Best Treadmill For Home Use
Choosing best treadmill for home use can be daunting task, but it shouldn't be. When deciding which treadmill is the best, one has to balance several things like number and individual preferences and habits of future trainees, available space, physical location, budget and similar. For more information on treadmill types and technical data, feel free to check Treadmill Types and Configurations article.
Preferences and Habits of Future Trainees
When buying treadmill for home use, one can easily determine who will use the new cardio exercise machine. It is very important to know trainees weight, since maximum user weight often determines which treadmill can be bought. If you have 150 pounds (~68 kg), practically all treadmills on the market have large enough allowed maximum user weight.
However, if you have 300 pounds (136 kg), number of available models decreases significantly and their prices go up. Good thing is that such more expensive treadmills also have more options and features regarding number of users, number of workouts, larger LCD screens, cooling fans, MP3 players, USB ports etc.
So, before buying a treadmill, weigh the potential trainees and note it.
If future trainees require treadmill for fast walking and slow jogging, requirement for maximum running speed on treadmill can be decreased, allowing more treadmill models to be considered. If future trainees require treadmill with higher maximum running speed, number of available models decreases, unlike their price tags :)
So, be sure write down maximum available speed of the treadmill.
Note: if you need only walking treadmill, one can opt for manual treadmill or even treadmill desk.
Manual treadmills require that a trainee hold the treadmill with at least one hand and 'push' the belt backwards, unless the walking deck is inclined, when force required to push the belt backwards is equalized with the force required to position a trainee on the incline itself. In certain situations, manual treadmills can be used for running, too.
Long story short - manual treadmills are simple, durable and often very cheap.
Treadmill desk allows a trainee to do simpler office jobs while walking on the treadmill and enables a trainee to save time by working out and working at the same time - for example, if you are 200 pounds (90 kg) person and you are walking two hours per day at 3.8 mph (6 km/h) pace, you are burning additional 750 kcal per day, or 22500 kcal per month - that is 2.5 kg of fats per month or 3.2 kg of fatty tissue. And that is 7 pounds per month, or almost 2 pounds per week.
Physical Location And Available Space
If you live on, for example, third floor and there is no elevator in your building and you order/buy large, big and heavy treadmill, consider door-to-door delivery. Also, larger treadmills are usually more complex to assemble, so if you don't have any DIY experience, order a qualified technician to assemble the unit for you - it costs some money, but you are sure that you will have no problems with the warranty. After assembling the unit, test it for few minutes while technician is still on premises. If there is any issue of any kind with the brand new treadmill, technician will note it and if possible, solve the issue on the spot.
Most of home treadmills have some sort of space saving feature - either console folds toward running deck, or running deck can be elevated/folded toward console.
Regardless of the space saving feature, home treadmills usually have transport wheels for moving around if and when required.
If you store away your treadmill after each use, there is great chance that you will exercise less when compared with having treadmill on permanent position, just folded, ready to be used right away - out of your sight, out of your mind.
So, before buying a treadmill, measure the available area and write it down.
If you have sensitive floors, it is good practice to protect floors using some sort of protective floor mat, regardless if you store your treadmill after each use, or you have your treadmill on permanent location.
Good floor mat protects the floor from mechanical damage from treadmill, but also from damage by dripping lubricants and similar. Also, floor mats protects treadmill from carpet fibers and other debris which could enter the treadmill and cause it to malfunction.
Treadmill Incline - Manual or Motorized
Motorized or automatic incline enables incline change during working out, without stopping the workout. When automatic incline change is combined with preset workout programs (standard programs, workouts in the zone, heart rate programs etc.) and heart rate monitors, one gets treadmill which can provide the best results for the shortest period of time.
And that costs more money than manual incline change, since manual incline change requires no onboard motors or no servos and is much simpler in design.
Note: when checking electric motor strength, it is very important to check its 'maximum continuous strength/power' (in HP or kW), not the 'maximum peak strength/power'. Good home walking/running treadmill requires 2 CHP or stronger motor to be able to run for longer period of time with heavier users.
Multifunctional Exercise Machines
Multifunctional exercise machines enables a trainee to have various cardio workout using just one machine. For example, Bowflex Treadclimbers can operate as treadmill, as stair climber and as elliptical, but they cost like commercial treadmills or like two-three high-end home-use treadmills.
There are also other exercise machines which combine several exercise machines in one machine, just keep in mind that they are more complex than 'ordinary' treadmills, they often cost more and at any given time, only one trainee can use them.
For the money required for a high end Bowflex Treadclimber, one can buy very good home treadmill and, for example, very good rower or elliptical or stepper with some money to spare.
Most basic safety features include heart rate monitors, which is very important for people having issues with heart and safety button(s) and safety pin.
If something happen, simple press (or punch) of the safety button, stops the treadmill immediately. Also, it is very important to fix the safety pin to the trainee's clothes, so that if trainee falls down, safety pin is pulled out and treadmill stops immediately.
Some trainees ignore safety features, especially safety pin - if you are one of them, just go to the YouTube and search for 'treadmill fails' or 'gym fails'. Securing the safety pin to the clothes just takes seconds, so for YOUR safety, always do it!
Treadmill Warranty Conditions
Warranty conditions change depending if treadmill is used at home or as commercial treadmill. Treadmills designed for home use, when used as commercial treadmills, usually lose their warranty!
Many treadmills come with warranties different for frame, motor, spare parts, labor and it is very important to read warranty terms carefully, especially 'small letters' :)
Choosing The Best Treadmill For Home Use
Up to now:
- you know the weight of the potential trainees,
- you have found out the maximum required speed,
- you have measured the available workout area,
- you have decided if you want multifunctional exercise machine or 'ordinary' treadmill,
- you have decided on incline, workout programs and other features,
- you know what to expect from warranty,
- you know your budget.
List of 'the best home treadmills' can vary significantly, depending on so many factors, but here is my short list:
- Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill, 1.5 CHP motor, speed 0 - 10 MPH, maximum user weight 250 pounds, manual incline, 64.5x29x55.5 (L x W x H) inches, ~$290, 1 year motor warranty and 90 days parts and labor warranty,
- ProForm 505 CST Treadmill, 2.5 CHP motor, 0-10 MPH, maximum user weight 325 pounds, 0 - 10% automatic incline, 73.3 x 35.74 x 68.1 inches (L x W x H), ~$560, lifetime frame warranty, 25-year motor warranty, and 1-year parts and labor warranty.
- LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill, 2.5 CHP motor, speed 0.5 - 11 MPH, maximum user weight 300 pounds, 15 levels of incline, 74" x 33" x 54" (LxWxH), ~$900, lifetime warranty on frame and motor, 3 years on parts, 1 year on labor.
Note that there are many other treadmills on the market and that their features and specifications often change with newer models.
Here is the full list of our treadmill reviews.