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Best treadmill 2023: Improve your cardio fitness this Black Friday

Keen on getting your indoor running fix at home? This is our pick of the best budget, mid-range and high-end treadmills to buy

The best treadmills are a great addition to a home gym, whether you’re trying to burn fat, improve cardio fitness or just looking for a convenient way to stay active from home. That said, buying a treadmill is an investment in terms of both money and space. That’s why we’ve written the following buying guide and roundup to help you find the best piece of equipment for your home. 

When picking a treadmill it’s easy to overlook more affordable machines in favour of professional-looking models that wouldn’t look out of place at a gym, but you don’t need a commercial-standard treadmill unless you’re planning on spending 16 hours a day on it. Below, you’ll find our four favourite sub-£1,000 options that cater for every level of walker or runner, as well as a couple of more fancy high-end picks for those of you who are set on recreating a gym-standard experience in your own home.

So without further ado, read on for our buying guide and mini-reviews. Or, if you’re just looking for some quick recommendations, check out our at-a-glance list below.

JTX's Black Friday sale is HERE

JTX has kickstarted its Black Friday sale, offering great discounts across its range of exercise machines. Right now, you can save on the Sprint-5 (was £899; now £825) and the Sprint-9 Pro (was £1,599; now £1,525).

PLUS: Get the Peloton Tread for as little as £2,995

Well-built and with a 1080p HD touchscreen, the Peloton Tread is the best home treadmill around. Of course it’s a big investment, but in the brand’s current sale, you can get it for £350 cheaper – down from £3,345 to £2,995.

How to choose the best treadmill for you

How much do I need to spend?

If you want something that gets anywhere close to the quality of the treadmill you find in a gym, you will need to splash out upwards of £1,000, but there are some great home-use options available between £500 and £1,000, while walkers and beginner runners can find a machine that suffices in the £200 to £500 range. We really wouldn’t be tempted to spend less, however: dipping below the £200 mark usually means a very limited feature set that even beginners will tire of quickly, not to mention questionable build quality.

READ NEXT: The best exercise bike to buy

How much room do I need?

Carefully check the dimensions of any treadmill you’re interested in. You will need at least a single bed’s worth of room when using the treadmill, and some clearance at the back to step on and off. It’s also worth considering what else you will want in the room with your treadmill, such as a TV to watch while running. Many models will fold up after use, which saves a little space, but there’s no such thing as a truly compact treadmill. In all honesty, you’re far better off reserving an ample amount of space for a treadmill and keeping it clear – that way, you don’t have to spend precious running time setting it up each and every time you want to use it.

Do I need a treadmill capable of hitting a specific speed?

A major difference between most home and commercial treadmills is the top speed available. Gym treadmills will routinely go up to 19-22.5km/h (12-14mph), but home-use machines will often top out at 12-16km/h (8-10mph) or even lower. Unless you want to end up frustrated, it pays to make sure that the treadmill you’re considering is able to keep up with you.

Buying a treadmill with variable incline settings is a sensible choice, too. It’s worth looking out for treadmills that can provide a maximum incline of around 10-15%, as this allows you to increase the difficulty of your run without needing as much speed.

Last but by no means least, you’ll want to make sure that the treadmill belt is long enough to accommodate your running stride, and that you don’t exceed the manufacturer’s maximum weight ratings. The latter is particularly important, as any warranties will be null and void in the event of an accident – and having a treadmill fall to bits halfway through a run is less than ideal in any case.

READ NEXT: The best elliptical trainers to buy

What other features should I look out for?

One of the most useful features to keep an eye out for is whether a treadmill has a variety of preset workouts you can follow on the treadmill, such as hill and sprint sessions. The variety of different-sized screens available on treadmills is huge, too, ranging from simple monochrome displays right up to detailed colour LCD TV screens that connect to the internet for the best in-run entertainment. Other features to look out for are contact heart-rate monitors, and whether the products provide connectivity to smartphones or fitness wearables for both tracking and uploading your workouts.

What should I look for in terms of build quality?

As a minimum, you want a two-year warranty on a treadmill. After that, it’s worth finding out about individual parts, especially the motor. The horsepower of the motor is important – runners should look for a minimum of 2.5HP (continuous, rather than peak, so it lasts your whole workout), while walkers can get away with 1.5 or 2.0HP. Also, check the thickness of the running belt. Thicker, cushioned belts are more durable and comfortable to run on.

How much am I going to use it?

It’s a tough question when it comes to exercise equipment, but an important one. The more a treadmill will be used, the better a motor and sturdier a build it needs, and that means spending more money. Gym-standard treadmills are designed to withstand people pounding on them all day for many years, while the cheapest consumer ones might struggle with an especially keen runner. If you’re a heavy user, or if more than one person will be using the treadmill, it’s worth spending a little more to get a hardier machine.

READ NEXT: The best running shoes to buy

The best treadmills you can buy in 2023

1. Peloton Tread: Best home treadmill

Price when reviewed: £3,345 | Check price at Peloton UKPeloton Tread treadmill, in a living room with a model running on it.For those seeking the ultimate home-running experience, Peloton’s Tread should be at the top of your list. The 23.8in 1080p HD touchscreen is undoubtedly its standout feature, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in its guided workouts or many scenic runs on offer. Its 150cm long, 50cm wide belt is large enough for even the biggest of striders to get into a relaxed rhythm and the 12.5% incline will cater to the even the most ardent fitness enthusiasts around.

The only caveat is that to get the most out of the Peloton Tread and that huge HD touchscreen, you will need to pay a £39/mth membership to unlock its on-demand and live classes. Still, the hardware alone is superb and assuming you have space (and the money), you will not be disappointed with one of the best, if not the best option on the market right now.

Read our full Peloton Tread review

Key specs – Size: 173 x 84 x 157cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-20km/h; Incline Range: 0-12.5%; Motor: 3HP

Check price at Peloton UK

2. JLL T350 Digital Folding Treadmill: Best compact treadmill

Price when reviewed: £570 | Check price at JLL JLL T350 Digital Folding Treadmill with a model running on it, on a white backgroundThe JLL T350 treadmill offers a great set of features for the price, as well as folding down to save you space when you’re not using it. We’re not going to suggest it’s tiny when folded by any means, but it’s easy to fold and unfold using the hydraulic arm and you can tuck it away by a wall using the wheels when it is folded up.

When you are running on it, the JLL T350 doesn’t disappoint in terms of the speed and incline range available, going right up to 18km/h and offering 20 levels of automatic incline to provide a challenge to runners of all levels. The 2.5HP continuous motor is also powerful enough to ensure that using the machine at top speed feels smooth.

There are 20 preset running programmes, which you can use for a guided workout, and you can adjust the speed on three of those to customise them to your ability if you’re finding the session too easy or too hard.

The only real negative about this compact treadmill is that the running area is small and very short at 123 x 41cm (L x W), so many runners will struggle to get beyond jogging pace. Check your stride length if this is a concern.

Key specs – Size: 158 x 70 x 128cm (LWH); Speed range: 0.3-18km/h; Incline range: 20 levels; Motor: 2.5HP continuous, 4.5HP peak

3. JTX Sprint-5: Best mid-priced treadmill

Price when reviewed: £849 | Check price at JTX Fitness

best treadmill jtx sprint 5

Part of a swathe of recent releases and updates from JTX, the latest Sprint-5 sees a powerful 2.5HP motor take charge of the “Black Diamond” run belt, propelling it to speeds of up to 18km/h. What’s more, this model can crank the incline up to 12 per cent to increase the calorie burn and work different muscle groups in the lower body, even at low speeds.

The user experience is also improved with a revised console that includes a selection of quick keys for rapidly increasing or decreasing both speed and incline, which is perfect for running along with the virtual training partner of your choice. On that note, it plays particularly well with Zwift and Kinomap – two third-party apps that JTX put on its promotional materials – but the built-in Bluetooth connectivity means it will work with more.

During our test, we found the “CushionStep” running deck was whisper quiet, while the support it offered was enough to absorb at least some of the impact of each stride without becoming too springy. It’s a fairly large unit when in use but, once you’re done, JTX has incorporated a clever, hydraulic folding system that sees it stand on its end, reducing the overall length by some 60cm. Although, it’s still not as compact as some of the best folding treadmills.

JTX has also included a tablet holder that, thanks to its firm spring mechanism, can keep even large tablets in place – you’ll need this, as the Sprint-5 lacks the screen you’d find on rival treadmills – plus there’s a purpose-built drink holder you can keep small bottles in, although, unfortunately, the built-in fan seemed to do very little in terms of cooling. Our only other complaint is that, since all of the speed and incline adjustments are made on the console in front of the runner, it’s a fair reach for shorter users so quick adjustment paddles or buttons on the supporting arms would have been a welcome addition.

Key specs – Size: 162 x 74 x 150cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-18km/h; Incline range: 0-12%; Motor: 2.5hp DC

4. JTX Sprint-9 Pro: Best for gym-worthy features

Price when reviewed: £1,599 | Check price at JTX Fitness

best treadmill jtx sprint 9 pro

The JTX Sprint-9 Pro is every bit the semi-commercial fixed treadmill that its reassuringly chunky frame suggests. Granted, the price is a little on the spicy side, but it gives you access to the pinnacle of JTX’s treadmill technology. This includes its advanced, Bluetooth-enabled console, capable of displaying all manner of running information in real time on a crisp LCD screen, and handlebar pulse sensors that mean users don’t have to wear an additional chest strap. However, it is compatible with Polar heart rate monitors (sold separately) if you want more reliable regular readings.

It’s a big unit, weighing a hefty 125kg, but that hulking frame houses a top-of-the-line CushionStep Pro deck, which we found very pleasant to run on. There are an impressive 36 workout programmes on offer, all of which riff on a combination of speed and incline, depending on your ultimate goal, but, thanks to a punchy 4HP motor, the 22km/h top speed and punishing 15 per cent incline will likely prove a match for all but the absolute fittest and fastest runners out there. However, the unit proved surprisingly quiet despite all this power.

Zwift and Kinomap are the preferred third-party apps for use with this machine, but the built-in Bluetooth makes it compatible with others, should you like to run along to a virtual instructor or online programme.
Key specs – Size: 185 x 82 x 154cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-22km/h; Incline range: 0-15%; Motor: 4HP DC

5. Opti Folding Treadmill: Best treadmill for walking

Price when reviewed: £459 | Check price at ArgosOpti Folding Treadmill on a white backgroundIf you mainly want a treadmill for walking, you don’t need such a huge motor powering it, and unless you’re also planning on entering the race-walking world championships, you don’t need an especially high top speed.

On the other hand, you don’t necessarily want to go for the cheapest machine out there either, because comfort and durability are still key concerns. With a top speed of 12km/h, this Opti treadmill has a good-sized running surface and three manual levels of incline so you can increase the intensity without having to rely on ramping up the speed. Plus, it’s got an iPad holder so you can watch TV, movies or listen to music while you exercise. And at the end of your workout, it folds up for easy storage.

Key specs – Size: 123 x 72 x 157cm (HWD); Speed range: 0-12km/h; Incline range: 3 levels; Motor: 1.5HP peak, 0.8HP continuous

Check price at Argos

6. Life Fitness T3 Go Console: Best treadmill under £3,000

Price when reviewed: £2,595 | Check price at Fitness SuperstoreLife Fitness T3 Go Console treadmill, on a white backgroundYou can spend almost any amount of money on a treadmill, but there’s little need to look beyond the T3 unless you’re desperate for a football-pitch size running area or an in-built TV. The Life Fitness T3 is silky smooth to run on, even at the top speed of 12mph, and there are 14 well-developed exercise programmes to try. The 152cm-long track is large enough to allow even tall runners to really open out and sprint, and the FlexDeck cushioning is far gentler on the body than running on the pavement.

The T3 comes with either a “Go” or a “Track” console. The latter boasts wireless connectivity to download more workouts or link with third-party apps such as Apple Health and MyFitnessPal. There’s more than enough motivation to be found in the preset workouts on the Go Console, but if you crave connectivity then the Track might be worth the extra outlay.

Key specs – Size: 202 x 88 x 147cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-19km/h; Incline Range: 0-15%; Motor: 3HP continuous

Check price at Fitness Superstore

7. MYRUN Technogym Treadmill: Best gym-standard treadmill

Price when reviewed: £3,450 | Check price at TechnogymMYRUN Technogym treadmill, on a grey backgroundFirst of all, let’s hand Technogym some kudos for making a treadmill that actually looks good. So good you can leave it out and let visitors admire it, rather than tucking it away in a garage or corner. And the MYRUN treadmill doesn’t just look the part, it’s packing some seriously impressive tech, including Technogym’s Running Rate feature, which aims to improve your running efficiency by coaching you to the right cadence (step rate) for your speed, even picking out music that has the right beat for the step rate you should be aiming to achieve.

Through the MYRUN app, which links easily with the treadmill, you have access to comprehensive training programmes and, excitingly, Zwift – a training app where you run in a virtual world, reducing the risk of boredom with your indoor running. It’s also worth pointing out the fact that the MYRUN treadmill is smart enough to turn itself on automatically when you step on it, not least because it can be quite the shock if you don’t know about the feature in advance.

Key specs – Size: 176 x 78.5 x 126cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-20km/h; Incline range: 0-12%; Motor: 3HP

Check price at Technogym

8. Technogym Skillmill Go: Best non-motorised treadmill

Price when reviewed: £11,250 | Check price at TechnogymTechnogym Skillmill Go treadmill on a grey backgroundThis falls into a completely different category to the rest of the treadmills on this list, and not only because of its massive price tag. Curved, non-motorised treadmills are an increasingly common sight in gyms these days and offer a very different style of workout to a standard machine. Jump on and you can run as fast as want instantly, with the belt speeding up when your foot lands higher up the curve. It makes for a very intense workout, usually involving sprint intervals rather than a steady effort, and it burns a lot of calories in a short space of time

If you want your own curved treadmill, your options are limited and the price will be high. The Skillmill Go is a commercial-standard machine that you can use to train in a number of ways. It has 11 levels of resistance and different handles so you can, for example, hold on with your arms while you really drive against the belt with your legs. There’s one last bonus, too – no motor means its running costs are minimal.

Key specs – Size: 191 x 89 x 154cm (LWH); Speed range: Unlimited; Incline range: N/A; Motor: N/A

Check price at Technogym

9. DKN EnduRun: Best treadmill under £2,000

Price when reviewed: £1,299 | Check price at SweatbandDKN EnduRun treadmill on a white backgroundThe EnduRun is a top-quality treadmill that would be well worth its full RRP of £2,000. However, it’s almost always available for less than £1,999 on the Sweatband website, and it’s actually under £1,300 at the moment.

All of the key specs on the EnduRun are exceptional. The top speed is a blistering 22km/h, the incline range goes up to 15% and the 2.5CHP motor ensures it runs smoothly, even if you’re a fast enough runner to hold speeds of 20km/h plus for long periods. The running belt is expansive at 53 x 151cm, and the maximum user weight is 150kg.

The cherry on top of all these outstanding specs is that the EnduRun can connect to apps, including Zwift and Kinomap, via Bluetooth. The latter contains guided workouts and video runs in some of the world’s most scenic locations, and watching your avatar run around the visual world of Zwift is a surefire way to make treadmill runs more exciting.

Key specs – Size: 206.5 x 89.5 x 157cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-22km/h; Incline range: 0-15%; Motor: 2.5CHP (4.5 PHP)

Check price at Sweatband