Best Treadmill for Home Under $500 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews (2017)

Many people question whether it is possible to find the best treadmills under 500. The answer is yes, absolutely. There are many options under 500 that will work for you and your lifestyle. Here are a few things to look for when choosing the right treadmill and a few reviews to help you start shopping.

As some of the more sought after pieces of exercise equipment, treadmills are commonly found in many homes due to their mental and physical benefits. These days, treadmills offer a lot of different choices and features, so it may be difficult to decide which one is right for you.

​When you are looking for the best treadmills for home under 500, it is always a good idea to stop and consider all the features you may need. You more than likely already have some idea of what features you want, but there are several design and specification variations that you may be unaware of. This guide will help you understand what features are available and if they will work for you.

Hand Picked: Top Treadmills for Home Under $500

Treadmills

Quality

Price

Ratings

Proform 6.0 RT (Editors Choice)

A+

$$$

Exerpeutic TF1000 (Best Buy)

A

$$$

Merit Fitness 715T Plus

B+

$$$

Weslo Cadence G 5.9

B+

$$$

TrekDesk - Desk

B

$$$

Things to Consider

Before you head over to get a new treadmill at your home, there are certain things that you need to be considered while finalizing a treadmill.

​Size

​Do you already have an idea of where you will be putting your treadmill? Make sure to measure the area where you plan to place your treadmill, so you can make sure that the one you end up buying will fit into the available space. If you don’t plan on having it out all the time, a folding treadmill is a good option for you.

You just need to make sure to measure the storage area you will be using to make sure you buy one that will fit. Treadmill measurements should be easy to find online, so you can have an idea of which treadmills to look at that will fit within your available space.

Also, the required running space, or treadmill belt size, can determine how large of a space you will need for your treadmill as well. If you are a runner, a 22” wide belt is suggested with a 20” belt for walkers. The length of the belt should be a minimum of 50” for walkers and 55” for runners.​

The average treadmill runs about 7’ long and 3’ wide, although you can find many that are shorter. Others treadmills require a lot of room when they are in use, but you can fold them up after workouts and put them away. Treadmills that fold can be found at every quality level, just make sure you have the available room for it in its folded mode.​

Workout Routine

Are you an intense runner, or do you enjoy long, simple walks? However you answer that question will help you reduce down your options by selecting the right motor power. You will need a more powerful motor if you anticipate doing heavier exercises. Plus, if you only plan on walking, you won’t require as long a treadmill track, while runners will need more room to extend out

Do Your Homework

It is always a good idea to try out a treadmill before bringing it home. But, if you can’t do that, make sure to read the online reviews, specifically reviews from people that have actually used the piece of equipment. It never hurts to find out which features people that have used the piece of equipment have liked and which aren’t worth the money.

Buyer's Guide

Parts of a Treadmill

Motor​

The motor on a treadmill is expressed in horsepower (HP) or continuous horsepower (CHP). The CHP is a more useful gauge as it tells you just how much your motor will power continuously instead of just at its peak. Typical home treadmill motors will fall in between 2.25 and 4.25 CHP with a few that will run as low as 1.5 CHP and as high as 5.0

So, how much motor power will you need for your treadmill? The type of exercise and your body weight will determine the power you need. An average 200-pound person will need:

  • Running: 3.0 CHP or higher​
  • Jogging: 2.5 CHP or higher
  • Walking: 2.0 CHP or higher

For those that weight more than 200 pounds, add another 0.5 CHP and remember that a motor that has the power to spare will last longer than a motor that is run at full capacity.

Track Size

If you have shorter legs, you shouldn’t have to worry about track length. However, if you have longer legs, especially runners, than track length needs to be a consideration. Typically running treadmills are 58” or 60” long and walking treadmills are 55”. There are some treadmills available with a 63” long track for those that have extra-long strides.

Tread belt Durability

There are three components that determine how durable a tread belt is:

Thickness – the thickness of a tread belt should be either a two-ply or a four-ply which is obviously more durable than a single layer. You will also find that thicker tread belts are also quieter when they are in use. Treadmills in the lower price ranges often have tread belts with a single layer, and this is often left out of the specs list as they usually don’t want to advertise that they are using a basic track.


Metal Rollers – Metal rollers propel the track. The larger their diameter, the less stress that is placed on the motor of the treadmill, and it extends the belts life. A typical roller diameter is around 2.5”.


Lubrication – Every few months, you will need to lubricate the treadmill belts to continue its smooth performance. Finding a treadmill that is maintenance-free is always a good feature as they will have either silicone or a different lubricant infused into the tracks.

Track Speed

Most trainees only need a treadmill that has a top speed of 10 mph while a runner that is working on a 5 50 minute mile will require a higher top speed. Home treadmills that can reach 12 mph are becoming more affordable.​

Track Cushioning

To protect your joint from the impact of exercise, track cushioning lessens impact between 15 to 40 percent more than if you ran on the road. This is an important feature for a runner, plus it helps to increase stamina.​

Adjustable cushioning is available on some treadmills allowing you to choose your level of support. Some advanced treadmill decks feature differential cushioning that gives you firm support when you push off on the track and more cushioning when your feet land.

Incline

For those that are interested in fitness results fast, the incline of the treadmill can help you to efficiently burn more calories. Inclines will also help to lessen stress on your joints and focus on different muscle groups. Treadmill tracks can typically be inclined to between 10 and 20 percent with a few treadmills also including a few declines as well. More inexpensive treadmills will have inclines requiring a manual adjustment of the incline.

Programs​

Preset workout programs can be a great feature that gives you various exercise goals like endurance training and weight loss training. These programs can automatically manipulate the speed of the treadmills and it will adjust the incline if needed.​

Immersive workout technology is also a really cool feature that helps to sell a lot of treadmills. Some treadmills even include workouts with unlimited interactive Google Maps. Another more expensive option is Passport Virtual Active technology. You watch Scenic Passport treadmill workouts on your TV and the treadmill will adjust automatically to the intensity and speed of your workout.

Extras

Other treadmill features include water bottle holders, music speakers, console fans, tablet holders, web browsers, and TVs. These features can be a nice addition if you regularly exercise.

​Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of a treadmill typically ranges between 250 to 400 pounds. It is usually a good idea to get a treadmill that can hold a minimum of 50 pounds more than your weight so it doesn’t put a strain on the motor.​

Storage & Portability​

Foldable treadmills are a great option for those that don’t have a lot of extra floor space. When you are done working out, you just fold it up and put it away. Most treadmills include a power-assist technology that makes folding up these machines easy despite what your physical strength may be.

Smaller treadmills can even be portable, are more lightweight, and some even come with transport wheels. Portable treadmills can be conveniently stored behind a door, under a bed, or in a closet.​

Safety

A good safety feature to have on your treadmill is auto-stop, especially for those that are elderly or infirm. Auto-stop is also a good feature if you have small children or pets in case they interfere with your workout.

A key usually controls auto-stop which is attached to your body with a lanyard while you exercise. If you fall, the key disengages and the treadmill is turned off. You can also remove the key after your workout to stop accidental activation of the treadmill.

Best Treadmills For Home under $500 Reviews​

ProForm 6.0 RT

If you are looking for something that is a little more than a basic treadmill, the ProForm 6.0 RT gives you good features and specifications at an affordable price. Measuring 66.5” x 30” x 11” and weight 163 pounds, the ProForm decks are outfitted with a 55” x 18” non-slip treadmill belt that is powered by a 2.5 CHP Mach Z Motor. The motor strength lets you use speeds up to 10 mph that is sufficient for both runners and walkers.

The ProForm is outfitted with the TreadSoft Cushioning system that lets you exercise for long time periods without adding any stress to your joints or back. It also was created with a space saver design, so it can be easily stored away to save you floor space. A large LCD display screen is included in the user-friendly console and displays your speed, distance, time, calories burned, and heart rate.

With the help of the EKG Grip Pulse sensor found on the handlebars, your heart rate is tracked easily. The ProForm 6.0 RT also has eight built-in preset exercise programs that are designed to assist you in getting the results you want. Other features include a water bottle holder and iPod compatibility.​

Pros

  • Easy to assemble and easy to put away
  • Great speed and incline levels
  • Running space is comfortable, easy to adjust speeds

Cons

  • Taller people may find the treadmill belt a little cramped

Exerpeutic TF1000

​The "Exerpeutic TF1000 Ultra High Capacity Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill" is a high-quality system that shows that you don’t have to spend a lot to get the body you want. Easily accommodating users up to 400 pounds, it has dimensions of 32” in width and 51.2” in height.

This is also a foldable treadmill that can be stored away easily when you aren’t using it. The tread belt measure 20” wide, and the 1.5 hp high-torque motor can get you up to speeds of 4 mph. Extra-long 18” handles is an added safety feature to help you maintain your balance while you exercise.

The Exerpeutic TF1000 features an LCD display on the easy to use console that lets you see how many calories you have burned, your speed, time, and distance you have traveled. There is also convenient adjustment speed controls on the handlebars.​

Pros

  • Very affordable, sturdy construction.
  • Has a high weight limit.
  • Easy to assemble and use.

Cons

  • Has a maximum speed of only 4 mph, not good for runners.

Merit Fitness 715T Plus Treadmill

Outfitted with a 3 window LED Display, the Merit Fitness 715T allows you to track your progress through the distance you have traveled, speed, calories burned, and elapsed time. You can also check your heart rate using the thumb pulse rate monitor.

Included programs include four preset exercise workouts that will help you achieve a more robust workout. Plus, it has the added convenience of a water bottle holder.

Pros

  • Lightweight compared to other treadmills.
  • Pretty sturdy construction and is very quiet when you are using it.
  • Compact with a smooth belt.

Cons

  • Inclination can only be adjusted manually to a minimal 5%

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill

​The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 has a very impressive motor with a 2.256 CHP that allows you to run up to 10 mph. It measurements runs 31” wide and 68” long and 31” wide, and the foldable framework is strong enough to handle users up to 250 pounds.

The Comfort Cell Cushioning system increases your comfort with reducing stress on your joints and back while you exercise, and the deck has an incline of two positions. The LCD Display screen on the console is outfitted with visual feedback of your workout session.

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 also allows you to track your heart rate through the Easy Pulse Heart Rate Monitor. Plus, there are 6 preset personal trainer workouts to help you achieve a more robust exercise session, and all of these programs were created by a certified personal trainer.​

Pros

  • Easy to put together, very quiet motor.
  • Folds up easily, great space saver.
  • Incline is easy to set, heart rate monitor great added feature.

Cons

  • Incline can only be adjusted manually.

TrekDesk Treadmill Desk

For the most creative and ingenious treadmill design, we have the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk that integrates you treadmill with your desk allowing you to maintain your desk work schedule without missing any time exercising. Available in a white finish and a steel frame, the desk can hold all your office equipment and supplies up to 55 pounds. It comes with adjustable height ranges from 46.5” to 56.6” and is 34” wide and 72” long.​

Even with the desk, it can be folded away for storage easily. The desk also features a three-level file keeper, a manuscript holder, and two cup or utility holders.

Pros

  • Comes with a video tutorial for assembly.
  • Has an adjustable height which is great if you are taller.
  • Desk has a nice large work area

Cons

  • Only suitable for those users that are 5’4” – 6’4”

Confidence GTR Power Pro Motorized Electric Treadmill

If you are looking for a treadmill with a ton of options and an affordable price, the Confidence GTR Power Pro Motorized Electric Treadmill comes equipped with an adjustable manual incline and a complete set of features.

It’s compact deck length and folding frame makes this lightweight treadmill easy to store if you need to save on floor space. It comes with a full set of fitness programs, plus a heart rate monitor that helps you achieve fitness programs that allow you to burn calories and do your training at home.​

​The incline on the Confidence GTR is manual, but it will help to train your glutes, quads, and calves while you burn calories using a high level of resistance. Depending on your speed and incline, you can achieve up to 900 calories burned in an hour. The speed range can be set from .5 kph to 7.5 kph per hour allowing all the members of your household to get in a solid workout without leaving home.

It has a dependable 1.5 hp motor that is suitable for users up to 265 pounds, and it includes 12 different workout programs that allow you to burn fat or do cardio without a personal trainer. This is also another easily folded treadmill that can be stored out of the way.​

Pros

  • Comes with a heart rate monitor.
  • Has a comfortable wide deck.
  • Easy to assemble, comes with a safety emergency stop

Cons

  • Incline adjustment is manual.

If you are looking for the best treadmills under 500, you won’t have any problems finding quite a few to look at. Even at this price point, you will find many that have strong motors, good size decks, and preset fitness programs that will help you achieve your fitness goals.