Would you like to buy a treadmill but are concerned about their noise level? Well, that’s perfectly understandable, and in fact you are not alone as noise is probably one of the biggest concerns people have before buying a treadmill for home. But are treadmills really that noisy? And if so, how can you reduce the noise level? In this article, I will get to the bottom of that question and introduce you to the quietest models you can currently buy. Have fun! 😉
Are Treadmills Noisy? This is What You Need to Consider
The numerous customer reviews on treadmills and their noise level are extremely controversial. They range from “No one has ever complained” to “My roommates are going to kill me”. This is of course a bit exaggerated in the latter case, but it shows pretty well that there are different opinions on whether treadmills are noisy or not. In fact, the volume of treadmills depends on many different factors. Let’s have a look at them.
#1: The Motor
The motor is the part that is causing most of the treadmill’s noise. The more powerful the motor, the easier it is to set the treadmill in motion. If the motor is too weak, the treadmill will have to work really hard, which is something that you will hear. Therefore, you should use a motor with a minimum capacity of 2 HP.
Most treadmills are in the range between 50 and 70 decibels. Since it is difficult to classify these numbers, I have listed a few comparison values here:
|40 decibels||whispering, soft music|
|50 decibels||light traffic, refrigerator|
|60 decibels||conversational speech, air conditioner|
|70 decibels||shower, dishwasher|
|80 decibels||alarm clock, garbage disposal|
|90 decibels||power tools, hair dryers|
#2: Your Running Style
Well, now you know how loud or quiet a treadmill is normally. However, this is only half the truth, because most of the noise is not caused by the treadmill itself, but by the noises we produce ourselves while running on the treadmill. Our foot strikes in connection with the moving belt of the treadmill are the main reasons that treadmills are considered comparatively noisy.
The real noise level will therefore be higher than the values I just told you and will depend on your own body weight, and especially on your running style. While forefoot runners typically run rather quietly, the classic heel striking runners will generate a higher noise level.
Of course, speed also matters. When you are just using the treadmill for walking or running at a leisurely pace, you will generate less noise than when you are running faster.
#3: The Cushioning
A well cushioned treadmill is also important for reducing noise. Fortunately, most manufacturers are aware of this and have developed innovative cushioning systems that absorb the shocks of our foot strikes.
At this point, you may ask yourself: What about your neighbors and roommates? Can you use a treadmill without having to worry about disturbing the peace?
#4: The Surroundings
As you have already learned, the real volume of a treadmill depends on numerous factors. What we haven’t talked about yet is the architecture and construction of your house or apartment. For example, if you have a normal concrete ceiling, the treadmill will be barely audible in the apartment below, while using it on a beamed ceiling, which is often used in an attic, is not recommended.
Shortly, we will also take a look at where you should place a treadmill in order to generate the lowest noise levels.
So How Noisy Are Treadmills Really?
Even though they are often advertised as being whisper-quiet, treadmills are comparatively noisy exercise machines and can cause noise levels of more than 90 decibels, which sets them at the higher end of the noise scale. It’s our feet striking on the motorized belt that is causing the largest part of the noise. In comparison, stationary bikes, ellipticals and rowing machines are generating less noise as these impacts are not present on these machines.
Personally, I never had to deal with any complaints when using a treadmill at home. To be fair however, I have to say that I was always using it at sociable hours and that my roommates don’t really have a problem with noise in general.
As you can see, it’s not really possible to find out whether treadmills are (too) noisy or not. A treadmill itself is pretty quiet, your own running noises depend on numerous individual factors and the transmission of the noises depends on the construction of your apartment. If you are planning to buy a treadmill, you should definitely discuss it with your neighbors and roommates in advance and find a good solution.
There is no set noise level that treadmills generate. So, let’s have a look at how we can keep the treadmills as quiet as possible.
How Can You Reduce Treadmill Noise?
1. Choose the Right Location
As already said, you should choose a room with good surroundings. It is better to place it in a room with a concrete ceiling, then with a beamed ceiling. Putting the treadmill in your basement or in the garage is in most cases better than placing it on an upper floor of your house. Additionally, the underground matters. If you can, avoid placing it on wooden floors and better place it on carpet, which can help to mitigate the noise.
2. Use a Mat
Same as putting the treadmill on a thick carpet, you can also use a mat and place it under the treadmill. This will further absorb some of the vibrations and reduce the noise. Also, it will help to protect the floor. As the vibrations are also causing parts of the treadmill to loosen faster, a mat will also help to lengthen its lifetime.
3. Set Up the Treadmill Correctly
Of course, setting up the treadmill properly plays a role as well. Stick to the manufacturer’s information and be sure that the machine is assembled correctly. It’s particularly important that all the smaller parts, like screws, nuts and bolts, are tightened.
4. Lubricate Your Treadmill
Maintaining your treadmill is probably the most crucial part of reducing the noise. In order to stop the treadmill from squeaking or scraping, you should lubricate the belt regularly. This will not only reduce the noise, but once again, it will help to prolong the treadmill’s lifetime. If you would like to learn more about how to maintain your treadmill, check out this blog post.
5. Run Slower
Usually, the faster you run, the more noise you will generate on a treadmill. Now I certainly don’t want you to avoid running at all costs. However, what you could consider for example is to reduce your pace and increase the incline at the same time. This way, you will keep the training effect high while simultaneously reducing the treadmill’s noise.
6. Use the Right Running Shoes
Using the right running shoes is quite similar to using a treadmill mat. If you use shoes with sound absorbing materials like shock absorbing gels, it will help to reduce the impact and to absorb the vibrations and thus mitigates the noise.
Which Treadmills are the Quietest?
Like you know by now, the treadmill’s noise mostly depends on your own running style, as well as some external factors such as the location of the treadmill. However, choosing the right treadmill definitely plays an important role as well. Above all, in order for a treadmill to be quiet, it should have a strong motor so that you won’t actually hear it having problems with keeping up the speed as this is often the case with weak treadmills.
However, you don’t have a spend a fortune on a good and quiet treadmill. Let’s look at some affordable models that keep the noise level to a minimum.
The Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill
The Horizon T202 is a good example for an affordable high-quality treadmill. It comes with a strong 2.75 continuous duty HP motor and a 3-zone cushioning system that allows it to run comparatively quiet.
Additionally, the running surface is very large (20” x 60”) which does not reduce the noise level but plays an important role for a safe running experience. Apart from that, you’ll be able to run at high speed levels of up to 12 mph, can set up an incline of up to 12% and get some nice extras like integrated Bluetooth speakers, which do not reduce the noise level of course but might still be interesting for some of you. 😉
If you’re looking for an affordable, quiet treadmill, this one might be the perfect choice. But of course, that’s just my personal view on things. I’d recommend that you just take a look at this treadmill for yourself. Here you will find it.
The Sole F63 Treadmill
Just as the Horizon treadmill, the Sole F63 is amongst the most popular treadmills at the moment. Its specs are the same or similar to those of a $2000 machine, even though you can purchase this one for just under $1000.
It comes with a strong 3.0 HP motor, a modern cushioning system and a heavy-duty steel construction. Features that will all keep the noise level to a minimum.
In fact, the manufacturer even gives you a lifetime warranty on the treadmill’s frame and motor and a 3-year warranty for the rest of the machine, which shows that this treadmill is a high-quality product and very durable. As you know, quality is important to reduce the noise as well, so this treadmill is also a good choice when looking for a quiet model.
If you’re interested, you should definitely take a closer look at the Sole F63. Here you will find it.
The Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill
If you’re looking for an even stronger motor, the Bowflex BXT216 might be interesting for you. I’m aware that you have a dig a little deeper into your pockets for this one, but it leaves nothing to be desired and is a top-class product.
The motor is extremely strong with 4 CHP, the running surface is gigantic with 22” x 60” and it has a very high functionality with some nice features such as a personalized coaching technology.
In order to reduce its noise, this treadmill also comes with a very good cushioning system of course.
If you are looking for the best quiet treadmill overall and are ready to pay a little more money, you should take a closer look at the Bowflex BXT216. Here you will find it, including its availability, current price and customer reviews.
Final Thoughts on a Treadmill’s Noise and Quiet Treadmills
Treadmills are noisy, yes. In fact, they are probably the loudest exercise equipment if you compare them to popular alternatives such as stationary bikes, ellipticals or rowing machines.
However, if you’re a passionate runner and don’t want to do without a treadmill, there are several simple steps you can take in order to reduce the treadmill’s noise level. You should consider those before buying the machine, discuss your plans with your neighbors and roommates in advance and use the treadmill at sociable hours. Additionally, you should choose a quiet treadmill that comes with a strong motor and a good cushioning system.
I hope that this article could answer all of your questions. However, if you still have anything you’d like to ask or discuss, please feel free to contact me. Otherwise, you’ll find some more interesting articles in my treadmill category! 😉