Walking and running outdoors can be great when conditions are right. Treadmills are a great alternative for (all the) other times. Over recent years, the popularity of treadmills has seen them come out of the gym and into the home. If you’re reading this article, we’re guessing that you are interested in buying one, so please let us help with our full guide to the best home treadmill UK.
How do you choose the best home treadmill for you?
As is so often the case in life, the decision as to which is the best home treadmill for you depends on how you intend to use it.
There are three key questions you need to ask yourself before you start doing any further research on your purchase.
1. Do I intend to use this treadmill for running or just walking?
2. How often do I intend to use it (in hours per week)?
3. Do I want/need to be able to fold it away?
Let’s look at these questions one at a time.
Do I intend to use this treadmill for running or just walking?
If you intend to use the treadmill for running, then you need a deck which is large enough to accommodate your running stride, which will be longer than your walking pace. How big this will be will depend on how tall you are. Even the tallest people will be able to find a treadmill to suit them, but they will probably have to look at the higher end of the price range. If, on the other hand, you only want the treadmill for walking then a smaller deck may be just fine. If you mainly want the treadmill for walking but want to do the occasional run, you may find it more economical to buy a home treadmill for walking and go to the gym when you want to run, rather than buying a home treadmill which is intended for running.
Treadmills intended for running generally support higher speeds and also higher inclines, because of this they need more powerful motors to produce them, hence the higher price (and frankly louder noise). Some higher-end treadmills also support negative inclines, i.e. going downhill.
We would also say that safety features are even more important on a running treadmill than they are on a walking treadmill. In particular you want to look for a deck with a quality, non-slip surface and foot rails. You also need to make sure that the console is really easy to use and that, in particular, the stop button is prominent and easy to access.
On the subject of safety, we’d just like to take this opportunity to point out that walking or running on a treadmill is basically the same as walking or running on a hard surface such as a pavement. Hence you need the same standard of footwear as you would wear outdoors.
How often do I intend to use it (in hours per week)?
In our opinion, lower-end treadmills are only suitable for use for a maximum of three hours per week. Once you start going above this, you really need to start looking at higher-end models and, of course, the more you want to use it, the further up the price range you probably want to look.
Whatever treadmill you use, you’ll want to make sure that it has a reputation for reliability, above all for its ability to maintain its speed. It’s also a good idea to look for a treadmill which is backed by a strong warranty.
Do I want/need to be able to fold it away?
A treadmill is basically a console plus a running deck and while the former is fairly compact, the latter comes in at the size of a small couch. Given that space is at a premium in many modern homes, it’s hardly a surprise that treadmill manufacturers are increasing their choice of folding options, or that they are very popular. As a rule of thumb, folding treadmills tend to be aimed at the affordable end of the market, whereas more expensive treadmills tend to be designed to be left in place. With that in mind, we’ve ordered our review by price, starting with the most affordable treadmill we feel we can recommend and moving on up to the premium models.
Our options for the best folding treadmill – Best Treadmill For Home Use
X-LITE II Treadmill- (2016 MODEL)
This model is advertised as a running treadmill but we think it would be far more appropriate to treat it as a walking treadmill on which you can also have the occasional run. Basically it is set up for running in terms of speed, incline and deck size but realistically at this price you can hardly expect it to stand up to constant use as a running treadmill. If, however, set your expectations in line with the price, you may find yourself very pleasantly surprised.
- Fitness: choose from 99 pre-set interval training programs, 3 customisable programs - pause / resume to start your workout where you left off -...
- Hi-fi sound with smart phone/tablet connections + tablet stand: plug in your smartphone/tablet player and the hi-fi speakers will pump out your music while...
- Auto-lubrication system (to make lubricating your treadmill easy and quick) + hydraulic soft-drop system (set up and pack away with ease)
- Super compact super lite - touchscreen + auto lubrication system + powerful 1300w motor + speeds 0.8 - 14km/h + 3 level incline - pulse sensors + bmi...
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Similar comments apply to the XM-PROIII Treadmill. It has a decent build quality for the price and has the sort of set up you would expect from a running treadmill, although the running area has been slimmed down a little to 40cm across (by 110 cm). This has the benefit of making it more compact, but also means it’s better suited to walking and jogging rather than running (in our opinion). On the other hand, we think that its affordability and ease of use would make it a great choice for people who are just starting out on their journey to fitness and want to take the first steps in the privacy of their own home, rather than in a gym.
- 2 Year Motor Warranty & 2 Years On Frame & Parts - Lightweight / Compact / Folding Design
- FREE Aerobic Twist Disc With Resistance Bands & Fruit Infusion Bottle + 3 FREE eBooks! (*PDF eBooks - Running & Fitness Guide, Treadmill Maintenance Guide...
- Built In Speakers - Listen To Music From Your Phone / iPod While Running - Drinks Holder - Towel Rail - Hand Controls - Heart Rate Sensors - Calorie...
- Large Running Surface 1100x400mm - Auto Lube - 12KPH Maximum Speed - 1100W Powerful Motor - 12 Auto Programs + 1 Manual - 3 Level Manual Incline
- Transports wheels & folding system for easy storage - Max User Weight 110 Kg
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JTX Slim Line
In the nicest possible way, we’d describe the JTX Slim Line as a solid all-rounder. If you’re looking for a folding treadmill for brisk walking or jogging (rather than full-on running) and value build-quality, reliability and ease of use over a mind-blowing feature set, then the JTX Slim Line may be just what you need. There is one point we’d like to emphasize, which is that you do need to make the (small degree of) effort to do regular maintenance on this machine, by which we mean tightening the nuts and bolts on the underside of the machine and lubricating the belt. If you do this, you can expect plenty of reliable service from this little workhorse.
- FLAT FOLDING COMPACT TREADMILL that delivers an outstanding running experience. Totally flat folding for easy storage. 15 LEVELS OF DIGITAL INCLINE and a...
- LARGE RUNNING DECK (41 x 125cm) with an 8 POINT SHOCK SUSPENSION that's comfortable and easy on your joints. 1.5HP high grade motor
- LARGE DIGITAL DISPLAY: Time, distance, speed, incline and calories burnt. Includes JTX DiscTech system for increased safety and efficiency when adjusting...
- 12 MONTH IN HOME REPAIR WARRANTY: All parts and labour included if your machine develops a fault.
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Reebok ZR8 Treadmill
The build quality of the Reebok ZR8 is such that we’d be happy to use it as a running treadmill, rather than a walking treadmill, but we’d still suggest that you keep average usage down to a maximum of three hours a week, even though the motor is as good as you can reasonably expect from a treadmill at this price point. There are, however, a couple of reasons why this model is a step up from the previous ones (no pun intended). The first is that you have electronic incline control, which allows you to adjust the difficulty of your run as you go along. The second is that Reebok has really paid a lot of attention to cushioning, in fact its Zig Tech cushioning system is one of this model’s major features.
- Powerful 2HP motor
- 1-16kph speed range
- 12 levels of electronic incline
- 24 motivational fitness programs
- 126 x 41cm running area
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If you’re on the taller/heavier side but still want a respectable folding treadmill at a reasonable price, then the DKN EcoRun could be the choice for you. It has a decent-sized running area (42cm by 125cm) and offers 12 incline settings. The top speed is slightly on the low side for a running model but then at this price point, you have to expect a few compromises and we’d rather compromise on top speed than on build quality, which is excellent, and DKN is another company which takes cushioning seriously.
Our options for the best treadmill for home use
Some of these options are, technically, folding treadmills, however if they’re in this category we’d suggest that you think of them as “treadmills which fold”. This may sound like splitting hairs but basically the treadmills in the “folding” category are all ones which are light enough that we think that the average person could easily move them to store them under a bed between uses (even in another room). The treadmills below are all rather bulkier, which is a reflection of the fact that they are literally made to take a regular pounding. Hence, in this context, what the term “folding” actually means is that you can lift the deck upright to save on floor space, but we doubt very much that the average person would want to try storing them under a bed between uses let alone carrying them from one room to another.
- Motor: 1.75 CHP (2.25 HP Peak); Speed Range: 0.5-10mph (0.8-16kph) with 5 Quick Speed Keys;
- Incline: 12 Levels with 5 Quick Incline Keys; Running Area: 42cm (16.5") x 125cm (49.2");
- Console: Slim, Flat LCD Display; 15 Programmes; Compatible Applications: Kinomap, DKN iWorld;
- Dimensions: L=162cm (63.8"), W=71cm (28"), H=138cm (54.3"); HR monitoring: Yes (Strap not Included)
- Max. User Weight: 100kg (220.4lbs); Warranty: 2 Years Parts & Labour; Delivery to UK mainland only;
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In case anyone was wondering, we’ve nothing to do with Reebok either, but as we mentioned, they have really worked to break into the treadmill market and at the budget end, they have been very successful. At this time, we’d say that there were better options at the upper end, but we suspect that they’ll address that soon. Although the Reebok GT40 is built for running and can certainly be used as a regular running treadmill, Reebok seems to have envisaged this product as being more of an all-around workout machine and hence offers 24 pre-set programmes along with user-defined and target programmes. Overall this is a great treadmill, users should, however, be warned that its standard “beep” e.g. at the end of a stage or when scrolling through programmes, is on the loud side, so this treadmill is probably best kept for places with decent soundproofing.
- 6 point elastic cushioning and 43 x 130cm running area
- 12 levels of electronic incline
- 2HP Motor
- 16 kph Max Speed
- 16 Console programs plus MP3 input with built in speakers
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DKN AiRun I
Let’s cover off a lot of bases very quickly by saying that this is a high-quality running treadmill. It does, however, have an ace up its sleeve, which sets it apart from the competition. If you attach a compatible tablet (which is most modern tablets), you can use your DKN AiRun I with a couple of DKN apps. The first is one is DKN-Run, which is essentially a fitness console, but it’s the second one we really love, the DKN iWorld app (which in spite of the name also works on Android). This app allows you to pretend you’re running outdoors from the comfort of your own home.
- Motor: 2.25HP Continuous Duty Self-Cooling Drive Motor (4HP Peak); Speed Range: 1-20kph (1-12.4mph);
- 15 Levels of Digital Incline; Running Deck: 49cm (19.3") x 140cm (55"); 3mm Orthopaedic Belt;
- 'Progressive Shock Absorbing' System Deck; Size: L=180.5cm/71", W=77cm/30.3", H=130cm/51.2"
- Display: Backlit LCD; Programmes: 15 Including 1 HR Control; Compatible Apps: DKN-Run, DKN iWorld;
- Weight: 92.2kg/203.4lb; Max. User Weight: 120kg/264.5lbs; Foldable; Warranty: 2 Years Parts/Labour;
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The HealthRider H200T is an unprepossessing machine, as before we’ll tick a lot of boxes by saying that anyone looking for a reliable and comfortable running treadmill for regular use is likely to be completely satisfied with the HealthRider H200T in and of itself. Like the DKN AiRun I, however, the HealthRider H200T also has a trick up its sleeve. In this case it is iFit compatible. Admittedly this involves an extra purchase, but if you’re serious about your fitness and want some help to achieve your goals, it could be a very worthwhile investment.
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Sole Fitness F63 Treadmill
We’ll admit that this treadmill is quite a jump in price from anything we’ve reviewed so far, but we wanted to include one option, which, in our opinion, provided a genuine, gym-level experience at a price point which made it accessible to serious home users. The Sole Fitness F63 regularly features in “best treadmill” lists and we can only concur. Its build quality is excellent, as we’ve mentioned before, treadmills in this section are intended to stay in one place, but you can still raise the deck to free up floor space. The motor is powerful and quiet as well as reliable, there is ample space on the well-cushioned running deck and a grand total of 15 incline levels. You also get a rich feature set, including very high-quality entertainment options. In short, if you’re looking at value and all-around usability, the Sole Fitness F63 really is in a class of its own.
- Motor: Continuous Duty 3.0 CHP (4.5 Peak)
- Speed range: 0.5-12 mph 1-20 kmh
- Incline range: 0-15 %
- Running surface: 20″ x 60″ (51cm x 152cm)
- Training programs: Manual, Hill, Fatburn, Cardio, Strength, Interval, User 1-2, HR 1-2
Choosing our best picks list was actually really hard since there are so many models out there are so many different price points. The common factor which united the treadmills we chose is that we felt they all offered great value for their price, whatever that was. At the budget end, we were looking primarily for compactness and simplicity in use, since we feel that people looking for budget models are either those new to fitness or occasional users, perhaps people who usually go to the gym or take other forms of exercise, but still want the option of a home treadmill as a back-up. As we moved up price points, we started to place more emphasis on durability. The more you pay for something, generally, the more use you want to get out of it. We have, however, tried to place this in context and set reasonable expectations for each price point. As we reached the highest-priced models, we looked for that something extra to set them apart from the competition. We think that each of the models we’ve chosen represents the best of its price band and that therefore your choice comes down to intended use and preference.back to menu ↑