7 Best Treadmills For Walking: Reviewed For At Home Steps

Treadmills have been one of the most used and purchased home gym equipment items ever created. Anyone can use the affordable machine, from the marathon trainer to the elderly. When it comes to modern treadmills, a lot can get lost in the features.

The best treadmills for walking will be easy to get on or off, have a good motor, and relatively high max user weight limit. Other features can be found on higher-end models. This article will examine and review the very best, just for you.

Benefits Of Walking On A Treadmill

Most of us know that walking for at least 20 minutes per day has tremendous health benefits. However, those benefits are carried over and expanded upon when you walk on a treadmill. While the benefits are quite numerous, here are the biggest and best.

  • A level walking surface. Unlike the road or a sidewalk that can be uneven or offer trip hazards, a treadmill is uniform and even minimizes slips and falls.
  • Track your progress and stats while you are walking. Most treadmills will track useful things like your heart rate, caloric burn, time walked, distance traveled, and other factors.
  • Control your pace. A treadmill pushes you to do better. You know you are always going the same speed with motorized speed control, which is essential when trying to maintain a specific heart rate.
  • Use technology to get a better workout. With mobile apps, you can turn your phone or tablet into a viewing screen with courses, obstacles, and scenic routes to help your walk become more enjoyable.
  • Walk regardless of the weather. It doesn’t matter what's going on outside. If there is inclement weather, you can still get your workout in by walking on a treadmill inside.

How Do I Choose A Treadmill For Walking?

Choosing the right treadmill is more than just scanning the options in an aisle or comparing price tags. Depending on your specific needs and requirements, the features and factors of each treadmill will vary.

Max User Weight

You need to ensure that the treadmill will hold your weight while on it. Most treadmills will have a maximum weight range of around 250 pounds. Some compact and higher-end models will go much higher, reaching user limits of 350 pounds or more. On average though, 220 to 250 pounds is widely accepted.

Max Speed

When choosing a walking treadmill, the speed is less critical. For walking, even a brisk walk, you don’t need much more speed than about 5MPH. However, there may be times when you want to do more than just walk. A light jog can reach speeds of 6 miles per hour and full running over 8MPH.

Deck Length

The deck needs to be long enough to allow you to have a comfortable stride. The stride is much smaller than when walking. This will enable you to save money on your treadmill because you can opt for a shorter belt. Most walking treadmills will average about 43 inches in length. Anything more is great for running, but anything much less may cause you to adjust your stride.

Size vs. Space

The size of the machine is important to note, too. You need to make sure you have enough space to hold and use the treadmill without impeding your performance. Headroom and space all around the unit must allow for use, folding and unfolding, and cleaning. With lots of different models available on the market today, you'll be able to find a treadmill for any home, even one to suit a small apartment.

Noise Level

Treadmills, as a whole, are generally quiet. Average noise levels fall between 50 and 60dB. While the lower-end models can reach louder noise levels, mid- and high-end treadmills have motor shielding and thicker belts to dampen noise. Finding a model with a quiet motor and belt isn’t difficult, but may cost you more.

Core Components

  • Motor
    Motors turn the belts, and if there are automatic inclines, the hydraulic lifts are also controlled by the motor. The higher the horsepower (HP) of the motor, the more speed it can produce, and the more weight it can hold. For the most part, you will find motors in the 2 to 3HP range.
  • Incline control
    Incline controls come in two forms, manual and automatic. Manual controls are usually found on cheaper models where you can adjust the rear feet to raise or lower up to 4 or 5%. Automatic controls allow the use of hydraulics to raise and lower the front of the machine. With automatic incline controls, the grade percentage can reach up to 10% or more.
  • Sturdy frame
    A sturdy frame is something that not all treadmills have. Aluminum or magnesium alloy make lightweight but strong frames and can support a lot of weight. Steel is also strong but a lot heavier and may not offer enough flex to be viable in a higher-end treadmill.
  • Shock Absorption/Deck Cushioning
    When you walk or run on a treadmill, there needs to be some flex, give and shock absorption in the machine. Similar to the cartilage and ligaments in our knees and ankles as well as spine to help prevent damage to our bodies. In a treadmill, it is the same reasoning. As your body weight lands on the treadmill while moving, there needs to be the shock absorption to prevent stress damage to the machine.

Secondary Features

Secondary features are those that may or may not be present on your chosen machine. These features generally add to the overall cost, though the amounts will vary. Such features include digital monitors or LCD displays with apps, Bluetooth, and mp3 connectivity. You will also find heart rate monitors, programmed workouts, or treadmill-specific mobile app compatibility.

Safety Features

Safety features are essential to any exercise equipment and need to be taken seriously. Even on a casual walk on a treadmill, injury can occur. Safety tools and features might be a single aspect or a combination of various options.

  • Safety Key
    The safety key is the most common feature and the easiest to use. The key is a plastic plug that fits into the machine. It attaches to your clothing, waist, or wrist. If you fall, stumble or step off the treadmill, the plug will be yanked out, and the motor will stop almost immediately.
  • Hand Rails
    Handrails, or holds, are designed to help you if you need extra support or offer a handhold if you fall. The handrails also usually contain pulse monitors and speed controls. Finding a model without handrails (except under-desk models) is rare and shouldn't be pursued.
  • Automatic Slow Start
    Some models will begin operation as soon as you turn the machine on. Often this results in the treadmill running at the speed and incline it was last set at, which can be too fast to start your next workout. With an automatic slow start, the treadmill will start at the lowest setting and give you time to acclimate or adjust the speed on your own.

Price & Warranty

Finally, you will want to make sure the price is something you can afford. Treadmills come in all price ranges and can easily cost over a couple thousand dollars. Even when looking at the best treadmills under $1000, it may be too much for your current budget.

The warranty is also important as the coverage terms range from none to a lifetime. You will often find the warranty to be between 1 and 3 years long, but you should know before buying it.


7 Best Walking Treadmills Reviewed

1. Sunny Health & Fitness T7643

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  • Product dimensions: 60.5" L X 32" W X 52.4" H...
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Best Treadmill For Walking

Dimensions

60.5” L X 32” W X 52.4” H

Motor Size

2.5 HP

Deck Length/Belt

19.5 x 44.5 inches

Weight Capacity

350 lbs

Speed Range/ Incline %

0-6mph/ No incline

Key Feature

Over-sized features

Overall, the best treadmill for walking is the T7643 model from Sunny Health and Fitness. This treadmill has over-sized features that make it easier to see and use while walking. It also has some of the best stats in the market and can be used by just about everyone.

The 2.5HP motor propels the deck belt and keeps your speed accurate regardless of what it is set to. While it doesn’t have an incline feature, you won't really need it. This model is designed just for walking and has a max speed (6 MPH) that allows a brisk walk or light jog.

The best feature, though, is the high max user weight limit and wide walking surface. Anyone up to 350 pounds can use this machine, which is about 100 pounds higher than almost any other treadmill on this list. You also get almost 20 inches of width on the belt, so you don't have to alter your walking stride.

Combine that with the large push-button controls and clear labeling, and you don’t need to worry about finding the right button or squinting to see what you are pressing. A beginner-friendly treadmill that performs just as well for the fitness-minded among you.

Keep track of your speed, time, distance and calories burned while walking. When you are done, the deck folds up for easy storage and offers a slow-drop hydraulic lift to prevent injury when putting it down for use.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty (180 day full refund)
  • Over-sized buttons and controls
  • Large walking surface
  • Biggest weight limit on this list
  • Capable of light jogging speeds

Cons

  • No incline feature
  • Assembly can be challenging

2. Nordictrack T Series 6.5S

T Series 6.5S Treadmill
16,455 Reviews
T Series 6.5S Treadmill
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  • 10 % OneTouch incline control; 10 MPH SMART...
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Best Home Treadmill For Walking

Dimensions

73" L x 36" W x 54" H

Motor Size

2.6 HP

Deck Length/Belt

20 x 55 inches

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Speed Range/ Incline %

0-10 mph/ 10% incline

Key Feature

iFit tracking capable

Nordictrack is a name you know and trust and have done so for decades. The home gym equipment from this company is among the most trusted and durable, and the T Series 6.5S is no different. Easily the best home treadmill for walking, this investment won’t go to waste.

While it has a lower weight limit and costs a bit more than our top pick, this runner up offers you more features and more powerful components making the initial purchase price. Part of that purchase includes a trial membership to the iFit app.

This treadmill is equipped with the monitors and controls for the iFit app programs, including live coaching, courses to walk and train with and automatic incline controls. Of course, you don't need the iFit app; you can walk without anything else, or a program of your choice.

The 300 pound weight limit and full-sized deck allow you to walk, jog, or run your way to a healthier version of yourself. You also get full large screen LCD controls with screen size options from 5 to 14 inches.

The safety key, handrails and pulse monitors allow you to remain safe at any speed, track your progress, and keep tabs on your performance. It also has Mp3 and device inputs for your entertainment. Listen to music through the Bluetooth speakers and enjoy your walks.

The 1/2/10 warranty covers 1 year's labor, parts, including the motor, for 2 years and the frame for 10 years.

 Making this investment is also investing in yourself. You can’t lose.

Pros

  • 1/2/10 year warranty
  • iFit compatible out of the box
  • Easy assembly and use
  • Large LCD screen tracks your stats
  • Walk, jog or run with a 10MPH top speed

Cons

  • May be too much machine for simple walking
  • Might be difficult for seniors to get on or off

3. Exerpeutic TF2000

EXERPEUTIC TF2000 Recovery Fitness Walking...
  • Designed for people in recovery and seniors'...
  • 49” Full length walking assistant hand...
  • Speed starts at 0.2 MPH and adjusts in...
  • Highly visual backlit LCD display window...

Best Treadmill For Senior Walking

Dimensions

61.5”L x 30”W x 15.5”H

Motor Size

1.5 HP

Deck Length/Belt

16 x 50 inches

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Speed Range/ Incline %

0-5 mph/ No incline

Key Feature

5-inch low profile deck

If you are older or in recovery from an injury, walking can be a great way to recover and stay active. The best treadmill for senior walking is also the best for injury recovery and physical therapy. The Exerpeutic TF2000 offers just enough features to make it a viable option and nothing too fancy to make it difficult to use or overly expensive.

This walking treadmill tops out at 5 MPH, but increases in slow 1/10MPH increments (starting at 0.2). With a 5-inch deck height, the treadmill is easy to get on and off while proving a stable, smooth surface to stand and walk.

The full-sized belt also sports a full-length foam-cushioned handrail along each side so you can grab hold and walk at any position. Without having to worry about incline or specialized controls, you simply need to get on and start walking.

It offers a safety key that clips to your clothing and only 4 buttons for control. Turn the treadmill on, off or adjust the speed up or down. The digital readout will track time, distance speed, and heart rate.

The 90/3/5 warranty protects your purchase against defects or problems with labor (90 days), frame (3 years), and the motor (5 years). Stay active and recover your strength with this TF2000 model, easily used every day without stress or worry.

Pros

  • 90/3/5 warranty
  • Ideal for injury recovery or seniors
  • Slow speed increase increments
  • Easy on/off with 5-inch deck height

Cons

  • No designed for jogging or high-intensity workouts
  • Simplistic controls may be too minimal

4. Exerpeutic TF900

Exerpeutic TF900 High Capacity Fitness...
  • In-home treadmill designed for fitness...
  • 1.5 HP motor for reliable performance;...
  • LCD displays time, distance, calories burned...
  • Folds for space-saving storage and moves...

Best Folding Treadmill For Walking

Dimensions

47” L x 29” W x 51” H

Motor Size

1.5 HP

Deck Length/Belt

16 x 36 inches

Weight Capacity

350 lbs

Speed Range/ Incline %

0-4 mph/No incline

Key Feature

Extended Handrails

For a more advanced setup, the TF900 from Exerpeutic gives you more options and maintains the simple controls. This model is a folding treadmill best for walking while still saving you space.

Unlike the TF2000 model, this one is less ideal for seniors and PT and more geared for getting everyone active and walking. The extended handrails and safety key give you a sturdy frame and handhold if there are any issues or you begin to slip or fall.

The walking treadmill has a lightweight motor (1.5HP) but pushes the belt for anyone up to 350 pounds. With a 4 MPH max speed, you can get into a daily regimen of moving, walking, and being active.

Like the TF2000, this model also has simplistic controls that might not be suitable for everyone. Speed controls are all you get. But that is enough for walking, and it keeps you focused on the task at hand.

With the 90/1/5 warranty, you are protected against defects, damage and issues with the labor, parts and motor as well as the frame. Leaving you to just place the treadmill in its spot, start walking, and improve your activity levels.

Pros

  • 90/1/5 warranty
  • Long handrails for added safety
  • High max user weight limit
  • Ideal for daily use

Cons

  • Minimal control options
  • No speakers or Bluetooth capabilities

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M

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  • EXCELLENT CARDIO BENEFITS: This treadmill...
  • COMPACT AND ERGONOMIC: This compact,...
  • LCD MONITOR: Create goal-specific workouts...
  • NON-ELECTRIC: The treadmill's non-electric...

Best Inexpensive Treadmill For Walking

Dimensions

49” L x 23” W x 50” H

Motor Size

N/A

Deck Length/Belt

13 x 42 inches

Weight Capacity

220 lbs

Speed Range/ Incline %

N/A / 13.5% fixed incline

Key Feature

Digital tracking display

Sunny Health & Fitness returns to our list with the best cheap treadmill for walking. This model is ergonomic, comfortable to use, and compact. Without many fancy features, it becomes the most affordable and essential piece in your home gym.

This manual treadmill has a fixed incline of about 13.5%, making it more of a challenge than walking flat. This is ideal for those looking to get a solid workout without having to make adjustments every time they get on.

Without a motor, the dual-flywheels make sure your treadmill belt moves flawlessly while you walk. You control the speed based on your needs and abilities. With a 220 pound max user weight, it is also ideal for almost everyone.

The space saving design is ideal for apartments or smaller rooms, and it folds almost completely flat for simple storage against the wall or in a closet. However, because it is a compact size, the belt is slightly narrow, with only 13 inches of walking surface width.

The digital tracking display is the biggest draw here. It will track your speed, time, steps, and calories. There is even a scan feature that lets you scroll through all readings without having to continually press buttons.

The 3-year warranty protects the entire machine and ensures you can walk on the treadmill every day without the worry of a breakdown or damage.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty
  • Folds and stores easily
  • Compact design for use anywhere
  • Inexpensive addition to any home gym

Cons

  • Narrow walking surface
  • No Bluetooth or speakers built-in

6. LifeSpan TR1200-DT3

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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 Under Desk Walking Treadmill

Dimensions

63" L x 28.5" W x 7.25" H

Motor Size

2.25 HP

Deck Length/Belt

20 x 50 inches

Weight Capacity

350 lbs

Speed Range/ Incline %

0-4 mph/ No incline

Key Feature

Portable readout display

LifeSpan brings you the best under desk treadmill for walking while you work. Studies have shown some minor benefits of standing while you are working on the computer or in your office. Combine that with the ability to have your daily walk while you work, and the benefits only increase.

This model supports user weights up to 350 pounds. It also comes with a corded portable display. You can run the display to your desktop or workstation without having to worry about cords getting tangled. The display monitors time, distance, steps, and calories burned.

With a 4MPH max speed, you won’t have to worry about being jostled while reading or typing. It also features a pause function so you can stop walking and attend to other matters without having to get off of the treadmill.

Ideal for daily use and near-constant walking, the 2.25 HP motor is capable of keeping up with you at all times and will be there day in and day out to assist in your walking and health benefit needs. While this unit doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities, you can upgrade to the TR800-DT3 with Bluetooth.

It also features a 1/2/lifetime warranty that covers the labor, parts, and frame (respectively). No matter if you work from home or in an office, you can get your daily steps in, while maintaining your output and performance.

Pros

  • 1/2/Lifetime warranty
  • Fit under most standard riser desks
  • Easily maintain speed
  • Pause function included

Cons

  • No Bluetooth available

7. Fannay 3.25HP Folding Treadmill

3.25HP Folding Treadmill, Electric Automatic...
  • 【Automatic Incline Treadmill New release:...
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Best Treadmill For Walking And Running

Dimensions

60.4” L x 27.6” W x 48.8” H

Motor Size

3.25 HP

Deck Length/Belt

17 x 42 inches

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Speed Range/ Incline %

0-9mph/ 0-15% incline

Key Feature

12 Preset workout programs

For the more active (or aspiring) walkers, the best treadmill is the one that is designed for walking and running. This way, you can get the benefits of your daily walk and gradually increase to a run when you are ready. The Fannay treadmill is that model.

Relatively new to the treadmill market, Fannay is making a name for itself. This machine can do it all with a high powered and reliable 3.25 HP motor and max user weight of 300 pounds. Not only can you increment your speed and incline, but it will also automatically adjust your incline when using the preset programmed runs.

These programs increase the difficulty of your walk or run automatically, so you can focus on putting one foot in front of the other. You can also take manual control and go at your own pace when needed.

For those that like to monitor progress, this model is iFit compatible, Bluetooth enabled, and has a large LCD monitor for displaying speed, time, distance, and heart rate. Unfortunately, it only has a 1-year warranty, but the machine will last for years to come with simple maintenance and care.

Pros

  • 12 workout programs included
  • iFit compatible
  • Large LCD screen
  • Bluetooth enabled

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • Most expensive model on this list

Walking Treadmill Vs. Running Treadmill

Walking and running treadmills are not the same. There are physical and internal differences that can tell you which one is which. The most significant factor is the appearance. Walking treadmills may or may not have handrails. They also generally have a lower top speed.

While running treadmills can be used for walking, a walking treadmill, in most cases, cannot be used for running. To run, you need a more extended deck and belt, higher speeds, and more safety features. Walking treadmills are compact, have smaller motors (if they have motors at all), and may not have any auto-shutoff safety features like safety keys or handheld remotes.


Recommended Walking Treadmill Workouts

Walking on a treadmill has a lot of benefits, as we have discussed. One of the biggest draws is that anyone from teenagers to the elderly can get on and use a walking treadmill. This makes the walking workouts something anyone can do at any time, regardless of fitness level.

For beginners, the key is to form habits and understand your goals. According to the British Heart Foundation, the moderate walking speed is 4MPH, a fast walking speed is 5MPH, and the average walking speed is 3 MPH.

When starting, you want to find your average pace and increase it slightly. For example, if you are at a 3MPH moderate pace, increase your workout to 3.5 or even 4MPH. This will cause your heart rate to increase, working out your cardiovascular system. Breaking a light sweat and increasing your heart rate should be your goal, gradually increasing your speed along the way.

For weight loss, you will need to sweat longer and increase your heart rate even more. Weight loss workouts on a walking treadmill push you to a brisk walk or even a light jog. This can be anything over 5MPH. You should maintain speed for at least 30 minutes 5 or 6 times a day.

If you have never worked out on a treadmill or worry about maintaining higher walking speeds daily, consult your doctor before you begin.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is the best time to buy a treadmill?

If you are looking for the best deals on treadmills, market research analysis agree that the best time to buy a treadmill is in January. Consumers that have made resolutions for the new year are more inclined to purchase, and manufacturers lower their prices to help entice the rush.

Late November through December is also an ideal time to buy through chain and big box stores as they market their sales for the holiday buyers.

How can one best take care and maintain these treadmills in good condition?

To properly care for and maintain your new treadmill, you need only a few things. First, you need a clean cloth to wipe down the machine and keep it dust and debris free. Second, you need a vacuum to clean up the floor around, and under the machine so dust doesn’t accumulate in the motor area.

Finally, you need a lubrication kit. The belt needs to be lubricated about every 60 days, and with a proper kit , it only takes a few minutes.

Is walking on a treadmill bad for your knees?

Walking on a treadmill is actually good for knees. The natural absorbency in our knees, spine, and ankles benefit from the softer surface of the deck belt, which is usually cushioned itself. On top of that, most walking treadmills also have shock absorption in the deck to make the entire workout low impact for your entire body.

Is walking on a treadmill bad for your knees?

Walking on a treadmill is actually good for knees. The natural absorbency in our knees, spine, and ankles benefit from the softer surface of the deck belt, which is usually cushioned itself. On top of that, most walking treadmills also have shock absorption in the deck to make the entire workout low impact for your entire body.

Do you get any benefit walking backwards on a treadmill?

Walking backward on a treadmill doesn’t prove to have any health-related benefits, but it does have a physical benefit. Learning to walk backward can help improve balance and coordination, which helps in sport, dance, and other activities where body balance is required.

What is the best brand of treadmills for walking?

Brand name recognition is more of a mental factor than anything. As long as the treadmill is durable, reliable, and functional, the name on the side means little. However, since some brands are notably more reliable than others, a few of the top rated and most trusted brands are Sunny Health & Fitness, Nordictrack, Peloton, Exerpeutic, and Horizon.

Are manual treadmills good for walking?

Manual treadmills, especially the flat-belt designed models, are better for walking than running. With manual speeds, smaller belts, and fewer performance features, manual treadmills are ideal for beginners and those looking to lose weight with walking.

Does incline matter on a walking treadmill?

Incline matters when it comes to performance and results. If you are buying your walking treadmill to just walk and be active, incline won’t matter nearly at all. However, suppose you are walking for cardiovascular or health reasons to lose weight.

In that case, the incline can offer a new variation and challenge to make you work harder, sweat more, and increase your heart rate even higher without increasing impact on your body.

Are walking treadmills safe to use?

Even though most walking treadmills have fewer safety features than running treadmills, they are still safe to use. If you require assistance in your daily life to walk (canes, rails, handholds, etc.), then you may want to find a walking treadmill with a large, sturdy frame. Otherwise, there isn’t much need for specific safety features.


Conclusion

Walking treadmills come in a lot of different sizes, shapes, and capabilities. If you only need to walk, you can save a lot of money foregoing any fancy tracking features or specialized safety features. Or you can opt for higher-end machines to work up to running.

This article showcased several of the best walking treadmills currently on the market. If you are still on the fence, take another look at our top pick, the Sunny Health & Fitness T7643. This model has a high weight capacity, large interactive buttons, and enough tracking features to keep you motivated.