8 Best Compact Treadmills of 2024

Many of the best treadmills on the market have a big footprint, making them unsuitable for those sweating in tight apartments or gyms. The good news is that bigger isn’t always better — there are plenty of compact treadmills available that can deliver a workout every bit as satisfying as a commercial model. Since we at BarBend know what it’s like to have to make the most of your square footage, we sought to curate a list of the best compact treadmills to help you get closer to meeting your fitness goals. 

Our team of fitness professionals has spent years testing more than 40 treadmills of all shapes, sizes, and price points. We took notes and rated each profile on a number of different factors — including how well it utilizes its footprint — and drew upon that data to help us narrow down the best space-saving treadmills for running, walking, sliding under a desk, and even saving a buck. Here are our picks for the best compact treadmills.

8 Best Compact Treadmills

Best Overall Compact Treadmill: NordicTrack EXP 7i

Best Budget Compact Treadmill: Horizon Fitness T101

Best Compact Treadmill for Running: ProForm Carbon TLX

Best Compact Treadmill for Walking: Echelon Stride-6

Best Under-Desk Compact Treadmill: UREVO 2-in-1 Under Desk Treadmill

Best Folding Compact Treadmill: Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

Best Compact Treadmill for Beginners: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400

Best Compact Treadmill Under $500: XTERRA TR150 Treadmill

How We Tested the Best Compact Treadmills

Our rockstar team of certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and CrossFit enthusiasts has spent years running, walking, sprinting, jogging, and hanging their clothes on more than 40 treadmills. Along the way, we asked questions like: How tight do the floor stabilizers need to be? and Is that cushioned deck actually cushioned? 

Each category in our 13-point methodology is scored on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). From their adjustability and durability to tech capabilities and ease of assembly, we are familiar with these machines. Whether you are trying to add a few more steps to your count while standing at your desk, training for a half-marathon, or trying to build one of the best home gyms in your neighborhood, our team has the lowdown on the best compact treadmills available right now.

Best Overall Compact Treadmill: NordicTrack EXP 7i

NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill

NordicTrack EXP 7i Treadmill

This tread still goes all the way up to 12 percent incline and 12mph in speed, plus it comes with a free one-month iFit membership (a $39 value). The adjustable cushioning can also help lower the impact on your joints, or mimic the feel of a road race if you are training for something on rougher terrain. 

Shop NordicTrack


Price: $1,300

Dimensions: 59.7” H x 70.8” L x 34.9” W

Weight: 228lbs

Max User Capacity: 300lbs

Incline Range: 0%-12%

Max Speed: 10mph


Though compact, this NordicTrack treadmill has a swiveling 7-inch HD touchscreen and IFIT compatibility.

Its hydraulic folding mechanism helps shrink its footprint when not in use. 

It has a 12 percent incline. 


We think the machine benefits from IFIT, which costs an additional $39 per month after your 30-day free trial. 

The 55-inch running deck might be too short for serious runners or tall users.

The NordicTrack EXP 7i was an easy choice for our best overall compact treadmill. Despite its small footprint — 70.8 inches long and 34.9 inches wide — it features a 7-inch swiveling display integrated with IFIT, a subscription-based app with over 16,000 live and on-demand classes. Other notable features include a 12 percent incline and built-in hydraulics to make lowering the heavy deck easier. “For anyone tight on space, the easy folding plus built-in wheels are super convenient,” Jake Herod, BarBend’s expert tester, said. 

Like all of the best NordicTrack treadmills, the EXP 7i’s IFIT compatibility is a huge benefit, with our tester rating its dynamic programming a 5 out of 5. In addition to its massive library of classes, the app can automatically adjust the speed and incline during classes and scenic rides so you can focus on your sweat. “For just $1,300, this is as good as it gets for a built-in streaming platform like IFIT,” Herod explained. “Honestly, I think the EXP 7i feels like a luxury machine without the high-end price.” 

Caption: Our product tester using the incline on the NordicTrack EXP 7i

Speaking of price, though, it’s worth noting that IFIT will run you $39 a month after the 30-day free trial that comes with your purchase. 

Also, the treadmill’s compact size does have its disadvantages. Though our tester loved IFIT, they had to squint to see their stats on screen. “The 7-inch screen was way too small for me,” they said. Other NordicTrack models have displays that are three times the size, but a bigger display requires a bigger machine. 

Also, the 2.6 continuous horsepower motor can help you reach speeds up to 10 miles per hour. While that may be enough for serious sprinters, it should be plenty for most runners. Herod also called out the 55-inch running deck. “I thought the deck was just a tiny bit small,” Herod said. “If you have a longer stride, you may look at another option in this range, like the 60-inch running deck on the Horizon 7.0 AT.” 

Read our full NordicTrack EXP 7i Review.

Best Budget Compact Treadmill: Horizon T101

Horizon T101 Treadmill

Horizon T101 Treadmill

The T101 from Horizon has a solid mix of tech and running features. Whether you’re looking for integrated bluetooth speakers, or a reliable motor to keep you moving, the T101 has something for everyone. 

Shop Horizon


Price: $699

Dimensions: 57” H x 71” L x 34” W

Weight: 180lbs

Max User Capacity: 300lbs

Incline Range: 0%-10%

Max Speed: 10mph


At $699, it delivers top-notch features like a 10 percent incline and 300-pound weight capacity at roughly half the cost of many treadmills. 

With a 2.5 CHP motor, the maximum speed of 10 miles per hour should accommodate most users.

Its built-in programming includes hill training, fat burn, and intervals.


Serious runners may need a maximum speed higher than 10 miles per hour.

The 55-inch running surface may not be long enough for taller runners.

For those looking for a sturdy, compact machine to help you burn calories, the Horizon T101 is a budget-friendly option with many of the features you’d find in a machine twice its $699 price. Among them? A cushioned deck, 10 percent incline, and Bluetooth speakers. 

Our tester rated its footprint and portability a 4 out of 5, because at 71 inches in length and 34 inches in width, it’s up to 5 to 10 inches shorter and 1 to 2 inches less wide than the average treadmill. When folded upright, its length is reduced to 46 inches. “I thought it was so easy to move around because of the hydraulic folding system, plus the built-in wheels,” they said. “Compared to something like the 2019 NordicTrack 1750, this machine is not bulky at all.”

Compared to other treadmills in this price range — like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 — the Horizon T101 has a few features that make it stand out. Our tester loved the quick-adjust rollers on the handles, which allow you to adjust speed and incline without letting go of the handrails. “I thought the rollers made it so much easier to adjust on the fly,” said our tester. “Plus, they were just kind of fun.” Our tester also noted its 55-inch belt deck is six inches longer than the SF-T4400, but still a bit small for taller runners. “Still,” they said, “if I’m choosing between the two, I’d go with the T101.”

Adjusting the incline on the Horizon T101.

The 300-pound weight capacity is on par with many larger, higher-end machines, like the ProForm Pro 9000. That capacity is impressive for an 180-pound treadmill and our tester rated its durability 3.5 out of 5. The aluminum frame may not be as durable as the alloy steel construction you may find in more expensive treadmills like the NordicTrack 1250, but they didn’t notice any wobbling during use. 

Its 2.5 continuous horsepower motor can reach speeds up to 10 miles per hour, which may not be fast enough for serious runners. Our tester, though, noted that this should be plenty for the average user. “10 miles per hour is close to sprinting for most people, so for someone just trying to do some simple cardio, it will be fine,” they said.

Read our full Horizon T101 Review.

Best Compact Treadmill for Running: ProForm Carbon TLX

Horizon 7.0 AT Treadmill

Horizon 7.0 AT Treadmill

The Horizon 7.0 AT Treadmill is a durable, low-cost option for anyone looking for a quality treadmill without overspending. It features a strong motor, a wide range of speed and incline settings, and a unique three-zone cushion system. 

Shop Amazon


Price: $999

Dimensions: 59.1” H x 74.3” L x 35.1” W

Weight: 249lbs

Max User Capacity: 300lbs

Incline Range: 0%-12%

Max Speed: 10mph


The cushioned 60-inch deck and powerful 3.0 CHP motor should be enough size and power to accommodate most runners.

IFIT integration is included, so you can take advantage of over 16,000 live and on-demand classes with a monthly subscription.

Stream IFIT workouts on the 7-inch high-contrast display.


Because of its standard-length 60-inch running deck, it has a larger footprint than other treadmills in this range, like the NordicTrack EXP 7i.

Without a monthly subscription to IFIT, you won’t get the most out of it.

It features a 12% incline, but no decline capability.

It can be tough for runners to find a compact treadmill, as many space-saving machines have decks between 50 and 55 inches, which can impact the length of one’s stride. The ProForm Carbon TLX measures just 74.3 inches in length — still 5 to 6 inches shorter than the average treadmill — but offers a 60-inch running surface, which should accommodate long strides during sprints. Five inches can make a huge difference.

Whether you’re training for a marathon or just want to begin a cardio routine, the 3.0 continuous horsepower motor is robust enough to handle daily runs, walks, and sprints. We also liked the belt’s ProShox cushioning, which prompted a 4 out of 5 rating from our tester for adjustability and ergonomics. 

We do, however, wish the 1.9-inch rollers were a bit larger. “The size of the rollers in any treadmill determine how fast they spin to keep up with the motor,” said Jake Herod, BarBend’s expert tester. “For really serious runners, I’d like to see rollers of at least 2.25 inches to avoid some long-term wear and tear.”

Runners, though, will find plenty of variety thanks to the bike’s compatibility with IFIT, a fitness app with more than 16,000 cardio, strength, and mobility classes. “I would put IFIT programming up against any competitor, including Peloton,” said our tester. They rated the dynamic programming 5 out of 5, saying, “I felt like it added another dimension to my workouts.” 

After the free 30-day trial that comes with your purchase, a monthly subscription to IFIT will run you $39 per month. We’d recommend it, as our tester said “the machine would be pretty underwhelming” without it. With it, though, the ProForm Carbon TLX is a compact, efficient vessel for supporting you across thousands of different cardio classes. 

Best Compact Treadmill for Walking: Echelon Stride-6

Echelon Stride-6 Treadmill

Echelon Stride-6 Treadmill

This tread folds flat so that it’s only 10 inches tall. The speed can reach 12mph, and you get a free 30-day Echelon Premier membership with your purchase, which provides access to over 3,000 live and on-demand classes.

Shop Echelon


Price: $1,980

Dimensions: 57” H x 64.8” L x 32.4” W

Weight: Not disclosed

Max User Capacity: 300lbs

Incline Range: 12 levels

Max Speed: 12.4mph


It has 12 levels of incline, providing plenty of challenge for walkers. 

Echelon’s patented Auto-Fold technology helps to fold the machine flat. It also features horizontal and vertical transport wheels.

It has a cushioned and spacious 60-inch belt deck. 


It has an extra-large device holder, but no proper display. 

It includes just a 1-year warranty for non-Echelon Premier Members.

Walking is a viable form of exercise, especially when you’re strolling up a steep hill. We think the Echelon Stride-6 is the best compact treadmill for walking because of its 12-level incline range, which should provide plenty of challenge for those who enjoy a leisurely sweat. As you increase the incline with the quick-adjust scrolling wheels in the handrails, you can target muscles like the glutes that may not work as hard when walking on level ground.

The Stride-6 also offers something others in this price range — like the NordicTrack EXP 7i or ProForm Carbon TLX — don’t. “I think the ability to fold completely flat is a huge feature on this and other Echelon models,” our tester, a certified personal trainer and USA Weightlifting Level-1 coach, highlighted. “It could be stashed in a corner of an apartment or even tucked under a bed.” Taking into account the tread’s horizontal and vertical transport wheels, they rated the footprint and portability of the similarly-compact Echelon Stride a 5 out of 5. 

Speaking of the Stride, our tester noted Echelon’s commitment to stability. “Even at higher speeds, my older model hardly shakes,” they pointed out. “At slower speeds, I thought it was super stable.” 

If you do see yourself picking up the pace, the Stride-6 also has you covered. The motor can deliver speeds up to 12.4 miles per hour, which is 2.4 miles per hour more than the average compact treadmill. It also has a roomy 60-inch running deck, which should allow plenty of room for those with longer strides. We rated its predecessor, which has similar features, a 5 out of 5 in terms of ergonomics. 

We do, however, wish the treadmill had a display of its own instead of just a device holder. Also, the treadmill comes with an unimpressive 1-year warranty. To get a 5-year warranty, you have to subscribe to the Echelon Premier app for an added $39.99 a month. 

Best Under-Desk Compact Treadmill: UREVO 2-in-1 Under-Desk Treadmill

UREVO 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill

UREVO 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill

This flat treadmill easily fits under a desk and can slide under a bed or a couch when not in use. It has a maximum speed of 7.6 miles per hour, as well as silicone shock absorbers and two soft rubber pads to keep your joints healthy.  Plus, it comes with a remote control that you can use to adjust your speed, so you don’t have to get off the treadmill to speed up or slow down. 

Shop Amazon


Price: $389

Dimensions: Handrail down: 5.1” H x 54.7” L x 26.4″ W; handrail up: 39.7″ H x 52.6″ L x 26.4″ W

Weight: 59lbs

Max User Capacity: 265lbs 

Incline Range: none

Max Speed: Handrail down: 3.8mph; handrail up: 7.6mph


It folds completely flat and is lightweight for easy storage.

The treadmill can be used with the handrail up or folded down to fit under your standing desk.

Even though it only weighs 59 pounds, it has a 265-pound weight capacity.


With a maximum speed of 3.8 miles per hour — 7.6 miles per hour with the handrail up — it is not designed for running.

There is no incline or decline capability.

At 42.5 inches long, the belt deck may be too short for tall users.

Using an under-desk treadmill is a sneaky way to get more cardio. For a simple and easy way to get more steps in, we think the UREVO 2-in-1 Under-Desk Treadmill is the best under-desk compact treadmill out there. Essentially, the machine is just the deck, but it includes a foldable 36.6-inch handrail that can be folded up if you need to hold on to it. With the handrail folded down, it measures just 5 inches tall, meaning it can slide under any standing desk. 

That 5-inch height is even shorter than others in this price range, like the Sunny Health & Fitness Walkstation Slim Flat Treadmill, which measures 6.5 inches tall. “This is honestly one of the most compact treadmills I’ve used,” our tester raved. 

The UREVO 2-in-1’s tiny footprint and easy portability — just 54.7 inches long and 26.4 inches wide when folded — scored a 5 out of 5 from our tester, who noted, “It’s only 59 pounds, so when it’s folded flat, one or two people could probably just load it up in a car.” 

Our product tester lowering the handlebar on the UREVO 2-in-1 Under-Desk Treadmill.

The belt deck — 42.5 inches long and 16.9 inches wide — is between 7.5 and 17.5 inches shorter than what you’ll find on most treadmills, however, so we wouldn’t recommend it for running.“For context,” our tester said, “if I’m going to recommend a treadmill for running, I need to see at least a 50-inch deck, but closer to 60 inches.”

At just $389, our tester rated its value 4 out of 5. “For its purpose, it is a tremendous value,” they said. “It’s not trying to pretend to be something it’s not.” It won’t be able to handle intense workouts, but as our tester put it, “If you are just wanting to increase your step count or move a little more throughout the day, the UREVO is a great option.”

Because it’s such a compact machine, our tester rated its durability 3 out of 5. “There’s a lot of plastic and I don’t expect it to last forever,” they said. “But for under $400, if you only walk on it, it would probably hold up for a while.”

[Related: The 6 Best Under-Desk Treadmills]

Best Folding Compact Treadmill: Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

GoPlus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill

GoPlus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill

With a powerful and quiet 2.25HP motor, this treadmill allows you to walk or jog when used as an under-desk machine, or run at up to 7.5 MPH when the handrails are raised.

Shop Amazon


Price: $299

Dimensions: 44.5″ H x 52.5″ L x 29″ W

Weight: 69lbs

Max User Capacity: 265lbs

Incline Range: none

Max Speed: 7.5mph


It can be used with the handlebar raised up or folded flat. This feature allows you to walk or jog while holding the bar or go completely hands-free. 

The remote control allows you to change speeds without reaching down to the deck.

The lightweight construction and wheels make it easy to move around.


Its 40-inch by 16-inch running surface and 7.5 miles per hour maximum speed makes it best suited for walking only.

The device holder is only large enough for a phone, not tablets.

It’s unable to incline or decline.

The Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill is our pick for the best folding compact treadmill because it can fold completely flat. The handlebar raises up from the deck and locks into place to allow you to hold on to it while you walk or jog. It can also be lowered down to the sides of the deck, essentially creating a walking pad like the WalkingPad P1. While the machine is flat, you can use the remote control to change the speed during use.

In the raised position, two detachable arms can be extended towards you for additional support. Our tester loved both the detachable nature of the arms and the foldable handlebar, saying, “I liked being able to customize the actual build of the treadmill.”

Folding the adjustable handlebar on the Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill.

The Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill has a small footprint — 52.5 inches long by 29 inches wide — resulting in a 4 out of 5 rating for our tester in terms of its size. Despite its diminutive nature, the treadmill still packs a 2.25 continuous horsepower motor that can reach speeds of up to 7.5 miles per hour. “I don’t think I would try to go too hard,” our tester said. “Since it’s so compact, it may not be able to handle much more intensity than jogging.” 

That said, they rated its durability just 2.5 out of 5, saying, “Even though the stated max weight is 265 pounds, I felt like the motor might bog down if you get close to that.” They did, however, note the cushioning in its five-layer belt. “At walking speed, I really noticed the cushion,” they pointed out. “However, as I increased the speed, it was much less apparent. It was also more stable and smooth at those lower speeds.”

In terms of overall value, our tester rated the Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill 4.25 out of 5. “While you may not hit a full sprint on it,” they said, “I would totally recommend it for someone just trying to add some cardio to their routine.” 

[Related: The 8 Best Folding Treadmills of 2024]

Best Compact Treadmill for Beginners: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400

Sunny Health & Fitness SFT4400

Sunny Health & Fitness SFT4400

Foldable treadmill with 2.20 peak HP drive system provides speeds from 0.5 to 9 MPH. Manual adjusts for 0%, 2%, or 4.37% incline.

Shop Amazon


Price: $399

Dimensions: 50″ H x 62″ L x 25.5″ W

Weight: 103lbs

Max User Capacity: 220lbs

Incline Range: 0%-4.3%

Max Speed: 9mph


Nine preset programs can help ease new runners into a cardio routine. 

It can reach speeds of up to 9 miles per hour and has a 4.3 percent incline, which is plenty for a beginning runner. 

It folds flat with a soft drop hydraulic folding mechanism. 


The incline needs to be manually adjusted. 

It’s made with several plastic components, which may impact its long-term durability. 

The 49-inch running surface may not accommodate longer strides during runs. 

With its low price point and essential features, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 is our pick for the best compact treadmill for beginners. Though it can only reach a max speed of 9 miles per hour — 1 to 3 miles per hour less than the average treadmill — and has just a 4.3 percent incline, that should be plenty for those who are just building endurance. Helping to build that endurance are nine built-in workout programs that can ease beginners into a cardio routine. 

I think the SF-T4400 is a good entry point for beginners,” said our tester, a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. “For a serious runner, I don’t think this machine would cut it. But at just $399, it’s a really good value for people starting out.”

At 62 inches long and 25.5 inches wide, our tester rated its footprint and portability a perfect 5 out of 5, making special note of its soft drop hydraulic folding mechanism. “I think it could actually fit in some cars because it folds very flat,” they said. “The soft drop feature was a big deal for me because I live in fear of crushing my toes while lowering a treadmill.”

For adjustability and ergonomics, our tester rated the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 3.5 out of 5. Though the deck is between 6 and 11 inches shorter than what you’ll find on many treadmills, they liked its shock absorption and 15.5-inch wide deck. “Even though the 49-inch deck is short for running, it is wider than I expected,” they said. 

As expected, some members of our team had trouble getting a long enough stride for a run on the 49-inch deck. “I’m pretty tall, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to run on this,” our tester said. “But even some of our shorter testers couldn’t quite run comfortably.” As such, this treadmill is perhaps best used for walking and jogging. 

“There was a decent amount of plastic in the build, but for $399, that should be expected,” our tester  noted, rating its durability 3 out of 5. “For so much plastic, the 220-pound max weight capacity is pretty good.” Another area with a 3 out of 5 rating was its tech capabilities. Again, for a beginner treadmill in this price range, you won’t see high-end technology. “The basic preset programming was better than nothing and would be fine for beginners,” our tester said.

The incline is manual, meaning you’ll have to adjust it yourself, but that’s common among machines at this price range, like the XTERRA TR150 at $394. “For someone just looking to stay active and burn some calories,” our tester pointed out, “it’s a great value, especially for small spaces.”

Best Compact Treadmill Under $500: XTERRA TR150 Treadmill

XTERRA Fitness TR150

XTERRA Fitness TR150

This folding treadmill is powered by a quiet 2.25 HP motor, allowing for speeds up to 10 MPH. A 50″ belt and 3 incline levels accessible to users up to 250lbs.

Shop Amazon


Price: $394

Dimensions: 51.4” H x 63.4” L x 28.75” W

Weight: 108lbs

Max User Capacity: 250lbs

Incline Range: 3 levels

Max Speed: 10mph


Its 2.25 horsepower motor supports speeds up to 10 miles per hour, which is 2 miles per hour slower than the 2.5 CHP motor in the Horzion 7.0 AT, but for around $1,100 less.

Because it’s only 97 pounds, it can easily be assembled by one person.

It includes preset workouts, like sprints, speed, and interval training.


The 50-inch long by 16-inch wide running deck is longer than others in this price range, like the Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill, but may be too short for taller users to run.

With no gas shock for folding down, it can be difficult to unfold.

It doesn’t offer much shock absorption to support your joints.

Our pick for the best compact treadmill under $500 — the XTERRA TR150 Treadmill — has many of the features you would find in a pricier treadmill. Its 2.25 horsepower motor is powerful enough to reach speeds of up to 10 miles per hour, and its three levels of incline are rare for this price range. For someone looking for an affordable treadmill that can deliver a medium-intensity cardio workout, the TR150 could be the right choice.  

The customizations on this treadmill — like its maximum speed and incline capability — earned a 3.5 out 5 rating by our tester. “I thought the fact that it included incline and the 10 miles per hour max speed was impressive for this price point,” they said. “But it’s not going to fool anyone into thinking it’s the NordicTrack 2450 or anything.”

Our tester did, however, wish the TR150 had a hydraulic folding mechanism, rating it just a 2 out of 5 in terms of its adjustability and ergonomics. “Most treadmills have a gas shock to help lower them slowly,” they explained. “When it’s folded up, it’s only held in place with a pin, so a kid could easily walk underneath it, grab that pin, and it would fall right on them. I’d recommend just leaving it folded down.”

Workout experience earned a 3.5 out of 5 rating from our tester, but noted the limitations of its 50-inch deck. “I like that it’s simple, and I’d recommend it for walking or light jogging,” they said. “But for anyone doing serious running, you may need a belt deck around 55 to 60 inches.” 

Still, they rated its overall value a 4 out of 5. “At around $400, I don’t think you can find better than this,” they said. “A 10 miles per hour maximum speed, incline, and a small footprint — definitely tough to beat.”

How We Chose the Best Compact Treadmills

Whether your new treadmill will end up in your apartment, home, garage, or gym, it may become the most used piece of equipment you own. These are some of the most important elements of the treadmills we looked for when making our list.


A treadmill’s footprint refers to the amount of floor space it takes up. Depending on the size of the area you plan to put your treadmill, you may not mind a large machine. If you’re looking for a compact treadmill, the footprint may be one of your major concerns. With each pick on our list, we tried to ensure each treadmill didn’t take up more than around 18 feet of space. There are also a few small enough to fit beneath a desk, with the smallest coming in at 9.19 square feet.

Also included on this list are some of the best folding treadmills that either fold upright or flat to save some precious square footage when you aren’t using it. Taking into consideration the placement of your new treadmill can help determine which one is best for you.


On this list you’ll find both ends of the pricing spectrum. While most compact treadmills tend to be available for less than larger machines, that doesn’t mean they skimp on quality. Some of the best compact treadmills tend to be budget-friendly because it’s more difficult to pack in large motors, extra tech features, or incline and decline capabilities.

BarBend product tester, Jake Herod, running on the NordicTrack EXP 7i.

Treadmills that are on the pricier end of the range often feature some of the bells and whistles you might expect, like IFIT integration or a 12 percent incline. Treadmills with screens tend to be more expensive than those with simple LCD displays, while lower-cost machines may only allow you to step on, press start, and start walking. Whatever your budget, you can find a compact treadmill here that fits right in.

Incline and Speed

To mix up your treadmill workouts, incline sessions are a standard treadmill feature. It simulates walking or running up hills and can even help you target muscle groups like the glutes. The incline range on compact treadmills is generally less than larger machines because as that footprint starts to decrease, there is less space for the components that allow incline and decline. The most expensive treadmills here top out at 12 percent and the smallest and least-expensive won’t incline at all.

The top maximum speed is an important feature because, depending on your intended use, you may need the ability to complete sprint or interval training. You’ll see maximum speeds on our list ranging from 7.6 miles per hour to 12.4 miles per hour. In general, the more powerful the motor, the faster the speeds. As such, more power usually equals more dollars.

What to Consider Before Buying a Compact Treadmill

When contemplating any purchase this large, you want to make sure you have all the facts. We tried out all the treadmills on this list to help you fill in as many gaps as possible. Throughout the time we have spent with these machines, we considered many factors such as your budget, size of the machine, and placement in your space. Consider these aspects of compact treadmills before making your decision.


Having a defined budget before beginning your search can help narrow your focus and save you time by eliminating options outside that range. We included treadmills on this list that come in at many different price points to suit as many customers as possible. Many compact machines are already less expensive than larger options, but even among the compact treadmills on our list, your options range from $299 to $1,980. In general, you can expect the power of the motor, quality of the build, and extra features to determine the number on the price tag.

Treadmill Size and Placement

Compact treadmills take up less space than a typical commercial or home gym option. Before even thinking about filling your minimal space with a machine this size, plan out how much room you will have to use it. All of these foldable treadmills have footprints ranging from 9.19 square feet to 18.11 square feet. If you can measure the size of the spot you want the treadmill to occupy, you’ll be better informed when perusing our list.

Personal Fitness Goals

Establishing your personal fitness goals prior to pursuing a treadmill will add even more clarity to your search. Whether you are having trouble finding time to train for that 10k race you committed to, or just want to keep moving while you are at your stand-up desk, keeping your fitness goals in mind can also help narrow your search. 

The display on the UREVO 2-in-1 Under-Desk Treadmill.

If you want to tone your quadriceps and glutes, you might look for a machine with incline. If you had a recent injury and are working yourself back into shape, you may only want to go with a compact treadmill for walking. Whatever your reason, knowing your why is the first step of any major purchase.

Different Types of Compact Treadmills

With so many different specifications and features in a compact treadmill, finding the best match for your purposes can be challenging. Take a look at a few available types of options for compact treadmills.

For Running

If you plan to use your treadmill primarily for running, there are some factors to consider that you may not be looking for. The length of your running stride will be considerably longer than your walking stride. Typically, any belt deck shorter than 55 inches would be too short for running, but the industry standard is 60 inches. Some compact treadmills may have shorter belts than 55 inches, but still claim to be for running. The quality of the build, along with the belt deck length will help determine if a treadmill is suited for running.


On our list, we included several budget options to accommodate every athlete. A “budget” treadmill doesn’t have a certain price, but we chose four treadmills less than $400. These machines may not include features like touchscreens, wide incline range, or Bluetooth connectivity. If you are on the prowl for a “budget” treadmill, it’s best to set your expectations accordingly. Essentially, if you know you just want to hop on, press start, and go, a budget treadmill could be your best option.


These small treadmills have become popular in recent years as more workers are able to work from home or use standing desks in the office. As the health risks of prolonged sitting are becoming more well-known, under-desk treadmills have become an easy way to increase your cardio exercise throughout the day. (1) In an under-desk treadmill, you should see features like flat folding, remote control, and height of the deck. 

Benefits of Compact Treadmills

Because treadmills are such versatile pieces of training equipment, there are many benefits that come along with adding one to your space. Here are some of the positives of owning and using a compact treadmill.

Adjustable Intensity

The ability to adjust speed and incline is a huge benefit for all treadmill users. These features can allow you to vary your workouts to target specific muscle groups, simulate a certain course, or just add a little excitement. Treadmill training also is not only about running. Walking and jogging can also provide quality exercise, so utilizing the lower speeds on your machine can still promote your overall fitness.

Space-Saving Footprints

The compact treadmills on our list don’t take up as much space as the average treadmill and all of them have the ability to fold upright or down flat. Many include built-in wheels and are lightweight enough to move from room to room, slide under a bed, or stand up against a wall. 

Our product tester unlatching the handlebar on the Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill.

They can save enough space in your training area to make room for other bulky gym equipment like weight benches. These treadmills are designed to fit any space — no matter how small.

Availability Despite Outdoor Conditions

Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in a place that was 70 degrees, sunny, peaceful, and quiet 365 days a year? Unless you have found this paradise — in which case, call me — one factor to consider every time you want to go for a run or walk is the conditions outside. Of course the weather is a major consideration that can stop your workout from happening altogether. But even factors like safe walking paths, sidewalk congestion in large cities, or the type of surface can affect the quality of your training.

Flexible Training Schedule

Owning your own compact can allow you to keep a more manageable training schedule. Without having to fight traffic on the way to the gym — or people traffic inside the gym — you can more efficiently get your workout started and finished. If you have a busy schedule already full of responsibilities like work, family, or other commitments, finding time to plan a trip to the gym or a route around your neighborhood can be a difficulty that a home treadmill can alleviate.

Final Word

Compact treadmills can save you a lot of space, but there are potential drawbacks. Many of the models we tested had smaller decks — between 45 and 55 inches — and minimal technical capabilities. Others weren’t designed for serious runners, but are great for casual cardio or getting in more steps during your work day. 

Take advantage of the years of experience that our team has with treadmills to be better prepared to take the leap. We hope you’ll ask the same questions we asked about these machines. Find out if it has a long enough belt deck to handle a running stride. Find out if it folds flat enough to scoot under your couch. Whatever criteria informs your decision, use our list of the best compact treadmills as a shortcut to finding your perfect match.


What makes a treadmill “compact”?

Compact treadmills can have many of the same features as standard treadmills, but in a smaller footprint. For instance, the incline range may be shorter, the motor may be less powerful, and it most likely will fold and roll. These treadmills are just designed with the intention of fitting into small spaces.

What is the best compact treadmill?

Our choice for the best overall compact treadmill is the NordicTrack EXP 7i. This is the smallest offering from NordicTrack — a company we trust — but it still packs great specs and features like the big boys. The highlight is its built-in integration with IFIT and the interactive dynamic programming it provides.

How much do compact treadmills cost?

The quality treadmills on our list range from $299 to $1,980 and offer a wide range of benefits and features. The treadmills at the high end of that range may offer interactive programming like IFIT integration, a cushioned running deck, or auto-fold technology. Options closer to $299 can offer essentials like speed control or folding capacity.


Stamatakis, E., Gale, J., Bauman, A., Ekelund, U., Hamer, M., & Ding, D. (2019). Sitting Time, Physical Activity, and Risk of Mortality in Adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 73(16), 2062–2072. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.02.031

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