Best treadmills for home use 2024

We have tested some of the best treadmills for home use: Whether you are looking for an affordable option, a foldable treadmill, or fitness classes on demand, we have a machine for you.

The best treadmills offer a heart-pumping workout from the comfort of your home. Whether you are a novice or seasoned marathon runner, these exercise machines can be an invaluable tool for improving cardiovascular fitness and body composition. 

However, picking the right model can be a challenge. There are plenty of options available on the market — from light and compact foldable treadmills to mammoth running machines with big screens, smart features and even complementary dumbbells for mat workouts. Not to mention, the best treadmills often come with high price tags. 

At Live Science, we know that investing in a treadmill is a big decision, so our testers have tried out lots of different models to help you make the right choice. We’ve taken into consideration price, design, durability, value for money, noise levels and how easy it is to use and set up. We’ve also looked at specs, foldable designs and shock absorption, as well as smart features and accompanying apps.

Many of the models included in this roundup offer walking and hiking workouts with real life footage of famous mountains and treks. Others, including the Peloton Tread, are equipped with rotating screens, cameras and top-quality speakers. However, the best treadmills don’t have to be packed with hi-tech features — some of the more budget-friendly options, such as the Mobvoi home treadmill, can give you a good run for your money, too. 

But if you’re not sure which cardio machine is right for you, read our guides to the best rowing machines and exercise bikes for useful tips and advice. 

The quick list

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The best treadmills we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust Live Science Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best ones for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best treadmill overall

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1. NordicTrack X22i

The best treadmill overall

Our expert review:

Specifications

Dimensions: 81” x 39” x 76”
Weight: 505lbs / 229kg (in-box weight)
Tread belt size: 22” x 60”
Max user weight: 297lbs / 135kg
Display: 22” HD touchscreen
Speed: 0-12mph
Incline: -5 – 40%
Other features: Bluetooth connectivity, dual speakers, Runners Flex cushioning, 30-day iFit Family Membership

Reasons to buy

+

Gym-quality commercial machine 

+

Impressive incline/decline range

+

Meaty motor

+

Large user-friendly touchscreen 

Reasons to avoid

Bulky 

Needs iFit subscription  

Two person set-up 

Forget the Peloton Tread, the NordicTrack X22i is one of the most impressive home treadmills we’ve tested and it’s packed with smart features that will keep you coming back for more. You are literally spoiled for choice with thousands of motivating on-demand workouts, as well as daily live classes (iFit subscription needed), a cinematic 22” HD touchscreen and a -6 to 15% decline/incline range.

With joint-friendly Reflex Cushioning, a meaty 4CHP (continuous horsepower) motor — which is surprisingly quiet — and seemingly limitless iFit virtual content, you can work your way through studio classes, instructor-led virtual routes and off the treadmill training like Pilates or yoga. The only downside to this we found was the screen is a bit hard to see when you’re not on the treadmill so we had to rely on audio cues to know what to do next. You can tilt the screen slightly, but it would be good if you could angle it into a more practical position.

Another thing worth mentioning: this is a beast of a treadmill and would be better suited to a garage or home gym than the corner of your living room. The plus side of this monster of a treadmill is it has a 22” by 60” belt, so even our tallest tester (6ft 3”) could enjoy a proper run. It’s not cheap either, but it’s definitely one of the best treadmills we’ve ever tried, so if you’ve got the funds, you won’t regret the investment.

  • Read our full NordicTrack X22i review

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Best budget treadmill

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2. Mobvoi Home Treadmill

Best budget treadmill

Our expert review:

Specifications

Dimensions: 42” x 49” x 27”
Weight: 74.96lbs / 34kg
Tread belt size: 16” x 40”
Max user weight: 265lbs / 120kg
Display: N/A
Speed: 0-7.45mph
Incline: None
Other features: Bluetooth connectivity, foldable, safety key, remote control

Reasons to buy

+

Folds down for easy storage 

+

Affordable (under $400)

+

Speed transitions are smooth and comfortable

Reasons to avoid

Basic functions

Narrow tread belt

Low maximum speed

A decent treadmill will usually set you back by around $1000, but this budget alternative from Mobvoi is surprisingly powerful and comes in at less than $400. It has a maximum speed of 12km/h, which is ideal if you want to do daily gentle jogs and runs. You can also add or remove the rails on either side of the machine, allowing you to slot it under a desk and use it as a walking treadmill. 

At this price, you won’t get flashy extras like a dedicated digital running platform with upbeat classes displayed on a HD screen. But there’s a handy slot for your tablet or phone at the front of your device, which allows you to watch shows while you workout. 

During our testing, we found the belt sturdy and smooth — a lot of cheaper machines tend to ‘jerk’ at higher speeds, but that wasn’t the case here. We were also fairly impressed with the in-built Bluetooth speakers, which allowed us to blast tunes while we ran. If you prefer a quieter session, then the Mobvoi is great too; it was whisper quiet during our testing period. 

You can navigate the different controls on the machine using either the LED dashboard or a handy remote. And because it’s so compact, it easily slots underneath a sofa or bed for storage. 

We did find the belt felt a little thin and it’s quite narrow too, but for this price you can’t really complain. 

  • Read our full Mobvoi Home Treadmill review

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Best treadmill for small spaces

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3. Echelon Stride

Best treadmill for small spaces

Our expert review:

Specifications

Dimensions: 69.3” x 31” x 49.2”
Weight: 156lbs / 70kg
Tread belt size: 20” x 55”
Max user weight: 300lbs / 136kg
Display: No screen, digital touch console
Speed: 0-12mph
Incline: 0-10%
Other features: Bluetooth connectivity, live and on-demand classes via Echelon Fit app (subscription needed), USB charging port, foldable

Reasons to buy

+

Ultra compact

+

Easily foldable

+

Echelon Fit App filled with workouts

Reasons to avoid

Small motor 

Lack of touchscreen 

At $1,299, the Echelon Stride isn’t exactly cheap — but it’s by far our favorite when it comes to balancing a good set of features with a mid-range price tag. It’s the ultimate space-savvy machine, with a compact running belt and fully foldable design — ideal for storing under a bed or behind a sofa. And it seems the saying “good things come in small packages” rings true, with the tread delivering an impressive performance on test (in spite of its diminutive dimensions).

It offers speeds of up to 12mph and incline settings as high as 10%. We found the base felt sturdy and secure, with only slight wobbling at the highest paces and gradients, and though it only has a 1.75 horsepower motor the belt moved smoothly with no juddering underfoot. 

There is an LED console on the handlebars with several interval sessions of varying difficulty on offer. However, we think it’s well worth investing in the Echelon Fit app which – for a monthly subscription fee – allows you to link the treadmill with your phone or tablet and access a huge selection of engaging classes. During testing, we discovered even those sessions labeled advanced proved on the easier side, but there is a huge selection of on-demand studio classes, live workouts and more to explore.

So, if you’re a running newcomer looking for a compact, affordable option, the Echelon Stride is the best treadmill for you. 

  • Read our full Echelon Stride Auto-fold Treadmill Review

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Best treadmill for high-energy classes

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4. Peloton Tread

Best treadmill for high-energy classes

Our expert review:

Specifications

Dimensions: 173cm L x 84cm W x 157cm
Weight: 291lbs / 132kg
Tread size: 150cm x 50cm
Max user weight: 304lbs / 136kg
Display: 23.8” HD touchscreen
Speed: 0-12.5mph
Incline: 0-12.5% grade (no decline)
Other features: Bluetooth, Tread Lock, 16 GB internal flash storage, USB-C charging port, 3.5 mm headphone jack

Reasons to buy

+

 Crisp HD touchscreen 

+

 Huge array of live and on-demand classes

+

Comfortable and springy 

Reasons to avoid

 Expensive 

 Doesn’t fold or decline

No fan

The Peloton Tread is a sleek and well-made treadmill that offers a satisfying running experience for all fitness abilities. It comes in Peloton’s signature black and red colors and has a striking minimalist design. During testing, we particularly liked the machine’s fuss-free touchscreen, which is easy to navigate. 

Speed and incline dials are positioned on the handrails, so there is really very little to distract you from that shiny display. It doesn’t have any kind of base at the front of the tread, so you can run along its full length—useful if you have a particularly long stride. 

The machine doesn’t have quite as many features as we’d like to see at this price point, as it’s lacking a decline option or in-built fan, both of which you can find in the slightly cheaper NordicTrack model above. You will also need a Peloton app subscription to access those famous virtual classes. All of that aside, it is a satisfyingly compact, stylish and quiet machine for runners of all ability. 

  • Read our full Peloton Tread review

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Best incline treadmill

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5. ProForm Pro 9000 treadmill

Best treadmill for incline training

Our expert review:

Specifications

Dimensions: 59.6” x 77.3” x 35.3”
Weight: 263lbs / 119kg (in box)
Tread belt size: 20” x 60”
Max user weight: 300 lbs
Display: 22” Smart HD Touchscreen
Speed: 0-22 km/h
Incline: -3%- +12%
Other features: Bluetooth audio, wireless headphone connectivity, 2” dual speakers, iFit access, heart rate sensors, CoolAire™ fans.

Reasons to buy

+

Tons of interactive workouts via the iFit app

+

Foldable for easy storage

+

Challenging max speeds, and incline/decline settings

Reasons to avoid

Noisy at top speed and during incline/decline transitions

Some minor tech and Wifi issues

Bluetooth audio only

ProForm has taken a minimalist approach to design with the ProForm Pro 9000, using a black and silver palette that gives the tread a slick and subtle look. There’s nothing subtle about the size or price tag of this model though, so you’ll need some cash and space to house it.

The 9000 comes complete with inbuilt dual speakers, fans, and iFit capability which provides access to a vast array of workouts and classes from top-notch coaches and trainers in the game. The 22” eye-catching crisp color touchscreen display will certainly suck you in, and with so much workout choice available, this tread can quench the thirst of even the fittest of running fanatics. The speed and incline quick controls are splashed across the dashboard to offer fuss-free on-the-go adjustments, and you can choose between -3% to +12% incline/decline, as well as up to 22 km/h of speed – all of which can be automated by your trainer during workouts. 

While this treadmill does offer an immersive training experience, we found some of the tech tricky to master when we tried it out. There are a couple of tech fixes that could make this model more competitive for the top spot, especially when pitched against models like the NordicTrack X22i. 

  • Read our full ProForm Pro 9000 review

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How we test treadmills at Live Science

We tested all treadmills in our purpose-built testing center (with the exception of Mobvoi, which was tested out at home) completing a longer run, an intense shorter session, and (where applicable) several workout classes on each machine. We also checked any claims made by brands, including the machines’ functionality at their maximum speed and incline settings, before awarding each one a score out of five for the following categories:

  • Set-up and usability
  • Design and display
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Value for money 

These figures were used to calculate a final score out of five, and decide which running machines made our roundup of the best treadmills. 

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FAQs

Are treadmill calorie counters accurate?

Even the most budget-friendly treadmills provide useful data to track performance and progress, from distance traveled to average pace. You’ll also be able to see the number of calories burned during a session, but are treadmill calorie counters accurate?

Put simply, not quite. Treadmill calorie counters are only really estimating your total calorie burn and the number quoted is most likely to be inaccurate, because it doesn’t take into account the multiple variables that affect its total — including age, gender, height, body composition and fitness level.

But don’t despair, as what the calorie estimate is useful for is indicating the overall intensity of your session.

“Having a general sense of calories burned is always better than nothing,” exercise physiologist Bianca Grover told Live Science. Some treadmills may ask you to put in personal details such as age, weight and height before you start, and this is likely to improve how accurate they are.

“They don’t have pinpoint accuracy,” says Grover, “but they are likely closer than those that don’t take this information into account.”

Do treadmills help you lose weight?

Weight loss is a common goal for those taking up treadmill running, and using a running machine can help in this process thanks to its calorie burning credentials. 

“Because treadmill exercises – like any physical activity – require you to burn calories, this can help contribute to your desired daily calorie deficit,” Grover says.

However, if you’re looking to decrease your body fat percentage, she advises addressing several other factors alongside upping the amount you’re exercising. 

“Treadmills can certainly help you lose weight, but they are only one factor in the equation. If you are looking to lose weight, you must be at a consistent caloric deficit, meaning you must burn more calories than you are taking in.”

Grover recommends “a safe caloric deficit” of between 200 and 500 calories (per day), with a general goal of losing one or two pounds per week. This will enable your body to slowly lose weight without starving it. 

Are treadmill distances accurate?

As treadmill manufacturers are aware of the length of their running belt and the speed at which it is moving, distance-trackers on these machines should be able to provide a good level of accuracy. 

“It likely depends on the treadmill, but (in general) they are quite accurate,” says Grover, adding: “Keep in mind that they will certainly feel different than running outside or on a track. Treadmills usually impact things such as length of stride and consistency of terrain.” 

Does a treadmill build muscle?

If you want to take a closer look at this query, our feature on, “Does running build muscle?” should have all the answers you need. 

A 2015 study published in Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews concluded that aerobic exercise (like rowing, cycling or running on a treadmill at a moderate speed) “should be acknowledged to increase skeletal muscle mass and be considered an effective countermeasure for muscle loss with advancing age”.

(All the more reason to invest in a pair of the best running shoes for supination.)

But, while running can increase skeletal muscle mass to some extent and prevent muscle loss, it can’t be used to pack on significant slabs of muscle. If muscle gain (or hypertrophy) is your goal, and you’re less concerned about the working your cardiovascular system, then strength exercises should be your first port of call. 

We prescribe hitting the weights (like some of the best adjustable dumbbells) and following a program that takes advantage of the progressive overload principle.  

What is a good treadmill size?

Treadmill size will depend on the space you have available in your home — there is no point buying a machine that is going to be cumbersome and difficult to move around if you don’t have the space for it. A folding treadmill may be a good option if you need to pack the treadmill away after your workout.

Your height and stride length will determine the belt length and width you need, as will the type of workouts you wish to undertake. Keep in mind that the required running space, which you can work out via the treadmill belt size, can also impact the overall footprint of the treadmill. A 22 inch wide belt is usually sufficient for runners, whilst walkers can get away with a 20 inch. If you are over six feet tall, then you’ll want a 60 inch length belt, but if you are under six feet then 55 inch is long enough. If you will be walking exclusively, then a 50 inch belt length is suitable.

What does treadmill warranty cover?

Treadmill warranty will vary depending on the model, but a boilerplate warranty will offer different periods of cover for different parts of the machine: frame, motor, parts and labor. For instance, NordicTrack treadmills offer a 10-year warranty on the frame, but some brands offer a lifetime warranty on the frame. 

Treadmill warranties are designed to cover manufacturing defects, as well as potential wear and tear on the machine over time. You should ideally look for frame warranties that are 10+ years, motor warranties that are 5 to 10+ years and parts and electronics that are 1 to 3+ years. Most companies will also have a labor warranty lasting 90 days to 2 years, which covers the cost of the repairman if the machine breaks down in that time.

Some brands, like NordicTrack and Proform, have clauses that say storing your treadmill in a garage will void the warranty, as it is potentially exposed to damage in this space. You might also want to consider that a cheaper treadmill may be constructed from lower quality materials, so you’ll want to be sure that the warranty is good.

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Our expert

Bianca Grover
Bianca Grover

Bianca Grover is a certified exercise physiologist, medical exercise specialist and personal trainer. She holds several certifications and specializations from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association. Her specialities include functional training, strength training and orthapedic considerations. 

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