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If you’re looking to get more steps in or training for a race but don’t have much space to spare in your home, a folding treadmill could be the solution. These devices range from high-end models that stream thousands of classes to simpler options whose main feature is they can fold easily under a bed. Whatever your fitness goals are (and wherever you can store gear), one of the best folding treadmills can help you get there.

How we chose the best folding treadmills

As a recreational runner, I’ve tried a range of treadmills in gyms over the years. I’ve appreciated how feature-heavy models that let you tune into classes or watch movies to help break the monotony. I’ve also seen with the number of runners pounding away on these treadmills how often there is an “Out of Order” sign on these machines. 

If you prefer to work out at home, folding treadmills are ideal for people who live in smaller places or don’t want a big piece of exercise equipment in the middle of their living room. There are compact options available for runners putting in miles to train for races as well as choices for walking. Fold-up treadmills take up less floor space, while slimmer models can be tucked under a bed or couch. We vetted the options from top brands such as NordicTrack, ProForm, and XTerra to make our recommendations.

The best folding treadmills: Reviews & Recommendations

Selecting which folding treadmill is best for you depends on your fitness goals and space. Are you on a training plan that calls for running most days per week at increasing intensity? Or are you looking to walk in the morning and get feedback from a virtual trainer? And will you store the machine in the basement next to the washing machine and Ping Pong table, or do you want to stash it under your bed? Whatever your needs, there’s an option for you.

Best overall: NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill




  • Max speed: 12 mph
  • Dimensions: 78.9 inches D x 35.5 inches W x 59.4 inches H
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Max incline: 12 percent


  • Full-size treadmill
  • Interactive display
  • Access to workouts from around the world with the iFit membership


  • Expensive
  • Large for a folding treadmill

Looking for a treadmill that folds but still comes with premium features? Consider the NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill. Its smart-response motor is designed to handle speed and endurance training. It can reach a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour and an incline of up to 12 percent. The tread belt of 20 inches by 60 inches is wider and longer than that of many foldable treadmills and it’s designed with extra cushioning to reduce impact on the joints.

Designed with an interactive LCD touchscreen, this treadmill lets you choose workouts from an on-demand library, making this one of the best folding treadmills for classes. You’ll also get to work with a virtual iFit coach who will customize your workouts every day and can adjust the incline. (The package comes with a 30-day membership). And when you’re done, the T 8.5 S’s deck folds up easily for a smaller footprint. 

Best for small spaces: Echelon Stride




  • Max speed: 12 mph
  • Dimensions: 69.3 inches H  x 31 inches D x 49.2 inches W
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Max incline: 10 percent


  • Access to more than 3,000 classes
  • Smaller footprint
  • USB charging port


  • Pricey

The Echelon Stride provides a comprehensive fitness experience in one machine. With the associated Echelon Fit app, users can access over 3,000 live and on-demand classes in rowing, running, HIIT, Pilates, yoga, and more. And the iFIt membership will support up to five users, making this machine an ideal pick for families.

The run belt is 20 inches by 55 inches and operates at a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour and up to a 10-percent incline. The Stride’s handlebars have sensors that track your heart rate and allow it to be displayed during classes. It’s Bluetooth-compatible and comes with a USB port for charging and a slot that can hold a tablet. The Stride is also designed with two water bottle holders, wheels for easy mobility, and an auto-folding feature. For more recommendations, check out our guide to health fitness apps.

Best for runners: ProForm Pro-9000 Treadmill




  • Max speed: 12 mph
  • Dimensions: 77.16 inches D x 39.15 inches W x 70 inches H
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Max incline: 15 percent 


  • Powerful motor
  • 10-inch full-color touchscreen.
  • EKG monitoring


  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Treadmill users looking for an all-around experience from a fitness machine will appreciate the ProForm Pro-9000 Treadmill. Designed with a powerful 4.25 continuous horsepower motor, the Pro-9000 has a wide belt of 22 inches and can support up to 300 pounds. If you’re serious about a foldable treadmill with incline, the Pro-9000 fits the bill, allowing for a 15-percent incline (and -3 percent decline) and speeds up to 12 miles per hour. 

The Pro-9000 also comes with a 10-inch color touchscreen that lets you stream thousands of workouts on demand and get personalized training with an iFit membership that supports up to five users. What sets the Pro-9000 apart is that it comes with an EKG heart monitor and a wireless chest strap to keep tabs on your health metrics. And at the end of the workout, the treadmill’s easy-lift assistance lets you quickly fold the deck up. For more ideas, check out our roundup of the best gifts for runners.

Best for beginners: Horizon Fitness T101

Horizon Fitness



  • Max speed: 10 mph
  • Dimensions: 34 inches D x 57 inches W x 71 inches H
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Max incline: ‎10


  • Bluetooth connectivity to support streaming and speakers
  • Less expensive than other models
  • Easy setup


  • Doesn’t stream classes

If you’re just getting started and aren’t looking to spend a lot, Horizon Fitness 101 is a good place to start. This compact treadmill is significantly less expensive than premium models while providing the fundamentals and some additional smart features to boot. Set up should take about 30 minutes, and the hydraulic system allows it to fold down in one step, making it an excellent small treadmill for home. 

The deck is designed with Horizon’s cushioning for extra support, though the maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds is lower than some other models. So, too, is the maximum of 10 miles per hour, but that speed is plenty fast for walkers and most runners. You can adjust the speed and incline up to 10 percent with a simple dial. 

While the Fitness 101 doesn’t have a touchscreen, it’s equipped with a USB port and a device holder that lets you stream the classes you want from a tablet. Music and podcast lovers will appreciate the audio jack and the Bluetooth speakers, and the water bottle holder and fan will help make the miles easier. To track your progress, check out our guide to the best fitness trackers.

Best budget: XTERRA Fitness TR Folding Treadmill




  • Max speed: 10 mph
  • Dimensions: 63.4 inches D x 28.75 inches W x 51.4 inches H
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds 
  • Max incline: 10


  • Great price
  • Covers the basics
  • Easy to fold up and store


  • Very few features
  • Supports less weight than other models

Just looking for a small treadmill that’s not expensive? The XTERRA Fitness TR Folding Treadmill is a solid choice. At 97 pounds, it’s a lightweight treadmill, and the deck folds up flat with the help of a pull knob. The LCD screen doesn’t stream classes but tracks your speed and calories burned and comes with 12 preset workouts and three inclines. At 16 inches wide and 50 inches long, the track is smaller than others and supports less weight (up to 250 pounds). Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a device holder, but if the price is your primary concern, the XTERRA Fitness TR provides the basics at a more affordable price. If you prefer to walk while you work, check out our guide to the best treadmill desks.

Things to consider when selecting the best folding treadmills

Folding treadmills range significantly regarding features, speed, size, and price. These factors are important to remember when deciding on the best folding treadmill for you.


Foldable treadmills accommodate a range of maximum speeds. The higher-end models, such as the ProForm Pro-9000 Treadmill, allow for speeds up to 12 miles per hour, while other treadmills top out at 10 miles per hour. Twelve miles per hour translates to a five-minute mile, which is the province of elite runners and sprinters and an important consideration in a treadmill if you’re in that category. Recreational runners and walkers should find a treadmill with a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour (a pace of 6 minutes per mile) more than suits their needs.


“Foldable” comes in many forms. A heavy treadmill that folds up may have a smaller footprint but may also not come with wheels for easy mobility and may be too large to stow under a bed or in a closet. A portable treadmill, such as the Echelon Stride, comes with wheels and folds down flat, making them ideal for small spaces. When considering models, look at the dimensions and weight of the model.

Weight capacity

The weight a treadmill can support typically depends on the size of the treadmill itself. Some higher-end models, such as the NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill, can accommodate up to 300 pounds, while the lighter XTERRA Fitness TR Folding Treadmill supports up to 250 pounds. If weight capacity is a concern, or you just want to go easier on your joints, you also may want to consider treadmills with a track that provides extra cushioning, such as the NordicTrack T 8.5 S and the Horizon Fitness T101.

Belt size

You’ll want to ensure that any treadmill you purchase can accommodate your stride length and be wide enough to allow you to run safely on the machine. A full-sized tread belt is at least 22 inches wide and 50 inches long. That said, folding treadmills are generally smaller than traditional models and, depending on what option you choose, may have a smaller belt size. Also, if you plan to have several family members use the treadmill, it’s wise to choose a model with a belt size that will accommodate the largest person.


Most of the treadmills on this list allow for an incline of up to 10 percent. Companies like NordicTrack also make treadmills that allow for inclines of up to 40 percent, which might appeal to runners preparing for an endurance race. Ramping up the incline increases endurance and calorie burning. If you do that type of training on a folding treadmill, the ProForm Pro-9000 Treadmill is designed with a maximum incline of 15 percent and decline of -3 percent. But if you’re just looking for a compact treadmill with an incline, the other options on this list will work well.


Q: How much do folding treadmills cost?

Folding treadmills can range from just over $400 to more than $2,000, depending on their size, features, and how they’re made.

Q: How long do folding treadmills last on average?

Just like traditional treadmills, folding treadmills can take a pounding when they’re used over time. Because treadmills can break down because of the pounding over time, you may want to consider options with a warranty. Different models have warranties that last from a year to a lifetime, but you should read the fine print before purchasing.

Q: Are folding treadmills as effective as the regular ones?

Yes, folding treadmills can be as effective as regular ones. They come with most of the same features, including streaming fitness classes with a membership and heart rate tracking. That said, some folding treadmills are designed specifically to be easy to transport and fold away and don’t have features such as a maximum incline of 40 percent that some higher-end treadmills do.

Q: How do I maintain my folding treadmill?

It’s a good idea to maintain your folding treadmill like any other piece of equipment. You can wipe down the console and the belt with a damp cloth after workouts and keep the area around your treadmill clean by dusting and vacuuming. Depending on the model, it can also be a good idea to lubricate the running deck every six months with a silicone-based spray to keep it in good working condition. Consult your user’s manual to get the specifics for your model.

Final thoughts on the best folding treadmills

Folding treadmills are a smart way to make sure you can get some exercise in at home when, say, there’s a major storm or you don’t have the time or inclination to go to a gym. They’re often less expensive than traditional models while giving you access to many of the same premium features—all with a smaller footprint.

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