If you lack space or just aren't sure about the commitment, a lightweight, compact treadmill can be a great solution. The best treadmills for small spaces often fold up so you can store them anywhere and feature compact frames that can slide under beds or couches when they're not in use.
Consider which design will be best for your space. For those with a dedicated exercise room or other extra space, a compact treadmill with that built-in safety bars and a screen should fit fine. But, for those who want to stow it away in between uses or anyone with truly tight spaces, a hands-free treadmill or one that can fold down is a much better option.
Keep in mind, hands-free treadmills don't come with the fancy LED screens or safety bars that are common among full-sized treadmills. You'll control the speed of those treadmills with a remote control, instead of fixed display. That design difference might be a dealbreaker for some, but for those who have standing desks and wish to walk while they work, or anyone who wants the lowest profile treadmill, those designs are the way to go.
But enough talk. Here are a few high-quality compact treadmills that will literally give you a run for your money.
1. The Best Overall, All Things Considered
- Dimensions: 73 x 35.8 x 67.5 inches
Whether you're going for a light walk or tackling heart-pumping sprints, this high-tech folding treadmill is a great pick. For one, it features a standard belt that's 55 inches long and 20 inches wide, along with Flex Select cushioning to protect your joints and knees while you run. This treadmill also cranks up to 10 miles per hour, and it even has an incline control for an added challenge. You also get a one-month subscription to NordicTrack's iFit program, which is a live training program that offers over 16,000 different workouts to help you along your fitness journey. When you're ready to call it quits, just use the EasyLift assist to fold up this treadmill and store it upright. (Note: Since this treadmill does not fold down, it cannot be stored under furniture.)
According to one reviewer: "SIMPLY PUT - THIS IS A FANTASTIC MACHINE! I’m an avid runner who has run on many treadmills over the years, and this machine is awesome. It has all the features and feel of a gym machine just not as bulky or expensive. It’s got a lot of bells and whistles, some of which we are still discovering but probably our favorite are the touch screen display and the bluetooth. We have a pretty small workout space in our garage where this will live and it fits nicely there and can be more compact using the nice hydraulic fold option. Even our 8 year old daughter can lower and raise the machine by herself."
2. Runner Up: An Affordable Folding Treadmill That's Better For Moderate Exercise
- Dimensions: 49 x 27 x 42 inches (length by width by height)
- Folded dimensions: 52 x 27 x 5 inches (length by width by height)
This super slim treadmill is an excellent option that goes up to around 7 miles per hour (or 12 kilometers per hour) and features shock-reduction technology and a quiet motor so it's not loud and clunky while you work out. You can even connect your phone to the embedded Bluetooth speaker to play your music. The highlight of this treadmill, though, is the handrail. You can snap it upright for added support (or to hold your tablet or phone) while you run, or you can easily fold it down to exercise hands-free. Plus, controlling the belt speed is simple with the handheld remote. Unlike the slightly larger treadmill above, this one folds down, so it can easily be stored nearly anywhere you have space. An important note: The running belt on this one is 40 inches in length and 16 inches in width, a bit smaller than the treadmill above.
According to one reviewer: "The treadmill works just as well as a normal treadmill, and I say this because i have owned a treadmill for years. I had to get rid of my old one due to moving into a smaller apt in a nicer area. Luckily this treadmill was invented cause i can store this under my bed. It takes up little space and is the best treadmill for small apartments."
3. A Hands-Free Option Designed For Lighter Exercise
- Dimensions: 51.5 x 23.5 x 6 inches
If you already have a WFH desk you love, this hands-free treadmill is the perfect option to help you get in a few more steps while you're working. It has a 17-inch wide belt (and 41 inches in length) and rubber struts to help reduce shock and keep you comfortable while you exercise. It also features a touchscreen LCD display right at the front of the treadmill, but if you'd rather not bend down to mess with it, it also comes with a wireless handheld remote. The only downside to this treadmill is that it's made for walking only as its highest speed is 4 miles per hour. You should be able to briskly walk with this one, but it likely won't move fast enough for you to jog or sprint.
According to one reviewer: "Compared to the traditional treadmill, this walking treadmill is really compact, and it won’t waste your space even though you don’t use. You can place it under the table when it is not in use. The unit works great in general. Also it is light to move. You can place it at home or in your office (if you have one). I found this one and I couldn't be happier with the size and performance of this machine. I highly recommend it to others!"