Buying Guide for the Best Foldable Treadmills
The phrase “running in place” means expending a lot of effort and not getting anything done. Well, whoever coined the phrase didn’t think of what can be accomplished on a folding treadmill! You can take your home gym to the next level with a foldable treadmill. This innovative space-saving fold-away technology gets you closer to your fitness goals in the comfort of your home.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever signed up for a gym membership and you were either too busy or too lazy to go. Sometimes we struggle to balance all the different balls in the air we don’t realize the ones we miss. Home gyms are the new face of the wellness and fitness sector.
But what if you live in a tiny apartment and you cannot spare any space for a workout at home? Well, a foldable treadmill is your ultimate space saver and a step closer to your fitness goals. A foldable treadmill is your regular treadmill lookalike, but with a space-saving design. It features a running deck that pivots upwards and a secure lock-in system. The automatic lift and drop technology allows for easy folding and unfolding of the treadmill. The wheels on its base allow you to wheel it out of sight when not in use. This fold-away technology is ideal for home gym fans living in urban condos or apartments that are too small to fit a regular treadmill. With tons of choices in the market, our guide will help find the best choice for your exercise needs and unique lifestyle.
Sounds great? Let’s shape up!
Types of Folding Treadmills
Looking at the Best Reviews Guide offerings for the 10 best treadmills, we see that there are two main designs:
Combined running/walking modes: There are treadmills that combine walking and running modes in the same configuration. One of the most popular is the Bowflex Treadmill series. They all offer an HD touchscreen to control the device, as well as watch interesting content while exercising. The T7 model has a 7” touchscreen, while the T22 has a 22” touchscreen. Also, the T22 has a 400 lb weight limit, as compared to only 170 kg for the T7.
Bowflex T22 Treadmill
2-in-1 design: There are also treadmills that can be used with the handrail folded, for walking or slow jogging at 1-4 km/hr. When you want to jog at higher speeds or run, you raise the handrail, allowing you to go up to 12 km/hr. The GoPlus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill offers you these two options.
GoPlus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
What reviewers say
Here are some features that customers noted to be important, after purchasing a folding treadmill:
Rack to hold iPad or tablet: If you don’t get an expensive treadmill with a large console, at least try to get one that has a rack to hold an iPad or tablet, so that you can watch content while exercising. The Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill (Model SF-T7603) has a nice control panel that gives you the desired speed at the touch of a button. But they didn’t provide anything to hold a tablet. If that’s important to you, invest in a model that has that feature. (Other Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmills do in fact have a device holder.)
Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill (Model SF-T7603)
Assembly: Treadmills rarely are ready to use out of the box. They’ll require some construction. Some manufacturers provide experts to assemble the treadmill in your home, for a fee of around $89. You’ll find that it may take two people to assemble if you try to do it yourself.
Exercise memberships: Many treadmills can spice up your exercise routine with exercise classes. If you buy the Echelon Stride treadmill, you get a 30-day membership to Echelon fitness classes, in a wide range of disciplines: yoga, kickboxing, cycling, running, rowing, and more. But Nordic Track outdoes even that: They offer the iFit interactive fitness and workout app, which matches your treadmill to the terrain in all sorts of breathtaking locations around the world as you exercise! (However, you can use the treadmill without signing up for iFit. Several customers complained that they felt scammed into signing up for the iFit feature, when it wasn’t necessary.)
These are some features of folding treadmills that vary from model to model:
Safety feature key: One important feature is the emergency stop clip that you attach to your clothing while using the treadmill. If at any point you suffer a fall, the clip will detach from the treadmill, stopping it instantly. This is important in preventing any accidents.
Changing the incline: Running on a flat surface might get monotonous (as a form of exercise, even if there’s a feature on your treadmill to hold your phone or tablet). Most treadmills will offer you the option of increasing the incline of the track, to increase the challenge. You’ll notice that some treadmills require you to change the incline of the track manually, by taking out a peg and inserting it at a different level. The Xterra Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill requires you to change the incline manually. Others, however, will allow you to change the incline at the press of a button. The Nordic Track T-Series Treadmill has buttons on the control panel to allow you to increase the incline to as much as 10°.
Nordic Track Treadmill, with the “Incline” controls highlighted
Motor horsepower: The horsepower of your drive motor affects the quality of your treadmill and workouts. If you intend to run on a treadmill regularly, a motor between 2.5 and 3.0 HP is your best bet. For light jogging and walking a 1.75 to 2.0 HP motor is ideal. The higher the horsepower, the greater the capacity your motor can withstand a continuous load.
Size: If you intend to run on a treadmill, choose one with at least 55 inches in length, especially if you are a tall runner. When it comes to belt width, opt for at least 22 inches. If you intend to walk or lightly jog, go for a 16 to 22- inch belt. Anything less and you risk falling off the track.
Budget: Be ready to invest in high-quality equipment and don’t sacrifice durability for the cost. Be wary of treadmills costing less than $1500, because you might be signing up for short tracks, weak motors, poor stability, and weak shock absorbers. Your budget frame should be within $1500 to $3000 for a top-tier foldaway treadmill.
Weight capacity: Treadmills will differ in their weight capacity. The Nordic Track Treadmills can handle up to 400 pounds, depending on the model. Less expensive models are limited to a 220-pound capacity. A treadmill with greater weight capacity usually indicates greater durability as well. The thickness of the treadmill’s deck also factors into this. A thicker deck of 1” will be more durable than a ¾” deck.
We looked through some of the offerings on the Best Reviews Guide list of the 10 best folding treadmills. We’ve seen that there’s a wide range of prices, but you’ll see that higher-end models will be more durable, as well as offer more features, like a cool touchscreen interface. But, if you’re just looking for something simple for light jogging or walking, then a more modestly-priced model is also available. If you want to stay fit in the privacy of your own home, you can find a folding treadmill that’ll fit the bill!
The best foldable treadmill:
Are you on the hunt for the ideal foldaway treadmill? Here are some of the best rated foldable treadmills to consider:
At $296.67 this treadmill comes in a pretty durable steel tubing frame with corrosion resistant paint finishing. The 3 manual incline settings offer maximum convenience but limit your choice of workouts since you cannot adjust the deck while exercising.
The fully assembled unit weighs 49 kg which is quite substantial. It comes with front wheels for smooth movement. A heavy duty non-slip rubber belt provides a running surface of 50”L X 16” W which is not ideal if you are over 6’0” tall.
It features a cushioning system with 3 shock absorbing elements to cushion your joints during a workout session.
The motor speed ranges between 0.5 mph and 10 mph with speed adjustments of 0.1 mph increments to give you a flexible workout. The console has 12 preset programs plus manual programs so that you enjoy a variety of exercises.
- Transport wheels for smooth movement.
- Extra soft cushioning for your joints.
- Speed adjustment increments of 0.1 mph to set a predetermined speed.
- Quick one-touch keys for speed adjustment.
- Twelve preset workouts to extra variety.
- Lacks backlight on the console.
- Inaccurate calorie reading on display.
Weslo Cadence G 5.9
With a sales price of $259, it is one of the cheapest treadmills in the market. You can only use it for walking because of 3 fundamental limitations: The track size, horsepower, and top speed.
It is 50” long and 60” wide with a 2.25 HP motor and a top speed of 10mph. The track is quite short and does not provide enough room for runners to stretch their legs. The blue tinted LCD monitors your heart rate and has only 6 preset workouts.
Its warranty is quite short, less than a year for the frame and 90 days for the parts. You get a two-manual incline, a folding design with a comfort cell cushioning to protect your joints.
- Quite affordable.
- Six built-in preset workouts for variety.
- Ideal for smaller rooms.
- Short and narrow track restricts your stride.
- Unpleasant grinding noise.
- Manual Incline makes this treadmill less dynamic.
- Short warranty.
At $239.99 Goplus 800W is your best buy for a running treadmill. This model features a moving belt that serves as a running surface. Goplus 800W is an electric treadmill which comes with an LED multi-function display for easier tracking of your progress.
It features a heavy-duty steel frame to last you a lifetime. Speeds range from 0.5 to 6.5 mph for extra convenience, and it’s ideal for walkers and joggers. The 1.07 HP motor can accommodate slightly strong runs and less dynamic routines.
- Low noise motor.
- Electric treadmill for more comfortable workouts over extended periods.
- The console has a variety of luxurious features.
- Reasonably priced treadmill.
- The 14” belt is quite narrow.
- Low power motor not ideal for dynamic treadmill routines.
Nordic Track T 6.5 S
Top tier treadmill with amazing features that make your workout sessions extra productive. It features a 5” backlit display with 20 built-in programs for a greater variety. The 20” X 55” running track is quite spacious for comfortable workouts.
It comes with flex select cushioning to save your joints while running. Easy to use with one touch buttons and an auto incline to ensure your workouts are free of interruptions.
The in-built Cardio Grip TM sensors monitor your heart rate. It comes with a Nordic Track 76.5s sound system to make your workouts more entertaining. This noisy treadmill is a let-down if you want to enjoy your favourite music while working out. The EasyLiftAssist feature makes it easy to lift the track and fold away.
You get a bang for your buck with up to 25 years warranty at only $599.
- Flex select cushioning for joint support and an outdoor appeal.
- iFit ready for simulated outdoor routines.
- A rich variety of 20 built-in workout programs.
- EasyLiftAssist for an efficient one-step folding design.
- Noisy motor.
- No option for heart rate monitoring.
- You need a separate iFit module to operate this treadmill.
Ncient Folding Electrical Treadmill
Best rated treadmills at $479. It features an innovative hydraulic system that is easily foldable, highly durable, elastic and steady for maximum reliability. This low noise powerful 2.25 HP motor comes with various advanced speeds of 0.5 to 7.5 mph for a variety of workouts. The 15.7” belt is however quite narrow for running.
The smart APP control connects you to iFitshow sports app for fun workout routines. The Bluetooth connectivity for iOS and android helps you to track your workouts efficiently. The soft drop system keeps your floor safe from damage.
You get 12 pre-set training plans to vary your workouts and heart rate sensor. The built-in safety key ensures instant shut-off following an emergency. The 2.25 HP motor is ideal for cardio, walking, jogging and running. Experience a quiet workout with a one year warranty.
- Built-in safety key for instant shut off.
- Heart rate monitor.
- Variety of 12 pre-set programmes for convenience.
- Quiet workout experience.
- Bluetooth technology.
- Manual incline does not support uphill training.
- Narrow belt width not suitable for running.
SereneLife Smart Digital Folding Treadmill
This $523.99 treadmill features 16 pre-set programs and an easy to read display to track your fitness progress. The three in-built programs are ideal for different exercise goals. It features a safety key with one-touch buttons for a safer workout.
This treadmill also features a dual cushioning on both sides to minimize noise and reduce vibrations for a quiet workout. The soft drop system keeps your floor in good shape and allows you to fold and unfold the treadmill with ease.
Incline settings help you to strengthen your workouts. It’s iFit compatible with Bluetooth technology for personalized workouts. It comes with extra features such as built-in stereo speakers and SD card readers.
- Excellent cushioning for smooth workouts.
- Connecting your treadmill to your mobile device with ease.
- Share your workout progress on social media.
- 1 HP motor is not quite robust.
Sunny Health & Fitness Motorized
At $299 this solid treadmill has a plethora of features compared to competitors within the same price class. It features nine workout programs plus an extra manual mode. What’s even better, it can calculate your BMI.
It comes with a 2.2 HP motor which can withstand prolonged walking or jogging with a speed of 0.5 to 9 mph to ensure a variety of workouts. The soft drop hydraulic system protects your floor, no more pinching your fingers and toes and provides easy folding and unfolding of the treadmill.
Dual-cushioning on both sides absorbs up to 10% of the workout impact keeping your joints safe. It comes with hand grip pulse sensors for real-time monitoring of your heart rate.
- Nine programs plus an additional manual mode for a variety of exercises.
- Handrail controls for convenience during workouts.
- Impressive 9 mph speed at this price.
- Media ledge to support your smartphone or iPod for a fun workout.
- Well cushioned deck for a comfortable experience.
- Short warranty: 1 year for the frame and 90 days for the parts.
- Narrow and short track not ideal for tall people.
- Small incline limits fitness goals.
Running, jogging or walking?
If you are shopping for a running treadmill folded, choose one with belt size 50” long X 18” wide with at least 10mph. If you are 6 foot tall and above, go for at least a 52-inch belt with an incline of at least 10% and 2.75 HP motor. Choose an AC motor for efficient workouts when you switch speeds.
For a walking treadmill choose a belt 43” long X 14” wide. If you are at least 6 foot tall opt for a 52-inch belt with a minimum 2.0 HP. Joggers should choose a belt 47” long X 16” wide with a 2.5 HP motor.
Advantages of foldable treadmills
Foldable treadmills are a popular choice for treadmill enthusiasts. Their main advantage is;
- Saves you space: If space is a luxury, a folding treadmill maximizes on space.
- Cleaning is easy: all you need to do is fold-it-up, and you can sweep, vacuum or mop the surface below with ease.
- Mobility: Most compact folding treadmills have wheels for smooth movement.
LCD display necessity?
The LCD is a budget-friendly option installed on most fold up treadmills to tracks vital information about your workout. Track your heart rate; calories burned, current speed and distance covered to measure your progress.
The LCD display also calculates your BMI and tracks the elapsed time of your workout. This is vital if you have a timed workout session or you’re trying to alternate periods between fast and slow-paced intervals.
Here are the exercises you can try out at home using a folding treadmill:
Double duty: 2-minute cardio workout using an elliptical trainer and quick treadmill to burn off calories.
Sweet strength: alternate 45 minutes treadmill cardio with a 15-minute strength training wrap to work your arms and abs.
Take a hike: 45-minute treadmill walking or jogging along a steep incline to strengthen your quads and work your glutes.
To Sum it up
Our hectic lifestyles drain away all our energy and grab a big chunk of our time leaving us with no gym time. What’s even worse? Our cramped apartments cannot accommodate extra home gym equipment.
A foldable treadmill is a winner when it comes to home workouts. It is the ideal space saver with innovative designs and affordable pricing to get your workout done at the comfort of your home.
There are tons of treadmills in the market and picking one can be nerve-wracking. Keep in mind the features to look out for the ideal fold-up treadmill and shop around from reputable brands. Bring the gym to your home.