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A treadmill is not the most budget friendly piece of equipment in a home gym. Because it is a complicated machine with lots of moving parts, it is hard to find a quality one that costs less than $500. Many in this range are light and therefore a bit noisy, less durable and can’t handle the weight of very heavy people. The motors are also weaker and you probably won’t find anything rated more than 2.5 chp. However, you can find the best treadmill under $500 but more than $300 if you’re of moderate weight and are willing to stick to a simple machine with just a few features.
The low continuous horse power rating on these super affordable treadmills restricts you to only walking and maybe light jogging on certain models, as the maximum speed you can go up to will be around 7 mph. Even the best treadmill under 500 dollars will have a tread belt that’s quite narrow and short, making jogging less comfortable. Tall people will certainly have to raise their budget for running indoors. Extras like a water bottle holder, magazine or tablet holder, cooling fan and heart rate monitoring are rarely present. In-built programs are few and incline levels are usually manually if they are present.
What is good about treadmills under $500 is that most a light and quite compact, making them a great choice for small spaces and apartments. Most are also foldable and can be either stored under a bed or placed in a corner when not in use.
Of course, while we don’t recommend going below $500, there are a select few treadmills costing less than $300 that are also OK to buy, provided you are OK with a very poor included warranty.
Table of Contents
- 1 Compare the Best Incline Treadmills for Home Use
- 2 Best Treadmill for Walking and Light Jogging
- 3 Best Treadmill for Walking Only
Compare the Best Incline Treadmills for Home Use
|Product||Rating (out of 5)||Decline & Incline settings||Speed Low-High||No. of programs||Tread belt size||Footprint||Max. User Capacity||Price|
|Weslo Cadence G 5.9||3.9||2 settings||0-10 mph||6||16" x 50"||64"L x 24"W x 55"H||275 lbs||$$|
|Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603||4.2||3 settings||0-9 mph||9||16" x 49"||62"L x 27"W x 47"H||220 lbs||$$|
|Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7635||3.9||3 settings||0.6-9.5 mph||12||17.3'' x 51''||66.5"L x 29"W x 50"H||265 lbs||$$$$|
|ProForm 6.0 RT||3.3||0-10%||0-10 mph||8||16" x 50"||65"L x 29"W x 55"H||300 lbs||$$$|
ProGear HCXL 4000
|4.0||2 settings||0-4 mph||none||20" x 40"||51.2"L x 32"W x 63"H||400 lbs||$$$|
Best Treadmill for Walking and Light Jogging
Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill comes in at just under $500, although
current retail prices list it for less. It features a number of bells and whistles generally not found on electric treadmills under 500 dollars. The Cadence G 5.9 offers 6 different workouts designed specifically by Certified Personal Trainers that automatically adjust the speed of the treadmill. Unlike many budget treadmills, the Cadence G 5.9 also offers a 2-position manual incline that can be easily changed before your workout. In fact, we have chosen it as one of the best budget treadmills that comes with incline.
The treadmill deck features cushioning, which absorbs the impact of each step and puts significantly less stress and strain on joints and ligaments. A pulse heart rate monitor gives you a reading by having you simply place your thumb on the sensor built right into the console. A blue-tinted LCD display tracks your speed, time, distance and calories burned. The base of the unit folds up to save space when not in use. The Cadence G 5.9 does not have any type of safety key or emergency stop mechanism, however, so be sure and factor that into your consideration.
This treadmill is excellent value for the money, is easy to assemble and easy to use, but like many less expensive treadmills, does not necessarily hold up with heavy use over time. It only comes with a 90 day limited warranty, but a longer and more extensive service plan option is available that comes in the box. One year of service is offered at $59.99, 2 years for $79.99 and 3 years for $99.99.
Weighing in at 120 lbs., the frame is sturdy and stable, allowing for a max weight limit of 275 lbs. The 2 HP motor allows for a max speed of 10 mph, making it one of the best inexpensive treadmills for walking and maybe light jogging for people of moderate height and weight. It also offers a decent belt size available on a treadmill in this bracket, coming in at a generous 16″ wide and 50″ long.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Electric Treadmill
Here is another inexpensive treadmill that comes with manual incline, 3 settings in this case. The SF-T7603 treadmill designed by Sunny Health and Fitness is not as long as some conventional treadmills and misses a few of the common features and workout options. However, it is designed to be compact, easy to setup, and with all features necessary to deliver a decent jogging or walking workout.
The SF-T7603 comes packed with 9 workout programs designed to accommodate a wide range of trainees. At only 103 pounds and 62 inches long, this treadmill is light enough to be moved anywhere. Better yet, it comes with a folding system for easy storage. Its soft hydraulic system allows you to easily unfold it the next time you need to use it.
Seeing that the treadmill comes pre-assembled, it is easy enough for first-time users to get started. Even better, all tools needed for assembly are included in the package. On setting it up, you can choose from one of the 9 workout plans, each designed to help you stretch to an advanced level in your workout. To adjust the intensity of your routine, the machine comes with three levels of incline – these adjust the angle of the SF-T7603’s running track.
The SF-T7603 features handgrip pulse sensors that record and keep pulse rate stats to design bespoke workout programs. Besides this great feature, there are handrail controls that can be used to adjust speeds or start or stop the motor. All activity can be seen on an LCD screen. This console shows time, distance, calories, pulse rate and speed. Plus, the treadmill runs quietly.
Even with all the great features, if you are more than 220 pounds, this treadmill is not for you. Another drawback is that the incline is adjusted manually and the running track is only 16 inches wide and 49 inches long.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7635 Treadmill with Incline, Pulse Grips, LCD Display
The SF-T7635 is a budget treadmill that has been designed to offer a smooth workout. The machine comes with enough workout area at 51 inches long and 17.3 inches wide. However, the treadmill can only take individuals who are 255 pounds or less.
For a thorough workout, the SF-T7635 comes with a speed range of 0.6 to 9.5 MPH with quick access buttons to store 5 speeds selections. To enable you to monitor your workouts, the treadmill features a pulse monitor which monitors heart rate using integrated grip sensors.
There is a sizeable backlit LCD screen that comes fitted with 12 interval workout plans and a matrix screen that displays a track showing how many laps you have covered. The console also displays stats such as speed, distance, time, pulse rate and calories. When done with the workout, you will find it a cinch to fold the treadmill. It comes with a soft-drop mechanism, which ensures safety and also makes unfolding the machine easy.
Though the treadmill comes with three incline levels, the user has to step down and adjust them manually. Nonetheless, it offers good value for money and gives one a relaxed workout with minimal noise.
ProForm 6.0 RT Treadmill
The Proform 6.0 RT is a low budget treadmill that has been designed to accommodate up to 300 pounds and comes with some features not usually present in other models of this price. All action takes place on its 50 inches long and 16 inches wide running track. This wide belt is able to move at a top speed of 10 mph with ten levels of speed adjustability. The speed and weight capacity are supported by the 2.0 horsepower and high torque motor. This motor produces minimal noise.
ProForm 6.0 RT is easy to learn and use. Plus, it gives you the option of managing your workouts thanks to the large LCD that shows you the distance covered, time taken, calories lost and speed used. It also features a handgrip pulse monitor – measures pulse rate from the handles – which lets you control how much you work out. The machine comes fitted with 8 workout programs for trainees who need to escalate workout levels.
TreadSoft cushioning, a feature which protects the user’s joints, is a feature unique with ProForm treadmills. You can adjust track incline by the touch of a button even during a rigorous workout. The incline adjusts in ten levels. Another feature that gives this treadmill an edge is the inbuilt sound system that supports an iPod.
The treadmill is easily foldable and easy to move, thanks to its transport wheels. Not only that, but it is also easy to assemble; all a user needs is to connect the computer, and the machine is good to go. However, the deck is a tad short for people taller than 6 feet 3. Again, the frame has not been strengthened for a rigorous workout but because it is so feature-rich, it is the best treadmill for running Under $500.
Best Treadmill for Walking Only
TF1000 Ultra High Capacity Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill
The Exerpeutic TF1000 is a high capacity (accommodating up to 400 pounds), walk to fitness treadmill. You walk, not run, and technically, you can jog at a top speed of 4 miles per hour, although many users would not recommend it as the tread belt is quite short. Plus, this treadmill runs on a 1.5 horse power motor able to produce a quiet drive allowing you to listen to music or TV while exercising. You can adjust the speed in 0.1 mph increments at the touch of a button. With all these taken into consideration, this is the best treadmill for walking at home.
Given its high capacity, the TF1000 comes with a 40 inches long and 20 inches wide walking track. Safety handles are 18 inches long, which is twice as long as handles of conventional treadmills. These handles feature pulse rate sensors that monitor the pulse rate to enable you to manage your work out. Motor on/off and speed control buttons are also fitted on the handles making it easier to adjust workouts.
Assembling this treadmill calls for connection of the computer and it’s ready to run. It is easy to fold and easy to unfold. Even better, it can be wheeled around. Its LCD console displays time, distance, pulse rate, calories burned and speed. One problem, though, this treadmill is poorly cushioned. Nonetheless, given that it is a walking treadmill, that should not be a concern.
The frame of this treadmill has been reinforced to accommodate higher weights. It also features a 2-position manual incline level – at 3 percent and at 6 percent. You will enjoy 6 low and high-intensity preset workout programs. Each of which has been designed to enhance your cardiovascular fitness. The TF1000 offers good value for money.
The ProGear HCXL 4000 is another walking treadmill that’s exactly the same as the Exerpeutic, but sometimes one is priced a bit lower than the other. Click here for the Exerpeutic TF1000 or the ProGear HCXL 4000.