Want the perfect workout program?Take Quiz
Fact checked by Kirsten Yovino, CPT Brookbush InstituteFACT CHECKED
December 16, 2022
Treadmills are one of the most popular pieces of gym equipment used for weight loss and cardio. The concept behind them is basic, yet a treadmill excels at improving health and aerobic ability. Plus, you can easily adjust its training variables, making treadmills suitable for all fitness levels.
Treadmills are so popular that many people consider buying one for their home gym or as a solo piece of exercise equipment. Being able to jump on a treadmill anytime you want has its obvious benefits.
But if you're considering purchasing a treadmill, there's likely just one major issue standing in your way: How much does a treadmill cost?
The good news is there are options at almost every price point, so it really just depends on how much you want to spend. This article will go over the range of treadmill prices and the features you get with each.
In addition, this post will discuss:
A treadmill is a piece of fitness equipment that enables you to run in one position. You can adjust the speed as well as the angle to create completely customized workout programs.
In addition, many come with pre-planned programs that are built for various fitness goals, such as improving cardio or burning fat.
There are many factors that can affect treadmill cost and quality. Here are a few things to watch out for:
As you'll see, after you jump to paying above $1,000, the max speeds of treadmills generally sit around 12mph. And when a treadmill has a larger motor, it can typically speed up more quickly.
Two other useful features to look for are the ability to create an angle as well as a cushioned belt for added comfort. However, your best guide is going to be to read reviews. With the rise in technology, many treadmills offer similar benefits, making reviews a great way to get a better feel for a specific treadmill.
Looking for some options to get you started in your search for a treadmill? Be sure to check out these best folding treadmills for some great choices!
One of the best things about running outside is that it's completely free to do! Aside from a pair of running shoes, anyone can run with minimal investment.
So, why would anyone want to spend money to do something they can do for free? Here are three reasons why a treadmill is better than outdoor running.
Running outside is great. That is unless you're running in South Florida in June or Washington state in January. While we love being outside, the truth is that some weather not only makes running uncomfortable, but it can be downright dangerous.
If you have a treadmill (inside your house, of course), you can comfortably run whenever you want!
Running is a great workout. Running hills is even better. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to hills. Either they can't get to them, or they live in a state where the biggest hill is a speed bump (ahem, Florida!).
A treadmill with the ability to create an incline is a game changer, providing users with a brand-new workout experience that wouldn't be possible without a treadmill. It also makes for a great low-impact workout, perfect for anyone with joint pain.
While it may be free, running outside can be dangerous. Whether that's dealing with traffic or running on roads with potholes, running on a treadmill at home is a much safer option.
Plus, let's not forget that it's easy to get caught up in a run, only to realize you've gone further than anticipated and desperately need some water. And how many of us have gotten caught in a sudden weather change during an outdoor jog?
Treadmills help you avoid all of that.
Treadmill costs can range anywhere from a basic $200 running deck to over $40,000 for new anti-gravity treadmills. That's a big range.
With each price point, an assortment of new features is introduced. The nice part about this is it means there are options for almost every budget, whether you're looking for the latest, tech-focused version, or a simple version that won't break the bank.
A $200 treadmill is going to offer little apart from a running track and probably won't be durable enough for bigger runners. That said, thankfully, you don't need to drop $40K, either.
The jump from a $200 treadmill to a quality treadmill that comes with some helpful features, like the ability to incline, isn't huge. Trainees who want a treadmill for LISS cardio, which is basically walking or light jogging, can easily find less expensive models for under $1000.
If you're a serious runner, you could find one with suitable features around the $2,000 range. Once you start spending more than $3,000, you're paying for high-tech features that aren't necessary, but pretty cool to have.
Here's a breakdown of the different price categories, ranging from budget treadmills to high-end treadmills with all the bells and whistles.
First, let's cover some good budget treadmills. These will be extremely basic, but they still offer a lot for an average price of less than $500.
Here's what you can expect to buy at this price point.
As you can imagine, treadmills in this price range won't offer the most powerful motors. However, this price point's max speeds may still be fast enough for many runners.
Take the Merax Electric Folding Treadmill, for example. It only costs $314 but still provides 7.5 MPH belt speed. Note this is one of the faster treadmills in this category, so if that seems too slow, you'll likely want to bump up to the next price point tier.
Due to the complexity involved in adding a treadmill incline, it can increase the cost significantly. Therefore, most of the under $500 options offer no incline option, at least mechanically. The XTERRA Fitness TR Folding Treadmill found a way around this, offering 3 incline heights.
The catch? You have to lift it manually.
Due to the smaller size of these treadmills and the material used to make them, they're not as durable as the more expensive models. This not only limits the size of the user, but it can also decrease the intensity of your workout programs. For example, running at full speed will bring greater wear and tear even if you're below the max weight.
One great benefit of cheaper treadmills is that many are space-friendly. In fact, this price range is where you're more likely to find a more compact treadmill, in the form of an under-desk treadmill or folding treadmill.
An under-desk treadmill usually consists of a running deck and removable handrails. With the handrails removed, you're left with a flat machine that can slide under a desk. In fact, they're built specifically so they can fit under a standing desk, but you can also use them for ease of storage.
A foldable treadmill is great for exercisers with minimal room. It's important to note that while you can get a foldable treadmill for under $500, you'll have to do your research because some can easily cost more than $1,000.
Budget treadmills aren't meant to train Olympians or anyone super serious about running. And if you're packing muscle like a top bodybuilder, the weight limitations may mean your treadmill doesn't last very long. There's little chance you can rely on it accurately showing you your calories burned, if that's an option, and any programs will be limited.
However, spending a few hundred dollars on a cheap treadmill can be effective for someone who wants an ultra-basic treadmill. It is certainly better than nothing!
Next up is the economy tier, which consists of treadmills in the $1,000 - $1,500 range. These treadmill options cost a bit more but provide a serious increase in features.
Realistically, your average recreational runner who's not keen on running outdoors, prefers at home workouts, and doesn't need the latest gadget will be happy at this price point.
One of the craziest things about making this jump in treadmill cost is that many models actually allow you to set a decline. For example, the Proform Pro 2000, which might be the best option in this price range, allows you to choose from an incline range from -3% to +12%.
Unless you're an elite athlete, these treadmills provide enough speed for the majority of people. Generally, these treadmills will top out at 12 mph, which is plenty fast. And stronger motors also mean quicker speed adjustments and more durability.
With this price point, expect a larger running belt around 22" x 60". This can make a massive difference, especially for taller runners with a big stride.
If you pay $1,000-$1,500, you can expect a significantly better treadmill. The material will be more durable than with a cheap treadmill and usually provides better warranties. You'll need to check with your specific treadmill company on whether it offers a lifetime warranty or an optional extended warranty.
Trust us, when you're performing a HIIT routine on your treadmill, some extra durability will bring you peace of mind.
When we said the increase in value makes a massive jump when you get to this price point, we weren't joking. Almost all models in this price range offer various features such as bluetooth, speakers, touchscreen TVs, and even cooling systems.
This is in addition to the increase in pre-programmed running workouts, heart rate monitors, and estimated calories burned.
The last major feature you get when spending a little extra money is running belts built to provide shock absorption. The NordicTrack EXP 7i , a less expensive model at $1,199, provides what they call FlexSelect™ Cushioning.
This lets you alter the belt's softness and create an extra soft cushioned run or a firmer belt that is more similar to running outdoors on the road.
How much does decent treadmill cost? In our opinion, between $1,000 and $1,500. This is your price range for average runners looking for a serious workout without breaking the bank.
You get the most bang for your buck and aren't missing out on any actual performance features, as you'll see below.
As you can see above, most people will have all the features they need, plus more, for just $1,500 when answering the question: How much does a home treadmill cost? As mentioned, spending more than this doesn't improve the operational standards of the machines. It just makes your treadmill even fancier.
Here's a look at the added benefits.
You can find some bigger motors in this range if you really need to run a little faster than 12mph. The LifeSpan TR6000i Treadmill tops out at 13.5mph. So if you need the extra speed, the bigger motor may be worth it.
Many treadmills in this price range are designed with commercial use in mind. Therefore, they're going to be heavier, bulkier, and more durable. This might be worth it to some.
One of the benefits of these treadmills being more durable is they can hold larger runners. Most of these easily hold 300 pounds plus, while some max out at closer to 400 pounds.
These treadmills come with bigger bells and whistles. Features such as:
Again, all this stuff is definitely cool, but doesn't really affect the performance of the treadmills. We like the idea of an interactive system as it could help push us to perform more intense workouts. Or, if you're starting a weight loss journey, a fancy treadmill may be just the motivation you need.
However, the idea of savings $1,000 is also a pretty big motivational factor. It just depends on your budget and workout preferences.
At this price point, you're paying for extra durability designed for commercial use. If you're using it for your home gym, a bonus may be that you can find a treadmill with an interactive system on a larger TV screen.
The final budget tier brings us to high-end treadmills. These can consist of treadmills costing $3,000 all the way up to $6,000 or more.
So what do you get for $3,000? Here's a look.
You would think that spending $3,000 would automatically get you more speed. This isn't always the case, with a lot of pricy models still topping out at 12mph. However, there are a few exceptions to this, like the Free Motion t22.9 REFLEX™ TREADMILL, which goes up to 15mph.
It also costs $12,000. So there's that.
This is actually pretty cool and might be worth it to some runners. The NordicTrack Commercial 2450 Treadmill offers an insane 40-degree incline, which is crazy steep. While an expensive treadmill, it's on the lower end of the expensive treadmills, at around $4,500.
We can see how this might be worth it for the right runners.
And, as a PSA for all runners, make sure to include strength training in your workout routine as well!
Of course, you're going to get a bigger screen of 32"! Many of these models also come with a web browser, the ability to video call, and just about anything else you could think of in the gadget tech world.
Many expensive treadmills will also offer longer running belts. These are designed for serious runners who are taking serious strides. However, if the belts are longer, they're around 63". That's just 3" above what you get for $1,500.
You will find the highest weight capacity in this range. Some models can carry up to 500 pounds. Again, many of these treadmills are built for commercial use, so they must accommodate all body types.
For the vast majority of runners, you can find what you need in the economy and mid-range price points. If you enjoy the latest gadgets and technology and have a higher budget, you may enjoy a fancier high-end treadmill.
A new type of manual treadmill has entered the market, self-propelled treadmills, which are treadmills that require the runner to move the running belt, as opposed to more common motorized treadmills that rely on a motor to drive the treadmill belt.
Manual treadmills are becoming popular with athletes as they are said to promote a natural stride. In addition, they don't require power (unless you're using an interface), meaning you can use them whenever and wherever.
On the downside, these are generally more expensive than motorized treadmills, costing, on average, $2,000+.
Interested in a manual treadmill? Check out these best manual treadmill options, with a great option at every price point (including a budget friendly one for under $200)!
This is another style of treadmill entering the market, which basically imitates sled pushing or resistance running with a parachute. However, this is an expensive treadmill, often ranging anywhere from $4,000-$5,000.
Let's end by recapping our answer to the question: How much does a good treadmill cost? Treadmills have come a long way since their invention way back when. What used to be a simple rotating track now includes options for declines, inclines, adapted heart rate monitors, music, movies, cooling systems, and interactive touchscreen TVs.
While some treadmills can cost more than a car, most people can buy an awesome treadmill for less than $2,000, and a good portion of exercisers can pay less than $1,500.
A piece of advice: if you are considering getting a treadmill, we encourage you to not be too frugal. A quality treadmill that lasts you 5 years will provide amazing health benefits for less than $33 a month. If you factor in this will likely save on health complications, a quality treadmill can quite literally pay for itself and even save you money in the long run (pun intended!).
Other Equipment Options For Your Home Gym:
Comments will be approved before showing up.
September 21, 2023
September 21, 2023
At SFS we strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed for your fitness journey. Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases, killer workouts, actionable fitness content and more. As our motto goes - "You don't have to get ready if you stay #alwaysready!"