Best Treadmills Under $500
Most home treadmills cost at least $1,000, but others compete for budgets under $500. Shoppers should know that even the best low budget treadmills are low quality, and many treadmills under $500 may not last for more than a few months before breaking down. The reason is simple: If they were built from higher-quality parts, the manufacturers wouldn’t profit. Treadmills that sell for just a few hundred dollars more are superior in virtually every way.
Nonetheless, by popular demand here are summaries of the three best-selling treadmills under $500. Our introductions emphasize each product’s best features, but do read the full treadmill reviews before buying! Each review will let you know what corners were cut to hit that low price. Scroll down to learn what to look for when shopping for a treadmill under $500.
Top by Category
1. Best Overall – Weslo Cadence G 5.9i
The Weslo Cadence G 5.9i is an entry-level folding treadmill most suitable for home use. With a sale price of only $349 on Amazon, it’s one of the most affordable treadmills currently on the market. It goes without saying that customers shouldn’t expect top quality at this low price, but the G 5.9i checks a lot of boxes if you’re shopping on a budget. The low price is a huge selling point, and this treadmill is also most suitable for those who are short on space at home and will appreciate the machine’s compact size. Some shoppers may be looking for a basic treadmill without all the bells and whistles, so the G 5.9i may be a great choice for light home use.
Compared with other cheap treadmills, the Weslo Cadence G 5.9i is built from lower-quality parts and has a basic warranty package. Though you’ll be protected by a 1-year motor, 90-day parts and labor warranty, this isn’t too impressive compared with more expensive treadmills that offer lifetime warranties. The running area measures 16×50″, which is smaller than competitors but again to be expected for a budget treadmill. However, its compact frame may be a huge plus for those who simply don’t have the space at home for a larger treadmill with a longer and wider deck. This is ideal for buyers who live in smaller apartments where storage is extremely limited. You’ll certainly get what you pay for with the Weslo Cadence G 5.9i. A great bonus is that this unit is Bluetooth-compatible and comes with a 30-day iFit membership to stream different workout programs. If you need a simple treadmill for some light cardio that you don’t expect to last several years to come, the G 5.9i may be your best and most affordable option.
|Running Area||16″ x 50″|
|Top Speed||10 MPH|
|Weight Capacity||275 LBS|
|Dimensions||64.5″ L x 29″ W x 55.5″ H|
|Warranty||1-Year Motor, 90-Days Parts & Labor|
2. Best Runner-Up – Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill comes with a compact and foldable frame, 9 preset workout programs, a top speed of 9 mph, a 2.2 peak HP motor, and a track size of almost 16″ x 49″. Users are able to choose from three incline levels with a maximum incline of 4.3%. Many budget treadmills aren’t able to incline at all, so this is a huge bonus. A large LCD display will show you speed, distance, time elapsed and no. of calories burned. This unit is also able to calculate BMI levels.
This Sunny treadmill is great for space-saving as it’s both foldable and portable. When unfolded, the dimensions are only 62″ long x 25.5″ wide x 50″ high. Its folded dimensions are 36″ long x 25.5″ wide x 58″ high.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 is certainly a gamble at its low price point. Compared with other treadmills under $500, it comes with a wider workout selection and a longer deck. Plus, it features a convenient rack for holding your smart device, as well as a water bottle holder. However, for many shoppers, the limited warranty from Sunny Health & Fitness —with just 90 days on parts — may be a deal breaker. Keep this in mind when comparing treadmills and weigh up which features are most important to you.
See our detailed review of the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400.
|Incline||Manual incline (max. 4.3%)|
|Running Area||15.5″ x 49″|
|Top Speed||9 MPH|
|Weight Capacity||220 LBS|
|Dimensions||62″ L x 25.5″ W x 50″ H|
|Screen||9 workout programs available on a large LCD display|
|Warranty||1 Year Frame, 90 Days Parts|
3. Best for Walkers – Exerpeutic TF900
The Exerpeutic TF900 has a list price of $449.99 with a sale price of just $389.95, and it comes with an impressive warranty. This basic treadmill is designed for strolling and power walking rather than running, so keep this in mind if you’re looking for a machine that’s compatible with running at faster speeds. It has a top speed of just 4 mph, while top treadmills for runners can typically reach at least 12 mph. This may be ideal if you walk at around 2-3 mph, but this machine likely won’t be the best fit for fast walkers. Since the motor is only 1.5HP, it’s best not to regularly push it to the limit.
The warranty coverage for this unit is more than expected for treadmills under $500, which is a huge plus. It includes one year on the frame, five years for the motor, and 90 days for parts and labor. Though the workout area is smaller than many treadmills at only 47″ x 29″, this compact footprint may be just what you’re looking for in a basic, easy to store home treadmill. It’s foldable, super easy to assemble and won’t take up large amounts of space in your home.
Read all about the Exerpeutic TF900 in our detailed review.
|Running Area||29″ x 47″|
|Top Speed||4 MPH|
|Weight Capacity||350 LBS|
|Dimensions||47” L x 29” W X 51” H|
|Warranty||1 Year Frame, 5 Years Motor, 90 Days Parts & Labor|
Want to compare these models to see which one is best for you? Try our comparison tool. To use it, just check off any treadmill you want to look at in more detail, and then click ‘compare’. Learn more about what to look for when shopping for a treadmill under $500 below.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Treadmill Under $500
Cheap Treadmill Tricks: How Factories Cut Costs
Low price doesn’t always equal excellent value. So, while we’ll acknowledge the strengths cheap treadmills ($500 and under), we also must caution you about common weaknesses.
Strengths of Cheap Treadmills
Manufacturers of particularly cheap treadmills generally have a few strong selling points their side. Low price is the most obvious attraction. Besides that, these treadmills tend to be compact and/or foldable. Sometimes ultra-cheap folding treadmills are even small enough to slip under a bed for storage. Low price and convenient size are appealing, but overall low quality explains why these products tend to carry mere 90-day parts warranties.
Weaknesses of Cheap Treadmills
Building a very low budget treadmill involves making many compromises. Here are just a few of the signs that manufacturers cut corners.
1) Track Size and Comfort is Minimal
A common cost-cutting strategy is to minimize the treadmill track’s length and width. On a standard treadmill for home or club use, the workout surface is usually 20 inches wide and at least 55 inches long. On very low budget treadmills, the workout surface could be several inches narrower and more than a foot shorter! The reduced surface area can reduce any user’s comfort, but tall trainees might find these treadmills impossible or impractical to use. Beyond that, the main advantage of treadmill walking over outdoor walking is the reduced impact on sensitive joints and ligaments. Sadly the cheapest treadmills lack cushioning, eliminating this perk of treadmill exercise.
2) Motor Power Is Weak
Motor capacity shapes treadmill price significantly. For a standard home treadmill, the industry minimum is about 2.5 horsepower (HP) for walkers’ treadmills and 3.0 HP for runners’ treadmills. In contrast, cheap treadmills tend to have motors with 2.25 HP or less. Besides being weaker, these motors tend to be lower quality overall. They are noisier, don’t run as smoothly and breakdown regularly.
3) Consoles and Workout Programs are Absent or Faulty
Consoles and workout programs are often absent from low budget treadmills. In contrast, higher quality home treadmills have their data monitors built into consoles that house various training programs, beverage holders, cooling fans, MP3 speakers, web browsers, and other amenities. Exercise statistics on low-end treadmills are often criticized as inaccurate in customer reviews. One common problem is that when heart rate monitors are included on cheap treadmills, they tend to give inaccurate readouts. Another issue is that the calorie burn calculation assumes a default weight and is rarely accurate.
Better Budget Treadmill Values
If you’re able to upgrade from $500 treadmills to the next tier, you certainly won’t regret it. The best treadmills under $1,000 last longer without breaking down. This fact is reflected in their parts warranties, which often last 4x longer than those of $500 treadmills. More importantly, the best alternatives under $1,000 deliver more comfortable, enjoyable, and effective workouts. The treadmills featured here work best as temporary solutions for exercise needs. If your treadmill needs to be a permanent fixture in your home, you’ll need to spend a little more for higher quality.
October 20, 2022: The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 has been replaced with the G 5.9i due to unavailability. The Confidence GTR Power Plus has been replaced with the Exerpeutic TF900. Updated information on specs, added FAQs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best treadmill under $500?
Our pick for the best treadmill under $500 is the Weslo Cadence G 5.9i. It's the perfect basic treadmill with a sale price of only $349 on Amazon.
What are the advantages of buying a cheap treadmill?
Other than the obviously low price, cheaper treadmills are often compact and are typically foldable. Some cheap folding treadmills can even slide under a bed when stored away, which is perfect for those who are tight on space at home.
What are the disadvantages of buying a cheap treadmill?
Some of the main downfalls when purchasing a treadmill under $500 include limited warranties, low max. speeds, little to no incline and some are not suitable for running.
What should I look for when buying a treadmill on a budget?
When shopping for a treadmill on a budget, you should always weigh up the features that are most important to you. Some important factors include the quality and sturdiness of the frame, the warranty, track size and weight capacity of the treadmill.
Are treadmills under $500 worth it?
If you're in the market for a simple treadmill that may not have a long lifespan, a treadmill under $500 may be a great option for you. Just keep in mind that you'll be sacrificing higher quality to find one at a lower price.