Best Treadmills of 2018

Jennifer Christensen ·
Health & Beauty Senior Writer
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We started reviewing treadmills in 2011 and have kept our finger on the pulse of the exercise industry. During our most recent evaluation, we researched dozens of treadmills in multiple price tiers. We chose 10 of the bestselling, highest rated machines priced between $1,499 and $3,599 for in-depth consideration. The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is our top pick for 2018 because it offers solid, consistent performance at a reasonable price. It has a 22-inch by 60-inch running surface powered by a durable 3.6 CHP motor and can accommodate users up to 300 pounds. It features 38 onboard workouts and comes with a one-year NordicTrack iFit membership.  

Best Overall Treadmill
NordicTrack Commercial 1750
The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is a durable treadmill with many impressive features. It has a 7-inch touchscreen control center and versatile connectivity that includes real-time iFit coaching and 24/7 data tracking. It also has a space-saving, foldable frame.
View on NordicTrack
Best Value
LifeSpan TR4000i
The LifeSpan TR4000i includes many features you’ll find on higher-end treadmills at a much more affordable price. A hydraulic shock makes it easy to fold, and it has eight compression shocks for smooth running.
View on Amazon
Best Features
Bowflex BXT216
The Bowflex BXT216 has many desirable features to enhance convenience and functionality. It has an intuitive, user-friendly interface and is designed to support personal fitness goals, weight management and event training.
View on Amazon
Product
Price
OVERALL RATING
Price
Built-In Accessories
Warranties & Support
Design
Workout & Monitoring Features
Free Shipping
Maximum Speed
Maximum Incline
Maximum Decline
Maximum User Weight
Running Surface Width
Running Surface Length
Motor (countinuous-duty horsepower)
Shock Absorption Deck
Workout Programs
Individual User IDs
Custom Programs
Heart Rate Monitor - Hand Grips
Heart Rate Monitor - Wireless Chest Strap
Display Size
Display Type
Connectivity
Cooling Fans
Water Bottle/Accessory Compartment
Audio System
Smartphone/Tablet Holder
Integrated Wi-Fi
Foldable
Frame
Motor
Parts
Labor
Support
Length
Width
Height
Weight
$1579 Nordictrack
4 4.9 4.9 4.3 4.8
Yes
12 (mph)
15 Percent
3 Percent
300 Pounds
22 Inches
60 Inches
3.6
38
4
7
Full Color HD Touchscreen
Bluetooth Compatible, Google Maps Technology, On-demand Video Streaming, iFit Membership Included
Dual AutoBreeze Fan
Two 3-inch Digitally Amplified Speakers and Aux Music Port
X
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
2 Years
Phone, Chat, Manuals, FAQs
72.25 Inches
34 Inches
61 Inches
310 Pounds
$319.98 Wal-Mart
4.7 5 4.4 4.3 3.3
Yes
12 (mph)
15 Percent
0 Percent
400 Pounds
22 Inches
60 Inches
4
11
4
9
White Backlit LCD
Bluetooth Compatible, Google Maps Technology, On-demand Video Streaming, iFit Membership Included
3-speed Fan
Integrated Speaker Sound System
N/A
15 Years
15 Years
5 Years
2 Years
Phone, Chat, Videos, Manuals, FAQs
84.6 Inches
36.3 Inches
55.2 Inches
304 Pounds
$1270.63 Wal-Mart
5 4.5 3.5 3.7 4.9
Yes
12 (mph)
15 Percent
0 Percent
350 Pounds
20 Inches
60 Inches
3.25
21
1
6
Blue Backlit LCD
Bluetooth Compatible, Google Maps Technology, On-demand Video Streaming, iFit Membership Included
3-speed Fan
Speakers, USB Port and Audio-in Jack
N/A
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
2 Years
Phone, Chat, Contact Form, Manuals, FAQs
74.5 Inches
32 Inches
56 Inches
226 Pounds
$1599 Horizonfitness
4.3 3.5 4.4 4.7 4.5
Yes
12 (mph)
15 Percent
0 Percent
350 Pounds
20 Inches
60 Inches
3
42
2
8.5
Blue Backlit LCD
Bluetooth Compatible, Wi-Fi Enabled, ViaFit Connectivity, Passport Ready to Sync with Home TV
Yes
Speakers and USB Port
N/A
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
1 Year
Phone, Email, Videos, Manuals, Troubleshooting Guide
77 Inches
35 Inches
60 Inches
227 Pounds
$1599 Proform
3.8 4.9 4.7 4.7 4.8
Yes
12 (mph)
15 Percent
3 Percent
300 Pounds
22 Inches
60 Inches
4
38
1
7
Full Color HD Touchscreen
iFit Wireless Technology
Dual CoolAire Workout Fan
Built-in Sound System with Dual 3-inch Speakers, iPod and MP3 Compatible
X
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
2 Years
Phone, Chat, Videos, Manuals, Online Support Guide
77.16 Inches
39.15 Inches
70 Inches
291 Pounds
$1899 Proform
3.3 4.9 4.2 5 4.8
Yes
12 (mph)
15 Percent
3 Percent
300 Pounds
22 Inches
60 Inches
4
40
1
10
Full Color HD Touchscreen
iFit Wireless Technology
Dual CoolAire Workout Fan
Audio Auxiliary Port with Dual 3-inch Speakers
X
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
2 Years
Phone, Chat, Videos, Manuals, Online Support Guide
77.16 Inches
39.15 Inches
70 Inches
320 Pounds
$2799 Nordictrack
2.5 5 5 5 4.8
Yes
12 (mph)
15 Percent
3 Percent
300 Pounds
22 Inches
60 Inches
4.25
43
4
22
Full Color HD Touchscreen
Bluetooth Compatible, Google Maps Technology, On-demand Video Streaming, iFit Membership Included
Three Auto-adjusting Fans
Two 3-inch Digitally Amplified Speakers and Aux Music Port
X
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
2 Years
Phone, Chat, Manuals, FAQs
72.25 Inches
34 Inches
61 Inches
363.76 Pounds
$1399.99 Sole Fitness
3.7 4.8 3.7 3.4 4.8
Yes
12 (mph)
15 Percent
0 Percent
375 Pounds
22 Inches
60 Inches
3.5
8
2
9
White Backlit
Bluetooth Compatible, Syncs with Sole, Fitbit, Record, Mapmyrun and Apple Health Apps
Yes
Built-in Speakers, iPod/MP3 Compatible
N/A
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
2 Years
Phone, Email, Contact Form, Videos, FAQs
82 Inches
37 Inches
57 Inches
278 Pounds
$3099 Amazon
2.7 3.9 5 4.8 3.9
Yes
12.5 (mph)
15 Percent
0 Percent
400 Pounds
20 Inches
60 Inches
3.25
11
2
0
Varies by Console
Bluetooth Compatible, Wi-Fi Enabled, ViaFit Connectivity, Sprint 8 Compatible, Passport Ready to Sync with Home TV
No
Varies by Console
Varies by Console
Lifetime
Lifetime
7 Years
2 Years
Phone, Email, Customer Service Form, Videos, Troubleshooting Guide, FAQs
81 Inches
35 Inches
62 Inches
298 Pounds
$2499 Amazon
2.9 4.3 3.3 1.9 3.4
No
12 (mph)
15 Percent
0 Percent
300 Pounds
20 Inches
55 Inches
3
9
2
5
High contrast blue-white LCD
Not Connected
No
iPod/iPhone & Android Volume Control
N/A
Lifetime
Not Specified
5 Years
1 Year
Customer Service Form, Videos, Troubleshooting Guide, FAQs
81 Inches
33 Inches
59 Inches
238 Pounds
Best Overall Treadmill
The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 makes a repeat showing as our best overall treadmill because it is loaded with desirable features designed to make your fitness routine enjoyable.
It helps you achieve a natural stride and comes with a one-year NordicTrack iFit membership that includes iFit Coach, iFit data tracking and the ability to interface with Google Maps to simulate a run anywhere in the world. This high-performing treadmill has a powerful yet quiet motor and a 22-inch by 60-inch running surface. Its 2.5-inch rollers are balanced and precision-machined, and it has a two-ply commercial grade belt. It can accommodate users weighing up to 300 pounds and features NordicTrack’s adjustable FlexSelect deck cushioning. Deck cushioning is important because it helps protect your joints from injury during workouts. Along with 38 customizable workout programs onboard, it also offers streamed studio workouts and proprietary iFit connectivity. The 15 percent incline and 3 percent decline add terrain-matching intensity to your workout, and you can exercise at speeds up to 12 mph. This is the most common maximum speed among the machines we reviewed. Like other top treadmills, it includes an EKG grip pulse and a wireless heartrate monitor, and you can track your workout with 11 data points such as time, speed, calories burned and distance. To give you a multimedia experience, the Commercial 1750 has a 7-inch web-enabled HD touchscreen and two digitally amplified speakers. Its dual AutoBreeze fan, one-touch controls and a pivoting integrated tablet holder also help improve your workout. The machine weighs 310 pounds and folds easily with a telescoping hydraulic shock. Free shipping is available from NordicTrack, and there is a lifetime frame and motor warranty.
Pros
  • Quiet, self-cooling motor
  • One-year iFit membership included
  • Hydraulic shock-assisted folding
Cons
  • Isn’t available on Amazon.com
  • May be challenging to assemble
  • Has a relatively small screen
$1579.00NordicTrack
Read the full review
Best Value
We chose the LifeSpan TR4000i as our best value because it performs so well at a competitive price. It has a 3.25 continuous drive motor and an upgraded belt, and you can exercise at up to 12 mph.
It also has 15 levels of incline to help simulate outdoor terrain. Its all-steel frame houses a 20-inch by 60-inch running surface, and it has eight compression shock absorbers to protect your hips, knees and ankles. A treadmill’s running surface is important to helping you maintain a natural gait. Most machines we reviewed have 22-inch-wide belts, so this one can be less comfortable for larger users. Although you must buy its Bluetooth adapter separately, the LifeSpan TR4000i interfaces with fitness apps like Apple Health, Google Fit and LifeSpan Active Trac. It boasts 21 preprogrammed workouts for weight management, healthy living and sports training and has a maximum user weight of 350 pounds. The treadmill weighs 226 pounds and is the lightest machine we reviewed. It also has an EZfold hydraulic folding system and four mounted wheels for easy moving and storage. Treadmills are bulky machines, so these are especially nice features. This treadmill’s console has a 6-inch blue backlit screen. If you’re looking for a more robust display, we’ve reviewed some machines with larger, full-color displays. Typical of high-quality treadmills, it has contact heart rate sensors and a chest strap receiver, but you must buy the strap separately. It has a three-speed cooling fan, speakers and an audio-in jack, along with a USB port. Its console readouts give you nine points of data, such as time, distance, steps, pace and elevation change. If you step off the deck for more than 20 seconds, the belt will automatically pause, which is a unique, useful safety feature. Customer service is available by phone, chat and an online contact form. LifeSpan offers free standard delivery.
Pros
  • Easy to assemble
  • Has a patented auto-pause safety feature
  • LifeSpan’s excellent customer service
Cons
  • May not feel sturdy for avid runners
  • User interface isn’t intuitive
  • Bluetooth adapter must be purchased separately
$1499.00Amazon
Read the full review
Best Features
We chose the Bowflex BXT216 as the treadmill with the best features because it’s so functional, comfortable and convenient. From its oversized media rack to its one-touch speed and incline adjustments, it is practical and user-friendly.
It provides excellent connectivity for up to four users, and it’s easy to fold up and stow. It has a 4.0 continuous horsepower motor and a 22-inch by 60-inch running deck that can accommodate users who weigh up to 400 pounds. Keep in mind that manufacturers recommend selecting a machine with a weight limit 50 pounds higher than the heaviest user’s weight. Like all the treadmills we reviewed, this machine’s maximum incline is 15 percent. Its console has a 9-inch full-color display. It gives you more workout feedback than any other machine we evaluated, including data such as calorie burn rate, heart rate zone, intervals, distance and speed. The BXT216 has cushioned siderails and variable response deck cushioning, along with a three-speed fan. It also has an integrated sound system and features 11 pre-programmed workouts. There are also customizable workout options available. While most treadmill warranties cover frames and motors for a lifetime, Bowflex gives you 15 and five years respectively. While this is the least impressive warranty in our lineup, Bowflex offers solid customer support via phone and live chat. You can also find videos, manuals and answers to FAQs online.
Pros
  • Bluetooth compatible and syncs with the Bowflex Results Series app
  • Can be programmed for up to four users
  • Has cushioned siderails and a Comfort Tech deck
Cons
  • Belt can be cumbersome to adjust
  • Fewer onboard workouts available than with comparable treadmills
  • Doesn’t have a stellar warranty
$1799.00Amazon
Read the full review
Most Workout Programs
The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 has 40 onboard workouts, which ties with the ProForm SMARTPro 9000 for the most of any treadmill we reviewed. Both machines come with a membership to iFit, allowing you to stream thousands of studio workouts into your home.
You can also run anywhere in the world with GoogleMaps, and you get real-time performance stat tracking. The Commercial 2950 has pulse grips to monitor your heart rate and comes with a wireless chest strap. It has a 4.25 continuous-duty horsepower motor and a running surface of 22 by 60 inches. It has a maximum exercise speed of 12 mph, along with both incline and decline. At 364 pounds, it’s the heaviest machine we reviewed, but it has a hydraulic shock to help you fold it. This treadmill has an integrated accessory tray, dual workout fans and digitally amplified speakers. Its 22-inch HD touchscreen is the most impressive treadmill display we’ve seen. NordicTrack warranties this machine’s frame for a lifetime.
Pros
  • Has a 22-inch HD touchscreen
Cons
  • Costs nearly $3,000
-
Read the full review
Best for Interval Training
The ProForm SmartPRO 9000 is the top-of-the-line model in its series. This treadmill is great for interval training because its deck cushioning has an air compression chamber designed to minimize stress on the hips, ankles, knees and feet.
It also has balanced 2.5-inch rollers and is built to be stable and sturdy enough for sprints. The SmartPRO 9000 has a 4.0 continuous-drive horsepower motor built to work hard without overheating. It has a 22-inch by 60-inch running deck and it provides you with both incline and decline. It also has a maintenance-free tread belt. Like the NordicTrack Commercial 2950, this machine has 40 onboard workouts. It also has two EKG hand-grip sensors and a wireless chest strap to track your heart rate. The SmartPRO 9000 comes with a one-year membership to iFit, giving you access to thousands of streaming workout videos on its 10-inch HD touchscreen display. You can track your exercise progress from the console and tweet your success right from the screen. Customer service is available by phone and live chat, but consumers report that response can be slow.
Pros
  • Has automatic incline and decline
Cons
  • Users report slow customer service
-
Read the full review

Why Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing treadmills for seven years, and we supplement our own experience with the knowledge and expertise of treadmill manufacturers, home fitness gurus and personal trainers. As we research machines, we look for products with high performance ratings and positive consumer reviews. We also test products in our lab to evaluate technologies and compare features. As you prepare to make a buying decision, our goal is to do most of the legwork for you.

“Purchasing a new treadmill can be likened to purchasing a car,” said Pete Schenk, president of LifeSpan Fitness. “You should purchase based on treadmill capabilities first and foremost. Whatever attractive features are built in should be viewed as a bonus.”

Schenk also said many first-time buyers are swayed by a feature or two and are then disappointed when the treadmill needs repairs just a few months down the road. We help you avoid this kind of buyers’ regret by compiling and sharing well-researched information. From motors and running surfaces to consoles and connectivity, we carefully outline each machine’s specifications, including its warranty. 

How We Tested

Our team searched the internet and retail floors for the best treadmills on the market. We researched prices, scoured consumer reviews and visited dozens of manufacturers’ websites. We also visited fitness centers and retail outlets, interviewing industry professionals for buying tips.

We wanted to find durable, high-performing machines at midrange prices, and we asked experts like the Johnson Fitness & Wellness development team for advice.

“There is no better treadmill test than running on it,” they said. “Touch it, feel it, test it out. Shake the handlebars. Walk, jog, run at flat and incline. Listen.”

With the four models delivered to our lab, that’s exactly what we did. We invited multiple testers at different levels of fitness to try each machine. As we documented their priorities and preferences, we also learned how frames are constructed, why siderails matter, how consoles are attached and more. We compared non-folding treadmills with folding models, and we researched technological advancements. We learned quickly that our testers’ opinions were based largely on their fitness goals.

“When I get on a treadmill, I like to get on and go,” said Mikaelle Giffin, a longtime running enthusiast who runs at least three times a week. “I don’t want to mess with settings. I just want the quick start. Some people like all the bells, whistles and apps, but I just want to run.”

By contrast, our panel included several testers who take a much slower pace and like to watch YouTube as they walk. One of our testers has a balance deficiency, and she said stability is what matters most to her.

From these varied perspectives, we recognized the importance of versatility. As we continued our treadmill evaluations, we carefully noted each machine’s specifications and features to provide you with the most comprehensive product data we could find. 

Steps to Choosing the Right Treadmill

Choosing which treadmill to buy isn’t a cookie-cutter decision. There’s not a one-size-fits-all machine, and the selection process depends on many factors.

“Treadmills can help users with a variety of fitness goals such as losing weight, building muscle, lowering cholesterol, improving cardiovascular health and strength, improving mental health and getting ready for outdoor events such as races, climbs and much more,” the Johnson Fitness & Wellness development team told us.

As a result, what you’ll look for when you’re shopping depends on your goals. You’ll also need to consider your space. Treadmills are large pieces of equipment, and you need to have adequate room.

“The considerations for someone who simply wants to get in additional steps each day will be different than someone who is training for a race and needs the treadmill to maintain a training regimen,” the Johnson team explained. “But in all cases, the person should have an idea of where they intend to put the treadmill, so they know what will fit and whether they will need a folding treadmill due to space constraints. Perhaps most importantly, the customer needs to try out the machine, so they can feel the cushioning, touch the console and try out some of the features first-hand and determine what will be most important based on their intended use.”

Price
A treadmill is a major purchase, and pricing is an important consideration. You can pick up a low-end machine for under $100, and top-of-the-line models can nearly $10,000. We identified the sweet spot for most consumers as averaging $2,000 and reviewed machines ranging in price from $1,500 to $3,500.

Treadmill price points are driven by many factors. These include the quality of the treadmill’s design components, its durability, the type and size of its display and the features of its console. You’ll want to think ahead about how much you can afford to spend and where you want your money to go. For example, if the stability of the machine is what matters most to you, you might not need to spend additional money on an upgraded console. However, if connectivity is your priority, you might be willing to pay more for a larger screen and more features. As you determine your budget, we recommend paying more attention to engineering and technology than to brand names. Also, making a larger upfront investment may save you repair and replacement headaches in the future.

“In this industry, no manufacturer has the luxury of over-pricing their treadmill options,” said Brant Brooks, Etail account manager at LifeSpan Fitness, “so you get what you pay for, so-to-speak, in respect to build quality. While budget models may look attractive from a price standpoint and may work for a very casual user, an owner will likely run it into the ground within a year or two with moderate to heavy use.”

Performance
If you want to get the most out of your treadmill, you’ll want to consider the size of its running surface, the quality of its belt, the cushioning of its deck and the power of its motor. It’s also important to determine how many people in your household will use the machine, how intensely each person exercises and how console features and technology can help you achieve your fitness goals.

In recent years, improvements have been made industry-wide to make home treadmills more energy efficient, durable, useful and enjoyable. From making advancements in the stability of folding treadmills to adding workout tracking, Bluetooth compatibility and Wi-Fi connectivity to consoles, manufacturers are responding to consumer needs.

“One recent technological advancement that is forging the future of in-home fitness is the inclusion of live workout classes and friendly competition via social-active apps such as RunSocial,” said Brooks.

This trend to integrate with popular fitness apps is enhancing the performance not only of the best treadmills, but also of the best elliptical machines. Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health or reduce stress, home fitness equipment is becoming an increasingly popular tool to help you reach your goals.