Treadmills are a big investment, and if you're thinking about taking the plunge, it can be tempting to pick the first machine you see, but it's worth keeping in mind that not all treadmills are created equal. If you're making your choice based solely on price, you're likely to be disappointed and end up with a machine that has no other purpose than to hang your clothes to dry.

Here we've put together a list of tips, including those from a professional personal trainer, to help you avoid being lured in by low prices and choose a treadmill that's not just a bargain, but will also be value for money in the long run. . run. Class.

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Because it is important

A cheap treadmill might seem tempting, and there may well be some really good deals around Prime Day, but it's not always a good idea to buy the cheapest one possible.

Amazon allows you to return most products within 30 days for a refund, but a treadmill from a major manufacturer will also be backed by a warranty that gives you longer coverage in the event a manufacturing defect is discovered. manufacture later. The warranty won't cover accidental damage, so be sure to add your treadmill to your home insurance.

It will also be easier to find replacement parts for an established brand of treadmill, and they will have a customer service department that you can contact if you have any problems. This may not be the case for small businesses, which are also unable to maintain a supply of components in stock.

It will probably be easier to get replacement parts for a treadmill from an established manufacturer. (Image credit: Sutiwat Jutiamornloes/Shutterstock)

Security is another consideration. All products sold on Amazon must comply with their country's safety laws (and Amazon sometimes contacts sellers for proof), but larger treadmill brands are more likely to go beyond the Call of duty with tools like security keys to lock the machine when not in use, or a PIN code that must be entered before the engine starts.

Then there's the issue of specs...

What your treadmill needs

To learn what to look for in a home treadmill, TechRadar spoke with Olivia Neely, a personal trainer at Starks Fitness (opens in a new tab) (she currently shares home workout videos at starksfitnessgym (opens in a new tab) on Instagram).

"Ideally, you want one that offers a walking and running feature to maximize variations in usage and training," she says. She also recommends considering the following specs when making your choice.

Man running on treadmill

For running, your home treadmill must have a belt that is at least 48 inches long. (Image credit: Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock)

Belt size: For running, you need a belt size of 48 inches long and 16 inches wide. If you are tall, you may need even longer!”

“Speed ​​and Incline – To use the training methods (walking, jogging, running, etc.), you'll need a treadmill that can go up to 10 mph. You can also adjust the incline settings to improve outdoor training conditions.”

“Control Panels – Get a treadmill that is easy to use and has easily accessible control buttons. Safety and efficiency go hand in hand. »

She also recommends trying on before you buy, if possible, and heading to your local fitness store to try on as many as you can to check for comfort, noise levels, safety, and size. If you can, you can pre-select models to check out during Prime Day so you can pick one up if its price drops.

Man on treadmill at home

When shopping for a treadmill, be sure to consider how much space you have at home (Image credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock)

brands to see

There are a few treadmill brands to watch out for on Prime Day. They are all well-known, established companies with a strong track record of building good-quality fitness equipment that is built to last and meets professionally recommended specifications.

This list is certainly not exhaustive, but if you see a deep discount on a machine from one of these companies during Prime Day, it's worth taking a closer look.

nordic track
Whether you're looking for a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical or rowing machine, NordicTrack (opens in a new tab) is one of the most trusted brands. Most of their machines are also compatible with iFIT, which gives you interactive workouts to keep you from getting bored and help you improve your fitness.

Pro forma
ProForm(Opens in a new tab) is another big name in home workout equipment. It has been around for 30 years and is great at customer service. Not only does it have unique national phone numbers and email addresses, it comes with a 12-month warranty from the original date of purchase. You can also order replacement parts on their website, and your treadmill's instruction manual has all the information you need to find the components you need.

ProForm treadmill

ProForm is an established and trusted brand when it comes to home treadmills (Image credit: ProForm)

fit life
Life Fitness (opens in a new tab) produces a wide range of treadmills, from high-end models designed to handle the stress of commercial gym use, to affordable folding machines that don't skimp on specs. For example, the F3 folding treadmill has a top speed of 10 mph, walk/jog/run modes, an oversized waist belt, and built-in shock absorption.

Horizon Fitness (opens in a new tab) treadmills are a great value, and if you can find a Prime Day discount, definitely click through for a closer look. Even the entry-level T101 has a hydraulic folding mechanism, a 10 mph top speed, 55-inch treadmill, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB charging port for your phone or tablet. Customer service is also excellent, with a manual, parts, and live support all available.

Alternatives to Prime Day Deals

Prime Day is a great time to snag a bargain, but if you're looking for a cheap treadmill, it's not your only option.

Before placing your order, Olivia Neely recommends considering not only how often you plan to use it, but whether your expectations fit your budget, the space you have available, and whether you really need to buy a whole new treadmill, or if you can opt to a used machine in its place.

However, used machines come with their own set of considerations. First of all, the seller may not have kept the original user manual, which would contain important details on how to use the machine safely and how to maintain it.

However, it is not necessarily a deal breaker. If there isn't a manual, see if you can download one from the manufacturer's website or request a PDF from their customer service.

More importantly, the seller may also not be able to tell you when the treadmill was last serviced (or even if it was serviced), and if it's an older model, parts may not be available.

Woman stretching next to a treadmill

Renting a treadmill can be a good option if you don't want to make a large investment. (Image credit: Giggsy25/Shutterstock)

Buying a used treadmill is likely to be much cheaper than buying a new one, even on Prime Day, and it helps prevent an unwanted machine from being thrown away. You may also get a chance to try it out at the seller's house to see how it feels.

Alternatively, it is also possible to rent treadmills from home if you don't want to spend a lot of money at once. Research fitness equipment rental companies in your area to see what is available for short- or long-term loans.

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