Best Treadmills of 2022

Whether you're looking for a compact, budget model or a high-end machine, we have you covered

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person running on a treadmill Photo: Getty Images

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.

More on Treadmills

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, the 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.

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.

Maintaining Your Exercise Equipment

No matter what kind of exercise equipment you have, a little regular cleaning helps prevent germs from spreading, and keeps your machine in tip-top shape.

How to Clean
Your Exercise Equipment
Step 1
After every workout, go over your machine’s surface with a damp, soft cloth and mild soapy water. Don’t pour liquid cleaners on it; that may damage the electronics inside. Clean hand weights the same way, then wipe them dry.
Step 2
Sharing workout equipment with others in your household? Clean the handles and other high-touch surfaces with a disinfectant wipe between uses.
Step 3
To reduce dust buildup from around the motors of treadmills and other mechanical items, occasionally unplug the machine, remove the motor cover (your owner’s manual can help you find it), and vacuum the visible debris.

The Rundown on Treadmills

Ready to lose those extra pounds? A former Consumer Reports expert, Peter Anzalone, shows “Consumer 101” TV host Jack Rico which treadmill features will give him a run for his money.

Head shot image of CRO Health editor Kevin Loria

Kevin Loria

I'm a science journalist who writes about health for Consumer Reports. I'm interested in finding the ways that people can transform their health for the better and in calling out the systems, companies, and policies that expose patients to unnecessary harm. As a dad, I spend most of my free time trying to keep up with a toddler, but I also enjoy exploring the outdoors whenever possible. Follow me on Twitter (@kevloria).