The Best Treadmills to Buy in 2018

Walk (or run) your way to better health with these machines

Treadmills can be a key player in hitting your get-healthy goals—especially when the weather outside is frightful or the gym is just too far away. Having a machine at home makes it that much easier to squeeze in the recommended 150 minutes of weekly moderate activity (such as walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (like running) that can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Stroll or jog while you watch TV, check emails, read the newspaper, give mom a call…you get the idea.

Of course, the trick to getting the most out of your treadmill is to actually use it. That means storing it somewhere where you’ll remember to work out so that it gathers miles, not dust. (So maybe the basement is out.) Ready to get moving ​with your treadmill purchase? Read on for the best treadmills for every budget and fitness goal. ​​

1

Whether you have a designated exercise room or plan to keep your treadmill in the bedroom, the Nordic Track T 6.5 S model is a great option for when you have a little more space to spread out. One user describes it as “a beast and quite heavy,” but the sturdy design helps to prevent it from sliding around while you jog. And for good measure, this model comes with a lifetime frame warranty, a 25-year motor warranty, and a 1-year parts and labor warranty.

The FlexSelect option allows you to choose between a cushiony tread deck (great if you want to reduce impact on your joints) and a firmer option that mimics running on the road. We love that it’s iFit compatible, which lets you access Google Maps training routes (such as a run by the Eiffel tower). A subscription for iFit is sold separately.

2

Your doctor may argue that the health benefits of using a treadmill are priceless, but that doesn’t mean you need to splurge for an expensive model. The Confidence Power Plus treadmill gives you the freedom to work out at home without breaking the bank. It doesn’t have the benefits of pricier treadmills, such as incline or heart rate features, but reviewers say they find it straightforward to set up and use. And at just 53 pounds, it folds down for easy storage.

Because it is smaller, the Confidence Power Plus is suitable for people who weigh no more than 250 pounds. And a word of warning: Because this treadmill doesn’t come with handlebars, it might not be a safe option if you have balance issues.

3

Let’s be honest: You barely have room to store your sneakers, let alone a treadmill. That’s why the Welso Cadence G 5.9 is a smart option for tight spaces. A slimmer profile (the base is 29’’ wide and 64.5’’ long) means that you won’t need to move your coffee table to the other room each time you work out. Even better, it folds up for storage, and one reviewer notes that it’s easy to transport through doors while collapsed.

But even though it’s small, it still comes with many of the bells and whistles you’d find on a larger treadmill. A heart rate sensor is built into the console so that you can quickly check how hard you’re working, and the LCD screen tracks speed, time, distance, and calories. 

4

Walking while you work isn’t just a great way to burn extra calories—it could also boost productivity. One study found that when employees used a desk treadmill, their work performance improved. (Promotion, anyone?)

Stroll your way to better work with the Lifespan TR1200-DT5 treadmill. The 38’’ wide by 29’’ deep desktop gives you more than enough space to spread out your laptop, papers, and supplies, and the adjustable frame allows you to position the desk so that it’s suitable for your height.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about disrupting co-workers, thanks to a quiet motor. ​

Set the speed between 0.4 and 4.0 MPH, then track your distance traveled as well as step count on the console. Users say they get so distracted while working that they don’t even realize they’re exercising. And thanks to Bluetooth capabilities, you can sync walking data to your phone to track progress. It may inspire you to keep moving — and get even more work done!

5

Whether your favorite distance is a 5K or full marathon, the Nautilus T618 can help get you across the finish line. Beat boredom by using the 26 built-in programs to switch up your workouts, or replicate hill runs (they’re great for stamina and speed) with the 0-15% incline range.

The spacious 20’’ by 60’’ running belt means that your sneakers won’t catch the sides as you run, and a 3-speed fan helps keep you cool during long, tough workouts. But our favorite feature may be the built-in console speakers. Because, honestly, blasting your favorite tunes is the best way to help a workout fly by.

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Yes, walking counts as exercise—especially if you pick up the pace enough to increase your heart rate. Docs recommend getting in 10,000 steps a day, and the Sunny Health & Fitness T7643 can help you hit that target. The treadmill’s speed ranges from 0.5 to 6 miles per hour (a 10-minute mile), so you won’t be able to use the machine for fast running, but you can jog on it if you’re feeling motivated.

Big, easy-to-read buttons and sturdy handrails make it a great choice for beginner or older users, and owners say that it’s simple to store away between uses thanks to a hydraulic system that allows you to fold and unfold it safely. 

7

If you deal with knee pain, walking underwater on the Aquabilt A-2000 Exercise Swimming Pool treadmill can give you a serious cardio workout with less ouch. That’s because the water’s resistance strengthens muscles while the buoyancy alleviates stress on joints when walking or running. It can also be a great option if you’re nervous about falling off of a traditional treadmill.  

Place the Aquabilt in an in-ground or above-ground pool and get moving. The design resists rust and because it is motor-free, it doesn’t require maintenance. Safe and easy!

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