Unfortunately, training for a 5K or getting in shape usually doesn’t include any slimming down on our wallets.
There are expensive shoes to invest in, an entire wardrobe of exercise attire, music and gadgets to buy, gym memberships, apps, and even a more expensive grocery bills.
But if there’s one investment in your fitness that is sure to make you sweat, it’s trying to figure out what treadmill to buy.
Treadmills are a great investment and provide a convenient way to get a workout in the comfort and safety of your home no matter what the weather condition.
Many find that having this convenience is a great way to motivate themselves to maintain an active lifestyle - what can be a better investment than your own health!
Plus, treadmills are much easier on sensitive joints like the knees and hips, and make a great tool for people who are prone to injury or recovering from one.
The 5 Best Treadmills Under $1000
The Best Overall Treadmill Under $1000
Major Differences Between the "Budget" & $1000 Treadmills
However, I have found that the $700-$1000 budget range will afford you a quality treadmill with a larger motor (usually 2.7HP or higher), powered incline with higher incline percentages, higher speeds available, a larger running area, a longer warranty, many more entertainment features, and an overall more sturdy and durable machine that support “big and tall” runners.
Below you’ll find my picks for the five best treadmills under $1,000. Before you start digging into what makes them great, a few things that they all have in common.
- They are all folding treadmills
- They all have powered incline (ranging from 12-15 percent)
- They all reach speeds of more than 10 mph (most are 12)
- They all have a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor (probably one of the reasons they are so popular!)
- They are all available for purchase on Amazon (links provided) and have received outstanding customer reviews.
Two things that I highly recommend before we get started is a treadmill mat and a cover. A treadmill mat will save your floor.
We break down the which ones are specifically designed for hardwoods and carpets here.
A treadmill cover keeps your investment clean of animal hair, protects it from animals and it becoming a very expensive clothing rack.
They are relatively inexpensive but provide great coverage. Here is a an article that shares which ones are the best quality.
1. NordicTrack T 6.5
This treadmill is packed with features and is a great option for the runner that depends on entertainment features for extra motivation, or who is looking for a top-speed durable machine that will provide hard workouts for a lifetime.
You read the full review on this awesome treadmill here.
- Interactive Personal Training at Home powered by iFit; gain access to on-demand, interactive trainer-led global and studio workout programs; membership required, sold separately
- 10% OneTouch incline control, 10 MPH SMART OneTouch speed control; spacious 20” x 55” tread belt
- Bluetooth connection allows iFit to automatically adjust your treadmill’s speed and incline to match trainer recommendations and mimic real-life terrain; integrated tablet holder secures your tablet or smartphone
- Enjoy a quiet workout with a powerful 2.6 CHP* DurX Smart Response Motor perfect for running, jogging, and walking in the comfort of your home
- Innovative SpaceSaver design with EasyLift Assist means your treadmill can fold up after your run for compact, simple storage. iPod Compatible Sound System
This treadmill is powered by a 3.0 continuous horsepower (CHP) motor designed to operate quietly and offer speeds up to 12 miles per hour.
The smooth running 60″ running deck is long enough for most runners and includes an optional FlexSelect cushioning setting.
Turn the cushioning on to increase shock absorption and get excellent joint protection.
Turn it off to simulate outdoor conditions and estimate your performance in outdoor competitions. A one-touch button lets you easily adjust the incline up to 15 percent.
This treadmill comes with a diverse array of 20 workout applications so you can work on speed, endurance or weight loss goals with programs that are customized to your fitness level.
The T6.5 is one of the top budget treadmills on the market because of it's tremendous value.
It is iFit enabled, a feature that really differentiates this unit from it’s less expensive relative the C 970 (which is only iFit compatible, which means you’d need to add a module).
Using iFit requires a subscription, and then you can take your treadmill online.
You can download personalized workout programs, track your performance, compete in treadmill races with your Facebook friends, and virtually experience real-life running routes that you choose in Google Maps.
This feature makes using the 7″ backlit LED console even greater.
The screen is easy to read at any angle and tracks your speed, time, distance, calories and heart rate.
The built-in tablet bracket allows you personalize your workout experience with other fitness apps and entertainment options. The console also includes an iPod compatible music port so you can stream MP3 music through the built-in 3″ speakers.
Not to mention it folds for easy storage. This is my TOP choice for a treadmill under $1000.
2. The ProForm Power 995i
ProForm is one of the top treadmill brands, especially in this price range.
You’ll find several models available on Amazon under $1,000.00 but very few that surpass this model in terms of positive reviews.
With 30 workout programs, a 60″ long-running deck, and a high quality 3.0 CHP motor, this is a great treadmill that surprisingly comes in under $900.
Like NordicTrack, this ProForm treadmill (and most of their other models as well) are iFit enabled and ready to take you on a run anywhere in the world, track your progress, and compete with friends.
You can view the full, very comprehensive review of the 995i here.
- 3.0 CHP* drive System, 20 x 60 non-stretch 1-ply commercial belt, proshox cushioning, space saver design, easy lift assist
- 2.5" precision Machined and balanced non-flex roller, 7" backlit iFit display, iFit workout Apps matrix
- Clothing Size: 51 inch - 60 inch. IPod Compatible audio (2-2" speakers); 20” x 60” Tread Belt
- Digital quick speed Control 0-12 MPH, digital quick incline Control 0-15, 30 preset workout Apps
- CoolAire workout Fan, EKG grip Pulse, 350lb User capacity, Lifetime frame and motor Warranty, 3 yr Parts and 1 yr Labor Warranty
An integrated tablet holder keeps your tablet secure and conveniently close so you have access to all your training tools and entertainment must-haves.
Like other treadmills on this list, the ProForm Power 995i reaches a top speed of 12 mph and the convenient QuickSpeed buttons let you adjust your intensity instantly, so you don’t have to scroll through .5 increments to reach the speed you want.
Many treadmill users start with Proform, find the F63 and then compare it to the 995i. To help you with the comparison, check out this article.
Reviewers note that this treadmill has great impact absorption, some stating that it is better than any other treadmill they’ve ever tried.
Though we highly recommend picking up a treadmill mat. Here are the ones that are great for hardwoods and carpets.
This feature makes it a great option for big and tall runners, those with sensitive joints, or recovering from injury.
3. The LifeSpan TR 1200i
This treadmill has an absolutely stellar reputation. It has been voted as one of the best treadmills in its price range, it appeared on literally every single other “best treadmill” list that I read during the course of my research, and it has a tremendous amount of customer reviews on Amazon.
In comparison to other treadmill’s on the list, this treadmill is actually smaller and has less power, the running deck is 56 inches long and the motor is 2.5 CHP.
While you can buy treadmills under $1,000 with better specifications, it’s hard to ignore the impressive number of top reviews by actual customers.
- The best selling electric treadmill by Lifespan, foldable and portable capability turns this motorized running machine into a small compact size; Step-up Height :7.5 inches
- Heavy duty and high capacity 2.5 HP motor with a large 20" x 56" walking belt surface, and 15 levels of adjustable incline.
- Quiet and lightweight manual fold for space saving and storable purposes in your office or home. Console tracks time, calories, distance, speed, and more.
- 21 trainer programs targeting weight loss, healthy living, sports training and heart rate programs with Bluetooth connectivity.
- Lifetime warranty on frame and motor. 300 pound user weight limit.
So I looked into the reviews themselves to see what all the hype was about. This treadmill has 15 different powered incline options and up to 11 mph running speeds.
The deck is supported by 6 compression shock absorbers that provide safe, responsive cushioning for your knees, back and joints.
The USB port allows you to charge media devices or you can insert a zip drive to store your fitness data.
Simply insert a USB drive into the built-in port and your results are automatically saved every 20 seconds.
When you’re done with your workout, you can re-insert the drive into your personal computer to upload minutes, calories, heart rate, distance, and step count data right to your running log or onto your favorite fitness tracking app.
The LCD system hosts more than 21 different kinds of program options for any level of runner. This treadmill also has an iPod compatible speaker system as well as a pedometer feature that allows you to keep track of your steps. Here is a great, more comprehensive review of the TR1200i.
In addition to the impressive features on this model, customers rave about the company’s customer service, many saying that when a problem arose with the machine they were prompt and helpful.
Several reviewers noted that this was a very quiet and comfortable treadmill to run on, and that assembly of the machine was easy.
The Lifespan TR 1200i is an impressive machine and is very similar in terms of features as the NordicTrack T6.5s. For the full comparison, check out this article.
4. Schwinn 830
Let’s face it – if you’re planning on tossing the big bucks at a treadmill, you’re serious about your fitness goals.
The Goal Track capability of this treadmill allows you to set exercise goals so you can stay accountable.
With 22 preset programs, a speed range of 0-12 MPH, and a 12% motorized incline, you’re sure to meet your every fitness need.
Looking for a little more info? You read the in-depth review of the Schwinn 830 here.
- Goal Track capability enables users to set individual exercise goals
- 12% motorized incline
- 20" W x 55" L running path
- 22 preset exercise programs: including manual, quick goal, train weight control, heart health, interval and custom workouts
- High resolution, blue backlit LCD screen offers increased visibility to programs and goal tracking
This machine is powered by a 2.75 continuous horsepower motor. The 20” x 55” track features Soft Track cushioning technology to make your jog as comfortable as possible.
The LCD screen displays your stats, such as time, distance, speed, laps, calories, and incline level for current workouts.
Using the ergonomic pulse sensors on the handlebars, you can also monitor your heart rate.
At the end of your workout, you’ll be able to review some of your past workouts to track your progress.
Extra bells and whistles include a media stand, USB charging port, speakers, 3-speed fan, and 2 water bottle holders.
For storage, this machine folds up.
Some users have suggested that this machine is best used for walking or jogging, rather than sprinting or running, because of the shorter belt distance.
For the everyday runner shopping at this price point, this machine is impressive.
5. The Nautilus T614
Inspired by the Nautilus fitness club line, the T614 Treadmill is powered by a 2.75 CHP motor that reaches 12 mph and a powered incline up to 12 percent.
The 22 workout programs offer a workout plan for every fitness level and the StrikeZone cushioning system provides comfort and support your ankles, knees, hips and back.
The console features a 3” x 5” high-resolution blue backlit LCD monitor to track your workout time, distance traveled and calories burned.
I really like this treadmills warranty and LCD monitor. For an even more in-depth review, check out this article.
- Goal Track capability enables users to set individual exercise goals
- 12 percent motorized incline
- 22 programs: including manual, quick goal, train, weight control, heart health, interval and custom workouts
- StrikeZone cushioning system for a smooth run
- 2.75 CHP motor that offers reliability, high responsiveness and performance for the user
A built-in media shelf allows you to rest a magazine, book or tablet in front of you while keeping track of your workout and a built-in USB port allows you charge your media device as your workout.
The control center looks like a space shuttle with so many buttons. The good news is that many reviewers have said that within 30-1 hour they were able to complete get a feel for how to operate the unit.
This treadmill supports data exchange with their own fitness tracker, Nautilus Connect, as well as the more well known MyFitnessPal.
Similar to other fitness tracking apps, Nautilus Connect allows you to upload, analyze and track your workout data through their website after you create a free account.
Looking For A Budget Treadmill?
I’ve written a similar article to this one that covers treadmills in the “budget category” and they were all less than $700.
While many of the treadmills I covered in that article are great options if you are looking for a basic no frills treadmill.
I’ve found that there is a significant increase in quality past the $700 mark.
Treadmills in the “budget category” may get the job done well, but they often don’t have long warranties (if a warranty at all), have less stable construction (and don’t support high weight limits or exceedingly tall individuals), and typically don’t have strong enough motors to support powered incline and high running speeds.
If you are just now starting your treadmill research, I highly recommend that you start with that article - you may be surprised to find what some of the treadmills in the budget category can do and find that one of them would be a perfect fit!
Last update on 2020-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API