Treadmills are the best selling fitness machines year over year because they are convenient and get results, but buying one can be confusing. There are hundreds of different models with drastically different prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to over $5000.
In this article we list our top 10 best treadmill reviews. We could have made the entire list out of machines that cost more than $3000, but instead we focused on models for the home that cost less than $3000 and also chose units from a variety of price points below that as well. If you want a cheap treadmill consider our article on the best treadmills under $1000.
If you are shopping for a treadmill and need more info or advice then read our treadmill buying guide.
Some unique features of the foldable NordicTrack Commercial 2950 include an adjustable height console that is great for tall runners and adjustable cushioning from soft to firm with just a turn of a handle. Other features include a 60″ x 22″ running surface, -3% to 15% incline, 4.25 HP motor, 40 different programs, and plenty of other nice add-ons like three fans.
About the only downside we found is that sometimes you have to press the touchscreen multiple times to get some functions to work.
Overall the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 is a perfect choice for tall runners – or runners of all sizes – and a great value in the $2000 price range.
Features include a 60″ x 22″ running surface, 3 hp motor, 0 – 15% incline, wireless polar-compatible heart rate monitoring, and up to 20 saved workouts.
Nothing really stands out as a negative for the Performance 100, but buyers should be aware that it does not fold up and it is more expensive than most models.
Overall you should buy the True Fitness Performance 100 if you need a treadmill that can withstand the abuse of constant use and still perform reliably for years.
The TRM 223 has a basic black console without any unnecessary buttons or options – just what you need to get going fast. It comes with touch sensors or wireless heart rate monitoring, 10 preset workouts, a 57″ x 20″ running surface, and max incline of 15%.
One negative is that it only has a 57-inch long running surface. While that should accommodate most everyone, it might not be long enough for really tall people which is a bit disappointing on a model that costs almost $3000.
The Precor TRM223 is a good choice for anyone who just wants a simple, gym-quality machine with an excellent cushioning system.
The motor is above average, construction quality is good, and it has a good cushioning system. It is maybe a tad bit noisy, but comparable to other models in this price range.
The Pro 2000 has a 60″ x 22″ running surface, 32 built in workouts, and comes with a wireless chest strap and 2 hand grip heart rate monitors built into the handlebars. One feature it does have that very few budget models have is a 3% decline in addition to a 15% incline. It comes with a fan and sound system that are slightly better than other budget models, but still are not the great.
We recommend the ProForm Pro 2000 for anyone looking for the best value for the money or the best treadmill in the $1000-$1300 range.
The 80i comes with a 3hp motor, 11 mph max speed, and a 15% incline. On the downside the running surface is a bit narrow at just 18.5″ wide by 58″ long and there are only 8 built-in workout programs.
Overall the 3G Cardio 80i is not superior to other models in any one area, but not really lacking any important features either. If the Fold Flat design works for you then we would recommend buying it.
The basic features of the TRM 211 include a 57″ x 20″ running surface, 3 hp motor, 15% max incline, and 12 mph top speed.
However, the downside is the lack of programs. It has just 6 preset workouts and while it does have a hand rail with touch sensors for heart-rate monitoring, it does not have the safety side rails found on virtually all other machines. Although some users may find they actually prefer this style.
The construction is solid and durable and provides stable support for serious runners. The cushioning, while good, isn’t quite as good as gym quality machines.
It features a 60″ x 20″ running surface with 21 different programs including 2 customizable and 2 heart-rate programs with a wireless chest strap. It has a USB data port to save your workout information and upload it.
The warranty offers a solid 5 year parts coverage.
Features of the C1650 include a 10 inch web-enabled touchscreen, a 3.5 hp motor, 60″ x 20″ belt size, and 34 workout apps including calorie, heart rate control, speed, and incline programs.
The biggest negative is just the overall reliability which is much less than more expensive models, but on par with treadmills in this price range. The touchscreen is also not that responsive.
We would recommend the NordicTrack C1650 to anyone who has a max budget of around $1300 and who does not want the ProForm 2000.
Features of the AFG 7.3 AT include a 3 hp motor, 15% incline, 60″ x 20″ running surface, speakers, 10 inch touchscreen display, 11 workout programs, and pulse grips plus polar chest strap.
One con is that it does not have a good tablet holder – it just has a slot where you can place a tablet, but it is not in the best location.
Overall the AFG 7.3AT is another piece of cardio equipment that we would recommend to all home users who are looking to spend less than $1500.
The constuction quality is great and provides sturdy performance for runners. While the motor is adequate, it is not superior to other models in this price range. One area that is impressive is the noise level. It is really quiet and has a smooth operation.
One cause for concern is the controls. They are not as responsive as we would like.
The warranty is really great and among the best you will find for any treadmill. The motor, deck, and frame are all covered for life. Electronics, belts and rollers get 5 years of coverage, while labor gets two years.
It is also available at Amazon.
Best Treadmill Comparison Chart
(L” x W”)
|NordicTrack Commercial 2950||9.4||$2,299||4.25||60″ x 22″||15||-3||12||300||40||Yes||Yes|
|True Fitness Performance 100||9.4||$2,799||3||60″ x 20″||15||0||12||350||20||Yes||No|
|Precor TRM223||9.3||$2,898||3||57″ x 20″||15||0||12||350||10||Yes||No|
|ProForm Pro 2000||9.1||$1,299||3.5||60″ x 22″||15||-3||12||350||32||Yes||Yes|
|3G Cardio 80i||9.1||$1,799||3||58″ x 18.5″||15||0||11||325||8||Yes||Yes|
|Precor TRM211||9||$2,198||3||57″ x 20″||15||0||12||350||6||No||No|
|LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i||8.9||$1,999||3.25||60″ x 20″||13.3||0||12||350||21||Yes||Yes|
|NordicTrack C1650||8.9||$1,299||3.5||60″ x 20″||12||0||12||300||34||Yes||Yes|
|AFG 7.3 AT||8.9||$1,279||3||60″ x 20″||15||0||12||350||11||Yes||Yes|
|Sole Fitness F80||8.9||$1,399.99||3.5||60″ x 22″||15||0||12||350||10||Yes||Yes|
Treadmill Buying Guide
Generally speaking, the more you plan to use your treadmill, the more you should spend on it. If you only plan to use it for walking, there is no need to spend over $1000. If you want more features, like workout programs or iFit compatible, then you might need to spend around $1500 and up to get all the features you want. If you are taller than 6 feet, weigh more than 200 pounds, or multiple people plan on regularly using the treadmill, then we recommend spending a little bit more money to get a quality model.
When shopping for a new treadmill here are some important factors to consider:
Size – Even though many treadmills fold up, you need adequate space to actually use them. They are usually about 3 feet wide by 6.5 feet long and about half that length when folded. You also need a couple of extra feet around the unit to get on and off the machine safely.
Weight / Assembly – One thing that many people overlook is just how difficult a treadmill can be to set up. They can weigh up to 400 pounds and need some assembly. When purchasing check into delivery and whether assembly is included. Delivery men will usually just leave it outside your house or in your garage, so you will be responsible for getting it into its final position unless you make arrangements with someone to do that for you. Should you be doing it on your own we recommend having at least one if not 2 or more people to help you with moving it and assembling.
Construction / Comfort – Maybe the most important detail of a treadmill is how well it is constructed. You need a machine that will stand up to the abuse it will take while still providing you with the utmost comfort while using the unit. You should be aware that non-folding units typically are much more stable and durable than folding models are. The entire drive system including the motor, belt, and deck must be well engineered – they should work seamlessly together to make a smooth quiet operation. If a machine is really noisy that is a good indicator of a poorly or cheaper built machine. The belt size, or running surface area, should be examined for enough space, especially if you are taller or primarily run. Also look for extra or specialized cushioning to reduce impact on your joints and back.
Safety – Most models come with a key that is needed to start the machine. This key has a long cord that you clip to your clothing so that if you slip and fall it will turn off the treadmill. The key will also prevent young children from starting the machine. Handrails should be padded and are useful if you need a little assistance. Look for wide foot-rails next to the belt to make getting on and off the machine easier.
Controls / Programs – Look for intuitive controls that are clearly labeled and are simple up/down controls or quick touch buttons for speed and incline adjustments. Many models also come with workout routines built into the machine for you to follow which allows for variety, but many people do not use them. Many versions also come with a heart-rate monitor, usually a chest-strap or in some cases a hand-grip. Some treadmills feature a heart-rate control program which is designed to keep your hear-rate in the ideal range. Many new machines also integrate iFit which can track your workout history and uses Google Maps to give you a ‘real world’ workout.
Advanced Features – More and more high-tech, comfort, and convenient options are becoming available for treadmills, just remember they all cost extra. Some options include cooling fans, speakers, docks and ports for music players, wireless Internet connectivity, and internet browsers. Some options that many people don’t think about, but are very handy include cup holders and reading platforms.
Warranty – Last but certainly not least is the warranty. It seems like certain models have high user complaints of poor assembly or components that break quickly. So at a minimum the warranty should provide two to three years of coverage on major moving parts and a year on labor. The better ones can offer up to 10 or more years on parts and welding. For the most part we recommend avoiding any extended warranties.
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