Best Home Use Treadmills of 2019
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||3.75 CHP||3.5 CHP||4.25 CHP||3.5 CHP||4.0 CHP AC Drive|
|Speed||0 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12 mph||0 - 12 mph||0 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12 mph|
|Incline||-3 - 15%||0 - 15%||-3 - 15%||-3 - 15%||0.5 - 15%|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
Home Use Treadmills Buying Guide
When shopping for treadmills, it’s important to fully understand what to look out for when comparing different models. It’s also important to consider the main categories of treadmills: home treadmills, commercial treadmills, and light commercial treadmills. Since these classes of machine vary dramatically in price and function, comparing vastly different treadmills can feel like comparing apples with oranges.
Let’s take a closer look at the various styles and features of treadmills to give you a better sense of what to consider while treadmill shopping.
Comparing Home Use Treadmills and Commercial Treadmills
First let’s explore the obvious: what’s the difference between a treadmill designed for home use versus one you would find at a gym. It won’t take long to see the main ways these machines vary.
A gym treadmill needs to be able to with stand hours and hours of use every day (and often continuous use as well). Gyms have users doing back to back workouts, sometimes going for as long as 60 minutes at a time. Obviously that requires a far more resilient machine that a treadmill used a few times a day in short bursts at home.
Here are a few key qualities to know about each style of treadmill.
Commercial treadmills: Commercial treadmills need to be especially durable to withstand a constant cycle of gym-goers. Just by standing on them you can see how solidly they are built. You could run at a top speed and still feel secure.
Obviously, these treadmills do come with a premium price tag due to this design. They are typically sought out by commercial gym managers, college recreational centres, and hotel workout rooms. Because of their size and price, you’ll rarely see these machines in a home.
Most commercial treadmills actually come with a warranty that accommodates 6 hours of use per day with weight limits of up to 400 pounds. These specs are great for a commercial setting, but probably excessive for personal use. They cost between $3000 and $10,000. Not exactly cheap or practical. That’s why large gyms are typically the sole clientele of this style of equipment. If you’re used to one of these machines from a gym, don’t feel like that’s what you need to bring home. There are far more affordable and practical options that still provide the service you need.
Light Commercial Treadmills: Next up comes commercial treadmills. These treadmills have a lower price point ($2000-5000), but are not quite as durable as the commercial treadmills noted above.
They are still built to withstand multiple users per day and a long run times, they just don’t have the same rock solid feel. These are the machines that you’ll typically find in smaller gyms, smaller hotels, or in a condo gym.
These treadmills are manufactured for companies that require an affordable, yet quite durable machine. They are ideal for commercial settings in a smaller space as they generally don’t take up as much room as heavier commercial treadmills.
Home treadmills: Finally we come to home treadmills. These start at a much lower price point, which is ideal for home users at the start of their fitness journey. Top models still come at a premium price, but more often than not fit the budgets of most people.
Because these are home treadmills, their warranty reflects that. They aren’t covered for six hours of runtime, instead they are meant to be used for about 30-60 minutes a day by either one or two users.
If you want to purchase a premium home treadmill, you’ll spend around $1500-2000. However, smaller compact treadmills are available for under $1000 with only slight sacrifices in quality.
Typically treadmills in the higher price range run extremely quietly and are easy to maintain. They also have incline abilities, full LCD panels, and sometimes even work with fitness apps. These treadmills won’t require regular bolt tightening and belt waxing to run properly, so the extra cost saves you time in maintenance and reduces the risk of costly repairs. Most customers who opt for lower end treadmills simply buy a new treadmill if they breakdown as repairs are almost as costly as the machines themselves.
Home treadmills are much smaller than commercial treadmills, regardless of the cost. Their weight capacity is lower as a result. So if you carry a lot of weight, make sure to keep that in mind. Usually the weight restrictions on home treadmills ranges from 200 pounds to 350 pounds and are priced accordingly.
Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes companies sell commercial and home treadmill models that are quite similar, with only minor changes in specs and size (such as program options or belt size) shop around. There are some truly impressive treadmills for home use out there and some might even be quite similar to the wildly expensive machine you’ve grown accustomed to at the gym.
Let’s take a closer look at the key differences…
- Higher price point.
- Heavy duty construction made for maximum durability.
- Typically quite low maintenance and hold up well to constant use.
- Designed to endure for many years.
- Require more space for set-up.
- Don’t come with a folding design.
- Often include more bells and whistles.
- More affordable.
- Wide range of quality (some so cheap as to feel disposable and others that will hold up well for many years).
- The lower the cost, more likely require more maintenance (especially if you are a heavier user).
- Residential treadmills often come with longer warranties than commercial treadmills, but these can vary so be sure to read the fine print
- Take up less space, with some even folding up for easy storage.
No two treadmill models are alike, so make sure to explore a wide variety of options while shopping. There is a machine out there to fit your specific needs and budget. You just need to hunt. Now, how about pricing?
Residential Treadmill Prices
Looking for the best home treadmill of 2019? Then you’ll want to budget for $1500 to $2000. There are treadmills available for as little as $500, but there’s a reason the cost is so low. They don’t offer the best user experience and more often than not are actually user powered rather than motor powered. This has a much different and less satisfying feel.
When you get down into the lower price points, you’ll be looking at machines that are generally much louder, have a smaller belt size (which can make running a challenge), and may even beak down often if you increase the intensity of your sessions. For walkers, the basic machines might be sufficient enough. But for runners or people hoping to improve their current fitness level, these treadmills are easy to outgrow. If you bump up your budget even slightly, the upgrade in quality is significant.
When you get up into the mid range price point, you’ll also get added features such as being able to use the treadmill on an incline, a touchscreen console, or even a built-in fan to keep you cool. Raising the price point another notch will get you full blown marathon training plans, often with programs that let you ‘run around the world’ via virtual running paths displayed on the consoles. The premium residential machines are often so well designed that you’ll feel as though you are on a commercial treadmill.
Here are the main features to consider when looking for the treadmill that suits your personal needs:
- The right size of treadmill to fit your space.
- An appropriate belt size for your body to avoid costly repairs and time-sucking maintenance.
- Sufficient horsepower to manage your workouts (most people will find 3.0 continuous horsepower is sufficient)
- A user weight capacity that’s at least 50 pounds heavier than you to ensure that you aren’t rocking the machine with use.
- A strong warranty package.
The following features aren’t necessities, but can make a quite an impact on your workout experience and are worth at least considering:
- 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.
2019 Treadmills can be stacked extras, so this list is just the beginning. The extras can help with motivation and follow-through depending your needs. But of course, keep your priorities straight when looking at a flashy treadmill. If you need to minimize costs, always value necessities like cushioning and power over fancy electronics. You can always park your treadmill in front of a TV to make up for most of the luxuries. Entertainment features don’t need to be built in, but a strong treadmill core and structure is irreplaceable.
For more tips about finding the best treadmill at the best value, refer to our charts of the “Five Best Treadmills” organized by price.