The Best Treadmills By Price Range [2021 UPDATES]

A good treadmill can change your fitness outcomes. I learned this the hard way after investing in a budget treadmill, only to have it randomly quit on me in the middle of distance runs (see the end of this article for treadmills to avoid).

Talk about a buzz kill! Because of this, I stopped doing the kind of cardio I should have been doing to stay on track with my fitness goal. Don’t let this happen to you!

After my troubles with finding a good treadmill for my fitness equipment, I decided to do thorough research on my next purchase. This page is a result of this research and my actual spreadsheet used to compare the key features so you can choose the right running treadmill. If you have any experiences to share, please feel free to comment at the bottom.

Up Front Summary

  1. Sole F85 Treadmill: Best Treadmill Under $2000
  2. LifeSpan Fitness LifeSpan TR3000i: Runner-Up in Terms of Overall Quality and Reliability
  3. LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill: Best Treadmill Under $1000
  4. Proform Power 995i Treadmill: Very Close second to 1200i
  5. Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill: Best Budget Treadmill Under $500
  6. Pro Form Performance 400i: Best Treadmill for Walking
  7. Confidence GTR: An Excellent Budget Starter Treadmill

The Best Treadmill Under $2000

If you want a top of the line treadmill, $2000 is a good budget to find something good. You can find a running machine for higher price points, but they really don’t add much value. Below you will find my top recommendation as well as a few “runners-up” to consider.

#1 Selection under 2000: Sole F85 Treadmill

Sole F85 Treadmill

The Sole F85 running machine is my favorite – by a long shot – because it has help up without fail for over 2 years (the day I bought it). It’s not super flashy with lots of extravagant features like a smart treadmill, but it delivers on a few core features very well to add to your home gym.

Despite its size, it is a foldable treadmill. Treadmills are difficult to store in any home gym, let alone apartments and smaller houses. I like that I can fold it up when not in use. For music listeners, there is fully high-quality speakers and an MP3 port to plug in your device. Overall, the construction of this running treadmill is commercial grade and feels quite solid, unlike some of the flimsy knock-offs out there.

One notable attribute of the F85 running surface is the 4.0 CHP motor. Add this to the wider track (60 X 22 inches) and you have a treadmill that can accommodate almost every running style and body type between the weight capacity. The track itself has been proven to reduce joint pain by up to 40% thanks to its shock absorption when compared to asphalt (this is better than the other treadmills tested in this price range).

Other little features I liked were the larger 9 inch LCD display, the 99.9% accurate heart rate monitor, and the built in fan for cooling.

Sole Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill | Amazon

The top model in Sole's folding series, the F85 treadmill is a great choice for serious workout enthusiasts. All Sole treadmills are outfitted with powder-coated, all-steel welded frames and heavy-duty, stable inclines.

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09/23/2021 05:46 pm GMT

Another Alternative in This Price Range

LifeSpan TR3000i

The LifeSpan is another close runner-up to the Sole F85 in terms of overall quality and reliability. Like the F85, it’s a folding treadmill which will help conserve space. It’s a little less powerful at 2.75 CHP (rated up to 350 lbs.), but it has ample running space with a 56 X 22 inch platform.

The TR3000i also features an LCD display, although it’s a bit smaller than the F85. Overall, it’s just a half step below the Sole F85 in most categories and missing some of the “extras” like a cooling fan.

LifeSpan Fitness LifeSpan TR3000i | Amazon

A powerful, 2.75 hp continuous-duty motor melds marathon endurance with wind sprint speeds. It's frame is crafted to be both light and strong, combining performance and simple mobility. 

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The Best Treadmill Under $1000

Treadmills in this price range are a balance of value and features. You won’t get everything, but you should get a solid treadmill at this price point. After testing out a few different models, I settled on the one below. For folks looking for a different alternative, I’ve recommended one as well.

#1 Selection under 1000: LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill

LifeSpan TR 1200i Treadmill

This is very similar to the TR 3000i which I recommended as an alternative in the $1000-2000 range. The 1200i is the less expensive – but very similar – young cousin.

A 2.5 CHP motor is more than enough for most users looking to do some cardio or searching weight loss (up to 300 lbs.) and the 56 X 20 inch belt is only slightly smaller than the much more expensive TR 3000i. A key selling point is the exportable data tracking where you can plug in a USB to remove data on past workouts to analyze online.

This was helpful for me to get a comprehensive “trend” overview of my running performance over a 6 month period like if I had a personal trainer. Even my FitBit can’t get this in depth. Additionally, the heart rate monitor was accurate when tested LCD screen – while smaller than some – tracks all the important data you look for some workout programs.

It’s a small touch, but one thing I like about this model is the little ridge tray on the dashboard which perfectly fits my iPad. This allows me to catch up on the news, watch sports, or even follow a fitness running program on YouTube.

A few small gripes? 1) There is no fan included. 2) LifeSpan’s data tracking requires an additional fee of $69 to activate if you want to keep track of workouts over time. This isn’t really a concern for me; however, because I have my smartwatch tracking fitness anyway.

While originally listing for around $1500, I found the best price at this listing for $999. That’s about 1/3 off what you will see in retail showrooms.

LifeSpan TR1200i Color Folding Treadmill | Amazon

This affordable treadmill features a spacious belt surface that is perfect for walking, jogging, or running, and is supported by 8 compression shock absorbers to provide safe cushioning for your knees, back, and joints.

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Another Alternative in This Price Range

Proform Power 995i TreadmillThe ProForm treadmill model is a VERY close second to the 1200i in my opinion. On paper, it has all of the features to put it a leg up. However, a few minor shortcomings when it comes to difficulty of setup and the relatively limited (and small) screen size hold it back slightly.

The positives are pretty compelling. First, it’s a more powerful machine with a stronger motor (3.0 CHP). Second, you get a cooling fan (not standard on the LifeSpan’s) and a foldable treadmill design (folds up). It also comes standard with 30 preset treadmill workout apps, which is more than your standard garden variety for treadmills.

The 995i also boasts iFit integration, allowing you to tap into Google Maps for “real” simulated routs as well as additional workouts. iFit isn’t without its glitches, but it’s a nice feature once you get the hang of it.

The main drawbacks are that the device comes to light on documentation. This is both for the initial setup phase and for ongoing maintenance. The other problem I had was that when speaking with customer support for the initial setup, they kept pushing this “extended warranty” which I had no interest in. Finally, the screen is rather small. You’ll see some key metrics, but not nearly as in depth as the LifeSpan treadmills (for example).

Is ProForm Power 995i Treadmill Worth It?

Certainly! The Power 995i by ProForm is one of the many great models offered by this reputable company. Considering its low price, it features professional quality and it's packed with a ton of features with the latest tech.

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The Best Budget Treadmill Under $500

These treadmills might seem a bit “bare bones”, but they are very affordable. Fitness doesn’t have to be expensive. These treadmills might not have the latest bells and whistles, but they should provide a solid running experience. I looked at durability and reliability as the key metrics here. If I’m not going to have the “extras” then the foundation better be solid!

#1 Selection under 500: Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill

$500 is not a lot to work with, but you can still find a good treadmill. One of these is the Weslo Cadence G 5.9. This treadmill offers you all the basics that you need for light to medium workouts. For hard sprinters, you might want something a bit more durable. Most people will find it more than adequate, however.

The 2.25 CHP motor is good enough and can get you up to 10 MPH. It’s easy to figure out, without the steep learning curve that comes with many treadmills. The display screen is smaller but displays the key information. There’s a two-position manual treadmill incline and 6 built-in workouts to choose from. It’s a reliable, if simple treadmill.

The downsides are that it has a 250-pound weight capacity, which might not work for some, particularly taller individuals. Secondly, it’s a noisy little machine. You get used to it with time, but it’s still something that stands out. The running surface on the treadmill desk is also a bit small so this also could present problems for some runners.

Overall, this is an excellent treadmill for beginners. For price conscious shoppers, the $287 price tag at this listing will not disappoint.

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill Series | Amazon

Get more results in less time with the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill. Featuring 6 Personal Trainer Workouts, a 2-position manual incline and Comfort Cell Cushioning, this treadmill is the perfect tool for losing weight or increasing performance.

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09/24/2021 03:42 am GMT

Best Treadmills for Walking

Not everyone is a runner. In fact, the most common use for treadmills is actually light to moderate aerobic walking. The thing is, treadmills aren’t all created for each user type.

You can read my complete guide to finding the right walking treadmill, but here’s my #1 pick overall:

Put simply, the Pro Form Performance 400i , is the best walking treadmill model I’ve evaluated.

The compact treadmill design means that you can easily fold it away when you don’t need it. It also comes standard with 18 different treadmill workout programs specifically for burning calories while walking.

Pro Form Performance 400i | Amazon

Great for all beginning levels of training, the Preforms Performance 400i Treadmill has what it takes to get you into race-day shape. Let expert personal trainers guide your machine’s speed and incline as you follow them through beautiful locations around the world on the built-in 7” Smart HD Touchscreen. You’ll be able to run up to 10 MPH at up to a 10% incline grade on the 2.0 CHP motor that was built to last.

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Another Alternative in this Price Range

Confidence GTR

The Confidence GTR is an import from Europe, but it is another excellent budget starter treadmill. It’s a lightweight product, weighing only 68 lbs in total.

This – combined with the foldable design – makes it incredibly easy to move around, if needed. There’s a simple LCD display, like the Weslo Cadence. Unlike the Cadence, it’s a quite operator. If you are concerned about the noise levels on the Weslo, this is a good alternative.

You’ll only be able to get up to 7.5 MPH, so it’s not really ideal for sprinters. It’s also one of the easiest treadmills to set up, from start to finish. The GTR Power Pro is priced at around $299, which is a very attractive price point for entry level users.

Confidence GTR Power Pro | Amazon

This is designed as a mid-range treadmill that comes with lots of features that compete with top-range treadmills but has a much smaller price tag. Maximum Weight 265 lbs Horsepower 1.5 HP Condition.

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Overall Comparison

As you can see below, we’ve taken the liberty of contrasting all the treadmills discussed in this guide below. This is a good “at a glance” comparison metric (in case we’ve overwhelmed you with information!).

ModelDimensions (inches)Running Deck (inches)PowerFoldableCooling FansWarrantyPrice
Sole F8535 X 58 X 80 60 X 224.0 CHP: 0.5-12 MPH / 400 lbs. YesYesLifetime on frame, motor, deck. 5 year on electronics and labor. 2 years on in-home laborCheck Here
TR 1200i33 X 66 X 3356 X 202.5 CHP: 05-12 MPH / 300 lbs.YesNoLifetime on frame and motor. 3 years on parts. 1 year on labor.Check Here
Weslo Cadence G 5.963 X 31 X 1050 X 162.25 CHP: 0-10 MPH / 275 lbs.YesNo1 year motor warranty and 90 days parts and labor.Check Here
Confidence GTR Power Pro52 X 25 x 5243 X 151.5 CHP: 0-7.5 MPH / 265 lbs.YesNoNone providedCheck Here
LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i35 X 52 x 7556 X 222.75 CHP: 0.5-12 MPH / 350 lbs.YesNoLifetime on frame and motor. 5 year on parts. 1 year on labor.Check Here
ProForm Power 995i60 X 37 X 8160 X 203.0 CHP: 05-12 MPH / 350 lbs.YesYesLifetime on frame and motor. 3 years on parts. 1 year labor.Check Here

Can you lose weight on a treadmill?

Treadmills are great machines to lose weight, this of course if you have a strict diet regimen. In order to see results, you have to reduce your calorie intake to 1500 calories a day, and exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

Is a treadmill good for knees?

If you are looking for a machine that will be gentler on your knees you should go with an elliptical, this of course if you plan on jogging. Treadmills require a lot of pressure from the knees, but if you plan to do gentle walking, this is a good fitness option for people with pain in the knees.

Can treadmill help slim thighs?

Yes, it can. The most efficient way to slim your tights is of course to be carefull with the types of food you eat, and do uphill walking from 30 to 40 minutes a day.

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