Exercise… It’s something we all swear to do, but very few among us continue doing it for extended periods of time.
There’s a popular idea going around that asks why you should use willpower to overcome obstacles to your goals when you could just tweak your life and eliminate those hindrances before they can even come up.
The more obstacles you encounter, the easier it is for your mind to make excuses and distract you from your goal.
If you want to exercise regularly, one of the tweaks you can implement is to get exercise equipment in your house.
Now, it may not be possible for you to buy an entire home gym, but why not invest in a cardio machine? While cardio machines used to cost an arm and a leg, today’s machines are much cheaper and offer much the same experience as their more expensive counterparts.
Treadmills are one of the best cardio machines you can buy since they allow you to walk, jog, or run from the comfort of your home.
Unfortunately, treadmills still aren’t exactly cheap, and the cost may be holding you back from buying one for yourself. Plus, whenever you’re buying a cheaper treadmill, you’ll always worry that perhaps you’re missing out on something by paying a lower price.
So, to make things easier for you, we’ve put together a list of the five best budget treadmills on the market. While they may not be the cheapest treadmills, these medium-range treadmills cost less than $400 and will make it easier for you to meet your fitness goals.
In case you don’t like any of the treadmills on our list, you’ll have to decide on an inexpensive treadmill for yourself. To make things even easier for you, we’ve included a buyer’s guide after our reviews – read it to understand what factors you should be considering when you’re looking for your very own cheap treadmill.
Without any further ado, let’s get to our reviews of the best cheap treadmills on the market.
Top-Rated Inexpensive Treadmills - Comparison Table
Best Budget Treadmill Reviews
The Exerpeutic TF1000 is a really good electric treadmill that will make sure you have no excuses to skip your workouts.
This electric walking treadmill has a high-torque motor which can provide 1.5-horsepower.
Its adjustable speed allows you to walk at the particular speed you want and goes up to four miles per hour. Adjustments can be made in increments of 0.1mph, ensuring you don’t accidentally go too slow or too fast.
The treadmill belt is twenty inches wide. The safety handles on the treadmill are 18-inch handles, designed to be extra-long to provide support in case of emergencies.
The treadmill has an LCD mounted on it. This display monitors and shows you how long you’ve been working out, how far you’ve walked, how many calories you’ve burned, how fast you’re walking, and your pulse rate.
You can adjust the treadmill to two different incline positions. If you feel the average slope just isn’t doing it for you, feel free to increase the incline, and you’ll reap the benefits of a much more demanding workout.
The treadmill supports up to 400 pounds of weight. It also has a folding frame to ease transportation as much as possible.
It doesn’t arrive fully-assembled, and you’ll have to put in a bit of effort before you start using it. However, you can pay Amazon for expert assembly if you aren’t a huge fan of DIY.
Finally, you get a 5-year warranty on the frame and motor from the date of purchase. This is an incredible warranty because even if the treadmill works for 5 years, you’ll have gotten a lot of bang for your buck!
Features at a Glance
- 4 mph maximum speed
- LCD display shows workout metrics.
- 2 different incline positions
- Supports up to 400 pounds of weight
- Some assembly required
- 5-year motor and frame warranty
Using the Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill will improve your physical well-being and allow you to work out regularly without facing any obstacles. It’s available in two colors: gray and pink, presumably aimed at different genders.
The treadmill features a 2.20 horsepower system that will provide you with more than enough power for even your most demanding workouts.
You can easily fold and unfold the treadmill for easy storage and transportation. The treadmill also features a soft-drop feature that will allow you to open it up without worrying about the belt crashing to the floor and breaking.
The handrail buttons give you full control of the treadmill, allowing you to start, pause, and stop at will.
Speaking of 'pause,' the treadmill has a ‘Pause’ feature. Pressing the ‘Stop’ button once allows you to pause the treadmill without losing all your current workout data. This allows you to come back the treadmill whenever you want and resume from right where you left off.
The treadmill has nine different workout programs built into it, allowing you to pick the one you find the most efficient.
The treadmill’s speed goes up to 9 mph, which is a low running speed. The lowest speed you can choose is 0.5mph, so that’s a pretty large range between the high and low extremes.
You can also choose amongst three different incline levels, allowing you to increase the harshness of your workout as you desire.
You will have to lubricate the treadmill before you use it for the first time, so keep that in mind when you get your brand-new Sunny treadmill, or you may end up spoiling it.
Sunny also gives you a 3-year warranty on the frame. Unfortunately, they only offer a 90-day warranty on the other components of the treadmill.
Features at a Glance
- 2 different color choices
- Handrail buttons
- 9 different workout programs
- 3 different incline levels
- 3-year frame warranty
- 90-day component warranty
The Confidence Power Trac Pro is chock full of features and is a strong contender for the title of 'best inexpensive treadmill.'
It has a speed range of 0.6 to 6.2 mph, which is fast walking speed. You can also select your speed from 4 speed presets if you don’t want to bother going through all the increments.
The treadmill also has 12 built-in workout programs – if you’ve always wanted to try HIIT, here’s your chance!
The LED display on the treadmill shows you your speed, time, calories burned, and distance. With this, you can monitor your workout as closely as you want and change whichever aspect you feel isn’t working for you.
You can also adjust the incline on the treadmill, even though you can’t go to extreme inclines. The highest incline position is 5 degrees, which isn’t that steep.
The treadmill isn’t a gym-sized treadmill, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Its smaller size makes it harder to use, especially if you’re habituated to fitness club treadmills. However, its compactness also makes it easy to stash in your house – you can rest assured that it won’t take up much storage space.
The treadmill also has tiny wheels under it, allowing you to move it around easily.
You’ll need to lubricate the treadmill before you use it. You’ll find a bottle of lubricant included with the treadmill but, unfortunately, there aren’t any instructions on how to use or apply it.
The stop clip on the treadmill will help you in case of emergencies.
Features at a Glance
- 12 built-in programs
- LED display
- 3 different incline positions
- Small size
- Highly portable
- Stop clip included for emergencies
The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill is an attractively designed treadmill that will make you want to work out simply by looking at it.
Its space saver design ensures it takes the absolute minimum storage space. It can also be folded, allowing you to move and store it with minimal fuss.
The treadmill has six different training programs built into it. This lets you choose exactly how you want to work out. The different workouts have been designed by personal trainers and will help you take all the guesswork out of your exercise. Selecting a workout will automatically change your speed and incline at certain times, allowing you to concentrate on what really matters – your exercise.
You can also manually set the treadmill to one of two incline positions if you want a tougher workout.
The LCD display on the treadmill shows you all your workout stats and allows you to keep a close eye on exactly how you’re working out.
It also has a heart rate monitor which you can use by putting your thumb onto the Easy Pulse sensor that you’ll find on the console.
The treadmill has a cushioned track, allowing you to continue walking for extended periods of time without any discomfort. The cushioning is designed for maximum impact absorption and reduces stress on your joints when using the treadmill.
Features at a Glance
- Attractive design
- Foldable, space-saving design
- 6 different training workouts
- 2 incline positions
- LCD display
- Pulse sensor
- Cushioned track
The Confidence Fitness Magnetic Treadmill is the second Confidence product on our list, and it’s as good as, if not better than, the first one.
If you’re wondering how a manual treadmill differs from an electric treadmill, the main difference is that you have to power manual treadmills yourself, while electric ones rely on, well, electricity.
This treadmill is a minimalistic treadmill with one primary purpose – to get you exercising. All the details and specifics can be handled later, as long as you start exercising now.
The treadmill’s magnetic design makes it work smoothly and quietly. It has eight adjustable levels that will allow you to work out at whatever intensity you’re comfortable with.
The treadmill has a fixed gentle incline, so you won’t be able to adjust it. However, the incline is close to zero and shouldn’t bother you too much.
The mini-computer on the treadmill is multi-functional and will help you keep track of every aspect of your workout. It calculates your speed, distance, time, calories, and even has an odometer function.
The treadmill has built in wheels for easy movement. A simple locking pin keeps the treadmill in position when you decide to keep it in a particular place. Its low weight of around 50 lbs makes it incredibly easy to maneuver around.
You will have to do some assembly work on the treadmill when you’re getting ready to use it, but you won’t have to do anything too hard or even use any tools.
Confidence offers a 1-year warranty on the treadmill, allowing you to use it for an entire year without having to worry about any defects originating from the manufacturing process.
Features at a Glance
- Manual design
- Fixed gentle incline
- Multi-functional computer
- Built in wheels
- 12-month warranty
Now that we’re done with the reviews, let’s get started on the buying guide. If you only came to this page to find out what you need to know when looking for a new inexpensive treadmill, read on!
If not, feel free to skip to the conclusion, although we’d recommend you look at this section – too much knowledge never hurt anyone!
How much space do you have in your house? Can you afford to buy a gym-sized treadmill – space-wise?
Make sure you look at how much space you have available and how big the treadmill is before you decide on it.
Your height will also impact the size of treadmill you’ll require. The taller you are, the larger the belt size you’ll need. Make sure you’ll be able to walk and run comfortably on the treadmill before choosing it.
Treadmill size is usually published, and you’ll rarely have much trouble finding this out.
Storage and Transport
While this has a lot to do with size, we decided to give it its own separate section because it’s pretty extensive on its own.
If you’re looking for the most portable and storable treadmills, you’ll want to go for a folding treadmill. Folding treadmills fold up and allow you to store and transport them relatively simply.
If you choose a folding treadmill, make sure you map out the dimensions of your storage space and compare it the treadmill’s size when folded. You wouldn’t want to buy something you’re expecting to store easily only to find out later that it doesn’t fit in the storage area.
Some treadmills also have wheels underneath. Choose such a treadmill if you know you’re going to be maneuvering it often, since the wheels make the machine much more mobile.
Some treadmills will allow you to set the belt slope. The higher the slope, the more strenuous your workout will be.
Inclines also have other benefits: they burn more calories faster, put less strain on your joints, and allow more rapid muscle development.
Most of the treadmills on our list only enable you to set the belt to gentle inclines, so you may not be able to experience the arduous upslope runs you want.
If you’re only going to be using your treadmill for gentle workouts, you can skip this feature.
Most home treadmills give you preset workouts. These allow you to focus on your exercise without worrying about the final details. These workouts are not gimmicks – it’s often better to follow an alternating program than sticking to the same speed and incline for your entire workout.
Some treadmills also have built-in sensors that will detect your heart rate and allow you to monitor your workout as closely as you want to.
In fact, some treadmills will allow you to set the range you want your heart rate to be in. The machine will then vary the workout to ensure your rate stays in that zone.
Treadmill speeds range from 1.5 to 10 miles per hour. The best speed for you depends, as always, on how you’re going to be using your treadmill.
If you’re planning on walking, the lowest speed will cut it. If you’re planning on jogging, you’ll need a machine with a maximum speed of around 4 mph. And if you’re going to be running, get a treadmill that can go up to 8 or 9mph.
While there are many proponents of all-natural exercises, the truth is that natural isn’t always good.
Case in point: running. While running does have several benefits, it puts a lot of strain on your joints.
A lot of today’s treadmills offer track cushioning to prevent your joints suffering too much strain. Cushioning also improves your stamina and lets you run for longer since you no longer have to deal with the impacts from running.
If you have arthritis or have ever suffered from any joint issues, you really need this feature on your treadmill.
If you’re buying a treadmill because you weigh more than you think you should, make sure you check its weight capacity before buying it.
Weight capacities have a huge range, but make sure you pick a treadmill that can handle at least 50 pounds over your body weight.
And there you go!
We’ve given you a list of the top five affordable treadmills plus a guide that will help you if you’re looking to buy your own inexpensive treadmill.
The most important part of buying a treadmill, however, is not getting bogged down in the details. The devil is in the details and, in this case, the devil is analysis paralysis.
Don’t get caught up in figuring out every tiny thing – decide and stick to your resolution.
Then, it doesn’t matter even if you don’t get the perfect treadmill. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t have all the best features or all the newest gimmicks.
At the end of the day, all that matters is that you’re exercising.