Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Treadmills of 2022

We tested a selection of treadmills from brands like NordicTrack, XTerra Fitness, and others to find the best
Photo: Jason Peters
Sunday January 9, 2022
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Our home gym enthusiasts researched the best affordable treadmills on the market today, then purchased the top 6 for side-by-side testing and comparison. A quality treadmill can be a great way to maintain your exercise regimen or reach your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home, but which model is right for you? After assembling each treadmill, our testers used them for several weeks on high-intensity runs, casual walks, and everything in between. We analyzed their running surface, speed range, program workouts, controls, features, and noise levels in an effort to help you find the right treadmill for your needs and budget.

If you seek additional training equipment to upgrade your home gym, check out our comparison testing and ratings of exercise bikes, hand weights, exercise balls, and exercise resistance bands. Products that might enhance your running experience include socks designed for running, running shoes for men and women, or a running hydration pack to quench your thirst on longer runs.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on January 9, 2022, with additional details and information to help with your decision-making.


1

Best Overall Treadmill


XTerra Fitness TRX3500


Belt Dimensions: 60" L x 20" W | Speed Range: 0.5-12 mph
Largest running surface
Bluetooth for use with a variety of fitness apps
30 programs
Auto incline
350 lb weight limit
Expensive
Larger size and heavier weight

Boasting the largest running surface in the competition, the XTerra Fitness TRX3500 nabbed the top spot as our favorite treadmill. Its 60" x 20" belt allows for easy strides with less chance of snagging the edge. It is suitable for folks of all fitness levels due to the wide speed range of 0.5-12 mph, allowing both 5-minute milers and casual walkers to hit their stride. Incline adjusts automatically with 12 levels from 0-12%. You can do targeted heart rate training with the built-in heart rate sensors, and it also includes 30 programmed workouts. Whether on a manual or pre-programmed workout, the display includes all the data you need, like the incline and speed, on a brightly lit, easy-to-read, 6.5-inch blue backlit screen. The controls are intuitive, with quick-jump speed and incline buttons on the console, along with easy-to-reach handlebar-mounted adjustment buttons. The XTerra features Bluetooth FTMS connectivity to sync to apps like Zwift, Peloton, Runkeeper, and Strava (paid subscriptions may be required) for interactive, live streaming, or on-demand workouts and activity tracking. The console's multiple add-on features include an integrated fan, device shelf, auxiliary input, speakers, and dual bottle/cup holders to enhance your workout session. The running deck has XTRA Soft cushioning and a lift-assist and soft-drop feature for easier folding and unfolding. The TRX3500 is also impressively sturdy and stable with robust construction and a user weight limit of 350 lbs.

The assembly of this treadmill was quite involved. The instructions are well-detailed, and all the necessary tools are included, but it still takes a fair amount of time (it took us about an hour). Several steps require an extra set of hands. The TRX3500 is also the largest and heaviest of all the models we tested. We recommend putting it together in the location where you'll use it because moving it once assembled will be a pain. Though the running deck folds up when not in use, it still takes up a significant amount of space with folded dimensions of 51.2" L x 35.5" W x 65.8" H. When unfolded for use, those dimensions change to 77.2" L x 353.5" W x 56.1 H. However, if you've got room to spare, we feel the XTerra TRX3500 is an excellent treadmill that will help take your home workouts to the next level.

With a large running surface, 0.5-12 mph speed range, and a...
With a large running surface, 0.5-12 mph speed range, and a feature-packed console that includes 30 program workouts and Bluetooth connectivity to sync with popular training apps, the XTerra TRX3500 can help take your home workout routine to another level.
Photo: Jason Peters

2

Top Performance at a Great Price


NordicTrack T6.5 S


Belt Dimensions: 55" L x 20" W | Speed Range: 0-10 mph
Large running surface
Connected features
Works with iFit app
Auto incline
More expensive
iFit app adds monthly expense
Involved assembly process

Another favorite, the NordicTrack T6.5 S, was among the best treadmills we tested. With a large 55" x 20" running surface, a speed range of 0-10 mph, auto incline, and connected features, it put up a serious fight for the top step of the podium. This model's large running surface and 10 mph top speed make it an excellent option for all fitness levels, including hardcore runners. The belt runs smoothly at all speeds, and transitions feel seamless. It has ten levels of auto incline (up to a 10% grade), Flex Select cushioning, and 20 pre-programmed workouts. This smart treadmill can sync to your device either via Bluetooth or an auxiliary plug, allowing you to crank your favorite running playlist through its integrated speakers. You can operate it manually via the onboard controls or through the iFit app, where there are loads of training programs, hikes, and runs to follow along with and keep you motivated. When used with iFit, this treadmill adjusts speed and incline automatically with the chosen trainer and program. Your iFit subscription grants access to 130 trainers with programs for walking, running, cycling, strength training, yoga, and more. The sizable console features heart rate sensors, quick-jump buttons for incline and belt speed, and a 5-inch wide LCD screen that is easy to read and displays all of your workout specs at a glance. The belt folds up easily when not in use, with a soft drop system and transport wheels that make it relatively easy to move around. It has a 300 lb weight limit, and it comes with an excellent warranty.

This option is one of the heaviest and largest models in our test group. It requires a fair amount of space, even when folded, and once assembled, it is pretty awkward to move up or down steps or fit through doorways. It also had the most involved assembly — it took us 1.5 hours to put it together, and several steps required two people. We love the iFit app and think it's a great at-home training tool; however, it adds an additional monthly or yearly cost to the machine ($15/mo or $180/yr for an individual or $39/mo or $396/yr for a family subscription) that is hard to overlook. This option doesn't come with a fancy screen to stream the iFit workouts, but it does have a device shelf so you can follow along on your smartphone or tablet. Regardless, the NordicTrack T6.5 S is one of our favorites, and we think it's an excellent treadmill that would make a great addition to anyone's home workout space.

With the second largest running surface and speed range, along with...
With the second largest running surface and speed range, along with a more advanced console and connected features, the T6.5 S is easily one of the best we tested.
Photo: Laura Casner

3

Best Bang for the Buck


Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill


Belt Dimensions: 49" L x 15.5" W | Speed Range: 0.5-9 mph
Reasonable price
Easy assembly
Narrow running surface
Manual incline adjustment

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill presents a solid value for those on a budget. Although this affordable model may not include all the bells and whistles of its pricier competition, it can still provide a great workout. The running surface is 49" L x 15.5" W, and the speed ranges from 0.5-9 mph, suitable for both walking and running. There are three levels of manually adjustable incline and a choice of 9 pre-programmed workouts. The console has quick-jump speed buttons, program, mode, and start/stop buttons, and the handles have supplemental buttons for adjusting belt speed or starting/stopping more conveniently. A bright LCD screen clearly indicates time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate (when using the heart rate sensors on the handles). You can also select time, distance, or calorie goals for a manual workout. The console features two water bottle holders and a device shelf for a phone or tablet so everything you need can stay within arm's reach. If space is limited, the SF-T4400's belt can fold up or down easily via a soft-drop system, and there are transport wheels to make moving it around less strenuous.

The running surface is relatively narrow, just 15.5" wide, so attention is required to avoid stepping on the side rails while running. We found this option works best for walking and running at slower speeds. While it is nice to have three manually adjustable incline levels, the need to adjust it by hand means that doing any sort of hill workout is a complicated process. There is also a weight limit of 220 lbs. Despite these issues, we believe this is a good and affordable option for walkers or moderate pace runners.

Although it's relatively basic, the SF-T4400 provides a great...
Although it's relatively basic, the SF-T4400 provides a great workout for the price.
Photo: Laura Casner

4

Best for Auto Incline


Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7515 Smart Treadmill


Belt Dimensions: 49.5" L x 16.5" W | Speed Range: 1-8 mph
12 auto-incline levels, 0-12%
Bluetooth speakers
Program workouts
Narrower belt surface

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7515 Smart Treadmill impressed with its auto-incline and smart features. This treadmill boasts a whopping 12 incline settings from 0-12% grade. It has a 49.5" L x 16.5" W running surface and a speed range of 1 to 8 mph, which we found suitable for walking and for runners who average 7.5-minute miles or slower — in other words, most users. It comes with 12 programmed workouts that automatically adjust speed and incline levels as you go, or you can set time, distance, and calorie goals to countdown during a manually controlled workout. The console has an LCD screen that shows speed, time, calories, program, incline, and heart rate info at a glance. There are quick-jump buttons for both incline and belt speed, as well as incline and speed adjust buttons on the handles by the heart rate sensors. The SF-T7515 also has Bluetooth and an auxiliary input to connect to your device to play music through its integrated speakers or take phone calls as you exercise. It comes equipped with a soft-drop system that makes it very easy to fold up and lower the belt, along with transport wheels to help move it around. Its maximum user weight limit is 250 lbs.

While we love that this treadmill comes with 12 workouts, they are not shown on the console or the display, so you need to keep the manual on hand for reference. The programs are also mostly on the slower side and geared more towards walking than running. We found the belt's 16.5-inch width to be a bit narrow, and a careful, attentive approach was required to not catch the side rails while running. The 8 mph top speed will probably be adequate for most users, but super fit runners or those looking to push their limits may be left wanting.

Not only does it have 12 auto incline settings and program workouts...
Not only does it have 12 auto incline settings and program workouts, but the SF-T7515 has integrated speakers and connects to your device via Bluetooth or an auxiliary plug to play music or take phone calls.
Photo: Laura Casner

5

Best for Shorter Users


MaxKare Folding Treadmill


Belt Dimensions: 42" L x 16.5" W | Speed Range: 0.5-8.5 mph
Affordable
Nice belt feel
Workout programs
Low handles
Short and narrow belt surface
Manual incline adjust

The MaxKare Folding Treadmill is a decent value treadmill that could be a good choice for shorter users due to its lower handle height and shorter belt length. At 42" L x 16.5" W, its tread surface is shorter than most, but for those with a shorter stride, we found it to be more than adequate for walking or running at a moderate pace. Its 8.5 mph top speed is suitable for a range of fitness intensities, from casual walking to speedy 7-minute miles. A cushioned belt also reduces the impact of all types of workouts. There are three different incline levels, but the adjustment mechanism is not automated. This machine comes with 15 pre-programmed workouts and a manual mode that you can set up to track time, distance, or calories burned. The console includes two water bottle holders, quick jump speed buttons, 12 program profiles, and an LCD screen that displays current workout information. The handles add extra start/stop and speed buttons, along with heart rate sensors.

This contender looks and feels like it was designed for shorter folks, and it has a max weight limit maxes of 220 lbs. Not only is the running surface relatively narrow and short, but the console handles are also relatively low. Our tall testers were forced to hunch over a little to reach these handles' button controls or heart rate sensors. There is little margin for error on the smaller running surface, so we found it best to limit walking or running to a moderate pace with a shorter stride. Additionally, there are 15 pre-programmed workouts, but only 12 are displayed on the console. That means you have to keep the manual on hand to keep track of the remaining three. Nevertheless, we were pleasantly surprised by the performance of this small and affordable — yet mighty — treadmill.

We were pleasantly surprised by the performance of the MaxKare...
We were pleasantly surprised by the performance of the MaxKare, although the shorter tread length was best suited to walking, moderate running speeds, and users with a shorter stride.
Photo: Laura Casner

6

Easiest to Store


Goplus SuperFit 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill


Belt Dimensions: 40" L x 16" W | Speed Range: 1-12 km/h (0.6-7.5 mph)
Versatile, 2-in-1 design
Small, easily storable folded size
Bluetooth speaker
Short and narrow belt surface, not the best for running
Must remove handles to fold handrail
Speed and distance displayed in metric units
Display is in a hard to see location

The Goplus SuperFit 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill is an impressively compact and convenient 2-in-1 treadmill. It can be used with the handrail folded down as a walking treadmill or in the upright position as a jogging treadmill. In walk mode, it has a speed range of 1-4 km/h and can be used anywhere, including under a desk in your home office. In run mode, the speed range increases up to 1-12 km/h (7.5 mph max), making it suitable for moderate running speeds. The handrail has a quick-release lever, so switching between modes is easy. The SuperFit is very slim and small with the handrail folded down, easily tucking away under a couch, bed, or in a closet when not in use. Its integrated transport wheels and smaller size and weight also make it easier to move around than the competition. Its small LED screen at the front of the tread belt displays time, distance, speed, and calories burned. There are no controls on the handrail; instead, it uses a small handheld remote to change speed and start/stop a workout. It also has a small Bluetooth speaker and a phone holder so you can listen to music while you exercise. Despite its diminutive size, the SuperFit has a higher weight limit of 265 lbs.

While it is very convenient and storable, this treadmill is not without faults. The 40" L x 16" W belt surface is the shortest of all the tested models. The belt's size limited it to walking and running with a relatively short stride and moderate speeds. Taller users, those with a long stride, or anyone who wants to run fast may find the belt to be a bit too small. The folding handrail is a nice feature, but if you attach the handles to it, you will need to remove them to fold it into the down position, which requires a tool and is somewhat inconvenient. Additionally, the display only provides speed and distance information in km/h and kilometers and can't be changed, which can be confusing for those unaccustomed to the metric system. Otherwise, we feel the SuperFit is a good option for users who value convenience, versatility, and storability for walking and light jogging.

Walking was fine, but running on the SuperFit required our tall...
Walking was fine, but running on the SuperFit required our tall testers to shorten their stride or risk catching the front or back edge of the belt.
Photo: Laura Casner

Each treadmill in this review was purchased and hands-on tested.
Each treadmill in this review was purchased and hands-on tested.
Photo: Laura Casner

Why You Should Trust Us


Our treadmill review was led by our Senior Mountain Bike Review Editor, Jeremy Benson. Despite an addiction to long rides on two wheels, Benson mixes his fitness routine up with weekly trail runs and has been known to jump into the occasional 10k running race. His home gym includes a treadmill, which he uses during the long winter months to stay fit and break up the monotony of skiing every day. GearLab review editor and photographer, Laura Casner, also tested and provided feedback for this review. Casner is a seasoned marathon and ultra-marathon runner. While working in the running industry in NYC, she began road running and racing marathons. In 2010 she qualified for the Boston Marathon but quickly traded city streets for trails after running her first of many ultra-marathons. Laura has supplemented her outdoor training with indoor workouts on treadmills at home, commercial gyms, and hotels for over a decade.

After researching the most popular and highly regarded affordable treadmills on the market, we purchased 6 for testing. At GearLab, we don't just regurgitate manufacturer's specs and consumer reviews; we rigorously test each product to identify their strengths and weaknesses for ourselves. We handled each treadmill from unboxing to extensive in-house testing and hours of use, and we even took our own measurements.

Our testing of treadmills is divided across five rating metrics:
  • Exercise Quality (30% of overall score weighting)
  • Ease of Use (25% weighting)
  • Features (20% weighting)
  • Assembly/Storability (15% weighting)
  • Noise Level (10% weighting)

To determine the best, well-rounded treadmill in our test group, we operated each contender over several weeks with walks and runs of varying lengths and intensities. While testing, we analyzed the controls, features, ease of use, and the quality of the exercise experience each model offered. We compared notes at the end of our test period and zeroed in on our favorites.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Analysis and Test Results


We focused on several key performance attributes to compare the treadmills in this review. We analyzed each treadmill for exercise quality, ease of use, features, ease of assembly and storability, and noise level to determine the best and rank the lineup.

Value


All of the treadmills we tested could qualify as relatively affordable, although there is still a sizeable range of prices. Price and performance often go hand in hand, as is the case with the NordicTrack T6.5 S and XTerra Fitness TRX3500, our top-rated models. At the other end of the price spectrum, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 costs significantly less and can still provide a good quality workout.

The NordicTrack T6.5 S was one of the best in the test. With a large...
The NordicTrack T6.5 S was one of the best in the test. With a large belt, wide speed range, auto incline, and integration with the iFit app, it provides an excellent workout experience.
Photo: Laura Casner

Exercise Quality


Since exercising is the primary objective when using a treadmill, we feel the quality of the exercise experience is the most important element of its performance. Therefore, results from this test metric make up 30% of a product's overall score.

Our analysis of exercise quality is multi-faceted. It mainly includes factual measures like the dimensions of the running surface, speed range, program workouts, and incline levels. It also includes the quality and smoothness of the belt at various speeds, the difficulty of the workout programs, connected features, and the ease of reaching the controls while using the machine. Collectively, these elements play a role in the overall quality of the exercise experience.

The larger running surface and speed range, along with 30 program...
The larger running surface and speed range, along with 30 program workouts and Bluetooth connectivity for use with fitness training apps, helped the XTerra TRX3500 rise to the top for its excellent exercise quality.
Photo: Jason Peters

The NordicTrack T6.5 S and XTerra TRX3500 were head and shoulders above the competition with excellent exercise qualities. We feel the XTerra TRX3500 takes the lead here with a larger running surface, higher top speed, and better connectivity and compatibility with training apps. The 60" L x 20" W tread surface won't limit your stride, and the vast 0.5-12 mph speed range ensures you can run as fast as you want. It also has 12 levels of auto incline from 0-12%, along with 30 included workouts that automatically adjust belt speed and incline as you go. The XTerra's Bluetooth connectivity is one of its best features and allows you to use various workout apps for interactive, on-demand, and studio workouts or fitness tracking.

When using the iFit app, the NordicTrack T6.5 S automatically...
When using the iFit app, the NordicTrack T6.5 S automatically changes speed and incline to follow the trainer and course you choose, although you'll need a smartphone or tablet to view it on a screen.
Photo: Laura Casner

The NordicTrack T6.5S was right at the XTerra's heels with the second-largest tread surface (55" L x 20" W). A larger running surface makes it much easier to walk and run without fear of catching the edge or needing to adjust your stride. It also had the second-largest speed range (0-10 mph), suitable for everything from walking to running 6-minute miles. Add to that 10 levels of auto-incline from 0 to 10% and connected features that allow you to use the iFit app or play music through the integrated console speakers, and it was a pleasure to use the T6.5S.

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7515 has a relatively large tread...
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7515 has a relatively large tread surface, 12 levels of auto incline, 12 program workouts, and Bluetooth speakers.
Photo: Laura Casner

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7515 was our next favorite model in this metric. It had the third-largest running surface at 49.5" L x 16.5" W, a speed range of 1-8 mph, and 12 levels of auto incline. It comes with 12 programs that adjust speed and incline level automatically, plus it can connect to your device through Bluetooth or an auxiliary plug so you can listen to music through its integrated speakers while you exercise. Not far behind was the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400. This model had a long but somewhat narrow tread belt with dimensions of 49" L x 15.5" W and a speed range of 0.5-9 mph. It required a little more attention to foot placement, especially when running, to avoid catching an edge. That said, it was suitable for a large range of fitness levels, from walkers up to sub-7-minute milers, plus it comes with 9 workout programs.

The SuperFit is a very convenient and versatile option, although its...
The SuperFit is a very convenient and versatile option, although its shorter running surface limits the length of your stride a bit.
Photo: Laura Casner

The MaxKare Folding has a nicely padded belt, 15 workout programs, and a speed range of 0.5 to 8.5 mph, but it lost a little ground to the competition for its relatively small belt size — specifically, its short, 42-inch length. While it was fine for walking or running with a short stride, we found that extra care needed to be taken when running at higher speeds or with a long stride. Likewise, the Goplus SuperFit was also a little underwhelming. Its 40-inch belt length was its biggest drawback and the shortest in our test fleet, leaving little margin for error when running, although its foldable design makes it possible to use under a desk for walking while you work. The location of the LED display at the front of the belt was also somewhat challenging to see, and the belt had a slightly inconsistent, jerky feel at lower speeds.

The treadmills we tested are all quite easy to use, although...
The treadmills we tested are all quite easy to use, although features like quick jump speed and incline buttons and handlebar-mounted controls make some models more user-friendly than others.
Photo: Jason Peters

Ease of Use


If a treadmill is user-friendly, we think there's a greater chance you'll use it and enjoy the experience. Fortunately, the treadmills in this review are all relatively easy to use. They all have main power switches near their power plug that need to be switched on before use and turned off when not in use. Starting a manual workout is straightforward, and each model has its own subtleties in its operation. During testing, we found that features like quick-jump speed buttons, controls on the handles, and auto-incline improved the overall ease of use of some of the models. Results from this test metric hold a 25% weighting of a product's overall score.

When the SF-T7515 is connected to your device, you can take phone...
When the SF-T7515 is connected to your device, you can take phone calls while you work out.
Photo: Laura Casner

One of the easiest treadmills to use was the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7515. It was simple to start a manual workout by pressing the start button on the console, and adjusting speed and incline level was a snap, thanks to the quick-jump incline and speed buttons on the console and the convenient controls on the handles. Choosing a program workout or setting a time, distance, or calorie goal was a snap, and you also have the option of creating three custom user programs. Connecting your device through Bluetooth or an auxiliary plug allows you to use the integrated speakers to listen to music or take a phone call, with easy to reach controls on the console.

The XTerra TRX3500 also proved to be impressively easy to use. Starting a manual or program workout is quick and intuitive, and quick jump speed and incline buttons along with handlebar controls allow for easy adjustments while running. Of course, using Bluetooth to connect to fitness training apps like Zwift, Peloton, etc., adds a step at startup, but we found it quick and straightforward to pair a smartphone or tablet with the treadmill through supported apps.

It doesn't have controls on the handles, but the large console has...
It doesn't have controls on the handles, but the large console has everything you need to make using the NordicTrack T6.5 S easy.
Photo: Laura Casner

The NordicTrack T6.5S was also relatively user-friendly, although connecting to the iFit app and choosing a workout adds an extra step in the process. This is only a concern if you decide to use the app, as manual and program workouts are quick and straightforward to start. Should you follow a trainer-led workout on the app, however, the machine automatically adjusts speed and incline for you. Otherwise, the large console has quick-jump speed and incline buttons, and volume controls for the integrated speakers.

The remote of the SuperFit is a mixed bag in terms of ease of use...
The remote of the SuperFit is a mixed bag in terms of ease of use. You don't need to reach to a console to change your speed, but you do need to keep it in hand while you run or walk.
Photo: Laura Casner

Both the MaxKare Folding and the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 were generally easy to use, but they lost a little ground to the competition with their manual incline adjustments. Both models had quick-jump speed buttons, as well as speed and start/stop buttons on their handles. The Goplus SuperFit was a bit of an outlier in this metric, as it relies on a remote to control it. The small Bluetooth remote is used to start and stop a workout and adjust the speed when in use. While it is easy, you need to keep the remote in hand if you intend to adjust speed while running or walking. The fact that speed and distance can only be displayed in km/h and kilometers also made it more challenging to understand for anyone not accustomed to the metric speed and distance units.

The tread deck on most of the models we tested fold up when not in...
The tread deck on most of the models we tested fold up when not in use (one model has a handrail that folds down). They each feature a "soft-drop" system that locks the deck in the raised position and can be released to lower it to the floor.
Photo: Laura Casner

Features


All of the models we tested come with various features intended to enhance the exercise experience or user-friendliness. These features vary from model to model and include things like integrated speakers, Bluetooth, water bottle holders, heart rate sensors, and more. Most models have at least a few basics, while our favorites come with all the bells and whistles. All of the treadmills we tested fold to reduce their footprint when not in use and have transport wheels to facilitate moving them around. Most of them also have soft-drop systems to lock the deck in the raised position and lower it slowly to the ground. This test metric makes up 20% weighting of a product's overall score.

We tested the Zwift app with the Xterra TRX3500. This model's...
We tested the Zwift app with the Xterra TRX3500. This model's Bluetooth connectivity and functionality are excellent features.

Not surprisingly, the most expensive models we tested, the XTerra TRX3500 and the NordicTrack T6.5 S, were the most feature-packed. The XTerra takes the cake here with the largest running surface and the widest speed range of all the tested models. Additionally, it has 12 levels of auto incline and 30 program workouts that adjust speed and incline automatically. The console is large with a bright 6.5-inch blue backlit screen, quick jump speed and incline buttons, a small fan, integrated speakers, a device shelf, and two bottle holders. The handles have easy-to-reach integrated heart rate sensors and speed and incline adjustment buttons. It also works with Bluetooth to play music through its speakers or connect with various fitness training apps.

The large console of the T6.5 S. One of this treadmill's best...
The large console of the T6.5 S. One of this treadmill's best features is its integration with the iFit app, which we used during testing.
Photo: Laura Casner

The NordicTrack T6.5S has a large belt surface and 0-10 mph speed range, and its large console has an easy-to-read 5-inch wide LCD screen, heart rate sensors, a device shelf, two bottle holders, and integrated speakers. It can connect to your device through Bluetooth or an auxiliary plug, and it works with the iFit app to access thousands of trainer-led workouts. You will need your own screen to view the iFit workouts, but the machine adjusts speed and incline on its own when connected to the app. Additionally, it has 10 levels of auto-incline, quick-jump buttons for incline and belt speed, Flex Select belt cushioning, and an excellent warranty.

Connecting to the SF-T7515 through Bluetooth. The large console has...
Connecting to the SF-T7515 through Bluetooth. The large console has loads of features including speakers and quick jump speed and incline buttons.
Photo: Laura Casner

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T7515 is also loaded with a wealth of features. This model's console has a large LCD screen that displays relevant workout information, along with quick-jump buttons for incline and speed, integrated speakers, and speaker controls. It has Bluetooth and an auxiliary plug to connect your device to the speakers to listen to music or take calls. There are two bottle holders, heart rate sensors, and speed and start/stop buttons on the handles. It features 12 levels of auto-incline, as well as 12 program workouts, 3 custom user programs, and 3 countdown modes for manual workouts.

Manual incline adjustment, seen on the Sunny SF-T4400 and the...
Manual incline adjustment, seen on the Sunny SF-T4400 and the MaxKare, is less convenient than automatic, but it's still a nice feature to have.
Photo: Laura Casner

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 and the MaxKare Folding have similar feature sets. They both have LCD screens, quick-jump speed buttons, and heart rate sensors. Both also include three levels of manually adjustable incline, two bottle holders, and a handful of workout programs. The SuperFit has the least features of all the models we tested. Perhaps its best feature is its unique folding design, 2-in-1 versatility, and super small collapsed size. Beyond that, it has a phone holder, a Bluetooth speaker, and a small LED screen.

Each model arrived looking like this. The remaining assembly was...
Each model arrived looking like this. The remaining assembly was relatively straightforward for most of them.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Assembly/Storability


All of our test models arrived in a large box with some assembly required. After unboxing each treadmill and removing protective packing materials, we finished the remaining assembly ourselves. All of them came with adequate assembly instructions, and most came with all of the tools required to complete the remaining tasks. Most models were relatively easy to prepare for use, with a couple of exceptions. Once assembled, all of these treadmills can be folded to reduce their footprint by more than half when not in use, and all have integrated wheels to facilitate transport. This test metric holds a 15% weighting of a product's overall score.

The SuperFit was the easiest to assemble, plus it is the lightest...
The SuperFit was the easiest to assemble, plus it is the lightest weight and smallest, making it more storable than the competition.
Photo: Laura Casner

The Goplus SuperFit arrived almost completely assembled. The only remaining steps to finish the job included attaching the phone holder to the top of the handrail, attaching the handles, lubricating the belt, and pairing the remote with the treadmill. It took approximately 15 minutes to finish the assembly. Once complete, you can decide to fold the handrail up or down, depending on how you wish to use the machine. It should be noted that you will have to remove the handles to fold the handrail down for storage. Once folded down, the SuperFit measured 52" L x 27" W x 5" H, the smallest footprint of all the models we tested. This small treadmill could easily be stored under a couch, bed, or in a closet when not in use.

Look Mom, no hands! The soft-drop system is a nice feature that...
Look Mom, no hands! The soft-drop system is a nice feature that makes raising and lowering the deck easy and secures it in place when in the raised position.
Photo: Laura Casner

Both of the Sunny Health and Fitness models and the MaxKare Folding required slightly more assembly. All three took about 25 minutes to assemble once removed from the box and their packing materials. The remaining steps involved folding up the front support arms and securing them, folding the console into place and securing it, and lubricating the belt. The tread deck on each of these models easily folds up or down thanks to a locking soft-drop system. Their footprint is reduced by more than half when the deck is folded up. Lowering the deck is as easy as releasing the soft-drop mechanism with your foot, then allowing it to lower to the floor.

Compared to others, the NordicTrack T6.5 S is one of the largest...
Compared to others, the NordicTrack T6.5 S is one of the largest, heaviest, and most time-consuming to assemble. That said, it's easy enough to move around on flat surfaces thanks to its transport wheels.
Photo: Laura Casner

The NordicTrack T6.5 S and the Xterra TRX3500 were the most complicated and time-consuming to assemble, and by a significant margin. Both are very heavy and large, and moving them in the box and removing them from it is definitely a task for two people. Due to the weight and size of these models, we recommend assembling them in the space where you plan to use them, as it can be difficult to fit either through average-size doorways or move up and down stairs. Of the two, the XTerra TRX3500 was slightly easier to assemble, and it took about a full hour to complete the process. The NordicTrack T6.5S took a bit longer, right around 1.5 hours, to complete. Much of the assembly on these models can be achieved by one person, although the assistance of a second person is helpful for tasks like feeding the cables through the support arm and installing the console.

We used a sound level meter to measure the noise of the models we...
We used a sound level meter to measure the noise of the models we tested. The differences were subtle.
Photo: Laura Casner

Noise Level


To analyze and compare the noise level of each treadmill, we used a sound level meter to record the decibel level at varying speeds. We positioned the meter 24-inches above the floor and diagonally 18-inches away from the motor next to the tread deck. We recorded the decibel readings at 1, 4, and 7.5 mph with a tester walking or running. Interestingly, all of the treadmills were quite close in this test, with only a few decibels separating them. Oddly enough, despite the close meter readings, a few treadmills were perceptively louder to the ear when in use. Results from this test metric hold a 10% weighting of a product's overall score.

Most of the models we tested were in the low to mid-40-decibel range when running at 1 mph, which increased to the low 50s with a user walking on it. One exception was the NordicTrack T6.5 S, which was 49 decibels at 1 mph that increased to 56 with walking footfalls. At 4 mph, nearly every model was in the mid 50 range, with an increase to the low to mid-60s with a user walking at a very brisk pace. When increased to 7.5 mph, or 8-minute mile pace, the decibels increased into the 60s with no runner and the upper 60s with a runner on the belt. According to our meter readings, the MaxKare was the quietest at 7.5 mph, followed closely by the SuperFit. Despite the results of this test, both testers agreed that the SuperFit sounded the loudest when in use. That said, none of these treadmills were particularly loud, to begin with.

A quality treadmill can be a great addition to your home workout...
A quality treadmill can be a great addition to your home workout routine, no matter your health or fitness goals.
Photo: Laura Casner

Conclusion


There is a lot to consider when searching for a new treadmill, but finding the right one can genuinely enhance your at-home training. There are loads of excellent options on the market, and we hope this detailed comparative review helps you find the right model to meet your needs, fitness goals, and budget.

Jeremy Benson, Laura Casner

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