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Your Quick Guide to Buying a Treadmill

Buying a treadmill creates new opportunities to move and work out. Treadmills give you indoor access to running, jogging, and walking. But the range in treadmill prices is pretty vast, and regardless of which one you do end up choosing is an investment. Thus, taking some time to assess what you are looking for, what capabilities you need, and your options are all good places to start. 

We’ve put together a quick guide for you to consider while you look for your treadmill. 

1. What are your goals?

Inside of a gym with empty treadmills

As you consider your treadmill purchase, first evaluate your goals and how you want your treadmill to help you with those goals. These are all things that can help inform your purchase. 

What do you imagine you’ll use your treadmill for?

What is your plan for your treadmill? Does it include fast, challenging workouts? Or just general movement? How often do you plan to use your treadmill? How long do you plan to be on it? How long do you expect your investment to last? 

What’s your fitness level?

Given there are a variety of treadmills, and some will have more challenging options, determining your baseline can help you choose which one is best for you. 

2. Consider your comfort

While the basic concept of every treadmill will be the same, details can change the comfort from person to person. 

Walking vs. running

Some treadmills will have more cushion to run on or be better suited for fast paces and more options for speeds. At the same time, others will come with just basic functions. 

Knees and other joints

It’s important for many runners to have the right foundation underneath them for your run. Some treadmills will come with a specific track that is better for knees and joints. 

3. Types of Treadmills

Inside of an apt gym with different types of treadmills

Depending on where you land with goals and comfort needs, you will find different types of treadmills. These are typically broken into three different categories —

Manual Treadmill

Unlike an electronic treadmill where the belt underneath you moves automatically, this treadmill is powered by your feet. Many like the manual treadmill because you don’t risk falling off or losing your footing, while other athletes enjoy manual treadmills because of the challenge of pushing the belt. 

Electronic Treadmill

An electronic treadmill is likely what you have seen at most gyms. It is a treadmill that’s the belt that is powered electronically, so it moves underneath you. It often comes with a variety of speeds and elevations. 

Hybrid Treadmill

This treadmill offers both types of movement, with either a manual movement or an electronic, depending on what you are looking for. This way you don’t have to choose between just one. 

4. What accessories are non-negotiable?

One contrast you are likely to find between different treadmills is their accessories. While cheaper treadmills often come with fewer accessories, a more expensive treadmill is likely to come with a wide range of accessories. 

Here are a couple of accessories you may want to think about:

Console display

Many treadmills come with a console/TV add-on that you can watch while you run or walk. 

Third-party app connect

Besides a TV, a treadmill might come with a virtual running app or the ability to explore specific fitness apps from your treadmill. 

Electronic connect

You may have the option to connect to heart rate monitors, headphones, or other devices to make it more of an online fitness experience. 

5. Dimensions

Folded up treadmill in Living Room

One major aspect of buying a treadmill is determining how much space you have for the treadmill. While manual treadmills may fold up or have wheels, other treadmills are quite hefty and hard to move. Before purchasing, you’ll want to decide how much space you have for your treadmill. 

6. Speed and elevation 

Another major difference between different treadmills is the speed and elevation options. While all electronic or hybrid are likely to offer at least a range of speeds, many taps out after 10 mph. If you want to add elevation, you’ll also want to look into the range of elevation. 

7. Quick guide to buying a treadmill

After you’ve considered your goals, the different types of treadmills, accessories you may (or may not) need, you are ready to start shopping. We’ve broken down the different types of treadmills into different categories——along with different pricing options, so you have somewhere to start. 

Under $500

Between $500 and $1500

Over $1500

Browse reviews

Reviews are a great place to see if the treadmill you are looking at will be a good fit. You can get a sense of what people think so you can know what you might think. 


Check if the treadmill has a warranty. The fact of the matter is, things can happen, and if your treadmill breaks, you want to know what you are responsible for. Most companies have different policies for warranty, and thus it’s likely to vary. 

Key Takeaways on finding your perfect treadmill:

A treadmill is an investment. But when you carefully take the time to pick one right for you, it’s an investment that is well worth it. So, before you shop, determine what you want to use the treadmill for, what type you are looking for, what kind of accessories or virtual training apps are available, and what price point works. Lastly, check on reviews and warranty to seal the deal. 

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Photo Sources:

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels
Photo by Anna Tis from Pexels

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