Best Treadmills to buy in 2020

Our experts have pulled together a list of the best treadmills of the moment, comprised of innovative models from both established and up-and-coming fitness equipment manufacturers. With such a vast array of brands and models to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Fortunately, our team is here to provide shoppers with in-depth reviews and treadmill comparisons to make the research process a little easier. Our experts examine the key specifications of each treadmill, from the motor (performance, quality, and speed), to the workout options, warranty, price range and beyond. We've broken down our complex analysis into a variety of categories to help you streamline your search, and give you the most relevant, up-to-date information to use when seeking out the right treadmill for you. 


NordicTrack earns an enthusiastic review for the new Commercial 1750 treadmill with iFit. This popular model is even better than before, now enhanced with higher quality, Bluetooth-enabled audio to help keep you motivated. The 1750 is normally the cheapest option in the NordicTrack Commercial Series, but it’s hardly entry level. This cardio trainer is a luxurious option that can satisfy most runners as well as power walkers. We consider it one of this year’s best buys.

Star Rating: 5-stars
Motor: 3.75 CHP
Incline: -3 to 15%
Running Area: 22″ x 60″
Folding: Yes
Top Speed: 12 MPH
Weight Capacity: 300 LBS
Dimensions: 78.8” L x 39.2” W x 63” H
Built-In Programs: 50

  1. Best for Home Use
  2. Best Folding Treadmill
  3. Best for Runners
  4. Best Treadmill Under $2000

Best Treadmill for Runners
Sole F80


The Sole F80 will be a bestseller at its $1,499 sale price, and buyers won’t be disappointed. It’s the sensible middle ground between the entry level F63 and the top-of-the-line F85. This cardio trainer delivers excellent value with its club-quality components and modern upgrades.

Star Rating: 5-stars
Motor: 3.5 HP
Incline: 0 to 15%
Running Area: 22″ x 60″
Folding: Yes
Top Speed: 12 MPH
Weight Capacity: 375 LBS
Dimensions: 82″ L x 37″ W x 57″ H
Built-In Programs: 10

  1. Best for Runners
  2. Best for Home Use
  3. Best Folding Treadmill
  4. Best Treadmill Under $1500

Best Treadmill For the Money
Horizon 7.0 AT

The Horizon 7.0 AT is a decent treadmill and will satisfy the needs of most runners. The incline and speed ranges make it possible for people of many different fitness levels to get a good workout. You won’t outgrow this machine any time soon. It’s a long term deal.

Star Rating: 4-stars
Motor: 3.0 HP
Incline: 0-15%
Running Area: 20”x 60”
Folding: Yes
Top Speed: 12 MPH
Weight Capacity: 325 LBS
Dimensions: 76.5″ L x 36″ W x 59″ H
Built-In Programs: 6

  1. Best Treadmills Under $1000
  2. Best Treadmills for Walkers

Best Treadmill For Walkers
Sole F63

The Sole F63 is one of the highest quality, basic folding treadmills under $1,000 on the market. The combination of a generous warranty, durable components and Sole’s great customer service explains why it’s consistently one of Sole’s most popular treadmills. It’s an excellent, budget-friendly choice for at-home cardio training and walking.

Star Rating: 4.5-stars
Motor: 3.0 HP
Incline: 0-15%
Running Area: 20”x 60”
Folding: Yes
Top Speed: 12 MPH
Weight Capacity: 325 LBS
Dimensions: 82″” L x 35″” W x 57″” H
Built-In Programs: 10

Best Treadmills Under $1000
Best Treadmills for Walkers
Best Treadmills for Seniors
Best for Home Use

Best Treadmill For Serious Runners
Landice L8 LTD

Designed for serious runners, the Landice L8 LTD treadmill and its extra-large track represent one of the finest fitness machines on the market. Sized to fit virtually anyone, it’s the platonic ideal for light commercial treadmill shoppers. It’s low maintenance and appeals to just about any trainee.

Star Rating: 4.5-stars
Motor: 4.0 HP
Incline: 0-15%
Running Area: 22”x 63”
Folding: No
Top Speed: 12 MPH
Weight Capacity: 500 LBS
Dimensions: 83″” L X 35″” W X 62″” H
Built-In Programs: 5

Best Treadmills for Serious Runners
Best Commercial Treadmills
Best High-End Treadmills

Best Treadmill For Cross-Training
Bowflex Treadclimber TC100

A cardio machine designed for low-impact, calorie torching workouts, the TreadClimber TC100 is the entry-level TreadClimber by BowFlex. Its unique 3-in-1 design acts as a treadmill, a stair climber and an elliptical trainer all in one. It’s unique, reliable machine from a reputable brand, for anyone seeking a low-impact workout.

Star Rating: 5-stars
Motor: n/a
Incline: n/a
Running Area: n/a
Folding: No
Top Speed: 4 MPH
Weight Capacity: 300 LBS
Dimensions: 57″” L x 31.5″” W x 59″” H
Built-In Programs: 4 Electronic Functions

Best Treadmills for Walkers
Best Treadmills for Seniors
Best Cross-Training Treadmills
Best Incline Trainers
Best Treadmill Alternatives

Best Treadmill For Incline Training
NordicTrack X11i

With a 40% incline, iFit-capability and a powerful 3.75 CHP motor, the NordicTrack X11i is an undeniably impressive model. It’s a fantastic option for those who want to get fit fast with impressive results.

Star Rating: 5-stars
Motor: 3.75 CHP
Incline: -6 to +40%
Running Area: 22” x 60”
Folding: No
Top Speed: 12 MPH
Weight Capacity: 300 LBS
Dimensions: 71.6” L x 39.6” W x 72.2” H
Built-In Programs: 44

Best Cross-Training Treadmills
Best Incline Trainers

Best Folding Treadmill for Small Spaces
Horizon 7.8 AT

Horizon’s new 7.8 AT treadmill boasts a handful of improvements over the brand’s prior models. Expect a roomy deck, a powerful 4.0 CHP motor, and a respectable warranty. When compared to the competition, we think it’s a solid folding treadmill choice.

Star Rating: 5-stars
Motor: 4.0 CHP
Incline: 0 – 15%
Running Area: 22″” x 60″”
Folding: Yes
Top Speed: 12 MPH
Weight Capacity: 350 LBS
Dimensions: 76″” L x 37″” W x 64″” H
Built-In Programs: 10

Best Folding Treadmill

Best Folding Treadmill for Small Spaces
Horizon 7.8 AT

LifeSpan’s most popular treadmill desk, the TR1200-DT5, combines a sound-absorbing 20″ x 50″ walking area with an adjustable-height desktop. Build a custom look and custom fit, including a wide range of height settings. It isn’t an all-purpose treadmill, but we’d happily welcome it as an ideal desk treadmill into any home or commercial office to help avoid a sedentary work style.

Star Rating: 4.5-stars
Motor: 2.25 HP
Incline: n/a
Running Area: 20″” x 50″”
Folding: No
Top Speed: 0.4 – 4 MPH
Weight Capacity: 350 LBS
Dimensions: 68.5″” D x 38″” W
Built-In Programs: n/a

Best Treadmill Desks

Best Treadmill Alternative
NordicTrack FreeStride FS7i

LifeSpan’s most popular treadmill desk, the TR1200-DT5, combines a sound-absorbing 20″ x 50″ walking area with an adjustable-height desktop. Build a custom look and custom fit, including a wide range of height settings. It isn’t an all-purpose treadmill, but we’d happily welcome it as an ideal desk treadmill into any home or commercial office to help avoid a sedentary work style.

Star Rating: 5-stars
Motor: n/a
Incline: 0 – 10%
Running Area: n/a
Folding: No
Top Speed: n/a
Weight Capacity: 375 LBS
Dimensions: 58.5″” L x 29.5″” W x 74″” H
Built-In Programs: 35

Best Treadmill Alternatives

Regardless of your fitness level, if you’re looking for a balanced treadmill that comes with all the best features, expect to see prices starting around the $1,500 range. The following list contains our top picks from a selection of strong treadmills and consumer favorites around that price range.

Scroll down to view our top treadmill picks within popular categories, from treadmills for walkers or runners to incline trainers and more.

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. Read More…

Best Folding 2020 Treadmills

Although folding treadmills are excellent space savers, some are built with flimsy decks which are noisy and unreliable. Finding a folding treadmill that’s both easy to use and sturdy can be difficult, but we’ve chosen leading models that don’t cut corners on safety, stability or durability. Read More…

Best Treadmills for Runners

Fact: runners need top shock absorption to protect their joints from the harsh impact of running. Each brand has their own shock absorption technology and features, but some are better than others. The best treadmills in this category are built for comfort and performance, featuring advanced shock absorption technology as well as impressive speed and incline controls to simulate varying terrain. These machines are ideal for runners who are 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. Read More…

Best Commercial Treadmills

It’s obvious that commercial treadmills should have different features than standard residential treadmills, because their needs are so different. They’re designed to make your life easier, with less maintenance required and special features which make them even more versatile. There’s a reason that these treadmills are some of the best on the market. Read More…

Best Treadmills For Walkers

Good shock absorption alongside many features designed for comfort and convenience make these treadmills the perfect fitness companions for walkers. These models feature incredible incline and decline capabilities as well as unique designs suited to low impact workouts such as walking routines. 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. Read More…

Best Incline Trainers

These incline trainers simulate steep grades for top interval and performance training, allowing you to feel like you’re enjoying a hill sprint or trekking up a mountain summit. Whether you prefer walking or running, these incline trainers can help take your treadmill workouts to the next level. 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. Read More…

Best Treadmill Alternatives Treadmills

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 to take into consideration when shopping for a treadmill. If you’re looking to buy a treadmill for under $1000, these are our top picks. You won’t see any 5-star treadmills here, but you will find a selection of machines that are cheap in price without sacrificing on quality. Read More…

Best Treadmills Under $1,000

Believe it or not, It is possible to get a quality treadmill for less than $1,000. These budget conscious models are all produced by reputable brands and don’t compromise comfort or performance for price. These machines include the basic convenience offerings and even offer advanced consoles for unique goal tracking and entertainment options. Read More…

Best Treadmills Under $1,500

For $1,500, you can easily find a treadmill that comes with innovative features and a strong frame. These are a few of our favorites. These models offer more attractive entertainment packages than the $1,000 models, so you’ll get a few more bells and whistles for the extra $500. Our top choices in this category are priced perfectly 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. 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. Read More…

Best High-End Treadmills

If you are looking for a treadmill that will last for years and offer innovative features, these high-end treadmills are for you. These machines are packed with impressive entertainment packages as well as high-performance features like commercial-grade drive systems. Treadmills simply don’t get any better than this. Read More…

Essential Treadmill Features in 2020

Just started your fitness journey? You've probably noticed by now that fitness can get quite boring. Fortunately, many treadmill companies are looking at ways to change that. To address the challenge, they’re making treadmills more user-friendly and interactive than ever, so that when you step onto your machine, you might actually have a little fun while exercising and stay engaged in the long term.

Designers are achieving this by adding features like built-in speakers so you can listen to podcasts or stream music, web browsers, and augmented reality workout programs that make it feel like you are exercising in different landscapes or fitness studios around the world. With features such as these on the latest machines, you'll never be able to use boredom as an excuse to avoid exercise ever again.

Novelty features aside, when selecting a treadmill it’s important to consider the treadmill’s key physical features like its horsepower, belt thickness and belt size, as these will dramatically impact how enjoyable your workout feels.

To help make your treadmill search a little easier, here's our complete treadmill features guide for 2020, with expert tips, tricks, and advice to guide your research.

Part I: Set Your Basic Standards

Let’s begin by examining the core treadmill necessities for a satisfying workout session. First, you'll want to ensure the treadmill is motorized (unless you're seeking a very basic, non-motorized unit of course) and then look for three key features (the belt size, the motor's capabilities, and whether or not it’s a folding model).

To Fold Or Not To Fold?

Many first-time treadmill buyers wonder whether a folding treadmill is a wise investment. In theory, the compact size seems enticing. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that if you select a folding model you will sacrifice some features along the way.

A typical treadmill sold for home use measures roughly seven feet long and three feet wide. If you have the space for a machine of that size, then go for it. If not, folding models are an ideal alternative.

However, just because a treadmill is foldable doesn’t necessarily mean that it is easily movable. Even though they have wheels, the machines are still extremely heavy and difficult to move. So once your unit is in place, you’ll want to fold it up and leave it there. Sure, moving a treadmill can feel like a workout, but that's not why you bought the machine, is it?

The good news is, if you are in the market for a folding treadmill, you can find them in a wide variety of price ranges. In the past, folding treadmills were either cheaply made or extremely expensive, without a middle ground. These days there are more mid-range foldable treadmills that are suitable for most homes.

Sole Fitness is the top rated brand for this design, and their best-selling model is the F80. You can find it for under $1500 and it’ll give you fantastic horsepower, speed, track size, and performance for your buck.

If you want to compare some more options, see our chart of the top folding treadmills for other space-saving models from Sole, NordicTrack and other leading brands.

Treadmill Workout Belts

The next thing to take into account is the treadmill belt. Each treadmill line has a different width and length of belt that impacts how you'll feel on the machine. Belt thickness can determine how much noise the treadmill emits during use, and how often the belt will require maintenance work. Note that if the belt is very thin, it will wear down easily, so this is something to keep in mind when purchasing.

Width: The most common width of a treadmill belt is set to 20 inches wide, so anything that is wider than that is considered extra large. A wider belt is good for larger users or for those who tend to feel trapped in during their sessions. Extra wide belts are 22 inches wide; that's the widest you’ll see in the industry.

Length: Likewise, length also comes into play. For best results, you’ll want to choose a treadmill belt that’s longer if you plan to do a lot of running as that ensures that your stride length will be higher.

The normal length for walking and jogging treadmills is 55 inches, while treadmills designed for running purposes can range up to 60 inches in length. Do keep in mind that your own height is also a factor. If you are over 6 feet tall but plan to walk on your treadmill, you may be better off simply going with a 60 inch belt length for comfort. Tall runners on the other hand will want to seek out treadmills with a longer stride length (up to 62 or 63 inches).

Thickness: If you are purchasing a treadmill with a belt thickness of just one-ply, it may stretch or rip during running. For walking, that thickness may be fine, but more vigorous workouts require a belt thickness of two-ply or more. This type of belt can go for many, many miles without replacement. Most people also find that the thicker the belt, the quieter the treadmill (even as you approach higher speeds).

Maintenance: Belt thickness also determines how much maintenance your treadmill requires. Some belts only require occasional lubricating or waxing and are very easy to uphold. Other belts require far more regular maintenance. This is time and energy that most owners don’t expect, and can be a real pain in the long term. Generally speaking, the thicker the belt, the less maintenance is required.

Home Treadmill Motors

Another important consideration in home treadmill ownership is the motor. The motor is a huge component of what makes a treadmill run, so you don’t want to cut corners here. If you do, the treadmill won’t run properly for very long.

The main motor in any treadmill helps to push the belt forward. So the faster you plan to run on that treadmill and the heavier your body weighs, the more power you'll need. This is a factor that too many people overlook. A motor running near its full capacity at all times will begin to fatigue and sputter out faster than a motor that has plenty of power to spare.

Horsepower: The first thing to look for in a treadmill motor is the horsepower. Usually you’ll see this referred to as continuous horsepower (CHP) rather than plain horsepower. This indicates how much total power that treadmill can put out over the entire time that you are exercising. HP only indicates how much power the machine generates in an instant, which is no good if you plan to exercise for an hour at a time.

Horsepower is one of the factors that greatly influences cost, so keep that in mind when you are doing price comparisons. It’s not something that you'll want to cheap out on, so do try to look for the highest possible horsepower within your budget.

Typically you’ll see today’s treadmill models coming in with a CHP rating of 2.25 to 4.25. The higher the CHP, the more you can do with the treadmill.

For those who weigh 200 lbs. or less, you'll generally want:

  • At least 2.0 CHP for walking
  • At least 2.5 CHP for jogging
  • At least 3.0 CHP for running

If you are training for a marathon or you have two or more people in the family who plan to use the treadmill on a daily basis, opt for 4.0 CHP.

Also keep in mind that if you are a heavier individual weighing over 200 pounds, you’ll want to add an additional half rating of CHP to give the treadmill a bit more of a push.

Warranty: Most home treadmill warranties include a lifetime motor warranty. Obviously, you won't 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 an indication of poor construction and the machine will breakdown. You'll lose everything you saved purchasing the treadmill on maintenance.

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

It’s no secret that jogging and running are high impact activities that are hard on the joints. If you want a very low impact exercise machine, you’d be better off reading an elliptical guide right now instead.

Walking makes less of an impact, but it’s still a higher impact activity than swimming, cycling, or elliptical training. So paying attention to the shock absorption qualities of your treadmill is important.

You want to ensure that whatever treadmill you are considering offers protection for your joints, tendons, and ligaments. Otherwise, your treadmill will quickly become just another piece of furniture. Think of it this way: you are far better off spending $2000 on a treadmill that you use 200 days of the year than you are spending $1500 on a treadmill that you use only 50 times because it hurts your joints and causes injury. It's always worth spending a bit more to get a model that is more comfortable to use in both the short and long term.

When a treadmill is well made, it’s often able to nearly completely deflect the shock that you experience while using it, changing your running game forever.

About Treadmill Cushioning

You’ve heard the saying before that for every action, there’s an opposite reaction; we all learned this back in grade school. Whenever your feet are hitting the deck of the treadmill, forces are acting upwards and exerting pressure on your joints.

You might think that this force equates to your body weight, but you would be wrong. The forces you feel coming back up at you are magnified by gravity pushing forces upwards as you land with each step. This is why jogging has more impact than walking. With walking, one foot is always on the ground. When running your feet completely clear the ground for a brief moment.

Treadmills that offer strong shock absorption are usually much quieter as well; an added benefit to keep in mind.

The shock absorption for your treadmill consists of three parts:

  • The belt, which you can see laying flat against the top.
  • The deck, which is a wood or wood-like synthetic material laying beneath the belt. Running on this alone would be very hard on your joints.
  • The steel frame with shock absorbers, which line the deck and help it move in and out as it adapts and cushions your body weight. Think of these shock absorbers like springs. As the deck pushes down on them, they give only to eventually push back up and provide cushioning.

Here are a few additional things to keep in mind:

  • If you are a serious road runner, you may want to deactivate your cushioning system so that it feels more like you are actually running on flat ground. NordicTrack and ProForm make this possible by allowing users to turn the shock absorption on and off.
  • Some treadmills come with what’s referred to as 'variable cushioning', which is firmest at the push-off zone and softest where you land at the top. This is an advanced system and is only available on higher specification treadmills.
  • Of all the treadmill companies, Sole tends to offer the best overall cushioning support system for their price range. The impact on joints can be reduced by up to 40% on Sole treadmills when compared to the impact that you’d get running outdoors. Most treadmills in this price range only deflect about 30% of the total impact you'll experience.
  • If you go with a high-end brand such as Landice, you’ll get cushioning that is rated as five times softer than grass. This will make your joints feel like you are running on a cloud. Landice's top-of-the-line treadmill offers cushioning that is seven times softer than grass, which will make your joints feel like you are running on a cloud in marshmallow shoes. For those with chronic joint pain, this is the ideal choice.

About Treadmill Incline

Another factor to take into account is the incline abilities of a treadmill. This feature gives you another element to add to your workout routine, and also ensures that you are fully challenging your body at all times.

The tilt that comes along with incline helps reduce the impact of exercise on your joints. When using a proper incline, you’ll also receive other benefits such as burning more calories and strengthening your muscles. Walking or jogging uphill is always more strenuous than walking or jogging on flat ground.

Here’s what you need to know about incline.

  • Manual or electric? You can find inclines in both styles but manual is very hard to come by these days. If incline is manual, you’ll have to get off the treadmill and bend down to adjust the deck. If it’s electronic, you simply press a button and the treadmill inclines. This type of incline, often referred to as power incline, is also important for pre-programmed workout options.
  • Higher end treadmills now offer augmented reality workouts which use apps such as iFit Coach or Google Maps to formulate walking and running routes across various landscapes and terrains. As you explore the locations on a tablet or console, your treadmill incline changes in real time, simulating changes in the topography you are discovering. Imagine feeling like you're running through Rome or Tokyo without ever leaving your basement! This feature is available on machines from both NordicTrack and ProForm.
  • Usually you’ll find treadmill inclines that range from 10-20%, with price being the biggest factor determining how high they go. The cheaper treadmills will typically only offer about 10% incline, while more expensive ones will go up to 20%. Most people find that they are satisfied with an incline that tops out at 15%. However if you are someone who is in serious training, having that additional 5% incline can make a big difference on your performance abilities. You might also want to look into something called inline trainers, which are treadmill hybrid machines that can tilt up to 40%. These machines are like a cross between a treadmill and a stepper and are ideal for burning high amounts of calories.
  • Higher inclines should be considered by anyone who can’t run, and instead wants to exercise through walking. Walking on a high incline can burn just as many calories (if not more) than running.
  • Some treadmills that have incline capacities also have decline capacities, and can move into a downhill slant. Do keep in mind though that this can be even harder on the joints than flat walking or running and should be used with care.

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 from these 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 is of course for your hardest effort, like when a racer speeds to the finish line. As for the "talk test," you might be able to utter a few words at a time (like "help me", for example).

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 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 2020, 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 inaccurate and not so useful. With better models, you can have more confidence in the data, and use it to your advantage.

Wireless heart rate 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 2020

Here are what we consider to be the top treadmills on the market.

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 – 5 Stars

Sole F80 – 5 Stars 

ProForm SMART Pro 9000 – 5 Stars 

Life Fitness F3 5 Stars

NordicTrack Commercial 2950 5 Stars 

Sole TT8 – 5 Stars

NordicTrack X22i 4.5 Stars 

Horizon 7.0 AT 4 Stars 

Bowflex BXT216 4.5 Stars 

Horizon T101 – 4 Stars 

Regardless of your home treadmill budget, you can choose a machine that has a range of special features to suit your workout needs. Keeping the performance essentials in mind will help you find the treadmill that's right for you. Now that you know how to judge treadmill frame style, motor power, belt size, power incline, cushioning and heart rate monitoring, your new treadmill is just a few more hours of research and head-scratching away! Good luck on your search, and if you need some more help, check out our many reviews to dig deeper into the details and find your perfect home treadmill.

Best Treadmills for 2020 FAQs

What are the top 5 treadmills?

After many hours of research and testing, our experts have chosen the best treadmills on the market for 2020. Their top 5 picks include: NordicTrack Commercial 1750, Sole F80, ProForm SMART Pro 9000, Life Fitness F3, and NordicTrack Commercial 2950. Full reviews for each of these treadmills are linked above.

What is the best treadmill for home use?

Our experts’ top pick in the home use category is the NordicTrack Commercial 1750. However, the best treadmill for you will depend on your budget and your fitness training goals. You can check our Best Treadmill for Home Use roundup to find the treadmill that suits your specific needs.

When is the best time to buy a treadmill?

There is no specific time that would be best for buying a treadmill, as retailers are having sales year round, especially around January and during Holidays. That being said, if you are budget conscious but want to get started on your new fitness routine as soon as possible, there are plenty of financing options available to customers, as well as discounts on the MSRP when buying online from the brand. Make sure you check our website for updates on sales and best pricing.