When it comes to getting a good calorie-burning cardio workout at home, the treadmill remains the most popular option. Despite the proliferation of many alternatives, including ellipticals, exercycles, and rowing machines, most people still prefer to jump on a treadmill.
However, getting a quality, affordable treadmill at a budget price is challenging. There are many high spec, high priced treadmills available, but the lower-priced ones are often of inferior quality. That’s why we’ve gone deep into the home treadmill market to bring you the 10 best treadmills for under $300.
The best treadmill under $300 on the market right now is the Best Choice Products 800W Portable Folding Electric Motorized Treadmill, which provides you an 800-watt motor, height adjustment, a shock absorption system, foldable design, and modern display panel.
The 10 Best Cheap Treadmills for Under $300:
1. Best Choice Products 800W Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill
The Best Choice Products 800W Portable Folding Electric Motorized Treadmill is fitted with an 800-watt electric motor to deliver a smooth, natural running motion. It allows you to run up to a max speed of 7.5 mph, with preset speeds of 0.5, 2.0, 4.0, and 7.5 mph. Alternately you can set your own speed with the + – buttons.
We are especially impressed with the rigid, sturdy frame of this treadmill, providing you with a durability that is quite rare at this price point. It has a space-saving design which is further enhanced when the folding capability is taken advantage of. It weighs just 59.5 pounds so it is relatively easy to move around the home. The maximum user weight on this treadmill is 250 pounds.
The Best Choice Products 800W Portable Folding Treadmill features a clear, easy-to-read digital display which provides you with a running readout of your time, distance, calories, and speed. Pulse sensors are built into the handrails to provide a continuous record of your training heart rate.
It all adds up to an extremely impressive budget treadmill and one that easily makes it to #1 on our list of the best 10 treadmills for under $300.
2. Confidence Power Plus 600W Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill
The Confidence Power Plus 600W Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill is a compact unit that is ideally suited for a small office or apartment environment. It features a multi-function digital display that provides you with your key training data, including your pulse, speed, time, calories, and distance. This is a pretty basic budget treadmill but it performs its job very well. It is relatively sturdy, allowing for a max user weight of 250 pounds.
The power output of the motor of this treadmill is 600 watts, so you won’t be able to go much more than 6 miles per hour. The runway dimensions are 39.5 x 14 inches, which will be too constricting for taller users. You can run on this unit for around 30 minutes before it will need a break.
3. Merax JK1603E 500W Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill
The Merax JK1603E Easy Assembly Folding Electronic Treadmill is a budget model that provides you with a pretty impressive motor, rated at 500 watts to deliver smooth, quiet operation. You will be able to run for more than an hour on this unit without any loss in running bed stability.
The multi-functional display on the monitor allows you to keep tabs on your training parameters, including distance, heart rate, speed, and calories burned. In addition, there are 3 training programs built into the console that range between low, medium, and high-intensity training.
The Merax JK 1603E provides you with a manually adjusted 3 position incline. The frame is solid and durable and the design is also foldable, allowing you to quickly fold it away when not in use. Although this treadmill will not allow you to run at full speed, it is an ideal machine for walking and light jogging.
4. Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual Folding Treadmill
The Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual Treadmill is the first manual treadmill to appear on our 10 best treadmills for under $300 list. There is no motor with this treadmill, so it has to be powered completely by your own energy. Instead of a motor, you get a heavy-duty weighted flywheel, which, when combined with your own power, provides a smooth, natural running motion.
The running bed on this manual treadmill is quite limited with dimensions of 13 x 41 inches. The lack of a motor makes this treadmill smaller and more compact than any of the others on the list so far. It is a foldable treadmill that will easily store under a bed when not in use. The incline is adjustable manually and the max user rating is 250 pounds. The single-button electronic display provides basic functionality.
5. ZELUS 750W Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill
The ZELUS Folding Treadmill is a well-designed and sturdily constructed running machine that allows you to jog at up to 6 miles per hour. It features a 5 layer running surface to provide you with maximum underfoot padding and joint protection with every step. It is powered by a large 750-watt motor and can handle a max user weight of 220 pounds.
The Zelus folding treadmill features a pretty advanced monitor for a budget treadmill. The clear LED display provides you with a running readout of your time, distance, calories, and heart rate, thanks to the inbuilt pulse sensors on the handrails. It pairs with the FitShow App so that you can get a detailed analysis of your session after the workout is over. Non-skid strips on the sides of the frame base help to ensure your safety as does an emergency stop button. This is a foldable, compact unit that easily folds away and comes with transport wheels.
6. Weslo CardioStride 4.0 Manual Folding Treadmill
The Weslo Cardio Stride 4.0 Treadmill is a self-powered budget treadmill, so it has no motor. This can be a good thing as it requires more calorie burn to get the unit going and sustain the running action. However, this type of treadmill will be suited for people who are looking for a more gentle relaxed type of workout. The running track on this unit is 16” x 41”, which provides you with a decent amount of room to move.
This treadmill can be manually adjusted to allow you to run on an incline, with the maximum incline being 19 degrees. With this type of treadmill, even a small increase in the running angle is challenging so these two angles will give you all the intensity you need!
The display monitor on this unit is pretty basic yet it still provides you with a readout of the key training diagnostics you need, including your distance, time, and speed. The space-saving design of the Weslo Cadence Stride 4.0 is good for people with limited space in their homes. It can be folded and put out of sight when not in use.
This treadmill provides you with just a 90-day warranty on parts and labor which is a little disappointing.
7. Homlpope Folding Motorized Electric Treadmill
The Homlpope Folding Electric Treadmill is one of those budget treadmills that looks more expensive than it actually is. It features a 2.0 HP motor that allows you to run at a speed of up to 7.5 miles per hour. The high-definition LED display is quite impressive, featuring 12 built-in workout programs that have been designed by fitness professionals. The running bed measures 22 x 15.7 inches and features pressure-balanced lateral shock-absorbing technology. The folding design of this treadmill means that it can quickly be stored away when not in use.
8. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7632 Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7632 Treadmill is a compact electronic treadmill designed for shorter people, with dimensions of 44.5 x 14 inches. It allows you to run at speeds of up to 7 miles per hour. A backlit console makes it easy to read the display under any lighting conditions. It provides you with a readout of your key training data and you are able to manually incline the treadmill to a maximum of 11.9m percent. The maximum user weight is 200 pounds and this unit is foldable, coming with transportation wheels for ease of movement.
9. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Folding Treadmill
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill is a non-motorized walking treadmill with dimensions of 42 x 13 inches. That will limit its use to smaller people who are wanting to walk or jog. It features a sturdy, rigid design and can be manually adjusted to increase the intensity of the workout. The monitor is basic but functional and the unit has a maximum user weight of 220 pounds.
10. Fasesh 1100W Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill
The Fasesh Folding treadmill is an impressive budget treadmill, with features that you would not expect at this price point. You get 12 built-in workout programs, handrail controls, and heart rate sensors to track your training heart rate. You also get a built-in safety key to allow you to bring the running bed to an immediate stop if you run into problems while exercising.
This treadmill features a shock and noise reduction system to minimize the impact on your joints. The running bed measures 14 x 40.95 inches and features an anti-slip running surface. The impact reduction on this treadmill will provide you with a 40% enhanced impact control when compared with running on asphalt.
The maximum user weight on the Fasesh Folding treadmill is 300 pounds. It features a clear LCD display with touch button controls and the 12 inbuilt programs provide you with a personal trainer constructed fat loss, heart rate, and endurance workout programs.
What to look for When Buying a Treadmill
When it comes to treadmills, the old adage that you get what you pay for is generally true. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t get a quality treadmill to meet your needs at a budget price. Many of the high-end treadmills provide you with far more specs than you will ever use, so not having them doesn’t really matter. In this section, we provide you with an overview of the features you should look for in a budget treadmill.
The speed of a treadmill will be determined by the horsepower rating of the motor. Obviously, a cheaper model will have a less powerful motor than a more expensive one, which has a lower speed to match. So, the first thing you need to consider is what sort of speed you will need from your treadmill. Will you be using it for walking, jogging, or sprinting?
Are you planning to do some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on the treadmill? If you are only going to use the treadmill for walking or light jogging, you won’t’ need to go beyond 5 or 6 miles per hour. However, if you will be running faster than that or doing some HIIT training you will want to take it up to about 10 mph. You should be able to find a range of quality treadmills priced under $300 that goes up to 10 mph.
An automatically adjustable treadmill bed is ideal because it will allow you to vary the angle of your workout as you are exercising. However, you will be hard-pressed to find a treadmill with an auto incline for under $300.
Instead, you should look for a machine that provides you with a manually adjusted incline. This will require you to get off the machine every time you want to adjust the incline but it is better than nothing. Look for a treadmill that has as many incline adjustment options as possible, such as the 9 angle adjustment of our favorite treadmill under $300, the Fashesh Folding Treadmill.
One of the major challenges that many people have when they are looking to get a home use treadmill is actually finding the space to position it. If you have to keep the machine in its place permanently you will have to carve out quite a large footprint. That is why finding a treadmill that can be folded for ease of storage is a major benefit. Ideally, the treadmill should fold up like a flat pack. This will enable you to store it under a bed or in a cupboard.
When checking the foldability of a treadmill, look for a machine that has wheels for ease of transport when you are getting it out or putting it away. The unit should also be easy to fold up. The more expensive models will allow you to fold it up with the mere push of a button but this feature is quite rare on budget-priced models.
The monitor of your treadmill needs to provide some basic functionality. Of course, the more expensive models are packed with all sorts of impressive bells and whistles, with some of them resembling the cockpit of an airplane. To get a good workout, though. All you need is the following:
- A running readout of your time, distance speed, calories burned, and training heart rate
- A few inbuilt workout programs based around fat loss, endurance, and HIIT workouts.
- An emergency stop button
- A clear display that can be easily seen under any type of light when you are exercising
The running belt of the treadmill determines the level of impact that your joints receive with every step that you take. The more expensive treadmills will feature patented technologies that will provide you with shock absorption features that will lessen your impact. You should still expect a budget treadmill to provide you with some type of extra protection, including double or triple ply running mats that will lessen your shock absorption.
One major problem with cheaper treadmills is the size of the running bed. Many of them are simply too small to allow most people to get a natural running stride. That’s because they are too narrow and too short. That’s why the ideal is to actually try out a treadmill before you actually buy it. Even if you are buying online, don’t be afraid to go into brick and mortar store and hop on a machine before you decide to buy it through a website. Wak, jog, and then run naturally to make sure that you are not impeded in any way.
All treadmills have a maximum weight capacity, with the more expensive models proving a higher capacity due to the stronger frame and motor. As a general rule, you should allow for a 50 pound variable between your own weight (or that of the anticipated heaviest user) and the max weight allowed on the treadmill. So, if you weigh 250 pounds, look for a treadmill with a max user weight of 300 pounds.
Throughout this article, we have discovered that it is possible to get a high-quality home use treadmill for less than $300. After all, we’ve just provided you with 10 of them. The best treadmill for under $300 is the Fahesh Folding Treadmill with its 9 position angle adjustment, foldability, and shock absorption system.
This article was last updated on December 13, 2022 .