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Folding Treadmills - Collapsible Fold Up Treadmill Machines

Updated on April 7, 2014

A Guide To Foldable Treadmills

If you live in a small apartment, have a house but no spare room to devote to bulky exercise equipment or otherwise are just looking to save some space then one of the wide range of folding treadmills on the market today is going to be exactly what you are looking for. These space saving foldable treadmills are ideal for the home environment because most of us do not have the option of setting aside a whole room for just working out in. Folding exercise equipment lets us have our cake and eat it, giving us the opportunity to own these bulky gym machines whilst at the same time allowing us to quickly fold them up and stow them away when we need the floor space for something else.

Which are the best collapsible treadmill machines though? The rest of this article shows you what you need to look at for when choosing one for yourself to ensure you find the right collapsible treadmill machine for your own personal needs and helps you avoid falling foul of some of the lesser products on the market today.

Are Folding Treadmills Any Good?

It is fair to say that when these first came onto the market these types of treadmills were more of a gimmick than they were of any practical user for anyone seriously interested in being able to stow away their machine after use. Many suffered from bad design flaws, had a weak number of console features and were not particularly durable especially when used by heavier individuals. Thankfully, all that is a thing of the past and today's models are directly comparable to any which do not have the ability to be folded up and stowed away. Oh sure, you can still pick up a super cheap shabby model from your local Wal-Mart or other non-specialist store but there are also now many high quality products to choose from meaning you can get all the convenience of an easily stored fold up treadmill without compromising on quality.

So, how to you go about separating the wheat from the chaff and how can you buy a quality product without maxing out your credit card? The following section outline what to look for when choosing a treadmill and showcase some of the best rated folding treadmills by shoppers.

Top Rated Folding Treadmill From Smooth - Editors Pick Of The Best - The Smooth 7.35 Foldable Treadmill

Smooth Fitness 7.35 Folding Treadmill
Smooth Fitness 7.35 Folding Treadmill

Smooth folding treadmills are known for the quality and are often recommended as one of the top choices for home fitness equipment shoppers. This is one of the best rated Smooth Folding treadmill models and features a 3.0 HP continuous motor, Lifetime frame warrantee and 5 years on all other parts and is suitable for both walking and running with 20" by 60" belt running surface. Comfortable, stable and durable, this Smooth fold up treadmill is one of our top recommendations.


What To Look For When Buying A Collapsible Treadmill

Finding The Best For You!

Not everyone has the same set of requirements for their treadmill and this is one of the reasons there are so many options out there and the price range varies so much. You can buy a folding treadmill for under $100 or you can spend upwards of $9,000 for one of the really heavy duty models out there.

For most of us however, a good folding treadmill can be picked up for under $1,000 if you really only intend to use it as a walking treadmill and from anywhere in excess of $1,500 - $2,500 for running.

Either way, there are several things to look at which will influence your buying decision and help you find the right machine for your needs.

There are also specific things to look at if you are set on buying a folding treadmill as opposed to a fixed frame treadmill and these are as follows:

Weight, Size and Storability Issues

Q. How much does a treadmill weigh?
A. A lot!

Folding treadmills are much lighter than their fixed frame counterparts, but still, this is an item you are going to fold up and store, pull out and assemble regularly so you will need to look at the weight and whether this is manageable for you.

Mostly, storage is simply a case of lifting up the running bed and wheeling the now folded treadmill wherever you need it to go but if you have a physical condition which makes bending and lifting a problem then the weight issue becomes more relevant to you and you need to look more closely at exactly how movable a fold down, portable treadmill is going to be for your own circumstances.

Stability and Durability

How stable is a folding treadmill? In the past the answer would have been - "not very" - now that is only true in the cheaper foldable treadmill models you'll find on the market. Cheap folding treadmills typically have somewhat flimsy frames and do not feel all that solid in their build quality.

This tends to get better with price but it is best to check treadmill reviews and opinions or to try the model out yourself to make sure your choice is a good one. The more stable the better as there is nothing worse than running on a machine which wobbles all over the place or makes annoying creaking and juddering noises whilst you are trying to work out.

Best Collapsable Treadmill From Sole - The Sole F80 Folding Treadmill

Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED)
Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED)

3.0 horsepower continuous duty motor, user weight capacity of 350 lbs. and loads of user friendly features makes this Sole folding treadmill one of our editor's picks.


Recommended Weight Limits

Be sure to check the maximum weight capacity of your chosen machine as sometimes in the folding models this can be quite low - sometimes as little as 250 lbs. is recommended and you can usually figure this as being optimistic on the behalf of the manufacturer and take off an additional 25 - 50 lbs.

Customer Warantee and Treadmill Maintenance

If you want a good idea of how well made it is then take a quick look at the warrantee. You should see a good number of years on the frame, motor and treadmill parts and electronics.

Our top pick, the Smooth 5.25 treadmill features a lifetime warrantee on the frame and motor with an additional 3 years on all other parts.

On the other hand, cheap treadmills may offer as little as 90 days on parts and labor.

Recommended Folding Treadmill Brands And Manufacturers

So, who makes the best foldable treadmills? Again, this depends on your requirements but typically you can expect a good, sturdy, strong running or walking treadmill from a manufacturer like Sole or Smooth who regularly receive good reviews from rating sites and from customers buying them for use in their homes.

The Bowflex Foldable Treadmill

Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill
Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill

With almost 90 five star reviews from Amazon customers, the Bowflex Series 7 treadmill is one of the most popular folding treadmills on the market. Featuring a 3.0 Horsepower continuous duty motor, wide running deck, built in heart rate monitor and 15 programs through the electronic interface this is easily one of the top picks in the under $2000 category.


Motor Speed and Quality

First off, you want a treadmill which does actually HAVE a motor! Manual folding treadmills do not have motors but instead you drive the belt using your own leg power. This means you sacrifice the ability to be able to run training programs through an electronics interface, set and maintain speeds and generally, get a much less rounded experience form your treadmill.

Basically - go motorised! The HP of the motor is important and should be one of the main things you look at when choosing a folding treadmill. This determines how long, how hard and basically, how much power your treadmill has. You will want at least a 2 HP or 2.5 HP motor with a good warrantee on it. One of our recommended foldable treadmills, The Bowflex Series 7 treadmill, has a 3 HP motor with a 10 year warrantee.

Length and Width Of The Running Deck

If you are only going to be using your treadmill for walking then you can get away with a short running deck. However, the wider and longer it is, the more comfortable it is to use without fear of falling off. Runners will need a treadmill with a long running deck and if you have a wide stance, or find you weave about whilst using a treadmill, then you'll need a wide running deck as well.

Cheap Used Folding Treadmills

Whilst one of the best and most popular choices for your home gym, a treadmill is also one of the most expensive with good models going to set you back at least $1500 or more if you want a treadmill for running.

If this is out of your price range then a good used folding treadmill or refurbished fold away model is an excellent option and eBay is a great place to find a used treadmill.

Check out the latest fold up treadmill auction listings below for your convenience:

Budget Folding Treadmills

Finding A Low Cost Foldable Treadmill

The old saying "you get what you pay for" generally holds true in all walks of life and in the world of treadmills this is no different.

However, if you are not too sure whether you will actually use your treadmill (yes, we all have grand fitness plans which often fall to the wayside when it comes to actually doing it!) or simple do not have it within your budget to spend 4 figures on a piece of exercise equipment then there are some models out there which receive some decent ratings.

Some of the main things to pay particular attention to if you are going to buy a cheap treadmill is the maximum weight limit (some are very low - sub 250lbs), the motor (if it even has one, many are manually powered and this you definitely do not want) and the overall sturdiness of the machine. If you intend to use a treadmill for running then buying cheap probably isn't the way to go but if you are looking for a good treadmill for walking then some of the budget treadmills might just fit the bill.

Add Your Buying Tips, Folding Treadmill Reviews, Ratings and Opinions - Or Any Other Feedback Your Have On This Lens

Submit a Comment

  • MrMojo01 profile image


    6 years ago

    Cool lens, never knew they had foldable treadmills!

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    My Treadmill is a Foldable Treadmill and a Great Space Saver!

  • verymary profile image


    6 years ago from Chicago area

    wish I could afford the top line models -- would love a good foldable treadmill for my high schooler, who is often too busy with schoolwork to get adequate exercise during the week. great lens!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    We're looking to buy a treadmill so this information is extremely helpful!

  • blabbermouth lm profile image

    blabbermouth lm 

    7 years ago

    i have always want to have my own treadmill since there are still have a lot of weight to lose

  • WindyWintersHubs profile image


    7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

    I have been looking at different models and never thought about the differences of having a motor or not. Thanks for your helpful info on folding treadmills.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I would love to have my own treadmill to use at home. This has been very helpful information. You have thought about this much and it shows. Thank you for sharing.

  • wasatchmax profile image


    8 years ago

    Fold treadmills are very cool and can be a great way to save space. I had no idea there was such a range in price (under $100 to over $9000)! That seems crazy to me. This is a great lens you have created about buying fitness equipment.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Excellent lens, I found it very informative; for those of us who are specifically looking for top rated treadmills, I recommend thorough research on the different brands; one general tip is to visit your local gym.

  • KimGiancaterino profile image


    10 years ago

    We have a folding treadmill, and it's great for exercising on rainy or cold days. No excuses! Your lens is very informative.


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