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Calling all wannabe fitness fanatics. If you don’t have the funds or the desire to pay gym membership fees, don’t sweat it. You can now get in shape from the comfort of home with your very own personal running machine.
Let’s face it, many of us have had to do most things within our four walls for much of the past year, from working to homeschooling our kids. With gyms being forced to close for months on end during the national lockdowns, it’s no surprise that home workouts have soared in popularity since COVID-19 struck - just ask Joe Wicks!
In fact, sales of home gym equipment rose by a staggering 170 per cent last spring when restrictions first kicked in. In particular, treadmills for home use have become increasingly popular - and with good reason too.
Home treadmills aren’t just useful for lockdown exercise. They’re ideal for those days when you don’t fancy heading out for a jog because it’s raining (again) or if you’re embarking on a weight loss journey and don’t yet feel comfortable enough to exercise in public.
You may have noticed that home treadmills are discussed in our Exercise forum a fair bit too, with one Mumsnetter, Glowcat, advising: “I love the peace of treadmill running. You don’t have to look out for stones, dog poo or people.” Indeed.
Whether you’re a fitness newbie or you’ve been running for years, there’s a wide choice of ‘treads’ available to you. You can choose from motorised or non motorised running machines and, if you don’t have space in your home to leave your treadmill up all the time, most running machines tend to be foldable for easy storage when not in use.
It’s important to flag up that there are certain downsides associated with treadmill use such as the risk of developing knee pain and achilles tendon injuries. Treadmills should always be used carefully and sensibly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions and most important of all, children should never be allowed to use a home treadmill, especially unattended, as it only takes a moment for an accident to occur.
With all that in mind, here are the best treadmills for home use in 2021.
1. Best overall treadmill for home use: NordicTrack S20i Treadmill
Price: £799 | Buy now from Amazon
“We've got a NordicTrack Treadmill - had it for a few years. It's been a great piece of kit.” EmmaStone
NordicTrack is a name that comes up a fair bit on our forums and it’s clear that Mumsnetters rate it as a fitness brand. The foldable NordicTrack S20i Treadmill is one of Amazon’s current bestsellers and it’s not hard to see why.
This hi-tech treadmill has oodles of great features, including a 2.5 CHP SMART-Response motor, a Bluetooth smart-enabled LCD display to show iFit workouts and stats tracking, dual speakers, Digital Quick Incline Control, Digital QuickSpeed control and a cushioned deck to minimise impact on your joints. The deck is roomy too - ideal if you’re tall or have a particularly long stride.
After your workout, you can fold and store the treadmill - and, if you like freebies, there’s good news. You’ll get a free six-month subscription to NordicTrack’s integrated iFit technology, which is worth £175 and offers more than 1000 videos led by professional fitness coaches.
- Trusted fitness brand
- Lots of hi-tech features
- Not the cheapest treadmill on our list
- Size: L203cm x W91cm x H151 cm
- Max speed: 0-18 kph Digital QuickSpeed control
- Incline: 0 to 10 % Digital Quick Incline Control
- Power: 2.5 CHP Max user weight: 135kg
2. Best budget treadmill: Opti Non-Motorised Folding Treadmill
Price: £129.99 | Buy now from Argos
First things first, this is a non-motorised treadmill so it's much more basic than the motorised options on our list. Rather than flicking a button, you’ll need to walk or run to get the belt going.
There are no bells and whistles on this budget running machine - there’s just one level of incline, which is set to six per cent gradient. For that reason, you’ll feel like you’re constantly running uphill. However, the Opti Non-Motorised Folding Treadmill is the best value treadmill we’ve found and it’s a great space saver too because it folds flat for storage between your runs.
Keep track of your speed with the battery-operated digital display. Also, don’t worry about a minimum or maximum running speed - as you generate the belt’s motion, your speed and pace is all down to you.
- Easy for beginners to use
- Only one, static level of incline
- Size: L120 x W60 x H120cm
- Max speed: N/A
- Incline: One level - 6%
- Power: Batteries included for digital display (2 x AA)
- Max user weight: 100kg (15st 10lb)
3. Best under-desk treadmill: CITYSPORTS Folding Motorised Treadmill
Price: From £299 | Buy now from Amazon
“I like the idea of a walking desk. Virtually impossible to go for walks alone.” Neome
If you’re looking for an affordable running machine for walking and jogging or even for using while you work, Amazon’s bestselling CITYSPORTS Folding Motorised Treadmill ticks many boxes.
There’s a low noise motor, an LED display to show speed, time, calories burned and distance covered, a remote control to adjust speed and also a tablet holder for connecting to different training programmes, including Apple Fit and Swift.
This lightweight foldable treadmill is narrow enough to slide under a standing desk so you can meet your deadlines while exercising. If you’re a sprinter, it might not be suitable as it has a top speed of only 6km/h and there’s no incline option either but, all things considered, it’s ideal for newbies, joggers and walkers.
- Not too expensive
- Easy to fold down
- Fairly low top speed
- Size: H147 cm x L59 cm x H15 cm
- Max speed: 6km/h
- Incline: N/A
- Power: 3HP
- Max user weight: 100kg (15st 10lb)
4. Best treadmill under £500: Mobvoi Home Treadmill
Price: £339.99 | Buy now from Amazon
Mobvoi may not be a household name when it comes to fitness gear, but their Home Treadmill offers a range of features. These include walking and running mode, an adjustable speed of up to 12km/h, three incline options, remote and touch control, and built-in Bluetooth speaker.
This lightweight home treadmill has four wheels, which make it easier to move around, and also folds down for convenient storage.
- Lightweight and foldable
- Tech features including built-in Bluetooth speaker
- Not a well known brand
- Size: L124.5cm x W68.6cm x H106.7cm
- Max speed: 12km/h
- Incline: Three levels
- Power: 2.25HP
- Max user weight: 120 kg (18st 9lbs)
5. Best compact treadmill: Domyos Smart Treadmill T540C
Price: £549.99 | Buy now from Decathlon
For a little over £500, this versatile, silent treadmill - one of Decathlon’s bestsellers - offers a host of useful features you’d find on hi-tech treadmills at the gym.
The backlit screen displays stats including current and average speed, incline, distance, time, calories burnt and bpm. The T540 is compatible with the Domyos E-Connected app so you can track your workouts. You’ll also get speakers, a tablet holder and two smart pockets.
The Smart Treadmill T540C has a top speed of 16km/h - equivalent to a 6:02min/mile pace - so it should fit the bill if you’re an experienced runner. Designed to be light and super compact, this is ideal if you don’t have loads of space for your home fitness equipment.
- Loads of hi-tech features
- Needs two people to set it up
- Size: L177cm X W79cm X H141 cm
- Max speed: 16km/h
- Incline: yes, up to 10% incline
- Power: 1.25HP
- Max user weight: 130kg (20st 6lb)
6. Best Reebok treadmill: Reebok One GT40s
Price: £599.99 | Buy now from Argos
“I've just bought the Reebok GT40s in Argos and I'm loving it. I'm a single parent and just couldn't get out for a run so it's great to be able to get going again.” atomicnotsoblonde
Ideal for beginners, this foldable Reebok One GT40s treadmill has clever integrated ONE Series cushioning in the running belt to help reduce the impact on your joints. The nifty LCD console display tracks your time, speed, distance, pulse and calories burned.
You can easily adjust the incline and speed using the no-fuss integrated keys on the handlebars and there’s an auto safety stop function to reduce the risk of mishaps.
Reasonably priced, this is a cost-effective tool for getting fit from the comfort of your home. You’ll need a fair bit of space though - reviewers say it takes up a lot of space even when folded.
- ONE Series cushioning to reduce impact
- Easy to use
- Size: L168cm x W85cm x H133cm
- Max speed: 16kph
- Incline: 12 levels of incline
- Power: 2HP
- Max user weight: 110kg (17st 5lb)
7. Best low-impact treadmill: JTX Fitness Sprint-5 Home Treadmill
Price: £859 | Buy now from JTX Fitness
“Try JTX Fitness. DH is really happy with his treadmill from there. It runs at higher speeds than his previous treadmill. He uses it daily.” Sakura03
If you’re a beginner who wants to get serious about running or you’re training for long distances up to a half marathon, you may be willing to invest a bit more of your hard earned cash on your home treadmill.
The JTX Fitness Sprint-5 Home Treadmill might just be the perfect choice for you as it offers inclines up to 12% and speeds up to 18 kph. It’s compact, making it easier to store, although some reviewers say that the running deck itself can feel a bit tight as a result. That said, you get loads of features for your money including a comfortable eight-point Cushionstep Deck™ to help reduce the impact and potential strain on your joints.
There’s also noise reduction technology, a range of responsive programmes and a free tablet holder for your tech. Overall, it’s a decent bit of kit if you’re determined to build up your fitness at home.
- Eight-point Cushionstep Deck™ to reduce impact
- Decent incline
- The running deck may be too small for some runners
- Size: L174cm x W83cm x H157cm
- Max speed: 11mph
- Incline: 0-12%
- Power: 2.5HP
- Max user weight: 140kg (22 st)
8. Best foldable treadmill: Viavito LunaRun Fold Flat Treadmill
Price: £599 | Buy now from Amazon
“I have this one and I love it especially as it folds flat and doesn’t take up too much space.” Allypally32
A great space-saver, this compact treadmill can be folded fully flat or vertically so it can be stored under a bed or in a cupboard. Yet, at 42cm wide and 125cm long, the running deck is more generous than on many compact machines.
The Viavito LunaRun Fold Flat Treadmill offers a top speed of 16 kph (10 mph) and an electronically controlled incline of up to 10%. The cushioned deck lessens the impact on your joints, while the back-lit LCD display and shortcut keys and handlebar control mean it’s super easy to use, even for first-time treadmill joggers.
On this running machine, you’ll find 15 programmes - 12 of which have been pre-set by a certified personal trainer and three that you can set to suit your own fitness requirements.
- Generous running deck for a compact treadmill
- Easy to assemble, fold and store
- Not suitable for anyone over 14 stone
- Size: L160cm x W76cm x H153cm
- Max speed: 16 kph (10 mph)
- Incline: 0-10%
- Power: 1.25HP
- Max user weight: 90kg (14.1 st)
9. Best treadmill under £1000: Branx Elite Runner Pro Treadmill
Price: £999.99 | Buy now from Amazon
“I have a Branx treadmill. I got the Elite Runner Pro. My criteria was: longevity, comfort, quality and it had to be foldable (though I don't actually fold it between uses). My son runs on it about half an every day and I walk on it. It has up to date cushioning technology (think of your knees!). I believe with treadmills you get what you pay for.” Pipandmum
If you don’t want to splash more than a grand on your running machine, this hi-tech model is just within your budget. Branx is a respected brand in home fitness and the Elite Runner Pro certainly delivers.
Great if you want to achieve faster speeds, this treadmill offers an impressive maximum speed of 21km/h (13mph) and a generous running deck of 140cm x 48cm. There are 22 incline levels - perfect for tackling hill training.
The cushioned DualShock 10-Point Absorption System running belt reduces injury risk and six-inch backlit LCD monitor tracks stats speed, time and calories burned. As you’d expect from a treadmill at this price point, the Branx Elite Runner Pro Treadmill is tech-enabled with Bluetooth. It’s also simple to tidy thanks to the Soft Drop mechanism which means it will drop slowly to the floor after folding.
- Cushioned, generously sized running deck
- Very high top speed
- Size: L185cm x W80cm x H135cm
- Max speed: 21km/h (13mph)
- Incline: 22 levels
- Power: 3.5CHP (6.5HP) fan cooled
- Max user weight: 160kg (25 st)
10. Best gym-standard treadmill: NordicTrack Treadmill T 8.5S
Price: £1,599 | Buy now from Amazon
“I’ve had two Nordictrack treadmills. They are robust, their motors are between domestic and commercial, and have good functionality/reliability. I'd always opt for one of these as I’ve been impressed. I hill walk on mine for around an hour four times a week and have noticed the difference in my legs.” tadpole73
This is the second NordicTrack treadmill on our list. Pricewise, it’s right at the top of our round-up but, if you’re willing to pay more for your home treadmill, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be satisfied.
The NordicTrack Treadmill T 8.5S offers a maximum speed of 1-22 km/h and a choice of 12 incline gradients. There are plenty of techy details too, including a touch screen with an iFit interface, EKG sensor system and iFit Bluetooth heart rate band.
For a bulky piece of kit, it’s actually pretty convenient to store thanks to the Vertical SpaceSaver folding system. You’ll also get a free one-year subscription to NordicTrack’s integrated iFit technology.
- Hi-tech details including integrated iFit technology
- Free one year membership to xX
- Not a cheap option
- Size: L202cm x W91cm x H152cm
- Max speed: 1-22 km/h
- Incline: 0-12%
- Power: 3.5CHP
- Max user weight: 135kg (25st 3lbs)
Are cheap treadmills worth it?
While treadmills at the higher end of the price scale, costing upwards of £1,000, are definitely an investment buy, you don’t have to spend the earth to get a decent running machine.
The good news is that you can pick up a decent manual treadmill for just over £100, like the Opti Non-Motorised Folding Treadmill. Motorised running machines are more pricey but you can still find one for around £500, like the CITYSPORTS Folding Motorised Treadmill.
The drawbacks of cheaper models are that, understandably, you’ll get less hi-tech features and specifications, but if you’re a newbie or don’t have the budget to splash your cash, a cheaper treadmill may fulfil your needs.
How do I choose a treadmill?
Here’s a list to consider when choosing your new home running machine:
Whether you’re a beginner or a sprint dynamo, you don’t want to find yourself feeling limited by the top speed offered by your treadmill if it’s too slow for your pace. So it’s important to take note of the fastest speed that your home running machine will allow you to run before you buy, to avoid you getting frustrated mid-workout.
You may be lucky enough to have a spare room just waiting to be converted into a home gym and, if that’s the case, you can look at sturdy treadmills that can’t be folded down.
However, if you need a space-saving option, make sure that you choose a light, foldable running machine. Some of the choices on our list are dinky enough to be stashed away under a desk or in a cupboard between your workouts. As treadmills can be heavy, you should check whether the floor where you’re planning on using it can withstand the strain.
Some running machines can be pretty noisy when they’re in use. A noisy running machine could prove problematic if you live in an upper floor flat and don’t want to annoy your neighbours or are planning on working out when your children are napping. If this is the case, look for a non-motorised treadmill or one with a quiet motor.
Most home treadmills have a variety of features - some of which will be more important to you than others. Features to look for include walking and running mode, adjustable speed, incline options, remote and touch control, and complementary tech such as bluetooth speakers and linked apps so that you can personalise your work out.
If you’re trying to get fit on a budget, you might worry that you can’t stretch to a decent treadmill. Fret not, though, because there are plenty of affordable home running machines on the market, although they do tend to sell out pretty quickly. If you’d rather pay off your treadmill on a monthly basis rather than in one eye-watering lump sum, many suppliers allow you to do just that. A treadmill is an investment buy after all.
Try before you buy: Some outlets allow you to try out a running machine before you buy it - a great way to avoid a costly mistake. Another idea is to temporarily hire a treadmill you’re interested in to ensure it suits your needs before you commit to buying that particular model.
Which treadmill is best for home use?
The best overall treadmill for home use is the NordicTrack S20i Treadmill. One of Amazon’s current bestsellers, it has an abundance of brilliant features and is a great all-round treadmill for the price.
How we chose our recommendations
Our suggestions for treadmills for home use came from recommendations on the Mumsnet forums and from consumer reviews on the web. We consulted independent review sites for opinions about products to ensure we were bringing you an honest summary of home treadmills for 2021.
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet has been helping make parents’ lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.
We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.
Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.