We regularly get the question about “how much should I spend on a treadmill?” Sometimes, it is phrased like “how much do I need to spend to get a quality treadmill?” If you want a detailed response, the best way to do that is visit our Treadmill Buyer’s Guide on our website and it will lead you through questions to point you to your customized results
For the rest of this article, we will tackle the four main types of people who need a machine and what it should cost for each of them.
Light Walking One Person Using It
The person who wants to do light walking, is not overweight, and will not be doing any jogging is the perfect candidate for one of the cheap machines. Some people say you should never buy one of the couple of hundred dollar machines (no more than $500) but we see all the time people who have successfully used a low cost treadmill with little to no issues. My grandmother for instance used one of these for nearly 15 years and it never had to have a repair. The key was she kept it clean and every time I visited, I lubed the belt but she loved to use it 15 to 20 minutes a day and she lived to the age of 93.
Regular Walking with One or Two People with Minor Jogging
If you are mainly a walker with no user heavier than 250 lbs. and aren’t going to be training for a marathon a machine around the $1,000 price point might be perfect for you. I have seen people who have used a treadmill that cost $800 to $1,000 for regular running training but typically you got lucky if the machine held up. We had a customer who put 7 miles a day on his $800 Proform and it lasted 7 years (we repaired it 4 times) but when he replaced it with a new $800 Proform that was arguably a higher quality machine, it broke within 90 days so he listed to us and upgraded to a $1,500 machine and he doesn’t have the same issues with it.
Many Users or Someone Who Wants to Run
If you have many people who are using the machine, a heavier user, or someone who consistently runs, the $1,500 price point is the one for you to consider. You might be able to go a bit cheaper if you use incline while exercising or a bit more expensive if you want bells and whistles but the $1,500 price range tends to be the best for people who are planning this type of use.
Marathon or Ironman Competitor or Serious Exerciser
Someone who runs all the time or plans to train for competition should step up and at a minimum get a runner’s treadmill like a Landice or True machine. These start between $2,500 and $3,000 and go up from there. If that sounds expensive, we just looked at a new $15,000 treadmill that will hit the market this fall.
So if you have an unlimited budget, there are factories that will sell you a treadmill the price of a car but most people who do have a budget, these guidelines will help you shop in the right price range.