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Best treadmills: 2021's top treadmills for your home

The past year brought home-based fitness equipment like treadmills into the spotlight. Thankfully, some of the best treadmills of 2021 are ready to help you meet your at-home fitness goals.

The past year has disrupted many of our daily routines, including our exercise routines. Those early morning trips to the gym we used to love (and hate) were affected like everything else. For some, that hour on the treadmill before work went away and became eight hours of work at home with no morning sweat session to get the mind and body ready for the day.

Many people had to turn to gym alternatives during the quarantine. Purchases of at-home gym equipment surged during 2020 and are still on the rise. Some opted for a few dumbbells and a fitness ball, while others decided to go all out in creating the complete home gym equipment experience. One piece of home gym equipment that saw a rise in purchases was the treadmill. 

A treadmill is an investment, not only for our health but for our wallets. The price of treadmills can range from non-bank breakers to costly ones. They all boast different features: size, speed ranges, running surfaces, inclines, and smart-technology capabilities. It is best to find one in that sweet spot, one that meets your fitness goals, budget, and the overall needs of your household. 

The following treadmills have a little something for everyone. 

Nautilus T618

Foldable treadmill

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Specs

  • Motor: 3.5HP
  • Size: LWH 78in x 37.6in x 62.8in
  • Incline: 0 to 15%
  • Running area: 20in x 60in
  • Top speed: 12mph
  • Weight capacity: 350lbs

Nautilus has been a name in the fitness game for years. In addition to the expert experience it brings, Nautilus is a respected brand for treadmills. The Nautilus T618 is foldable, helping conserve space in your home when it is not in use. 

Key features:

  • Loads of workout programs: The Nautilus T618 comes primed with 26 workout programs. One to fit the need of any home workout enthusiast, complete with cardio-endurance modes, interval training, and weight management. 
  • DualTrack screen and syncing: Its backlit dual LCD screens (3.75in and 5.5in) make for an immersive experience while keeping track of important metrics during the workout. Bluetooth connectivity allows workout data syncing with support devices. Metrics and data can even be tracked and transferred on their Explore the World app. This app enables users to run through locations and routes with folks around the world. 
  • Heart-rate monitoring and safety: The T618 includes a wireless chest strap to monitor heart rate, in addition to built-in contact pulse monitors. The retractable stop cord will stop the machine if a user loses their balance. Rebound cushioning means softer landings and minimal impact on your joints. 
$1,399 at Best Buy

Sole F80

Rock star in the home treadmill space

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Specs

  • Motor: 3.5HP
  • Size: LWH 82in x 37in x 57in
  • Incline: 0 to 15%
  • Running area: 22in x 60in
  • Top speed: 12mph
  • Weight capacity: 375lbs

The Sole F80 treadmill is known as a rock star in the best home treadmill space. Its consistent top ratings, along with its superior performance and lifetime warranty, make this foldable treadmill a great option for any gym go-er.

Key features:

  • Superior quality: This treadmill offers commercial-grade at an affordable price. The high-grade welded steel frame construction and 375lb weight capacity mean it's built to last. The frictionless action of the rollers and flywheel make it smooth and quiet to boot. A reversible deck helps preserve the longevity of the machine.
  • Workout experience: The Sole F80 sports a 9in LCD, complete with an integrated tablet holder and Bluetooth audio speakers. The 10 built-in workout programs have a fitness goal for everyone, whether fat loss or endurance building. User profiles can also be stored to keep track of milestones and goals.
  • Heart-rate monitoring and safety: A wireless chest strap is included to monitor heart rate, in addition to pulse monitor handrails. The Cushion Flex Whisper Deck minimizes your joints by 40% compared to running on the road.
$1,599 at Sole

NordicTrack EXP 7i

High-tech home treadmill

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Specs

  • Motor: 3.0HP
  • Size: LWH 77.3in x 35.3in x 59.6in
  • Incline: 0 to 12%
  • Running area: 20in x 60in 
  • Top speed: 12mph
  • Weight capacity: 300lbs

The NordicTrack EXP 7i is new to the NordicTrack family for 2021. This treadmill is known as a high-tech home treadmill for under $1,500. It makes for a great mid-level treadmill for any family. 

Key features:

  • Workout experience: Boasting an excellent, 7in HD Smart Touchscreen with Bluetooth technology, this treadmill demands to be noticed. The 7i is iFit-enabled and comes with an iFit family membership for one year that sports a virtual library of workouts with live trainers.
  • Space saver: Even though the 7i running area is larger than the industry standard, 60in x 20in, it is still designed to save space. The EasyLift assist feature ensures this preserves your back in the process.
  • Better technology: The 7i features a smart-response drive system that self-cools and reduces vibration. This system reduces strain on the body while still maintaining the likeness of an actual real-world experience.
$1,099 at NordicTrack

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400

An honorable mention

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Specs

  • Motor: 2.20HP
  • Size: LWH 63.25in x  25.5in x 50in
  • Incline 0% to 2% and 4.37%
  • Running area: 15.75in  x 49in
  • Top speed: 9mph
  • Weight capacity: 220lbs

If you are simply looking for a simple, low-budget, entry-level option for a walking treadmill in 2021, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 may fit the bill. This foldable treadmill comes with nine pre-defined workout programs (and manual mode) and is complete with heart rate monitoring. It has three incline design options, too. The small footprint makes it great for a small home or apartment. 

$420 at Walmart

What are the health benefits of treadmills?

Not everyone has the benefit of a treadmill desk waiting for them at work to help boost productivity. But having one to use at home can afford the same benefits. The treadmill remains a top choice for people opting for a piece of at-home gym equipment for its wide-ranging health benefits.

  • Cardiovascular health: A treadmill is a form of cardiovascular exercise. This type of exercise can contribute to overall heart health. 
  • Weight loss: Calories in and calories out is the name of the weight loss game. Treadmills can help burn calories more quickly than other types of aerobic exercise
  • Muscle tone: Treadmill exercise works out multiple muscle groups at the same time. It truly is a full-body workout as core muscle groups are constantly engaged.