If you’re looking to upgrade your home workouts with a smart treadmill, you’ve made a great choice. For those of you hate running in the rain or extreme heat (but typically get bored on a treadmill), smart treadmills are an excellent third option.
It can be a daunting task to choose the right treadmill for your training plan.
Navigating through pages and pages of treadmills, trying to find the right one, is exhausting. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best smart treadmills for 2021. Keep reading for everything you will need to know to find your perfect smart treadmill.
How to Shop for a Smart Treadmill
Choose where you will keep your smart treadmill
Knowing where you plan to keep your treadmill is a huge factor to consider when buying one. Does a folding treadmill that can fit under your desk work better for your needs? Or will you be keeping your treadmill in a guest room or your garage?
Whatever your plan is, make sure to measure the space to ensure the treadmill you buy isn’t too big. Even if you’re looking at a folding treadmill, you’ll still want to measure the area where you will store it. Remember that standard home treadmills are about seven feet long and about three feet wide.
Related Article: The 7 Best Treadmills Under $1000 In 2022
Choose your size
Now that you know how much space you have, you can choose what size treadmill you need. Treadmill dimensions are typically published, which makes it easy to stay away from ones that don’t work for your space.
Know your price range
Knowing your budget helps to narrow down the pool of smart treadmills to choose from.
- $500 or less – These treadmills are typically pretty low-end, and it is recommended you buy with caution. With this price range, your warranty usually won’t last for more than 90 days. Treadmills in this price range are great for people who only use them as a backup. Using smart treadmills in this price range regularly could cause them only to last a few months.
- $800 or less – Smart treadmills in this price range will usually last a year, especially for walkers or people who don’t use it all the time. The problem with this price is you typically have to choose between durability and exciting features.
- $1000 or more – If you are someone who will use their smart treadmill regularly for more intense workouts like power-walking, running, or simulated hill workouts, you need to be in this price range. Treadmills in this price range offer longer warranties, a variety of workout programs, and power inclines, as well as many more features tailored to a runner’s needs for a full training plan.
Know what features you want
Smart treadmills have advanced technology and several features meant to make your workout more enjoyable. Before purchasing your treadmill, you’ll want to know what features matter to you the most.
Some of the most important features to consider are:
- Workout Programs: Most smart treadmills offer built-in workout programs. In most cases, you’re either someone who loves using them or someone who would prefer to work structure your own workouts.
If you aren’t someone who uses them, try looking for a smart treadmill without the workout programs, since that can lower the price a bit.
Many treadmill brands now offer the option of adding extra workout technology when you buy it – that goes beyond the preloaded workout options. A couple of great options to look into are:
- Wireless Pulse Monitors
- Passport Virtual Active Workout Programs
- Automated Incline: Smart treadmills with inclines are great for adding more intensity to your workout. Inclines simulate hill running to help you build up your leg and core muscles and work well as a cross-training run when you’re not doing long runs.
Automated inclines also offer more benefits too. They are easier on your joints, help you burn calories faster, and help with better muscle definition. Most home treadmills have an incline of about 20%. If you’re looking to burn calories at a runner’s pace, incline trainer smart treadmills may be for you. They have an incline of about 40%.
- Treadmill Accessories: Most smart treadmill brands will let you personalize your purchase. It is crucial to keep in mind that several different accessories can help you reach your fitness goals. A few extras to consider are:
- Entertainment Accessories
- Cleaning Materials
Top Smart Treadmills for 2021
NordicTrack has been producing reliable treadmills for years, making them one of the most trusted brands. The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 has everything: great features, affordability, and convenience.
For under $2000, you get a treadmill with a screen, advanced FlexSelect cushioning, and an automatic fan. This smart treadmill even folds up, saving you some space. As if all of this wasn’t enough, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 also comes with one year of iFit, which allows you to stream trainer-led workouts globally.
- Large running surface
- Foldable frame
- Free year of iFit
- Power incline and decline
- Bluetooth capabilities
- Foldable, but not portable due to its weight of 315lbs.
- Possibility of slow manufacturer support due to a large customer base
This smart treadmill comes with a 10″ full-color HD touchscreen that sets you up to use NordicTrack’s iFit technology. iFit allows you to choose from over 16,000 guided workouts. Over 1000 of them are shot outdoors in different places worldwide, with a trainer guiding you the entire way.
This technology allows you to set the treadmill to match the speed and incline of your trainer. You can override the settings at any point during your workout if it gets too hard. It is easy to forget you’re on a treadmill with iFit’s immersive experience.
After your 1-year free trial of iFit with your treadmill purchase, the subscription goes to $15 a month — less than half of Peloton’s $40 a month membership.
- Affordable, high-end technology
- User-friendly console
- Free year of iFit
- Cushioning in the deck can be turned on or off
- Textured, non-slip side rails
- No fans
- Heart rate strap not included
- Not for intense training
This treadmill has a compact, foldable design and built-in wheels that make it easy to move and store. It still may be a little hard for some to move because of its weight, but if you have a friend to help you – you’ll be fine.
This smart treadmill was designed with smaller spaces in mind. It has a short, narrow track and might not be the best choice for taller people. Even though it may be small, it is mighty. It comes with an LED display for watching your stats and monitoring progress. It also comes with a phone holder, Bluetooth speaker, and remote control.
- Can lie flat or be used with arms raised
- Easy to store/perfect for small spaces
- Remote control operated
- Bluetooth speaker and phone holder
- Must completely remove the arms for it to lie flat
The Proform Smart Pro 2000 has all the features of a NordicTrack…and then some. It is the entry-level version of Proform’s Pro Series treadmills. It is a bit bigger (both and size and bulkiness) than some other home treadmills; that’s why if you’re looking for a compact treadmill, this is not the choice for you. This treadmill is perfect for a home gym because of its heaviness and durability.
- Great incline and decline ranges
- ProShox Cushioning
- Strong motor for the price
- Built-in fans and speakers
- Noisy fans
- Flex cushioning isn’t as soft as NordicTrack’s
If you’re looking for a treadmill without all the bells and whistles for a simple workout, the Horizon Fitness T101 treadmill is for you. There are no touchscreens or live studio classes. Instead, you’re left with a reliable and sturdy smart treadmill with shock-absorbing surfaces, a powerful motor, fan, and Bluetooth speakers.
The dashboard makes it incredibly simple to change speed and incline. It’s also super easy to fold thanks to its hydraulic assisted lift. One Amazon reviewer dubbed it the quietest treadmill she had ever seen.
- 10% incline range
- Tablet holder on the console
- Preset incline and speed buttons
- 3-Zone Cushioning that reduces the impact on your spine and joints
- Limited technology compared to other treadmills
- Not meant for intense training
- Weak speakers
If you want to start working out from home, buying a smart treadmill is a great place to start. Having a treadmill at home also gives you the opportunity to continue training even when the weather isn’t ideal for running. Any of these smart treadmills would be an excellent choice for your home gym or office.
If you’re ready to step up your running game even further and train for an official race on your treadmill, download our free half marathon bootcamp for everything you need to know to get you across that finish line.