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The Best Treadmills

Where Can You Find the Best Treadmills?

With so many people dropping their gym memberships and turning to home fitness, it's no surprise that these popular cardio machines have seen a dramatic rise in popularity. You may have even tried to shop for one, only to find that they're out of stock - indefinitely! Fortunately, there are several online retailers that have managed to keep up with demand on all types of treadmills, from budget models with the most basic features to the high-tech equipment with all the bells and whistles.

If you're buying a treadmill for the first time, you might feel a little lost as to what to look for. Your first consideration might be your budget, so keep in mind that you can get decent, entry-level treadmills for under $750. If money is no object, decide which features matter the most to you. For example, do you want the biggest variety of workouts? In that case, look for treadmills that have a wide range of incline settings: most machines with an incline will give you up to 15%, but some go as high as 40%!

Friday, September 17th

2021 Treadmill Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Xterra Review 5 Star Rating

Xterra

5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $499.99 to $1,999.99
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

You may not have heard of Xterra, but they're the first brand you should consider when shopping for a good all-around treadmill. At this retailer, you'll find a great selection of approximately 10 different models to choose from, with plenty of extras if you want them - or just a simple get-it-done machine for under $500.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding
  • Price Range: $499.99 to $1,999.99
  • Different Models: 10
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: No, but some models compatible with third-party training apps/classes via Bluetooth
  • Incline Range: 3, 10, 12, or 15 levels, depending on the model
  • Speed Range: Up to 10 or 12 mph, depending on the model
  • Return Policy: 30 days, buyer pays return shipping costs and 10% restocking fee
  • Warranty: Lifetime on the frame; 1 year to lifetime on the motor, 90 days to 5 years on deck, parts, and in-home labor; all warranties vary by model
  • Shipping: Free

Compact, Sport, or Performance?

There are three series to choose from at this store: Compact, Sport, and Performance. You'll probably have a hard time telling them apart by their names, like the TR300 vs. the TR6.4 in the Sport Series, so don't be afraid to click around among the various machines to keep them straight!

Treadmill for under $500

Since there are too many to describe in individual detail in this review, let's consider Xterra's most and least expensive treadmills, the TR 150 in the Compact Series for $499.99 and the TRX 5500 in the Performance Series for $1999.99. As you might expect for the lowest-priced treadmill, you get a bare bones machine: a speed range from 0.5-10 mph, 3 levels of manual incline, a 2.25 HP motor, and zero high-tech features. This treadmill also has a maximum user weight capacity of 250 pounds, so keep that in mind based on the users you expect to be using it. But still, it is possible to get a treadmill for under $500 if you're on a really tight budget. Just keep your expectations within reason; customers on the Xterra site gave this low-end treadmill an average rating of just 3.4 stars, after all.

Higher price = worth it

At the opposite end of the spectrum you'll find Xterra's newest addition to their line of treadmills, the TRX 5500. Everything that the TR 150 isn't, this machine is. Features include a 3.25 HP motor, speeds up to 12 mph and 15 levels of incline, a user weight capacity up to 350 pounds, and Bluetooth connectivity that lets you use your favorite apps and even mirror them to your treadmill's display screen. Because this model is so new, there weren't as many customer reviews - but the ones we found universally gave it 5/5 stars. You'll pay just under $2,000 for this treadmill

Best Treadmills

Buy directly from Xterra for best results

You may be tempted to buy your Xterra treadmill from a third-party retailer online, but don't! You could get a model that is outdated and lacks some of the most current features available. For example, we found very current reviews on the website of a Very Popular Online Store for the 4500 model that complained about it not having Bluetooth capabilities - but the Xterra site says that all models of the 3500, 4500 and 5500 made after 11/1/19 have Bluetooth FTMS 4.0.

Can connect with popular fitness apps

You're going to want that Bluetooth connectivity, because it lets you connect to your favorite third-party fitness apps (even the Really Famous Brand that has its own treadmills and bikes with live workouts"*wink*).

Keep an eye on the brand family

One small detail we think is worth mentioning: Xterra is owned by parent company Dyaco. Why does that matter? Dyaco is also partnered with SOLE Fitness. We thought it was interesting that SOLE is listed as a partner, while Xterra is described as being owned by Dyaco - and hopefully that keeps the brands (and their reputations!) separate. After all, SOLE Fitness has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. That's not necessarily a red flag, especially with the hundreds, if not thousands, of independently-verified reviews from satisfied customers we found around the internet. But, it is something we encourage prospective customers of Xterra to keep in mind.

Good warranty coverage

When it comes to customer service, everything we found gave the impression that Xterra is doing a good job. They offer free shipping on all of their treadmills, and while their return policy isn't the most generous among the retailers we evaluated (30 days, and the buyer pays return shipping costs and a 10% restocking fee), it's still very reasonable. With respect to warranty coverage too, Xterra is competitive: as you might expect, the lower-end treadmills come with less protection, while the highest-end models have warranties that rival the coverage you'll find on machines that cost five times as much.

Best all-around retailer of treadmills

A treadmill is a big purchase: you're making a commitment to your health and fitness, and you need a piece of equipment that you can rely on (or, at the very least, afford!). Xterra genuinely has something for everyone, and all of their treadmills are priced under $2,000. With the exception of top-notch athletes who might need a machine with a wider range of inclines or fitness devotees who insist on having the same treadmill brand they've used at their local gym, most people will find something they'll love here. Xterra earns our first-place ranking among online retailers of treadmills.

Proform Review 4.5 Star Rating

Proform

4.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $699 to $1,799

ProForm is one of two companies in our review that are part of the Icon Health and Fitness brand family, along with NordicTrack. Both retailers offer similar treadmill features, but ProForm tends to have options on the lower end of the price spectrum than its sister brand. Across its various sub-companies, Icon has been in business for over 40 years and maintains an "A+" rating from the BBB.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding
  • Price Range: $699 to $1,799
  • Different Models: 5
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: Yes, through iFit membership
  • Incline Range: Up to 12 levels, two models have 3 decline levels also
  • Speed Range: Up to 8, 10 or 12 mph, depending on the model
  • Return Policy: 30 days, return shipping charge of $250
  • Warranty: 10 years on the frame, 1-2 years parts/labor depending on the model
  • Shipping: Free

A treadmill that fits under the bed!

There are three series of treadmills offered by ProForm: City, Carbon, and Pro. There's only one model in the first category, the City L6. This is your most basic model, and quite honestly it's not going to offer many things that you'll be excited about. It only goes up to 8 mph and has no inclines at all. It also only has a weight capacity of 250 lb., so keep that in mind when you think of who might be using your treadmill. With a price tag of just $699, are you really surprised that this machine doesn't have every imaginable feature? And yet, just like all ProForm treadmills, it still comes with a complimentary one-year membership to the iFit platform, and live trainer controls can match your treadmill's speed to the workout you're following. That's actually pretty high-tech for an entry-level treadmill! The City also folds up and has roll wheels, so theoretically you could store it under a bed or other piece of furniture with high clearance. (Suddenly, this treadmill has started to sound more appealing!)

Free treadmill - with 3-year iFit subscription

The Carbon Series includes the T7 and T10, priced at $999 and $1,403, respectively. The 7 and the 10 refer to the size of each treadmill's touchscreen, in inches; another difference between the two is the available incline settings (10% for the T7, 12% for the T10). One interesting twist offered with the T10: if you pay for a 3-year iFit Family membership at $39/month for 36 months, you'll get the treadmill "for free" (and yes, $39 x 36 = that $1,403 amount we mentioned earlier). That is, of course, if you qualify for iFit's financing offer through TD Bank.

Best Treadmills

Higher-end models, greater incline range

With the Pro Series, the 2000 and the 9000, your incline capabilities go from -3% to 12%, and the 9000 has ProForm's largest touchscreen at 22" . With price tags of $1,499 and $1,799, you might be impressed with how much more you get with the two highest-end treadmills. They're not as space-saving as the City model, but they do include EasyLift Assist so you can fold the deck up and off the floor when the treadmill isn't in use.

Terrific reputation

ProForm has a great reputation for high-quality fitness machines that won't make you break the bank to buy them. Not only does the company have that impressive "A+" rating from the BBB, but it also gets lots of positive buzz from satisfied customers. Reading through the comments on the treadmill pages, it was easy to spot plenty of love for these fitness machines.

Free shipping on all treadmills

Are you wondering how ProForm managed to sneak out in front of its sister brand, NordicTrack, with a slightly higher rating? We'll tell you: all ProForm treadmills come with free shipping, and they were all in stock at the time of this evaluation. Plus, with pricing that's slightly more affordable, ProForm equipment might be in reach for a bigger number of customers.

Fantastic, affordable choice for treadmills

ProForm is an awesome choice for buying a treadmill. You'll love having access to on-demand and livestreamed workouts - or just being able to use it as you like while you watch your favorite show. ProForm's treadmills are reliable and give you an impressive set of features on almost all of their different models. For all of these reasons, this retailer earns one of our strongest recommendations among companies selling treadmills online.

Nordictrack Review 4 Star Rating

Nordictrack

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $1,099 to $3,799

NordicTrack may be on your radar for its cross-training machines that have been featured on TV ads for decades, but their treadmills have a lot to offer as well. The brand is part of the Icon Health and Fitness group; sister brand ProForm is also featured in our reviews. The parent company enjoys a fantastic "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Non-Folding
  • Price Range: $1,099 to $3,799
  • Different Models: 8
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: Yes, with iFit membership
  • Incline Range: Up to 12% or 40%, depending on the model; some include decline settings
  • Speed Range: Up to 12 mph
  • Return Policy: 30 days plus $250 return shipping charge
  • Warranty: 10 years on the frame; 2 years on the parts; 1 year on labor
  • Shipping: $199

Entry-level treadmill not lacking in features

NordicTrack's base model is the EXP 7i, reasonably priced at $1,099. What will you get at that price point? A tiny 7" touchscreen, for one. (Get your magnifying glass!) But, otherwise, this is a fantastic entry-level treadmill, with inclines from 0-12%, speeds up to 12 mph, a powerful motor that uses NordicTrack's Smart-Response drive system with reduced vibration and self-cooling, and a 300-lb. user weight capacity. Even the warranty is impressive for this "basic" treadmill: 10 years of coverage on the frame, 2 years on parts, and 1 year on labor.

Up to 40% incline available

If you want a treadmill with extreme incline capabilities, NordicTrack is likely going to be high on your list of favorites. (See what we did there?) Two of their models, the Commercial X22i and Commercial X32i, have an incline range from -5% all the way up to a staggering (literally!) 40%. We've used one of these machines at a 40% incline and can say from experience that it's intense - and that you will need to put this treadmill in a room with higher-than-average ceilings!

Best Treadmills

Complimentary 1-year iFit membership

Every NordicTrack incline trainer comes with a complimentary 1-year membership to iFit. Whether you want on-demand workouts or live sessions with personal trainers, you'll get it here. Your trainer can digitally adjust your speed and incline to match the training they're giving you. The iFit platform includes options for strength training, yoga and mindfulness, and many other modalities well beyond running or walking on your treadmill.

Bluetooth capabilities on all machines

And, either in your iFIt session or during your self-directed workout, you can sync your Bluetooth-capable headphones to your treadmill: making it seamless to hear your trainer or your best Spotify playlist.

Many complaints, but all handled well

How about this company's reputation? While Icon has that perfect rating from the BBB, that's a little surprising given that there were over 1200 complaints closed in the 12 months prior to this review! How does a company have that many negative reviews and still come away with a flawless "A+" ? By responding appropriately and consistently to each complaint. That's not easy to do during times of high demand, inventory shortages, and problems with delivery partners across the country (as you'll see if you read some of the other retailers' reviews here), but Icon seems to be handling it well across all of the company's brands.

Glowing reviews on the treadmills

And, there aren't too many complaints about the treadmills themselves. Read through the reviews on the NordicTrack site and elsewhere and you'll find descriptions like "transformative" and "best machine I've ever owned" .

No free shipping here

So, why does NordicTrack get a 4-star rating instead of a 4.5 stars like its sister brand, ProForm? It's the extra $199 you'll have to pay for shipping. (ProForm delivers for free.) If we're really splitting hairs, we'll also mention that one of NordicTrack's 10 treadmill models was out of stock at the time of our most recent visit, while all of ProForm's 5 machines were in stock. That's it!

Trustworthy option for buying treadmills

In every other regard, the two brands come in neck-and-neck. This makes NordicTrack one of our favorite options for buying a new treadmill: a fantastic blend of higher-end features and world-class durability, all priced within reach of most customers.

Horizon Review 3.5 Star Rating

Horizon

3.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $699 to $1,999

Horizon Fitness is a home exercise equipment manufacturer with a great selection of exercise bicycles, treadmills, rowing machines and elliptical machines. This review will focus on their line of home treadmills.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding
  • Price Range: $699 to $1,999
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: No, but some models compatible with third-party training apps/classes
  • Incline Range: Up to 10%, 12%, or 15% incline, depending on the model
  • Speed Range: Up to 10 mph or 12 mph, depending on the model
  • Return Policy: 30 days, minus costs of return shipping and restocking fees
  • Warranty: Lifetime on the frame and motor, 1-5 years on parts, 1-2 years on labor (varies by model)
  • Shipping: Free

3 models priced under $1,000

There are two main treadmill lines to choose from with Horizon: the Go Series, which includes the T101, T202, and T303 models, and the Studio Series with the 7.0 AT, 7.4 AT, and 7.8 AT. (We're not entirely sure why they have those names, but at least they're relatively easy to tell apart!) Within the Go Series, you'll find pricing between $699 and $999, with the main differences among them found in the incline range (10% or 12%), top speed (10mph or 12 mph), and the horsepower of the drive motor (from 2.5 to 3.0 HP). All three of the Go treadmills have Bluetooth speakers and can be used for streaming media, while only the T303 can transmit your heart rate data to certain fitness apps. All three models have a generous lifetime warranty on the frame and motor plus 1 year of coverage on labor costs; the lower two treadmills have a year of coverage on parts, while the T303 ups that to 3 years.

3 treadmills with fast response time

But, if you're looking for one of those ultra-responsive treadmills, look within the Studio Series. Priced at $999, $1,599, and $1,999, these machines use QuickDial controls that let you change the speed and incline quickly, in conjunction with most of today's popular training apps. According to Horizon Fitness, one of those is Zwift Run - and you'll get free interactive workouts through that platform. Again, the primary differences among the three designs are horsepower (3.0, 3.5, and 4.0), running area (20" x60" vs 22" x60" ), and warranty coverage (you'll still get lifetime protection on the frame and motor, 3 or 5 years on parts and 1 or 2 years on in-home labor costs). With either treadmill series, we encourage you to look at the specs comparison on the Horizon Fitness website: it makes it easier to spot the little differences in features that might be specific to what you need.

Best Treadmills

30-day returns, you cover shipping costs

Horizon Fitness offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, allowing you to return your treadmill in like-new condition. You'll get a refund, but the company will deduct the return freight shipping costs and may charge restocking fees of up to 20% if you don't include all of the original packaging for your treadmill. We're not sure how much the return shipping costs are - Horizon doesn't offer that information - but we're guessing it's not cheap.

Troubling alert from the BBB

At the time of our most recent evaluation of Horizon Fitness, we were disappointed to find that there was an alert on the company from the Better Business Bureau - and that the BBB had given the retailer an "F" rating. Horizon's parent company, Johnson Health Tech North America, was notified that the BBB had detected a significant increase in customer complaints that centered around poor product quality (especially due to damages during transit), late or missing deliveries, and lackluster customer service responses to problems. On the positive side, the company responded within a few days and said that they're working hard to fix all of the issues and expected to have the backlog 100% addressed within 90 days. If you've fallen in love with a Horizon Fitness treadmill, we suggest touching base with the BBB listing for the company first, to hopefully see that their reputation there has improved.

Still has potential to be a good treadmill retailer

In fact, that's the reason why Horizon Fitness still earns a reasonably good rating from us: we're hopeful that this company that has been in business for nearly half a century was simply overwhelmed by the huge increase in demand in the year leading up to this review, and that it'll just take some time for them to regain their footing (pun intended). Generally speaking, their treadmills have been reliable in the past, both for durability and integration of technology - and we have reason to believe they're still worth considering when buying a treadmill.

Bowflex Review 3 Star Rating

Bowflex

3 Star Rating
  • Cost: $1,999 to $2,699

You probably think of strength training when Bowflex is mentioned, but did you know they offer other home fitness equipment too? While their treadmill selection is limited to just two models, they offer some features you might not find with other machines (like inclines up to 20% or a two-month complimentary membership to the JRNY app).

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style:
  • Price Range: $1,999 to $2,699
  • Different Models: 2
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: Yes, with complimentary JRNY membership or via Bluetooth connection to third-party apps
  • Incline Range: -5 to 15% or 20%, depending on the model
  • Speed Range: Up to 12 mph
  • Return Policy: 6 weeks, minus all shipping and handling costs
  • Warranty: 15 years on the frame/drive, 5 years on the motor, 1 year on parts/electronics, 2 years on labor
  • Shipping: $99

Only two treadmill models

The lower-priced model of Bowflex treadmills is the 10. Priced at $1,999, it's still more expensive than some machines you might find with rival retailers (but hey, it comes with a free mat!) and it's rated as an average of 4.6/5 stars by over 50 customers on the Bowflex site. The 22, on the other hand, had just 10 customer reviews (averaging 4 out of 5 stars) at the time of our most recent visit, and it was priced at $2,699. The only differences between the two treadmills are the screen size (indicated by the number in the machines' names) and the incline capability: the 10 only goes up to 15%, while the 20 goes up to 20% and has extended handlebars for convenience and safety while climbing those higher inclines.

Attractive features come standard

Beyond that, both Bowflex treadmills have the exact same features. You'll get Bluetooth connectivity, adaptive workouts and coaching with a complimentary 2-month JRNY membership, the ability to stream shows from your favorite entertainment apps through the touchscreen, heart rate tracking, Bluetooth-enabled speakers, and available decline settings down to -5%. The warranty protection is also the same: 15 years on the frame/drive, 5 years on the motor, 1 year on parts/electronics, 2 years on labor.

Best Treadmills

Read user reviews first

We encourage you to look through all of the customer reviews on both treadmills, as well as the Q&As, to get a more in-depth look at the overall user experience with each machine. There are definitely some quirky things with the interface, especially with the 22, that you'll want to be aware of before you choose a treadmill.

Shipping fees and return policy are just average

Bowflex is about average when it comes to their return policy and shipping fees. You'll pay $99 to have your treadmill delivered - which isn't terrible, all things considered, but some of their rivals offer it for free. You'll have 6 weeks to return your treadmill if it doesn't live up to your expectations, but understand that your shipping costs both ways will not be included in your refund.

Reputation is nothing to worry about

Reputation-wise, Bowflex comes in average as well. Their BBB listing is included under their parent company, Nautilus Inc., which had a decent "A-" rating when we checked most recently. There were a few hundred complaints registered there, but it was easy to see that Nautilus representatives have done a more than adequate job of responding to each of them in a professional and efficient way.

Not bad but not great either

At the end of the day, Bowflex treadmills are good but not great. You won't have as many options to choose from as some of their rivals: no under $1,000 models for the budget-conscious, and no super-high-tech designs for the money-is-no-object folks either. We think you'll be satisfied overall if you buy a Bowflex treadmill, but we recommend shopping around with some of the higher-ranked stores in our review before making your final decision.

Peloton Review 3 Star Rating

Peloton

3 Star Rating
  • Cost: $2,495 to $4,295

We all know that Peloton has become the hottest name in the home workout business, mostly because of their world-famous livestream fitness classes. Originally formatted for indoor cycling, Peloton expanded their offerings to include treadmills. Are they worth the hype? Read on and decide for yourself!

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Non-Folding
  • Price Range: $2,495 to $4,295
  • Different Models: 2
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: Yes, for an extra membership fee
  • Incline Range: 0 to 12.5% or 15%, depending on the model
  • Speed Range: 0 to 12.5 mph
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: 3 years on the frame/motor/belt, 1 year on touchscreen and other components
  • Shipping: Free

Tread or Tread+

Peloton only offers two treadmills: the Tread+ and the Tread (first available in May 2021 ). What's the difference between the two? In a word, size. The Tread+ has a bigger space footprint, 72.5" long and 36.5" wide, compared with the Tread's 68" x33" dimensions. That also translates into more running space: 67" vs. 59" . That size difference applies to the HD touchscreen too, with a grand 32" display on the Tread+ and a more diminutive 23.8" screen on the Tread. Both machines are capable of speeds up to 12.5 mph, but the Tread+ raises the incline ante from the Tread's 12.5% all the way up to 15%.

Biggest differences: belt type and price

Two other big differences between the models are the belt style and the price. The Tread utilizes a traditional running belt, while the Tread+ has a shock-absorbing slat belt. And, as you would expect, all of those differences add up to a higher price tag: Tread's price at release comes in at $2,495, while the Tread+ is just under twice that much at $4,295. We're glad that Peloton added in a more affordable treadmill, making their platform accessible to a broader customer base.

Peloton treadmills have specific user requirements

It was interesting to see that Peloton has height, weight and user age requirements (and yes, they word it as "requirements' and not "recommendations" ). They specify a height range of 4'11'' to 6'4" , a weight range of 105-300 pounds, and a minimum age of 16 to use their treadmills. Because Peloton Tread and Tread+ have inclines, you'll also need to make sure you've got a ceiling height of at least 20" greater than each user's height. (Sorry, tall people!)

Best Treadmills

Novel feature on the Tread+ belt

Another feature we discovered that is only available on the Tread+ (and that we never saw with another treadmill from any other manufacturer) is what Peloton calls "free mode" . You can eliminate the power drive on the belt and push it around on your own, activating a very different set of muscles from your typical walk/jog/run on the tread.

Free trial of Peloton's Digital Membership

Curious about Peloton workouts? You might be able to try them for free! When we visited the site most recently, we got a pop-up offering a 30-day trial for new users of the Peloton app. If you have access to other fitness equipment (at a gym or your friend's house, maybe?), you could easily try several types of workout sessions and see if the live coaching and on-demand classes are what you have in mind.

Two membership options for classes/training

If you choose a Peloton membership, pricing depends on whether you also have a Peloton treadmill or bike. You can use the Digital Membership - the one that comes with your free trial - but it's not compatible with Peloton equipment. In other words, if you want the Peloton workout experience without the hefty cost of the machine, you can get many of their features through the app and use them somewhere else. This plan was priced at $12.99/month at the time of this review. On the other hand, the All-Access Membership, for $39/month, gives you and everyone else in your household individual access to all classes, performance metrics, leaderboards, and workout recommendations. Unlike many treadmills with livestream class functionality, Peloton's machines don't come with any complimentary membership (other than the free trial of the Digital plan).

Hassle-free, 30-day return policy

Peloton comes with a pretty impressive satisfaction policy. You can try your treadmill for 30 days, and it comes with professional set-up. If you give it a month and don't like it, Peloton reps will pick up the machine and refund your order, no questions asked. That's a huge advantage over many of their rivals, who charge hefty return shipping fees - or who won't let you return their treadmills for any reason!

Lackluster warranty protection

However, this company's warranty coverage is much less competitive. You'll get a 12-month limited warranty on the treadmill's touchscreen and most parts, and a 3-year warranty on the frame, motor and belt. Treadmills can take a beating over the years, so it's disappointing that Peloton does offer longer coverage on such an expensive piece of equipment.

Too many customer complaints

So, why does Peloton get a middle-of-the-road 3-star rating? Customer feedback. We found nearly 2000 complaints registered against the company in the last 12 months alone - enough that the BBB flagged Peloton with an alert. Many of the problems revolve around delivery delays: shoppers purchase a Peloton machine and start making monthly payments (when bought through financing), including their $39/month All-Access Membership, but their 6- to 8-week delivery window comes and goes with no sign of delivery.

Poor service on warranty issues

And, on the warranty side, we found more than a few complaints describing difficulties in reaching Peloton's customer service team for issues with malfunctioning equipment - and a lukewarm response when they finally got a hold of someone. Picture this: you get a treadmill delivered in January that doesn't work, right out of the box...and the earliest window Peloton gives you to pick it up for warranty replacement is mid-May! And no refund until they get it back!

Doesn't live up to expectations

Peloton treadmills have some interesting features, and their livestream workout capabilities have set the standard for the entire fitness industry. But, can you get a treadmill for less money, with similar features and the ability to get a comparable workout? Absolutely. In our opinion, Peloton's Tread and Tread+ fail to live up to the hype, especially when you look at their very limited warranty coverage and spendy monthly membership fees. Shop Peloton if you must, but know that there are other options out there that provide more bang for your buck.

Precor Review 2.5 Star Rating

Precor

2.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $4,899 to $9,999

Precor specializes in fitness equipment for both commercial and home use, over more than 35 years in business. The company has long maintained a strong "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a trusted name in the industry.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Non-Folding
  • Price Range: $4,899 to $9,999
  • Different Models: 4 base models, each with options for upgraded displays
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: No
  • Incline Range: 0% to 15%, some models have decline settings
  • Speed Range: Up to 12 mph or 16 mph, depending on the model
  • Return Policy: None
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame/welds; 10 years on parts and wear items; 3 years on the console; 1 year on labor - home use only (that commercial)
  • Shipping: $199 for delivery and installation

4 base models to choose from

Precor offers four base models of treadmills: the TRM 400, 600, 700 and 800 Lines. You'll find several different model numbers within each line, with the main difference among them being the type of monitor/console you prefer. Prices start at $4,899 for the 400 Line and higher. There's also a 200 series, but they're not available for purchase online; you may see them described in Precor's advertising and spec sheets, but you'd have to track one down locally if you're interested.

Treadmills with speeds up to 16 mph

If you're a skilled runner who plans on doing speed work, Precor might be ideal: they're the only manufacturer we found with speeds of up to 16 mph, where most treadmills only go up to 12 mph. You'll only find that capability, as well as the decline setting of down to 3%, in the 800 series.

Best Treadmills

Very few features, especially with technology

In every other way, however, Precor treadmills are decidedly low-featured. Even on the most expensive machine they offer, the TRM 885 with a 15" LCD Capacitive Touch Screen, the most high-tech feature we spotted was the ability to connect with an Apple Watch. (Tough luck if you have a Fitbit!) There's no livestream workout capabilities: you can't get classes, leaderboards, or anything else through these treadmills, and there's no way to connect third-party apps with the display screen. We're definitely not sure why this machine warrants a sticker price of over $12,000, especially compared with other treadmills on the market.

Serious runners only?

The only big perks we found had to do with the construction of the treadmills themselves. For example, in the 800 Line, Precor features not only their patented Ground Effects Impact Control System (which gives you excellent shock absorption for a low-impact workout) but also Integrated Footplant Technology that adjusts the motor speed automatically for a more fluid running experience. Again, if you're a serious runner, this could be worth considering - but for the average semi-recreational exerciser, such features probably won't entice you to spend over $10,000 on a Precor treadmill.

Zero return policy but great warranty

Another downside is that Precor offers no return policy. You can get your treadmill repaired or replaced if it becomes inoperable during the warranty period, but there's no getting a refund if you change your mind. Fortunately, Precor has solid warranty coverage on every treadmill: lifetime on the frame, 10 years on parts and wear items, and 3 years on the console. That's much more generous than some of their rivals, who only cover you for a year after purchase.

Get more for your money elsewhere

At the end of the day, Precor treadmills are solidly-built and have a reputation for lasting a long time. But, their steep prices with comparably few features keep Precor from earning a better rating. For all but the most dedicated running enthusiasts, Precor treadmills are probably not the best option for the money.

Life Fitness Review 2 Star Rating

Life Fitness

2 Star Rating
  • Cost: $2,749 to $9,449

If you've been to a fitness center, it's likely you've used a LifeFitness treadmill before. In business for nearly 50 years, the company is one of the mainstay names in the cardio equipment industry.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and Non-Folding
  • Price Range: $2,749 to $9,449
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: No
  • Livestream Classes Included: Yes; may incur separate charges
  • Incline Range: Up to 5% or 15%, depending on the model, no models with decline settings
  • Speed Range: 0.5 mph to 10 mph or 12 mph, depending on the model
  • Return Policy: None
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame and shock absorbers; lifetime or 10 years on drive motor; 5 or 10 years on parts; 3 years on console; 1 year on labor; all depending on the model
  • Shipping: Not included, could be as high as $400+

More expensive than most

When it comes to treadmills, LifeFitness is definitely at the more expensive end of the spectrum. Their entry-level machines, the F3 Folding and T3 (non-folding), start at $2,749 - while, with many of LifeFitness' competitors, you'd get the highest-end model available for that price!

Not impressed with the features

It was tough to find certain information about LifeFitness treadmills - and we weren't exactly impressed when we found it. Given how high-end the machines are, we expected top-of-the-line specs. But, on one of the lowest-priced machines, the F3 Folding Treadmill, we had to dig through the PDF of the owner's manual to discover that the highest incline setting is just 5.5%: the "high" setting. For any serious runner or incline walker, 5% is just a warm-up! Even the top-of-the-line Platinum Club Series Treadmill didn't have any decline settings like you'll see with most of LifeFitness' rivals' highest-end machines. (Do most people use decline settings? Probably not, but for a treadmill with a retail price of $9,449, we'd almost expect it to do the workout for us!)

Best Treadmills

LifeFitness on demand - or not

We were also left wondering about LifeFitness On Demand, the brand's livestreaming workout platform. The product info page for the treadmills that are compatible with this feature had an enticing description of this service, with instructors that "teach at some of the top boutique studios in New York and Chicago'' and "on-demand classes at your fingertips, any time you want" . Unfortunately, there was no link provided when the description invited us to learn more, just text that said, "drive to landing page" . (Oops. They said the quiet part out loud") When we tried to find more details on our own, we could only find a site describing the platform for use in commercial settings - like fitness centers and gyms - and nothing about home use. The short version is this: you might be able to get live workouts through your LifeFitness treadmill, but you're not going to have an easy time getting it set up!

Big shipping fees, long wait for delivery

LifeFitness used to include free shipping with your treadmill purchase. However, during our most recent visit, we were disappointed to see that's no longer the case. Entering a sample state on the order page, LifeFitness quoted $399 for delivery and installation. Add that to some of the longest fulfillment timeframes we saw - anywhere from 6-12 weeks on every single treadmill they offer - and it's a no-brainer why LifeFitness isn't one of our highest-recommended retailers in this category.

Zero returns accepted

Want to know what else LifeFitness doesn't offer? A return policy. You can only send your treadmill back if it's defective, damaged in transit, or isn't the machine you ordered. You'd better hope that you love your LifeFitness treadmill, because there's no sending it back if you don't.

No financing available either

And, a third item on the list of "not included" is financing. That's surprising, given that many retailers with far less expensive treadmills offer payment plans - while LifeFitness, which carries some of the costliest models, does not. Maybe they figure if you're considering a treadmill for $10,000+ (once you add in shipping and taxes), you don't need their financing.

Good reputation but not much more

While we're happy to see that LifeFitness continues to maintain an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, that's just not enough to "rescue" them in our rankings with all of the other negatives we found. If you want a top-notch treadmill, you'll get it much more quickly with many other retailers - and with better features, free shipping, and an actual return policy. For all of those reasons, LifeFitness doesn't earn our enthusiastic recommendation among online stores offering treadmills.

Sole Fitness Review 1.5 Star Rating

Sole Fitness

1.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $999.99 to $2,499.99

When we look at SOLE Fitness, a famous phrase comes to mind: "how the mighty have fallen" . How did this treadmill retailer go from first to last place since our initial evaluation? Keep reading to find out!

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and non-folding
  • Price Range: $999.99 to $2,499.99
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: No
  • Incline Range: 15 levels, one model includes decline levels
  • Speed Range: From 0.5 to 12 mph
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime on motor, deck, and frame; 5 years on electronics; 2 years on labor (in-home service) - when used in home, not commercially
  • Shipping: Free

6 models to choose from

At first glance, SOLE Fitness' treadmills are easy to love. You'll find several models to choose from, all priced affordably and with features comparable to many of the higher-end models you'll see elsewhere. Whether you want a folding or non-folding style, you're looking for a treadmill that offers decline settings as well as inclines, or just a basic machine for everyday workouts, you'll find something that fits the bill among SOLE's 6 different models.

No built-in tech for live workouts

On the technology side, SOLE Fitness doesn't offer any treadmills with built-in apps for livestreamed workouts. In order to follow a fitness class online, you'll need to use your own phone or tablet (some models have an integrated holder for your devices) and then either listen on your headphones or through the treadmill's Bluetooth speakers if available.

Best Treadmills

Big improvements in return policy

With respect to customer service, SOLE Fitness has really upped the ante since our last evaluation. They've dropped all restocking fees and shipping costs on returns, and now they go so far as to take care of the entire return process. You don't even have to hang on to all of the packaging: they will take care of securing your treadmill at the time of pickup, all at no extra charge. You'll get a full refund of everything you paid, and you won't have to wait until they receive the treadmill back at their facility: just notify SOLE via email as soon as it's picked up, and your refund will be processed within 48 hours. You're just not going to find that anywhere else. So, why did this company earn the absolute lowest ranking among treadmill stores?

Worst rating from the Better Business Bureau

Our hesitation with SOLE began with their "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. The BBB says this is due to the 60+ complaints registered against the company, with 2 that received no response from SOLE and 2 that ultimately went unresolved. And yet, there are several competitor retailers in our review who have complaints in the thousands - and who still manage to get an "A+" rating from the BBB.

Company doesn't deliver on promises

Unfortunately, our concerns grew when we considered the most recent customer reviews on several other third-party sites. Numerous people complained about the awful customer service they received (or didn't!) after purchase, even when their treadmills should have been covered under warranty. When you see multiple comments that describe the machines as "flimsy" and "defective" , and getting zero response after months of trying to reach SOLE Fitness' customer service team (to verify orders, to get warranty service, etc.), you start to see the wisdom behind the BBB's "F" rating.

Too many missing deliveries

Even the ratings posted on SOLE's own site have tanked noticeably over the last few months. We get that during a nationwide period of increased interest in home fitness combined with logistics issues for shippers everywhere, there are going to be some challenges. But, when customers are rating treadmills as low as possible and the only comment is "I never received this" , watch out.

Buy your treadmill somewhere else

And now you see why SOLE Fitness comes in absolutely last in our rankings. Sure, they make big promises about customer service and warranties - but there's every indication that they don't make good on them anymore. A treadmill is no bargain if it never arrives, stops working, or won't be repaired even under warranty. We strongly recommend that you look for your treadmill at a store with a better reputation (which is literally any other company in our review!).

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

One of today's most sought-after features in the home fitness world is the ability to access live workouts. This is a fantastic substitute for expensive boutique gym classes or even your average fitness center workout: take classes with top trainers from around the world, compete with other people on a live leaderboard, or access pre-recorded workouts (not just for the treadmill, but also for strength, yoga, and much more). Not every treadmill has that capability built in: you might have to prop up your tablet or smartphone on the machine's console and use a third-party app to get it done.

As you decide which type of treadmill you want and where to buy it, here are several additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Availability. Does the retailer have treadmills in stock for immediate shipment? If not, how long is the wait time to get your machine delivered?
  • Treadmill Features. If you need a machine with specific capabilities, like decline settings or Bluetooth connectivity, does the store offer something that works? Be sure to consider other features like folding vs. non-folding models, user weight capacity, room space requirements (especially if you're choosing a treadmill with a high incline setting), and so on.
  • Price. Can you get a treadmill that fits your budget? Don't forget to factor in any required delivery fees: some retailers include shipping in the cost, but others may charge up to $400 for shipping and set-up!
  • Reputation. What do customers say about the durability and overall performance of the treadmill? Are there any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau? Does the company get high marks for customer service?
  • Warranty. What kind of coverage does your treadmill have if something breaks down? Most treadmills come with a lifetime warranty on the frame and welds and more limited terms on the motor, belt and electronics - but some only cover those components for a year or less!

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online retailers of treadmills available today. We hope this information helps you find the right fitness equipment for your home - at the best price!

The Best Treadmills Compare Treadmills Compare Treadmill Reviews What are the best Treadmills Best Treadmill Reviews

Treadmill FAQ

As one of the most commonly-used pieces of gym equipment, treadmills are usually the first machine people think of when setting up a workout space at home. Whatever your level of fitness, a treadmill can help you make progress: from low-intensity walking to running intervals on an incline, the possibilities are endless (and they don't depend on the weather!)
It depends on the model you choose. Some machines allow you to fold the tread surface up towards the console, similar to a Murphy bed. But, with the higher-end machines that come with plenty of features like live-coached workouts or sky-high incline capabilities, you're likely to need a reasonable amount of floor space. Check the dimensions of any treadmills you're considering and compare them against the places you're thinking of keeping your machine.
You might be surprised to learn that you can get a basic treadmill for under $600. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll see prices in the $9,000 and up range for models exactly like what you'd use at a fitness center or gym. Fortunately, there are plenty of mid-range options that give you good features, top-notch tech and durability without breaking your budget.
Yes. Coverage varies, and most manufacturers have different timeframes of warranty protection for the frame, electronics, and any labor costs. You may also be able to add an extended warranty and/or maintenance plan, to keep your treadmill in good shape for longer.
How does "free" sound? Many retailers of treadmills give you no-cost delivery. Just be aware that if you return your treadmill, you're likely to be on the hook for the shipment costs to get it back to the store (and your refund may have their original shipping costs deducted from it!).
Check the retailer's policies. Many offer return periods of 30-60 days, but some provide none at all. You may have to pay restocking fees of up to 25% too, in addition to the return shipping costs (which could get expensive on such a heavy piece of equipment).
Yes, though not all retailers offer it as an add-on service with your treadmill purchase. Look for that option during the checkout process. Otherwise, the company might be able to recommend an installer in your area. If all else fails, it might be worth it to call a fitness center or sporting goods store near you to get the name of a professional they trust.
There's no better way to get the world's widest selection of treadmills - at the best prices. Shopping online makes it easy and even fun to check out all of the latest features and see what customers say about the machines once they're in home use. And, there's no need to rent a truck or try to fit your treadmill in the back of your car with so many retailers offering free delivery right to your doorstep.

Shopping for a Treadmill Online

Considering buying a treadmill? Then you should leave your keys at the door and pull up a chair to the computer. Shopping for a treadmill online has numerous advantages over driving to and from local sporting goods stores and discount warehouses. The end result is a confident purchase that saves you time and money.

Benefits to Shopping Online:

  • Selection. The Internet provides the largest selection of just about anything. This holds true with treadmills as well. Search from a wide variety of brands and models without leaving your home.
  • Comparison. Quickly compare the dimensions, features and prices across several websites at once. No need to rely on a salesclerk to assist as most information is located conveniently next to each product.
  • Prices. The Internet generally offers the lowest prices on treadmills as they have less overhead than stores and they are attempting to win your business over competitors.
  • No Salesmen. Often with fitness equipment you get a fast-talking salesman that is there to sell you a treadmill. Basing your decision on data you gather on the Internet is going to allow you to make a low stress, smart decision without being rushed.
  • Product Reviews. Independent product review websites are a great place to expedite your search effort. These sites have already done much of the legwork to help you find a quality treadmill that is priced right.

Once you're ready to begin shopping online you should take several factors into account before making your decision. There are many aspects of a treadmill that vary among brands. Finding the right combination of treadmill features will result in the most satisfying purchase.

Treadmill Features and Specifications:

  • Belt Size. Most experts recommend at least a 17-inch belt for anyone using a treadmill, but the wider belts are better as they allow more room to move around. Belt length is also important for a comfortable workout. Generally, a 48-inch belt will meet most people's needs. However, if you're a runner or have very long legs you may prefer at least a 60-inch belt to stretch your legs.
  • Motor Size. You'll want to look at continuous duty motor size in the treadmills you review. Motor size impacts the smoothness of the ride. Look for at least a 2.0 HP continuous duty motor but consider a 2.5 HP if you run a lot. DC motors provide the quietest treadmill if you're also trying to watch TV or listen to music.
  • Console. Look at the console and determine if it has everything you're looking for. The consoles on today's treadmills range from basic to very high-tech. Most have features to track your speed, distance, calories burned, and time. Others may offer safety switches, pre-programmed workouts, heart rate monitors, MP3 players and TV's.
  • Weight Capacity. If you're over 200 pounds it's important to check the maximum body weight allowed on any treadmill. A treadmill designed for lighter individuals is going to feel sluggish and wobbly for those exceeding the recommended weight capacity. Parts are also more likely to wear down and break in a shorter period of time.
  • Cost. The price of a good treadmill can start at a few hundred dollars and go up to thousands. Quality treadmills will have the highest grade of parts and components available for lasting comfort and duration. You'll need to balance the quality of the treadmill with the price when choosing a treadmill within your budget. Several companies offer financing.
  • Return Policy. In the event your treadmill shows up and you've changed your mind, you'll want to be able to return it. Choosing a treadmill that comes with a return policy is a smart idea. Several companies offer a 14 to 45 day trial period on their treadmills.
  • Warranty. Any big-ticket item you purchase should come with a warranty to protect your investment. Some quality treadmills come with a lifetime warranty on the motor, five years on parts, and two years for labor. Others offer coverage that is significantly shorter and seems to run out right before the first repair is needed. Make sure you understand the specific warranty that comes with the treadmill you choose.

In summary, purchasing a treadmill online provides several benefits over shopping at your local sporting goods stores. With a larger selection, simple comparison, competitive pricing, and convenience it's easier to find exactly what you're looking without leaving your home.

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