Best Home Treadmill Buying Guide

how to get the features you need and find the best machine in your budget

Best treadmill reviews

The best home treadmill for your needs depends on a few key factors, such as your fitness goals, your budget and your preferences on all the "bells and whistles", such as a cooling fan or iFit Technology.

Now, I know you are probably looking for a list of the best rated treadmills and I am going to give that to you, but first I’d like to explain what these features are so that you know what to look for before selecting the best home treadmill for your needs.

For most of us, purchasing a treadmill is a big investment so it is important to know what to look for. After all, you want it to last several years so you will need to purchase one that is well-made, powerful enough to give you a good workout and just right for your budget and space constraints.

So, before scanning the best treadmill reviews, jot down a few of the most important components you are looking for. For example, you want to make sure it has a strong enough motor and a good sized walking deck.

Please keep in mind that this is a fitness walking site so I make my recommendations based on what is best for someone who primarily walks or does some light running/jogging. A serious runner will need much more out of a treadmill - larger deck size, more powerful motor, etc.

Here is a list of the most important components to look for before making your purchase of the best home treadmill for your needs.

They will make treadmill walking a wonderful experience - a smooth, comfortable walk that can be as challenging and interesting as you want. You'll never get bored again!

What Makes a Best Home Treadmill?

1.       Motor - The most important feature is the motor when searching for your best home treadmill. In fact, you’ll find that the motor size is one of the reasons that a treadmill will make a best treadmill reviews list. The larger the motor, the smoother the machine will be. You do not want to be on a machine that starts shaking when you are using it. In addition, you want to look for a quiet motor as well. A smooth, quiet ride is as good as it gets.

The motor is one of the reasons why treadmills differ in price. The more powerful the motor, the higher the price will be. A good treadmill is going to run between $500 and $1,000. Of course you can spend more than that but many best rated treadmills are in that price range.  If you have a tight budget, you might consider getting a machine that has a powerful motor but less of the high tech gadgets that you may not ever use.

How strong should the motor be? Walkers should look for a motor of 1.75 to 2.0 CHP. If you know you’ll only be walking, save your money and skip a more powerful motor as those are made for runners. If you plan to do a combination of running and walking, look for a motor that has at least 2.5 CHP.

2.       Deck Size - The deck is the part you run or walk on, right under the belt. You’ll feel more comfortable walking on a treadmill with a deck that has a nice width and length. You don’t want to feel crammed in when you are walking and you don’t want your feet to fall of the back of the moving belt either. A deck size of 50 x 16 inches is just fine for walking. However, if you plan to run or if you are tall and have a long stride, look for a machine that has at least a 55 x 20 inch deck.

3.       Incline and Speed - The incline and speed are also two components that factor into best treadmill reviews. The incline is how high the deck can be raised, creating the effect of walking on a hill. This can definitely help you burn more calories while walking.

The speed is also important because treadmills have different speed levels. If you plan to do some running, a machine that goes 10 miles per hour is great. If you’ll only be walking, you can use a machine that goes 8 miles per hour. Most walkers, however, transition to running full time or at least part time so it’s best to look for a machine that can go 10 miles per hour.

4.       Cushioning - The amount of cushioning can definitely help give you a smoother, more comfortable walk because it helps absorb the shock. If you have any joint problems, this is a great feature for you. If you are training for a road walk/race, then you probably don’t want as much cushioning so you can mimic the feel of the road.

5.        Size - This may be an obvious one, but look for a machine that is going to fit into the space you have available in your home, garage, office, etc. Many treadmills are made to fold up after you are done using them which I think is a great space saving feature.

6.        Warranty - Look for a company that offers a good warranty on the machine.

7.       Bonus Features - These features aren’t absolutely necessary but they are almost always mentioned in the best treadmill reviews because they make your workout more convenient, interesting and challenging.

  • Compatible with a smart phone AND high quality speakers and good volume control.
  • Heart rate monitor. There are many ways a machine can track your heart rate but the chest strap is the most secure and reliable.
  • A fan to cool you off while you exercise.
  • Built-in TV.
  • Built-in workout programs.
  • A well-designed, high resolution display that keeps track of your workout.

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