There's no denying it: Treadmills can be expensive. But you don't need to spend an arm and a leg on one if you're not even interested in all the bells and whistles. In fact there are plenty of high-quality, reliable treadmills available under $500, equipped with everything you need to stay healthy and active at home.
"If you are working with a more limited budget, you might consider forgoing the higher tech features like a touch screen to keep the quality where it counts, in the motor, belt and frame," certified personal trainer and studio owner Lauren George told CBS Essentials.
More affordable treadmills may have lower weight limits, but they may also offer helpful features like the ability to fold to be stored away. If you already have a tablet, you may not feel the need to invest in a high-tech, more expensive model with a screen. And if you have great balance, you may not need a model with handles.
Check out the best treadmills under $500 ahead.
The best treadmills under $500
Here's a quick look at the best treadmills under $500.
- Relatively high weight capacity: XTERRA Fitness TR folding treadmill
- Integrated tech: Sunny Health & Fitness smart running treadmill
- Extra shock absorption: Sunny Health & Fitness electric treadmill
- Most affordable: ProGear 190 manual treadmill
- Walk and jog at your desk: Redliro under desk treadmill
- Easiest to store: WalkingPad C2 Mini foldable walking treadmill
- Space-saving: Goplus 2 in 1 Superfit folding treadmill
Shop treadmills from Amazon, Walmart and more ahead.
Relatively high weight capacity: XTERRA Fitness TR folding treadmill
This affordable treadmill has a 16-inch-by-50-inch running surface and a 250-pound weight limit. It has an LCD display that tells you your speed, incline, time, distance, calories and pulse. This treadmill offers 12 preset programs and three manual incline settings. It folds up for easy storage, which makes it a terrific option if you live in a condo or apartment.
XTERRA Fitness TR folding treadmill, $375
Integrated tech: Sunny Health & Fitness smart running treadmill
This treadmill has an LCD monitor that displays time, distance, speed, calories, incline and heart rate. It offers 12 preset interval programs and has integrated speakers, microphone, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity. You can use it to run up to 8 mph and to change the incline up to 12%. Fold this treadmill when you're done and stow it away. It has a respectable weight capacity of 240 pounds.
Sunny Health & Fitness smart running treadmill, $500
Extra shock absorption: Sunny Health & Fitness electric treadmill
If integrated speakers, microphone, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity aren't important to you, check out this even more affordable treadmill from Sunny Health & Fitness. It promises exceptional shock absorption -- important for folks recovering from injuries or suffering from certain chronic conditions. It also has an LCD monitor, where you can see your distance and time and a pulse grip. Also find nine workout programs and three levels of adjustable incline. You can fold this treadmill and stow it away after use.
Sunny Health & Fitness electric treadmill, $343
Most affordable: ProGear 190 manual treadmill
If you really just want the basics, check out your most affordable option here: the ProGear 190 manual treadmill. There's no electricity needed to power this treadmill, which even comes with handles. It has two incline positions. This item's weight capacity is 230 pounds.
ProGear 190 manual treadmill, $199
Walk and jog at your desk: Under Redliro under desk treadmill
Consider this under-desk treadmill if you work from home and want to get more movement into your daily routine. This motorized walking and jogging treadmill offers 12 preset exercise modes, as well as the option to manually adjust the setting for your ideal workout.
Redliro under desk treadmill, $309 after coupon (reduced from $470)
Easiest to store: WalkingPad C2 Mini foldable walking treadmill
Do you work from home and don't have a ton of space? This mini walking treadmill is the perfect size to slide under a standing desk. When it's not in use, this fitness machine can be folded to almost half its size for easy storage, so it's the best treadmill for a small space. Choose from five colors.
"If your goal is to up your daily step count without compromising your house decor, the compact WalkingPad is an excellent option!" George says. "You can fit it under a standing desk to accrue more steps while answering emails, or hop on for a stroll while watching TV. The belt is also designed for maximum cushion and comfort."
WalkingPad C2 Mini foldable walking treadmill, $450 with code WPEASTERGIFT (reduced from $600)
Space-saving: Goplus 2-in-1 Superfit folding treadmill
The 2-in-1 Superfit treadmill can be used as a traditional treadmill capable of reaching speeds of up to 7.5 mph or folded down and used as a walking treadmill that will max out at 2.5 mph. The sturdy frame and shock-absorbing, multi-layer design will keep your workout quiet and comfortable.
This piece of home gym equipment would make a great addition to any home office for remote workers trying to get in their steps between (or even during) meetings. Just add a standing desk into the mix, and you're good to go.
It's available in seven colors. Prices vary by color. The price listed below is for the blue model.
Goplus 2 in 1 Superfit folding treadmill (blue), $350 (reduced from $500)
How to decide how much to spend on a treadmill
Is spending less than $500 on a treadmill enough?
"There are a wide variety of treadmill features, some super helpful and others that seem superfluous or only necessary for serious runners," "American Ninja Warrior" contestant Julie Lohre Lohre told CBS Essentials. "Suppose you are a beginner to moderate exerciser looking to add more steps to your day or plan to walk or jog occasionally.
"In that case, sticking with a base model treadmill with incline and speed or some basic programs can help keep you within budget."
How we chose these treadmills
When picking the best treadmills under $500, we considered:
- Authentic customer reviews: We combed through verified customer reviews to ensure that real buyers are pleased with these products.
- Expert recommendations: We spoke with George and certified personal trainer, certified nutrition specialist and "American Ninja Warrior" contestant Lohre for their expertise on affordable treadmills.
- Star rating: All of these products have a four-star rating or higher.
- Your unique needs: We picked treadmills for a variety of needs. We found manual treadmills, electric treadmills, running treadmills, walking treadmills and more.
Read more about how we review products
Related content from CBS Essentials
Carolin Lehmann is an expert in health, fitness, furniture, apparel, gift guides and books for CBS Essentials. She's always testing new products to recommend. Some of her current favorites include Stanley cups, Alo Yoga workout sets and the Cuzen matcha maker.
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