The holiday season is upon us, and it is fast becoming too cold and too festive to run outside. The ongoing pandemic and ever-increasing health concerns have also rendered your gym membership moot. Not to mention all that extra gluten you’ll be consuming throughout the holidays. So how do you stay fit in times like these? You buy a treadmill, of course.
Treadmills have long been the gold standard for improving cardiovascular fitness. Unlike the outdoors, poor weather does not hinder their use for your workouts. Although running on a treadmill isn’t quite the same as running on the track, they can still help you train for your races.
Over time, electric treadmills have really advanced by adding extra features to make your training more lifelike. Added features such as WiFi connectivity and access to entertainment platforms like Netflix make your workout more pleasurable.
Treadmill purchases are not as simple as they sound. The vast availability of different products can be confusing for first-time buyers. They are a hefty investment, and you need to be sure in order to get your money’s worth. It would help if you considered several factors before purchasing a new treadmill — the first being the commitment with which you’ll be using the machine. It would help if you opted for a treadmill that can cater to the different needs of the whole household. That is to say, it should be suitable for walking and running at different paces and elevations.
We scoured the internet for all sorts of treadmills in different price brackets. Although various excellent machines are available for purchase, we ran them through several requirements to pick out the best ones for you. Read on to discover the best treadmills that you can purchase, tailored to your specific needs.
We shortlisted five; best-in-class treadmills and categorized them accordingly. They are as follows-
- XTERRA Fitness TRX 5500 – Overall Best Treadmills Brands For Workout
- Bowflex Treadmill 22 – Top Treadmills For Cardio Workout At Home
- NordicTrack Commercial 1750 – Built For Weight Loss & Athletes
- Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT – Compact Treadmill To Install In Home
#1. XTERRA Fitness TRX 5500: Overall Best Treadmills Brands For Workout
The TRX 5500 is the latest and greatest offering by XTERRA Fitness. The treadmill provides excellent utility for home training and can take quite a beating — and its 3.25 horsepower motor can easily handle the most challenging workouts. Furthermore, the space-saver design allows you to fold the treadmill and easily transport it for storage with its built-in wheels. The Xtra Soft Cushioned Deck Technology is great for impact absorption, putting less stress on your joints.
Xtra Soft Cushioned Deck Technology: The XTERRA Fitness TRX 5500 uses patented technology to make your runs less painful for the joints and muscles. The technology helps soften your landing to experience less fatigue and train harder. In the long term, you can avoid developing knee problems and muscle fatigue. Overweight people just getting into a new fitness regime will avoid developing shin splints due to the soft landing, eliminating the need to postpone workouts due to injuries.
Lifetime Motor Warranty: The lifetime motor warranty offered on the TRX 5500 speaks volumes of XTERRA Fitness’s confidence in its product. With dedicated 24/7 customer support, you can buy this treadmill without worry. Your investment will stay safe and can take on any amount of abuse.
Built-in Heart Rate Receiver and Chest Strap: Unlike other treadmills, the TRX 5500 ships with a chest strap to add to the built-in heart rate receivers, providing additional accuracy to your heart rate data. More accurate heart rate data means you get a better picture of your workout and can help improve your stats.
Premium 10.1 Inch TouchScreen: The standout feature to keep you motivated (or distracted) from your tiring workouts is the 10.1-inch built-in touchscreen. It comes preloaded with your favorite apps, such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. You can even use the built-in Bluetooth to connect to apps like Zwift and Kinomap. These apps allow you to keep track of your fitness progress and help you connect and compete with your friends. If you have apps on your phone that you would instead use, you can mirror them on the screen. There’s a USB port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack to connect your wired earphones.
- Lifetime frame and motor warranty, including five years deck and two years parts warranty
- Large deck with foldable frame and transportation wheels
- 15 levels of incline
- 0.5 to 12 mph speed range
- Great entertainment and connectivity features
- Excellent Deck Cushioning
- Accurate Heart rate transmitters and pulse sensors
- The built-in fan has only one speed
- It does not integrate with third-party chest straps
#2. Bowflex Treadmill 22: Top Treadmills For Cardio Workout At Home
Bowflex has been a trusted name in fitness equipment for over 35 years, and the Treadmill 22 is a modern take on what the future of fitness gear holds for us. Bowflex has equipped this giant machine with a massive 22-inch infotainment system. It’s hard to imagine that this would have been the size of your bedroom television a few years ago. However, the screen isn’t even the best part of the device, especially when you consider its chic look alongside all the performance it offers.
22 Inch HD Console: The standout feature of the Bowflex Treadmill 22 is its humongous console. With HD screen resolution, you can enjoy your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or, Disney Plus shows while you break a sweat. Moreover, the touch display offers an immersive running experience by taking you to beautiful tracks around the globe. It also shows all your running metrics to keep you engrossed in your workout.
JRNY® Experience: The fuel behind the huge console is the JRNY® app. As well as being your route to accessing entertainment accounts, it also lets you connect with coaching classes. It offers goal-based workout metrics that help you stay motivated. In addition, it provides workout plans and achievements that gradually get more challenging as your fitness improves. The JRNY® app is the lifeline behind the treadmill itself, and the Treadmill 22 comes with a year-long free subscription to the app.
25 Degrees of Incline Range: The Treadmill 22 offers the best-in-class incline range. You can go from minus five degrees all the way up to twenty degrees — it would be like heading for the hills in the comfort of your home gym as you tread a slope of 20 degrees. Additionally, the Treadmill 22 comes with extended handlebar grips to help you on your steep climbs. Coupled with handrail controls, you can change the speed and incline without having to break your stride.
Fold-Up Deck with Soft Drop Technology: Despite its massive size, the Treadmill 22 can still fit in tight spaces with its fold-up deck. Coupled with Soft Drop technology, the deck does not have to be carefully placed on the floor every time you unfold it, and Soft Drop ensures smooth downward movement saving the treadmill from any untoward damage.
- Industry-leading incline levels
- Massive 22 inch HD touch screen
- Customized coaching sessions with excellent connectivity through the JRNY® App
- Metric tracking with built-in milestones
- Modern design
- Ergonomic placement of speed and incline knobs
- Free Bluetooth heart rate armband
- Soft Drop folding system
- Annual paid membership required for the JRNY® App
- Very bulky
#3. NordicTrack Commercial 1750: Built For Weight Loss & Athletes
NordicTrack is a company as old as treadmills themselves. The Commercial 1750 is one of their best offerings—years of manufacturing experience oozing from the treadmill’s DNA. The NordicTrack iFit app is custom-made to provide live, digital coaching for better workouts. The iFit offers limitless coaching potential allowing you to undergo constructive training to improve your fitness. Moreover, the Commercial 1750 offers excellent cushioning to protect your joints and knees. The silent motor helps keep the noise to a minimum, so your runs don’t disturb those around you.
iFit Digital Trainer: The iFit digital trainer is one of the most advanced treadmill applications we have come across. In addition to navigating through the treadmill’s menu and settings, the iFit app automatically adjusts the incline and speed levels when you’re undergoing a training session. The onboard coaching is excellent and covers every facet of running training. The iFit app makes this treadmill a superb choice for beginners and marathon runners alike.
Runners Flex Cushioning: The NordicTrack provides great deck cushioning to all its treadmills. The Commercial 1750 is no different and uses Runners Flex Cushioning to provide a road-like feel. Despite running in your home gym, you can view and feel the most scenic tracks. Runners Flex also lets you customize your track hardness to mimic cross country or asphalt so that you can run on the surface most familiar to you. Furthermore, your joints and muscles are protected with functional, all-round deck cushioning.
10 Inch Smart HD TouchScreen Running Android 9.0: Availability of Android 9.0 on the smart touchscreen allows for greater flexibility and app integration. You get excellent HD graphics to make your runs incredibly immersive, and you also get a faster processor to make the interface buttery-smooth. Quick Bluetooth connectivity ensures that you never miss a beat or your trainer’s instructions once you’ve paired your headphones. Additionally, you can use the HD display to binge-watch your favorite shows on third-party apps such as Netflix and Hulu.
Strongest Motor Ever: The Commercial 1750 offers a 3.75 horsepower motor. The motor is more than capable of handling a three hundred pound individual over prolonged periods. Your marathon training will go unhindered and untroubled with this noiseless beast. The large motor also means lesser mechanical issues during use.
- The largest motor of the competition
- Excellent digital training using the iFit app
- Adaptable and automatic speed and incline control
- Good connectivity
- Excellent deck cushioning
- Large deck surface for running
- Foldable frame
- Bulky and requires dismantling for transportation
- iFit app requires a paid membership
#4. Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT: Compact Treadmill To Install In Home
Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT is a no-frills treadmill that exceptionally covers all the basics. Its compact frame can fit in the smallest spaces while providing ample running room on the deck. The steel frame is as solid as they come and screams quality. The strong three-horsepower motor ensures a streamlined running experience across the board for all types of runners. The motor also focuses on quickly changing incline and speed options for a smoother feel. Despite not having a multimedia display, you can easily stay connected to your favorite apps like Zwift with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Seamless Integration: Despite lacking a proper multimedia display, the Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT offers seamless integration with your devices. The Bluetooth connects to your Apple or Android device, which can be placed on a space designated on the console. You can use your device for multimedia and entertainment needs while integrating the treadmill into fitness apps. At the moment, free apps such as Under Armour and FitBit are supported.
Dial Design Controllers: The 7.0 AT offers dials instead of the conventional buttons on the grips for smooth speed and incline change. You must rotate the dial forward to increase speed or incline and dial down to reduce. This unconventional approach allows for a steadier and more streamlined transition. Moreover, your running gait remains unaffected, adding a natural feel to your workout.
3-Zone Variable Response Cushioning System: The 7.0 AT offers a 3-zone variable response cushioning system that supports a maximum user weight of 325 lbs. The cushioning is great for reducing strain on your joints and works well for all users.
Lifetime Warranty: Despite being a lower segment machine, Horizon fitness offers a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame. This confidence speaks volumes of the trust the company has in its product. A capable motor coupled with a strong frame and a small body makes it more robust.
- Super cheap
- Excellent frame and build quality with a lifetime warranty
- Space-saving design can fit in the tightest of spots
- Speed and incline dials are easy and more functional to use
- Strong motor with a large deck offers an excellent running experience
- Deck cushioning to protect your joints is available
- No multimedia display
- No chest strap or armband is provided with the machine
We kept various factors in mind in our hunt for the best treadmills on the market. These helped us identify and shortlist treadmills that provide practical, all-around performance. After choosing multiple flagship treadmills, we compared them on various metrics. The final machines that survived form part of our list.
Several factors that we considered during our shortlisting include the following:
The first thing we checked was the horsepower each treadmill motor could produce. This factor is vital for ensuring that your treadmill can handle everyday abuse. Generally, lower horsepower means you can only use your treadmill for walking or jogging, and higher horsepower numbers help the treadmill run faster and carry more weight for prolonged periods. We only included treadmills with three or more horsepower in our list, ensuring your purchase can handle whatever you throw at them.
Like any other machine, your treadmill can and sometimes will give up on you. Treadmills tend to choke up and break down without proper care, maintenance, and continuous use. Extended warranty periods and excellent customer support secure your investment and guarantee peace of mind. Every treadmill on this list passes this round with flying colors.
With modern treadmills, you can stay connected to your favorite apps and catch up on tv shows. This factor helps motivate you to get started on your fitness journey and ensures you stick with it. With connectivity to Netflix and Hulu, you can stream new content or binge-watch shows while training. You can also maintain fitness logs with connectivity to other third-party apps like Strava. Additional connectivity features like Bluetooth, WiFi, USB ports, and memory card slots are a bonus.
Another critical aspect we considered was the length and width of the deck. A treadmill needs to fit in your stride to be comfortable to use. Although walking and jogging do not require large decks, they are crucial for HIIT and training for a race. Good cushioning helps you avoid injury during strenuous workouts and helps maintain balance.
A more significant incline and decline are essential for providing a wider variety of workouts. Treadmills with more incline and decline levels also have more workout plans and help you carry out and improve your HIIT sequentially.
There are several factors you need to consider before buying a treadmill. You should keep these in mind while researching and choosing the best option available. The following factors should be given the most importance.
The first and foremost consideration towards buying a treadmill should be its belt size. You need to keep in mind the kind of application you’re going to demand from your new machine. Runners and joggers generally require a bigger deck with a greater belt size than people who walk on treadmills. Similarly, taller people need more oversized belts than shorter people. In our recommendations above, all treadmills offer a twenty by sixty-inch belt size to accommodate all types of users. Keep your requirements in mind before you spend incorrectly on a smaller belt.
The other most crucial factor that should sway your decision is the kind of deck cushioning the treadmill provides. Your joints are sensitive, and running puts unnecessary strain on your knees. Excessive training can also result in shin splints which, if left untreated, can cause minor fractures. Stress fractures take months to go away and can completely throw you off your workout routine. Not to mention the unwarranted medical expenses and pain they cause. It’s always good to invest in a treadmill that provides the best cushioning. In addition to keeping your joints safe, it will help you train longer and harder.
Running is not an exact science, and everyone’s running needs and preferences are relative to their build and style. Like buying running shoes, you need to experience the treadmill before setting your mind on it. The frame, placement of different buttons and sensors, and the console’s design all play an essential role in making you comfortable. Testing a treadmill in your workout gear before purchase helps you find the best fit for your needs.
Like any other machine, even a new treadmill can suddenly break down. Having a good warranty always pays in the long run. It speaks highly of the manufacturer’s trust in its product while giving you peace of mind. The rule of thumb is to look for treadmills that offer a lifetime motor and frame warranty, so you don’t face any heavy losses on your significant investment.
Customer support also goes hand-in-hand with warranty. Always test out and review the existing after-sales services before buying a new treadmill.
Another important factor you need to keep in mind before buying a treadmill is how big it is. Do you have the space to fit the treadmill in your gym, or will it take up most of the space? Also, consider that treadmills can weigh up to 300 lbs when delivered to your house and come unassembled. You might need a professional to assemble and install it in your space. Even folded up, treadmills take up a significant amount of room in your place.
Manual treadmills do not have a motor. They generally have a smaller frame and run on your own power. You need to step on the belt and force it to move using your own feet. Although these treadmills can be good for people planning on walking, they are not recommended for extensive training. You need to put in extra effort to get the treadmill to start, and the belt requires constant lubrication to stay smooth.
Automatic treadmills remove the hassle involved in the process and provide an easier way to carry out your workouts. Moreover, all the modern fitness and entertainment features come built-in giving you a more pleasurable experience. Although costly, they offer much better value than their manual counterparts.
The preset programs in treadmills are designed to ease your workout. They are simple to set and allow you to focus on your desired training without the hassle of changing speeds and incline constantly. They are timed and enable you to carry out basic workout regimes, including HIIT, hill climbing, fat burn, and cardio.
Some treadmills come with advanced, more detailed preset programs that will help you improve your fitness gradually. You can always customize a workout plan to your liking allowing you more control over your workout. For beginners, though, preset programs are excellent in setting the tone for future fitness.
Manufacturers claim that a treadmill will last about ten years. With proper care and maintenance, though, you can make them last longer. Treadmill warranty periods are often estimated for the age their manufacturers expect them to run. With regular cleaning, alignment, and lubrication, you can ensure your treadmills’ longevity. Follow the basics; don’t keep your treadmill powered on unnecessarily, and always use it with care.
Although you can assemble and set up your new treadmill yourself, it is better to let a professional do it. Treadmills are heavy pieces of equipment with large parts. Despite being relatively simple to assemble, they require a lot of muscle to carry and fit into place. It’s always better to pay a little extra to get more peace of mind and not end up damaging your brand new investment.
On the other hand, setting up the treadmill after assembly is a simple task. You can set up a modern treadmill just like you would a new phone, and it’s always best to do it yourself. You can pick your preferences and personalize your training from the get-go.
Buying a new treadmill is a great first step in your fitness journey. Whether you’re a novice trainer or an experienced runner, you should still research the machine you intend to buy. Modern treadmills can handle most of what a regular user can throw at them while allowing the whole family to train. Make sure what you’re buying has an extended warranty, good reviews online and otherwise, and has been recommended by professionals.
Treadmills help give you runners high in the comfort of your home and without ever having to walk out the door. Bad weather, traffic, and pollution can all be avoided with runs being completed at your home. Newer treadmill models have developed clever ways to keep you interested and motivated during your workouts by using fitness apps and built-in entertainment. Investing in a treadmill now is probably the most brilliant idea in our world’s deteriorating health conditions. Happy running!