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Foldable treadmills offer a convenient and space-friendly way to get the mental and physical benefits of exercise.

A quick look at some of the best folding treadmills

Regular exercise, including running, improves cardiovascular fitness and can reduce the risk of many health conditions.

This article discusses the pros and cons of folding treadmills, including the health benefits and risks. It also lists some foldable treadmill models a person may consider and suggests some alternative cardio exercises.

One of the primary benefits of a folding treadmill is that it saves on storage space. People can fold the treadmill up and store it away when it is not in use, which may particularly benefit those living in smaller properties. Foldable models often have wheels on the bottom, making it easier to move them around.

Foldable treadmills may also be easier to clean than other models, as people can lift them and access the area underneath.

However, these treadmills have some disadvantages. Some models may have a less sturdy frame, and those that have stronger frames may be more expensive.

People should use the safety locks on these models, especially if children and animals use the space around them. If a person does not lock the treadmill into place, the deck could fall, resulting in injury.

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 strengths.
  • 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 that have safe and durable materials that are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Ease of use: MNT selects simple-to-use products with 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 its 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.

Many folding treadmills are available to buy online. Below, we look at seven models in more detail.

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

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

Best for customizable workouts: NordicTrack C 700

The NordicTrack C 700 model comes with a multi-window LED display that allows users to stream different workouts with personal trainers. It has an integrated tablet holder. The treadmill also comes with a 30-day iFIT Family Membership.

The C 700 has a SpaceSaver design with EasyLift Assist technology that makes the treadmill relatively easy to store.

The footprint of this treadmill is as follows:

Unfolded (inches)Folded
Length33.5 inmeasurement unavailable
Width57 inmeasurement unavailable
Height66 inmeasurement unavailable

This foldable treadmill records heart rate and intensity, allowing people to track their workouts. It stores up to four profiles so each user can have a personalized workout.

The treadmill digitally adjusts speed and incline to simulate outdoor terrains. A person can use the treadmill for intense speed, endurance, and interval training.

The 18 x 50-in tread belt offers space for runners under 6 feet tall to run comfortably.

Additional features of the NordicTrack C 700 include:

  • 2.75 continuous horsepower (CHP) motor
  • OneTouch controls
  • 20 onboard workouts
  • dual CardioGrip heart rate monitor
  • two digitally amplified speakers
  • 0–10 miles per hour (mph) speed
  • 0–10% incline
  • 20 x 55-in tread belt
  • FlexSelect Cushioning
  • 1.9-in precision-machined and balanced non-flex rollers
  • user weight capacity of 300 pounds (lb)
  • Bluetooth connectivity and a tablet holder
  • 10-year frame, 2-year parts, and 1-year labor warranties

Advantages and disadvantages

This machine has interactive software, customizable workouts, and a space-saving design.

However, this machine weighs 216 lb, which may make it difficult for people to move.

Price: The NordicTrack C 700 has a list price of $999.

Best for one-step, hydraulic folding: Horizon T202

The Horizon T202 treadmill comes with Bluetooth speakers, a USB charging port, and a device holder. People can use these features to stream fitness classes, music, and other entertainment during their workouts.

Those who purchase this treadmill can access a free app to manage their workout. It also records workout data that people can share with other fitness apps, such as Fitbit. The treadmill measures calories, distance, time, and weight loss.

Users can use one-touch keys to adjust their speed and incline.

The Horizon T202 folds up using one-step hydraulic technology and has the following footprint:

UnfoldedFolded
Length75 in47 in
Width34 in34 in
Height58 in65 in

Additional features of the Horizon T202 include:

  • ultraquiet 2.75 CHP motor
  • 60-in, 3-zone deck with shock-absorbing three-zone cushioning
  • 0.5–12 mph speed
  • 0–12% incline
  • 1-year parts and labor warranty and a lifetime frame and motor warranty
  • option to purchase additional 3-year and 5-year warranty packages
  • weight capacity of 325 lb

Customers who are not satisfied with the product may return it for a full refund within 30 days.

Advantages and disadvantages

This machine has a one-step hydraulic technology, an ultraquiet motor, and a deck with shock-absorbing cushioning.

However, some reviewers state that they have difficulty connecting the machine to iFIT. Others report difficulties in delivering the machine.

Price: The Horizon T202 has a list price of $1,299.

Best for a one-move folding mechanism: Pro-Form Carbon T7

The Pro-Form Carbon T7 folding treadmill includes a touch screen with a 3-year iFIT Family membership. This gives users access to interactive training sessions, including global and studio class workouts.

The touch screen also tracks workout data, helping people set and reach fitness goals.

The Carbon T7 features a space-saving design and folds up using an EasyLift Assist mechanism. It also has a built-in shock system to assist with lifting the deck in one move.

The footprint of this treadmill is as follows:

UnfoldedFolded
Length73.5 inmeasurement unavailable
Width35.2 inmeasurement unavailable
Height57.5 inmeasurement unavailable

Additional features of the Pro-Form Carbon T7 include:

  • 0–10 mph speed
  • 0–10% incline
  • 2.6 CHP motor that stays cool and quiet during use
  • weight capacity of 300 lb
  • 10-year frame warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranty

Advantages and disadvantages

Pro-Form offers a 30-day return policy, and each purchase includes a free trial of an iFIT membership.

However, some reviewers note that the manual mode of the treadmill is not as effective as the interactive training session.

Price: The Pro-Form Carbon T7 has a list price of $1,403.

Best for impact absorption: XTERRA Fitness TR150

The TR150 model by XTERRA Fitness has an intuitive 5-in LCD monitor. This monitor shows various workout metrics, such as speed, time, calories burned, distance covered, and pulse rate. It comes with 12 pre-set programs.

A quiet 2.25 CHP motor powers the machine. It has an XTRASoft cushioned deck for optimal impact absorption. Hand grip pulse sensors on the handlebars help keep users within their desired training zone.

This machine has the following footprint:

UnfoldedFolded
Length63.4 in28.5 in
Width28.75 in28.75 in
Height51.4 in61 in

Additional features of the XTERRA Fitness TR150 include:

  • 0.5–10 mph speed
  • three manual incline levels
  • 12 pre-set programs
  • integrated book rack and accessory holders
  • XTRASoft cushioned deck
  • weight capacity of 250 lb
  • 2.25 HP motor
  • lifetime frame, 1-year motor, and 90-day deck, parts, and labor warranties

The manufacturer does not mention a money-back guarantee.

Advantages and disadvantages

This treadmill is one of the more affordable options on this list. Additionally, reviewers report it is easy to assemble.

However, some reviewers note that the motor and machine software does not work correctly.

Price: The XTERRA Fitness TR150 has a list price of around $390.

Best for use while working: UREVO 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill

This foldable treadmill can fit under a person’s desk at home or in the office. It is an electrical-powered machine that comes with a remote control.

People can use the treadmill to move their legs in a walking motion while sitting at their desks. Additionally, they can track their speed, distance, time, and calories. It comes with a 16.9-in LED screen.

This machine has the following footprints:

UnfoldedFolded
Length52.6 in54.7 in
Width26.4 in26.4 in
Height39.7 in5.1 in

Additional features of the UREVA 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill include:

  • corded electric power
  • alloy steel frame
  • 2.5 HP motor
  • up to 7.6 mph speed
  • non-slip running belt
  • silica gel column support
  • LED display and remote control
  • non-assembly design
  • space save design
  • up to 265 lb weight capacity
  • 12-month warranty

The manufacturer does not offer a money-back guarantee.

Advantages and disadvantages

This treadmill is suitable for use while sitting or standing at a desk. This may be beneficial for those who wish to exercise while working.

However, some reviewers say the machine stopped working a few months after purchase. Others were not satisfied with the manufacturer’s customer service.

Price: The UREVO 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill has a list price of around $470.

Best for safety features: Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill

This treadmill has a device holder so people can stream their workouts. The console screen also offers 8 pre-set workouts.

The integrated handle sensors allow for heart rate monitoring.

This machine has the following footprints:

UnfoldedFolded
Length69 inmeasurement unavailable
Width31 inmeasurement unavailable
Height49 in10 in

Additional features of the Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill include:

  • impact-absorbing rubber running deck
  • up to 12 mph speed
  • 12 incline levels
  • live and on-demand classes
  • scenic workouts
  • metal safety bar under running deck
  • safety stop lanyard
  • extended warranty plans

The manufacturer offers a 30-day return policy.

Advantages and disadvantages

This treadmill has various safety features, such as a safety bar and a safety stop lanyard.

However, some reviewers report the step counter is not accurate.

Price: The Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill has a list price of $1,299.99.

Best for a more affordable treadmill: Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Incline Treadmill

This treadmill comes with an automatic easy-to-use folding mechanism and soft drop system.

The treadmill has a handrail and a pause function that allows people to stop mid-workout without losing their statistical data. It also has 9 in-built workout programs.

The LCD screen shows a person’s time, distance, speed, pulse, and calories they burn.

This machine has the following footprints:

UnfoldedFolded
Length62 inmeasurement unavailable
Width25.5 inmeasurement unavailable
Height50 inmeasurement unavailable

Additional features of the Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Incline Treadmill include:

  • 2.2 HP drive system
  • 0.5–9 mph
  • 3 manual recline options
  • user-friendly control keys
  • smart device holder
  • 220 lb capacity
  • 3-year frame and 180-day parts warranty

The manufacturer does not mention a return policy.

Advantages and disadvantages

One of the biggest advantages of this treadmill is its price in comparison to other similar products. This may make it a suitable purchase for those who wish to buy a treadmill under a budget.

However, some reviewers state it is difficult to move the treadmill around.

Price: The Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Incline Treadmill has a list price of around $384.

The following table compares the foldable treadmills in this article.

Folded size (in)SpeedList price
NordicTrackmeasurements unavailableup to 10 mph$999
Horizon47 x 34 x 65 inup to 12 mph$1,299
Pro-Formmeasurements unavailableup to 10 mph$1,403
XTERRA Fitness28.5 x 28.75 x 61 inup to 10 mpharound $390
UREVO54.7 x 26.4 x 5.1 inup to 7.6 mpharound $470
Echelon Stride10 in heightup to 12 mph$1,299.99
Sunny Health & Fitnessmeasurements unavailableup to 9 mpharound $384

It is advisable to warm up before using a treadmill and cool down afterward. People should also wear comfortable running shoes that provide the correct support and cushioning.

On most treadmills, a person can change the settings to adjust various factors, including speed, resistance, and incline. To reduce the risk of injury, people should start at lower settings and gradually increase the level of difficulty over time.

It is important to maintain proper posture while using a treadmill. Pumping the arms alongside the legs rather than holding onto any treadmill handles will lead to a more effective workout.

If a person becomes dizzy or overly tired, they should stop using the treadmill. It is also advisable to stop any form of exercise after sustaining an injury.

The best treadmill will depend on what a person is looking for.

People who require a machine that tracks fitness metrics, offers on-demand classes, and comes with a membership to a third-party app are likely to purchase a higher-end treadmill than those who only require basic functions.

All treadmills will provide a cardio workout. People who wish to train on inclines should consider purchasing a treadmill with this function.

Using a treadmill can be a convenient way of reaching health and fitness goals. However, as with all physical activity, there are some health risks.

Benefits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that participation in physical activity is an important part of a person’s overall health.

Exercise gives an immediate boost to brain health. Physical activity can improve a person’s thinking and learning, and it can also reduce anxiety.

A 2014 study shows that running regularly can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and death from all causes. The study suggests that running even for just 5–10 minutes per day at slower speeds results in a significant reduction in health risks.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, regular physical activity helps prevent unintentional weight gain. Physical activity also reduces the risk of certain health conditions, such as diabetes.

Risks

Using a treadmill carries some risk of injury. The surface of a treadmill may put pressure on the joints, such as the knees and ankles. Some brands offer cushioning technology to reduce this impact.

According to a 2018 study, many injuries that occur in a gym are treadmill-related. The authors note that there has been an increase in treadmill-associated head injuries in recent years.

People aged 50 years and older are more likely than younger people to experience head injuries while using a treadmill.

A person can take several steps to limit the risk of injury while using a treadmill.

Authors of a 2018 study suggest that people should warm up before physical activity. Warmups increase blood flow and raise muscle temperature, which can reduce the risk of muscle and tendon injuries.

It is also important to wear appropriate and comfortable footwear while using gym equipment.

A 2020 review reports that different types of footwear affect running performance. For instance, softer or thicker shoe soles may have a cushioning effect, which may reduce the pressure on the joints during physical activity.

People who prefer not to work out on a treadmill can choose from many other cardio exercises instead. These include:

It is important to stop any exercise if a person sustains an injury.

People can treat many minor sports injuries by themselves. However, it is necessary to seek medical attention for more serious injuries.

Here we answer some common questions about these machines.

How do I install my treadmill?

All treadmills should come with an instruction manual. It is important people read the manual thoroughly before assembling and using the machine.

Some treadmills will not require assembly. Companies may offer assembly services for an extra fee.

If a person is not sure how to install a treadmill, they should contact the manufacturer for more advice.

Is a foldable treadmill good quality?

Foldable treadmills should not be of lesser quality than traditional treadmills.

However, people should keep note of the folding mechanism and discontinue use immediately if it looks worn or does not work correctly.

Most manufacturers offer warranties on treadmills. If any part of the machine breaks, it is important to use the warranty.

Many fitness equipment brands offer foldable treadmills. People who live on a small property or have a limited workout space may find these models beneficial.

Other forms of physical activity, such as swimming and walking, are good alternatives to running on treadmills.

It is important to remain safe while working out. People should wear suitable shoes and use gym equipment correctly to reduce the risk of injury.