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The Best Folding Treadmills for Running, Walking, and Everything In Between

Best Folding Treadmills
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Updated March 3, 2024

Finding time for a run or walk while balancing work and family responsibilities can be difficult. If you live somewhere with four seasons, there are days when running outside isn’t appealing. That’s where treadmills come in. Many people have used treadmills at the gym and know that, in general, they’re large, heavy, stationary machines that are difficult to move and take up a whole heck of a lot of space. Having one of those at home may not be ideal unless you have a dedicated workout room.

That’s where folding treadmills come in. They’re designed to fold up (some flatter than others) when not in use, freeing up floor space in your living room, office, or bedroom (or wherever you like to work out and sweat). Folding treadmills also tend to be less expensive than their non-folding counterparts, with many of them still offering all the fancy features you could want (and even some you don’t).

From simple walking pads to tech- and media-enhanced, smart, incline-capable machines, there’s a folding treadmill perfect for you. Here are a few things to consider before you start shopping:

What to consider when choosing a folding treadmill

What is your budget for a folding treadmill?

The price of a folding treadmill ranges from $300 to $5,000 or more depending on whether it can incline, how fast the belt can run, and other features. There are simple models that are essentially just a flat moving belt on a frame that simply allows you to get your steps in while at home, as well as robust versions with incline capabilities up to 15% and a touchscreen monitor equipped with most any media, fitness, or social app you desire.

How often do you plan to use a folding treadmill?

Do you plan to use your treadmill daily or even twice a day? You’ll want something that will hold up over time with continued, regular use and one that has a good warranty.

How much space do you have for a folding treadmill?

Most full featured folding treadmills with incline capabilities take up significant space, even when in the folded position: They don’t just discreetly tuck behind a door. The folding feature means you can lift up the belt portion of the machine to clear floor space but many models do not actually fold flat—something you need to consider when deciding which to purchase.

Does it need to fold completely flat and slide under the bed?

Along with how much space you’re able to dedicate to a treadmill, consider if you’ll want to be able to stow it away completely when you’re not using it. If you do, you’ll want to look for a model that can slide under a bed or couch. Otherwise, treadmills also make handy clothes racks.

How many people will use the folding treadmill?

Some models allow you to save presets for more than one user. If you anticipate others in your household lacing up their running shoes and hopping on your treadmill, look for one that has this capability.

What kind of training do you plan to do on your folding treadmill?

One of the biggest things to consider is whether you plan to walk or run. This will determine how fast the treadmill needs to be able to go. Walking only models usually top out at 5 mph, while running models can accommodate speeds up to 12 mph.

Do you need a folding treadmill that inclines?

Treadmill inclines help simulate hills and are useful for interval training exercises. If you’re interested in performing such workouts, you’ll want a treadmill that can incline.

What kind of connectivity do you want for apps and Bluetooth?

Most folding treadmills these days have Bluetooth capabilities, so you can pair a phone and easily upload your workout to a fitness app like Strava. Others have a full integrated touchscreen that allows you to stream entertainment and scroll on Instagram while running.

Our Top Folding Treadmills Picks

Best Budget Folding Treadmill: Proforn Sport 5.5 Treadmill

proform sport 5-5

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 68.5 inches x 33.5 inches
  • Running Surface: 55 inches x 18 inches
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 10 mph
  • Incline Range: 0-10%
  • Motor Rating: 2.6 horsepower
  • Screen: LCD display/no touchscreen
  • Warranty: 10 years (frame), 1 year (parts and labor)
  • Price: $899.99, on sale for $699.99 at Best Buy

What we like:

  • Full features at a lower price.
  • Memory capacity for 5 users.
  • Quiet when running.

What we don’t like:

  • Incline ability not as high as some others.
  • Cooling fan is a bit noisy.

With an integrated device shelf, a self-cooling motor, a workout fan and built-in speakers, the Proform Sport 5.5 provides a quality machine with enough power that you can run (up to 10 mph) without draining your finances.

The active pulse technology automatically adjusts speed and incline to keep your heart rate in a specified target zone when wearing a bluetooth heart monitor.

It works with the iFIT app, though you don’t need to sign up to use this treadmill. To bypass, simply hold the iFit button down when starting until the treadmill turns on. There are 50 pre- programmed workouts, plus the memory capacity for five users and 50 custom workouts—enough to keep you and your household running despite time or weather constraints.

Best Lightweight Folding Treadmill: Installation-Free Ultra-Thin

costway ultra thin

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 47.5 inches high x 26 inches wide x 52 inches long
  • Running surface: 15.5 inches x 40.5 inches
  • Weight: 61 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 5 mph
  • Incline Range: none
  • Screen: LCD display
  • Motor: 450 watts
  • Warranty: 90 limited warranty
  • Price: $589.99

What we like:

  • Easy to fold up when not in use.
  • Will fit under a couch or bed to store.
  • No assembly required for set up.

What we don’t like:

  • No ability for incline.

The main appeal of the Costway Ultra-Thin treadmill is, as its name suggests, that it folds down small enough that you can store it under a couch or bed when not in use. It requires no assembly to set up; just plug it in and you’re good to go. Obviously, not a good treadmill choice for runners, though it’s worth considering for anyone who considers themselves an avid walker —or even an occasional walker.

A simple machine at a reasonable price, the Ultra-Thin is perfect for those who want to get their steps in without leaving home.

Installation-Free Ultra-Thin

Installation-Free Ultra-Thin

Best Folding Treadmill for Small Spaces: Echelton Stride

echelon stride

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 49.2 inches high x 31 inches wide x 69.3 inches long
  • Running Surface: 20 inches x 55 inches
  • Weight: 156 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 12 mph
  • Incline Range: 3% to 10%
  • Screen: LED display
  • Motor: 1.75 continuous horsepower (2.5 peak horsepower)
  • Warranty: 1 year parts and labor
  • Price: $1,299

What we like:

  • No assembly required.
  • Folds flat and can be stored vertically against a wall.

What we don’t like:

  • Noisy at higher speeds.

Folding up flat to just 10 inches tall, the Echelon Stride is one of the more compact treadmill models available while also topping out at 12 miles per hour and a 10% incline. There are integrated handlebar heart sensors and eight pre-programmed workouts available via the Echelon Fit app (live on demand running classes are also available).

The main reason to buy this treadmill is the small footprint and even smaller storage size. If you have the room, more expensive machines will likely provide better cushioning.

Best Folding Treadmill for Walking: WalkingPad R2 Walk Run

walkingpad R2

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 40.5 inches high x 28.4 inches wide x 57.2 inches long
  • Running Surface: 17.3 inches x 47.2
  • Weight: 80 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 240 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 6.2 mph
  • Incline Range: none
  • Motor Rating: 1.25 horsepower
  • Screen: none
  • Warranty: 1 year limited parts
  • Price: $899

What we like:

  • Can be used under a standing desk.
  • Affordable price.
  • Lightweight and easy to move.

What we don’t like:

  • No screen.

If you’re looking for a sleek, simple treadmill for walking while working or watching television, the Walking Pad R2 is a great choice. Equipped with smart walking sensor technology, the belt automatically adjusts speed depending on where your feet land: walking closer to the front will speed up the belt while treading near the back will speed it up. You can also use it in manual mode and control the speed via the KS Fit App.

This walking pad model comes with an adjustable handrail (that can be folded down if you’re using it at a standing desk) for added stability during light jogging and power walking. If your fitness goal is to move more during the day, the WalkingPad R2 makes it easy to achieve it.

WalkingPad R2 Walk&Run 2IN1 Foldable Treadmill

WalkingPad R2 Walk&Run 2IN1 Foldable Treadmill

Best Folding Treadmill for Running: Horizon Fitness 7.0AT Studio Series Treadmill

horizon 7.0 AT

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 66 inches high x 35 inches wide x 76 inches long
  • Running Surface: 20 inches x 60 inches
  • Weight: 277 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 12 mph
  • Speed Range: 0.5 to 12 mph
  • Incline Range: 0 to 15%
  • Motor Rating: 3.0 continuous horsepower
  • Screen: 7.25 inches high contrast LCD screen
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame and motor, 3 years parts, 1 year labor
  • Price: $1,999, on sale for $999 at Dick’s Sporting Goods

What we like:

  • Feels solid.
  • Adjusts speed and incline quickly.
  • Quiet when running.

What we don’t like:

  • Built-in shelves don’t really hold a water bottle as intended.
  • Built-in speakers aren’t very loud.

For the serious runner and/or someone who enjoys HITT (high intensity interval training), the Horizon 7.0 AT is for you. The responsive motor means it’s extra quick and smooth when changing speed and incline.

Along with USB charging and Bluetooth capabilities, the 7.0 AT also has excellent app compatibility: you can stream media like Netflix, Hulu, and others as well as use fitness apps like Peloton, Zwift, and Daily Burn. And it inclines all the way up to 15%, the highest of all the treadmills we reviewed, so you can really go to town on your hill repeats without actually going to town (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Best Folding Treadmill That Folds Flat: 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 49 inches high x 33 inches wide x 74 inches long
  • Running Surface: 18.5 inches x 58 inches
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 11 mph
  • Speed Range: 0.5 to 11 mph
  • Incline Range: 0 to 15%
  • Motor Rating: 3.0 horsepower
  • Screen: LED
  • Warranty: Lifetime on motor and frame, 5 years parts, 1 year labor
  • Price: $2,099, on sale for $1,599 at 3G Cardio

What we like:

  • Folds completely flat (obviously).
  • Excellent warranty.
  • Reasonable price for the number of features.

What we don’t like:

  • Heart rate monitor isn’t the most reliable.

If your dream is a treadmill you can run on that actually folds flat, the 3G Cardio 80i is for you. This innovative model folds flat to a height of just 9.75 inches, so you can easily roll it under your bed when you have company over.

It features a quick-dial speed adjustment and a rocker switch that adjusts speed in .1 increments, something that’s handy for interval training or if your goal is to become a faster runner.

The only fold-flat treadmill intended for running, 3G also offers a lifetime warranty and wonderful customer service.


Best Folding Treadmill for Taller People: NordicTrack Commercial 1750

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 65 inches high x 38 inches wide x 80 inches long
  • Running Surface: 22 inches x 60 inches
  • Weight: 340 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 12 mph
  • Speed range: 0 to 12 mph
  • Incline Range: -3% decline to 15%
  • Motor Rating: 3.5 continuous horsepower
  • Screen: 14 inch tilt and pivot HD touchscreen
  • Warranty: 10 years frame, 2 years parts, 1 year labor
  • Price: $2,299

What we like:

  • Cinematic media display helps your long runs go by quicker.
  • Ample running space to accommodate long strides.
  • Very sturdy.

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive.
  • iFit app requires a monthly subscription (around $15).

The NordicTrack 1750 is big and bulky (even when folded up), but it’s also one of the best folding treadmills for all levels and sorts of users. With auto adjust and active pulse, it keeps your heart rate in a specified zone by automatically adjusting the incline and/or speed and the tread deck has “runners flex” cushioning so your joints don’t take a pounding. The iFit app means you have access to literally thousands of videos and classes via the premium, swiveling high-definition touchscreen. You may never need to run outside again.

When using the iFit app, the 1750 even auto-adjusts your incline based on the terrain in whatever video you’re following. While you don’t have to have the iFit app to use the 1750, you’ll still need WiFi to connect to do manual workouts and the handful of free programs available.

NordicTrack NEW Commercial 1750 Exercise Equipment

NordicTrack NEW Commercial 1750 Exercise Equipment

Best Smart Folding Treadmill: Sole F85 Treadmill

sole F85

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 66 inches high x 37 inches wide x 82 inches long
  • Running Surface: 22 inches x 60 inches
  • Weight: 280 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 12 mph
  • Speed range: 0.5 to 12 mph
  • Incline range: 0 to 15%
  • Motor rating: 4 horsepower
  • Screen: 15.6 inch touchscreen
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame and motor, 3 years parts, 1 year labor
  • Price: $4,599.99

What we like:

  • Very quiet.
  • Large 4 horsepower motor.
  • High weight capacity and very sturdy.

What we don’t like:

  • Cushioning could be better.
  • Very expensive.

Considering its price point, purchasing a Sole F85 constitutes a major investment for a home gym. One reason to spend that amount of money is its high frame-to-user weight ratio. That also means it's super sturdy with minimal bounce—even when running fast. Most of this is due to the new Z-shape steel frame design.

Add to that a large 15.6 inch high definition touchscreen that connects to a large variety of workout and media apps via wifi, built-in speakers, a wireless charging pad, heart rate technology, and cooling fans, and you’re set up for one of the best full-featured, smart workouts.

It connects to the new Sole+ app and comes with standard Sole programs as well as Military Fitness Tests.

Sole F85 Treadmill (2023), Aluminum

Sole F85 Treadmill (2023), Aluminum

Best Folding Treadmill for Incline Workouts: Matrix TF30

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 62 inches high x 35 inches wide x 77 inches long
  • Running Surface: 20 inches x 55 inches
  • Weight: 333 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 350 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 12.5 mph
  • Speed range: 0.5 to 12.5 mph
  • Incline Range: 0 to 15%
  • Motor Rating: 3.25 continuous horsepower
  • Screen: 16 inch HD touchscreen
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, motor, and cushioning, 5 years parts, 2 years labor
  • Price: $3,199

What we like:

  • Near 90% folding ability.
  • Excellent cushioning.
  • Great warranty.

What we don’t like:

  • No cooling fan.
  • Expensive.

What makes the Matrix TF30 so suitable for incline workouts is the industrial-grade cushioning of the tread—and the 15% incline capability. Then there’s the 16-inch HD touchscreen where you can watch all your favorite shows via the built-in apps or HDMI streaming while pumping up a hill. The advanced Bluetooth allows connections to headphones, heart rate monitor, and all the popular fitness apps.

The TF30 is iFit enabled, but doesn’t require a subscription to use and it (amazingly) folds up to almost 90 degrees when not in use (though it’ll still be noticeable).

Best Folding Treadmill for Beginners: Horizon T101 GO Series Treadmill

Horizon T101

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 57 inches high x 33 inches wide x 71 inches long
  • Running Surface: 20 inches x 55 inches
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 10 mph
  • Incline Range: 0-10%
  • Motor Rating: 2.5 continuous horsepower
  • Screen: 3 blue LED windows
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame and motor, 1 year parts and labor
  • Price: $999.99, on sale for $699.99 at Dick’s Sporting Goods

What we like:

  • Hydraulic assist folding frame.
  • Easy assembly.
  • Dial controls for speed and incline are easy to operate.

What we don’t like:

  • Running surface is slightly smaller than others.

The Horizon T101 is an affordable, entry-level machine that still sports convenient tech features like USB charging, a tablet rack, Bluetooth speakers, and easy-to-use controls like one-touch speed and incline keys. There are three blue LED windows that display your data, including calories burned, distance, heart rate, speed, and incline.

The 2.5 horsepower motor is average for treadmills and, while you’ll have sufficient power, your speed tops out at 10 miles per hour. It also has a workout fan and five pre-programmed workouts. All in all, this is a great model for those who aren’t quite ready to shell out more than $1,000 for the benefit of running in their living rooms.

Horizon Fitness T101 GO Series Treadmill

Horizon Fitness T101 GO Series Treadmill

The benefits of a folding treadmill

The main benefit of a folding treadmill is its space saving feature, as well as typically being less expensive than standard non-folding versions of the same. A folding treadmill means even if you don’t have a lot of space in your home, you can still lace up your running shoes and get some exercise whenever the mood strikes.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Are folding treadmills worth it?

Folding treadmills are indeed worth it if your house lacks a workout room, garage or any significant available space to set up a treadmill. Don’t let your small home deter you any longer; folding treadmills mean you no longer can use the “I just don’t have room” excuse. Also, they’re likely to provide an excellent counter argument (in the pro column) if you happen to live with someone resistant to a treadmill purchase because of space considerations.

Can you run on a foldable treadmill?

You can absolutely run on a folded treadmill, though different models have different maximum speeds. When choosing which treadmill to buy, consider how fast you’ll want or need to run. The top speed available on running treadmills usually ranges from 10 to 12 miles per hour (or a six-minute mile to a five-minute mile.)

How fast can you run on a foldable treadmill?

How fast you can run on a foldable treadmill depends on the maximum speed it supports. The highest speed available on the treadmills included here is 12.5 mph (Matrix TF30), roughly, a 4:48 minute mile.

Are folding treadmills as good as non-folding?

Folding treadmills, in many instances, are almost as good as folding ones. Non-folding treadmills, though, will usually be easier to repair and maintain, and will also be a bit sturdier and quieter. They also tend to bounce less than folding models.

What is the disadvantage of a folding treadmill?

The biggest disadvantage of some folding treadmills is that the frames of some less expensive models can be flimsy. The folding hinge might mean there’s some play in the tread. A folding model will never be quite as sturdy as a non-folding one, but all of the options on this list provide excellent stability.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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