Having a treadmill at home makes it easy and convenient to fit cardio workouts into your busy schedule. Just walk downstairs to get in a quick jog before work or binge your favorite shows while walking on rest days. No need to dread bad weather or make time to drive to the gym.
But with so many treadmill options and budgets ranging from $400 to over $4,000, it can be daunting to choose the right model for your home. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to select the ideal treadmill for your personal fitness goals and space.
Let’s start by looking at the key benefits a home treadmill provides over other cardio options and equipment.
Benefits of Owning a Home Treadmill
Here are some of the biggest advantages of making a treadmill part of your home gym:
This might be the most obvious but can’t be overstated. With a treadmill at home, you can workout whenever inspiration strikes or your schedule permits. No need to align gym class times with your calendar.
Skip the commute to the gym and start your run the second you walk downstairs to your home treadmill. Those extra 30-60 minutes add up to more free time.
Have a random burst of energy at 10pm? Feel like getting in cardio before the kids wake up? With a home treadmill, you can exercise on your own schedule.
Weather Proof Cardio Training
Rain, snow, or heat waves won’t interfere with your running when you have a treadmill in your house. Bad weather is never an excuse to skip a workout.
Control the speed and incline to tailor the intensity perfectly to your fitness level and energy for the day. Push yourself or take it easy.
Treadmills are more compact than ellipticals and stationary bikes, making them easy to fit into small home gyms. Look for foldable models to save even more space.
Low Impact Cardio
Running on a treadmill is easier on joints than high impact sports. Important for those with orthopedic conditions or concerns.
Watch Netflix or listen to music to make the miles fly by! Treadmill workouts pass quicker with integrated entertainment options.
With so many advantages to owning your own treadmill, let’s look at the key features to focus on when choosing a home model.
Important Features to Look for in a Home Treadmill
The motor directly influences the treadmill’s top speeds and ability to power through inclines without lagging. Look for at least 2.5 HP continuous duty for robust performance.
Quality cushioning in the deck protects your joints by absorbing impact. Look for at least 2” of padding. Combine with a durable, shock-absorbing belt.
Running Surface Area
Lengths of at least 55” accommodate tall users, while widths of 20”+ provide ample lateral space for your stance. Wider is better.
Max User Weight
Calculate your weight with gear and look for treadmill models rated for at least 50 lbs beyond that for stability and support. Many models go up to 350 lbs capacity.
The incline maximum simulates hill climbing. Look for at least 10% incline ability with 12-15% ideal for intense training. This works different leg muscles.
High Quality Belt
A thick, multi-ply belt prevents slipping and provides traction. Underneath, quality deck cushioning enhances shock absorption. These increase joint comfort.
Built-in transport wheels make it easy to move your treadmill around your house for storage or use in different rooms. folding models save the most space.
Larger backlit displays provide better visibility for tracking progress. Some models include touchscreens for control. Look for documented training metrics.
Integrated Bluetooth, WiFi, and device charging ports let you sync your phone for music and fitness app integration. Convenient additions that enhance workouts.
Good warranties ensure your investment is protected. Look for at least 10 years coverage on motors and 1-3 years on parts/electronics.
Keeping these key features and specs in mind, let’s look at ten of the best treadmills to consider for your home gym.
Top 10 Home Treadmill Recommendations
1. NordicTrack Commercial 1750 (Under $1,800)
With a powerful motor, deep cushioning, and expansive running surface, this model provides an exceptional training experience. Extended incline, decline, and warranty coverage make it built to last.
Motor: 3.75 CHP** | Running Area:** 22” x 60”
Cushioning: FlexSelect Deck | Incline: -6% to 15%
Warranty: Lifetime Frame & Motor | Rating: 4.7/5
2. Sole F85 (Under $1,900)
Sole is known for high-quality, low maintenance fitness equipment. This model delivers with a punchy 3.5 CHP motor, sizable 22” belt, and excellent joint protection. Stability and comfort for walkers and runners.
Motor: 3.5 CHP** | Running Area:** 22” x 60”
Cushioning: Cushion Flex Whisper Deck | Incline: 15% max
Warranty: Lifetime Frame, Motor & Deck | Rating: 4.8/5
3. Bowflex Treadmill 10 (Under $2,700)
This popular Bowflex model combines a 3.0 CHP motor with thick ComfortTech cushioning system to let you go the distance comfortably. The integrated screen and speakers keep you engaged.
Motor: 3.0 CHP | Running Area: 20” x 60”
Cushioning: Comfort Tech Deck | Incline: -5% to 15% grade
Warranty: 15 years (Motor), 10 years (Parts) | Rating: 4.6/5
4. NordicTrack Commercial X32i (Under $4000)
Serious runners will appreciate the Commercial X32i’s powerful smart-response motor to keep intensity high. The 32” HD touchscreen is also a standout feature on this advanced model.
Motor: 4.0 CHP | Running Area: 22” x 60”
Cushioning: FlexSelect Cushioning | Incline: -6% to 15% grade
Warranty: Lifetime Frame & Motor | Rating: 4.7/5
5. NordicTrack EXP 7i (Under $1000)
This NordicTrack model delivers great value by combining a 2.6 CHP motor with a spacious 20” x 55” belt. Built-in controls for incline/speed changes and a nicely sized console display screen round out the features.
Motor: 2.6 CHP | Running Area: 20” x 55”
Cushioning: ProShox Lite | Incline: 0% to 10% grade
Warranty: 10 years (Motor), 1 year (Parts) | Rating: 4.6/5
6. ProForm Pro 2000 (Under $1500)
ProForm packs a lot of performance into this affordable model with a 3.5 CHP Mach Z Commercial Pro Motor, 14” HD touchscreen, and 18” wide belt. Built-in cooling fan and 30 pre-programmed workouts provide added value.
Motor: 3.5 CHP Mach Z Commercial Pro | Running Area: 18” x 55”
Cushioning: ProShox | Incline: -3% to 15% grade
Warranty: Lifetime Frame & Motor | Rating: 4.4/5
7. Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT (Under $1600)
Known for quality craftsmanship and reliability, this Horizon model offers a spacious 20” x 60” belt and powerful 3.0 HP motor. Integrated Bluetooth speakers make workout entertainment easy. Stability and comfort for all users.
Motor: 3.0 HP | Running Area: 20” x 60”
Cushioning: Zone Cushioning | Incline: 0% to 15% grade
Warranty: Lifetime Motor & Frame | Rating: 4.7/5
8. Nautilus Treadmill Series (Under $1200)
The Nautilus T616 model combines an impressive 350 lb weight capacity, powerful drive system, and 22 workout programs at a reasonable mid-range price point. Reliable performance for most home needs.
Motor: 2.75 CHP | Running Area: 20” x 55”
Cushioning: StrikeZone Cushioning | Incline: 0% to 15% grade
Warranty: 15 years (Motor), 2 years (Parts) | Rating: 4.4/5
9. Xterra Fitness TR150 (Under $800)
This wallet-friendly Xterra model still delivers quality with a spacious 16” x 50” deck powered by a 2.25 HP motor. The folding frame with hydraulic lift conserves space when stored. Great for apartment use.
Motor: 2.25 HP | Running Area: 16” x 50”
Cushioning: Multi-layer | Incline: 0% to 10% grade
Warranty: Lifetime (Frame), 25 years (Motor) | Rating: 4.1/5
10. Goplus Folding Treadmill (Under $700)
For those on a tight budget, the Goplus folding model provides ample running space and smooth performance for light jogging and walking. Easy hydraulic folding mechanism for compact storage.
Motor: 2.2 HP peak | Running Area: 17” x 51”
Cushioning: 5-layer | Incline: N/A
Warranty: 1 year frame | Rating: 4.1/5
Any of these well-built, full featured models will serve you well for years of reliable home cardio training. Focus on the deck size, motor power, cushioning, and integrated technology matching your preferences and budget.
Next we’ll cover some important factors to evaluate when choosing the ideal treadmill for your home gym environment.
Key Considerations for Your Home Treadmill Purchase
Here are some of the key points to keep in mind as you shop for home treadmills:
- Usage goals – will it be used primarily for walking, jogging, running, or high intensity intervals? Seek models geared toward your primary workout type.
- Space available – measure the space in your home gym or room to ensure the deck size will fit comfortably. Allow clearance space around the treadmill.
- Budget – home treadmill pricing spans from under $500 to over $4000. Set realistic expectations about features and quality possible for your budget.
- Cushioning needs – those prone to knee/ankle pain may want to invest more in cushioning technology to offset impact.
- Integrated technology – decide if you want built-in screens, speakers, device docks to cover your entertainment preferences.
- Brand reputation – stick with established names like Sole, NordicTrack, ProForm with proven reputations for quality and service.
- Planned weekly mileage – opt for more durable models if running high weekly miles. Test in store if possible.
- Special health needs – consider shock absorption and low impact options if you have joint or orthopedic conditions.
Evaluating these factors will help narrow the wide selection and guide you to the ideal treadmill model for your home gym!
Answers to Frequently Asked Home Treadmill Questions
What treadmill features are absolute must-haves?
At minimum, look for at least 2.5 HP motor, 15% max incline, a minimum 55” deck length, cushioning system, and warranty of at least 10 years on motor/frame and 1-2 years parts.
Which treadmill brands are known for reliability?
Brands like Sole, Precor, Life Fitness, True, and Landice are commercial-grade with proven reputations for quality manufacturing and durability. Great for home use.
How long can I expect a quality home treadmill to realistically last?
With proper maintenance and moderate use, invest in a treadmill that should reliably last 8-10 years in a home setting. Higher lifespan possible with light use and care.
What kind of routine maintenance do treadmills require?
Expect to periodically lubricate the belt, vacuum motor dust, inspect belt/deck condition, and tighten components. Follow your owner’s manual maintenance guidance.
How difficult is it to assemble a treadmill at home?
Basic tools and 1-2 people can typically assemble a home treadmill in 30-60 minutes. Brands like NordicTrack offer expert assembly for a fee if desired.
Adding a quality treadmill to your home gym allows you to skip the commute and bad weather excuses to fit convenient cardio into your busy schedule. Focusing on the key features and specifications that match your fitness goals and space will ensure you choose the ideal model.
Just be sure to evaluate the motor horsepower, running surface area, cushioning system, and integrated technology fitting your budget and needs. With the right home treadmill, you’ll enjoy the benefits of customized cardio training for years to come!