Best Treadmills of 2024 - Consumer Reports (2024)

Buying a reliable treadmill for your home can help ensure that you can take a run or get your steps in even if it’s pouring rain outside, or if your child is fast asleep upstairs. And while the up-front cost of a treadmill can be substantial, it can easily pay for itself when used regularly, especially when compared to the cost of a gym membership.

But it’s key that you get a solid machine that’s fun and easy to use—not a clunker that turns into a coat rack. That’s why our testers put 50 treadmills through a series of rigorous lab tests, including one that uses a custom-built rig to simulate six months of use.

In this article

  • Best Treadmills for a Home Gym
  • What About Under-Desk Treadmills?
  • How CR Tests Treadmills
  • Maintaining Your Exercise Equipment

More on Treadmills

Best Ways to Work Out on a Treadmill

Best Cardio Machines to Meet Your Fitness Goals

Are Under-Desk Treadmills Safe?

While a treadmill can cost $4,000 or more, our recommended models run as low as $1,000—and our highest-rated machine comes in at $3,000. If you’re looking to save even more, you can get a well-rated foldable treadmill for around $650.

Members can access our full treadmill ratings, or review our buying guide for more shopping advice.

What About Under-Desk Treadmills?

Under-desk treadmills, also called walking pads, are smaller machines with fewer features. They are just meant for walking. We’ve tested nine of these, but we only recommend one, listed here. With some of the other under-desk treadmills tested in our labs, we found highly concerning construction and safety issues. We suggest consumers be very wary of these products, and avoid simply buying whichever one is available for the cheapest price online. You can read more about our concerns with these products here.

How CR Tests Treadmills

CR’s 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.

For exercise range, we assess whether a machine is suitable for a variety of fitness levels. Our tests factor 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 custom rigs made of giant metal drums covered with rubber “feet.” Each rig 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. For more details on how we test treadmills, see our treadmill buying guide.

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

If you're 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 get into shape? 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.

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. Consumer Reports removed the Peloton Tread+ from its ratings and stopped recommending the product. The Tread in CR’s current ratings is an updated model. For more information, see our article about the Peloton treadmill recall.

Best Treadmills of 2024 - Consumer Reports (1)

Kevin Loria

Kevin Loria is a senior reporter covering health and science at Consumer Reports. He has been with CR since 2018, covering environmental health, food safety, infectious disease, fitness, and more. Previously, Kevin was a correspondent covering health, science, and the environment at Business Insider. Kevin lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and children. Follow him on Twitter @kevloria.

Best Treadmills of 2024 - Consumer Reports (2024)
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