Treadmill Comparisons

Today’s market is saturated with treadmills of all shapes and sizes, with so many features they could be mistaken for personal computers!  Whether you’re brand new to the indoor fitness scene or a seasoned veteran, the overwhelming number of choices can be dizzying.

The list below represents five of the best and most popular models available today.  While some are certainly better than others are overall, all have their own unique strengths.  Whether you desire endless features, simplicity and reliability, or minimalist designs, a treadmill here is right for you!

Comparing The Best Treadmills

Live Classes

NordicTrack T 6.5 S

Space Saving

Weslo R 5.2

Portability

Sunny Health

Value

Merax JK1603E

Light Weight

Confidence Fitness


1. NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill features all of the reliability and power expected from a high end 2.6 CHP motor and low friction belt system.  Like most other NordicTrack products, where it shines is in the features.  With an in-built sound system and iPod connectivity, cranking out work jams has never been easier and more comfortable.

For users who struggle to get motivated or stay on top of a routine, NordicTrack’s treadmill apps have you covered.  Twenty workout apps are included with the treadmill to optimize your workouts and help create fitness plans.  All of the apps are created by certified fitness instructors, making it feel like you have your very own personal trainer!

Specs

  • Interactive Personal Training at Home powered by iFit; gain access to on-demand, interactive trainer-led global and studio workout programs; membership required, sold separately
  • 10% OneTouch incline control, 10 MPH SMART OneTouch speed control; spacious 20” x 55” tread belt
  • Bluetooth connection allows iFit to automatically adjust your treadmill’s speed and incline to match trainer recommendations and mimic real-life terrain; integrated tablet holder secures your tablet or smartphone
  • Enjoy a quiet workout with a powerful 2.6 CHP* DurX Smart Response Motor perfect for running, jogging, and walking in the comfort of your home
  • Innovative SpaceSaver design with EasyLift Assist means your treadmill can fold up after your run for compact, simple storage. iPod Compatible Sound System

Functions range from heart rate tracking to automatic speed and incline variation.  Be warned, however, that despite all of the excellent features this treadmill packs, it is not without its flaws.  User reports indicate that some of NordicTrack’s T 6.5 S Treadmills seem to develop a squeak in the belt early into their life spans.


2. Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill

Need a treadmill that strikes a balance between diverse features, space saving design details and comfortable materials?  Weslo’s Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill manages to take some good from every treadmill on this list and roll it all into one.

A powerful 2.5 CHP motor and 2 position adjustable incline allows users to work with a variety of speeds and hill configurations, with the ability to adjust mid-workout.  The proprietary space saver design significantly reduces the footprint of the treadmill when not in operation.  Like the NordicTrack, the Cadence R 5.2 features custom workout applications designed by certified personal trainers, mostly targeted towards fat loss.

Specs

  • 2.5 CHP drive system
  • 16 X 50 Walking Belt
  • Comfort cell cushion deck
  • 2 position adjustable incline
  • Space saver design

Though it does not feature as many programs as the NordicTrack treadmill, it makes up for this with other unique features.  The most important of these unique features is Comfort Cell cushioning, which provides maximum relief to the runner’s joints and muscles, so they spend less time feeling sore post-workout.


3. Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill

What the Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill lacks in innovative features, it makes up for in supreme reliability and excellent basic functions.  At its core, this is a simple treadmill with 9 slightly advanced workout presets and basic monitoring abilities.

All of its features can be accessed through its large LCD screen and hand-rail controls.  Though its weight capacity is rather low at 220 pounds, the weight of the unit itself is also rather low at just over 100 pounds.  Combined with its small footprint, easy folding construction and patented soft drop system, this is one of the easiest treadmills to store, move and setup.

Specs

  • 2.2 peak HP drive system provides speeds of 0. 5 – 9 MPH along with 3 manual options for adjusting incline levels (0%, 2%, 4. 37%)
  • Designed for a max user weight of 220 lbs. with 49L x 15. 5W inches of running surface
  • Easy folding mechanism and soft drop system helps you unfold your treadmill safely and hands free
  • Handrail controls allow you to control speed, start and stop. Pause function – Press the stop button once to stop the belt and pause your run while keeping your current data and running stats intact
  • 9 Built-in workout programs with large LCD displays time, distance, speed, calories burned and pulse. Convenient smart phone/tablet holder is included to fit different devices
  • included components: Treadmill, User Manual, Hardware

A 2.2 CHP motor provides respectable power and durability, with fine speed controls between 0.5mph and 9mph, in increments of one tenth of a mile per hour.  Most importantly, Sunny Health & Fitness have made safety a priority with this treadmill by including an emergency body clip, designed to quickly stop the treadmill should the user fall or trip while operating it.


4. Merax JK1603E Treadmill

The Merax JK1602E Treadmill is custom tailored to homes with limited space for fitness equipment.  The JK1602E sports an ultra compact folding design that allows it to be stored in the tightest of spaces when not in use.  Thanks to its wheel supported base, it can easily be moved around the home, even after full assembly.

Specs

  • Real Space Saver: Super fast and easy assembly. This Merax folding treadmill boasts a compact footprint and fast folding design with convenient transportation wheels to move around without hassle. You can either store it in your living room, study, a small corner or under the bed.
  • Multi-functional Display with Speakers: Multi-functional LCD Display to track your performance in time, speed, distance and calories burnt, promising a superior and effective home treadmill workout. Simply plug in your phone or insert USB flash drive, and you can emerge into training with your workout playlist. Phone/Pad deck available.
  • Strong 1.5HP Motor: A smooth and quiet 1.5HP treadmill motor allows for 12 preset programs and 3 count-down modes, supports speeds ranging from 0.8 – 12 KM/H (0.5 – 7.5 MPH) to help you meet a variety of fitness goals.
  • Convenient Shortcut Buttons: Quick buttons on handles help instantly start or stop the running machine or easily change speed settings during workout. This Merax treadmill is also specially designed with a high-density lawn texture belt that absorbs shock for premium comfort with non-slip feature for maximum safety.
  • Merax treadmill product Size: 55” x 23.5” x 43”. Folded Size: 29.5” x 23.5” x 49”. Max weight capacity: 240 LBS. To play music via speaker, use flash drive only (.mp3 format). The USB port does not support playing music on phone.

Merax’s treadmill is also ideal for individuals who want to run, but are hindered by joint pains and injuries.  The extra cushioning featured in the deck and belt of the JK1603E treadmill stave off sore ankles, knees and backs for even the most delicate users.  It’s injury reducing features make it ideal for former runners looking to rejoin the sport after an injury or hiatus.


5. Confidence Fitness Power Trac Treadmill

The Confidence Fitness Power Trac is one of the simplest treadmills on the market, appealing to users look for a no-frills running machine.  At a mere 52 pounds, it can practically be picked up and carried around the room! In tandem with its folding design, this is one of the most space conscious treadmills out there.

Specs

  • 0.6-6.2Mph speed – 12 built-in fitness programs
  • Four quick-select pre-set speeds: 1.86Mph, 3Mph, 4.9Mph, 6.2Mph
  • LED display shows: speed, distance, time, calories. Maximum user weight : 260 pounds
  • Adjustable manual incline: 5 degrees, 3.5 degrees, 2 degrees
  • 735W/1HP motor. The max speed on the Confidence Power Trac Pro is 10 km/h, which gives you a decent range for your workout but doesn’t allow you get fast enough if you’re a serious runner or want to include some sprints in your training

Unfortunately, this portability does not come without some cut corners.  The Power Trac is relatively lacking in features and performance, with a low power 1 CHP motor and basic LED screen.  Though it features 12 user fitness programs, it has a relatively low speed range to work within, topping out at a modest 6.2mph.  While its top speed is nothing to brag about, it does have the unique benefit of easily accessible preset speeds for quick workout adjustments.


Verdict

The NordicTrack T 6.5 S boasts a vast array of features, outstanding reputation and top-quality components.  It’s no surprise that it is considered one of the best treadmills on this list, and one of the best treadmills overall.  Users looking for max features, power and reliability, especially in sacrifice of space, will love the NordicTrack T 6.5 S.

However, Weslo’s Cadence R 5.2 edges out NordicTrack are offering if extra tread comfort is of importance to the consumer, despite a slightly reduced feature set.  For users seeking further simplicity, the Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill begins to step away from the hi-tech treadmill sector and back to the basics.  It also trumps the previous two contenders in space savings.

Merax’s JK1603E Treadmill is closely tied with Sunny Health & Fitness’s offering, and one would be hard pressed to determine the difference between either.  However, Sunny Health & Fitness just barely outpaces Merax’s offering in raw performance, despite having equally well-designed space saving features.

Finally, Confidence Fitness Power Trac’s treadmill will be at home with those who desire the most minimalist treadmill around.  However, its ultra-minimalism sacrifices a little too much power and features for most.  Many people may find that they quickly require a beefier treadmill to keep up with their fitness routine.

Live Classes

NordicTrack T 6.5 S

Space Saving

Weslo R 5.2

Portability

Sunny Health

Value

Merax JK1603E

Light Weight

Confidence Fitness


Be sure to check out our article on the best treadmills under $600.

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