If you happen to be a classic couch potato, investing in a treadmill for home use is a smart decision your lungs and heart will thank you for in the future. That said, this bulky and sturdy machine does not have to cost as much as it weighs, you just need clarity and honesty when it comes to your fitness needs and goals. Rule out anything that you know isn’t going to pay off in the long run.
There are home-based treadmills that can even go up to £3500, but that does not mean you have to spend your entire savings on a running machine. We’ve collected the essential information for you to find the best treadmill under £500 that will definitely live up to your expectations.
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What should I consider when buying a home treadmill?
Before choosing the final price range, it’s important to go through the essential specifications and features in order to decide what you are really looking for in a home treadmill.
WHAT SIZE DO I NEED?
Treadmills range in weight capacity and belt size, depending on your height, body weight, and workout intensity.
If you are more of a hiker, then don’t bother to look for longer belts, a 127 cm long and 41 cm wide one will do just fine for walking and can save you some money. On the other hand, look for at least 140 by 56 cm if running or jogging is your thing. What’s more, if you are taller and have a longer stride, search for 152 cm in length.
Heavier runners should consider the weight capacity since that will very much determine the sturdiness and durability of the machine in the long term.
DOES IT HAVE TO BE FOLDABLE?
This will depend on the space you are willing to compromise for your workout. Foldable treadmills are much shorter and still take up space when used. On the other hand, they can be shoved under a bed or hidden behind a wardrobe, so it’s very convenient for flats or even offices.
If space is not an issue for you, general advice would be to opt for the bulkier ones that will have more features and a wider walking/running area.
THE INCLINE RANGE
For a more realistic outdoor experience and a good calorie burn, look for the incline of more than 10 per cent. The steeper you walk, the more intense your workout gets. Furthermore, varying the incline brings a variety to your exercising and is even better for joints.
However, don’t go overboard and invest in something you won’t actually use, so pick smartly and focus on your realistic workout habits.
SPEED AND MOTOR STRENGTH
This, again, depends on how much and how vigorously you plan to use your treadmill. If you’re an experienced running enthusiast, you’ll benefit from a stronger motor (approximately 3.0 continuous horsepower (CHP)). For walking, mild jogging and light activity in general, on the other hand, there’s no need to invest in high-end motors (around 2.0 CHP). Motor capacity will also be put to the test with more bodyweight.
Speed range also depends on your needs but generally speaking, for both intensity sprints and endurance runs, up to 10mph of maximum speed is more than enough.
DO I NEED ANY ADDITIONAL FEATURES?
Treadmill features and accessories are getting improved and more accessible with each new model, but that doesn’t mean you need to fall for the newest “bling”.
Unless you’re really into cool gadgets, you can save some money by ditching the unnecessary stuff, like music speakers, built-in workout programs, Bluetooth, and similar. Usual metrics (speed, distance, pace, incline, etc.) and a simple heart rate monitor is more than enough for average consumers. Besides, you can always get a tablet holder or make use of your smartphone to get a more professional training experience, but still be cost-effective.
Best treadmills under £500 – Comparison table
|Treadmill||Max Weight Capacity||Running Area||Max. Speed||Incline Levels|
|Our review >||120kg||126 x 41cm||16 k/h||12-level auto incline|
|Our review >||100kg||100 x 33cm||10 k/h||3-level manual incline|
|Our review >||130kg||125 x 45cm||17 k/h||15-level auto incline|
|Our review >||110kg||100 x 34cm||10 k/h||No incline option|
|Our review >||120kg||121 x 41cm||18 k/h||20-level auto incline|
|Our review >||120kg||101 x 34.5cm||10 k/h||3-level manual incline|
Best treadmills under £500 – Reviews
Here is a concise review of all the treadmill gems under £500. We’ve gathered all the important pros and cons to help you make the best possible choice according to your preferences and needs.
Reebok ZR8 Treadmill – Review
This sleek Reebok’s treadmill has got everything you’d need in a cardio machine. With a powerful 2 HP motor, 120 kg weight capacity and up to 16 k/h speed, it’s a perfect choice for both long-distance runners and high-intensity sprinting.
It features built-in speakers to which you can connect your smartphone, iPad, iPhone or an mp3 player. The amazing 24 preset workouts of various intensity and style are useful for beginners and those who need some help with planning out. It comes with 12 incline modes (up to 12%), perfect for light as well as vigorous walking or running. The 126 x 41cm running area gives you plenty of space to freely work out and enjoy your running session. You don’t have to worry about the quality and durability since it comes with a 10-year motor and 2-year parts and labour warranty.
Reebok ZR8 treadmill is fairly easy to set up and is intuitive to use, therefore with this fantastic machine an average treadmill user can really get your money’s worth.
- Very versatile – for both experienced and average runners
- Quiet and spacious
- Useful preset workouts
- Built-in speakers
- Sturdy and easy to assemble
- Not suitable for more advanced users
- Only partially foldable
- Lacking extra features
Finether Folding Electric Treadmill for Home Exercise – Review
Another great option for a home-based gym is this very affordable folding treadmill, which can endure up to 100kg bodyweight. It operates silently due to a low noise 600W motor and 5-layer cushioning that not only minimizes noise but also eases pressure on joints and makes the run comfortable and safe.
Finether Folding treadmill can perform up to 10km/h which is enough for gentle exercising and endurance running. It features a 3-level manual incline to boost your workout and increase calorie burning.
Customers find it easy and quick to set up, with only a few screws to attach for handles and the display. All in all, it’s a low-cost, space-saving, discreet machine, great for home use and indoor mild exercising.
- Practical and easily stored away
- Sturdy and durable (given the price and features)
- Silent operation
- Noted to have unclear and unuseful instructions
- Lacking additional features
- Not too useful for intense sprints and high-level running
Branx Fitness Foldable ‘Cardio Pro’ Touchscreen Console Treadmill – Review
This foldable neat treadmill is a perfect blend of a compact home machine and a professional high-end gym treadmill. It comes with a more powerful motor, with an amazing 3.5 CHP and 17 km/h of speed. With a price of just below £500, it features a Smart Shock Absorption System which minimizes pressure on joints and enhances comfort and safety.
You don’t have to worry about complicated setup since it comes pre-assembled in packaging. This pro-like treadmill features a high-quality 5 inch LCD touchscreen, easy and practical to use. The pre-made programmes, auto incline, and gradient workouts are great features for both beginners and more advanced users.
Furthermore, it resembles high-end gym machines and is suitable for a larger person, with a limit of 130 kg body weight. Its great sturdiness, durability and advanced features make it a 5-star choice for satisfied customers.
- High-quality motor and great speed and incline options
- Sturdy and suitable for heavier people
- Wide running area
- Great additional features (built-in speakers, Bluetooth,etc.)
- Very practical to use and set up (foldable)
- More expensive (when shipping included)
- Reported to squeak and wobble under more bodyweight pressure
- Not much space for a tablet or an iPad
Confidence Fitness TP-1 Electric Treadmill Folding – Review
This nifty affordable treadmill is a valuable option for gentle joggers and recreational hikers. It features a smaller running area (100x34cm) and a 1 CHP motor, but is foldable, lighter, and can be neatly stored away. It’s perfect for tighter spaces and practical people who value practicality over advanced features.
It contains a good LCD screen with an easy-to-use display and very useful 12 preset workout programmes, great for beginners and recreational runners.
To put it simply, this cheap treadmill will do perfectly for walkers who don’t intend (or are not able) to workout intensely and too often. Why invest £200 or even £300 more if this treadmill can adhere to all your actual needs and abilities?
- Very affordable
- Space-saving and foldable
- Practical and easy to use
- Quick assembly
- Good selection of programmes for average users
- Not suitable for high-pace running and intense workouts
- Limited features (no speakers, small screen, etc.)
- No incline options
- Smaller running area
JLL T350 Digital Folding Treadmill – Review
This customer-friendly treadmill for home use is a great blend of all the amazing features you would need. For under £500 you can get a foldable machine of great strength, spacious running area (121x41cm), and a practical LCD monitor that shows distance, incline, pace, heart rate, speed, calories burned, etc.
JLL T350 treadmill features built-in speakers and Bluetooth, great for playing music or following workouts. It also comes with 20 preset workouts and amazing 20-level incline, all on a neatly organized and intuitive digital display. What’s more, its speed ranges from 0.3 km/h to 18 km/h which is much more than the speed range of a typical home treadmill.
You can easily and quickly move this treadmill around the house as it has built-in wheels, so you can basically put it anywhere. The cushion deck absorption system is a big plus, providing better comfort and lessening pressure on your joints and knees while running. The lower the impact – the stronger and more effective the workout.
- Sturdy and durable
- Great features
- Speed range: 0.3 km/h – 18 km/h
- Compatible to both beginners and premium runners
- Foldable and space-saving
- Great value compared to similar products
- Narrower compared to similar products
- A bit noisy during use
- Not so easy to set up
Sportstech F10 Treadmill – Review
Another attention-worthy product on the market is the Sportstech F10 Treadmill, a low-cost machine for home use. It comes with a practical heart rate belt that shows precise measurements and frees you from the limiting handles.
It consists of a decent motor, specifically improved for a silent and comfortable workout. It’s also really discreet, light, and easy to fold and store away. It’s among the less sturdy and durable treadmills, but not a bad option for milder exercising and high-pace walking. It comes with 13 training programs and you can manually adjust the incline to reach a maximum of 18°.
Special features include a built-in tablet holder, 2 water bottle holders and app compatible console with wireless connection
All in all, this treadmill offers a useful starting point for building up stamina and working through more intense training.
- Low cost
- Easy to fold and space-saving
- Silent and sturdy
- Great quality compared to similarly priced items
- Great speakers
- Some nice extra features not found in the cheapest home treadmills
- Joint-friendly multi-layered running surface
- Reported to be a bit flimsy
- Some people find it small
- Not suitable for heavier people (max. user weight is 120kg)
FINAL THOUGHTS – WHAT TO OPT FOR?
The best choice is to go through your own list of pros and cons, then see which product matches your idea of a perfect treadmill. In this price range, probably the most all-round machine is the Finether Folding Electric Treadmill, due to its amazing durability and high-quality components. That said, Confidence Fitness TP-1 Electric Treadmill and similar ones could be a better option if you’re not looking for a premium gym machine, but just something to provide you with a decent workout.
Nevertheless, each of the above-discussed treadmills can successfully replace an outdoor run or a walk, and provide you with a true cardio experience.
Sofia Alves is a fitness enthusiast who loves running and motivating others to adopt and stick to healthy habits. She is always learning, searching and investing in further education to build her knowledge. She strongly believes the worst workout is the one you didn’t bother to do.