Treadmill buying guide for fitness enthusiasts

October 14, 2020

Running indoors on a treadmill does not offer the same rush you experience outdoor, but it surely helps in avoiding rains, crowded trails, and soiled paths. That said, a branded-quality treadmill with a wide variety of programming and interactive features can set you back a few thousand dollars. Do not worry! This Treadmill buying guide will help you in buying a treadmill that suits your individual workout needs.

What factors to consider during treadmill buying


Buying a treadmill or shopping for a home treadmill can be made easier with a bit of research. If you fail to narrow down your research to what exactly you are looking for, you could end up feeling cheated instead of happy with your decision. Complete your treadmill buying exercise by keeping the following factors in check.

  1. Track size of the treadmill
  2. Tread belt wideness
  3. Price of the treadmill
  4. Motor power
  5. Track Incline
  6. Warranty

Please note - Each machine has a weight limitation so make sure weight capacity is a factor to check when you plan to buy a treadmill for your personal use. Ideally, you should choose a machine that has a capacity of 50 pounds heavier than your current body weight.


1] Track size of the treadmill

In comparison to petite walkers and athletes, runners take longer strides. So, it’s important to select the right track size of a treadmill. Most standard tracks range between 55″ for walking and 58″ or 60″ for running. Some treadmills for runners have tracks up to 63″ long.

2] Tread belt wideness

Treadmill Track
Treadmill Track

Ideally, the tread belt wideness varies from 16 '' to 20 ''. The lower range is narrow and thus, good for walking. However, if your stride keeps changing and you don’t want to be worried about stepping off the belt, go with the one having extra-wide treadmill tracks (20-inches or more).

3] Price of the treadmill

Most treadmills for sale can be categorized into 3 different groups,

  • Premium - Machines occupying a place in this top-tier offer premium benefits like web-enabled touch screens, integrated television, and fitness tests. As such, even during a limited offer period, Premium treadmills sell around $2,000 and upwards. Some high-value models in this price range do offer maintenance-free tracks and reversible decks that push their prices further.
  • Mid-range – These are the best home treadmills you can get under $2000 and perfect for households with more than one trainee.
  • Popular – These, not so high-powered treadmills are quite comfortable to use and can work as cardio trainers. Their price lies between the range of $1500 - $2000.

4] Motor power

When shopping for a treadmill, make sure to check the Continuous Duty Rating (CHP). It is a commercial-grade standard applied to treadmills and measures the minimum horsepower delivered during a workout.

A 1.25 CHP machine is on the lower end and regarded as sub-standard equipment while its higher version 1.75 to 2.0 CHP treadmill is considered satisfactory in performance for walkers and light joggers. The 2.5 CHP treadmill motor is high-powered which every average runner should seek.


5] Track Incline

Track Incline
Track Incline

By just walking on a steep slope you can actually burn the same number of calories as a runner. A common maximum incline setting is 15% or 20% but some of the best treadmills for walking can have up to 40% incline. Moreover, they have a power-adjustable angle.

An important tip you should remember while looking for track incline in a treadmill – All incline controls should be readily accessible and built into the handlebars.

6] Warranty

Treadmills manufacture warranty is a good signal to determine the quality of the product. It can range from 90 days to a confidence instilling lifetime warranty. Check with the sales representative what best number they can offer between these 2 extremities.

Why do treadmills have cancer warnings?

A large part of the treadmill body is made up of PVC plastic that includes chemicals (Acrylamide, Toluene, etc.) listed in Proposition 65. It is a Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act that requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, or birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

It’s nothing fancy or something to worry about since manufacturers show this warning on their products to avoid penalties for violating Prop 65. Even the Starbucks and the jetway at the local airports have a Prop 65 warning. Unless you plan on eating the treadmill plastic cover, you should be fine!

Are there treadmills without P65 warning?

No! All treadmills are required to show P65 warning because the walking belts are made from PVC.

Are treadmills safe for elderly?

Yes! Even seniors can build fitness and health on the treadmill. Some very advanced treadmills like NordicTrack Treadmill (T Series) are used by elderly people for their home workouts.  A few others have easy to use controls that make their daily cardio exercise an enjoyable experience.  

Also read - 5 health and wellness gadgets that can improve your life for better.


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Hemant Saxena
(355 Articles Published)

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