There are plenty of different types and styles of treadmill available on today’s market. They serve a variety of uses.
They also serve a variety of budgets.
Some can set you back thousands of pounds, coming close to, or even beating, the kind of machine you might find in the gym. They will come with all sorts of gadgets, gizmos and added extras; they will be made from space-age materials, designed to perfection and built to the highest specifications.
But we don’t all have that kind of money. We don’t all want to spend that much on an at-home treadmill – especially as there are some amazing products out there. There is a whole range of good quality, affordable treadmills in the one-to three-hundred pound bracket. Though they won’t do everything that a pricier model will, they will still allow you to perform a fantastic workout from the comfort of your own home, safely, securely and happily.
We’ve recently looked at a few of the best cheap treadmills and have shortlisted the top options here.
Why Buy A Cheap Treadmill?
Why? Well, presumably because you have a budget you want to stick to, want a treadmill and, given how good many of them are, you know you can get a decent one to suit you. Many treadmills are inexpensive without being cheap; they cost little yet deliver a lot.
If you want to go super-cheap, you can go for a manual treadmill. They have no motor, meaning that the belt is powered by your own movement. They only cost a few pounds.
However, I would skip them. You really do get what you pay for with them. They tend to be flimsy and easily broken. They also don’t perform well at anything more than a walk. If your budget really is so low that you don’t want to invest in a cheap motorised treadmill (which is a situation many people find themselves in), then my advice would be to spend the money on a good pair of trainers and hit the streets or local park, powerwalking or jogging.
I would always advise people to go motorised. If you invest, you will get more. Pricier, motorised models will generally last you a lot longer, especially if you find one with a good warranty and have it regularly maintained.
This is where we will find a compromise, as ever – quality vs affordability.
Except that we can work around this compromise to a certain degree. The models on this list represent this compromise well, delivering decent quality for a fraction of what you would pay on a high-end treadmill. This list proves that you can get a really good machine for just a couple of hundred pounds – far less if you shop around in the sales.
Our Top Cheap Treadmills
Let’s take a look at the our favourite 7 cheap treadmills.
HFC Motorised Treadmill
HFC’s Motorised Treadmill comes in on budget, comfortably within our one-to-three-hundred pound price range, and gives you a lot of control over everything it does. The speed ranges from 1-10km per hour and is easily adjusted with the remote control included.
Though 10km per hour won’t win any records, it’s more than enough for a good quality, fast jog, which is the prime reason most people will want to invest in a cheap treadmill. It’s also quite a smooth 10km per hour, courtesy of a smooth and ultra-quiet 1.5HP motor and durable steel frame with noise reduction and shock absorption capabilities in the belt.
You won’t make much noise and your joints will be very happy as you run. Your back, hips, knees and ankles will thank you!
It’s also safe, with a five layer anti-slip, anti-static belt.
It’s also light weight yet durable, weighing in at just 23kg, but with a top user weight of 110kg. This will ably accommodate all but the largest of athletes. It measures up at 120cm x 50cm x 14cm, so make sure you’ve got a handy space in which to set it. It needn’t stay there permanently, of course – its light weight, combined with its handy wheels, making it surprisingly portable.
Finally, you can read all the metrics one would usually want from their treadmill – distance run, calories burned, time spent, and so on.
HFC’s Motorised Treadmill comes fully assembled and ready to go. It’s simple but very well designed and made – you could do a lot worse, and little better, for the money.
This is one for those who like to get a bit techy. The Nero Pro comes with good-quality Bluetooth connectivity, with free app download required, so that you can connect any device to it. I tried it out with iPhone, iPad and Android and all worked incredibly well.
This also gives you great access to Google Maps, a full twelve different pre-set programmes and manually adjustable programming, alongside an ability to log your training activity. The onboard computer is responsive and shows everything you need on a smart LED display – including common metrics like distance run, calories burned, time spent, and so forth.
The frame itself works well, too. It is built from high-quality, lightweight steel, and has an adjustable incline over three levels. An expensive pro treadmill would give you a lot more, of course, but I was genuinely surprised in trying out products for this article that such inexpensive models as the Nero Pro gave you anything at all. Three levels of incline are all you really need and will spice up your workout perfectly.
The Nero Pro also folds away neatly for storage. This is wonderful. It’s completely perfect for a home gym. We don’t all have massive garages or basements that we can dedicate to our training. If you’re a living room fitness warrior who wants their living room back when you’re done with training, a folding cardio machine is a complete godsend.
Honestly, the smart design and innovation that has gone into this treadmill is spectacular.
The speed settings are OK, too, with a 10km per hour maximum speed, adjustable in fair increments. You should be able to get a decent run going, especially with a bit of an incline going at the same time.
It comes 99% assembled, so you should be able to use it near enough straight away.
This is in part due to the decent quality of the machine itself, which I’ll get to, and in part due to the freebies you get with it. They supply 3 eBooks, which you have to contact the seller to receive after purchase. These will guide you through everything you need to be able to get a decent workout and training plan together using the B1.
I’m a big fan of that aspect.
As well as this, there are some decent digital tools to make your training that much easier and more rewarding. This includes log training via their own free Fitness App, Bluetooth and AUX function and pulse sensors, so that you can always find out how your heart is bearing up.
Knowing your heart rate – even in rough terms, as these kinds of sensors are generally pretty inaccurate – is important, especially for weight loss. Ideally, to supercharge your weight loss, you will want to spend as much time in the 85%+ heart rate range, the so called ‘Orange Zone’. This will lead to afterburn – your body will use up extra calories at rest for hours after you finish training.
The B1 gives you 3 levels of manual incline, which, again, is incredibly useful, and can run between 0.8-10km per hour, which is sufficient for most uses. It stands at 1.36m x 0.58m x 1.23m, has a drinks holder, smartphone and tablet holder, a non-slip, smooth running belt with rubber suspension system, and is fully foldable for ease of storage. It weighs 30kg, with a maximum user weight of 100kg.
However, the speed is very easy to adjust via remote control, and all the usual data you could want – like speed, calories expended, number of steps taken, time and distance travelled – are all readily available and easy to access. It’s also incredibly slim line – it’s easy to store and saves space in your home or office, and can be put away quite effortlessly as it comes with transport wheels.
The motor and the silent belt don’t let out even a whisper, which is incredibly important in any home or office gym equipment. It will allow you to exercise without disturbing your colleagues or family, making everyone’s lives that much easier.
Don’t think of it as a treadmill – that conjures up images of super-fit runners jogging at speed for hours. This is a portable walker, which means that it is perfect for keeping yourself a little more active as you work at the office or watch TV at home.
I personally don’t like this kind of activity. I prefer the mindfulness of walking outdoors, preferably amongst nature, and the sharp bursts of energy you can bring to bear in the gym. However, this simply isn’t practical for many people.
If you’re simply after burning a few more calories and raising your heartrate for an hour or two every day, whilst keeping things light and easy on your joints, and cannot ringfence the time to be out and about, or cannot leave your house or office, a walker like this can work wonders.
It comes with gadgets too – as mentioned, the display is good. This is thanks to quite a nice LCD screen. You get Bluetooth integrated speakers, so you can stream media as you walk. The walking machine is pre-lubricated before leaving the factory. Each time the cumulative mileage of the walking machine reaches 100km, the display screen displays a refuelling display in red, allowing you to better care for it and get the most use from it, with a degree of longevity.
There is even a child lock so you can keep everyone safe at home, which I think is terrific.
Confidence Ultra 200
Then you find out that there is a really slick touch sensitive screen, showing speed, distance, time, calories and heart rate – thanks to pulse sensors, naturally. There are some really good quality built in speakers, so that you can listen to your favourite media as you train.
The Ultra 200 also offers 3 levels of incline – 2°, 3.5° and 5 °, all manually adjusted, and comes with 12 pre-set programmes across a range of styles, which will help to challenge you and keep you engaged. You can also go manual, choosing speed from a range of 1 to 10km per hour.
If this isn’t enough to keep you engaged, however, the Ultra 200 also has a tablet and smartphone stand.
You even get a water bottle holder.
The machine itself is also well-designed, with an eye to saving you space. It folds up for easy storage, with front wheels for ease of movement. It measures in at 70cm x 61cm x 127cm when folded up, and 130cm x 61cm x 116cm when in use.
It’s pretty light, at 27kg, but can take a hefty maximum user weight of 110kg, with a runway size of 100cmx36cm, meaning that even the largest of us can give it a good go.
This is a genuinely really well designed, well thought out machine. I like it a lot.
I was incredibly pleasantly surprised. It turns out 500w is more than enough, especially the way HomCom work it. You get a full maximum of 12km per hour, which is the fastest on this list. HomCom use this to deliver 12 different pre-set programmes, broken down into five speed settings, which will represent a challenge to everyone whilst still being fully accessible.
You get all the mod cons, too, including an LED screen that shows you time spent running, distance, speed and calories burned, which is, as ever, always useful data to have access to. The screen itself is easy to use and incredibly navigable, even for a dinosaur like me.
The whole frame is also foldable, which is wonderful in any piece of home gym equipment. As with many other items on this list, you don’t need to keep it freestanding in a corner, collecting dust all day long. It stands at 122cm x 71cm x 128cm, down to 127cm x 71cm x 56cm when folded, and has two wheels attached for ease of use and manoeuvrability.
It can take up to 100kg, which should suffice for most, and will need a little assembly.
We’ve got a bit of an odd fish here. Powered by a 2.0 HP motor, the OneTwoFit treadmill has a maximum speed of 8km per hour, which I think is a strange amount. 6km per hour is a decent walker. 10-12km per hour is a good treadmill for a jog. 8km is respectable, but doesn’t fit into either camp. You can jog, but it will cut you off before you can get any real speed up. You can use it as a walker, but then it has a load of superfluous extra speed.
Nonetheless, it is pleasant to use. It has a first class damping system, external high-grade cushioning spring, built-in damping pad and high-elastic running board, which all works incredibly well to keep the stress out of your joints. You can use it for a long, long time before you start to ache, and even those with pre-existing joint concerns will find it comfortable.
The treadmill is big enough for runners of all shapes and size, with a running area of 122cm x 40cm and a maximum user weight of 120kg.
Three levels of manual incline go quite some way to salvaging the OneTwoFit from its no-man’s-land, as I found 8km per hour at the highest incline gave me just enough of a workout to consider it good quality cardio.
The LCD monitor displays time, speed, distance and calories, and offers 12 running programmes, of which the first three can be customised.
It’s not a machine for runners, however. It’s simply far too slow. I would recommend it to anybody with joint concerns looking for a super comfortable cardio machine, or for anybody in the higher BMI ranges looking to shed some weight safely, without hurting their joints. It will give them all options for powerwalking and light jogging as and when they can manage.
Framed in this light, it finds its place.
The Cheap Treadmill Verdict
There should be something for everybody in this list. Whether you’re a serious runner looking for a decent way to get a sweat on in your living room or you have joint or weight concerns that mean a comfortable, well-supported power walk is the most relevant to you, you are covered.
And, either way, this list hopefully proves one thing – you can get good quality treadmills, well designed and well made, that don’t cost a bomb.