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The best budget treadmills: 6 affordable machines each under $400

Which is the best budget treadmill? In our review of the top choices, each of the following treadmills offer quality without breaking the bank. All of them cost well under $400.
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Written by Michelle Honeyager, Contributing Writer on

Home workout equipment can be a great investment. You can work out at times that are convenient for you from your own home. Cutting out the trip to a gym can give some people more of an incentive to work out. Fewer barriers to the habit may mean you are more likely to keep up an exercise routine. Further, a treadmill can mean walks or runs no matter what the weather is doing outside.  

However, if you've looked into home exercise equipment, you'll notice it's easy to find machines that may not be in everyone's budget. It's not uncommon to find treadmills that cost thousands of dollars. If you're using the treadmill to supplement days you can't make it to the gym, this extra expense can be more of a financial burden on top of that monthly gym membership.

Below are some of the top treadmills that also fit into the budget a bit easier. These machines have plenty of features, but still don't exceed $400 in pricing. Below we've ranked them by features they are best for, as well, to help make the choice easier. 

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Amazon

Hardware specs:

  • Max speed: 7.5 mph
  • Incline: Three manual
  • Weight capacity: 240 pounds
  • Motor power: Vacuum motor to reduce noise 
  • Dimensions: 54.2 inches long x 20.3 inches wide x 42 inches high

The highlight of this Jusnova model is that it plays music out of dual speakers while you run or walk, using an MP3/USB playback function. For anyone who absolutely cannot work out without their tunes, this is a wonderful feature to get you pumped for your workout.  

Another key feature is the 5-inch LED display screen that tells you your speed, distance, heart rate, and your calories burned, which is a good added feature at the price point. There are even 12 preset programs to help you reach your fitness goals.  

The treadmill also comes with a vacuum motor that reduces noise while running, so this is a good option for anyone with family or roommates who might dislike the noise of more conventional treadmills.  

Pros:

  • Plays music
  • Has roller wheels to help move the treadmill and protect floors, and folds up
  • Easy install that just requires unfolding and tightening some screws 

Cons:

  • A 15.75-inch x 43.3-inch running area appears somewhat narrow for someone with wider strides
  • Requires a headphone jack to use speakers, so can't easily plug some phone models in for music
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Amazon

Hardware specs:

  • Max speed: N/A
  • Incline: Two positions of 6 or 10 degrees
  • Weight capacity: 230 pounds
  • Motor power: N/A
  • Dimensions: 47 inches long x 23 wide x 51 inches high

This is another model chosen for its lower price point of around $150. It's also a lower-feature manual treadmill, but still has plenty of customization for your run or walk.

The machine has two included inclines going up to 10 degrees to add a level of difficulty. Cast iron flywheels help with a smooth and quiet walk. The model appears to be lightweight and weighs about 54 pounds, but can also support up to 230 pounds.  

Despite being lower in the price range, the model still has an LCD display that tells time, distance, calories burned, speed, and has a scan feature.      

Pros:

  • Can be folded up
  • Wheels can move it without damaging floor
  • Solid steel frame

Cons:

  • The manual style could not suit anyone who wants more ease with motorized versions
  • Treadmill belt size sits at 43 inches long x 13¼ inches wide, which might be too small for taller or wider people 
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Amazon

Hardware specs:

  • Max speed: N/A
  • Incline: Three settings of 8, 10, and 13 degrees 
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • Motor power: N/A
  • Dimensions: 50 inches long x 31 inches wide x 50 inches high

One of the major drawbacks for budget treadmills that tend to be smaller, no-fuss models is that they cannot hold more than around 220-240 pounds. However, this model can support someone who weighs up to 325 pounds with its sturdy alloy steel build. It can even support anyone up to this weight for jogging and running. The 16-inch wide x 45-inch long belt allows a bit more room than other treadmills for taller and wider people.     

The model also has sensors that help you monitor your workout. Heart pulse pads allow people to monitor their heart rate during their workout. A 50-inch screen also helps you monitor workout reads.    

The treadmill is also very adjustable, in that it has Pacer control that helps give different levels of difficulty. The treadmill has those three positions of incline, from 8 to 13 degrees.  

Pros:

  • Two 6-inch flywheels give a smooth workout, despite the model being manual
  • Display computer can show time, distance, calorie burn, speed, and heart rate
  • Foldable model

Cons:

  • Manual style might not be to everyone's taste
  • Reviewers state there is a stiff resistance 
  • No flat setting and inclines fairly steep
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Amazon

Hardware specs:

  • Max speed: 5 mph
  • Incline: N/A
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds
  • Motor power: 1.25 horsepower
  • Dimensions: 49.6 inches long x 26.5 inches wide x 47 inches high 

This electric model boasts a fairly high horsepower for the price range it's sitting in, with just over one horsepower. It can go up to 5 mph, which is a good, solid jogging speed. The shock absorption system makes it especially good for runners looking for a little budget treadmill for bad weather days.

This model is also portable with transportation wheels and it also folds for easy storage. It also has a light, compact design to go anywhere.  

The model also allows for a countdown start and pause feature on the LCD computer display. It records time, distance, speed, calories, and does a scan.  

Pros:

  • User mode setting to set specific goals for time, calorie burn, or distance
  • Added features like a device holder and non-slip handles make this model feel like more than a budget treadmill 
  • Reviewers love it for its ability to fit into small spaces 

Cons:

  • Compact design means a slightly smaller running space of 39 inches long x 14 inches wide
  • Max speed of 5 mph may not keep up with faster runners 
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Amazon

Hardware specs:

  • Max speed: 10 mph 
  • Incline: 3 manual settings
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Motor power: 2.25 Horsepower
  • Dimensions: 16 inches by 50 inches running or walking surface

For those looking for a full machine that still doesn't max the price out above $400, this Xterra model is full of controls with an LCD display that reads speed, incline, time, distance, calories, and pulse. The full-featured feel comes with 12 preset programs to help you reach your fitness goals. Three manual inclines also help increase the difficulty rating.

Another perk about this model is the 16-inch by 50-inch running or walking surface, meaning you're getting the larger model feel without the price.  

Despite the increased size, this treadmill also folds up for added storage convenience. It's no surprise that it's a bestseller on Amazon.   

Pros:

  • Larger-size treadmill that supports high-speed runs (up to 10mph) and can hold up to 250 pounds
  • Easy-to-read displays and colorful buttons make customizing a workout easier
  • The running area itself has cushioned deck technology for a more comfortable run 
  • Includes a bookrack and accessory holder 

Cons:

  • A wider running surface can be more cumbersome for smaller spaces
  • Reviews state that the treadmill could be more secure in the folded position, and can come undone if moved while folded
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Amazon

Hardware specs:

  • Max speed: 4 mph
  • Incline: N/A
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds
  • Motor power: 1 horsepower 
  • Dimensions: 51.5 inches long x 23.5 inches wide x 6 inches high 

This list wouldn't be complete if we didn't include an under-desk treadmill. This no-fuss design fits perfectly under a desk, as it's only the walking area with no deck. It can even roll and be placed under other furniture when not in use.  

The model even comes with a remote control for easy handling while working. To make it even easier to control, it comes with three workout modes and 12 preset programs. 

This model is designed exclusively for walking while working, however, since it only goes up to 4 mph.     

Pros:

  • A great home office addition that can help you walk throughout the day
  • Despite being a desk walker, the 41-inch x 17-inch track offers a decent amount of walking space
  • Footpad and rubber struts help reduce noise while walking 

Cons:

  • The LED display showing items like time and distance is located on the treadmill itself and might be hard to see if you put it under a desk
  • Some reviewers stated it does make noise, so it's not the best choice if your work includes a lot of phone calls 

How did we choose these budget treadmills?

The first consideration, of course, was the price, since this is a listing of budget treadmills. We didn't want to choose anything that was over $400, since a treadmill that costs around $100 to the high $300s can fit into many people's budgets much easier. That often eliminates the need to lease and set up a payment plan for the machine, as many more expensive machines often require people to do.  

We also tried to stick to a wide range of the added bells and whistles. Some machines on the list are simple, no-fuss models that are manually controlled, while others have a high-end feel, despite being under $400. However, everything on the list still has some form of display that tells you stats like time, distance, calories, or speed, and some come with additional reads like heart rate. Having readouts like these allows you to buy a more budget machine without the budget feel of guessing at your stats or having to set a timer yourself.  

Beyond price and features, we also looked at machine construction. Proverbial points went to machines that have some sort of noise-dampening feature, added comfort on the run pad, or other features that helped with the overall usability of the machine. All machines have some type of folding or storage capacity for smaller spaces, too. Machines that could hold more weight also made the list, since treadmills shouldn't be just for one certain body type. Along similar lines, we made sure to include treadmills that had longer and wider running space, despite being smaller budget varieties. 

Which budget treadmill is right for you?

It can be tough to figure out which is the perfect machine for you, especially when they all advertise such impressive features. Below we'll outline which situations fit each model in our list.

 If you want a more difficult workout: Make sure to purchase the models that have adjustable inclines. The higher the incline, the more difficult the workout. The Fitness Reality TR1000 Manual Treadmill goes up to 10 degrees, while the Fitness Reality TR3000 goes up to 8, 10, and 13 degrees. You might also want to look into these manual treadmills. While newer models use rollers that reduce the resistance, that's still more of a workout to power the belt yourself. Reviewers for the Fitness Reality TR3000 actually state it's a stiff belt, which can be good if you want the added challenge.         

If you have a smaller space: Look for the more compact varieties for treadmills. The Goplus Under Desk Treadmill is great if you need to put it under a sofa, bed, or another piece of furniture when you're done. It was also made to slide under desks, of course. We rated the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7610 Electric Walking Folding Treadmill best for tight spaces, as it gives you just enough room for walking or running.    

If you're concerned about added features: You might want a treadmill at a budget price that does not feel like a budget machine. That's where little add-ons can mean you got a good deal. One example is the Jusnova Via Fortis and its ability to play music out of dual speakers. The Xterra Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill also comes with all the added buttons, programs, and displays that help exercisers customize workouts. It can even read a pulse.  

Treadmill

Price

Key Features

Jusnova via Fortis

$119.99

  • Plays music out of speakers 
  • 12 preset programs 

Fitness Reality TR1000 manual treadmill 

$155.95

  • Manual model
  • Two adjustable heights 

Fitness Reality TR3000

$217.99

  • Supports weight up to 325 pounds
  • A high adjustability of up to 13 degrees

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7610 electric walking folding treadmill

$294.99

  • Involved computer display 
  • Electric model that gives a jogging speed

Xterra Fitness TR150 folding treadmill

$340.65

  • Brightly colored buttons with in-depth workout stats
  • Larger walking or running surface 
  • Fastest speed on list at 10 mph

Goplus under desk Tteadmill

$379.99

  • No deck and fits under a desk
  • Offers a solid walking speed

What is the difference between a manual and electric treadmill?

A manual treadmill means that you are powering the belt forward with your own feet. The belt often runs over wheels that help lessen the resistance. An electric treadmill has a motor that powers the belt forward that you then set at a certain speed depending on how fast you want to walk or run. 

Some people still like the manual models because less can go wrong with them, since there are no electronics. The added resistance of pushing the belt forward can also add to the workout. However, people who want a higher run speed or an easier walk might find a belt that moves on its own easier to use.  

Are treadmills good for people with joint issues?

Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen. However, if you are cleared to use a treadmill, look for a model that has padding or cushioning on or around the belt for added comfort. You may see terms like "soft technology." You might also want to opt for an electric model, as moving the belt yourself might add too much resistance and joint strain.

What are the best types of treadmills for small spaces?

Look for a folding treadmill if you have a small space. You might also look for a desk walking treadmill with no deck or handles if you need to fit the treadmill under furniture like the sofa or a bed.   

Are there alternative budget treadmills worth considering?

There were some other treadmills with impressive features, but they had higher prices. Some options that didn't make the list because of pricing include:


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