Choosing the best compact treadmill for your needs might be a bit of a challenge. When space is valuable, you obviously want to go for a space saving treadmill, but you don’t want to sacrifice too much on the treadmill’s quality and performance.
That's why I cover everything you need to know about small treadmills and share my top 5 of 2017 with you.
Overview: Our Top 5 Compact Treadmills
What To Look For In A Compact Treadmill?
Obviously, you will want a compact build. But the sizes of treadmills vary a lot. So it's important to check the exact measurements. Don't make your decision based on a photo.
The smallest treadmills usually start at around 45-inch in length and 30-inch in width. Big treadmills can go up to about 85-inch in length and 40-inch in width.
Before you start looking for a treadmill, I advise you to measure the room you have in mind for your treadmill. You should make the decision on what size to get based on the amount of free space you have. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to have some open space behind the treadmill and on the sides.
There’s some debate going on about how much clearance you’ll need. According to the ASTM the American Society for Testing and Materials the minimum clearance is 78 inches behind the treadmill and 19.7 inches on each side of the treadmill.
For example, if you would pick a treadmill with a length of 65-inch and a width of 30-inch this would mean that the total amount of necessary free space would be as follows;
Required space (L * W)
143" x 50"
As you can see in the example above, for this treadmill you would need at least 143-inches of free space in length and 50 inches of space in width. We strongly recommend following the guidelines from the ASTM. Better be safe than sorry.
Of course, the more space, the better. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations before assembling your treadmill!
Tread belt size
Smaller treadmills usually have smaller belts than larger treadmills. In most cases, the following applies; the bigger the treadmill, the bigger the tread belt.
The size of the tread belt might be important to you. Especially if you want to use your treadmill for jogging or running. The size of tread belts usually start at around 13-16 inch in width and 50 inches in length and go up to about 20-inches in width and 60-inch inches length. You may find treadmills with larger belts, but they are usually considered large(r) treadmills. So these might not be a good choice.
Choosing the right tread belt size mainly depends on how you are going to use the machine. If you want to use your treadmill for serious running, then it is advised to go for a treadmill that has at least a 20-inch wide and 54-inch long belt. Most walkers will need at least a 16 inch wide and 48-inch long belt. Of course, this may vary depending on your height, weight and training intensity.
If you care about space, then a small foldable treadmill probably is a good choice. Folding up your treadmill after you finish your training is a good way to save as much space as possible. Some compact treadmills are so small that they fit under a bed. Luckily, most lower to mid-level treadmills are foldable.
Keep in mind that foldable treadmills usually tend to be lighter than non-foldable treadmills, because you still need to be able to fold the belt. In most cases, the heavier the treadmill, the less it will bounce when running. So the weight of a treadmill is something to take into account when you’re a runner.
Some of the foldable compact treadmills even come with 'fold assist'. In most cases, the fold assist is a hydraulic system that helps you to fold the treadmill more easily. Of course, you still need to be able to do some lifting, but the folding system does most of the heavy lifting for you. This might be useful if you can’t lift a lot of weight or if you consider yourself a senior.
Another feature you may want to look for in a compact treadmill is wheels. Wheels help you move a treadmill from one room to another. This can be very helpful for storing your treadmill at your desired storage place.
Don’t forget that when you want to move your treadmill, it might need to go through a doorway. If that’s the case, then it’s wise to measure the width of your door and compare it to the foldable dimensions.
The Best Compact Treadmills For 2017 Reviewed (Our choices)
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 is a space saving treadmill suited for walking, jogging and running. The total product dimensions are; 62 (L) inch by 27 (W) inch which is relatively small for a treadmill.
Despite its small size, the SF-T4400 is still comfortable and powerful enough for running. It has a 2.2 HP motor, a maximum speed of 9 MPH and a 48.82 (L) inch by 15.75 (W) inch treadmill belt. However, these features probably won’t be enough for serious runners.
If you plan on moving the treadmill after you finish your training, then you might appreciate the fact that this treadmill has a 'soft-drop system'.
The soft-drop system is designed to unfold the treadmill more easily. It takes minimal effort to lower the tread belt because, for the most part, the belt unfolds on its own. The same goes for folding the treadmill.
- Suited for recreational runners.
- The LCD display is bright which makes it easier to read in rooms without a lot of light.
- Easy folding and unfolding system. This might be useful for users who want to move the treadmill.
- The incline has to be adjusted manually before your training, or you’ll have to pause your training in order to increase or decrease the incline.
- Not suited for people who weigh more than 220 lbs.
The 47” (L) by 29” (W) Exerpeutic TF900 treadmill is especially suited for people who want to use their treadmill for walking. It has a maximum speed of 4 miles per hour and a belt size of 16 (W) by 36 (L) inch.
What makes this treadmill stand out from the other smaller treadmills is the 350-pound maximum user weight. Exerpeutic made sure it is strong enough by testing the treadmill. That's why it's a good option for heavier people.
- The maximum user weight of 350 pounds allows heavier people to use this treadmill. The heavy duty frame is one of the main factors that contribute to the high weight limit.
- Easy to install. The treadmill is pre-assembled, so after you’ve taken it out of the packaging, it won’t be difficult to assemble the treadmill. According to Exerpeutic you only need to attach the training computer.
- Extra large handlebars with control buttons. The handlebars are helpful for users who need or want to hold onto something when walking.
- The treadmill has a maximum speed of 4 Miles Per Hour. So this treadmill is only suited for walking or jogging at a low pace.
- The walking platform is 36 by 16 inches, which might be on the small side if you are a large person.
The g 5.9 is a basic and small 64.5-inches long and 29-inches wide treadmill. The treadmill has a space saver design, which means it’s designed to be small, foldable and easily stored.
The 2.25 CHP motor, a maximum speed of 10 MPH and a 16- by 50-inch tread belt will probably be sufficient for most walkers and joggers. However, the treadmill isn’t particularly suited for serious runners.
The six workout programs are designed by a professional personal trainer. 3 of those programs are specific ‘weight loss programs’ to help you lose weight. The other three workout programs are ‘intensity training workouts’ which are mainly designed to increase your cardiovascular endurance.
- The treadmill is 64.5-inches long and 29-inches wide. So it would be a good small treadmill for an apartment or small house.
- Can be used for running. Despite its small size, the treadmill is comfortable enough for running.
- The workout programs are specifically designed for weight loss and improving your fitness level which are quite common fitness goals.
- The 16 by 50 inches tread belt might be a bit small for running at a high pace.
- The warranty period is relatively short. You’ll get 90-days of warranty on labor, parts and the motor.
- The two-position incline is a helpful feature, but the incline has to be adjusted manually.
The Confidence Power Trac is an extra small and especially an extra narrow treadmill. This treadmill will probably be a good choice if you have very minimal room. Keep in mind that the 39 (L) by 14 (W) inch tread belt is relatively small as well. That’s why the Power Trac is mainly suited for walking or jogging.
- The treadmill has a relatively small size; 49” (L) by 24” (W) by 10” (H).
- 12 fitness programs to vary your training.
- The treadmill weighs 52 pounds, which will make it easier to fold.
- No book, tablet or cup holder.
- Some users might find the 39” (L) by 14” (W) inch tread belt too small. Of course, this also depends on your length, weight and workout intensity.
If you’re looking for a compact treadmill, then the Weslo Cadence R 5.2 might be a good choice. This treadmill has a 50” (L) by 16” (W) inch tread belt and the total measurements are 64.50” (L) by 55.50”. So the belt is pretty large, while the overall treadmill is still small.
- This treadmill is robust and comfortable enough for running. It has a 2.5HP motor and comfort cell cushioning to reduce the impact on your joints while running.
- The tread belt is 50- by 16-inch, which is relatively large for a small treadmill.
- Designed to save space.
- 90 days of warranty on parts, labor and drive motor.
- The 2-position incline has to be adjusted manually.
I would like to pick one clear winner, but it wouldn’t be fair to pick one winner. Because which compact treadmill might be a good choice for you mainly depends on your personal needs. So we’ve chosen two winners. 1 for walkers and 1 for joggers and runners.
If I had to pick 1 treadmill especially suited for walking, then it would be the:
The TF900 is a sturdy treadmill with a 350-pound maximum weight limit. One of the main reasons why this treadmill is capable of handling a relatively high amount of user weight is because it has an extra durable frame. However, beware of the fact that the maximum speed is 4 MPH!
If you want to use your treadmill for jogging or running then I recommend the:
You can tell that Sunny Health & Fitness tried to make the SF-T4400 as compact as possible without sacrificing too many features that the more higher-end machines provide. And we think they succeeded! That’s why I recommend this treadmill for joggers and runners.