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The 5 Best Treadmills of 2024

Nobody tests treadmills like GearLab! We bought all the best treadmills from Bowflex, NordicTrack, Echelon, Sole, Peloton, Horizon, XTerra Fitness, and more, and then tested the heck out of them.
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Best Treadmill Review (The Sole F80 is a commercial sized machine with a host of useful features but it doesn't win any awards.)
The Sole F80 is a commercial sized machine with a host of useful features but it doesn't win any awards.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens
By Joshua Hutchens, Jeremy Benson  ⋅  May 13, 2024

The Best Treadmills for 2024


Want the best treadmill for your budget and fitness routine? You've come to the right place. Our home gym experts test treadmills with unmatched rigor, rating and comparing each product side-by-side with our extensive testing protocol. This review compares the 12 best treadmills you can buy today. We spent months walking and running on them. Our testers use them on high-intensity runs, meditative walks, and everything in between. We take them apart to analyze their componentry and electronics. We get them to top speed, run all the programmed workouts, test their connectivity, and use the controls and features. We purchase every app, use them extensively, and contact technical support with questions. In our lab, we test the flex on their running surfaces and test the noise levels using a decibel meter. After our testing, we are poised to provide you with the world's most extensive side-by-side comparison, ratings, and review of today's treadmills that has ever been done to help you choose precisely the right product for your needs and budget.

We also find our comparison testing and ratings of the best exercise bikes interesting. We've tested some top-rated exercise equipment to upgrade your home gym and amp up your workouts if you seek additional training gear. And check out our recommendations for the best running shoes for men and our favorite women's running shoe options. If you like to take it a bit slower, take a look at our favorite walking shoes for hitting the treadmill or the streets.

Editor's Note: On May 13th, 2024, we updated our review with additional information from our testers, significantly expanded testing data, and charts that make it easier to compare the most important specs.

Top 12 Treadmills - Test Results

Displaying 6 - 10 of 12
 
Awards    Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $1,900 List
$1,900 at Amazon
$1,800 List
$951.79 at Amazon
$1,299 List$400 List
$349.99 at Amazon
$500 List
$349.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Large running surface, 350 lb weight limit, no membership fees, updated consoleLarge running surface, 12 mph top speed, 350 lbs weight limit, works with third-party training apps, good warrantyiFit connectivity, 300 lb weight limit, Value priced, Comfortable deckCompact, foldable, 2 in 1 functionality, budget price, quiet operationAffordable, 9 mph top speed, folds when not in use
Cons Large footprint, tall folded height, not ideal for shorter runners, no Bluetooth FTMSModerately expensive, larger sizeSmall screen, No fan or handlebar controls, Difficult assembly, Cost of appSize not ideal for running, floppy handle, remote doesn't work from above deskSmaller running surface, manual incline adjustment, 220 lb weight limit
Bottom Line The Sole F80 is an easy-to-use, commercial-quality treadmill that impressed us with its exercise quality and interface whether using an app guided workout or notConnected features, a large running surface, and a huge speed range make this median-priced model a compelling option for any fitness levelA full-sized treadmill that provides a good quality workout, Bluetooth connectivity, and a foldable design, but its small screen isn't very entertainingA compact, easy to use two in one model that integrates well with standing desks and is powerful enough for light joggingA relatively basic but impressively affordable treadmill that gets the job done for lighter intensity workouts
Rating Categories Sole F80 XTerra Fitness TRX3500 NordicTrack EXP 7i UREVO 2 in 1 Foldin... Sunny Health and Fi...
Exercise Quality (35%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
User Interface/Ease of Use (25%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
Features (15%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Ease of Assembly (10%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
10.0
8.0
Storability (10%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
8.0
Noise Level (5%)
5.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Sole F80 XTerra Fitness TRX3500 NordicTrack EXP 7i UREVO 2 in 1 Foldin... Sunny Health and Fi...
Belt Dimensions (LxW) 60 in. x 22 in. 60 in. x 20 in. 54.5 in. x 20 in. 42.5 in. x 16.75 in. 49 in. x 15.5 in.
Top Speed 12 mph 12 mph 10 mph 7.6 mph 9 mph
Motor 3.5 HP 3.0 HP 2.6 CHP 2.5 HP 2.2 HP
Measured Minimum Incline 1 % 0 % 0 % 0 % 0.2 %
Measured Maximum Incline 12 % 12 % 11.3 % 0.0 % 4.37 %
Measured Noise 65 db 63 db 62 db 61 db 62.2 db
Weight Limit 350 lbs 350 lbs 300 lbs 265 lbs 220 lbs
Open Dimensions 82.5" L x 37" W x 66" H 77.2" L x 35.5" W x 56.1" H 70.75" L x 35.75" W x 59" H 52.6" L x 26.4" W x 39.7" H 62" L x 26.5" W x 50" H
Folded Dimensions 45" L x 37" W x 70.25" H 51.2" L x 35.5" W x 65.8" H 34" L x 35.75" W x 67" H 54.5" L x 26" W x 4.9"H 36" L x 25.5" W x 58" H
Incline Adjustment Electric Electric Electric Electric Manual
Display 10.1" Android diplay 6.5" backlit LCD 5" backlit, Blutooth work with your device small LED display 7" backlit LCD
Workout Programs Manual, Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Strength, HIIT, 5K, 10K, Custom, HRC, and Fitness Test 30 pre-set programs, 2 custom, 1 heart rate control, plus it works with Zwift, Kinomap, Wahoo SYSTM through Bluetooth FTMS connection None None 9 programs
Heart Rate Sensors Integrated handlebar sensors Integrated handlebar sensors Works with Bluetooth heart rate sensor (sold separately) No Integrated handlebar sensors
Connectivity Bluetooth Bluetooth FTMS and Auxilary input Bluetooth No No
Additional Features Easy fold system, built-in fan, Cushion Flex Whisper deck, speed and incline adjustment buttons, streaming entertainment, bottle holders, wireless device charging, Bluetooth, transport wheels Transport wheels, folding deck with soft-drop, heart rate sensors, auxilary plug, 2 bottle/cup holders, XTRASoft deck cushioning, quick jump speed and incline buttons, handlebar speed and incline controls, safety lanyard, built-in speakers, built-in cooling fan, accessory tray, Bluetooth, works with third-party apps Folding, soft-drop, device shelf, bottle holders, transport wheels, safety shutoff lanyard, speakers, auxilary input, Flex Select cushioning, heart rate sensors, Bluetooth, works with iFit Compact folding design, transport wheels, phone holder, remote control Folding, soft-drop, transport wheels, bottle holders, shock absorption, quick speed buttons, manual incline adjust, device shelf, safety shutoff lanyard
Warranty Frame, Motor: Lifetime - Parts: 3 years - Labor: 1 Year Frame and motor: lifetime, Deck and parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year 12-month limited parts and labor Frame: 3 years, Parts: 180 days


Best Treadmill for Most People


Echelon Stride 6


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 8.0
  • User Interface/Ease of Use 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Ease of Assembly 10.0
  • Storability 9.0
  • Noise Level 10.0
REASONS TO BUY
Impressive folded size
Open-front waterfall design increases running surface
Quiet operation
REASONS TO AVOID
No touchscreen
The console is less stable at higher speeds
SPECIFICATIONS
Top Speed 12.4 mph
Belt Dimensions (LxW) 60.5 in. x 20.5 in.
Motor 2.5 CHP
Measured Minimum Incline 1 %
Measured Maximum Incline 10.5 %
Thanks to its impressive waterfall design, which means it lacks a motor cover, the Echelon Stride 6 has one of the largest running surfaces of any treadmill we've tested. The upgraded 2.5 CHP motor pushes the belt to a top speed of 12.4 mph, and it's capable of a 10.5% incline. The DuroFlex running deck has above-average compliance, making it comfortable for all workout intensities. When folded, you can slide it underneath a piece of furniture, lean it against a wall, or even behind a door.

This treadmill is likely the most consumer-focused mill on the market today, and it has an abundance of convenient features. The machine interfaces with the Echelon app, which offers many studio, live, and on-location classes. The Echelon Fit app features tons of classes of varying durations with many different themes and musical genres. You'll need to use your own tablet, phone, or smart TV to connect with their app, as the treadmill has no screen. You can also use any app you want or run the treadmill with no app or internet connection.

The best treadmill for most people, the Stride 6, is comfortable, quiet, storable, and well-priced.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

One of my favorite things about this treadmill is that it arrives completely assembled,” remarked lead tester Joshua Hutchens. Once you open the box and remove some packaging, you simply unfold the treadmill, and it's ready to go. Moving it around is exceptionally easy thanks to four sets of transport wheels that allow you to tilt and roll or slide it sideways when it's standing on end; no other full-sized treadmill is this easy to move.

The machine makes minor compromises in exchange for convenience but still provides an impressive workout. Its foldable frame feels less sturdy than some other full-sized treadmills, but it has a 300-pound weight limit. The handrail controls are easy to reach but don't always register input intuitively. Overall, this is an excellent machine, especially if you want to dedicate less than an entire room to indoor running. For most people, this is the best treadmill for your home or garage gym.

Read more: Echelon Stride 6 review

treadmill - the echelon stride 6 is one of the best treadmills we have tested.
The Echelon Stride 6 is one of the best treadmills we have tested.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Best Budget Treadmill


Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill


59
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 5.0
  • User Interface/Ease of Use 5.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Ease of Assembly 8.0
  • Storability 8.0
  • Noise Level 8.0
REASONS TO BUY
Affordable
Relatively easy assembly
Easy to use
REASONS TO AVOID
Smaller tread surface
Manual incline adjustment
220-pound weight limit
SPECIFICATIONS
Top Speed 9 mph
Belt Dimensions (LxW) 49 in. x 15.5 in.
Motor 2.2 HP
Measured Minimum Incline 0.2 %
Measured Maximum Incline 4.37 %
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill presents a solid value for those on a tight budget. Although this affordable model may not include all the bells and whistles of its pricier competition, it's still a solid performer. The tread surface measures 49" x 15.5", and the speed ranges from 0.5-9 mph, suitable for walking and moderate running workouts. There are three levels of manually adjustable incline and nine pre-programmed workouts. The console has quick-jump speed buttons, program, mode, and start/stop buttons, and the handrails have extra buttons for adjusting belt speed or starting/stopping more conveniently.

A moderately bright LCD screen indicates time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. This machine allows you to select a manual workout by time, distance, or calorie goals. The console features two water bottle holders and a device shelf for a phone or tablet, so everything you need can stay within arm's reach. If space is limited, the SF-T4400's belt can fold up or down easily via a soft-drop system, and there are transport wheels to make moving it around less strenuous. The latest update to this model brought a heart rate monitor on the handle and improved shock absorption.

The small but surprisingly capable Sunny Health. It takes up little space but still has some key features, like the ability to take a call with the press of a button.
Credit: Laura Casner

This model has no connectivity, so you are limited to manual or programmed workouts. The tread surface is relatively narrow, just 15.5" wide, so attention is required to avoid stepping on the side rails while running. We found this option works best for walking and jogging at medium speeds. While it is nice to have three manually adjustable incline levels, tester Joshua Hutchens says, “They're almost more trouble than they're worth; having to jump off and adjust by hand is a pain.” The 220 lb weight limit will limit its audience, but it still performed well when loaded to that weight. Despite these few mild drawbacks, this is an affordable option with respectable quality. Its prices are close to the UREVO, with the main differences being the UREVO folds down smaller, has a smaller running surface, and has a lower top speed.

Read more: Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill review

treadmill - we measured each model's belt length and width, as well as their...
We measured each model's belt length and width, as well as their open and closed dimensions.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Best Heavy-Duty Use Treadmill


Bowflex Treadmill 22


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 9.0
  • User Interface/Ease of Use 9.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Ease of Assembly 5.0
  • Storability 7.0
  • Noise Level 7.0
REASONS TO BUY
Massive running surface
-5% to +20% incline range
22-inch touchscreen
Works with JRNY, streaming entertainment, and 3rd party apps
REASONS TO AVOID
Very expensive
Very large and heavy
SPECIFICATIONS
Top Speed 12 mph
Belt Dimensions (LxW) 60 in. x 22 in.
Motor 4.0 HP
Measured Minimum Incline -5 %
Measured Maximum Incline 20 %
The Bowflex Treadmill 22 is a fully-featured high-end treadmill with all the bells and whistles. The large 60" x 22" running surface offers ample space for long strides and running at any speed. A 12 mph top speed and smooth-rolling belt is suitable for power walking, endurance runs, high-intensity intervals, and everything in between. This sturdy model boasts a 400-pound weight limit and the tread deck features Comfort Tech cushioning that does a fine job of absorbing impact, with a decline to -5% and incline of up to 20% to simulate glute busting climbs and moderate downhills. “Being able to run at a decline is incredibly useful for distance trail running”, according to distance athlete Amber Weibel.

A 22-inch HD touchscreen is the main interface for choosing workouts through the JRNY app and viewing them while you work out. Well-placed speed and incline controls on the handrails, the extended handlebar grips, and the quick jump buttons on the lower console make them easy to adjust, even while running. The JRNY app is more affordable than those of other competitors. While not the most impressive, it offers a variety of studio-style classes and virtual coaching programs. Featuring Explore the World scenic runs and many off-treadmill workouts for total body fitness. A unique aspect of the JRNY app is the ability to stream your favorite entertainment from popular services like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and more through the screen (subscriptions required), and it works with third-party training apps like Zwift through your device.

Testing the Bowflex 22 at The Lab. Here, you can see the large touchscreen and the impressive range in incline. We also capture the process of wrestling such a large machine.
Credit: Chris McNamara

We enjoyed this platform's versatility and the options it provides. It also has features like a heart rate armband, a small cooling fan, a USB charging port, front-facing speakers, and plenty of places to keep things within arm's reach. For model year 2023, Bowflex added a fan with more power, larger speakers, new software, and some additional safety features. For heavy-duty needs, hardcore training, or heavier users, this is the best treadmill.

The Treadmill 22 is the largest and heaviest model we tested and is suitable for a dedicated workout space. Even though the tread deck folds up, it still occupies a considerable amount of space. While assembling the machine isn't particularly difficult, it takes a bit of time. Once assembled, moving it around is not easy. While none of the full-sized treadmills are cheap, this one is quite expensive, and although it is the best we tested, it may be more than many people need. The NordicTrack Commercial 1750, which costs $500 less, is also a fantastic machine that impressed us in our tests.

Read more: Bowflex Treadmill 22 review

treadmill - the bowflex treadmill 22 topped the charts for its exercise quality...
The Bowflex Treadmill 22 topped the charts for its exercise quality with a huge tread surface, 12 mph top speed, large incline adjustment range, and integration with the JRNY app through its 22-inch touchscreen.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Best Treadmill without the Apps


Horizon 7.4 AT


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 9.0
  • User Interface/Ease of Use 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Ease of Assembly 6.0
  • Storability 6.0
  • Noise Level 9.0
REASONS TO BUY
Ample tread surface
It can be used without an app or internet connection
Convenient adjustment wheels
REASONS TO AVOID
Large footprint
Unimpressive fan
Less entertaining console
SPECIFICATIONS
Top Speed 12 mph
Belt Dimensions (LxW) 60 in. x 22 in.
Motor 3.5 CHP
Measured Minimum Incline 0.7 %
Measured Maximum Incline 14.7 %
The Horizon 7.4 AT is a gym-quality treadmill that relies on the user for entertainment, but that doesn't mean it lacks technology. With the machine's Bluetooth FTMS, you can connect to any app you want. You can also skip the apps and pay no monthly fees. The most recent model update made linking to other applications like Peloton or Zwift easy and offered some new training plans.

The expansive 60" x 22" silicone belt sits over a 3-zone variable cushioning deck that flexes beneath your stride like a running shoe. Athletic runners will appreciate the long running surface, which is ideal for long strides, sprints, or hard intervals. The machine's distinctive rolling control wheels are a highlight and among the most intuitive we've tested. The console is neat and well-organized but technologically unimpressive; it provides necessary information and little else. There are high and low tablet holders in the center, as well as speakers and water bottle holders on both sides of the console.

Although it is not the most convenient treadmill to transport, including wheels enables the Horizon to glide on solid surfaces.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Assembly is somewhat involved; we recommend having a stable and dedicated location to set up this treadmill because it has a huge footprint. It produces less noise than most of the other mills tested. “The Horizon feels solid and well-built,” according to tester Ryan Weibel. It has a steel frame and a 350-pound weight limit. The running deck offered excellent compliance for our testers, who weigh less than half that. With its powerful 3.5 CHP motor, speed changes occur faster than on other machines. Its incline motor is also incredibly responsive, even at full weight capacity, reaching the maximum measured slope of 14.77% quickly.

Lead tester Joshua Hutchens has a few gripes about this model, “It is not the easiest to store or assemble”, but neither are the other top treadmills we tested. The main downside, according to Hutchens, is the lack of connected features. While you can bring your own apps, treadmills like the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 package it all together (with a monthly fee). This treadmill is best for runners wanting to commit to indoor running, not a monthly app subscription.

Read more: Horizon 7.4 AT review

treadmill - the horizon 7.4 at felt roomy and functional
The Horizon 7.4 AT felt roomy and functional
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Best Under-desk Treadmill


UREVO 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill


66
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 6.0
  • User Interface/Ease of Use 5.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Ease of Assembly 10.0
  • Storability 10.0
  • Noise Level 9.0
REASONS TO BUY
Compact, 2-in-1 design
Foldable for flat storage
Low Noise
REASONS TO AVOID
Small belt surface
Handrail isn't sturdy feeling
IR Remote doesn't work above the desk
SPECIFICATIONS
Top Speed 7.6 mph
Belt Dimensions (LxW) 42.5 in. x 16.75 in.
Motor 2.5 HP
Measured Minimum Incline 0 %
Measured Maximum Incline 0.0 %
The UREVO 2-in-1 treadmill is impressively convenient. It requires no assembly; it starts in seconds and stores easily. The 2-in-1 treadmill can be used to jog with the handrail folded up and under a desk or standalone as a walking treadmill with its handrail down. The 2024 update to this model increased the horsepower of the motor, improved shock absorption, and made the model fold even smaller. In its walk mode, the speed range is from 0.6 to 3.8 mph and is controlled via remote. In its run mode, the speed range is 3.8 to 7.6 mph, allowing for a fairly brisk run.

Tester Rachael Lamore remarked, “The UREVO is incredibly compact in walk mode; it's so easy to put under my desk or stash it away.” There are wheels on the front that facilitate rolling it when tilted, but it's light enough to carry. Its small LED screen at the front of the tread belt displays elapsed time, distance, speed, and estimated burned calories. The handrail has a fold-out phone holder and simple controls to change speeds and start or stop a workout. It's amongst the quietest treadmills we've tested, especially at walking speeds, yet powerful enough to run and boasts a 265 lb weight limit.

Compact, quiet and functional, you can forget that you're even walking on it.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

While it is convenient and easy to store, there are some drawbacks. The narrower tread deck allows for running, but users need to be attentive to their stride to stay on the 42.5" by 16.75" surface. This is a typical issue with other treadmills in this price range, such as the SunnyHealth SF-T4400. If you want a larger surface and faster speeds, the Echelon Stride 6 provides it, but it's more than double the price. We appreciate the hand rail's phone holder, but it's also a little floppy at running speeds making it difficult to focus on. If you plan to do more than 80% walking and under-desk compatibility is important to you, the UREVO is a clear winner. We liked how simple it was to move, store, and start a workout.

Long-Term Thoughts: This machine has been in service under many of our review team member's desks since we formally convened testing more than a year ago, and it continues to impress us. Its low profile and quiet motor are its standout features, and we recommend it just as much today as we did when we finished formal testing; this is the best under-desk treadmill we've tried.

Read more: UREVO 2-in-1 treadmill

treadmill - the urevo is an excellent choice for walking or under desk use.
The UREVO is an excellent choice for walking or under desk use.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
84
Echelon Stride 6
Best Treadmill for Most People
$1,699
Editors' Choice Award
83
Bowflex Treadmill 22
Best Heavy-Duty Use Treadmill
$2,799
Top Pick Award
82
NordicTrack Commercial 1750
$2,499
80
Horizon 7.4 AT
Best Treadmill without the Apps
$2,399
Top Pick Award
79
Peloton Tread
$2,995
71
Sole F80
$1,900
70
XTerra Fitness TRX3500
$1,800
67
NordicTrack EXP 7i
$1,299
66
UREVO 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
Best Under-desk Treadmill
$400
Top Pick Award
59
Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill
Best Budget Treadmill
$500
Best Buy Award
53
Sperax Walking Pad Treadmill
$299
50
Goplus SuperFit 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
$300

treadmill - the treadmills in this review were all put through the same rigorous...
The treadmills in this review were all put through the same rigorous testing process.
Credit: Jason Peters

How We Test Treadmills


We constantly research the most popular and highly regarded treadmills; when we find compelling models, we buy them and subject them to extensive testing. At GearLab, we don't just regurgitate manufacturer's specs and consumer reviews; we rigorously test each product to identify their strengths and weaknesses for ourselves. We handle each treadmill from the unboxing process to extensive in-house testing and hours of use. We take our own measurements, disassemble machines to check their componentry, compare electronics, and sweat the details.

Testing the speed accuracy of each treadmill using a stopwatch and a measuring wheel.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

To determine the best treadmills in our test group, we operate each contender over several months with walks and runs of varying lengths and intensities. While testing, we analyze the controls and consoles, touchscreens, companion apps, features, ease of use, and the quality of each model's exercise experience. We compare notes at the end of our test period and zero in on our favorites. Testing is an ongoing process as we constantly look for updates to models and their software.

Our testing of treadmills is divided into five rating metrics:
  • Exercise Quality (35% of overall score weighting)
  • Ease of Use (25% weighting)
  • Features (15% weighting)
  • Assembly (10% weighting)
  • Storability (10% weighting)
  • Noise Level (5% weighting)

Why Trust GearLab


Our treadmill review was led by our Senior Review Editor, Joshua Hutchens. While Hutchens is best known for his work on two wheels, he spends a fair bit of time chasing trail on foot. His fitness routine mixes cycling, running, yoga, and weight lifting, and he's found treadmills to be an excellent source of cardio, especially during the frigid months. His home gym includes a high-end treadmill, a lower-end fitness bike, free weights, and access to almost all of today's top fitness apps. His favorite studio workout comes from Peloton, while he prefers iFit for stimulating scenic rides while he sweats. He runs casually, joining 10k and fun runs throughout the year and pacing friends in longer runs.

Pro runner Amber Monforte Weibel is part of our testing team. A three-time winner of the Ultraman World Championship, she's completed four Ironmans in Kona, eight Xterra World Championships, and 50 ultramarathons. She currently has the Unsupported Fastest Known Time on the John Muir Trail (221 miles) and the Tahoe Rim Trail (173 miles), so she knows running. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband and two children and somehow also finds time to work as an RN.

treadmill - finding the best treadmill on the market is going to happen by...
Finding the best treadmill on the market is going to happen by accident, we take treadmill testing seriously at GearLab.
Credit: Natalie Nealan

Ryan Weibel provides knowledge and insight on running and treadmills. He has completed over 30 ultramarathons with multiple spots on the podium, including the Bear 100 and Tahoe Rim Trail 100. He trains obsessively and spends more hours on a treadmill than many of us do in our offices. He is often spotted on the trails around Lake Tahoe with his kids in tow or chasing his stud of a wife Amber.

Ian Anderson, noted Physical Therapist and co-founder of PT Revolution, shared his thoughts about the biomechanics of treadmill workouts and showed us how gate mechanics are affected by running on a belt. Understanding that a treadmill shouldn't be the entirety of your workout routine was among his most poignant advice.

Measuring the internal components and inspecting the build quality...
Measuring the internal components and inspecting the build quality is part of how we test. The best treadmills we've tested typically have larger rollers that are smoother and create less wear on the belt.
You can clearly see that the belt on the Sole F80 treadmill is...
You can clearly see that the belt on the Sole F80 treadmill is indeed the claimed 22 inches. Generally, the best treadmills we've tested have wider, longer belts that provide ample running space.
Measuring the decibels emitted from the machine with and without a...
Measuring the decibels emitted from the machine with and without a runner helps us determine the best treadmill for your environment.

How to Pick A Treadmill


Here are five key considerations when choosing the right treadmill for your space, budget, and running or walking style.

How Much Space Do You Have?


Treadmills vary greatly in the amount of space they take up. The smallest can easily fit under a couch or bed, while the largest ones can require an entire room and are still the size of a refrigerator when folded. Consider how much space you're willing to dedicate to your treadmill. While treadmills that offer the best performance typically take up the most space, a more compact treadmill may suit your needs, especially if you're mainly using your treadmill for walking. Most treadmills require two feet of clear space on each side and an additional treadmill length behind them, so plan accordingly.

treadmill - the smallest treadmills fit under a couch, while the biggest ones...
The smallest treadmills fit under a couch, while the biggest ones can take up the better part of a small room.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

How Important is the Incline?


The most expensive and high-performing treadmills allow you to run or hike at an incline of up to 40%. This is an awesome feature if you need it and have the headroom. However, if you don't require such steep inclines, you can spend thousands less. Some of the more expensive treadmills also allow you to run at a decline, which can be helpful for trail and distance runners.

What Apps Do You Plan to Use?


The apps you plan to use can make a big difference in the cost and the likelihood you will work out. Many apps require a subscription, which can dwarf the cost of the treadmill itself. At the same time, if you find an app you love, it could be the difference between using your treadmill regularly or using it to collect dust. We recommend looking through all the available apps and ensuring you're buying a model with the type of workouts you want. And, of course, if you don't want or need any apps, you can likely save a significant amount of money.

How Fast Do You Run?


Most treadmills we tested go faster than most people run; a 10mph top speed is a brisk 6-minute mile. However, the smallest and least expensive models often have such a small running surface that your stride will be impeded at top speed. If fast runs are your thing, you'll need a larger running deck. If you mainly want to walk, you might be able to get away with a very small and inexpensive option.

How Much Do You Weigh?


Most of the bigger and heavier treadmills are rated for 300 pounds. The lighter models we've tested rate at only 220 pounds. A good rule of thumb is that you want a 50-pound buffer above the rated weight capacity. The treadmill works by pulling the rubber belt over a coated wood surface; too much weight can cause the motor will wear out prematurely.


treadmill - we measured the incline of each treadmill against the manufacturer...
We measured the incline of each treadmill against the manufacturer claims. The treadmill with the biggest incline ranges often costs the most.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Analysis and Test Results


In this review, we focused on several key performance attributes to compare the treadmills. We analyzed each model for exercise quality, user interface/ease of use, features, ease of assembly, storability, and noise level to determine the best and rank the lineup.


Value


The treadmills we reviewed in this article cover a wide range of prices. High-end commercial treadmills with touchscreens, connected features, and companion apps can be expensive. Models like the Bowflex Treadmill 22, NordicTrack Commercial 1750, and Peloton Tread offer excellent performance, but they can be quite pricey. You needn't break the bank to get some quality cardio; models like the XTerra Fitness TRX3500 provide an excellent workout at about half the price. While it lacks a touchscreen, it offers competitive performance with its 12 mph top speed, 30 program workouts, and large tread surface. This machine also has FTMS Bluetooth capabilities that make it two-way compatible with third-party training apps. If you're on a tighter budget, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 is an even more affordable option that can help you burn calories. Although it has a lower maximum speed and a smaller tread surface, it is perfect for walking and light jogging, which may be all that many people need.

treadmill - we put the time into testing so you can feel confident in your...
We put the time into testing so you can feel confident in your purchase.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Exercise Quality


When it comes to using a treadmill, the most important thing is to have a good quality exercise experience. This accounts for 35% of the product's overall score. Our analysis takes into account a number of factors, such as the size of the running surface, speed settings, workout programs, and incline range. We also evaluate the smoothness and quality of the belt at different speeds, the deck cushioning, the difficulty of the workout programs, and any connected features and companion apps. All of these elements play a significant role in determining the overall quality of the exercise experience.


The Bowflex Treadmill 22 stands out with its impressive features. It boasts a large running area of 60" x 22" and a top speed of 12 mph. Additionally, it offers a 5% decline to a 20% incline, allowing you to simulate steep hills and moderate descents. The deck is well cushioned, and it has an impressive 400-pound weight limit, making it suitable for users of all fitness levels and training goals. The 22-inch HD touchscreen integrates with the JRNY app, which offers studio-style classes, adaptive virtual coach workouts, and scenic runs. Moreover, it has the unique ability to stream your favorite entertainment and work with third-party training apps, providing you with the flexibility to choose the exercise experience that best suits your needs.

treadmill - the peloton tread provides a great workout that is due in large part...
The Peloton Tread provides a great workout that is due in large part to its integration with the Peloton app and all of the great classes and instructors.
Credit: Chris McNamara


The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 came in second place in this category, with a large 60" x 21.5" tread surface and a top speed of 12 mph. It also has a 3% decline to a 15% incline adjustment range, perfect for serious runners. The console can be swiveled and boasts a 14-inch HD touchscreen. The console can be used manually for any workout or integrated with the popular iFit app to provide a unique, immersive training experience. The Peloton Tread also provides an impressive workout with a sleek design. It has a 59-inch by 20-inch wide running surface, a top speed of 12.5 mph, and an adjustable incline of up to 12.5%. The 23.8-inch HD touchscreen seamlessly integrates with the Peloton app, and speed and incline changes are incredibly easy with the unique adjustment knobs.

It's not a race... or is it?
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The XTerra TRX3500 has a 60" x 20" tread surface that won't limit your stride, and the 0.5-12 mph speed range ensures you can run as fast as you want. It also has 12 levels of auto incline from 0-12%, along with 30 included workouts that automatically adjust belt speed and incline as you go. Its Bluetooth connectivity is one of its best features and allows you to use various workout apps for interactive, on-demand studio workouts or fitness tracking. Despite its impressive size, the Echelon Stride still scores well here. It still boasts a 12 mph top speed, and while the 55" x 20" running surface isn't the biggest, we found it to be adequate in most situations. It wouldn't be our recommendation for super serious runners, but it still provides a solid workout, especially considering its storable convenience.


treadmill - training apps are quite popular, and peloton is one of the best.
Training apps are quite popular, and Peloton is one of the best.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Connectivity/Companion App


Nowadays, many treadmills have touchscreens built-in or are Bluetooth-enabled to connect with devices for use with companion or third-party training apps. For some users, the app experience can be just as crucial as the treadmill itself, whether for motivation or distraction purposes. However, if you have a structured training program, you may not want or need them. While most of these apps come at a cost, they are still cost-effective since they cost less than a monthly gym membership, and you can use them conveniently at home. Most apps offer a wide range of class types, music genres, class durations, and instructors, including off-treadmill exercises for total body fitness. You can think of it as having an entire personal training staff at your disposal. These apps vary in many ways, and personal preferences differ, so we evaluated the models we tested based on their ability to integrate with them rather than the apps' quality.

treadmill - some treadmills, like the echelon stride, use bluetooth to connect...
Some treadmills, like the Echelon Stride, use Bluetooth to connect to apps through your own device.
Credit: Chris McNamara

We tested several models designed specifically to work with their companion apps, and we tested each with its respective app. Most treadmills can also be used without the apps. However, their functionality is more limited, and realistically, the point of getting a fancy connected treadmill for most people is for the connected experience they provide. All of these apps have an ongoing monthly or yearly cost to consider, , and range in price from $20 to $44 a month, with some giving a slight discount when billed annually. The screen-equipped models, like the Bowflex Treadmill 22, NordicTrack Commercial 1750, and Peloton Tread, use WiFi to connect to their apps, while the connected models without screens, like the Echelon Stride and XTerra Fitness TRX3500, use Bluetooth to connect to an app through your tablet or smartphone. During testing, we used iFit, Echelon, Peloton, JRNY, and Zwift.

Testing a pair of treadmills side by side and swapping between them makes differences in them become readily apparent.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

User Interface/Ease of Use


If a treadmill is user-friendly, there's a greater chance you'll use it and enjoy the experience. Each model's screen/display and controls play a large role in their ease of use and overall performance. Whether starting a manual workout or navigating an app to choose a workout, each model has its subtleties. Fortunately, the treadmills in this review are all relatively easy to use. Results from this test metric hold a 25% weighting of a product's overall score.


Not surprisingly, the touchscreen-equipped models scored the highest in this metric. The Peloton Tread impressed us the most with its quality 23.8-inch HD touchscreen and excellent, unique controls. With excellent resolution, color, and touch sensitivity, navigating the Peloton app is straightforward, and it almost feels like you're in the studio with the instructors. Front-facing speakers and rear-facing woofers provide the audio, or you can pair wireless headphones or earbuds and heart sensors through the screen. The handrail-mounted knobs for speed and incline are easy to reach while running and make adjustments very straightforward.

treadmill - handrail controls can provide an easy way to nudge up the speed or...
Handrail controls can provide an easy way to nudge up the speed or incline.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The Bowflex Treadmill 22 features a large 22-inch HD touchscreen, as well as multiple controls for adjusting speed and incline. You can easily select a workout on JRNY or choose your entertainment using the large display. The side handrails, extended handlebars, and lower console have speed and incline controls, making it easy to adjust your workout wherever you place your hands. The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 has a console that swivels and comes with a 14-inch HD touchscreen that integrates with the iFit app. With the AutoAdjust feature, you don't have to manually change the speed or incline during iFit workouts. The console also has quick jump speed and incline buttons, as well as adjustment buttons below. Although the ergonomics of the controls aren't perfect, they're still easy to use.

treadmill
Credit: Matt Lighthart


The Echelon Stride and the XTerra TRX3500 are also quite easy to use with straightforward controls and simpler digital displays that are easy to read. Starting manual workouts is particularly straightforward, although using Bluetooth to connect any of these models to training apps adds an additional step and a little time at startup.

treadmill - the 22-inch touchscreen on the treadmill 22 is great. well-placed...
The 22-inch touchscreen on the Treadmill 22 is great. Well-placed controls also make it easy to use.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Features


In our tests, we evaluated several models of treadmills that offer different features to enhance the exercise experience or make the machine more user-friendly. These features vary from model to model, including built-in speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, water bottle holders, heart rate sensors, and more. Our top-rated treadmills come with all the bells and whistles, while even the most basic models have at least a few features. Additionally, most of the treadmills we tested are designed to fold up for easy storage and have transport wheels to make them easy to move around. Most models also have soft-drop systems that ensure the deck is secured in the raised position and lowers slowly to the ground. This test metric accounts for 15% of a product's overall score.


With all the bells and whistles, the Bowflex Treadmill 22 is the most feature-rich model we tested. Not only does it have a huge tread surface, excellent cushioning, and -5% to +20% incline, but it also comes with a 22-inch touchscreen, WiFi to connect to the JRNY app, and Bluetooth to connect to wireless accessories. It comes with a heart rate armband and heart rate sensors on the extended handlebars. It also has front-facing speakers, a USB charging port, a small cooling fan, and more places than you'll ever need to hold water bottles and other items. The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is similarly equipped. The swiveling ability of the console is a highlight, as it allows you to view iFit workouts off the treadmill more easily. It also has quality speakers, a surprisingly effective 3-speed adjustable fan, and two bottle holders for refreshments.

treadmill - not only is the peloton tread's touchscreen an excellent feature...
Not only is the Peloton Tread's touchscreen an excellent feature, but the Tread Lock passcode should help improve its safety.
Credit: Chris McNamara

The Peloton Tread has a best-in-test tilting touchscreen with excellent speakers, two bottle holders, and a small phone or other items shelf. Peloton has also taken steps to make it as safe as possible with features like a Tread Lock passcode required at startup or after it sits idle for 45 seconds, a tread sensor that stops the belt and activates the Tread Lock after 10 seconds of inactivity, a magnetic safety key/lanyard, and multiple safety prompts in every workout from the instructors. The Echelon Stride's most notable feature is the folding design, making it much more compact and storable when not used. On top of that, it has 2 bottle holders and Bluetooth to connect in integrate with the Echelon app through your own device.

treadmill - assembly made easy
Assembly made easy
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Ease of Assembly


Most of our test models arrive in large boxes with some assembly required. After unboxing each treadmill and removing protective packing materials, we finish the remaining assembly ourselves. All of the machines we've tested thus far have come with adequate assembly instructions, and most come with all of the tools required to complete the remaining tasks. Beyond their weight and size, none of them have been all that difficult to assemble, although some are more involved and time-consuming than others. This test metric holds a 10% weighting of a product's overall score.

It took a total of 81 minutes to assemble the Horizon 7.4 AT.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens


When you purchase the Peloton Tread you also have to pay for delivery and professional assembly. Since the assembly is done for you, it doesn't get much easier; you can be sure that it gets done right, and you don't have to deal with moving this heavy machine in its shipping box. The Echelon Stride comes pretty much ready to go in the box. You'll need to remove it from the box and packing materials, of course, then all that's left is to unfold the support arms, handrail, and console, then plug it in. Similarly, the GoPlus Super Fit is virtually ready for use in the box, but you'll need to attach the handrails and phone holder if you intend to use them. The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 isn't far behind, with only a few bolts needed to secure the support arms and console once you unbox it.

treadmill - with almost no assembly required, the echelon stride 6 is ready to...
With almost no assembly required, the Echelon Stride 6 is ready to go within minutes of opening the box.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The remaining models all had many more steps and required significantly more time to complete. Most notably, the Bowflex Treadmill 22 and the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 were by far the heaviest and most difficult to move. Each took about 2 hours to assemble and required the assistance of another person for several of the steps.

treadmill - its compact size and storability make this treadmill a winner.
Its compact size and storability make this treadmill a winner.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens


Storability


The size of your home and your available space to dedicate to a treadmill will dictate the importance of storability in your purchase decision. The needs of apartment dwellers and those without a specific exercise space will certainly be different than those with a large house or dedicated workout room. Nearly every model we tested has either a folding tread deck or support arms that reduce their size when not in use, and they have integrated wheels that make it fairly easy to move them around on firm, flat surfaces. Storability makes up 10% of the final score.


The Echelon Stride scores extremely well in this metric due to its folding arm design that reduces it to just 10 inches thick. It's still relatively wide and long, but it can be slid under a bed or leaned against a wall for storage. It's also comparatively lightweight at 156 lbs, and a handle at the back of the tread and two sets of wheels at the front make it easier than most to move around. This is particularly impressive given that it still has a good-sized tread, a 12 mph top speed, and a 10% incline. Although it can't compete with the Stride for exercise quality, the GoPlus Super Fit is even smaller and easier to move and store. It's more of a walking/under-desk model and can easily be stashed under a couch or in a closet.

treadmill - some of the treadmills we tested in their compact storable...
Some of the treadmills we tested in their compact storable positions. The differences are quite apparent. From left to right: Bowflex Treadmill 22, NordicTrack Commercial 1750, Peloton Tread, and Echelon Stride.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Most other models we tested feature folding tread decks that reduce their overall footprint by nearly half. While they will definitely never disappear from view, they do open up some floor space when folded. The exception is the non-folding Peloton Tread, although it has a fairly compact design for its tread size, making it less obtrusive than it could be. Below, we charted the area that each treadmill occupies when open and when folded; some models are more efficient with the space they occupy.

treadmill - the recommended space around a treadmill is 2 feet on each side and...
The recommended space around a treadmill is 2 feet on each side and a treadmill length behind it; this means that even a smaller machine needs an entire room.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Noise Level


Using a sound level meter, we recorded the decibel level at varying speeds with the belt on its own and with a tester walking or running. The meter was positioned 24 inches above the floor and diagonally 18 inches away from the motor next to the tread deck. Decibel readings were recorded at 1, 4, and 7.5 mph. The majority of the models we tested fell within just a few decibels of each other, with the sound of a user's footfalls causing a notable increase with each step. No treadmill will ever be silent, of course, but none we tested qualify as being excessively loud either. Due to the relatively slight differences between models, the results from this test metric hold just a 5% weighting of a product's overall score.


treadmill - while we realize noise levels may be an important consideration for...
While we realize noise levels may be an important consideration for many users, the sound data from our top treadmills revealed a lack of variance in the sound produced. Notably, the Horizon 7.4AT seemed to mute the sound of runners footfalls better than others.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

While the differences are slight, we found that the Echelon Stride was one of the quietest. It has a smaller 1.75 CHP motor that emits very little noise with just the belt running on its own, 40, 54, and 62 decibels at 1, 4, and 7.5 mph, respectively, and it was the quietest with a runner at just 65.5 decibels at 7.5 mph. This comparatively low noise level only adds to its appeal for use in small spaces. With a 2.2 HP motor, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 measured almost the same noise levels as the Stride, although it was just a bit louder, 67 decibels, with a runner at 7.5 mph. The rest of the field was only a few decibels higher, and none were so loud that you couldn't have a conversation.

Using sound meters from fixed perspectives helped us to identify differences in sound produced by different treadmills at different speeds.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Conclusion


There is a lot to consider when searching for a new treadmill, but finding the right one can genuinely enhance your at-home training. There are many excellent options on the market, and we hope this detailed comparative review helps you find the right model to meet your needs, fitness goals, and budget. We have a number of other fitness reviews outlining the top-rated dumbbells, as well as our favorite exercise bands, that will help you stay in shape. Our team of avid runners has also tested a wide variety of running gear, including many of the best running shoe styles and the best men's running shorts to keep you comfortable through your workouts.

Joshua Hutchens, Jeremy Benson