The 5 Best Treadmills Under $1000
Unfortunately, training for a 5K or getting in shape usually doesn’t include any slimming down on our wallets. There are expensive shoes to invest in, an entire wardrobe of exercise attire, music and gadgets to buy, gym memberships, apps, and maybe even more expensive grocery bills. But if there’s one investment in your fitness that is sure to make you sweat, it’s trying to figure out what treadmill to buy.
Treadmills are a great investment and provide a convenient way to get a workout in the comfort and safety of your home no matter what the weather condition. Many find that having this convenience is a great way to motivate themselves to maintain an active lifestyle - what can be a better investment than your own health! Plus, treadmills are much easier on sensitive joints like the knees and hips, and make a great tool for people who are prone to injury or recovering from one.
Major Differences Between the "Budget" & $1000 Treadmill
However, I have found that the $700-$1000 budget range will afford you a quality treadmill with a larger motor (usually 2.7HP or higher), powered incline with higher incline percentages, higher speeds available, a larger running area, a longer warranty, many more entertainment features, and an overall more sturdy and durable machine that support “big and tall” runners. Below you’ll find my picks for the five best treadmills under $1,000. Before you start digging into what makes them great, a few things that they all have in common.
- They are all folding treadmills
- They all have powered incline (ranging from 12-15 percent)
- They all reach speeds of more than 10 mph (most are 12)
- They all have a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor (probably one of the reasons they are so popular!)
- They are all available for purchase on Amazon (links provided) and have received outstanding customer reviews.
The 5 Best Treadmills Under $1000
At $999.00, this treadmill is barely under $1,000 - but it’s packed with features and is a great option for the runner that depends on entertainment features for extra motivation, or who is looking for a top-speed durable machine that will provide hard workouts for a lifetime. This treadmill is powered by a 3.0 continuous horsepower (CHP) motor designed to operate quietly and offer speeds up to 12 miles per hour. The smooth running 60″ running deck is long enough for most runners and includes an optional FlexSelect cushioning setting. Turn the cushioning on to increase shock absorption and get excellent joint protection. Turn it off to simulate outdoor conditions and estimate your performance in outdoor competitions. A one-touch button lets you easily adjust the C990’s incline up to 15 percent. This treadmill comes with a diverse array of 32 workout applications so you can work on speed, endurance or weight loss goals with programs that are customized to your fitness level.
The NordicTrack C990 is iFit enabled, a feature that really differentiates this unit from it’s less expensive relative the C 970 (which is only iFit compatible, which means you’d need to add a module). Using iFit requires a subscription, and then you can take your treadmill online. You can download personalized workout programs, track your performance, compete in treadmill races with your Facebook friends, and virtually experience real-life running routes that you choose in Google Maps. This feature makes using the 7″ backlit LED console even greater. The screen is easy to read at any angle and tracks your speed, time, distance, calories and heart rate. The built-in tablet bracket allows you personalize your workout experience with other fitness apps and entertainment options. The console also includes an iPod compatible music port so you can stream MP3 music through the built-in 3″ speakers.
2. The Sole F63
Reviewed as "the best treadmill in its price range" on Amazon, the Sole F63 is one of the highest quality folding treadmills under $1,000. It’s the simplest model in Sole’s current lineup, but it still gets outstanding customer reviews and remains hotel chain Hilton’s treadmill brand of choice for their gym facilities. Updated in 2016, the Sole F63 now features a 60″ running deck, a 3.0 CHP motor and an upgraded console with 10 training programs (including fat burn, cardio, hills, incline and heart rate targets, etc.) and 15 percent powered incline. Its precision welded steel frame is built to hold steady at the track’s top speed of 12 mph. Time, heart rate, speed, pace, calories burned, and other useful bits of information are displayed on a 6.5″ LCD screen.
Additionally, on the new 2016 model a Sole Fitness mobile app can be integrated for wireless tracking and fitness sharing. This app is compatible with iOS and Android devices so you can view your progress on your mobile device in real time. You can also use other apps during exercise and it will continue to record your workout data in the background. The Sole app can communicate with FitBit, MyFitnessPal and other training apps so you can continue using whatever programs you’re familiar with and store all of your workout history in one location. Other features include a built-in cooling fan and built-in speakers which allow you to hook up any MP3 player, iPod, etc. for easy listening, and a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor.
(This model seems to range in price, $806 is the least expensive I’ve spotted, but I also saw for as high as $999). ProForm is one of the top treadmill brands, especially in this price range. You’ll find several models available on Amazon under $1,000.00 but very few that surpass this model in terms of positive reviews. With 30 workout programs, a 60″ long-running deck, and a high quality 3.0 CHP motor, this is a great treadmill that surprisingly comes in under $900. Like NordicTrack, this ProForm treadmill (and most of their other models as well) are iFit enabled and ready to take you on a run anywhere in the world, track your progress, and compete with friends.
An integrated tablet holder keeps your tablet secure and conveniently close so you have access to all your training tools and entertainment must-haves. Like other treadmills on this list, the ProForm Power 995i reaches a top speed of 12 mph and the convenient QuickSpeed buttons let you adjust your intensity instantly, so you don’t have to scroll through .5 increments to reach the speed you want. Reviewers note that this treadmill has great impact absorption, some stating that it is better than any other treadmill they’ve ever tried. This feature makes it a great option for big and tall runners, those with sensitive joints, or recovering from injury.
4. The Nautilus T614
Inspired by the Nautilus fitness club line, the T614 Treadmill is powered by a 2.75 CHP motor that reaches 12 mph and a powered incline up to 12 percent. The 22 workout programs offer a workout plan for every fitness level and the StrikeZone cushioning system provides comfort and support your ankles, knees, hips and back. The console features a 3” x 5” high-resolution blue backlit LCD monitor to track your workout time, distance traveled and calories burned. A built-in media shelf allows you to rest a magazine, book or tablet in front of you while keeping track of your workout and a built-in USB port allows you charge your media device as your workout.
This treadmill supports data exchange with their own fitness tracker, Nautilus Connect, as well as the more well known MyFitnessPal. Similar to other fitness tracking apps, Nautilus Connect allows you to upload, analyze and track your workout data through their website after you create a free account. Overall this is the least expensive treadmill on the list, yet it includes many of the same features you’ll find in the $900+ range - a really great value!
5. The LifeSpan TR 1200i
I saved this treadmill for last because this treadmill has an absolutely stellar reputation. It has been voted as one of the best treadmills in its price range, it appeared on literally every single other “best treadmill” list that I read during the course of my research, and it has more than 400 positive customer reviews on Amazon. In comparison to other treadmill’s on the list, this treadmill is actually smaller and has less power, the running deck is 56 inches long and the motor is 2.5 CHP. While you can buy treadmills under $1,000 with better specifications, it’s hard to ignore the impressive number of top reviews by actual customers. So I looked into the reviews themselves to see what all the hype was about. This treadmill has 15 different powered incline options and up to 11 mph running speeds. The deck is supported by 6 compression shock absorbers that provide safe, responsive cushioning for your knees, back and joints. The USB port allows you to charge media devices or you can insert a zip drive to store your fitness data. Simply insert a USB drive into the built-in port and your results are automatically saved every 20 seconds. When you’re done with your workout, you can re-insert the drive into your personal computer to upload minutes, calories, heart rate, distance, and step count data right to your running log or onto your favorite fitness tracking app.
The LCD system hosts more than 20 different kinds of program options for any level of runner. This treadmill also has an iPod compatible speaker system as well as a pedometer feature that allows you to keep track of your steps. In addition to the impressive features on this model, customers rave about the company’s customer service, many saying that when a problem arose with the machine they were prompt and helpful. Several reviewers noted that this was a very quiet and comfortable treadmill to run on, and that assembly of the machine was easy.
As I mentioned in my other treadmill article, Amazon is a great place to order one of these treadmills, but many of them are available at major sport equipment retailers. If you’re interested in testing one of these treadmill’s before making the investment, it doesn’t hurt to call a local retailer in your area to see if they carry these brands/models. I hope this article has helped you feel more confident about making a treadmill purchase, and that I’ve given you some good information about which would be the best option for your unique lifestyle.
Looking For A Budget Treadmill?
I’ve written a similar article to this one that covers treadmills in the “budget category” and they were all less than $700. While many of the treadmills I covered in that article are great options if you are looking for a basic no frills treadmill, I’ve found that there is a significant increase in quality past the $700 mark. Treadmills in the “budget category” may get the job done well, but they often don’t have long warranties (if a warranty at all), have less stable construction (and don’t support high weight limits or exceedingly tall individuals), and typically don’t have strong enough motors to support powered incline and high running speeds.
If you are just now starting your treadmill research, I highly recommend that you start with that article - you may be surprised to find what some of the treadmills in the budget category can do and find that one of them would be a perfect fit!