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Best Treadmills Under $500 for Home | Top 6 Budget Picks (2018)

Best Treadmills Under $500

You can get good treadmills for much cheaper than ever before. I review the best budget treadmills you can get.

Most of these treadmills cost well under $500, they'll help you get fit either as stand-alone cardio equipment or as additional equipment for your home gym.

​Whether you want to lose weight in 2018 or just get more fit and healthier check our top picks updated to 2018.

It's true that in the past, you had to spend over $1,000 for a decent treadmill, but that isn't the case anymore. Unless you are going to run 20 miles every single day or are training for an ultramarathon, these treadmills will do the job just fine.

The word cheap may have a negative connotation, but not in the case of the inexpensive treadmills reviewed here. 


In fact, these treadmills have some advantages over more expensive treadmills. As a rule of thumb, the more expensive, more "professional" treadmills also take much more space.

So an added bonus of the options we reviewed here is that they are small and compact even when open. These are folding treadmills, so when not use just fold it for even smaller footprint.

Running or walking on a treadmill is still the most popular cardio workout. And unless you are going to run 20 miles every single day or are training for an ultramarathon, you don't need any fancy treadmills. These treadmills, as inexpensive as they are, are good enough and will do the job just fine.

My recommendations are based two factors. First, my many years of experience and knowledge, and second, on ratings, reviews and recommendations from people who used these treadmills for a long time. So it would be fair to say these are worth considering.

I highly recommend you read the whole thing (wouldn't take you more than a couple of minutes but can save you money!). But if you want, you can jump directly to the reviews by clicking here or by clicking on one of the specific reviews below.

Review

Max.​
User
Weight

Heart Rate​
Monitor

Max. Speed

Belt​
Size

Incline​
Positions

Price

250 lbs

Thumb

10 mph

16"W x 50"L

2 manual

400 lbs

Handles

4 mph

20"W x 40"L

2 manual

220 lbs

Thumb

9 mph

15.75”W x 48.8"L

3 manual

250 lbs

Thumb

10 mph

16"W x 50"L

2 manual

250 lbs

None

6.2 mph

14”W x 38.5”L

None

300 lbs

Handles

10 mph

18"W x 50"L

Motorized 10%

A Treadmill that costs less than $500? YES!

Do you think you need to spend a lot of money to get a good workout?

Think again, here are some facts how and why low budget treadmills can work just as good

  • Just as Efficient – An inexpensive treadmill can burn calories and improve your health and wellness just as much as a machine that costs several times more. You just need to make sure that the treadmill you wish to purchase has the best weight capacity and motor speed for the exercises you have planned
  • Just the Features you Need – Features such as speed adjustment, safety key, adjustable incline and heart rate monitor are just what you need. All the rest of the features are nice to have, but you aren’t going to burn any more calories than the more expensive treadmills.
  • Long Lasting & Warranty – If you aren't going to run marathons regularly, these affordable treadmills should last long enough. Don't get me wrong a treadmill that costs several thousands of dollars may probably last longer, but heck does it really worth paying so much more?
  • Less Cumbersome – The more expensive treadmills usually take up more space and weight a ton. If you don't have much space, a less expensive folding treadmill can fit into a spare bedroom or den with better ease than the larger models. This leaves you more space to add some free weights, yoga mat or a T.V. 
  • Easier to Assemble – The more expensive treadmills may be harder to assemble than cheaper treadmills. For example, you can assemble this low cost treadmill in less than 30 minutes.

When buying a cheap treadmill you can compromise on features but try not to compromise on build quality.

Important Things to Consider When Buying a Treadmill

Don’t be in a rush to go out and buy the first treadmill that you see. Take just a couple of minutes to read what’s critical.

The following are things to consider when you’re looking to purchase a treadmill

  • Running Surface – Whether you walk or run, the deck should feel stable and firm. It should also provide enough cushion to alleviate knee and hip discomfort. A running surface (tread belt) that is too thin or too short would make running inconvenient.
  • Treadmill Usage – Take into account how many people will be using the treadmill, and the amount of time spent on it each week. Whether you’re training for a race, looking to lose weight, increase your walking distance or get into shape, you need to determine a primary usage for the treadmill. If you only intend to use it for walking, a dedicated walking treadmill will perform better.
  • Space and Storage – Most inexpensive treadmills are compact, if you’re limited on space, a fold up variety can prove useful for your living space. It should also be lightweight to move around if needed.
  • Reliability and Warranty – Over time, your treadmill may need to be serviced, especially if you use it consistently, that's why it's a good idea to choose a brand name that has been for awhile.
  • Weight and Motor Size – Pay attention to the weight capacity and motor size as the treadmill can get bogged down if you’re over the weight capacity limit.
  • Second-hand Purchase – Although buying a second-hand treadmill may seem like a cost-effective deal, you’re not going to know its past history such as usage, repairs, and condition. Generally speaking, treadmills is the one equipment where I advise against buying used.

So now that you are an expert in treadmills, well.. kinda.. because what you have read up until here is the most concise information on low-cost treadmills you can find.

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill





Best Treadmill for Running

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill folds to save space when not being used. It has two-position adjustable incline, six workout programs and cushioning to make walking and running more comfortable.

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill

Price: Click to check price
Warranty:  90 days (2 yrs third-party ext. available)
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes, by thumb
Speed: 0-10 miles per hour (16 Km/h)
Incline: 2-Position manual incline
Max Weight Capacity: 250 pounds (113 kg)
Foldable: Yes
Motor: 2.25 HP
Treadbelt Running Surface: 16W x 50”L
Footprint: 68 x 31 x 10 inches; 117 pounds

PROS

  • Good value for money
  • Less than 30 minutes to assemble
  • Quieter than other treadmills in the same price range
  • Very solid construction for its price range
  • Six personal trainer workouts

CONS

  • Belt slippage
  • Some rattling
  • Very basic features

Click here to check on Amazon >>>

VERDICT

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill stood the test of time and customers.

The Weslo G 5.9 treadmill is our top choice if you are looking for a running treadmill for under $500.

However, if you are looking for a walking only treadmill we strongly recommend the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness (which you can read its review after this one).

Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill





Best Treadmill for Walking

Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill is the only treadmill reviewed here that is for walking only. Like the other treadmills reviewed it is foldable to save space and have an adjustable two-position incline.

Let me start from the end, this is hand down the best treadmill for walking purposes. If you only intend to do walking that's the one to get.

You might think why would I need a treadmill that I cannot run on, well if you do need it for running that isn't the one for you. But for walking this treadmill shines! It has been optimized for walking, and let's face it, many people buy a treadmill for running but end up just walking, and there's nothing bad about it. You can use this treadmill for walking or fast paced brisk walking (up to 4 miles per hour or 6.5km/h).

It's rated for users up to 400 pounds, so this is suitable for a heavy person. A major advantage is its wide belt. This mean the surface on which you walk on is much wider than most other treadmills.

The treadbelt is 20" wide, that's just as wide as the treadmills in commercial gyms have. So it feel more comfortable and natural to walk on and also much safer.

This treadmill also features very long safety handles with heart rate sensors that are more accurate than thumb only HR monitors.

Price: Click to check price
Warranty:  5 Year Motor, 1 Year Frame,, 90 days Parts & Labor
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes, by handle grip
Speed: 0-4 miles per hour (6.5 Km/h)
Incline: 2-Position manual incline
Max Weight Capacity: 400 pounds (180 kg)
Foldable: Yes
Motor: 1.5 HP
Treadbelt Running Surface: 20"W (same size as in fitness clubs)
Footprint: 51.2" x 32" x 63" inches; 120 pounds

PROS

  • Wide treadbelt 20" (wide surface to walk on)
  • Better warranty than other in same price range
  • Sturdy
  • The only treadmill here for people up to 400 lbs (180kg)
  • Long safety handles (18" long)
  • Convenient speed controls on the handles
  • Extremely quiet motor - minimal noise
  • Quick setup in 15-30 minutes
  • Heart Rate sensors on handles

CONS

  • Not suitable for running (only for walking/brisk walking)
  • Belt off-center may require slight adjustment by hand
  • Handles positioned a bit too low for tall people

Click here to check on Amazon >>>

VERDICT

The Exerpeutic TF1000 Treadmill is the perfect treadmill for walking. It has a better warranty than others in the price category, wider deck for walking which is as wide as in commercial treadmills, extra long safety handles and a quiet motor.

The few disadvantages are that the belt that sometimes needs slight adjustment by hand, and the safety handles positioned too low for tall people.

The advantages of the Exerpeutic far outweigh any minor flaws.

The Exerpeutic TF1000 Treadmill is the best one for walking or brisk walking purposes.

MY FIRST TREADMILL WAS A DIRT CHEAP MAGNETIC TREADMILL

Yes, you read that right. If I could use a cheap manual magnetic non-motorized treadmill, I am sure any of the motorized treadmills reviewed here will be good enough for getting fit.

It was a long time ago, I didn't have much money or free space so I got myself one of these cheap magnetic manual treadmills from the home shopping channel.

I used it only for walking, almost on daily basis. I once walked for 3 hours straight (don't ask me why) and it survived!

All I am saying is that you don't need to spend a fortune on a treadmill. A basic treadmill like the Weslo Treadmill for running or the Exerpeutic TF1000 for walking will do the job just fine.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill





The first thing you'll notice about the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill is its large fancy panel housing a large LCD, buttons to control the built in 9 workout programs, phone tablet holder and cup holders on both sides. You can choose from three incline position.

Price: Click to check price
Warranty:  1 year frame, 90 days parts & labor
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes, by thumb
Speed: 0.5-9 miles per hour (14.5 Km/h)
Incline: 3-Position manual incline
Max Weight Capacity: 220 pounds (100 kg)
Foldable: Yes
Motor: 2.2 HP
Treadbelt Running Surface: 15.75”W x 48.82”L
Footprint: 62” x 27” x 50” inches; 103 pounds

PROS

  • Large LCD panel 
  • Two cup holders and phone/tablet holder
  • Speed control on handles

CONS

  • Narrow treadbelt makes running uncomfortable
  • Smaller size less suitable for tall people
  • Aimed more at walking than running

Click here to check on Amazon >>>

VERDICT

Like the rest of the treadmills reviewed, the Sunny is foldable, though even when it's opened it consumes smaller footprint. The smaller size is an advantage for confined places but it also makes it less suitable for running, especially for taller people, due to its narrow belt.

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill is an all-arounder performer that is priced very low and have a lot of positive reviews.

Weslo Crosswalk 5.2T Treadmill





Best for More Intense Workouts

The Weslo Crosswalk 5.2T Treadmill is unlike any other treadmill reviewed here. It is the only treadmill that kind of an hybrid between a treadmill and a cross-trainer. The arm bars provide added resistance to your exercise program so you can get a more intense workout burning more calories. 

Price: Click to check price
Warranty:  90 days (2 yrs third-party ext. available)
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes, by thumb
Speed: Up to 10 miles per hour (16 Km/h)
Incline: 2-Position manual incline
Max Weight Capacity: 250 pounds (113 kg)
Foldable: Yes
Motor: 2.2 HP
Treadbelt Running Surface: 16”W x 50”L
Footprint: 29"W x 68”L 

PROS

  • Integrated Cross handles provide upper body workout
  • Sturdy for its price range
  • Quiet

CONS

  • Unlit display may be difficult to read
  • Not as easy to assemble

Click here to check on Amazon >>>

VERDICT

If you are looking for something that goes a little bit beyond a traditional treadmill, this is a great choice.

The cross-trainer type handles give your upper-body more involvement which makes the workout more difficult and burns more calories.

You don't have to use the handles, you can just use it as you would a taditional treadmill, but it's great to have that option built-in.

​It's not a real cross-trainer as there isn't much control over the resistance of the handles, so don't expect too much of it, especially for such a low price. But nonetheless, it's a nice added feature to have.

This is the best option if you want a more intense workout.

Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill





Most Compact Low Budget

The Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill is one of the most inexpensive treadmill you can find. It is as affordable as a treadmill can get while still performing surprisinglywell for its price.

It is very basic and lacks any bells and whistles so no heart rate monitor or exercise programs. It has a very small footprint, it's the most compact treadmill reviewed here.


* Ladies (and men who love pink) this treadmill also comes in Pink Color check here

You can easily convert it into a desk treadmill by taking out the handles as seen in the video above.

Price: Click to check price
Warranty:  None (third-party warranty available)
Heart Rate Monitor: None
Speed: Up to 6.2 miles per hour (10 Km/h)
Incline: None
Max Weight Capacity: 250 pounds (113 kg)
Foldable: Yes
Motor: 600W
Treadbelt Running Surface: 14”W x 38.5”L
Footprint: 49" x 24" x 11"; 53 pounds

PROS

  • Extremely compact
  • Requires almost no assembly
  • Easy to convert to a treadmill desk with basic DIY skills

CONS

  • Stops after 30 minutes
  • Speed control buttons only, no other options
  • Very narrow treadbelt uncomfortable
  • Not as convenient for running

Click here to check on Amazon >>>

VERDICT

This is a cheap treadmill that's surprisingly well built and in our review even compared to the other higher end treadmills it's well-built. If you are a tight budget but still want a motorized treadmill, it's hard to finder a better value than this one.

I don't see the lack of features as a drawback as I don't expect these for a such a low price. The major drawback is it stops after 30 minutes, probably to prevent engine overheating, but some users say you can just restart it and begin again almost instantly.

Another drawback is the narrow tread belt which makes it inconvenient for tall or big people to use. I would say it's more for walking than it is for running.

If you need a walking only treadmill and have a higher budget I highly recommend the Exerpeutic treadmill also reviewed, if budget doesn't allow it, get this one.

Bottom line the Confidence Power Plus have a track record of being highly reliable with good overall customer satisfaction.

This is is the only treadmill reviewed here that also comes in pink option 😉

This is a decent treadmill for its price, great for beginners.

ProForm ZT4 Treadmill





The ProForm ZT4 Treadmill is one of the higher-end treadmills in this this round-up. ProForm has been around for a long time offering a variety of other cardio equipment like ellipticals, exercise bikes, and rowing machines. ProForm knows their business, they have been making low cost as well as very expensive treadmills for years.

The ProForm ZT4 reviewed here is their version of an excellent budget treadmill. When a company offers you a better warranty than others do, it's generally a sign the company knows how good their products are so they don't mind giving a better warranty.

The motor and frame, which are the most expensive parts in every treadmill, are covered by a 5 years warranty.

This treadmill has a stronger motor, higher speed, better cushioning, iPod dock, built-in fan and a more accurate grip type heart rate monitor. The wide and long treadbelt and automatic incline control are a big plus.

Price: Click to check price
Warranty:  5 Yrs Frame & Motor, 90 days parts & labor (extension for 2 Yrs available)
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes, by gripping handles
Speed: Up to 10 miles per hour (16 Km/h)
Incline: Motorized up to 10%
Max Weight Capacity: 300 pounds (136 kg)
Foldable: Yes
Motor: 2.75 HP
Treadbelt Running Surface: 18”W x 50”L
Footprint: 80L x 37W x 60H

PROS

  • Good shock-absorption
  • Motorized auto incline control up to 10%
  • Wide & Long treadbelt makes running comfortable
  • 16 built-in workouts
  • More accurate Heart Rate sensors on handles

CONS

  • Not as reliable as ProForm's more expensive models
  • Assembly can take a while

Click here to check on Amazon >>>

VERDICT

You can find cheaper treadmills than the ProForm, but not only does the ProForm packs more features than the others, it also has a more spacious running surface. The wide and long tread belt makes running easier even for tall or wide people and this by itself makes it worth it.

Might be slightly more expensive than the other options but it's the best running treadmill for the budget conscious.

So Which One Should You Get?

BEST FOR RUNNING -  Weslo Cadence G 5.9 is the most popular sub $500 treadmill. It has a track record of reliability, especially considering its low price tag. The Sunny Health SF-T4400 is our runner-up choice, it's almost identical to the Weslo in all aspects.

BEST FOR WALKING - Exerpeutic TF1000 is the only treadmill that here that's for walking only. Sure you can walk on any running treadmill, but the Exerpeutic was specifically designed and optimized for walking (and brisk walking). So if walking is your thing, this is hand down the best treadmill for walking.  It has a powerful engine and is the only treadmill that can support a person with a weight of to 400 pounds (180 kg).

FOR MORE INTENSE WORKOUTS - Weslo Crosswalk is a hybrid between a treadmill and a cross trainer. It contains the addition of cross trainer-like handles that allows you to work out your upper body at the same time. You can get a slightly more intense workout on the Weslo Crosstalk than you would on other treadmills.

BEST ULTRA LOW BUDGET  - Confidence Power Plus is a cheap treadmill that performs surprisingly well and much better you would expect. Simply put, you won't find any better treadmill at its price point.

Click on any item to check current price on Amazon

​Click to Check Price

Folds

HR Monitor

Max. Weight

Belt Size

Speed

Incline pos.

Yes

Thumb

250 lbs

16"W x 50"L

10 mph

2 manual

Yes

Handles

400 lbs

20"W x 40"L

4 mph

2 manual

Yes

Thumb

220 lbs

15.75”W x 48.82"L

9 mph

3 manual

Yes

Thumb

250 lbs

16"W x 50"L

10 mph

2 manual

Yes

None

250 lbs

14”W x 38.5”L

6.2 mph

None

Yes

Handles

300 lbs

18"W x 50"L

10 mph

Motorized 10%

Are These The Best Treadmills in The World?

Well, let's be realistic, you can't compare a budget treadmill that costs under $500 to ones costing $1,500. That not a fair comparison.

Would you compare a Ferrari to a Toyota? I don't think so.

That said, all of the treadmills reviewed above give excellent value for money. You'll get a good workout and burn fat just as well as you would on more expensive treadmills.

So When Do You Need a More Expensive Treadmill ?

Although you can get just as good of a workout with a cheap treadmill, there are some instances when you may want to consider purchasing a more expensive treadmill.

  • You Are More than Slightly Overweight – The whole point of a treadmil for many is to try to burn some fat while keeping your heart in good condition. But if you weight too much and especially if you want to do brisk walking or even running on the treadmill, a more expensive treadmill will provide better cushioning to better protect your knees from impact.
  • You Are Very Tall – Very tall people may feel more comfortable running on a longer length belt. Especially if you would also like to do running, in which case your steps would be even longer. This ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill is an excellent choice for tall people because it's belt is same as in commercial treadmills 60"L and 22"W giving a lot of room for your long legs. I've seen tall people using budget treadmills just fine, but serious tall runners will feel more comfortable on wider and longer belts.
  • You Plan to Run a Lot – It's true you can also run on the less expensive treadmills, but the longer you run or the heavier you are, a stronger motor will last longer and better shock absorption will better protect your joints. Generally speaking for serious running, higher end treadmills are more recommended.
  • You Are a Fast Runner – If you are a serious runner opt for ones with a speed of at least 8-12 miles per hour (13-19 Km/h). Some of the lower cost ones can go to even up to 10 mp/h but they are not designed to be used at that speed for a long duration, they can become shaky and shocking absorption becomes more important.

Higher Priced Treadmills - Summary of Advantages

  • More Reliable - They are built better, have extended warranty and are more likely to last longer.
  • Stronger Motor - Can withstand faster running and heavy users for a longer period of time.
  • Wider & Longer Treadbelt - More freedom while walking/running, especially for big or tall people.
  • Better Shock Absorption - More protection for your knees against injuries, especially when running.
  • More Built-in Programs - Some come with hundreds of programs or let you download more from the internet.
  • Longer Lasting Belt - Have less wear so require less frequent replacements.
  • Electric Incline Control - Some cheaper models incline need to be adjusted manually
  • Advanced Features - Including internet connectivity, more stats etc...