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Walking treadmills can be beneficial for a person’s overall health. The best treadmills for walking feature adjustable speeds and incline levels and offer access to exercise classes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. This can include brisk walking.

A treadmill may help a person achieve this physical activity goal.

This article looks at some of the best treadmills for walking. It discusses who treadmills may be suitable for and how effective they may be. It also provides a list of products a person can consider and answers some frequently asked questions.

A quick look at the best treadmills for walking

A treadmill is a piece of equipment that allows a person to walk or run while staying in the same place. A person can use a treadmill at home or at a gym.

Users can often change the speed of the treadmill belt to increase their walking or running speed. They also may be able to increase the incline of the treadmill to simulate walking or running uphill.

Treadmills can be suitable for many adults for daily exercise, injury rehabilitation, and athletic training. People of all experience levels can use a treadmill. Because a person can start walking slowly and can gradually increase their pace and distance, walking can be good for people who have not exercised before or have been sedentary for an extended period.

According to the advocacy organization Arthritis Foundation, the benefits of walking include:

Walking can also benefit people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) notes that walking at a brisk pace can lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. It can also improve a person’s insulin sensitivity.

It is important to note that some treadmills may have a weight limit. People with high body weights should check the weight limit of their chosen treadmill to ensure that it is safe for them to use.

Treadmills are not safe for children to use, and research has found that children can be at risk of sustaining injuries. For example, researchers in a small 2020 study analyzed records of 12 children with hand abrasions from treadmills and found that this injury occurred after they touched the treadmill belt when it was in use.

A person should also keep pets away from the treadmill when it is in use.

Treadmills are effective in that they allow users to regularly take part in moderate aerobic activity. Aerobic activity makes the heart and lungs work harder than usual. This can increase the efficiency of the lungs, heart, circulatory system, and muscles.

Aerobic exercise can also help a person burn calories and lose weight.

Additionally, treadmills can be part of a person’s rehabilitation after heart disease and can help prevent further heart damage, according to a 2018 study.

A 2017 review states that treadmills may also be helpful in retraining individuals who have had a stroke to improve their balance.

Treadmills can be beneficial for people with neurological disorders as well, and older research shows that people can improve their gait with treadmill training and weight harnesses.

When using a treadmill for walking, a person can choose the speed at which they walk. This means that treadmills can be suitable for people who need to build up their walking pace and duration slowly.

A treadmill provides a stable walking surface, and if a person has one at home, it can be a convenient way to take part in exercise each day. This can help people keep up with exercise plans.

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: For equipment that involves 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 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 its products are safe for personal use.
  • Reputable: MNT chooses products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices and offer reliable customer service and support.

Below is a list of some of the best treadmills for walking a person may consider purchasing online.

Best overall: NordicTrack New Commercial 2450

Price$2,499
Standout features22-inch (in) touch screen and 30-day iFit membership
Weight capacity300 pounds (lb)
Proautomatically adjusts speed and incline based on heart rate
Conexpensive

This treadmill features a variety of smart features, including a 22-in touch screen, allowing users to stream workouts. It also has premium audio speakers and Bluetooth connectivity so a person can connect to their own music.

The speed ranges from 0–12 miles per hour (mph), and the incline ranges from -3–15%.

This treadmill offers a range of features that will make it suitable for people of varying experience levels.

It is adjustable for uphill and downhill walks and has a high weight limit. Additionally, the wide range of workout sessions users can choose from means that this model may appeal to multiple users, such as family members with different exercise goals and interests.

Best value for money: Horizon T101 Treadmill

Price$649
Standout featuresBluetooth speakers, foldable design
Weight capacity300 lb
Progood value for money
Conbasic features

This foldable treadmill has shock-absorbing three-zone cushioning support to help relieve pressure on the joints. It also features Bluetooth speakers and a device holder to allow a person to play audio and watch a tablet or phone screen while they walk, meaning a person can follow a fitness class if they wish.

The speed range is 0.5–10 mph, and the incline range is 0–10%.

Best space-saving: ProForm City L6

Price$599
Standout featuressmall and foldable design, tablet holder
Weight capacity250 lb
Proaffordable price, supports personal trainer sessions
Conno adjustable incline levels

This foldable treadmill includes a 30-day iFit membership, giving a person access to personal trainer sessions. The ProForm City L6 does not include a screen, but it does have a tablet holder.

The speed ranges from 0–8 mph. The incline level is not adjustable.

Best for fitness app compatibility: Horizon 7.8 AT Treadmill

Price$2,699
Standout featuresLED color touch screen, folding design
Weight capacity375 lb
Procan integrate with external fitness apps
Conmay be heavier and bulkier than competitors

This treadmill features an LED touch screen a person can use to connect to various fitness apps. It also has Bluetooth speakers, a Bluetooth chest strap, and multi-position device holders. The chest strap monitors the user’s heart rate as they exercise.

The speed ranges from 0.5–12 mph, and the incline ranges from 0–15%.

Best auto-folding: Echelon Stride

Price$1,299.99
Standout featuresauto-fold feature, smart device holder
Weight capacity300 lb
Prospace-saving design, 12 incline levels
Conno screen for watching classes

The Echelon Stride treadmill folds up at the touch of a button. The running deck is impact-absorbing, and the treadmill includes a smart device holder.

Live and on-demand classes are also available, but a person must pay extra for this and view these classes via their own device.

The speed range is 0–12 mph, and there are 12 incline levels.

Best for both running and walking: Nautilus T618 Treadmill

Price$1,499
Standout featureswide and long running belt, Bluetooth connectivity
Weight capacity350 lb
Prolarge rollers to increase life span of belt
Conno on-demand training sessions

This treadmill by Nautilus is suitable for both running and walking thanks to its wide and long running belt. It also has a cushioning system and Bluetooth to connect to smart devices.

The speed ranges from 0.5–12 mph, and the treadmill has a 15% maximum incline.

Best for reducing stress on joints: Schwinn 830 Treadmill

Price$949
Standout features4-cell deck cushioning system, 22 exercise programs
Weight capacity300 lb
ProUSB charging port and MP3 port, 12 incline levels
Conrequires assembly

The Schwinn 830 model features a four-cell Softrak deck cushioning system to reduce the pressure on a user’s joints. It also has an LCD screen and a shelf that can hold smart devices or books.

It has 12 incline levels, and its speeds range from 0–12 mph.

Best under-desk treadmill: LifeSpan Fitness TR800-GlowUp Under Desk Treadmill

Price$1,099
Standout featuresfits under a desk, separate control console, displays information about workout
Weight capacity200 lb
Prosmall size and transport wheels for easy movement
Connot suited for heavier individuals

For those who have standing desks, this model from LifeSpan Fitness may be a suitable option. It is small and fits under a desk, allowing a person to exercise while they work. This also means the treadmill will take up less space in a person’s home or work environment.

The speed ranges from 0.4–4 mph, and there are no incline settings.

Best for heavier individuals: Bowflex Treadmill 10

Price$1,727.66
Standout featureshigh weight capacity, HD touch screen
Weight capacity400 lb
Prohigh weight capacity, wide incline range
Conexpensive

This product has a high maximum weight capacity of 400 lb. It also has an HD touch screen that allows access to apps such as Netflix and Disney Plus. The treadmill can fold up to save on storage space.

The treadmill’s speed goes up to 12 mph, and its incline levels range from -5–15%.

Best under-desk and running combination: Go Plus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

Price$349.99
Standout features7 color choices, foldable design
Weight capacity265 lb
Proaffordable price, small footprint
Conlow weight capacity, no incline, low running speed

This folding treadmill comes in seven color options. A person can also choose whether to use it as an under-desk treadmill or as a running treadmill. It has Bluetooth connectivity, so it can connect to a person’s smart devices.

When a person uses it as an under-desk treadmill, the speed ranges from 0–2.4 mph. If a person uses it as a running treadmill, the speed can increase to 7.45 mph.

Best incline range: NordicTrack New Commercial X22i

Price$3,999
Standout featuresup to 40% incline level, HD touch screen
Weight capacity300 lb
Proauto-adjusting technology
Conexpensive

The NordicTrack X22i has an incline and decline range of -5–40%. The auto-adjusting technology changes the speed and incline to keep a person in their optimal heart rate zone.

The speed ranges from 0–12 mph.

Best access to classes: Peloton Tread

Price$2,495
Standout featuresthousands of exercise classes available, HD touch screen
Weight capacity300 lb
Proallows users to compare progress with other members and friends
Conextra cost for Peloton membership and delivery and setup

This treadmill from Peloton offers users thousands of classes in different disciplines. However, a person must sign up for a membership, costing $39 per month, to access these classes. These classes appear on the HD touch screen provided with the treadmill.

The speed ranges from 0.5–12.5 mph. Users can adjust the incline from 0–12.5%.

Best manual treadmill: Sunny Health and Fitness Manual Walking Treadmill

Price$199.99
Standout featuresno electricity required, foldable design
Weight capacity220 lb
Proaffordable price
Conmay be harder for beginners to use, no adjustable incline

This treadmill does not contain a motor, so it does not need electricity. A person powers it by walking on the belt. Because it lacks a motor, this treadmill is less expensive than most of its competitors. However, the absence of a motor may mean a person does not benefit from the motion and power of the moving belt, which may make this treadmill harder for some to use.

The speed range of this treadmill will vary depending on the person powering it. The treadmill sits on a slight incline and cannot be adjusted.

Below is a table comparing the treadmills for walking included in this article.

PriceWeight capacitySpeed rangeIncline rangeTread belt sizeWarranty length
NordicTrack 2450$2,499300 lb0–12 mph-3–15%22 x 60 in• 10 years frame,
• 2 years parts
• 1 year labor
Horizon T101$649300 lb0.5–10 mph0–10%20 x 55 in• lifetime home and motor
• 1 year parts and labor
ProForm City L6$599250 lb0–8 mph17.5 x 45 in• 10 years frame
• 1 year parts and labor
Horizon 7.8 AT$2,699375 lb0.5–12 mph0–15%22 x 60 in• lifetime frame and motor
• 3 years parts
• 1 year labor
Echelon Stride$1,299.99300 lb0–12 mph12 incline levels20 x 55 in• 1 year parts and labor
Nautilus T618$1,499350 lb0.5–12 mph0–15%20 x 60 in• 15 years frame and motor
• 5 years parts
• 2 years labor
Schwinn 830$949300 lb0–12 mph12 incline levels20 x 55 in• 10 years frame and motor
• 2 years mechanical and electronics
• 1 year labor
LifeSpan Fitness TR800-GlowUp$1,099200 lb0.4–4 mph18 x 45 in• lifetime frame
• 3 years motor
• 1 year parts
Bowflex 10$1,727.66400 lb0–12 mph-5–15%22 x 60 in• 15 years frame and motor
• 5 years mechanical parts
• 2 years labor
Go Plus 2-in-1 Folding$349.99265 lb0–2.4 or 0–7.45 mph16 x 40 in1 year
NordicTrack X22i$3,999300 lb0–12 mph-5%–40%22 x 60 in• 10 years frame
• 2 years parts
• 1 year labor
Peloton Tread$2,495300 lb0.5– 12.5 mph0–12.5%20 x 59 in• 5 years frame
• 3 years motor and belt
• 1 year parts and labor
Sunny Health and Fitness Manual Walking Treadmill$199.99220 lb13 x 42 in• 3 years frame
• 180 days parts and other components

A few factors a person may wish to consider when choosing a treadmill for walking include:

  • Budget: There are many quality treadmills available at different price points. A person should consider their overall budget and choose a treadmill that offers a wide range of features and fits their ideal price range. A person should also consider any additional costs for memberships, payment schemes, and extra features they would like.
  • Weight capacity: Users with a high body weight should research the weight capacity before purchasing.
  • Settings: Speed ranges and incline settings may influence a person’s decision when purchasing a treadmill. For those who want to use their treadmill for walking, models with lower speed ranges may be adequate.
  • Warranty: A person should ensure they purchase from a company that provides a suitable warranty. Some brands may also offer an in-home trial.
  • Shock absorption: A person can check that the treadmill has shock absorption to reduce pressure on the joints.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about treadmills for walking.

Is walking 30 minutes on a treadmill good?

A daily 30-minute session on a treadmill is a suitable aim for people beginning their exercise plan. Spending more time on the treadmill may result in increased health benefits.

The ADA recommends that a person who is new to exercise start walking for a few minutes a day and aim to build up to doing five 30-minute walking sessions per week.

How should a beginner walk on a treadmill?

Beginners should start at a slow speed and gradually increase over time. They should also start with shorter sessions lasting 15 minutes at a time. A person may also wish to keep the incline neutral to make their exercise session easier when they are starting out.

Is walking on a treadmill bad for the knees?

Users who run or jog on a treadmill may find that it puts pressure on their knees. However, walking on a treadmill should not cause as much pressure on the knee joints.

Treadmills can also help a person build their bone density, as stated in a 2016 study that discussed the negative effects that long-term corticosteroid use can have on bone mineral density.

A variety of treadmills for walking are available on the U.S. market. Many include access to exercise classes, smart device connectivity, and a range of speed and incline settings that make them suitable for walking and running alike.

A person should consider their budget and the weight capacity, shock absorption, and warranty length of a treadmill before making a purchase.