Ryan the authorRyan Fiorenzi, B.A.
Updated: July 18, 2021

Treadmills are a great way to get a workout when you can’t walk or run outside, or when going to the gym isn’t a good option. Plus a good treadmill will reduce the strain on your joints.

There’s a wide range of prices for treadmills. Buying a treadmill for under $500 usually means you’ll only be able to walk on it for short periods, it won’t have many options (such as workout programs to follow), and there’s a 90 day warranty (with a likelihood of it breaking down afterwards). We did a lot of research and testing and found a few gems that will keep you within your budget.

All of our choices under $500 are folding treadmills. Each has a tethered safety key, wheels on the bottom when it’s folded to be able to move it, and most of them require very little assembly.

Guidelines for Buying a Treadmill Under $500

Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a treadmill:

1. For treadmills under $500 the motors aren't designed to be used for long periods of time at high speeds. These treadmills have at max a 2.25 HP motor, which is good for this price range, but are designed for walking. Jogging requires a 2.5 CHP, and running 3.0. If you want treadmill that can handle running for long periods of time, you'll need to start looking in a higher price range. If you buy one of these treadmills and you plan on doing long periods of jogging and running, you're taking a chance with burning out the motor.
2. CHP motors (continuous horsepower) are higher quality motors for treadmills, as compared to HP (horsepower).
3. Running requires a longer track (50″), especially if you have longer legs.
4. It’s hard to find a warranty longer than 90 days in this price range, though we found a few.
5. Measure the space you have for your treadmill, and if you’ll be moving it, where you’ll store it. And if you’ll be moving it into another room, check the dimensions to see if it will fit through the doorway without having to disassemble it.

Performance 300i

best treadmill under $500
Best Overall Value
  • Up to 10 MPH (tied for the highest of our top choices with the Weslo), moves up at .1 MPH increments
  • 16 programs available (8 weight loss and 8 performance)
  • 300 lb. weight capacity
  • Powered incline up to 10%
  • Can move through a 32" doorway without disassembling
  • ProShox Cushioning system
  • Bluetooth compatible, works with iFit, as well as an audio jack

Exerpeutic TF1000

best treadmill for walking under $500

Best Treadmill for Walking, Highest Weight Capacity, & for Seniors
  • Supports users up to 400 lbs (the largest capacity of our top choices)
  • 2 manual incline positions
  • Extra long safety handles/hand rails are good for seniors or those that may need more support (such as people using the treadmill as part of physical therapy)
  • Easy assembly
  • LCD monitor displays distance, time, calories burned, and heart rate
  • Only goes up to 4 mph, jogging and running not possible on this machine

Goplus Folding Treadmill

highly rated treadmill under $500

Semi-luxury option
  • .5-7.5 MPH speed levels
  • Only requires 4 bolts for assembly
  • 3 levels of manual incline
  • Soft drop folding system
  • You can download the G-Fit app on your phone and control the treadmill through your phone
  • G-Fit can also generate a training plan, as well as set reminders to exercise and track your running history when you input your height, weight, and heart rate record
  • 5" Blue-Ray LCD display
  • Ipad / mobile phone holder
  • Cushined support

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515

Good treadmill under $500 with steep incline

Steepest Incline (0% to 12%)
  • 1-8 mph
  • 12 preset programs
  • 0-12% automatic incline
  • Body mass index calculator
  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity, you can take phone calls and sync with your smartphone for music; MP3 and microphone jack included as well
  • Soft drop system
  • Shorter track (39") which isn't good for taller users or runners with longer strides
  • 1 hp motor is designed for walking and not longer periods of jogging or running