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Compact treadmills are usually lightweight and require only a small area in which to operate. Many compact models are foldable, meaning that the deck lifts and folds away. These models require less storage space than standard treadmills.

A quick look at 9 of the best compact treadmills

Treadmills provide people with a convenient way to exercise and improve their cardiovascular fitness at home. However, they pose a risk of injury with incorrect use, so people should take care when walking or running on them.

This article explores the pros and cons of compact treadmills, including their health benefits and risks, and provides a list of some of the best models. It also lists alternative exercise equipment that people may wish to consider.

Here are some of the benefits of owning a compact treadmill:

  • They require less storage space than larger treadmills.
  • They usually cost less than a standard-size treadmill.
  • They can sometimes come with as many features as larger models, although not all do.
  • Some of them are portable.

However, compact treadmills also have some disadvantages, such as these:

  • The cheaper and smaller models may not be very durable.
  • They usually have weaker motors than larger models.
  • A small running deck may mean that taller people or those with a higher body weight do not have enough striding space.
  • They may lack some features that larger treadmills often include, such as built-in speakers, tablet holders, and a wide range of speed and incline options.

Medical News Today chooses fitness equipment that meets the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Size and capacity: MNT selects products to suit people of different heights, weights, and strength levels.
  • Connectivity: Where fitness equipment has fitness memberships or subscriptions, MNT ensures variation in classes and services that benefit a person’s health.
  • Materials: MNT chooses products made of safe and durable materials that are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Ease of use: MNT selects simple-to-use products that have clear instructions. If setup is complicated, MNT chooses brands that offer a setup or installation service.
  • Quality: MNT chooses companies that adhere to high quality manufacturing processes that ensure their products are safe for personal use.
  • Reputation: MNT chooses products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices and offer reliable customer service and support.

Below is a list of some compact treadmills and a few examples of each model’s features.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and is correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for streaming entertainment: Horizon T202

  • List price: $1299
  • Speed: 0.5–12 miles per hour (mph)
  • Dimensions: 75 x 34 x 65 inches (in)
  • Weight: 187 pounds (lb)

When open, the treadmill is 75 in long, 34 in wide, and 58 in high. Folding it changes its dimensions to 47 in long, 34 in wide, and 65 in high. The running area is 20 in by 60 in and has a three-zone cushioning system.

This compact treadmill has Bluetooth speakers and a device holder, so a person can stream music and entertainment while working out. It also has a free app that a person can use to control their workouts or connect their stats to other fitness apps.

Other features of the Horizon T202 are:

  • 2.75-CHP motor
  • maximum speed of 12 mph
  • 0–12% incline
  • maximum user weight of 325 lb
  • display showing heart rate, time, calories, and distance
  • lifetime frame and motor warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranty

Pros and cons

This treadmill is foldable. Additionally, it has streaming capabilities so a person can watch the entertainment of their choice while exercising, and it has a USB port for charging devices.

However, this treadmill is heavy and may be difficult to move to the room of a person’s choice. The company does offer delivery to a certain room and assembly, but this costs extra.

Best for a fitness app: Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill

  • List price: $1299.99
  • Speed: 0.5–12 mph
  • Dimensions: 69 x 31 x 49 in
  • Weight: 156 lb

This treadmill comes with membership to the Echelon fitness app. The app pairs with the treadmill to provide live and on-demand classes and to track stats, heart rate, and leaderboard ranking among friends and family.

This model by Echelon is also foldable. Financing assistance is available.

The console folds flat to the deck, and the depth of the folded machine is only 10.25 in. When in use, the treadmill is 69.3 in long, 31 in wide, and 49.2 in high. The running surface area is 55 in by 20 in.

Other features of the Echelon Stride Auto-Fold model include:

  • 1.75-CHP motor
  • maximum speed of 12 mph
  • 10% maximum incline (12 levels)
  • maximum user weight of 300 lb
  • lightweight design and wheels to assist with moving
  • optional membership, which provides access to on-demand classes
  • 1-year parts and labor warranty

Pros and cons

This treadmill comes with a fitness app that provides on-demand and live classes, which may be beneficial to those who are looking for trainer-led workouts.

However, a person must subscribe to the app to gain access to the classes. This incurs an extra fee starting at $29.16 per month.

Best for desks: Goplus Under Desk Electric Treadmill

  • List price: around $460
  • Speed: 0.5–4 mph
  • Dimensions: 51.5 x 23.5 x 6 in
  • Weight: 55.5 lb

This model by Goplus has a thin design and no handles, allowing people to store it under a desk, bed, or sofa or inside a cupboard when they are not using it.

The treadmill also has wheels on the bottom to make it easy to move around.

The machine is 51.5 in long, 23.5 in wide, and 6 in high. The incline on this model is not adjustable.

There is no information regarding warranty length.

Other features of the Goplus Under Desk Electric Treadmill are:

  • 1-HP motor
  • maximum speed of 4 mph
  • maximum user weight of 220 lb
  • rubber foot mat for noise reduction
  • display showing time, speed, calories, and distance
  • remote control
  • three workout tiers and 12 built-in programs

Pros and cons

This treadmill may be suitable for those who wish to exercise while working, as it fits under desks.

However, this product has a lower maximum speed than many other treadmills in this article and may not be suitable for those who like to run at faster speeds.

Best eco-friendly treadmill: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill

  • List price: $179.98
  • Speed: manual
  • Dimensions: 49 x 23 x 50 in
  • Weight: 46.7 lb

This manual treadmill from Sunny Health & Fitness does not have a motor and instead relies on the movement of a person’s feet.

This lack of a motor makes it more eco-friendly than many other treadmills and means that it is available at a lower cost.

When the treadmill is in use, it is 49 in long, 23 in wide, and 50 in high. This treadmill also folds up to reduce its length to 20 in. The running deck is 42 in by 13 in.

Other features of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M are:

  • fixed incline of 13.5%
  • weight capacity of 220 lb
  • lightweight design
  • display showing time, speed, distance, and calories
  • transport wheels
  • floor stabilizers
  • 3-year frame warranty and 180-day parts warranty

Pros and cons

This treadmill is one of the more affordable options on this list. Additionally, the lack of motor means that it is more eco-friendly than some of its competitors, as it instead relies on a person’s movement.

However, this treadmill may not be suitable for those who prefer motorized treadmills.

Best for a lower impact on joints: LifeSpan TR2000e

  • List price: $1499
  • Speed: 0.5–11 mph
  • Dimensions: 71 x 33 x 56 in
  • Weight: 225 lb

This treadmill uses electronic eFold technology that allows a person to fold it simply by pressing a button. It has wheels on the bottom so a person can easily move it around once they have folded it.

LifeSpan claims that the treadmill has eight compression shock absorbers to support the knees, back, and joints.

The running surface measures 20 in by 56 in. The treadmill is 71 in long, 33 in wide, and 56 in high. Folding the machine reduces the length to 50 in, while the width and height stay the same.

Other features of the LifeSpan TR2000e are:

  • 2.5-CHP motor
  • maximum speed of 11 mph
  • 15 incline levels
  • weight capacity of 300 lb
  • various programs available
  • display showing steps, distance, calories, and heart rate
  • lifetime frame and motor warranty, 5-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty

Pros and cons

The company states that this treadmill is easy to fold, as a person simply has to press a button. Additionally, the shock absorbers may reduce the impact on the joints.

However, this treadmill is heavier than some other options in this article. People may find the treadmill difficult to move.

Best for live trainer-led workouts: ProForm City L6

  • List price: $599
  • Speed: 0–8 mph
  • Dimensions: 70.25 x 29 x 44.5 in
  • Weight: 125 lb

The ProForm City L6 comes with the iFit app, which a person can use to access sessions with personal trainers. The personal trainer has access to a person’s treadmill and can adjust the speed remotely throughout the workout.

While a person will have to pay for an iFit membership, the treadmill purchase includes a 30-day free trial.

Additional features include:

  • 1.6-CHP motor
  • maximum speed of 8 mph
  • weight capacity of 250 lb
  • built-in tablet holder
  • cushioning and shock absorbers
  • 10-year frame and 1-year parts and labor warranty

Pros and cons

This treadmill is foldable, so it may be suitable for those with limited space.

However, an iFit membership costs $39 per month and automatically renews unless a person cancels their subscription in advance.

Learn more about ProForm treadmills here.

Best for safety: Sole F63

  • List price: $1799.99
  • Speed: 0.5–12 mph
  • Dimensions: 82 x 35 x 66 in
  • Weight: 254 lb

The Sole F63 comes with an Easy Assist Folding Deck design. This feature allows a person to release the deck, causing the machine to unfold itself. It also has a Safety Lock Deck design, which means the treadmill cannot unfold itself when it is in an upright position.

The treadmill also has the following features:

  • 3.0-HP motor
  • maximum speed of 12 mph
  • 15 incline levels
  • weight capacity of 325 lb
  • cooling fan
  • 6.5-in LCD screen

Pros and cons

This treadmill has a 325-lb weight capacity, which may make it suitable for people with higher body weights who wish to exercise at home.

However, the Sole F63 is heavy, and people may find the treadmill difficult to move and store.

Learn more about the Sole F63 here.

Best for a quiet workout: Horizon T101

  • List price: $999
  • Speed: 0.5–10 mph
  • Dimensions: 70 x 34 x 55 in
  • Weight: 180 lb

The Horizon T101 is foldable and uses an ultra-quiet motor. The company claims it has shock-absorbing three-zone cushioning for additional support.

The treadmill also has audio speakers and a secure device holder to help provide entertainment while a person is working out.

Additional features include:

  • maximum speed of 10 mph
  • 0–10% incline
  • maximum weight capacity of 300 lb
  • display showing calories, distance, time, and heart rate
  • lifetime frame and motor warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranty

Pros and cons

This treadmill has a quiet motor, which may benefit those who like to watch entertainment or listen to music while they exercise.

However, this treadmill is heavier than some other products in this article. People may find it difficult to move and store.

Best for walking: Gymax 2 in 1 foldable treadmill

  • List price: $769.99
  • Speed: 1–12 mph
  • Dimensions: 49 x 27 x 42 in
  • Weight: 74 lb

This treadmill has a walking mode and a running mode. The walking mode has a speed range of 1–4 mph, while the running speed goes up to 12 mph.

The compact design of this treadmill means people can place it under their desk to walk or run while working.

Additional features include:

  • 2.25-HP motor
  • maximum speed of 12 mph
  • maximum weight capacity of 265 lb
  • transport wheels
  • dual-display LED screen

Pros and cons

This treadmill is suitable for those who wish to exercise while they are working and those who prefer more intensive workouts.

However, the treadmill does not have any incline levels.

The following table compares the products in this article.

List priceSpeed DimensionsWeight
Horizon T202$12990.5–12 mph75 x 34 x 65 in187 lb
Echelon Stride$1299.990.5–12 mph69 x 31 x 49 in156 lb
Goplusaround $4600.5–4 mph51.5 x 23.5 x 6 in55.5 lb
Sunny Health & Fitness$179.98manual49 x 23 x 50 in46.7 lb
LifeSpan$14990.5–11 mph71 x 33 x 56 in225 lb
ProForm$5990–8 mph70.25 x 29 x 44.5 in125 lb
Sole F63$1799.990.5–12 mph82 x 35 x 66 in254 lb
Horizon T101$9990.5–10 mph70 x 34 x 55 in180 lb
Gymax$769.991–12 mph49 x 27 x 42 in74 lb

When searching for a compact treadmill, a person may wish to consider the following:

  • Size: People with limited or smaller spaces may wish to purchase a smaller treadmill that they can easily store. Some treadmills are foldable to make storage easier.
  • Incline options: If a person wishes to use incline settings during their workouts, they should ensure that the treadmill they purchase offers this feature.
  • Speed: People who prefer to run faster should purchase a treadmill that meets their desired speed.
  • Joints: Those who have a history of joint pain may wish to purchase a product that offers extra cushioning.
  • Price: A person may wish to consider their budget before purchasing a treadmill. Products with extra features, such as higher speeds or more incline levels, may be more expensive.

Treadmills provide a cardiovascular and aerobic workout that helps a person burn calories and strengthen their muscles. Other types of cardio home gym equipment include:

A 2020 review that investigated the link between exercise and mental health in young people found that regular physical activity promotes positive mental health.

Other research states that regular treadmill walking programs may help improve the postural balance of older adults living in long-term care facilities.

However, treadmills and other pieces of home exercise equipment come with some risks of injury.

According to a 2014 study, home exercise equipment is a common cause of emergency room admissions among people of all ages. About 66% of the cases that the researchers investigated involved treadmills.

The most common injuries were lacerations or soft tissue injuries in children and sprains or strains in adults. Friction burns were also a commonly reported injury, although only children sustained this type of injury.

People should make sure that they warm up before using a treadmill, know where the emergency stop button is, and take extra care around children and pets.

Here we answer some common questions about these treadmills.

What is the smallest treadmill available?

Most treadmills are around the same size on average, as a person requires enough room to run or walk on the belt.

However, foldable treadmills tend to have a smaller footprint when a person stores them away.

Is a foldable treadmill worth it?

A foldable treadmill may be beneficial for those who have smaller spaces.

These treadmills allow for easier storage, as a person can fold and move them more easily than a traditional treadmill.

How do I choose a foldable treadmill?

People may wish to ensure the foldable treadmill they purchase fits into their workout area and storage space. If the treadmill is heavy, a person may wish to choose a model that has wheels for easier transport.

It is important to check that the treadmill remains folded to reduce the risk of injury. Some models have extra safety features to prevent them from unfolding.

Many compact treadmills are available, most of which are foldable and cost less than standard models.

Compact treadmills have several benefits. They are easy to store and may come with some of the same additional features as standard models, such as speakers. Some compact models can provide an affordable option for people who are looking to walk without additional speed and incline options.

It is best to consider various brands and look at each model’s features and warranties before committing to a purchase.