​Best Treadmill for the Money

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. This can include running, jogging, cycling, and walking.

With most adults leading busy lifestyles, many wonder how they will fit in the exercise their body needs. It's not just about the time you spend actually exercising. You have to get your gear on or pack your gym bag, wash the stinky clothes, and drive to your gym. Once you've completed your gym workout, you have to get yourself home, cleaned up, and get on with your day. We're talking a good one to two hours every day, at the very least, just to get the minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity in a day. A lot of us don't have this kind of time and the mere idea of carving that kind of time out of each day can send our good intentions right out the window. Fortunately, home treadmills come to the rescue. The Runner’s World community came up with many benefits of purchasing a treadmill rather than going to the gym:

  • Avoid the stress of driving.
  • Save money on gas.
  • Eliminate child care expenses during workout time.
  • No need to waste time getting ready for the gym.
  • You don't have to interact with other people during your workout.
  • Saves time for exercise by eliminating your commute to and from the gym.
  • Not a weather dependent activity.
  • You don't have to pack a gym bag.
  • You don't have to wait for a machine.
  • Accessible all hours of the day.
  • You can work out in private without the anxiety of others watching.
  • Eliminates gym membership fees.


Purchasing a treadmill is much more cost effective than going to the gym as well. The average monthly gym membership cost is $40 to $50. With Consumer Reports averaging treadmills to be about $1,900, it’s evident that a treadmill will pay for itself over time. In just about three years, most people would have spent just as much on a gym membership as they would have on a treadmill. If you consider providing memberships for an entire family, a home treadmill would pay itself off even faster.

The range of price for treadmills is $300 to $3,500. Many people believe they will get a much better unit if they pay the highest price, but this isn't the case! It is possible to purchase a treadmill for a good price, and still get a great piece of equipment.

The first step in finding the best treadmill for the money is to decide on which type of treadmill you would like to purchase.

  • Budget folding treadmill
  • Folding treadmill
  • Non-folding treadmill


Budget Folding Treadmill


The budget folding treadmill is the least expensive type on the market. It’s basic, and it can be folded up to fit in small spaces. The display has time, distance, speed, and the amount of calories burned. Some models have a cut holder. The only features these are missing are heart-rate control monitors and programs. This type of treadmill is not good for runners. Since they are the least expensive, they are made of the lightest materials possible. This can make it unstable. Walking is fine on the budget folding treadmill, however. Budget folding treadmills are about $785, but the price can range from as little as $300 to as much as $1,270.

Folding Treadmill


A folding treadmill is just like the budget folding treadmill in that it will fold to fit in tight spaces. Since it is much more expensive with a price range of $840 to $1,855, it includes all of the features budget folding treadmills do along with heart-rate monitors and workout programs. This type of treadmill is much sturdier than the budget folding treadmill, so it is good for occasional runners. Those training for marathon do not want to consider this treadmill as it doesn’t provide the power and space for long strides and fast runs. You may want to consider the ProForm Pro 2000 for about $1,299 if you’re interested in a decent treadmill without spending a lot of money. The Horizon Elite T7 and Lifespan TR4000i are also good options.

Non-Folding Treadmill


The non-folding treadmill is the preferred one among walkers and runners. The deck is stable and the frame is sturdy. It has a long belt for wide strides and most of them have the power to handle fast runners. This type of treadmill includes all of the features that the folding treadmill does, but contains more heart-rate control monitors, and is made of higher quality, heavy-duty materials. Non-folding treadmills can also provide inclines, even at max speeds. The only disadvantage of non-folding treadmills is that most of them don’t contain as many workout programs as the folding ones do. This may be a deal breaker when considering the average price for a non-folding treadmill is $2,500. While the average price for a non-folding treadmill is $2,500, the starting price is $1,700. Some people believe they are getting more for their money when they choose a unit that is closer to the low end of the price, but that’s not always the case. The less expensive non-folding treadmills are usually not made as well as the pricier models. In that case, it’s best to stick with the higher priced folding ones. Some options for those of you considering the non-folding treadmill is the Spirit XT 485 for $2,848.50, or the Precor TRM 211 for $3,386.25.

What to Consider When Choosing a Treadmill


When choosing a treadmill, you choose consider the following:

  • Space – You need to have space in your home for the treadmill. This includes space for your arms as you are using it. Be sure to have enough space in your home, so you can safely and easily get on and off of the treadmill.
  • Comfort – Try different models of treadmills because they are all different. You may feel more comfortable on one more than the other. The only way to know is to try them.
  • Adjustable Features – Think about what is most important to you as you work out. If you like to adjust the speed, incline, and programs for better exercise, look for those features as you’re shopping.
  • Consider Added Features – Added features are connections for iPods and wireless connectivity. These features may not be important to some people, but it is for others. If you plan to multitask while exercising, these features might be a must.

Once you know what you want in a treadmill, research reviews online. This will tell you more about the quality and features of the treadmill you’re considering. Reviews are written by purchasers, so they give you the experience of those who have actually used the treadmill in their home or office. With the information above and from reviews online, you will be able to find a treadmill that gives you everything you need for the best price possible.
MENU