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3 Best Home Treadmills 2013

Updated on April 13, 2013
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Top 3 of the Best Treadmills under $1000

Although the treadmill is not a new invention, the availability of high-tech, professional-quality treadmills for the average consumer is a development that has materialized over the last few years. As a result, the treadmill has become one of the most popular home exercise options for millions of people who would prefer to exercise in the comfort of their homes and forego the inconvenience and expense of a gym or fitness center membership.

Treadmills available to consumers today present the health conscious consumer with a range of options from the basic, no-frills models that can be as inexpensive as $100 or top-of-the-line models which can cost as much as $20,000!

Today, we’ll take a look at three popular models with different features and price points.

We’ll begin with the least expensive model, the Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill.


#3. Best Basic Home Treadmill

The Power Plus boasts features that should satisfy the requirements of consumers seeking a basic but rugged unit that is capable of supporting users weighing as much as 250 pounds and includes a multi-function display. The unit folds down for hassle-free storage.

Obviously the price is one of the primary advantages of this unit. The Confidence Power Plus is an excellent choice for consumers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a high-end treadmill. This may be ideal for someone who is buying in-home fitness equipment for the first time and wants to find out if it is something that will benefit their lifestyle.

Compared to many of the more pricey models, this unit is quite compact and lightweight which makes moving it around and storing it very easy. This is especially important for people with small living spaces who need to store their exercise equipment when it’s not in use.

Assembling this unit once you get it home is fast and easy, making it possible to begin using it within just a few minutes.

As with all consumer products, there are a few cons to consider in addition to this unit’s pros. The walking surface or belt, is only 18 inches wide, making it a bit more difficult to use than models that are equipped with wider belts.

As one might expect, an inexpensive unit like this does not include many of the features of pricier models such as incline adjustments, multiple programs, built-in speakers or advanced display.

The relatively weak motor is rated at 1.5-horsepower making it more likely to wear out faster than models that feature a more powerful motor. This factor along with the unit’s light weight probably makes it unsuitable for users who want to subject it to heavy use or increase their exercise intensity beyond walking speed.

Overall, the Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill is probably a good choice for someone who wants a basic, lightweight unit that is very easy to set up and store. It’s probably not the best choice for the hardcore fitness buff who intends to spend hours using it on a daily basis.


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#2. Best Value Buy Home Treadmill

Moving up to another level in the consumer treadmill market makes models like the Horizon Fitness T101-3 Treadmill worthy of consideration. It boasts an impressive number of advanced features that will satisfy the requirements of many individuals.

The unit’s 2.25-horsepower motor provides decent power, making it capable of reaching speeds of 10 MPH and supporting users weighing up to 300 pounds.

Unlike less expensive models, the T101-3 gives users the ability to set it at a 10 percent incline to ratchet up the intensity of a workout.

Another nice advantage of this unit is the LED display console which provides continuous feedback for the user who can select up to nine separate workout programs to suit their individual goals.

Additional perks include a built-in COOLfit fitness fan to keep the user cool during workouts, 20-inch wide shock-absorbing PerfectFLEX deck, Sonic Surround speakers with MP3 input, exclusive FeatherLIGHT lift which makes raising and lowering the deck a breeze and heart monitor grips.

Looking at some of this model’s weak points reveals that assembly is more complicated and time-consuming compared with the lower-priced Confidence Power Plus.

Although the speakers are generally decent for users who wish to have their workout accompanied by their favorite music, the speakers can produce distorted sound if the volume level is adjusted to the high side.

Some users also report that the built-in fan does not deliver sufficient airflow and is not especially effective.

Despite the unit’s 2.25-horsepower motor, the T101-3 isn’t terribly well-suited for users who want to crank their workout up another notch and use it for running on a regular basis.

Horizon seems willing to stand behind their product by offering a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor and one-year warranty for parts and labor.

Overall, the Horizon Fitness T101-3 represents a good value with impressive features compared with other models in the same price range.


#1. Top Treadmill for the Home

One would certainly expect more advanced features and greater number of options with a higher-priced model and that is what the LifeSpan TR 1200i delivers. Designed for frequent use and rigorous workouts, the TR 1200i is built for the user who is more serious about keeping in shape.

Among the units stand-out features are a multi-colored LCD display console, powerful 2.5-horsepower motor which drives a 20-inch by 56-inch belt over a biomechanically correct deck suspension system that can handle up to 300 pounds.

This model also features a variety of programs which assist the user with tracking workout time, distance, speed and calorie consumption.

Like most higher-end models, it also is programmed with several training programs that help guide the user with specific goals such as weight loss, sports training and maintaining a healthy life style.

Another advanced feature of the TR 200i is its MyZone Constant program which can help keep the user’s heart rate at the same level by automatically adjusting the incline and thereby increasing or decreasing the intensity of the workout.

The powerful motor and durable construction make this model ideal for users who want the flexibility to use it for walking, jogging or running.

Changing the incline and speed can be done without disrupting the pace of the workout since there are handlebar controls for both.

The TR 1200i is also highly regarded in the industry, earning the Treadmill Doctor’s "Best Buy" Award for “Best New Treadmill” and Fitness Professor’s “Head of the Class” Best Treadmill under $1,000 for 2011.

This model includes a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame.

Although it’s challenging to ferret out the cons of owning such a high-rated treadmill, there are a few to take into consideration.

The unit is quite heavy, weighing in at nearly 200 pounds, which might make it difficult for some users to move.

Some users report inconsistent accuracy from the handlebar heart monitor sensors. For users who encounter problems like that, an optional strap is available which should provide better results.

For a unit in this price range, the weight limit of 300 pounds might be limiting for some potential buyers.

All in all, the LifeSpan TR 1200i is a well-built and versatile treadmill that should meet or exceed the needs of most individuals who are looking to stay fit without leaving the house.

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