Should I Buy A Cheap Treadmill? (No, And Here's Why)

Treadmill Running


By Simon Gould

When it comes to shopping for treadmills you have a lot of variety. You can go for a manual one which will cost you a few hundred or you can go for a state of the art Technogym treadmill which cost thousands. Of course what most people want is to pay as little as possible and get something that meets your needs. So how cheap should you go?

Manual treadmills

These are the cheapest. They're called manual because they have no motor, they require you to power the belt round by walking as you normally would. These cost a few hundred dollars and you get what you pay for. You get a flimsy product that may not last very long especially if you run on it. They're really only worth buying for walking on.

We have compiled a page comparing manual to motorized treadmills and of course the price is the biggest difference and the biggest plus for manual machines. They also take up very little room and require very little assembly unlike motorized treadmills. So if money is tight and you only want to walk then you may want to consider one.

Jogging and running on a treadmill

If you're going to jog or run on a treadmill then a cheap manual one just won't do. You need a motor and that's where some cost comes in. When you spend a bit more you can get a lot more for your money. I would recommend paying at least a thousand on a motorized treadmill. Ideally you want one that comes with a good warranty.

The thing to look for in a warranty is the labor. You want 2 years of labor as that's around the best you can get and you're going to have to pay for that. A longer warranty shows commitment by the manufacturer as they don't want to repair their products as it costs them money. So buy as good a treadmill as you can as it will be an investment in your health.

Spend as much as you can

Buy a good treadmill and it can last you between 7 and 12 years if it's taken care of and regularly maintained. Spending more means better components on the machine that will make it last longer. Steel bearings instead of plastic, a more powerful motor that can cope with regular use, it all makes a difference. I always recommend a minimum of $999.

Always go for that little bit more and don't buy a cheap treadmill. It's shown that the more people pay for their fitness equipment the more it is used. And you don't want a clothes hanger that used to be a treadmill in the home. Do your research before you spend any money and you'll get your ideal machine. Just be prepared to pay for it.


Sometimes you can get away with buying a cheap product and it may serve you well. This isn't the case with treadmills, you pay for what you get. It takes up a lot of room in your home so make it one you'll use a lot. The money will tell on the cushioning system as well. A deck on a cheap treadmill won't support your joints like a decent one.

If you intend to do a lot of running or are looking to lose weight. Get a good treadmill, they will have better maximum user weight capacities. If you weigh a lot this will be important to you when you consider what treadmill to buy. I've said it before but pay as much as you can afford, you won't regret it, and your health and fitness is something to be taken seriously.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? See my top 3 recommended treadmills for 2022

Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.

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