The Best Folding Treadmills of 2021 to Squeeze in Some Compact Cardio

woman-running-on-a-treadmill


By clicking on the product links in this article, Active.com may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader.

Marie Kondo revolutionized how we organize our workout clothes with her folding technique. Fortunately, you can also bring the space-saving folding revolution to your home gym in the form of the best folding treadmill for your cardio needs. 

But why invest in a treadmill?

For starters, a treadmill is a great home gym staple for all fitness levels, from beginner runners to expert marathoners. And although nothing can quite replace the feeling of running in the open air, busy schedules or mother nature might prompt you to run inside. 

Plus, the treadmill market has evolved to make running in place more exhilarating than ever. Foldable treadmills are packed with features in their compactable frames, like HD touchscreen displays that deliver dynamic workouts led by a trainer, cooling fans that help you go the distance and heart rate monitoring for nailing your HIIT intervals. Read on to discover the ACTIVE Reviews Team's picks for the best foldable treadmills and what we love about them.

Best Folding Treadmill - Our Top Picks:

Editor's Pick - NordicTrack Commercial 1750 
Best Budget Folding Treadmill - Sole F63 
Best Peloton Alternative - Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT 
Best Folding Treadmill for Running - ProForm Pro 2000
Best Durable Treadmill - LifeSpan TR5500i Folding Treadmill 
Best for Plus-Size Runners - Bowflex Treadmill 10
Best Folding Treadmill for Walking - Lifepro Pacer
Best Folding Treadmill for Small Space - Echelon Stride 
Best Quiet Treadmill - Horizon Fitness T202

Editor's Pick - NordicTrack Commercial 1750 

1-NordicTrack-Commercial-1750


We're notably big fans of the NordicTrack Commercial 1750, so the treadmill's foldability makes it our obvious frontrunner for this roundup. The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 shines in several areas, from iFit interactive workout programming to its fantastic range for incline and decline training. As the name implies, this treadmill feels fit for a high-end gym. And yet, its foldability makes it a good fit for the home as well.

A word of warning, though: This is a powerful treadmill, and the heavy machinery adds up to around 339 lbs. There are wheels attached to help maneuver the treadmill, but it could easily be a two-person job. Fortunately, though, folding the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is simple, thanks to hydraulic assistance. 

The treadmill also provides fast WiFi connectivity, a 10-inch Smart HD Touchscreen, Bluetooth device and headphone connectivity, sensor-based pulse rate monitoring and a year's membership to iFit worth almost $500. While the run on NordicTrack is smooth, assembling the treadmill can be a bumpy ride, so you might want to opt for hired help so you can get up and running quickly. Any issues that arise requiring further help are covered by a year-long labor warranty. The parts are covered by a two-year warranty, and the treadmill's frame has a 10-year warranty. 

Treadmill Weight: 339 lbs.
Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
Footprint (Assembled): 81.25 in. length x 39.25 in. width x 62.75 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 37.25 in. length x 39.25 in. width x 75.75 in. height

BUY: NordicTrack 1750, $1,799

Best Budget Folding Treadmill - Sole F63 

2-Sole-F63


The Sole F63 is one of the most well-rounded folding treadmills you'll find for less than $1,000: Bluetooth speakers, a 6.5" LCD screen to track your stats, a USB port for charging devices on the go and a large storage tray. Plus, the treadmill comes together with a fairly smooth assembly process that took our testers less than an hour from beginning to end. Worth noting though is this treadmill's hefty weight. A heavier weight is great for durability—the Sole F63 has a weight capacity of 325 pounds—but could make stowing the treadmill away when not in use tricky, even with its included front wheels.

Of course, folding the Sole 63 is a space saver when you're low on square footage. Intense runners might find the deck a little shaky when hitting the cushioned belt hard, but the durable frame ensures your treadmill will remain stable. If you're keen on tracking your heart rate for HIIT exercises, you can use the included heart rate monitoring chest strap for when you're running and unable to squeeze the handlebar pulse-measuring grips. Sole also features a terrific lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, a 3-year warranty on the deck, electronics and parts, and a 1-year warranty on labor. 

Treadmill Weight: 254 lbs.
Weight capacity: 325 lbs.
Footprint (Assembled): 75 in. length x 33 in. width x 58 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 43 in. length x 33 in. width x 68 in. height

BUY: Sole F63, $999.99

Best Peloton Alternative - Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT

3-Horizon-78-AT


A May 2021 product recall forced a great deal of Peloton enthusiasts to return their Peloton Tread+ machines. Fortunately, competition like the Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT integrates the Peloton app experience at a much more affordable price than the besmirched Tread+. And, unlike the Tread+, the Horizon 7.8 AT is foldable.

Some brands (like Peloton) compel you to only stream their proprietary fitness apps. But with the Horizon 7.8 AT's Bluetooth capabilities, you can stream any app you like—including Peloton workouts. You'll have to provide your own tablet, but the bring-your-own-tech aspect of the Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT is one of the reasons its price point falls far below the competition. And there is still a small LCD-like display screen so you can monitor your progress.

Runners will also appreciate the ease with which you can adjust speed and incline, thanks to a scrolling dial for your thumbs on each of the handles. Not to mention that its shock-absorbing running deck aims to take extra strain off your joints, so you can go the extra mile. Although the Horizon 7.8 AT is slightly more petite than Peloton's Tread+, the added compactness combined with its foldability makes it great for small spaces.
 
Treadmill Weight: 330 lb.
Weight capacity: 375 lb.
Footprint (Assembled): 76 in. length x 37 in. width x 64 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 42 in. length x 37 in. width x 71 in. height

BUY: Horizon 7.8 AT, $1,999

Best Folding Treadmill for Running - ProForm Pro 2000

4-ProForm-Pro-2000


The ProForm Pro 2000 is an impressive, foldable treadmill option for even the most zealous runners. The ProForm 2000's 3.25 continuous horsepower motor stays cool and smooth while runners get their burn on at speeds up to 12 mph. Runners can also access top-notch workout classes and coaches via iFit, included free for one year (a $500 value), making ProForm's mid-range $1,500 price point even more attractive.

During your iFit workouts, you can immerse yourself while running in Google-furnished street views on the treadmill's 10-inch Smart HD touchscreen. ProForm is, of course, a folding treadmill, but being one of the larger, heavier duty machines, think ahead on what your storage situation is going to look like. Fear not, though–you can easily reduce the ProForm's footprint with its easy, hydraulic folding. Runners will also love the broad -3 to 15% incline range and quick controls for easy, uninterrupted interval running.

Treadmill Weight: 262 lbs.
Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
Footprint (Assembled): 77.3 in. length x 35.3 in. width x 59.6 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 45 in. length x 39.5 in. width x 71 in. height

BUY: ProForm Pro 2000, $1,499

Best Durable Treadmill - LifeSpan TR5500i Folding Treadmill

5-LifeSpan-TR5500i


With a weight capacity of 350 pounds, LifeSpan's foldable TR5500i is one of the most heavy-duty treadmills featured. And yet the TR5500i also has unassuming qualities, like a powerful but surprisingly quiet 4.0 HP motor. Even folded the treadmill has a fairly large footprint and won't be the easiest to move, given its weight and all-steel frame. It also has the most expensive price tag on this list, but its durable materials are built to last.

Runners who like to push themselves will love the TR5500i's impressive top speed of 13.5 mph, and you can pump harder knowing you have a durable machine beneath you. The TR550i also features a 10-inch touchscreen display, more than 50 preprogrammed workouts and contact pulse sensors for heart rate monitoring. LifeSpan backs its foldable treadmill with an excellent warranty, including lifetime coverage for its motor and frame, plus five years for the parts.

Treadmill Weight: 271 lbs.
Weight capacity: 350 lbs.
Footprint (Assembled): 73 in. length x 34.5 in. width x 55.5 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 40.5 in. length x 34.5 in. width x 65.5 in. height

BUY: LifeSpan TR5500i, $2,599

Best for Plus-Size Runners - Bowflex Treadmill 10

6-BowFlex-Treadmill


For bigger and taller runners, the Bowflex Treadmill 10 is a high-quality treadmill built to uphold extra weight. The last thing you want to feel when taking a run is the machine shaking beneath you, but that's not an issue with the Treadmill 10. It supports up to 400 pounds, and its deck yields a generous 22 by 60 inches of space. When folded, it's also significantly more compact than its otherwise fairly large footprint. However, at 323 pounds the Bowflex won't be easy to maneuver for storage when you aren't running. In addition to the Treadmill 10's durability, runners will also love that you can change your speed and incline easily with handlebar buttons.

The Treadmill 10's adjustable HD touchscreen display also broadcasts virtual training, and your coach can adjust the speed and incline settings for you as part of the dynamic programming. Programming is accessible via the JRNY app, and a subscription is required. It also has a 12-mph top speed and dynamic 5% decline to 15% incline range. Finally, Bowflex backs your treadmill with excellent warranty coverage: Treadmill 10's frame and motor are under warranty for 15 years each, parts are covered for five, labor provided for two and electronics are covered for a full year after purchase. While it's not the most expensive treadmill option on our list, the Bowflex does pack in a lot of features to make it worth the investment.

Treadmill Weight:  323 lbs.
Weight capacity: 400 lbs.
Footprint (Assembled): 85 in. length x 39.5 in. width x 65.3 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 44.5 in. length x 39.6 in. width x 70 in. height

BUY: Bowflex Treadmill 10, $1,999

Best Folding Treadmill for Walking - Lifepro Pacer

7-LifePro-Pacer

 


For a no-frills walking workout, we love the Lifepro Pacer's affordability and how easily it folds. You are limited, though, to a slower pace on the Lifepro, which has a modest top speed of 9 mph. Unlike some of its heftier foldable counterparts, Lifepro Pacer is a lightweight 115 pounds for nimble storage when not in use. Beginners can also benefit from the guidance of 30-plus preset training regimes.

Pop your water bottle into the holder on the console, hook up your device to the treadmill's Bluetooth-connected speakers and stay entertained while you pace in place. If you're looking for the perfect trifecta of a foldable, efficient and budget-friendly treadmill, the Lifepro Pacer checks all the boxes.

Treadmill Weight:  115 lbs.
Weight capacity: 220 lbs.
Footprint (Assembled): 59.4 in. length x 27.2 in. width x 53.1 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 32.1 in. length x 27.2 in. width x 54.5 in. height

BUY: Lifepro Pacer, $899.99

Best Folding Treadmill for Small Space - Echelon Stride

8-Echelon-Stride-Treadmill


Echelon Stride is a folding treadmill with a unique storage solution: Rather than compacting itself purely vertically, the Echelon Stride collapses itself to an astonishing 10.25-inch clearance for easy storage both against the wall or underneath a bed or futon. The folding process is exceptionally easy, too, done with the press of a button to fold down the handlebar and a foot lever to collapse the frame.

Although workout programs aren't integrated into the Echelon, you can use a smart device and stream on-demand running courses via the Echelon app that'll fire up your competitive spirit. Just note you will have to pay $39.99 for the Echelon United class membership. You can still use your treadmill without it, but you won't be able to stream or see any stats. New classes are released daily, justifying the monthly premium. You'll have plenty of variety running in sync with others with a top speed of 12 mph and 12 incline levels. Echelon's handlebar heart rate sensors can also guide your stride in real time. 

Treadmill Weight: 156 lbs.
Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
Footprint (Assembled): 69.3 in. length x 31 in. width x 49.2 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 69.3 in. length x 31 in. width x 10.25 in. height

BUY: Echelon Stride, $1,299.99

Best Quiet Treadmill - Horizon Fitness T202

9-Horizon-Fitness-T202


Horizon Fitness boasts another fantastic foldable treadmill with its T202 model.  And we particularly love its quiet motor–you mostly hear the sound of the belt lurching over the deck rather than noisy motor vrooms. Its cushioned deck also absorbs noise from the impact of your sneakers hitting the belt while also protecting your joints.

This quiet, foldable treadmill's lack of noise makes it easy to run to your own beats, broadcasted over T202's Bluetooth speakers. If you want to stream a class, you'll have to supply your own screen and app of choice, though. The T202 also features one-step hydraulic folding, so you won't have to bend over backward to take advantage of the feature. And despite its relatively low weight of 187 pounds, the T202 can handle a lot of mass, with a weight capacity of 325 pounds. With this treadmill you can get your heart rate up while keeping the decibel level down. 

Treadmill Weight: 187 lbs.
Weight capacity: 325 lbs.
Footprint (Assembled): 75 in. length x 34 in. width x 58 in. height
Footprint (Folded): 47 in. length x 34 in. width x 65 in. height

BUY: Horizon Fitness T202, $899

Why a Folding Treadmill Is Well-Suited for Home Gyms

Portability

 A folding treadmill is great for those seeking to minimize the footprint of their home gym equipment. Ellipticals, treadmills and stationary bikes all take up significant space–but you still need room to work out and move. 

However, if your plan is also to stow away the treadmill, be warned that many are quite hard to move given their hefty mass. And even though your folded treadmill will occupy less floor space, it may still fold at an angle that takes up a significant amount of room. Be sure to check both the folded and assembled dimensions for an accurate idea of the space you'll save with a folding machine.

Durability

 Durability and portability can be a double-edged sword. For as much as you want a flexible, nimble machine, you also want to be reassured that your machine can hold you as you make your gains. And cheaper, less durable treadmills can max out at weight capacities as low as 200 pounds. Be mindful of the weight capacity on your foldable treadmill, and check that you aren't sacrificing durability in favor of compactness.

Programming Availability

 Programming is a great way to bring a gym or class atmosphere to your home and keep a wandering mind busy if you tend to lack focus while running. Some machines will have built-in or preset programs where you'll have a certain amount of workouts programmed into the machine. Interactive programming gives runners more variety for classes and workouts, usually along with accompanying tech from which to stream it. One big gripe you'll often see in a treadmill's one- and two-star reviews are customers upset that they're restricted to streaming a partner or proprietary fitness app that comes paired with the foldable treadmill, rather than the service of their choice. Some foldable treadmills' consoles will be little more than window dressing without a paid subscription to the programming app of their choice. Be sure you read the fine print on your treadmill's programming availability if it's a feature you love.

Affordability

 Folding treadmill prices can be intimidating, so we were mindful to leave out the more ostentatious models that cost nearly the same as a gently used mid-sized sedan. Having said that, there's still a broad budget range represented in this roundup, so whether you're looking at a high-end model or a balanced but budget folding treadmill, we have you covered. 

And yes, lots of folding treadmills under $500 populate the pages of Amazon and the like. However, we'd strongly recommend making more of an investment--at least $750 or so--in your folding treadmill to really get the most bang for your buck.

READ THIS NEXT: 8 Expert-Approved Stationary Bikes to Put a New Spin on Your Home Gym in 2021 

Discuss This Article