The 7 Best Treadmills Under $1500 – Running into Premium Territory

The latest update to this article saw several changes to the treadmills we recommend, with older models – including the ProForm PRO-5000 and Sole Fitness F8 – making way for three new running machines.

These comprised the excellent ProForm SMART Pro 2000 and great-value ProForm Performance 800i, as well as the T 8.5 S from NordicTrack.

The winner after the latest chart update:
tBowflex Results Series BXT116 - 1
  • Motor: 3.75 CHP
  • Speed: 0 to 12mph
  • Incline: 0 to 15% (Motorized)
  • Belt: 20” x 60”
  • Folding: Yes
  • Features: Comfort Tech deck, 7.5” full-color display screen, media shelf, USB charging port, Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, heart rate monitor, three-speed fan, SoftDrop folding system

Higher-end treadmills are a perfect way to take your cardio game to another level. While you can easily spend beyond $10,000 on a premium treadmill, most home users will find everything they need – and more – with a treadmill costing $1,500.

Whether you are an experienced runner, fitness enthusiast or building the home gym of your dreams, a treadmill in this range may be just what you are looking for.
Today we are focusing on some of the best treadmills on the market under $1,500, highlighting our current top seven models.

After this, we’ll be discussing what to look for on a treadmill in this category, as well as diving into some of the most frequently asked questions.

Top 7 Best Treadmills Under $1500:

Pros

  • Strong 3.75 CHP motor with very quiet operation
  • Stylish, sturdy, comfort-enhancing design
  • Top speed of 12mph and incline up to 15%
  • Excellent console with great controls, color display and media-friendly features

Cons

  • Bluetooth connectivity could have been more flexible to incorporate the speakers
  • One of the more expensive in this range
  • No wheels to move the treadmill around when folded

Motor: 3.75 CHP
Speed: 0 to 12mph
Incline: 0 to 15% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 60”
Folding: Yes
Features: Comfort Tech deck, 7.5” full-color display screen, media shelf, USB charging port, Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, heart rate monitor, three-speed fan, SoftDrop folding system

While Bowflex are best known for their iconic strength training machine from the ’80s, their BXT116 proves they can make a mean treadmill too! In fact, it’s our current favorite treadmill under $1,500.

Bowflex have stocked the BXT116 with a powerful 3.75 CHP motor, paired with a roomy 20” x 60” belt and advanced cushioned deck. This combines to deliver a smooth, silent operation with a 12mph top speed – perfect for running with a natural stride.

The console is packed with features that make workouts a pleasure. In the center sits a 7.5” backlit color display, surrounded by intuitive controls and a pair of speakers. Integrated heart rate monitoring, USB charging port and a three-speed fan all come as standard. It’s not the cheapest treadmill, but it’s well worth the price.

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Pros

  • Powerful 3.5 CHP motor and solid core performance
  • Convenient easy-folding design
  • Great console with 7” Smart HD Touchscreen display
  • Wide ranging gradient options from -3% (decline) to 15% (incline)

Cons

  • Frustrating to use the treadmill without an iFit subscription

Motor: 3.5 CHP
Speed: 0 to 12mph
Incline: -3% to 15% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 60”
Folding: Yes
Features: EasyLift Assist, 7” Smart HD Touchscreen display, iFit compatible (includes one-year free membership), 50 preset workouts, CoolAire fan, heart rate monitor

ProForm is a big name in the cardio equipment market – with treadmills such as the SMART Pro 2000, it’s no surprise. This treadmill looks the part and is packed with features, but not at the cost of core performance.

It’s loaded with a 3.5 CHP motor, powering a 20” x 60” belt that runs at a top speed of 12mph, with up to 15% incline and -3% decline. It’s a robust and powerful machine, yet it has a space-saving foldable design, with EasyLift Assist to ensure putting it away is simple – especially after a tough workout!

The highlight of the main console is the 7” Smart HD Touchscreen display – which works perfectly with the iFit system (there’s a free one-year membership included) – while the large fan and Bluetooth speakers enhance comfort and enjoyment.

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Pros

  • Powerful but quiet 3.5 CHP motor
  • Good top speed and incline options
  • Plenty of preset workouts and app connectivity
  • Lower price than many of the others in this category

Cons

  • No full-color touchscreen as featured on others
  • Built-in fan is a little small

Motor: 3.5 CHP
Speed: 0 to 12mph
Incline: 0 to 15% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 60”
Folding: Yes
Features: Dual backlit LCD screens, Rebound deck cushioning, Bluetooth connectivity (for RunSocial App), 26 workout programs, integrated handrail controls, plenty of storage space

While it may be one of the lower-priced models in this sub-$1,500 range, the T618 is a full-sized, high-powered treadmill with most of the goodies you would want.

The core performance of this popular running machine is powered by a robust 3.5 CHP motor, with a comfortable belt featuring dimensions of 20” x 60”. This translates to a top speed of 12mph which can be reached very quietly, while the 15% incline is another essential feature. Both speed and incline can be controlled via integrated handle controls as well as on the main console.

In addition to plenty of storage, this console features everything you’d need, including two blue backlit screens, Bluetooth connectivity and 26 workout programs, as well as syncing capabilities with multiple apps.

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Pros

  • Robust and quiet 3.5 CHP motor
  • Good top speed and belt dimensions
  • Excellent 10” Smart HD Touchscreen and quality speakers
  • Features a convenient folding design

Cons

  • Suffers the same frustration of having to bypass iFit if you don’t use the system
  • Only features up to 12% incline

Motor: 3.5 CHP
Speed: 0 to 12mph
Incline: 0 to 12% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 60”
Folding: Yes
Features: FlexSelect cushioning, 10” Smart HD Touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, very good built-in speakers, heart rate monitors, iFit compatible

The T 8.5 S from NordicTrack is a very appealing treadmill in this price range, combining all the features a modern home treadmill user would want.

Powering this attractive running machine is a self-cooling 3.5 CHP motor, with a quiet operation, a max speed of 12mph and a max incline of 12%. The commercial tread belt is standard for this range with generous 20” x 60” dimensions and low-impact cushioning for a comfortable workout.

What makes all of this even more impressive is that is completely foldable, so using it in smaller spaces is made more convenient. Meanwhile, the minimalist central console is just excellent, with a 10” Smart HD Touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, very good built-in speakers, and an impressive fan.

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Pros

  • Compact, easy-folding design for use in smaller spaces
  • Top-notch motor with very quiet operation
  • Good top speed and motorized incline options
  • Feature-packed console

Cons

  • Features a shorter belt than many of the others
  • Heart rate monitor is not particularly reliable
  • Cooling fan is a little small

Motor: 2.75 CHP
Speed: 0 to 12mph
Incline: 0 to 15% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 56”
Folding: Yes
Features: Full-color 7” touchscreen, 17 preset workout programs, Bluetooth connectivity, 38 preset workout programs, Intelli-Step, Intelli-Guard, three-speed cooling fan

It’s no surprise that the majority of models in this range are aimed towards home gyms and bigger spaces. However, the newly-updated TR3000i from LifeSpan is a space-saving treadmill that combines the higher-end features that the price tag demands, with compact dimensions and an easy-folding design.

This treadmill still offers good belt width of 20”, even if the length is a little shorter (56”), and is all powered by an excellent 2.75 CHP motor. This very quiet, smooth-running motor offers speeds of up to 12mph, with 15 levels of motorized incline.

The secondary features also impress, with a packed console featuring a full-color 7” touchscreen, a three-speed cooling fan, 17 preset workout programs, and Bluetooth connectivity. The step-counting Intelli-Step and safety-enhancing Intelli-Guard features add even more value.

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Pros

  • One of the best-priced treadmills in this range
  • Excellent 14” full-color screen
  • Offers both incline and decline options

Cons

  • Slightly narrower belt than the standard 20” in this category
  • Motor is not as powerful as its competitors
  • Frustrating bypassing of the iFit system won’t impress some users

Motor: 2.75 CHP
Speed: 0 to 12mph
Incline: -2% to 12% (Motorized)
Belt: 18” x 60”
Folding: Yes
Features: ProShox cushioning, EasyLift Assist, 14” full-color display screen, media shelf, Bluetooth speakers, iFit compatible (includes one-year free membership), CoolAire fan

While not as strong in the performance department as some of the others in this range, the Performance 800i from ProForm has a few tricks up its sleeve that makes it the best value in this category.

The core features are still decent, with a 2.75 CHP motor powering a slightly narrow 18” x 60” belt. The top speed of 12mph is standard, while the gradient options are surprisingly good, with both decline (-2%) and incline (12%) options.

The highlight is the main control console, boasting a 14” full-color display screen, with an extra media shelf allowing you to watch workout videos while simultaneously checking your emails (if that’s what floats your boat). Bluetooth speakers, iFit connectivity, and a good fan completes the lineup.

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Pros

  • Compact, folding design with great looks
  • Powerful motor with good top speed
  • Minimalist console design

Cons

  • Running belt is four inches shorter than many others in this range
  • Display screen isn’t as impressive as a full-color HD offering

Motor: 4.0 CHP
Speed: 0 to 12.5mph
Incline: 0 to 15% (Motorized)
Belt: 20” x 56”
Folding: Yes
Features: Good shock absorption, touch-sensitive controls, soft-drop system, 7″ LED display, 18 preset workout programs, built-in speakers, Bluetooth compatible, media shelf

While treadmill design has been standardized to a certain extent, GoPlus attempt to break the mold with some of their offerings – and certainly succeed with their 4.0 HP.

The innovative brand has opted for a stylish, futuristic design that undoubtedly makes it one of the best-looking treadmills in this range. Looks aside, this is a serious machine. It offers a powerful 4.0 HP motor pushing a 20” x 56” belt up to an impressive max speed of 12.5mph.

With a well-designed cushioning system and incline of up to 15%, workouts can be as comfortable or intense as you like. The central console is particularly interesting, with a flat, touch-sensitive surface with a 7″ LED display and all of the controls you need.

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Shopping for a $1,500 Treadmill

So, you’re looking to buy a $1,500 treadmill? Good choice. Your improved budget is likely to land you with a very good machine that should help you reach your fitness goals. Performance, features and reliability all improve in this range – so let’s take a closer look at each aspect.

Here’s what to consider when shopping for a $1,500 treadmill:

Design

Treadmills in this range are quite distinctive when compared to those treadmills costing less than $1,000 – the reason being that they look more like the commercial treadmills you’d find at a gym than home machines.
Everything feels sturdier and more reliable, while the aesthetics also improve – they tend to look pretty stylish as opposed to cheap.

Many of the models in this range do still fold up, even if it doesn’t initially seem that way. More often than not, the treadmills that do fold will feature a hydraulics system for an easier experience when lifting and lowering the deck. In truth, this feature doesn’t differ too much from the systems on offer in lower or higher price ranges.

Core Components

This is one of the prime reasons to purchase in this price range. While many features remain similar regardless of the price you spend, as you move into the sub-$1,500 range, you’ll see more powerful motors with quieter operation, leading to a smoother, more reliable performance while using the treadmill.

One quick look at the models we have chosen for this list reveals that there are barely any treadmills with motors around 2.5 CHP or lower – these are usually found in lower-end categories. Most of the models in this range are somewhere between 3.0 CHP and 4.0 CHP, which guarantees a good performance.

Incline Selection

The incline selection is something that also improves in this range. Whether you want to add a little gradient to mimic the wind resistance of outdoor running or a considerable hill to test the mettle of your leg muscles, having the option to set up to 15% incline from your main console is ideal.

In this range, between 12% and 15% incline is standard, which is more of a gradient than most day-to-day users will need. Interestingly, this price range is where we first start to see decline gradients of up to -3%, to mimic a slight downhill gradient. This wide gradient swing is not available on lower-priced treadmills.

Belt Size

As you may be aware, the size of the belt – the part of the deck that actually moves – is what can make or break your experience. Too short or too narrow, and you’ll find using your full stride while running is not feasible – or, at least, not comfortable.

In lower-end treadmills, you can find belt widths as narrow as 15” with lengths of under 40”. This is fine for walking or jogging for shorter people, but if you are an average-sized adult and want to jog freely, it can be too cramped.

In the $1,500 range, belt dimensions of 20” x 60” are standard, which is great for all sizes of users, whether walking, jogging or running. In fact, even commercial treadmills costing over $10,000 only offer dimensions of around 22” x 60”, so you’re not far off that with a treadmill in this range.

Control Module

It’s hard to fault the control modules on treadmills in this price category. The layouts, button styles and complexity differ greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Some will be relatively simple, while others are very comprehensive. However, they all offer similar features, such as speed and incline controls, and buttons to initiate preset workout programs.

Unlike the LED and LCD screens in the lower end of the market, here you will find full-color HD screens ranging from around 7” to 14” as the main focus of the console.

Some will be able to display workout videos – especially those with iFit connectivity – while others just display your workout stats, including time, distance, heart rate and calories burned.

Secondary Features

The treadmills in this range are often fitted with comfort and convenience-enhancing features that owners of lower-priced models could only dream about.

The kinds of features you’ll end up with will vary depending on the manufacturer, but most treadmills will offer speakers. Some are Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to listen to workout instructions and your favorite tunes, while also making and taking calls.

However, some machines will offer Bluetooth only for syncing with certain workout apps. Be sure you are aware of this before buying – if you see ‘Bluetooth’ and ‘speakers’ don’t assume that they will be ‘Bluetooth speakers’. The speakers may only be useable via an auxiliary port (which isn’t too big a deal).

Elsewhere, you will find these treadmills are fitted with cooling fans offering varying speeds, to keep you comfortable while you work out. These will be nearby the standard safety tether, which all good treadmills should offer – instantly stopping the machine if you collapse or fall for any reason.

You should also find heart rate monitors readily available, with most of them located on handlebars on the main console.

As with any machine-based heart rate monitor, these systems will give a good indication of what your heart rate is as you work out, but are never as accurate as chest-strap monitors. Thankfully, with some treadmills, a chest-strap monitor is included as an extra.

Frequently Asked Questions

Investing over a grand into a treadmill is a considerable chunk of money for anybody. You may be a beginner who is serious about getting fit, or an experienced gymgoer building your own home gym and want a reliable treadmill for your cardio gains. Whatever your goals, you’ll be able to reach them with a treadmill in this range.

While they aren’t quite as high-end as a $2000 treadmill, the main reason to invest in a $1,500 machine is due to the gym-grade performance they offer.

Truth be told, the performance on these and higher-end machines is arguably the same – or at least similar. Take the average stats of a $2,000 treadmill – 4.0 HP motor, max speed of around 12mph, incline of 15%. Look at a $1,500 treadmill and the stats are pretty much the same.

Of course, a $2,000 treadmill is an all-round better machine, but this is usually down to the secondary features – clearer displays, better audio quality and more advanced cushioning.

So, why invest in a $1,500 treadmill? You’ll be getting a much better experience than something costing $500 to $1,000, with similar features and performance of a higher-end machine, but at a price that is still pretty reasonable. Sounds good to us!

If you have been hunting for a new treadmill, chances are you’ve probably noticed the acronym ‘HP’, which means horsepower – a method of describing the power a motor can deliver.

In the $1,500 range, you may have also seen ‘CHP’ to describe some motors. This stands for continuous horsepower. Continuous horsepower means you can count on this output for a prolonged period of time.

This differs compared to regular ‘peak horsepower’, which can reach the advertised HP, but not offer it continuously. Therefore, a 3.0 CHP motor is capable of a better performance than a 3.0 HP motor.

Folding treadmills are great space savers and buying one in this category can be a great idea if you are using your new device in an area that’s limited on space. This may be a living room, studio apartment or an office – anywhere where floor space is at a premium.

With a folding treadmill, you can lift the deck of the machine up towards the console and lock it in place. Sometimes there is lift assistance, while you may also find drop assistance, so the treadmill doesn’t fall freely and crash onto the floor.

If you are buying a folding treadmill in this range, remember to set it up where you are likely to use it permanently. These machines can be very heavy and, when assembled, are pretty tricky to move.

Some folding treadmills will feature lighter weight designs and wheels for maneuvering around, but it’s still not an easy task for one person. Keep this in mind when shopping around.

With so much performance on offer, this was a tough category in which to choose a winner. At a push, we went for the BXT116 from Bowflex’s Results Series, thanks to its all-round solid performance and wide-ranging secondary features.

Truth be told, end up with any of the treadmills we have highlighted in this article and you’ll be making a great investment in your fitness – providing you actually use it!

However, if you are serious about running and your general health, the performance and individual extra features on offer in this range all come together to deliver a running machine that will undoubtedly help you reach your goals.

The Ver(ve)dict!

With so much performance on offer, this was a tough category in which to choose a winner. At a push, we went for the BXT116 from Bowflex’s Results Series, thanks to its all-round solid performance and wide-ranging secondary features.

Truth be told, end up with any of the treadmills we have highlighted in this article and you’ll be making a great investment in your fitness – providing you actually use it!

However, if you are serious about running and your general health, the performance and individual extra features on offer in this range all come together to deliver a running machine that will undoubtedly help you reach your goals.

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