The ProForm 300i is our top choice for home treadmills under $500 for several reasons. It offers more than any other treadmill in this price range.
- Top speed of 10 mph (the best of all of our top choices, except for the Weslo, which also goes up to 10 mph)
- 16 training programs (8 weight loss and 8 performance) and is also iFit enabled
- ProShox cushioning (better for your joints)
- Can move through a 32" doorway without disassembling
- 300 lb weight capacity
- Up to 10% incline
- It's mainly designed for walking because the motor isn't designed for higher speeds for long periods of time, and the belt might feel a little smaller if you're taking large strides
Mainly for Walking
One thing to keep in mind for all treadmills under $500 is that the motor isn't designed to be used for long periods of time at high speeds. It has a 2.0 CHP motor, which is good for this price range, but is 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.
Many treadmills under $500 are not going to last long and aren't quality machines with lots of features. The ProForm 300i is a great treadmill for home. It comes with the basics:
- Tethered safety key
- Wheels for easy movement
- Folds easily in half for space saving
- LCD display
The ProForm 300i goes up to 10 mph, and increases at .1 mph increments. Most people jog at 5-6 mph, so this gives you the option of going adding variability to your workouts.
The 300i includes 8 fat-burning workout programs, and 8 performance workouts.
It's also iFit enabled, which can be used on your tablet or smart phone and vary the speed and incline, and have some really cool options to make working out more interesting:
- You can follow video workouts
- Connect with google maps street view to change the scenery to many different places in the world as you exercise, and the terrain will change as you walk or run
- Track all of your stats
We're a big fan of iFit, and at the current price of $10/month, or $39/month for a family, we think it's a great investment.
If you suffer from joint pain with running or walking, this could be the most important feature for you. The shock absorbers in the deck will reduce the impact on your knees, hips, and other joints significantly.
Folding and Moving
The 300i is designed that it can move through a 32" doorway without being disassembled, which is convenient if you have to move it often.
Tablet and Phone Space
There's a tablet holder on the top of the display, and there's space to hold your phone on the display.
2.0 CHP (continuous horsepower) motor, which is designed for walking and only occasional jogging or running. Motors rated by CHP are higher quality than those rated HP, as CHP rate the motor's ability to perform continuously at that rate, as opposed to at it's peak. A motor rated HP may burn out if you run it at high speeds continuously.
If you're looking for a machine that can handle higher speeds for longer periods of time, you'll need to look in a higher price range.
This is one area where the 300i ranks lower than most of our top choices as it's slightly more work. But since assembly is generally a one-time event, we don't feel it's a dealbreaker.
It's shipped in a package that's 152 lbs, and once assembled, it's 126 lbs.
- Shipping Dimensions: 67.72 L x 30.12 W x 11.42 H
- Assembled Dimensions: 65 L x 29 W x 55 H
- Folded Dimensions: 35 L x 29 W x 55 H
The 300i can accommodate users up to 300 lbs.
We found the 300i to be very quiet. At 2 mph (walking speed), it measures 50 db, which is similar to a quiet office, and at 10 mph, similar to busy traffic at 76 db.
If you're concerned about about bothering people in other rooms or an apartment below you, you may want to look into shock-absorbing pads that go underneath the treadmill, such as the Wondermat.
To add more resistance in your workouts, you can change the incline up to 10% with the press of a button.
The belt is 50" long, which is a good length for treadmills under $500, but those with a longer stride, you may want to test out how long your stride is on someone else's treadmill or at a gym to see how much room you need.
It's 16" wide, which is on the narrow side, but the benefit is that you can move it through a 32" doorway without taking it apart.
The display tracks calories burned, distance in miles or kilometers, and heart rate.
There's an audio jack to connect your phone, and the speakers are adequate but not great. If you don't want to use headphones, and these speakers aren't adequate, we recommend a small mobile speaker.
Heart Rate Monitor
You can monitor your heart rate by holding the handles on the sides, or by attaching the chest strap which connects via bluetooth.
5 years on the frame and motor, which is good, and 90 days parts and labor, which is one of the few drawbacks of this machine for this price. There is an extended warranty option as well.