You're in the right place if you are looking for the best cheap treadmills and thinking of investing in an indoor running machine to help achieve your weekly fitness targets. There’s no question that you can now get much more tech for your hard-earned cash at the lower-priced end of the treadmill market.
The days of mammoth, weighty treadmills taking up half your spare room are well behind us – the latest cheap treadmills are smaller, foldable and more potent than you might imagine. Some produce up to 1.5 horsepower and can dial-up to a maximum speed of around 8-9 mph, meaning you can push yourself on harder interval sessions if that’s your aim.
Alternatively, at the lowest end of the price scale, you’ll find smaller models that fold down nicely and are ideal for regularly walking or jogging up to around 6mph.
On a budget? Have a look at the best folding exercise bikes and the best under-desk treadmills; both are inexpensive and can get you fit at home. For those on the market for more powerful running machines, we recommend looking at our best treadmills or best folding treadmills guide for alternative recommendations.
How we test the best cheap treadmills
We test cheap treadmills the same way we test standard and folding treadmills: by running on them. We always test running machines in a home environment to ensure we get a sense of how they would perform in real-world conditions.
For more info on how we test at T3, click on the link now.
Best cheap treadmills to buy right now
In our 5-star Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B review, we praised this cheap treadmill for being a good training tool for both runners and walkers who want a well-priced, small, foldable treadmill for regular indoor workouts at a low intensity.
It features 10 pre-set programmes, each around 30-minutes in length, and adjusts the incline automatically throughout your run to match the programme inclines. Of the 10 pre-sets, five are health and five are calorie-burning workouts, which is a solid basic set, and it makes for the perfect treadmill for running regular miles at a slower pace while catching up on a Netflix series.
The Viavito LunaRun treadmill is a great contender among its equals to existing foldaway models on the market. It has a great surface area to run on, is easy to operate, and is a real space saver. It has features that allow you to get the most from your workouts, as well as pre-built HIIT programmes to encourage and motivate you.
It is designed with attention to detail for consumer satisfaction, including the running belt, which is grey rather than the standard black. This is a clever little touch to combat the annoying footprints that get left behind on the deck by trainers. Meanwhile, the two-year parts and labour warranty is a real bonus.
Read our full Viavito LunaRun Fold Flat Treadmill review for more information on this capable treadmill.
In our 4-star Mobvoi Home Treadmill review, we were impressed by this little runnig machine from wearable experts Mobvoi as it can fold flat and easily be moved around thanks to its built-in wheels.
It features a handy removable bar that, once taken off, means the belt can slot under your standing desk so you can increase your daily step count while you work. It maxes out at around 1mph faster than some of the other cheaper models and features a tough, five-layer belt that feels like it can stand up to plenty of abuse while also providing increased impact protection to protect achy joints.
This treadmill sits at the higher end of the ‘cheap’ category, but for the extra pounds, you’ll get extra power. Those who run regularly should take note: this unit goes up to 10mph and hits inclines of up 10%. It comes loaded with 16 pre-set workouts, and thanks to the Bluetooth connection you can add more to this with online workouts or replicate real runs on Google Maps.
It’s also compatible with iFit for live or on-demand classes (subscription is extra) that will automatically adjust the incline during the workout. In addition, the heart-rate grips mean you can measure your heart rate mid-run if you do not have an HR monitor or fitness watch.
We’re into the lower end of the price spectrum with the Confidence Fitness Ultra 200 Treadmill, and with this low price comes lower speeds. This belt’s top speed of just over 6mph means it’s aimed more at those looking to walk, fast walk or jog.
It comes loaded with 12 pre-set programmes, so you can mix up your training, and it features a Bluetooth connection to play music through the speakers via your phone. The compact nature means if you’re lacking space in your house or apartment, the Ultra 200 is ideal.
Its small size when folded also means you can stash it away next to a wardrobe or in a cupboard. The small size of the belt, however, means that taller runners might find it difficult to hit their full stride.
The main selling point for the Nero Sports Pro treadmill – aside from the price – is the fact that you can connect it via Bluetooth to the Nero app which logs your workouts, both indoor and outdoor, as well as offering the ability to race live against other users around the world. You can also control the treadmill via your phone, which is a handy feature at this price point.
There are 12 pre-set programmes and three levels of incline, and, like the similarly priced Confidence treadmill, the top speed of 6.2mph makes it more suitable for those looking to walk or jog gently rather than pound the belt at high running speeds. It also has a smaller belt size (the smallest in this guide), so consider it carefully if you’re tall with a long stride or close to the belt’s maximum user weight of 110kg.
The Astroride A2.0 features two incline levels which you adjust manually by moving the treadmill deck at the base rather than pressing a button and the treadmill moves automatically. The deck features Astroride cushioning tech, which provides a forgiving platform on which to run, so if you’re suffering joint issues or rehabbing a lower-limb injury this model could be worth considering.
The Astroride A2.0 comes with 36 pre-set workout programmes, which at this price is a good number to provide plenty of variety to your training, along with the option to add three custom programmes of your own.
The unit folds vertically, but unlike some of the others in this guide it does not have the smallest footprint once folded, so if space is at a premium you might want to consider a flatter folding unit.
What you need to know about cheap treadmills
When you think of treadmills, you might immediately think that you need to spend at least £1,000 to get a decent model, but that’s no longer the case. Treadmills are now packed with advanced tech at smaller sizes for well under £600, and if you’re looking to jog and walk, you can even dip below £300.
At these lower prices, though, there are certain factors you should bear in mind. Firstly, if you’re tall, above 180cm, you should pay close attention to the treadmill’s belt size, especially on cheaper models where often dimensions are reduced, so you end up having less space on which to run. Taller runners might want to check out our best treadmills or best folding treadmills guide for alternative recommendations.
Another thing to note is that if you want to run faster, you should look for a beefier motor with at least 1 horsepower, preferably 1.5HP, as that will power the belt to faster speeds. Many feature limited incline options, and if they do they are manual (eg you have to stop the treadmill and lift the belt itself onto a higher notch) rather than automatic incline adjustment.
Other features are likely to include a basic number of pre-set programmes, remote controls and Bluetooth speaker connections, but that’s the extent of it. These treadmills won’t connect to third-party training apps such as Zwift or Kinomap to automatically adjust the incline to match the onscreen incline as you run. Equally, access to live or in-demand classes is rarely included as an option the lower you go in price.
Is it worth buying a cheap treadmill?
If you’re not a fan of walking or running in the rain/sleet/hail/gales/insert other horrendous type of winter weather system, and you’re limited in both space and budget, then a cheap treadmill could be the ideal solution if you want to exercise regularly indoors.
Some of the treadmills recommended here can be found online for under £300, and would work well for those looking to walk or jog regularly indoors without any bells or whistles.