What to look for when buying a treadmill: 11-Tips

best compact treadmill

Buying a treadmill for home is definitely a worthy investment. It’s the best machine for those who have been struggling with bad health due to long work hours or unsupportive weather conditions. 

Running affects your life in many different ways, it helps in building mental strength, cardiovascular health and keeps you healthy. 

Before you hope on to the guide of buying a home treadmill lets have a look at some benefits of having a treadmill at home. 

  • Now you won’t be having those idiotic reasons to skip a daily workout. 
  • Spend time with family while you have a long walk on your treadmill. 
  • A great alternative for parents who can’t leave their kids home alone. 
  • Long runs don’t just help in building good endurance, but also greater mental endurance. 
  • The best activity to stay in shape for guys who aren’t much into weight training. 
  • Running helps in strengthing the immune system, bone density and relieving stress (1).
  • Running has been found to improve sleep quality and psychological functioning (2, 4 ).   
  • It is proven to improve sex drive as well (3). 

So what to look for when buying a treadmill? 

Treadmills are not the cheapest exercise equipment and investing in a wrong treadmill can be terribly frustrating. 

There are a number of factors that you need to look for before you invest in a treadmill. Let’s have a look at the top selection criteria. 

  • Budget
  • Room space
  • Motive of purchase
  • Motor
  • Cushioning
  • Belt size
  • Weight rating 
  • Incline
  • Warranty
  • Minimum specifications


It’s important to have a specific budget before you investigate “what to look for when buying a treadmill”. The market is flooded with home treadmills ranging from $300 to $5000, which makes it’s necessary to decide the budget first. 

You get what you pay for, and higher-range treadmills are also a reliable workout partner. 

Decide whether you are looking for a treadmill within a range of $500 or $1000 Or $2000, that’s how you will be able to shortlist the best machine for yourself. 

The budget of a treadmill might also depend on the utility of the machine, if you are looking to brisk walk then a cheap treadmill might work for you but if you are planning for a long-running session then you should not settle down for cheap machine.


Its the most important component of the treadmill and should not be neglected. 

Drive motor directly affects the quality of your running but most of the people are still more concerned about the console. 

Selecting the right horsepower should depend on the following factors: 

  • User weight
  • Speed limits 
  • Workout duration

A treadmill with low horsepower might not be able to sustain a higher weight load. If you are an overweight individual then you should not settle down for anything less than 2.5 CHP. Trail runners who l love to run longer distances should also opt for high capacity motors. 

Room space: 

After all, your treadmill needs to fit in a small space.

I have seen many people who purchase a treadmill with a short belt size for better space management but then they regret their decision. 

Opting for a small belt size is never a wise decision, if you are really concerned about the small space then you should focus on a foldable treadmill with a non-bulky body. 

An ideal treadmill placement should be near some window for better ventilation or dining area where you can still have communication with your beloved family members. 

Motive of purchase:

Every individual has their own purpose, decide whether you want to walk, jog, 5K running or HIIT training. 

If you are looking for some brisk walk or slow jog on a regular basis then any treadmill under $800 can facilitate your utility. 

But if you are looking to practice a marathon running or some sprinting sessions then you should be looking for high-end machines. 

In any case, you should opt for treadmills with large deck size to facilitate your long strides. 

Additionally, a treadmill should be a one-time investment, stay futuristic about your investment.


One of the most overlooked features of treadmills. Its cushioning mechanism is going to decide your joint health. 

While most of the people are very ignorant about the active cushioning, its very important for the smooth workout sessions. Compared to outdoor jogging, the cushioning mechanism is designed to reduce impact for up to 30%. Good active cushioning helps in reducing the risk of injuries by supporting a better landing track. 

Good cushioning also reduces the treadmill noise which is certainly a very important aspect of a home treadmill. 

Deck size

So we have talked about choosing an effective belt size, but what is the best belt size? 

Let’s talk width: experts suggest, 20 inches of belt width is good enough for walking purpose but if you are looking for running then you should opt for 22 inches. 

Length: 50 inches is enough for the brisk walking and a minimum of 55 inches of length is required for running. If you are someone taller than 6ft then you should opt for 60 inches of treadmill belt length. 

Still not sure about the belt size? Visit your nearest local store to experience the best suitable size for yourself. 

Weight rating

Heavier people need a more powerful motor, as simple as that. 

Stop ignoring the weight rating and opt for a treadmill that is powerful enough to withstand your weight. 

A 2.0 CHP motor might accommodate a 280lbs person but it will definitely breakdown in a longer period of time. 

We advise preferring a machine that can officially handle an additional 50 pounds of your body weight. So, if you are 250 pound then you should be looking for a treadmill that is designed to handle 300 pounds. 


There are two types of incline available in the modern treadmills:

  • Manual
  • Electronic or automated

Believe me, the manual incline is a serious pain in the ass and you are never going to use that function. (that’s my personal experience). 

Automated incline opens an array of options for the better workout. You can adjust the level of incline with a push of a button. Automated incline allows you to do HIIT running, uphill running and allows you to increase or decrease workout intensity at any period of time.

Choosing a treadmill with an additional decline feature can allow you to replicate the trail running experience in the comfort of your home. 


It’s an excellent clue to predict the build quality of the product. Comparing the warranty and post-purchase service can be a great way to choose the right products. 

While most of the companies provide a lifetime frame warranty, you should be looking for the motor warranty, parts warranty, and post-purchase labor charges. 

Other features: 

There are tons of additional features provided by modern treadmills, you can choose from different screen sizes, inbuilt stereo system, inbuilt fan, Bluetooth, etc. But these are just add-ons and should not manipulate your buying decision.

Thanks for reading. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always. This site contains affiliate links as well as general health and fitness information. Please read my Medical Disclaimer and Writing Disclaimer for more information.    

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