The 8 Best Portable Treadmills for 2024

Not every living space or home gym is conducive to the large footprints taken up by some of the best treadmills on the market. Spouses, kids, and roommates, after all, won’t be thrilled to see a hulking cardio machine taking residence in front of the TV. Thankfully, there are plenty of options that, through a combination of lightweight frames, foldability, and transport features, make them easier to get out of the way when not in use. 

We rounded up some of the best portable treadmills available that can allow you to navigate hallways, doorways, furniture, and toys on the floor. That involved looking into each machine’s weight, folded and unfolded dimensions, and whether or not it contained transport wheels and handles. Check out our top picks for treadmills that can make themselves scarce when not in use. 

The 8 Best Portable Treadmills for 2024

Best Overall Portable Treadmill: NordicTrack EXP 7i

Best Portable Walking Treadmill: Sole F63

Best Portable Treadmill for Running: ProForm Carbon TLX

Best Folding Portable Treadmill: Echelon Stride-6

Best Portable Treadmill with Incline: Horizon T101

Best Lightweight Portable Treadmill: Urevo 2-in-1 Under Desk Treadmill

Best Portable Treadmill Under $500: XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill

Best Budget Portable Treadmill: Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

About Our Expert: 

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CF-L1, CES, CSNC a certified personal trainer, certified nutrition coach, and CrossFit Level-1 Trainer. She reviewed the research we cite to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

How We Tested and Chose the Best Portable Treadmills

Treadmills that are compact and portable can deliver the benefits of cardio as well as high-end machines. Our certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and CrossFit trainers have spent years folding, moving, rolling, and sliding over 40 treadmills to help point you toward the best portable treadmill to suit your needs and circumstances.

We assigned each of the 13 categories in our testing methodology — areas like footprint and portability, adjustability, and ease of assembly — a rating of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) to provide a reference for you during your search. Whether you need a treadmill to train for a half-marathon — or just want to increase your daily step count — we put together our picks for the best portable treadmills out there.


All the treadmills that earned a spot on our list include built-in wheels because — impressive as it may be — we don’t recommend lifting your new treadmill up over your head. On top of that, all of these options either fold upright or completely flat.  

Our BarBend product tester using the wheels to relocate the NordicTrack EXP 7i.

Our picks include many standard features — 12-percent incline, 60-inch belt deck, fitness app integration, 12 miles per hour max speed — while some smaller picks are designed specifically with mobility and storage in mind. As the size, weight, and price of the treadmills go down, inclusion of these features become less likely. Regardless, we didn’t include any treadmill on this list that we don’t think one to two people could easily move around their home. 


If you plan to use your treadmill in a shared or multi-purpose area, the amount of floor space it occupies can be a deciding factor. The options on our list range from 9.64 to 18.72 square feet. For reference, your average two-seater sofa takes up around 16 or 17 square feet. (1) Larger machines are more difficult to move, but we still included a few in our list. Although they are less portable than smaller treadmills, their upright folding and built-in wheels may ease the burden of transport. 

Type of Training

While the size and weight of a machine relate to its portability, they also impact the type of training that it can support. Some of our picks support running, jogging, and walking workouts, while some are more suited for light jogs and brisk walks. 

As such, you’ll see picks that meet our criteria for the best treadmills for running: minimum motor size of 2.75 CHP, 10- to 12-percent max incline, and top speeds of 10 to 12 miles per hour. Of course, the more hardware a treadmill has, the less portable it becomes, so we rounded out our picks with smaller and more lightweight options that lack the speed and durability of running treadmills, but can still help you stay active. 

Best Overall Portable 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: $1,299

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

Weight: 228lbs

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Incline Range: 0%-12%

Max Speed: 10mph


NordicTrack’s EasyLift Assist hydraulic folding system and built-in wheels make for easy folding and transport.

Integrated iFIT workouts can be accessed on the swiveling 7-inch HD touchscreen.

It features a 12-percent incline range.


At 228 pounds, this treadmill may require an extra set of hands during transport. 

Taller users with longer strides may find the 55-inch running deck too short for sprints and high-intensity runs.

The NordicTrack EXP 7i is our best overall pick because it pairs portability — EasyAssist hydraulic folding and built-in transport wheels — with the kind of tech you don’t often see on portable machines. That includes a 7-inch swiveling touchscreen, on which you can access the iFIT app’s vast library of more than 16,000 classes. The EXP 7i’s durability, adjustability, ergonomics, and customizations all earned a rating of 4 out of 5 from our tester. 

Our BarBend product tester using the incline on the NordicTrack EXP 7i.

At 228 pounds, it may be heavy for one person to move, but it’s at the lower end of the average 200-to-300 pound range for mid-range treadmills. Our tester, a CrossFit Level-1 trainer, rated its footprint and portability 4 out 5, noting that it occupies just 17.16 square feet, around the size of a two-seater sofa. (1) “I thought the hydraulic folding was great for saving some floor space, and the wheels were a big help when moving it around my gym,” they said.

[Related: iFIT Review – Is Virtual Coaching The New Normal?]

BarBend’s expert product tester, Jake Herod, agreed. “It’s going to be great for anybody who’s tight on space,” he said. “The wheels make it super easy to move around.” In the below video review, he also shouts out its 7-inch touchscreen, SmartAdjust compatibility, and hydraulic folding mechanism.

Herod did, however, take a slight issue with its running belt, because, at 55 inches long, it’s at the low end of our recommended 55- to 60-inch range. “The actual deck — the running surface — is a little bit small,” he explained. “Somebody who has a long stride will probably want to target a different model.” 

While it requires a $39.99 per month subscription, the iFIT integration makes it stand out among portable treadmills. If you tend to get distracted or disengage during exercise, Amanda Capritto, certified personal trainer, thinks an interactive app like iFIT can help. “iFIT is some of the best interactive programming out there and really helps prevent boredom,” she explained.      

Read our full NordicTrack EXP 7i Review.

Best Portable Treadmill for Walking: Sole F63

Sole F63 Treadmill

Sole F63 Treadmill

The Sole F63 is a high-quality, no-frills treadmill. The 3.0 HP motor can support up to 325 pounds, and the foldability is ideal for those tight on space. 



Price: $1,199

Dimensions: 67″ H x 77″ L x 35″ W

Weight: 224lbs

Weight Capacity: 325lbs

Incline Range: 0%-15%

Max Speed: 12mph


The 15-percent incline range is 3 percent higher than most treadmills in this price range, helping to intensify walking workouts.

Its roomy 60-inch by 20-inch cushioned belt deck is the ideal size for walking treadmills.

Its hydraulic folding mechanism and built-in wheels can aid with transport. 


It weighs 224 pounds, so it may require an extra hand when moving it. 

The 6.5-inch LCD display can only track basic stats. 

The Sole F63 is our pick for the best portable treadmill for walking because its 15-percent incline range — 3 percent higher than average — and spacious, cushioned deck provide the joint support and workout variety we look for in any walking treadmill. 

With a footprint of 18.72 square feet, it’s a good 5 square feet smaller than your typical three-seater sofa. (1) Its 224-pound overall weight, meanwhile, is at the low end of the average 200- to 300-pound range of mid-range treadmills, and its hydraulic folding mechanism and built-in transport wheels can lighten the load when moving it. 

Certified personal trainer and BarBend editorial member Kate Meier used the F63 for multiple workouts and rated its footprint and portability 4 out 5. “I was fine moving it around, but I wouldn’t say it was incredibly easy given the weight,” she explained.

Our tester walking on the Sole F63.

Certified personal trainer Amanda Capritto highlighted two of the F63’s standout features — its 3.0 CHP motor and hydraulic folding — when she assessed the best walking treadmills for BarBend. “Higher-end walking treadmills will cost more, but have additional perks, including a folding frame to save space when not in use and a more powerful motor that supports additional workout types, should you want to occasionally run.”

When Sole first launched its companion Sole+ app, it was a paid add-on to their cardio machines. Now, it’s free, giving you free access to more than 1,400 treadmill workouts. However, to access them on the tread you’ll need to set your phone or tablet on the console’s device holder. When synced with the machine, the Sole+ app can also provide your stats and workout history, though the 6.5-inch LCD display also provides basic stats. 

Read our full Sole F63 Treadmill Review.

Best Portable Treadmill for Running: ProForm Carbon TLX

ProForm Carbon TLX

ProForm Carbon TLX

Adjusts up to a 12% grade so that you can feel like you’re hitting real hills. With an iFIT subscription you can hit trails around the world from the comfort of your own home.

Shop ProForm


Price: $999

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

Weight: 249lbs

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Incline Range: 0%-12%

Max Speed: 10mph


Runners will like this treadmill’s cushioned 60-inch belt deck and 3.0 CHP motor. 

iFIT integration allows access to over 16,000 live and on-demand classes.

Follow your stats, like distance and calories burned, on the 7-inch multi-color display.


Its 1.9-inch rollers are smaller than the 2.25-inch rollers we like to see on running treadmills. 

Access to iFIT costs an additional $39.99 per month.

With a 60-inch long running deck, top speed of 10 miles per hour, and 12-percent incline, the ProForm Carbon TLX is our choice for the best portable treadmill for running. While not as compact as other options on this list, its 74.3-inch length is still roughly 5 to 6 inches shorter than the average running treadmill. 

Along with the 60-inch running surface, its 3.0 CHP motor and ProShox deck cushioning are in line with what Amanda Capritto, certified personal trainer, recommends for running treadmills. “Ideally, a running treadmill will have a powerful motor with at least 3.0 CHP. The best (and usually most expensive) models have a CHP of up to 4.0,” she explains. “A padded deck can help offset some of the impact on your ankles, knees, and hips by absorbing a lot of the shock.”

[Related: The 10 Best Cushioned Treadmills for 2024]

The TLX has a similar footprint to older ProForm Carbon series models we have personally tested — the T10 and T14 — and both our testers, one a certified personal trainer and the other a CrossFit Level-1 trainer, rated the footprint and portability of those machines a 4 out of 5.

BarBend product tester and certified nutrition coach, Jake Herod, did note the roller size — 0.35 inches smaller than we like to see in running treadmills. “The size of the rollers in any treadmill determine how fast they spin to keep up with the motor,” said Herod, our 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.”

This treadmill is also compatible with iFIT, a fitness app with more than 16,000 on-demand classes. The TLX lacks a touchscreen of its own, but you can access iFIT on a mobile device and link it up with the TLX, which can also take advantage of the automatic adjustments iFIT can make to your speed and incline during workouts.

Best Folding Portable Treadmill: Echelon Stride-6

Echelon Stride-6 Treadmill

Echelon Stride-6 Treadmill

This tread folds flat to just 10 inches tall. Its max speed is 12 miles per hour, 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: $1,699

Dimensions: 57” H x 64.8” L x 32.4” W

Weight: 182.35lbs

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Incline Range: 0%-12%

Max Speed: 12.4mph


Echelon’s Auto-Fold hydraulic system allows the Stride-6 to fold completely in half. 

The built-in horizontal and vertical wheels make transport that much easier. 

Despite its compact design, it features a 12-percent incline range.

Its cushioned 60-inch long belt deck should accommodate most runners.


There is no screen or display, only a large tablet holder.

Non-Echelon Premier members only receive a one-year warranty.

Our pick for the best folding portable treadmill is the Echelon Stride-6, which can fold completely in half thanks to Echelon’s AutoFold hydraulic system. In the upright position, its 57-inch height is in line with average portable treadmills, but in the flat position, that height shrinks to just 10 inches. Along with sets of both horizontal and vertical wheels, this treadmill is a breeze to move and tuck away when not in use. 

Kate Meier, BarBend editorial member and certified personal trainer, walking on her Echelon Stride.

This increased portability was not lost on Kate Meier, a certified personal trainer and BarBend editorial member who owns the similar, older model, the Stride. Its ability to fold flat is unique even among the best folding treadmills, and, along with the transport wheels, earned the Stride a rating of 5 out of 5 for footprint and portability. “Having the capacity to fold flat will make owning a treadmill easier for a lot of people who are short on space,” she said. “It can be stowed away under a bed or just stashed in a corner against the wall.”

The machine’s flat-folding capability didn’t stop Echelon from including a 12-percent incline and full-sized 20-inch by 60-inch cushioned belt deck, which allows ample space for long strides when hitting its top speed of 12.4 miles per hour. 

The Echelon Stride folded flat.

Anyone wanting to stream workouts or entertainment apps like Netflix or Hulu will need to provide their own device, as the Stride-6’s console has no screen. (It does, however, have four small LED windows that track stats like speed and distance.) You can, however, use its Bluetooth connectivity to pair your tablet or phone, then set it in the device holder above the LED windows, to follow along with one of the Echelon Fit app’s treadmill workouts, though you will need to shell out $39.99 per month for a subscription. 

One of the additional benefits of an Echelon Fit membership is a 5-year warranty. Without it, the machine comes with an unimpressive one-year warranty. 

Best Portable Treadmill with Incline: 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: $649

Dimensions: 55″ H x 71″ L x 34″ W

Weight: 180lbs

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Incline Range: 0%-10%

Max Speed: 10mph


The T101 features a 10-percent incline, which can add intensity to running, jogging, and walking workouts.

Horizon’s FeatherLight hydraulic folding and wheels allow for quick and easy storage.

There are six preset programs built-in, including incline, distance, and speed training.


Its 55-inch belt deck is 5 inches shorter than we recommend for serious running.

The max speed of 10 miles per hour is 2 miles per hour less than the average for most treadmills.

Our pick for the best portable treadmill with incline, the Horizon Fitness T101, features a 10-percent incline range at roughly half the cost of most mid-range treadmills — $1,000 to $1,500. You can quickly add extra challenge to your training by ramping up the incline and speed with the dials in each handrail. 

A 10-percent incline range gives you the chance to tackle preset workouts like incline and hill training. While many of the best incline treadmills feature a 12-percent incline range, the T101 stands out for being roughly 40 to 100 pounds lighter than the average mid-range treadmill. As certified personal trainer Amanda Capritto emphasized, “Incline treadmills are often bulky and heavy, and may not fit in smaller home gym spaces.” Not so with the T101, which, at 180 pounds, clocks in well under the 200- to 300-pound average of many of its competitors. 

Our product tester adjusting the incline on the Horizon T101.

The incline and speed ranges prompted a 4-out-of-5 rating for its adjustability, while both its ergonomics and our tester’s workout experience garnered a 4 out of 5. Its footprint and portability earned a rating of 4 out 5 from our tester, a certified personal trainer. “The built-in wheels and hydraulic folding made it easy for me to move around, even by myself,” they said. 

With a footprint of just 16.76 square feet, it will take up about as much space as a two-seater sofa, but when you use the FeatherLight hydraulic folding mechanism to raise the deck, you’ll save almost 6 square feet of floor space. (1)

The 55-inch belt deck and top speed of 10 miles per hour made our tester question if it would be a good option for running, as we typically like to see a 60-inch belt deck to support longer running strides. “I think anyone wanting to do a lot of walking or jogging would love it, but for serious runners, I don’t think it would be a good fit,” they explained.

Read our full Horizon T101 Treadmill Review.

Best Lightweight Portable 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: 57lbs

Weight Capacity: 265lbs 

Incline Range: None

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


At just 57 pounds, it’s between 12 to 190 pounds lighter than other portable treadmills.

With its folding handrail, it can operate as both an under-desk treadmill and a traditional treadmill. 

It has a 265-pound weight capacity, which is impressive for a machine that weighs just 57 pounds.


The max speed of 7.6 miles per hour — or 3.8 miles per hour with the handrail down — is best suited for walking or jogging workouts.

Taller users may struggle to comfortably fit their strides on the 42.5-inch long belt deck.

At just 57 pounds, the Urevo 2-in-1 Under Desk Treadmill is our pick for the best lightweight portable treadmill because it can be used flat as an under-desk treadmill or as a traditional treadmill with the handrail raised. It’s a full 12 pounds lighter than its closest comparison, the Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill. In addition to its lightweight frame, it has built-in wheels to aid with transport.

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

Our tester, a CrossFit Level-1 trainer, highlighted its footprint of just 10.03 square feet — a full 5 square feet less than a typical loveseat — when rating the category 5 out of 5. (1) “As far as portable treadmills go, this is literally one of the smallest I’ve used,” they raved. “I’m pretty sure you could load it up into a car.” 

A unique part of its design is the folding handrail that allows for two modes of use. When the handrail is down flat, it acts as an under-desk treadmill and tops out at 3.8 miles per hour. When you raise the handrail, you can pick up the pace with a max speed of 7.6 miles per hour. 

[Related: The 6 Best Under-Desk Treadmills of 2024]

The low profile does not leave much space for conveniences like cup holders or fans, and our tester noted this when rating the category a 3 out of 5. “Being so easy to fold and move kind of negates the possibility for a cup holder or anything like that,” they explained.

Its 42.5-inch by 16.9-inch belt deck is roughly 7.5 to 17.5 inches shorter than the average treadmill, so our tester wouldn’t recommend it for running workouts. But for storage and mobility, our tester sees great value. “What you are getting — and for just $389 — is the ability to fold it flat and stow it away.”

Best Portable Treadmill Under $500: XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill

This folding treadmill is powered by a quiet 2.25 HP motor, allowing for speeds up to 10 miles per hour. It features a 50-inch belt, three incline levels, and 250-pound maximum weight capacity.

Shop Amazon


Price: $394

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

Weight: 97lbs

Weight Capacity: 250lbs

Incline Range: 3 levels

Max Speed: 10mph


This treadmill has a top speed of 10 miles per hour, incline capabilities, and a 50-inch belt deck — a steal for $394. 

At only 97 pounds, it’s more maneuverable than the 200- to 300-pound frames of the average treadmill.  

Preset workouts like speed and interval training come preloaded.


Without a hydraulic folding system, the user must lift and lower the entire weight of the deck.

Anyone looking to do serious running may want a belt deck about 5 to 10 inches longer. 

There is not much cushioning in the deck to reduce impact on joints.

The XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill is our pick for the best portable treadmill under $500 because it has a top speed of 10 miles per hour, incline capabilities, and a 50-inch belt deck — all for just $394. Also, it’s extremely portable thanks to its transport wheels and 97-pound weight, which is well under the 200- to 300-pound frames of the average treadmill. Our tester rated its footprint and portability a 4 out of 5. 

The TR150’s features (and price tag) puts it squarely among the best budget treadmills, and as with any budget option, there are a few tradeoffs to note with the XTERRA Fitness TR150. While the 50-inch deck is impressive for a treadmill at this price point, it’s not suited for high-intensity runs or taller users with longer strides. Rather, we recommend it for walking, jogging, and light runs. 

Our BarBend product tester walking on the XTERRA Fitness TR150.

Over the course of their workout experience, which earned a rating of 3.5 out of 5, our tester highlighted the simplicity of the treadmill, but had some reservations about its use. “I appreciate its simple design, but I felt like the belt was a little loose for my liking,” they reported. “I also felt almost zero cushioning, so coupled with the 50-inch length, I’d say it works for jogging and walking — not running.”

Our tester also made sure to highlight the unimpressive deck cushioning and lack of hydraulic-assisted folding when rating its adjustability and ergonomics just 2 out of 5. 

“A lot of treadmills have some kind of hydraulics to take on the weight of the deck when you fold it upright,” they explained. “But this has no support, so the lifting is on you. When it’s folded up, it’s also just held in with a pin, which could be dangerous if there are little kids running around.”

Best Budget Portable 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: 69.5lbs

Weight Capacity: 265lbs

Incline Range: none

Max Speed: 7.5mph


Its $299 price tag is roughly $100 less expensive than similar under-desk treadmills.

The folding handlebar allows it to function as both an under-desk treadmill and a traditional treadmill. 

It comes with a remote control to adjust the speed.

The 69.5-pound overall weight and built-in wheels promote easier transport. 


With just a 40-inch long belt deck and 7.5 miles per hour max speed, it is best suited for walking workouts.

The handlebar includes a device holder, but it is not large enough for tablets.

There is no incline feature.

Our pick for the best budget portable treadmill — the Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill — is a hybrid machine that can be used as a traditional treadmill or as a flat walking pad that can slip comfortably under standing desks. All you need to do to switch between its two modes is raise or lower the handlebar. Getting two treadmills in one for $299 — nearly $100 less than the similar Urevo 2-in-1 — is a great deal. 

Our tester walking while holding the handlebar on the Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill.

The Goplus 2-in-1 earned a 4-out-of-5 rating from our tester for its footprint of just 10.57 square feet, which is almost five square feet less than even the average loveseat. (1) “Its calling card is its compact design, which enables it to easily slide under a desk,” they noted. “It’s only 69.5 pounds, and also has wheels to help move it.”

[Related: 9 Best Treadmills on Amazon (2024)]

Our tester used the remote control to adjust their speed during use, but outside of that, there isn’t much technology on this budget-friendly option. “The remote is a nice touch. Really the only other tech, though, is the Bluetooth speaker and it was such low quality, I didn’t bother using it,” they said.

Its compact nature only allows for a 40-inch long belt deck, which makes it best for walking workouts, despite the top speed of 7.5 miles per hour. If you’re only interested in running on a treadmill, you may need to look elsewhere, but given its low price tag, our tester still rated the overall value 4.25 out of 5. “I’d recommend it for beginners or casual exercisers trying to add some more steps during work, or do simple cardio workouts like walking or maybe jogging.”

What to Consider Before Buying a Portable Treadmill

In addition to gobbling up square footage, home gym essentials like treadmills are big financial investments. Before committing to a portable treadmill, make sure you factor in how much you can afford to spend, where it will live in your training or living space, and how you plan to move it around. 

Footprint and Portability

Before making the leap and bringing a treadmill into your personal space, grab your measuring tape and map out where you’re going to use it. If you’re going to have to move your treadmill from room to room, then even plan out the path it will travel. We made sure to list options that had wheels because navigating the doorways or hallways around your home probably won’t be easy for machines of this size. 

A portable treadmill could mean an under-desk treadmill — roughly 9 square feet — or an otherwise typical treadmill that can be folded and moved — around 18 square feet. Larger treadmills tend to include more features, like higher incline ranges or integration with the best fitness apps, while treadmills closer to 9 square feet can deliver the essentials in a less cumbersome package.


Amanda Capritto, certified personal trainer, notes a few key questions to consider when looking into a treadmill’s folding options. “It’s about more than just whether or not the frame folds,” she says. “How does it fold? Is there an easy-fold (spring-loaded) system, or is the burden entirely on the user? How small does the machine become when folded?” 

Our BarBend product tester unfolding the Horizon T101.

If your space is conducive to a treadmill that folds upright, and just needs to be moved a few feet, a larger option may be your best bet. However, some spaces may require a portable treadmill that can fold flat and be quickly rolled away. Map out the route that your treadmill will need to travel and make sure the folding method suits your space.

Fitness Goals

Just like you would when buying a car or choosing a place to live, establish the why before making this big of a purchase. Have you committed to running a 10K race? Are you recovering from a recent injury? Knowing exactly what you’ll do with your treadmill can help guide your search. 

If your floor space is limited or you need to move your treadmill every time you use it, that may affect the kind of training you want to do. Make sure the size or mobility of your treadmill doesn’t prevent it from helping you reach your fitness goals.


Ramping up the incline on your portable treadmill can be a quick way to add some intensity to your training. “When shopping for an incline treadmill, you should look for a maximum incline of at least 8 percent,” says Capritto. “This number will provide you with sufficient opportunity for tough incline training.”

Our tester walking using the incline on the Horizon T101.

When you consider how wide of an incline range you’ll need, think about the types of outdoor runs or walks you enjoy. When you’re approaching a hill, do you slow down and trudge through? Or do you thrive on the challenge it presents? Think about if you’d like to be able to tackle some hill training or HIIT sessions on your treadmill.


A helpful way to focus your search from the jump is to set a non-negotiable budget before starting. There are portable treadmills available with small footprints and limited features for just a few hundred dollars. You’ll also find that some of the best compact treadmills may be smaller models of average-sized machines. These will boast more features, but also cost more. If you need a portable treadmill, first establish your budget, then find a mobile option you can afford.

Different Types of Portable Treadmills

Not all treadmills are designed to be moved very frequently. On the other hand, some under-desk treadmills, or those with hydraulic-assisted upright folding, are designed with portability in mind, while still supporting jogging and running workouts. Here are a few types of portable treadmills that may hit the spot for your situation.


Portable treadmills come in all shapes in sizes, but one commonality — at least among our picks — is the ability to fold upright or down flat. Larger treadmills with heavier belt decks typically include a hydraulic-assisted folding mechanism that removes some of the risk associated with lifting heavy objects — like pulled back muscles or crushed toes. 

The NordicTrack EXP 7i folded upright.

Many options in this category also include built-in wheels that can allow a person to roll the machine from room to room. Treadmills that can fold flat can also be tucked away in a closet, under a bed, or behind a sofa.


Just because a treadmill is designed to be moved, doesn’t automatically disqualify it from supporting the heavy or intense use of some running workouts. In any running treadmill, you want to see a large enough deck — we recommend 20 inches by 60 inches — to support your stride, as well as at least a 2.75 CHP (continuous horsepower) motor to support long-distance or high-speed training. There is a wide range of sizes and capabilities among portable machines, so first make sure it will fit your mobility needs, then look for preset workouts, an incline range, and top speeds of up to 10 or 12 miles per hour.


If you spend a lot of time working at a desk, you may have thought about using a standing desk paired with an under-desk treadmill to increase your daily cardio. (2) While these options are usually designed for walking or light jogging, they are certainly among the most portable options available. The average under-desk treadmill weighs under 100 pounds and is inherently low-profile as they need to fit under a standing desk. If you know that you don’t need to dial in intense running workouts, this may be the right fit for your space.

Benefits of the Best Portable Treadmills

If you are short on space and need a treadmill that’s easy to move, a portable option may be your ticket to reaping the rewards of treadmill workouts, regardless of your fitness level. Here are a few benefits to owning your own mobile cardio machine.

Saving Space

Given they were designed to be moved with ease, portable treadmills tend to weigh less and take up less space than traditional treadmills. Plus, they can often be folded upright or completely flat to make transport and storage a bit easier. 

Our BarBend tester walking on the Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill.

Compared to larger machines, portable treadmills allow for much more flexibility when it comes to the space they occupy. Perhaps you just need to reduce the footprint by raising the deck, or maybe you’re planning on using the built-in wheels to roll it away out of sight. However much space you have, take advantage of the space-saving design of these portable machines to slide it under a sofa, lean against a wall, or stow away completely.


Home treadmills — even portable ones — can typically accommodate the kind of training you need with adjustable speed and incline settings. The trick is to find the right amount of adjustability, while keeping in mind that you may want to fold up and roll your machine away after you’re finished. Increasing the incline during your training allows you to target muscle groups like the quadriceps and glutes, or simply add a little variety. 

High maximum speeds of 10 to 12 miles per hour allow you to engage with sprint training and HIIT treadmill workouts. And if you’re not looking to spike your heart rate, you can always opt for walking or jogging workouts, both of which provide cardiovascular health benefits of their own. (3


A huge benefit of all treadmills is the control you’ll have over your training environment. If you go back and forth about running on a treadmill vs. running outside, consider that treadmill training is not subject to less-than-ideal weather conditions or outdoor surfaces. While research has indicated there are benefits to exercising outdoors, there are a few factors outside of our control — rain, snow, falling spaceship debris. (4) The incline capability of your treadmill can mimic the rise in terrain, while treadmills integrated with fitness apps like Peloton or iFIT often provide virtual hikes, runs, and walks for days when outdoor conditions may prevent you from exercising.

Final Word

Okay, you made the decision that you want a home treadmill, but you’re tight on space and see yourself having to move it on the regular. Between their folding capabilities, built-in wheels, and lightweight frames, portable treadmills are designed with people like you in mind. Whether you need to train for that half-marathon you told your friends you would do with them, or just need to add a few more steps to your tally during the work day, these machines can help you get all the benefits of exercising on a treadmill while being able to easily relocate it. (5)

We worked to bring you different types of portable treadmills to accommodate the circumstances of as many athletes as possible. You may want a low-profile machine to slide under your desk, or a foldable treadmill to make space for home gym staples like weight benches. Whatever your reason for needing a portable treadmill, we’ve assembled a list of options you can roll, slide, push, and pull wherever you need them to be.


What is the best portable treadmill?

We chose the NordicTrack EXP 7i as the best portable treadmill because its comparatively lightweight frame comes with hydraulic-assisted folding and built-in transport wheels, not to mention the kind of tech you don’t often see on compact machines. That includes iFIT, a fitness app with more than 16,000 classes you can access on its touchscreen.

Are portable treadmills worth it?

Portable treadmills can range from a few hundred dollars up close to $2,000. Whether one is worth it is up to you, but if you aren’t sure, just ask yourself a few key questions. How will this treadmill help me meet my fitness goals? Can it be moved comfortably around my home gym? Does it fall in my budget?

How do I choose a portable treadmill?

Before you pick the best portable treadmill for you, establish the most important features you need. If you like running on a treadmill instead of walking, find a quiet 20-inch by 60-inch belt deck to handle long strides. If fitting a treadmill in a small space is your prima ry concern, get out your measuring tape and figure out exactly how much room you have available for your new fitness equipment.


Jaramillo, C. (2022, December 29). A guide to sofa dimensions & sizes. SeatUp, LLC. 

​​Ma, J., Ma, D., Li, Z., & Kim, H. (2021). Effects of a Workplace Sit-Stand Desk Intervention on Health and Productivity. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(21), 11604. 

Rippe, J. M., Ward, A., Porcari, J. P., & Freedson, P. S. (1988). Walking for health and fitness. JAMA, 259(18), 2720–2724.

Thompson Coon, J., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., Barton, J., & Depledge, M. H. (2011). Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review. Environmental science & technology, 45(5), 1761–1772. 

Chan, L., Chin, L. M. K., Kennedy, M., Woolstenhulme, J. G., Nathan, S. D., Weinstein, A. A., Connors, G., Weir, N. A., Drinkard, B., Lamberti, J., & Keyser, R. E. (2013). Benefits of intensive treadmill exercise training on cardiorespiratory function and quality of life in patients with pulmonary hypertension. Chest, 143(2), 333–343.

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