In May 2021, Peloton and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued voluntary recalls of both models of its treadmills, the Tread (our previous Best Upgrade pick) and Tread+, due to risk of injury. The Tread is now available for purchase with an updated digital passcode feature designed to prevent people from accidentally starting the machine and updated touchscreen design to ensure it stays in place. The Tread+ is still pending investigation and remains off the market. If you own the Tread+, immediately stop using it and contact Peloton for a full refund or other safety guidelines.
There are a lot of reasons to consider buying a home treadmill. Maybe you’re building a full-on home gym, or you’re a year-round runner who wants to stay inside during inclement weather, or you want a way get in some steps without leaving the house. But when it comes to selecting your own personal hamster wheel, at least one thing will become immediately apparent: There are a lot of options.
To help ease your search, we tested and reviewed models from the big brands including NordicTrack, Bowflex, and Echelon. Our top pick? The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 (available at NordicTrack) , which has a roomy, buoyant running deck, speed and incline options that should satisfy anyone, and access to the iFit platform, which offers classes taught by instructors all over the globe.
If you don’t want to spend as much, our best value pick is the Sole F63 (available at Sole Fitness), which has speed and incline ranges to rival higher-priced treadmills for home. And if you want to spend even less, Horizon T101 (available at Horizon Fitness) is a great bare-bones option.
NordicTrack Commercial 1750
NordicTrack’s Commercial 1750 is the whole package. It offers speeds that range between 0.5 miles per hour (mph) to 12 mph (a 5-minute mile pace) and an incline range of -3% to 15% (yes, it goes downhill, a feature that only one other treadmill we tested offers). The generous belt measures 22 inches wide and 68 inches long (the most spacious we tested), and is powered by a 3.75 continuous duty horsepower (CHP) motor, which is on the higher side of treads we tested and means it can be used at high speeds for a long period of time. It can support up to 300 pounds (about standard for a full-size quality treadmill). I found both running and walking on it to be a joy; its sturdy deck has an ideal springiness-to-firmness ratio that meant my joints felt protected even at high-octane sprints without making me feel like I was going to fly off the deck if I stepped too enthusiastically. The console has a 10-inch touchscreen with additional tactile buttons to control speed, incline and decline, and to turn on its fan. Using it felt intuitive, and its metrics on the LCD display showed just what I wanted to see—my distance, pace, speed, incline, calories burned, and time (which you can swap to “time remaining” in guided workouts).
For those who prefer guided workouts, the 1750 comes with access to NordicTrack’s workout platform iFit, which is included for free for the first year with purchase of the treadmill. What sets iFit’s classes apart from others is that most are not filmed in a studio with the instructor also on a treadmill but instead feature instructors leading you on a guided run of an incredible outdoor destination from somewhere across the globe. When you play them on the treadmill screen, the belt automatically adjusts to match the trainer’s recommended speed and incline (though you can also go slower or faster if you want). With it, I got to follow along with runs and hikes in Thailand, Japan, Iceland, Morocco, and Colorado—a much-needed opportunity to look at a location that wasn’t my apartment, Reviewed’s office, and the walk I take to get to both of those places. In addition to the envy-inspiring workout spots, I also liked the instructors, who were all great at chatting throughout the workout, which made them all go by relatively quickly. iFit also has studio classes, if that’s more your speed, but to me, the outdoor ones are what made it feel special. iFit seems to have pared down on filming maskless international runs over the past year—most of its recent videos are set in national parks around the states—but its stockpile of available workouts from all over the globe is so vast, I think it would take a while for most people to run out of them (pun intended).
The treadmill is big (81.25 inches long, 39.25 inches wide, and 62.75 inches tall), though the deck folds up, so it doesn’t always have to occupy its full footprint. (NordicTrack assembled the treadmill for us, so I can’t speak to assembly, but you can watch a YouTube video to gauge if it seems possible for you.) The 1750’s screen is embedded into the console and not adjustable, so I found it a little difficult to to see it for iFit’s off-treadmill HIIT, yoga, strength classes. Even if I had enough space to position myself just right so I wouldn’t knock into the treadmill, it was tough to get a good look at the screen—but it was easy enough to use the iFit app on a smartphone or tablet.
On the treadmill, I experienced occasional issues loading the iFit classes (and I didn’t experience this with other connected treadmills, so it wasn’t my internet). Two or three times, it got stuck on a screen that said it was saving my workout after a class and wouldn’t let me exit out; another time, I tried to start a class but the screen wouldn’t connect to the workout I wanted to do. It didn’t happen every time I used the treadmill, and I fixed both issues by unplugging the treadmill for a few minutes—still, if it was a more consistent issue, it would concern me.
Finally, I loved all the iFit classes I took, but it was sometimes hard to find the right ones. For whatever reason, iFit’s layout was really confusing to me—mainly because it offers other (cool!) content like Ted Talks and meditation guides, but those would also show up and clog the results when I was looking for something like a 20-minute run. The workouts are generally filmed as a series—that is, the instructor films 10 or more of them with the idea that you can do one each day and get a multi-week workout program by following it to the end—again, this is cool, but it makes it a little difficult to bop around between different instructors and locations, which other fitness platforms seem to encourage more.
It costs $1,799 plus a $199 delivery fee. iFit is included your first year; after that, you’ll pay $39 a month or $396 a year for a family membership that accommodates up to five users (or $180 a year for an individual one). No-interest financing is also available at $150 a month for 12 months or $72 a month for 36 months (this option includes iFit payments after the first free year). It also has one of the better warranties—10 years on the frame, two years on the parts, and one year for labor. NordicTrack also offers service plans (for an additional cost) to have your tread tuned up regularly.
Overall, the combination of the NordicTrack 1750’s solid build, sprightly deck, and motivational iFit programming make it something that, were it in my home, I’d feel encouraged to jump on it almost every single day.
First year total cost (if paid in full): $1,799 + $199 delivery fee = $1998
Of all the treadmills I tested, the Sole F63 was one of the most straightforward. It doesn’t have a fancy touchscreen console or the ability to stream workout videos, but it had exactly what I wanted to see during my runs and nothing more or less: A 6.5-inch LED display console that shows pace, speed, incline, time spent running, and calories burned. You can also connect it to a free app that helps track your workouts and also connects to fitness platforms like Fitbit (I tried it once, and it seemed to work OK—most reviewers in both the Apple app store and Google Play disagree, but, hey, it’s free.)
Its speed and incline ranges—0.5 to 12 mph and 0 to 15%, respectively—rival treadmills in much higher price brackets and were easy to adjust, thanks to tabs with up and down arrows on the console and two big buttons on the handrails that are perfect for slapping to adjust down or up on the fly—say, when you’re finishing up a uphill sprint interval and can’t be bothered with precision. It also has a 20-inch wide and 60-inch long belt with a sturdy, responsive deck rated for up to 325 pounds that made me feel secure and comfortable during my runs. It runs on a 3.0 CHP motor, which is a little less powerful than the NordicTrack 1750 but not a huge sacrifice considering the $800 price difference.
Though Sole itself doesn’t offer streaming programming, the F63 was designed to appeal to a customer who wants to use it with a workout app, with Bluetooth connectivity and an integrated tablet holder above the console. However, an app isn’t necessary to get some good exercise—the Sole has six pre-programmed workouts that you can follow along with and you can simply use the Bluetooth to play music and the tablet holder to watch Netflix. I didn’t even need to use the extra tablet holder, because the treadmill also has a ledge built into the console, and it was big enough that I could lean an iPad against it and still see my metrics—that said, the designated tablet holder will put the screen more at eye level, which is better for posture when you’re running.
The Sole F63 isn’t without its faults. For one thing, the box it comes in is massive—it didn’t fit into the elevator in our office building—and it's pretty big once it’s assembled, too, at 66 inches tall, 82 inches long, and 35 inches wide. Though it isn’t intimidating or difficult to use once it’s in place, it has a hulking frame that makes it look imposing. If you install it anywhere that isn’t a designated workout area—say, a corner in the living room or dining area—you can expect it to suck up most of the space in the room. Its deck folds up, but because it’s so big and heavy to raise, I wouldn’t expect most people to bother most of the time.
Sole also does not offer assembly, even for an extra fee. I was able to put most of it together myself, but some steps required two people. If you live alone, setup and installation may be the biggest hurdle. It’s also noisy—no treadmill we tested was quiet, exactly, but this one felt noticeably louder than others and could be heard through closed doors.
The Sole F63 is $999 and shipping is included with purchase. It has a great warranty, too—lifetime on the frame, 20 years on the motor, three years on the deck, three years on the electronics/belt/rollers, and one year on labor. Sole does not offer financing.
Overall, if you want a treadmill that’s easy and fun to use and has specs that rival pricier models, the Sole F63 is a great call.
I’m Sara Hendricks, the health and fitness editor at Reviewed. I’ve tested a lot of fitness equipment, including exercise bikes and AI-powered home gyms. I’m also a former cross-country runner and current all-around exercise enthusiast, so I’ve spent a decent amount of time on and around treadmills of varying quality. When I had an opportunity to try out a bunch of them to find the best treadmill, I couldn’t get running quickly enough.
We tested treadmills a similar way to how we evaluated the best exercise bikes. We ordered eight popular products to our Cambridge, Mass., office—some were loaned from the brands, others we purchased ourselves. Some were ‘connected,’ meaning they have a built-in screen and WiFi connectivity to stream workout videos from accompanying apps that you must pay an additional monthly fee to access. Others are not fully connected but offer Bluetooth connectivity that allows users to “hack” workouts from an accompanying app like Peloton or Aaptiv through the tread’s speakers—or go old-school and run to music pumped through speakers or headphones or even to bring the sound closer of a nearby Bluetooth-enabled TV.
If the order included assembly, we asked for it; if not, I set the treadmill up myself (and often with help from anyone else who happened to be in the office). I took note of how easy or difficult DIY setup was, and if you’d be better off getting a tread that offers assembly. (And let me assure you: if I could put together a treadmill, most people should be able to.)
Once set up, I got to running (and walking). Reviewed’s senior scientist, Julia MacDougall, helped me devise a test in which I evaluated each model's basic functions, including its speed and incline range, belt length and width, deck cushioning and responsiveness, warranty, and maximum weight capacity. I also evaluated each tread’s more subjective aspects, such as the quality of metrics display, how easy it was to use, how it looked, its build quality, how noisy it was during runs, and, if it was a connected treadmill, whether I felt its available classes were fun and effective enough to make most people want to pay for them every month. I also considered each treadmill’s price, and if the features it offered made it worthwhile.
What You Should Know About Buying Treadmills
The treadmill has long been a stalwart of at-home fitness. Like a lot of home workout equipment, they’ve exploded in popularity recently—sales grew by 96% in 2020 compared to 2019, a rep from market research group NPD told us—ratcheting up order wait times among people who want their home to replace the gym (or at least work as a temporary stand-in). This recent popularity boost is pandemic-driven, but it's still a good product to own. Both walking and running are fantastic for cardiovascular health, and when it isn’t possible or desirable to do it outside, these machines provide an easy solution. (As with most things, though, it’s best not to overdo it—running especially can be a lot of impact on the body, and, as with most cardio-based exercises, should be supplemented with strength training program and stretching to prevent injury.)
There’s some variation in the bells and whistles, but all treadmills share many of the same features. They each have a deck (the platform upon which the belt rotates, which should be tough enough to withstand repeated running but soft enough for shock absorption), a belt (the part you run on, which rotates around the deck should have enough grip to ensure your feet don’t slip), and the console (the place where you control the machine’s speed and incline, and where it shows your distance, pace, and other metrics). If it’s a connected model, it will likely have a touchscreen that is used to display workout videos; if it’s not connected, it will likely use tactile buttons. Treadmills also have a motor measured in horsepower. When you’re comparing models, it’s important to pay attention to the tread’s “continuous duty” horsepower, or CHP, which refers to the rate at which the motor can operate for a prolonged period of time, as opposed to “peak” horsepower, which refers to the potential power of the motor at max capacity, but that’s not necessarily sustainable. A treadmill with less than 2.5 CHP is probably not worthwhile if you’re a dedicated runner and/or you plan to use it a lot.
The importance of each feature varies slightly, depending on if you plan to use your treadmill primarily for walking or running. But, across the board, you should pay attention to belt length and width, which should be no smaller than 18 inches wide and 48 inches long. Otherwise you may not be able to stride comfortably on it, particularly if you’re on the taller side or plan to run at fast speeds. This is because most people naturally drift from side to side as they run, which makes the risk of accidentally stepping off the belt—or worrying you might step off the belt—as you sprint greater on a smaller one. It’s also important for a treadmill to have some incline ability for both runners and walkers—it helps build up strength and add variety to workouts in a way that running or walking on a flat road won’t—and, for runners, a wide range of speeds is vital. Exact numbers depend on your needs, but, in general, look out for treads with a maximum incline of at least 10% and maximum speeds of at least 10 mph.
You can also expect to designate a decent chunk of space in your home to one of these machines. Even if it folds up and has wheels, most are still too heavy and unwieldy to move significant distances or put into storage, and its footprint will be larger than that of something like a bike. It’s important to have some space around your treadmill, too. You should have about 6.5 feet behind it and 1.5 feet of unencumbered space by the sides, according to ASTM International, a standard-setting organization, so you don’t bounce against a wall or other pieces of equipment if you fall off. It’s also helpful to set up the treadmill in a space with higher ceilings. Most brands recommend at least 12 inches of head clearance for safety—when you’re calculating this, you’ll have to figure in the height of the treadmill deck and the height it can reach at max incline, plus the height of the tallest runner in your household. (Most will list the ceiling height requirement in the specs.)
Other Treadmills We Tested
If you’re looking for a treadmill that functions as both an exercise device and a status symbol, you’ll want to consider the new Peloton Tread which does both with aplomb. The connected tread from the luxury fitness brand is a slightly downgraded version of its more-expensive Tread+ (which is the rebranded name of the original device Peloton launched in 2018). But the Tread has enough going for it to make it our upgrade pick.
At a glance: The Tread’s speed ranges from 0.5 to 12.5 mph (a blistering 4:48-mile pace, the fastest we tested) and its incline ranges from 0% to 12.5% (second only to NordicTrack and Bowflex’s range). It has a 20-inch wide, 59-inch long belt and a 3 HP motor (slightly smaller and less powerful than NordicTrack’s, and Peloton does not specify if it is continuous or maximum HP), and a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds (on par). You must include at least a one-month membership to Peloton’s all-access subscription with your purchase , which is $39 a month. You can cancel it at any time, but we think its fitness programming is a big part of what makes the Tread worth it.
Assembly is included with purchase of the Tread, and, when built, it comes out to 68 inches long, 33 inches wide, and 62 inches tall with a generous 23.8-inch screen. I thought it looked sleek and sophisticated—if you’re planning on getting a treadmill to keep out in your living room, this is probably the most visually appealing option.
The speed and incline are controlled by knobs on the right and left handrail of the Tread, which you adjust with a twist (or even just a flick of your palm). You can also customize three shortcuts each for your own favorite speed and incline settings on the touchscreen. I thought the shortcut buttons were a little small and tough to hit accurately, especially when I was finishing up a sprint interval, but the knobs made it quick and easy enough to change the speed that I didn’t find myself worrying about the shortcuts too much. Its screen can only be tilted (not pivoted like its new Bike+), but it's large enough that I didn't have any trouble following off-tread classes.
For me, the Tread’s main draw is its integration with the Peloton platform. It’s easy to figure out how to find and filter classes that suit your needs, whether it’s running, speed walking, bootcamp (which involve alternating intervals of on- and off-tread runs and exercises), or Peloton’s off-tread offerings, which include yoga, HIIT, strength training, barre, stretching, and more. The Tread also has access to a new feature, called Stacked Classes, which allows you to queue up as many as 10 classes and play them in a row—a nice touch that makes planning out full-body workouts easier. I liked stacking my runs with strength classes and stretches, so I didn't forget to do them or have to fiddle too much with the screen in my post-cardio haze. All the instructors are fantastic—and vary enough in teaching style that if one doesn’t strike your fancy, another probably will—and create an atmosphere that made every workout I took genuinely fun (even the ones that included long uphill runs). In addition to the extensive on-demand library, about five live classes are offered every day from about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The screen also displays just the right amount of metrics—including pace, average speed, mileage, elevation gain, time remaining in the class, and calories burned—plus a leaderboard, which shows information on how you stack up against everyone else in the class and your own past performance in similar classes. (You can also use the leaderboard to send virtual “high fives” to fellow Peloton runners, which creates a nice sense of camaraderie.) And, if you don’t want to see something on the screen, whether it’s the leaderboard or the time remaining in the class, you can send it away with the swipe of your finger.
Still, despite its nifty features, the Tread has a few odd quirks. Because its screen is so large and extends above the console, it tends to wobble some, especially during high-speed runs. As I inadvertently learned, it’s also missing the “Free Mode” feature that comes with the Tread+, which allows you to disengage the motor and power the belt with your own feet by bracing your hands on the handlebars, which creates extra resistance and activates different muscles. I wouldn’t have missed this if it weren’t for the fact that a lot of the classes I took used this feature—before I started a class, I got a notification telling me to just run at a high speed when the instructor called for Free Mode, but I still felt unmoored during those bouts. However, because I tested the Tread before it was available to most people, I’m hopeful that future classes will be updated with relevant instruction to both Tread and Tread+ owners. Finally, it has wheels to roll it around, but this is not a folding treadmill, so it's a big space commitment.
The Tread costs $2,495, and you can finance it at zero interest for $64 a month for 39 months. Like all Peloton products, the Tread’s warranty is a little disappointing, given its price—it offers three years on the frame, motor, and belt and one year on the components, screen, and labor. You can also tack on a service plan within your first year of purchase for $270 or $325 that adds on an additional 12 or 27 months of parts and labor coverage (not a bad idea if you opt for financing, so you’re covered at least until you finish paying for it).
First year total cost (if paid in full): $2,495 + $468 (one year Peloton membership) = $2,963
When it came to straight-up running, the Bowflex T10 was my favorite. It has a generous platform rated for up to 400 pounds with a 22-inch wide and 60-inch long belt, speed options that range from 0.5 mph to 12 mph, a powerful 4.0 CHP motor, and incline and decline settings from -5% to 15%—the widest range of all the treadmills we tested. Its deck also struck the ideal balance between cushioning and rebound, which made running at faster speeds feel easier. It has a touchscreen console, where you can select whether you want to do a manual workout or follow a class in the accompanying Jrny platform, which is included with purchase for two months and is $19.99 a month after that. Knobs on both sides of the armrest allow you to control the speed and incline.
However, it has some clear barriers to entry—most importantly, its size. The box didn’t fit in our elevator, so it had to be dragged up the stairs. And, it was huge once it was assembled—a service that costs $349 extra and seemed complicated enough to make me think it’s probably worth springing for. (If you don’t go for assembly, shipping is $99.99.) When built, it’s 89 inches long, 39.6 inches wide, and 65.3 inches high, with two large handles that spring out from the arm rests, like something you might find on an elliptical machine. In fact, I thought these would be some kind of upper-body workout device but they turned out to be heart rate monitor grips and enabled with additional buttons to control the speed and incline—and it felt like an unnecessary spectacle because the T10 comes with a wearable heart rate strap monitor, and most other treadmills are able to build heart rate monitor grips into the console.
Like all the treads we tested, the T10 folds and has wheels, but it’s a heavy-duty machine that's still too large to be stowed away easily or moved significant distances—and, because its frame is so wide, once it’s set up in one room, you kind of have to commit to it staying there.
I also had complicated feelings about Jrny. It has some undeniably cool and useful features in addition to studio-style classes—namely, the ability to stream directly from platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ as you run, as well as an “Explore the world” feature that shows footage from running routes all over the world that auto-adjusts on the screen to make it seem like you’re running there in real time. It’s also less expensive than iFit, which is $39 a month. But the actual workouts I took, while effective, didn’t feel as fun as some others. The platform touts AI-powered adaptive workouts, which, in theory, grow more challenging the more you use them. You do an assessment workout when you first get the treadmill, which Jrny uses to evaluate your initial fitness level—I thought the workouts it provided me at first were a little too easy, but I was able to level up by selecting workouts it deemed “challenging” rather than the ones at my target level. (I also wasn’t able to use the platform for a long enough time to see how well it adapted to my needs.) But also, most of the workouts are led by an AI voice, not the affable trainers I’d gotten used to on other platforms, and I found that I got a little bored when I was doing them. Some trainer-led classes are available, and I liked those, but there aren’t as many of them to choose from. The display also doesn’t consistently display your pace—sometimes the voice will tell you how fast you’re going at certain intervals, and it tells you your average speed when you finish a workout—which I found irritating.
At a starting price of $2,000, the Bowflex T10 also on the pricier side, though you can finance the tread for $112 each month with no interest if paid in full in 18 months. Bowflex also offers the best warranty of all the connected treads we tested—15 years for the frame, five years for parts, two years for labor, and one year on electronics. You can also pay $199 extra for the Bowflex Protection Plan, which extends the labor warranty to five years.
All in all, it’s hard for me to picture the T10 fitting (perhaps literally) in most casual treadmill shoppers’ homes. Still, the T10 delivers an unparalleled running surface that is sure to satisfy anyone who wants to run hard, fast, and has the space.
First-year total cost (if paid in full): $1,999 + 99.99 (delivery) or $349 (delivery and assembly) + $199.90 (JRNY payments after two free months) = $2,298.89 or $2,547.90
Proform is owned by the same company as NordicTrack, Icon Fitness, and the Carbon T7 is more or less a budget model for people who want the NordicTrack experience without paying as much. As such, the tread’s features are basically the same as the NordicTrack 1750, with slight downgrades. Its speed ranges from 0.5 miles per hour to 10 miles per hour, its incline ranges from 0% to 10%, it has a 2.6 CHP motor, and its belt is 20 inches wide and 55 inches long. Like the 1750, its weight limit is 300 pounds.
It also has a combination of quick-speed controls and plus and minus buttons to control the speed and incline, plus a 7-inch touchscreen, One year of iFit access is included with purchase and it works just as well on the Proform as it does on the 1750. The screen’s a little smaller, and the sound is perhaps a tad tinnier, but the classes are exactly the same, displaying the same metrics (including pace), and offering automatic speed and incline changes along with the instructor’s calls. However, because the speed and incline don’t go as high on the Proform, some extra-fast, extra-steep pushes are out of reach—this wasn’t an issue for me with the speed, as I never exceed 10 miles per hour anyway, but I missed the incline range I got from some of the steep hiking classes I took on the NordicTrack.
Once assembled, the Proform comes out to 35.2 inches wide, 73.5 inches deep, and 57.5 inches tall—definitely not tiny, but not too big to keep in the corner of a bedroom or living room. It folds up, too, and is easier than some to move around when needed. Likewise, its deck isn’t as generous as some others at 20 by 55 inches, but it isn’t insufficient, either—I felt supported and comfortable during my runs. Someone who’s very tall or tends to drift side to side when they run may want something with a wider belt.
Proform does not offer assembly, so I set up the Carbon T7 myself—and struggled. The box itself isn’t as big or heavy as some others (it weighs 223 pounds, which I was able to maneuver enough to get it to where I needed it to be opened). But it was the most complicated assembly I attempted and the only one where I felt like I wasn’t up to the task—the treadmill has a lot of parts—many of which didn’t seem to fit right together, though that could be my own carpentry ineptitude—and many of the steps require two people. If you have more than one person to put it together, and perhaps little more familiarity with tools than I had going into this, you’ll probably be fine. But if you live alone, and don’t want to deal with wrangling friends or hiring help to put it together, the assembly alone was enough of an issue for me to warn others about it.
The Proform Carbon T7 costs $999 with free shipping. Zero-interest financing is available at $84 a month for 12 months or $26 a month for 39 months. This treadmill also has a 10-year warranty on the frame and a one year warranty on parts and labor—just one year less than NordicTrack’s two-year parts warranty. You can also opt into the extended service plan, for an additional cost, to receive tread tune-ups when needed. (You can get a price quote for the extended warranty by filling out a form online with the machine’s model number and where and when you purchased it.)
All in all, the Proform Carbon T7 is a great option if you know you want a connected treadmill and don’t mind fewer frills—and more assembly time—than some higher-priced treads.
The Stride is the treadmill offering from connected brand Echelon, which also sells exercise bikes, rowing machines, and reflective Mirror-like devices. It’s the only treadmill in Echelon’s line (so far, anyway) and has speeds that range from 0.5 to 12 miles per hour, incline up to 10%, a 20-inch wide by 55-inch long belt, and can support up to 300 pounds. It does not have a built-in touchscreen (like many of Echelon’s bikes), but it has a tablet holder for you to download the Echelon app and Bluetooth connectivity to make the tread and the app share data. It also has a basic display if you decide to use the treadmill without the tablet.
One of my favorite things about the Stride was its assembly—or lack thereof. It comes mostly pre-assembled, so all I had to do to set it up was shimmy it out of the box, lift up the handrails until they clicked into place, insert the safety key, and plug it in. The whole process, including breaking down its box and bringing it outside to the recycling bin took about 10 minutes. When it was set up, it looked much more sleek and stylish than other treadmills, and was one of the few treadmills that seemed like it could actually be stowed away when it wasn’t in use—when assembled, it’s 69.3 inches long by 31 inches wide and the console part is 49.2 inches tall, but when it’s folded, it’s just over 10 inches tall.
The treadmill is advertised as “connected,” but it’s not quite as connected as others—it relies on Bluetooth and a tablet to link to its app, Fit App ($39.99 a month or $399 for a full year). When you load a workout on your tablet, it shows your stats—including speed, incline, time (or time remaining), your “Echelon output” (a scoring system Echelon uses that’s a combination of your speed and incline), a calorie burn estimate, and your rank on the class leaderboard. Oddly, the tablet does not display your pace in a workout, though it does when you use the treadmill without the tablet. You can technically use a smartphone to connect with the app, but I wouldn’t recommend it, as the data looks crowded on the smaller screen.
On the bright side, having to use your own tablet means you aren’t committed to using Fit App (well, once your required time with the app runs out—more on that in a bit). There are certain incentives for keeping with it—you see the leaderboard and your treadmill stats on Fit App, which isn’t the case if you use a non-Echelon app—and, for the record, I enjoyed Echelon’s classes. But if you wanted to take a break and switch to a different app, the tablet holder and Bluetooth speakers make it easy.
One downside, to me, was that the Stride’s sleek look couldn’t hide some flaws in its utility. I found it perfectly functional, but with a 1.75 CHP motor, it’s less powerful than other similarly priced (and sometimes less expensive) treadmills—even though I got the speed I needed, it didn’t feel as smooth as other machines I tried and may not last as long. The belt also felt a little slick under foot—not dangerously so, but enough that I noticed it—and the deck seemed harder and not as responsive or rebounding as others that I ran on. Both of these may simply be a matter of getting used to, but they’re things to be aware of before you buy it.
The Stride’s pricing is complicated. The basics: The treadmill itself is $1339.98. Shipping is $199.99 and Echelon requires you pay for at least one month of Fit App when you check out, which tacks on an additional $39.99. If you pay for a year or two years of the app up front, that adds on $399 or $699 to the cost—and agreeing to a longer term subtracts the shipping fee. Echelon also offers zero-interest financing for 12 months ($111.66 per month) and 9.99% financing for 24 months ($55.83 per month) and 48 months ($34 per month). The Echelon warranty covers just one year on parts and labor, with extended warranties starting at $79.
If you don’t have a lot of space, no patience for assembly, and want a nice-looking treadmill that offers top speeds, decent incline, and connects with apps, the Stride is a great bet—as long as the sacrifices to power and running comfort aren’t dealbreakers.
First-year total cost (if paid in full): $1339.98 + $399.99 (annual membership paid up front) = $1,739.97
If you’re looking for a no-frills treadmill at the lowest price we think you should pay for a quality machine, your best bet is the Horizon T101. And, to be clear, “no frills” doesn’t signify “bare bones.” The T101 didn't rank as high as others because it has fewer fancy features, but it's a solid treadmill and was a serious contender for our Best Value award. It has decent speed and incline offerings—one to 10 miles per hour (a six-minute mile pace) and 0 to 10%, respectively—a 20-inch wide and 55-inch long belt, and a 300-pound weight limit, a 2.75 CHP motor, a built-in tablet holder, and Bluetooth speakers. The deck isn’t quite as spacious or rebounding as others, but it has a max weight of 300 pounds—the same as the NordicTrack—and still felt sturdy and better than other options in its price range.
Horizon doesn’t offer assembly, so I had to put the T101 together myself. It lists a 30-minute assembly time on its website, which didn't pan out for me—it took me at least twice as long. Still, it was one of the easier treads to put together and I was able to do most of it on my own. And, once assembled, it didn’t take up too much space. It’s 70 inches long, 34 inches wide, and 55 inches tall, which is enough to ensure it doesn’t feel flimsy or crowded and can withstand high speeds, but is unobtrusive enough to stick in a corner of a room that may not be designated for working out. The T101 also folds up, so it doesn’t have to take up its entire floor space when it’s not in use.
Once it’s set up, the T101 is pretty easy to figure out. You control the speed and incline by pushing a plus and minus button on its respective label, or pick one of the shortcut buttons that takes you right to the speed or incline you want. Its LED display shows the time you’ve been running, your current speed in miles per hour and incline level, and a total calorie burn estimate, but not your pace in minutes per mile. This was a bummer for me—you may know off the top of your head that 6 miles an hour is the equivalent of a 10-minute mile and 8 miles an hour is the equivalent of a 7:30-minute mile, but I don’t, and I missed seeing that information during my runs.
Another small quibble I had was when I used a workout app on a tablet. The Bluetooth speakers connected easily to the tablet and sounded fine, if not great, and the tablet didn’t wobble or slip as I was running. But because the holder is really just a ledge right below the console display, the tablet covered up everything I would have wanted to see during the run, and I had to keep lifting it up to remind myself of the speed and incline I was on. This is something that would irk me over time—if I owned this treadmill, I’d probably buy an additional tablet mount to keep the console unobscured.
The T101 is $699 on Horizon's site and shipping is free. Financing is available for six-, 12-, 18-, 24-, or 36-month periods, but will cost you interest from 0 to as much as 29% based on your credit. It has a great warranty—lifetime on the frame and motor and one year on parts and labor. You can also purchase a “warranty boost” for $119.99 or $149.99. to add three or five years to the parts and labor
If going faster than 10 miles per hour or working out at super-steep inclines are non-negotiable for your exercise routine, you may want to level up to a different treadmill. If not, you’ll be happy with the Horizon T101.
This Sunny treadmill is one of the most popular options on Amazon, with more than 2,000 reviews and a cumulative 4.4-star rating. And, for its price—usually just under $500—its offerings aren’t too bad. Its available speeds range from 1.0 to 8.0 miles per hour (a 7:30 pace) and its incline goes up to 12%. The belt measures a relatively narrow 16.5 inches and short 49.5 inches long. Sunny doesn’t provide any info on the tread’s continuous horsepower, but its motor has a maximum horsepower of 2.2—pretty low in comparison to others we tested. It also has Bluetooth connectivity and a tablet holder, so it can be used to stream a workout app, music, a podcast, or whatever else you want to listen to as you run. I ended up putting it together myself, which was surprisingly easy—professional assembly is available for an extra $89, but it didn’t feel necessary to me.
The first thing I noticed on my initial test run was that the running space felt way too narrow. This wasn’t an issue when I was walking, but when I ran at higher speeds, I worried my feet might hit the side rail, causing me to fall off. I’m 5 feet 7 inches, for reference, so anyone with a similar or larger frame will probably have the same concern (for reference, the treadmill also has a 240-pound weight limit). That said, with a low max speed of 8.0 miles per hour, it’s clearly not designed for serious runners or anyone who likes to sprint.
Other than that (pretty big issue), it was fine. It’s easy to figure out how to use and I was impressed with its incline, which worked well and seemed to give the number it promised.
It’s not anything special to look at—with its gray-and-red frame, it looks like a piece of gym equipment the “Stranger Things” parents would have. But at 64.5 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 50.5 inches tall, it’s small, relatively light, folds up and has wheels, so it’s no sweat to pull into a different room if needed.
The Sunny SF-7515 costs $499.99 (subject to price fluctuations). Shipping is free if you order it on Amazon and no financing is available. Sunny also provides a three-year warranty on the structural frame and a 180-day warranty on other parts and components.
To me, the Sunny SF-7515 is best utilized as a treadmill for walking only (and maybe some light jogging). It’s too narrow to use to work up a heavy sweat, but if your main goal is to plop your treadmill in front of the TV, set it at an incline, and walk at a brisk pace, it’s a pretty safe bet.
The Xterra TR150—another popular Amazon option which has more than 7,000 reviews—was the most basic of all the treadmills tested. It does not incline, does not have Bluetooth, has a skinny 16-inch wide and 50-inch long belt, and only supports weights up to 250 pounds. Its speed, however, goes up to 9.0 miles per hour (a 6:40 pace), which felt like a lot considering its other features. Like the Sunny, it doesn’t list its CHP, but says its motor’s maximum horsepower is 2.25 (or basically the same as Sunny’s).
You can’t get assembly with the tread, but it’s easy to put together—I was able to do it by myself in under an hour. It’s also easy to figure out how to use—all the buttons are self-explanatory and don’t require a lot of knowledge of treadmills. The belt was the most narrow of all the ones we tested, so I didn’t feel too comfortable when I ran on it, but the deck felt surprisingly supportive and buoyant when I walked on it.
The Xterra TR150 usually costs about $500. No financing is available. Its warranty is pretty good for its price: lifetime on the frame, one year on the motor, and 90 days on parts and labor.
Bottom line? The total lack of incline makes it tough for me to recommend this treadmill. But if you just need a treadmill as something to get some extra walking steps in, it’s available at a low enough price that it’s not a bad purchase.
Peloton and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are issuing voluntary recalls of both models of its treadmills, including the Tread+, due to risk of injury. Our original review appears below. We are monitoring the situation and will update this article as we receive more information.
Peloton’s Tread+ is the fanciest and most expensive tread we tested. Its main distinctions from the less expensive Tread (no plus) is its larger size and slatted belt—when assembled, it’s 72.5 inches long, 36.5 inches wide, and 72 inches tall with a 20-inch wide and 67 inch-long belt, and has a 32-inch screen—and belt. When assembled, the Tread+ is 72.5 inches long, 36.5 inches wide, and 72 inches tall with a 20-inch wide and 67 inch-long belt, and it has a 32-inch screen (eight inches bigger than Tread's). The Tread’s belt has a standard nylon composition, but the one on the Tread+ is made up of 59 aluminum-based, rubber-covered slats, which has more rebound effect (it also makes it look like a Woodway, a pro-level treadmill that can cost more than $10,000). This belt gives you access to Free Mode, which lets you power the belt with your own legs.
The Tread+ also has a larger incline range, going all the way up to 15%, but its speed and weight capacity is the same as the Tread—12.5 mph and 300 pounds, respectively. It has a 2 HP motor, which is less powerful than the Tread, but it uses an alternating current system (AC) instead of direct current (DC, which most at-home treadmills use), which starts the belt at a higher speed. The lower-capacity motor is something to be aware of, but it didn’t feel less powerful when I tried it. Beyond that, you’ll get access to the same classes, same metrics, and same Peloton community (with the membership for $39 a month), and control it with knobs on the handrails or shortcut buttons on the screen. Delivery and assembly are included with purchase.
In person, the Tread+ is impressive and a little intimidating—with its expanded screen and textured belt, it looked more like a spaceship than a standard piece of exercise equipment. (We weren’t able to get a loaner, so I visited the Peloton showroom in Boston to scope it out.) I loved the feel of its slatted belt, which made for a gentler running and walking experience. I also thought that the screen—despite its larger size—seemed to hold steadier than the one on the Tread, possibly because it has a thicker base to hold it up.
But the Tread+ was also one of the loudest treadmills I tried out, and, the one time I ran on it, it seemed to muffle the Peloton instructor and music unless it was pumped up to the highest volume. I also liked Free Mode, which gave my treadmill workout a different feel than most, but it’s definitely a bonus feature, not a must-have. Finally, it does not fold. If you have the space for it, it looks cool enough that it’s nice to have out, but if you need the floor space, it’s best to opt for a different model.
The Tread+ costs $4,295. Zero-interest financing is available for $111 for 39 months. Its warranty is a little longer than what's offered with the Tread—five years on the frame, motor, and belt and one year on the components, screen, and labor. You can purchase a service plan within 12 months of the date you buy it for $270 or $325 that adds on an additional 12 or 27 months of parts and labor coverage (probably worth it if you opt for financing, so you’re covered at least until you finish paying for it).
To some, the Tread+’s main distinctions—its slatted belt and Free Mode—will be enough of a sell to cough up the extra couple grand. If you can do without, you can score another great treadmill at a much lower price.
First-year total cost (if paid in full): $4,295 + $468 (one year Peloton membership) = $4,763
Sara Hendricks is a former Health and Fitness editor for Reviewed. She has several years of experience reading and writing about lifestyle and wellness topics, with her previous work appearing in Refinery 29, Insider, and The Daily Beast.
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