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Best folding treadmill 2022: Train indoors with the best folding machines

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Take your running indoors with one of these space-saving treadmills

Whether you’re a new runner or an experienced marathoner, there are many reasons you may want to do your training indoors. You might be avoiding the colder weather, or lack enjoyable running routes near your home. Maybe you prefer controlled running without the injury risks of slippery pavements and muddy greens. Perhaps its simply a bit more convenient.

Thankfully, whatever your reason for opting for some indoor runs, there are plenty of excellent running machines available to get you going. And while you might fancy a huge gym-standard unit, folding treadmills are a much better bet for home users, offering all the features you need while hogging a little less space in your home.

Below you’ll find the best folding treadmills that suit all abilities and budgets, but first here’s some advice on what to look out for in a machine.

How to choose the best folding treadmill for you

How much do I need to spend?

This will depend greatly on your height – taller users require longer running belts, which tend to come on pricier machines – and your running ability. If you’re going to use the machine for walks and slow jogs, you can get by with a cheaper machine that will cost £200 to £500, while intermediate and advanced runners will need the extra room and higher speeds available on machines that cost at least £500-£1000. If you want a commercial standard machine that wouldn’t look out of place in a gym, then be prepared to spend upwards of £1000.

How much room do I need?

When it comes to space, treadmills are the most greedy home cardio machine, and you’ll need something similar to the area a single bed would take up. Also think about clearance at the back to get on and off the machine, and whether you need room to put a TV in front of it for mid-run entertainment. Folding machines do at least take up less room than non-folding ones when not in use, usually folding up to be taller in height but shorter in length, so you can wheel them into a corner or a large cupboard. Generally, they’re still not that small though – make sure to check both the folded and unfolded dimensions of your machine to see if you have enough space.

What speed and incline do I need?

Ensure your machine is fast enough to satisfy you. You shouldn’t just think about your steady running pace either, as you might benefit from a high top speed to do short intervals on. Gym standard machines usually have a speed range that tops out at around 20-22km/h, while cheaper home machines might max out at 16km/h.

Another way to increase the difficulty without using speed is incline, because ramping up the slope of your treadmill belt quickly makes running very hard indeed. Top machines will offer up to 15% incline, and some specialist treadmills go much higher than that and offer a downhill range too. Cheaper machines will still offer some kind of incline setting, and if you’re getting one just for walking then this will be an important feature to look for.

What other features are important?

The motor is key to the performance of any treadmill, and you want to see a horsepower (HP) of around 2.5 (continuous, rather than peak) if you’re using the machine for running, though walkers can get away with a lower HP. Also look out for preset workouts on the treadmill, which can help vary your training to keep it fresh, and a large console screen to see your stats.

What should I look for in terms of build quality?

It’s tough to judge this from a distance but generally you get what you pay for here. The warranty is important – you want at least a two-year warranty on a treadmill – and it’s worth looking into how hard it is to replace parts as well. The belt of the treadmill might require maintenance too, which won’t be hard but is important to do semi-frequently.

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The best folding treadmills to buy

1. JLL T350 Digital Folding Treadmill: The best folding treadmill for most people

Price: £550 | Buy now from Amazon

The feature set of this folding treadmill is remarkable given its price, with an impressive top speed of 18km/h and 20 levels of incline to ramp up the difficulty of your workouts. The 2.5HP motor is beefy enough to ensure the JLL T350 will run smoothly even when you do hit those max speeds, and there are 20 preset workouts you can use to shake up your training.

You can fold and unfold the machine using the hydraulic arm and it is one of the smaller options on this list when folded. However, that is partly as a result of the fact the running belt is quite short at 143cm, so taller users in particular will find it hard to go beyond jogging pace.

Key specs – Size: 158 x 70 x 128cm (LWH); Folded size: 82 x 70 x 146cm (LWH); Speed range: 0.3-18km/h; Incline range: 20 levels; Motor: 2.5HP continuous, 4.5HP peak

2. Mobvoi Home Treadmill: The best folding treadmill for walking

Price: £400 | Buy now from Amazon

The handles and console on this treadmill fold flat to make it one of the easiest machines on the market to store, since it can be slipped under a bed or table. It’s also light enough to lift on its end and store upright in a cupboard.

With a top speed of 12km/h and a 2.25HP motor, the Mobvoi Home Treadmill certainly can be used for running, but the small 100cm x 40cm belt means that it’s best used for walking and light jogging unless you have a very short stride. It even has a handy dedicated walking mode where you can use the machine in its folded state. This way, it can easily be positioned under a standing desk so you can walk while you work. In this position the top speed is 4km/h, so if you need to go faster you’ll need to open up the handles and console so you can use the safety key.

There is a phone holder built into the console and you can change your speed using either the touch panels or the supplied remote control. Plus, there’s a Bluetooth speaker built into the base of the machine, too.

Key specs – Size: 123.5 x 68.5 x 106.5cm (LWH); Folded size: 132.5 x 68.5 x 11cm (LWH); Speed range: 1-12km/h; Incline range: None; Motor: 2.25HP

3. JTX Sprint-7: The best folding treadmill under £1,000

Price: £979 | Buy now from JTX Fitness


Even speedy and experienced runners will be satisfied by this machine, which offers close to a gym-standard experience for under £1,000. The top speed is 20km/h and the incline range goes up to 15%. Plus, it comes loaded with 24 preset workouts that you can select quickly, with the console showing the kind of inclines and speeds you can expect with graphics for each workout.

We found the machine easy to assemble and that the running belt accommodated a 6ft (182cm) runner even at high speeds. And even when folded this is still a pretty beefy machine, so keen runners after top value indoor training should look no further.

Key specs – Size: 196 x 93 x 153cm (LWH); Folded size: 120 x 88 x 159cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-20km/h; Incline range: 0-15%; Motor: 3HP continuous, 6HP peak

Buy now from JTX Fitness


4. Life Fitness F3: The best gym standard folding treadmill

Price: £2,845 | Buy now from Best Gym Equipment

The benefit of getting a commercial standard machine like the F3 is that you can be absolutely sure it will stand up to the running you do on it at home, since it’s a fraction of the punishment it would get in a gym. There aren’t a huge range of top class machines that fold, but Life Fitness’s F range is a good place to look, and the F3 offers a sturdy and reliable option for home gyms.

However, it’s not ideal for faster runners, because the speed range tops out at 16km/h, so if your interval or normal running pace goes beyond that mark you’ll need to look at the F1 treadmill which can hit 19km/h. For most people 16km/h will be plenty, though, and the incline can be ramped up to 12% if you do need more of a challenge.

Key specs – Size: 198 x 87 x 149cm (LWH); Folded size: 86 x 87 x 192cm (LWH); Speed range: 0.8-16km/h; Incline range: 0-12%; Motor: 3HP continuous

Buy now from Best Gym Equipment


5. JTX Sprint-9: The best folding treadmill for taller runners

Price: £1,499 | Buy now from JTX Fitness

The Sprint-9 is the top dog in JTX’s excellent Sprint range, offering essentially a gym-standard experience for less than you’d pay from brands like Technogym and Life Fitness. The Sprint-9 can hit speeds of 20km/h and has an incline range that goes up to 15%, and the large and long 52 x 153cm running belt can accommodate all runners.

Naturally that larger belt means it’s a hefty unit even when folded, but it’s still less imposing than a treadmill you can’t fold up at all, which is what you’d normally have to opt for if you want to get the impressive feature set offered by the Sprint-9.

Key specs – Size: 205 x 92 x 147cm (LWH); Folded size: 116 x 92 x 180cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-20km/h; Incline range: 0-15%; Motor: 3HP continuous

Buy now from JTX Fitness


6. Echelon Stride: The best folding treadmill for guided exercise classes

Price: £1,699 plus £30 monthly subscription | Buy now from Argos

One of the best ways to ensure you’ll keep using a home treadmill is to get a connected machine that links to a partner app containing guided classes. Having an instructor on hand to guide you through sessions helps to maintain motivation and ensures you’re spending your time on the treadmill efficiently.

The Echelon Stride links to the Echelon app, which is full of guided classes to suit all abilities, and those classes extend beyond treadmill sessions to things like yoga and Pilates as well. The app subscription is expensive at £29.99 a month on top of what you're paying for the machine, but it can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying your time on the treadmill. You can access the app via your smartphone or tablet using the mount on the Stride’s console

With a top speed of 19.3km/h and a maximum incline of 10%, runners of all standards can get a challenging workout from the Stride, and it folds up far smaller than most machines by virtue of the fact you lower the entire console down to the belt. This means it’s very slim when folded so you can secure it against a wall or inside a cupboard.

Key specs – Size: 176 x 79 x 125cm (LWH); Folded size: 176 x 79 x 25cm (LWH); Speed range: 0-19.3km/h; Incline range: 0-10%; Motor: 1.75HP continuous

Buy now from Echelon


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