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

The benefits of owning a compact treadmill include:

  • Less storage space is necessary.
  • 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 these products are portable.

However, there are some disadvantages to compact treadmills, such as:

  • 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 have fewer features than larger treadmills, which are more likely to have built-in speakers, tablet holders, and a wide range of speed and incline options.

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

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.

Horizon T202

When open, the total footprint of the treadmill is 75 inches (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 with a three-zone cushioning system.

This compact treadmill also has Bluetooth speakers and a device holder, so a person can stream music and entertainment while working out.

Other features of the Horizon T202 are:

  • 2.75 CHP motor
  • maximum speed of 12 miles per hour (mph)
  • 0–12% incline
  • maximum user weight of 325 pounds (lb)
  • monitors heart rate, time, calories, and distance
  • comes with a lifetime frame and motor warranty and a 1-year parts and labor warranty

Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill

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

The console folds flat to the deck, so 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

Goplus Under Desk Electric Treadmill

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 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
  • 220 lb maximum user weight
  • rubber foot mat for noise reduction
  • LCD showing time, speed, calories, and distance
  • remote control
  • three workout tiers and 12 built-in programs

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill

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

This lack of a motor makes the model 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%
  • 220 lb weight capacity
  • lightweight design
  • monitors time, speed, distance, and calories
  • transportation wheels
  • floor stabilizers
  • comes with a 3-year frame warranty and a 180-day parts warranty

LifeSpan TR2000e

This treadmill uses electronic eFold technology, allowing a person to fold the treadmill simply by pressing a button. It has wheels on the bottom so that 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
  • 11 mph maximum speed
  • 15 incline levels
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • various programs available
  • measures steps, distance, calories, and heart rate
  • comes with a lifetime frame and motor warranty, a 5-year parts warranty, and a 1-year labor warranty

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

According to a 2014 study, even running for just 5 or 10 minutes a day at a slow speed reduces the risk of death and cardiovascular disease.

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

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

According to a 2013 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 these only occurred in children.

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.

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

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