Read This Before You Buy a Treadmill Under $200

With all of the media attention around how unhealthy our society has become thanks to sitting, it’s no wonder record numbers of people want to incorporate more walking and cardiovascular fitness into their routines.

But, not all people live in places that make it easy and conducive to get out for a walk. For example, I live in a neighborhood with no sidewalks and neighbors who don’t seem to care if people are walking in the road or not. And don’t even get me started on what happens in the winter when I have no motivation to trudge through the snow on slick roads!

The truth is, there are many reasons that make walking or running outside difficult, and a treadmill is the perfect remedy to those problems.

If you are worried that a good quality, long lasting treadmill is going to be way too expensive for your budget - fret not! Thanks to technological advancements and market demands, treadmills no longer have to be expensive; in fact, there are great options under or around $200!

Now, I want to be completely transparent in sharing that deciding to buy a treadmill under $200 is a decision that you really need to weigh your specific needs plus understand the pros and cons of this investment.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Treadmill Under $200

Let’s start with who a treadmill under $200 would be ideal for - or in this case, who would not be happy with an economy treadmill!

For example, if you’re a runner of any sort, especially a competitive runner, you will not want to spend under $200 on the treadmill. BUT, if you are looking for an easy, convenient way to get more steps in during the day, at a leisurely pace, then you’ll be more than happy with buying a treadmill that runs on the cheaper side.

These kind of treadmills are also fantastic for people who want to give the walking desk trend a try - you’ve seen it right? Walking desks take standing desks to a whole new level by allowing users to walk while they work at their computer station (note: coordination not included with treadmill purchase). The reason an economy treadmill is a great option for you is largely due to the fact that they are smaller and easy to disassemble to fit your needs.

There are actually a whole host of pros to buying an under $200 treadmill, other than their convenience, ease of use, and smaller set-up. A benefit that goes hand in hand with these treadmills being smaller is the fact that they are much easier to store and move, requiring less space and less muscle power for when you need to make it temporarily disappear.

And, one of my favorite benefits to talk about is the sustainability factor. Because these treadmills are typically smaller, their motors are too, which means they require less electricity. OR, if you opt for a manually operated treadmill, you invest in an even more environmentally friendly option because it does not require any electricity at all! That is the trifecta of wins; it improves your health, is totally affordable, and carries a small footprint.

Now, to be totally fair, it’s worth mentioning the cons of purchasing an economy treadmill, but do bear in mind - cons aren't necessarily deal breakers if you're looking for a treadmill for the pros listed above, which are specific conditions for individual needs.

We have already established that you can't run on them, but what else is a potential con? Well, you have less range of options for your workouts for sure. You can't do traditional interval training (walking/running) or adjust the incline to simulate climbing hills, but there is a workaround on the intervals: you can speed walk for a set amount of time and then recover doing a lower speed setting, then repeat.

You will have to be creative if you want to use your treadmill like this, especially since another con is that there are no preset programs. At least you know the Internet is full of workout plans and suggestions to help you though, right?!

Economy treadmills also can be shaky which makes them feel less sturdy, and they have pretty low weight capacities - typically around 250 pounds. In addition to your current weight, consider another personal size variable that can’t be adjusted like your weight: your height. Some under $200 options can be too short for taller people to develop a comfortable stride routine.

And finally, manual treadmills, though wonderful in terms of environmental sustainability, are not totally fool-proof; they can get stuck pretty easily, which can be super frustrating.

Here's a quick roundup of the pros and cons of treadmills under $200...​

PROS

  • Very affordable for most budgets
  • Allows you the convenience of walking and light jogging at home
  • Extremely easy set up
  • Small, foldable, portable and easy to store away
  • Easy to fit under a standing desk to make a treadmill desk
  • Requires zero to little electricity to use

CONS

  • Can't run on most treadmills under $200 - max speed is around 6.2 MPH
  • No incline adjustability
  • Lack of preset or custom programs
  • Can feel shaky when walking fast or jogging
  • Smaller weight capacity, usually under 250lbs
  • May be too short for people over 6 feet

What is the Best Treadmill Under $200? Our Top 3 Picks

If you’ve made it this far and still know the benefits of an economy treadmill will outweigh the potential cons, then it will be helpful for you to see reviews of the best under $200 treadmills available. We rounded up the top three to give you guidance and tips on how to buy! Enjoy.

Confidence Power Plus Electric Treadmill

treadmill under 200
treadmill under 200
treadmill under 200
treadmill under 200

Did you say you’re looking for a walking desk? If so, this is the treadmill for you. At $199, this is a great economy investment for those looking to add a treadmill to their standing desk, or if you’re just looking to get an in-home walking workout, you could opt for the Confidence treadmill, too.

It is motorized, so you don’t have to worry about manual hang-ups, and you can adjust the speed as you get used to it or want a faster/slower pace; the included LED display provides you with time, distance, and calories burned.

The biggest downside of this treadmill is that it automatically stops after 30 minutes so if you're planning on walking continuously, be prepared for this. But as annoying as it can be, it's not bad considering the price.

This treadmill is super easy to put together AND to optimize for your needs, as the handlebars can be removed with just a screwdriver (to put under your desk), or you can even “hack” adding a side handlebar if you’re looking for more stability!

The weight limit is 250 pounds, and that is to be heeded seriously, as heavy users will break the belt. One major perk is the noise level on this treadmill, especially for those who want to use it while they work - it’s a very quiet treadmill and will not be audibly distracting or annoying while you’re using it.

Oh, and it’s also a major space saver. You can easily fold the treadmill into a vertical position (held in place by a sturdy knob mechanism) or move it into a closet or somewhere out of the way when not in use. Read all reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Maximum speed: 10 KPH (6.2 MPH)
  • Weight capacity: Up to 250lbs
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: No
  • Can you run? Light jogging is okay but not good for full on running
  • Total weight: 53lbs

Fitness Club Motorized Folding Treadmill

treadmill under 200
treadmill under 200
treadmill under 200
treadmill under 200

Better suited for fitness needs (as opposed to the walking desk hack), this FitnessClub treadmill is only $176. It has many similarities to the Confidence model, such as its compact foldability and LED display for time, distance, and speed, but it also has some standout features.

The manufacturers took building the belt very seriously and designed it to be ergonomically friendly so it provides excellent cushioning to support the joints in the ankles, knees, hips, and back.

It also has a better handlebar design, as the handles extend not only in front of you but also around you in a semi-circle, which will make the user feel safer and more secure. (Note: the handlebar setup also includes two cup holders, so hydrate away!)

One small critique - the belt on this treadmill is a bit on the narrow and short side, so you may have some initial adjustment issues if you’re on the taller side (over 6’). But overall, it’s well worth the low investment, as you’ll enjoy a quiet, convenient, comfortable cardiovascular workout right in your own home. Read all reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Maximum speed: 10 KPH (6.2 MPH)
  • Weight capacity: Up to 250lbs
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: No
  • Can you run? Light jogging is okay but not good for full on running
  • Total weight: 53lbs

NOTE: Both the Confidence and the Fitnessclub motorized treadmills reviewed above display speed in Kilometers Per Hour (KPH). If you do not use the metric system, then this can throw you off as you adjust the speed, and you’ll need to put it on a higher speed than what you’re accustomed to when using a Miles Per Hour (MPH) measure.

Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill

treadmill under 200
treadmill under 200

This manual treadmill takes the perks mentioned above (sustainability and small environmental footprint) and rolls them into other perks like eight different adjustment levels (!) to make for a really great manual treadmill. The best part? It’s only $149.

The resistance levels are available through its magnetic system, and it’s set on a fixed incline to mimic a slight uphill walk (aka, a calorie torcher). You can easily use it as a walking desk, as part of your fitness routine, or both; it’s portability and small size make it easy to move or store as needed. Just remember, no running!

The weight limit is 220 pounds, and you do get a 12-month warranty in case anything tears up during its first year of use. One thing you’ll want to do some homework on is how to lubricate the belt; since it’s manual, it needs a little extra maintenance (mostly through lubrication), and the instruction guide isn’t super helpful in this department. Read all reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Weight capacity: Up to 220lbs
  • Folding: Yes
  • Incline: No
  • Can you run? Not recommended, it's best as a walking treadmill
  • Total weight: 46.9lbs

Treadmills under $200 is definitely a thing, and they can be a really beautiful thing if you fit into the specifications of who they work great for as well as what they work great for. You can’t beat the price and you definitely will feel so much better when you start to move more; let us know which one you go with and how it works for you in the comments!

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