What Treadmill to Buy, Finding one that Meets Your Needs

The treadmill is probably one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment for home and professional gyms. It’s ideal for all fitness levels and is a great way to stay healthy and maintain good physical fitness. Not convinced? Check out our article on Treadmill Exercise Benefits and Why You Should Start Your Workout Today. This will give you some of the benefits to working out on a treadmill and give you an idea of what to look for when considering what treadmill to buy.

Because treadmills are so popular, there are a lot of options when it comes to purchasing one. There are treadmills that range in prices and features. And, it’s hard to know which ones are the best to purchase and meet your fitness needs. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to as hard with some easy tips and strategies. We’ll take a look at some things to think about when considering what treadmill to buy.

what treadmill to buy

Photo Copyright Sport-Tiedje GmbH / Wikimedia Commons

Treadmill Basics: Things to Consider Before Buying a Treadmill

Before buying a treadmill, there’s a few things you’ll want to think about before you get started. These include:

  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend? Are you looking for a top of the line treadmill that has all the bells and whistles with cool features and options? Or, would you prefer a more budget-friendly model that helps you achieve your fitness goals while not breaking the bank? Thinking about your budget before you begin shopping can help you narrow down good options, while eliminating the pricier ones.
  • Space: Treadmills can vary in size. Before buying, think about the space you have for a treadmill. Make sure to measure space if you need to, so you don’t end up buying a machine that won’t fit in the space you have.
  • Use: What are you going to use your treadmill for? Are you a runner? Or, do you prefer walking? Walking doesn’t put as much stress on a treadmill as running does. So, if you’re only walking on the machine, you may not have to buy a machine that has as much power. You’ll also want to think about how many people will be using the treadmill too — all of which affects the wear and tear on your machine.

Related: See our Best Small Treadmill Buyer’s Guide

What Features to Look for in a Treadmill

Now that you know your budget, how much space you, and how you want to use your treadmill, it’s time to start thinking about specific features. Different features will help you maximize your fitness goals and help you get the best treadmill possible to meet your needs. We recommend you do a bit of research on features before you go to buy to help you decide what treadmill to buy. Here are some features that you’ll want to think about before buying a treadmill.

Safety Features

Safety is important above anything else when it comes to fitness equipment. Look for features like a safety key or belts that start and stop slowly. You’ll also want to look at handrails and any kind of console grips that will help you walk, run, and stop moving comfortably.


Things happen. Equipment can eventually need repair and maintenance over time and use. Do look for a treadmill that has a good track record and requires little maintenance. But, having a warranty to cover any major repairs is pretty important. Some treadmills will include a basic warranty, and many include options to purchase extended warranties. If this is the case, make sure that no matter what kind of warranty you have that it covers some of the most common repairs, such as electronic, motor, deck, and belt.

Good Shock Absorption System

Let’s face it. You’re going to be running or walking a lot on a treadmill. And while using a treadmill generally has less impact on knees, legs, and joints, some treadmills handle shock absorption better than others. Look for treadmills with good cushion and bounce and a good track record for a comfortable and safe workout.

Good Motor

A good motor is the foundation of any treadmill. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a bigger motor is better for your treadmill. Look for a motor that gets good ratings and has enough power to keep your treadmill going. And, don’t forget about a cooling system too. Cooling systems can help lengthen the life of your treadmill motor and the overall life of your treadmill. And, if noise is a concern, look for a motor that doesn’t make a lot of sound.

Electronic Features

These days treadmills have all sorts of electronic features. From simple controls to more complicated tools like electronic fans built into the deck, electronic features can give you a lot more ways to make your workout more comfortable. Does the treadmill have interactive features like programs? Programs can help you maximize your workout and challenge your fitness levels incrementally as you get stronger and build cardiovascular fitness. Does it include a user ID? If so, you and your family can create profiles to keep track of your own fitness routines and programs at the touch of a button. One of our favorite electronic features? Heart rate monitoring is a great way to measure your cardiovascular fitness and overall heart rate. This way you know when to slow down to get your heart rate lower and when to speed up to increase heart rate — all of which help you improve cardiovascular fitness.

Easy to Use

Fitness machines can be complicated. Look for a treadmill that’s easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of extra fuss when you start or stop working out. Plus, you’ll want to make sure that the deck and any electronic features are easy to read and easy to navigate too.

what treadmill to buy

Photo Copyright Jennifer C. / Flickr Creative Commons

Get Moving: Choosing What Treadmill to Buy

Now that you’ve decided what features and must-haves you want for your new treadmill, it’s time to start thinking about the specific models you’ll want to buy. Not sure where to start? Check out Our 10 Best Rated Treadmills list for some of the best bets that include great features and will fit anyone’s budget and fitness needs.