In our latest refresh, we gave our top seven chart a complete overhaul, removing five models and replacing them with five new running machines.
New additions included the solid Schwinn 810, the LifeSpan TR1200i, and the updated Jet 100+ from Reebok. We also added the closet-friendly WalkingPad R1 Pro.
Make no mistake about it – buying cheaper exercise equipment can be ideal when you are just starting out or want a low-cost solution for your home gym. However, investing more in your fitness equipment can be very wise in the long run, especially if you use it regularly.
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Spending up to $1,000 on a treadmill isn’t a lifechanging amount, although it’s still a large stack of cash for most people – so you want to have a good piece of equipment in return.
Fear not! In this handy article, we have searched far and wide for some of the best treadmills you can buy for under $1,000. Take a look at our picks below, before reading our guide to buying in this price range as well as some FAQs.
Motor: 2.75 CHP
Speed: 0 to 12mph
Incline: 0 to 12% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 60”
Features: 3-Zone Variable Response cushioning, Bluetooth connectivity, rapid-charge USB port, quick controls, media shelf, pulse-grip heart rate monitors, preset workout programs, cooling fan, 325lb max capacity
The T202 from Horizon Fitness is one of our favorite treadmills on the market for under a grand and a considerable step-up from its slightly cheaper (but just as popular) little brother, the T101.
Upgraded features include a 2.75 CHP motor for a smooth and quiet operation, while the running track is slightly larger too, at 20” x 60”. This track benefits from a 3-Zone Variable Response cushioning system to keep your joints comfortable and protected.
This machine caters for users of all abilities, with a top speed of 12mph and a 12% max gradient on offer. Finally, it is also well stocked with the mod cons you would expect from a sub-$1,000 machine. This includes Bluetooth speakers, integrated tablet holder, a USB charging port and a built-in fan!
Motor: 2.6 CHP
Speed: 0 to 10mph
Incline: 10% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 55”
Features: SoftTrak deck cushioning system, blue backlit LCD monitor, 16 workout programs, built-in speakers, media shelf, USB charging port, Bluetooth connectivity, pulse-grip heart rate monitors, water bottle holders, transportation wheels, 275lb weight capacity
Schwinn is always a brand name worth seeking out when shopping for a cardio machine. The affordable 810 is Schwinn’s entry-level treadmill that proves popular in the sub-$1,000 range.
This popularity is thanks to doing the basics right, with a little bit of added flair. It features a 20” x 55” running belt sitting on top of Schwinn’s adeptly-cushioned SoftTrak deck for a more comfortable experience whether you are walking or running.
Running is doable thanks to the impressive 2.6 CHP motor powering a top speed of 10mph, while the 10% incline adds ample scope for challenge – as do the 16 built-in workout programs. As for flair, there’s plenty on offer, including built-in speakers and the ability to hook up to the Explore The World virtual running app.
Motor: 2.5 HP
Speed: 0 to 11mph
Incline: 15 levels (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 56”
Features: Shock-absorbing deck, 7” full color display, three dashboard screens, simple touch console buttons, 21 exercise programs, Intelli-Step technology, pulse-grip heart rate monitors, Bluetooth connectivity, media shelf, 300lbs weight capacity
LifeSpan has an impressive catalog of treadmills ranging from low budget workhorses up to high-end commercial machines. The TR1200i is their entry-level option, nicely blending high-level performance with technology that makes life more comfortable.
It’s fitted with a 2.5 HP motor that offers a top speed of 11mph along with 15 levels of incline, which provides a great scope for workout intensity. There’s a 20” x 56” running belt that sits on top of eight shock absorbers for a run that’s easier on your joints.
The deck also features Intelli-Step technology, which records your steps – perfect if you are trying to hit a daily target. Talking of targets, all your workout programs are accessible via the attractive 7” color touchscreen display. Pushes the $1,000 limit, but worth it for this price.
Motor: 2.6 CHP
Speed: 0 to 10mph
Incline: 0 to 10% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 55”
Features: Easy Lift assistance, FlexSelect cushioning, 5” backlit display screen, built-in speakers, EKG heart rate monitor, iFit free trial
The 6.5S from NordicTrack’s T Series is undoubtedly one of the most popular treadmills on the market today – in any price range. Just a glance at the features and you’ll understand why!
For one of the lower-cost running machines on this list, the 6.5S is packed with tech and comfort, but not at the expense of an impressive core performance. Features include a 2.6 CHP DurX motor, which delivers a top speed of up to 10mph, while there is also 10% of motorized incline.
Features include a 5” backlit display screen and a nicely cushioned track, while it also folds up well thanks to the Easy Lift assistance. You also get a free 30-day trial for iFit – the popular interactive training system.
Motor: 2.5 HP
Speed: 0.6 to 8mph
Belt: 18” x 49”
Features: Shock-absorbing deck, streamlined controls, built-in speakers, media shelf, aux port, safety key, transportation wheels, 220lb weight capacity
The word ‘streamlined’ certainly springs to mind when jumping onto the Asuna 8730G from Sunny Health and Fitness. This is due to the sleek design and low-profile folding capability.
In the case of the 8730G, low-profile actually means low-profile, as the treadmill collapses flat to a height of just 4.5”. You can slip it under a bed or sofa with very little hassle, making it perfect for small homes, apartments or anywhere you don’t want a treadmill on permanent display!
In terms of both performance and features, it doesn’t quite match most of the others on this list, with a slightly compact running surface and no options for adding incline. However, with a shock-absorbing deck, streamlined controls and an 8mph top speed, it still feels worth the fair asking price.
Motor: 2 HP
Speed: 0 to 10mph
Incline: 12 levels (Motorized)
Belt: 17” x 51”
Features: Air Motion technology, soft-drop hydraulics, 24 preset programs, six-window LED screens, hand pulse heart rate monitors, built-in speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, water bottle storage, safety key, transportation wheels, 242lb weight capacity
From the legendary fitness brand Reebok, the new Jet 100+ treadmill is an upgraded machine that offers style and substance, with change from a grand.
While the motor isn’t as powerful as some in this range, you still have access to a top speed of 10mph and 12 motorized incline levels for great versatility. Running on the 17” x 51” belt is still a little cramped, but the Air Motion cushioning offers very good comfort and support where needed.
The stylish console area is also well-stocked, with a control panel featuring six LED screens, quick control buttons, and heart rate pulse grip handles. Features like a cooling fan, Bluetooth connectivity (for pairing with the Reebok Fitness app), 24 preset running programs, and built-in speakers all add to the value!
Speed: 0 to 6.2mph
Belt: 17” x 47”
Features: Compact design, aluminum alloy frame, EVA cushioning, anti-slip running belt, telescopic handrail, LED monitor, remote control, 242lb weight capacity
Welcome to the smallest folded treadmill on the market! When the WalkingPad R1 is in its folded state it is around 38” x 28” x 6” – in other words, you can store it anywhere, from under the bed to in your closet.
To get such a compact treadmill at under $1,000, the R1 has to make a few compromises. The first of which is the running surface – it’s a bit small at just 17” x 47” – while the top speed of 6.2mph will limit you to walking and light jogging.
However, when jogging, the R1 has a handrail to keep you stable, which is an improvement over many other slimline treadmills (including WalkingPad’s cheaper option, the A1). The R1 also includes a remote control, a display screen and a safety key, for a compact and convenient way to get in your daily 10,000 steps!
So, you’re making the jump from a $500 treadmill to one costing under $1,000? Good choice! While you may be spending a considerable chunk more, the performance and reliability on offer with treadmills in this region may prove more cost-effective in the long run.
Here’s what to look out for when shopping in this price range:
The treadmills in this range are a stylish bunch. Still not quite looking like a gym-grade treadmill, but very close. Ultimately, you’d be happy having them take center stage in your home gym or in a corner of your living room, which is the most important thing.
If you are storing it in a living room, apartment or office, rest easy that the majority of treadmills in this category fold away easily. They aren’t completely invisible, but with the deck folding vertically, you will be able to reclaim some floor space after a session. Look out for soft-drop and easy-lift features, which take the hassle out of folding and unfolding.
Of course, the more compact a treadmill, the less room it gives you to run. You need to tread the line between something that takes up very little room and still gives you generous enough belt dimensions. Try to determine what’s more important to you – a longer stride or a more compact machine.
Different treadmills come with different features, even in the same price range. However, every treadmill in this region should offer solid core components. This means a sturdy frame and robust build that won’t shake and wobble as you pound the virtual sidewalk.
You can also demand a powerful motor that can cope with long sessions and higher-speeds. Look for something that is at least 2.5 CHP (continuous horsepower) or higher. You will want this for offering speeds of anywhere between a fast 8mph jog and an all-out sprint at 12mph.
A motorized incline control is also essential in this range, so you don’t have to get off the machine and manually adjust anything during your workout like you would on a budget treadmill in the $300 price range.
Other things to consider include the ability to stow away the running machine when not in use. This can be essential if you are using it in a living room, bedroom or office – anywhere aside from a dedicated home gym. Keep an eye out for hydraulic systems that help you fold the machine with ease.
When spending under $500, incline is still a pretty mixed bag. One significant change that you will notice in the $1,000 range is that motorized incline is now standard. This means you don’t have to get off the treadmill when you want to increase or reduce the gradient.
In this category, you’ll find gradient option ranging from 10% up to 15%, which is enough to provide a tough challenge. Even as you venture in the higher end of the market, 15% incline is still standard, so buying in this sub-$1,000 range doesn’t mean you are missing out on anything.
The size of the belt (i.e. the moving track on which you land) is very important and often overlooked. You don’t want to set up your treadmill, then realize it doesn’t allow you to stride naturally. In the budget markets, belts with sizes of 16” x 50” are still quite common, however the majority of machines in this price range will offer bigger belts.
Anything from 20” x 55” and above will give most users a comfortable experience. If you are around 6ft or taller, aim for a belt with a longer 60” length – this will give you more freedom, without fear of falling off.
Truth be told, the main consoles on treadmills in this price range are pretty similar to those priced higher and lower. This means you will find all the controls you need to tend to speed and incline, occasionally having options such as QuickSpeed, which allows you to jump from, say, 3mph to 10mph at the press of a button.
The display monitors are also pretty similar, with backlit LCD screens offering everything you need to know about what’s happening during your workout – the speed, time, distance and calories burned. These may also offer you preset programs tailored towards specific goals, such as distance, fat loss or heart rate.
However, if you are looking for larger display screens – perhaps those which can show video or browse apps – then you’ll have to increase your budget and shop in the under $2,000 region.
Whatever the price range, every treadmill comes with a couple of extra features that boost comfort and convenience. However, you can expect the amount, quality and usefulness of these features to increase as you move into this $1,000 segment.
In addition to a decent display screen, as we’ve covered above, one thing that many in this category will offer is built-in speakers, some with Bluetooth support (or, at the very least, an auxiliary input). This allows you to enjoy music, take calls and listen to workout instructions via a smartphone or tablet.
While speakers increase convenience, the quality of sound in this range won’t match that of a proper sound system, so audiophiles may want to look elsewhere!
Every treadmill in this range should also offer the basics, such as a water bottle holder, or a built-in fan to cool you down as you exercise. An emergency tether is also a vital addition, so the machine will quickly shut off if you trip, faint or collapse – crucial when working out alone.
You will also find that most treadmills under a grand will offer handy integrated device holders, allowing you to attach a tablet for entertainment and workout purposes.
Finally, in this range, you will find some treadmills are ready to connect to services such as iFit. Accessed via a smart device, iFit offers thousands of workout programs, delivered by real people in real-world scenarios. Your trainer controls the incline and speed of your treadmill, so there’s no need to mess around with buttons as you are running.
Note that iFit isn’t a free service, even though some treadmills do offer free trials or a month’s membership. Figure out whether you will commit to a subscription before you make the purchase. You can read more about iFit on their official site.
It’s unadvisable to just jump in and purchase any fitness gear – let alone a treadmill costing around a grand! So how do you choose the best treadmill for you?
Try to define what exactly you are using it for. If you are planning to use it primarily for walking, you won’t need anything with a high top speed or an overpowered motor. In fact, if you are looking for treadmills for walking, you don’t need to spend as much as $1,000 to land a suitable machine.
Jogging and running place more stress on the belt and motor, and demand higher top speeds. So, if you are training towards your first half-marathon or are an advanced runner, you’ll need to go for a treadmill with a stronger motor and more durability. A motor of between 2.5 and 3.0+ CHP is ideal for running.
Deck cushioning is also important when it comes to running – the more running you do, the more cushioning you are likely to need. This is to absorb the shock as your foot hits the belt, which will protect your joints in the long run.
Also check the maximum weight limit of the treadmill. Most will deal with heavier users, but it’s no good being a 250lb individual jumping on a treadmill with a 220lb weight limit.
Finally, consider what extras are important to you. While the core performance is always more important than secondary features, decide if you need a larger display screen, heart rate monitor, preset programs to follow, or speakers built in.
Much of the time you can do without these, but if they are important to you, make sure your treadmill shortlist offers them!
You can actually spend up to $10,000 and beyond on a treadmill. Should you? Probably not. Spending $1,000 can result in a solid machine that will help you achieve your fitness goals in the comfort of your own home.
However, if you increase your budget to treadmills costing around $1,500, you will see some more advanced features that can benefit you further.
For example, you will find machines with more powerful motors, with 3.5 to 4.0 CHP motors pretty common. These deliver similar top speeds to the $1,000 range, but will get you there quicker, with a smoother performance and less noise.
The higher end will also give you more advanced incline systems, while some will also offer you decline of up to -3% for a slight downhill gradient.
Of course, the secondary features also improve, with full HD TV screens, better speakers and more advanced controls all a tempting prospect.
If $1,000 is all you can afford, then – as this page has demonstrated – you can find plenty of excellent machines. However, if you can squeeze an extra few hundred bucks from your budget, then you may find more appeal on a more expensive treadmill.
Using a treadmill can certainly help you lose weight, providing you are using them effectively and combining your exercise with a good diet.
To lose weight, you should consistently be burning more calories than you consume. This can be done by increasing the amount you exercise or by eating less – or by combining the two approaches.
Working out on a treadmill is a good way to burn calories, with the average person burning around 150 to 220 calories per 30 minutes of walking, and around 500 to 700 calories when running for 30 minutes.
Providing you aren’t following your workout with a fast-food pig-out session, you should start to see results over time. The better your diet and the more exercise you do, the faster you will lose weight. Although it is wise to make it a more gradual process, as this will be better for your body and will help you stick with it for longer.
Using a treadmill is very safe – providing you take a few precautions, just as you would with any other piece of exercise equipment.
The biggest danger when using a treadmill is falling, and this risk can be reduced quite easily. Firstly, whenever you are using the treadmill, attach the safety key. These keys attach to your waistband via a string, tethering you to the machine. Should you fall over when using the treadmill, the key will pop out and the treadmill will come to a safe stop.
Of course, you don’t want to be falling over in the first place. To avoid this, make sure you are using a speed you can cope with. Don’t start too fast – build up to your top speed gradually. If you feel faint or dizzy at any point, stop the machine and take a break.
Also, try to focus on the task at hand. With things like smartphones, tablets, TV screens and speakers, it is too easy to become distracted. Try not to fiddle with too many things when you are running – concentrate on the act of running.
Naturally, if you have a pre-existing condition affecting your cardiovascular system, ensure you consult a medical professional before starting a new workout program. Better safe than sorry!
The biggest differences between the $1,000 treadmill range and the lower price categories are almost always reduced to secondary features. However, the overall quality of frame, motor and performance is definitely improved in this range, and spending a little more can result in a treadmill that will last you a lot longer.
Our chart of the top treadmills will have offered insight into which is worthy of your money. Now all that’s left to do is define what you need, make a decision and buy some new running shoes – you’re going to need them!