Treadmill Buying Guide

Treadmill Buying Guide

Here in this guide, we will try to help you choose the updated and best match of the treadmill for you. After going through this guide, you will get much information about the treadmills made for both commercial and home purposes. In case you are looking for a refurbished treadmill, then look out to the section where we have gathered some tips for buying refurbished treadmills.

The use of the treadmill is very simple and easy for the members. Also, they have versatile properties to offer. These features make treadmills the most popular tool for cardiovascular exercise. Regardless of the weather condition, you can use the treadmill for jogging or even marathon training. If you don’t have enough space at your home, then there are some treadmills that can be folded and save space.

For the commercial fitness studios or gyms, having a sufficient number of treadmills is necessary, as the use of treadmills is 1.9 times higher than the cross-trainers, says the GYMETRIX STUDIES.

Be it at home or the gym, people love the treadmills as they give the users a comfortable and safe running facility. This is really a popular machine for cardio exercise.

Manual, Motorised or Curved?

There are three categories of treadmills in the market that you can consider buying:

Manual Treadmills

With the manual treadmills, we might feel extra pressure on your joints of ankle and knee, as initially, it is tough to move the belts of the treadmill. Because they do not have any motor attached to move the belt. The manual treadmills use the momentum originated from the movement of the user to move the belt.

Motorised Treadmills

Treadmills that operate by motors normally give a better user experience compared to manual treadmills. In the motorized treadmills, you can change the speed with just one simple button. The modern motorized treadmills offer the option of automatic changing of speed that will make your workout more challenging.

Curved Treadmills

A curved treadmills that is powered by themselves do not use any sort of power or electricity. It operates entirely by using the momentum created by the user. The walking and running experience with these treadmills is very smooth and comfortable. The belts of these treadmills are made of rubber and glide over ball bearings. Your running will include more realistic experience and running mechanics in the curved treadmills than the treadmills with flatbeds. These treadmills are also very good for working on the group muscles of the leg.

The curved treadmills are fantastic indoor circuit and sprint trainers, as there is no motor used in them for making the top speed. Also, many users find it ideal for training for marathon runs. The curved treadmills surely offer a better experience of running than the flatbed treadmills.

You know more about the advantages of curved treadmills in the video we have created for the Speedfit curved treadmills.

Home or Commercial?

Before you search for the treadmills it’s important to look at the range of prices you can pay for. You will need to pay at least £500 if you are looking for a treadmill to use in your home. There are some cheaper treadmills which you can get at £200, but they will not ensure the reliability and quality of an entry-level treadmill.

The high-performing and robust treadmills for the home can cost you up to £4000. But they do not come with a strong warranty. And also they have additional expenses such as adding an internet connection and heart rate monitor.

The commercial models that are refurbished are of similar expenses. A cybex or star trac commercial used treadmills can cost from £1500 to £3000.

The new and fresh commercial treadmills can cost from £4000 to £10000. But there are some models of the latest version that can cost more than £10000. Like, some models that include the most updated connectivity and HD screen of 20".

There is a reason that causes the huge difference in prices of commercial and home treadmills. The treadmills made for use in the home are manufactured for one hour per day. Whereas the commercial ones are manufactured very strongly so that they can bear the intense and rough use of the gym.

What are the most important Treadmill features to consider?

Can the Treadmill Fold?

There is a prime difference between the home and commercial treadmill. That is, the home treadmills are made in such a manner that allows you to fold them when not in use. This feature saves you space in your home. So if you are worried about the limited space at your home, then you should consider this feature while buying the treadmill for your home.

The treadmills when flooded become taller. The average height of a folded treadmill is 1.70m-180m. So check the height before buying to make sure it’s not higher than the ceiling of your home.

Transportation Wheels

Almost every commercial and home treadmill does have wheels for transportation. But it’s better to check before you buy it.


Apart from creating resistance, elevation is an alternative to increase the intensity of workout speed. The average elevation of most of the treadmills is 10-15%. But there are some commercial models that come with 20% of elevation. The idea that the treadmills with much elevation percentage are for the advanced users, is not correct. The variation of elevation is actually for the users who are comparatively new users, for making their workout more challenging.

Top Speed

When you look for the treadmills, consider the capability of the motor with importance. You can have the running or walking experience of a marathon runner or a professional track athlete. In most of the treadmills, the increase of speed is 0.1 kilometers per hour. But there is a special feature that you will find in the current treadmills available. That is a button for direct speeding. With such a button you will be able to gain a speed of 0-10 kilometers with just one touch of a button.

Power of the Motor

The way someone would consider the size of the engine while buying a car, you should consider the rate of horsepower of a treadmill that way, when you start searching for treadmills. Because it is really a vital indicator of how much it will help you to build strength and quality.

‘Peak duty’, ‘treadmill duty’, ‘continuous duty’ these are the terms used to indicate horsepower of the motor. The ‘continuous duty’ gives the closest idea of the power of the motor. Treadmill duty measures the power at an average speed for an average user over an average period of time. Peak Duty refers to, maximum horsepower a motor can generate when working at its hardest. This is only sustainable for a short time.

Commercially CPH or the continuous duty horsepower rating is considered the most accurate indicator of power. This refers to the least performance throughout the exercise. The motors with continuous duty are the most reliable, durable, and powerful ones.

RPM is related to the matter of the power of the treadmills, hence should be treated carefully. The motors with lower RPM have a higher ability to turn the belt. The motor is working really tough over the lifetime of the treadmill if its CPH IS 3.5 but it’s running with an RPM of 7000. The perfect combination would be a higher CPH and lower RPM.

Display and Programmed Workouts

The majority of the treadmills currently available in the market come with a LED and LCD display. Except for the top-end treadmills like Cybex E3 Entertainment System, which comes with a built-in HD display, most treadmills will show you the common information like the distance, time, amount of calorie burning, heart rate, and speed. However, each company has its own design.

There is an extensive number of pre-installed programs and workouts in both the commercial and home treadmills. Most of the treadmills available in the market are concerned with the pre-set programs of endurance and weight loss. The up-to-date models can connect to mobile apps and internet-based tools that will give you a more challenging workout experience.


Cushioning is a vital factor to consider while buying a treadmill for people who are not used to running on a treadmill. Cushioning of all models provides similar facilities like fatigue reduction and comforting your joints. However, different companies or manufacturers have different technologies of cushioning. But you should be careful.

There are treadmills with poor cushioning technology that act like the trampoline ( transfer of force after the impact. That can amplify the damage that could have been caused by running on the road.

Whatever the cushioning technology is used, the feeling that is produced will rank between the scale of very soft deck machines to machines of the very hard deck. The commercial treadmills have to bear a rough and extensive use, so they are built with decks that are much more solid.

For the users who have joint problems, or suffer from shin splints, there are treadmills with orthopedic belts that offer additional support to them. Some manufacturers claim to reduce 33% of the impact on the joints by the cushion belts.

Additional Treadmill Features

The current models of bikes, cross trainers, and treadmills that are available in the market come with a built-in heart rate sensor in the handles or grips which is connected with the actual display. The more updated models will offer integration of heart rate monitoring equipment or polar telemetry.

The addition of cooling fans in the treadmills is becoming more popular day by day. This not only comforts the user by blowing cool wind towards the user but also makes your running experience more realistic by replicating the real blow of wind.

Size and Dimensions of the Running Area

The treadmills with open dimensions when you consider buying a treadmill with the fact of space available. Similar thoughts should be considered while buying treadmills for the commercial gym or fitness studios. You should measure the dimensions carefully to avoid further problems. Because all products will not have similar measurements.

Match your size of stride with the size of the belt. It’s vital for those who are taller and find it uncomfortable to use the smaller treadmills. Except for the treadmills that are cheaper do not have the issue of the belt size.

Maximum people face problems with their weight when they use the small treadmills for home. Most of the treadmills that are manufactured for commercial purposes have a weight capacity of 180 kilograms. Some of the models, like (star trac e-trx) exceed the range of 220 kilograms. But the range for home treadmills is normally less comparatively, around 150 kilograms.

The commercial and home treadmills do not come with a universal warranty. However, one model at origin fitness offers a warranty of 2 years on labor and parts, 5 years on motor, and a lifetime warranty on chassis and frame. Commercial treadmills are quite similar but this may vary among the manufacturers.

Refurbished and Used Treadmills

There is hardly any chance of financial loss when you buy a refurbished or used treadmill, but you can get a fully or partially damaged treadmill. So it is important to know what features and details you should look for. The importance is similar for buying both the new and used ones.

You should ask questions about the past details about the machine. Whether it had been in a gym or hotel or home? How long has it been in use? How roughly has it been used? The number of scratches will portray the age of the treadmill well. In case of the refurbished treadmills know the changes or additions that have been made in the process of refurbishing.

Some refurbishments include through changes while some other refurbishments only deal with the cosmetic materials only. So, know whether any parts were replaced or not. And also look at the details of the warranty in case of the warranty detail.

Most of the treadmills go through the wear and tear of the belt after using a certain time. This can make your running experience very uncomfortable. The horsepower of the motor will also decrease after the use of 5-6 years.

To check the refurbished or used treadmill, the best thing you can do is to try that out yourself. After using it for a while you might be able to notice the irregularities and weaknesses of the motor. For safety, press and check the maximum and minimum speed and incline. Also, engage in the pre-installed exercise programs at different intensities for at least 20 minutes.

Make sure that all the buttons and the display is working properly. The most vital buttons are the emergency stop cord and the increase and decrease arrows.You should also try to check that all the buttons on the console are in working order; both the increase/decrease arrows and emergency stop cord are the most important.

Delivery and Installation of your Treadmill

Even after you have chosen whether to buy the used, new, or refurbished treadmills, don’t forget to ask the company about the delivery of the treadmill and its installation before you purchase them. If you are purchasing a commercial treadmill that is refurbished will be delivered as it would be built within the earlier site.

It will also be removed as a whole. The procedure of delivery varies from each delivery or courier service. It is better to call an expert to install the treadmill, that will cost you an additional charge.

How to choose the right weight equipment? Read ntaifitness's buyers guide for commercial gym equipment: