Best cheap treadmills 2021 for indoor runners on a tight budget

The best cheap treadmills for those who want to keep on running indoors without breaking the bank

Included in this guide:

Person running on a cheap treadmill indoors looking out of a window
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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. If you’re thinking of investing in an indoor running machine to help you achieve your weekly fitness targets, and are looking for the best cheap treadmills out there, you’re in the right place. 

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 powerful than you might imagine. Some produce up to 1.5 horsepower and can dial up to a maximum speed of around 8 mph or 9 mph, meaning you can push yourself on harder interval sessions if that’s your aim.

Alternatively, at the very lowest end of the price scale, you’ll find smaller models that fold down into a smaller footprint and are ideal for regularly walking or jogging up to speeds of around 6mph.

For those who are on the market for more powerful running machines, we recommend having a look at our best treadmills or best folding treadmills guide for alternative recommendations.

For a more joint-friendly home workout, we recommend the best elliptical trainers and best exercise bikes; or, for those who dare, the best rowing machines.

Best cheap treadmills to buy in 2021

The Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B in front of a white backgroundT3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Decathlon)

Best cheap treadmill for all-round fitness

Specifications
Max speed: 8 mph
Incline: 0-10%
Power: 1.2 HP
Running surface: 43 x 121cm
Max user weight: 130kg
Dimensions: 163 x 73 x 138cm
Foldable?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Great if you regularly run at low intensity 
Reasons to avoid
-Limited number of pre-set programmes-Sizable and not easy to move around

Decathlon’s Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B is 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.

Viavito LunaRun Fold Flat Treadmill in front of a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Viavito)

Best cheap treadmill for foldability

Specifications
Max speed: 9.9 mph
Incline: 0-10%
Power: 1.25 HP
Running surface: 42cm (16.5”) x 125cm (49.2”)
Max user weight: 90kg (198.4lbs)
Dimensions: 160 x 76 x 153cm
Foldable?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Super compact+Folds flat for easy storage+Decent sized running deck+Boasts a speed of 0.8 to 16kph
Reasons to avoid
-Low max user weight (90kg)-Cup holders are shallow

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.

The Mobvoi Home Treadmil in front of a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Mobvoi)

Best cheap treadmill for sliding under a standing desk

Specifications
Max speed: 7.4 mph
Incline: 0%
Power: 0.75 HP
Running surface: 40 x 16in
Max user weight: 120 kg
Dimensions: 49 x 27 x 42in
Foldable?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+If you don’t have much space+If you want to walk while working 
Reasons to avoid
-It’s not built to run super-fast-It features a fixed incline

The Home Folding Treadmill from wearable experts Mobvoi is one of the smaller treadmills in this guide. It folds flat and can 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. 

The ProForm 305 CST Folding Treadmill in front of a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: ProForm)

4. ProForm 305 CST Folding Treadmill

Best cheap treadmill for serious runners

Specifications
Max speed: 10 mph
Incline: 0-10%
Power: 2 HP
Running surface: 46 x 127cm
Max user weight: 135 kg
Dimensions: 165 x 82 x 154cm
Foldable?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+If you train hard+High speed and high incline
Reasons to avoid
-Admittedly the most expensive 'cheap' treadmill on this guide

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. 

The Confidence Fitness Ultra 200 Treadmill in front of a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Confidence Fitness)

5. Confidence Fitness Ultra 200 Treadmill

Best cheap treadmill for walkers or joggers

Specifications
Max speed: 6.2 mph
Incline: 0-5%
Power: 1 HP
Running surface: 100 x 36cm
Max user weight: 110 kg
Dimensions: 130 x 61 x 116cm
Foldable?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Dirt cheap+Those who want to walk
Reasons to avoid
- If you’re tall with a long stride 

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 Nero Pro Bluetooth Electric Motorised Folding Treadmill in front of a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Nero)

6. Nero Pro Bluetooth Electric Motorised Folding Treadmill

Best cheap treadmill for those with limited space

Specifications
Max speed: 6.2 mph
Incline: 0%
Power: 750 W
Running surface: 105 x 35 cm
Max user weight: 110 kg
Dimensions: 126 x 60 x 120 cm
Foldable?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ If you mainly walk+ To run against others via the app 
Reasons to avoid
- If you want to run fast- If you have a long 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 Reebok Astroride A2.0 Treadmill in front of a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Reebok)

7. Reebok Astroride A2.0 Treadmill

Best cheap treadmill for a variety of training

Specifications
Max speed: 8 mph
Incline: 2 levels
Power: 1.5 HP
Running surface: 130 x 45 cm
Max user weight: 120 kg
Dimensions: 167.5 x 76.5 x 140 cm
Foldable?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ 36 pre-set workouts
Reasons to avoid
- If you’re short on space

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. 

Howard Calvert
Howard Calvert

When not seeking out new running and cycling trails, Howard writes about all things health and fitness. As well as T3, he's written for a plethora of websites, newspapers and magazines including Runner’s World, Cycling Weekly, Trail Running, Women’s Running, ShortList, Fit&Well, Red Bulletin and Wareable. When not running ultramarathons he's taking on MTB singletrack trails and hiking all around the world. As a side hustle, Howard is also on an ongoing quest to find the country’s best cinnamon bun.