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Folding Treadmills : Best Collapsable Spacesaving Home Gym Equipment

Updated on February 15, 2012

Making space for home exercise equipment can be a pain, make a room look untidy or simply be impossible in smaller homes where space is at a premium. This is especially true in the case of bulky home gym equipment like a treadmill which can have a footprint of around 75" x 40". That's a lot of space to have to give up permanently for one piece of fitness equipment!

Fortunately, a folding treadmill is a space-saving solution which means you no longer have to give up permanent floor space in this way ever again. The following guide will attempt to answer questions about fold up treadmills, offering consumer advice, buying tips and checklists, as well as giving a few buying recommendations.

Sole F83 Review

Sole F83 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model)
Sole F83 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model)

A nice sized running deck, powerful motor, quiet operation and excellent design make the Sole F83 folding treadmill an easy recommendation for anyone in the market for a good fold up running machine.


Folding Vs Non-Folding Treadmills

The question many will be asking when looking at a foldable treadmill versus a traditional non-foldable model is "are folding treadmills good?", "do they work as well as a 'normal' one?" and other questions along those lines.

The answer to that kind of question is the answer to any kind of query along those get what you pay for!

If you jump all over the idea of a cheap fold up treadmill, then you'll get a weak motor (or no motor), instability, weak frame and components, lack of preset programs and more into the bargain. When fold away running machines first came onto the market, this was pretty much what you could expect as standard but fortunately these days, there are plenty of GREAT folding treadmill models which are just as good as comparable fixed frame machines.

The rest of this guide will endeavour to inform you about the various aspects of a stowable treadmill which you will need to know in order to make an informed, educated purchasing decision and therefore find the right collapsible treadmill for your own personal needs.

Horizon 715T Folding Treadmill Review

Merit Fitness 715T Treadmill
Merit Fitness 715T Treadmill

In the value for money category a good place to start looking for a bargain price folding treadmill is with the 715T foldable treadmill from Merit Fitness. Lacking in many of the features of more expensive ones, the 715T provides a basic set of options including a motorized running belt, thumb touch heart rate monitor, continuous duty motor, 4 preset fitness programs and quiet operation. Lacking are things like a more comprehensive set of programs on the computerized dashboard, one-touch incline controls and other comfort and usability features seen on more expensive models. For the price however, this one of the better deals out there.


Buying A Folding Treadmill Which Meets Your Personal Requirements

It is easy to get sucked into the idea of having to spend thousands of dollars on a collapsible treadmill complete with all trappings of a commercial gym quality running machine when you really could get away with spending much less.

Equally, it is even easier to convince yourself the $100 foldaway treadmill you saw on your last trip to Wal-mart is an absolute bargain and you don't need any of that other stuff like a motor, or preset programs which just raises the price on those expensive models.

In reality, most home fitness enthusiasts do not need a commercial quality machne and will in no way be happy with a non-motorized cheap foldable treadmill either. At the same time, a single person who only wants to use their's for 30 minutes of light walking is going to have different requirements to a family of six all who have different exercising needs.

The key to finding a storable treadmill which is going to be both good value for money and leave you feeling happy is to find one which meets your personal needs or the needs of your family without missing out key components or being packed full of stuff you'll never use.

Read on for what you should be looking for when making your decisions.

Bowflex Series 7 Folding Treadmill Review

Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill
Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill

Bowflex hits it out of the park with one of the best folding treadmills on the market in their 7 series model. Portable and easy to store, this features great build quality, smooth incline controls and a cushioned running deck to be kind on your joints. On the dashboard there are 15 programs to choose from, ekg heart rate monitoring, calories burned counter and more to give you great feedback on your workout. A strong 3.0 HP motor is backed by a 10 year warrantee and strong frame by a huge 15 year warrantee. An excellent buy at with over $600 in savings off of retail price.


Should I Buy A Manual Treadmill Or Motorised Folding Treamill?

The quality of the motor is one of the most important things you should look at when buying a treadmill, folding or otherwise.

Some cheap treadmills come without motors at all, asking the user instead to power the belt using their own legwork. This is generally a bad idea as it severely cuts back on many of the useful features which can be offered. It is not possible to set or maintain a fixed workout speed or to run training programs which simulate varying terrains, interval training or otherwise offer ways to keep your workout interesting. Motorless models are generally found at the very low end of the market and are some of the cheapest treadmills you will find, with an all round cheap quality to match in other areas as well.

The motor is the guts of the machine, determining ho hard you can work it, for how long and basically how much power it has. When looking at a good folding treadmill for home use, you want to look for a motor which is above the 2 horsepower level and which comes with a long warrantee, the longer the better. whilst you'll probably not need to use it, it is a good sign the manufacturer has confidence in their own equipment, because if they do not, then why should you? Some offer a 3 month limited warrantee on their motors, others up to 10 years and above...which one do you think is most likely to fail early?

Smooth Fitness 5.45 Folding Treadmill

Smooth Fitness 5.45 Folding Treadmill
Smooth Fitness 5.45 Folding Treadmill

A best buy, the Smooth 5.45 features a robust 2.5 Horsepower motor, large running deck suited to both walking and running, a lifetime warrantee on both motor and frame for ease of mind purchasing, pulse monitor and built in programs and body monitoring through the computerized dash. A great buy at this price from


Treadmill Belts Size, Deck Width and Length

The length and width of the treadmill belt becomes most important if you are taller or wider than the average user. If you are intending to use your treadmill for running on rather than walking predominantly, or will be running at a future date then a wider and especially longer belt will be much more comfortable and safer to use as it gives you a freer range of movement without feeling you might slip off the end or step over the sides.

Treadmill Weight, Size and Portability

If you are looking to buy a folding treadmill then it's a fair bet to say you are thinking of moving it often or at least some of the time.

A freestanding, nonportable running machine is a heavy beast which your are NOT going to want to move too often once it is in place.

Stowable treadmills on the other hand usually have several features which make them more portable whilst still remaining durable and sturdy. A good portable treadmill will fold up easily, some use hydraulics, others just fold in half. In addition, the frame usually has wheels attached to at least one end so it will fold down and then wheel it to where you want it to stow away rather than have to bodily lift and carry it to when you want to stow it.

Regardless of how easy the manufacturers have made the folding away and storage of a collapsible treadmill, you still should consider your own personal circumstances. If you have back problems or otherwise have problems bending or lifting, then you should check the weight and consider how often you intend moving it around.

Treadmill Weight Limits and Restrictions

Something which is easy to overlook is the manufacturer's recommended weight limits for YOU the user. Some have very low maximum user weight restrictions and many are below 250lbs...and you should take off another 25 pounds at least to compensate in case of over-optimism. Folding treadmills often have lower max weight limits than fixed frame types simply because of how they are designed. Check before you buy. Most online retailers, like Amazon, list things like these weight recommendations.

How Stable Is A Folding Treadmill and How Strong Is The Frame?

When foldable treadmills first appeared on the scene, the stability of the machine was an issue, now you'll only find stability and frame issues if you go cheap in your selection.

Cheap Folding Treadmills

If you are still unsure about whether a running machine is something you will use regularly enough to justify spending a four figure amount on one then there are some reasonable quality budget treadmills out there. You do need to shop a lot more carefully in the lower price ranges however as there is also some real junk out there too when you drop down in value.

You get what you pay's unfortunately true everywhere.

A budget level manufacturer who receives reasonable reviews is Merit. The two foldable treadmills from Merit shown below both get relatively good customer reviews from users.

Refurbished Folding Treadmills

Another way to save money however, is to check out things like Craigslist and Ebay for users who got tired with their machine. Or to go refurbished which can save you dollars too.

Below are some auctions on Ebay right now.

Shop For Treadmill Accessories

IRONMAN Treadmill and Equipment Mat - 3 x 6-1/2-Feet, 5/16-Inch Thickness
IRONMAN Treadmill and Equipment Mat - 3 x 6-1/2-Feet, 5/16-Inch Thickness

A padded mat helps reduce the vibration and noise from the daily operating of your machine, prevents slippage thus aiding stability and protects your floors with its heavy duty vinyl material.


Treadmill Reviews, Advice, Your Comments? Anything To Say, Add It Below!

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    • fitness-equipment profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Wow! The foldable features of these treadmills are really nice. It is very ideal for people living in small spaces like apartments. It is indeed a great buy!


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