Using a treadmill is a great way to get an efficient aerobic workout at home. Even if you love running outdoors, there are times when the heat or cold makes it less than appealing. A treadmill ensures you can get your daily dose of fitness training, whatever the weather.
There are other benefits, too.
Running on a treadmill can help reduce stress on your ankles and knees. This is because treadmills provide better shock absorption than road surfaces.
It can also be lots of fun! There are heaps of cool running apps you can use for motivation as you run, with virtual studio classes to up your game and scenic trails to explore.
Whilst buying a treadmill once meant a significant investment, there are now many good-quality models available at an affordable price. So which one is right for you?
In this guide, we’ve put together a list of the 7 best treadmills under $1000 and taken a look at their pros and cons. We’ve also described just what to look for in a home treadmill, so you can be confident in choosing the right model for your needs.
4 Features to Look for in a treadmill
#1: Belt Size
It’s important to decide if you will be using your treadmill for walking, jogging, or running. Some budget treadmills have a relatively small running deck. This might be fine for walking or jogging, but you will need a belt long enough to accommodate your stride if you plan to run.
For walking, a belt around 50 inches long and between 18 to 20 inches wide should give you all the room you’ll need.
For running, look for a treadmill with a belt at least 55 inches long and between 20 to 22 inches wide. You may need to increase the length to 60 inches if your stride is particularly long, or if you are tall.
#2: Weight Limit
It’s not unusual for some manufacturers to overstate their weight limits, sometimes by as much as 50 pounds or more. For this reason, we recommend picking a model with a weight limit significantly higher than your own.
Too much weight can increase wear and tear on the unit, shortening its life and leading to unwelcome squeaks and creaks as you train.
Most budget treadmills have a maximum weight capacity of between 250 and 300 pounds, sometimes less. So you may have to invest a bit more if you are heavier than this, otherwise, your machine may need replacing sooner than you’d hoped.
If you want your indoor runs to be as challenging as those you enjoy outdoors, then look for a treadmill with an incline feature.
Ideally, this will be automatic so you don’t need to break your stride. But do bear in mind not all treadmills under $1000 have this capability. Some will need manual adjustment and some don’t have an incline at all.
Many of the best treadmills under $1000 featured in this guide include some type of onboard exercise program. These help keep things interesting, giving you various routines and challenges so you can work on improving your performance.
Some even offer compatibility with fitness apps like iFit. These are great if you struggle for motivation, often providing an immersive experience that helps you forget how hard you are working!
The 7 best treadmills under $1000 for 2022
– Automatic incline, 8 MPH max speed, and a 250lb weight capacity
– Best treadmill under $1000 for walking and jogging
With 12 different levels of incline that you can adjust at the touch of a button, this treadmill offers you fantastic value for money.
It’s definitely on the compact side – the belt is just 49.5″ long and 16.5″ wide, so this is a treadmill aimed at walkers or anyone with a short stride.
But considering its low price point, it has some fabulous features. These include a media port with Bluetooth connectivity and 3mm jacks, so you can enjoy your cardio playlist through the onboard stereo speakers. The backlit digital display is easy to read and you can monitor your heart rate with the pulse sensors, so you’ll know just how hard you are working.
This model does fold for storage and uses a soft drop system that makes it easy. But it’s pretty heavy to move around and will ideally need a dedicated, permanent space.
– Touchscreen console, shock absorbing belt, and 36 preset programs
– Best entry-level treadmill
This machine is perfect for those just getting started with treadmill running. It provides plenty of fitness programs to choose from – so there’s no risk of getting bored – and it’s very simple to use.
Compact in design and with a fairly small running surface, it is ideal for walking or jogging rather than high-speed sprinting. This is also reflected in the maximum speed of 8.7 MPH. There is very little incline – just a few inches – and you have to adjust this manually.
But at 300lb, this model has a higher weight capacity than many treadmills in this price range. It is gentle on your joints, too, with eight layers of cushioning to absorb shock.
Although there is no Bluetooth connectivity, the iPad holder is a nice touch and allows you to follow streamed workouts on your device. And you won’t need to interrupt your session at any point, as the speed can be adjusted using the controls on the side handlebars.
Related article: The Best Folding Treadmills With Incline
– 5 preset programs, 300lb weight capacity, and ultra-quiet operation
– Best value for money
This may be the best treadmill under $1000 in terms of solid, reliable performance. It might not have all the add-ons you’ll see in other models but concentrates (and nails) the basics. This translates into a high-quality unit that is comfortable to use.
At 55″ long and 20″ wide, the belt is large enough for the average user to walk, jog or run. It has a sturdy feel with no wobbling and can reach a maximum speed of 10 MPH. For a more challenging workout, you can use the incline feature. This is easy to operate, with one-touch buttons that allow you to set it anywhere from 1% to 10%.
The display is extremely basic but does the job, clearly showing your workout metrics and heart rate. There are 5 built-in programs you can follow, or you can use the device tray, Bluetooth connectivity, and integrated speakers to stream your favorite workout.
Some treadmills can be a pain to assemble but this one with pleasingly simple! We also found the soft-drop folding system easy to use, which is ideal if you are short on space.
– Lightweight, low profile, and easy to store
– Ideal for apartments, dorm rooms, and other small spaces
It’s not always easy to find a high-quality treadmill that folds to a compact size. So, we were impressed with this slim model from Sunny Health that you can store right under the bed. It’s very portable too, weighing just 95 pounds and with two sets of transport wheels that allow movement in four directions.
Whilst it is ideal for walking or jogging, we wouldn’t recommend this model for running unless you are petite or have a short stride.
The belt is only 49″ long and the speed maxes out at 8 MPH. As you might expect from such a compact treadmill, the weight capacity is pretty low too, at 220 pounds.
Nevertheless, this is still a great treadmill if basic fitness is your goal. It includes an onboard pedometer and a 4 window display with your running metrics. It also features a device holder and a 3.5mm headphone port, so you can listen to your playlist through the integrated speakers.
– Blue backlit LCD display, motorized incline, and 275lb weight capacity
– Best for shock absorption
The Schwinn Company has a reputation for quality and this well-constructed treadmill doesn’t fail to deliver!
Weighing 155 lb, it may not be the easiest machine to move around but it feels exceptionally stable when in use.
The motorized 10% incline helps you bring extra muscles into your cardio workout – and if you get bored, you can pair the treadmill with the ‘Explore the World’ app. Some routes are free to use but you’ll need a paid subscription for more.
The belt is a good size for a budget treadmill and will allow you to run comfortably, with enough room to move your arms freely. It is also very kind to your joints, with a SoftTrak Cushioning System to limit any impact as you train.
Add-on features are always a bonus, and this model includes 16 built-in and customizable exercise programs, along with a USB charging port, speakers, a cup holder, and a fan.
– 12 preset programs, 3 manual incline settings, and easy to fold
– Best budget option
It’s great when you find a very affordable treadmill that doesn’t compromise on quality – and that’s just what you get with this model from Xterra.
There are enough onboard programs to keep you busy and there is even an incline feature, which is a real bonus at this price. Admittedly it’s only manual and the degree is quite limited, but even a small incline can make a difference to your workout.
The 50″ x 16″ running deck is best for walking or jogging, although if you have a petite frame you might be able to use it for a light run, too.
There is a clear 5” LCD console that displays all your running metrics and direct access speed keys to control your workout with ease. You can reach speeds of up to 10 MPH and the motor runs quietly, so you can watch TV or stream content without distraction.
– FlexSelect deck cushioning, folding SpaceSaver design, and 10% incline
– Best treadmill under $1000 for running
In the number one spot as our best treadmill under $1000 is this model from NordicTrack’s T series. It is our favorite choice for getting in a good run, with a 300lb weight capacity, 20” x 55” tread belt and a top speed of 10 MPH. It feels smooth and stable, whilst the snappy SMART-Response motor makes it great for interval training.
For such an affordable model the build quality is impressive and the 5-inch digital touchscreen display is pretty sophisticated, with OneTouch speed control.
Best of all, it’s compatible with iFit. This is a game-changing app with thousands of engaging workouts. These are led by trainers who automatically adjust the speed and incline of your treadmill in real-time. 30 days membership is included with your purchase, but after that, you’ll need a monthly subscription.
Prefer not to use iFit? Then there are 20 excellent built in workouts to train with instead.
The Best Treadmills Under $1000: Key Takeaways
Buying a budget-friendly treadmill doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. Whilst the models in this guide may not have all the extras you’ll see in higher-end machines, they are surprisingly user-friendly and extremely well-constructed.
Above all, they deliver exactly what you need – a challenging and efficient cardio workout in the privacy of your own home.
Looking for a great treadmill for walking or jogging?
Then check out our review of the Proform City L6. Compact and portable, its compatibility with the iFit app provides additional motivation for your home workouts.