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Treadmill Reviews

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

Our treadmill reviews at a glance

Should I get a treadmill?

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:

  • Improved fitness—Walking, jogging, and running on a treadmill can help burn calories and increase your heart rate. This helps you lose or maintain weight and increase your level of fitness.
  • Prevent overtraining—Most treadmills allow you to regulate the speed at which you train, ensuring that you don’t try to exercise too hard or too fast. This is important for those that are returning to cardiorespiratory exercise or who are just beginning.
  • Easy adjustments—Treadmills are often easy to adjust before, during, or after a workout. Want to work out on an incline? Just set it before you begin—or update the incline during the training session. Want to increase or decrease speed—just push a button on the main console.
  • Use anytime—In your house, you can use your treadmill on your own schedule. You also won’t have to plan when or how to get to a gym or worry about a machine being available.
  • Cost savings—In the long run, a treadmill can save you money. There’s an upfront cost and minimal maintenance fees, however, if you’re going to a gym primarily to exercise on a treadmill, you’ll be paying monthly fees for that opportunity. Investing in a quality treadmill once can save money in the long run.
  • Exercise privately—When you exercise in your own home, you can do so privately. Your space is set up for you and your needs. No sweaty, smelly neighbors, and no loud gym music to deal with.

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.

How do I choose a treadmill for my home?

If you’re investing in a treadmill for your home, there are three primary considerations:

  1. Size—Most treadmills on the market will take up about the same amount of space—but there are multiple sizes of treadmills. When planning to install a treadmill in your home, allow ample space in all directions for easy access and increased safety. It is recommended that there be at least 24–36 inches in front and on both sides of the machine and 72–84 inches behind the machine. Runners typically prefer a longer deck length—so choose a model that appeals to you based on size and ergonomics.
  2. Adjustability—Treadmills will typically have a top speed of either 10 mph or 12 mph—speeds that make sense for most people. There are models that go faster for experienced runners. You’ll also want to consider whether a treadmill that has an adjustable incline is important to you. Most treadmills that are adjustable incline to 10–15 percent grade.
  3. Features and technology—Baseline models come without a lot of built-in technology. But if you plan to spend 30–60 minutes a day 3–5 times per week on your machine, you’ll be logging a lot of hours. What technology is important to you? Treadmills now include docks for iPads, bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, heart rate monitors, television screens, and other technology features. Don’t forget to consider low-tech features like where you’ll place a workout towel or water bottle and how easy it is to adjust settings during a workout.

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:

  • Comfort—Does the running deck properly cushion your feet and feel comfortable while walking, jogging, and running at your pace?
  • Deck size—Do your feet hit the front of the machine? If so, you may need a longer running deck.
  • Access—Can you easily straddle the running deck when standing on the side rails?
  • Controls—Can you easily reach—and operate—the machine’s controls? Is it easy to read the display monitor?
  • Programs—Are the preloaded exercise programs sufficient to help you reach your training goals?

Finally, consider how you’ll receive, install, and maintain your new treadmill. Here are three things to consider:

  1. Are home delivery and assembly included?
  2. What is the warranty on the machine? This is a major investment, and you’ll want adequate coverage. To maximize the long-term value of your treadmill, look for manufacturers that provide at least three years coverage on parts and lifetime warranties on the motor and the frame.
  3. What is the return policy? Will the manufacturer or store take returns? What is the timeframe permitted in the purchase agreement? Are there restocking fees?
  4. Have you checked out treadmill reviews? Check out consumer and third-party reviews to get a sense of quality.

Why is cardio exercise important?

Cardiorespiratory training is really important. Cardio exercise is of great benefit for anyone who wants to:

  • Improve health by reducing cardiovascular risk factors
  • Assist in weight management
  • Improve performance at work, in life, or in a particular sport
  • Reduce mental anxiety

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:

  • Zone 1—65%–74% of maximum heart rate. This is a range where you could carry on a conversation and not feel out of breath. This is the primary zone for aerobic exercise training.
  • Zone 2—75%–84% of maximum heart rate. This range approaches the anaerobic threshold and forces the body to exert additional energy. The higher the intensity the body can train in this zone while remaining aerobic, the greater the number of calories burned from fat.
  • Zone 3—85%–90% of maximum heart rate. Training at this intensity will likely only be possible for 30–90 seconds, even for athletes. Yet it’s an important zone to reach to increase the anaerobic threshold. For most people, it is enough to plan just one training session that uses intervals in Zone 3 each week.

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.

How does cardio factor into a fitness plan?

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.

How do I read House Method treadmill reviews?

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.

1. Summary

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.

7. Returns

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.

Providers


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

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.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

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.

Features
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

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.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

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.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

All ProForm treadmills feature an EKG heart rate monitor and iFit program that helps you track calories burned and fitness routines.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

Sole Fitness treadmills all have Bluetooth features, allowing consumers to track data from their fitness equipment to their smart devices.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

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