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TOP 12 Best Folding Treadmills for Home Use Reviewed 2021
Love to run but it’s cold or wet outside?
Or, maybe you just want to burn off a few calories while walking in front of the TV but you don’t have space for a home gym?
A folding treadmill may be the answer.
I am going to share with you a few things to keep in mind before you choose a folding treadmill and give you my reviews of 12 of the best folding treadmills for 2021 so you can see how they each stack up.
Review: This iFit compatible treadmill is great value with quality you would expect from NordicTrack but a price you would expect from a no-name brand.
An ample 55” deck allows you to walk or run, you can adjust the deck to feel like you are running on the road, or dial it up for a more shock-absorbing ride. And, for its size, it takes up little space when folded.
Incline: up to 10%
Max speed: 10 mph
Electric or manual: electric 2.6 HP
Weight limit: 300 lbs
Accommodates up to 300 lbs.
Suitable for both walking and running with 55” long belt.
Adjustable shock absorbing system for a firmer or softer ride.
Speakers are not very good, no built-in fan.
Best fold up treadmill for the money and the best folding treadmill for running. Great quality and a great price make it a winner.
Spirit Fitness XT485 Treadmill
Review: The attention to detail and design quality sets this treadmill apart. This solidly built treadmill has a strong 4 horsepower motor and is sturdy enough for walkers and runners up to 425 lbs, the highest weight limit we have seen for a treadmill.
It also has a nice long deck at 60” long so running will not be a problem. It has cast motor mounts that will not shift or cause the belt to slips, and the engineering around the motor and electronics are designed to ventilate well and keep heat away from key components.
Incline: 0 to 15%
Max speed: 12 mph
Electric or manual: electric 4 HP motor
Weight limit: 425 lbs
High weight limit – 425 lbs.
Stable cast motor mount for a slip-free belt for a treadmill that will last for years.
Ample 60” belt designed for running or walking.
More expensive than others.
A premium, well-built folding treadmill designed to last and perfect for big, tall and heavy runners.
Review: This attractive treadmill by Reebok has a fair price point and is suitable for both running and walking. It has 12 levels of incline to get a serious heart-pumping workout, a solid 2 HP motor and state of the art impact protection to cushion your stride.
A quality machine from a well-known fitness brand, this folding treadmill will not disappoint.
Incline: 12 levels
Max speed: 16 mph
Electric or manual: electric, 2HP Motor
Weight limit: 242 lbs
Easy soft drop and lift hydraulic folding.
Air cushion technology reduces striking impact.
Smooth, quiet operation.
The fan does not put out much air.
A quality treadmill at a good price, among the best folding treadmills for home use.
Review: The Asuna SpaceFlex is good for walking or light jogging. It is one of the more compact folding treadmills on this list and it folds down to lie flat on the ground to tuck under a bed or can stand upright.
The compact size is possible because the console is very streamlined and takes up little space.
Incline: 12 levels
Max speed: 8 mph
Electric or manual: electric 1.25 HP
Weight limit: 220 lbs
Built-in HR monitor in the handles.
Long and Wide 19” by 51” deck especially considering how compact the treadmill is overall.
Controls are very easy to use, even for those not technically inclined.
No frills console holds a tablet and not much else.
Large walking surface on a compact treadmill, a true space saver.
Review: This treadmill is very light, compact and easy to move from room to room. It’s designed so that the handles can be removed and the treadmill placed under a standing desk so that you can walk while you work.
Once the handles are replaced, the treadmill transforms back into a running treadmill with a higher maximum speed.
It comes with remote control for when it’s being used as an under desk treadmill and is available in red, silver or blue.
Max speed: 7.5 mph
Electric or manual: electric 2.25 HP motor
Very compact, light and easy to move.
Can be used as a walking desk.
No assembly required, just install one bolt – that’s it.
Powerful motor and 7.5 mph top speed is more than enough for brisk walking and light jogging.
Available in different colors.
Slightly shorter deck may be too short for running if you’re tall.
Perfect for walkers with mobility issues who want a safe indoor walking option. One of the best folding treadmill for small spaces.
Review: This large commercial quality treadmill has an ample 60” running deck, a powerful 4 HP motor and a smooth and easy self-lowering system that anyone can operate.
The highlight of this treadmill is its build quality. But it also comes with loads of features, including heart rate monitoring (either in the handles or with your own chest strap), 10 built-in programs, and a cooling fan.
The under deck frame has a double horseshoe design to accommodate a heavy weight and vigorous running.
Incline: 15 levels
Max speed: 12 mph
Electric or manual: electric 4 HP motor
Weight limit: 400 lbs
Heavy-duty, appropriate for large and tall runners.
Easy and smooth self-lowing design.
HR monitor in the handlebars and via chest strap.
Double horseshoe frame means a sturdy deck.
Very heavy. It folds up to be more compact, but it is not portable.
Top rated folding treadmill for big, tall or heavy runners, a very solid machine.
How to Choose Your Treadmill
So, what should you be thinking about when choosing the best folding treadmill for home use?
The main thing you need to decide is whether you want your treadmill for running or walking.
If you’re going to be walking on your treadmill, it’s important to choose one that is designed for walking so that the motor can handle running at a lower speed for a longer amount of time without burning out.
How do you know whether a treadmill is designed for running or walking? The two main things to look at are top speed and deck length.
Clearly, a treadmill designed for running needs a higher top speed. If you plan to use your treadmill for running, be sure and make note of the top speed of the treadmill you want.
Keep in mind, the average walking speed is about 3 miles per hour, give or take.
Speeds around 5 or 7 miles per hour are considered jogging, while running is above 7 miles per hour, generally.
If you are an avid runner or you want to include some intervals and sprints in your workouts, you’ll need a treadmill with a top speed of 12 mph or more.
If you want to both walk and run, choose a treadmill that has a maximum speed around 7 mph as opposed to 12.
If you plan to run on your treadmill look for a deck that is at least 50 inches long.
This is especially important if you are tall, have long legs or a long stride.
Don’t short yourself!
Some compact treadmills under 50” inches may be great for walking, but simply are not safe for running because the deck is too short.
I’m not going go into this in too much detail here, because, well, it’s complicated.
But, horsepower is only one indication of how well the motor will drive your treadmill. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as ‘more is better’. The quality of your motor parts, whether it is AC or DC, and other things such as Torque, all combine to decide how well a motor performs at different speeds and for how long.
Furthermore, while some models list maximum horsepower, others list continuous duty horsepower which is a different metric.
With treadmills, it really is a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. A $1000 machine is going to have a better motor than a $500 machine, regardless of horsepower.
Max User Weight
All treadmills are rated for maximum user weight so consider that before making your choice.
The maximum user weight varies from 220 lbs to 425 lbs. So, be sure to make a note of the max user weight of your chosen treadmill before deciding.
There are two factors to consider when thinking about incline.
1st How high is the incline?
This will determine the challenge and muscle engagement of the glutes in particular. Even a treadmill moving at a slow speed can give you an intense workout with a higher incline.
2nd How does the incline operate?
The easiest incline to operate is automatic, or electric. It can be done while you’re using the treadmill via buttons on the control panel. Usually, this feature is on more expensive models.
The alternative to automatic is manual. With a manual incline treadmill, you adjust the incline by hand, usually at the base or near the feet of the treadmill. With a manual incline treadmill you need to stop and get off the treadmill to adjust the incline.
This really has to do with how much space you have and where you plan to store the treadmill.
Some treadmills fold down completely flat. Others have a deck that folds up to a completely vertical position. Some treadmills have a deck that folds up at an angle saving just a few feet of floor space, while the ultra-compact models might fit in a closet or even under the bed.
Only you know exactly what you need, just be aware that not all folding treadmills are alike, some are more compact than others.
Alternatively, maybe you’ve decided you’d prefer to sacrifice some space in favor of a sturdier option? If that’s the case, have a read of our guide to the best treadmills, non-folding and all.
Do you want pre-programmed workouts? Music? A fan? Only you’ll know how important these extra features are to you and how much you’re willing to pay to get them in a good quality package.
It’s worth remembering that most home treadmills are only designed to be used for around an hour a day. More than this might shorten their lives.
And, treadmills need maintenance, mainly lubrication. If you don’t lubricate your treadmill regularly, you’ll shorten its life. So, be sure to read the instruction manual carefully and treat your treadmill like a big electronic pet that needs regular attention!
Definitely! Folding treadmills will obviously be lighter and less sturdy than non-folding treadmills, but they are still excellent machines.
Which is Better Manual or Motorized Treadmill?
A manual treadmill is better for the environment and your power bill, but they take a bit of getting used to it. They’re also a pretty hard workout – you can’t just go for a leisurely stroll on a manual treadmill.
Motorized treadmills tend to be more popular out of convenience, ease of use, and the ability to walk or run on a flat surface which you can’t do on a manual treadmill.
This depends on how you use your treadmill. Obviously, running will use more power than walking. Doing intervals will use more power than running at a constant speed, as well as being a heavier person.
But, the short answer is yes, treadmills use a lot of electricity. They are not an environmentally friendly way to exercise.
If you care about the power bill, and the environment, you’re far better off sticking to a manual treadmill, or another resistance-based machine like a stationary bike.
Can I Plug My Treadmill Into a Regular Outlet?
This depends on what country you live in and what the standard voltage your treadmill is designed to run off. If you live in the U.S., your treadmill should be compatible with standard 120 volt outlets but may not work elsewhere where 240 volts in the norm, and vice versa.
Should I Unplug My Treadmill When Not in Use?
Yes! Always unplug your treadmill when not in use!
That wraps up our reviews of the best folding treadmill for 2021. Be sure to check back as we update the list when new models are released.
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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!