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For those of us who don’t have time to get to a public gym every day, a treadmill can be a great investment and purchasing one should be treated as such. When purchasing a treadmill, search for a well-designed, ergonomic machine that’s right for you—and at a price point you can afford. And because it’s an investment, you’ll also want to check out treadmill reviews to ensure you’re getting an objective opinion on quality.
House Method aims to provide the best treadmill reviews in the business to help you choose the right machine for your home gym. We’ve considered everything—from cost to features, shipping, installation, returns, warranty, and more. Let’s get moving.
Check out our FAQs below to learn more about how to read a House Method treadmill review.
Data and ratings accurate as of March 2018
There’s a wide range of options when it comes to purchasing a treadmill. But before you start searching for one, you’ve got to answer this question: should I get a treadmill?
Treadmills provide an opportunity to complete cardiorespiratory training in your own home, at your own pace, and on your own clock. Here are the benefits of owning—and using—a treadmill in your home:
If these reasons appeal to you and you’re committed to cardiorespiratory exercise, it may make sense to invest in one for your home. Treadmills provide multiple training modalities, including low-impact and high-impact exercise options.
Exercise that is low-impact is best defined as any exercise where at least one of your feet remains in contact with the ground at all times. On a treadmill, low-impact exercises include forward or backward walking or side-lunges. This style of exercise is best suited for those who are brand new to exercise, individuals who are severely overweight, and people that have arthritis, osteoporosis or other bone, joint, or connective tissue issues. It’s much more challenging to reach appropriate heart rate levels conducting low-impact exercises.
Treadmills also provide an excellent option for high-impact exercise, or exercise where both feet leave the ground simultaneously. Running is a high-impact exercise and can provide greater cardiorespiratory gains because of increased speed and force production. High-impact exercise can also improve bone density and improve stability and balance.
If you’re investing in a treadmill for your home, there are three primary considerations:
You may also want to consider what training programs are offered on the treadmill. Cycling through the program options prior to purchasing a treadmill is a must. If you’re able to test out a treadmill for a full workout—do it. That’s the best way to determine if you’ll enjoy working out on the treadmill. Here are things to test before you make a purchase decision:
Finally, consider how you’ll receive, install, and maintain your new treadmill. Here are three things to consider:
Cardiorespiratory training is really important. Cardio exercise is of great benefit for anyone who wants to:
The benefits are impressive, yet cardio activity is often the most underrated or misunderstood component of a comprehensive health and exercise training program. One important consideration when considering beginning cardio exercises is to incorporate exercise that stimulates the aerobic energy system and the anaerobic energy system. Owning a treadmill easily allows for both energy systems to be stimulated.
Aerobic exercise is most commonly referred to as cardio in a gym or fitness setting. This refers to any activity that stimulates your heart rate and encourages slightly increased breathing—that you can sustain for a significant period of time without decreasing speed or resting.
Different people will have different thresholds of aerobic activity—and as you train more frequently, your body’s cardiorespiratory system will improve—so personal trainers will often refer to percentage range of an individual’s maximum heart rate, also called zone training. The training zones are:
Training just the aerobic energy system is beneficial. But for best cardiorespiratory health, planning workouts that include interval activity in Zone 2 or Zone 3 is essential. Your treadmill will allow you to do both—often through pre-programmed routines, typically referred to as intervals. Automatically, your treadmill will enable you to complete a workout routine based on time—30 minutes of cardiorespiratory activity 3–5 times per week is enough—and incorporate intervals at higher intensity if desired.
Start your exercise routine with two or three sessions of cardiorespiratory training per week. The objective is to raise your heart rate to 60%–80% of maximum and sustain that for 20–30 minutes.
On a scale of 1–10, where 10 is the most intense exercise, maintain cardiorespiratory activity levels of 6–8 in difficulty. If you can carry a conversation while exercising without being short of breath, increase the intensity to the point where it just begins to be difficult. Include at least one anaerobic interval training session per week. In those sessions, use an interval ratio of 3:1—or 5:1 for beginners. A ratio of 3:1 means that for every three minutes of recovery time spent at 60% effort, spend one minute of exercise time at 80% effort.
The House Method editorial team provides objective ratings on the products and services our readers care about. We want to offer quick, digestible facts about treadmill providers to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a treadmill.
Our treadmill reviews include a summary of the treadmill manufacturer, a treadmill comparison chart, and details about pricing, white glove services, shipping and installation, returns, and warranty information.
Within each treadmill review summary, we explain the types of treadmills provided by the company and provide brief details of each product.
2. Treadmill provider comparison chart
The treadmill comparison chart comprises a House Method treadmill review rating, a House Method price rating, the cost of the provider’s white glove services, and a link to the treadmill company’s complete review page.
3. House Method treadmill rating
House Method treadmill review ratings are awarded based on a weighted 10-point scale that scores treadmill providers on free delivery, Bluetooth compatibility, standardized delivery costs, the length of return window, easily discoverable warranty terms (on the website), and compatibility with fitness programs.
We score treadmill companies on these items because we believe these are most valuable to the consumer and give a clear review of the overall quality of a brand.
4. House Method price rating
A House Method price rating is a relative score that compares the price of a brand’s products or services to its peers that we’ve reviewed. The prices of products and services are based on our independent research. Each dollar sign represents an objective tiered amount of money, depending on the category of the product or service being reviewed.
In addition to a House Method price rating, we also include pricing of individual treadmills in each treadmill review.
5. White glove services
Most treadmill providers will provide white glove services and set up your treadmill for you at an additional cost. In our comparison chart, we outline the pricing of these services for each provider.
6. Shipping and installation
Shipping and installation information is provided to inform the consumer about additional costs when buying a treadmill. We also include expected shipping and installation times to give a clear picture of what to expect during each process.
Return information is provided to inform the consumer of the return process and any additional costs associated with a return.
8. Warranty information
Information about a treadmill provider’s warranty term and length is provided to let the consumer decide if a particular treadmill brand stands by the quality of their workmanship.
House Method rating methodology
Our ratings are based on information found through our independent research, including information found on the website of the company being reviewed as of the date of most recent review or through contacting the subject company as an anonymous prospective customer. We aim to update our ratings on a systematic and periodic basis and to disclose the date of most recent review on pages where the rating appears. Please read our rating methodology for additional information.
Bowflex is one of the most recognized names in the gym equipment business. Bowflex offers two treadmill models, each with incline settings and workout programs.
Most Life Fitness treadmills offer Track Connect, which allows you to sync a bluetooth or other workout device (like Nike+, Garmin, and MyFitnessPal) through Wahoo’s RunFit, Apple Health, Jawbone, and Fitbit.
LifeSpan Fitness offers club-quality treadmills in varying sizes and at varying price points. LifeSpan also offers the LifeSpan Club and Active Trac app, which allows customers to set fitness goals and track progress via USB and Bluetooth.
NordicTrack offers collapsible commercial-grade treadmills, C-Series treadmills, and treadmill desks. Incline trainers are perfect for walkers who enjoy a treadmill-style workout with a steep incline. NordicTrack has also incorporated state-of-the-art noise reduction and 15% inclines in its treadmills.
All ProForm treadmills feature an EKG heart rate monitor and iFit program that helps you track calories burned and fitness routines.