Two Awesome Cheap Treadmills Under $1000 (The Complete Buyer’s Guide)

Woman Running on Treadmill

Treadmills are still one of the most popular and most effective pieces of exercise equipment and provide the perfect opportunity to stay in shape in the comfort of your own home! However, we all know that the exercise machines sometimes come with a hefty price tag. In today’s article, I will introduce you to some treadmills that are not only high in quality, but also affordable. So, if you are on a budget, here you will find the best cheap treadmills under $1000. Have fun! 😉

Things to Look Out For When Buying Cheap Treadmills

Warming Up On Treadmill

Exercise machines can be really expensive and I know that it’s very tempting to look for cheap models. However, quality should always be your number one priority, since having a cheap treadmill that you will have to replace after just a few months is quite useless. So even though treadmills might be cheap, don’t spoil the ship for a ha’porth of tar. So how do you know that a treadmill is not only cheap, but also good?

The Motor

“Wow, a maximum speed of 14 mph, that’s impressive!” Unfortunately, in many cases you will be disappointed after the first time using such a treadmill. The maximum speed specified by the manufacturer simply cannot be reached. What is the reason for this?

The catch for such a model is often the motor, that’s just too weak. The values given by the manufacturer refer to use without load. However, if your own body weight is added to this, a motor that is too weak can make high speed levels impossible.

The motor must therefore be strong enough to withstand the load and be able to reach the indicated speeds without any problems. Otherwise, the motor will wear out very quickly, which will have a negative effect on the durability of the treadmill.

Therefore, the motor should have a continuous duty horsepower of at least 2 CHP if you’re planning to run fast! If running at 8 mph is completely sufficient for you, 1 CHP might be fine as well.

All in all, we can say: Cheap treadmill? Yes! Weak motor? No!

The Running Surface

Treadmill with Incline

Besides the motor, a cheap price should not impair the size of the running surface too much. And this is mainly for health reasons! Cheap treadmills often look very good at first glance, but unfortunately far too few people pay attention to the size of the running surface. “It will probably be sufficiently large…”

Many affordable treadmills provide a running surface that is only 40” or 45” long. This is enough for walking and light jogging but it’s definitely not sufficient to provide a healthy workout at higher speed levels.

If the running surface is too short, the risk of a misstep or small stumbles increases. This should set alarm bells ringing, because this also leads to an increased risk of injury.

So, don’t be seduced by cheap treadmills if the running surface is too short or too narrow.

For a healthy and safe workout, the running surface should be at least 20” in width and 50” in length! Don’t worry, there are also enough cheap treadmills that take this into account and allow for a healthy workout. We will talk about exactly these devices in a moment! 😉

The Incline

Foot Strike on Treadmill

Running on a treadmill should not only be healthy and safe but should also fulfill another criterion: A natural and authentic running experience. It should be as similar as possible to running outside.

However, there are two fundamental differences between the two types of running.

First of all, headwind plays a role. While you have to run against the wind when running outside, this is not the case with treadmill running. After all, you are only moving on the spot… This means that less effort is required.

Exactly the same applies to the leg turnover. When running outside, a certain amount of force is required to lift our feet off the ground and get them moving forward. However, this effort is not necessary with the treadmill, because the ground moves automatically under our feet and assists our leg turnover.

If you want to know more about the differences between running on a treadmill and running outside, check out this blog post, but for now, you just have to know that running on a treadmill normally requires less strength than running outside. To compensate for these differences and to make the indoor running more authentic, it is recommended to add a small incline of 1-2% to the treadmill.

So, if you are looking for a cheap treadmill, I would still recommend that you do not give up the option to set up an incline.

How Much Does a Good Quality Treadmill Cost?

The Best Treadmill

I know that is quite a lot of points, which you should consider even though you are looking for a cheap model. Anyway, are there cheap treadmills that meet all of these criteria? No worries: Yes, there are! But how expensive is such a treadmill?

Unfortunately, as it’s often the case, there is no general answer to this question. There are treadmills for less than 700 Dollars that meet all the criteria mentioned above. That is the good news at the beginning! These machines are perfect for beginners and certainly have a lot to offer.

However, if you want your training to be more professional, it is recommended to dig a little deeper into your pockets and invest more money. More expensive models have motors with a capacity of 4 CHP or more, making them so durable that even your grandchildren will be able to work out on your treadmill in 20 years. Furthermore, they often offer speed levels of up to 14 mph and inclines of up to 20%. This will be particularly interesting for advanced runners that still want to push their limits.

If you’re very tall and have a large stride length, you are also advised to choose a more expensive model, as these treadmills often provide larger running surfaces with a length of more than 60 inches. To be on the safe side, it would certainly be a great idea to pay a little more in these cases.

Coming back to our question, how much does a good treadmill cost? To keep it short: You can already get quite decent treadmills for under 700 Dollars, especially if you’re a beginner. In the range between 700 and 1200 Dollars, you can get treadmills that are very professional in all aspects. Paying less than 700 Dollars on a treadmill might be tempting at first but is false economy in the long run.

Let’s have a look at the specific models from all of these price ranges. So finally, here they are, the best cheap treadmills! 😉

The Best Cheap Treadmills Under $1000

Woman on Treadmill

It’s not that easy to find cheap treadmills under $1000 that can still provide high-quality and that I can recommend without reservation. On many places at the Internet you will find tons of cheap treadmill recommendations. In my opinion, there are not too many models under $1000 that can fulfill all the mentioned criteria.

That’s why I will just introduce you to two products that I consider having the best price-performance ratio and that are, in my opinion, the best cheap treadmills you can currently buy.

The Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill

What makes a treadmill cheap? In my opinion, a treadmill should be considered cheap or affordable when the price-performance ratio balances in favor of performance. I will now introduce you to a machine that is excellent but still rather cheap with under $1000.

I am talking about the Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill. This manufacturer belongs to the most popular ones not only in the US, but all around the world. The products are high-quality, but still don’t come with such a hefty price tag.

For this treadmill, you will get a 2.75 CHP drive motor, speed levels of up to 12 mph, inclines of up to 12%, as well as a 3-zone cushioning system. Additionally, the running surface measures 20” in width and 60” in length, making it not only “big enough” but huge.

As if that wasn’t enough, it also offers special features like Bluetooth speakers and many useful training programs.

To sum it up: The Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill leaves nothing to be desired! No matter if beginner or advanced, this treadmill is a very, very good choice! In my opinion, this one has the best price-performance ratio among all treadmills and is the best cheap treadmill you can currently buy.

But of course, that’s just my personal view on things. I would suggest that you just take a look for yourself. Here you will find this treadmill, including its availability, current price and all the information you’ll need.

Best Treadmill Under $700: The Horizon Fitness T101

That’s still too expensive for you? No problem. I will now introduce you to a treadmill that’s even more affordable. Anyway, it shouldn’t be too unfamiliar to you, as it’s once again a treadmill by Horizon Fitness.

This time, I’m talking about the Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill, which can be described as the T202’s little brother. It offers a bit less in every respect but can still be recommended without reservation. The criteria mentioned above are more than fulfilled by this treadmill as well.

Let’s face facts: The motor comes with a continuous duty horsepower of 2.5 CHP, the running surface is 20” x 55”, the speed ranges up to 12 mph and the incline up to 10%. As you can see, it’s a bit worse than the T202 in all categories but definitely still a high-quality top-class product.

Again, for this prize, I think that you won’t find a better treadmill. I guess it would be best if you just take a look for yourself and compare both treadmill in order to make the best choice. Here you will find the Horizon Fitness T101.

Final Thoughts on Cheap Treadmills

Regardless of the treadmill’s price, quality should always be the most important factor before buying. However, if you pay attention to a few points and do not let yourself be seduced by a low price, there are many treadmills that offer very good performance for their price. The models I recommended in this article are very good examples.

I hope I could help you with this article. However, if you have any further questions or suggestions, please feel free to send me a mail and I will answer as soon as I can.

For now, I wish you lots of fun with your new cheap treadmill! 😉

Benny Laker

I am the owner of High Tech Fitness. I love testing any kind of exercise equipment and enjoy sharing my insights with you.

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