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If exercise and staying in shape is important to you, then you know the amazing benefits the right treadmill can provide you with.
Treadmills are definitely an investment, but one that’s worth it. However, you’re going to want to make sure you’re selecting a top budget treadmill for your needs and your goals.
Not every treadmill is the same, or even similar with features, so keep on reading to find the one that’s perfect for you.
Best Budget Treadmills Under $500
|ADVENOR Motorized Treadmill||Sunny Health SF-T7603 Treadmill||NordicTrack T Series Treadmill|
|Speed:||1 - 8.1 MPH||0.5 - 9 MPH||0.5 - 12 MPH|
|Incline:||0 - 4.5%||0 - 3.8%||0 -12%|
|Weight:||88 Pounds||103 Pounds||203 Pounds|
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Cheap Treadmills For 2021
- ADVENOR Motorized Treadmill
- NordicTrack T Series Treadmill
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Electric Treadmill
- SereneLife Smart Digital Folding Treadmill
- Goplus Electric Foldable Treadmill
- XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill Black
- Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill
Budget Treadmill Reviews
- Connectivity: N/A
- Weight: 88 Pounds
- Incline Range: 0 – 4.5% Motorized Incline
- # of Training Programs: 36
- Motor Power: 2.5 Horsepower
Our first order of business, is the ADVENOR. Arriving in 2016, the model is still quite new, and is undoubtedly one of the best budget treadmills for home use.
It’s an amazing bargain at under $400 for the features you get. The large workout deck and advanced cushioning make it a pleasure to use, and is also much less stress on your joints.
With a high-quality belt system and a 2.5 CHP high-capacity motor, you’ll get a ton of power without the noise that usually goes along with it.
The console is packed with interactive training programs to keep your body guessing and to ensure you’re never bored.
With 36 workout programs that vary from cardio endurance, weight loss, 4.5% incline capability, and interval training, you can achieve whatever you want with ease!
The large, dual blue backlit LCD displays make it so you don’t have to squint at the screen, also giving a more immersive experience.
The media holder lets you keep your smartphone, tablet or other devices so you can run it for music, training guidance, apps, and more. It also features an accessory tray for you to safely hold a towel and water bottle under the console, so you never have to go without.
For safety, you have a lanyard or retractable cord, which will halt the belt if you lose balance. You can also hit the “stop” button whenever you’d like. Finally, once you’re done, you can easily fold the deck up for space-saving convenience.
- Connectivity: Smartphone
- Weight: 203 Pounds
- Incline Range: 0 – 12%, Motorized Incline
- # of Training Programs: 20
- Motor Power: 2.6 Continuous Horsepower
The NordicTrack T 6.5 S is the best treadmill for the money, in our research and experience. The well-built machine comes with all of the features you would expect out of a high-quality cardio machine, but at an affordable price.
Coming with a 2.6 CHP motor, it’s not as powerful as the previous one, but it get still get you to a running speed of up to 10 mph with an incline up to 10% Expect quiet, smooth operation, perfect for at-home use.
The FlexSelect deck lets you choose between a lower-stress, cushioned deck, or a firm deck that gives you more of that authentic “road-running” feel. Simply change it to your liking with the twist of a knob.
The console features 20 built-in programs, with access to iFit (free for the first month) so you can access Google Maps training routes wherever in the world you’d like to go, as well as auto stat tracking, personalized workouts, competitions with others, and much more.
The 5-inch backlit display is easy to read, and shows your speed, time, distance, heartrate, and calories burned. If you enjoy listening to music while you run, you’ll love the integrated sound system, too.
With one-touch controls, you can quickly and intuitively change your speed and incline, and you can measure your heartrate through the dual CardioGrip sensors on each handlebar.
For easy storage, it features telescoping shock so you can lift and fold the deck out of the way. It comes with a lifetime frame warranty, 25 years on the motor, and parts and labor are covered for a year.
- Connectivity: n/a
- Weight: 220 Pounds
- Incline Range: 0 – 4%
- # of Training Programs: 9
- Motor Power: 2.2 Continuous Horsepower
Are you looking for the best cheap treadmill but don’t want to compromise on features and quality?
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7603 is one of the very select consoles that we feel confident in recommending as the best budget treadmill, and you’re about to find out why.
It may not have all the bells and whistles you see in the more expensive models, but it has everything you need for excellent workouts and results.
With 9 built-in user programs and 3 incline levels, you’ll be able to add variety to your routines, while adjusting the intensity. Speed settings go all the way up to 9 mph, which is definitely sufficient for the vast majority of runners.
The pulse sensors and handrail controls make it easy to start up or stop, or even just adjust the speed quickly.
The LCD display is basic, but gets the job done to where you can read the time, speed, distance, heartrate, and calories burned without straining your eyes. The easy folding mechanism and soft-drop system makes folding and unfolding the console safe and simple.
While we really enjoyed this treadmill, we did have a couple complaints. The major one, was that the weight capacity seemed quite limited, at just 220 pounds.
Secondly, adjusting the incline requires that you actually step off of the deck and adjust it manually, which can be a bit of a hassle, especially once you’ve started your workout.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Syncs with App
- Weight: 75 Pounds
- Incline Range: 0 – 5%, Manual Incline
- # of Training Programs: 12
- Motor Power: 1.5 Continuous Horsepower
If you’re serious about taking your athletic endeavors indoors, then you’ll probably want to take a look at the best budget treadmill under $500.
We know, you’re probably thinking, “Aren’t all treadmills great for running?”. While they should all be running-capable, few could be considered as actually good for running.
As the SereneLife was built specifically for home use, you can expect quiet, smooth operation, with an easy-to-use folding mechanism.
With Bluetooth capability, you can sync your workout stats directly to your smartphone, to your app of choice. It ’t comes with 12 training programs, along with 2 custom and 2 heart programs.
Along with that, you’ll be able to reach speeds up to 7.5 mph, and will receive a two-ply belt, pulse grip, and chest strap heart rate monitoring. The display clearly shows speed, incline, time, distance, calories, heartrate, and pace, along with ¼ mile track feature and a peak/valley graph.
The 43” long belt is ideal for runners; even those over 6 feet tall. The 1.5 HP motor is heavy-duty, and is powerful enough for most any runner.
You have 3 incline levels that are manually set and it’s compact size along with being folding makes it perfect for smaller spaces.
The warranty covers the frame, motor, and the deck for one year.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Syncs with App
- Weight: 250 Pounds
- Incline Range: 0 – 15%
- # of Training Programs: 12
- Motor Power: 2.25 Horsepower
The Goplus Black Jaguar III is a high-quality folding console that is also the best budget treadmill under $500.
With a 5” blue-lit LCD display, you can watch your time, distance, calories burned, speed, heartrate, and incline with ease. Right there, you’ll also find a smartphone/iPad/Tablet holder, along with two water bottle holders so you’re always hydrated.
The incline isn’t as great as some of the others, as it does have to be manually adjusted between the three options.
The speed goes all the way up to 7.5, which is a bit lower than some of the others, but if you’re not a serious/competitive runner, this probably won’t be an issue.
Considering the price point, the fact that it comes with 12 built-in programs is quite impressive. You can choose between programs that focus on improving your cardio health, burn fat, and more.
No matter what your experience/skill level is, however, we know you’re going to love the cushioned design, complete with 4 silicone pads; two on each side of the machine.
These not only work to make it more comfortable for you, but also absorb noise and reduce vibration on your floor. Sensitive heartrate handrails are easy and convenient to use, without having to stop your natural stride.
- Connectivity: None
- Weight: 108 Pounds
- Incline Range: 0 – 10%
- # of Training Programs: 12
- Motor Power: 2.25 Horsepower
The XTERRA may not be the best incline treadmill, but it definitely excels in terms of design, manufacturing, and price.
Coming with a 5-inch LCD display, you can easily track your pulse, calories burned, time, distance covered, and speed. You’ll find hand pulse grips on each handle for convenience.
12 pre-loaded workout programs vary in intensity, and three incline options combine for enough options to keep your body guessing.
The downside to this, is that you can only alter the incline setting manually. Up by the screen, are accessory holders that can store your water bottle and smartphone, and a built-in reading rack for magazines or books you’re trying to catch up on.
In terms of comfort, the XTRASoft deck cushioning technology is here to help you out, providing various cushioning points to absorb a good amount of impact.
This also helps to reduce impact and sound on the flooring underneath. To help with the nice, is the smooth and quiet, high-torque motor to allow you to run up to 10 mph.
As it’s specially-designed for the home environment, it can be easily folded up and stored away. There is a lifetime warranty on the frame, 1 year on the motor, and 90 days on parts and labor.
It’s pretty weak, to be honest, but the construction is quite solid.
- Connectivity: None
- Weight: 142 Pounds
- Incline Range: 0 – 4%
- # of Training Programs: None
- Motor Power: 1.5 Horsepower
Perhaps you’re not into running, or your joints just don’t allow for that kind of stress on the joints.
Whatever it is, if you’re looking for a good budget treadmill, the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness is it. This console is definitely a budget-friendly product, but you’re also going to receive just about the bare minimum, as far as features go.
We’ll start off by saying, that while it does display workout data, this treadmill has exactly zero training programs.
That may be an issue if you want a lot of versatility in your workouts, or are looking for a program to kind of “lead” you. In addition, it only comes with 2 manual incline position.
One more aspect we didn’t find all that appealing, was that the treadmill also lacks a high-quality absorption system. Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t as important for walkers.
Now, let’s talk about what we did like. First, is the high weight capacity of 400 pounds, which is perfect if you’re trying to get back in shape and to a more healthy weight.
The long safety handrails are great if you’re still working on getting your balance back, and the safety key will keep you safe if it’s pulled out of place. The compact frame makes it very convenient to store, and is great if you don’t have as much space in your home.
The LCD display is good-sized, and displays time, distance, calories burned, speed, and heartrate. Finally, you’ll receive a 10 year-warranty on the motor and the frame, and over 5 years for parts and labor. It’s neither here nor there.
Budget Treadmill Comparison Table
|Home Treadmill||Speed||Incline Range||Weight||Motor Power||Rating|
|ADVENOR Motorized Treadmill||1-8.1 MPH||0-4.5%||88 lbs||2.5 HP||4.4 / 5.0|
|NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill||0.5-12 MPH||0 -12%||203 lbs||2.6 HP||3.9 / 5.0|
|Sunny Health SF-T7603||0.5-9 MPH||0-3.8%||103 lbs||2.2 HP||4.0 / 5.0|
|SereneLife Folding Treadmill||0.5-7.5 MPH||0-4%||75 lbs||1.5 HP||4.0 / 5.0|
|Goplus Electric Foldable Treadmill||0.5-7.5 MPH||0-15%||97 lbs||2.25 HP||4.2 / 5.0|
|XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill||0.5-10 MPH||0-10%||108 lbs||2.25 HP||4.1 / 5.0|
|Exerpeutic TF1000 Electric Treadmill||0.5-4 MPH||0-4%||120 lbs||1.5 HP||3.8 / 5.0|
How to Choose the Best Treadmill For Runners on a Budget
Now that you’ve read our in-depth reviews about each of the best budget treadmills for home use, perhaps you’ve already picked out the one you want.
There is a chance, however, that you’re still on-the-fence about which one to settle on. That’s completely understandable, considering treadmills are complex machines that are worth investing in.
That’s why we’ve decided to create a buying guide, to ensure you’re successful in selecting the console just for you and your needs.
First, it’s important to select the space in which you’ll be placing your treadmill and working out in. Think about how much room you can realistically have to dedicate to it.
Also, measure out the intended storage area, if you’re thinking of opting for a folding treadmill. You’ll find treadmill dimensions are available if you look at the manufacturer’s page, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
We recommend the space be a bit larger than the treadmill dimensions, as treadmills often move a bit when someone is running on them, and you don’t want to risk damaging any of your property. The ideal clearance is at least an area of 3 inches on each side/end.
You’ll want to figure this out before moving forward, as this could possibly save you a good chunk of cash. If you’re just using it for low-impact walking, for example, you’re not going to need quite as many features, programs, shock absorption, and motor power, which is going to really reduce the price of the console.
The track speed is also relative to this. If you’re going to be running seriously, then you may want to choose one that has the capability of reaching up to 12 mph. If you’re a runner but not as high-intensity, then 10 is more than adequate.
Most home treadmills feature built-in workout programs, which essentially just control the speed and incline. The more affordable treadmills will often just have a “manual mode” where you’ll control all of these yourself.
Some only come with a few workout programs, while others come with dozens to choose from. Keep in mind that generally speaking, the more built-in programs there are, the higher the price is going to inflate. Aside from the basics, though, there are a couple of other options to consider:
This program can go through your wireless internet connection, however, you will need to subscribe to their monthly membership so you can take advantage of unlimited, personalized workouts.
You’ll get access to hundreds of video workouts. In addition, you can use customized Google Maps routes, which allows you the option to create any route in Google maps, and see it all right there on your treadmill!
In addition to visuals, you’ll even feel the rise and fall of the terrain in that area. Typically, you’ll only find this subscription option with NordicTrack, HealthRider and ProForm.
These aren’t quite as common, and you’ll definitely pay for the excitement, but there are certain machines that have different routes included. For example, the Nautilus T618 lets you use the RunSocial app to experience real, breathtaking tracks all around the world, with amazing visuals.
You have the option to virtually run or compete with other real users all over the globe, in real time, too! It’s a wonderful app that can really transform your at-home running experience.
In addition, think about how much incline you’ll need for your workouts. If you’re training for hiking, then you’ll probably want a few different options that can be controlled either on the screen, or on the handrails. If it’s not as important to you, choosing manual options, or even less options shouldn’t be an issue.
Incline an help you burn calories more efficiently, while also reducing stress on joints, and target various muscle groups, such as the quads and hamstrings. Keep that in mind while selecting.
Safety is important, especially if you’re going to be using the product at home. First, make sure that your treadmill has a reliable heartrate/pulse monitor, so you’re always within a healthy, safe zone. Next, make sure it has an auto-stop feature.
This is very important to those who are elderly, or those with pets or young children around. Auto-stop is typically managed with a key, where it’s attached to your body in some way, through a lanyard. If you slip or pull away, the key will pull and the treadmill will automatically stop.
Motor power is important as it, well, powers the track. We measure this power in horsepower (HP), or continuous horsepower (CHP). Most at-home machines will have a motor anywhere from 2.25 to 4.25 CHP, however, there are occasions where you’ll find a bit lower or a bit more powerful than that. So, just how much do you need?
Take a look:
Walking: 2.0 CHP or higher
Jogging: 2.5 CHP or higher
Running: 3.0 CHP or higher
If you weigh over 200 pounds, you’ll want to add 0.5 CHP to those calculations.
Track size is also important, yet is often overlooked. Some people that are new to treadmills aren’t even aware that there are different track sizes, so this is crucial when making your selection.
If you’re shorter, and/or will just be walking on your machine, it’s not as important. However, if you’re taller, or will be using it for running, pay special attention to this part.
The “standard” today for track lengths, is 55” for walking machines, and 58-60” for running. Some will be even longer than that. As for width, the standard is 20”. Extra-wide tracks are becoming more common, as they’re safer, more sturdier, and allow for more freedom.
The cushioning of the running bed should efficiently absorb shock/impact, and you shouldn’t be experiencing the belt moving around every time your feet strike the track. This is not only for your comfort, but should also protect your flooring as well through minimizing vibration.
Track cushioning can reduce impact anywhere from 15 to a whopping 40 percent, which not only reduces the risk of injury, but also boosts stamina.
Not every machine will have this feature, but it’s one that we personally love: the ability to either soften or harden the track. If you make it softer, this will cause much less stress to your joints, in an otherwise solidly-impacting routine.
The harder option emulates road terrain more, making it great for training in inclimate weather conditions.
The control panel is an essential part of your experience, as it’s what you’ll be staring at if not out the window, watching a show, reading a book, etc. The control panel should display crucial information, such as: calories burned, time, heartrate, incline level, speed, and ideally, more.
The panel should ideally be a backlit LCD screen, and 5 inches is, for us, the minimum. In addition, it should be well within reach, and easy to use, with large enough text that you don’t have to strain your eyes to see.
When looking into the overall durability of a treadmill, the most important part to look at is the treadbelt, as it seems to vary the most in quality. The three aspects you’ll want to look into are: thickness, the metal rollers, and lubrication.
You’ll see that they will come in anywhere from a single layer, all the way up to a two or four-ply thickness. As you can probably guess, the more layers you have, the more durable it’s going to be. In addition, the thicker the belt is, the more quiet they usually are. The “budget” products are usually only going to have one-ply tracks.
We didn’t cover this too much, but it’s still crucial. Rollers are what actually propels the track. Those with bigger diameters will place less stress on the motor, helping to lengthen the belt life. A good diameter for at-home machines is 2.5”, more or less.
If you didn’t already know, the belts of your new machine are going to require lubrication every few months, for ideal performance. However, the most high-quality tracks don’t need this, and are completely maintenance-free, as they’re actually made with silicone or another lubricant.
If you want a good insight into how long your treadmill is going to last, or rather, how well it was built, check out the warranty the manufacturer provides. A warranty is typically going to cover the frame, motor, parts, and labor.
Frame: Most treadmills worth their salt (and even the budget products) are going to have lifetime warranties on their frames. This is, of course, ideal.
Motor: Most will also give lifetime guarantees on their motors. However, if the one you have in mind doesn’t, you may not have to worry if it gives a 25-year guarantee. Anything below that is a bit questionable, and unless it’s a really good deal, you should opt for one that has this, at minimum.
Parts: This part of the warranty tends to vary quite a bit. Typically, the budget-end of the spectrum is going to give something like a 90-day guarantee, or may not even give one at all. The more reliable ones are going to have at least a year of coverage, and the best ones will give you at minimum, five years of coverage.
Labor: On the cheapest machines, this won’t even be covered. However, this also varies quite a bit. Others will typically provide a year or two of labor with no cost.
FAQs For Budget Treadmills
Q: How accurate are the “calories burned” numbers?
It’s an estimation, so we can’t say they’re 100% accurate. However, most of the high-quality machines do come pretty close.
Q: Can I train on my new treadmill for road races?
You can use the majority of your training time on a treadmill for good results, but keep in mind that you should definitely be increasing the incline and run on “hills” at least once a week.
Keep in mind that even if the deck is considered to be hard, you should prepare your body for running on asphalt by strength-training a couple of times a week at minimum, and do at least one outdoor run per week for the last 4 weeks of training.
Q: Should I wear different shoes for treadmill use?
Nope! You can wear the same shoes that you’d usually wear for regular outdoor running. You may choose to go for a pair with less cushioning, since the treadmill is softer than most outdoor surfaces.
Q: Are treadmills easier on the body than regular, outdoor running?
Absolutely. As it’s a softer surface, that is going to help a lot. In addition, the track is made to absorb a good amount of impact, making it easier on the joints. If you are looking for a totally impact free workout, take a look at recumbent bikes or spinning bikes. Either will give you a good workout with no impact.
Tips For Using Your Treadmill
#1: Make sure to do outdoor running or strength-training at least once a week
This is because treadmills aren’t made to condition the musculature of the lower extremities like road running does. To properly train the whole body, you shouldn’t leave them out.
#2: Use a slight incline
Try to at least set your treadmill at a 1-2% incline. As there’s no wind resistance indoors, this will better simulate outdoor running. If you’re a beginner, you can work up to this point.
#3: Try not to hold on to the handrail unless you need to
These are solely there to help you safely step on and off the machine. When running, you should be practicing proper running form by keeping your arms at a 90-degree angle, just like with outdoor running.
#4: Always cool down and warm up
Proper cool downs and warm ups are going to make a great difference – especially regarding injury prevention. The muscles should be warm before you start sprinting or jogging, to ensure nothing gets strained. Cooling down for even 5 minutes will allow your heartrate to go below 100 bpm to prevent any dizziness and get you in the mindset of relaxing your body.
Now that you know pretty much everything you need to select a good budget treadmill for you, which one will be making its way into your home? We hope that we’ve been of some help, and that you enjoy your new machine. We want to thank you for joining us, and we’ll see you again, soon!
How We Researched
To come up with the top budget treadmills, we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Sears along with our own personal experience.
The authors consulted sources such as online magazines for research and reviews unbiased information.
By using Fakespot.com we tried to eliminate fake reviews and use only genuine ones.
With so many options available, the authors narrowed down the selections by using products they felt were the best value for the money.
The staff authors have a wide and varied background as fitness trainers, yoga instructors and runners. The authors have decades of experience and are eager to share their knowledge with readers.
In order to narrow down the options, we used personal experiences plus recommendations from other trainers and instructors.