Are you looking to take advantage of spending more time at home to stay in better shape?
Building out a home gym is one of the best investments you can make and needn’t cost the earth.
What can do you if you live in a smaller house or an apartment but you still want some great cardio equipment to challenge you?
Well, folding treadmills are ideal for space-saving and you’re in for a treat today. We’ll be exploring 9 of the finest models up for grabs and showing you where they stand and fall. As with all our reviews, we pull no punches. We’ll tell you straight if any product fails to measure up.
A treadmill is one of the most effective forms of machine for an intense burst of cardio. Extremely versatile, you’ll be able to walk, run, or sprint depending on the upper speed limit of the model you choose.
What’s the drawback of most treadmills, then?
In a word, size. These things are typically enormous and very weighty and of limited use if you have restricted indoor real estate.
Luckily, there are plenty of great folding treadmills to solve this issue. It’s these space-saving models we’ll be focusing on today.
Treadmills fold down vertically or horizontally. There’s no right or wrong answer so think about whether you plan to store your machine in a closet when not in use or whether you’d prefer to slide it under your bed.
If you struggle with practical tasks, make certain the treadmills on your shortlist have a reputation for ease of folding. We’ve commented throughout our reviews on this element to make your life easier.
So, whether you want some light exercise or some serious fat-burning cardio work, investing a folding treadmill is a smart move if you live in a smaller home.
And the best thing?
You can hit all your fitness goals without any damaging impact to your joints and bones.
Before we get down to business, take a look at the key benefits of the treadmills we’ll be highlighting today.
I. Our Picks For Folding Treadmills
|Products & Features||Image & Price|
Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill Our #1 Pick
NordicTrack T Series Treadmill
Nautilus Treadmill Series
LifeSpan TR2000e Electric Folding Treadmill
NordicTrack Commercial Series Treadmill with iFit
ProForm 705 CST
LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i Touch Folding Treadmill
XTERRA Fitness TR6.6 Folding Treadmill
Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill
II. Things You Should Consider When Buying a New Folding Treadmill
Now, buying a treadmill might seem like one of the easiest buying decisions. The thing is, there are a number of things you can double down on to make this decision even easier:
- Your Fitness Goals and Fitness Levels
- Available Space for Treadmill
- Ease of Folding
- Running Path
- Connectivity and Data Sharing
- Build Quality
- Budget: Think About More Than The Bottom Line
Your Fitness Goals and Fitness Levels
The first thing you should do before you even think about whipping out that credit card is to think long and hard about two things:
- Your fitness goals
- Your fitness levels
Both these aspects will inform the type of treadmill that best fits.
If you’re only planning to boost your circulation by taking the occasional no-impact walk, you can get away with a small, lightweight treadmill. This will be even easier to fold down and store while still delivering all the functions you need.
For any serious athletes, it’s vital to up the ante and invest in a more robust machine. Trying to cut corners here and shave off a few bucks is unwise. You’ll just end up with a treadmill that’s unfit for purpose.
Available Space for Treadmill
How much room do you have in your home gym?
Do you have a separate dedicated space or will you use the treadmill in your living area then pack it away when you’re done?
Think about space so you can whittle down your shortlist and focus only on suitable models.
Give due consideration to where you’ll be storing your treadmill and make sure the configuration allows for that.
Ease of Folding
You should also check user reviews to make sure the treadmill is easy to fold down and you won’t be laboring for hours with a fiddly manual mechanism.
Many of the best machines come with folding tech built in to make your life easier.
Think about the running path in terms of both size and cushioning.
We reference the size of the space available for running for each of the models we review so you can compare them at a glance.
For the average user, a 20 x 56-inch area should suffice. If you’re taller or like to run harder, look for a path extending to 60 inches.
Have a look at the shock absorption and construction of the running deck, too.
Incline treadmills enable you to angle the deck anywhere up to 15% so you can add another layer of difficulty to your workouts while also approximating the kind of terrain you’d run on in real-world conditions.
Most decks that incline can angle to 12% but some of the better machines stretch to 15%.
Motor and Speed Range
The motor is crucial. Look for enough power (quoted in HP for horsepower or CHP for continuous horsepower) and also check that the motor doesn’t kick out too much noise for your liking. This might not be a big deal if you have an isolated home gym.
You should also ensure that the top speed is sufficient for your needs. Most great treadmills can hit 12 mph at the upper end.
Connectivity and Data Sharing
Bluetooth connectivity comes as standard on many treadmills. This allows you to share your fitness data with your preferred tracking and fitness apps.
While you’re looking at connectivity, is the screen large enough for your requirements? Make sure you buy in line with your needs here.
Linked to your fitness goals and fitness levels, it’s essential to look for a treadmill that’s robust and built to last. This brings us neatly to the final element you should consider when you’re buying a folding treadmill…
It’s all about the Benjamins…
Budget: Think About More Than The Bottom Line
While we appreciate that price will play a factor in any buying decision, it certainly shouldn’t be the prevailing factor.
More accurately, you should examine the overall value and build quality set against the price tag. Taking this broader view will help you find the treadmill best matched to your personal needs.
Right then, with that buying guidance in mind, take a look at the leading treadmills that fold down after use so you can find which best gels with your goals.
III. 9 Best Folding Treadmills for Space-Saving
1. Our #1 Pick: Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill
First up in our folding treadmill reviews is the iconic Bowflex BXT116. This is our personal pick based across a range of categories. What makes it so good, though?
Well, the proprietary Bowflex JRNY gives you a realistic simulation of real world terrain. You’ll benefit from a virtual trainer putting you through your paces with the incline ratcheted up to as steep as 15%. This should give you a challenging session even if you’re a competent athlete. You will need a subscription for this functionality, though.
The oversized touchscreen makes navigation and monitoring key metrics super-simple. The 9-inch LCD is backlit for gloomy conditions. Keep a close eye on how many calories you’re burning each minute without breaking your stride.
Comfort is uppermost so you get no-impact cardio to help you stay on track with your fitness goals. The running path is a substantial 22 x 60 inches so you should have ample space even if you’re taller.
Gel buttons enable you to keep close control of everything from incline and programming through to the raw speed.
You get 9 presets workout programs which could be expanded but still hits the spot for most casual users. Bluetooth connectivity ensures you can share your data with your favorite fitness tracking app.
With a 3.75 HP powerplant, this hard-hitting treadmill is a must for any modern home gym. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed. You can even fold it down when it’s not in use if space is at a premium.
Pros: Bowflex JRNY for guided coaching. Ratchet up incline to 15% for challenging cardio sessions. Large, responsive touchscreen. Easily navigable controls. Solid build. Contact-enabled and telemetry-enabled. Chest strap thrown in.
Cons: No zero angle available. Speakers no good for TV audio.
Bottom Line: The Bowflex BXT116 gives you the chance for a challenging, trainer-led cardio session without leaving home with a treadmill built to last.
2. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill
Next up is another powerful treadmill from the industry legend NordicTrack.
The 3.5 CHP powerplant is highly capable while also running with remarkably little noise for a treadmill. The motor is commercially-rated and also self-cooling.
If you’re a fan of interactive workouts with training from experts delivered remotely, you’ll love the annual iFit membership bundled. Work out in a range of global and studio backdrops so you’ll feel more stimulated and encouraged to stretch yourself.
Note: When you fire up your treadmill, you’ll be prompted to enter your credit card details. This is something we don’t like when you should be getting a free annual subscription. One user provided a workaround. Hold down the iFit logo for 30 seconds and your treadmill will start working without you needing to divulge your credit card details.
Tweak the incline to a sharp 15% so you can push yourself hard when you want a more intense workout. As with all treadmills, you can use the NordicTrack for anything from a gentle stroll to a punishing but no-impact run. If you’re working hard, you’ll appreciate the onboard fan.
The bulky display is a pleasure to use and you can see all the data you need at a glance.
Despite the weak customer service and that nonsense with the request for credit card details, this is a fantastic all-rounder and a worthwhile addition to any home gym.
Pros: Self-cooling 3.5 CHP motor runs quietly. Large, 10-inch touchscreen. Trainer-led workouts. Annual iFit membership bundled. 12% incline for challenging sessions. Maxes out at 12 mph. Impressive build. Unbeatable brand heritage.
Cons: Customer service could be improved. Quality control is lacking.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a workout led by professional trainers and you’re a committed athlete looking to push yourself hard, the NordicTrack delivers fully on both counts.
3. Nautilus Treadmill Series
You can’t formulate a shortlist of the best treadmills without Nautilus flexing their muscles. What makes this foldable unit stand out in a glutted field, then?
Firstly, the SoftDrop system renders folding and storing your machine a matter of minutes. This is ideal if you’re operating with limited space or you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated home gym.
Do you like sharing your fitness data across tracking apps? If so, you’re in safe hands with Nautilus. Bluetooth is built in so you’ll be able to sync your data with RunSocial and similar leading fitness apps. There’s no excuse not to stay on track with your goals even if you can’t get out to the gym.
A wide assortment of 26 workout programs allows you to focus on heart health, strength training, or a range of other routines tailored to your needs.
The 20 x 60 inch running path is roomy enough for most users. StrikeZone cushioning ensures you reap all the benefits of a serious CV session with none of the jarring impact associated with running on concrete.
The 3 HP motor is agile and responsive. Power delivery is smooth and quiet so you won’t disturb your family or your neighbors.
With a 15% incline at your fingertips and a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, this is a pro-grade machine that sits neatly in any home gym, too.
Pros: Folds down with SoftDrop ease. Huge array of workout programs. Ramp up the incline to 12%. StrikeZone cushioning. Large running path ideal for tall users. Bluetooth connectivity. Syncs with RunSocial App.
Cons: Poor quality control. Delivery can be hit and miss.
Bottom Line: The classic Nautilus Treadmill Series gives you power, performance, and the ability to train virtually in realistic settings. What’s not to love?
4. LifeSpan TR2000e Electric Folding Treadmill
Next in our treadmill reviews is a pocket-friendly machine from LifeSpan in the form of the TR2000e electric foldable model.
You can adjust the incline through 15 different settings allowing you to replicate running in real-world conditions. Even if you’re running at full-clip, the independent shocks tamp down all menacing vibration. The result is a hardcore cardio session that’s ultra-easy on the joints.
Many folding treadmills are a real drag to break down. The eFold system in place here ensures you won’t be fiddling around for an hour when you need to stash your treadmill away.
The 2.5 HP motor is more than fit for purpose considering this is a machine more targeted at the casual user than the serious athlete.
Measuring up at 71 x 33 x 56 inches and weighing in at 210 pounds, this unit is relatively lightweight considering its performance. Throw in that foldable nature and you’ve got a very maneuverable yet powerful addition to your home gym.
The running path is not the largest at 20 x 56 inches so make sure this meshes with your needs before committing to purchase. The upper speed limit of 11 mph should be ideal for most users, though.
Pros: 15 levels of incline. 8 independent shocks. eFold to streamline breaking the treadmill down. 2.5 CHP motor delivers power smoothly. Variable speed to 11 mph.
Cons: Running path is not the largest but you’ll benefit from a compact treadmill. Not ideal for serious athletes.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a small, compact, and foldable treadmill ideal for beginner to intermediate level, check out the LifeSpan TR2000e.
5. NordicTrack Commercial Series Treadmill with iFit
If the treadmill above is a little lightweight for your liking, the NordicTrack Commercial Series sits at the other end of the market. Whether you want to kit out a commercial gym or you’re looking for a treadmill for your home, this iFit-enabled gem is the perfect solution. What do you get for that considerable price tag, though?
Before anything else, the iFit membership thrown in – you get a full year – is valued at just under four hundred bucks which is a huge bonus. You’ll have constant access to on-demand workouts so you’ll feel more connected than pounding that running path solo.
While many competing treadmills have large screens, the 22-inch display here is breathtaking.
Are you a serious athlete looking to train for competitive events? If so, the 15% incline should keep you on your toes. You can also decline the deck for a truly varied running experience.
The guarantee is as solid as you’d expect from NordicTrack. The frame is covered for a decade with 2 years of coverage for parts and 1 year for labor. This allows you to buy with complete confidence as long as you can weather that stiff price tag.
For casual users looking to take the occasional stroll, this pro-grade treadmill is overkill. If you work that running path hard, though, you’ll be delighted you dug deep and invested in this showstopping piece of kit.
Pros: Get a year’s iFit membership free. Enormous 22-inch touchscreen twice the size of a tablet. Dependable and smooth motor. Exceptional build quality. Suitable for sustained and heavy use in a commercial setting. Brand is a titan in this space.
Cons: You’ll need to dig deep for this folding treadmill. Delivery and assembly not included.
Bottom Line: Whether you want a new machine for your commercial gym or something hardcore for the home gym, you can rely on NordicTrack.
6. ProForm 705 CST
ProForm manufacture a broad spread of capable fitness gear that doesn’t cost the earth. How does this affordable treadmill stand out, then?
Speed and incline are in line with most standard-issue treadmills. Top speed is 12 mph and you can angle the running deck to a maximum of 12%. If you need something more intense, we review a handful of treadmills capable of a 15% incline.
Although this model comes iFit-enabled, you’ll need to pay for a subscription. Make sure you’re aware of this in advance and factor it into your budgeting. The benefit comes in the form of a range of on-demand workouts led by qualified experts.
The ProShox cushioning and integrated Coolaire fan are ideal for comfort’s sake. iPod-compatible, entertainment is not left out either. A pair of 2-inch speakers help you to train to your favorite playlist.
The touchscreen is reasonably compact at just 5.5 inches but you can see all you need from a distance.
22 onboard workouts provide ample scope for all fitness levels. You can keep an eye on your heart rate thanks to the pulse controls on the handlebars.
And the best part? Once you’re done, this treadmill folds up with ease so you can pop it in a cupboard when it’s not in use.
Pros: 5-inch touchscreen. iFit-ready for trainer-led workouts. Space-saving and compact design. Incline to 12% so you can push yourself hard. 12 mph top speed is more than fit for purpose. Excellent build quality.
Cons: You’ll need a paid subscription for iFit.
Bottom Line: ProForm has a deep bench of treadmills. The 705 CST gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t at a price that won’t bankrupt you.
7. LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i Touch Folding Treadmill
LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i is a great way to hit all your cardio goals without the need to leave home or jar your bones and joints by pounding the sidewalk. Get a low-impact workout at home with a great deal of variety at your disposal.
To kick off, you find 38 distinct programs already punched in. Whether you’re looking to stretch your legs or undertake a grueling fat-torching sprint, all bases are covered here.
As you’d expect, Bluetooth connectivity encourages easy data transfer. This enables you to port across data into your preferred fitness app or tracker. This model is compatible with both Apple Health and Google Fit. While you won’t get any on-demand workouts here, the price tag reflects this.
The only notable downsides of this affordable treadmill are the less than responsive customer care department and build quality that could be slightly enhanced. These minor niggles aside, you’ll get a first-rate folding treadmill ideal for use in smaller home gyms.
A 2.75 HP motor gives you the oomph you need for more vigorous training sessions although at 20 x 56 inches, the running path could be larger. That said, in return you get a treadmill that’s small and light enough to shift and store after use. The folding properties ice the cake.
Pros: Touchscreen and interface a cinch to use even for beginners. Class-leading 38 training programs. Bluetooth-enabled for seamless data transfer. Quiet, lightweight and compact unit ideal for home gyms with limited space.
Cons: Build quality is less than stellar. You might find customer service sluggish.
Bottom Line: This manually-folding treadmill is quiet, pretty compact and ideal if you’re just starting out on the cardio trail at home.
8. XTERRA Fitness TR6.6 Folding Treadmill
XTERRA Fitness has a solid entry for this collection of folding treadmills with the TR6.6. What makes this heavyweight stand out?
The running path is spacious enough for pretty much anyone at 20 x 56 inches. Cushioned, you won’t subject your joints and bones to the rattling they get on real-world terrain. You can, though, come close to replicating those conditions in terms of incline. Angle the deck up to 15% and you can give your cardio sessions new impetus.
The variety of workout programs could be broadened but you’ve still got plenty to work with.
Powered by a highly efficient 3 HP motor, expect smooth and consistent power delivery. Despite this, you won’t need to suffer with any bothersome noise.
At 7.5 inches across, the backlit screen shows you all the valuable data that lets you hit those fitness goals and chart your progress.
With onboard speakers to liven up your running sessions, the XTERRA is a capable and versatile all-rounder you should check out at your earliest convenience. The cooling fan in place also means you won’t get overheated. Just make certain to stay nicely hydrated if you’re running hard.
Once you’ve finished up, avail yourself of the Lift/Assist tech and fold the treadmill down without too much trouble.
Pros: Speakers are MP3-compatible. Large running path perfect for taller athletes. 3 HP motor kicks out plenty of power without too much noise. Cushioned deck. Incline to 15% for really demanding runs. Heart rate monitoring with chest strap chucked in.
Cons: Workout programs quite limited. Delivery service is underwhelming.
Bottom Line: If you don’t mind more restricted workouts, in all other respects the XTERRA Fitness TR6.6 delivers in fine style.
9. Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill
As we round out our foldable treadmill reviews, one for the bargain hunters out there in the shape of this capable unit from Sunny Health & Fitness. What do you get besides great value for money?
Choose from a subtle gray or a more striking pink if you’re looking for a break from equipment gear that all looks the same.
If you’ve never used a treadmill before, you’ll appreciate the 9 workout programs that come preset.
The digital display has a device holder which comes in handy. Manipulate the speed up to a maximum of 9 mph – we’d like to see this slightly improved – and keep your eye on time, distance, calories burned, and pulse rate. Start, stop, and speed buttons on the handlebar complete this ergonomic package.
Have you tried using a foldable treadmill before and found it hard to fold? You’ll get none of that with the SoftDrop system so stash your machine when you’re not hammering it hard and charting your fitness goals.
If you live in a smaller house or apartment, there’s no need to go without the best gym equipment. Once you’re finished up with your cardio session, you can fold this treadmill down with relative ease. The machine only weighs in at 102 pounds, too. Moving it around shouldn’t be too tough
Pros: Superb price/performance ratio. Highly responsive controls on handrail. 9 training programs onboard ideal for beginners. Easy to fold down when not in use. Pause function. Cushioned deck for no-impact training.
Cons: 9 mph top speed is not ideal. Unsuitable for serious athletes.
Bottom Line: If you’re motivated by the bottom line but you’re not prepared to compromise quality, road test this Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill at your earliest convenience.
With our reviews in place, we’ll round out with a curated list of the most frequently asked questions about folding treadmills.
1) How can I fold my treadmill down?
This will vary from brand to brand so the first thing you should do is check the instruction manual for specifics. Some treadmills fold vertically and others horizontally. To maximize the chance of getting the best fit for you, think about where you want to stash your treadmill, in a closet or under some furniture. Also, many of the best models come with technology baked in to simplify the folding process. In all the models we look at today, we comment on the ease of folding so you can make the best informed decision.
2) Surely folding treadmills are too weak and flimsy for serious athletes?
Far from it. You can buy cheaper and lighter budget models that certainly won’t stand up to use by a competitive athlete in training. That said, the majority of the costlier treadmills on our list today are robust enough that you could pop them in a commercial gym so they’ll certainly do the trick at home.
3) Do treadmills call for a lot of maintenance?
Absolutely not. Like all gym equipment, though, looking after your treadmill carefully will keep performance smooth while also extending its lifespan. At all times, keep the belt free of dust and debris. This can work its way inside with ruinous effect. Wipe your treadmill down after each use. This minimizes the corrosive effects of sweat spoiling your machine over time. On a monthly basis, consider powering your treadmill down and checking all moving parts.
4) Do I really need an LCD?
You don’t strictly need one, no. The screen, though, will help you to track your progress more easily. The larger the screen, the better you can see what you need at a glance. Backlit screens will also come into their own if your home gym is not especially well-illuminated.
5) Are treadmills suitable for children and seniors?
With kids, you’re best to leave it until they’re at least 10 years old. For younger kids, treadmills can be dangerous. Similar risk are also evident with seniors of 70+. Make sure the speed and incline are suitable if you’re looking for a treadmill for an elderly relative.
6) How I can stop my treadmill scratching the floor of my gym?
Treadmill mats come in dense plastic. Place one of these below your machine and you shouldn’t have any issues with scuffed up flooring.
7) How often should I lubricate my treadmill?
Taking care of this once a month will keep your treadmill oiled and ready for action. You don’t need to reach for the oil after every use.
8) Is it possible to use a treadmill for weight loss?
Cardiovascular exercise can form an effective part of an overall weight loss strategy with some important caveats. You’ll need to eat healthily and maintain a calorie deficit or all the exercise in the world won’t do you much good. Also, you should exercise in your personal target fat-burning zone if you want to shift those pounds.
9) I want to increase lean muscle mass. Is a treadmill any good for this?
Not really, no. You can perform general strength training but you aren’t going to pack on muscle and mass by training on a treadmill.
10) What is high-intensity interval training and can I do this on a treadmill?
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) consists of bursts of vigorous cardio followed by short intervals of rest or reduced activity. Treadmills are ideal for this purpose.
You should now have a very clear view of what treadmills do and how you can you benefit from one.
Think closely about your intended usage and pay attention to the buying guidance we laid out today. This is not the kind of decision you want to rush into or you could make an expensive mistake. Take your time, on the other hand, and you can enjoy fierce cardio sessions without leaving home and without needing to pay for a costly gym membership.
Before you go, bookmark WunderWalk and come back any time you want some inspiration, impartial reviews, and helpful buying guides. Kitting out your home gym is easy when you know what you’re looking for. See you soon!