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 are opting to buy exercise machines that they can use for their home workout routine. 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.
XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill Black
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.
Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
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.
Exerpeutic 100XL Manual Treadmill
This treadmill from Exerpeutic is a manual option with magnetic resistance that allows you to make adjustments using the handy console dial. The handles also have sensors that allow you to monitor your heart rate and other metrics.
SereneLife Smart 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.
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.
Sunny Health & Fitness Manual Treadmill
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.
GoPlus Under Desk Treadmill
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.
UREVO Folding Compact Treadmill
This treadmill is built for fitting into smaller spaces in homes where you’re trying to maximize every inch. It’s super easy to fold and has a soft drop system so you can safely unfold your treadmill hands free and place it underneath your desk or next to your bed.