Here’s a secret that many gyms don’t want you to know: good cardio equipment is a lot cheaper than it used to be. In the past, it seemed like only wealthy people could afford to have a treadmill in their house. Today, there are so many great options that won’t break the bank. You can get a treadmill for your home for much less than a gym membership.
If you’re like a lot of people, one of the big reasons you probably joined a gym was to use all the great cardio equipment they have. Look at any fitness club and you will see the majority of people doing cardio are using treadmills, and treadmills outnumber all other pieces of cardio equipment.
If you’re an avid runner, you are limited to when you can run outside. You have to consider safety, weather, and darkness. With a home treadmill, you can exercise at any time of the day no matter the conditions.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive treadmill, that can still cover you for everything you need in a workout, here’s our list of the best options under $300.
Best Treadmill Under $300
SereneLife Smart Electric Folding Treadmill
This folding treadmill is not only space saving, but provides everything you need for a great workout. Despite its compact size, it still has a running surface of 40 inches long by 16 inches wide which provides adequate space for your running stride.
Despite being inexpensive, the Serenelife smart electric folding treadmill features an LCD display so you can track your workout. It relays information on your speed, distance, and calories burned. You can also bost the intensity of your workout with the incline option. This will create more resistance to give you the sensation of running uphill.
Another great feature is the built-in hand grip sensors that will give you an accurate reading of your heart rate. This is a great feature to help determine if you are in the proper heart rate training zone or not. These are a lot of great features that you get in a fitness club treadmill but can have in your own home.
- The entire unit only weighs 60 pounds
- 12 pre-set programs to give you multiple running options
- Connected to the “FitShow” app to record your data
- Safety key with emergency stop feature
- The motorized power motor goes to just 1.0hp
- The incline must be manually adjusted
The 100XL is a perfect choice if you are a serious runner. It works off a magnetic resistance system which is manually powered. You provide the resistance and intensity through two twin 6 inch diameter flywheels. This will provide you with an incredibly smooth running experience.
The 100XL is an amazing treadmill as it can handle a high intensity workload. It can handle weights of up to 325 pounds despite weighing only 73 pounds.Even though this is a manual treadmill, it still comes with some great technology including heart pulse pads to accurately track your heart rate during your workout. You are also kept safe with extra long safety handles which will give you more peace of mind while you workout.
If you have never used a manual treadmill before, you will be amazed at how effective they can be. The 100XL is also wider and longer than most manual treadmills on the market today.
- 3 different levels of incline for more workout variation
- Light, foldable, and easily transportable
- LCD display to track stats as you run
- Takes some getting used to if you have never used a manual treadmill before
- No option for pre programmed workouts
MaxKare Electric Foldable Treadmill
The MaxKare foldable treadmill looks like a more expensive option, but is still under $300. Not only is this treadmill foldable, it still has a large running surface. This is ideal if you are taller, or have a wider running stride. It has a powerful 1.5hp motor and can go up to 7.5mph which is pretty impressive for a treadmill at this price point.
This will cover you for intense running, but you also have the option of 12 different preset programs. This is great if you are someone who likes variety in their workout instead of having to do the same thing each time. You also get an LCD display to track time, distance, calories burned, and even your heart rate.
If you suffer from any joint or knee problems, this treadmill will be a great choice as it features an anti-shock system to help cushion the joints and reduce impact.
- Has a quick one-touch operation to start and adjust your workout instantly
- Features a 17 inch wide treadmill belt
- The motor is energy saving so it will reduce electricity costs compared to large machines
- 3 different incline levels
- Max weight of 220 pounds
Merax Electric Folding Treadmill
The Merax folding treadmill is like taking a fitness club and putting it in your own home. What makes this treadmill standout is the built-in speakers so you can blast your music as loud as you want. It also features a stand to hold your tablet or phone to use during your workout. You can then use your phone or tablet to plug into the treadmill, or use a USB flash drive to listen to your own media.
Workout wise, this treadmill has a very smooth and quiet motor that still lets you get an intense run in. It has 12 different pre-set workouts so you follow a different workout as often as you’d like. This treadmill can also hit 7.5MPH so it can really push you with an intense workout. The built-in speed buttons also let you adjust the speed instantly so it can keep up with you no matter what the pace. No matter your fitness goals, the Merax electric folding treadmill will help you achieve them
- A very compact design which also features wheels for easier transport
- Safety key and emergency stop buttons to keep you safe during more intense workouts
- One of the easiest treadmills to set up and assemble right out of the box
- Treadmill belt is a little narrower than other options
UMAY Folding Electric Treadmill
The UMAY folding treadmill is one of the most compact space saving, but effective treadmills you can find. It’s a great home treadmill choice that is extremely affordable. No matter what size space you live in, this treadmill will fit. You can use it in a home office, bedroom, or in the corner of any room. SInce it is so transportable and compact, it can be brought out and stored very fast.
Despite being so compact, the UMAY comes with a ton of great features. The first is the 12 different pre set workouts which are a surprising benefit with a treadmill this affordable. Despite being small, this treadmill still can hit a top speed of 7.5MPH which will cover you for a wide range of speeds and workout intensities.
You wouldn’t think a treadmill this compact would come with a shock-absorbing system but it does. It features a multilayer running belt which reduces impact and force on the knees and joints. The shock-absorbing belt is also non-slip to keep your running pace perfectly aligned and intact.
- G-Fit sports app connectivity to let you record and review training data, and als offers customized workout options
- Built-in cup holder and storage space to keep your belongings
- Built-in handrails pulse sensors to track heart rate
- Doesn’t have an option for incline
- Running surface is 14.2 inches wide which might not accommodate larger and taller people
The Fitnessclub folding treadmill is the perfect choice if you are an avid runner looking for a treadmill with great performance. The powerful 2hp motor can handle speeds of up to 12km/ which is pretty astonishing for a treadmill under $300. What else is surprising is the strong build quality that can hold up to even the most intense run.
You can use the Fitnessclub 2HP for whatever fitness goals you have. It can be used for general walking, jogging, or if you really want to boost the intensity–full-on sprinting. Technology wise, you’re covered with an LCD display to track your stats like time, distance, and speed, but it also has built-in pulse sensors to accurately track your heart rate during exercise.
Despite having the powerful 2HP 1100W motor, it still runs very quiet and won’t disturb others in your house. Even though this is a great choice for those who need it for serious exercise, it has those nice little features added in such as wheels for transport, and even cup holders
- One of the highest top speeds at this price point
- Emergency system with emergency stop switch
- Tablet and phone holder
- No pre-programmed workouts
- Doesn’t have incline options
- No bluetooth connectivity or fitness apps
Goplus 1100W Electric Folding Treadmill
The Goplus folding treadmill is a great compact treadmill that can be set up and stored in just a few moments. Nothing is more frustrating than when you’re motivated to exercise but have to pack up your stuff, drive to the gym, find parking,and then possibly have to wait for a machine.
With the Goplus, you can pull it out and be running in seconds.Your run can also be adjusted on the fly with the built-in speed controls that are on the handles. The handrails also have built-in sensors so you can take your heart rate in the middle of training.
The handrails are also great for support during your run, as is the emergency stop key to help keep you safe. Despite being a straightforward and compact treadmill, it still features a backlit LCD display to track all your stats and data.
- Flexible wheels for even better maneuverability
- Tablet and phone stand to watch your own media
- Weighs only 59 pounds
- Top speed is 6mph
- No programmed workouts
Important Things to Consider When Buying a Treadmill
If you’re reading this article, you obviously have been concerned about the budget for your future treadmill. Since you have this step out of the way, you can now see the options that are available under $300. You probably didn’t expect to be able to get a great treadmill at this price point. Since you have your budget determined, you can now determine which features are most important to you.
If you don’t need any bells and whistles–and just want to run–you can look for an option that is simple without any pre programmed workouts or app connectivity. If this is you, you may also want to opt for a manual treadmill as you will be controlling the pace of the run.
If you are someone who likes to follow a set plan, you’ll want to choose a treadmill that has pre-programmed workouts. From there, you also may want a treadmill that comes with an app or bluetooth connectivity. This way, you can follow along with preset workouts or coaching-based runs. You also may be someone who likes to track a lot of stats.
There are treadmills with app connectivity that allow you to record and review what you’ve done. This is a great feature as it’s helpful to track data in order to progress in your health and fitness goals. It’s always a good idea to know where you’re starting at–or how you’ve progressed–to get on the road to better health and fitness.
Space is always a big consideration. As mentioned in the start of this article, the days of gigantic treadmills that take up an entire room are long over. You can see here how you can get a great treadmill that also doesn’t take up alot of space. Make sure to measure out the area where you will use your treadmill to make sure that it will fit well in your space.
Personal Trainer Recommendation & Conclusion
If you have been an avid runner, you know how important it is to warm up before exercising. If you are new to exercise, this is an important tip to take away. You don’t want to just dive in to full on exercise.
This can lead to cramping, muscles strains and other potential injuries. When using a treadmill, it’s critical to start with a 5-10 minute warm-up. This can just be a simple walk where you gradually increase the speed of your walk. This is important as it helps elevate your heart rate and gets blood flowing to working muscles.
Just as important as the warmup, is the cool down. This helps your body transition from a state of high intensity, back to a resting heart rate. When you exercise hard, and just stop, it can be a shock to the system. It can also lead to blood pooling in the muscles which lead to cramping and discomfort.
The cooldown needs to be at least 5-10 minutes where you slowly slow the speed down to the point you’re at a comfortable walking pace. Some stretching after the cooldown is also helpful to promote recovery. Remember, what you do at the end of a workout helps prepare you for the next workout.
Another great tip is to make sure you have decent running shoes. Even shoes that look new, can provide less support than when you first got them. This can cause issues with your feet, knees, joints, and even your back. If you’re a serious runner, a good rule of thumb is to change your shoes for every 300 to 400 miles you’ve run in them–even if they still look new.