Table of Contents
Today we are going to try and find out. We have selected 6 models that we feel represent the very best you can get if you are on a budget. Some of these treadmills are decent, some belong to the list of best treadmills period, and some represent a good compromise.
After going over our picks, we will get into several factors you should consider when shopping for an affordable treadmill. Lets get started.
At the very top of our list we have Weslo Cadence R 5.2. Even though this treadmill is on the upper edge of affordable, it is still well within the budget category. What makes it a great choice can be reduced to two things. For starters we have a pretty strong motor that offers some 2.5 horsepower.
Said motor powers a 50″ by 16″ belt, thus giving you plenty of room especially if you make longer strides. With a 2.5 hp motor, you are looking exercises that include anything from walking to sprinting. However, that’s not all. On top of a rock solid drive system, Cadence R5.2 also features two incline positions. From a budget buyer’s point of view, anything that come on top of these two features is a bonus.
Speaking of which, Weslo has included several workout programs you can access through the control module. Overall, this treadmill brings all the essentialsnecessary for a good home running sessions, all while being priced rather competitively. If your budget allows for a device in this range, we strongly recommend that you go with Weslo Cadence R5.2. It is about as good as it gets.
Merax has proven to be a good source of affordable cardio equipment over the years. They offer a wide range of devices, all of which tend to be great value for the money. Merax JK1603E is no different. This treadmill brings all the features you would want in an affordable unit including some which are anything but common.
To start things off wehave a 500 Watt motor powering the belt drive. While 500 Watts isn’t necessarily an optimal power rating, it is still quite enough to give you a good workout. Belt size measures 44″ by 14″ which puts it near the top in this price range when it comes to available real estate. If you’re wondering what kind of speeds this setup can deliver, the upper limit is set at some 6 mph.
In other words, walking and light jogging is absolutely within the scope of what Merax JK1603E offers. Here’s what makes it a great treadmill. Unlike most of its competitors, Merax has included an incline control. Although it is a manual one, you still get to add some intensity to your workout. Last but not least, JK1603E comes with several training programs out of the box.
Best Choice Products may not a brand you are familiar with, nor are they a brand that is overly popular in the treadmill community. However, they offer one of the best affordable models on the market right now. Best Choice Products 800W treadmill is an awesome model that is designed to give you intense cardio workouts at home. On the surface it may appear to be a bit too basic.
Fortunately, that’s only superficial. In reality, Best Choice Products 800W offers a two very important things. The first one has got to be its rigid frame. This thing is built rock solid and offers plenty of stability. The second important aspect of this treadmill is the motor. In a grand scheme of things, 800 Watts puts you at the bottom edge of a power band necessary for running.
Anything less than that and you’re limited to light jogging at best. On top of that, Best Choice Products has also included several programmed modes which will spice things upfor you. Overall, Best Choice Products 800W represents a well rounded machine that’s guaranteed to get your money’s worth of cardio at home. We can’t ask for much more at this price.
Compared to most of its competition, Goplus 800W represents a very well rounded piece of gear to haveat home. This brand has isolated what most of the users were looking for and then incorporated those features in a rather affordable treadmill. Generally speaking, this thing’s built very solid, offers plenty of functionality and lives up to the standards of compactness.
The motor is a 800 Watt unit, making it more than capable of supporting a 6 mph running speeds, although it most definitely feels at home with jogging. Belt and drive system sit securely in beefy chassis which comprises of thick, quality metal tubing. Upper portion of the frame features handles for more convenience while the bottom segment is wide enough to accommodate relatively wide side steps. In terms of programs and modes, Goplus 800W offers more than ten.
Control module is built into a larger plastic shell that also features two cup holders and a shelf. The shelf can take any tablet, phone or even book. Overall, Goplus 800W delivers a pretty solid package that not only allows you to get a proper workout, but also enjoy that workout through entertainment. That makes it alright in our book.
In a market where every brand is trying to pack as many features into their budget treadmills, Confidence has decided to take a different route. Compared to most other models on the market, Confidence Power Plus comes across as minimalist in every sense of the word.
If we were malicious, we would say that it comprises of a running belt with a handle and not much more. However, there are couple of good reasons why Confidence has chose this path and why it makes perfect sense. Before we get to that, lets take a quick look at the features this thing offers. At its core we see a 600 Watt motor that powers a 39″ by 14″ belt. Now, that power output isn’t ideal but it puts you in the jogging territory.
There is no incline selection, but that’s perfectly fine. The reason why this treadmill is so interesting is the fact that it take so little space. It is easily one of the most compact models, period. Its fairly modular design allows you to use it with a standing desk. Control module can be dismounted from the frame meaning that you can slide the treadmill close to the desk.
Just like it is the case with any other product, there is a certain price point which you don’t want to cross. The reason being that devices under that price point are just not good enough for any serious use. Spotrill’s Portable Treadmill is sitting right on that line of separation. Some might even say it is below that line, however that is debatable.
In our opinion, this treadmill is very much a decent choice for those working with an extremely limited budget. It packs a 600 Watt motor that drives a 39″ by13″ belt. The frame is very basic, which can also be said about the control module. Even so, they have packed this bad boy with a number of programs that will spice up your training routine.
As it is the case with other treadmills of this type, you can dismount the module from the frame, remove the upper portion of the frame and adapt the treadmill to a standing desk. In terms of applications, we can recommend Spotrill’s Portable Treadmill to anyone who is looking for speed walking and jogging. Overall, it’s an awesome device considering its price. It is about as affordable as it gets.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions and a logical one at that. The short answer we can give you is yes, cheap treadmills are worth it.
However, there are several conditions which need to be met in order for this advice to have any merit. The reason why many people are left jaded and disappointed by affordable treadmills is because of their unrealistic expectations.
You will absolutely love your affordable treadmill so long as your expectations remain realistic. A treadmill that costs as much as the ones we have listed above, won’t come with all the bells and whistles.
More importantly, hardly any of these aside from our top pick are capable of supporting sprinting. In other words, budget treadmills can be a very useful fitness tool as long as your expectations are grounded in reality.
With that said, budgetary constraints aren’t the only reason why people get into entry level treadmills. Some like to get their feet wet andtest the waters before committing more serious amounts of money. Others don’t need anything better than what these models have to offer.
Either way, there is more than one reason why cheap treadmills make sense. With all that said, if you can save up more money and get something in the $500 price range, more power to you. If not, these will work just fine.
Shopping for affordable treadmill is very different from shopping for a good $1000 treadmill.
As a matter of fact, it is much more difficult. Here’s why. When you have a forgiving budget to work with, the models that fall into the budget will
generally all come with good basic features.
With affordable models, that isn’t always the case. For example, our top pick is about as good as it gets. If you check out our reviews for the rest of the models on our list, you will see that most of them are compromising on one feature or the other.
That’s why you really need to figure out what you are looking forin your treadmill before you make a purchase. In this segment we will cover some of the basic features you should keep in mind when choosing a treadmill.
The motor that drives the belt is arguably the most important component on any treadmill. After all, this is what creates the illusion of moving.
There is a golden rule when it comes to treadmill motors. You want to stay above 1 hp if you intend to do any serious running. Further more, the closer you are to 2 hp the better.
Motor power directly translated to the speed you can dial in. However, it also has an impact on the longevity of the motor. Stronger motors will have less trouble facilitating slower running speeds.
Here’s the thing though. Finding a 2 hp motor in affordable treadmills is fairly rare. So much so that getting over that 1 hp mark might prove to be a problem.
If you look at our list, you will find models which are both above and below that magical power band. So what does that mean in practice? It means that weaker motors will limit you to speed walking and jogging.
Some treadmills feature stronger motors than others, but that might come at a cost of some other features.
Incline selection is one of those features which are relatively important but not imperative.
Being able to set any kind of incline will add quality to your workout. The models we have listed above include some that come with this feature. Whether it is manual incline control or motorized one, having this feature is a huge plus.
Again, in this price range it may come at the expense of other features so keep that in mind.
Under design, we don’t really care that much about aesthetics. Rather, we are interested in whether the treadmill can be folded for easier storage or is it a fixed design.
This feature is completely up to you. If you have enough room in your home to keep a treadmill in its unfolded state, you probably won’t care too much about it. However, if you are working with tight spaces, being able to fold that treadmill might prove to be critical.
The size of a running belt can be something worth thinking about. Even though most belts out there are more than big enough, some brands tend to skimp out in this area.
The models we have chosen for our list all come with decently sized running belts. Again, just keep this in mind.
At the end of the day, our top pick definitely belongs to the Weslo Cadence R 5.2. Sure, it is stretching the definition of affordable, but it is worth every penny you invest in it.
We’ve chosen this treadmill simply because it covers all of the basics and it covers them well. We’ve a powerful motor that allows you to sprint, we have incline selection and a number of preset running programs.
Overall, it is really hard to find a better value for the money than this at the moment. At least that’s what the market is telling us.