Best Cheap Treadmills

The best machines for tight budgets

While price is obviously the most important factor when searching for the best cheap treadmill, it’s not the only thing that should be considered. Available workout programs, entertainment features and warranties should also factor into the decision. And it’s a good idea to think about the types of workouts you plan on using the treadmill for, as this could add more considerations to your list. Runners, for example, need a more powerful and durable machine than walkers. It may be difficult to find everything you want in a budget treadmill, but by keeping in mind the most important features, you can find a basic treadmill that serves your purposes at a price you can afford.

Our top picks for the cheapest treadmills

We put in the legwork to find three of the best cheap treadmills

NordicTrack C990

NordicTrack C990

Features

  • Large workout library – The C990 Pro has 32 built-in workout apps and is also iFit-compatible.
  • Solid warranties – This model comes with lifetime frame and motor warranties and a three-year parts warranty.
  • Integrated tablet holder – Surf the web, watch movies or listen to music from your tablet while you exercise.

Quick Facts

  • Price - $999
  • Motor - 3.0 CHP
  • Workout programs - 32

ProForm Sport 9.0 S

ProForm Sport 9.0 S

Features

  • Good warranties - The Sport 9.0 S's warranties are strong compared to other treadmills in this price range.
  • Strong motor - The 3.0 CHP motor is powerful enough to handle all types of workouts.
  • IFit-enabled - Access hundreds of workouts, including courses powered by Google Maps.

Quick Facts

  • Price - $949
  • Motor - 3.0 CHP
  • Workout Programs - 30

Horizon T101

Horizon T101

Features

  • Low Price - The Horizon T101 is one of the most affordable treadmills on the market today.
  • Nice selection of workouts - The treadmill has 30 built-in workouts, including weight loss and interval programs.
  • Built-in music player- Hook up your iPod or MP3 player to the treadmill using the built-in audio port.

Quick Facts

  • Price - $699
  • Motor - 2.25 CHP
  • Workout Programs - 30

What to look for to find a cheap treadmill

Price

Price is the most important factor when choosing the best cheap treadmill. Treadmill prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, but if you’re looking for the best value on a budget treadmill, stick to something around $1,000. All models listed here come in slightly under this price point. The Horizon T101 is the cheapest, costing only $699.99, so this is worth considering if your budget’s extremely tight, although this machine isn’t as feature-rich as the others on the list.

Warranties

Solid warranties are critical because they protect you if the machine breaks down within the first few years of ownership. The less you pay for a treadmill, though, the shorter the length of your warranties. The best treadmills on the market typically offer five-year parts and electronics warranties and a two-year labor warranty. The models on this list only offer three-year parts warranties and a one-year labor warranty, in addition to lifetime motor and frame protection. The Horizon T101 electronics are covered under their 2-year parts warranty.

Motor

The motor you need depends on the types of workouts you plan on doing. Running, for example, requires a more powerful motor than walking. A 3.0 CHP motor should be enough for most workouts, but it’s best not to go below this if you expect to put a lot of wear and tear on your machine. The ProForm Sport 9.0 S and the NordicTrack C990 both come with 3.0 CHP motors.

Extras

Extras are the workout programs and entertainment features included with the treadmill. Budget models don’t offer the advanced features of the best treadmills, like a TV or built-in Internet browser, but most include an audio port and speakers for listening to music. The NordicTrack and ProForm models stand out for their iFit capability, which significantly expands your workout library, provided you’re willing to pay for an iFit subscription.