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Best Mini / Small Sized Treadmills

When you're setting up a home gym for yourself, you may not have a ton of space to work with, especially for a bulky cardio machine. A small treadmill is great to work up a sweat with some light jogging or walking, and some models even fold up for easier storage. Here are the best mini treadmills for your basement or apartment gym.

Not everyone has the time to go to the gym every day, and not everyone can afford a complete home gym where they live. However, the need to exercise remains in everybody's life. The ideal solution, therefore, seems to be a machine that is simple, effective, and compact; a mini treadmill - to be precise.

If you are planning to keep at least one exercise equipment at home, a treadmill is the right one. It is usually compact and definitely something you can use every day. A treadmill helps you to run (or walk), which is not only the easiest and the most basic of all exercises but a highly effective one, too. You can burn more calories using a treadmill than any other equipment, and it doesn’t even require any special skills. You just use it do something you’ve done ever since you were a toddler: run!

With so many treadmills on the market, it can be difficult to gauge which one is the best fit for you. From budget to space, to essential features, there are a lot of key elements that go into choosing the perfect mini treadmill for you. Fortunately, we have curated this guide to help lighten the responsibility of choosing your next treadmill.

What can I expect from a mini treadmill?

The price of a treadmill is related to its size, horsepower, capacity, as well as its built. For a high-quality treadmill, packing ultimate horsepower, you have to look t0 spend anywhere from $1000 to $1500. However, even treadmills ranging from $500 to $1000 may be suitable for regular use at home. Any treadmill below $500 will not be very reliable. You can run on them, but they won’t have many features; nor can multiple people use it for very long.

If you are thinking of buying a treadmill for your home, it is important to get one that suits the whole family's needs. You need to, therefore, pick a treadmill that can be at least used by more than two or three people regularly. A very low-budget treadmill might not be up to the challenge.  

A mini treadmill needs to be compact, there’s no question about it. No one has a separate room for exercising equipment these days, not unless you live in a mansion. Ideally, your treadmill will find a home in your living space or your home office or even your bedroom. If it is a large one, it will take space away from your other important furniture and storage spaces.

The more features you can get from your treadmill, the better. Nowadays, treadmills are not just for running; they come with LED/LCD displays that can show off the calories you have burned while running, the distance you’ve traveled, as well as the amount of time you have spent on the treadmill. These features can keep you updated on progress and motivated to persevere.

The smoother, the faster, the more features a treadmill has, the more you will want to use it every day - which happens to be the most important factor for buying exercise equipment. 

What considerations should be taken into account about mini treadmills?

  • Small belt size: In mini treadmills, you can get belts from 40 inches to over 60 inches in length, with 12 to 25 inches in width. The bigger the belt size, the higher the price of the treadmill. Although a longer belt size would mean the ability to make bigger strides (important for very tall people), any treadmill with a belt size of 30 inches in length and 18 inches in width is perfect for the average exerciser.
  • Not designed for heavy exercise (may be lightweight, less stable): A treadmill for your home will not be as roughly used as the ones in a gym, so something which is compact and lightweight can be perfect. If you can find a treadmill with a low horsepower, a weak motor, and foldable compatibility, it can do well for home use.
  • Low weight capacity: Some of the most heavy-duty treadmills you can find in the market can be up to 400 lbs. or more in weight, but that might not be necessary for a treadmill to be used at home. You can choose one based on the maximum weight of a family member who will be using it, which can be anywhere from 250lbs to 350lbs.
  • Foldability (With Wheels): It helps greatly if your treadmill can be folded up and stored away in a corner of the room. Even when it is a compact one, a treadmill will take up a large space in your room. With a foldable model, you can just snap it shut when you are done and store it away. It also helps if the treadmill comes with a set of wheels underneath; wheels will make it easier to move it across the room.

1) Sole Fitness F85 available for $1999 on Amazon

Key features
  • 22" wide belt, 60" in length 
  • Six auto-programs and two workout programs 
  • 9" LCD display 
  • Foldable 
  • 15% inclination 
  • Speed options 

One of the most expensive treadmills in the market, at just under $2000, the Sole Fitness F85 has everything you can want in a personal treadmill. It is a rather heavy-weight exercise machine that can take up to 400lbs of weight.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the size?

At this high price, there is no doubt that you will be getting a high-quality treadmill with as many features as possible. This personal treadmill has a massive 22” wide belt that is 60” long. If you are over 6-4”, you will still be comfortable running on this machine. It comes with six auto-programs, two customized workouts, and two heartbeat control programs. It will offer you a wide variety of information when you are working out, for example, your heart rate, pulse, calories, pace, distance traveled, incline and time spent. At a single glance, you will get all the information in a 9” LCD display.

You also get built-in speakers in the console where you can plug in your MP3 player or iPod to listen to music while working out. The speed can be controlled from 0.5 to 12 mph and the belt can be inclined up to 15% automatically.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

It is quite a heavy treadmill; even if you fold it up, it is still hard to push around and move. It is not a very quiet machine and can cause a racket when you are running very fast. With such a long (and wide) belt, it might be actually hard for a child or a short person to use it comfortably.

Pros:
  • 9" display screen 
  • Built-in speakers 
  • 0-15% inclination 
  • 22" wide belt that is 60" long 
  • Can accommodate up to 400 lbs 
Cons:
  • Very expensive 
  • Extremely heavy to move 
  • Not very comfortable for shorter people 
  • Will be noisy 

2) Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill available for $287 on Amazon

Key features
  • Can hold up to 220 lbs of weight
  • 9 different programs 
  • 0.5 to 9 mph 
  • 15" wide belt 48" long 
  • Tablet/Phone holder 
  • Pause, stop, start button at the handrail 

For a mini treadmill under $300, the Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill can be a good enough choice. It is a lightweight model, compact and foldable, and can hold up to 220lbs of weight. For family members and personal use, certainly a budget treadmill you can keep at home.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the size?

This is not a very big or heavy treadmill, but rather a lightweight one that you can fold, drop open, and move with one hand. The speed control options, as well as the start and stop buttons, are on the handrails and not on the display in front of you. This allows you to effortlessly choose your options while running. This machine also comes with a pause function (also in the handrail) that will pause the belt but keep your running data intact.

You can see all the important information you need in an LCD monitor at the front, including time, calories burned, distance traveled, and your pulse. There are 9 different programs to choose from, as well as a speed range of 0.5 to 9 miles/hour. The belt is 15” in width and 48” in length, which is just right for the average person.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

The Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill can only accommodate up to 220lbs, which means it won’t be suitable for someone weighing more than that who wants to lose weight. Also, the inclination can be set from 0% to 4.27% which is quite low compared to the other treadmills that have an inclination of up to 15%. Also, being a small, lightweight machine, you cannot really expect it to last years with regular use for multiple joggers.

Pros:
  • Affordable under $300
  • Standard sized belt 
  • Foldable with wheels 
  • Information displayed on LCD mositor 
  • Tablet holder 
  • Easy-to-reach pause, stop, and start button
Cons:
  • Only slight inclination from 0% to 4.3% 
  • Not very durable when used regularly 
  • Can only hold 220 lbs of weight 

3) Weslo Cadence G 5.9 available for $249 on Amazon

Key features
  • Emergency "Slow Down" button 
  • Lightweight 
  • 6 built-in workout programs 
  • Easily accessible heart rate monitor 
  • Easy installation

This is another affordable compact treadmill for home, costing less than $500. It is actually a space saver machine that you can easily fold up and hide away when you are not using it.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the size?

This is quite a lightweight, compact exercise equipment perfect for personal use at home. Even at the highest speed level, it is quiet. The heart rate monitor is easy to access with just your thumb. Installation is easy and will take around half an hour or less if you have someone to help you. A digital monitor will show you the calories you have burned, the time you have spent on the machine, the distance you have traveled, and the miles per hour speed at which you have run.

A special feature of the Weslo Cadence G5.9 is that it will allow you to “Slow Down” in the middle of a run if you are feeling overwhelmed, and pick up the speed after 60 seconds of slower rhythm.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

If you are taller than the average person, this treadmill is not for you. The handles are low compared to other machines, which is perfect for the average sized person or a shorter person, but not if you are 6 ft or taller. The belt needs to be lubricated every once in a while, and the screws need to be tightened often to avoid an accident. The main display is not backlit and may be hard to read in the dark.

Remember, this is a budget treadmill and you only get a 6-month warranty on parts.  Its weight limit is around 275 lbs which, to be honest, is less than other machines.

Pros:
  • Emergency pause button 
  • Lightweight 
  • Heart-rate monitor 
  • Easy installation 
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Only 275 lbs of weight limit 
  • 6-month warranty on parts 
  • Not for very tall people 
  • Belt needs to be regularly lubricated 
  • Display not back lit

4) LifeSpan TR1200i available for $961 on Amazon

Key features
  • 20"x56" walking belt 
  • Foldable 
  • 21 built-in workout programs 
  • 15 inclination options 
  • 6 compressed shock absorbents 

This is one of the bestselling treadmills by the renowned company LifeSpan. It is a heavy duty machine that you can use for a long time without any worries. At just under $1000, this is a exercise equipment that will cater to every need you have in an electric treadmill.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the size?

This is a foldable treadmill that you can fold up and store away when you are done with exercising. The walking belt is pretty large, at 20” width and a 56” length. Even if you are 6'1 or taller, you can easily run on this without any problem. A 2.5 HP motor makes it a powerful machine that comes with an astounding number of 21 workout programs built into it. It can take up to 300 lbs. weight limit and gives you a lifetime warranty on parts, motor, frame, and maintenance.

You can get over 15 inclination level on the LifeSpan TR1200i, with a step up height of 7.5 inches. This is definitely a treadmill that multiple users can work out on regularly, and not fear damage. 6 compression shock absorbers will cushion your steps and not cause much damage to your knees and joints, even if you are running at a fast speed.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

This treadmill is a very noisy machine. The faster you run or the heavier you are, the more noise you are going to make on the LifeSpan TR1200i. The display also happens to be of cheap quality, not something standard that you would expect from an expensive model. The information on the display can be both difficult to understand and disorganized. The heart rate/pulse monitor is known to be faulty in some models.

Pros:
  • Foldable 
  • 21 workout programs 
  • 15 different inclination 
  • 2.5 HP motor 
  • 6 shock absorbers 
Cons:
  • Display monitor is sub-standard 
  • Noisy machine 
  • Heart rate feature can be faulty 

5) Merax Easy Assembly available for $249 on Amazon

Key features
  • Quiet operation 
  • Manual inclination 
  • 3 workout programs 
  • Easy to fold and move 
  • 14"x44" running belt 

This is yet another electric mini treadmill under $500, compact and perfectly filled with all of the features needed in a home exercise equipment. At an affordable price, this is a good treadmill for light exercising.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the size?

A strong motor that is also quiet, sturdy frame, foldable for easy storage, a multi-layered running belt – these are the features you are going to get with the Merax Easy Assembly. The machine itself weighs only 70 lbs. which makes it easy to move around the room. A helpful display monitor gives you all the information you need for motivating yourself, including the distance you’ve run, the number of calories you have burned, speed and your heart rate, etc. 

What's not so good about this treadmill?

The running surface is 44” in length which is ideal for someone of average or less-than-average height, but the width at 14” is a little congested. It can incline but you have to do it manually. You only get 3 built-in workout programs with this treadmill, which is not really a wide choice. The highest limit of this machine is 220 lbs. which too, is less than other machines. You will need to do small maintenance jobs on this treadmill every now and then to keep it going smoothly.

Pros:
  • Affordable 
  • Quiet operation 
  • Lightweight product 
  • Foldable 
  • Helpful display monitor 
Cons:
  • Very small and congested running belt 
  • Only 3 workout programs 
  • Can only accommodate 220 lbs. 
  • Needs regular maintenance 

In conclusion...

If you are serious about losing weight or about regular working out at home, you should really invest in a more expensive, higher quality treadmill than a normal one. However, for those people who usually love to jog outside or visit a real gym, a more affordable treadmill can be a good backup. A sturdy frame and a powerful motor is what you need in a good treadmill, as well as a large running belt (especially if you are a tall person). What’s more important is that your treadmill can be folded and stored away when you don’t need it.

A treadmill with a wide variety of workout programs is a good feature, if not an important one. It can help you find a goal or stick to an exercise regime. An LCD monitor with a wide variety of information about your speed, distance, and time can also help you stay motivated.

Finally, if you are looking forward to regular workout sessions – not only for yourself but also your family members – be sure to invest in a good treadmill that allows multiple users and is sturdy enough to be used a few times in a day. With the help of this guide, you are on your way to investing in a quality mini treadmill that works best for you.