What’s the best treadmill for home use?
Best treadmills – 2017 update
There has been something of a shift in the type of treadmills people are now buying.
Eighteen months ago, the most popular treadmills were at the budget end of the market – some of them under £100. The basic price range is now between £200 – £300 but some of the more expensive models are also becoming quite popular.
BEST CHEAP TREADMILLS £100 – £200
PremierFit T100 – Motorised Electric Treadmill / Folding Running Machine with Heart Rate Monitor, AUX Input and Speakers – £199.99
Date First Available: 16 May 2017
The PremierFit T100 is a new and impressive looking treadmill for the price, with plenty of features which, for my money, promotes it to the top of this section over the older machines from Confidence.
The T100 includes 12 built in exercise programs and 3 manual programs
The large LED display shows:
- elapsed/remaining time,
- speed settings
- calories burned,
- exercise program information.
The treadmill has a fixed incline of 4% which gives a very slight slope designed to protect your joints when running and the greater effort required more closely simulates running outdoors
The speed settings can be adjusted incrementally from 1.0Km/h to a maximum of 10.0Km/h.
The T100 has a built-in iPad holder so you can watch films or TV programs during exercise.
The T100 also has an AUX input – audio from your MP3 player will be played back through the treadmills high-performance in-built speakers.
Not one but two separate bottle holders ensure your water bottles are within easy reach to keep you hydrated on your run.
The T100 also has a handy built-in towel rail on the frame.
Maximum user weight 90KG.
More commonly seen on dearer treadmills, the T100 has an emergency cut off cord, a potentially vital safety feature.
The space-saving folding design means the treadmill can be easily stored when not in use.
Assembly is simple and a detailed instruction manual is supplied along with all necessary parts and tools.
The PremierFitTM T100 includes a
2 Year Warranty on the frame and parts, and a
LIFETIME Warranty on the electric motor!
In the UK, this range is of treadmills is dominated by Confidence, who have 3 models available. Confidence is a company which specialises in exercise machines at the budget end of the market and it is a tribute to their quality and feature set that they are frequently the most popular machine of their type.
It is a basic machine which does the basics but, as you’d expect, also has a few limitations. There is not much technical specifications information available but the Speed is adjustable from 1km/h to 10km/h by 1km/h increments.
The LED displays Speed, DIstance, Time and Calories and a Scan feature which rotates between each of the other modes.
It is set at a slight incline but is not adjustable.
It is foldable for storage but is suitable for users up to 120 kg / 19 stone.
The Power Plus has a maximum session time of 30 minutes, after which you will have to restart it if you wish to continue using it. Whether this is a protection system for the machine is unclear but, if so, it may not be a great idea to chain sessions and use it for hours at a time.
All in all, there are many satisfied users who say the Confidence Power Plus Motorised Treadmill is the best treadmill you can get at the price. Users who do not share their view have usually upgraded to a dearer model.
If you are only going to walk or jog lightly for a limited time, this might be all you need. For more than that I would inclined to stretch the budget a little.
- Size – 125 l x 61 w x 28 h centimeters
- Shipping Weight – 27 Kg
The most expensive of the three Confidence machines is the
Like the Power Plus, the GTR Power Pro was first available in 2011 but is still one of the most popular machines. The GTR was originally double the current price and has all of the essential features you would expect and will need, so is a good basic treadmill that will still do the job.
The platform is 55cm wide with a 40cm (15in) belt, which should be enough for most users. The speed is adjustable from 1 to 12 km/h; i.e. from a slow walk to a decent running pace, with adjustment in +/- 0.1 km/h intervals via the buttons on the console, but it doesn’t have the quick buttons at pre-set speeds that the more recent Power Trac has. There is an emergency stop clip.
There are 3 levels of incline: Flat (0%), 3.5% and 7% and the setting is changed fairly easily by lifting the back of the platform and pinning the legs. However, this obviously means that you can’t change it in mid-jog like you can on the machine at the gym. (You’ll have to pay a lot more for that).
There is a large LED display showing the usual Speed, Distance, Calories and also Heart-Rate. It is advised that this is only used when walking as you need to hold on to the handles which have the pulse sensors. There is also a Scan setting.
In use most users report that it is quiet enough to listen to a CD/radio/tv, notwithstanding the pounding of your feet if you’re running on it.
Practical details about the Confidence Gtr Power Pro
An important feature for those with limited space is that Confidence Gtr Power Pro does fold for easy storage and, when folded, is possibly the most compact in this price range.
Like the others, this machine has a recommended user weight of 120Kg / 264lbs / 19 stone. It is fair to presume that it is still suitable for someone at the upper level to jog and therefore someone a little heavier may still use it for walking only but there will always be the occasional lighter user who complains of it having broken. So if you’re on the heavier side, treat it with care or pay the extra for something more substantial.
The length of the belt is 1.2m, which seems to be long enough even for most tall users.
All in all the Confidence Gtr Power Pro seems to be a good compromise between having the main features you need and being sturdy enough for most people, yet light enough to fold and move for storage purposes.
BEST TREADMILLS £200 – £300
The updated replacement for the popular X-Lite ll which you may have seen on this page previously, is the
The main improvements are that it now has 99 pre-set interval training programs and 3 customisable programs (previously 14 and 1 respectively).
Like the previous X-Lite ll, it also has 10 quick speeds accessible from the 7in /18cm touchscreen display.
The power of the motor has been increased to 1300w (from 1100w).
The speed range has been increased slightly and is now 0.8 – 14 km/h
Place your mp3 player, smart phone or tablet on the handy stand, plug it in and the built-in hi-fi speakers will pump out your music.
There’s also a convenient towel rail and deep drinks holders.
It has an auto-lubrication system and a hydraulic soft-drop system to make it easier to set-up and fold away.
The max user weight is 120Kg
Dimensions – Folded: 1550M (H) x 660MM (W) x 1450MM (L)
On specifications, the X-Lite Next Gen beats the similarly priced XM-PROIII TREADMILL by Prestige, which has similar specs to the older 2016 X-Lite ll.
Very similar to the X-Lite in many ways and one you’ll probably want to look at if you’re interested, is the
BEST VALUE TREADMILL
One of the bestselling treadmills is the:
You may be wondering why this has the Best Value tag given that this is rather more expensive than the models above. The fact that it is so popular argues the point that it’s often better to pay a bit more and get a bit more – or even a lot more.
So what do you get?
The very long title (an Amazon) of this machine calls this a Digital Motorised Treadmill.
It has 20 levels of automatic incline.
It has a 4.5hp motor providing a continuous horsepower (CHP) output of 2.5hp and a maximum speed of 16 km/h (10mph), starting from a smooth 0.3 km/h (0.18mph) start speed.
There are 15 ‘Professional’ running programs, of which the first 3 are customisable, allowing many different terrains to be simulated.
The S300 also has a USB audio interface and high powered speakers for your choice of music to accompany you.
The 5inch LCD monitor shows time, speed, distance, calories and heart rate, plus the 15 programs. Pulse sensors built into the handles provide the information for the heart-rate.
One of the criticisms often aimed at running as an activity is that it can damage knees; the JLL S300 boasts a 16-point cushion deck absorption system with advanced silicon rubber providing shock absorption which reduces the impact on your knees.
This shock absorption also helps to make the S300 quieter than many other treadmills.
It is quite a substantial machine with a high quality running belt and a running area of 123cm x 41cm. Nonetheless, it does fold up for storage. It utilises a hydraulic arm and ‘soft-drop technology’ system to make folding and unfolding the treadmill easier.
- Unfolded: 128cm high, 158cm long, 70cm wide.
- Folded: 141cm high, 100cm long, 70cm wide.
- Max user weight: 120Kgs / 18.9st
- Item weight: 58Kg.
- The warranty is for home use only and covers parts and labour for 2 years, motor for 5 years a a lifetime guarantee on the frame.
Many of these features are the same as the rather more expensive JLL S400 which makes the S300 seem like very good value.
To help prevent treadmills from moving on the floor, and to help reduce noise and vibration, many users recommend putting a good mat underneath, like the one below.
Conclusion – the best treadmill for you
There’s now a good range of treadmills at varying prices. To some extent you get what you pay for, but it’s not a linear relationship.
Hopefully, this page has helped you find something for your needs and budget.