What I thought would last only a few months has lasted a whole year. With gyms closed and the fear of the virus deep ingrained, if you are thinking of building a basic gym at home with essentials such as treadmills, then I laud you! I don't want to keep harping on it, but staying fit and regular cardio could do wonders for your body, even it is for just 30 minutes a day.
While thousands of models are available in the market, I took the liberty of finding the best treadmills that are not only affordable but high quality! Looking for a treadmill in a crowded market and testing every product myself was not easy, but it allowed me to see every aspect of the running machines, and I have selected the top 5 treadmills available under £500.
Let me take you through my journey and detail:
Detailed Reviews With Quick Features, Pros and Cons
- What to look for in the best treadmills.
- Detailed view of products with a rapid-fire summary.
- Detailed reviews of each best treadmill with pros and cons.
- Answers to frequently asked questions.
- What to expect when in the market for a running machine from every perspective.
Sportstech F10 Treadmill
With attractive features and German technology, it does its job at a stellar price. The manufacturer really has thought of everything, and it is easy to use as well.
Dimensions: 126 x 63.5 x 24 cms
Top Speed: 10 km/h
Maximum User Weight: 120 Kg.
Weight: 30 Kg.
Display Type: LCD
Folding – Yes
This is one of the best treadmills when it comes to technology. SportsTech is a German brand that has been consistently releasing stellar machines!
Robust Construction – It features a high-quality running surface that has a 5-layered belt going through it that has a bounce and will last you through your life fitness journey. It can sustain a maximum weight of 120 kgs, and the treadmill itself weighs about 30 kgs. The top speed it can achieve is 10 km/h.
Smart Heart Rate Tracking – Since it does not have arms or handles to track the heart rate, it comes with complimentary Bluetooth pulse sensors that are far more effective, reliable, and advanced.
Integrated App and Visual Features – Built-in consoles are a thing of the past. With the fitness apps available, it is far better to track your health that way. With this treadmill, you get a specialised app that you can download. It effectively tells all that you want to know about one's health.
The treadmill also features cool graphic displays of yourself whenever you are running. Is it of absolute importance? No. But it keeps you entertained and takes your mind off of the pain. It also has a tablet holder.
Other Features – In case assembly is not your forte, do not worry! SportsTech F10 is easy to assemble, which is why this is one of the best treadmills. You can also easily lubricate the machine as compared to others. It is a relatively quiet machine with the motor being 1 HP. The home treadmill is also foldable and features a simple fold-flat design.
The LCD monitor is backlit and displays time, speed, distance, pulse, calories. One of the features is that it has 12 built-in training programs to achieve your fitness goals. The machine also comes with transport wheels.
- The design is great
- Best for home use
- Features the option of incline
- Has the option of integration with a free app as well as third-party apps
- Quiet with budget prices
- Robust quality
- There is a manual incline
- As compared to others, the top speed is less
JLL S300 Treadmill
It is a best friend to your fitness journey with the incline options and customisable programs. In its price, the treadmills pack premium features and great build quality.
Dimensions: 1580 x700 x 1280mm
Max Speed: 16 km/h
Maximum User Weight: 120 Kg.
Weight: 57.5 Kg.
Display Type: LCD
Folding – Yes
The reason why this is in my list of the best treadmill is that this machine has something for everyone. The variety of features it offers at its price is astonishing and is best for indoor running for fitness and weight loss. I have recommended this treadmill for life fitness for many of my friends!
Display – The LCD displays time, distance, speed, heart rate, calories burned, and incline, it also comes with 15 fitness training programs that you can customise to suit your requirement and lose weight. You also get the option of high-quality built-in speakers or connecting headphones to a jack.
Max Speed and Incline – The home treadmill boasts of the lowest speed of 0. 3 km/ h and the top speed is 16 km/ h. The incline levels feature 20 options which offer the best running experience. The incline range is up to 12%. You can burn four times the calories on the maximum setting for your fitness.
Assembly – Assembling the machine takes time and can be cumbersome. However, once the process is done, the treadmill is stable and durable.
Running Deck – The highest user weight it can support is 120 kgs. As your feet start running, the treadmill activates a 16-point cushion deck under the running area. It is designed to provide comfort to the knees and is quieter too. The motor at its peak gives 4.5 HP and consistent power of 2.5 HP.
Warranty – 2-year parts and a shocking 5 years of warranty on the motor.
- High adjustable incline and incline levels
- Exceptional speed range to work at various fitness levels
- Attractive warranty period
- Good variety of built-in programs
- A cushioned running area
- Assembly instructions could be clearer, and I found the process a little challenging
- After folding, it is still a large machine
I added this treadmill to this because of the option it gives for inclination, speed, and programs. It also comes 99% assembled!
Dimensions: 160 x 76 x 21 cm
Max Speed: 10 km/h
Maximum Weight: 100 Kg.
Weight: 25 Kg.
Display Type: Computerized
Folding – Yes
Featuring minimalistic design and a killer price tag, I found that it is an upgrade from the beginner treadmills with a quite a few attractive feature.
Incline – The treadmill offers manual and non-motorised incline – 0.70%, 3.49%, and 6.12%.
Display – This treadmill comes with an easy to use display that measures and shows pulse, user weight, distance, calories, time, and speed. One of the features that you get is built-in 12 life fitness programs, and one manual mode too.
Other Features – I found that it comes 99% assembles and only the handlebars and computer needs affixing. The treadmill is also foldable, which makes it easy to store. It also comes with a suspension system and an emergency stop button for safety purposes.
It is fit for running as the range of speed is 1-10km/ hr, and contains pulse sensors, wheels, and bars for support. The treadmill comes with a one year warranty too. I would mainly recommend this machine for novice users who are not looking for anything fancy. One hour of basic exercise is all they need to get going, and I think this is a great fuss-free and dependable treadmill.
- The machine features lots of attractive features and design
- A great affordable option for beginners
- Built-in fitness programs
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Low variation of incline and speed
- Muddy instructions for assembly
CITYSPORTS Folding Treadmill
The treadmill is affordable, comes with a powerful motor, and is fit for walkers. It also comes fitted with an app to track your workout performance.
Dimensions: 1470 x 590 x 150 cms
Maximum Speed: 6 km/h
Maximum Weight: 100 Kg.
Weight: 26.2 Kg.
Display Type: LED
Folding – Yes
This treadmill is the cheapest on my list. It is a robust and sleek treadmill which offers the opportunity of cardio exercise and nothing else.
Motor – I especially loved the powerful and quiet motor of 500w. Compared to other treadmills on this list, this one is the most impactful. The speed varies between 1-6 km/hr and is great for a walker or beginner. In case you are concerned about your weight and want to start small, this treadmill with a great running deck is your best bet!
Console – In this treadmill, the console is online. It tracks your sessions easily, and the LED display accurately tracks your calories burned, distance, time and speed. It becomes easy to track your goals and performance.
User Experience – Figuring out this treadmill is easy. All you need to do to get started is unpack and unfold and plug it in. The treadmill is extremely lightweight, and it can even be folded and stored under the bed. Since it does not come with a display, it offers the speed adjustment via remote control—no need to touch the treadmill for speed adjustment.
Also, it has a self-lubrication feature that ensures minimal maintenance.
- Comes with a tablet holder
- Quiet and powerful motor
- Self-lubricated running deck
- The treadmill comes with a remote control
- Compact design
- Not suitable for running
- There is no option for incline
Nero Sports Treadmill (Folding)
I especially loved its variability of suing it indoors and outdoors with Google maps. It also has inclination levels and freebies!
Dimensions: 1260 x 600 x 1190mm
Maximum Speed: 10 km/hr
Maximum Weight: Not Specified
Weight: 24 Kg.
Display Type: LCD
Folding – Yes
This one features a simplistic running deck and is simplistic in its design. Read on to know why it is featured in my list of best treadmills.
Accessibility – The treadmill allows you to run both indoors and outdoors. It offers tracking help by following Google Maps with the help of a tablet. It is foldable, incredibly lightweight, and easy to wheel around.
Incline – It has three incline levels varying between 3-5%.
Console – The display is clear and shows numbers in a large font. The treadmill also features a number of buttons so that you do not have to fiddle around too much while exercising. There are five buttons that have a quick start option with a minimum speed of 2km/hr. The display shows time, speed, calories burnt, and an overview of your workout with three automatic and manual programs.
Other Features – The treadmill also comes with a safety plug. In case you faint, fall, or slip, the key will pop out, shutting the machine. For the motor, the warranty is lifetime, and for the rest, it is for two years. Depending on where you buy it from, you can also snag cute accessories for free, including 5 free eBooks, related to healthy diet and workouts!
- It offers great connectivity with apps and different controls
- Great for beginners
- The stand for tablets is good quality
- Does not feature built-in speakers
- Some users have complained about the durability of some components.
How to Find the Best Treadmills Under £500?
If you play your cards right, you can find a running machine that gets the job done exceptionally well. A treadmill for home use will always have the following essential elements that some entry-levels running machines falter to offer:
Levels of Incline
Speed and incline is an area where budget treadmill has really gained up on the high-end market. Entry-level may not offer you the option of manual incline, but as you push your budget to £500, you have the ability to pick a treadmill that provides the same. However, you will need to be off the machine to switch between the modes, and depending on the model, you may get two to three levels to choose from.
A home treadmill sometimes also comes with the option of automated incline that helps you adjust 10% at the click of the button, and the best part is, you do not have to be off the machine for it to work!
The best treadmill may not be able to compete with the designs as compared to those present in the gyms, but they compliment well in a home or an office setting. Most treadmills in this range will be a digital folding treadmill – they are easy to store and manage. It is essential to consider the feature, especially when you do not have a dedicated space and are living in small areas like a studio apartment.
Running machines in the range of £500 tend to use motors which have decent power and are motorized. They have roughly 13 km/h of average max speed, although some model may also be able to clock till 16km/h. It is excellent for speed and power walkers. However, if you prefer to run like the wind, you may need to up the budget.
In this budget, it is difficult to find speed levels of 18 km/ h to 20km/h.
Another feature to keep in mind is the belt size. Since under treadmills under £500 are meant to be for home use, the running surface area tends to be limited as compared to the high-end ones, but they are larger than the entry-level ones! However, they do tend to be relatively comfortable, and if you are around or under 6ft, the budget treadmill fill fit you just fine.
If you are a walker, then the treadmills will pose no problems. When you start running, and the strides become longer, you can run out of the running area. If you are taller and prefer running to shed calories, it may be wiser to increase the budget.
When you start reading my reviews, you will know that treadmills differ in terms of a control module. Some may have so many options that it will get confusing, some treadmills will be simplified and compact.
The LCD display also comes with a variety of features depending on the model of the treadmill. Some are small and need lighting to see, some are already backlit, touch screen, and detailed. How much weightage to give to every feature is dependent on you and your requirements. But the basics that should be displayed are speed, time, heart rate, distance, and other parameters you may require.
Most treadmills also feature built-in programs to help you work out. However, they may not be as sophisticated as the high end, but there are workable, and for home use, they are more than appropriate. Usually, they are tailored towards fat loss and athletic performance.
After putting so much effort in buying the best treadmill for home use, imagine it starts stuttering and stops working. Worst nightmare! To shield yourself, ensure that the one machine that you get has a warranty and is protected. There can be different periods for different parts of the electric treadmill.
Read the fine print! In case you do need to send back the running machine, will the supplier cover the shipping charges or they will be picking it up? The preferable option is the service at home. You put in a complaint, and the serviceman shows up.
You are running on your beloved best treadmill, you would not want to shake up the foundation of your house now, would you? Checking for shock absorption system is a smart decision that your knees and fellow members will also appreciate.
Having a running machine with a shock absorption system ensures that your knees do not get exerted.
A safety tether is the one to look out for! While it may not feel that glamorous, it is a smart option in case of fainting, falling, or losing balance. It automatically stops the running area when activated.
In treadmills under £500, some models also feature built-in speakers, Bluetooth support, tablet holder, a place to keep your water bottle, and heart rate, monitors. While it is ideal for the running machine to have the most amount of features, I would suggest to evaluate what you require and then . Paying for amenities that you will not be using is a waste of money, and you will end up increasing the budget.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the treadmills provide a means for cardio fitness. The rest are add-ons, keep that in perspective. It should always deliver the function for which it was aimed to be purchased.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is soft drop system necessary?
A: Getting smacked on your head by a machine is a pretty annoying and painful experience. Having a soft drop system in a folding treadmill ensure that you avoid the situation. It is a cushioned way of easing the running track back into its original place. You do not need to do the heavy-lifting, break your back, and it is safer.
Q: How much does incline matter on a running machine?
A: It really depends on the type of workouts you prefer. The incline is basically to make the exercise more challenging as it is similar to climbing a hill. Walking on a plain surface is not as exerting as walking on an incline. It increases your heart rate and helps burn extra calories for fitness. Other benefits include additional stimulus to muscles in the lower back that work overtime to aid you in running or walking an incline.
Q: Should I consider buying a folding treadmill?
A: Let us ask you a question – where will you be using the running machine? If it is in a limited space – home office, cramped apartment, then yes, get one folding treadmill. When we do not have the luxury to have our stuff take up all the space it needs, that is where you get creative.
However, if you already have a gym home set up, I would recommend going for a fixed design treadmill as it offers more stability.
What to Expect When You are in the Market for Best Treadmills under £500?
- Treadmills under £500 start featuring premium features, higher running speed (not quite 18 km/ h), and robust design. Treadmills in this price range are best for everyone, except the people who are into hardcore running.
- You also get the option of the cushioned running deck and folding treadmills. No more scrambling to make space, just unfold it and plug it in to get ready for that gruelling cardio.
- In this range, treadmills also come with innovative technologies, specially curated apps, manual and preset programs to evaluate your workouts or make them more challenging as per your requirements.
- You will not find shoddy quality. The structure will not be wobbling, weak joints, or have a thin tube construction. However, it ultimately depends on which equipment you end up picking.
- The running track will be of proper size – not smaller, but also not huge. It will be able to take some serious damage given by runners and walkers.
- Under this range, you will witness that the machines are more compact.
- You will also see that the range of machines will have the option of automatic and manual incline. The option will make a massive difference in your workout, and you will be able to burn out fat much faster.
- The problem of grainy displays is solved in this category. The quality is better, the visuals are better, and some are even backlit! For every product mentioned, I have listed down what each display shows and what type it is to help you decide.
While I stand by each and every product on this list, each one will satiate a particular requirement better than the other. If you are still confused, let me help you sum it up:
- If you are into running, I would suggest going for JLL S300.
- If you are tight on money and are a walker, CITYSPORTS Folding Motorised Treadmill is your best bet.
- If you need an indoor and outdoor machine, go for Nero Sports Folding Treadmill.
- If you want premium design and features, I would recommend SportsTech F10.
- If you want inclination and ease of usage, go for Fit4Home JK-04.
However, if asked, my best pick would be SportsTech F10. For the price, it comes for and the premium features it offers, you cannot go wrong.
I hope I made the task of finding the equipment in a confusing and saturated market easier!