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Consumer Reports: Best Treadmills of 2022

Whether you're looking for a small, budget model or a high-end machine, we have you covered
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/ Source: Consumer Reports

This article is part of our Best Product Reviews series, a collaboration with Consumer Reports. Shop TODAY and Consumer Reports are editorially independent. If you purchase something through our links, we both earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY and Consumer Reports

It might be easier to go for a run than to take a trip to the gym, but there are still plenty of things that can derail your outdoor running plans: winter snows or summer’s suffocating heat and humidity can make a run unappealing or even unsafe. Or perhaps you can’t leave your house because your kids are sleeping or you are waiting for a delivery.

Because of that, a treadmill can be a crucial addition your home—no trip to the gym or pleasant weather required. Buying one of the best treadmills for home use can help ensure that you can always get that run in. Consistency is essential, whether you’re trying to start exercising for the first time in a while, getting ready for a 5K or half-marathon, or just trying to hit your recommended levels of cardio exercise.

While the up-front cost for a treadmill can be substantial, it can easily pay for itself when used regularly. Plus, an investment in your health can be invaluable.

If you are looking for one of the best home treadmills, CR’s ratings give you lots of options to choose from. While a top-of-the-line treadmill can cost $4,000 or more, our recommended models start at just $1,000—and our highest-rated machine comes in at $2,500. If you’re looking to save even more, you can get a reasonably well-rated foldable treadmill for $700.

Some of the higher-end machines come with mobile-app connectivity and interactive programs, but if you don’t think you’ll use those fancy features, one of the simpler treadmills could save you money.

Our buying guide can help you figure out which options are available and what makes sense for your needs.

How We Test Treadmills

Our tests focus on ease of use, construction quality (including design, noise and feel, and durability), ergonomics (how well the machine accommodates different users), exercise range, and user safety.

Exercise range is an important one; that’s our assessment of whether a machine is suitable for a variety of fitness levels. It factors in the range of treadmill speeds, incline range, stability, cushioning, and more.

Our user safety tests evaluate the security of folding models, the accessibility of the emergency stop button, the workings of the safety key (which stops the treadmill if you fall), and more.

We also perform a durability test using two custom rigs made of a giant metal drum covered in rubber “feet." This runs along each treadmill for a total of 25 hours to simulate half a year of use. The results of that test are factored into our "construction" rating.

Best Home Treadmills

The roundup below includes some of our top picks or best buys from our tests of both nonfolding and folding treadmills. Members can see our full treadmill ratings and reviews.

Peloton Tread

CR’s top-rated treadmill, the Peloton Tread, has Excellent ratings in all categories. This Best Buy comes with dials that can be spun to quickly change the speed or incline, and a large console that can be used for workouts, classes, and various runs offered through Peloton’s subscription service. The base model doesn’t include a heart rate monitor, but optional upgrades include that as well as other accessories, including dumbbells for strength workouts. For more details, see our full review of the new Peloton Tread.

NordicTrack Commercial X22i

The nonfolding NordicTrack Commercial X22i is rated Excellent for ergonomics, construction, and exercise range, and has a Very Good rating for ease of use. It has a large 22-inch touch screen designed to connect to NordicTrack’s iFIT personal training service (a family membership costs $39 a month, similar to the service included with the Peloton tread). The X22i can achieve an unusually steep 38.3 percent incline, according to our test results, and can also simulate running downhill with a 6 percent decline.

Horizon Fitness 7.4AT

This recommended model is a folding treadmill with a reading shelf and quick control dials to rapidly change speed or incline. It has Excellent ratings in all categories except user safety, where it rates Very Good. It comes with a heart rate monitor to connect directly to training programs, and has built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity.

Nautilus T616

This CR Best Buy is a folding treadmill that earns Excellent scores overall. It has a medium-sized, backlit LCD display, with quick-key controls on either side of the console for setting incline and speed. It comes with a separate comparison display that allows the user to compare current pace with the pace from a previous workout. It also includes a chest-strap heart rate monitor.

Editor’s Note: Peloton recalled its Tread and Tread+ treadmills on May 5, 2021, after the Tread+ was linked to dozens of injuries, and the company said the Tread’s screen could detach and fall. Peloton is offering customers a full refund. Consumer Reports removed the Peloton Tread+ from its ratings and stopped recommending the product. It is no longer available for sale. The Tread in CR’s current ratings is an updated model. For more information, see our article about the Peloton treadmill recall.

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