Treadmill Buying Guide 2018

guidance-editedSport is becoming more and more important part of our lives and treadmills is one of the most common fitness equipment in the home gyms. If you are reading this, it means that you are looking for great guidance on how to choose a right treadmill, where to buy it and what kind of things you should consider before buying a treadmill.

How much space do you have for a treadmill?

First of all, before buying a treadmill, you should measure the space you can give for the treadmill. It’s important because the type of treadmill you can choose depends on it. Also, you must have some empty space around the treadmill for access and safety.

How heavy is the heaviest treadmill user?

One of the rules for the treadmills is that a treadmill must be 50 pounds greater than the heaviest user. Otherwise, the treadmill frame may not remain stable. In addition, not all treadmills are suitable for heavy users and you’ll see it below.

What type of workout are you going to do?

You can do walking, jogging and running on your treadmill. Each type requires different speed and length/wide of the belt. For walkers, you need 20″ wide belt and 22″ for runners. The length must be at least 50″ for walkers and 55″ for runners, but for runners over 6′ tall 60″ belt length is recommended. About what kind of motor you need to handle the certain weight of the user and the speed I’ll write later.

Choose the type of treadmills

I distinguish five types of treadmills:

Manual treadmills or non-electric treadmills

That type of treadmills is the cheapest one. The biggest advantage of these treadmills that they aren’t required electricity, but, because of it, they can’t have some handy features. You have to use your own power to move the belt. Most of the treadmills are folding ones and have some incline levels. As a rule, they are unreliable and last for a short time because of bad build quality and it’s lightweight. Lightweight is good in some cases, though. Also, usually, manual treadmills are quite small. it’s good and bad thing at the same time because you may not have enough space for your workout, especially if you are tall, but a small treadmill takes a little space and more portable.

Pros of manual treadmills:

  • Cheap
  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Don’t need electricity

Cons of manual treadmills:

  • Unstable
  • Small
  • Bad build quality

To read more about manual treadmills, please visit this article.

Motorized or electric treadmills

It’s the most popular type of treadmills which includes the wide price and quality range. Simply saying, that’s the type of treadmills that most people choose. It has a motor, so you can choose the speed you want.

There’are no pros and cons for motorized treadmills, because there is a big range of them with different qualities, functionalities and prices.

To read more about motorized treadmills, please visit this article.

Folding treadmills

For people who live in apartments or have just a little space, folding treadmills are the best choice. There are manual and electric folding treadmills and there is a great choice with different characteristics for runners as well as for walkers. Folding treadmills are mostly used by small gyms and home amateurs’ gyms, but not by professional runners who usually choose non-folding treadmills.

To read more about folding treadmills, please visit this article.

Non-folding treadmills

Non-folding treadmills have large running surface and are reliable and expensive in most of the cases. They are used in professional gyms. They usually have a strong motor, great build quality and plenty of features . They are also suitable for heavy users. They come with a long (sometimes lifetime for some parts) warranty.

Pros of non-folding treadmills:

  • Large running surface
  • Strong motor
  • Multifunctionality

Cons of non-folding treadmills:

  • Pricy
  • Heavy
  • Take much space

To read more about non-folding treadmills, please visit this article.

Incline Trainers

Incline Trainers are a type of treadmills which have a wide range of incline (for example, FreeMotion i7.9 Incline Trainer has incline from -3% to 30%). The main point of running with an incline is that you burn more calories, develop your leg muscles and has a low impact on joints compare with treadmills.

To read more about Incline Trainers, please visit this article.


As you can see, there are different types of treadmills for different purposes and users. For example, for people who don’t have much space or want a portable treadmill, manual treadmills or some lightweight electric folding treadmills may fit their needs. Heavy/tall users or professional runners need a stable treadmill with a strong motor and non-folding treadmills are exactly what they need.

Set your price

It’s a quite important topic for most people. The price depends on which type of treadmill you chose and your needs. To be honest, good quality treadmills start from $1000, so mostly manual treadmills and cheap folding electric treadmills have bad quality build. Even you find a good treadmill (in your own opinion) under $1000, you should ask about warranty because it’s kind of sign that manufacturer did this product qualitatively.

Consider the features and characteristics you need

You should find the features you need for your workout. I listed some of them:

Motor. Motor is a treadmill’s power and the more you have the faster you can run on your treadmill. The minimum requirements for motor are

  • Walking: Choose 2.0 CHP or higher.
  • Jogging: Choose 2.5 CHP or higher.
  • Running: Choose 3.0 CHP or higher.

If the heaviest user’s weight is more than 200 pounds you need to add another 0.5 CHP.

Speed. The treadmill should have at least 12 MPH as maximum speed and it must be enough for amateur runners.

Incline. Some people use incline to burn more calories. Most treadmills have 10, 15 and 20% of incline.

Shock absorption system.  Cushioning and shock absorption make your workout comfortable and protect your joints from injuries (especially knee injuries).

Heart Rate interactivity. Shows your current heart rate and helps you to trace it. It’s especially important for people who have any problems with health.

Pre-set and custom programs. Each brand has their own pre-set programs which may help your workout. Also, you can create your own.

User Profile/ID. If there are more than one user of the treadmill, some treadmills allow you to create a personal account to keep all your statistic.

Safety features. There must be at least a safety key in each treadmill. Also, there can be the red stop button. It’s really important.

Workout information on the console. Most of the treadmills provide some statistic of your current workout which includes a number of calories you have burned, the distance you have made and so forth.

Do some research online

That’s really important to do some research yourself. I would recommend you to open Amazon and search in treadmill category. Try to look at reviewed models and if you have any questions, ask it there. If you are lazy and you don’t want to do research, check the article with most reviewed treadmills on Amazon or look at other posts on my website. If you have any other online stores in your mind, check them as well.

Also, you may want to buy a treadmill of a popular and reliable brand, so I recommend you to check the brand list with my rating for each of them.

Check treadmills in local sporting goods stores

After you’ve chosen a few treadmills from online researching,try to find them in a local store and run on them at least a few minutes. If you feel comfortable and you don’t have any pain in joints, you can buy it confidently.

Find the place where to buy treadmill

Since you visited your local store and did research in online store, you can easily find where it’s cheaper. In most of the cases, Amazon is the place where you can get a treadmill from the manufacturer with some discount or special deal. You can also find some good deals on eBay.

Warranty and Maintenance

Before buying the treadmill, check the warranty and the way how you can return your running machine back if it’s broken. You should always ask warranty especially if the treadmill costs over $1000 (if it costs less, the manufacturer may not guarantee your machine working for a long time).

Also, ask about maintenance of the treadmill. Obviously, you should do some basic care, but you don’t want to waste your time of lubricating it, for example. If the treadmill is well-design you won’t need to service it at all.

Wrapping it up…

Hopefully, this post was helpful for you and you’ll find the treadmill you will be satisfied. I tried to cover all main aspects of buying a new treadmill and criteria. I suggest you choose between the popular treadmill brands and check all reviews of the treadmill you want before buying it.

2018-02-01T00:11:13+00:00

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