Before you spend your hard-earned money on a home treadmill, take some time to consider your needs and the environment where you’ll be using it. After all, a treadmill is an investment in your health, so you want to ensure you choose the right one. We have created this home treadmill buying guide to help you make an informed decision.
Learn more about treadmills here.
Table of Contents
What to Look for in a Treadmill Buying Guide?
When you think of a treadmill, you probably think of two things: a huge piece of exercise equipment and a quick, boring way to get in your daily workout. While treadmills are often seen as the best way to run or walk, they have come a long way in design and style.
Today’s treadmills are sleek and stylish and come in various configurations to maximize your workout. To help you buy a functional and fashionable treadmill for your home, here are some helpful tips that tell you what to look for when buying a treadmill.
Even if you’re looking for a walking treadmill for your home, the options could quickly become overwhelming. You have many options for features, price points, and brands, and it’s easy to overlook the essential elements you need. Here’s a list of features to look for to discover the best treadmill for walking.
Please also check Treadmills for heavy persons.
Today, hundreds of walk-exercise machines and even more reviews are available on the market. If we check all the reviews, we will be more confused about what to choose and what not to choose. It would be best to choose the treadmills, considering the following points.
Types of Treadmill
Now that you have become more health-conscious, why not involve the whole family? If you buy it for general fitness, this exercise equipment suits everyone, and a healthy family is better than a fit individual. Buying a treadmill for the whole family, even if only you will use it, is better in the long run as others will eventually try it.
Manual treadmills are the least expensive treadmills. These can be used without electricity. But the user has to apply more force to use them. So, in a way, these are more effective. However, the number of features and functions available is limited.
Manual Curved Treadmill
It is another category of the treadmill, which is the most expensive. These are for athletes and are very sturdy and heavy. Each footstrike propels the belt behind the user to walk or run on a curved treadmill. The method uses vertical and horizontal curves to draw the belt down and back from the walking or running stride, eliminating the need for an electric motor.
Treadmills are available at various prices, starting as low as $125 and increasing to $10,000 and more. But an inexpensive machine is not built to last, and it will start giving problems in six months. It helps to remember that it has a lot of mechanical parts. You want to buy a sturdy machine for it to last a decade. Buying a treadmill based on your requirements, company service, and warranty is better. Price, of course, is important, but keeping it as a second priority serves the purpose.
Buying an entry-level treadmill in any segment is better than buying an inexpensive one. It will be without any bells and whistles but still sturdy enough.
These reach a maximum speed of 4 to 6 mph so that you can walk or jog on them. Suitable for senior citizens or obese citizens. These are less expensive, but some are sturdy, with a weight limit of 400 lbs.
In the case of treadmills for obese people, you first need to understand the need. You have to decide in every case what the best treadmill is for an obese person. Every overweight person has different needs depending on height, weight, age, and other complications.
If you buy it to enhance your athletic performance and use it in your training program, you must buy a fast treadmill with a powerful motor that matches your running pace and the time you run on it.
It is the biggest segment, and you may buy one based on your current running performance and ambitions. A 3-CHP treadmill is good enough for normal running, but if you are a fast or marathon runner, buy a 3.5 or 4CHP treadmill.
Some of these have an incline and decline feature. The incline can range between 10% and 40%, and the decline, if available, can be up to 5%. Depending on your speed and incline percentage, running on an incline can burn 3 to 4 times the calories you burn while running on a flat surface.
A folding treadmill is always better if your space is constrained and various options are available. There are ones where the running track stands at a 70-degree slant to the floor, occupying less space.
Others become upright, using even less space, and still, others can be folded and pushed below the bed. But make sure these are sturdy enough. Expensive treadmills have hydraulic controls, so the track goes down slowly.
Do not buy a commercial treadmill for your home. They have heavier duties than required, are more expensive, and consume more electricity.
If you buy it for rehabilitation exercises, there is a separate lineup of low treadmills, which are easier to get on and off and have long handrails for support and large displays. These are generally available at a specialty fitness store.
Features of a Treadmill
They come with a long and wide running mat, a TV in front, various pre-programmed features, and a cushioned running track, and they are sturdy enough to last a decade. But you will still have to do periodic maintenance. These will suit a marathoner, with a maximum user weight of 450 lb and a top speed of 15 mph.
A high-end treadmill even has Google Maps and various running tracks worldwide. So you can visit any city or country on the screen and get the feel of running with the runners or celebrities in that country while running on your treadmill.
Treadmill Weight Limit / Why are treadmills so heavy?
The more settings and functions the motor requires, the heavier it will be, making the treadmill even heavier. If we assume good-quality materials are used in the motor’s construction, it will undoubtedly increase the weight and feel of the treadmill.
The heavier treadmills are more stable and do not wobble when a heavy person runs too fast on them.
The user weight capacity should be at least 20kg more than your body weight. Rather, it should be 20kg more than the heaviest person at home. Even if you aren’t buying it for him now, you never know when he will want to try it out.
If you are 6 feet plus and are buying a treadmill for running, you need an almost 84 inches long and 36 inches wide. First, fix a place at home where you will keep it, and folding ones require nearly the same space when used.
For running, the width of the treadmill deck should be 22 inches, and for walking, 20 inches will suffice. The length should be 55 inches. But for a tall runner, say a 6-foot-plus person, a 60-inch belt size is better, and it could be 50′′ for walking.
I suggest buying a treadmill for running only, and you can always walk on it too. There is usually a person at home who feels like running if there is a treadmill at home.
Workouts are usually running, jogging, and walking. You can do various programs according to your fitness level, for example, five minutes of running and five minutes of walking for thirty minutes.
Modern treadmills come equipped with pre-programmed workouts where workout programs range from 10 to 50. Besides, various apps like iFit by Nordictrack offer hundreds of programs, guidance, coaches, etc., to make your workout as interesting and strenuous as possible.
Consoles have a lot of information depending on the treadmill you bought. For example, you can see the time, distance, speed, and calories burnt on a basic treadmill. In addition, you can have heart rate control on advanced models, fix targets for distance and time, and more.
You can initiate pre-programmed workouts from the console. Some have speakers and Bluetooth to attach to your phone or tablet, so you can listen to songs or watch a movie during the workout.
It is important to check what type of mat is on the track. A better-cushioned mat saves the knees and other joints from any injury due to running or jogging. It is especially important if you are buying it for seniors. Some mills come with as many as 5 or 7-layer cushions, or better cushioned at points where your footfalls while running.
Residential treadmills don’t require heavy motors and have DC motors. You may opt for an AC motor treadmill if you live in a joint family. Generally, gyms use AC motor treadmills. If you are up to 100 kg in weight, we recommend the following CHP (Continuous horsepower) motors. Consider continuous horsepower rather than peak horsepower when buying a treadmill. PHP is the maximum that the mill can go up to.
- 2 CHP for walking
- 2.5 CHP for jogging
- 3 CHP when running
Treadmill Belts and Rollers
Check the belt before you buy the treadmill. The thicker belt tracks are better and keep the treadmills quiet, too. Track thicknesses range from 1ply to 2ply and 3ply. A thicker-ply treadmill will be better and more durable as well. Manufacturers usually do not mention the ply, only “a thick track belt.”
The roller’s size, which ranges from 1.5″ to 3.5″, is also important. A smaller roller means more wear & tear on the track. So, as far as possible, opt for bigger rollers.
Newer treadmills do not need lubrication as they are infused with silicon or other lubricants.
But lubrication must be done every few months for other treadmills, depending on your running time. Please understand the proper lubrication process from the company, and I’d rather try it out at the store.
Treadmill Incline & Decline
Most treadmills come with an incline option. There are motorized and manual incline treadmills, which give you the experience of hill running. A one percent incline works almost as well as running outside. The incline is typically up to 10% or 15%, but some have as much as a 40% incline.
For the same purpose, there are mills with decline features and a normal 5% decline.
Key to Safety
All treadmills have one basic feature: an auto-stop key attached to the runner’s clothes. The key gets pulled out if the runner trips or is about to fall and stops the treadmill. The safety feature is useful when elders are using the treadmill.
Look for a heart rate monitor on a treadmill nowadays. You get many additional features on treadmills, like a water bottle holder, Bluetooth to connect with your phone, built-in speakers, etc. Of course, at an extra cost.
Generally, assembly is not required as these come pre-assembled. But sometimes, when necessary, the treadmill maker sends printed assembly instructions in video form. For an extra charge, they send company personnel to do the same.
It is the most crucial part of any piece of equipment. The best treadmill warranty can extend to even a lifetime. There are three different warranties for every treadmill.
Lifetime Warranty on the Treadmill Frame
Motor: Varies from a two-year to a lifetime warranty.
Other parts, including electronic components, typically last 3 to 5 years.
Free Labor: Some businesses provide free labor in a breakdown, ranging from 6 months to 2 years.
A good treadmill can work for 8 to 10 years if maintained properly. Check out the treadmills online first, and then narrow down your choices based on features and user reviews. You get a fair idea from the reviews about the features, quality of equipment, company service, etc. Then, visit the local stores to try out the machines physically. They shouldn’t be wobbly and should be silent while running. After further shortlisting one or two models, check their prices online. Treadmills are mostly bought online nowadays due to heavy discounts. If your local store offers you the same price, you may buy it from there.
Used Treadmill Buying Guide
Choose a newer model: Older models may have outdated technology, worn-out parts, or compatibility issues with modern devices. You may not even get their parts from the company or market if they need replacement. Look for a less than five-year-old treadmill with features like a touchscreen, Bluetooth, heart rate monitor, and incline/decline options.
Commercial Treadmill: Buying a commercial treadmill is a better idea, but multiple users use a treadmill at a gym much more, so be aware of that.
Do a background check: Ask the seller about the history of the treadmill, such as how often it was used, where it was stored, how many owners it had, and if there are any problems or defects. Try to take an engineer or a technician with you who knows much more than you do. You can also check the serial number on the manufacturer’s website to verify the model and warranty status. Most of the companies nullify the warranty to the 2nd owner.
Test the machine: Before buying a used treadmill, try it out for at least 15-20 minutes. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, rust, loose screws, or frayed wires. Listen for unusual noises, such as squeaks, rattles, or grinding. Feel for any vibrations, wobbling, or slipping. Ensure the belt, deck, and console are in good condition and function properly.
Negotiate the price: The price of a used treadmill depends on many factors, such as the brand, model, age, condition, and features. You can use online tools or websites to compare prices and estimate the market value. You can also ask the seller for a discount, especially if you find flaws or damages. Remember that the seller is often as desperate to get rid of the treadmill as you. If he cannot sell it, he will have to dispose of it by paying for it.
Will You Use It?
A treadmill is the fitness industry’s most common and expensive fitness equipment that people use to achieve their fitness goals. But it is not too difficult to find a treadmill owner who bought it six months ago but is now using it as a clothesline. Be sure you are going to use it for workouts. I suggest developing the habit of regular workouts for three months before you buy a treadmill. That way, you will be sure to use it regularly.
Let me re-emphasize reading a treadmill buying guide for a home or buying a treadmill is not enough. Resolving to use it every day is important. Buying is only the first step towards a healthy tomorrow. Most people buy it but stop using it out of lethargy or boredom. We must make our workouts as interesting as possible so that we want to do those, day in and day out.