Best Treadmills Under $500: A Quick Guide to your Cardio Budget Picks

If you are preparing for that hyped beach bod or just an ordinary wellness geek who cannot go through a day without the routinary cardio workout and you are looking for a great workout equipment that does not cost a fortune, then this article is for you.

I know what you are thinking: treadmills are generally expensive. True, but that is not entirely the case anymore. Since the fitness and wellness trend took over the market, a lot of treadmill manufacturers have realized that not all fitness enthusiasts would spend on gym-type, high-specs equipment like the treadmill. Because of these, more affordable treadmills have become available and yes, some are even below 500.

If you are one of those guys who is looking for decent treadmills for your next workout, you are in luck because we have compiled some of the best models of treadmills below 500 in this article.

Our Top Choices

Proform Performance 300i
Proform Performance 300i
Confidence GTR Power Pro
Confidence GTR Power Pro

Not everyone is comfortable enough to walk outside. Some prefers an alone and quiet time for workouts. Aside from this, treadmills have a certain degree of utility value that cannot be experienced with walking or running outdoors such as setting the desired speed and adjusting the incline anytime you want without actually mapping out where the hilly slopes are.

And I get it that the common perception is that treadmills are super expensive. That is the reason why we are making this roundup to show you that you can have your own treadmill without shelling out too much money and create the perfect workout environment for you.

More than what you pay for

Before we review some of the best treadmills under 500, let us first answer some frequently asked questions starting with, are they as efficient as the more expensive ones?

Honestly, depending on the purpose of what you will buy them for, I can vouch that they are more than what you pay for because they are all designed for one function and that is to help you with your cardio drills. If you only need a treadmill as a standalone equipment for your daily dose of exercise and not as an equipment to train for marathons, then below 500 treadmills are good catches for you.

I am also basing my claim that they are more than what you pay for because of their compact designs. Treadmills below 500 are foldable yet equally efficient. As you might have observed, professional treadmills like the ones found in gyms take up a lot space. You would not need that if you are just a home fitness geek because of limited space. So you also get more than what you pay for because treadmills under 500 they do not take up a lot of space and you can just fold them after use.

What features should I look for in a treadmill below 500?

As have been said, regardless of the price, all of them still function the same. But of course, you have to be keen in choosing the best treadmill below 500 that you will buy. For some pointers, you have to take note of the following features.

First is efficiency and weight capacity. Non-professional treadmill types only have a smaller weight capacity range and motor speed. Before you purchase one, make sure that the weight capacity and motor speed of the treadmill under 500 that you will buy is appropriate for your workout plans. With this, it is best that you choose treadmills that can support a maximum of 400 pounds.

Second is availability of necessary features. Make sure that features such as speed adjustment, safety key and heart rate monitor are all available and working well. Some treadmills below 500 are not equipped with adjustable inclines so you better make sure that such feature is available before you buy one.

Third, check the running surface and determine treadmill usage. The treadmill’s deck should be stable and firm to support your weight through various speed adjustments. It must also be cushioned enough to avoid any discomfort to the hip, knee and feet. Do not opt for treadmills with thinner running surfaces because they would generally create running discomfort. Make sure that the running surface is wide enough for your feet to be properly set and supported while you run through speeds.

In the same manner, if your exercise plan is composed mostly of walking and no running, it might be best to just buy a walking treadmill. But of course, if you are into running, buy the running or mixed-cardio treadmill.

Fourth, test for durability. The trick to this is to look at the length of the warranty sticker. Do not choose those models with only one year warranty because for sure, the materials used to assemble the treadmill is not that sturdy. I am speaking of this based on experience. Before you take it home, you better inspect the materials it is made of. You can feel if it is not sturdy, trust me. This is also the reason why, you have to be acquainted with some brands that have already established their names in this arena.

Six Treadmill Budget Picks of 2019

So now that everything is set, it is time for us to weigh some of the best treadmill budget picks available in the market today. The following choices were based on observations from friends and gym rats I have met through the years and of course from frequently checking reviews regarding workout equipment. If you have no idea of what to buy, I hope that these can be useful considerations.

If you are looking for a foldable running treadmill under 500, the Weslo Cadence G5.9 may be a good fit. It has been consistently featured in a lot of treadmill reviews lately so as far as pros are concerned, this treadmill is generally reliable.

So what can you get from this 400$ foldable treadmill? First it is equipped with a two-position incline adjustment which is beneficial for you if your exercise plan includes ascending from walking to jogging to running. If you do not have a strict workout plan, it also has six different preset workouts for you to choose from.

For the performance features, it has a weight capacity of up to 250 lbs, a speed range of 10mph, a considerably enough running surface of 10x60. The good part is that the running surface is structured with a comfort cell cushioning system which adds an extra soft deck to support feet and hips in posture. One can also track well their running progress because it has LCD display that shows running time, speed and distance as well as amount of calories burnt. It also comes with an easy pulse heart rate monitor which allows you to see your heart rate and you can check it while in motion by simply pressing your thumb on the pulse monitor.

Video Credit: Gundam Tech

#2. Proform Performance 300i

For starters, this treadmill is already compact and lightweight but it is made more awesome by its transporting wheels so it is basically the most portable of the treadmills mentioned here. Aside from this, it also features a specification that is not mostly found on budget treadmill picks which is the automatic incline feature. With this, you can easily press the incline adjustment button at a maximum of 10%. This allows you to have an uninterrupted workout as the exercise intensifies with every adjustment.

Proform Performance 300i

Most budget treadmills are equipped with bio-censors on the handle bars. This treadmill takes it to the next level because it comes with a chest strap which provides you with a more accurate measurement of your heart rate in motion. You will have to buy this in a separate punch though.

Perhaps the best thing with this treadmill is its built-in sixteen workout plans. It is also something that you can consider a modern design because you can actually connect the treadmill to your iFit and access Google Maps if you want a simulated workout in any virtual environment. You can even connect your iPod in its built-in mini speakers for you to be more inspired working out through your favourite songs and has a gadget handle where you could secure your tablets or phones.

At the middle of it would be a large LCD display showing the elapsed time, training data every ¼ mile, speed and distance covered, calories burnt as well as your heart rate. Its Proshox cushioning is an added delight because it assures low impact motion.

The only drawback with this treadmill however, is that it has a relatively narrow running surface of 50x16 and a maximum speed of 10mph.

#3. Sunny Health and Fitness SFT4400

This treadmill I think is one the models which truly affirm that you can buy more with less than 500. Having some features which one can only find in professional treadmills is one of the pros of this treadmill. One of these would be its nine different preset workouts. The other one is having three speed modes starting at 2mph and at a maximum of 10mph if you are not really following any workout plan.

Sunny Health and Fitness SFT4400

It is a foldable mixed-cardio treadmill with a weight capacity of 220lbs. Aside from this, you will also enjoy it three-position manual incline adjustment. The user’s manual will tell you however, that for thus incline adjustment to be achieved, you have to lubricate the treadmill before using it the first time.

Other good add-ons to this treadmill is its soft drop system which assures you that it will only fall down like a pillow on a bed every time you fold it out on the floor after assembling it. It is kind of a protective feature because it lets you avoid ever getting pinched toes. Plus, it has a well-cushioned running surface complete with two shock absorbers to support your weight running through various speeds.

As for tracking your progress and heart rate, it also has a LCD display for speed, distance, time spent running and amount of calories burnt. For the heart rate though, its hand grips are equipped with bio-censors to monitor your heart rate while in motion. And, you all get these for 495$.

#4. Confidence GTR Power Pro

Weighing at just 60 pounds, this treadmill is one of the most compact and easy-fold treadmills below 500. Its running surface is relatively narrow at 44x16. However, it has a good upsize with its twelve built-in workout programs ranging from cardio and heart rate programs to fat loss workouts.

Confidence GTR Power Pro

It also has a three-position incline adjustment. But it works on manual operation so you need to adjust the incline and set the incline percentage in front of the treadmill before working out. It is good for both walking and jogging because it has a maximum speed range of 7.5mph. It has a maximum weight capacity of 250lbs and a heart rate monitor for you to monitor your pulse while in motion.

Like the Exerpeutic, this treadmill is a good choice for beginners at a reasonable price of 269$.

#5. Merax JK1603E

Merax JK1603E

This treadmill is the best choice for fitness geeks who want to save space. It has the most compact design and it is lightweight so everything comes in handy with this treadmill. Working on a 1.5HP motor, it has a maximum speed of 6mph with three-position incline levels for intense workout plans. It is also equipped with three preset workout plans from light to heavy cardio and a maximum weight capacity of 220lbs.

It is also well-cushioned although the running surface is a bit small at 14x44. Nevertheless, you can be sure that your ankles and knees will not experience any discomfort with its cushioned deck. Like the SFT4400 of Sunny Health and Fitness, you can easily monitor your heart rate in motion because its handgrips have bio-censors to measure it for you.

#6. Exerpeutic TF1000

With only less than 500$, this treadmill is a good offer because it can hold a maximum weight of 400lbs. This makes it a versatile treadmill for the whole family’s use. In spite of its heavy duty weight capacity, it has a compact and lightweight design which is suitable for space-saving measures. It is also foldable so you can store it anytime, out of reach of small children.

Exerpeutic TF1000

When you unbox the TF1000, you will find that it is already partially assembled so you can actually finish assembling it all by yourself. It is quite spacious with an overall dimension of 51x32. Aside from this, it also has a safety key attached in the middle of the console for you to tug when you wish to stop running. The only drawback here is that, when you buy this, you are totally on your own because it does not have built-in preset workouts, has a speed range of up to 4mph and no adjustable inclines. With these, it will be most beneficial for people who are only starting their workout plans.

It also has longer handles with bio-censors to monitor your heart rate while in motion. The best part is its extremely quiet motor for a peaceful workout. While it has a heavy maximum capacity, it is designed for walking workouts.


Now it is time to make the verdict. Basing on functionality, versatility and overall features, I think the clear winner is the Proform Performance 300i. For exactly 500$, you get a whole range of working out experience. It is edgy and techie for a generally low price and the fact that it has sixteen built-in workout plans truly make it a versatile cardio equipment.

It is also a good fit for a whole range of purpose. It is beneficial for budding fitness enthusiasts who are just starting on their cardio plans, for busy people who cannot go through a day without workouts since you can accommodate calls and emails while jogging and a solid training equipment for frequent runners in marathons with its 10mph speed range.

But of course, the decision is still up to you. As a matter of fact, there are still a lot more budget treadmills that are not mentioned in this roundup. You can always check other products and even videos which feature all the top budget treadmill picks available.

I hope that you got some important pointers from the comparisons we made in this article. At the end of the day, what matters most knowing the answer to why you are buying it in the first place. If you are into walking workouts, Exerpeutic, Confidence and Merax may be the best for you. If you are into combined walking, jogging and light running, Sunny Health and Fitness, Weslo and Proform are for you. You do not have to worry about their portability because budget treadmills are designed to be compact and lightweight. See? It is possible to get a good cardio workout without spending a hefty sum for very expensive treadmills.