The Best Folding Treadmills, According to Experts

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Find your perfect pace (without wasting space).

Best folding treadmills collage 2024

Courtesy of the brands / Laneen Wells

With compact exercise equipment, you don’t need a ton of space to work out at home. Your office or bedroom can double as a gym with the best folding treadmills. These machines can easily be stored under your desk or against the wall when they’re not in use, and they unfold in a snap when you’re ready to hop on. Plus, they tend to be more budget-friendly than higher-end smart treadmills, like ones from Peloton or ProForm, but can be just as effective when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. To help you find the best foldable treadmill for you, we asked fitness experts for their recommendations and advice on what to keep in mind as you shop.

Our top picks:

  1. Best Overall: NordicTrack EXP 7i
  2. Best for Beginners: Horizon T101 Treadmill
  3. Best Budget: Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
  4. Best Flat-Folding: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7718 Pro Treadmill
  5. Best for Walking: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7945 Walkstation Slim Treadmill
  6. Best Smart Model: Echelon Stride-S

Read now:

What to consider when shopping for a folding treadmill

  • Speed settings: The treadmill’s speed range will dictate what kind of workouts you can do. “Some compact folding treadmills top out at just three miles per hour (mph),” Sean Penwell, MD, ACSM-certified personal trainer and CEO of Healthstar Co, tells SELF. For most people, that’s regular walking speed, so don’t expect to do anything brisker with those machines. “And if you’re already running an eight-minute mile, you’ll want a treadmill that can go at least 7.5 mph,” he says.
  • Size: Be sure to measure the area where you plan to use and store your treadmill, then cross-reference those specs with the dimensions of the tread itself, Sydney Bueckert, NASM-CPT, lead in-house fitness instructor at Sunny Health & Fitness in California, tells SELF. That way you can enjoy the treadmill and tuck it away without hassle.
  • Shape: You may need to put aside more room than you think, depending on how your machine compacts. “Very few modern treadmills fold completely up and will be more of a V-shape,” Garret Seacat, CSCS, head coach of Absolute Endurance in Manhattan, Kansas, tells SELF. That means you’ll need enough vertical and horizontal space to accommodate its shape. Models that fold flat, on the other hand, can fit under furniture or in narrow upright areas—these are especially easy to store in small living spaces.
  • Incline Settings: Some home treadmills have a manual incline—meaning you’ll have to physically get off the treadmill to change the degree—while others can be adjusted automatically. Many folding treadmills don’t offer a huge range of incline levels, so if you’re hoping for a more challenging home workout, this is definitely a factor you’ll want to consider.
  • Weight capacity: Folding treadmills often have lighter maximum user weight limitations compared to non-folding models, because they’re built for portability as opposed to sturdiness. Folding treads generally range between 200 and 300 pounds, whereas the weight capacity of traditional or higher-end treadmills can be up to 500 pounds, depending on the brand.
  • Additional features: Dr. Penwall points to app compatibility, live-streaming classes, and access to online communities where you can share your progress with other users as nice-to-have features to look for. Convenient design elements like a device holder and a place for your water bottle or remote control may make your workout more seamless too.

The best folding treadmills

Now that you have a better idea of what to expect from a folding treadmill—and what’s worth buying for your individual goals—take a look at the very best options, below. We selected these from our experts’ recommendations and past SELF Home Fitness Award winners.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • 1


    EXP 7i Treadmill

    Best Overall

    • Pros: Sleek touchscreen display, assisted folding mechanism
    • Cons: No option to connect personal devices

    If you’re hoping to log some fast miles on your treadmill and still save space, consider the NordicTrack EXP 7i. “The product is durable, and is simply one of the best treadmills available, folding or not,” DJ Mazzoni, MS, CSCS, personal trainer and medical reviewer at Illuminate Labs, tells SELF. With this compact treadmill, you can enjoy unlimited trainer-led workouts through iFit and stream them on the tread’s seven-inch HD touchscreen. You can’t link your own tablet or phone to the EXP 7i, so you’ll need to opt into iFit to stream workouts. Although it doesn’t fold completely flat, it can be stored upright when not in use (and the machine’s hydraulic EasyLift Assist folding mechanism makes that a lighter task).

    • Membership and app options: This treadmill comes with a free 30-day iFit membership (normally $180 per year). | Folding options: upright | Max speed: 10 mph | Max incline: 12% | Belt dimensions: 20×55 inches | Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Warranty: 10-year frame warranty; 2-year parts warranty
  • 2

    Horizon Fitness T101 GO Series Treadmill

    Best for Beginners

    • Pros: Bluetooth connectivity, assisted folding mechanism
    • Cons: Heavy (according to reviewers)

    “This no-frills treadmill is excellent for beginners, but even the most avid runners can find something to like about it,” Seacat says, adding that it has a hydraulic folding mechanism and enough updated features—like Bluetooth speakers and one-touch setting buttons (so you can select the exact speed and incline you want, without having to toggle through a range)—to keep it current. This Horizon Fitness tread provides cushioning on its running surface, which can help reduce impact on your joints. It also includes a tablet mount with charging ports, so you can stream your favorite Netflix show or fitness class on your own device. In sum, it’s a breeze to use and tailor to your level, even if you’re a total treadmill newbie.

    • Membership and app options: N/A | Folding options: upright | Max speed: 10 mph | Max incline: 10% | Belt dimensions: 20×55 inches | Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Warranty: Lifetime frame and motor warranty
  • 3

    Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

    Best Budget

    • Pros: Relatively lightweight, great value
    • Cons: Not suitable for fast runs

    The Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill is not only compact and more affordable than other models, but has a surprisingly versatile design, too. When the handrail is raised, the treadmill is in “jogging mode” and its maximum speed increases to 7.5 mph. When the handrail is down, the “walking mode” kicks in and the top speed decreases to 2.5 mph (making it a great option for an under-desk treadmill). It’s also built to be relatively unobtrusive in your home, as it weighs 70 pounds and has a very quiet motor. If you’re hoping to walk or run more without dropping a ton of money, this Goplus tread is a solid option.

    • Membership and app options: This treadmill has connection capabilities with Goplus’s Gymax app, which allows you to record performance metrics, switch speed units from miles to kilometers, and interact with fellow runners. | Folding options: flat | Max speed: 7.5 mph | Incline range: fixed | Belt dimensions: 16×39 inches | Weight capacity: 265 pounds | Warranty: 3 months
  • 4

    Sunny Health & Fitness Slim Under Desk Treadpad

    Best for Walking

    • Pros: Remote-controlled, lightweight
    • Cons: Lower weight capacity

    Given its lower maximum speed and lack of handlebars, the Walkstation Slim Treadmill is an especially good pick for anyone who likes to stroll while they work or is just getting into walking workouts. It tops out at a brisk walking speed, so it’s made to help you log some steps and get your heart rate up in a low-impact way. “And, because of its compact size, it’s easy to move around or roll right into storage,” Bueckert adds.

    • Membership and app options: N/A | Folding options: flat | Max speed: 3.75 mph | Max incline: fixed | Belt dimensions: 14×39 inches | Weight capacity: 220 pounds | Warranty: 3-year frame warranty; 180-day parts warranty
  • 5

    Echelon Fitness Stride Auto-Fold Smart Treadmill

    Best Smart Model

    • Pros: Very comfortable running deck, assisted folding mechanism
    • Cons: Pricey

    For those who want a tread with all the bells and whistles, a smart treadmill is the way to go—these machines come with features like streaming capabilities, interactive displays, and Bluetooth compatibility with headphones and other devices. The 2023 SELF Home Fitness Award–winning Echelon Stride-S is a great example of one that happens to fold, too. The Stride-S has live and on-demand classes available through the brand’s membership program, which also allows you to interact with fellow users and follow your progress on the community leaderboard. It has other techy features like heart rate sensors in the handrails, a 10-inch touchscreen, and a lever for automatic folding. However, its cushioned running deck is what won our tester’s heart: “It has such great shock absorption that I feel amazing once I’m done.”

    • Membership and app options: This treadmill is compatible with the Echelon Premier Membership, which costs $40 per month on a monthly plan. | Folding options: flat | Max speed: 12 mph | Incline range: 10% | Belt dimensions: 20×60 inches | Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • 6

    Sunny Health & Fitness Motorized Folding Treadmill

    Best Flat-Folding

    • Pros: Good for super small spaces, arrives assembled
    • Cons: Not as sturdy as other treadmills

    Because they tend to be lighter than treads that store upright, ones that fold flat are considered sturdy enough for walking, but not great for running. This Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill breaks the mold: You can store it under a bed or couch, but it has a speed range that should suit most runners. Bueckert adds that it offers some unique nice-to-have features, including USB ports and a headphone jack, a device holder, and nine built-in workout programs.

    • Membership and app options: This treadmill comes with access to the SunnyFit App, which tracks metrics like speed, distance, time, pulse, and steps. | Folding options: flat | Max speed: 9 mph | Max incline: fixed | Belt dimensions: 20×47 inches | Weight capacity: 250 pounds | Warranty: 3-year frame warranty; 180-day parts warranty
  • 7

    WalkingPad R2 Treadmill

    Best for Vertical Storage

    • Pros: Remote-controlled, good for tight spaces
    • Cons: Not suitable for fast runs, small wheels can make it difficult to maneuver (according to reviewers)

    The WalkingPad has achieved TikTok fame and glory in the last couple years for its space-saving design, ease of use, and the boost it adds to users’ WFH days (some fans hop on during Zoom meetings, while others use it as a welcome distraction). Its running surface provides plenty of shock absorption and has a unique step sensor that automatically adjusts its speed to match your steps. Plus, you can store either it vertically or flat, under furniture.

    • Membership and app options: You can adjust your speed and view your time, speed, and steps, using the KS Fit app. | Folding options: flat | Max speed: 7.45 mph | Max incline: fixed | Belt dimensions: 17×47 inches | Weight capacity: 240 pounds | Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • 8

    Sunny Health & Fitness

    SF-T4400 Treadmill

    Best for Jogging

    • Pros: Comfortable running deck, relatively affordable
    • Cons: Low weight capacity

    This 2023 Home Fitness Award–winner impressed our judges with its supportive running deck that kept them comfy during walking workouts. But if you want to pick up your pace, it’s more than capable of handling jogging, too. It not only has a wider speed range than a standard walking treadmill, but it has a longer belt, too, so you can feel secure as you increase your speed. We wouldn’t recommend this model for sprint training, but it has everything you need for some casual cardio.

    • Membership and app options: This treadmill is compatible with the SunnyFit app via Bluetooth. | Folding options: upright | Max speed: 9 mph | Max incline: 4.37% | Belt dimensions: 15.5×49 inches | Weight capacity: 220 pounds | Warranty: 3-year frame warranty; 180-day parts warranty
  • 9

    XTERRA Fitness Folding Treadmill

    Best for Taller Folks

    • Pros: Spacious running belt, Bluetooth connectivity
    • Cons: Heavy

    Another top pick of Seacat’s is the Xterra TRX3500. It has a large, durable running deck that can feel more comfortable for taller people with a longer stride. Best of all, the treadmill has Bluetooth speakers and it can connect to community-based fitness apps like Zwift, “to allow you to race against friends and other runners in a digital world,” says Seacat. However you like to work out, you can enjoy straightforward and motivating pre-set programs on the 6.5-inch LCD display.

    • Membership and app options: This treadmill is compatible with a range of third-party fitness apps, including Zwift, Tacx, and Kinomap. | Folding options: upright | Max speed: 12 mph | Max incline: 12% | Dimensions: 20×60 inches | Weight capacity: 350 pounds | Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty; 2-year parts warranty

Sara Coughlin is a writer and editor with ample experience covering health and wellness trends. As SELF’s senior commerce writer, she’s taken a special interest in skin care, outdoor recreation, sleep, fitness gear and apparel, and more.

SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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