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Whether you’re looking for a cushioned treadmill because your joints are begging you to and you need one of the best treadmills for bad knees, or you just want a more comfortable workout experience, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a list of the best cushioned treadmills on the market today.

Regardless of your budget or skill level, I’ve found solid options to fit almost everyone’s cushioning needs. Someone on our team at Garage Gym Reviews has had our hands (er, actually, our feet) on every single one of these machines, so you can feel confident in your purchasing decision. 

Our team at Garage Gym Reviews is full of real people with tangible experience and extensive knowledge of the fitness industry. We’re certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, marathon runners, and elite-level athletes. We have personally tested more than 50 machines to find the best treadmills, rating them based on factors such as:

  • Cushioning: How good is the cushioning? Can you walk/run on it for long periods of time without impacting your joints?
  • Durability: Does it have a strong motor and a weight capacity of at least 300 pounds?
  • Workout Programs: Does it have preset workout programming, or can it connect to fitness apps?

9 Best Cushioned Treadmills 

Best Cushioned Treadmill Video Review

What Is a Cushioned Treadmill?

A cushioned treadmill is exactly what it sounds like: It is a running machine with some built-in level of cushioning useful for shock absorption. The intention is to take pressure off the runner’s joints.

There are three ways a treadmill could be cushioned:

“Cushioned treadmills may have the same type of cushioning throughout the deck, or variable cushioning to better accommodate the various parts of a running stride, or cushioning that you can actually turn on and off,” says Amanda Capritto, GGR staff writer, certified personal trainer, and endurance athelete. “Any of these options are great, and it depends on what you’re looking for. Combined with a high-quality pair of running shoes, shock absorption will be optimal and joint impact will be greatly minimized.”

RELATED: How to Choose Running Shoes

Best Cushioned Treadmill Overall: NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill

Good for: Switching up the cushioning depending on your current needs

Best Cushioned Treadmill Overall

NordicTrack EXP 7i

GGR Score: 4.1 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.

The NordicTrack EXP 7i has a feature I haven’t seen on any non-NordicTrack treadmills––adjustable cushioning! The brand’s FlexSelect Cushioning allows the user to change the intensity of the cushioning (after folding the machine) with a simple twist of the hand. Whether you want an extra-comfortable walk or want to simulate road running, you can make it happen on the EXP 7i.

RELATED: The Best NordicTrack Treadmills

I enjoy the user-friendly controls, as well as the 12 incline and speed options. Since the deck is 20 by 60 inches, which is the industry standard, the EXP 7i is an ideal choice for almost everyone. As a tall person, I especially enjoy the deck size, because I’m able to stride naturally without worrying about any missteps. 

close up Caroline using NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill

Plus, the EXP 7i is compatible with iFIT programming (membership sold separately), which can be viewed on the included touchscreen. The touchscreen is a bit small for my taste at just 7 inches, but I like that it’s an option on a treadmill in this price range. 

For those who balk at the idea of assembling your new treadmill, NordicTrack offers delivery and assembly for an extra $149. However, the actual assembly process is pretty simple if you decide to go the DIY route. The only thing I’d recommend is grabbing a friend or two to help, because the EXP 7i is heavy at 222 pounds. 

Take a look at our full NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill review.

PriceAbout $1,100
CushioningCan turn cushioning up or down
Deck20” W x 60” L
Display7” HD Smart Touchscreen
Warranty10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor 

Best Cushioned Treadmill for Home Workouts: Horizon 7.4 AT

Good for: TV show and programming connectivity

Best Cushioned Treadmill for Home Workouts

Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Foldable design
  • Deck cushioning
  • 12 mph top speed
  • Incline up to 15%
  • 350 lb use weight capacity
  • 22" W x 60" L running area
  • Built-in workout programs
  • Lifetime frame and motor warranty

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Generously sized running deck of 60 inches
  • User weight capacity of 350 lbs
  • Foldable
  • Sturdy and doesn't shake much while in use
  • Powerful 3.5 CHP motor

Cons

  • Large and not made for compact spaces
  • Heavy at 318 lbs
  • Lack of touchscreen/interactive programming

Bottom Line

If you're a serious runner and want a foldable treadmill you can trust, I would strongly recommend the Horizon 7.4. Although it doesn't have all the extra technology features (like interactive programming or a touchscreen) it is a well-build machine with a powerful motor.

For those of us who enjoy interactive programming, the Horizon 7.4 AT treadmill is a standout choice. You can connect various apps (and a free included heart rate monitor) to the 7.4 via Bluetooth. During your home workout, you’ll be able to view various metrics, see your heart rate, and hear programming through the dual speaker system.

RELATED: The Best Treadmill With TV Screens

Plus, you’ll have a comfortable run or walk thanks to the 3-Zone Variable Response Cushioning. According to the Horizon website, the 3-Zone Cushioning refers to the “impact zone, transitional zone, and push-off zone.” Each of these zones requires a different type of cushioning for optimal usage––neutral, firm, and flexible. Horizon clearly put a lot of thought into the cushioning, which makes for a better user experience.

Garage Gym Reviews Writer and Editor Amanda Capritto initially tested the 7.4, and was pleased to note the sturdiness of the structure.

“Although there are a lot of plastic components, I feel confident in the durability of the 7.4,” Amanda explained. “The lifetime frame and motor warranty certainly don’t hurt either!”

running on horizon 7.4 treadmill

It is worth noting that you’ll need to use your own device to stream any programming or shows. This isn’t a big deal to me personally (especially since the included device holder is beefy), but it is good to know for those who really want a touchscreen. 

Read all our thoughts in the Horizon 7.4 Studio Tread review.

PriceAbout $1,600
Cushioning3 zones of different cushioning
Deck22″ W x 60″ L
DisplayLCD screen
WarrantyLifetime frame and motor, 5-year parts, 2-year labor

Best Cushioned Treadmill for Around $1,000: Sole F63

Good for: Trainees who want a good value 

Best Cushioned Treadmill for Around $1000

Sole F63

GGR Score: 4.3 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.

As one of the best treadmills under $1,000, the Sole F63 (which fluctuates around that price) is a great value for individuals who want a machine with cushioning without an outrageous price attached. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the lifetime frame and motor warranty to help you feel secure in your purchase.

According to the Sole Fitness website, the F63 has a “Cushion Flex Whisper Deck,” which apparently “reduces joint impact by 40%.” I’m not entirely sure how Sole measured the joint impact and I cannot vouch for that percentage, but the cushioning is excellent from my firsthand experience. 

If you love being able to power walk uphill, you’ll enjoy the up to 15-percent-incline options on the F63. Plus, the F63 comes with a free heart rate monitoring strap, which can come in handy when you’re trying to see your pulse rate (maybe while calculating your VO2 Max).

Coop running on the Sole F63 treadmill

Although there are six preset training programs on the F63, there isn’t an included touchscreen for interactive programming. However, there is a nice device holder above the small LCD screen for you to add your own phone or tablet. 

It is also worth noting that the Sole F63 does shake slightly at higher speeds. It isn’t a terrible shake, and doesn’t make the machine feel unstable, but something to be aware of. 

See our full Sole F63 treadmill review.

PriceAround $1,100
CushioningWell-cushioned and quiet
Deck20″ W x 60″ L
Display6.5″ LCD screen
WarrantyLifetime frame and motor, 3-year deck, parts, and electronics, 1-year labor

Best Folding Cushioned Treadmill: NordicTrack Commercial 1750

Good for: Runners and walkers looking for guided programming from a reputable manufacturer

Best Folding Cushioned Treadmill

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Spacious running deck
  • Compatible with iFIT
  • 14-inch touchscreen
  • Incline and decline training
  • Financing available

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compatible with iFIT
  • 3.5 CHP motor
  • Free trial of iFIT subscription with purchase
  • Treadmill with incline and decline training
  • Foldable to save space (EasyLift Assist)
  • Run that feels similar to road running
  • Financing options available through NordicTrack
  • Generous speed range
  • Wide running deck
  • Cooling fan

Cons

  • Big footprint
  • Heavy and not the easiest to move
  • Price is around $2,000
  • Warranty is voided if the treadmill is used/stored in a garage

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to add a workhorse of a treadmill to your home gym, we recommend the NordicTrack Commercial 1750.

The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 would have topped this list at one point when it featured the brand’s Flex Cushioning. However, the newest models did away with that; yet there is still fantastic cushioning on this machine. Plus, it is one of the best folding treadmills on the market, as the deck lifts and locks into place and slowly unfolds using a hydraulics system.

Coop running on the best treadmill, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 treadmill

Like other treadmills from NordicTrack, the 1750 is compatible with iFIT, which means you have access to thousands of on-demand and live workouts that include running programs as well as off-machine routines.

“I did an entire running series on iFIT in which the instructor took me all over Hawaii,” says Kate Meier, Garage Gym Reviews head of content and two-time marathon runner. “I love using the program’s automatic incline and speed controls so I don’t have to worry about pressing buttons during my workout.”

The 1750 has an impressive -3% decline and 15% incline, which means you can truly feel like you are running up and down hills. Also, the speed range of 0 to 12 MPH accommodates just about any kind of treadmill workout you plan on doing.

Kate assembled the 1750 herself, and she says you should spring for the professional assembly if you can swing it. “This is a large, heavy machine that took me about an hour and a half to put together,” she says. “It’s certainly possible to do alone, but having a friend could help, and having someone else do it is even better!”

For more, check out our NordicTrack Commercial 1750 review.

PriceAbout $2,500
CushioningHeavy-duty cushioning
Deck60” x 22” 
Display14” Smart HD Touchscreen
Warranty10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor

Best High-End Cushioned Treadmill: ProForm Pro 9000

Good for: Advanced athletes, interval training, or people who enjoy all the bells and whistles

Best High-End Cushioned Treadmill

ProForm Pro 9000

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Compatible with iFIT
  • Powerful motor
  • Foldable treadmill
  • Large 22-inch HD displays
  • Handsfree incline/speed adjustments

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Large 22-inch display
  • Compatible with iFIT
  • Incline and decline training available
  • Cushioned deck
  • Fan and water bottle holder
  • Bluetooth speakers

Cons

  • Priced around $1,800
  • iFIT subscription is an additional cost
  • Heavy machine with a big footprint
  • You cannot store or use this treadmill in your garage without voiding the warranty

Bottom Line

The ProForm Pro 9000 is a powerful, pricey treadmill great for those who want interactive programming from a reliable machine.

This top-of-the-line cardio machine has thick “ReBound Pro Cushioning” to enhance even your toughest workouts. Plus, the generously sized 22-inch touchscreen with compatible iFIT programming (membership sold separately) doesn’t hurt either.

iFIT has an extensive, on-demand class library with a variety of high-intensity runs and sprint sessions to choose from. I also love the user-friendly jump buttons below the display. They make changing incline, decline, and speed simple with just a single button push. 

Coop running on the Proform Pro 9000 treadmill

The Pro 9000 is an extremely stable machine. You won’t have to worry about it shaking during a flat run or a hill climb. However, this very stable machine comes with a very heavy weight (shocker, I know) of 263 pounds when it arrives at your doorstep. When it’s time to move this treadmill, I recommend grabbing a friend or two to make the process safer. 

Although a 10-year frame warranty isn’t terrible by any means, I’d expect slightly better for the almost $1,800 price. The industry standard for a frame warranty is 15 years to life on a nice treadmill, so perhaps ProForm will improve upon this guarantee in the future. 

Check out our ProForm Pro 9000 treadmill review.

PriceAbout $1,800
CushioningBouncy and thick cushioning
Deck20” W x 60” L
Display22” HD Touchscreen
Warranty10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-Year labor 

Best Heavy-Duty Cushioned Treadmill: BowFlex Treadmill 10

Good for: Those who want an especially sturdy cardio machine

Best Heavy-Duty Cushioned Treadmill

Bowflex Treadmill 10

GGR Score: 3.7 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  •  -5% decline to 15% incline
  • Speeds up to 12 MPH
  • Compatible with JRNY, Bowflex’s online fitness platform
  • 10" interactive console
  • Cushioned running deck
  • Soft-drop folding system

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 1-year JRNY subscription included with curated playlists and training content
  • 22” x 60” running deck
  • Convenient speed and incline knobs
  • Max user weight of 400 pounds
  • Decline capabilities
  • Interactive screen
  • Heart rate armband included
  • Ability to stream Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max with subscription

Cons

  • At their own admission, Bowflex states it does not disclose information on motor power
  • Heavy
  • Some users found the screen to be too small
  • Some connectivity issues reported

Bottom Line

The Bowflex Treadmill 10 has a lot to offer users when it comes to technology and performance. It comes with a roomy, cushioned running surface, an interactive touchscreen display and it is heavy-duty. Keep in mind that Bowflex does not disclose their horsepower for the motor but users rave over the powerful feel.

Whether you want to walk more frequently or become a long-distance runner, this sturdy and cushioned treadmill will aid you in reaching your goals. 

The Bowflex Treadmill 10 features a 10-inch touchscreen, which is compatible with JRNY programming (membership sold separately). Utilizing interactive programming can be a good way for beginners to get into the groove of exercising without having in-person interaction with an instructor. 

Plus, the 400-pound weight capacity is exceptional (and inclusive). This makes the Bowflex Treadmill 10 a great option for heavier people who want to feel supported. And support they will feel! The frame of this machine is virtually unmoving while in use, so it makes sense that the treadmill is a weighty 323 pounds.

coop jogging on bowflex treadmill 10

If you don’t have a lot of extra space, this machine isn’t for you. The Treadmill 10 doesn’t fold very flat at all, and it isn’t simple to move even after being folded. The footprint itself is large and in charge, which can be tough for people in smaller spaces looking for a compact treadmill. 

Read all our thoughts in the Bowflex Treadmill 10 review.

PriceAbout $1,800
CushioningHeavily cushioned deck
Deck22″ W x 60″ L
Display10” Adjustable HD touchscreen
Warranty15-year frame and motor, 5-year parts, 2-year labor, 1-year electronics 

Best Cushioned Treadmill for Beginners: GoPlus 2-in-1

Good for: Those who want an especially sturdy cardio machine

Best for Beginners

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.

If you’re a beginner, I’d recommend the GoPlus 2-in-1. You can walk or lightly jog on it, and the price tag won’t break your budget in case you decide you want to later upgrade.

In our testing, we found this treadmill best for those who are interested in getting more steps in. There are no buttons for you to press to get going on the machine itself; instead, there is a remote control to control the speed.

Coop walking on the Goplus treadmill.

We rated this compact treadmill high for its footprint, as it’s relatively small, and it’s highly portable because it weighs just 70 pounds. You can move it around your home gym with ease, or stow it away when it’s not in use.

This treadmill does not have any preset workout programs, though this may be okay for true beginners who are just looking to move a little more throughout the day. Also, the running surface itself is short at just 40 inches long. A tall runner may struggle with a long stride, but again, if you’re simply walking, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Read all our thoughts in our GoPlus treadmill review.

PriceAbout $300
Cushioning5-layer non-slip belt
Deck16″ W x 40″ L
DisplayLCD screen
Warranty90 days

Best Budget Cushioned Treadmill: Sunny Health And Fitness (SF-T4400) Treadmill

Good for: An apartment or condo without lots of space available

Best Budget Cushioned Treadmill

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.

Even if you’re not looking to drop a wad of cash on a treadmill, you can still get a well-cushioned, budget treadmill for under $500. The Sunny Health and Fitness (SF-T4400) treadmill impresses with a shock-absorption deck, which helps eliminate excessive bounce back for users. This essentially means your run or walk will be more comfortable, because your feet won’t be pounding the deck with too much force that the treadmill can’t handle.

Plus, this machine is an excellent option for those in small spaces. The SF-T4400 can be folded almost flat for storage in a closet or up against a wall. Garage Gym Reviews Staff Writer Anthony O’Reilly tested this machine and thinks it might even fit into the back of a larger car when folded. 

Sunny Health and Fitness Treadmill

I think this is a solid machine for beginners––you won’t struggle with a difficult build and there are nine preset programs to give users some direction for their workouts. 

However, I don’t love the low weight capacity of just 220 pounds––80 pounds below the industry standard. I do understand it is a budget option and compromises have to be made to keep the price low, but this roadblock makes the SF-T4400 a less inclusive option. That said, Anthony — who weighs just about 220 pounds — said it worked just fine for him.

Check out our Sunny Health And Fitness (SF-T4400) Treadmill review.

PriceAbout $420
CushioningShock-absorbing cushioning
Deck49” L x 15.5” W 
DisplayLCD display
Warranty3-year frame, 180 days parts and components

Best Cushioned Treadmill for Walking: Echelon Fitness Stride

Good for: People looking for a comfortable treadmill for some light walking

Best for Walking

Echelon Fitness Stride

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Folds flat to just 10"
  • Lightweight and very portable
  • Smaller motor is ideal for walkers
  • Bluetooth connectivity to apps

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Auto-fold technology
  • When folded, is just 10” deep
  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Super simple assembly and usability
  • Bluetooth connectivity to Echelon United

Cons

  • Weaker motor
  • Short running surface at 55”
  • Short 1-year warranty
  • Basic console

Bottom Line

The Echelon Stride is ideal for walkers and those who jog recreationally, especially people looking for a treadmill that folds flat.

The Echelon Fitness Stride has an impact-absorbing running deck that not only reduces the shock to your joints but also reduces noise for a comfortable and quiet walking experience. It’s not the best cushioning on the market, but so long as you’re just using this for getting your daily steps in and not for serious running training then it’s more than enough to cushion your stride (get it? Because the treadmill is named Stride…moving on).

There’s a few reasons why this is one of the best treadmills for walking and not for running. For one, the running deck is 55 inches long and while that’s within the industry standard’s range it is at the lower end (serious runners, especially taller ones) will want a deck at least 60 inches long so they have more space).

The Echelon Stride positioned in a sunroom

The second and biggest reason is that it has a 1.75 continuous horsepower motor, which isn’t strong enough to withstand long periods of high-intensity running—you’ll want something with at least 2.75 CHP for that.

One of our favorite features of the Echelon Stride is its auto-folding feature, which makes it one of the easiest treadmills to store. When folded, it’s only 10 inches in height and can be placed under beds or behind furniture. It’s heavy-duty enough that you can store it vertically without fear of it toppling over and causing damage or injury. For all those reasons, it gets a 5 out of 5 for portability.

“I love it because I don’t have the space for a large machine,” says certified personal trainer and GGR head of content Kate Meier.

PriceAround $1,000
CushioningImpact-absorbing cushioning
Deck20” W x 55” L
DisplayNone
Warranty5-year warranty

Other Cushioned Treadmills We Researched

Schwinn 810 Treadmill: Although I love the variety of preset programs on the Schwinn 810, the belt is extremely thin. 

XTERRA Fitness TR150: The XTERRA Fitness TR150 is a walking treadmill I love. Unfortunately, the cushioning is subpar and wouldn’t be a machine I’d recommend for those with joint pain. 

How We Picked and Tested

There are tons of things we consider before putting any piece of fitness equipment on a roundup. In this case, here are the main questions we asked ourselves while determining which treadmills would make the cut:

  • Cushioning: What is the cushioning system like? How does it feel? Is it adjustable?
  • Price: What is the price tag? Does it seem reasonable based on the features you’re getting?
  • Assembly: Is the assembly difficult? Are there options for professional assembly when purchasing? Will you need a second person to assist with assembly?
  • Warranty: What is the warranty for the frame, motor, parts, and labor?
  • Weight capacity: What is the weight capacity? How does it line up with the industry standard?
  • Deck size: How large is the running surface? 
  • Footprint: How large or small is the treadmill?
  • Speed options: What is the max speed?
  • Materials: What is the treadmill made with? Does it have a steel frame? Are there lots of plastic components? How heavy-duty is the treadmill?
  • Portability: Can the treadmill be folded? Is it heavy? Can it easily be moved?
  • Display: How large is the display? Is it a touchscreen, LED, or LCD screen?
  • Workout experience: Does the machine shake while in use?
  • Extras: Is there a cupholder, tablet holder, or accessories holder?
  • Motor: What horsepower does the motor have?
  • Technology: Does the treadmill have preset workout programs? Is it compatible with interactive programming (like an iFIT membership)? Does it have Bluetooth connectivity?

Benefits of Cushioned Treadmills

Trying to figure out if picking a cushioned treadmill for your home gym is your best bet? Certified personal trainer (and Garage Gym Reviews Staff Writer plus Editor) Amanda Capritto weighs in. 

“Cushioned treadmills are basically the industry standard now, but that doesn’t mean the benefits shouldn’t be highlighted,” Amanda explains. “A treadmill with a cushioned deck is ideal for many populations, including people with arthritis or other degenerative joint conditions; people recovering from ankle, knee, or hip injuries; seniors who need to be careful about how much joint impact they endure; and even just for long-distance or frequent runners who want to keep up a long running career.”

Buying Guide: What to Look for in Cushioned Treadmills

Trying to figure out what to look for in a new cardio machine for home use can be tough, so we’re here to help make the process a little easier. Check out the main things you need to know to get a cushioned treadmill you’ll love. 

Price

In my experience, more expensive treadmills usually have better cushioning. However, this isn’t exclusively the case. Make sure you determine a personal budget ahead of time or look for treadmills that offer financing, like NordicTrack. 

Type of Cushioning

I suggest carefully reading through the product page of a treadmill you’re interested in. Pay special attention to mentions of the deck––does the machine have shock-absorption or extra cushioning? Brands usually want to highlight all the positives their products have to offer, so if you don’t see any mention of the deck beyond the size, it probably isn’t well-cushioned. 

Warranty

Industry standard-wise, a treadmill should ideally come with a 15-year to life warranty on the frame and motor. This is, of course, in a perfect world, and budget options don’t always have such an extensive warranty. Make sure you are aware of your new machine’s warranty stipulations ahead of purchasing. 

Deck Length

For all you tall folks out there, you’ll want to look for a deck size of 20 by 60 inches. This will allow you to stride comfortably in all your workouts. If you’re a shorter person or just want to use your new treadmill to walk or jog occasionally, deck size is a less important factor. 

Best Cushioned Treadmills FAQs

Which treadmills are best for bad knees?

I’m glad you asked! I’ve created an entire roundup of the best treadmill for bad knees. You can read all of my thoughts by clicking the link above. However, if you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t feel like reading another article, my top pick is the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 treadmill.

Do only high-end treadmills have good cushioning?

Typically, more expensive treadmills will have better cushioning. However, this doesn’t mean a budget home treadmill won’t have any at all.

Does the Peloton Tread have good cushioning?

Unfortunately, I’ve only tried Peloton’s exercise bike. After looking at the specs for the Peloton Tread, I’m not convinced there are any shock absorbers or extra deck cushioning on the treadmill belt.

How important is cushioning on a treadmill?

If you have any type of joint issues, you’ll probably find treadmill cushioning highly beneficial. Amanda Capritto, certified personal trainer and endurance athlete, explains:

“A treadmill with a cushioned deck is ideal for many populations, including people with arthritis or other degenerative joint conditions; people recovering from ankle, knee, or hip injuries; seniors who need to be careful about how much joint impact they endure; and even just for long-distance or frequent runners who want to keep up a long running career.”

What makes a cushioned treadmill different from a regular treadmill?

A cushioned treadmill is one that has purposefully built-in shock absorption to take the pressure of the user’s joints. This could look like variable cushioning, as there is different levels of cushion throughout the length of the running surface, or it could be a thicker running belt.

Further reading

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