Top Ranked Treadmills of 2017

Best TreadmillOur experts top choices for the best treadmills feature innovative models by both well-established and newer fitness equipment manufacturers. With such a large variety of brands and models available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Our editors make the research process easier for you by doing a treadmill review based on criteria such as motor, performance, speed, workout options, heart rate monitoring, shock absorption, warranty, price range and many other factors. Additionally, the findings of our research have been categorized below.

Which is the best treadmill for home use? Regardless of your fitness level, if you’re looking for a great all around quality treadmill that is feature-packed, we recommend spending roughly $1,500. The following list contains our 3 best buy picks and consumer favorites, which are great treadmills for a majority of users and are around this price range.

Best Treadmills – Top 3 Favorites for 2017

ModelConsoleMotorInclineLowest Price

1. NordicTrack Commercial 1750

7” Color Touchscreen3.8 HP-3 to 15%See best price »

2. Sole F80

9” White Backlit LCD3.5 HP0 to 15%See best price »

3. Matrix TF30

Varies3.25 HP0 to 15%See best price »

Scroll down to view all of the top treadmill picks within popular categories.

Best Treadmills for Home Use

Having a treadmill in your home is the ultimate convenience and conducive to staying in-shape and fit-minded. Treadmill technology and features have come a long way, making it easy to get a club-like workout (or better) from home. We have chosen the best treadmill models in this category with powerful motors and quality decks, along with impressive entertainment offerings.Having a treadmill in your home is the ultimate convenience and conducive to staying in-shape and fit-minded. Treadmill technology and features have come a long way, making it easy to get a club-like workout (or better) from home. We have chosen the best treadmill models in this category with powerful motors and quality decks, along with impressive entertainment offerings. Read More…

Best Folding Treadmills

Folding treadmills are excellent space savers but some folding treadmills are built with a flimsy deck that can be noisy and unreliable, which really takes away from the whole convenience factor or a folding deck. Finding a top treadmill that features a folding frame design that is both easy to use and sturdy can be difficult, but we have chosen leading models that don't compromise safety or durability for convenience.Folding treadmills are excellent space savers but some folding treadmills are built with a flimsy deck that can be noisy and unreliable, which really takes away from the whole convenience factor or a folding deck. Finding a top treadmill that features a folding frame design that is both easy to use and sturdy can be difficult, but we have chosen leading models that don't compromise safety or durability for convenience. Read More…

Best Treadmills for Runners

It’s a fact; runners need top shock absorption to protect the joints from the harsh impact of running. Each brand has their own shock absorption technology and features to help add to the comfort of the running deck, but of course some are better than others. The best treadmills we have chosen in this category are built for both comfort and performance, featuring advanced shock absorption technology and impressive speed and incline controls to simulate varying terrain, ideal for runners who are also training for a race or marathon.It’s a fact; runners need top shock absorption to protect the joints from the harsh impact of running. Each brand has their own shock absorption technology and features to help add to the comfort of the running deck, but of course some are better than others. The best treadmills we have chosen in this category are built for both comfort and performance, featuring advanced shock absorption technology and impressive speed and incline controls to simulate varying terrain, ideal for runners who are also training for a race or marathon. Read More…

Best Treadmills For Serious Runners

Serious runners look for three key traits in a treadmill: excellent cushioning, a spacious track and a high top speed. Many look for treadmills with automated inclines too. Cushioning on treadmills for serious runners can deflect shock much better than asphalt can, so investing in a high quality machine can help extend each training session and a runner's career. The leading treadmills we highlight in this category have at least 60” tracks, can exceed 12 mph and have a wide range of incline settings.Serious runners look for three key traits in a treadmill: excellent cushioning, a spacious track and a high top speed. Many look for treadmills with automated inclines too. Cushioning on treadmills for serious runners can deflect shock much better than asphalt can, so investing in a high quality machine can help extend each training session and a runner's career. The leading treadmills we highlight in this category have at least 60” tracks, can exceed 12 mph and have a wide range of incline settings. Read More…

Best Commercial Treadmills

It’s obvious, commercial treadmills should have different features than standard residential treadmills because the needs are different. Most of these features are designed to make your life easier with less maintenance required and features that make these trainers super versatile and some of the best on the market.It’s obvious, commercial treadmills should have different features than standard residential treadmills because the needs are different. Most of these features are designed to make your life easier with less maintenance required and features that make these trainers super versatile and some of the best on the market. Read More…

Best Treadmills For Walkers

Walking still puts a lot impact on the joints, so shock absorption is equally important here, but other comfort and convenience features make these top models stand out specifically for walkers. The models we have chosen for this category feature incredible incline and decline capabilities and unique designs that are perfect for low impact exercise.Walking still puts a lot impact on the joints, so shock absorption is equally important here, but other comfort and convenience features make these top models stand out specifically for walkers. The models we have chosen for this category feature incredible incline and decline capabilities and unique designs that are perfect for low impact exercise. Read More…

Best Cross-Training Treadmills

Training for a race or recovering from an injury? These cross-training treadmills are ideal for runners or walkers who also want to change things up and get the multiple benefits of working a variety of muscle groups. From super steep inclines that resemble a stair climber to integrated belts that mimic the stride of an elliptical trainer, these cross-training treadmills bring adaptability and performance.Training for a race or recovering from an injury? These cross-training treadmills are ideal for runners or walkers who also want to change things up and get the multiple benefits of working a variety of muscle groups. From super steep inclines that resemble a stair climber to integrated belts that mimic the stride of an elliptical trainer, these cross-training treadmills bring adaptability and performance. Read More…

Best Incline Trainers

These incline trainers simulate steep grades for top interval and performance training. Go for hill sprints or trek up a mountainous summit with these trainers that are designed with the steepest incline and decline offerings available. You won’t find traditional treadmills offering up to 40% incline, and these trainers are designed to help you get the best treadmill workout and tone muscles for weight loss. Whether walking or running, these incline trainers are high-performance trainers that take the treadmill one step further.These incline trainers simulate steep grades for top interval and performance training. Go for hill sprints or trek up a mountainous summit with these trainers that are designed with the steepest incline and decline offerings available. You won’t find traditional treadmills offering up to 40% incline, and these trainers are designed to help you get the best treadmill workout and tone muscles for weight loss. Whether walking or running, these incline trainers are high-performance trainers that take the treadmill one step further. Read More…

Best Treadmill Desks

Treadmill desks make it easy to stay fit while being productive. We all know sitting at a desk all day is hazardous to our health, and using a treadmill desk can help to alleviate those health concerns by keeping you on your feet versus plopped in a desk all day. Top features we have considered on these treadmills include an ergonomic design where everything is in reach and also adjustable, as well as the motor to ensure these models are both quiet and powerful.Treadmill desks make it easy to stay fit while being productive. We all know sitting at a desk all day is hazardous to our health, and using a treadmill desk can help to alleviate those health concerns by keeping you on your feet versus plopped in a desk all day. Top features we have considered on these treadmills include an ergonomic design where everything is in reach and also adjustable, as well as the motor to ensure these models are both quiet and powerful. Read More…

Best Treadmill Alternatives

Our top treadmill alternatives are from NordicTrack and BowFlex. Each product shown below can outperform the best treadmills when evaluated for calorie burn, joint protection and training options. These multipurpose fitness machines make it easy to focus on specific muscle groups and avoid the stress of high-impact exercise.Our top treadmill alternatives are from NordicTrack and BowFlex. Each product shown below can outperform the best treadmills when evaluated for calorie burn, joint protection and training options. These multipurpose fitness machines make it easy to focus on specific muscle groups and avoid the stress of high-impact exercise. Read More…

Best Cheap Treadmills

Price is one of the first things you notice when looking to buy a treadmill and if you’re looking to get started for under $800, these are our top picks. On the flip side, you also want a quality treadmill that will last, with a reputation for durability. You won’t see any 5-star machines here or a lifetime warranty either, but let us help you save money with this list of some of the best cheap treadmills that are cheap in price, but not cutting corners in quality.Price is one of the first things you notice when looking to buy a treadmill and if you’re looking to get started for under $800, these are our top picks. On the flip side, you also want a quality treadmill that will last, with a reputation for durability. You won’t see any 5-star machines here or a lifetime warranty either, but let us help you save money with this list of some of the best cheap treadmills that are cheap in price, but not cutting corners in quality. Read More…

Best Treadmills Under $1,000

It is possible to get a quality treadmill for less than $1,000, and these top picks prove just that! These models are by reputable brands and don’t compromise comfort and performance features for price. These models include the basic convenience offerings and advanced consoles that provide unique goal tracking and entertainment options too.It is possible to get a quality treadmill for less than $1,000, and these top picks prove just that! These models are by reputable brands and don’t compromise comfort and performance features for price. These models include the basic convenience offerings and advanced consoles that provide unique goal tracking and entertainment options too. Read More…

Best Treadmills Under $1,500

For $1,500, you can easily find a treadmill that comes with innovative features and a well-built frame, and these are a few of our favorites. These models offer more attractive entertainment packages than the $1,000 models, so you get a few more bells and whistles but we consider these models worth the extra $500. Our top choices for this category include models that are priced ideally for what they offer.For $1,500, you can easily find a treadmill that comes with innovative features and a well-built frame, and these are a few of our favorites. These models offer more attractive entertainment packages than the $1,000 models, so you get a few more bells and whistles but we consider these models worth the extra $500. Our top choices for this category include models that are priced ideally for what they offer. Read More…

Best Treadmills Under $2,000

Once you go over that $1,500 price point, you should really start seeing more powerful drive systems and more impressive entertainment packages like large touchscreen displays and internet connectivity. Don't be tricked into paying more for flashy features that mean nothing. At this price point, we have picked the best models that offer adjustable options and performance features that make these treadmills incredibly versatile.Once you go over that $1,500 price point, you should really start seeing more powerful drive systems and more impressive entertainment packages like large touchscreen displays and internet connectivity. Don't be tricked into paying more for flashy features that mean nothing. At this price point, we have picked the best models that offer adjustable options and performance features that make these treadmills incredibly versatile. Read More…

Best Treadmills Under $2,500

Browsing online for $2,000 to $2,500 treadmills, it's easy to find great choices for your home gym or light commercial fitness center. This price class features plenty of high-end cardio trainers built for years of daily use. Most shoppers can find everything on their treadmill wishlist too: Our best treadmills in this category are above average in terms of performance, electronics, special features and customer service. Browsing online for $2,000 to $2,500 treadmills, it's easy to find great choices for your home gym or light commercial fitness center. This price class features plenty of high-end cardio trainers built for years of daily use. Most shoppers can find everything on their treadmill wishlist too: Our best treadmills in this category are above average in terms of performance, electronics, special features and customer service. Read More…

Best High-End Treadmills

If you are looking for a treadmill that will last for years to come, and offer top of line offerings in innovative features, these high-end treadmills are for you. With impressive entertainment packages like web-enabled touch screens, to high-performance features like super powerful, commercial-grade drive systems, these treadmills are all around quality, durable, reliable trainers.If you are looking for a treadmill that will last for years to come, and offer top of line offerings in innovative features, these high-end treadmills are for you. With impressive entertainment packages like web-enabled touch screens, to high-performance features like super powerful, commercial-grade drive systems, these treadmills are all around quality, durable, reliable trainers. Read More…

Essential Treadmill Features 2017

Treadmill companies literally make fun of fitness. To help make exercise exciting, they deck out their fitness machines with music speakers and web browsers, virtual reality workout programs, and other ooh-la-la extras. But remember to respect "boring" features like horsepower and belt thickness too... or risk owning a treadmill with lots of frustration along with the flash! Here we help you set serious standards with a guide to essential home treadmill parts and features for 2017.

Part I: Set Your Basic Standards

A motorized treadmill has three fundamental features: a folding or non-folding frame, a belt, and a motor. Set your basic standards with these straightforward tips.

To Fold Or Not To Fold?

Do you have space for a non-folding treadmill? The typical home treadmill is about seven feet long and three feet wide. Not every household can spare that much floor space -- at least, not all day long. A folding treadmill can be a great solution: After exercising, you can easily push the deck (the running area) upward for vertical storage. Transport wheels are usually attached to these models, although the best folding treadmills are heavy and not so portable.

In 2017, folding treadmills are sold in all price ranges. Until recently folding treadmills for home use were either very low-end or rather expensive… but now there's something for everyone.

Sole Fitness is the pioneer in folding treadmill design and remains a respected leader. The best-selling Sole folding treadmill for home use is the F80. It's sale priced at just $1,499 and doesn't cut corners on horsepower, speed, track size or other performance features.

See our chart of the top folding treadmills for more space-saving models from Sole, NordicTrack and other leading brands.

Treadmill Workout Belts

Treadmill belts have different widths and lengths. Belt thickness varies too, and this makes a difference to the machine's maintenance needs and overall noise level.

Width: The standard treadmill workout belt is 20 inches wide. Extra-wide belts preferred by the largest trainees are 22 inches wide. The extra width is offered by a good number of fitness brands in 2017.

Length: The standard belt length on home treadmills for walking and jogging is 55". On treadmills for running the standard workout belt length is 60". (Your stride stretches when you train at high speed.) A small minority of treadmills have 62" or 63" workout surfaces for the comfort and safety of very long-legged runners.

Thickness: Belt thickness makes a dramatic difference to treadmill performance. If a belt is just one-ply, it's probably prone to ripping or stretching. If a belt is two-ply or thicker, it can likely serve for many more miles before it needs to be recalibrated or replaced. The extra thickness can also help the treadmill operate quietly, making it better for home use.

Maintenance: To move smoothly, cheap treadmill belts require occasional lubricating or waxing. This is a do-it-yourself task for the owner. (You don't need a service call.) The high-end treadmill belts are very low maintenance. If you choose a residential treadmill with a thick belt as explained above, the need for maintenance will probably be minimal; occasional dusting could be all that's required. Choosing a light commercial or full commercial treadmill, you can expect that the belt will be maintenance-free for many thousands of miles.

Home Treadmill Motors

A treadmill's main motor moves the workout belt forward. The faster and longer you want to train… and the heavier your body… the more motor power you'll need. A drive running near its full capacity will tire more quickly than one with lots of power to spare.

Horsepower: Manufacturers tend to advertise continuous horsepower (CHP) instead of plain ol' horsepower (HP). CHP indicates how much power a motor can put out continuously, not just at its peak.  It's important to not skimp on potential output, but this factor does make a noticeable difference in the total treadmill price.

Most 2017 home treadmill motors have from 2.25 to 4.25 CHP. For people weighing up to 200 pounds, here are our general CHP recommendations:

  • Walking: 2.0 CHP or higher
  • Jogging: 2.5 CHP or higher
  • Running: 3.0 CHP or higher (4.0 for marathon training)

If you weigh more than 200 pounds, then add another 0.5 CHP.

Warranty: Most home treadmill warranties include a lifetime motor warranty. Obviously, you're not planning to keep your cardio trainer for the next 80 years… but do insist on a lifetime warranty if you can afford it. When a treadmill lacks this guarantee, it's likely that the machine's overall construction is poor.

Part II: Don't Be Shocked… Cushion & Tilt Your Run

No matter how healthy or youthful you feel, it's smart to choose a treadmill that respects your joints and tendons. With the features of high-quality deck cushioning and power incline, well-made treadmills can significantly deflect the shock of exercise. Two immediate benefits are good comfort and better endurance. A couple of long-term benefits are avoiding running-related injuries and staying physically active further into your "golden years."

About Treadmill Cushioning

Remember high school physics? Sir Isaac Newton hinted that cushioning your run is smart: "For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction." When your feet pound the ground, the ground pounds back! A good treadmill cushioning system can deflect that shock from your body, plus it will minimize noise from training. The more intensely you train, and the heavier your body, the more your body will appreciate this feature.

How does treadmill cushioning work? It's not like the stuffing in a couch; it's more like the suspension or shock absorption system for an automobile. Under its workout belt, the typical treadmill has a 1" thick deck made of wood or a wood-like synthetic material. Running on the deck would be similar to running on a sidewalk -- except that under the deck, and supported by the treadmill's steel frame, are shock absorbers. An example of cheap shock absorbers is metal springs. Higher quality treadmill cushioning components are elastomer grommets, usually made from natural rubber.

Beyond those basics, these notes might be helpful:

  • To prepare for outdoor competition, racers sometimes like to deactivate their treadmill cushioning. NordicTrack and ProForm make treadmills for running with on/off shock absorption.
  • One kind of advanced cushioning is described as "variable." A treadmill deck with variable cushioning is firmest at the back in the push-off zone. It's softest up front where you land.
  • Sole Fitness offers some excellent shock deflection for the typical shopper's price range. On Sole treadmills, the impact to joints is reduced by about 40% compared to outdoor running. For comparison, cushioning systems on similarly priced cardio trainers deflect about 30% of impact shock.
  • The high-end treadmill brand Landice is distinguished by its standard cushioning being five times softer than grass. The top treadmill cushioning from Landice is orthopedic -- seven times softer than grass! Life Fitness and Precor also offer exceptional shock deflection on all their models.

About Treadmill Incline

When a treadmill has incline it can simulate uphill routes. The tilt can reduce impact to your joints, and it brings other benefits such as faster calorie burn without changing your speed. Here are features and benefits of incline to keep in mind as you compare home treadmills.

  • Incline can be manual or electronic. Manual incline is rare in 2017, even on very cheap treadmills. It requires bending down to adjust the deck while you're off the treadmill. Electronic incline (or power incline) is much more convenient… and it makes fun of exercise too! Power incline lets you make slope adjustments just by pressing up/down buttons, sort of like adjusting power windows in a car. Power incline can also be controlled by computerized workout programs... Forget about fiddling with the controls; let the machine be your coach.
  • Virtual reality comes with the best incline treadmill workouts. Machines from NordicTrack and ProForm are popular for this effect. Using the app iFit Coach, they can use Google Maps data to replicate road routes. Your workout surface will shift to mimic the topography -- and when you choose routes with Google Maps Street View, visuals stream at your workout pace.
  • Common maximum treadmill incline settings are 10, 15 and 20 percent. Generally, only the cheapest treadmills have 10% max setting. Most people are satisfied with a 15% limit. A subset of treadmills called incline trainers have steeper max slopes.  Incline Trainers can tilt to 40%, for example. These allow very rapid calorie burn, even at slow paces.
  • Faster calorie burn is a huge benefit of incline training. Your metabolism naturally increases when you walk uphill, and the effect is more dramatic than most people would guess. With a steep incline, you can just walk yet get the calorie burn of running flat.
  • Muscle tone is another incline training benefit. When you train at different angles, you use your muscles in different ways. Varying the incline can help tone your lean muscle for an especially good-looking effect. It can also improve your athletic performance as your muscles get accustomed to training uphill… or downhill.
  • Downhill training is an option too. It's not too common yet, but some treadmills have a downhill slope or "decline" option.  See the brands ProForm and NordicTrack for popular models with this feature.

Part III: Listen To Your Heart… Wirelessly

With visions of weight loss and gorgeous muscle tone, people forget that treadmills are cardio trainers. Most of these machines have heart rate monitors, and using the data can help maximize your progress. You can ensure that your effort isn't too low, and also that you don't work too intensely and risk injury or burnout.

About Heart Rate Zones

To benefit from a monitor you need to know your heart rate zones. Each zone covers a certain percentage of your maximum theoretical heart rate. You'll be aiming to train within a specific zone. Here are the zones commonly recognized in health and fitness.

Zone 1: 60% to 70% - This zone is used for warm-ups and cool-downs. It could also be used for the majority of your workout if you're just starting to get into shape.

Zone 2: 71% to 80% - This zone is most common for treadmill training. In this zone, you can hold a conversation without gasping for breath. Exercising in this zone can help your body use oxygen more efficiently.

Zone 3: 81% to 93% - Exercise in this zone is intense. You can say short sentences but holding a normal conversation isn't an option.

Zone 4: 94% and Up - The top heart rate zone for exercise is of course for your hardest effort, as when a racer speeds to the finish line. As for the "talk test," you might put out a few words at a time.

How to Calculate Heart Rate Zones

What are your heart rate zones exactly? The conventional formula is to start with 220, then subtract your age. For example, if you are 40 years old, then 180 beats per minute is your theoretical maximum heart rate. From here you can calculate the percentages noted above.

This doesn't reflect individual differences in resting heart rate though… so when people are motivated to do the math, we suggest the Karvonen formula. For this, you start off with the same 220 minus your age. Then subtract your resting heart rate. The resulting number is your heart rate reserve. Multiply that number by the percentage at which you want to train to get your target beats per minute.

Types of Treadmill Heart Rate Monitors

Heart rate can be measured with touch sensors or wirelessly. Wireless monitoring is significantly more accurate.

Most treadmills in 2017, no matter the price range, are equipped with touch sensors. Typically these sensors are built into the handlebars. On cheap treadmills, these heart rate monitors tend to be too inaccurate to be useful. With better models, you can have more confidence in the data.

Again, wireless monitoring is the most accurate. It isn't compromised by a sweaty grip, and the reading is accurate whether you're standing still or moving at top speed. Mid-quality and high-quality treadmills tend to provide touch sensors, plus they work with wireless chest straps by Bluetooth, Polar and other manufacturers. Sometimes the cardio monitoring strap is included with purchase.

The Finish Line… Best Treadmills 2017

Below is a list of the top treadmills from some of our popular categories.

Horizon T101 – 4 Stars – $649

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 – 5 Stars – $1,499

Sole F80 – 5 Stars – $1,499

Horizon Elite T9 – 5 Stars – $1,899

NordicTrack x11i – 5 Stars – $1,999

Matrix TF30 – 5 Stars – $2,399

Sole TT8 – 5 Stars – $2,499

Life Fitness Club Series – 5 Stars – $5,499

Woodway 4Front – 5 Stars – $9,999

This year, regardless of your home treadmill budget, you can choose a machine that has fun special features. Keeping the performance essentials in mind will help you find a treadmill that you're happy to own. Here we've given tips about treadmill frame style, motor power, belt size and quality, power incline, cushioning and heart rate monitoring. Your new treadmill awaits! We hope our website helps your search.

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