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A majority of people I’ve met love a good bargain. I mean c’mon, who doesn’t want to get a great product at an affordable price? Home gym equipment is no different—at least for me—so I set out to get my hands on, test, and review some of the best budget treadmills on the market. 

Everyone on the hunt for a new treadmill is looking for something slightly different, which is why I’ve found budget options for people who want to run, jog, or walk. Spending less doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the features that are important to you—trust us, my team of certified personal trainers, triathletes, and CrossFit coaches have tested dozens of home gym treadmills and researched treadmill benefits, so we know what we’re talking about. 


Best Budget Treadmills

Best Budget Treadmill Overall: Horizon 7.0 AT Treadmill

Good for: Individuals who want a sub-$1,000 treadmill with a deck ideal for running.

Best Overall

Horizon 7.0 AT Treadmill

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Priced under $1,000
  • Spacious 60-inch running deck
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • QuickDial controls for both the speed and incline

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 60” running surface
  • 3.0 CHP motor
  • Bluetooth connectivity with apps like Zwift, Peloton, and Nike Running Club
  • 325 lb weight limit

Cons

  • Heavy machine at over 250 lbs
  • No included touchscreen
  • 3-year parts warranty and 1-year labor warranties are less than the Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill

Bottom Line

For under $1,000, the Horizon 7.0 AT is a great option for people who want to use their treadmill to run.

As one of the best treadmills under $1,000, the 7.0 AT earned a near-perfect 4.5 out of 5 for our overall workout experience. The 60-inch deck and 3.0 CHP motor provide more than enough space and power to support prolonged cardio. Even at top speeds, there is no shake or wobble on this treadmill.

Plus, for the programming fans out there, the 7.0 has Bluetooth connectivity to utilize popular apps like Peloton while on the machine. The speakers can play the audio, display calories burned, and show you your heart rate. Unfortunately, you’re in charge of changing the incline and speed yourself, as the connectivity isn’t able to extend this far. Still, this capability is impressive, especially for a budget option.

The differences between the 7.0 and its big sister, the Horizon 7.4 AT, are fairly minor; the LCD screen is 1.5 inches bigger on the more expensive option, and the parts and labor warranties for the 7.0 are slightly less. The 7.4 AT is also heavier than the 7.0 at 318 pounds and has a higher user weight capacity of 350 pounds.

Horizon 7.0 AT treadmill being used

I’m a big fan of the quick dial adjustment system, which is present on all three iterations of the Horizon Studio Series treadmills. This feature allows users to seamlessly adjust the speed and incline at 33% faster than other treadmills (according to the Horizon website). I particularly like this addition and can tell the difference in the speed of adjustments. It’s a HUGE pet peeve of mine when a treadmill takes away precious seconds during a sprint trying to adjust to the button you just pressed.

Be warned: this machine is heavy. You’ll definitely need some help to both move and assemble the 7.0. I would pick a spot you feel comfortable leaving the machine the majority of the time since it is difficult to move. 

Read more on our Horizon 7.0 review.

Motor3 horsepower DC motor
Speed0.5 –12 MPH
Incline0-15%
Weight Capacity325 lbs.
Dimensions76.5″ L x 36″ W x 59″ H
FeaturesFoldable, pre-programmed workouts, gas shock folding system

Best Budget Treadmill With iFIT: NordicTrack EXP 7i

Good for: People looking for a budget-friendly treadmill with interactive programming

Best With iFIT

NordicTrack EXP 7i

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 7-inch touchscreen display
  • iFIT-enabled and comes with a free 30-day family membership
  • 3.0 CHP motor suited for walking or running
  • Speeds from 0 to 12 mph with incline ranges up to 12%
  • Folding design
  • 20-inch-by-60-inch cushioned running deck to reduce stress on joints and back
  • Supports weights up to 300 pounds
  • Conveniences include Bluetooth connectivity, a console fan, and tray for storage

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Interactive 7-inch screen allows for easy access to the iFIT library
  • Folding design
  • Large running surface for a folding treadmill
  • Cushioned running deck
  • One-month family membership to iFIT is included with purchase

Cons

  • Small screen
  • No tablet or phone holder
  • Heavy

Bottom Line

True to the NordicTrack brand, the NordicTrack EXP 7i is a high-quality treadmill best suited for walkers, joggers, hikers, and the casual runner. With iFIT connectivity, you will have no shortage of motivation to stay on track towards your fitness goals.

Scoring a perfect 5 out of 5 in our testing for its dynamic programming, the NordicTrack EXP 7i is the best budget treadmill with iFIT. Several people on our team used the EXP 7i for walking and running workouts. iFIT seamlessly transitions the machine though incline and speed ranges so all our testers had to do was focus on their workout instead of pressing buttons.

With a price tag of around $1,300, this is one of the more expensive machines on our list. NordicTrack does offer financing, but also, we will say that this treadmill is worth every penny. You essentially get all the features of a high-end treadmill but at half the cost.

For example, this is one of the few machines on this list that has a 7-inch touchscreen; most budget treadmills come with LCD displays. We also love the huge 0 to 12 MPH speed range and up to 12% incline you get on the EXP 7i.

woman walking on the NordicTrack EXP 7i

This is also a machine that comes with what NordicTrack calls “Runners Flex Cushioning.” What that means that the deck of the treadmill is cushioned, and it’s something I definitely noticed during my workouts on this machine.

Be warned that this machine weighs more than 200 pounds. While it does fold, it isn’t the easiest machine to move around your space. So assemble it where you plan to use it!

Read more in our in-depth NordicTrack EXP 7i review.

Motor3.0 CHP
Speed0.5 –12 MPH
Incline0-12%
Weight Capacity300 lbs.
Dimensions77.3” L x 35.3” W x 59.6” H
FeaturesFoldable, iFIT programming, gas shock folding system

Best Folding Budget Treadmill: ProForm Carbon TLX

Good for: People looking to spend around $1,000 for an all-around solid treadmill.

Best for Small Spaces

ProForm Carbon TLX

Product Highlights

  • Affordable folding treadmill
  • 3.0 CHP motor
  • 60" belt
  • 0-12 mph speed range
  • 12% incline
  • 7-inch display
  • iFIT-enabled

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Durable with a 3.0 CHP motor
  • 300-lb weight capacity
  • 60-inch belt length
  • 12% incline
  • Cushioned running deck
  • iFIT-enabled
  • Foldable

Cons

  • Only a 1-year parts warranty
  • No touchscreen display

Bottom Line

The ProForm Carbon TLX is an affordable folding treadmill that would be suitable for a small space. It's durable, with a 300-pound weight capacity and 3.0 CHP motor, plus it offers up to 12% incline.

Earning near-perfect marks from our testers for footprint and portability, we have to call the ProForm Carbon TLX the best treadmill for small spaces due to its folding capabilities and how easy it is to move around. Lindsay Scheele, Garage Gym Reviews lead reviewer and certified personal trainer, used the Carbon TLX herself for our ProForm Carbon TLX review.

“Even though it says that it weighs 249 pounds in the box I thought it moved just as well as a high quality more expensive treadmill,” says Lindsay, who rated the portability a 4 out of 5. “The only reason I didn’t rate it higher was there was no bar at the end of the deck to grab onto. You have these curved feet to grab onto which is fine, but not my favorite way to move around a heavier piece of equipment.”

proform carbon tlx unfolding

While this treadmill’s footprint is similar to other larger machines, it’s great for small spaces because the SpaceSaver design helps it fold into a compact footprint.

The price tag is also pretty compact, as the Carbon TLX costs less than $1,000. That includes a free 30-day trial of iFIT, which is interactive programming that gives you access to literally thousands of workouts, and not just running workouts. There are also live and on-demand strength training classes, core workouts, yoga, and more that you can do with your iFIT membership.

There are a few things to consider before you buy the Carbon TLX. For one, the cushioning isn’t as good as other ProForm treadmills. “I think for a budget-friendly treadmill it was fine, but I didn’t feel like it provided a lot in terms of cushioning goes,” Lindsay says.

Secondly, it’s not as quiet as other treadmills. “Because the deck isn’t very cushioned, I do feel like you hear a little bit more noise when your feet hit the deck compared to a treadmill like the ProForm trainer 14.0,” Lindsay adds.

Motor1.6 CHP Mach Z
Speed0.5 –8 MPH
InclineNone
Weight Capacity250 lbs.
Dimensions70.25” L x 29” W x 44.5” H
FeaturesFoldable, iFIT programming, gas shock folding system

Best Budget Treadmill Under $300: Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

Good for: People trying to hit their daily step count goal on a very affordable machine 

Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

GoPlus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Fits seamlessly under most standing desks
  • Quick assembly
  • Folds extremely flat for storage
  • Comes with remote to change speed with ease

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easily portable and stored
  • Emits minimal noise
  • Very easy assembly
  • Bluetooth speaker on console
  • Phone mount
  • Remote control
  • Safety key
  • Ideal for use in small spaces and those who are casual joggers/walkers
  • Transport wheels

Cons

  • Not intended for sustained or fast running
  • Smaller than typical running surface
  • Does not fold once handrails are installed
  • Handrails do not adjust and are at a fixed 3.5 feet (not ideal for taller individuals)
  • Only two modes available
  • Max speed is 8 miles per hour
  • No incline/decline
  • Can not mount a tablet

Bottom Line

The GoPlus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill is a great value purchase for any walker or casual jogger looking to save space while still getting in a solid cardio session. If you are looking for a treadmill to train for your next marathon on, this is not the one for you.

For those looking for a super budget-friendly treadmill for regular walking, the under-$300 Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill hits the mark. This machine is controlled using a remote rather than a display, so I’d suggest keeping it in a consistent spot so you won’t lose it. As I found out quickly in testing, this treadmill legitimately will not work without the remote, which is why I’m emphasizing staying on top of its location.

Coop walking on the Goplus treadmill.

To be totally transparent, it’s hard to rate a treadmill like this against bigger commercial treadmills, because at this price point, you just aren’t going to get a lot of extras. However, it did earn a 4 out of 5 on workout experience and portability from our product testers.

Goplus is ideal underneath a standing desk or for slow walking. The 40-inch deck is far too short for anything resembling running (unless you’re super short). The Goplus can fold very flat to be stored, but you’ll have to remove the handles to do so. This takes 10 minutes, so it’s not a huge deal, but it is something to be aware of when considering storage options.

The 265-pound weight capacity isn’t the worst, but ideally, I’d like to see it closer to 300 pounds in order to be more inclusive. With a 2.25 CHP motor, the Goplus has no issues supporting general walking. The max speed of 8 MPH seems like it could support a light jog, but that would be an impossible task for my 5’9” self due to the deck’s short length. 

Take a look at our Goplus Treadmill review.

Motor2.25 horsepower ultra-quiet motor
Speed1-8 MPH
InclineN/A
Weight Capacity265 lbs.
Dimensions49” L x 27” W x 42” H
FeaturesFoldable, no assembly required

Best Budget Treadmill with Incline: Echelon Stride 6

Good for: People who like an elevation challenge.

Echelon Fitness Stride

Echelon Stride-6

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Auto-fold
  • 12.5 incline levels
  • No assembly required
  • Cushioned running deck
  • 300-lb user weight capacity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Folds and unfolds with the push of a button
  • No assembly
  • Vertical and horizontal transport wheels
  • Bluetooth compatible

Cons

  • Screen not included
  • 1-year warranty for most customers (Echelon Premier members get a 5-year warranty)

Bottom Line

The Echelon Stride 6 has all the features you'd expect in a heavy-duty treadmill, along with auto-fold technology and zero assembly.

For those of us who like pretending we’re climbing Mount Everest (please tell me I’m not the only one), the Echelon Stride 6 is a great choice. This budget-friendly cardio machine has 12.5 incline options that can be adjusted with the convenient controls below the display. 

GGR’s head of content, Kate Meier, has had the original, now-discontinued Echelon Fitness Stride since the start of 2023—we haven’t tried the Stride 6 but both machines have similar specs (we’ll update this review when we test the newer model). Kate uses the Stride every week for her morning walks. “There are quick-change buttons on the handles so I can adjust speed and incline without having to reach,” she says.

The Echelon Stride positioned in a sunroom

The Stride’s LCD display isn’t the fanciest or largest, but it allows you to read all your metrics, access the preset workouts, and connect to Echelon’s fitness app where you can pick from thousands of live and on-demand treadmill workouts.

Where the Stride really knocks it out of the park is in its footprint—or lack thereof. It folds completely flat and can be stored horizontally or vertically, which is why it earns a perfect 5 out of 5 with us. Kate typically folds the machine and stores it vertically on her porch when she isn’t using it. “I don’t have a lot of room in my place, so I have also stashed it under my bed,” she says.

Echelon Stride stored upright on a porch

I’m a big fan of the lifetime warranty on the Stride’s frame and motor. With treadmills around this price point, you don’t often see machines with that kind of coverage. The Stride 6 has one big benefit over its predecessor: a 60-inch running deck that supports walking or jogging for people of all stride lengths. We used to not recommend this machine for people taller than 6 feet who want to use their treadmill for frequent running, but that’s no longer a concern.

Our Echelon Fitness Stride review has more details on this affordable treadmill.

Motor2.5 continuous horsepower
Speed0.5 – 12.4 MPH
Incline0-12.5 %
Weight Capacity300 lbs.
Dimensions64.8″ L x 32.4″ W x 57″ H
FeaturesImpact-absorbing running deck, folds flat, pull-to-stop lanyard

Best Budget Treadmill for Walking: Horizon Fitness T101

Good for: Someone looking for a simple machine to get their steps in

Best for Walking

Horizon Fitness T101

GGR Score: 3.4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Foldable treadmill
  • Best suited for walkers, joggers or cardio newbies
  • Compact, sturdy and easy to use
  • Console fan, Bluetooth speakers, device holder, and a rapid-charge USB port

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • One touch keys to quickly shift speed and incline
  • Integrated Bluetooth speakers
  • Device holder
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Great for beginners
  • Financing available

Cons

  • 2.5 continuous horsepower motor will not support heavy running
  • Smaller running surface is not ideal for tall runners

Bottom Line

The Horizon T101 Treadmill is a compact, durable and quiet no-frills folding treadmill ideal for walkers or joggers offered at an unbeatable price.

Price under $650, the Horizon T101 is ideal for people interested in getting in their steps. GGR lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele tested the T101. As someone who has personally put dozens of treadmills through our testing methodology, Lindsay remarks, “For someone looking for a quality treadmill for lots of walking and some jogging, I think this is a great option.”

Why? For starters, it comes at an attractive price point and has a speed range of up to 10 MPH and incline up to 10%. That gives walkers a number of good options for workouts, having the ability to climb hills and pick up the pace whenever they want. There are also quick-change dials on the handles, where you can adjust your speed an incline by just rotating the knob.

quick change dials on the horizon t101 treadmill

This is a treadmill that folds into a vertical position, which may save you some space. It weighs 180 pounds, but thanks to front transport wheels, it’s still fairly portable. “Compared to a lot of other treadmills we see, this is fairly easy to move around,” Lindsay says.

There are 6 preset programs on the Horizon T101: Calorie, Distance, Fat Burn, Hill Climb, Intervals, Manual. The console is pretty basic, with just three LED windows that give you metrics like time, distance, and calories.

woman using horizon t101

Lindsay also says this is a breeze when it comes to assembly. “Essentially you just need to screw on the uprights that hold the screen into place and then you are good to go,” Lindsay says. “Easiest treadmill assembly ever.”

In terms of value, Lindsay gives this a 4.5 out of 5. “Other treadmills that have similar features are within $100 dollars of this treadmill, however i think one of the things that gives the T101 a leg up is its deck cushioning system.” Horizon uses a three-part system that has different levels of cushioning based on your foot strike position—another bonus for walkers.

Read more in our Horizon T101 review.

Motor2.5 HP
Speed.5-10 MPH
Incline0-10%
Weight Capacity300 lbs.
Dimensions71″ L x 33″ W x 57″ H
FeaturesBuilt-in workout programs, cushioned deck, foldable

Best Budget Treadmill for Running: Sole F63

Good for: People looking to spend around $1,200 for an all-around solid treadmill.

Best for Running

Sole F63

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 3.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Folding treadmill
  • Costs around $1,000
  • Heart rate chest strap included
  • Bluetooth speakers, USB port, and cooling fan
  • Powerful 3.0 HP motor

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Financing is available
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • USB port
  • Device holder
  • 15 different levels of incline
  • Cushioned deck
  • 20" W x 60" L belt
  • 325-lb weight capacity
  • Lifetime frame and motor warranty

Cons

  • Heavy machine
  • No touchscreen

Bottom Line

The Sole F63 Treadmill is an affordable option for people who want a powerful, reliable machine without breaking their budget.

The Sole F63 used to be our top pick for this page, but that’s when it was priced under $1,000. Now, at around $1,200, this budget cardio machine still has a lot of desirable features, especially for runners. The 3.0 CHP motor and generously sized 60-inch cushioned deck can support almost anything from walking to running. For context, CHP refers to “continuous horsepower,” which explains the motor’s power. It’s worth noting the F63 does shake slightly with sprinting, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaking amount.

The lifetime warranty on both the frame and motor is in line with what you’d expect from a high-end treadmill, which makes me feel confident about the durability of the F63. I like the 15 levels of available incline and the 12 speed options. These are also above-average features you don’t typically see on many budget treadmills.

Sole F63 treadmill with Coop running on it.

Another awesome feature of the F63? It’s foldable and comes with wheels to help the moving process go a little smoother. Plus, this machine also has an “easy-assist” unfolding feature. This machine does all the work once you release the gear system to smoothly set the deck on the ground.

Sole has recently released compatible interactive programming for their machines called Studio. For $19.99 per month, you get hundreds of on-demand classes to follow along with at your convenience. Plus, with the purchase of a Sole machine, you get a free 30-day trial of Studio.

PSA: You’ll need to recruit a friend or family member to help you unbox this machine. At 325 pounds, the F63 is really heavy, and too unwieldy to assemble on your own. The actual assembly isn’t overly complicated but I’d recommend most people pay for expert assembly.

Take a look at our full Sole F63 Treadmill review for more insight into this machine.

Motor3.0 HP
Speed.5-12 MPH
Incline15 levels
Weight Capacity325 lbs.
Dimensions82” L x 35” W x 66” H
Features10 workout programs, cushioned deck, foldable

Best Quiet Budget Treadmill: Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill (SF-T4400)

Good for: People who live in a shared space and want a quiet treadmill to use at home. 

Sunny Health and Fitness Treadmill (SF-T4400)

Sunny Health and Fitness Treadmill SF-T4400

GGR Score: 3.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Under $500
  • Has manual incline options
  • Compact and folds
  • Speeds up to 9 MPH

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Has incline
  • Folds easily
  • Very compact
  • Tread comes with shock absorption
  • Quick-speed buttons on the handrail

Cons

  • User weight capacity is 220 lbs
  • Top speed of 9 MPH
  • No decline option

Bottom Line

A great walking treadmill that can be easily folded and used in small spaces.

If you live in an apartment or even share a living space with family, you may be looking for a budget treadmill option that won’t sound like a stampede of elephants every time you unfold and use it.

The Sunny Health & Fitness (SF-T4400) impresses with a “soft-drop mechanism,” which gently unfolds the treadmill hydraulically without slamming the machine onto the ground; bonus points for avoiding smashed fingers and toes. There are also three manual incline options you can easily adjust before stepping on the treadmill.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF T4400 treadmill monitor

While in use, the SF-T4400 is exceptionally quiet for an under-$400 machine, likely due to the shock-absorption cushioning used in the deck. I do wish the deck itself was longer to support lengthier strides, but 49 inches isn’t impossible to jog or run on. 

The LCD screen is on the more basic side, but there is a small device holder where you can use your own tablet or phone to watch shows or programming on. I didn’t feel totally confident in the stability of the holder itself, but it’s a nice extra to have if you can figure out how to keep it from dropping your device. 

One of my least favorite things about the SF-T4400 is the 220-pound weight capacity. This is well below the industry average of 300 pounds, making this a less inclusive option for people of different statures. 

Check out our full Sunny Health & Fitness (SF-T4400) review for all of our thoughts on this machine.

Motor2.2 HP
Speed0.5 – 9 MPH
Incline3 levels
Weight Capacity220 lbs.
Dimensions62” L x 25.5” W x 50” H
FeaturesIncline, soft drop feature

Best Budget Treadmill on Amazon: UREVO 2-in-1 Under Desk Treadmill

Good for: Someone who needs a cardio machine that can easily be moved, folded, and stored while not in use.

Best on Amazon

UREVO 2-in-1 Under Desk Treadmill

GGR Score: 3.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Folds flat to fit under beds and couches
  • Comes ready to go; no assembly required
  • Easy to move
  • Can also be used under a standing desk
  • No incline

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Under $400
  • Handle can be folded under to use under a desk
  • Easy to store and good for people in tight spaces

Cons

  • Short and skinny deck not ideal for running
  • User weight capacity below industry standard at 265 lbs
  • Max speed of 7.6 mph

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a foldable treadmill for under $500, the UREVO 2 in 1 is a great option for you.

Garage Gym Reviews writer Anthony O’Reilly lived in a 300-square-foot apartment (with his significant other!) in New York City for most of the quarantine in 2020. He had to get extremely creative with ways to get his cardio in while living in such a small space. The UREVO 2-in-1 Under Desk treadmill likely would’ve been an ideal choice for Anthony. This under-$400 budget treadmill has the ability to fold almost completely flat, including the handlebar, which tucks snugly around the deck. 

Nathan running on the UREVO treadmill.

I found that this machine could be stored under a bed, against the wall, or inside a closet. Plus, if you work from home, you can situate it under a standing desk to get additional steps in during the day. I love that the UREVO comes fully assembled, which can be another roadblock for people with small spaces. Assembling large pieces of fitness equipment can take up a surprising amount of space, but luckily that isn’t a concern with this machine. 

Plus, if you live alone, you won’t have much trouble moving the machine yourself. At just 59 pounds, this treadmill is lightweight (and it comes with wheels on the front in order to tip the machine and move it). 

RELATED: How to move a treadmill

As long as you just want to walk on it, you’ll really enjoy the UREVO treadmill for what it is. However, I wouldn’t recommend this machine for people who are serious runners, or for those who are tall. At 5’9” (with a long stride), I had to take purposeful steps to avoid falling off while power walking. It’s also worth noting that there are no incline options, so the flatness of the deck you see is what you get. 

Read our full thoughts on the UREVO 2-in-1 Under Desk treadmill.

Motor2.5 HP
Speed0.6-7.6 MPH
InclineN/A
Weight Capacity265 lbs.
Dimensions52.6” L x 26.4” W x 39.7” H
FeaturesFoldable, no assembly required

Other Budget Treadmills We Researched and Tested

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill: The XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill foldable treadmill is a super budget-friendly option at under $500. This machine has a 50-inch deck, a 2.25 CHP motor, and a max speed of 10 miles per hour.

Schwinn Fitness 810 Treadmill: The Schwinn Fitness 810 treadmill has a 55-inch deck, which is plenty long for both walking and jogging. This cardio machine also offers a 10% incline, which is a nice bonus for a treadmill under $800.

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill: At $649, this treadmill from NordicTrack is impressively inexpensive. However, if you check the actual NordicTrack site, they no longer offer it. This leads me to believe they are slowly fading out the less expensive treadmills, so get it while you can through the Amazon link above. 

Costway Super Fit Treadmill: The Super Fit is a solid option for people who want to walk on a compact treadmill. With a short 40-inch deck, this machine likely wouldn’t be able to support a longer stride or prolonged running. 

Horizon Fitness T202: For a budget treadmill you can actually run on, consider taking a look at the T202. The 60-inch deck, 12 MPH max, and the 12% incline all lend themselves to supporting anything from a HIIT session to a light jog. (Check out some HIIT treadmill workouts here.)

ProForm Carbon T7 Treadmill: The T7 is a solidly-built machine for under $1,000. Plus, this budget-friendly treadmill has a touchscreen (although it is small). (Full Proform Carbon T7 treadmill review here.)

XTERRA TR150

How We Picked and Tested the Best Budget Treadmills

We researched some of the most popular treadmills under (or just above) $1,000 to decide what to get and test. Our team then ran each machine through the gamut: running, incline walking, jogging, and full-out sprinting. We score each machine out of 5 on a variety of factors:

  • Warranty
  • Motor strength
  • Deck length
  • Incline and speed options
  • Bluetooth or programming capabilities
  • Foldability and compactness
  • Price point
  • Customer reviews
  • Customer service
  • Overall workout experience 

Benefits of Budget Treadmills

Why the heck should you buy a budget treadmill anyway? Well, I’m glad you asked! Here are four benefits of purchasing an affordable option.

sunny health and fitness under desk treadmill feet on tread

Saving Money

It’s no secret that choosing a budget option for anything is saving you money in the short-term (duh). However, purchasing an affordable treadmill can also save you some cheddar over time. If you have a gym membership where you use a treadmill, purchasing your own can help you ditch the additional monthly spending.

Working Out From Home

There are a ton of benefits to working out in your own space after purchasing your own equipment (like a budget treadmill). Here are my top reasons to work out from home:

  • No commute to the gym
  • Can wear last night’s T-shirt with a marinara stain on it without fear of judgment
  • Ability to blast your favorite music
  • No wait to use equipment

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Regardless of the type of exercise you like to do on your treadmill, studies have shown that doing regular cardio can “decrease the risk of premature mortality due to heart disease”.

Purchasing (and using) a budget treadmill is a great way to help improve your cardiovascular health.

Compact and Foldable Options

Many of the budget treadmill options mentioned above either have a smaller footprint or can be folded for easy storage while not in use. This is beneficial for people who don’t have a lot of extra space in their home.

What to Look for When Buying a Budget Treadmill

Still can’t decide which option is best for you? Check out some of our top treadmills that made it into our treadmill buying guide to consider when looking for a budget treadmill.

Warranty

Fifteen years to a lifetime warranty is considered the industry standard when it comes to treadmill frames and motors. Parts and labor are usually under warranty for less than five years. However, when looking at budget treadmill options, you may have to sacrifice on the warranty in order to get within the price range you want. 

Track

Determining whether you’re looking to run, walk, or jog on your treadmill is a crucial step to finding the right fit for you. If you’re over 6 feet tall or plan to run frequently, I’d recommend looking for a 55-inch deck or larger (preferably 60 inches for those with a particularly long stride). For those who just want to walk, the deck length of the treadmill is much less important.

Size

If you’re working with limited space, considering the footprint of your prospective treadmill is crucial. Make sure to measure your available room, check out if the machine folds, and take note of how much it weighs. These factors can help you make your final decision about a treadmill.

Bluetooth Compatibility and Programming

Many budget treadmills don’t have the glitzy 22-inch HD touchscreen display to view programming on, but they can still utilize Bluetooth to connect your personal device to the treadmill. If it’s important to you to monitor your stats accurately while using programming, make sure your budget treadmill has Bluetooth connectivity. 

Motor

Motor strength is usually only a real concern if you plan to sprint or run on your treadmill. I recommend looking for a 2.5 CHP motor or greater for running enthusiasts. Generally, you can get away with a weaker motor if you mostly plan to walk or jog on your treadmill.

Usage

Are you a hardcore HIIT junkie or maybe more of a casual walker? Either way, determining how you plan to use your treadmill ahead of time will likely lead to a more fulfilling purchase. Some budget treadmills are better used for walking versus running, due to factors like deck size and motor horsepower. If you want to use your treadmill for running, I recommend a 2.5 CHP motor or greater, and a 50-inch+ deck (55 inches if you’re taller or have a long stride).

Incline

The inclination levels on most inexpensive treadmills range from 10-15%. The incline on a treadmill adds variety to your walking and running exercises while also engaging different muscle groups. This is a crucial feature since it helps to break up the monotony of jogging on a flat surface, keeping you engaged and challenged.

RELATED: History of Treadmills

Price Tag

Although every treadmill on this list is under $1,000, some may consider a “budget option” to cost slightly more, or even slightly less. Determining a set price point (that works for you specifically) or checking for financing options on a machine you love are great ways to stay within budget. 

Best Budget Treadmill FAQs

Is a cheap treadmill worth it?

Depending on what you’re specifically looking for, an inexpensive treadmill can be a great buy for your home gym. If you’re looking for a 22-inch HD touchscreen, you likely won’t find it on a high-quality treadmill under $1,000. However, if you want a reliable machine to simply run or walk on, a cheap treadmill is a great choice.

Is a treadmill good for losing weight?

Losing weight is mostly nutrition-based with a pinch of exercise, so running or walking on the treadmill alone likely won’t be enough to lose weight. Please consult with a registered dietitian or doctor before starting a diet or new exercise routine.

What are some treadmill features I should look for when choosing one?

Even budget treadmills can have nice extras to make the machine a better buy. Here are some things you might want to look out for:

Tablet holder
Bluetooth speakers
Preset workout programs
Water bottle holder
Incline levels
LCD display
Heart rate monitor
Deck cushioning

What is a good budget treadmill that folds?

The Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill is our pick for a budget-friendly treadmill (this one costs around $300) that also folds. It’s a great choice for people who like walking and light jogging but are tight on space.

Can you run on budget treadmills?

You can run on budget treadmills so long as you use a machine with a cushioned deck, powerful motor, and durable frame.

Further reading

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