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Investing in a treadmill is one of the smartest things you can do when kitting out your home gym. It will also probably be one of your largest purchases. With the huge range of models available, you need to make sure that what you’re buying gives you the absolute best bang for your buck.
In this article, we reveal, after exhaustive research and testing, the eight best home treadmills on the UK market.
UK Treadmills Buyers Guide
Of all the pieces of home fitness equipment on the market, treadmills have the greatest range in terms of quality and price. If you don’t know what to look for when shopping, it is very easy to end up with a machine that will not suit your purpose. Here are the key things to look out for when purchasing a treadmill:
The motor size on your treadmill will dictate, not only the speed at which it runs, but also the smoothness with which it will operate. Obviously, the more powerful (as determined by the horsepower rating) the more expensive the machine will be. So you need to think carefully about the required speed that you are after.
If you’re a beginner, elderly or using the treadmill for rehabilitative purposes, then you probably won’t exceed light jogging on the machine. If this is the case a relatively low horsepower (hp) of 1.15 that you get on a walking treadmill should be sufficient.
On the other extreme, experienced runners who want to sprint at up to 20 km/h, will need a machine with around 4.0 hp.
It should be noted that heavier people will also require a more powerful horsepower on the motor. So, if you weigh more than 100 kg, you should look for a treadmill that is at least 3.0 hp.
You will need a treadmill that has a decent sized running track both in terms of width and length.
If you don’t have a running track that is suited to your height, you will struggle to achieve a natural running stride and cadence, especially when you are sprinting.
Home treadmills range in track width from around 35 to 55 cm. The average person will require around 52 cm for a natural, unencumbered stride length.
As previously mentioned, the maximum speed of your treadmill should match the use that you intend for it. After all, there’s no point wasting money on a machine that provides power that you will never use.
Many machines have a maximum speed of 10 mph, which will be sufficient for most people. However, if you intend to use your treadmill for high intensity interval training (HIIT) then you will probably want it to go up to 12 mph.
The cushioning of the track will have a profound and direct effect on the stress that is relayed to your ankles, knees and hips.
Manufacturers know that this is an important buying consideration and so attempt to outdo each other with their cushioning technology.
As a result, you will find that many manufacturers feature patented technologies to reduce the cushioning of the running track. Those that do this effectively will be able to reduce the impact by as much as 40%.
The functionality of a monitor will vary according to the price you are willing to pay. However, even if you are buying a budget model you need to be able to clearly see the monitor while you are exercising.
The digits should be easy to read, especially if you are elderly. You should be provided with running readouts of your training parameters. More expensive models will get more detailed, however you should expect even a basic treadmill to provide you with your speed, distance, time, calories burned and training heart rate.
Cheaper models will use hand held sensors to track your heart rate, while the more expensive ones will provide you with (or have the technology to accommodate) a chest strap heart rate monitor.
Most treadmills will come with a number of workout programs that are pre-programmed into the treadmill’s computer system. These will be targeted to specific training outcomes, such as fat loss, cardio endurance, and strength gains.
Middle of the range priced treadmills will give you between 10 and 15 inbuilt programs, while the top of the range models may exceed 30 programs.
All treadmills come with a maximum weight rating and it is important to take note of it.
The majority of home use treadmills will provide a maximum weight rating of between 100 and 180 kg. A higher rating is generally an indication that the frame is more rigid, stable and solid.
As a general rule of thumb, you should try to have a gap of 25 kg between the weight of the heaviest user and the maximum weight of the machine. So, if the heaviest user that will be operating on the treadmill weighs 155 kg, then you should look for a machine that has a maximum rating of 180 kg.
if you have limited training space in your home, then size will be an important consideration for you.
Many modern home use treadmills are compact, with some even being foldable. Look for a model that has wheels to make it easy to roll the machine away when not in use.
You may consider buying a folding treadmill or even a mini treadmill. Be aware, however, that neither version is as sturdy or powerful as a non foldable treadmill.
Other features that you should look for in a treadmill include a fan, USB and MP3 ports, a secure tablet holder, and a water bottle holder.
Our top picks!
Read on for in depth reviews for each of the treadmills we considered.
Best Overall: Branx Fitness Elite Runner Pro
The Branx Fitness Elite Runner Pro is a premium level treadmill with a lot of high-end features. It has a maximum speed of 21 km/hr, and a 22° automatic in line incline function to cater to even the most serious of athletes. You also get an impressive array of preset and manual programs to provide targeted, professionally designed workouts to meet specific training goals.
The Elite Runner is an impressively quiet treadmill. That means you can position it right in the lounge room without disturbing your family or housemates who who are watching TV!
This is also a foldable treadmill, with a compact store away size that is considerably smaller than when in use. With foldable dimensions of 820 x 800 x 1500mm, it can easily be stored under a bed or in a covered when not in use.
The Elite Runner will arrive on your doorstep mostly preassembled, so you don’t have to do much work to be up and running on it. It has a generous running deck area of 1400 x 480mm, which means that you’ll have no problem running with your natural cadence and stride length no matter how tall you are.
The maximum user weight of this machine is an impressive 160 kg. This is a testament to the extremely sturdy frame design and the advanced cushioning of the running belt. Overall, the Elite Runner impresses with many commercial range features all packed into a home treadmill price.
- Max speed 21 km/hr
- Max weight 160 kg
- Large running deck
- 3.5 CHP motor
- 5.5 inch LCD screen
Best for Seniors: NERO PRO TREADMILL
The Nero Pro treadmill is a well-priced, highly functional machine that may not come with all the bells and whistles but certainly does many things well.
What we liked most is it has some impressive software loaded into the console. You get a dozen automatic programs dedicated to all of your fitness goals as well as one manual program. Bluetooth connectivity also allows you to connect to the internet and download your training diagnostics to the Nero workout app. You can also make use of Google maps to virtually train anywhere in the world.
The Nero Pro has a maximum speed of 10 kmph. There are also QuickStart buttons that allow you to jump directly to preset speeds of 2kmph, 4kmph, 6kmph, 8kmph and 10kmph. However, this treadmill does not provide an auto incline function. As a result, it is best suited for beginner trainers who are looking for a lot of professional guidance through the software but who won’t be pushing their body to extremes.
The Nero Pro arrives on your doorstep 99% preassembled, meaning that short of taking it out of the box and plugging it in, there is very little work to do to get it operational. You’ll be knocking out miles in no time!
CITYSPORTS Electric Walking Machine
The CITYSPORTS Electric Walking Machine is, as the name suggests, not designed for running but rather walking or very light jogging. The maximum speed is just 6 km/h, so this machine is ideally suited for the elderly, people who are coming back from injury or those who are interested in steady-state low intensity cardio.
This is an ultra-slim design machine that can easily be stored away when not in use. It has a quiet operation and the running belt is well-padded and runs freely without any jerkiness.
The treadmill features integrated Bluetooth speakers that allow you to connect to any Bluetooth device. A child lock function kicks in whenever you turn the treadmill on to keep everything safe. A unique feature of the console is that it features a lubrication signal that indicates when you need to lube the running track.
The CITYSPORTS Electric Walking Machine does not come with the traditional raised monitor and side rails that you get with a running treadmill. Instead the console is built into the top of the base of the unit. This means that you have a further distance to look to see the console and you don’t get the side support that comes with rails.
This may be a problem for elderly people which is why we generally don’t recommend this as an ideal treadmill for seniors. However, if your eyesight is good and you don’t need the extra balanced support, then this is a great walking treadmill for you that does its job well and doesn’t take up much space at all.
Perfect for staying active with the television on or for getting some much needed movement in the winter months.
- Top Speed 6 kmph
- Bluetooth speakers
- Lubrication signal light
Bluefin Fitness Kick 2.5 Treadmill
The Bluefin Fitness Kick 2.5 Treadmill delivers a maximum speed of 20 km/h and has a 15% gradient auto incline. This makes it pretty impressive if you’re looking to do some intense HIIT style training. This machine is powered by a silent drive high-torque 3 hp continuous duty motor that has a 7 HP peak.
The running performance on this treadmill is outstanding thanks to its automatic drive recalibration system which adjusts for every stride in order to ensure maximum responsiveness. The console of the machine features integrated smartphone app technology so that you can connect to the Kinomap fitness app, which features thousands of training videos, live coaching and structured workouts.
The Bluefin Fitness Kick 2.5 Treadmill comes with a heart rate monitor chest band to enable you to accurately monitor your training pulse rate. In addition, you get built-in heartrate sensors on the handrail.
This is a foldable treadmill which it features a quick and efficient lift and fold design. It also has wheels to allow for easy transportation.
An advanced cushioning system makes use of eight shock absorbers to reduce impact on your joints. In addition, the generously sized antistatic running surface provides whisper quiet operation and smooth running belt performance.
The LCD display unit is backlit and provides you with all of the diagnostic training information that you need to monitor your workout.
We actually liked this one a lot. The Bluefin Fitness Kick 2.5 Treadmill is an awesome hard-core training device and our favourite treadmill for high intensity interval training workouts.
- Max speed 20 kmph
- 15% incline
- Chest strap heart monitor
- Superior cushioning
Branx Fitness Foldable ‘Cardio Pro’
The Branx Fitness Foldable ‘Cardio Pro’ is a mid range treadmill that has recently been re-modelled for greater functionality and value. It features a more powerful motor and thicker running deck than its previous version along with a new 5.5 inch LCD touchscreen console.
The unit is powered by a 3.5 continuous horsepower motor that allows for a maximum speed of 17 km/h. The running belt is 1.8 mm thick and offers very good shock absorption.
This treadmill features one touch automatic incline in a user-friendly touchscreen display panel as the monitor provides a scanning readout of your calories, pulse, speed, time, incline and programs. The monitor is able to connect with the Branx fitness app to greatly increase your training options.
The maximum user weight on this treadmill is 120 kg. The running balance dimensions are 25 x 45 cm, which is decent for this price and showed allow people of most heights to get in their natural stride.
This is a robust, user-friendly treadmill that allows you to run freely and naturally without any jerkiness or other annoying hiccups. If you are looking to move up from a budget treadmill to one that offers more functionality, we highly recommend the Branx Cardio Pro.
- Max speed 17 km/h
- 5.5 inch LVD touchscreen console
- Max user weight of 120 kg
- 3.4 chp motor
MAXXUS RunMaxx 5.0 Motorised Treadmill
The MAXXUS RunMaxx 5.0 Motorised Treadmill is a powerful middle of the range treadmill that is fitted with the latest generation of DC motor. It is capable of a maximum power of 5.0 HP at peak range and 2.0 continuous power. The maximum speed is 18 km/h.
A smooth inbuilt motor control unit provides a jerk free, natural running experience. The high-end drive system also ensures longer motor life while also saving electricity and providing an optimised running experience.
This is a well-built machine with a maximum user weight of 120 kg. It has a compact footprint of 73 x 81.5 cm, which can be further reduced by 60 cm when the treadmill is folded for storage. The hydraulic shock absorber makes folding a piece of cake, and storage wheels allow for easy movement. The RunMaxx 5.0 does a superior job of protecting your joints thanks to its advanced shock absorption system.
The monitor of this treadmill allows for 36 runner profiles, has three heart rate control programs and three manual programs. The control panel features three large LCD windows data including time, distance, calories, speed, incline, and pulse rate. As well as hand pulse sensors, this unit is equipped for a chest strap pulse rate monitor. However, you will have to purchase this separately.
The RunMaxx 5.0 does the best job of any of our review treadmills at providing shock absorption and protecting your joints.
- Superior shock absorption
- Max speed 18 kph
- 3 LCD windows
- 36 runner profiles
- Max weight of 120 kg
Fit4home Compact JK-08E Motorized Folding Treadmill
The Fit4home compact JK-08E Motorized Folding Treadmill has a maximum speed of 10 km/h. The monitor provides you with a running readout of your pulse, speed, time, distance and calories. This is a pretty compact, slimline treadmill that weighs in at 23.5 KG, making it relatively easy to move around the home. It arrives 99% preassembled, eliminating the hassle of self-assembly. It also folds for easier storage.
Unfortunately, this unit does not come with transportation wheels.
The running surface on this treadmill measures 100 cm x 36 cm. This will be too narrow for people over 5’11”, so they will not be able to achieve a full, natural stride. The construction of the frame is quite hardy, being made from high-quality tubular steel. That strength can be shown by the fact that this treadmill has a maximum weight of 110 KG, which is pretty good for this price range.
The computer console is also pre-programmed with eight inbuilt workouts, designed to help you train to specific fitness goals.
- Max speed 10 kmph
- 8 automatic porgrams
- Sturdy frame
- Max user weight of 110 kg
Bodyfit Compact Electric Treadmill
The Bodyfit Compact Electric Treadmill is a budget priced walking, jogging treadmill that is compact, simple and functional. It features a space saving design that makes it ideal for confined areas. It is also foldable so can be conveniently stored away when not in use. The monitor of this unit is quite basic, yet provides you with the key training information relating to your speed, time, distance, and calories.
The Bodyfit Compact Electric Treadmill has a top speed of 6 km/h with a starting speed of 1 km/h. The maximum user weight is 100 KG and the unit itself weighs just 17 KG. This treadmill also features a safety stop button. You get three built-in programs to cater for various fitness goals.
The running balance is quite smooth but that lacks the padding that you would expect with more expensive products. You are able to adjust the inclined angle of the running bed but this must be done manually, requiring you to interrupt your training session. But if you are not planning to adjust the inclined during the actual work out you won’t have a problem.
If you’re after a basic, low-cost walking treadmill that does its job well, then this is the machine for you.
It can be challenging to fit in the time to run out of doors. The great thing about the treadmill is that is always on hand and you can jump it on for as little as a few minutes whenever you feel the urge.
The treadmill will also ensure that you are running at the desired speed and for the desired length of time. In these ways, it will give you the best bang for your workout minutes.
You can get an extremely effective treadmill workout in just 30 minutes, allowing you to get on with the rest of your day!
2.Less joint impact
Treadmills have come a long way in the last few years. They are now very joint friendly, especially when compared with running on the sidewalk or even a path through the woods.
When you run outside you are constantly encountering uneven surfaces. This is very hard on your ankles and knees, especially if you’re not accustomed to road running. However, a treadmill provides a shock absorbing environment.
Of course you will need to ensure that the treadmill is stable. Check the feet adjustments to make sure that they are level to the ground.
3.Less environmental stress
When you run outdoors, you expose your skin to sun damage. Every year, more and more research comes out warning of the dangers of sun exposure. That doesn’t mean that you should never run outside, but it doesn’t need to be the only place that you run.
For instance, if you were to run on your treadmill on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays and then enjoyed a trail run on the weekend, you would be getting a greater balance between indoor and outdoor running.
Another obvious benefit of running on a treadmill at home is that your exercise is not weather dependant. Many runners are so into what they do that they will run even in inclement weather. This, of course, can result in sickness.
When you run at home, you also prevent your body from exposure to harmful pollutants, especially carbon monoxide emanating from car exhausts. Running indoors provides a much safer, less stressful environment, especially if you are an asthmatic or someone with another breathing related condition.
4. Digital Monitoring
When you run on the road or the track, a lot of what you do comes down to guesswork. You don’t really know what your pace is, or your speed, training heart rate, V02 Max or distance. However, even when you are training on a treadmill, you will have most of this information at your fingertips.
Of course, you can always invest in a fitness tracker for your wrist, which we think are fantastic, but are not always in people’s budgets.
More advanced treadmill monitors will pair with an app so that you can download your training diagnostics to your computer for later analysis.
Is running on a treadmill easier than running outdoors at the same speed?
Yes, running on a treadmill is slightly easier than running outdoors at the same speed. That is because you do not have to contend with wind resistance when running ona treadmill. In addition, the treadmill rollers will assist your run, and the “give” in the treadmill will support your knees and ankles by lessening the imact.
Do I have to wear special shoes when running on a treadmill?
No, you do not have to wear special shoes when running on a treadmill. You can use the same trainers that you use when running outdoors. However, if you have the option, you may consider wearing shoes with less padding as the treadmill belt will provide extra padding that you do not get when running outdoors.
Is it better to go slower with an incline or to speed up on a flat running bed?
For overall fitness, development and running training you should do both. Many treadmills will have presset workouts that incoproprate both aspects into one workout. Variation in your workouts is important to ensure you develop all your muscle groups!
Our Top Picks!
For us, the best overall treadmill on the current UK market is the Branx Fitness Elite Runner Pro. This features a max speed of 21 kmph and a max user weight of 160 kg. We love the sturdiness of the machine and the fact that it’s still foldable and easy to store. Whether you’re just after light walks or jogs or you’re training for a marathon, this machine will get the job done.
Our best home treadmill for seniors is the Nero Pro, which provides plenty of support through its 12 inbuilt programs. We highly recommend treadmills in the home for seniors. It’s a great way to keep blood pumping through your muscles and staying active, especially while you’re watching television or even reading a book. Sedentary lifestyles are more damaging as you age – make an effort to make movement a regular part of your day.
For those on a tighter budget, we’d say the best home treadmill choice is the BlueFin Fitness Treadmill. While there are other cheaper treadmills on our list, most of them don’t have high enough weight limits or speed limits to be used seriously as a running treadmill. They are great for walking and light jogging, mostly for casual exercise or for seniors, but won’t be able to handle any serious workout. The BlueFin gives you the ability to do some serious running training in your own home, without spending thousands of pounds. We like the Branx, but if it’s not in your budget, the BlueFin will definitely do the job.
Last update on 2021-01-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API