Cheap Treadmills: Top 6 Recommendations

By Kealia Reynolds

Most cheap treadmills on the market today feature characteristics similar to expensive treadmills, such as integrated heart rate monitoring, varying workout programs, Bluetooth capability, and lifetime warranties. Keep reading for our recommendations on the best cheap treadmills available and important factors to consider before purchasing a treadmill.

Our recommendations for best cheap treadmills

Here are House Method’s top recommendations for affordable treadmills. You can also find more suggestions on our treadmill reviews page.

1. Horizon Fitness: T101

Perfect for walkers or those just getting started, the Horizon Fitness T101 is one of the best-selling products in the industry. This folding treadmill features a 10% incline, simple programming, nine different workout programs, and soft cushioning properties for those who want a soft-impact walking or running experience.

Additionally, Horizon provides a lifetime frame and motor warranty on the T101, which is hard to find in this price category, and a manufacturer guarantee. Costing less than $999, this entry-level treadmill is perfect for exercisers on a budget.

2. NordicTrack: C700

Though NordicTrack offers a variety of treadmills, the C700 combines the latest iFit technology with affordable pricing. Note that NordicTrack offers free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all treadmills.

The C700 is part of the NordicTrack C-Series, which features LiveCast workouts (virtual, pre-recorded classes that are streamed onto your treadmill), FlexSelect cushioning that allows you to select a firm or soft trail to run on, an AutoBreeze fan to cool you down during workouts, and a space-saving design that gives you the opportunity to move the product out of the way when necessary.

Additionally, the C700 also features a tablet holder and integrated speakers that allow you to listen to your favorite playlist while working out. With all of these extra accessories, the C700 is a steal at its current price.

3. ProForm: 505 CST

Designed for entry-level runners, the ProForm 505 CST is an affordable and durable treadmill. Named the Best Treadmill by Wirecutter, this ProForm model is a great option for homes where multiple people will be using the machine. Note that ProForm offers free shipping on all of its treadmills.

As one of the cheapest treadmills on the market, the 505 CST doesn’t offer flashy entertainment options, like iFit compatibility or wireless heart rate monitoring. However, this model does come with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a 25-year motor warranty, which is an impressive guarantee for the price.

Another remarkable feature of the 505 CST is the availability of 18 built-in programs developed by certified personal trainers. These programs cater to all experience types, so you can be certain to get an intense workout regardless of whether you’re a beginner or pro.

4. Bowflex: BXT116

Bowflex offers two treadmills: the BXT116 and the BXT216. They have strikingly similar qualities, but the BXT116 is $300 cheaper. Although this treadmill is priced at $1,499, it combines high-quality performance with amazing functionality; it features a 15% manual incline, speeds up to 12 mph, nine different workout programs, running deck cushioning, and a heart rate monitor with integrated contact grips and an integrated chest strap. The BXT116 also comes decked out with USB charging capability and an integrated calorie-focused burn rate console.

5. ProForm: Performance 400i

One of ProForm’s top sellers, the Performance 400i features iFit compatibility, quick speed controls, and a beautiful LED display—all at an affordable price. Though this model has 18 different workout apps, which is great for a cheap treadmill, it has limited speed and incline levels; the treadmill only goes up to 10 mph and has a 10% incline instead of a 15% incline. However, the Performance 400i does have a lifetime warranty on its frame and features a space-saving design, making it ideal for apartments or smaller houses.

6. LifeSpan Fitness: TR2000e electric folding treadmill

Not only does LifeSpan Fitness offer free shipping on all products, but it also offers 3- and 5-year extended warranties for additional product coverage. One of the cheapest treadmills offered by LifeSpan Fitness is the TR2000e electric folding treadmill. This model features a folding design, a simple console with easy navigation, 21 built-in workout programs, and eight impact-absorbing compression shocks to guarantee a comfortable workout.

Perfect for walkers and runners, the TR2000e electric folding treadmill has exclusive fitness-tracking capabilities to help you achieve your fitness goals.

What to consider before purchasing a cheap treadmill

Though these treadmills are relatively cheap compared to other treadmills, we don’t recommend spending below $900 on a treadmill. Treadmills below this price typically have weak motors, poor wiring, and subpar warranties, making them more susceptible to breaking down.

As with any piece of home gym equipment, a treadmill should be an investment. Consider spending more money for additional perks and a high-quality product. Treadmills that cost a little bit more are typically built better and have better warranties.

Here are some other factors to consider before purchasing a treadmill:

  • Size—Allow ample space in all directions for easy access and increased safety. It’s recommended that there be at least 24–36 inches in front and on both sides of the machine while the back of the machine should have at least 72–84 inches of space.
  • Motor power—Look for at least a 2.25 continuous horsepower motor that will effectively power walks and jogs. Motors with a lower horsepower might be insufficient and end up overworking your machine.
  • Incline levels—Treadmills should have at least a 10% incline level to allow you to target different muscle groups in your legs and vary the intensity of your cardio workout.
  • Add-ons—If you want challenging workout programs, Bluetooth compatibility, or wireless heart rate monitoring, expect to pay more than you would for a treadmill without these perks.
  • Fitness goals—There are affordable treadmills available that are made specifically for beginners and experts, and walkers and runners, alike. Set realistic goals for yourself and keep them in mind when determining which treadmill is best.
  • Warranty—Regardless of how much a treadmill costs, be sure to look for a warranty. Not only will a warranty protect you in the event that something goes wrong with your treadmill, but it’s also an indication of whether the manufacturer stands behind the product. Read all the warranty terms and conditions before purchasing a treadmill so you know what is and isn’t covered.
  • Reviews—Before buying a treadmill, be sure to read consumer and third-party reviews. This will give you an objective assessment of how the treadmill performs, the quality of the treadmill’s features, and information about the treadmill provider. Read House Method treadmill reviews for up-to-date information on various treadmill brands and products.
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