10 best treadmills under $500 & $1000 for home gym

Getting a cheap or midrange treadmill can be quite confusing and tasking. You will get confused with the different features on offer while also considering your budget. Not to worry. We’ve compiled the list of the 10 best folding treadmills under $500 and $1000 to guide you in making the right choice.

Before we get to the list, it’s important that you understand the whole benefits treadmills have to offer compared to other fitness equipment.

Why Treadmills?

Treadmills are the best cardiovascular equipment to keep your body fit and healthy, and for good reasons too.  Whether you’re looking to lose weight or maintain the trim figure, there are various reasons treadmills are your best bet compared to other fitness equipment. Treadmills are known to burn the most calories. You can lose thousands of calories while walking, jogging and running on a treadmill with your favorite music blaring from the inbuilt stereo system.

Perhaps, the most important feature the treadmills give is their simplicity. With a treadmill, you can easily exercise in the comfort of your home. There's absolutely no need motivating yourself to go to the gym when you can easily workout while watching your favorite show. Treadmills also offer you the chance to maintain your regular fitness regime regardless of the cold of winter or the heat of summer. No fitness equipment offers you these immense benefits.

In the past, you will have to shell out more than $1000 to get a decent treadmill.  Not anymore. Nowadays, there are treadmills that are made to keep your body and budget in shape. This article features the 10 best folding treadmills that will make you burn calories and keep fit. Not only that. We’ve taken a look at the 10 best folding treadmills you can get on a budget. Low budget treadmills are regarded as those below $1000.  We also list out treadmills below $500 with features that compete with expensive ones. Finding it difficult to decide on the best folding treadmills under $500 and $1000? Not to worry. We’ve selected the 10 best folding treadmills under $1000. Also, we’ll show the 10 best folding treadmills below $500 that will ensure you keep fit at all times.

What Are The Main Differences between Under $500 and Under $1000 Treadmills?

Are you first-time treadmill buyers are usually confused when deciding on a treadmill. Should you purchase any of the 10 best folding treadmills under $1000 or the one below $500? Although these treadmills do not sacrifice power, durability or programming, they have other different features.

Continuous Horsepower

Treadmills listed under the 10 best folding treadmills under $500 tend to have lower continuous horsepower compared to the 10 best folding treadmills below $1000. The CHP determines how many hours you can use your treadmill. Hence, treadmills with lower CHP wouldn’t support lengthy workouts.

Size and Weight

Also, treadmills in the 10 best folding treadmills under $500 have lighter weight compared to any of the 10 best folding treadmills under $1000. To cut cost, manufacturers of under $500 treadmill tend to use lighter components, which results in lightweight machines. They also have differences in size. Standard workout surfaces are at least, 20” wide and 55” long. Extremely low-cost treadmills – which are found in the 10 best folding treadmills under $500 - are much smaller.

Consoles

Nowadays, treadmills controls are managed through the console screen. These consoles are occasionally missing, or have smaller screens in those listed under the 10 best folding treadmills under $500. In contrast, MP3 speakers, beverage holders, cooling fans training programs etc., are usually present in the 10 best folding treadmills under $1000 category.

Warranty

The length of the warranty also differs. In the list of 10 best folding treadmills, you will find out that treadmills in the 10 best folding treadmills under $500 category have short warranties, which is usually 90 days. On the other hand, manufacturers of above $500 treadmills in our list of the 10 best folding treadmills under $500 and $1000 are usually more confident in the durability of their products.

10 Best Treadmills Under $500 and $1000

The Best Folding Treadmills Under $500

1- Merax JK1603E Easy Assembly Folding Electric Treadmill

Merax JK1603E treadmill is a compact and lightweight unit perfect for home use. Fitted with transport wheels, Merax JK1603E treadmill is easy to move around when the need requires. Its multifunctional console is easy to read and allows you to track your speed, distance, heart rate and calories burned as you work out. It also comes with a cushioned deck, reducing the risk of injury to knees, ankle, back. With the cushioned deck, your muscles also recover from workouts faster. With Merax JK1603E, You won’t be distracted from engine noise as it performs noiselessly.

 It is also equipped with an emergency safety stop key that stops all operations during accidents or emergencies. With the three inbuilt programs and three manual incline positions, you customize it according to your needs.

The Merax JK1603E motor has a power rating of 1.5 HP, which is just perfect enough for walking and slow jogging. The power rating also ensures that your electricity bills are kept low. With Its folded size - 25 by 25 by 51 inches (W × H × L) - and assembled size - 25 × 45 × 58 (W × H × L) – you can place it in a corner of your home without drawing space and attention.

Pros

  • It is low-powered 1.5HP, which offers great opportunity to keep electricity bills low
  • Its low noise also ensures that you can work out while enjoying your favorite TV programs
  • Ensures safety with the emergency stop key
  • Comes with great features such as a built-in LCD display, 2 cup holders, 3 pre-defined workout programs, cushioned deck, and heart monitoring option.
  • Comes with wheels that makes transporting easy

Cons

  • Its motor has a low power rating of 1.5HP and provides a speed of 0.62 mph – 6.2 mph which is adequate for walking and jogging, but unsuitable for running
  • Its 3 inbuilt programs don’t offer many options
  • Small running area of 16 × 44
  • Can only support a maximum weight of 220 pounds

2- The Xterra Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill Black

The Xterra TR 150 has a bright 5 inches display that enables you to track speed, distance, total time, calories burned and pulse rate. It is fitted with Pulse grips on the left and right side of the handles that help you track your heart rate at all times. It offers 12 built-in workout program and 3 manual incline that gives you different levels of workout intensity. Its 2.25 HP motor, covered by a full year motor warranty, supports the speed of between 0.5 -10 mph, which is suitable for people of all fitness level.

The Xterra TR 150 weighs about 108 pounds, which can support a weight of up to 250 pounds, a great feature that makes it listed among the 10 best folding treadmills below $500. It also comes with an Xtrasoft Cushioned technology that absorbs impact and reduces the risk of injuries to your knees, joints, back, arms. It comes with a console that can hold your coffee, phone, and other accessories. The steel is covered with a corrosion-resistant black finish. Hence, the only available color is black.

It also has a built-in reading rack that allows you to read the dailies or a favorite novel while walking on its track. It has a folded dimension of (L x W x H) 28.5 x 28.75 x 61 and unfolded dimension of L x W x H) 63.4 x 28.75 x 51.4 inches, with wheels that makes it easy to put away when not in use. The running surface of 16 x 50 inches provides enough space for walking and light jogging but is unsuitable for taller people to run on.

Pros

  • 5” LCD displays that make you keep track of workout data
  • Has 12 pre-programmed workout program and 3 manual inclined
  • XtraSoft cushioned track to absorb impact and minimize injury risk
  • Hand grip pulse sensors on the handlebars

Cons

  • Its running deck with size 16 x 50 inches is broad enough for walking and jogging but is unsuitable for running in taller people.  

3- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Electric Treadmill

The Sunny Health and fitness SF-T7603 Electric Treadmill is another treadmill that makes the list of 10 best folding treadmills under $500. It is a small and compact treadmill just suitable for workouts at home. Sunny Health and fitness SF-T7603 Electric Treadmill, pre-assembled and with all the tools you’ll need is one treadmill you can put together yourself. It comes with an easy-to-read LCD display that tracks time, distance, speed, calories burnt and pulse rate.

 It is also fitted with handrail controls on the sides that make it easy for you to adjust the treadmills’ speed and stop/start the motor without using the main control. One unique feature of this Sunny Health and Fitness treadmill is that it comes with belt lubrication oil. In addition to the oil, the treadmill itself warns you when you reach 188 miles – the limit for lubrication according to the manual. Hence, you don’t need to remember it. 

With the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Electric Treadmill, you can set the speed between 0.5 mph and 9 mph, powered by its 2.2HP motor. This gives you the option to workout at slow or high speed. Aside from its default flat plain, you have 2 other options to manually adjust its inclination. This treadmill has a maximum weight rating of 220 pounds, which is pretty low as some others in its category have more weight capacity. Its running track of 49 (L) x 16 (W) does not offer much options for intense workouts.

Pros

  • It comes with 3 preassembled parts and 8 screws. It also has an Allen screw and a wrench to help you with the rest of the installation.
  • It has an easy fold mechanism and a soft fold-down feature that makes folding and unfolding easy.
  • Handrail controls that make it easy to stop/start the treadmill and adjust the speed using the main control
  • Comes with lubricating oil and lubrication alert

Cons

  • Maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds which is pretty low
  • It's 16” running track limit you to walking, jogging and slight running if you are tall.

4- Merax L510C Folding Electric Treadmill Motorized Running Machine

Another product from Merax makes the cut of the 10 best treadmills under $500. The Merax L510C Folding Electric treadmill is one of the cheapest home treadmills on the market. Despite its low price, it has all the necessary features required of a treadmill. The EKG Grip Pulse Sensor allows you to monitor and maintain your heart rate. Its cushioned running deck provides adequate protection for your ankles, back, and knees in addition to ensuring quick muscle recovery.

It comes with Integrated Tablet Holder and Dual Cupholders for your phones and coffee cups during workouts. Its belt design is grass patterned and produces enough friction that prevents slipping. Like its counterpart, the Merax JK1603E, it has a 5” LCD display where you can keep track of your speed, distance, calories burned and heart rate, and asset goals during workouts. This can only produce a top speed of 7.5 mph with a minimum of 0.5 mph.

With a 16” running track, though not great for running, you can have a walking and jogging experience. Has a maximum weight capacity of 240 pounds. It has a powerful vacuum motor, which produces low noise, enabling you to watch your favorite TV show. You can also listen to your favorite playlist through the built-in audio auxiliary port. With the 12 pre-set training programs, you have a variety of workout sessions.

 With its emergency stop key, you can stop the treadmill in cases of emergency or accident. It also comes with three manual level of inclination. With fitted wheels on the underside, you can transport it easily when you need to put it away.

Pros

  • Light but sturdy build
  • 5” LCD display for effective monitoring of speed, distance, calories burned and heart rate
  • 12 pre-set training programs which are pretty good for an under $500 treadmill
  • Fitted with powerful vacuum motor for low noise when indoor
  • A grass patterned anti-slipping belt design
  • Wheels for easy transportation

Cons

  • 16” running track is unsuitable for intense running during workouts
  • Low maximum speed of 7.5mph

5- Miageek Fitness Folding Electric ​Treadmill

The Miageek fitness folding Motorized Power jogging treadmill comes with an LCD display for you to easily keep track of distance, calories burned, speed, and heart rate. It is equipped with a safety key which stops all activities during emergencies.  

With a running area of size 48.4 x 16.5inch (L x W), it is suitable for walking and jogging and will pose difficulty for running.  It comes with an adjustable speed of between 0.6 - 8.5mph and maximum loading weight of 220 pounds.

 It also offers 12 training programs so you can vary your work out and target specific muscles. The anti-slip and anti-static running belt ensures there’s reduced risk of slipping. It offers a quick service refueling button that allows you to add and circulate lubricants automatically.  

Pros

  • Offers quick self-lubrication service
  • 12 in-built training programs
  • Safety key in case of emergency situations

Cons

  • Maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds
  • Running track of 16”, is inadequate for running in taller people.

6- Simpfree Folding Treadmill

The Simpfree folding treadmill is one of the latest treadmills on the market. It has amazing features that have placed it among the 10 best treadmills below $500. The Simpfree folding treadmill 5" blue backlit display indicates time, speed, distance heart rate, and calories burned. It has inbuilt speakers with USB and Aux in-port, all to ensure you can listen to your favorite music while working out.

Its 2.25HP motor is just perfect for walking, jogging and running. Also, you don't need to control the speed using the main control while working out, as the handrail speed control button allows a change of speed without breaking your stride. The heart rate sensors show you how hard you are going. With the emergency stop button, you can immediately stop the treadmill during emergencies and accidents.

With 12 user program to choose from, you have a wide choice of different workout programs. Simpfree folding treadmill has up to 3 manual inclines, to help you burn calories faster and provide better workout experience. The console is also fitted with tablet and PC stands, phone and teacup holders. It is also fitted with wheels that make it easy to store away and move from one place to the other.

The Simpfree folding treadmill can also support a maximum weight of 265 pounds, which is just perfect for most people. To cap it all, with its hydraulic folding design and soft drop system, you don't have to worry about damaging your floor. It’s no wonder Simpfree folding treadmill is featured among the 10 best folding treadmills below $500. It offers all the features you need in a treadmill.

Pros

  • Hydraulic folding design and soft drop technology
  • Support weight of up to 265 pounds
  • 12 In-built training programs


Best Treadmills Under $1000

While treadmills in the 10 best treadmills below $500 have basic features and are just suitable enough for your workout program, those in the best folding treadmill under $1000 offer much more advanced features. Let's take a look at the best treadmills under $1000.

​1- NordicTrack C 700 treadmill

The NordicTrack C700 treadmill is one of NordicTrack's low price treadmills. It also comes with NordicTrack's latest technology - The iFit-enabled console. With the iFit technology, the console can be accessed via computers and smartphones.  The iFit technology allows you to unlimited workout plans and comes with high-definition video workouts, virtual treadmill races, Google Streetview workouts etc. It has a 2.75 CHP motor that produces a maximum speed of 10mph.

 NordicTrack C700 folding treadmill comes with 20 workout plans that give you different work out options according to your preferences.  You can also automatically adjust the incline by up to 10% to increase calorie burning. You can play your favorite playlist while on intense workouts with the built-in speakers and MP3 port.  A running track of 22" × 55" (W × L) is perfect for, jogging and slight running. It is equipped with pulse rate sensors on the handlebars to monitor heart rate.

With its adjustable cushioning, you can turn off the cushioning feature to have a feel of running on the road. The Intermix acoustics 2.0 sound system and smartphone compatible port makes certain you can play your favorite music while working out. The NordicTrack C700 treadmill is also equipped with AutoBreeze, a cool fan feature that automatically adjusts as you increase your workout intensity. The fan can also be adjusted manually. It can support a weight of up to 300 pounds, hence perfect for your heavy frame.

Pros

  • Up to 10% automatic incline
  • Adjustable Cushioning
  • AutoBreeze fan
  • 20 built-in workout apps
  • Has a weight capacity of 300 pounds

Cons

  • Low-quality motor of 2.25 HP
  • Lower quality track

2- IPO Treadmill Smart Walk ​

The IPO treadmill Smart Walk Slim Folding treadmill uses the intelligent Speed Control technology to control running speed by human motion trajectory. The running track is split into three zones to control speed. You can walk or run on the front part to achieve a higher speed, walk or run on the middle zone for constant speed and the lower belt area to slow down.

The Shock Absorption Running Belt Technology which uses aerospace aluminum alloy material makes it more resilient than traditional steel and protects your knees from injury. The treadmills are also fitted with a technology that allows you to walk three steps to automatically start the device.

IPO Smart treadmill also has a double speed mode controlled by handrail. With the handrail raised, the top speed is maintained at 4.97mph and 3.73mph when the handrail is down. With the Slim Minimalist Design, you can tuck it away under the bed immediately after use. Its light weight makes it comfortable to be handled by an individual, hence will pose no problem for you.

Pros

  • The Shock Absorption Technology of the running belt
  • Double speed mode
  • Intelligent speed control
  • Three steps start

Cons

  • Top speed of 4.97 mph

3- The Proform 505 CST Treadmill

ProForm 505 CST Treadmill is one treadmill worth the money. It incorporates a SpaceSaver design to ensure an EasyLift folding mechanism which makes it easy and quick to fold and store away. The 5” backlit display brings the stat close to your face as you work out. You don’t need to sacrifice any of your space to get fit. With the Integrated Tablet Holder, you can keep your tablet close by ensuring you have access to any training material you might need.

The deck area is cushioned with ProForm’s own ProShox Cushioning that provides maximum absorption on impact. This protects your knees and joints from damage and also gives you a faster recovery time. With the 0 – 10% Digital Quick Incline Control, you can automatically adjust the incline that gives more intense workout and faster results. With 18 preset workout programs, you have an array of options for you and your family to choose from. The EKG Grip Pulse Heart Rate Sensors built into the handle monitors your heart while you train.

The speed varies from 0mph to 10mph, giving you the freedom to run like never before. Fitted with an Audio Auxiliary Port and 2” speakers, Proform 505 CST Treadmill leaves you intensely working out with the tempo of your favorite playlist. It has an immense weight capacity of 325 pounds, ensuring it won’t buckle under your weight. A tread belt of 20” x 55” gives just enough space for walking, jogging and running.


One of the reasons it made the list of the 10 best folding treadmills under $1000 is its iFit Coach Ready Feature. With this feature, personalized fitness trainers take you on GlobeTrek workout on different terrains around the world. The iFit Coach Ready can easily be connected to your treadmill via your computer and smartphone.

Pros

  • iFit Coach Ready Feature that gives you exciting workout experiences
  • 18 inbuilt program variety is pretty top-notch
  • The EasyLift folding mechanism makes it easy to store away

Cons

  • Running area of 20” wide and 55” long can be an issue for tall people
  • 10mph, although not bad, can be pose problems while doing sprints

4- App Control Folding Electric Treadmill

With apps gaining control of everyday human activities, it's only a matter of time before it extends to treadmills.  App Controlled, the Folding Electric Treadmill makes it to the list of 10 best folding treadmills below $1000. This treadmill is equipped with the GFit app which you can download on your smartphone.

With the treadmill connecting to your device via Bluetooth, you can automatically generate workout plans according to your height, weight, heart rate record etc.  In addition, you can record your running history, share with friends and get a timely reminder when it's time for workouts.

The App Control Folding Electric Treadmill uses a Four Zones Cushion Flex Damping system to maximize impact absorption, thereby offering great protection to your knees and hamstring during workouts. Its low noise enables you to watch TV programs during workouts.

It has manual inclines of 2% and 5%, and 12 workout programs ensuring you can try out different options. The different workout programs also ensure that your entire family has their different plans. It has a maximum speed of 8.6mph, with a minimum of 0.5mph. The running area is 48.0 X 16.4inch, which makes running uncomfortable for taller people.

Pros

  • ​App-controlled Treadmill that offers various features from personalized workout programs to workout reminders
  • ​Low noise production
  • ​12 programmed workout plans offer a variety of options

Cons

  • ​48.0 X 16.4inch running area is unsuitable for taller people

​Features To Expect From Treadmills

When looking out to get treadmills, there are certain features you must watch out for. These include:

  • Powerful Motor: This determines how long you can use your treadmill before pulling out the wallet again. The motor also determines how intense your workout will be and of course the number of daily users it can support. Expensive treadmills have motors with HP as high as 4.0.
  • Incline Selection: Most treadmills in the 10 best folding treadmills below $500 have inclines you can adjust manually. Top-of-the-range treadmills have automated inclines. The 10 best treadmills under $1000 feature some treadmills with automatic inclines such as the NordicTrack C700 and the ProForm treadmills.  Inclines leave you with varying workout experience. In addition, they allow for faster calorie burning and better muscle definition.
  • Running Surface: Running surfaces are very important in treadmills. Small running surfaces limit your workouts to just walking and jogging. Treadmills under $500 have smaller running surfaces. With most of the treadmills listed among the 10 best folding treadmills under $1000, you get a wider and longer running surface.
  • In-built Workout Programs: Workout programs take you through different workout plans, which optimize your workout experience. Treadmills with as much as 18 inbuilt workout plans such as the ProForm 505 CST treadmill offer different terrains with automatic control of speed and incline.

Other features to look out for in treadmills include the Console design and features, Audio system, iFit, Virtual workout programs.

Final thought

Putting together the list of 10 best treadmills below $500 and $1000 was trickier than we had thought. However, we were able to narrow the list down using a combination of factors including affordable pricing, features, performance, and reliability. With any of these 10 best folding treadmills, you need not break the bank to be in top shape!​

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naem

Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical science and extensive experience working in the health and dietary supplement industries

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