You may consider buying a treadmill if you have a home gym and want to perform cardio in your spare time. Fortunately, you don't need to get one of those bulky commercial treadmills. You can just find something foldable that takes up little space.
So, as an online health and fitness coach and someone who loves to experiment to improve my workouts, I interviewed 10 experts and tried 29 products together with my team during 153 hours of research to find out which are the best compact treadmills on the market.
Here are my results.
The Best Compact Treadmills for Small Spaces
- Best Overall Compact Treadmill for Small Spaces: Sunny Health & Fitness
- Cheapest Compact Treadmill for Small Spaces: MiaGeek 2in1 Under Desk
- Best Compact Treadmill With Incline: XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill
- Best Portable Compact Treadmill: IPO Electric Portable Treadmill
- Best Compact Treadmill for Walking: REDLIRO Under Desk Treadmill
- Best Folding Treadmill: Sunny Health & Fitness
- Compact Treadmill Ideal for Home: ProForm Performance 400i Treadmill
- Best Under Desk Treadmill: REDLIRO Under Desk Treadmill
Our Top Compact Treadmills (December 2023)
1 - Sunny Health & Fitness Asuna SpaceFlex (Best Overall & Foldable)
On top of our best compact treadmills list has a running surface of 51 x 19 inches which is one of the largest available for any treadmills that fold.
Its user weight capacity is 220 lbs, with a speed range of 0.6-8 miles per hour. According to one of the studies found on ResearchGate, this is more than adequate for the average user .
There are sturdy handrails available to assist you when getting on and off the machine, plus a textured deck rail to avoid slipping when your feet are placed either side of the treadmill deck.
After weeks of using the Asuna SpaceFlex, I noticed its spacious surface and the ease of folding and storing it after my routines.
- Large running deck
- The display offers various workout options
- Easily folded and moved
- Customer complaints that the motor is loud
2 - MiaGeek 2in1 Under Desk Compact Treadmill (Cheapest)
The MiaGeek compact treadmill will allow you to perform your outdoor workout programs in the comfort of your own home.
This foldable treadmill has a running area of 40x16 inches. It also has a 2.25 horsepower motor that delivers a variable speed of 1-12 km/h, and with a load capacity of 220 lbs, it is suitable for most users.
There is cushioning on both sides of the treadmill to reduce noise and vibrations while in use.
After adding the MiaGeek treadmill into my daily routine, I was impressed by its cushioning that minimizes noise.
- Powerful 2.25 horsepower motor
- Cushioning to reduce noise and vibrations
- Easy-to-reach emergency stop
- Running area is very small
3 - XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill (Best With Incline)
This space saving treadmill may be compact but still has a large 16x50 inch walking/jogging/running surface that can hold a maximum weight limit of 250 lbs.
Other features of this model include a console that will provide you with the necessary information you need when working out, plus hand pulse grips, a cushioned deck to absorb the impact when training. According to an article found on the BioMed Central website, it is also quick and easy to fold up and store .
After a few runs on the XTERRA Fitness TR150, I was impressed by its smooth motor and the preset programs' variety.
- Large running deck
- Smooth and quiet
- Incline settings offer variety to your routine
- It gets easily unfolded (so be very careful when moving it around!)
4 - Merax Electric Space Saving Treadmill
With a 16.5”x47.5” tread belt and a powerful yet quiet motor that can hit a top speed of 8 mph, this product may be an option for you to consider.
It has 15 preset routines, incline adjustment, and a downloadable app offering personal training at home. As there are transport wheels attached it can be moved for easy storage.
One of our team members bought the Merax Electric Treadmill for their home workouts. They were particularly impressed with the personal training sessions from the downloadable app.
- Quiet motor
- 15 preset workout routines
- Easily moved and stored
- Complaints that it is not suitable for heavier people
5 - Goplus 2in1 Compact Treadmill
This compact treadmill comes with a powerful 2.23HP silent motor and an 8-stage damping system that allows you to workout without causing noise that would disturb your neighbors. This makes it ideal for home use.
It is foldable and can be moved around on its 4 built-in transport wheels to save space when not in use.
My team and I, after using the Goplus 2in1, valued its quiet operation and sturdy build. The LED display is also great for showing performance.
If you love to listen to music while you run, then you can there is both a Bluetooth function and MP3 cable included.
- A silent motor that causes little noise
- Foldable and easy to move
- LED touch screen with a range of features
- Bluetooth and MP3 compatibility
- There is no adjustable incline
6 - Horizon Fitness T101 Go Series Treadmill
Compact treadmills like this are designed for those looking to burn calories by training at home.
This treadmill has a large running deck with an extended 20 inch wide and 60-inch long deck that is built with shock-absorbing 3-zone variable response cushioning. This helps to give you the comfort you need when you workout.
Its 3.0 CHP motor offers a smooth and natural run, while the control offers various training programs.
After using the Horizon Fitness T101, I noticed its comfort and the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity for my workouts.
- Large running surface
- Smooth and natural run
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Can be difficult to move
7 - IPO Electric Portable Treadmill (Best Portable)
Compact treadmills should be able to fold up and store away, so I am glad to state that this one does exactly that.
When in use you will be able to adjust the speed from 0.5-8.7 mph. There are also 12 pre-set training programs, as well as the ability to check your progress while you train.
This treadmill comes with 1 year warranty, so if you are not happy with your purchase you can contact them directly to resolve any issues you have.
My team and I found the IPO Electric Portable Treadmill easy to store and appreciated the variety of pre-set training programs during our sessions.
- Treadmill folded and moved easily
- Lots of variety in each session
- 1 year warranty
- No incline
8 - REDLIRO Under Desk Treadmill (Best for Walking & Under Desk)
This is one of the best treadmills available suitable for home use or in your office.
It's an entry level treadmill with 2 main modes. When it has been folded it can be used as a walking treadmill at your desk. In this mode, it has a maximum top speed of 4 mph.
When opened up it can be used as normal, with a top speed of 7.5 mph.
My team tested the REDLIRO Under Desk Treadmill in both modes and found it versatile for both gym and home use.
Made from a rugged steel frame the maximum user weight is 220 lbs.
- Can be used at home or in the office
- Ultra-quiet to avoid disturbance
- Reports of the platform cracking during use
9 - ProForm Performance 400i Treadmill (Best for Home)
Compact treadmills are ideal for those with space at a premium in their homes, but still want to work on their fitness.
It has a 2.5 CHP drive system, an 22 inch wide by 55-inch surface to run on, and 50 preset workouts available. There is a maximum speed of 10 mph, and a weight capacity of 115 kg, as well as both an incline/decline of 0-10% available.
I initially tried out the ProForm Performance 400i Treadmill and was impressed by its range of workouts and the incline/decline feature. My team also tested it and loved the heart rate monitoring sensors and the motor's long-term guarantee.
- Large surface to run on
- 50 preset workouts
- The ability to workout at an incline and decline
- Difficult to assemble
10 - MaxKare Compact Treadmill
This compact treadmill has a 17-inch wide running surface with an anti-shock system that can hold a maximum user weight of 220 lbs.
Its pure copper motor offers a near-silent running experience, with an adjustable pace between 0.5-8.5 miles per hour.
If you want variety in your workouts, which will be of benefit to your fitness levels, then you will be pleased with the large LCD display offering 15 pre-set drills that can be accessed with one easy click.
After testing the MaxKare Compact Treadmill, I was impressed by its silent motor that provided a clean running experience.
- The motor offers a silent running experience
- A large number of pre-set workout programs
- Its monitor shows real-time data
- Difficult to put together
How We Tested Best Compact Treadmills
As an online health and fitness coach, I understand that selecting the right treadmill is crucial for meeting fitness goals while ensuring longevity and value for money. To provide the most comprehensive review, we've tested compact treadmills based on the following criteria:
We assessed the build quality of each treadmill, examining the sturdiness of the frame, the thickness of the tread belt, and the reliability of moving parts. Long-term stress tests were conducted to simulate regular use over extended periods of time.
Price is a significant factor for most buyers. We compared the cost against the features offered to determine the value for money. We also considered the warranty and customer service support as part of the cost assessment.
The motor is the heart of a treadmill. We tested the peak horsepower to ensure it can handle high-intensity workouts and sustain long-distance running without overheating or faltering.
During operation, we evaluated the treadmill's stability, noting any shaking or wobbling, especially at higher speeds or when used by individuals close to the weight limit.
Size and Portability
Given that we focused on compact models, the footprint and ease of moving the treadmill were key. We looked for models with transport wheels and a folding mechanism that didn't compromise the machine's integrity.
The deck's cushioning system was tested for shock absorption, which is crucial for joint health. We noted how well the impact is reduced during running or walking.
We examined the incline settings, testing the transition smoothness and how the treadmill performs under different incline conditions, which are essential for varied and challenging workouts.
The range of speed settings was tested to accommodate different fitness levels, from walking to sprinting, ensuring a broad range of users can benefit from the treadmill.
The layout and usability of the console were evaluated. We checked for intuitive navigation, ease of reaching controls during exercise, and readability of the display.
We reviewed the pre-set programs for workout variety, testing their usefulness and how they contribute to a dynamic training regimen.
We measured the noise produced at various speeds to ensure that the treadmill is suitable for home environments where excessive noise could be disruptive.
Connectivity and Extras
Additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity, app integration, heart rate monitoring, and other extras were tested for functionality and user-friendliness.
There are certain things you need to consider before you buy a treadmill:
1. How Much Does It Cost?
This is probably your number one consideration, but it is important that you choose the highest quality machine for your budget. The treadmill should be comfortable to run on, it should be quiet, easy to use, and should last a long time.
2. What Features Does It Have?
Does the LED/LCD touchscreen have workout programs available? A heart rate monitor, or even a place for your drinks container? These are all things you may want.
3. How Many People Are Going to Use It?
Is it just you, or are multiple people going to be using it? Do they have any special requests?
4. How Much Space Does the Treadmill Take Up?
Treadmills will look smaller in a store than in your own home so make sure you measure it before buying. If space is tight you should consider a treadmill that folds. When looking at machines like this you will need to look to see how easy they are to fold and to move around.
5. How Often and How Long Will It Be Used?
Different treadmills will have a different motor horsepower. You need to choose one that has at least 1.5 continuous-duty horsepower (CHP). If you are planning on using the machine frequently then you should opt for a CHP of between 2.5 and 3.0.
6. What Is the Belt Size?
This should be at least 48 inches long and 18 inches wide. If you are over 6 feet tall it should be at least 54 inches long.
7. Is There Cushioning?
The running bed should be able to absorb the shock of each foot strike.
10. How Fast Is the Treadmill?
You should choose a treadmill that goes up to at least 10 mph.
11. How Stable Is the Treadmill?
When trying out the treadmill in the store you should make sure that it does not shake when running on walking on it. The frame should remain stable throughout.
What Is A Compact Treadmill?
A compact treadmill offers similar features as those treadmills you can find in your local gym. The only difference is that they are lightweight, portable, and typically cost less.
There are a lot of good cardio machines but compact treadmills seem to be the most popular piece of home fitness equipment.
As they are designed for the home, where space is a premium they often have a slimmer frame and can be easily folded and stored away when not in use.
If you are looking for other compact machines, check out the best compact rowing machines.
We also did a list of the best compact elliptical machines, if you are low on space in your home gym.
The usual features found on these machines include:
- Wheels for transport
- LCD/LED touchscreen
- Foldable frame
- Ability to adjust the incline
Types Of Treadmill
There are various types of treadmill:
- Manual treadmill - These utilize a belt and rollers that are moved by a person’s own effort. As the belt does not move on its own, you will be setting your own tempo, which is not ideal if you do not have much motivation. These treadmills are cheaper than the other varieties and are made with cheaper components, so they won’t last very long.
- Motorized treadmill - This type will allow you to set the pace of your own workout. Most will allow you to adjust the incline that you are running on.
- Compact treadmills - These are designed for use in your home, where space is an important aspect to consider. They offer similar features as a motorized treadmill, but they can be folded almost flat for storage when they are not being used.
- Commercial treadmills - There are commercial and semi-commercial treadmills found in most gyms. They will have the best features but have a high cost.
The difference between a commercial and semi-commercial treadmill is the number of hours they can be used.
Typically you will only be able to use a semi-commercial machine for 5 hours daily, while a commercial machine could be used constantly for as long as 12 hours.
If you get tired of your treadmill and want an extra challenge, try looking into stair climbing machines.
What Are The Benefits of Compact Treadmills?
The benefits of compact treadmills include their space-saving design, making them perfect for homes with limited space. They provide many of the same features as standard treadmills, ensuring users can continue their fitness routines without needing a lot of room.
How Do I Choose The Right Compact Treadmill for My Home?
When choosing a compact treadmill, consider factors like its folded dimensions, weight capacity, speed range, and additional features like shock absorption and noise level.
Are Compact Treadmills as Durable as Regular-Sized Treadmills?
Compact treadmills are as durable as regular-sized treadmills because they are constructed with high-quality materials like carbon steel frames, reinforced belts, and sturdy deck cushioning.
How Are Eco-Friendly Materials Utilized in the Construction of Compact Treadmills?
Compact treadmills incorporate sustainable materials like recycled plastics and biodegradable components alongside greener production methods to minimize environmental impact.
Can Compact Treadmills Be Integrated With Smart Home Systems, and if So, How?
Some compact treadmills can sync with smart home systems, allowing for voice command control, fitness tracking through home automation platforms, and seamless integration with other smart devices.er
What Are the Benefits of Posture and Gait Analysis Features on Compact Treadmills?
Posture and gait analysis features provide feedback on running form, helping to improve technique and reduce injury risk, and they guide users to make real-time adjustments for a safer and more effective workout.
What Kind of Community and Social Features Are Available on Compact Treadmills?
Compact treadmills may offer online leaderboards, virtual races, and community challenges, enabling users to connect with others for a more interactive and motivating workout experience.
Our Verdict on Best Compact Treadmills
With the unpredictable weather we are all faced with, sometimes it can be difficult to get enough cardio exercise into our training programs.
A treadmill could be the answer, but if you have very little space in your home gym, this may put you off. Luckily, there are options available, such as the Asuna SpaceFlex.
Our tests indicate that this small treadmill packs a punch, with a wide enough running surface while still being easily foldable and portable.
It comes highly recommended, with numerous positive user reviews singing its praises.
About The Author
You May Also Like