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Best Compact Folding Treadmills on the Market for 2018

Folding treadmills are ideal for individuals looking to burn calories or improve their cardiovascular health at home. They are compact, have a small footprint, and relatively portable.

Best Compact Folding Treadmills in 2018

Majority of the foldable treadmills in the market are targeted for such individuals, so there are plenty to choose from. However, treadmills are by no means cheap, and the ones that are cannot withstand the wear and tear that comes with rigorous workout, nor are they equipped with adequate features to aid your health and fitness plans.

Best Overall

Best Overall

Sole Fitness F80

High-performance Folding Treadmill

The mighty Sole Fitness F80 Folding treadmill is one of the dearer treadmills on the list, but it’s also the best one. Its price point may send some running in the other direction, but those looking to seriously invest in fitness and health will understand the importance of a high-quality, reliable, and feature-packed treadmill.

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, extremely high-quality yet compact folding treadmill for your home, then look no further than the Sole Fitness F80.

Best Budget

Best Budget

NordicTrack T 6.5 S

Great Value for Money

This entry level, portable treadmill is one of the brand’s most popular because of its compactness, affordability, and great performance.

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S folding treadmill is our favorite compact treadmill at the entry level. It’s build quality, reliability, and decent set of features make it an attractive product for anyone looking to buy their first treadmill for home.

Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill

SoleF80

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 82″ x 37″ x 57″
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: 0 – 15%
  • User Weight: 375lbs
  • Motor: 3.5 CHP
  • Running Area: 22″x 60″
  • Speed Rang: 0.5 – 12 mph
  • Treadmill Weight: 250lbs

The Sole F80 treadmill isn’t as compact as some of the other treadmills on this list, but its folding technology does allow it to have an incredibly small footprint, making it a perfect (albeit slightly heavy) high quality treadmill to have at home.

The bulkiness of the treadmill is by no means an accident though; this is a treadmill that does not compromise on build or quality. It possesses a considerably lengthy and spacious 22” x 60” running belt that is fitted with the Cushion Flex Shock Absorption Whisper Deck (whew!). In vernacular terms: it successfully simulates walking/running on a dedicated runner’s track, so your joints don’t feel the aches and pains of a conventional endurance workout session.

The weight and size of the treadmill also gives it its incredible weight-bearing capability; this beast can withstand weights of up to 375lbs. All this is powered by a beefy 3.5 continuous horsepower motor that comes with a Sole special lifetime warranty.

This motor allows for speeds up to 12mph, which is fast for even athletic individuals. The motor design and size of the Sole treadmill gives it ample shock absorption, allowing it to operate smoothly and at very quiet levels.

To accommodate its users, the Sole Fitness F80 comes with a wireless chest strap heart rate monitor and pulse grips. The software is embedded with 10 workout programs which include six standard programs, two heartrate programs, and two user-defined programs. While this is adequate for most, we do wish it had more options like some of the more affordable treadmills do.

All the information is displayed on a 9” backlit blue LCD screen that gives you access to your programs. The Sole Fitness F80 is also Bluetooth compatible, so you can sync your device with the fitness app. Through the fitness app, you can control the in-built programs and download workout information.

The warranty includes lifetime warranty for motor, deck, and frame; and 5 years & 2 years in-home warranty for electronics and labor respectively

The Sole Fitness F80’s price point does fall in a precarious position, sandwiched between the relatively affordable and the top of the line treadmills. However, we have no hesitance in admitting that this indeed is one of the best treadmills one can buy for homes, and arguably the best treadmill overall on this list.

Pros

  • A wide array of features
  • Fantastic build quality
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Size is a bit larger than most compact foldable treadmills
  • Expensive

Horizon Fitness T101-04

HorizonFitness

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 70″ x 34″ x 55″
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: 0 – 10%
  • User Weight: 300lbs
  • Motor: 2.25 CHP
  • Running Area: 20″x 55″
  • Speed Rang: 0.5 – 10 mph
  • Treadmill Weight: 165lbs

Another budget-friendly class treadmill that is excellent for home use and utilizes a commercial level build is the Horizon Fitness T101-04. It features a wide variety of programs and has some more tricks up its sleeves that one wouldn’t expect which makes it a great option for this price point.

The Horizon Fitness T101-04 is powered by a 2.25 continuous horsepower motor that runs a 20” x 55” running belt. This belt is fitted with a 3-Zone Variable Response Cushioning system that eases the fatigue of running on your joints. The total weight capacity of the treadmill is 300lbs, which is quite impressive given its relative affordability.

The treadmill is folded using its FeatherLight hydraulic folding system. This ensures a safe folding and unfolding experience that won’t damage the component nor risk anyone of injury. It also has a special power saving mode that it automatically triggers after staying idle for 15 minutes.

As for the electronics, the Horizon Fitness T101-04 comes with a rather rudimentary 4.5” yellow-green LCD display. This screen displays your basic workout session data such as pulse rate, time spent, distance covered, incline, calories burned, and speed.

The pulse rate is measured through its built-in pulse grip heartrate monitoring system. While measurements like time spent, incline, and speed are reasonably accurate, we wouldn’t recommend blindly relying on the rest; it’s far more prudent to utilize dedicated gear for measurements such as pulse, calories burned, and distance covered.

To personalize your workout session better, the Horizon Fitness T101-04 also comes installed with 30 workout programs designed specifically to focus on step goals, calories burned, and distance. It also comes with a basic entertainment system that comprises of two speakers and a music port for your iPod or any other mobile music device.

Perhaps the best part of this treadmill is how relatively compact it is. It is easy to set-up and can be folded and stored in small nooks & corners, making it perfect for home use. The basic features and its lightweight design plus relatively small footprint make the Horizon Fitness T101-04 a perfect choice for beginners and intermediate users looking to burn some calories and/or improve their cardiovascular health.

Pros

  • Comes with all the basic bells and whistles that make a good treadmill
  • Energy saving feature is a cool addition
  • Belt is comfortable and adequately wide
  • Lifetime warranty on frame and motor, 2 years warranty on parts and 1-year warranty on labor

Cons

  • Users reported poor customer service in the past, though this issue seems to have been addressed recently
  • Running area is small for taller individuals

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

NordicTrack

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 67.5″ x 35.75″ x 73″
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: 0 – 10%
  • User Weight: 300-350lbs
  • Motor: 2.6 CHP
  • Running Area: 22″x 55″
  • Speed Rang: 0.5 – 10 mph
  • Treadmill Weight: 198lbs

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill is one of the more affordable options available on the market. This entry level, portable treadmill is one of the brand’s most popular because of its compactness, affordability, and good performance. It is targeted for users looking to burn calories and improve cardiovascular health at home.

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S is solidly built and features a surprisingly wide running belt, which makes it perfect for taller individuals who tend to struggle on other entry level compact folding treadmills. The 22×55 inch squared running area also has a feature called FlexSelect which is an on/off cushioning to reduce post workout cramps by cushioning your walk. This is done by emulating an outdoor track.

The relatively small treadmill features a digitally controlled incline up to 10 degrees and accompanies that with a 2.6 continues horsepower motor.  The high torque build of this motor allows you to use it for extend periods without failing.

What’s more impressive is that it boasts a high capacity of 350lbs, which is a lot higher than even many top-end treadmills. The speed varies between 0.5 and 12mph.

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S also comes with the iFit interactive Coach that adds some variety to your fitness plans to keep your body guessing and burning more calories. We wish it would come with an iFit monitor, but for that you need to pay an extra $99.

The display is a relatively small, basic 5” backlit screen that shows rudimentary progress stats, but thanks to the iFit compatibility, it can be used with a tablet to simulate running using Google Maps, which is a welcome feature that can get help rid some of the boredom.

In addition to this running simulation, you can also watch HD workout videos, get personalized nutrition advice, and acquire customized training using iFit.

Additionally, it contains 20 preprogrammed trainer workout modules to assist you effectively in achieving your goals. These workout modules are certainly helpful for beginners and intermediate users who need some assistance before they create their own workout plan.

Additional features include a heart rate monitoring through the Dual CardioGrip and iPod/MP3 compatible sound system with dual 2” speakers. These are welcome additions, but we’d recommend your own fitness tracker and phone/earphones for a better experience.

Overall, we believe the NordicTrack T 6.5 S may just be the best budget treadmill on this list.

Pros

  • Packed with features for a relatively affordable value
  • iFit compatibility adds a lot to this treadmill
  • Very spacious running belt
  • Comes with 25-year motor warranty and lifetime frame warranty

Cons

  • No cooling fans
  • A dedicated iFit monitor will cost you an extra $99

LifeSpan TR1200i Treadmill

LifeSpanTR1200i

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 70″ x 33″ x 54″
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: 0 – 15%
  • User Weight: 300lbs
  • Motor: 2.5 CHP
  • Running Area: 22″x 56″
  • Speed Rang: 0.5 – 11 mph
  • Treadmill Weight: 190lbs

The LifeSpan TR1200i treadmill is one of the most popular mid-priced treadmills in the US right now, and it isn’t selling like hot cakes without reason. This foldable, compact treadmill has received awards and accolades from reviewers and consumers alike for its great performance as a home use workout machine.

With a very small footprint, the LifeSpan TR 1200i treadmill doesn’t compromise on specs and comfort. Its 2.5 continuous horsepower motor runs a 22” x 56” 2 ply belt that is of adequate size for most individuals.

The 2 ply belt certainly offers more durability compared to conventional single ply ones available in cheaper treadmills. It also comes with 6 compression shock absorbers to ensure a smooth operation and safe cushioning to your joints so cramps and aches are minimized.

LifeSpan TR1200i’s length could be considered a tad short, but unless you have a giant’s stride you shouldn’t find it uncomfortable to run on. The EZfold technology helps it further reduce its footprint when not in use and also grants it extra portability.

All the hardware is accompanied by a decently sized multi-color LCD screen that displays your workout progress. It also lets you choose from 21 different present workout programs, including two user customizable programs to adjust to your own needs. A nice addition to all the software is a USB port that allows you to automatically backup your performance results on a drive. These results can then be viewed later to your convenience.

The software is also equipped with a dedicated pedometer in the form of the Intelli-Step. This step counter was found to be fairly accurate and acceptable and is a welcome addition that is not normally season in treadmills at this price point.

Safety features such as the Intelli-Guard also make this machine reliable and foolproof. This system pauses the belt’s movement 20 seconds after you step off the treadmill, ensuring safety and indirectly conserving energy.

In addition to these features, it comes with your regular measurements such as calories burnt, heart rate, and speed (our opinion remains the same though: unless a treadmill comes with a wireless chest heartrate monitor, it’s best to rely on dedicated fitness trackers over the treadmill’s readings).

LifeSpan also offers lifetime warranty for the frame and the motor and 3 year warranty on parts, which is reassuring. Overall, it’s not difficult to see why the LifeSpan treadmill has been doing so well in the market. We recommend it to anyone who needs a compact foldable treadmill in their home.

Pros

  • Compact design that doesn’t compromise on reliability
  • Packed with features that are great for its price point
  • 3 years warranty on electronic components is more than normally provided on treadmills

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a heartrate chest strap
  • No cooling fans

ProForm Pro 2000

ProFormPro

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 72″ x 34″ x 57″
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: 0 – 15% and 0-3% decline
  • User Weight: 350lbs
  • Motor: 3.5 CHP
  • Running Area: 22″x 60″
  • Speed Rang: 0.5 – 12 mph
  • Treadmill Weight: 286lbs

At 286lbs, the ProForm Pro 2000 is certainly one of the heavier foldable treadmills on the market, but it is also one that is packed to the brim with features. It has consistently retained one of the best positions in the market within its price point and has sold quite well.

The ProForm Pro 2000 is a high-performing foldable treadmill with a decently footprint. Its overall size is slightly larger than the Horizon Fitness T101-04 and LifeSpan TR1200i, but not as big as the Sole F80. For this reason, when it comes to special dimensions the ProForm Pro 2000 can be categorized as “just right.”

This hi-tech piece of machinery is powered by a beefy 3.5 continuous horsepower Mach Z motor, which is one of the primary reasons for its bulky weight.

The powerful motor is designed to drive the roomy 22” x 60” deck space with a 1-play non-stretch tread belt at high speeds for prolong periods, which makes it a great workout machine for people who want to lose serious weight and/or greatly improve their endurance. It’s also upheld by its ProShox Lite Cushioning Deck that ensures such tedious and lengthy workout sessions aren’t too taxing on your joints.

In addition to the regular treadmill incline, the ProForm treadmill has a rare negative incline (or decline) of 3% as well. This feature may seem strange at first, but it mimics jogging across an uneven terrain very well, and keeps your body guessing well enough to encourage it to burn some extra calories. This variation is indeed one of ProForm Pro 2000’s best and most underrated features, and we’d like to see it used more often in treadmills at this price point.

The ProForm Pro 2000 also comes with a decently sized 7” backlit oversized LCD with a racetrack display. This screen has software that is compatible with iFit to let you simulate running through scenic tracks on Google Maps, and features an integrated device shelf. While it has an EKG grip pulse monitor, what we really like about this treadmill is that it comes with a wireless chest strap that is dual band, utilizing both ANT plus and Bluetooth smart.

And if all that wasn’t enough, the ProForm Pro 2000 also gives impressive warranty covered. ProForm offers lifetime frame and motor warranty, and a whopping 5-year warranty for parts plus 2-year labor warranty. This goes on to show ProForm’s confidence in the performance of the Pro 2000 treadmill and is a testament to this beast of a machine’s capabilities.

We highly recommend the ProForm Pro 2000 to anyone who wants a fantastic product packed with features that won’t take up too much space.

Pros

  • The 3% decline is brilliant and adds a lot of variation in the treadmill workout
  • 3.5 continuous horsepower motor is powerful and operates smoothly
  • Wireless chest strap is a welcome addition that allows accurate heartrate monitoring
  • Fantastic warranty coverage

Cons

  • Its weight makes it less portable when compared to other treadmills on this list
  • Price varies a lot depending on buyer and seller locations

Nautilus T614 Treadmill

NautilusT614

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 72″ x 35″ x 58″
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: 0 – 12%
  • User Weight: 300lbs
  • Motor: 2.75 CHP
  • Running Area: 20″x 55″
  • Speed Rang: 0.5 – 12 mph
  • Treadmill Weight: 200lbs

The Nautilus T614 is one of the more affordable versions on the list yet doesn’t skim on features. It is the entry level model in their line of residential foldable T600 series of treadmills.

Off the bat, you’ll notice a big, beautiful LCD display that sits in the center of a very modern looking console. This is a backlit display accompanied by a 3-speed adjustable fan, built-in speakers, a USB charging port, and an MP3 input port. The software of the Nautilus offers 22 built-in workout programs to choose from, out of which two are customizable programs.

The USB connectivity also allows users to connect to Nautilus Connect as well as the popular MyFitnessPal app. Users can download the workout data to these apps to keep track of their fitness and calories. The programming and software capability are easily the best features of the Nautilus T614.

This little beast is powered by a 2.75 continuous horsepower motor that is able to withstand 300lbs of weight. It runs a 1 ply belt on 2.5” crown rollers in an area of 20” x 55”.

This area isn’t the largest among treadmills, so you might find it a bit cramped if you are 6 feet or taller. For everyone else, it works comfortably well. The running area is cushioned by Nautilus’ StrikeZone cushioning system, which features 4 hex cell design that grant comfort and smoothness while run and minimizing fatigue and impact.

The Nautilus T614 model is also equipped with a SoftDrop folding design which is easy to use. One can fold up the machine and store it away once done with the workout, though at 200lbs it isn’t necessarily the lightest piece of equipment on this list.

We appreciated the fact that despite its comparatively low price, the Nautilus T614 also has wireless chest strap compatibility to allow the user to monitor their heartrate hands-free. However, the T614 model does not include the chest strap in the package, which is unfortunate.

Perhaps the one major downside to this folding treadmill is the warranty coverage. Whereas most treadmill machines come with lifetime coverage for the frame and drive, the Nautilus only offers 10 years for both with 2 years on parts and 1 year on labor. This is a bit disappointing given the otherwise great specs of this treadmill.

The Nautilus is designed to give you all the needed options without breaking the bank. It has its flaws, but it’s still one of the best foldable residential treadmills you can buy under $1500, which is why it deservedly makes it into our list.

Pros

  • Great set of features for the price point
  • Program variety and compatibility with MyFitnessPal is a big plus
  • Console is fully loaded and provides everything you need

Cons

  • Warranty coverage is disappointing
  • Should come with a wireless chest strap, but doesn’t
  • Running area might be narrow for taller individuals

Buyer’s Guide

    The price point of folding treadmills of good quality varies quite a bit. Some can be found as low as $600-800 if you are like, while many are at heftier price range of $1500-2000. Regardless of which one you’re buying, it’s important to pick one that is reliable, has good warranty coverage, and have the necessary features.

    It’s better to save more to get a treadmill that fits your requirements than to get a cheaper one that does not. Quality treadmills are expensive, but they are expensive because they are better and likely offer more features.

    The entire point of a folding treadmill is to save up on space, so having a treadmill that in general takes up less space is essential. Thankfully, most folding treadmills meant for residential use are smaller than the ones you’ll find in gyms.

    A factor that you should consider in addition to the size is the weight. Are you going to be moving around a lot? If so, you might want a lighter treadmill. If not, we recommend any from the list above. A heavy yet compact treadmill isn’t necessarily a bad thing; weight usually means higher quality parts and more stability, so it shouldn’t be as important as the size.

    Warranty is an extremely important part of a treadmill. A treadmill is comprised of several moving parts, all of which are under regular stress from the user while exercising. This makes wear and tear both a natural and inevitable process.

    For this reason, it’s important for any treadmill to be backed by a generous warranty. There are three warranties offered on treadmills: for the motor, for the electronic parts, and for labor.

    Most manufacturers offer lifetime warranty for the motor. We think anything less than 25 years for the motor is not good enough in the market. For the electronic parts, the range is usually a couple of years. For labor, it is usually one year.

    Labor warranty is important because it is in-house. That is, the repair person will come to your home and repair the treadmill. This is far more cost-effective than “free labor” where you have to send the product to the manufacturer for repairs.

    Be sure to check the warranty on the treadmills and add it as a factor in your buying decision.

    How much power should my treadmill have?
    This depends on your weight and the speed at which you’ll be doing your workout. If you’re 200lbs and want to run at 11mph, a 2.5 continuous horsepower motor will not cut it.

    How long or wide should the belt area be?
    The running area is the part of the treadmill on which you run. Choosing this should depend on your height. If you’re tall and have a giant’s stride, a 20” wide and 50” long running area is too small. Width is important for taller individuals in particular. Go for the 22” ones if you’re 6 feet or above.

    Are folding treadmills sturdy enough for running?
    That depends on the quality of the cushioning and the motor power. In general, a motor power greater than 3CHP assisted by good cushioning in the running surface will be sturdy and dependable

    What’s the minimum I should spend on a safe, reliable treadmill?
    Anything below $750 retail price should raise a question mark. That might seem hefty to some, but it’s true. Treadmills are expensive machines with moving parts. They will break down quite easily under stress, so they need to be made from high quality material. There are a few of good manufacturers that make treadmills for lower prices, but they are a small bunch.

    We recommend being a bit generous with your expenditure on a treadmill.

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