Best Treadmills for Your Home Gym

By: Jason Parker

Treadmills are an excellent addition to a home gym—especially for those of us who can’t make it to a commercial gym every day to get in our cardiorespiratory workout. To find the best treadmill for your home, you’ll need to consider the factors that make a treadmill functional—and great—and also understand the factors that you control—budget, space, and desired features.

Qualities of the best treadmills

Great treadmills are the ones regularly used and enjoyed—regardless of brand, features, size, or any other factors. That’s why it’s recommended that anyone considering purchasing a treadmill for a home gym complete a workout on each machine being considered in order to feel them in action.

The treadmill that appeals to competitive long-distance runners won’t necessarily be the same treadmill that appeals to someone just beginning a cardiorespiratory fitness program—and that’s okay.

In general, great treadmills share a few key characteristics. Here’s what you’ll want to test before you select the best treadmill for your home gym.

  • Accessible—The best treadmill is one that’s easy to access. Stepping up onto the treadmill needs to be safe and easy. Consider the side rails that allow you to straddle the running deck—are they wide enough for your feet to rest comfortably while the running deck is in motion? Are they easy to step to from the running deck or from the ground?
  • Comfortable—The best treadmill is one that’s comfortable to use. The primary feature of a treadmill is the running deck—the rubber track that is operated by the machine’s motor. If it doesn’t properly cushion your feet when walking or running at your preferred pace, don’t buy it. Find a machine that’s comfortable to use at your pace.
  • Controllable—Treadmills are operated by their control panel. The best treadmills have a panel that’s easy to access, easy to use, and easy to read. Check out the control panel before you purchase a treadmill—some are analog, some are digital, and some are LED touchscreen.
  • Proper deck length—The running deck is the most important single feature of the treadmill. The best treadmill for you will have a running deck that fits your stride length when you’re at top speed. If you’re testing the machine and your feet hit the front of the treadmill, find a different machine.
  • Quiet—Okay, so it’s unlikely you’ll find a treadmill that’s perfectly quiet when in operation. But when you’re searching for the best treadmill for your home gym—typically a smaller space—think about the noise the machine makes while in operation (especially if you’re an apartment or townhome dweller who shares walls with neighbors).
  • Training programs—The best machines come with preloaded exercise programs that will help you reach your fitness goals. You don’t need to have dozens of options, but identify a treadmill that has at least one programmed interval training program.

How to choose the best treadmill for your home

Not all homes are made the same—the size of your home gym can play a factor in the equipment that you’re able to install and use comfortably in the space. If improving your cardiorespiratory fitness is a significant goal, prioritizing a treadmill could make sense. Measure the dimensions of your home gym before you go shopping for equipment.

Most treadmills require a fairly significant amount of space—in addition to the size of the machine, allow for 24–36 inches in front and on both sides of the machine and 72–84 inches behind the machine.

Treadmills are simple machines—but they have a lot of functional parts. Treadmills are rarely shipped or delivered fully constructed. When purchasing a treadmill for a home gym, consider how it will be shipped—and whether the company or manufacturer provides white glove service to help you build and install the machine in your home gym. This service may cost $220–$360 in addition to the price of the machine and may make sense to purchase for proper installation.

To choose the best treadmill for your home, search for a well-designed, ergonomic machine with the features that you desire—at the price you can afford. It never hurts to check out treadmill reviews to ensure you’re considering all of the factors important to you in making your decision.

Best treadmills for a home gym

1. NordicTrack C990: best home treadmill overall

NordicTrack makes a variety of treadmill products, including commercial-grade treadmills and treadmill desks for office use.

We love the NordicTrack C-Series, which has some of the best treadmills designed for home gym use. The C990 has a 3.0 horsepower motor and a 7-inch, web-enabled touchscreen monitor. NordicTrack C-Series models have a top speed of 12 mph, adjust to an incline of 12%, and have a variety of programmed workouts plus the ability to customize a workout.

Shipping and assembly options range from $99–$249. Users love the space-saving storage feature that NordicTrack built for all C-Series models.

2. NordicTrack C1650: best treadmill for custom workouts

The C1650 is NordicTrack’s premium model, with a 3.5 horsepower motor and a 10-inch, web-enabled touchscreen monitor. The top speed is still 12 mph and the incline adjusts to 12%. The C1650 provides a variety of programmed workouts and a custom workout feature. Shipping and assembly options range from $99–$249. The space-saving storage feature is well-loved.

3. Bowflex BXT116: quietest treadmill

Bowflex is one of the most trusted and renowned gym equipment manufacturers in the world. They launched their first fitness product in 1986 and are well-known in the industry for designing equipment for home gyms.

The BXT116 includes nine programmed workouts and provides adjustable incline up to 15% with 3.75 horsepower for speeds up to 12 mph. The BXT116 is bluetooth compatible and the motor is durable and quiet. This treadmill includes a one-year warranty. Expect to spend $249–$348 for shipping and assembly.

4. Bowflex BXT216: best premium treadmill

The BXT216 is Bowflex’s premium treadmill option, with 4.0 horsepower, a 15% adjustable incline, and 11 programmed workouts. The BXT216 is also bluetooth compatible with a durable and quiet 4.0 horsepower motor. The BXT216 comes with a one year warranty. Expect to spend $249–$348 for shipping and assembly.

5. ProForm Power 1295i: best treadmill for small spaces/best treadmill for running

Complete with a heart rate monitor, 7-inch smart HD touchscreen display, and wireless connectivity, the Power 1295i has a top speed of 12 mph and quickly adjusts to inclines from 1%–15%. The running deck is 60 inches and equipped with cushioning for a comfortable running stride.

The Power 1295i is a complete machine for those with serious training goals, offering 34 programs and ready for subscription fitness services. The 1295i also folds, and the design allows for a quick and easy storage option to clear the room, making it one of the best treadmills for small spaces. The 3.5 horsepower motor is the same motor that runs in ProForm’s commercial-grade series.

ProForm offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor with a five year warranty on parts and two year warranty on labor.

6. ProForm Performance 400i: best treadmill for basic use

For those seeking a no-frills, affordable treadmill, the ProForm Performance 400i is the best choice. The 400i has a top speed of 10 mph, an incline of up to 10%, and a simple LED display. The programmable workouts are easy to understand—endurance, tempo, or peak—and the machine easily triggers an interval workout using the “Work” button.

The tread belt is a bit smaller than other models, at 55 inches, so for those with a really long stride, it might not be the most comfortable. The 400i also folds using ProForm’s space-saving design and includes a lifetime warranty for the frame, 25 year motor warranty, and one year labor warranty. Though not bluetooth or wireless enabled, the 400i does provide an auxiliary port to plug in a tablet, phone, or mp3 player, and offers two speakers built in to the machine.

Why treadmills?

A treadmill is an exercise machine that can improve cardiorespiratory fitness and overall health. And cardiorespiratory fitness is really important—150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiorespiratory activity every week has been found to assist in weight loss and management, reduce anxiety, improve performance at work and in life, and enhance athletic performance.

Completing cardiorespiratory workouts also helps decrease the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease as it improves the heart’s ability to function.

Find a treadmill

Read House Method reviews on the best treadmill providers in the business

Read treadmill reviews

What Did You Think?

Join the Conversation

By continuing to browse or by clicking “OK” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy.

OK