The Best Budget Treadmills

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Whether you get pleasure out of running or do so reluctantly, we can all agree—it's fantastically budget-friendly. After all, all you really need is a decent pair of shoes. But sore joints and icky weather can mean that running outside isn't always ideal. Fortunately, you can keep up your stride and stay financially prudent by investing in the best budget treadmill for your fitness level.

If you're tight on cash and lack extra space for a home gym, many of our top picks are compact and foldable. And even top-tier brands that produce commercial-quality treadmills like NordicTrack and ProForm have models in the lower price ranges. Treadmill prices can definitely be intimidating, and you can't always trust the too-good-to-be-true sounding deals on Amazon or other bargain-boasting sellers. Fortunately, we have you covered. Thanks to the help of the ACTIVE reviews team, we assessed and ranked seven of the best budget treadmills available.

Best Budget Treadmills - Our Top Seven Picks

Editor's Pick - Sole F63

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The Sole F63 delivers the goods in a lot of arenas, especially when it comes to value. This treadmill includes a heart rate monitoring strap, speakers, fans and a 6.5-inch LCD display, can fold to save space and has a lifetime warranty on both the frame and motor. Plus, you get all of that for just over $1,000. If its ability to fold appeals to you for storage reasons, attached wheels make the treadmill nimbler. Heads up though: The treadmill may be a two-person job to pack up, as the machine weighs a little over 250 pounds.

The treadmill's running belt is a great and durable two-ply design that Sole states lessens the impact on joints. One small drawback: This treadmill does shake a bit when subjected to heavy running. But generally, this is an unassuming treadmill thanks to its quiet flywheel mechanism.

  • Built-in programs: 10
  • App compatibility: Compatible with Sole Fitness, Mapmyrun, Apple Health, Fitbit and Record 
  • Top speed: 12 mph
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs.
  • Belt size: 60 in. length x 20 in. width
  • Motor: 3.0 continuous horsepower
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame and motor coverage, plus three years for deck, electronics and parts

BUY: Sole F63, $1,099.99

Best Budget Treadmill for Casual Runners - ProForm Carbon T7

2-ProForm-Carbon

Planning out a workout or run can be intimidating, especially if you're new to running. Casual and beginner runners who need a little extra motivation will love ProForm Carbon E7's interactive programming. With iFit, newbie runners can focus on their run rather than worrying about when to adjust speed and incline.

Your joints will also appreciate Carbon E7's cushioning system for shock absorption. It is important to note that frequent runners might want to look at other models, like ProForm's Pro 9000, that tout more motor capacity. But for the casual runner or jogger, Carbon E7 is a great, multi-faceted treadmill under $1,000.

  • Available Programs: iFit compatibility for workout streaming
  • Top speed: 10 mph
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Belt size: 55 in. length x 20 in. width
  • Motor:  2.6 continuous horsepower
  • Warranty: 10 years for frame; one year for parts and labor

BUY: ProForm Carbon T7, $999

Best Treadmill with Dynamic Programming - NordicTrack T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill

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ACTIVE's love of NordicTrack, including the brand's Commercial 1750, is well-documented. Adding to the NordicTrack treadmills we rate highly is the less expensive, compact T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill.

With a list price of only $999 on Amazon, you get tons of value from the T Series. The treadmill can push you with 10% incline ability and a max speed of 10 mph, but what we especially love is its compatibility with iFit. You get a one-year subscription to iFit complimentary with the treadmill, which streams from a 10-inch digital touch screen. The app features coach-led dynamic workouts and other perks like Google-captured streetscapes, so you can have a scenic run. You'll also have access to sleep, diet and exercise tracking. In addition to iFit are 20 built-in programs, giving users more flexibility if they don't want to use the iFit app. 

  • Built-in programs: 20
  • App compatibility: Yes
  • Top speed: 10 mph
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Belt size: 50 in. length x 20 in. width
  • Motor: 2.6 continuous horsepower
  • Warranty: 10 years for frame, two years for parts and one year for labor 

BUY: NordicTrack T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill, $999

Best Budget Treadmill for Walking - Lifepro Pacer Folding Treadmill

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Small but mighty, durable but compact, the Lifepro Pacer is great for walkers seeking a budget-friendly treadmill. You won't just be confined to a slower stride, though; you can customize higher speeds and steeper incline levels on the Lifepro Pacer's 40-plus preset workout programs as well. There's also the option of manual workouts, adjustable by time, distance or calories. And for under $1,000, the Lifepro Pacer still features higher-end bells and whistles: Bluetooth connectivity and built-in speakers allow you to connect via smartphone and workout to either the Kinomap or Anyrun fitness apps, jam out to music or lose track of time and calories burned in an absorbing podcast. When your run concludes, you can tuck away this foldable treadmill.

  • Built-in programs: 40-plus
  • App compatibility: Compatible with Kinomap and Anyrun 
  • Top speed: 9.9 mph
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs.
  • Belt size: 49.2 in. length x 16.5 in. width
  • Motor: 1.75 horsepower
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty

BUY: Lifepro Pacer Folding Treadmill, $749

Best Treadmill Under $1,000 - Horizon T202

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The Horizon T202 treadmill comes in at an impressive $899 price tag while offering many of the same features as several of its more expensive counterparts. The T202 is a great overall choice for treadmill beginners, experts and everyone in between. The treadmill features a lengthy 60-inch running surface with cushioned support for shock absorption. The T202's quiet motor pairs well with included Bluetooth speakers, so there's no discordance between you and your music or an app-based fitness coach. The treadmill is easily stored with one-step hydraulic folding, and if T202's low price gives you room in your budget for a white-glove set up, you can opt to pay $239 for delivery and assembly in your home gym.

  • Built-in programs: 5
  • App compatibility: Yes
  • Top speed: 12 mph
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs.
  • Belt size: 60 in. length x 20 in. width
  • Motor: 2.75 continuous horsepower
  • Warranty: Lifetime coverage for the frame and motor

BUY: Horizon T202, $899

Best Folding Treadmill - Echelon Stride

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Money and square footage limitations don't have to hinder the quality of your home treadmill. You get both a budget- and space-effective, compact treadmill with the Echelon Stride. Coming in at a sleek 69.3 inches length-wise and 31 inches width-wise, the Echelon Stride treadmill boasts compact dimensions that deliver real results.

Hard-core runners can hit their stride at up to 12 mph on the Echelon. For those who prefer to walk, you can still pick up the tempo and challenge yourself up to a 10% incline. Other high-end features include handlebar heart rate sensors and a sleek auto-folding function that collapses your treadmill to a 10-inch height with a few clicks and steps. With Echelon's fitness app, you can also stream live and on-demand workout classes. You'll have to use your own screen, like a tablet or smartphone, though. At $1,299.99, that makes Echelon Stride the ultimate budget-friendly folding treadmill.

  • Available programs: Compatible with Echelon app
  • Top speed: 12 mph
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Belt size: 55 in. length x 20 in. width
  • Motor: 1.5 continuous horsepower
  • Warranty: 12-month limited coverage for labor and parts

BUY: Echelon Stride, $1,299

Best Budget Treadmill Under $500 - Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515

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Sunny offers a treadmill for beginners, especially those who aren't yet sure how committed they'll be physically—and financially—to training on a treadmill. You can easily switch speeds and incline automatically with the tap of dashboard buttons. There's also Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to use your own workout programs or music with a smart device. This may not be the sturdiest of treadmills for more intense runners, and if you're a larger runner, the belt width might feel treacherously slim at 16.5 inches. But for a beginner on a budget, Sunny Health SF-T7515 is an excellent and affordable treadmill option.

  • Built-in programs: 12
  • App compatibility: No
  • Top speed: 8 mph
  • Weight capacity: 240 lbs.
  • Belt size: 49.5 in. length x 16.5 in. width
  • Motor: 2.20 peak horsepower
  • Warranty: Frame covered for three years; 180 days for parts and components

BUY: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 Smart Treadmill, $499.00

Budget Treadmill Factors to Consider

Motor: Whether you plan to use your budget treadmill to run or walk, make sure the motor is up to the task. A high-quality motor can up the price tag, but it's an important investment since you don't want to spend more money replacing your motorized treadmill if it breaks. For runners in particular, look for a more powerful motor that produces 3 CHP and up. 

Warranty: With any treadmill, evaluate the frame, motor, parts and labor warranties to see what each brand offers. Budget treadmills often utilize lower-cost materials, so a warranty can cover repairs and replacements.

Materials: You'll want to note the materials the machine is made from, especially when looking for a treadmill on a budget. Treadmills can be made of anything from heavy-duty steel to a mix of metal, plastic and rubber. The materials that are used will indicate the treadmill's durability and user weight limit. Keep in mind: Plastic treadmills will not be as durable as their metal counterparts. The key is to make sure your budget treadmill can go the distance, so you can enjoy it for many miles and maximize its value.

Space: Limited space is another consideration that doesn't have to limit your ability to get a treadmill, but you'll need to factor it in. Fortunately, you can maximize small spaces with foldable treadmills that are there when you need them and collapse to be tucked away for easy storage when you don't. Just be sure to check the treadmill dimensions for both its folded and unfolded positions, as a heavy, durable treadmill might still occupy a decent amount of space when folded.

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