Treadmill Buying Guide

Treadmill Buying Guide


Treadmills to help you lose weight, machines to help save space, or a cheap treadmill for your entire family – a general treadmill buying guide.

Sometimes, we don’t know what we want. In a world filled with quality everything… well, quality treadmills are no different. You could be buying a commercial treadmill for a big space, perhaps you’re very specifically looking at the treadmill motor, with the sole goal of going fast and losing weight quicker, or perhaps, just maybe you still have no idea what machine is right for you or your wallet.

The fitness world is filled with variety and with variety comes confusion, and different people will have different entry levels. If I were to say the words, ‘you want to look for the right treadmill, with the right treadmill deck made from hard wax and a shock absorption system, oh and a soft drop system too, and to top it off look for an iFit subscription and 40+ programs, or you’re basically wasting our time’… you may just be even further from finding the best treadmill for you.

Thankfully, all you need is the right treadmill buying guide. And that’s exactly why we’re here. In this list, we’re going to break down my personal top pick, the best entry-level treadmill for beginners, the best-curved treadmill, and more.

Let’s get running!

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In A Rush?

  MY TOP PICK: BEST TOP END: BEST ENTRY LEVEL: BEST CURVED: BEST FOR UNDER 1K:
Brand Spirit Life Fitness Nordictrack Nohrd ProForm
Model CT850 Platinum Club Series Elite 7.0 Sprintbok Curved Carbon T7
Photo F3
Max. Speed 19 kph 12 mph 20 kph n/a 16 kph
Max. Weight 204 kg 181 kg 125 kg 160 kg 135 kg
Running Area 159 cm x 59 cm 56 cm x 152 cm 51 cm x 140 cm 160 cm x 45 cm 51 cm x 140 cm
PRICE* £5,496.00 £12,045.00 £1,199.00 £5,295.00 £999.00
           
Check Prices
*Prices correct at the time of writing

My Top Pick (for a home treadmill):

Spirit CT850 Treadmill (£ 5,496.00)

Key Features

  • 4HP AC Motor
  • Running surface 60” x 22” (159cm x 59cm)
  • Speed  0.5-12 mph (0.8-19 km/h)
  • Incline 0-15%
  • Integrated Accessory Tray with bottle holder  
  • Multi-ply Habasit ® Commercial Belt for superior belt life
  • Hard wax deck
  • Electronic Package
  • Tri-coloured LED Display
Pros
  • Powerful Motor
  • Clear LED Display
  • Good Functionality Range
  • Long-Lasting Components
  • Comfort Features for Home Environments
Cons
  • Clear but Simple Display
  • Heart Rate Monitor Not Included

Overview

The Spirit CT850 is a great treadmill. Hands down, this is my favourite sturdy build with reasonable dimensions that give you a great high-quality treadmill, with home gym applications.

The long-lasting belt and deck give you more value for money. Whether you’re light jogging, working hard or marathon training this machine will see you through for years on end.

Its price range is a little higher than average but the manufacturers knew what they were doing here, and given the treadmill on a whole, the price is more than fair.

A lot of treadmill companies promise to help you on your fitness journey with great treadmill technology; LCD Display, 40+ programs and a terrain systems… while these are great, they often take precedence over the treadmill build quality. Here, this isn’t the case.

A great all-round treadmill, up there with some of the sturdiest and long-lasting commercial treadmills on the market, and if you’re looking for treadmill workouts that help you run… (not start a tech company!) then this is the machine for you.


Best Top End Home Treadmill:

(if you have the room, is the best of the best of all treadmills!)

Life Fitness Platinum Club Series Treadmill with Discover SE3HD Console (fixed) (£12,045.00)

Key Features

  • Brand: Life Fitness
  • Model: Life Fitness Platinum Club Series
  • Console: Discover SE3HD Console
  • Welded Steel Frame: Yes
  • Front Roller Lift Wheels and Rear Levelers: Yes
  • Maximum Speed: 12mph
  • Minimum Speed: 0.5 mph
  • Incline Range: 1-15%
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes
  • Dimensions: 203 x 94 x 163 cm (lxwxh)
Pros
  • Connected Outdoor Experience at Home
  • Entertainment and Connectivity
  • Added Convenience
  • Generously Proportioned Running Surface
Cons
  • Requires Space
  • Difficult to Configure

Overview

This Life Fitness Platinum Club Series Treadmill with Discover SE3HD Console is a wise investment for commercial and home gyms. But that doesn’t mean it’s wise for your wallet.

It’s an expensive machine, and in my opinion, and for my situation, that price is more than justified. I need plenty of space, something that a folding treadmill wouldn’t usually offer, a sturdy build (treadmill belt, treadmill frame etc) for hard workouts, and enjoy all of the premium features that make me want to work out more.

So what features am I talking about? Well, the group workout capability is great. It lets you connect with friends and share stats. The workout data tracking with this machine is great too, clearly displaying your workout routine and health stats.

Its modern design and interactive features with experience and advanced training options, make this Life Fitness Treadmill premium quality workout equipment. With a range of connectivity and entertainment options, it makes working out at home a more than pleasant experience.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Life Fitness Platinum Club Series Treadmill here.


Best Entry Level Home Treadmill For Beginners / Intermediate Runners:

Nordictrack Elite 7.0 Treadmill (foldable) (£1,199.00)

Key Features

  • 5-inch iFit LCD
  • 30-Day iFit Family Membership Included
  • EKG Handgrips
  • Dual 2-Inch Speakers
  • Flex Select Cushioning
  • 51 x 140 cm Tread Belt
  • 2.75 CHP Motor
  • 0 – 10% Incline
  • 0 – 20 km/h Speed
  • 1.9″ Rollers
Pros
  • Quiet motor
  • Decent incline range
  • Space Saver Design
  • Easy Lift assist
  • Digital quick incline control
Cons
  • Hidden Costs
  • The iFit membership does require a monthly fee after your 30-day trial at £28p/m.

Overview

The Nordictrack Elite 7.0 is a great treadmill for its price and offers many features that you might not find in other treadmills at the same price.

This should be a strong contender when considering buying a treadmill. It’s the top end of a budget treadmill but still gives you way more than other cheap treadmills can offer.

The built-in transportation wheels and Easy Lift assist feature help with enabling convenient repositioning of this treadmill which definitely makes it stand out. And convenience is important here. Motorised treadmill, electric treadmill, manual treadmill… you’re going to be tired either way and if you need to move the thing, then moveability should absolutely be a consideration.

The motor is not the most powerful but it is still decent enough, the incline range is also pretty good and offers a challenge even to athletes. Moreover, the space-saver design makes this machine ideal for small apartments or places where space is an issue, combined with the space-saving, this machine is a great fit in your cardio equipment range too.

This fitness equipment comes with a certified personal trainer and also has many other integrated features. With a balanced non-flex roller you can now get a great workout in without worrying about injuries.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Nordictrack Elite 7.0 Treadmill here.


Best Curved (for 2022 home treadmill):

Nohrd Sprintbok Curved, Manual Treadmill £5295.00

Key Features

  • Manual treadmill, no power source required
  • No speed limit
  • 17.2” (43.6cm) high definition Touch Screen
  • Available in a variety of woods
  • Slats are made from Birch plywood and high-quality rubber for superb cushioning
  • Running surface 63” x 18’ (160cm x 45cm)
  • Grease life high-quality bearings
  • Transport wheels
  • Maximum user weight 25 stone (160kg)
  • Size L x 175cm W x 86cm H x 160cm
  • Treadmill weight 120kg
Pros
  • Hard Workout Capability
  • Speed is Down to You
  • Fits Well in Spaces
  • Aesthetic Uniqueness
  • Virtual Features
Cons
  • Manual – Not for Everyone
  • Unique Design – Not for Everyone

Overview

For some runners, modern treadmills have to come with a powerful motor. For others, treadmills don’t have to come with a motor at all, and this curved treadmill is exactly up their street.

The Nohrd Sprintbok is one of the better quality treadmills on this list, but not because it’s powerful or from a trusted brand; the fitness alternatives it allows for can be hard to resist.

This machine, like most manual treadmills, requires your motivation as the fuel for its running. You control the speed, you control the length of run and you’re the one that’ll burn more calories as a result.

The Sprintbok lets you achieve your fitness goals through its well-built running deck, max user weight, and floor space-saving design. Because it’s a manual treadmill, and you may find yourself working harder, it’s also important that it uses high-quality rubber and birch plywood for superb cushioning.

Overall, just like all of the premium treadmills on this list, this machine is a top-notch bit of gym equipment. If you like the unique design and the ability to control your speed yourself then you’ll be ignoring other treadmill brands for the rest of your running career.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Nohrd Sprintbok Curved Manual Treadmill here.


Best For Under 1K (best home treadmill for under £1000)

ProForm Carbon T7 Folding Treadmill (£999.00)

Key Features

  • iFit Enabled, 30-Day Membership
  • 2.75 CHP2 Motor
  • 51 x 140 cm Treadmill Belt
  • ISO Flex Cushioning
  • 1.9″ Precision-Balanced Rollers
  • 0 – 16 kph Digital Quickspeed Control
  • Dual 2″ Speakers
  • CoolAire Fan System
  • Max Weight – 135 kg
Pros
  • Cooling Fan for Hard Workouts
  • Great Shock Absorption System
  • iFit Capabailites – Enhanced Workouts
  • Great Warranty
Cons
  • Weak Motor
  • iFit membership only 30-day trial

Overview

Let’s start with the fact that this treadmill folds. Unlike non-folding treadmills, the value added for home gyms from a folding treadmill is incredible. It’s easy to pack away, no matter how much space you have. And because you can fold this machine it means you can instantly create space for other home workout routines if you need.

Space-saving aside, this machine comes with great extras like a reasonable warranty and an iFit membership for 30 days. These kinds of inclusions mean the treadmill manufacturers are really thinking about you here. That said, it would be nice to have a longer iFit membership so you could explore the options further, instead of focussing on the fact it’s a foldable treadmill.

The motor isn’t the most powerful in the world, but you don’t need power for home gym equipment; so much of the appeal is due to ease of use, and this treadmill is up there with the best in that category. With decent enough speed and incline options, you get all the good stuff and the ease of folding.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Proform Carbon T7 Folding Treadmill here.


Conclusion

Fitness levels are the result of your hard work but finding the right tools won’t make you work less, in fact, it often makes you work harder. The way a treadmill runs undoubtedly affects your fitness journey and helps you burn calories; curved treadmills can target different muscle groups, whilst powerful motors with maximum speed help you run faster and longer, and so on.

While the perfect treadmill may not exist, the best one for you does. Most treadmills will result in a good machine, but prospective treadmill owners should always look for the right stuff, and with this list, I think you’ve done exactly that.

>> Take a look at more of our helpful round up’s here. <<


FAQ’S

How quickly do treadmill belts wear?

This completely depends on the manufacturer’s decision in material use, dimensions, what motor it’s paired with, the size of the runner and many more factors. Generally, price is correlated to quality; the more expensive a treadmill, the higher the chance of treadmill belt quality. Look for things like hard wax decks (these are a personal favourite) and be sure to check out the material of the belt before purchasing, if this is a concern for you.

What really counts as powerful or fast treadmill motors?

The line between powerful and weak is largely subjective. However, I think we can agree that a 2.5 hp motor is pretty weak, especially when compared to a 5hp motor (or more commonly upper 4s). The power of the motor is important but even with a weaker motor you can still burn plenty of calories; your power is more important here.


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