If you are looking to buy a budget treadmill under $500 for your home that has good speed, durable design, wide running area, the ability to fold, and multiple incline positions you are in the right place.
Hi, my name is Bozhidar and in this post:
- I will show you which is the best treadmill under $500 I own and use (and why I like it)
- What are the other 4 great treadmills I also like and recommend (in case you don’t like mine)
- Compare and test all 5 treadmills in various important categories and rate them appropriately
- Share with you what are the 9 important things you should look for when buying a treadmill under $500
- What can you expect from a $500 treadmill? (the truth)
- And much more…
So if you want to learn everything please read this article till the end.
Are you in a rush?
Don’t worry if you don’t have the time to read this entire article I highly recommend you to take a look at the best treadmill I currently use – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400. (click here to check the price on Amazon.com)
I really like it because it’s affordable, well made, has enough power and space for jogging and running, and quiet.
So for the price I believe this is one of the best options you can get. Please click the link above to check it out for more details or keep reading to see my in-depth review.
So let’s start learning some great stuff. Are you ready?
What Can You Expect From a $500 Treadmill? (Is it worth it?)
Before I start with the product reviews and comparison I want to introduce you to some useful information you can use in order to pick the perfect treadmill for your needs.
Let me tell you what exactly you can expect from buying a treadmill under $500.
Quick Tip: With a lower budget for a treadmill the only things you’ll potentially lose are additional, yet not that important features.
1. A $500 treadmill has exactly what you need
You don’t need to pay a lot of money in order to get the most important things. If you are paying a lot more than $500 in most cases you are really paying for additional not so important features.
With around $500 you can cover all the basic things you need – a powerful motor, the option to incline selection, spacious running surface, and durable materials. Also, you can get all the vital features such as a heart rate monitor, safety key, speed adjustment options, and more.
Tip: I highly recommend that you read the whole article (it’s not that long) and use all the provided information to pick one of the 5 models I will review shortly.
2. You get the same results even with a cheaper treadmill
At the end of the day, a treadmill is a machine. Giving away a lot more money isn’t going to help you with getting faster results or burning more calories. There are some things in this life that money just can’t buy and health is one of them.
You need to do the hard work and you will really get the same results with a smaller budget comparing it with a lot more expensive version. If you think about it the same thinking can be applied to the car industry.
3. You still get good quality and longevity
Of course, some of the more expensive options will have better quality and will last longer. Have in mind that in today’s world competition is everywhere and if a brand decides to lower its quality competitors will eat him alive.
So don’t worry about quality – for about $300-$500, you can get very good materials and quality in a combination with long warranty and longevity.
Everything is designed to last for a long time if it is used at a moderate rate.
4. Cheaper treadmills usually take less space
If you don’t have a lot of free space to work with this actually may be a good thing for you. Normally the more money you pay for a treadmill the heavier and bulkier it becomes. That way you actually can really benefit from buying a treadmill with a smaller budget.
There are even folding versions that can get flat which are ideal for people who don’t use them much often and can’t store them vertically.
That way you can easily store it somewhere else and use that space for other things. It’s always a better thing to have more free space you can use whenever you like.
5. They are normally simpler to assemble
Cheaper treadmills under $1000 and $500 are usually made of simpler parts and so the assembly will be way easier than that of more expensive machines. In most cases, models can be assembled in less than half an hour.
That is not the case with fancy treadmills. Some of them contain hundreds of little particles that somehow need to be put together.
And do not forget the 200-page manual that comes in the package. The instructions may turn out to be a good night read. What is more, some simpler models don’t even require a spare pair of hands to assemble them.
In this way, you can save an awkward visit by asking your annoying neighbour for help…
Тhe only problem may be the way incline is handled.
Most treadmills that are close to the $500 range use a secondary motor specifically added in order to change the incline position but the majority of the cheaper models still rely on manual selection, though.
Now let’s see what are my favorite treadmills and put them to the test…
What are the Top 5 Best Budget Treadmills Under $500 You Can Get Right Now?
To be honest, $500 isn’t that big of a budget when it comes to treadmills. But it’s still enough to get you a really good model if you know when to look.
Here’s a comparison table of all the 5 different treadmills so you can see which one you like the most:
Please click on the name in order to find out more information about any one of the models.
|Name||Best For||Motor||Incline||Running area (inches)||Folding||Top speed||Weight capacity||Item Weight||Dimensions (inches)|
|Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400||Best Incline Treadmill for Home Under $500||2.2 HP||0 – 4.37%||49L x 15.5W||Yes (standing)||9MPH||220lbs (100 kg)||103 lbs||62L x 25.5W x 50H|
|Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515||Best Foldable Treadmill For Small Space and Apartment||2.2 HP||0 – 12%||49.5L x 16.5W||Yes (standing)||8MPH||240 lbs (120 kg)||121 lbs||64.5L x 28W x 50.5H|
|Weslo Cadence G 5.9||Best Home Gym Treadmill for Walking and Running||2.25HP||0-11%||50L x 16W||Yes (standing)||10 MPH||275 lbs (125 kg)||115 lbs||64.5L x 29W x 55.5H|
|XTERRA Fitness TR150||est Budget Folding Treadmill for Small Home Gym Under $400||2.25 HP||0-10%||50L x 16W||Yes (standing)||10 MPH||250 lbs (113 kg)||108 lbs||63.4L x 28.75W x 51.4H|
|UREVO Foldable Treadmill||Best Under the Bed Foldable Treadmill for Home||2.5 HP||None||45.7L x16.5W||Yes (flat)||7.5MPH||260 lbs (117 kg)||75 lbs||55.2L X 38.2W X 27.8H|
So in order to help you make the right decision, I’m going to review and compare each one of the 5 treadmills below using 9 different important categories. I’m also going to rate each model on a scale of 1 to 10 in the most important categories so you can see which one is the best option for you.
The categories I’m going to use are:
- My overall experience and opinion
- Weight capacity and walking size
- Portability and size
- Speed and incline
- What makes it unique and better than the rest?
- Who is this treadmill best for?
- Are there any good alternatives
- What I like
- What I don’t like
So in order to get the maximum of this article please read everything.
With that being said let’s get started with the first treadmill I currently own and use daily…
1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 – Best Incline Treadmill for Home Under $500
- Motor: 2.2 HP
- Incline: 0 – 4.37%
- Running area: 49L x 15.5W
- Folding: Yes (standing)
- Top speed: 9 MPH
- Weight capacity: 220 lbs (100 kg)
- Item Weight: 103 lbs
- Dimensions (inches): 62L x 25.5W x 50H
My overall experience and opinion:
I really like this treadmill because it offers the same features that some of the more expensive models have without having to pay 2-3X more money. For example, it’s really well built and no matter how hard I run on top everything is still running smoothly and quietly.
The 2.2 HP motor is perfect for light running but if you are looking for spriting this might not be the best option.
I personally mainly use it for walking and jogging and in my opinion, this is the best option in this price range.
While it comes with 3 adjustment incline options to choose from you you still have to do it manually.
But for $500 and less that’s what you should expect but to be honest, the whole adjustment process is fairly simple to do and takes me about 10-15 seconds to do it before I start using the treadmill.
I personally prefer to do the 2% incline because it gives me enough angle to feel it.
Of course, if you need more challenging uphill you can choose the 4.37% incline as well. I’ve tried it a couple of times but personally find the 2% enough for what I aim to do.
Sadly from of all 5 models that I review here my treadmill has the smallest weight capacity. The frame is designed to hold only 220 lbs (100 kg) so please make sure to have that in mind because it may not be enough for bigger or taller people.
But besides that, this treadmill comes with a fairly simple vertical folding mechanism combined with transportable wheels.
I really like those features because I usually store mine near the corner of the room when I don’t use it.
Also bear in mind that this is a 103 lbs (50 kg) machine and without those wheels, it would be a real nightmare if I had to move it from one place to another every time I use it.
While the running surface of 48.8L x 15.75W is nothing special it’s still enough for the average height person like myself. I don’t have any problems with walking or jogging comfortably.
But my favorite thing is the pre-built cushioning system designed to help you get less impact on your legs while you jog.
I’ve used plenty of treadmills and trust me, you would really appreciate this feature when you have to use a machine that doesn’t have any cushioning – it can be really bad if you need to run a long distance…
It has a decent LCD display offers supprisingly offers a bit more than just the basic information.
For example, you can use it to check things like manual mode, safety lock, power saving options, and more.
But my favorite display feature is the pause function. If you decide to stop for any reason, for example, to go to the toilet, or drink some water it will help you keep all your previous data and vital information before the break. So the next time you start using the machine everything will continue right where you left it.
I can’t really stress how helpful this can be if you are like me and really care about such things.
You can also easily adjust the speed, start and stop the machine and measure your pulse at any time with the help of the 2 pulse grips on both handles.
Why some people don’t care about such things, for me personally it is always a good thing to know my current pulse because you can use it to your advantage and pick the right tempo.
And finally, I want to let you that with this treadmill you get 9 pre-built workout programs to choose from but I mainly use 3.
One little thing I like is the 3-year frame warranty that comes with your purchase. Sadly all other smaller parts receive only 90 days of warranty.
But in general, like I said the quality is really good so it’s very unlikely that you will have to use those warranties anyway.
Weight capacity and walking size: Sadly my treadmill can only support 220 lbs (100 kg) so it’s not the best option if you are really tall or weigh more than that. But if you are 220 lbs or less this is one of the best treadmills you can get because it’s really well made and has a decent walking space so you have enough room to walk or jog comfortably. But because of the low weight capacity, I will have to give it a 7.5 out of 10 in this category.
Portability and size: When it comes to size I have to say that this treadmill is a bit smaller than the average model at this price range. It also has a really easy foldable design that stands vertically. But because of the wheels and overall dimension, I have to say it’s easy to move around. I personally haven’t moved it that much but it’s not a hard thing to do if you have to do it regularly. So that’s why I would give it a 9 out of 10 when it comes to portability and size. It’s not the smallest or lightest treadmill but it is still quite portable compared to some of the other models you can buy.
Speed and incline: While this is not the fastest treadmill you can buy or the one that has the biggest incline I still like it because it’s perfect for walking or jogging. I usually don’t like to sprint on a treadmill and don’t need too much of an incline in order to get a good workout so, in my opinion, it deserves to get again a 7.5 out of 10. While it’s nothing special in these 2 categories it still does an excellent job for a budget treadmill under $500.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: In my opinion, the 3 biggest factors that make this model better than the majority of the rest in this price range are the high-quality durable materials, the built-in cushioning system that helps your feet not to get sore after a long workout, and the ability to be able to track your pulse. Even if some people don’t care about that, I do. This small feature can really help you get better and faster results because you can easily adjust your tempo and keep track of your pulse during your workouts.
Who is this treadmill best for?: After using it for a while I have to say that this treadmill is perfect for people who are looking for a well-made and quiet model that can be used for walking, jogging, and light running at home. It is also very portable and doesn’t take a lot of space so if you are limited on that this might be a good option for you. But in general, if you want to spend up to $500 on a great treadmill, the Sunny SF-T4400 is one of the best options you can get.
Are there any good alternatives: Even if I’m a really big fan of this treadmill a great alternative you should definitely check is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 (click here to learn more about it on Amazon.com). While both treadmills are made by the same company and have a similar price they are not the same. The SF-T7515 can support 20 lbs more weight and has a 12% incline instead of 4.3% but it’s 1 mph slower than my current one. So if you are looking for speed go with SF-T4400 or if you want more weight capacity and higher incline go with the SF-T7515. But at the end of the day, both models are great so you won’t make a mistake no matter which one you decide to pick.
What I like:
- Very strong, quiet, and durable motor
- You can go up to 9 mph which is enough for a good cardio workout
- You get a 3-year frame warranty
- It has extra pulse sensors I really like.
- Pre-built cushions to get less impact
- Easy to fold and move around because of the wheels
- It has 9 Workout programs to choose from
- It uses a nice build-in cushioning system which does really absorb some of the shock when you jog
What I don’t like:
- It can hold up only 220 lbs. It may not be enough for bigger or taller people.
- You get only a 90-Day warranty for some parts which is
- The packaging is not very good.
- You can’t fold it and make it flat to the ground to store it under a bed.
2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 – Best Foldable Treadmill For Small Space and Apartment
- Motor: 2.2 HP
- Incline: 0 – 12%
- Running area: 49.5L x 16.5W
- Folding: Yes (standing)
- Top speed: 8 MPH
- Weight capacity: 240 lbs (120 kg)
- Item Weight: 121 lbs
- Dimensions (inches): 64.5L x 28W x 50.5H
Weight capacity and walking size: While the length of the walking area of nearly 50 inches is nothing special I really have to mention the fact that the width is around 1 inch wider than what you get with most models in this price range. That makes the walking area even more comfortable because you have more space on both sides. While 240 lbs is not a lot of weight it is still better than my current option so in my opinion, the SF-T7515 deserves to get no less than 9 out of 10 for weight capacity and walking space. After all, not many machines have 16.5 inches in belt width and can support 240 lbs and I have to respect that.
Portability and size: But the bigger walking size comes at a minus. This treadmill is a bit bigger and heavier than the majority but you still won’t be able to move it around because it comes with the same set of wheels as mine. And of course, you can still move it to the corner and vertically fold it when you don’t use it so it’s again a nice option for a home gym. But because of the extra size and few pounds, I have to give it an 8 out of 10 in this category. But even if I’ve taken 2 points away this is still a really good treadmill worth trying.
Speed and incline: I really like this treadmill because it offers up to 12% of incline which is the biggest number I’ve seen so far. So if you like steep hills, then this is the model for you. I personally don’t enjoy jogging on a very steep angle but 12% will really help you get a really solid workout. It’s even hard to walk it if you do it for a solid distance. Sadly when it comes to speed this treadmill is not fast at all compared to some of the other models. But 8 mph is enough for walking or light jogging and if that’s the main purpose you read this article then this is a great alternative to check out. So when I look at the numbers I have to give it an 8.5 out of 10 when it comes to the percentage of incline and max speed. I would have easily rated it a 10/10 if the speed was a bit higher than 8 mph.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: In my opinion, 2 things really make this treadmill unique and better than the majority – the 12% automatic incline and the 16.5 inches wide stepping belt. The majority of incline treadmills in this price range come with manual incline adjustment which means that you need to stop your workout, lift the back end of the machine and adjust both ends by hand. With the Sunny SF-T7515, you can do the exact same thing 100% automatic with a push of a button while you are running or walking because it has a separate motor that is designed specifically for this. And the wider belt means that you will have more space to step on which is another plus if you have a wider stance than normal.
Who is this treadmill best for?: Because of the extra features I mentioned above I believe this specific treadmill is perfect for people who want to have a high percentage of incline and don’t want to waste time manually adjusting the angles. It is also a great option for taller people because of the longer and wider stepping surface. So in my opinion the SF-T7515 is one of the best foldable treadmills you can get if you have a small apartment or limited space. You get everything you need in a well-made product.
Are there any good alternatives: If you still need a wider walking surface, good overall quality, and the ability to fold and store away your treadmill when not in use you should definitely check the UREVO Foldable Treadmill (click here to see the latest price on Amazon). I really like it because it has the same wide belt, a 20 lbs more weight capacity, 2.5 hp strong motor and can be stored horizontally under a bed or sofa, but sadly it doesn’t have any incline options. So if you really care about incline levels, you should go for the Sunny SF-T7515. But if you care more about the ability to be able to fold your treadmill near the floor then your best shot is the UREVO Foldable Treadmill.
What I like:
- It has a very wide 16.5-inch walking surface
- Can support up to 240 lbs (20 lbs more than my model)
- Has fully automatic incline adjustment (uses a separate motor)
- Can go up to 12% of incline (more than anything else I’ve seen)
- Has the ability to be folded vertically
- Made from good materials and quiet engine
- A great option for walking or light jogging
What I don’t like:
- Has a top speed of only 8 mph
- Can be a little bulky and heavy when in use
- Not great for people over 240 lbs
3. Weslo Cadence G 5.9 – Best Home Gym Treadmill for Walking and Running
- Motor: 2.25 HP
- Incline: 0-11%
- Running area: 50L x 16W
- Folding: Yes (standing)
- Top speed: 10 MPH
- Weight capacity: 275 lbs (125 kg)
- Item Weight: 115 lbs
- Dimensions (inches): 64.5L x 29W x 55.5H
My overall experience and opinion:
When it comes to good tredmills under $500 I can’t continue without show you the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 which is another worthy option.
While it’s customer service is not the best, the 2.5 horsepower motor is enough for walking, jogging, and even light running.
After all, the maximum speed of 10 miles per hour is higher than what my current treadmill offers.
This allows you to run even faster and burn even more calories at a faster rate.
Similar to my current treadmill, the Cadence G 5.9 comes with built-in extra cushioning to help absorb the shock when you walk or run which is something really important. Trust me, having this is like running or grass against concrete.
You also can adjust it up to 11% with a 2-position manual incline and has all the basic functions you need. While the adjustment is not automatic, 11% is still a very decent incline that would really make your workouts a lot harder.
When fully operating, the machine itself comes in a considerably big size – 68 x 31 x 10 inches so have that in mind if you don’t have a lot of space.
Another thing I like is the extra thumb pulse heart rate monitor which can really help you keep an eye on your heart rate at any given time.
For me personally this feature is really important because it does really help.
Last but not least, the treadmill comes with a 1-year motor warranty and 90 days warranty for all other parts and labor but please not that their customer support is not good and you may have issues if something breaks.
Weight capacity and walking size: With its 275 lbs (125 kg) weight capacity this treadmill is one of the strongest ones I’ve seen. That makes it perfect for tall or bigger people that really want something durable and well made. After all, numbers don’t lie and you can be sure that if something can support about 30-55 lbs more weight than its competitors has to be made using better materials. So the bigger the weight capacity a product has, the better materials it uses. And when you combine 275 lbs with the big 50L x 16W running area you really start to see why I’ve had no other option than to rate it a 10 out of 10 in this category.
Portability and size: But even with the bigger weight capacity and running area this treadmill is still portable. You can easily move it around with the help of the wheels and it can be again folded vertically and stored near a wall like mine. But because it’s still a bit wider and longer I will have to take away some points and leave it with a 7 out of 10. While it’s not the most portable model you can find, it’s nothing bad either.
Speed and incline: Because of the extra 1 mph and the long and wide stepping area the Cadence G 5.9 is a great treadmill for running as well as walking. And the best part is that you can still adjust it up to 11% of incline which is a very decent angle. Sadly you will have to do that process manually but as a person who has done this a hundred times, I have to say it’s nothing complicated at all. And because of those 2 things I have to give it a well-deserved 9 out of 10. For this price range, these metrics are some of the best ones you can find.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: From what I’ve seen so far 2 things make this treadmill really better than the rest – its massive maximum capacity of 275 lbs and its long and wide walking surface while still having decent speed. While there are smaller and lighter treadmills, they can’t go near the Weslo Cadence because it’s really well made and can support a lot of weight while giving plenty of room to run or walk on.
Who is this treadmill best for?: Because of the extra weight capacity and bigger overall size, this treadmill is great for taller or bigger people that have long legs and need a bit more width and length in order to be able to run or walk comfortably. But because of the overall features, it is still another great option you can buy for under $500.
Are there any good alternatives: Another great alternative that also can withstand a lot of weight and has a big walking area is the XTERRA Fitness TR150 (click here to check the latest price on Amazon.com). While it can withstand 20 lbs less than the Cadence G 5.9, it is 7 lbs lighter and has a bit more programs and options to choose from. So check it out of you are looking for a worthy alternative.
What I like
- It has a very long and wide running area
- It can support 275 lbs of weight (20-55 lbs more than the rest)
- A great option for tall or bigger people that need more walking space
- Extra 1 mph (10 mph maximum speed) which is enough for light running
- Easy to move around when not used
What I don’t like
- Can be a little bit too big and bulky
- Not very helpful customer service if something breaks
4. XTERRA Fitness TR150 – Best Budget Folding Treadmill for Small Home Gym Under $500
- Motor: 2.25 HP
- Incline: 0-10%
- Running area (inches): 50L x 16W
- Folding: Yes (standing)
- Top speed: 10 MPH
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs
- Item Weight: 108 lbs
- Dimensions (inches): 63.4L x 28.75W x 51.4H
Weight capacity and walking size: With its 250 lbs of weight capacity and 50L x 16W inch walking space, the XTERRA Fitness TR150 is another great option for taller or bigger people that need a bit more space to step comfortably. While those numbers aren’t anything that special, they are still one of the best ones you can get for under $500. And because of that, I’m going to rate it a 9.5 out of 10. While the numbers are a little bit low compared to the Cadence G 5.9, the overall quality and size are still the same.
Portability and size: Even though this treadmill offers 250 lbs of weight capacity and has a big walking space it is still a bit more compact when fully ready to be used compared to the TR150. I don’t know how they managed to do this but I’m really impressed because those few extra inches of saved space can be really important if you can barely fit it inside your room. But even with the overall big size, the treadmill machine is still pretty lightweight and portable because of the built-in wheels and the ability to be stored vertically. Which to be honest is nothing special but necessary in this industry. And because of these things, I will give it a final 8.5 out of 10. While XTERRA Fitness TR150 is not the smallest treadmill you can get under $500, the features you receive compared to the size are really impressive and are something you need to think about.
Speed and incline: When it comes to speed I have to say that 10 mph is more than enough so you can walk, jog and even run comfortably. While you won’t be able to do sprints it is still enough speed so you can easily increase your heart rate and start burning more calories. So if you like to run fast, then this treadmill might be what you are looking for. Even if you have to manually adjust the incline, I really find the process to be very easy and fast. All you need to do is pull and push a pin and in around 20 seconds you will have adjusted the incline level up to 10%. But even if it’s not hard to do it is still something manual and because of that, I will have to take 1.5 points away and rate it an 8.5 out of 10.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: While the XTERRA Fitness TR150 treadmill doesn’t offer any rare and amazing features on its own, I really like the overall things you get. After all, this is a treadmill that is designed for taller and bigger people while still can be used by the average Joe. What I personally like about it is the long and wide usable area and the fact that it can get as fast as 10 mph while still not being too big and bulky.
Who is this treadmill best for?: In my opinion, this treadmill is perfect for taller and bigger people that have long legs. But it’s still a great option for anybody who wants speed, nice quality, and the ability to be able to do incline walking or jogging. I believe that the TR150 offers everything you can possibly need and for that price you can’t really complain. So click the link below and check it out if you want to learn more.
Are there any good alternatives: As I said earlier the best alternative to the TR150 is the previous model I reviewed – the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 (click here to check it out on Amazon). While both models are very similar to one another, the Cadence has a bit higher incline and can support 25 extra lbs of weight. On the other side, the TR150 is lighter, smaller, and a bit easier to use. Another great alternative I can recommend is my current home gym treadmill – Sunny SF-T4400 (see latest price from here). It is smaller, lighter, takes less space, and has extra shock-absorbing abilities which do really help.
What I like
- Very wide and long running area
- Can withstand 250 lbs (a bit more than the average treadmill)
- Can be used for walking, jogging, and even light running because of the 10 mph top speed
- Doesn’t weigh too much even despite the size
- Easy to assemble
- The motor is quiet
What I don’t like
- Packaging is not great
- It’s still a bit bulky even when folded
- Can’t fold it horizontally
- You will lose all your progress if you accidentally detach the safety cord.
5. UREVO Foldable Treadmill – Best Under the Bed Foldable Treadmill for Home
- Motor: 2.5 HP
- Incline: None
- Running area (inches): 45.7L x 16.5W
- Folding: Yes (flat)
- Top speed: 7.5 MPH
- Weight capacity: 260 lbs (117 kg)
- Item Weight: 75 lbs
- Dimensions (inches): 55.2L X 38.2W X 27.8H
Weight capacity and walking size: Even if this treadmill is the smallest and lightest it can still withstand up to 260 lbs which is impressive. That is 60 lbs more than my current one which is 28 lbs heavier and bulkier. When it comes to the walking space I really like the extra width of 16.5 inches in width but find the 45.7 inches length to be a bit short for taller people. But if your legs are average in length you shouldn’t have any problems with walking or jogging comfortably. Because of that, I’m going to rate it a 9 out of 10. Even though the running surface is a little short, it is really well made and has a very good width.
Portability and size: In my opinion, the UREVO treadmill easily wins a 10 out of 10 in this category because it’s only one of the few ones that can be stored under a bed or a sofa that won’t break. When it is completely folded this treadmill requires only 5.1 inches of height so it would easily fit under the majority of furniture or take very little space when placed near a wall. A close buddy of mine owns this treadmill and I’m really impressed when I saw that he stores it under his bed. If I didn’t have one already, this is probably going to be the one I will go for because of this unique feature.
Speed and incline: Sadly I will not be able to give it a rating close to 10 in this category because this treadmill doesn’t have any incline options at all. You can only use it flat and that’s it. The maximum speed of 7.5 mph is only enough for walking or light jogging which may be an issue if you are someone who seeks higher speeds or incline levels. And because of that, I will have to give it a 5.5 out of 10 in this category. I personally don’t have a problem with that, but when I give these ratings I need to look at the bigger picture.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: If you haven’t seen it yet, what really makes this treadmill unique is the ability to fold it flat and place it anywhere that has more than 5.1 inches of height. That makes it ideal for tight spaces where you won’t be able to store and fit any of the regular treadmills that can be folded only horizontally.
Who is this treadmill best for?: Because of the small size and unique compact design this treadmill is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have the available space to store a regular model. It is perfect for small apartments, tiny home gyms, or anywhere when you don’t have a lot of space. But if you don’t care about incline walking or jogging, you can still use it as a normal model because it contains all the regular features you need. So in my opinion, almost anyone can benefit from this treadmill because it’s affordable, compact, lightweight, and durable. What else do you really need?
Are there any good alternatives: A great alternative worth checking is UREVO’s other similar portable treadmill (click here to check it out on Amazon). While it’s almost the same it is 0.1 mph quicker, can support 5 extra lbs of weight, and most importantly it has a 3.2 inch shorter walking area. So from what I’ve been told this alternative is best for walking while the version my friend owns is for jogging and walking because of the longer design.
What I like
- Extremely lightweight (around 30+ lbs lighter than other models)
- Very portable and can be stored flat under furniture
- Takes only 5.1 inches of height when folded down
- Great for tiny spaces
- Very quiet and good for walking or jogging
- Can support up to 260 lbs despite it’s smaller frame
- Very wide walking surface of 16.5 inches (0.5 – 1 inch more than the majority of treadmills)
What I don’t like
- Doesn’t have any incline options
- Maximum speed is only 7.5 mph (it’s under 8)
- The running surface can be little short if you have long steps
What are the 10 most important things you should look for when buying a treadmill?
In this part, I will tell you exactly what you need to look for when purchasing a treadmill under $500.
But the be honest the things I’m going to show next work for any treadmill, no matter the price.
As you saw from the reviews above every brand and model offers some sort of unique features and specifics.
That is why many people tend to get easily overwhelmed by all the different extras when comparing two or more treadmills.
And at the end of the day they don’t make any decision or simply buy something they will regret later.
So in order for you to not do that please take a few minutes and find out what are the 10 basic things you should know about treadmills so you can compare them the right way.
1. How much horsepower does a treadmill need? (Are there any differences in motors?)
On average a good treadmill has between 2.2 and 3.5 horsepower motor. While anywhere between 2.2-2.5 HP are enough for walking, jogging, and light running you should aim to go for anything between 2.5 – 3.5 HP if you really want to do high-intensity sprinting.
Example: If you are looking for a treadmill for jogging, walking or light running you wouldn’t need to spend extra money to get a more expensive version with higher horsepower than 2.2. You can get a really good model below $500.
Something that goes hand in hand with the power of the motor is the weight which the machine can handle. The less powerful the motor is, the less weight it can handle.
This is because low power motors can’t support heavy weight. That’s important because nobody wants a weak machine that can’t hold much.
2. How much incline do treadmills have? (What treadmill incline simulates running outdoors?)
The majority of treadmills under $500 offer incline levels between 0 and 12 degrees. But research has shown that only 1 degree is enough to replicate the wind and the rough terrain similar to running outdoors.
But the higher the incline degree, the harder your workout will become.
So it is important to always look at how many levels does a specific treadmill provides you with and what is the highest degree of incline you can get.
Sadly most models that are close to the $500 range, don’t use a secondary motor specifically added in order to change the incline position. The majority of the cheaper models still rely on manual selection.
3. How much running surface do I need to run comfortably on a treadmill? (Length and Width)
A good treadmill for your home will normally have a running surface of between 15-17 inches wide and between 43-55 inches long.
That’s why it’s highly recommended to avoid any treadmills that have smaller width or length than these numbers. might not be a good fit for you.
In addition, you should always want a treadmill that is stable and secure with uses a good gripping running surface.
Make sure the tread belt (this is the surface you run on) is thick, non-slippery, wide, and long enough so you can have a comfortable walk or run.
If you are really tall or have very big steps it’s probably better to get a longer running surface so you would be able to comfortably make normal steps and still have some space left on both ends.
4. Do treadmills use a special cushioning system when you run? (And do you need one?)
You want your treadmill to have a built-in cushioning system because that way it can absorb most of the impact of your physical activities and protect your lower body joints from extra stress and wear and tear.
That is a very big benefit if you compare the treadmill running vs the outdoor running. It’s always more comfortable to wear special running shoes like these ones (click here to take a look at my favorite ones) than to run with flat and rough sneakers that will make your legs hurt really bad in a short amount of time.
Beware that some of the cheaper treadmills that are under $500 may be missing this important feature so be careful when picking one!
In my opinion, this feature is a must-have if you want to run for a long period of time.
Here are some of the additional features you can compare and check after all the previous criteria have been met.
5. What extra features do treadmills have?
There are different brands and models that offer a big variety of extra features such as different control modules, a bigger number of additional programs, a built-in sound system, automatic incline adjustment, and even a heart rate sensor.
But do you need all those things? Most likely you don’t.
So always check the extra features and pick a treadmill that offers what you really need and will use on a daily basis.
Keep in mind that some of those extra features can cause an increase in the price of the product.
But an important extra feature you should care about is the heart rate sensor.
When it comes to treadmills there are 2 ways you can monitor your heart rate:
- Using a special sensor on the handles (which is the better option)
- A thumb sensor (which is the simpler option).
Remember that you can always use your own additional equipment to monitor your heart rate such as a fitness tracker (click here to see what are my top 5 favorite ones), a smartwatch, etc.
Quick Tip: If you don’t have such a piece of equipment to measure your heart rate when you workout then investing in one can be even more beneficial, because you can use it literally everywhere – not only while you are training on the treadmill.
But it’s always a better thing to have as many useful additional features as you can afford.
When it comes to treadmills you can find very some very useful additions and some not as useful. At the end of the day look for things you would find actually use.
Here is a list of the most famous extras you can get when you buy a treadmill:
- Built-in speakers to listen to music – a great alternative to the sound of your heavy breathing.
- Built-in heart rate monitor – this will undoubtedly help you get faster results.
- Bluetooth support to connect to your smartphone in order to play music or answer calls – I know that this is not needed in any way but the more options you have, the better. What is more, I don’t think that you can talk on the phone when your breathing is at near death rate. But, like I said, that’s just an extra option that is always welcome.
- Is it foldable or not – this is a very important feature if you are going to place the treadmill somewhere at home. We can all agree that treadmills take lot of space. So choosing a foldable one won’t affect your home’s “landscape”. You can easily fold it and put it up against a wall so you can use the space for something else.
- The type and the length of the warranty – Like every other piece of technology treadmills also malfunction sometimes. In order to save a few bucks on the repair make sure you opt for a longer warranty period. After all, our goal is to use the treadmill on a regular basis.
- Does it allow you to plug an MP3 device into the control panel – in this way you can easily customize the music you listen to and so make your journey way more interesting.
- Does it come with additional workouts and programs for you to follow – a great advantage of some treadmills is that they offer pre-set workout programs. These are especially great when you are a beginner and don’t know exactly what to do.
Tip: The most important thing is to pick an additional feature depending on what you really need after the basic criteria are met. If you have a choice to pick from 2 models that have the same exact basic characteristics then go for the model which has more extras which you prefer.
6. What do you need to see on a treadmill display?
The display is something that you will constantly look at in order to check your progress. A good treadmill display should display these metrics:
- What is the speed you are running/walking with?
- How much distance have you traveled?
- What is your average speed?
- For how long have you been active on the treadmill?
- How many calories you have burned so far?
Of course, you should only pick a treadmill that shows you the data you really want to know for your workouts. But these are the 5 most basic things every good treadmill should offer no matter what.
If you find a model that doesn’t offer all of them, then I highly recommend you to pick another.
7. Do you need a big and bright display on a treadmill?
You should mainly care about the size and the brightness of the display in case you want to train in dimmer conditions, direct sunlight, or can’t see numbers clearly from a distance.
But in most cases you will be fine with an average sized dispay because they are designed in such a way so you won’t have any problems seeing the digits and letters even with darker or brigher conditions.
At the end of the day, you need to be able to understand everything you see perfectly.
In my opinion, if it’s too difficult for you to understand the data or don’t know how to use it then it’s not really worth the hassle.
Pick a basic display which you can understand and see easily.
8. What is the size of a treadmill and how much space do you need?
On average a home treadmill is between 55-70 inches in length (139 – 177 cm), 25-40 inches in width (63 – 101 cm), and 25-60 inches in height (63 – 152 cm).
In order to be able to use it comfortably, you will need to have at least 20 inches of extra space in all directions.
So before you order a treadmill, see what are the dimensions and measure the space while adding at least 40 inches in both directions.
If the place you are going to put the treadmill is not really spacious then this will be a very important factor…
Make sure to check out the size of the machines and pick one that will fit your room perfectly. It’s even preferable to be a little smaller so you don’t feel jammed when using it
9. What is the maximum weight capacity of a treadmill?
While every treadmill comes with a different weight capacity most models can withstand within 220 – 330 lbs. (100 – 150 kg)
That’s why is really important to pick a design that can withstand more weight than you are going to use. If for example, you weigh 220 lbs (100 kg) you should go for a model that can support at least 240+ lbs. (108.8 kg).
That way you would be safe and won’t overload it.
But it is recommended not to buy or use treadmills that support under 220 lbs because the weight capacity is directly connected with the overall quality.
So in order to stay in the green zone always pick a treadmill that can support your weight at ease.
10. How much does a treadmill weigh? (And are they portable?)
A foldable home budget treadmill weighs between 75 – 130 lbs. (34 – 58 kg) and because of the built-in wheels most models are portable and easy to move around.
So if you are intending to move it around or even transport it often you must check out the overall weight and folding options before you select a model.
That could be a great plus for anybody who wants to store it somewhere else when it’s not used.
Not all models are foldable and the ones that can fold use 2 main positions – vertical folding and horizontal.
While vertically folding treadmills are still compact I recommend you to go for a horizontally folding model if you are very limited on space because these types can easily be stored under a bed, sofa or behind a desk.
Buying Tip: At first, you think that it’s smarter to buy a more expensive used treadmill for the same amount of money compared to a brand new cheaper model but this is not as good of an idea as you might think.
Usually, when you buy second-hand equipment (especially something mechanical) you really don’t know what it has been through and how much life it still has before it starts to break.
So be very careful when you buy anything that uses some type of motor and has moving parts so it doesn’t become way more expensive in the future.
If something does break or something suddenly stops working you will have to pay way more than the additional money you will have to pay for a brand new treadmill.
And let’s not forget about the expired waranty…
That’s why it’s always better to buy a brand new machine than a used one when it comes to treadmills.
Conclusion – Which is the best treadmill you can buy? (My Favorite Choice)
So now after I have provided you with all that useful information, I think it’s time to choose the best treadmill for your needs.
Of course, I want you to remember that this choice is highly personal.
So, make sure you pick what is the perfect treadmill for YOU having in mind the price, features, size and characteristics.
But If I have the option to recommend you only one treadmill it would be the one I’m currently using – the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 (click here to check its latest price on Amazon.com)
I really like the overall price, speed, the size of the running area, and the overall quality of the materials.
While my treadmill can support only 220 lbs compared to the majority of similarly priced models I still recommend it because it’s very well made.
Everything works fine and there aren’t any unwanted sounds or vibrations even if I have used it hundreds of times already.
So if you are looking for a simple but effective treadmill that has only the things you need please click here to check it out on Amazon.com
But again, remember that the final choice should be based on your personal preferences. I’m just giving you advice as a person who has real experience when it comes to treadmills.
At this point, we’ve come to an end. Thank you for taking some time to read my article!
I hope I’ve helped you with some useful information about treadmills and how to select the best one.
If you enjoyed it, please don’t hesitate to share it with your friends.
If you notice that I have missed some key information, then tell me in the comments down below.
If you are looking to build a home gym and need more great equipment feel free to check these awesome articles I’ve prepared for you:
- My Top 7 Best Home Gym Equipment You Should Check
- Check my Top 5 Best Cheap Rowing Machines Under $200 for Any Home Gym
- See what are the 5 Best Cable Machines for Home Gym I Recommend
- Take a look at the 5 Best Squat Racks With Pull Up Bar that are affordable
- Learn about the 5 Best Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars You Need To See (Ultimate Guide)
Wish you the best,