5 Best Budget Treadmills for Under $500 in 2021
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Walking and running are two of the easiest exercises for beginners.
I understand, though, that coming up with a consistent workout routine can still be challenging, especially if it’s going to require you to get out of the house.
Fortunately, there’s the classic treadmill, an exercise machine that can help you simulate the act of walking and running at home.
This will allow you to work out, regardless of the temperature and weather outside, and as you’re binge-watching your favorite show on TV!
Today, I'm going to list down my choices for the best budget treadmill under $500, talk about its pros and cons, and share with you further information on how to select the treadmill that best suits your needs and preferences.
What’s more, all of the items that I'm going to feature here are affordable, making them perfect for newbies who are not yet willing to invest in higher-end exercise equipment.
Excited? Then let’s get started!
Will reading through my reviews take too long?
Don’t worry; I’ve made it simpler for you. Here’s a quick table of references that includes my quick ratings for your reading convenience.
|TR150 Fitness Treadmill by XTERRA||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Two-in-One Folding Treadmill by Ancheer||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|SF-T7515 Treadmill by Sunny Health and Fitness||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|2-in-1 Folding Treadmill by Miageek||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Folding Treadmill by MaxKare||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
What You Will Learn
- Best Budget Treadmill Under $500
- 1. TR150 Fitness Treadmill by XTERRA: Best Overall Choice for Budget Treadmills
- 2. Two-in-One Folding Treadmill by Ancheer: Best-Selling Budget Treadmill
- 3. SF-T7515 Treadmill by Sunny Health and Fitness: Best Running Area Size Treadmill
- 4. 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill by Miageek: Most Quiet Budget Treadmill
- 5. Folding Treadmill by MaxKare: Best Value for Money
- Should I Buy a Budget-Friendly Treadmill?
- What Does Treadmill Do to Your Body?
- What to Look for When Purchasing a Treadmill
- Things to Consider When Purchasing a Treadmill
- Pros and Cons of Budget Treadmills
- Our Favorite Budget Treadmills Under $500
Best Budget Treadmill Under $500
1. TR150 Fitness Treadmill by XTERRA: Best Overall Choice for Budget Treadmills
Are you looking for the perfect balance between price and features? You should definitely consider the TR150 Fitness Treadmill by XTERRA.
The brand first got its name after a triathlon in Maui way back 1996.
It is where the idea of this sports lifestyle brand was born in order to provide the necessary gear for those who embody the spirit of perseverance and physical excellence.
Of course, these values are exemplified with this unit, as well.
First of all, this treadmill has the most spacious treading surface in my line-up, measuring 16 by 50 inches. It is designed to accommodate people of all heights and weights.
Aside from that, it also offers the widest spectrum of speed, which ranges from 0.5 to 10 miles per hour.
For those who would rather have preset routines, then you’ll be pleased to learn that this unit has 12 different preset programs to choose from.
Included in these are three different incline settings for various workout difficulty levels and routines.
Finally, all of these features and settings could be accessed and tweaked in the device’s five-inch LCD display.
The only thing that I don’t like about this product is that it doesn’t come with a warranty.
2. Two-in-One Folding Treadmill by Ancheer: Best-Selling Budget Treadmill
My lineup of the best budget treadmills will never be complete without mentioning the product that currently ranks #1 in the newest released items.
It is the highest in sales, and for good reason!
The Two-in-One Folding Treadmill by Ancheer offers a lot of interesting features, all at a reduced price of less than $500.
Unlike XTERRA, there’s actually very limited information about Ancheer online, only that they manufacture fitness products from Taiwan and China, and that they have a warehouse in California.
Moving on with the features, my most favorite one has got to be the fact that it is a two-in-one treadmill.
This means that you can set it on two different exercise modes: running and under-desk walking.
These settings allow you to use the unit in the traditional way (upright, standing, and moving your legs), or you can keep the unit conveniently folded and tucked under your desk so that you can still continue your workout even when you’re sitting down and working.
Another impressive feature is its motor. This runs on a powerful 2.25 horsepower motor.
Despite having a strong motor, it’s designed with a shock and noise reduction system that minimizes the unit’s sound (during operation) to down to a whisper.
As part of its impressive design, its running surface is a combination of seven different layers.
The LCD screen also serves more than just a control panel but also as a display that shows different information about your workout, including the distance you’ve covered and how much calories you’ve burned.
As for its other features, this unit is also equipped with a Bluetooth speaker, a phone holder (so you can binge-watch your favorite shows at a more comfortable angle), and a remote controller.
My only concern about this product is that the speed can be quite limited when folded down to its under-desk mode.
3. SF-T7515 Treadmill by Sunny Health and Fitness: Best Running Area Size Treadmill
Now, while having all those features in the previous unit is great, there are some of us who prioritize the running area size over any other feature.
If you’re one of those people, then you’ll surely find the SF-T7515 Treadmill by Sunny Health and Fitness a great buy.
Sunny Health and Fitness has been in the exercise equipment manufacturing industry for more than a decade, and it has warehouses and headquarters worldwide.
Anyway, going back, how wide is the running area size that I’m talking about?
The dimensions are 16.5 by 49.5 inches, which makes it half an inch wider than most of the treadmills out there.
As for the speed range, it’s pretty decent at one to eight miles per hour.
My favorite feature, though, is its 12 levels of incline! It definitely spices up the difficulty of your workout routine.
As for its other features, it has a built-in integrated BMI calculator, heart rate monitoring, and Bluetooth connectivity.
I don’t particularly appreciate that it has limited features, especially since it is the priciest unit in my lineup.
On top of that, it doesn’t include any warranty, as well.
4. 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill by Miageek: Most Quiet Budget Treadmill
While some prioritize the running space, others put a lot of value on noise reduction.
This is especially true for those who share their space or home with other people who wouldn’t appreciate the loud mechanical noise of a treadmill’s motor.
That’s why I have chosen the Two-in-One Folding Treadmill by Miageek.
This treadmill has a powerful yet silent 2.25 horsepower motor with a built-in shock reduction system.
Aside from that, its running surface is also made of an anti-skid and noise-reduction material.
This not only minimizes the sound created during your workout but can also serve as additional padding for those who suffer from joint pains.
As mentioned, this treadmill hits two birds with one stone; it can be a classic running treadmill, where you can workout standing and upright, or it can also serve as an under-desk treadmill that would allow you to work out in a seated position or as you’re working.
Like the previous two-in-one treadmill, however, this also offers limited speed if it’s in its folded mode.
This treadmill also has its own control panel and LED display, which can provide other useful info as well, such as the distance you’ve covered and the calories you’ve burned.
It also allows Bluetooth connectivity so that you can play your favorite tunes.
Finally, this unit comes with a safety key feature so that you can stop the machine anytime (something that the other units mentioned don’t have).
It’s unfortunate that the device doesn’t come with a warranty, though, and that there’s almost no information about the company, Miageek, online.
5. Folding Treadmill by MaxKare: Best Value for Money
Finally, for the last featured unit, I have the Folding Treadmill by MaxKare.
This one is actually the most affordable piece in this lineup, making it an important addition to any list that features treadmills under $500.
Like Miageek, there’s almost no information about MaxKare online, only that their company is based in China.
Don’t underestimate this exercise machine, though, since it definitely packs a lot of features.
First, this bad boy is equipped with 15 different preset exercise programs, which is more than all the other treadmills I’ve listed above.
Another great pride of the company is producing this piece that is actually the first-ever treadmill with its entire body equipped with an anti-shock system.
As for its dimensions, this unit is 17 inches wide, another first on this list.
This wide running tread is also excellently designed with five durable layers that include noise-reduction and wear-resistant ones.
There’s only one common feature that I found lacking: it doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity.
Of course, it would also earn plus points for me if a warranty was included.
Should I Buy a Budget-Friendly Treadmill?
Here’s a question that I commonly get from my readers: is it really worth it to purchase a cheap treadmill, or am I just wasting money?
Buying a treadmill is definitely worth it.
In fact, the only reason why I think people are just let down when they buy budget treadmills is that they fail to manage their expectations.
You see, budget treadmills are more affordable for a reason.
There are certain features that were not included in favor of price, so in the end, your gym’s treadmill will always be better.
However, if you do want to get a unit to match the one you use in your gym, then there are certainly a lot of pieces you can get if you just go slightly beyond the $500 price point.
What Does Treadmill Do to Your Body?
Regardless of what type of treadmill you do end up buying, I know one thing’s for sure: it’s good for your body.
Treadmill use offers a lot of benefits.
Right off the bat, a treadmill is a tool you can use to get in some a cardio exercise, which strengthens the heart and minimizes the risk of acquiring diabetes or having a stroke.
Aside from these, here are some of its other benefits:
In fact, according to one study, it can even serve as an efficient intervention for those who are suffering from cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and general developmental delay.
I’m sure that treadmill workouts offer even more health benefits than the ones that I above, but I will leave them for you to discover on your own.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Treadmill
Let’s move on to the main factors that you should look into before you purchase a treadmill. Here they are:
1. Your Space
Treadmills generally occupy a bigger footprint when compared to other exercise machines because of their wide running surface.
Foldable treadmills are great since they make storage a breeze, thanks to the fact that you can fold it into half its size, vertically.
However, this doesn’t mean that they won’t occupy the same space of a traditional unfoldable treadmill when they’re used.
Hence, I recommend planning the location where you plan to position your treadmill first before buying.
This is especially true for those who have limited space at home.
It is also important to give the treadmill some breathing space around it for safety purposes and better workout enjoyment.
It’s not enough to have enough floor space to squeeze a treadmill in.
2. Your Size
Speaking of space and running surfaces, it is important that your treadmill fits the length of your gait.
Each person has a unique one depending on his natural stride.
This is also the reason why I highly recommend testing out your treadmill personally before buying one (that is, unless you’re buying a replacement already).
3. Your Digital Needs
Another thing to consider when buying a treadmill is their high tech features in relation to your personal needs and preferences.
For instance, some people enjoy listening to music while working out. If you’re the same, then you should definitely look into a unit with a Bluetooth speaker.
Having a phone dock is important for those who watch music videos or follow workout routines online.
Finally, there are those who position their treadmill in the living room where they would be able to listen to and watch their favorite playlists from their TV.
If this is your case, then you can save money by skipping these digital features entirely.
4. Your Skill Level
Lastly, I believe that an exercise machine must be able to adjust to your skill level and, more so, grow with you as you advance.
That’s why I recommend being on the lookout for treadmills that offer different speed and inclination settings.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Treadmill
Aside from the factors I have mentioned above, here are a few more things that I believe you should consider when buying a treadmill:
1. Weight and Portability
First of all, you should ask about delivery options before you purchase your treadmill.
This exercise machine weighs a lot, so it always helps to have the option of other people carrying your machine home.
Another feature that you should look into is the ability to fold the machine and wheel it across the room, especially if you’re only going to take out your unit when you’re exercising.
Another reason why I value delivery options is that it also usually comes with assembly.
I personally don’t recommend attempting to assemble a treadmill on your own; it can baffle even the most adept DIYer.
Finally, it’s great to have a warranty that you can rely on should something go wrong with your machine in the future.
A lifetime warranty is great, but you should at least aim for a deal to have a full warranty on parts for at least five years and free labor for at least a year.
Pros and Cons of Budget Treadmills
Advantages of Getting a Budget Treadmill
It’s a great way to get started on your fitness goals.
This is the biggest advantage when you get a budget treadmill.
It doesn’t cost much, and it’s cheaper than signing up for a gym membership that has a set deadline, especially if you care enough for your machine so that it lasts for over a decade.
It’s more comfortable.
I mentioned this above, but having an exercise machine at home is great because it allows you to do your workout at home.
While it still matters what shoes you wear to protect your feet during your workout, and if you use a reliable sports bra (if you’re a woman, that is), aside from those, you can wear and look however you want.
You can jump straight into your treadmill and start running even if you haven’t combed your hair yet.
You also won’t have to worry about wearing reflective gear at night because you’ll be safe at home, nor would you be always looking over your shoulder to check the car behind you.
Finally, I also like the fact that I can work out even if it's terribly cold outside.
I find it really hard to get out of the house during the holiday weeks when all I want to do is to stay indoors and hold a fresh cup of coffee in my hands.
It makes you more accountable.
Finally, it can be easy to skip a day from the gym, and before you know it, it becomes two days, then three, and then you’ve totally bailed out from your membership.
On the other hand, I found it easier to stick to my fitness routine when I already have my own personal gym at home with my exercise gear staring me right back at the face, beckoning.
Disadvantages of Getting a Budget Treadmill
It can get pretty boring.
The major downside of doing a workout that you already know how to do (like walking or running) is that it can get pretty boring quickly.
This exercise machine cannot simulate other physical exercises other than those two, so you should definitely reconsider getting it if you’re the type of person who can get bored easily.
There’s no sense of community.
Finally, being on a treadmill is a personal experience. You can’t share it with other people, unless you have more than one unit at home.
In this light, working out at home can also make one feel lonely.
I’ve gone through nights thinking that it would probably be more fun being surrounded by other people during my workout sessions, but that’s just me.
I know there’s definitely people out there who view this factor, this sense of privacy, as an advantage.
Our Favorite Budget Treadmills Under $500
So, were you able to find a piece that calls out to you?
I personally prefer my overall choice: the TR150 Fitness Treadmill by XTERRA.
Its running surface fits me, and it has a lot of preset programs and speed settings that I can explore.
Lastly, it’s made by a brand that I already have experience in using.
For my secondary choice, I definitely recommend the Folding Treadmill by MaxKare to those who want a very affordable choice.
It boasts 15 preset programs and a 17-inch wide running surface.
It’s definitely worth it, especially for those who don’t really need Bluetooth connectivity.
In the end, though, it will still boil down to your personal needs and preferences.
I just hope that my article was able to assist you in making that decision, that decision to finally get fitter and work out regularly.