In the summertime, it may be a little bit easier to turn to walking or jogging outside as a way to get yourself moving. However, it might be uncomfortable to hit the pavement when temperatures get too warm. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut yourself short when it comes to cardio.
It’s now easier than ever to squeeze in a quick sweat sesh thanks to compact treadmills that can fit right into your home gym setup (or help create it). From manual to electric options, there are plenty of affordable machines out there to help you put in those steps.
While these treadmills won’t give you the same fresh-air feeling as running outdoors, they will give you a stellar workout — regardless of your fitness level.
Here, I’ve rounded up both affordable and well-reviewed treadmills for at-home use, all for $500 or less.
What to look for | Treadmills under $200 | Treadmills under $350 | Treadmills under $500 | More home gym ideas | How we chose
What to look for in an affordable treadmill
With so many different treadmills on the market with such a wide variety of features, it can be hard to make a decision when shopping. Here are a few things you should consider when looking at any type of treadmill.
Safety: Electric treadmills should have a built-in safety feature in the form of either a panic button or a magnetic key that pulls off if the user loses their balance or falls. These will shut off the belt immediately to minimize injury. Other safety features may include rubber bumper pads on the side of the belt and safety rails that can be easily grabbed.
Typical use: Consider what you plan to use the treadmill for before buying. If your primary form of exercise is running, you’ll want a machine with a stronger shock-absorbing system and a wider belt than what you would need if you were only using it to walk. If you plan to use it while working at a standing desk, a treadmill that works on manual power or has a lower speed range should be fine.
Stability: The treadmill should be steady and feel solid, not shaky, when you’re using it. Look for sturdy construction, a stable base and solid handrails. The treadmill should also have good shock-absorbing features, especially if you plan to run on it.
Speed and incline settings: Again, if you plan to run on the treadmill, you should look for one that has a wider range of speeds and inclines to accommodate a variety of workouts. Also consider how the speed and inclines are changed: Can you change mid-workout without breaking stride, or do you need to get off the treadmill to adjust the incline? Look for any preset programs you can follow or live-stream connectivity if that’s something you want for your workouts.
Storage: When shopping for a treadmill, you’ll need to consider where you plan to keep it. Some treadmills fold up to a standing position so that they can be placed in a closet, and some fold flat to slide under a bed. If you need to move your treadmill around, make sure it has built-in wheels to make it easier.
Best affordable treadmill under $200
Top speed: 0.1 mph | Maximum incline: 0 degrees | Maximum weight: 220 lbs. | Number of presets: 0 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Manual
Do you hate running but still want the cardio benefits of a treadmill? This affordable option designed for walking (or even a light jog!) is your best bet. The compact dimensions and foldable design make it perfect for small spaces in homes of all sizes. Track your time, speed, distance and calories on the LCD monitor. Plus, the treadmill requires no plugs or electricity. Simply get on and start walking!
Top speed: ~7.5 mph | Maximum incline: 0 degrees | Maximum weight: 220 lbs. | Number of presets: 3 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
If you just want to know the basics when it comes to your movements, this electric treadmill is one to consider. It will show you your time, speed, calories, distance and steps while you track your workout via the LED display. It comes with three built-in exercise programs to meet different fitness needs, and the compact and foldable design allows it to be moved and stored easily. It also comes with an emergency stop key for added safety.
Best affordable treadmills under $350
Top speed: 0.01 mph | Maximum incline: 10 degrees | Maximum weight: 230 lbs. | Number of presets: 0 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Manual
This manual option features two incline adjustment levels and an oversized belt for a smooth and consistent walking experience. Another notable safety feature is a longer handle with foam grips to ensure stability and minimize unsteadiness. The compact LCD screen built into the handlebar tracks time, distance, speed and calories burned.
Top speed: 5 mph | Maximum incline: 4 degrees | Maximum weight: 220 lbs. | Number of presets: 0 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
This electric treadmill can reach up to 5 mph and operates on an incline of four levels. It can track your time, distance, speed and calories. It even features a user mode, which allows you to set workout times, calorie goals or specific distances.
It has an integrated shock absorption system for comfort, and the built-in wheels and foldable design make it easy to move and store. It also has a countdown start-and-pause feature included.
Top speed: 3.75 mph | Maximum incline: 0 degrees | Maximum weight: 220 lbs. | Number of presets: 0 | Foldable? No | Electric or manual? Electric
If you’re working from home and have a standing desk, this Walkstation can help you burn some calories while you attend virtual meetings and respond to messages.
You can reach speeds of up to 3.75 mph or take it slow at the minimum speed of 0.5 mph. Plus, it’s remote control-operated, so you don’t have to move from your workspace to make adjustments. It has a slim design that can fit under most any desk and it comes with active-use detection so the belt will automatically pause if no user is detected after five seconds.
Plus, this treadmill has a power saver mode and a shock-absorbing tread for comfort.
Top speed: 1 mph | Maximum incline: 15 degrees | Maximum weight: 325 lbs. | Number of presets: 0 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
This manual treadmill has a weight capacity of 325 pounds and twin flywheels that provide a smooth tread. Long handles provide walking security, and built-in pulse pads allow you to monitor your heart rate while you exercise. The treadmill has three levels of incline and eight levels of tension, and it’s foldable for easy storage.
Top speed: ~7.5 mph | Maximum incline: 0 degrees | Maximum weight: 265 lbs. | Number of presets: 0 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
This 2-in-1 treadmill features a versatile design, allowing you to transition from a jaunt to a jog with ease. Place it underneath a desk so you can walk while you work, then just prop up the riser, with included touchscreen display, to start running.
You can control the treadmill with the included remote, or you can use your phone to adjust the settings, as well as play workout music through the machine’s Bluetooth speakers. The machine includes an emergency stop key for safety and built-in wheels for easy transport.
Top speed: 4 mph | Maximum incline: 0 degrees | Maximum weight: 220 lbs. | Number of presets: 12 | Foldable? No | Electric or manual? Electric
With this treadmill option, you can get a workout in without ever leaving your standing desk.
Designed for walking, it comes complete with an LED touchscreen to track your workout, as well as a remote control to easily change speeds. It has a wide, 17-inch belt and an emergency brake button included in the remote. It also has rubber struts to absorb shock and cut down on noise while operating the treadmill.
Top speed: 7.5 mph | Maximum incline: 5% | Maximum weight: 265 lbs. | Number of presets: 0 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
A two-in-one treadmill with an LED display, this machine can reach up to 7.5 mph while you run or 2.5 mph while you walk.
“I like that it folds up easily, fits perfectly in my little space [and] is really sturdy; plus the fact that it’s quiet so I don’t have to wake up my husband and kids when working out early in the morning,” wrote one verified reviewer.
The arm rest has a built-in touchscreen and folds down so the treadmill can be operated while under a desk.
Top speed: 6 mph | Maximum incline: 3% | Maximum weight: 265 lbs. | Number of presets: 12 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
This compact treadmill is great for small spaces: It’s 50 inches long and folds up for easy storage with a soft-drop hydraulic system. The LCD display shows run time, distance, calories burned and more.
Connect to the FitShow app via Bluetooth and record your training data, share stats on social media — or even challenge friends. The treadmill also includes three manual incline settings and has a weight capacity of 265 pounds.
Top speed: 10 mph | Maximum incline: The description doesn’t specify percentage or degrees, but there are two incline settings | Maximum weight: 275 lbs. | Number of presets: 6 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
Created to be used with the brand’s iFit app, this Weslo treadmill connects to your device via Bluetooth to help you track your workouts and connect you to a library of personalized exercise routines, trainers, fitness tips and studio classes.
It also supports a maximum weight of 275 pounds, can reach speeds up to 10 mph and includes two incline settings. This treadmill has a compact design but a wide tread belt for comfort and safety while exercising.
Best affordable treadmills under $500
Top speed: 9 mph | Maximum incline: 4.3% | Maximum weight: 220 lbs. | Number of presets: 9 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
Run at speeds of up to 9 mph with this foldable treadmill option, which features nine built-in workout programs and a convenient holder for your smartphone and other devices. It also includes a large LCD screen that shows time, distance, speed and calories burned.
Built-in handrail controls let you set speed, start and stop, and the soft-drop folding mechanism allows you to unfold the treadmill with ease.
Top speed: 10 mph | Maximum incline: 2% | Maximum weight: 250 lbs. | Number of presets: 12 | Foldable? Yes | Electric or manual? Electric
A quiet motor, a speed range of 0.5 mph to 10 mph and a dozen preset workout programs set this bestselling treadmill apart from the rest — not to mention the 12,000-plus five-star ratings given by verified customers. The exercise tool also includes cushioned deck technology to provide maximum impact absorption and minimize the stress on your joints during use.
The treadmill has twelve preset programs and three manual incline settings, and it can be easily set up using a one-handed pull knob.
More shopping advice for working out at home
Here are the best expert-approved walking shoes. If you’re into running, an experienced runner shares her favorite kicks.
Setting up a home gym may seem daunting. To help, we’ve rounded up some of the best and most affordable gym equipment.
Need to refresh your workout wardrobe? Here are some of our favorite comfortable and flattering leggings. If you’re looking for plus-sized activewear, we asked a stylist for her favorite pieces.
How we chose the best affordable treadmills
Shop TODAY’s editorial team picks products based on independent research and reporting, as well as expert insights.
To select the best budget treadmills for this list, I looked at machines under $500 and considered safety features, the number of speed and incline levels, weight capacity, belt size, foldability and storage, as well as special features like app connectivity and preset programs.
I made sure to rely on my background as a certified exercise physiologist and my 20-plus years in the fitness industry when reviewing product details and customer reviews. I took into account that treadmills under $500 may sacrifice some features that you might get with higher-end products.