The 7 Best Treadmills Under $300 – Running into Some Real Bargains!

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In the latest refresh of our guide to sub-$300 treadmills, we made a few little changes to help bring things up to date.

This included removing two older treadmills from our top seven chart, and adding both the MaxKare Electric Treadmill and the ZELUS Folding Treadmill in their places.

The winner after the latest chart update:
MaxKare-Electric-Treadmill-1
  • Motor: 1.5 HP
  • Speed: 0 to 7.5mph
  • Incline: Two positions (Manual)
  • Belt: 17” x 43.5”
  • Folding: Yes
  • Features: Multi-layer running belt, 12 preset programs, large blue LCD screen, water bottle storage, heart rate monitor, safety key, media shelf, transportation wheels, 186lb weight capacity

Treadmills are an integral part of any gym-based cardio workout session – whether that’s your local Planet Fitness, your own garage-based home gym, or even in front of the TV in your living room.

The question today is can you get a worthwhile workout on a treadmill costing under $300? The answer is, of course, yes – providing you end up with something with adequate power, stability and comfort.

To help you find something suitable, we have highlighted seven of the best budget treadmills on the market today. While other models are available, we feel these choices represent the best treadmills you can buy for under three hundred bucks.

After going over our picks, we’ll take a look at the factors you should consider when shopping for an affordable treadmill, as well as some of the most often-asked questions.

Top 7 Best Budget Treadmills Under $300:

Pros

  • Decent 1.5 HP motor with top speeds of up to 7.5mph
  • Features 12 built-in workout programs to get you started
  • Track folds upwards and unit wheels away for easier storage
  • Includes heart rate monitor pulse grips built into the handles

Cons

  • Small belt dimensions only suits smaller strides
  • Top speed of 7.5mph won’t cater well for runners

Motor: 1.5HP
Speed: 0 to 7.5mph
Incline: Two positions (Manual)
Belt: 17” x 43.5”
Folding: Yes
Features: Multi-layer running belt, 12 preset programs, large blue LCD screen, water bottle storage, heart rate monitor, safety key, media shelf, transportation wheels, 186lb weight capacity

The MaxKare Electric Treadmill is another folding budget option that shows off good value for the sub-$300 price tag.

It features a decent 1.5 HP motor that powers speeds of up to 7.5mph, which makes it great for walking and light jogging. The belt isn’t particularly big at 17” x 43.5”, but this suits the lower top speeds.

This treadmill is also stocked with a few handy secondary features to make life easier. This includes a heart rate monitor built into the handrails. This data – along with other workout feedback – is displayed on the LCD screen, which is also where you can view your preset workout programs (there are 12 of them!).

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Pros

  • Comfort and convenience with bottle holders and media shelf​
  • Solid construction for a stable workout​
  • Decent preprogramed workout routines​
  • Great for walkers and joggers​

Cons

  • Smaller belt is not ideal for taller runners​
  • No incline options​
  • Low top speed of 7.5mph, so not suitable for faster running​

Motor: 800W
Speed: 0 to 7.5mph
Incline: None
Belt: 13” x 38”
Folding: Yes
Features: Three preset workout programs, media shelf, basic display screen, built-in heart rate monitor, two water bottle holders

There’s nothing particularly fancy about this 800-watt treadmill from Best Choice Products (unless you opt for the pink and white version!) – yet it proves ideal for home use for walking and lighter jogging.

It features quality steel tubing and a convenient folding design, allowing you to stow the treadmill away with minimal fuss, even if it lacks the hydraulic systems that others offer. The narrow 13” width and 38” length of the belt isn’t ideal for larger users, but it does the job of accommodating most people pretty comfortably.

This treadmill also features three preprogrammed routines, while the 800-watt motor offers a max speed of 7.5mph. Other features include heart rate monitors built into the handles, two water bottle holders, and a basic digital display.

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Pros

  • Includes a comfortable five-layer belt
  • Lightweight machine that is easy to maneuver
  • Advanced secondary features include built-in speakers
  • Features 12 preset workout programs

Cons

  • Running belt will be too small for many users
  • Top speed of 6mph caters for light joggers and walkers only

Motor: 750W
Speed: 0 to 6mph
Incline: No
Belt: 39.3” x 13.4”
Folding: Yes
Features: Five-layer running belt, 12 preset programs, LED display screen, Bluetooth connectivity, built-in speakers, water bottle storage, safety key, transportation wheels, 250lb weight capacity

This offering from ZELUS may fall short when compared to some of the others in terms of top speeds and track length, although the secondary features still make it a very interesting prospect at under three hundred bucks.

Most notably, it features Bluetooth connectivity and a free app, to help you track your workouts. There’s also a pair of built-in speakers, connecting to your music player via an aux cable (note, these aren’t bluetooth compatible).

The treadmill itself won’t suit runners – especially with a very compact 39.3” x 13.4” track – but walkers and light joggers will find enough use from the 6mph top speed. This lightweight machine also folds up and wheels away for easier storage. Great for small spaces.

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Pros

  • Most powerful motor in this range
  • Good top speed of 10mph​
  • Decent belt length​
  • Several extras that enhance the feeling of value​

Cons

  • Belt feels quite narrow​
  • iFit compatibility makes it hard to start the machine without a subscription​

Motor: 2.25 HP
Speed: 0 to 10mph
Incline: Two positions (Manual)
Belt: 16” x 50”
Folding: Yes
Features: Backlit display screen, thumb heartrate monitor, iFit compatible, six preset programs, storage space, media shelf

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9i is certainly one of the most popular treadmills in the budget market and tops our list due to the impressive power and extra features not seen on many of its peers.

In fact, some of the listed features seem too good to be true, with a powerful 2.25 HP motor powering a 16” x 50” comfort-enhancing belt. While pretty narrow, this accommodates both runners with a longer stride and faster runners, with a top speed of 10mph.

Additional features include a folding design for easier storage and compatibility with the iFit system. While there are some flaws – highlighted in the full review of the Cadence G 5.9i – the pros outweigh the cons here.

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Pros

  • Easy to store away​
  • Convenient controls​
  • Decent display screen​
  • Great value for money​

Cons

  • Underpowered for anything other than walking or light jogging​
  • No option to change the incline​
  • Very compact belt dimensions​

Motor: 1100W
Speed: 0 to 6mph
Incline: No
Belt: 14” x 39”
Folding: Yes
Features: Steel frame, LCD screen, safety key, emergency stop button, media shelf, transportation wheels, 220lb weight capacity

The Goplus 1100W is one of the more minimalist treadmills on this list, yet it delivers what’s needed when it comes to performance.

It’s a well-made machine – simple but quite robust and able to take weights of up to 220lbs. The space-saving design makes it suitable for smaller areas, allowing you to fold it away when not in use. It features an average-sized 14” x 39″ belt. While the top speed is just 6mph, this is enough power for both walking and light jogging.

The control panel is also simple, but very functional offering a clear backlit screen offering everything from speed and time to heart rate (monitors are built into the handles). You also have 12 preset programs to get your heart rate up!

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Pros

  • Good performance for walkers and speed walkers
  • Easy to fold away with hydraulic assistance​
  • Easy to fold away with hydraulic assistance​
  • Manual three-position incline is a big plus​

Cons

  • Low power is no good for faster joggers and runners​
  • A relatively narrow and short belt​

Motor: 1 HP
Speed: 0 to 6mph
Incline: Three positions (Manual)
Belt: 16” x 39”
Folding: Yes
Features: Hydraulic folding assistance, 12 preset running modes, Bluetooth connectivity, media shelf, compatible with FitShow app, plenty of storage options

Next on this list is an impressive budget offering from SereneLife. While it’s far from perfect – nothing in this range ever is – this folding treadmill offers both a solid core performance and a few extras worth taking a closer look at.

The fundamentals are decent, with a 1 HP motor that delivers top speeds up to 6mph – certainly not the fastest on this list, but good for walking and light jogging. The running belt size of 16’’ x 39’’ is pretty standard too, although the addition of a three-position manual incline is appreciated.

This treadmill also comes with some modern features, such as Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to pair to the FitShow app. A good way to record and monitor your progress.

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Pros

  • Great price for budget buyers
  • Accommodates walkers and joggers​
  • Requires no power​
  • Folds up small and is easy to wheel around​

Cons

  • Very basic in its design and functionality​
  • No means to change the incline​
  • The belt is very narrow​
  • Treadmill is quite easy to grow out of​

Motor: None
Speed: Manual
Incline: None
Belt: 13” x 42”
Folding: Yes
Features: Digital LCD monitor, non-slip belt, space-saving design, transportation wheels

If you are on a very tight budget, but just can’t live without a treadmill – or can’t wait to save up a little more – this manual option is a good choice.

While it lacks a motor, you can still get a very good workout by walking or jogging along on the slightly inclined 13” x 42” belt, with dual flywheels providing good resistance. A very compact, but fully-functional central console offers a small LCD screen that gives you information on your workout – from time and speed, to predicted calories burned.

It’s quite sturdy and, while the experience takes a little time to get used to, it’s an all-round comfortable treadmill. For such a low price, you can’t ask for much more.

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Shopping for a $300 Treadmill

When describing budget treadmills, you may notice we don’t use words like ‘awesome’ or ‘incredible’, because – let’s face it – there’s nothing particularly incredible about a $300 treadmill. However, the models we have featured do their jobs very well.

If you can’t stretch your budget to buy a treadmill in the $500 range, you can still find something worthy of your money in this region.

Here are a few things to look out for when shopping: 

Design

When it comes to design, this range isn’t going to offer you much in terms of aesthetics. The treadmills here focus more on delivering something stable and functional, as opposed to something that looks great.

Look for something with a sensible design. For example, does it fold up easily so you can store it when not in use? This is usually a major selling point for people living in smaller houses or apartments with tight space. The good news is that most treadmills under $300 do fold – some more tightly than others, while some even offer hydraulic assistance.

Core Components

The motor that drives the belt is arguably the most important component on any treadmill. After all, this is what creates the power that moves you. The bad news is that the majority of the treadmills in this budget range are not overloaded with power.

In this category, you’re usually looking at 1 horsepower (HP) or less, which usually translates to a maximum speed of around 6 to 7mph. This is great for walkers, speed walkers and joggers.

However, if you want to incorporate faster running and sprinting into your workouts, then you may be left wanting more power – something a sub-$1,000 treadmill doesn’t struggle with.

Incline Selection

While speed is an important factor, if you’ve ever used a treadmill at the gym, you’ll have noticed the ability to automatically adjust the incline of the belt. Whether you want a slight incline to mimic outdoor running, or a full-on hill, incline is important to the modern treadmill runner.

Sadly, in this budget range, your options for incline are very limited. The majority of running machines we have featured don’t include it at all. Some do, although you will have to manually adjust this before you start moving.

Belt Size

Whatever range you are shopping in, the size of the running belt is something worth considering before you make a purchase. Ultimately, this is your main contact with the treadmill, so you want to ensure you fit on it.

There is no set standard in this budget category, although the average tends to be around 14” wide and 39” long. Most of the models we feature hit this average – some are wider and longer, while some are narrower and more compact.

If you are a person of smaller dimensions, or are only planning on walking, then small belts won’t hinder you in any way. However, if you are tall or jog with a larger stride, a belt shorter than 40” may not be suitable. The same goes for a belt narrower than around 15”, if you are quite wide.

Secondary Features

Unlike the built-in speakers, full HD screen and endless connectivity options you may find on premium treadmills, secondary features are limited in the affordable range. Yet, you will still see different features added, as each manufacturer attempts to outdo their competitors.

This may be something as small as a speed control button built into the handle, right up to Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to track your performance via smart devices.

These features – along with things such as cup slots, towel hooks and device holders – should only be seen as a bonus. Choose something based on the core performance and power it provides, more so than the connectivity options.

Aside from these, one thing every treadmill in this option usually delivers is a decent display screen. Again, these are usually pretty basic and not always backlit. However, they will deliver key information about your workout, including the time, distance, speed, and calories burned.

Finally, try to look for a treadmill that offers a security tether. This is vital if you are working out alone as fixing it to your waistband will automatically stop the machine if you faint, fall or collapse.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about budget treadmills – and the answer is yes, they can be worth it. However, there are several things to take into account for this advice to have any merit.

The reason many people are often left disappointed by affordable treadmills is because of unrealistic expectations. If you buy one expecting the performance of a treadmill you may have used at the gym, you will certainly be underwhelmed.

Cheap treadmills have to cut corners in places like convenience and comfort to be able to deliver a functioning and reliable machine for only a few hundred bucks. Ultimately, you will get great use and satisfaction from your affordable treadmill so long as your expectations remain realistic.

Having said that, if you can save up a little more and stretch your budget into the $500 price range, you will instantly be granted more for your money – more power, more tech and more comfort.

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about budget treadmills – and the answer is yes, they can be worth it. However, there are several things to take into account for this advice to have any merit.

The reason many people are often left disappointed by affordable treadmills is because of unrealistic expectations. If you buy one expecting the performance of a treadmill you may have used at the gym, you will certainly be underwhelmed.

Cheap treadmills have to cut corners in places like convenience and comfort to be able to deliver a functioning and reliable machine for only a few hundred bucks. Ultimately, you will get great use and satisfaction from your affordable treadmill so long as your expectations remain realistic.

Having said that, if you can save up a little more and stretch your budget into the $500 price range, you will instantly be granted more for your money – more power, more tech and more comfort.

In short – yes, they do! If you have ever used a treadmill in a decent gym you probably won’t have noticed these aspects because they will offer more power and speed than you’ll ever truly need, and a long, wide belt to accommodate the biggest of users.

When buying a budget treadmill, suddenly you are faced with limits in power, speed and size, and you will realize that every extra inch will make a difference to your overall experience. Pay close attention to these things when shopping around.

Where are you using your treadmill? If it’s anywhere other than a dedicated home gym, then it is worth seriously consider a folding treadmill. While you may not need to fold it away after every session, when you do require that extra few square feet of floor space, you’ll be glad you did.

If you are buying for a home/garage gym, then you probably won’t need the treadmill to fold as the area won’t be required for anything other than working out. Having said all this, most treadmills in this sub-$300 region fold as standard, so the decision is taken out of your hands anyway.

The Ver(ve)dict!

We’ve set out the facts and now it’s time for you to make a decision! Consider what you are really looking for in a budget treadmill and you will eventually walk away with the right machine for you.

The market is full of options in and around the $300 range. Take your time and browse carefully – three hundred bucks isn’t a life-changing amount of money, but nobody wants to waste their hard-earned cash on a dud!

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