7 Best Treadmills for Seniors: Reviews for Safety When Exercising

Exercise can certainly become more challenging as we grow older, but that doesn’t mean seniors can't stay healthy. Cardio workouts are some of the best exercises to keep older generations energized and feeling great.

Luckily, treadmills like the NordicTrack T Series 6.5S, keep walkers safe and strong at the same time. And while the search for a treadmill might be difficult for many seniors, we've compiled a list of the best treadmills on the market that seniors will love, to get you on your way!

Choosing the Right Treadmill for Seniors

Size vs. Space

Your home fitness environment plays a key role in deciding on your preferred style of treadmill. If you feel more comfortable with a wider track, you may prefer a larger upright machine. If close quarters or storage space is a concern, a folding treadmill would likely be a better fit.

Safety Features

Treadmills come with a bevy of safety solutions, so it’s important to find the right ones for you. Longer arm handles can allow for easy mounting and dismounting of the deck, while sturdy handrails offer additional stability while walking. We recommend looking for treadmills with auto slow starts and safety tethers.

Deck Length & Width

Although compact treadmills will boast smaller decks, seniors should look for wider, longer tracks. Shorter decks run the risk of causing falls for walkers of any age, while thinner widths can be difficult to stay balanced on. We’ve focused on treadmills with larger surface areas for extra security in our rankings.

Deck Cushioning

As we age, we lose our natural cartilage and endanger knee and hip joints in the process. Shock absorption is essential for seniors: Pricier treadmills offer thicker cushioning, while cheaper models may require orthopedic sneakers to make up the difference. Look for variable cushioning, which offers thicker support where you need it most.

Core Components

  • Motor Capacity
    Seniors should look for treadmills with at least a 2.0 HP motor and a continuous duty power rating for better functionality and durability. If the volume is a concern, consider a DC motor to keep your workouts quieter.
  • Incline Selection
    Although they may seem daunting, using a treadmill with a varying incline can actually reduce the stress placed on your joints. By shifting your stride, inclines help to reduce pressure on your knees while burning calories more efficiently.
  • Durability & Stability 
    As some treadmills offer reinforced frames for jogging or running, keep your personal fitness goals and mobility limits in mind while shopping.
  • Speed Range
    Just as running treadmills come with reinforced frames, they often come with high-speed ranges. Seniors should look for lower max speeds, such as 4 to 6 MPH, and consider using incline features rather than higher MPH when seeking a challenge.
  • Weight Capacity
    Thanks to receiving regular impact from footfalls, a treadmill’s durability is understandably affected by its user's weight. Be mindful of cheaper machines with flimsier weight capacities, and look for those that you can feel comfortable on.

Secondary Features

While add-ons may be less integral than a treadmill’s motor, secondary features can offer valuable entertainment and accessibility benefits. Consider models with heart rate sensors, large monitor displays, and user-friendly controls. MP3 and Bluetooth compatibility can keep workouts engaging, while less tech-minded walkers may prefer quieter treadmills while enjoying TV or radio.

Warranty

Treadmill warranties can be difficult to define, as some brands offer different periods for the machine's frame, motor, and parts & labor. Higher-end models offer the best, with 1-year parts & labor and 10-year frame warranties. When considering costs, try to find affordable models with at least a 1-3 year warranty.

Price

Investing in a well-designed treadmill can go a long way to ensuring durability. Pricier models often come with improved heart monitors and variable cushioning, alongside more extended warranties to keep your investment safe. If you prefer a more affordable price, however, factor warranty lengths and possible repair costs into your budget.


7 Best Treadmills for Seniors Reviewed

1. NordicTrack T Series 6.5S

T Series 6.5S Treadmill
16,455 Reviews
T Series 6.5S Treadmill
  • This item benefits from an Extended 90 Day...
  • Bring Home Interactive Personal Training...
  • 10 % OneTouch incline control; 10 MPH SMART...
  • SMART-Response Motor for effective speed,...

Our Top Pick for Senior Citizens

Dimensions

73” L x 36” W x 54” H

Running Surface

55” L x 22” W

Speed Range

0 - 10 mph

Safety Features

Impact cushioning, heart rate monitor handles, extra-wide deck

When it comes to finding the best treadmill for senior citizens, NordicTrack has got your back. Featuring a 2.5 HP motor and extra-wide belt, the NordicTrack T Series 6.5S offers stability and support for elderly exercisers.

The Flex Select Cushioning offers increased support for knees and ankles, while the 10% automatic incline increases your calorie-burning and decreases joint strain. The 6.5S also comes with an EasyLift hydraulics system, which automatically folds into a vertical position for easier storage.

Tech-wise, the handles’ built-in monitors allow you to keep track of your heart rate, while the Bluetooth enabled controls can keep any workout entertaining.

The iFit virtual fitness program comes with 20 preloaded workout routines designed by personal trainers, alongside hundreds more with the iFit member subscription, which can adjust the treadmill’s speed and incline settings in real-time with your virtual coach’s instructions.

A temporary iFit subscription is allegedly required to activate your treadmill, but users recommend pushing the blue iFit logo for 20-30 seconds upon assembly for immediate activation. And though the handrails are shorter than some of the treadmills on our list, we consider the NordicTrack one of the best safety treadmills for seniors on the market.

Pros

  • FlexSelect Cushioning
  • Hydraulic EasyLift Assist
  • 300lbs Weight Capacity
  • Wide Running Belt

Cons

  • Short Handrails
  • iFit Registration Required for Activation
  • Limited Warranty

2. Exerpeutic 100XL

On Sale Today
Exerpeutic 100XL High Capacity Magnetic...
  • Tested up to 325lbs of user weight
  • Twin 6" diameter flywheels provide a smoother...
  • Heart pulse pads allows the user to measure...
  • Wider and longer than most other manual...

Best Manual Treadmill for Seniors

Dimensions

50” L x 29” W x 50” H

Running Surface

45” L x 16” W

Speed Range

0 - 4 mph

Handlebar Length

2x Standard Length

Safety Features

Extra-long safety handles, wider & longer track, Heart Pulse pads, 8% incline

While electronic models can offer easier tread, they also come with higher price tags: the Exerpeutic 100XL comes with excellent safety features and an economical price point to match. By utilizing 8 levels of magnetic tension, this treadmill offers more of a bodyweight workout at a lower cost than its electronic competitors.

The 100XL comes with extra-long safety handles for added stability, ensuring better balance. Thanks to the reinforced frame, users up to 325lbs can walk with ease. Its pulse pads let you keep track of your heart rate, while the quick-release incline adjustments start as low as 8%.

By offering lower incline increments - 8, 10, and 15 to be exact - than most machines, this model prevents strain on muscles and ankles.

While the increment adjustments are fast-responding, the inclines may be too steep for those with balance issues: users reporting as such have recommended gym mats, using books to flatten the incline, or even placing weights on top of the belt.

Luckily, this model is both foldable and transportable, with a wheeled frame for easy relocation. When choosing between electronic or manual models, we found the Exerpeutic 100XL to be the best manual treadmill for seniors.

Pros

  • Extra Long Handles
  • 325lbs Weight Capacity
  • Heart Pulse Pads
  • Foldable & Wheelable for Storage

Cons

  • Front-End Weights or Support Mat Recommended
  • Electronic Display Requires Batteries
  • Incline Can Be Too Steep for Some

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7867

Sunny Health & Fitness Walking Treadmill with...
  • SHOCK ABSORPTION: Wide treadmill deck with...
  • CAPABLE MOTOR: Walk and jog between 0.6 MPH...
  • TRANSPORTATION WHEELS: This portable...
  • USER-FRIENDLY CONSOLE: The simple design...

Best Treadmill for Bad Knees

Dimensions

Best Treadmill for Bad Knees

Running Surface

44” L x 19.5” W

Speed Range

0.6 - 5 mph

Handlebar Length

Full-Frame Padded Handles

Safety Features

Emergency stop clip, low treadmill deck, wide track, shock absorption technology, full-frame padded handrails, floor stabilizers

With a host of safety features packed in a compact, low-cost frame, it’s no surprise the Sunny Health & Fitness T7867 consistently ranks as the best walking treadmill for seniors. This is our top pick for fitness-minded individuals with bad knees or balance concerns: the SF-T7867 comes with a low deck for easy mounting, along with built-in shock absorption for joint protection.

Unlike most treadmills with handlebars, this model boasts multi-grip padded handrails along the top, middle, and sides of the frame for maximum support.

In addition to its balance benefits, the SF-TL867 comes with an emergency safety key to automatically stop the treadmill once your safety clip has been removed. Although the model does not fold, its floor stabilizers and wheels allow for a steady base and easy storage at any time.

This treadmill’s strength is its simplicity: with no incline and no heart rate monitor, the SF-TL867 offers straightforward user controls and a no-fuss, quiet motor. Beyond its ease of access, the monitor also offers personalized workout goals for real-time calorie tracking.

Safe, sturdy, and simple to use, the Sunny Health & Fitness T7867 is our most highly-recommended model for elderly exercisers with joint and balance safety on their minds.

Pros

  • Maximum Balance & Joint Support
  • Emergency Stop Feature
  • User-Friendly Controls
  • Easy-Mount Wide Running Track

Cons

  • No Heart Rate Monitor
  • No Incline

4. Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill Series

Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill Series,...
  • 3-Zone variable response cushioning
  • Feather light folding
  • Bluetooth enabled.Deck Thickness:0.7 inch
  • Built-in speakers, energy saver mode, fan,...

Best Treadmill for Elderly People Under $1,000

Dimensions

73” L x 29.5” W x 12” H

Running Surface

55” L x 20” W

Speed Range

0.5 - 10 mph

Safety Features

Variable cushioning, emergency stop clip, heart-rate monitor handles, 0.5% incline increments, wide track

For cushioning and control at a comfortable price, the Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill Series comes with plenty of features perfect for seniors.

Boasting 3-Zone Variable Cushioning technology, this extra-wide track ensures every step feel supported: the deck offers extra cushioning around your stride’s impact, and denser support where your steps push off. And with its power incline using 0.5% increments, you can keep your knees protected with maximum balance control.

Although this model comes with a simple LCD monitor, it’s eminently tech-friendly: with Bluetooth connectivity, device holder, and a rapid-charge USB port, you can stay entertained without worrying over battery life. The motor is quiet enough to render headphones unnecessary, and the LCD system comes with built-in workout programs.

Despite being shorter than others on our list, the T101’s heart-rate monitor handlebars let you stay apprised of your health while its emergency stop clip ensures your safety. Post-workout, hydraulic auto-fold allows you to maximize floor space with minimal effort.

The frame comes with built-in wheels for easy use, but some users find it heavy: those who prioritize space may prefer lighter models, but we still love the Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill Series for its low cost and high value.

Pros

  • 3-Zone Variable Cushioning
  • Quiet Motor
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Lifetime Frame Warranty, 1 Year Cushioning, Parts & Labor

Cons

  • Heavy Frame
  • Shorter Handlebars

5. HCI Fitness PhysioMill

HCI Fitness PhysioMill Rehabilitation Walking...
  • Full Length Handrails Provide a Safe Walking...
  • Step-Up only 6.25" onto a generous walking...
  • Walk with confidence starting at 0.1 MPH in...
  • Reverse the belt direction for rehabilitation...

Best Rehab Treadmill for Seniors

Dimensions

80” L x 40” W x 30” H

Running Surface

63” L x 21” W

Speed Range

0.1 - 15 mph

Handlebar Length

Full-Frame Handles

Safety Features

Dual emergency stop, full-length handrails, heart rate monitor, 0.1 MPH increments, low treadmill deck, shock impact cushioning

The HCI Fitness PhysioMill is our favorite safety treadmill for seniors in rehab. Whether you’re in neurological, orthopedic, cardiac, or bariatric rehabilitation, this treadmill ensures your home exercises stay professional-grade.

The PhysioMill comes with full-frame handles for balance support, with low curved edges for wheelchair accessibility. The deck is 6.25” low for an easy step up, with an orthopedic belt for impact joint support.

In addition to cushioning, this model’s contact heart rate monitor and easy-to-read monitor keeps users informed. The dual emergency stops ensure users remain in control at all times, while the secondary handheld remote allows physical therapists to start, stop, and pause exercises during rehabilitation.

With a 500lb reinforced weight capacity and 0.1 MPH increment controls up to 12 MPH, the PhysioMill allows you to feel safe at your own pace.

Highly versatile, this treadmill comes with a reverse belt mode for backward or downhill negative exercises with up to 15% elevation. Storage seekers should beware: with a non-folding frame weighing 345lbs, this treadmill is hard to relocate.

But with full-frame safety handles, multiple emergency stops, and plenty of personalized options for your treatment, the HCI Fitness PhysioMill rehab treadmill is certainly worth the cost.

Pros

  • 4.0 HP Motor
  • ErgoDeck Shock Absorption
  • Professional-Grade Safety Features
  • 500lb Weight Capacity

Cons

  • 345lb Frame; Difficult to Move
  • Professional-Grade Cost

6. XTERRA Fitness TR150

On Sale Today
XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill Black
  • Large 16" X 50" Walking/running surface
  • Large 5 inch LCD display is easy to read and...
  • Speed range 0. 5 -10 MPH allows for users of...
  • 12 preset programs offer unmatched variety...

Best Folding Treadmill for Seniors

Dimensions

63.4” L x 28.75” W x 51.4” H

Running Surface

50” L x 16” W

Speed Range

0.5 - 10 mph

Safety Features

Emergency stop lanyard, shock impact cushioning, low treadmill deck, heart rate monitor handles

If you’re wondering how to have a home gym without sacrificing space, our answer is the XTERRA Fitness TR150. With a 250lbs weight capacity and 108lbs wheelable frame, this treadmill is easy to store when not in use. With a quiet 2.25 HP motor and 3 manual incline options, the TR150 offers numerous features despite its small size.

With XTRA Soft Deck cushioning, your strides stay soft no matter the speed. And the easy-to-use LCD monitor displays speed, incline, distance, calories, lap tracking, 12 preset fitness programs, and speed buttons for 1 - 9 MPH.

For bibliophiles or Kindle fans, the frame’s reading rack is positioned at the perfect angle. The front handles also come equipped with pulse grip heart monitors so you can monitor your goals, and a safety lanyard for emergency stops.

Although the deck is slimmer than others, it has a low step-up of 4 - 5.5” for easy access. Speaking of easy, the treadmill’s assembly is a cinch for any two-person team. Although the TR150 requires manual incline and storage folding, it’s low weight and wheels allow for seamless storage. For the best folding treadmill for seniors, look no further than the XTERRA Fitness TR150.

Pros

  • XTRA Soft Shock Absorption
  • Direct Speed Controls
  • Compact Storage Size

Cons

  • Manual Incline Controls
  • 1 Year Motor, 90 Day Parts & Labor Warranty

7. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M

On Sale Today
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual...
  • EXCELLENT CARDIO BENEFITS: This treadmill...
  • COMPACT AND ERGONOMIC: This compact,...
  • LCD MONITOR: Create goal-specific workouts...
  • NON-ELECTRIC: The treadmill's non-electric...

Best Cheap Treadmill for Seniors

Dimensions

49” L x 50” W x 23” H

Running Surface

42” L x 13” W

Speed Range

Manual

Safety Features

Soft grip handles, non-slip running track, lightweight frame design, 220lb weight capacity

It may be the last in our guide, but the Sunny Health & Fitness is only “least” in terms of size: With a super-slim track and low price to match, the SF-T1407M is the ultimate compact treadmill for seniors who don’t require a wider track.

This manual model comes with a 220lb weight capacity and a fixed incline of 13.5%. Thanks to the incline and narrow deck, we recommend this treadmill for well-balanced walkers, but enterprising individuals can use mats, books, or blocks to even out the angle. 

The manual nature of SF-T1407M is more suited for walking over running, and users report a pair of well-gripped sneakers, and placing at least one hand on the handles is best for belt circulation.

Unfortunately, the model comes with no emergency stop. We recommend keeping your steps towards the top of the belt for maximum stability, before gradually slowing your stride or, for those with fast reflexes, placing both feet upon the sideboards at the same time to stop walking.

A micro-monitor displays time, speed, calories, and steps, and its wheeled folded dimensions ensure easy storage. What the SF-T1407M lacks in versatility, it certainly makes up for with size, simplicity, and price.

Pros

  • Super-Compact Storage Size
  • Manual Bodyweight Workout
  • 3-Year Frame & 190 Days Parts Warranty

Cons

  • Steep Fixed Incline
  • Narrow Track Width
  • No Emergency Brakes

Comparing Treadmill Types for Elderly Users

Manual vs. Electric

Modern electric treadmills are commonly found in gyms, with high-speed motors keeping belts circulating effortlessly. Manual treadmills are an older design, requiring users’ body weight to keep tracks spinning. Manual models offer a more intense workout at a lower cost, but electric models are safer for inexperienced or elderly users.

Folding vs. Upright

Foldable models weigh less than upright treadmills, though the latter occasionally come with wheeled frames for easier maneuvering. Treadmill owners in small or shared living spaces may find a better value in compact frames, but buyers with balance concerns and space to spare are likely to prefer extra-stable upright models.


Recommended Treadmill Workout Plans for Seniors

For Walking

Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up while keeping your posture upright, not leaning forward. Gradually increase speed to a brisk pace that doesn’t necessitate gripping the handrails. Maintain speed for 10 minutes, slowing when necessary, before a 10-minute cooldown.

For Jogging & Running

Always start with a warm-up, before gradually increasing to a comfortable jog. Try alternating running for 3-5 minutes and walking for 1 minute; repeat for 20-25 minutes before taking a 10-minute cooldown walk. Stretch immediately before and after each run.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is walking on the treadmill OK for seniors with bad knees?

Steady walking should be safe for seniors on well-cushioned treadmills with orthopedic sneakers. Regardless, always consult your doctor before beginning new exercise routines.

How much cardio exercise is recommended for older adults?

The daily recommended amount of cardio for seniors is 30 minutes, five times a week. If 30 minutes seems daunting, consider breaking it into smaller chunks throughout the day.

Is treadmill incline okay for seniors?

Walking at a 10% incline has actually been found to reduce knee joint pressure while improving muscle strength and burning more calories. Seniors with balance issues, however, should avoid steeper angles.

Are these treadmills easy to assemble?

Although assembly manuals may vary, most of these treadmills can be easily assembled by a 2-person crew in 30-60 minutes. For solo owners or heavier machines, consider hiring an assembly service.

Can working out on a treadmill extend one’s life?

Absolutely! Regular cardio strengthens your heart, bones, and mental dexterity: A 21-year study found runners were likely to live longer with fewer disabilities.

How fast should seniors walk on a treadmill?

Depending upon age, balance and mobility concerns, no more than 2-3 MPH is recommended.

What are the most important safety features to look for in a safety treadmill for seniors?

Emergency stop features are essential. Additionally, look for impact cushioning, long handles, and wider, lower decks.


Conclusion

For health-conscious retirees, walking offers an approachable yet enjoyable form of exercise. Although these treadmill features and sizes may vary, we endorse each of them as our top recommended treadmills for seniors keeping in shape!