight or else you’ll want to consider going up a notch into a higher end commercial model. Usually the weight restrictions on home treadmills are 200 pounds for the cheaper models and 350 pounds for the higher end ones.
One thing you do want to keep in mind with all of this is that sometimes, a company will sell commercial and home treadmill models that are very similar, just with some slight changes in specs and size. This might include the program options that are available as well as the belt size. So shop around. There are some truly great treadmills for home use out there.
Let’s take a closer look at the key differences, summarized for you.
- Higher price point
- Heavy duty construction made for maximum durability
- Typically quite low maintenance; will hold up well with lots of use
- Designed to endure for many years, even if you are exercising regularly
- Require more space for set-up
- Don’t come with a folding design
- Often include more ‘bells and whistles’, however some of the higher end residential treadmills will include these features.
- More affordable price point
- High range of quality- can get a budget friendly treadmill that isn’t nearly as robust or a more pricy model that will hold up well for many years
- If the price point is lower, the treadmill will likely require more maintenance, especially if you are a heavier exerciser
- Residential treadmills often come with longer warranties than commercial treadmills do, but these can vary so be sure to read the fine print
- Don’t require as much room to place inside the house, some may fold up to take up even less space
As you can see, there are some key differences there between the treadmill models so if you are shopping for a residential treadmill, do be sure that you look at a variety of different models. No two models are created alike, so by doing this, you ensure that you will be getting your needs and requirements met.
What can we expect for pricing moving into the near year?
Home Use Treadmill Prices
If you’re shopping for your best treadmill of 2018, you’ll want to be looking in the price range of $1500 to $2000. Keep in mind that you can find models out there for as little as $500, but these typically don’t offer the user the best experience and more often than not are actually user powered, not motor powered, therefore they give a much different feel.
When you get down into the lower price points, you’ll be looking at machines that are generally much louder to run, have a smaller belt size (which can make running a challenge), and may beak down often if you ever increase the intensity of your sessions.
If you bump your price point up just a little bit, the change in quality that you get will be quite significant. For walkers, this may be fine and sufficient enough. But for most people engaging in session to improve their fitness level and see better results, they simply are not.
When you get up into the mid range price point, you’re also going to get added features such as being able to use the treadmill on an incline, having a touchscreen console, as well as sometimes even having a fan to keep you cool.
If you’re comfortable going into the even higher end treadmills and taking the price point up a higher notch yet, then you can get full blown marathon training plans, often with programs that let you ‘run around the world’ so to speak, taking you on courses through various cities and paths.
At this point the treadmill will likely be so good you’ll feel as though you are on a commercial treadmill.
So what features do you need to ensure you have when shopping for an at home treadmill?
Here are the main ones to consider:
- Relatively small size of treadmill (you’ll want to ensure it fits into your space)
- An appropriate belt size for your body
- Sufficient horsepower to manage your workouts (most people will find 3.0 continuous horsepower will be sufficient)
- A user weight capacity that’s at least 50 pounds heavier than you are to ensure that you aren’t making the machine rock too much with use.
- A good warranty that you feel comfortable will keep you covered.
Have a look and consider each of these warranties as you make your purchase decision. If you go through all of them and are able to tick off the boxes, you can feel confident you’re making a wise decision.
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 2018 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.