The 7 Best Treadmills in 2021
Burn off your calories from the comfort of your own home with the best treadmills in 2021.
Running is one of the best ways to burn calories and work off the holiday pounds we all tend to pick up around December. Unfortunately, winter is one of the worst times of year to go running outdoors. Most of us can’t handle particularly cold weather. So we set out to find some excellent treadmills that we could use within our own homes.
In the end, we located a series of top treadmills that we figured we’d share with you so you can meet your New Year’s resolutions, too! The Bowflex Treadmill BXT216 is a great choice if you just want an all-around top-tier piece of exercise equipment. The NordicTrack Commercial Treadmill, meanwhile, is perfect for professional runners who want to perfect their technique in an air-conditioned environment. If you have a small home, the FitnessClub Folding Treadmill is the treadmill for you. Whatever type you need, we’re sure it’s below, so continue on to see our full reviews.
Bowflex Treadmill BXT216
Best Treadmill Overall
Why should you buy this? The Bowflex Treadmill is a high-quality piece of exercise equipment with the durability and power you need to burn calories and reach your exercise goals.
Bowflex Treadmill BXT216
Who’s it for? This is an excellent pick for anyone with a little extra cash to spend and who wants a gym-quality treadmill in their home.
Why we picked the Bowflex Treadmill:
This treadmill is arguably the iconic version of the equipment, featuring a high-quality construction and several exercise choices or programs for you to choose between. You’ll be able to pick preset workouts or create your own custom routines to facilitate maximum growth for your body.
You can choose to incline this treadmill up to 15% and enjoy the 7.5-inch full-color backlit LCD screen. The workout programs are easy to initialize. Whatever program you choose, you’ll feel comfortable running or walking on the 20″ x 60″ running path.
Add to all of that a proprietary app to let you simulate running on paths around the world, and you can’t deny that this treadmill has just about everything one could want.
Confidence Fitness TP-1 Electric Treadmill
Best Cheap Treadmill
Why should you buy this? This treadmill is affordable and durable enough that frequent exercisers will still be able to use it and enjoy it.
Confidence Fitness TP-1
Who’s it for? This is a perfect choice for those who want to become fit but you need to stay within a tight budget.
Why we picked the Confidence Fitness TP-1:
This treadmill has a lot of value packed into its frame and design despite its low asking price. The frame can easily fold up and away to allow you to easily store it anywhere in your home. It’s built with a smooth motor that can provide drive for users up to 250 pounds.
It’s also equipped with 12 preset programs that can help you keep your workout properly varied and challenging. You’ll be able to select these with a large backlit LCD, which can also track things like the calories you burn and how much time you’ve been running.
The belt is narrow and well-constructed, and the handgrips are comfortable. Overall, this treadmill is high-quality enough to hang with pricier models even though it’s quite affordable.
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill
Best Professional Treadmill
Why should you buy this? The NordicTrack Commercial Treadmill is a top-of-the-line piece of exercise equipment, with multiple sizes of running belt to choose between.
NordicTrack Commercial 1750
Who’s it for? This treadmill is a top choice for those who have the drive to run every day and the money to spend for the best of the best.
Why we picked the NordicTrack Commercial 1750:
This high-quality treadmill is one of the best on the market. It can incline between 3% or 12%, the belt can move up to 12 miles per hour, and the belt is made to be particularly spacious with a 22” x 60” design. Even with all these benefits, the motor runs quite smoothly and quietly.
Even better, this treadmill can easily fold up for compact and simple storage within your home. The touchscreen displays 10 inches wide and it provides immersive trainer lead workouts: a perfect complement for those who want top-tier exercise assistance. A workout fan rounds out its physical features, keeping you cool as you work up a sweat.
Finally, this treadmill also comes with a one-year membership to iFit. Again, this is perfect for professionals or those taking their training very seriously.
FitnessClub Folding Treadmill
Best Folding Treadmill
Why should you buy this? This folding treadmill is quite a capable piece of exercise equipment even though it can be stored in a closet when you’re finished.
Who’s it for? This treadmill is a great pick for those who need a treadmill that can pack up into a much smaller size when the workout is done.
Why we picked the Fitnessclub 1100W:
The FitnessClub Folding Treadmill does exactly what it says in the title. It’s capable of compacting down to less than half of its expanded size. It also comes with wheels at the bottom, so it’s easy to move the treadmill from place to place after it’s been folded up.
But it’s also a great treadmill for its other functions, like a 1.5 HP motor and several speeds that you can choose between. There are 12 exercise programs, too, and an emergency mode you can engage if you need to stop instantly for whatever reason. It further comes with a stable anti-slip belt; this is perfect for anyone worried about slipping and falling as they run.
All in all, it delivers everything you could want from a quality treadmill in a compactable frame.
NordicTrack NTL17915 T 6.5S Treadmill
Best Treadmill for Runners
Why should you buy this? The NordicTrack NTL17915 T 6.5S Treadmill is another top-tier running machine, with a separate 1-month membership to iFit.
NordicTrack T 6.5S
Who’s it for? This is perfect for serious runners who want to get better at this form of exercise.
Why we picked the NordicTrack T 6.5S:
This treadmill, like the other NordicTrack model on our list, also comes with a membership to iFit, allowing you access to an interactive and trainer lead to global and studio workout program catalog. This for those who want to seriously improve their physical fitness.
But it also comes with several extra features, like incline controls and a spacious 20” x 55” tread belt. It’s all powered from a quiet motor that can run up to 2.6 CHP. It can be folded up or rolled around after you have finished running for compact and comfortable storage.
To make things even better, it’s equipped with an integrated tablet holder and a Bluetooth connectivity suite. Listen to music or play a customized running program whenever you like.
Sunny Health and Fitness Treadmill
Best Treadmill for Walking
Why should you buy this? This affordable treadmill is small, compact, and perfect for those who like to briskly walk to burn their calories.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515
Who’s it for? This treadmill is ideal for walkers or those who don’t put too much stress on their exercise equipment.
Why we picked the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515:
This smaller treadmill is still powerful enough to feature a 2.2 hp drive system and a relatively spacious walking surface of 49” x 15.5”. It can also go up to 10 miles per hour, with three manual incline settings.
But it’s particularly well-suited for walkers, with nine built-in workout programs and a comfortable handrail controls that allow you to modify your workout routine. The smartphone and tablet holder integrated into the console will let you watch a show as you walk.
Ultimately, it’s perfect for walking at multiple speeds and will be another great pick for budget-conscious users.
Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill
Best Treadmill for Home Use
Why should you buy this? The Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill is a great example of a home use treadmill for its ease of use and phenomenal versatility.
Confidence Power Plus Treadmill
Who’s it for? This is a perfect treadmill for home runners or walkers, especially with its great motor and design.
Why we picked the Confidence Power Plus Treadmill:
This treadmill has a lot to like about its features. It has a folding frame, making it a perfect piece of exercise equipment for any home space or apartment since you can easily store it when your exercising is done.
It’s even more useful for home workouts because it has a powerful motor that can work for anyone up to 250 pounds. A wide belt of 39.5” x 14” provides plenty of room for most people whether they want to walk or run.
It also has a bright LCD that gives you helpful exercise information like calories burned or time spent on the treadmill. Customize your own workout using this display to truly personalize your exercise routine.
How we test
Finding the best treadmills on the market was no easy task, and we burned quite a few calories while narrowing down our categories. We eventually found the top treadmills by testing them for ourselves and checking out all of their features and training programs. This gave us a good idea as to who they were meant for and how durable they would be if you wanted to run on them for many months or years to come.
What Does a Treadmill Do?
In a nutshell, treadmills are beneficial for your body because they require you to burn calories and strengthen your muscles by simulating the act of walking long distances. Treadmills normally operate from a wide, flat belt that is stretched over turbines or wheels. The belt is powered by an electric motor or flywheel, requiring anyone standing on the belt to move forward in order to prevent falling off.
This allows the treadmill user to remain roughly in place while still performing the walking or running motion that they would experience if they exercised regularly. People like to do this because it enables them to walk or run great distances in air-conditioned environments or to alter the conditions of their exercise at the press of a button.
Treadmills are helpful because the act of running or walking necessarily expands energy and burns calories. People trying to lose fat will use this to force their body to burn fat for energy. Walking or running on a treadmill additionally strengthens your leg and core muscles and also improves your cardiovascular health. This strengthens the heart and reduces your chances of heart disease and numerous other health problems.
How Much is a Treadmill?
The price of a treadmill can vary drastically depending on the vendor you purchase it from and its included features. Affordable treadmills can be as low as $150, like the Confidence Fitness TP-1 Electric Treadmill. More expensive models, like the Bowflex Treadmill, can be over $1500. More advanced treadmills will have extra features like complex monitoring computers that can provide you with exercise data and variable training programs that may or may not alter the elevation of the treadmill belt and the speed at which it moves.
Which is Better Between a Treadmill or Elliptical?
An elliptical is another stationary exercise machine, though it requires you to place both feet on elevated pads. You can then press down with your leg muscles to start turning a wheel or turbine that simulates the act of climbing stairs or walking/running. Because the motion of the pedals is boosted by momentum from your initial energy, the act of running or walking is smoother than if you ran or walked on regular brown or on a treadmill. This is much easier on your joints.
Ultimately, both machines are great for your body and can provide you with a myriad of health benefits. Ellipticals are usually better if you want to practice a specific kind of motion like climbing stairs or if you have body health problems, like joint damage or another injury, but don’t want to give up your exercise entirely.
However, treadmills like the NordicTrack NTL17915 T 6.5S Treadmill are usually better if you want to become better at regular running and want to practice running quickly. Ellipticals usually can’t go as fast or intensely as treadmills, so they aren’t as good for strengthening your legs in terms of pure muscle boosting. Treadmills can provide you with greater resistance.
In short: go with treadmills if you want to exercise more intensely or build muscle and go with an elliptical if you want to maintain a cardiovascular focused exercise routine or have joint damage.
Which Burns More Calories Between a Treadmill or Elliptical?
The calories burned from your workout don’t depend on your machine but instead depend on the exercise routine you choose and your own body chemistry.
However, treadmills enable you to tackle more intense exercise routines and can let you run faster, which burns more calories than walking or reaching a light jogging speed the way an elliptical can provide. This means that treadmills are usually a better choice if you want to burn as many calories as possible in an effort to lose weight and slim down.
How Many Calories Do You Burn on a Treadmill?
Again, the number of calories you can burn on a treadmill largely depends on your body chemistry and the type of exercise you do on the treadmill. There are a few general formulas you can use, however, to estimate the number of calories you burn each time you jump on the treadmill.
As an example, a person who weighs 120 pounds or so can walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes at about 5 mph. They’ll burn around 240 cal. A person around 180 pounds will burn around 350 cal. Obviously, faster speeds and longer time spent on the treadmill will result in more calories burned.
You can use this treadmill calorie calculator to estimate how many you burn on your next routine. You can also purchase a treadmill that has a calorie counter on its front control panel, like the Bowflex Treadmill, to watch the calories burn away as you run or walk.
What to Look for in a Treadmill?
When you’re looking for a treadmill, keep these major factors or inclusions in mind so you end up with something that works well for your needs.
Think about horsepower, as it affects how quickly the belt can run and how smoothly the belt will move over time. If you plan to use a treadmill for a long time, pick up something with at least 2 to 3 continuous-duty horsepower, or CHP. Motors this high or higher will also be good if you are a little on the heavy side.
Maximum speed is another thing you should consider. Runners or those who want to work up to faster exercise routines will want something that can reach top speeds of 10 mph or greater, as the speeds are about as fast as humans can comfortably go for regular exercise.
You should also consider whether a treadmill has incline settings, like the NordicTrack Commercial Treadmill. These tilt the running belt upwards or downwards to give you variable exercise experiences or increase the stress and difficulty of your workout. It’s a great feature if you want to burn calories and increase your legs’ muscle strength.
Finally, don’t forget to think about the control panel and all that it can provide. More detailed control panels might have customizable or preset exercise routines and they might have calorie counters or timers so you can set goals for yourself.