If you are looking to buy the best budget treadmill under $500 you are in the right place.
In this post, you will learn what are the important things you should look for if you want to get the best deal for your buck.
Are you in a rush?
Don’t worry the best model I personally recommend that meet all the important criteria for the best price is the ProForm Performance 300i Treadmill.
Click Here to get the latest price and reviews on Amazon
So let’s start learning some great stuff. Are you ready?
What Can You Expect From This Budget?
Before we start with the product reviews I want to introduce you to some useful information you can use in order to pick the perfect choice for your needs.
Let me tell you what exactly you can expect from the best budget treadmill under $500…
Tip: With a lower budget for a treadmill the only things you’ll potentially lose are additional, yet not that important features.
1. It has exactly what you need
You don’t need to pay a lot of money in order to get the most important things. A fun fact to notice is that if you are paying a lot more than $500 you are really paying for additional not so important features
With around $500 you can cover all the basic things you need – powerful motor, the option to incline selection, spacious running surface. Also, you can get all the vital features such as heart rate monitor, safety key, speed adjustment options and more.
Tip: I highly recommend that you read the whole thing (it’s not that long) and use all the provided information to pick one of the 5 models I will review shortly.
2. Get the same results
At the end of the day, a machine 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. Good Quality and Longevity
Of course, some of the more expensive options out there 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 that – for that price range, you can get a very good 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. 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 which are ideal for people who don’t use them much often. 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 are usually made of simpler parts and so the assembly will be way easier than that of more expensive machines. Believe me or not, some 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 your annoying neighbour.
Тhe only problem may be the way incline is handled. Most models that are close to the $500 range use a secondary motor specifically added in order to change the incline position. Some of the cheaper models out there still rely on manual selection, though.
Below you will find out what are the most important things you should know before making a purchase…
What are the 4 most important components you should look for when buying a treadmill?
In this part, I will tell you what exactly you need to look for when purchasing the best budget treadmill under $500 …
Every model on the market offers some additional features. It could be anything your brain can come up with. That is why many people tend to get easily overwhelmed by all the different extras when comparing two or more treadmills. If one of them has something you really prefer to have, go for it, but these are the 4 basic things you should compare in them.
1. Powerful motor
You should always pay attention to how strong is the motor – how much horsepower (HP) it has. The standards you should aim for really depend on what you will be using the machine for. Let’s take that about 2.5 HP are enough for walking, 3.0 HP for jogging and about 3.5 HP for running.
Example: If you are looking for a treadmill for jogging only you wouldn’t need to spend extra money to get a more expensive version with higher horsepower than 2.5. The same thing applies for jogging and running.
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. What are The incline options
Always look how many levels does it provide you with and what is the highest degree of incline you can get? Most models that are close to the $500 range, use a secondary motor specifically added in order to change the incline position. Some of the cheaper models out there still rely on manual selection.
3. Wide and lengthy running surface
You should always want something stable and secure with a good gripping surface, make sure the tread belt (this is the surface you run on) is thick, wide and long enough so you can have a comfortable walk or run. A good treadmill will normally have a deck size of 20 inches wide and 55 inches long. Everything that is smaller than that might not be a good fit for you.
4. Special cushioning system
You want your treadmill to have a built-in cushioning system because that way it can absorb most of the impact of all kinds of physical activities. That way you protect your lower body joints from extra stress and wear and tear. That is a very big benefit to have in mind if you compare the treadmill vs outdoors. Some of the cheaper versions out there may be missing this important feature so be careful when picking the best one for you.
After all, you need to compare those 4 things in every single model out there and pick the ones that fit your needs the most. Every other detail should come next – after you’ve met the criteria above!
Additional Things to Look For
Here are some of the additional features you can compare and check after all the previous criteria have been met.
What do you really want from the control module?
As all different brands and models have very different control modules, features, and a number of additional programs, you should always pick the one that has what you really need on a daily basis. Keep in mind that some of those extra features can cause an increase in the price of the product.
An important feature for more advanced people is the heart rate monitor – there are 2 ways you can monitor your heart rate – special sensor on the handles (which is the better option) or the simpler version – a thumb sensor. Remember that you can always use your own additional equipment to monitor your heart rate such as a fitness tracker, a watch, etc.
Tip: If you don’t have such a piece of equipment 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.
Does it have a good display?
The display is something that you will constantly look at in order to check your progress. My advice is to choose a treadmill with an easily understandable display.
Especially concerning 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 pick the data you really need to know for your workouts. This here is just a guideline you can follow if you are a complete beginner and don’t have a clue what’s going on.
You should mainly care about how large the display is, is it bright enough in case you want to train in dimmer conditions, or are you able to see and check the numbers clearly. Most importantly you want something simpler so you can understand everything perfectly. In my opinion, if it’s too difficult for you to understand it or learn how to use it then it’s not really worth it. Pick something simpler which has all the important information inside.
What additional characteristics does it offer you?
It’s always a better thing to have as many useful additional characteristics as you can. 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 useful
Here is a list of the most famous extras you can get:
- 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 in 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.
It’s size, weight, and portability
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
If you are intending to move it around or even transport it you must check out the overall weight and folding options.
Check whether it can be folded. That could be a great plus for anybody who wants to store it somewhere else when it’s not used.
Buying Tip: At first you think that it’s a better alternative to buy a more expensive used treadmill for the same amount but it’s 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.
Things such as additional repairs, the amount of heavy usage or the internal condition of its parts. If something does break or something suddenly stops working you will have to pay way more than the additional money. It will cost you time, energy and headaches. That’s why it’s always better to buy a brand new machine when it comes to treadmills.
Are these 5 the best options out there?
To be honest, $500 isn’t that big of a budget when it comes to treadmills. That being said you can’t expect to get the best of the best for that budget compared to a $2000 one.
The very good news is that you really don’t need to pay that amount of money to be able to train and get the max out of this great piece of machinery.
All the 5 models reviewed above provide with the best quality and options you can get for that amount of money. To be straightforward you can do the same job when it comes to getting in condition, losing extra fat or just building endurance as if you were using a $1500 version.
Top 5 Best Budget Treadmills Under $500 in 2020
Here’s a list of the best models on the market today. All of them vary from one another on a lot of different things. Make sure to go for the one that has everything you are looking for and can handle easily the type of workout you are going to do – just walking, jogging or running.
Let’s get started with the first model out there…
#1 – CONFIDENCE POWER TRAC PRO – A Cheaper Choice For Walking and Jogging
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Confidence Power Track Pro is our first selection because it’s ideal for both walking and jogging at home. The 1.0 horsepower motor can easily support all your physical activities.
It has a good deck which guarantees stability. You definitely get a lot for the price you pay.
If you want to be able to add some more intensity and variety to your walking / jogging workouts then this is the best choice for you because of the 3 manual incline positions of up to 5 degrees.
It has a pretty small size compared to other treadmills – 49L x 24W x 10H. Keeping in mind the overall size of the machine, the size of the treadbelt is pretty decent at 14″ x 39″.
That makes it ideal for a home atmosphere. What is more, the easy folding mechanism makes it even more compact. It allows you to fold it and put it up against a wall which saves you even more space. It is extremely lightweight – only 55 pounds.
It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, but that can be easily fixed by buying a simple training band which won’t even cost you a lot. On the other hand, though, an emergency stop clip is available.
There are four pre-set speeds (1.86Mph, 3Mph, 4.9Mph, 6.2Mph) which will help you throughout your workout. There are also 12 built-in programs for you to follow – many options for you to stress your body and nervous system. That way you will not reach a plateau and will keep the progress going.
Sadly, it’s not quite strong – only 6.2 MPH of max speed. Nevertheless, that’s the ideal speed to do cardio which burns calories. It can hold up to 265 lbs
A pretty decent LCD display is included. It gives you all the important info you need. It shows you the basics such as speed, distance, how many calories you have burned and your time using the machine. It allows you to track your data for every workout you do – something like a diary that you can use to track your progress easily.
However, it has a standard warranty, which, in my opinion, is better than no warranty at all.
#2 – Weslo Cadence G 5.9 – Great for Walking, Jogging and Running
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Our next pick is the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 which is listed on an average price.
It contains a strong motor with 2.5 horsepower – which not only is enough for walking and jogging, but you can also run without any problems. The maximum speed is pretty good – 10 miles per hour. This allows you to run freely and is ideal for hiit training.
It offers comfort cell cushioning to help absorb the shock from every step you make. That will result in less stress in your lower body parts, joints and will increase your total level of comfortability.
It features a 2-position manual incline. It has 6 workout programs to choose from with an automatically adjustable incline and speed. All programs are made by professional personal trainers. There is a pretty big blue-tinted LCD display which will track all the important things you need to know.
The tread belt is with a dimension of 16” x 50” inches. Which, I think, is enough for a compact treadmill that will be mainly used at home. The space-saving folding design allows you to lift the bottom part up and use the available space for whatever you like. When fully operating, the machine itself comes in a considerably big size – 68 x 31 x 10 inches.
This model has a simple yet an effective thumb pulse heart rate monitor which can really help you keep an eye on your heart rate at any given time. That will allow you to get into the right tempo and burn more calories and eventually fat. To use it simply place your thumb on top of the sensor anytime you want and you will find out what exactly is your current heart rate.
Last but not least, the treadmill comes with a 1-year motor warranty and 90 days warranty for all other parts and labor.
#3 – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill – Has Everything You Need
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The third option is a very known model by Sunny Health. This specific model can offer you features that some of the more expensive models out there have. This model is very budget-friendly but that doesn’t affect the quality or the features you get.
The 2.2 HP motor gives you a minimum speed of 0.5 MPH which can go up to a maximum of 9 MPH. That will be enough for light running
It gives you 3 manual adjustment incline options to choose from. The first option is the default 0% flat, next comes the 2% incline and finally, the most challenging one is going to be the 4.37% of incline. Using them you can easily increase the overall intensity and make your workouts more effective.
From of all 5 models that are reviewed here the SF-T4400 treadmill has the smallest weight capacity. The frame is designed to hold only 220 lbs so please make sure to have that in mind because it might not be a good fit for a lot of people out there.
The easy folding mechanism combined with the soft drop system and the transportable wheels can help you save space when you are not using the treadmill. All those additional features might be very helpful if you decide to move the 103 lbs machine from one place to another.
Everything comes with a pre-built cushioning system designed to help you get less impact on your legs while using the machine. The whole running surface the machine uses is 48.8L x 15.75W. That may be enough for an average height person to use.
The pretty decent LCD display offers you more than the basic information. You can use it to check things like manual mode, safety lock, power saving options and more.
A pretty useful additional thing is the pause function. If you decide to stop for any reason it will help you keep all your previous data and vital information before the break. Next time you start using the machine everything will start right where you left it.
You can easily adjust the speed, start and stop the machine and measure your pulse at any time using the 2 pulse grips technology on both handles. It’s always a good thing to know your pulse because you can use it as your advantage and pick the right tempo. All those features are designed to provide you with convenience while you are using the machine.
And finally but not least you have 9 pre-built workout programs to choose from. One little thing I like is the 3-year frame warranty that comes with your purchase. A thing I don’t like is that all other parts receive only 90 days of warranty which I believe it too short amount of time.
#4 – ProGear HCXL 4000 – Best Choice For Weightloss
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The fourth selection is made by a company named ProGear. They have a huge variety of cardio products and one of their best affordable treadmills is the HCXL 4000. It uses a 1.5 horsepower motor which is strong enough to provide you with a walking and jogging ability. Both physical activities are perfect for beginners and people who want to slowly get into the habit of working out.
As far as it comes to durability and weight capacity this is one of the strongest items out there. It can hold up to 400 lbs of weight which is pretty impressive having in mind that some models can hold only about half of that. That way this might be a great selection for a bigger or taller person.
The motor which the treadmill uses has a pre-built in “Quiet Drive” mode which significantly reduces the noise that comes out when you are walking on it. If you are looking for something that will not make too much additional sound when used this may be a good fit for you.
It can go up to 4 miles per hour which is going to be enough if you are looking for a cardio machine that has the ability to help you lose weight and get into shape.
One very important feature every machine out there should have is a way to measure your pulse. You don’t have to worry about that when it comes to the HCXL 4000 because it can measure your pulse at ease using the heart pulse sensors which you can find on both handles.
Speaking of handles this model is made with 2 extra long 18 inches handles. Actually, that is more than 2 times the length of the handles other treadmills out there. As far as I have seen this is the only model that has that long handles and this is a feature I really enjoy because it helps you with the overall safety and makes the measurement of heart rate easier to do.
The belt is made 20 inches extra wide for additional safety and security. That is something to have in mind if you are a taller person because the majority of treadmill belts on that price range are not that wide.
The running surface is specifically designed to absorb shock unlike outdoor walking when your feet are not protected. The extra reinforced frame is designed to withhold superior weight compared to the majority of models of that price range. It’s even better than some of the more expensive units out there.
A great thing I enjoy about this model is that all the crucial buttons and options are placed on top of the 2 handles. That way it will be very easy and convenient to reach them whenever you like.
You can easily transport the whole machine with the help of the transportation wheels and the fact that it can fold pretty nicely. That’s a big plus because the whole treadmill is about 120 pounds.
You can increase the difficulty and the intensity of your workouts with one of the 2 positions of manual incline that the equipment offers.
Overall this is a perfect product for anybody who is searching for a budget treadmill and want’s to lose weight and get more healthy.
#5 – ProForm Performance 300i Treadmill – [My Personal Winner]
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This is the most expensive model out of all the 5 here but if you ask me and many people who are using it it’s worth every extra penny you pay. Ideal for walking, jogging, and light running with its 2.0 horsepower motor.
One good thing about that motor is that is made with high-quality components in order to stay cool during your workouts and keep the noise down. The belt size has a pretty decent and gives you a walking space of 16×50 inches.
It also has a pretty decent weight limit of 300 lbs which will give you plenty of advantages.The ProShox Cushioning system is an advanced way to help you to reduce the negative effect of pressure in your joints when running or walking. It can provide a maximum speed of 10 MPH which will be enough for most workouts.
The “Grip Pulse EKG” heart monitor will help you get accurate info about your heart rate at any time. This is a great advantage because you can constantly adjust your heart rate in order to burn more calories.
One of the best features which can really help you save time and effort is the automatic incline adjustment. You can use it to move the whole treadmill up and down up to 10 degrees. Out of the 5 models we have reviewed this is the only one that provides this additional feature.
When you are not using it you can easily fold it in order to save space. In its space-saving position, the whole thing takes only about 35’’ in length saving you extra 35’’ of its total size when placed on the ground.
Only one person can assemble the whole thing following the instructions in about an hour, hour and a half. It also provides you with one of the biggest lists of workouts to choose from – it comes with a total number of 16 built-in workout programs you can use.
It also has an audio port with two 2” speakers which can help you to listen to your favorite songs while training.
If you are willing to pay a little extra more than you will be very happy with the great features you will receive. For me personally, this model is a great investment for someone that needs to have more options and want to save time.
Conclusion (And My Favorite Choice)
So now, my friends, as I have provided you with tons of information, I think it’s high time to choose the best treadmill. Of course, I want you to remember that this choice is highly personal. In other words, different people have different needs. So, make sure you always pick what is perfect for YOU and not for anybody else.
Personally I, however, am a fan of the ProForm Performance 300i Treadmill as it offers some great benefits.
Take for example, the price – you will hardly ever find a treadmill of this standard for such a low price. The powerful motor allows you to move freely.
Unlike many other treadmills, it has 16 different built-in workout programs. It can also be folded so that way it turns into a really compact machine. My favourite part is the automatic incline adjustment. I can’t even imagine how annoying it may be to constantly having to adjust it manually. This feature literally saves a lot of time.
But again, I would like to note that the choice should be based on your personal preferences. Here, I’m just giving you advice as a person who has a long experience in this sphere.
Are you interested in the winner? Click Here to check the price and learn more on Amazon
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 on a budget.
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.
Wish you the best,
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I’m a certified online personal trainer with University Degree in Sports and Nutrition.
With the help of my knowledge and over 8 years of workout experience, I can help you get on the next level. I own a home gym, do calisthenics, little gymnastics, and love to ride a bike.