If you've tried to maintain your workout routine amid a busy lifestyle (and a global pandemic), your home gym has probably grown from a single pair of sneakers to a full arsenal of home-training equipment: dumbbells, resistance bands, a yoga mat, a foam roller, and more. The only thing missing? A piece of cardio equipment, such as a treadmill.
But, investing in an exercise machine is a big decision. If you're a city dweller, you likely have precious floor space to consider (psst, a folding treadmill could be your solution). For homeowners, you may not want a treadmill to disrupt your design aesthetic — or you might just not want to dedicate an entire room of your home to an at-home fitness studio. What's more, oversized equipment typically comes with an equally large price tag, so buying a treadmill can feel out of reach for many. (That said, check out these under-$500 treadmills for anyone on a budget.)
This is where compact treadmills come into play. With dimensions under six feet long and three feet wide, there are tons of tiny tread options that can provide the same quality workout as their full-sized siblings while taking up a lot less space in your home.
The best compact treadmills you can buy online:
With some gyms still closed due to COVID-19 and lasting concern around safety in public indoor and outdoor spaces (especially considering the Omicron and Delta variants), along with busy work schedules, a good cardio workout can seem unattainable or even be sacrificed. Not to mention, with cold weather settling in, you may feel even less motivated to get an outside sweat session in. (The good news: There are actual benefits to running on a treadmill versus outdoors.)
If you have a treadmill readily available in your home, even a 10-minute run or 30-minute walk feels much more manageable, in terms of staying active, keeping up with fitness goals, and improving mental health. ICYDK, burning calories, strengthening bones and muscles, promoting calmness, and preventing heart disease and high blood pressure are among the many benefits of walking.
On the other hand, "running can improve health and vitality across nearly all body systems from respiratory and circulatory to skeletal/joint and muscular," explains celebrity trainer and mental strength coach, Corey Calliet. "It's a great source of cardio for those looking to rev up the pace and work rate to burn a solid amount of calories in a session." And like walking, it can help elevate mood and relieve stress, creating a great state for active meditation. "The pace and feeling of forward motion (even if on a treadmill) requires you to be present in mind and body, and focus on your breath," he adds, noting that walking can deliver the same mental and physical benefits.
The good news? You don't need to sacrifice space in your home to reap the benefits of a treadmill. Keep scrolling for the 10 best compact treadmills, according to customers. (Side note: Here's everything you need to know about Peloton treadmills, if you're a brand loyalist.)
Dimensions: 63.4 x 28.75 x 51.4 inches Maximum Speed: 10 mph Weight: 108 pounds Five-Star Ratings: 8,000+
What You'll Love: With a speed range up to 10 mph, three incline settings, and time, distance, and calorie tracking, this compact treadmill performs just as well as your standard gym treadmill while taking up a fraction of the space. Loyal customers say it functions "perfectly" after years of use, and first time users say it's easy to assemble. Best of all, it conveniently folds down for easy storage.
Keep In Mind: At a discounted price of $412, this treadmill is one of the priciest on the list, but users say it's "well worth the money."
Rave Review: "I am not a 'handy' person at all, but the assembly was a breeze...and no swearing on my part. I was running on the treadmill in less than 30 minutes after receiving it. Both my wife and I use the treadmill daily and love it!! It is built solid, and the programs provide us with a different workout each time, helping to eliminate boredom. Perfect size because it is so compact."
Dimensions: 40 x 16 inches Maximum Speed: 8 mph Weight: 70 pounds Five Star Ratings: 2,500+
What You'll Love: Simply looking to get more steps in without leaving the house? This little treadmill was made just for walking. Sporting a collapsible handlebar for extra-support, users can enjoy a stroll atop five layers of knee-protective padding. An LED display tracks speed, distance, and time, and even connects to your phone to play your favorite tunes. Best of all (for the not so crafty among us), this treadmill requires very little assembly. While you can walk up to 3 mph, runners will love that the treadmill can accommodate up to 8 mph when the handrail is raised.
Keep In Mind: Although it comes with built-in transport wheels, some customers say this treadmill is a hassle to fold and store because the collapsible handlebar must be unscrewed first.
Rave Review: "This treadmill is awesome! I have a standing desk and while standing is great, I just am not finding the time or motivation to go out and exercise lately. I teach online classes from my desk and I walk at 1.7 mph while teaching. The feedback was that they can't hear the treadmill, but they can hear my heavy breathing. Hopefully that will improve over time as I get more in shape."
Dimensions: 59.45 x 28.74 x 5.51 inches Maximum Speed: 7.5 mph Weight: 75 pounds Five Star Ratings: 1,300+
What You'll Love: Most treadmills on this list have folding capabilities. However, this tread takes the number one spot for its ability to lie flat under beds and desks, according to users. Better still, with speeds up to 7.5 mph, users can run comfortably on a padded, slip-proof tread belt, and try out 12 pre-set programs that mimic natural terrain.
Keep In mind: Shoppers say this tread comes in heavy packaging that may be hard to move solo.
Rave Review: "This treadmill has made it possible for me to stay in motion while I'm working, which has relieved my discomfort and improved my concentration. The treadmill is small and compact enough to fit in my bedroom, and when it's not in use, it can be folded and slid under the bed for storage. It could easily fit under a standing desk, though I find the display panel is large enough that I can just set my laptop on it. Definitely worth it!"
Dimensions: 52 x 27 x 12 inches Maximum Speed: 6 mph Weight: 61 pounds Five Star Ratings: 600+
What You'll Love: If you already know you'll be moving your treadmill around your home, up stairs, or even just through the door, this Zelus Treadmill is the pick for you. Despite how lightweight it is, this foldable option can support up to 220 pounds, and hits speeds fast enough for jogging and power walking. An anti-skid mat prevents slipping while LED displays allow users to track distance, speed, and calories. You can even sync your phone through an accompanying app to receive health reports after each workout.
Keep In mind: This treadmill has no incline options and may not be the right choice for shoppers hoping for added resistance.
Rave Review: "I was very excited to get this and unpacked and put together immediately!!! It is easy to put together (very little putting together), it's lightweight, very quiet, no problem being able to watch TV while walking. Easily folds up to take up a small amount of space."
Dimensions: 40 x 16 inches Maximum Speed: 7.5 mph Weight: 74 pounds Ratings: 800+
What You'll Love: Looking for something simple and effective to dip your toe into running and walking for fitness? The GYMAX Under Desk Treadmill is one no-frills solution. Less than 4 feet long and 2 feet wide, this tread still hits speeds fast enough for running and features a touch-display screen and phone holder. Plus, knee protective padding allows anyone with an unused corner to get a pain-free workout in.
Keep In mind: If you have longer legs (think: a longer stride), this treadmill is likely not the right fit for you.
Rave Review: "This is a pretty great treadmill for walking and jogging. The controls on the folding arm are very easy to manage. It has minimum features like the Bluetooth control, but overall it does what I need it for. Perfect for getting myself back to a more active lifestyle. I don't really mind the distance reader being in km, since I just go by time. This is a great no-fuss treadmill for everyone in the family. So happy with my purchase!"
Dimensions: 48 x 24 x 48 inches Maximum Speed: 7.5 mph Weight: 68 pounds Five Star Ratings: 1,100+
What You'll Love: In addition to some added style (yes please to white and pink), this treadmill is easy to fold down and wheel around, according to customers who've tried it out. Track distance, speed, calories, and heart rate on an LED screen while quickly adjusting between six speed options, and finish up your workout by rolling your treadmill into a storage space or leaving it out on display.
Keep In mind: More than one user said this treadmill was difficult to put together, so have your handiest friend at the ready.
Rave Review: "I bought this because I love to walk but when the weather is nasty, I don't. So I bought this so I could walk indoors and still get exercise. It has been great, works perfectly, folds up for easy storage. It has a pulse monitor in the hand bars. Super easy to assemble, did it all by myself! The cost was very economical. I definitely got more than I expected with this treadmill. Highly recommend."
Dimensions: 64.5 x 29 x 55.5 inches Maximum Speed: 10 mph Weight: 118 pounds Five Star Ratings: 1,000+
What You'll Love: If you have a need for speed and refuse to let your small space slow you down, look no further than the Weslo Cadence Folding Treadmill. By far the fastest on the list, this tread reaches full out sprinting speeds and makes no compromises when it comes to sturdiness or size efficiency. Best of all, this purchase comes with 30 free days of iFIT workout classes to start your fitness journey off right.
Keep In mind: Once assembled, you have to activate your treadmill online before you're able to use it, although Amazon users say they were able to bypass this step by simply holding down the bluetooth button for 30 seconds, putting the machine in manual mode.
Rave Review: "If you're like me, you're probably looking for a treadmill to run on. After endless searching I was finally able to find a treadmill that fits my budget. I run on this treadmill about 3-4 times a week at about 6-7 (what I believe is mph) on the treadmill. It's been a few years and this treadmill is still running great."
Dimensions: 47 x 23 x 51 inches Maximum Speed: 1 mph Weight: 49 pounds Five Star Ratings: 700+
What You'll Love: While the ProGear Manual Treadmill may not fit everyone's definition of a treadmill, it provides a solid workout for a quarter of the price of most electric treads. The manually-powered belt allows users to push to any speed while incline options up to 10 degrees provide ample challenge (and a killer booty workout).
Keep In mind: This treadmill is better used for a steep incline walk than a jog or run.
Rave Review: "This little thing is amazing! It was easy for me to assemble, it is easy to move, it doesn't take up much space, and it provides, pardon my French, one hell of a workout! It is manual, not electric, so you have to make this baby move. It is pre-oiled, so the belt moves smoothly and the handlebars are long, well-padded, and very comfortable to hold. The incline is adjustable and although I have mine at its lowest setting, it is still very challenging."
Dimensions: 62 x 25.5 x 50 inches Maximum Speed: 9 mph Weight: 103 pounds Five Star Ratings: 4,700+
What You'll Love: Users who've owned this tread for years say it's still getting the job done. Nine built-in programs allow you to switch up your workout while handrail controls effortlessly control speeds. It also folds away for easy under bed or desk storage.
Keep In mind: This treadmill is not designed for users over 220 pounds.
Rave Review: "I have owned this treadmill for five years now and have logged thousands of miles on it. I have trained for multiple half marathons, four full marathons, and an ultra marathon with the help of this machine. It's rugged, the shock absorption is great, can handle challenging speed workouts, has great tablet/phone/water bottle holders, and is easy to fold and unfold and move. I am thoroughly impressed and quite honestly really proud of this treadmill! We have spent a lot of quality time together."
Dimensions: 50.79 x 24.02 x 49.22 inches Maximum Speed: 6mph Weight: 66.5 pounds Five Star Ratings: 2,300+
What You'll Love: SereneLife's Smart Electric Folding Treadmill prioritizes what most compact treads skip out on: incline. For those who prefer an uphill challenge during runs, walks, and jogs, this foldable option makes good on its promises with three levels of inclination and nine pre-set programs to follow.
Keep In mind: Like many treadmills, this requires a magnetic key to be in place before starting up.
Rave Review: "I have had this now for about four months and it is exactly what I had hoped for when I purchased it. I needed something electric with different speeds, quiet, incline option, foldable and low price. This treadmill folds up and I can store it out of the way! It is much quieter than other treadmills I have used, which is a plus as I like to watch TV while using it."
Dimensions: 43 x 20 inches Maximum Speed: 7.5 mph Weight: 64 pounds Five Star Ratings: 1,100+
What You'll Love: In addition to a foldable design, LED tracking display, and whisper-quiet motor, this treadmill is easy to unpack and quick to assemble, (one user even said it only took them five minutes). For anyone who feels actual pain at the sight of a screwdriver, this goof-proof option will save you time on arrival day and a trip to the gym every day after.
Keep In mind: Some users say this tread gets louder at higher speeds — a fair warning to anyone with children or roommates.
Rave Review: "This is a great treadmill for the price. Everything that was written in the description was accurate. It's easy to unpack, assemble, and it's compact so it is literally like a 'Ninja' — you see [it] one minute, then roll it up and it's out of sight! I bought this for my elderly parents and they are so in love with it."