When it comes to getting fit, many people’s first thought is getting a gym membership. But frankly, the gym is not for everyone, especially if you don’t like dealing competing for machines and dealing with the show-offs. That’s why many people (especially now) are opting to buy exercise machines that they can use at home. Of course, if you’re just getting into fitness, you might not want to sink a month’s rent into one machine, which is why we’ve rounded up some of the best affordable treadmills. Almost all of the options below are under $500.
Before getting to the best affordable treadmills, it’s worth breaking down what you can (and can’t) expect with a sub-$500 treadmill. Here at SPY, we’ve reviewed some of the best treadmills from top brands like NordicTrack and Peloton, in addition to popular pieces of home exercise equipment such as ellipticals and spin bikes.
However, you need to manage your expectations if you have a hard price limit of $500. Even the best cheap treadmills have limitations, and in this price range, you aren’t going to find features such as heart rate monitoring, built-in video screens, weight limits above 300 pounds and super-quiet motors. Likewise, cheap treadmills may last two to three years depending on use, while premier treadmills from Nordictrack can last up to a decade. You’ll need to factor in the cost of replacing your equipment when shopping.
In addition, many of the most affordable treadmills will be manual. Manual treadmills can’t really compete with electric treadmills in terms of speed and features, and manual treadmills will generally have lower weight limits and will be designed for walking, not running. That said, manual treadmills will be lighter, more portable, easier to store and easier to maintain. For the casual at-home athlete who may want a winter-friendly way to get their steps in, these can be great.
Besides the variety of manual treadmills, there are still plenty of traditional electric treadmills that you can find for under or around $500, which will offer running speeds in addition to digital displays for distance and speed. We’ve rounded up some of the best cheap treadmills that you can buy for under $500.
1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7632 Folding Treadmill
One of the best places to look for affordable home gym equipment is Sunny Health & Fitness, a budget fitness brand that produces some of the best exercise bikes, ellipticals and treadmills, such as this affordable motorized option. Macy’s might not be your first thought for fitness equipment, but the department store is offering one of the best treadmills under $500 right now, and it’s available with fast shipping. This treadmill is motorized, and it can reach speeds of up to 7 mph, which is a little faster than the average jogging pace. It also folds in half, and the casters on the bottom make it easy to roll into a corner for storage. The LCD screen is on the small side, but it lets you keep track of speed and distance at a glance.
2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill
Here’s another great budget treadmill from Sunny Health & Fitness, this time available via Amazon Prime. While this folding treadmill can reach up to 9 mph, it can only accommodate users that weigh 220 pounds or less. While the best treadmills under $500 don’t offer smart features or heart rate monitoring, there’s still a lot to love about this home exercise machine. The digital screen is easy to read, and the handrails provide extra support as you run. This treadmill also offers shock absorption and incline running as well as multiple training routines. Oh, and did we mention that it only costs $390?
3. GoPlus SuperFit 2-in-1 Treadmill
GoPlus has a reputation for making some of the best affordable treadmills, especially for those who prefer to shop on Amazon. This 2-in-1 treadmill can be used in a traditional posture, but it can also be placed underneath a standing desk if so desired. This treadmill only has a max speed of about 7 mph, and it might be a better option for those who do more walking than intense running. The motor is definitely on the quiet side, and the folding feature makes it great for small apartments and home gyms. This treadmill can suit users who weigh up to 265 pounds, so it can be a good option for weight loss.
4. Exerpeutic Manual Treadmill
This treadmill from Exerpeutic is a manual option, but it boasts some features that other manual treadmills don’t have. The magnetic resistance allows you to make adjustments using the handy console dial if you’re looking for a more strenuous walk. The large flywheels keep the platform moving smoothly, and the long handles provide safety and stability. The handles also have sensors that allow you to monitor your heart rate. The simple display shows metrics like time, speed and distance, and there’s a small device holder on the console for phones or TV remotes.
5. SereneLife Electric Folding Treadmill
SereneLife’s folding treadmill is a basic electric treadmill that’s affordable but still packed with handy features for a comprehensive workout. It can reach a speed of 6 MPH, which is roughly average jogging speed. You can also set three different incline levels for a more challenging workout. Plus, Bluetooth compatibility allows you to access your stats on the compatible app. Since it can be folded, it’s easier to store for those with smaller spaces.
6. XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill Black
This folding treadmill from XTERRA is currently listed for $570, so it’s a bit above our target range, but you actually get considerably more with that extra 70 bucks. With a top speed of 9 MPH, you can run considerably faster than on some of the other options on this list. Plus, you can toggle through the presets to find the workout that works best for you. There are also 3 manual incline levels for a more customized workout. The running platform is a substantial 16″ X 50″ size, but since it’s foldable, it can be stored with relative ease.
7. ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill
This manual treadmill from ProGear is a great way to get your steps in without spending too much. It has two different incline measurements if you want a tougher workout, and the large belt rollers are designed to provide a smooth experience. Like most manual treadmills, it’s best used for walking, rather than running. The treadmill has extended handles for stability and support. Like other options, this manual treadmill can be folded for storage.
8. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Treadmill
We told you Sunny Health & Fitness makes a lot of the best treadmills. In addition to their motorized treadmills featured earlier, Sunny Health also makes a manual option that’s designed to be suitable for walking or light jogging. Since it’s manual, it doesn’t need access to an outlet, but it does have a small LCD digital display that provides time, speed, distance and estimated calories burned.
9. GoPlus Under Desk Electric Treadmill
Standing desks have become popular because, in terms of health, standing is better than sitting. So it stands to reason that walking would be even better. This treadmill features a platform without the handrails and console, so it can be tucked under a standing desk to walk while you work. Or simply use it as a regular treadmill, as it’s a motorized option with a speed up to 4 MPH speed, which means it’s more suited to walking and light jogging than running. The base of the unit features a display with speed, time and other information. If you’re looking for the best treadmills under $500, this is another GoPlus