Treadmill Buying Guide

A home treadmill can be a great investment, giving you more options for exercise when you can't get to the gym or can't get outside. Using a treadmill in a gym is one thing, but choosing one for your home is another matter. A good treadmill is expensive and buying one doesn't necessarily mean that you'll use it on a regular basis.

The right home treadmill can help you lose weight sensibly, incorporate fitness into your daily life, and enjoy exercise from the comfort of your home whatever the weather. If you’re on the hunt for a new home treadmill, learn more about how to find your perfect match with the help of our free treadmill buying guide below. It covers what features to look for when browsing treadmill options and how you can save time and money along the way.

How to Choose the Right Treadmill

Customizable for those of all fitness levels, treadmills are the king of the home gym. Buying a treadmill for home use can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to run you ragged. This Pro Tips guide is here to help you take the first step toward finding the right treadmill for you.

Try It Before You Buy It

If you can do so, trying out a treadmill in person is ideal. Here's our try-before-you-buy checklist:

  • Does the cushioning and shock absorption of the running deck feel comfortable?
  • When you walk or run, do your feet hit the motor housing?
  • Can you easily straddle the deck when standing on the side rails?
  • Is the display monitor easy to read?
  • Are the controls easy to reach and operate?

Ease of Use

Your treadmill should have features that you can use easily and safely. When evaluating a treadmill for ease of use, keep the following features in mind:

Easy-to-use speed buttons: “You should be able to change speed and incline so instantly and easily,” says Fagin. “Not just for safety but in case you are training intervals.” Prominent buttons that are easy to press midrun will make it much easier to change between intervals. Also, the transitions between speeds should feel smooth.

Set Your Treadmill Budget

It is only natural to start your treadmill search by setting your treadmill budget. You don’t want to fall in love with a particular treadmill only to realize you can’t afford it. So, we recommend that you consider your price range before you start hunting for a treadmill.

We rate treadmills according to a basic range of budgets. Thanks to years of research, we’ve found that treadmills in specific price ranges come equipped with many of the same features.

Is It Difficult to Set Up A Treadmill?

Treadmills are designed to be simple to set up and operate. A foldable treadmill may fold horizontally or vertically, and some models have wheels on the base designed to make it simple to roll it into place.