Investing a treadmill is no easy task. Not only do you need to find a model that fits your space and needs, you need to find one that will be reliable. After all, the last thing you want to do is spend all your time dealing with issues instead of exercising.
And while there are plenty of sites that talk about the features, it’s hard to know which treadmills are going to stand the test of time—and which are doomed to break down.
So after crunching the numbers and testing various models, I’ve narrowed it down to the three most reliable treadmill models that I recommend.
Here they are.
Most Reliable Treadmill Under $1000
If you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice reliability. In fact, more affordable treadmills tend to have fewer electronics and moving parts, which means that there is generally less that can go wrong.
My top pick for this category is the NordicTrack T Series 6.5s treadmill. This treadmill has an impressive 85% satisfaction rating across thousands of reviews that I analyzed. And it’s easy to assemble yourself if you’re in a DIY mood.
The T Series was introduced in 2019, so the company has had nearly five years to work out any issues. The result is a sky-high customer satisfaction rating.
The deck may not be strong enough to handle extremely intense running, but that should be fine for most people who plan to use it for regular exercise. The standard pace for jogging is between 5-6 mph.
The 6.5s also qualifies for NordicTrack’s excellent maintenance program. For $89, you can get an annual maintenance visit with 15-point inspection and unlimited free in-home repairs for 3 years. And if for any reason your treadmill can’t be repaired, NordicTrack will replace it.
Most Reliable Treadmill Between $1000 – $2000
Moving up into the $1000+ price range expands your options considerably. At this point, the decks become more robust, and more of the parts are made out of metal or other materials rather than plastic.
If you’re looking in this area, it’s hard to go wrong with the Pro 2000 treadmill from Pro Form. The deck is 20″ wide x 60″ long, which feels roomy even to someone who’s over 6′ tall like me. And although I was skeptical about the Rebound Pro cushioning, I found that it actually makes makes a huge difference by reducing the impact of each step.
This treadmill has several upgrades compared to more budget models, including a sturdier deck and improved cushioning to reduce impact on both you and the machine.
If you foresee iFit playing a big role in your fitness plan, you can splurge on the Pro 9000. It’s the exact same treadmill, but it comes with a much larger 22″ digital touchscreen that really is magnificent in person.
Most Reliable Treadmill Over $2000
Now we’re starting to get into rarefied air. This is the realm of commercial-grade machines and treadmills for professional athletes.
There is an increasing amount of competition in this space, but if you want the absolute most reliable treadmill you can get at any price point, look no further than the Runner Pro by Assault Fitness.
The RunnerPro from Assault Fitness is completely powered by your body movements, meaning no motor (and no motor problems). And the frame and handrails are all solid steel.
Unlike everything else we’ve looked at so far, the Runner Pro has a curved deck and no motor whatsoever. In fact, it doesn’t even use electricity!
Instead, you provide the power to keep the track moving beneath your feet, which helps you to burn more calories and is also safer. The moment you stop running, the belt stops as well. Plus, the frame and handrails are all made out of solid steel.
You can add an optional 2-year Asurion warranty for just $129, but honestly—you will probably never need to use it. Some Runner Pro owners report their treadmill still works as good as new even after 100,000+ miles.
A word of caution, though: Running feels very different on the Runner Pro than on a normal treadmill, since you’re the one pushing the belt with your feet. It can be a little tricky to find the right pace at first and you may notice it’s more fatiguing, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your goals.
Factors to consider when choosing a reliable treadmill
Picking a reliable treadmill doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few of the factors that you should take into consideration when you’re shopping around for a treadmill:
The motor powers the roller and is what makes the whole thing work, so it’s the most important element to pay attention to. The more powerful the motor, the smoother and longer your treadmill will run. It’s best to look for a treadmill with a continuous-duty horsepower (C.H.P.) of 2.5 to 3.0.
Next, consider the size of the track. If you’re taller or have a longer stride, you’ll need a bigger track in order to avoid accidentally stepping off the treadmill. Trust me, it’s not as fun as it sounds. A standard track size is 20 inches wide and 60 inches long. Anything smaller might feel a bit uncomfortable.
Speed and Incline
Speed and incline settings can significantly affect your workout quality. A good treadmill allows you to adjust the speed and incline to your liking. Opt for a treadmill with a maximum speed of at least 10 mph and an incline that goes up to 15%. (Of course, there are exceptions to this rule—like with the AirRunner Pro.)
Finally, consider the overall construction quality of the treadmill. Is it sturdy enough to handle your daily runs? Or does it wobble the moment you step on it? A treadmill with a heavy frame and a maximum user weight of at least 300 pounds should be a safe bet.
Well folks, we’ve put in the miles and sweated buckets to get here, but we’re finally at the finish line – the conclusion of this treadmill review.
When we’re talking about reliability, here are the most solid bets:
|NordicTrack T Series 6.5s||Under $1000||Check Price|
|Pro Form Pro 9000||$1,000 — $2,000||Check Price|
|AirAssault AirRunner Pro||$2,000+||Check Price|
So, if you’re looking for a treadmill that’s going to keep up with you, year after year, be sure to take a look at these options.