Treadmills offer a convenient cardio option that’s widely used throughout the fitness community. They use a basic movement pattern, with a running belt that rotates around an axis allowing you to walk, jog, or run on the spot.
If you’re considering purchasing one, how much does a treadmill cost? I’ve discussed the different types of treadmills and the factors influencing their price below!
How Much Does a Treadmill Cost? - The average cost of a treadmill can range from $200 to $5000+ depending on different factors such as functionality, construction quality, and added features. Treadmills can be classed as entry-level, mid-range, and high-end, with most brands offering a range of prices.
Treadmill Levels and Types
When considering the average treadmill cost, you can break the pricing down into three key groups. Each group tends to have the same key features, with different treadmill types in each.
1. Motorized Treadmills
Motorized treadmills come with a motor that moves the running deck around an axis. Depending on the treadmill class, the motor can offer speeds from 0-15+ mph and support incline and decline settings.
With the user being able to adjust the belt speed as they move, motorized treadmills provide a great way to improve cardiovascular endurance by working past your normal running pace.
Compared to non-motorized treadmills, ones with motors tend to cost more due to the motor.
2. Manual Treadmills
Also known as a non-motorized treadmill, manual treadmills are powered using your legs rather than a motor. The running deck responds to the amount of effort given by your body, with the belt speeding up as you increase your effort. This still provides an excellent cardio option that has been suggested to be more taxing than motorized treadmill running.
Manual treadmills tend to offer better value for money compared to motorized treadmills but may have less shock absorption meaning they are harder on your joints.
3. Foldable Treadmills
Foldable treadmills offer an excellent space-saving cardio option, with the running deck lifting up or folding down allowing you to store it against the wall or on the ground.
Foldable treadmills can fit into each of the three categories I've described above.
4. Under-desk Treadmills
With a running deck that can be used under a desk or table, an under-desk treadmill provides a great option if you want to exercise whilst working or watching TV from the comfort of your own home.
The average treadmill price of under-desk models can range from $200-800, providing a cost-effective way to exercise whilst performing other tasks.
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6 Factors Affect the Price of a Treadmill
How much does a good treadmill cost? Many factors play a role. I’ve discussed the main points below so you can bear these in mind when deciding on your budget.
When purchasing a treadmill, motor horsepower is an important consideration. Horsepower is basically how much power the motor can produce. In terms of treadmills, you should be concerned with the motor CPH, which is the motor's ability to put out continued power.
Generally speaking, more horsepower means a larger motor which means a higher cost. A treadmill with less horsepower can cost less but offer a much smaller speed range.
The best treadmill motor for you depends on your personal goals and what you’ll be using the treadmill for. Manual treadmills are also available at a fraction of the cost due to the absence of a motor.
Motors up to 2.0 CHP are suitable for walking which would be up to 5 mph. Motor from 2-3 CHP can cater to jogging speeds to around 8-10 mph whilst motors over 3.0 CHP can produce belt speeds over 10 mph for running.
2. Speed and Incline Options
Speed adjustment options are commonplace in all motorized treadmills regardless of price. More expensive treadmills tend to offer a much larger speed range, allowing you to go from a walk to a full-on sprint with the press of a button. Budget treadmills tend to offer speeds from 8-10 mph whilst more expensive models go to 15+ mph.
Incline and decline options tend to be offered in mid-range and high-end treadmills, with some budget treadmills possibly offering a smaller incline level. Designing and powering the deck to move up and down requires more work and money which adds to the final cost but may have some benefits over normal treadmill running.
3. Construction and Size
The treadmill footprint and construction materials used play a big role in determining the treadmill price. Budget treadmills tend to be more compact as they often use fewer frame materials and support a smaller max user weight. Some mid-range and most high-end treadmills use larger frames with bigger running decks and offer a much bigger max user capacity.
Smaller running decks are usually okay for normal-sized users or if you're only looking to do a brisk walk or jog. If you’re a taller individual or you’re wanting to go flat out, you'll likely need a larger running deck at a larger cost. Some budget and most mid-range treadmills tend to offer a max user capacity of approximately 300 pounds. Low-cost, more portable treadmills may offer a slightly lower weight limit under 300 pounds whilst high-end treadmills are usually designed with a much bigger max capacity of 350+ pounds.
4. Monitor Functionality
At the front of most treadmills, built-in monitors allow you to monitor your workout metrics, follow along with different workouts, and utilize the quick-press buttons to change your speed and incline. Some monitors also have built-in Bluetooth speakers.
Budget treadmills tend to have much simpler monitor layouts, with some space-saving models only using a running deck with a remote. Lower-priced treadmills tend to measure the basic workout metrics and may provide some simple pre-set workout programs. Mid-range treadmills tend to offer personalized workout metrics and multiple pre-set program options. Interactive streaming apps offering a huge range of live and on-demand workout programs are mainly offered in high-end and some mid-range treadmill models.
Pricing isn't always straightforward when it comes to monitor functionality. Some brands manufacture treadmills with simple, space-saving designs but offer great interactive workout apps at an extra cost. This means you may be able to use a budget treadmill with an interactive programming app to provide the best of both worlds.
5. Added Features
Different treadmills offer a versatile range of added features that may help to improve your workout or add to your overall comfort level.
Possible added features may include:
- LCD Touchscreen Displays
- Phone and Tablet Holders
- Water Bottle Holders
- Pulse Rate Monitors
- Different Handle Options
- Safety Rails
In terms of price, the more features a treadmill has, the higher the cost usually is. Some budget treadmills do have added features but usually in a much smaller quantity.
When purchasing a treadmill, the type or amount of warranty offered is often overlooked. Components covered in the warranty are usually split into the frame, parts, and labor. Typically, budget treadmills offer smaller warranties that may not cover some parts. Whilst they may initially cost less, budget treadmills may require more maintenance which is something to bear in mind when purchasing. Also, check to see if the motor and running deck are included before deciding if the treadmill is worth the cost.
Some companies will offer lifetime warranties as standard whilst others offer a limited warranty on parts regardless of the treadmill cost. If the treadmill you’re purchasing doesn't come with a decent warranty, make sure to check the construction and reviews first.
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- Lower limb joint motion and muscle force in treadmill and over-ground exercise // Ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6704526/
- Is Motorized Treadmill Running Biomechanically Comparable to Overground Running? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cross-Over Studies// Ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7069922/
- Non-motorized Treadmill Running Is Associated with Higher Cardiometabolic Demands Compared with Overground and Motorized Treadmill Running// Frontiersin: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2017.00914/full
- A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of treadmill desks on energy expenditure, sitting time and cardiometabolic health in adults// Bmcpublichealth: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-021-12094-9
- The effects of incline and level-grade high-intensity interval treadmill training on running economy and muscle power in well-trained distance runners// Bmcpublichealth: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24172721/
- Heart Rate Control for Treadmill Workouts// Verywellfit: https://www.verywellfit.com/heart-rate-control-for-treadmill-workouts-3436603
- What is The Difference Between a Home Vs Commercial Treadmill?// Idealhomegym: https://idealhomegym.co.uk/what-is-the-difference-between-a-home-vs-commercial-treadmill/
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