So you’ve decided it’s time to get back into shape but you don’t have the time or inclination to slog your way down to the fitness club several times a week. Nor do you want the expense or the experience of mounting fitness equipment someone with questionable hygiene practices just dismounted. No, you want to lose that spare tire right in the comfort of your own home and to do so you’ve decided to look at folding treadmills as a possible solution. But you don’t really know much of anything about folding treadmills.
Fear not, our product review team has heard your call and is on the case. In this review guide we’re going to turn our critical eye upon the folding treadmills landscape and highlight the pros and cons of those we consider to be the best. Keep in mind that any opinions expressed here are strictly those of our experts.
The Best Folding Treadmill
As you’d expect from fitness equipment specialists, Nordic Track, their entry into the folding treadmill market has plenty going for it with all the bells and whistles you could want. It’s fitted with a sturdy and powerful 2.6 CHP motor which means you can walk, jog and also run, with a top speed of up to 10 mph achievable. That means there is plenty of scope for all levels of fitness and running ability to improve. The motor itself, while robust, is also quiet running with smooth operation so ideal for a home setting.
The treadmill features a large running surface and it does take up a fair amount of space, so it’s going to be suitable for smaller sized apartments. It does, however, utilize FlexSelect cushioning technology, so if you are at all concerned about the impact that running can have on the joints; this will help protect them. That said, if you prefer to replicate the sensation of running on firmer ground, you can adjust the settings accordingly.
Another standout feature of this particular Nordic Track model is the console. It features an impressive 20 different built-in programs and you can also access IFit via a paid subscription delivering even more access to motivational training programs. The console itself is also iPod compatible, so you can listen to mud through the built-in speakers to spur you along. If you do want to check your heart rate, you can easily do that too by merely gripping the dual CardioGrip ™ sensors on each of the handlebars.
Excellent running surface with soft cushioning
Superb console with 20 built-in programs
Speed of up to 10 mph with an incline of up to 10%
One-touch controls adjust speed and incline
Heavy-duty drive system with 2.6 horsepower motor
- Weight193 Pounds
The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill is another outstanding treadmill with 2 position incline and proprietary cushioning to lessen stress on your feet through the stride. The treadmill comes with 6 professionally designed workouts programmed in so you can access the one that’s right for you.
Weslo Cadence folding treadmills are sometimes called entry level folding treadmills but this one provides a range of exercise possibilities to satisfy just about everyone. The treadmill folds away easily but because it’s one of those folding treadmills that fold up vertically rather than horizontally you’ll need to clear space in the closet for it. Still, it’s a great value that will have that spare tire melting away in short order.
Space-saving design is fully foldable
Accurate heart rate reading with Easy Pulse sensor
LCD display tracks vital statistics and monitors progress
Unique comfort cell cushioning protects joints
Six training programs and two incline levels built-in
- Weight130.1 pounds
Easy enough for anyone to assemble.
2 incline levels to ramp up the difficulty.
Folds up easily (and we mean ‘up’) with the removal of a single pin.
2.25 horsepower impulse motor.
Narrow belt leaves little room for missteps.
3 month warranty is underwhelming.
If you are uncertain whether you want to invest in one of today’s folding treadmills or if you just want to stay active by doing an intermediate level workout a few times a week you owe it to yourself to consider the Confidence Power Plus 600W folding electric treadmill.
A nice little treadmill for those who want to get some exercise without having to go running or joining a health club. Its simple appearance belies durable construction and the 600W motor should be more than enough for beginners or intermediates. Also, folds down to practically nothing for super convenient storage.
Easy folding frame for convenient storage
Powerful motor can support users up to 250 lbs
LCD screen helps you keep track of all key statistics
Monitor speed, time, distance and calories burnt
- BrandConfidence Fitness
- Weight56 pounds
LED screen displays speed, time, distance covered and calories burnt.
600W motor can handle up to 250 lbs.
Folds down easily for convenient storage under the bed.
While it’s rated to 250 lbs we’d hesitate to put that much weight on it.
From Xterra Fitness, the TR150 folding treadmill is a great choice for all fitness levels with a top speed of 10mph and three different manual incline settings to experiment with. There are also twelve preset programs so you can vary your workouts for a more challenging, dynamic, or fun session. There’s a large 5 inch LCD display built into the design along with an accessories and tablet holder tray. On the LCD, you can easily monitor all your crucial workout statistics, including speed, incline, time, distance, calories burnt as well as checking your pulse.
With a folding deck, it’s relatively easy to store away and it also benefits from being fitted with wheels for easy transportation. It’s pretty low on electricity consumption and also benefits from being quick and easy to assemble. The 2.25 HP motor isn’t the most powerful on the market but it should be more than adequate for most recreational users, allowing you to walk, jog or run up to speeds of 10mph. If you suffer at all from joint issues, especially with bad knees, then this is an excellent option as it’s fitted with XtraSoft cushioning which delivers reasonable amounts of shock absorption. The deck provides a smooth running experience and the rubber belt is robust as well as being non-slip. Suitable for all fitness levels, it’s smooth, quiet and the folding deck design is quick and easy to setup.
Convenient folding design with transport wheels
Features XtraSoft cushioning for smooth running experience
Fitted with a strong and reliable 2.25 HP motor
Quick and easy assembly
Accessory and tablet holder built into the design
- BrandXTERRA Fitness
- Weight114.4 Pounds
The Sunny Health & Fitness Electric Powered treadmill will be the centerpiece of your home gym or the single apparatus that helps you improve your cardiovascular health and lose unwanted pounds. The 2.2 horsepower motor provides plenty of power and if you want or need to put it away after your workout it folds down nice and tidy.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill costs more than an entry level treadmill but it’s worth it. From the wide tread to the powerful 2.2 horsepower motor to the pulse sensors in the handles and the Soft Drop folding system this is one of those folding treadmills designed to make your experience effective and hassle free.
Folding treadmill fitted with soft drop hydraulics
Small footprint ideal for use in an apartment
Speeds of up to 9mph with three manual incline heights
Handrails with built-in speed controls as well as pulse rate
Fitness monitor comes preloaded with nine different programs
- BrandSunny Health & Fitness
- Weight103 pounds
Start, stop, speed and pulse are all controlled from or monitored from the control panel.
9 preset workouts built in so there’s always one for your level.
16” wide tread allows you to veer outside the lines without paying a price.
Weight limit of 220 pounds should accommodate most people.
A bit noisier than some other folding treadmills.
The second of 2 GoPlus Folding Treadmills is notable not for the enormity of its power or the stunning array of features but for its common sense design, superior build quality and surprising affordability. GoPlus 1100W is a less bulky cousin to the 2.5 HP model profiled above but once you start running on it you may not notice the difference.
Put this next to the GoPlus 2.5 horsepower model and you’ll see the difference straight off. Run on one then run on the other and the difference is not so obvious, other than top speed.
Space-saving compact foldable design with transport wheels
Handrail functions including heart rate monitor and stop/start and speed
Digital monitor with iPad and mobile phone holder
Easy reach emergency stop button
Maximum weight capacity of 220lbs
Can easily handle up to 220 lbs.
Speed ranges from .5 mph to 6.5 mph.
Rated to 1100W of power.
Folds down to 24” in height.
Doesn’t have the style of other folding treadmills but will melt away the pounds just as effectively.
Everything else has an app so it was just a matter of time before folding treadmills got one. In this case though it’s more than a gimmick as the Ancheer App provides you real-time personal trainer assessments of your progress. Go through your motions on the treadmill then find out how whether you’re making progress or need to tweak some things.
The unit’s Bluetooth connects to something called “G-Fit”. G-Fit analyses your height, weight and heart rate to create a training regime for you. Beyond the nifty high tech aspects though Ancheer S8100 Folding treadmill is comfortable, attractive, has an easy to read LED readout, is wide, durable and folds up easier than you think. An outstanding home treadmill.
Bluetooth connection sends data from your session to a trainer who assesses it.
Auto-lubrication means the unit is practically maintenance free.
Belt is textured to prevent slips and slides on your running machine.
The heart rate monitor is based on your pulse though 99% of the time pulse and heart rate are the same.
The Best Choice Portable Folding treadmill is one of the few real entry level folding treadmills on our list and designed to give the beginner a taste of life on the treadmill without breaking their bank. There’s no motor here, just your legs, your will and the force of gravity.
The construction on this manual powered treadmill is excellent but that doesn’t mean it’s ready for football linebackers. It’s intended for the average person with an average build and an average interest in getting in better shape and it fulfills its mission perfectly well. Low tech all the way but by the time you hop off you’ll know you’ve had a workout.
- BrandBest Choice Products
- Weight44 pounds
Won’t impact your energy bill like electric folding treadmills.
Super easy to assemble and fold down for storage.
LCD displays powered by 2 AA batteries.
A great way to determine if the treadmill is for you.
There’s no way to adjust the incline which is pretty steep and may intimidate beginners.
Not for truly heavy set individuals.
The 2.5 horsepower motor powering this GoPlus folding treadmill is enough to deliver you to the promised land of flat stomachs and improved cardiovascular health. Not only is the motor the most powerful of the folding treadmills represented here it’s also one of the quietest and most reliable.
The GoPlus 2.5 HP folding treadmill is probably as close to being the gold standard of folding treadmills as anything else currently on the market. It’s solid as a rock with plenty of power, a wide tread, strong handles and it folds up nice and tight to slide under your bed when you’re done. There are cheaper folding treadmills out there but if you’re serious about getting in shape you should consider making the financial stretch and getting this.
All the power you need to get the most from your workouts.
Treadmill can handle up to 286 lbs.
Generous 18” x 50” running belt can accommodate the tallest runner.
Choose anywhere from 1 to 11 mph.
Choose anywhere from 1 to 11 mph.
With this 3rd GoPlus entry you may think we’ve got a thing for this company but actually we just call ‘em like we see ‘em and GoPlus makes some excellent folding treadmills. Goplus 1000W treadmill is a high tech wonder that will grind it out at between .5 and 8 mph so you can start easy and work your way up.
Like other GoPlus folding treadmills the 1000W can carry up to 265 lbs safely. It also has a shock absorbent tread, plays all your favorite tunes and can be switched easily between motor and manual. Now if it just folded up so we could roll it into the closet when we’re done. Oh wait! It does that too! The electronic display is also super clear and easy to read and the handles take your pulse.
If the motor driven tread is getting too much switch to manual mode and work at your own pace.
Supports MP3s so you can listen to your favorite tunes while working out.
Nice wide tread is uber forgiving of missteps.
There’s no incline option.
The Merax JK1603 folding treadmill is a step up from entry level folding treadmills and will allow you to take your level of fitness to new heights. Its robust electric motor can handle up to 220 pounds and the LCD displays keep you up to date on speed, heart rate, distance and more.
This is an outstanding mid-level treadmill that will be the perfect centerpiece of your home gym. It’s durable, powerful, ergonomically mindful, has just enough bells and whistles and won’t break the bank. If you’ve decided it’s time to ramp up your workout or you’re already familiar with folding treadmills this is the treadmill for you.
- WeightApprox. 70 lbs
Generously sized tread has extra cushioning to reduce the stress of impact on your legs.
Motor is one of the quietest of these folding treadmills and includes emergency stop capability.
Easy to fold up and store when not in use.
Slight incline just to make things interesting.
Set up might require some help.
Folding Treadmill Buyer Questions
Finding the perfect folding treadmill for you need not be challenging or overwhelming if you first consider a couple of key factors. We’re quickly going to run you through our recommendations on what to look out for before you invest in a new treadmill.
Purpose - Do you want to run or just walk, gently jog or do sprint interval training? Be careful not to purchase a treadmill that ends up being too limiting for your on-going fitness needs. Budget treadmills may well be perfectly adequate if you just want to walk or jog at home to keep yourself mobile but if you have any specific or advanced training needs, carefully consider the features, especially the speed, that your treadmill can support.
Budget - Always an important consideration. Try not to get too carried away and remembers that what’s most important is that you invest in a treadmill that’s right for you. If you buy something too sophisticated and overly complicated you may end up never using it and certainly not making the most of those bells and whistles features that you paid for.
Space Available - Next, ask yourself where you’re going to be positioning your treadmill and the physically amount of space and footprint at your disposal. Treadmills can be huge to accommodate for a longer stride length, or more compact in design. So take into account before your own heigh and physically, as well as your fitness level and the space available to place your treadmill. If it's not going to be used daily and needs to be stored away, consider where you’ll be storing it (under a bed, in a closet) and make sure that it folds appropriately.
Running Surface Area - The longer the running deck, the bigger the machine will be overall but the better suited it will be to someone with a longer stride pattern. You will be surprised just how much of an impact it can have to your running style and enjoyment having just a few extra inches of deck to play with.
Motor Size - The more powerful the motor, the more durable the treadmill will be and the better it will perform at those higher speeds. If you want to run and sprint rather than leisurely jog, pay attention to the performance of the motor.
Technology and Connectivity - Do you want access to training apps via Bluetooth so that you can track, monitor and share your workouts? What size screen do you require and how sophisticated do the controls and information it displays have to be? You can get everything from a large touchscreen with integrated USB ports and heart rate monitoring to a basic small screen that simply records distance and time. The level of technology you require will be a personal preference.
Construction Quality - It goes without saying that you should invest in something that will stand the test of time and has been durably constructed with high-quality moving and stationary parts. Look for a treadmill that has a functional weight capacity, requires minimal maintenance and comes with a good manufacturers warranty.
Folding Treadmill FAQ’s
Q: Why invest in a treadmill?
A: By having access to a treadmill at home, you can avoid the cost and the overcrowding that frequently happens at popular gyms and avoid having to run outside in all sorts of inclement weather. Treadmills are more versatile than you might first have imagined and can be used to switch up your workouts going from a gentle warm-up, or using as part of high interval training with sprint bursts. There’s nothing that quite gets the heart pumping better than a session on a cardio machine and a treadmill is an excellent example of a piece of fitness equipment that’s fun, challenging, safe and also offers plenty of progression and versatility.
Q: How do I fold my treadmill?
A: You will need to refer to your manufactures guidelines. Generally speaking, there are two styles of folding treadmill available, horizontal or vertical. Decide whether you’d prefer one that you can store upright in a closet or conveniently slide under your bed. While each will have slightly different operating mechanisms, they are for the large part straight forward and somewhat self-explanatory. If at all in doubt, consult your instruction booklet which should provide you with comprehensive instructions.
Q: How should I maintain my treadmill?
A: We recommend that you get into a good habit of routinely maintaining your treadmill, especially if you use it frequently. We’d suggest that you keep the conveyor belt free of dust and debris to ensure that it always runs smoothly. It may require periodically lubricating to keep it in optimal working order.
Each time you use your treadmill, it’s a good idea to wipe it over with a damp cloth, to remove any sweat that might subsequently lead to corrosion. Also, clean up any sweat that might have dripped onto the belt which might lead to injuries caused by slipping.
Weekly, give your entire treadmill a thorough clean with a damp, clean cloth, paying attention also to the electronic display and all the surfaces to ensure that they are dust and debris free.
Monthly maintenance is also recommendable which should include unplugging and powering down your machine so that you can check that all the moving parts are still in good working order and that no dust or dirt has accumulated inside your motor.