Best Home Treadmills Under $300 For 2021
Home treadmills under $300 are popular entry-level home treadmills. They are suitable for lighter runners and walkers who don't require a maximum running speed of more than 9-10 mph. Also, incline change is almost always manual, and the workout programs are often very limited: manual + up to 10-12 workout programs, with no user profiles.
Updated: June 9, 2021.
Walking treadmills under $300 can have a higher maximum user weight, but they are often manual (no electric motor) with one or two flywheels to smooth the ride.
However, these treadmills are excellent choices for people who wish to train in the privacy of their homes and who don't require larger and sturdier treadmills, with more features, but which also can cost several times more.
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Under $300 Treadmills - General Features and Specifications
There are several important features that a good treadmill, even under $300, must have. Some of them are:
- Folding or not: In order to decrease the required footprint when stored, these treadmills are practically all folding treadmills. To help with folding and unfolding, simple hydraulic or pneumatic pistons are used. Even further, to help with the storage, all these treadmills come with transport wheels, which help the user more around the treadmill, as required. However, it is always recommended to place the unit on a permanent location (if possible, of course) and use it whenever one has spare time, even for 'just' walking.
- Size: When unfolded and ready to use, maximum length depends on the running deck length. Treadmills optimized for walking can have shorter running/walking decks, while jogging/running decks should be longer. The typical maximum length of these treadmills is less than 60 inches (~152 cm), making them suitable even for smaller home gyms, homes or apartments. When folded, these treadmills are much shorter.
- Running Deck Size: Typical walking deck length is usually in the range of 40-45 inches, while the typical running deck is 45-50 inches long. If you are a runner with long strides and 45-50 inches is not long enough, you will need a more expensive treadmill.
- Maximum User Weight: running treadmills in this price range have a maximum allowed user weight between 220 and 250 pounds while walking treadmills go up to 300 pounds. Walking treadmills require smaller and cheaper motors or they are manual treadmills, allowing the manufacturers to make stronger frames for the same amount of money. Again, if you are a lighter person, treadmills in this range can handle your weight. However, if you weigh 200 or more pounds and need a good running treadmill for regular use, stronger and more durable treadmills are recommended.
- Electric Motor: Good running treadmills for 200 pounds runners require, IMHO, at least 1.5 CHP (Continous HP) motors. 2 - 2.5 Peak HP motors are good for light jogging and for periodic HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts. Heavier athletes who exercise on a daily basis require 2.0 - 2.5 CHP or even stronger motors.
Walking treadmills can be even manual treadmills, with one or two flywheels ensuring smooth exercise. However, even walking treadmills benefit from 500-600W electric motors, with the user limit of 300 pounds. For 400 pounds walking treadmill user limit, at least 1000W electric motors are required, but such treadmills cost more.
- Speed Range: Due to weaker motors, these treadmills are not suitable for faster running. The typical maximum speed of running a treadmill under $300 is around 9-10 mph, walking a motorized treadmill ~6 mph (making slow jugging possible), while walking manual treadmills' maximum speed is limited by the user, not the treadmill.
- Incline: When incline is increased on the running treadmill, workout gets harder. When the incline is increased on a manual treadmill, workout is easier. In both cases, these treadmills usually come with 2-3 possible incline settings, but the incline change is manual - it must be changed by the user. Motorized incline change is reserved for more expensive vacuums :)
- Workout Programs: different workout programs help the user to stress the body in a different way every time, avoiding the boredom and not letting the body get accustomed to the same exercise over and over. These vacuums usually come with 3-9 workout programs. Also, they can be used in manual mode.
- User Profiles: when the treadmill is used by several trainees, having different user profiles stored on the onboard computer is of great help. But, affordable treadmills in this price range mostly have only one user profile - users have to manually write down or memorize parameters of their previous exercises if they wish to compare them at all.
- Console: when compared with consoles found on more expensive treadmills, consoles of cheap treadmills often lack USB charging ports, cooling fans, built-in speakers, etc. Also, their displays are often smaller, showing a limited amount of workout data at any given moment.
- Maintenance: There is no maintenance-free treadmill, regardless of its initial price. Actual maintenance tasks can differ from the model to model, making it highly recommended to thoroughly read the manual, before the assembly and the first use. Typical maintenance tasks include lubricating the treadmill belt, tensioning and positioning the belt, checking the motor and rollers, keeping the unit clean and moist free, etc. Again, check the manual of your exact treadmill model.
- Warranty is often rather limited, and typically it is 90 days for motor and parts and one year for frame. Sturdier and stronger treadmills, with better warranty conditions, cost more.
- Owner's Guide - Most treadmills are very easy to assemble, use and maintain, but when the new unit arrives, be sure to read the manual thoroughly and to assemble (if required), use, and maintain your new treadmill as instructed.
1. MaxKare 1.5 HP Foldable Electric Treadmill
The unit is powered by a 1.5 HP motor and features a speed range of 0.5 and 7.5 mph (0.8 and 12 km/h).
When assembled unit weighs 77 pounds (~35 kg) with the maximum allowed user weight of 220 pounds (~100 kg) and maximum recommended user weight of 186 pounds (~85 kg).
Treadmill's console is simple to use and features an easy-to-read LCD display (speed, time, calories, distance, and heart rate), tablet or smartphone holder, control buttons for workout programs - MaxKare Foldable Electric Treadmill features 12 builtin programs, allowing the user to vary the workouts and avoid the boredom.
Note: when the tablet or smartphone is placed on the console, they can cover some or most of the controls and LCD display.
When the running deck is lowered, the physical dimensions of the MaxKare Foldable Electric Treadmill are (L x W x H) 51 x 26.4 x 46 inches (~130 x 67 x 117 cm) and when folded 25.2 x 26.4 x 48.6 inches (~64 x 67 x 124 cm).
Thanks to the lightweight design and transport wheels, MaxKare Electric Treadmill can be easily moved around the room or even home.
The running deck features several layers for better shock absorption. Also, the unit features a manual incline with three positions - in order to avoid stepping off the unit in order to change the incline, it is recommended to set the incline to the desired level at the beginning of the exercise.
All in all, if you are looking for an entry-level treadmill for light jogging and walking for rather light users, consider MaxKare Foldable Electric Treadmill.
If You need a treadmill for heavier users, consider more expensive models.
For the best offers and prices, check MaxKare 1.5 HP Foldable Electric Treadmill Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill
And this task is - walking at home.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M treadmill doesn't feature an electric motor - LCD display and onboard computer are powered by two AA batteries (included), while the running belt is powered by the - user. LCD monitor displays the time, speed, calories burned, and number of steps.
In order to make walking as smooth as possible, the unit features a pair of small flywheels and the 13 x 42 inches (~33 x 107 cm) walking deck.
Walking deck is inclined to help the user push down/back the belt, while keeping the body on the deck - in the beginning, holding both hands on the handles all the time is highly recommended, although after some practice, it is easy to keep the constant speed that allows the user to keep the hands off the handles (just be sure to stay safe - although this is a manual treadmill, one can easily fall off it as well!).
In order to increase the walking speed, the user must hold the handles in order to push more the walking belt - this may be awkward in the beginning for people used to powered (electric) treadmills, but one gets used to it very quickly.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M treadmill weighs 46 pounds (~21 kg) and can be easily moved around.
When unfolded and ready to use, its physical dimensions are (L x W x H) 49 x 23 x 50 inches (~124.5 x 58.5 x 127 cm) and when folded 20 x 23 x 50 inches (~51 x 58.5 x 127 cm).
The maximum supported user weight is 220 pounds (~100 kg) - a decent maximum user weight for the unit in this class.
For people looking for a simple, manual, walking treadmill, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M treadmill may be an excellent solution. After all, walking is very gentle to ankles, knees, and hips and may burn large amount of calories.
For the best offers and prices, check Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
3. Goplus Ultra-Thin Electric Folding Treadmill
Goplus Ultra-Thin Electric Folding Treadmill is designed to be stored either horizontally under the bed, or vertically, next to the wall, furniture, or similar.
The unit comes practically assembled, so there is no time 'wasted' for assembly - just be sure to read the Owner's Guide in order to get accustomed to your new treadmill.
The unit weighs 61 pounds (~27.7 kg) and support the users up to 220 pounds (~100 kg).
The physical dimensions of the unit are 52 x 26 x 47.5 inches (~132 x 66 x 120.7 cm) and when folded, its dimensions are 26 x 5 x 53.5 inches (~66 x 12.7 x 136 cm) - the treadmill can be easily stored under most beds. Also, when stored vertically, it requires very little storage space. In the vertical position, the unit is rather stable, but just in case, don't let the pets and kids play next to it.
Goplus Ultra-Thin Electric Folding Treadmill is powered by 450 watts electric motor, offering a speed range of 0.5 to 5 mph (0.8 - 8 km/h), which is more than enough for power walks and light jogging on the 15.5 x 41 inch (~39.4 x 104 cm) large running/walking deck.
The console is very easy to use and features a built-in tablet holder - when the tablet or smartphone is placed on the tablet holder, all controls and displays are still available/visible to the user.
Goplus Ultra-Thin Electric Folding Treadmill comes with 12 preset programs and time/distance/calorie countdown programs.
For the best offers and prices, check Goplus Ultra-Thin Electric Folding Treadmil Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
4. Merax Electric Folding Treadmill
The unit weighs 64 pounds (~29 kg) and support the users up to 240 pounds (~109 kg) - personally, heavier users should opt only for walking, after all, it is much easier on the unit, but also on the ankles, knees, and hips.
The physical dimensions are 55 x 23.5 x 43 inches (~140 x 60 x 110 cm) when ready for use. When the running deck is folded upwards, physical dimensions are 29.5 x 23.5 x 49 inches (~75 x 124.5 cm).
Running deck dimensions are 15.7 x 43.3 inches (~40 x 110 cm) and it is large enough for comfortable walking and for jogging using shorter strides.
The console is simple to use and features a large LCD display that tracks time, speed, distance, and burned calories. Merax Electric Folding Treadmill comes with 12 preset programs and 3 count-down programs (time, calories, distance).
Tablet/smartphone holder and USB ports allow the user to listen to the favorite music via built-in speakers, which is not often seen on the treadmills in this price class.
However, when the tablet or smartphone is placed on their holder, they cover parts of the console and LCD display.
All in all, Merax Electric Folding Treadmill is for a reason one of the most popular affordable treadmills on the market and if it fits your needs, consider this model.
For the best offers and prices, check Merax Electric Folding Treadmill Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7610 Easy Assembly Motorized Walking Treadmill
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7610 is powered by 1.25 peak HP electric motor, offering a speed range of 0.5 to 5 mph (0.8 to 8 km/h) using its 14 x 39 inches (~35.5 x 99 cm) running deck.
When ready for use, the unit's dimensions are (L x W x H) 49.6 x 26.5 x 47 inches (~126 x 67.3 x 119.4 cm) and when folded, dimensions are 21 x 26.5 x 51 inches (~53.3 x 67.3 x 129.5 cm) - unit doesn't require much storage area and thanks to the transport wheels, it can be easily moved around the home as required.
The maximum supported user weight is 220 pounds (~100 kg).
Its back-lit LCD monitor displays time, distance, speed, and burned calories.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7610 treadmill is a typical example of well designed, simple-to-use home treadmill - it lacks adjustable incline, there is no water holder, no multimedia of any kind, no cooling fans, no pulse monitor, etc.
But, for people who are looking for a motorized walking treadmill that can help them burn plenty of calories at home and increase stamina, this is one of the recommended models.
For the best offers and prices, check Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7610 Easy Assembly Motorized Walking Treadmill Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
6. SereneLife SLFTRD18 Smart Folding Compact Treadmill
SereneLife SLFTRD18 treadmill comes with a removable tablet holder and Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, allowing the user to download the FitShow app on iOS or Android compatible devices.
Unit is powered by 1.0 HP electric motor, offering speed range of 0.6 to 6.0 mph (~1 - 10 km/h) via its 13.4 x 39.3 inches (~34 x 100 cm) running deck.
The maximum supported user weight is 265 pounds (~120 kg) although heavier users should consider running only workout sessions in order to prolong the lifetime of the unit - typical 'issue' for all cheaper treadmills.
SereneLife SLFTRD12 treadmill comes with the builtin hand grip sensors for pulse monitoring.
Also, it features a backlit LCD display monitor with the touch button controls that displays time, distance, speed, heart rate and burned calories.
The physical dimensions of the SereneLife SLFTRD18 (unfolded) (L x W x H) are 49.6 x 24.0 x 51.2 inches (~126 x 61 x 130 cm) and its dimensions (folded) are (L x W x H) 27.5 x 24.0 x 51.2 inches (~70 x 61 x 130 cm).
The unit weighs 67.25 pounds (~30.5 kg).
SereneLife SLFTRD18 Smart Folding Compact Treadmill is a rather interesting walking/jogging treadmill that comes with some features often found at the more expensive models.
If You are looking for an affordable treadmill and don't mind some 'playing' with your tablet or smartphone, consider SereneLife SLFTRD18 treadmill.
For the best offers and prices, check SereneLife SLFTRD18 Smart Folding Compact Treadmill Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Treadmills Under $300 - Conclusion
Of course, there are other cheap and reliable treadmills on the market that fit this category (under $300), but these models are some of the best and most popular models that should fit the needs of most users.
With their prices so similar, it is kind of hard to decide which one is 'the best', so be sure to choose according to your own needs and preferences.
Note: regardless if the treadmill costs $250 or $2500, it is up to the user to stand on the treadmill and walk, jog or run :)
If features of these models are kind of short for your own requirements, slightly more expensive may be the perfect fit for you - in that case, be sure to check our Best Treadmills Under $500 article.
Long Story Short - Treadmills under $300 are basic, very affordable home treadmills that allow the user to have walking/jogging/running workout at home. Such treadmills are rather limited in terms of maximum user weight, maximum speed, and such, but if they fit your needs, the warranty period is the only reason why should you go for more expensive treadmills.