Whether you’re simply looking to get some cardio in without leaving the house, or became a home workout convert during lockdown, adding a treadmill to the mix can keep you training as hard – or as easy – as you like.
In the winter months, a treadmill is also a great option for those days that the weather puts you off heading out for a run, plus, with a tread set up in the spare room, you'll save time faffing around looking for layers and get straight into the workout.
But what should you look for in a treadmill and how do you find the best one for you?
What to look for in a treadmill
Size: Unless you're lucky enough to have a home gym or a spare room where you can leave the treadmill permanently unfolded, the chances are, you'll need a tread that can be folded away when you're not using it. Some of the options on this list are small enough to fit under the sofa, or bed, when you're not using them.
Top speed: Sure, you're probably not running as fast at Mo Farah, but you don't want to find yourself frustrated by the top speed of the treadmill, unable to run to your full potential. We've rounded up the top speeds for each treadmill on our list to help you make the right decision.
Cost: If you've been browsing for a while, you'll know that the affordable treadmills are often out of stock. That said, don't let the larger price tag put you off! A treadmill is an investment and many brands allow you to split the payments over a year - think of it like paying for a gym membership.
The best treadmills on the market 2021:
To save you scrolling, we’ve picked the best treadmill deals on the internet:
1. NordicTrack S20i
Best for: Runners looking for a treadmill cheaper than their gym membership
NordicTrack are currently offering runners the chance to pay for this treadmill over 48 months, making it us £20.06 a month, including a year of the brand's iFit membership, giving you access to on-demand training sessions. The tread has a foldable deck, a top incline of 10% and a top speed of 18 km/h, which works out to be a 5.22-minute mile pace, making it suitable for most runners.
2. Domyos Treadmill Incline Run
Bestselling treadmill on decathlon
Combining a wide running surface with a high incline, this is a good option for runners who love hill training or want to add hill hiking to their cross-training regime. With a 18km/h top speed (5.22 min/mile pace) and a top incline of 20%, this should suit a lot of runners, plus there are 30 programmes to give you a challenge.
3. ECHELON Auto-Folding Smart Treadmill
Best for: People looking for a treadmill that's super-easy to fold away
This treadmill is super-easy to move around the home and fold up or down with ease. Once the console and handlebars are in position, you can step back and let the treadmill unfold itself. The tread has a top speed of 12mph, which is around a 5.00 min/mile pace and a top incline of 10%, so should be suitable for most runners.
4. Opti Non-Motorised Folding Treadmill
Best for: Runners who don’t want to spend more than £100
A super-affordable option, this isn’t like the treadmill you’d be used to in the gym – it’s non-motorised, meaning you need to start running or walking to make the belt move. There’s only one level of incline, and it’s set to six per cent, so you’ll feel like you’re running uphill. The treadmill folds flat for easy storage. It’s probably not the best for your long run, but it’s an affordable option.
5. NordicTrack S45i
Best for: Those who want to split the cost
With this NordicTrack, you can split the cost over 48 months, meaning you're only paying £35 a month. There's an interactive screen, so you can join running workouts with some top running coaches, plus, the treadmill has a top speed of 22km/h, which is pretty rapid. The treadmill can also be folded away when you're not using it.
6. CitySports Folding Motorised Treadmill
Best for: Runners looking for an affordable option on Amazon
This is Amazon’s bestselling treadmill right now, and for a reason; it’s affordable, it folds down super-small and it has a holder for your iPad, allowing you to tap into different training programmes, such as Swift or Apple Fit. It has a top speed of 6km/h, so it won't be suitable for all runners, but if you're a beginner, or planning to walk indoors, it's a solid option.
7. DOMYOS T540C Treadmill
Best for: Runners looking for a gym experience for less than £500
One of Decathlon’s bestselling treadmills, this is designed to be comfortable, compact and versatile. It’s got all the extras you might be used to – speakers, a jack to plug in your tech, a tablet holder and two smart pockets. The backlit screen gives you a range of stats: time, distance, speed, average speed, calories burnt, bpm and a snapshot of your current run. The treadmill has a top speed of 16km/h, which is a 6:02min/mile pace. It folds away for easy storage.
8. Opti Folding Treadmill
Best for: Runners looking to click and collect from Argos today
Another affordable option that is popular with runners (Argos gives you the option to split your payments over several months), this has three levels of incline and a maximum speed of 12km/h (an 8:03min/mile pace). The running surface is pretty narrow, but the treadmill folds away small for easy storage, which is handy.
9. Matrix Fitness Commercial T1X Treadmill
Best for: Runners looking for all the bells and whistles
If you want the full treadmill experience from your living room, this is the one to buy. The cushioned running surface offers some comfort as you clock up the miles, and there is an adjustable incline of up to 15 per cent. The max speed is a rapid 20km/h, which works out to be around a 4.48min/mile pace.
10. Life Fitness F1 Smart Folding Treadmill
Best for: Runners who will need to move the treadmill from room to room
If you’re looking for a treadmill that’s going to be easy to transport, this Life Fitness tread is a bestseller on John Lewis, thanks, in part, to its handy transport wheels and soft-drop folding mechanism for easy storage. There are multiple incline modes and training programmes to play with, as well as a display console that gives you all the basics, and there’s a built-in fan to keep you cool. The treadmill has a max speed of 16.1km/h, which is around a 6.00min/mile pace.
11. NordicTrack Commercial 1750
Best for: Runners looking for a gym-quality experience, at home
This NordicTrack treadmill has all the bells and whistles you need for a gym-quality run from the comfort of your living room. There's a 10-inch interactive touchscreen, to allow you to join on-demand workouts whenever you want. There's also an adjustable incline, and a top speed of 22km/h, which is faster than a 4:33min/mile pace. NordicTrack gives you the option to pay monthly.
12. Life Fitness T5 Treadmill
Best for: Those who aren't too bothered about folding the treadmill
If you're not worried about folding the treadmill away, or moving it from room to room, this Life Fitness T5 treadmill is a good option. It's easy to assemble, you can set up two user profiles, to make jumping on simpler if you are sharing with another runner with different training needs, and there's a handy energy-saving mode for when you're not using it. There's a top speed of 12mph, which is about a 4:59min/mile pace.
13. Proform Performance 375i
Best for: Runners who don't want to spend more than £60 per month
Another option if you're looking for an affordable way to pay for your treadmill, this Proform tread can be paid for over 24 months, costing just £58 a month. The treadmill comes with an iFit membership, allowing you to join interactive classes from your living room to keep your training interesting. The treadmill has a top speed of 16 km/h, which works out at about a 6:02 min/mile pace.
14. NordicTrack Commercial 2450
Best for: Runners who want to work on their uphill technique
If you're looking for a gym-quality treadmill and have the space, this is a great option. Like the other Nordic Track treadmills on our list, you can split the cost over several months and it has a top speed of 22km/h, which should be fast enough to suit even the speediest of runners. It's also got a top incline setting of 15 per cent, which is impressive.
15. HOMCOM Electric Treadmill
Best for: Runners who want a treadmill they can store behind the sofa
One of the most impressive features on this treadmill is how compactly it folds away – great for runners who are short on space. The treadmill has everything you need for a comfortable run, plus it comes fully assembled, meaning you'll be up and running in no time. It's got a top speed of 10 km/h, which is around a 9.40 min/mile pace.
16. Proform 375i
Best for: Taller runners looking for a longer deck
This Proform treadmill can be ordered now for delivery at the end of March. It's got a roomy deck, making it good for taller runners. There's a maximum incline of 10 per cent and a maximum speed of 16 km/h, which is a 6:00min/mile pace. There's also the option to pay over the next year, making the cost £58.25 per month.
17. Viavito Ultrarun Treadmill
Best for: Speedier runners looking for a treadmill in the next 3 weeks
This treadmill has a rapid top speed of 16km/h, which is a 6:02min/mile pace. As well as everything you'd expect from a treadmill (programmed workouts, a varied incline, and easy assembly and folding), it's already 90% pre-assembled in the box, so you won't have to spend hours assembling it.
18. JTX Pro Professional
Best for: Runners who use Zwift
If you're someone who dreads the treadmill and needs every distraction possible to get through the session, this is a good option. It's compatible with Zwift and Run Social and has a ledge to allow you to rest your phone or iPad. It has a top speed of 22 km/h, which is faster than a 4:33 minute mile pace, so should be suitable for all runners. The best part? It's currently on sale.
19. JTX Sprint-3 Electric Treadmill
Best for: Runners looking for an affordable option
This JTX treadmill has 40 different in-built programmes for runners, a free tablet holder to allow you to log-in to virtual training programmes and a top speed of 16 km/h, which is a 6:00min/mile pace.
20. JTX Sprint-5 Electric Treadmill
Best for: Runners who love a sale
This JTX treadmill has been reduced from £999 to £859! It's got all the features you'd expect - pre-programmed workouts and an easy-to-read display, as well as a top speed of 18 km/h, which works out to be a 5:22min/mile pace.
21. JTX Sprint-9 Folding Gym Treadmill
Best for: Runners looking for gym-quality
If you can afford it and you've got the space, this folding gym treadmill is a great piece of kit. It's got a maximum incline of 15% and a top speed of 20 km/h, which is a 4:50 minute mile pace. It's also currently in the sale!
22. Decathlon Compact Treadmill Run 100
Best for: Runners looking for a compact treadmill under £500
This Decathlon treadmill has a wide running surface, but still folds away compactly for easy storage. It has a top speed of 14 km/h, which is a 6:54 minute mile pace. It's been out of stock for months, so grab it while you can!
23. NordicTrack T 7.0
Best for: Runners with amazon prime
If you're looking for a treadmill that will be dispatched within the week, this NordicTrack one is currently in stock on Amazon. It's got a top speed of 20 km/h, which is a 4:50 minute mile pace and a top incline of 10%. It also comes with a year's free iFit individual membership, which allows you to join all the live training sessions and access the library of recorded sessions.
Running on a treadmill – the tools to help
Of course, the treadmill doesn't really compare to miles outside, but if you are taking your training indoors, there's a few tools that can help.
Treadmill pace converter chart – if you're used to running in miles per hour, it might take a bit of getting used to converting your session into kilometres. A pace- conversion chart can be a handy tool to screenshot.
Avoiding injury on the treadmill – Running on a moving belt, especially if it's too fast for your fitness level, can affect your stride. Indeed, experts see specific injury patterns in those who use the machine as their main training ground. Have a read of their advice to avoid injury when logging your miles indoors.
Building a workout – One of the main reasons many runners dread indoor sessions is boredom. If logging your long run while staring at the clock is enough to put you off forever, why not try one of our treadmill workouts?
Connecting with others – If you're used to running with friends or with a club, solo miles on the treadmill can be lonely. One app trying to address this is Zwift. If your treadmill isn't compatible, you can buy a NPE Runn – a treadmill sensor you can add to almost any treadmill that transmits the belt’s speed in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). If you don't want to buy the sensor, you can use the runpod and the app and still feel like you're running with your crew.
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