5 Best-Rated Folding Treadmills for 2018
Treadmills can provide a great home workout.
Whether you are running, walking, or simply looking to get in a few extra steps, purchasing a treadmill can be a wise investment for a healthy lifestyle.
While using a treadmill is a great way to increase your cardiovascular exercise, it can also take up quite a bit of space in your house. This is why you should look into the benefits of foldable treadmills rather than the type that only stay upright. If you have don’t have a lot of space, you might consider checking out one of these five best rated folding treadmills.
Let’s get to it!
Don't have the time read the entire review?
Here's a quick look at our top choices for the best folding treadmills for your home or office.
Folding Treadmill Buying Guide
Understanding Essential Differences Between Foldable Treadmills
Most folding treadmills have security locks to make sure that they stay locked when they are folded. It is important that this is a high-quality lock because a broken security lock can lead to injury when you open the storage area and the treadmill quickly unfolds.
Heart Rate Monitor
It is important to be able to monitor your heart rate during your workout. You may have a wearable heart rate monitor, but it is easier to be able to display the information on the treadmill so you can glance down at it during your run.
You can limit your features depending on your budget, but there are some features that are important to have in a folding treadmill.
First, you will likely want a timer and some kind of display that shows you your progress in your workout. Without these, you won't be able to tell how far you have gone or the pace at which you are moving. You will also want to make sure that your treadmill comes with the varying speeds you need. Otherwise, your workouts will become stale and you won't be able to improve your fitness.
One favorite among the non-essential features is the option of an incline. Training on an incline adds an extra layer of challenge to your workout and mimics outdoor routes better. It is typically best to find a treadmill with a 10 to 15 percent incline option.
Cheaper folding treadmills will have less motor power than those that are higher in quality. It is preferable to have at least 2.5 CHP for walking, and at least 3.0 CHP for running.
Motors without much power may not perform smoothly, especially if you alternate your speed during your workout. Cheap motors are also prone to getting hot and breaking.
Just like regular treadmills, folding treadmills come in a wide range of durability standards, and you want to get one that will last you a long time. First, look at the warranty. You will likely find that most folding treadmills have lifetime frame and motor warranties, but models that are not very durable tend to have only one-year parts warranties.
Also, look at the treadmill's user weight capacity. The folding treadmills that are less durable will have lower maximum weight capacities. The more durable folding treadmills can safely support around 400 pounds.
The diameter of the track rollers makes a big difference in durability as well. Some brands have smaller rollers to make the machines more compact, but this trade-off has consequences. With smaller rollers, the tread belt can quickly show signs of wear. Look for roller sizes that are close to three inches.
How to Choose a Folding Treadmill
Wheels are a common feature on folding treadmills, but some machines have more portability than others because of their weight. Very high-quality folding treadmills can weigh over 200 pounds, so they are not particularly portable.
For many people, however, the best options can be used and then packed away in the same room. When you are trying to figure out whether a machine will fit in your workout area, don't forget to add several inches of clearance around the treadmill.
One of the main reasons to buy a folding treadmill is to save space. Before you decide which model is the best fit for you, it is important to make sure that you have enough storage space for the folded treadmill to fit.
Some folded treadmills are made in compact models that you can store out of sight. Make sure you know what kind of space you are working with before making a purchase.
You probably want a quiet treadmill if you are looking for one to use at home. Typically, the noise decreases as the price increases. Here are some qualities that influence noise:
- Track roller size: the larger the rollers, the quieter the belt.
- Belt material and thickness: thinner, one-ply materials tend to be noisier.
- Deck cushioning: the deck absorbs both impact and sound.
It typically is not the top surface of a belt that wears out, but rather the backing. Almost all folding treadmill belts are made with a PVC top coating, and use either a monofilament or poly-blend material for the backing.
With the use of poly-blends, you will have a quieter machine with lower friction levels than the monofilament belts. But monofilament belts typically last longer.
Some higher-end belts use a stronger backing material or a durable urethane hybrid belt, making them noisier. But a little noise is actually preferable if you want your treadmill belt to last longer because the noise is diminished only when the belt is making contact with the deck.
With a smooth deck surface and belt contact, the noise level will decrease. The trade off is that the more contact surface you have, the more power is needed, and the more tension is put on the system and electronics of the machine.
Lastly, thinner belts actually last longer than thicker belts because they trap less heat, which makes the system last longer because one thing that wears down a treadmill is heat.
Frequently Asked Questions About Folding Treadmills
What does “CHP” mean in a motor description?
CHP is short for continuous horsepower, which is an updated acronym from the former HP, meaning simple horsepower. "Continuous horsepower" better describes a motor’s capability than simple horsepower because it tells you how much power the motor can continuously produce instead of only its peak performance. This means that a treadmill motor with 3.0 CHP is stronger than one with 3.0 HP.
The power of your treadmill's motor adds to its price. You don't want to pay more than you have to, but you also don’t want a motor that won't meet your needs because you will wear it out quickly.
Consider your exercise routine and your body weight when looking at treadmill motors. If you are a runner, you will need more power than if you tend to walk. If you are heavier, you will also need more power. For people who are up to 200 pounds, you should have 2.0 CHP for walking, 2.5 CHP for jogging, and 3.0 CHP for running.
Are folding treadmills as sturdy as non-folding treadmills?
Folding treadmills are made to be used in smaller spaces in your home. The decks are able to be easily folded upward after your workout. While older folding treadmills required you to make some compromises in stability, motor power, track size, and features, most current folding treadmills are equally as sturdy, and have the same features as non-folding treadmills.
What should I know about the warranty?
Folding treadmill warranties will include up to six categories: frame, motor, deck, electrical, parts, and labor. Most treadmills come with lifetime guarantees for the frame and deck. The motor is likely going to be the most expensive part to replace, so if you plan on using your folding treadmill often, make sure you are satisfied with the motor warranty.
Parts' warranties typically range from three months to six years. Some treadmill companies don’t mention an electronics warranty, but this is something you should inquire about because replacing a console will likely be expensive.
An average labor warranty for home treadmills is one or two years. The most valuable labor warranties include in-home repairs, but not every brand offers this perk. If in-home repair is not included, it means that “free labor” might turn out to be expensive because you will be expected to pay for shipping your broken machine.
What is the difference between LCD and LED on the data screen?
LCD means “liquid crystal display” and LED means “light-emitting diode.” LED is the newer of the two technologies, and provides more clarity while still being high-contrast at any angle. The readout on an LCD screen can be difficult to see if you are not looking at it straight on.
The LED screen will last longer because it is able to hold up better with the machine’s vibrations. Additionally, it costs less to repair than an LCD screen because when an LCD burns out, the entire console must be replaced. But if an LED display becomes damaged, you can replace its individual pieces instead of purchasing a whole new monitor.
Now that you have some guidance on what you may be looking for in a folding treadmill, let's look at some of the best options on the market.
5 Best Rated Folding Treadmills for 2018
This machine is durable and interactive, yet affordable. It comes highly recommended, and is the most popular option among people buying folding treadmills. This treadmill has 15 motorized incline level options, and comes preset with 17 workout options. It also allows you to design and save two workout programs of your own. The console also saves exercise data, allowing you to easily track it online.
You can run up to 11 mph on this treadmill. It has a 2.5 CHP motor that comes with a lifetime warranty and will give you sufficient power for long jogs without causing the belt to stutter if you change the speed.
The LifeSpan TR1200i has convenient buttons on the handlebars that you can use to adjust your workout intensity and activate the heart rate monitor. It comes with high-fidelity speakers, a headphone jack, and a port for your smartphone as well.
XTERRA treadmills are great for people who want a durable, attractive machine that will be reliable in the long run. This brand is known for their products' longevity, look, and feel, which makes this model a great candidate for people looking for a dependable treadmill that will last for a long time.
XTERRA Fitness concentrates on providing low-priced, high-quality fitness machines to use in the home. This treadmill is the best value you will find for the low price. The XTERRA TR150 has a bright, five-inch LCD screen that monitors your time, speed, distance, the number of calories you have burned, and heart rate to help you track your progress. It comes with grips on the handles to help you track the intensity of your workout and reach your fitness goals. This machine comes with 12 preset workout programs that vary in intensity, and three options for incline levels.
The XTERRA TR150 weighs 108 pounds and can hold up to 250 pounds, which is about 30 pounds more than most other folding treadmills. It has a 2.25 horsepower motor and can move up to speeds of 10 MPH, which makes this a great option for light running workouts.
This folding treadmill is less expensive than the typical home treadmill, but it is the best high-end choice. This machine is solid, durable, and well-cushioned for walkers. Its main features include a 2.75 CHP belt motor, a 55” x 20” belt area, a motorized incline that goes up to 12%, and 22 preset exercise programs.
The monitor on this machine gives you an above-average amount of feedback with 12 data fields, including the standards like time, distance and calories, in addition to each user profile capturing long-term data to help you track your progress and goals. Each machine can save up to four user profiles.
The console on this machine has a ledge that can fit your smartphone, and it comes with a USB charging port and speakers. This is a great option for both walkers and joggers, but not ideal for runners. This is because it has a little less horsepower than a running home treadmill, and it has a shorter track. Also, its light cushioning is not ideal for fast running because it does not have a lot of shock deflection.
Overall, the new Schwinn 830 Treadmill can be a comfortable choice for everyday walking and jogging. As mentioned above, most customer reviews are positive.
This is the most affordable option. With a sale price of only $299, it still comes with a lot of features. Other folding treadmills in this price range do not have ample workout programming, but this machine has nine preset workout programs in addition to a manual mode. This machine can also calculate your BMI.
This entry-level treadmill comes with a compact and foldable frame, a high speed of nine MPH, a 2.2 peak HP drive, and a 16″ wide x 49″ long running surface. It has an option of three inclines and comes with a simple LCD screen that displays your speed, distance, time, and calories burned.
The NordicTrack T 6.5S treadmill is not only the best for beginners, it is also one of NordicTrack's most inexpensive models. This machine uses the patented SpaceSaver design, and comes with a 2.6 HP motor. Its running belt is 20″ wide and 55″ long, and comes with optional FlexSelect cushioning. This treadmill can incline up to 10%, has a speed capacity of 10 mph, and a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
The console on this machine has a 5″ LED backlit display that shows a track view. It offers 20 preset workout programs, and it is iFit compatible. The dual-grip heart rate monitor can help you track your workout progress. For audio, this treadmill has an MP3 music port and two speakers. Lastly, the console has one-touch control keys in addition to quick-start keys. This treadmill includes a lifetime warranty on the frame, a 25-year warranty on the motor, and a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
The clear winner in this product category is the LifeSpan TR1200i. It comes with a warranty that backs up its quality with lifetime protection on the frame and motor, a three-year warranty on parts, and one year on labor.
It has a higher weight capacity than other products, so it can be used by more people. Also, it goes a bit faster than the other product options. With a high-quality belt, you can be sure that this treadmill is durable.