Best Treadmills for Home Use: Get Fit at Home in 2021
Last Updated: August 25, 2021
Need to step up your cardio game with a treadmill at home? We have everything you need to know about buying one of the best home treadmills for 2021.
The market may be overflowing with options, but you’ll definitely need some guidance to make a worthy purchase. There are dodgy, cheap products out there that won’t last half the year. On the other extreme, there are total rip-offs too that may cause you to spend hundreds of unnecessary pounds. Even when you find a high-quality treadmill, it might not be suited to home use for many reasons. You need a quiet, durable machine that is neither too large nor high maintenance.
To save you the effort of extensive research, we’ll start off by reviewing our unique list of the best home treadmills. Further on, you can read about the various treadmill features to consider before buying one.
Best Treadmills for Home Use rated by our fitness professionals
Overall Best Treadmill For Home Use: NordicTrack Commercial 1750
The NordicTrack C1750 continues to top our lists for the best overall treadmills, not just the ones for home use. It’s actually an award-winning commercial-grade machine and is mid-range at best, with plenty of features to make it worth the expense.
We love how the C1750 offers comfort, convenience, entertainment, and multiple workout options. Hydraulic folding helps save space in small homes, while the oversized running belt can accommodate taller and bulkier individuals as well. The sturdy frame further ensures that the C1750 provides a stable workout.
Performance-wise, this NordicTrack model doesn’t disappoint, with its 3.75 CHP self-cooling motor being powerful enough even for professional athletes. The 22 km/h speed limit further makes it a great choice for marathon runners, while 3% decline and up to 15% incline add an uphill component to your workout.
The 10-inch HD console display is iFit-friendly, and the free 1-year iFit family membership keeps you hooked with its vast workout library, live personal training, engaging virtual locations, stat tracking, and more. You also get 50 built-in workout programs and heart rate sensors in the handlebars to make each session with the C1750 more productive. Moreover, the Bluetooth-compatible dual 3-inch speakers are there if you want to blast your favourite tunes out loud.
Like its siblings, the Commercial 1750 has RunnersFlex Cushioning™ technology which can be switched on to dampen the impact of your run on your joints. Dual console fans add to comfort, and an accessory tray is another convenient addition. As for durability, the oversized 2.5” rollers, 135 kg weight capacity, and extensive warranty package imply problem-free usage for a good many years, although there’s definitely room for improvement in NordicTrack’s customer support.
- Versatile equipment for individuals of most sizes and workout preferences
- 3.75 CHP motor
- 22 km/h max speed and -3 to 15% incline
- Free family iFit membership for a year
- iFit-friendly 10-inch HD touchscreen
- Oversized running belt with cushioning option
- Hydraulic folding feature
- Dual 3-inch Bluetooth speakers
- Good warranty package
- Difficult to move due to heavy-weight
- At times, more to be desired from customer support
Runner-up 1: NordicTrack S 45i
The S 45i is currently the most advanced of the budget-friendly S-series folding home treadmills by NordicTrack. For a price that is under the £1500 mark, you get a 10-inch HD console touchscreen, a 3.0 CHP motor, 22 km/h max speed, 12% max incline, free 1-year iFit membership, and more.
The 22 km/h limit is a good addition to the S 45i, but we don’t recommend speeding up for long periods, especially if you’re on the higher side of the weight spectrum. While 3.0 CHP should be good enough for a casual user, it’s the bare minimum that our experts recommend for running, so exercising caution can help you avoid motor burnout.
The tread belt dimensions are adequate for most users, and FlexSelect™ cushioning helps protect your joints by absorbing the impact of your strides. Besides iFit and all it has to offer, you also get 50+ video workouts that help with varying your routine. EKG grip handlebars and chest belt compatibility further allow heart rate monitoring as you exercise. Dual 2-inch Bluetooth speakers and a workout fan enable you to have fun while staying comfortable.
With an extended warranty package, 135 kg user weight limit, and frequent discount offers, this treadmill is a decent option for home use at a reasonable price point.
- Good value for money, especially when on discount
- 22 km/h max speed and up to 12% incline
- 1-year free family iFit membership
- 10-inch HD touchscreen
- Adequate running belt dimensions with optional cushioning
- Hydraulic folding feature
- Dual 2-inch Bluetooth speakers
- Good warranty package
- Not for athletes due to the bare minimum motor power required for running
- A bit more desired from customer support
NordicTrack S 45i
Runner-up 2: Sole F80
With its 150 kg weight capacity and 3.5 CHP motor with a 5.0 HP peak, the Sole F80 is a heavy-duty piece of equipment that has received worldwide acclaim. The foldable design makes it suitable for limited-space homes, while its solid frame, oversized 2.5” rollers, superb cushioning technology, and excellent warranty package make sure you get your money’s worth.
While it does offer plenty of engaging features, the F80 wins performance-wise. It’s made to accommodate everyone from light walkers to large runners, with the oversized tread belt allowing enough leg and elbow room. The 20 km/h top speed and 15% max incline support intense exercise, and Bluetooth compatibility with the Sole app and Kinomap open up more workout options. In addition, ten preset programs enable goal-oriented usage.
As for its console screen, the 9-inch LCD is an average feature with no web connectivity or direct app support. It also has speakers and a fan, but you shouldn’t get too excited about those since their quality is quite lacking.
The pulse-sensing handgrips and chest strap compatibility provide dual heart rate monitoring options on the Sole F80. If you have your own Smart device for your entertainment needs and app connectivity, you’ll enjoy using this award-winning at home.
- Powerful 3.5 CHP motor
- Can accommodate light walkers to heavy athletes
- 20 km/h top speed and 15% max incline
- Oversized tread belt
- 150 kg weight limit
- 9-inch backlit LCD
- Excellent warranty package
- At times more to be desired from customer service
- Weak fan and speakers
- Lagged response to speed changes
- May not fit most budgets without discount
Best Incline Home Treadmill: NordicTrack x11i
If you need intense incline workouts at home on a mid-range treadmill with a decent combination of specs and features, there’s nothing better than the X11i. With the dramatic incline limits that NordicTrack is known for, the X11i offers both downhill and uphill workouts (-6% to 40%) at speeds up to 22 km/h. Its powerful 3.75 CHP motor further provides support for heavy exercise.
Like the previously mentioned NordicTrack models, the X11i has an iFit-compatible 10-inch HD touchscreen on the console. It also comes with free iFit access for the first year, so you can test out the app and have fun with all its cool features. A Bluetooth chest belt is included with the purchase, providing a second heart rate monitoring option besides the EKG handgrips.
The spacious running belt, cushioning technology, extensive warranty, and oversized 2.5’’ rollers make for a user-friendly machine that lasts its worth. In case the 40% incline limit wasn’t enough of a strength training option, you can use the integrated sled grips and push bar for a grueling session your muscles will remember for days to come. Dual workout fans and two 3-inch speakers are also nice to have during high-intensity workouts.
One downside to the X11i is that it lacks a folding feature. You might have to reconsider buying this if you already have space problems at home.
- Versatile enough for people of different sizes and athletic preferences
- Powerful 3.75 CHP motor
- -6% decline, 40% incline, and up to 22 km/h speed
- Sled grips and push bar included
- Bluetooth Chestbelt included
- 10-inch HD touchscreen + free 1-year iFit membership
- Spacious tread belt with optional cushioning
- Good warranty package
- Not foldable
- Very heavy and difficult to move
- At times Poor customer support reported
Best Budget Home Treadmill: ProForm Power 995i
Need a decent foldable home treadmill on a tight budget? Have a look at the ProForm Power 995i, made for walking, jogging, and the occasional sprint. It’s also often available at amazing discounts that slash down its already reasonable price to under £1000.
This feature-packed treadmill has a 6-inch multicolour display that is simpler than the iFit-friendly touchscreens we just looked at in the previous reviews. However, it does offer iFit Bluetooth compatibility and free 1-year membership, so you can use the app on your own device and sync it with the 995i.
Again, the 3.0 CHP motor is pretty good, but not if you’re a heavyweight athlete! Up to 12% incline and a 22 km/h top speed are great to have, although the motor won’t be able to keep up if you’re planning on speeding up for extended periods. 30 preset workout apps add to the fun, while dual 2-inch speakers and iPod compatibility take care of your audio needs. A workout fan and tablet holder are also integrated into the console.
The ProShox cushioning feature effectively dampens joint impact with every stride, and the decent warranty package will keep you covered for the next few years. Overall, if you don’t mind using your own device instead of a fancier console screen and don’t plan on going too fast for long periods, you will love the Power 995i.
- Enough motor power for at-home casual use
- Up to 12% incline and 22 km/h max speed
- Hydraulic folding feature
- Spacious tread belt with cushioning
- Free 1-year access to iFit Bluetooth
- 6” multicolour display and tablet holder
- Good warranty package
- Poor customer service
- Not for professional athletes
- Personal device required to avail of iFit features
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Home Treadmill (2021)
You’re all set to buy a good home treadmill, and we’ve discussed the best ones above; but what if another treadmill model catches your eye? Here’s how you judge if it’s best for home use:
When you need a treadmill for home use, you’ll want to make sure it’s as quiet as possible. This is especially important if you live in a shared space or a flat. Besides a quiet motor, a treadmill’s overall quality will determine how noiseless it remains long-term. Poor quality treadmills can start to cause a racket after the first few uses. As their parts start coming apart, squealing, thumping, or metallic sounds are not uncommon.
Running on a treadmill can get noisy by itself, causing a thumping sound with each stride. This, however, can be lessened by placing your treadmill on a shock-absorbing mat or fixing isolation pads underneath. These products minimize the sounds and vibrations that would otherwise reach your downstairs tenants. They also have the added advantage of protecting your floor. Whether you use rubber pads or a mat, just make sure they’re at least half an inch thick to be effective.
Besides your strides, there are other sources of noise too, some of which you can avoid by purchasing a quality machine:
- A too loose or too-tight running belt can squeak or make a slapping noise.
- Machine joints may creak during use when they need lubrication.
- The treadmill may get pushed across the floor slightly as you run.
- Loose roller pulleys can make your treadmill loud.
- A motor clogged with debris can get noisy.
While a lot of the above problems can be avoided with regular maintenance, it’s best to purchase a low-maintenance treadmill designed to be quiet and hassle-free. Going through customer reviews can help you avoid treadmills that tend to get noisy too soon, indicating their parts will probably require upkeep after a few uses.
Treadmills aren’t small, with the average running machine being roughly 7 by 3 feet. Measure the space which you have reserved for your future treadmill and select one that fits it well. There should be enough space left over for you to get on and off the treadmill safely.
There are many treadmills out there known for their compact footprints. If you come across one, make sure the lesser dimensions aren’t at the cost of the belt size. The treadmill’s belt should be at least 18” by 56” to run comfortably.
Storage and Foldability
Most home treadmills have a folding option which can be very convenient if you live in a limited-space flat. The better-quality ones have a hydraulic lifting system to fold the deck up so that it rests vertically against the console. This can free up valuable floor space. Most such treadmills also have a safety lever that secures the deck in place and is especially handy if you have children or pets around. Transport wheels can be another convenience since treadmills are heavy objects and difficult to relocate.
You don’t want a dead motor on your hands after a few uses. You might save a few bucks going for a cheaper, weaker motor, but maintenance and replacement can blow your budget. On the other hand, you may end up spending an unnecessary amount on an overpowered treadmill motor you won’t ever use to its full potential.
A treadmill motor’s performance depends on the amount of output it is engineered to generate. This output is measured in horsepower (HP). The most reliable unit of a treadmill’s motor power is Continuous Horsepower (CHP), indicating the minimum output it will maintain continuously during operation.
Figure out whether your treadmill will be used for light walking, moderate jogging, high-speed running, or somewhere in between. If none of the users are over 200 lbs, our experts recommend the following minimum motor power according to the intended use. Simply add an extra 0.5 CHP in case of users heavier than 200 lbs.
Recommended Minimum Motor Power for Users <200 lbs
2.0 CHP or more
2.5 CHP or more
3.0 CHP or more
*Add an extra 0.5 CHP for users heavier than 200 lbs
Speed and Incline
Most home treadmills offer speed limits of 16 km/h or more. This is usually enough for beginners and moderate users. If you’re athletic, you might want to go for a higher speed limit. Many treadmills offer top speeds up to 22 km/h.
Home treadmills often have maximum inclines between 10 and 15%. If you like pushing yourself with high-intensity workouts and uphill walking, consider getting a treadmill with a 15% max incline. Incline trainers are treadmills having more dramatic incline limits of 30 to 40%. These are ideal for maximizing calorie burn while getting a grueling lower body workout.
A treadmill’s roller size, warranty package, brand reputation, and overall sturdiness can tell you a lot about its durability and maintenance requirements. Going through customer reviews can also help you spot a high-maintenance machine.
A treadmill’s rollers are long, tube-shaped parts that spin under its belt to propel it forwards. Generally, the bigger the roller diameter, the longer you can expect your tread belt to stay in good shape. Small rollers need to spin faster to allow the same degree of belt movement, speeding up wear and tear and increasing friction. A 1.9” or larger roller diameter is usually the best choice. Smaller 1.6” rollers may be enough, but only if you walk and avoid speeding up.
The more confident a manufacturer is about their machine, the more generous they’ll be with the warranty. Therefore, the warranty package of a home treadmill says a lot about its durability, with higher-quality ones having extensive warranties.
Most treadmills have different, specified warranty limits on their frame, motor, parts, electronics, and labour. You can refer to the table below for the minimum recommended treadmill warranty to ensure you’re making a worthwhile purchase.
Minimum Warranty Requirements for Home Treadmills
10 years (Lifetime is best)
Parts and Electronics
Comfort, Convenience, Entertainment, and Workout Options
Besides the build and quality, a treadmill user’s experience depends on all the features the treadmill has for comfort, convenience, entertainment, and workouts. Usage can get uncomfortable if your running belt is too small or if the deck feels too hard. The tread belt size and cushioning system indicate the level of workout comfort to expect. A folding feature, accessory holders, and cooling fans can further make your home treadmill user-friendly.
User-Friendly Treadmill Features to Look For
Adequate Running Belt Dimensions, Cushioning System, Cooling Fan(s)
Folding feature, Accessory Holders, Quick Speed and Incline Controls
Web Connectivity, Speakers, Tablet Holder, Entertainment Apps like Netflix
Preset Programs, Fitness App Compatibility, Heart Rate Monitor
Many top-of-the-line treadmills have a cushioning feature. It absorbs a lot of the reactionary impact that the treadmill deck sends to your body when your feet strike it. This impact force can damage your back, ankles, and knee joints and can cause pain after your workout.
Some treadmills have optional cushioning you can turn off if you prefer a harder, road-like running surface. Others may have adjustable cushioning at multiple levels. NordicTrack, ProForm, and Nautilus models are best known for their cushioning systems.
Running Belt Dimensions
Treadmill belts come in a range of lengths and widths. Thickness also varies, so you should know the general effect that each of these will have on your workout experience.
Tread belt dimensions are especially important to consider when you are on the larger side of the spectrum. A belt narrower than 18 to 20 inches can compromise elbow room and make running uncomfortable. A belt length less than 54 inches could be too small for runners over 6 feet tall.
The safest tread belt dimensions to suit most users are 20 x 55 inches. We don’t recommend going for single-ply belts since they aren’t very lasting. Always do for thicker ones to reduce maintenance and replacements long-term.
Entertainment and Workout Options
If you’re someone who gets easily bored using a treadmill, you might consider getting one with a good console display and engaging options like web connectivity or workout videos. Most top-notch treadmill brands have large console screens such as the NordicTrack Commercial X32i with its luxurious 32-inch console display. However, if you’re on a budget, a smaller screen size with modest specs can be enough for home use while saving you hundreds of pounds.
Instead of getting carried away with treadmills that offer Netflix connectivity, etc. we recommend making a rational choice based on its performance specs. A tablet holder can usually be enough to keep you engaged if you have your own Smart device, so a console screen is not a must-have.
Fitness App Connectivity
Many treadmills like NordicTrack have screens that allow connectivity to fitness apps; iFit, in NordicTrack and ProForm’s case, is a paid app that is often free for the first year. Some users may forego this option since any glitch caused by the app can affect the treadmill’s performance. However, iFit does offer exciting workout options such as virtual running at scenic locations, marathons, and more. Reading prior customer reviews can give you firsthand knowledge of the extent to which a treadmill’s firmware is actually functional.
Many brands like Sole and Life Fitness have their own mobile apps that you can sync with their treadmills. Some apps may not work well, so it’s also better to check the app’s ratings before you get too excited. Some treadmills are also compatible with multiple popular fitness apps like MyFitnessPal, etc.
You should also look for preset programs when buying a home treadmill. Such workouts are goal-oriented according to your fitness preferences. For example, Fat Burn is a common preset program that is ideal for weight loss, and the Hill mode on treadmills works your legs harder as you exercise.
Modern treadmills are also often equipped with audio jacks and speakers to allow iPod compatibility and play your music out loud. Testing out the speakers is especially a good idea for music lovers.
Accessory holders and bottle holders etc. are incorporated into many treadmills to offer a smooth workout experience. These can be handy in commercial gyms for keeping your towel, keys, and water bottle at hand. However, some people might prefer having them on a home treadmill too.
If you don’t like sweating when working out or are planning to really push yourself, getting a treadmill with a fan over the console is a good idea. While some may feature one simple fan, others may offer two or three with multiple or customizable speed options.
A well-functioning heart rate monitor is also good to have on a treadmill. While most budget-friendly treadmills only have them in the form of pulse sensors integrated into the handlebars, others may also be compatible with a Bluetooth chest strap.
It’s always a good idea to buy your very own treadmill for home use. Not only will it save you trips to the gym and the costs of membership, but it’s also a lot safer to have an isolated exercise space. Our buying guide above will make sure you select one that best fits your needs. Happy jogging!