5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Treadmill

Buying a treadmill can be a good decision if you want more options for cardio exercise when you can’t get outside or don’t want to go to a gym. A treadmill is functional, easy to use, and when used correctly, is an excellent way to burn calories, manage weight, and improve your cardiovascular fitness. However, there are many treadmills available on the market, and choosing the right one is not that easy. To make it easier for you, we will enumerate 5 things to consider before buying a treadmill.

Buying a Treadmill

1. Budget

Budget is a primary consideration when purchasing any piece of fitness equipment, especially something as expensive as a treadmill. One top tip: get the highest quality treadmill you can afford. A high-quality treadmill has more features, is easier to use, and will last longer.

The price range for treadmills can be classified into three: budget ($250 – $1,500), mid-range ($1,500 – $3,000) and high end ($3,000 and up). If you want a treadmill that will last a long time, you’ll probably spend at least $1,000. But if you are on a limited budget, you can consider buying a slightly used or refurbished treadmill. Usually, these are sold by previous owners or by stores that sell used fitness equipment.

2. Motor Horsepower

Buying a Treadmill
Buying a Treadmill

The treadmill motor horsepower directly affects the quality of the treadmill and how your workouts will go. Figuring out motor horsepower and specifications can be a little bit confusing.

To make it easy, choose a continuous duty motor with at least 1.5 horsepower. However, if you’re planning to run on the treadmill frequently, you will be better off buying one with 2.5 to 3 horsepower. Generally speaking, the heavier you are, the higher motor horsepower you’ll need. Additionally, runners will need more horsepower than walkers.

3. Features and Specifications

Buying a Treadmill
Buying a Treadmill

Choose a treadmill model that has pre-set and programmable workouts to allow you to vary incline and pace. The speed and incline should be easily adjustable from the console. Meanwhile, a pulse monitor is essential to measure your heart rate. Many treadmills come with a chest strap or clip heart rate monitor integrated with the console.

Apps and videos can help make your workout more fun. Some treadmills allow you to connect to the Internet or a mobile app for new workouts. In addition, a water bottle holder, book rack, and tablet holder are welcome additions to any functional treadmill. Another consideration is whether you want a treadmill that folds (great if you want to save space).

Other things to consider include the following:

• Belt size – The belt should be at least 48 inches long and 16 inches wide if you want to use it for running.
• Speed – If you’re going to use the treadmill mainly for running, get one that goes up to 10 mph or higher.
• Incline – Choose a treadmill with an incline that goes up to 10% or higher. If the treadmill also has a decline feature, that can give a more realistic simulation of outdoor conditions.
• Cushioning – The running bed should be able to absorb shock well. The belt shouldn’t move around with every foot strike.
• Stability – The treadmill should not shake when you use it, and the frame should remain stable.
• Control panel – It should be easy to reach and simple to use.

4. Try Before You Buy

It’s advisable to do some research and try a few treadmills before you buy. Make a list of treadmills you are interested in and call sporting goods stores to check if they are available locally.

Spend at least five minutes on each treadmill. Make sure that it’s quiet and that it doesn’t shake, even when you’re running on it. Test treadmills while wearing athletic shoes. A shaky ride is a red flag. The handrails should be sturdy and in a good position for you to grip easily, and not interfere with your arm motion. Also, the belt must be wide and long enough for your stride.

5. Warranty, Delivery, and Set-up

As much as possible, look for a treadmill that has a lifetime warranty on the frame. Electronics should have a 5-year warranty. Meanwhile, parts and labor should have a 2-year warranty.

Determine if the delivery cost is already included in the purchase price or if you have to pay extra for that. Treadmills usually require assembly, and you should know too if that’s included or requires a separate fee if you don’t want to set it up yourself.


A treadmill can help you start an exercise routine, lose weight, and improve your overall health. Purchasing one is a considerable investment. By taking the above factors into account, you can now choose the right treadmill for you and start achieving your health and fitness goals.

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