Your dreams of a home gym don’t have to be vanquished just yet. In fact, as long as you have enough space to roll out a yoga mat, you have sufficient room for a treadmill — especially if it’s a folding treadmill, which can easily be stashed under a bed, sofa, or even in a closet when it’s not in use. And you don’t have to give up any fancy features, either. There are plenty of folding treadmill options that can incline, track your miles, and connect to Bluetooth without sacrificing function. (Related: The 8 Best Treadmills Under $500, According to Customer Reviews)
While there’s certainly no shortage of online workouts you can do at home, you may consider investing in a more substantial piece of equipment if you’re looking for a classic cardio workout. Sure, you can run outside, but running on a treadmill (specifically, at an incline of at least one percent to mimic the pavement outdoors) will give you all the same benefits, such as improving your mood and heart health. Plus, you may find it easier to get motivated to run before work when you don’t have to deal with the climate.
And not only does a small folding treadmill take up minimal space in your home, it also doesn’t have to totally kill your budget. These are the best folding treadmills, ranging from roughly $150 to $420, according to customer reviews on Amazon.
Best for Bluetooth Compatibility: Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
The handlebar of this treadmill by Goplus not only folds down for easy storage—it can transform the device into a treadmill desk if you use it with a standing desk. The machine has a quiet motor, so it can be used without disturbing anyone else in your household, and it features a non-slip grip, so you don’t have to worry about faceplanting if you use it sans-handlebar. The LED screen shows your running time, calories burned, speed, and distance. The equipment is also Bluetooth compatible, so you can hook it up to your phone or computer to play your go-to workout playlist.
One shopper was especially pleased by how noiseless the compact treadmill is: “This machine compared to the last one I had at home is extremely quiet which was another huge plus for me since my workout room is upstairs above an office room,” they wrote. “Even at a higher speed, no one knew I was [working] out."
Buy It, $419
Best for a Moderate Incline: Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill with Device Holder
With three different incline levels and a speed range up to 9 miles per hour, this folding treadmill from Sunny Health makes it easy to get in a challenging workout. Its handrails feature buttons so you can quickly adjust your speed mid-run, and on the control panel, you can choose from nine different running programs. Although it can’t be used when the handrail is folded down, shoppers have no problem using the treadmill with a standing desk.
Reviewers even testify to the treadmill’s ability to hold up to hundreds of workouts. “After a ton of research, I purchased this treadmill in 2015," wrote one. "I'm a long-distance runner on a small budget. I've owned this treadmill for five years now and have logged thousands of miles on it. I've trained for multiple half-marathons, four full marathons, and an ultra-marathon with the help of this machine. It’s rugged, the shock absorption is great, can handle challenging speed workouts, has great tablet/phone/water bottle holders, and is easy to fold/unfold and move.”
Buy It, $385
Best for Pre-Programmed Workouts: MaxKare Folding Treadmill
This model by MaxKare has a simple, yet important detail many of the other best folding treadmills neglect to include: a water bottle holder. Of course, it also has all the other essentials you’d expect: a simple LED screen to display distance, speed, and calories burned, plus a padded running belt for a quiet impact. The speed settings can be adjusted manually, but this treadmill also offers 15 pre-set programs—and when you’re done with your workout, you can fold it up and wheel it into storage.
With a 70-percent of its ratings hitting five-stars, MaxKare’s model gets a thumbs up from more than 400 shoppers. “I really needed something to keep me moving, and this is a better full-body workout than an exercise bike,” wrote one satisfied customer. “The treadmill’s display is very easy to read and exceptionally easy to program, and the treadmill itself doesn't take up a great deal of room. It's quiet which I think is great and appears to be pretty sturdy so far.”
Buy It, $346 (was $380)
Best Versatile Option: Redliro 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
If you’re looking for a treadmill to help you get your steps in, this model by Redliro is well-designed for walking when its handrail is folded down, and jogging when it’s pulled up. Because the running belt is just 14-inches wide, the treadmill is compact, and can easily be paired with a standing desk to help you get in a workout while getting your work done. It also comes with a remote control for easy speed adjustment and wheels that make it easy to stow away. Shoppers should note that this model doesn’t come with an incline setting.
Overall, reviewers are pleased with the compact size of the Redliro treadmill, and find that it’s especially suited for those with shorter legs. “I love the wheels and how easy it is to maneuver around,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “It was super easy and fast to assemble too! Getting up to 7.5 miles per hour is perfect for me to get a really good treadmill interval workout in when I want to and then going up to 4 miles per hour when the handrails are down is plenty fast to walk and work! Now I just need my team to get used to me walking during video calls.”
Buy It, $370
Best for High-Speed: Weslo Cadence Folding Treadmill
For those looking for a little extra motivation, Weslo’s treadmill comes with a one-month iFit subscription, which gives them access to guided, on-demand workouts. (FTR, you can still use it without a subscription, no problem.) The machine itself has cushioned ledges on either side of the belt and a large tablet holder. Its speed can be set up to 10 miles per hour, making it a great option for runners, and its weight capacity is 275 pounds, which is higher than many other affordable options allow for. (Related: How to Find Time for Marathon Training When You Think It's Impossible)
Some shoppers even say Weslo’s folding treadmill holds up when compared to more expensive models. “I had gotten used to high-end treadmills at Orangetheory Fitness and once the quarantined started, I wanted something at home so I could keep running but also not destroy my knees,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “This treadmill has far surpassed my expectations. It's compact, easy to maneuver, and I use it every day with no issue.”
Buy It, $372 (was $499)
Best Entry-Level Buy: Merax Electric Folding Treadmill
With 12 different pre-set programs, this folding treadmill from Merax is a great option for beginners and advanced joggers alike. Its LCD screen displays performance metrics, and the dock also has a thick ledge for holding a phone or tablet in place. Shoppers say that it’s sturdy and easy to put together, so for its under-$500 price tag, it’s a solid option.
Some reviewers particularly consider this machine a good entry-level buy for first-time treadmill owners. “I did extensive comparisons before choosing this treadmill," wrote one shopper. "I measured my stride length and experimented walking on cardboard strips to guesstimate how wide a belt needed to be for me to avoid risking a misstep off of it. Most of the less expensive treadmills had belt platforms that were a little too narrow and/or a few inches too short for my long stride. This was one of only a few treadmills at the lower end of the price scale that had a large enough belt area. It has a solid, sturdy feel to it. Controls are easy to use and easy to understand.”
Buy It, $300
Best Work-from-Home Helper: Funmily 2-in-1 Under-Desk Folding Treadmill
This folding treadmill can be used for both walking and running. When the handrail is folded down, you can set your speed at up to 4 miles per hour, and when the rail is up, you can go as fast as 7.5 miles per hour. It comes with a remote that allows for easy speed adjustment, as well as an LED screen that displays your time, distance, and other metrics.
Reviewers note that the machine is of high-quality, and makes for a useful tool in their exercise arsenal. “The remote and the controls on the bar work perfectly. I love how it has [a] place for my tablet, and even a place for a thicker phone too,” wrote one. “The stop is a nice comfortable slowing stop. Most important to me is a comfortable belt when walking, jogging and running... this one has good shock [absorption, and it’s] easy on the legs, back and ankles [with] a good fluid motion that never slows and bogs down.”
Buy It, $370 (was $500)
Best Budget Option: Sunny Health & Fitness Manual Walking Treadmill
This option from Sunny Health may not have a ton of bells and whistles, but it gets the job done if you’re on a budget with little space to spare. At just 13-inches wide, it can squeeze into narrow spaces without making it harder to jog or walk, and it’s battery-operated, so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot that happens to have an outlet nearby. It also has an LCD monitor that tracks time, speed, and calories burned.
Shoppers especially love the value this treadmill provides. “It's very solid for the price, folds up to a very space conservative size, and gets the job done if you want to walk without having to go outdoors,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “I walk while watching TV and the treadmill is not loud. My teenagers walk/run on it and they are able to keep a steady pace. For the amount of use we have gotten per dollar, it's been well worth it!”
Buy It, $156 (was $199)