Having a treadmill at home makes it easy and convenient to get in your daily cardio workouts. But traditional treadmills can hog quite a bit of space even when not in use. This is where folding treadmills can provide the perfect solution.
Folding treadmill designs allow the deck to lift up or slide down compactly when stored. This saves considerable floor space versus fixed treadmills, while still providing a comfortable and fully-featured running surface when unfolded for your workout.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the key benefits of choosing a folding treadmill for your home gym. We’ll also detail important features to look for in a quality folding model and provide an overview of some top-rated folding treadmill options to consider. Let’s explore how folding treadmills can help you conveniently achieve your fitness goals!
Benefits of Purchasing a Folding Treadmill
Here are some of the biggest advantages folding treadmills offer compared to their fixed/stationary counterparts:
Save Floor Space
The most obvious benefit is the floor space savings when the treadmill is folded up. Ideal for small apartments or rooms, you can store a folding treadmill along a wall, in a closet, or under furniture.
Most folding models have wheels making it easy to move them to different locations as needed. Easily roll to a different workout room or corner.
Temporary and Flexible Setup
Since folding treadmills are mobile, you can set them up as needed for temporary training periods, then store them away when not needed.
Fit Tight Spaces
The compact storage footprint lets you use a folding treadmill even in cramped spaces that lack room for permanently installed cardio equipment.
Folding the treadmill protects kids and pets by preventing use when you’re not actively supervising. The handrail also provides stability when accessing the belt.
Protection When Stored
Folded treadmills are less exposed to dust and dirt accumulation since the deck and belt face inwards versus exposed on a fixed model.
Now that we’ve covered the key advantages, let’s look at the important features to evaluate when choosing a quality folding treadmill.
Key Features to Look for in Folding Treadmills
This is obviously the most important feature! Look for an easy lift system like hydraulic assistance or low force requirements. Soft-drop systems gently lower the unfolded deck.
Ample cushioning in the deck protects joints by absorbing impact. At least 2” of deck cushioning is ideal, along with quality belt construction.
The motor strength determines the treadmill’s speed capabilities and ability to power through inclines. Look for at least 2.5 HP for robust performance.
Running Surface Size
Lengths of 50”+ provide plenty of room for running strides. Widths of 20” or more give feet space for a natural gait. Consider your height.
Inclines up to at least 10-15% let you mimic hill climbing. More range increases workout variety by using different muscles.
A thick, multi-ply belt with durable underlying material increases longevity while providing traction and shock absorption.
Max User Weight
Heavier runners need models with high weight capacities and stable frames. Choose a model rated for at least 50 lbs beyond your current weight.
Convenient additions like touchscreens, workout programming, device docks, speakers, and cooling fans enhance your experience.
Good warranties protect your investment long-term. Look for at least 10 years on motors, 2-3 years on parts, and 1 year labor.
Now let’s look at some top folding treadmill models available today…
Best Folding Treadmill Recommendations
Here are four highly-rated folding treadmill models to consider for your home gym:
ProForm Power 995i Folding Treadmill
This adjustable folding model from a leading brand provides a powerful 3.0 HP motor and ample 20” x 60” tread belt. The 7” touchscreen display is also a nice plus.
- 3.0 HP Mach Z Commercial Plus motor
- 20” x 60” tread belt
- 7” HD touchscreen display
- EKG heart rate grips
- Compatible with iFit training app
- Powerful and smooth performance
- Spacious 20” wide belt
- Large HD touchscreen included
- Cushioned deck protects joints
- iFit membership required for some features
- Reports of touchscreen glitches
Xterra Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill
This budget-friendly Xterra model still provides ample running space and a decent motor for smooth acceleration. Transport wheels make repositioning easy.
- 2.25 HP motor
- 15” x 50” tread belt
- Multi-layer cushioned deck
- Large LCD console display
- Integrated tablet holder
- Wallet-friendly price point
- Quiet and reliable motor
- Deck cushioning included
- Tablet rack adds convenience
- Narrower 15” running surface
- Max user weight 250 lbs
MaxKare Folding Treadmill
MaxKare is known for affordability without sacrificing quality. This folding model includes a built-in fan, Bluetooth speakers, and 15 pre-set programs.
- 2.5 HP motor
- 17” x 47” tread belt
- Multi-layer cushioned deck
- Built-in cooling fan
- Bluetooth audio speakers
- Quiet and stable at speeds up to 7.5 mph
- Integrated cooling fan for comfort
- Pre-set programs provide training variety
- Speaker integration convenient for music
- Narrow 17” running belt
- Low 12% max incline
Goplus Folding Treadmill
With an ample running surface, thick deck cushioning, and smooth performance, this Goplus model provides excellent value. The dual cup holders are also a nice extra.
- 2.5 HP peak motor
- 19” x 51” tread belt
- 5-layer cushioned deck
- 12 pre-set training programs
- Built-in dual cup holders
- Spacious 19” wide belt
- Thick deck cushioning protects joints
- 12 training programs built-in
- Reasonable price point
- Integrated cup holders
- Max user weight 265 lbs
- LCD display lacks richness
Any of these folding treadmill models will serve you well in consolidating convenient cardio workouts into a compact, storable package. Just be sure to evaluate your available space, budget, and must-have features to select the right fit.
Key Considerations for Purchasing a Folding Treadmill
Here are some important factors to keep in mind when choosing a folding treadmill model for your needs:
- Intended intensity of use – Light, moderate, or heavy? More durable construction needed for frequent intense miles.
- Space requirements – Measure folded and unfolded dimensions needed for your room. Allow clearance for access.
- Budget – Entry level folding models start under $500, mid-range $800-$1500. Set realistic expectations.
- Cushioning needs – More cushioning important for joint protection if running long distances or intervals.
- Power requirements – Ensure the motor can sustain desired running speeds and accommodate your weight.
- Special features wanted – Prioritize extras like touchscreens, fans, device docks that are most useful to you.
- Brand reputation – Stick with established brands known for quality and service like ProForm, NordicTrack, Bowflex.
- Warranty coverage – Indicator of expected reliability and protection for your investment.
Evaluating these factors will ensure you select the ideal folding treadmill tailored to your training needs and home space limitations.
FAQs About Folding Treadmills
How steep can inclines get on folding treadmill models?
Incline levels on quality folding treadmills can typically reach 10-15%, similar to stationary models. Higher end models may go up to 15% incline or greater for intense hill climbs.
What treadmill brands have the best folding and storage mechanisms?
Brands like ProForm, NordicTrack, Bowflex, and Sole have excellent reputations for smooth, reliable folding mechanisms that securely lock in place when stored.
How heavy are folding treadmills compared to stationary models?
Folding treadmills are slightly heavier, often weighing between 200-300 lbs for high quality models. The folding mechanism and supports add some weight.
Do folding treadmills sacrifice durability compared to non-folding versions?
Today’s quality folding models are built just as sturdy as stationary treadmills, with excellent warranties on par with non-folding versions. Durability should not be compromised.
How much assembly is required for folding treadmills out of the box?
Basic assembly like attaching the console, handlebars, and side rails is required, but folding treadmills are ready to use in well under an hour out of the box.
Adding a treadmill to your home gym allows you to get in convenient cardio workouts regardless of weather or time constraints. Folding treadmill designs provide the added advantage of compact storage and space savings when not in use.
Quality folding models provide ample belt size, cushioning, and performance capabilities on par with stationary treadmills. By evaluating critical features like the folding mechanism, motor power, deck size, and warranty, you can find a folding treadmill optimized for your training needs.
So if you are limited on space but eager to make cardio training more accessible, be sure to put folding treadmills on your shopping list! With the ability to conveniently store out of the way, folding models allow you to focus on your running without sacrificing square footage.